Jan 202015
 

The buzz words for this year are detox and cleanse! If you are jump starting your system this year, these Cleansing Cucumber Rolls will fit the bill perfectly.

Cleansing Cucumber Rolls

Cleansing Cucumber Rolls

Who isn’t detoxing or cleansing these days?

People have all kinds of methods of rebooting their internal systems. One of my favorite ways is to combine real, whole foods with organic cleansing systems. I have done a 7 day detox and a 21 day detox and feel AMAZING after booth – but the key is to continue with the clean foods after your stricter detox period ends. Right now I’m mixing some herbal cleanse products along with fresh lemon and raw apple cider vinegar in warm water each morning, followed up by a green smoothie of filtered water, raw kale, citrus and a greens product that has organic dried mushrooms for increased vitamin D, improved immune function, as well as weight management.

One thing to keep in mind - if you are in it for the weight loss you’re doing it for the wrong reason.

Doing something for temporary weight loss is never sustainable. Make the decision to cleanse and eat healthy so you feel better. The weight loss will come along with it, and you won’t be stressing about every pound. In fact, I don’t even weigh myself any more. I simply notice difference in sleep, energy, and as an added benefit, my clothes are a bit looser.

Which foods are the most cleansing? There are so many! Here are my top 10 and why. 

Top 10 Cleansing Foods ~ Florida Coastal Cooking

Top 10 Cleansing Foods ~ Florida Coastal Cooking

Lemon: Aids in breaking up built up toxins so your body can flush them away. Clears digestive tract.
Chia: Acts like a sponge, sucking up acid and toxins and scrubbing your intestines. Use organic chia grown along the equator that has been opened for highest nutrient content and absorption. My favorite pick!
RAW Apple Cider Vinegar: Natural cleansing and healing properties. Antibiotic and antiseptic.  Alkalizes the body.
Garlic: Used in traditional medicine to cleanse colon and liver.
Greens: Super high in antioxidants, fiber, vitamins and nutrients. Scrubs intestines of junk and makes you glow!
Red Bell Pepper: One of the most powerful sources of Carotenoids and Vitamin C on the planet. Has fiber and nutrients to help fuel the body’s natural cleansing functions.
Pink and Red Grapefruit: Ranks among the highest in antioxidant content. May slow the progression of atherosclerosis. High in Limonin which is a cancer fighter. Clears digestive tract.
Cayenne Pepper: Stimulates circulation and neutralizes acidity. My grandfather used to drink two teaspoons in water every morning (among other macrobiotic regimens) and lived for over 25 years with ALS. Coincidence?
Cucumber: 
Antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. High water content to flush toxins.
Broccoli:
Cleansing for the liver

These Cucumber rolls are perfect to go along with your cleansing regimen!

They are light, crisp, raw and satisfying – the hint of lemon gives it a perfect balance of acid and carrots add a bit of sweetness. Use any kind of hummus you like – even a raw one made from soaked cashews.

Cleansing Cucumber Rolls

Cleansing Cucumber Rolls

Cleansing Cucumber Rolls

Makes 8 Rolls, or 2 Servings of 4 Rolls Each
Vegan, Gluten Free
Printable Recipe

Ingredients

1 cucumber, sliced thinly lengthwise
2 carrots, chopped into matchsticks
1/2 cup sunflower seed sprouts
1/2 cup thinly sliced purple cabbage (about 4 leaves)
3 Tbsp hummus (plus extra for dipping)
Sea salt (Optional)
Juice 1/2 lemon

Directions

1. Lay out each of 8 cucumber slices; divide evenly and layer the carrot, sprouts, and cabbage towards one end of each cucumber; spoon 1 teaspoon of hummus over the vegetables; sprinkle with sea salt if desired; roll cucumber slices around vegetables to make a roll; finish with a squeeze of lemon over all rolls.

Estimated Nutrition Facts
2 Servings
Amount Per Serving

Calories 91.7
Total Fat 2.4 g
Saturated Fat 0.4 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 1.0 g
Monounsaturated Fat 0.9 g
Cholesterol 0.0 mg
Sodium 208.7 mg
Potassium 534.8 mg
Total Carbohydrate 15.9 g
Dietary Fiber 4.9 g
Sugars 4.0 g
Protein 4.0 g

Vitamin A 158.7 %
Vitamin B-12 0.0 %
Vitamin B-6 12.2 %
Vitamin C 50.6 %
Vitamin D 0.0 %
Vitamin E 2.2 %
Calcium 6.3 %
Copper 10.4 %
Folate 14.3 %
Iron 7.5 %
Magnesium 11.3 %
Manganese 21.8 %
Niacin 6.0 %
Pantothenic Acid 5.6 %
Phosphorus 10.1 %
Riboflavin 6.4 %
Selenium 1.2 %
Thiamin 9.2 %
Zinc 6.4 %

*Percent Daily Values for Cleansing Cucumber Rolls are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

Eat Whole Foods

Eat Whole Foods

 Posted by at 2:37 pm
Jan 052015
 

Garlic Kale Pesto Pasta is my new seasonal favorite dish – easy to prepare, full of flavor and is versatile enough to continue changing with the seasons.

Garlic Kale Pesto Pasta

Garlic Kale Pesto Pasta

It was like stepping into another planet when we got out of our truck to visit our friends from college, Don and Kathy, who live in South Florida. It was a world of Ferraris and Lamborghinis, of personal shoppers at Neiman Marcus, thousand dollar shoes, of late night partying, glitz and glamour.

Being a girl from New England that grew up in a middle-class American family I am amazed at the differences between how people live.

Everyone I met was so nice and genuinely were caring people. I just couldn’t help but feel out of place. I’ve come across people with wealth – my next-door neighbor lives in a beautiful home on the river and is rich by definition.

 I can’t say I live in poverty either. I have been very blessed and Chris and I have worked very hard. But compared to the group we met, we are paupers.

We knew Don and Kathy from the time they lived modest lives, working hard to get them to the point of affluence. We are so proud of them and are so grateful to know such genuine and loving people. They have a BEAUTIFUL home and tons of nice things – yet are so grounded.

It was their friends, Craig and Melanie that we were visiting on New Year’s Eve that are off the charts wealthy. They live in a huge, extravagant development employing an army of landscapers, maids, butlers, and other various staff. As the story went, Melanie’s grandfather had started a business and later sold it for $400 million.

 Four. Hundred. Million. Dollars.

 It’s hard for most of us to even imagine. All of the money was then willed to Melanie’s dad who shared it with his family. They spend their days doing philanthropy work and run an event business.

As I mentioned in my previous post I have been reading Napoleon Hill’s book, Think and Grow Rich. In the book, the plan encourages one to set the level of wealth they wish to acquire and fixate that in their mind with a clear plan of what they intend to give in return. As a diehard lover of camping, and the show Tiny House Nation, I began to grapple with the idea of desiring such a lifestyle. People in this community live in cavernous homes, most of the rooms never to be used. Here I am, reading my book and supposedly planning for wealth beyond my wildest imagination when I suddenly began to struggle with the question:

 Do I really want all this?

I suppose you don’t have to have such a large house and attend swanky soirées. But do I even want the responsibility that goes along with obtaining such wealth?
I mean, how does one know if one’s friends are real or if they only associate with them because of wealth?

I suppose just by writing this I have answered my own question.

I don’t ever want to try to keep up with the Joneses. It is exhausting.

It would be one thing if the money dropped in my lap, and a totally different scenario to desire it enough to focus on that amount and make the decision to do anything it takes to get there.

 I know in my heart that I do have a burning desire for a significant income so that I can help others and live a comfortable life myself, but not necessarily to obtain more stuff. After working for so long in corporate America, sitting in a cubicle in order to acquire material things, I realized what I really value is time, a connection with nature, and my family. It was never more apparent than when I lost my dad so suddenly.

He passed away and all his material things were still left. You can’t take them with you.

Though I’m not where I want to be as far as income goes, I’ve made the decision to enjoy the ride, to always be learning, and to make real connections with people.

I’m so glad we went to visit our friends because it helped me make a few decisions about the direction I want to go. And I even learned a few things that inspired me.

 Kathy is a healthy eater too. She prepared a delicious pesto pasta dish before our night out at Melanie’s. The pasta was so delicious that I knew I had to recreate it when I returned home. The pesto was the perfect dressing for the warm pasta – and she used fresh tomatoes from her garden.

This dish is my version of the one she made; but using kale from my garden and sweet peppers from my CSA at KyV Farm since I didn’t have tomatoes on hand.

Kathy’s fresh pesto inspired me to make a few positive changes in my diet.

A few of the changes I want to make when it comes to diet are to eat more raw, dehydrated and fermented foods.

Raw:
While we were there visiting, Kathy pulled out a book to try and find a recipe before she made the pesto. I browsed through and fell in love and ordered it right away! SO many simple, fresh and raw recipes – stay tuned for variations of them this year!


The Beauty Detox Foods: Discover the Top 50 Beauty Foods That Will Transform Your Body and Reveal a More Beautiful You

Consuming raw foods is such a great way to preserve the enzymes that are lost in the cooking process.

Garlic Kale Pesto Pasta

Garlic Kale Pesto Pasta

Dehydrated:

Next I plan to use my Excalibur dehydrator more. It is a great way to add variety to raw foods and to preserve extra fruits and veggies.

 Excalibur 3926TB Food Dehydrator, Black

Garlic Kale Pesto Pasta

Garlic Kale Pesto Pasta

Fermented:

Finally, I want to add more fermented foods. My daughter’s naturopathic doctor has added fermented foods as part of the recovery of her diagnosed Leaky Gut. I think that fermented foods would do us all good. Fermentation is when a food goes through a lactofermentation process that preserves the food, creates enzymes, probiotics, B-vitamins and Omega 3’s. The key for my 6-year old is the probiotics to aid in digestion. I was told these German fermentation crocks are the best – but one can also ferment in glass jars as well.

7 L (1.9 Gal) K&K Keramik German Made Fermenting Crock Pot , Kerazo F2

Garlic Kale Pesto Pasta

Garlic Kale Pesto Pasta

Garlic Kale Pesto Pasta

Serves 4
Vegan, Gluten Free
Printable Recipe

 

Ingredients

8oz quinoa pasta noodles
1 bunch kale, de-stemmed
Handful fresh green onions
1 clove garlic
1/4 cup cold pressed olive oil
1/4 tsp salt
3 Tbsp pine nuts
2 Tbsp raw pumpkin seeds
1 cup sliced sweet peppers

Directions

1. Cook pasta to package directions and set aside.

2. Blend kale, green onions, garlic, olive oil, salt and pine nuts in a blender; toss over pasta; stir in sweet peppers.

Estimated Nutrition Facts
4 Servings
Amount Per Serving

Calories 275.3
Total Fat 11.5 g
Saturated Fat 1.3 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 3.6 g
Monounsaturated Fat 5.0 g
Cholesterol 0.0 mg
Sodium 226.6 mg
Potassium 548.6 mg
Total Carbohydrate 39.7 g
Dietary Fiber 7.3 g
Sugars 2.8 g
Protein 7.7 g

Vitamin A 485.3 %
Vitamin B-12 0.0 %
Vitamin B-6 16.9 %
Vitamin C 229.9 %
Vitamin D 0.0 %
Vitamin E 12.1 %
Calcium 12.7 %
Copper 20.8 %
Folate 8.2 %
Iron 17.1 %
Magnesium 17.1 %
Manganese 67.0 %
Niacin 6.6 %
Pantothenic Acid 1.4 %
Phosphorus 9.9 %
Riboflavin 12.5 %
Selenium 2.5 %
Thiamin 14.3 %
Zinc 10.7 %

*Percent Daily Values for Garlic Kale Pesto Pasta are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

Please note:
The names in my story were changed for privacy.

This post contains affiliate links. These are products I love or that I’m saving for. My dad left me his gorgeous Excalibur dehydrator when he passed away and it is something I treasure. The fermentation crock is something I’m saving for. For now I am using jars. Should you choose to purchase any of these items I would be so grateful if you would use the links I provided. This will support the cost of running this blog – I receive a few pennies on the dollar at no additional cost to you. Many thanks!

Do the Best

Nov 222014
 

Change things up this Thanksgiving with this Vegan Caesar with Arugula and Kale. TO. DIE FOR. You may just lick the bowl. Right in front of the whole family.

A few exciting things have happened.

Vegan Caesar with Arugula and Kale

Vegan Caesar with Arugula and Kale

1) My CSA/Farm share just started up, 2) I got arugula in my first basket and 3) I figured out a way to prepare it where I actually enjoy it. Thank you Kris Carr. She posted links to 9 awesome arugula recipes and the first one I tried by Isa at Post Punk Kitchen was this Arugula Caesar recipe.

With just a few tweaks to make it my own, I knew I had found a gem. As a side note, my daughter was not nearly as thrilled about the recipe as I was. Hmpf.

Speaking of my daughter, allow me a shameless digression to plug our work; we just finished our second children’s book together in a series called Agnes and the Martian. The book is called Agnes and the Martian’s Camping Adventure. Shocking I know – if you know me, you know we love camping. We even have a blog about THAT.

 Back to the story at hand. Thanksgiving and this salad. What do you plan to make? Are you going to try something new this year? I plan to make coconut pumpkin soup (vegan version), a veggie lentil loaf, roasted Brussels stuffing, and this salad.

Vegan Caesar

Vegan Caesar

Vegan Caesar with Arugula and Kale

Serves 6
Vegan, Gluten Free
Printable Recipe

Dressing:
1/4 cup tahini
1/4 cup water (plus more for thinning)
1/2 tsp apple cider vinegar
2 teaspoons fresh grated garlic (see note)
2 tablespoons nutritional yeast flakes
2 teaspoons whole grain dijon mustard
1/4 teaspoon salt

Salad:
1 bunch kale, chopped
Handful of baby arugula
15 oz can chickpeas, rinsed and drained (about 1 1/2 cups)
1 avocado diced
Fresh black pepper to taste

Directions

1. Mix dressing ingredients in a blender. Place kale in a large bowl; massage dressing into kale; stir in arugula until well coated; top with chickpeas, avocado, and black pepper; toss well.

Nutrition Info
6 Servings
Amount Per Serving

Calories 253.8
Total Fat 11.4 g
Saturated Fat 1.6 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 3.6 g
Monounsaturated Fat 5.1 g
Cholesterol 0.0 mg
Sodium 500.3 mg
Potassium 691.4 mg
Total Carbohydrate 31.0 g
Dietary Fiber 9.5 g
Sugars 1.9 g
Protein 10.2 g

Vitamin A 304.4 %
Vitamin B-12 22.2 %
Vitamin B-6 112.5 %
Vitamin C 88.0 %
Vitamin D 0.0 %
Vitamin E 8.0 %
Calcium 18.0 %
Copper 27.7 %
Folate 39.8 %
Iron 19.5 %
Magnesium 18.0 %
Manganese 60.5 %
Niacin 55.7 %
Pantothenic Acid 10.3 %
Phosphorus 23.0 %
Riboflavin 106.3 %
Selenium 10.6 %
Thiamin 122.2 %
Zinc 15.9 %

*Percent Daily Values for Vegan Caesar with Arugula and Kale are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

312d351d8f1bc13f1225669f901a83bc

Jan 192014
 

We’re all hearing about the benefits of superfruits ~ in this post I’ll review the Mangosteen and share a delicious recipe for Superfruit Mangosteen Dressing!

It’s all over Dr Oz, the internet, health blogs – you name it – superfruits are hot. It is hard not to buy into the hype so I always do some research.  I rarely discuss supplements because I’m here to promote food first.  Human nature is to say shoot, I can eat whatever I want and then just take these supplements and I’ll be fine.

Baloney. First and foremost we need to eat a balanced and nutrient dense diet of mostly plants, and then add any supplementation on top of that. (And remember – always be sure to read the ingredients!) My daily regimen includes eating Mila every day, taking a liquid coral calcium & liquid daily vitamin, sub-lingual complex b-vitamin and I’m trying a few of these superfruits to see what I think.

Mangosteen

Mangosteen

Source

The Mangosteen is a tropical evergreen tree that primarily grows in Southeast Asia. The fruit is sweet, tangy and juicy ~ but it is the purple “pericarp”, or rind, that is high in tannins and contains an organic material called xanthones. The astringent rind of the fruit has been used in a variety of ways ~ to treat pain, inflammation, allergies, various infections, eczema and wounds, dysentery and urinary tract infections, and is also said to be an immune booster.

Superfruit Mangosteen Dressing

Superfruit Mangosteen Dressing

From doing my research please keep in mind that yes, the rind has a high nutrient content; however, it should not be used to cure any ailments, so please do not believe false claims.

Any food or nutrient can only help build your very own body’s defenses against various ailments. Our bodies are amazing symphonies of biochemistry ~ but it is up to us to treat it right. If we ingest fast food drive from the through every day and then drink mangosteen juice, we cannot expect our body to be able to defend itself against ailments.  It is much better to cleanse our bodies of toxins by eating healthfully, balance our bodies through exercise and eating a variety of colorful, organic foods and build our bodies’ defenses through nutrient dense foods ~ such as mangosteen.

Variety of organic and nutrient dense foods is one of main reasons to consider the mangosteen. This is the same reason you may want to consider joining an organic CSA/farm share ~ it enables you to obtain a variety of high quality vegetables you may not normally find at your grocer. Conventional soils are depleted in the US ~ to think that we can lay down some man made fertilizer and believe we are adding everything to the soil that it needs is ridiculous, nature is infinitely more complex, so by choosing organics you are also choosing healthy soil. This is not to say that all organics are without shortcuts and are perfect by any means; however, it is a step in the right direction.

If you ARE looking for a high quality mangosteen product ~ I have a great one in my wholesale membership club with Genesis Pure  and I do feel comfortable supporting and recommending it like I do Mila. I checked out a variety that are available out there and this one is really good. If I found anything in it I didn’t agree with, I wouldn’t talk about it ~ even though it is a product supplied by my own company. It is wild harvested and has no added preservatives or sugars.

I do suggest that you compare other products and do your own research first, any time you are looking to try something out.  Google “mangosteen juice products” and see what comes up.

Other than drinking it, making a light dressing is a great way to use it ~ especially over the organically grown veggies at KyV Farm or Native Sun. It is gently sweet and really pleasing ~ no need to add additional sweeteners!

Superfruit Mangosteen Dressing

Superfruit Mangosteen Dressing

Fresh Salad with Superfruit Mangosteen Dressing

Serves 4
Printable Recipe
Vegan, Gluten Free

Ingredients

4 cups fresh chopped lettuces and greens such as kale or bok choy
1 large fresh tomato, chopped
1/4 red onion, chopped
1 cup sliced cucumber
Salt & pepper, to taste

Dressing
1/4 cup mangosteen juice
2 Tbsp roasted garlic extra virgin olive oil (plain will be fine too)
1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 Tbsp honey

Directions

1. Divide lettuce, tomato and onion evenly over four plates.

2. Whisk dressing ingredients in a small bowl; pour 2 Tbsp dressing over each salad; season with salt and pepper.

Here is Dr Duncan talking about what the mangosteen is good for.

Nutrition Facts
4 Servings
Amount Per Serving

Calories 64.1
Total Fat 2.4 g
Saturated Fat 0.3 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0.3 g
Monounsaturated Fat 1.7 g
Cholesterol 0.0 mg
Sodium 44.2 mg
Potassium 195.7 mg
Total Carbohydrate 10.5 g
Dietary Fiber 1.2 g
S
ugars 8.0 g
Protein 1.1 g 

Vitamin A 29.7 %
Vitamin B-12 0.0 %
Vitamin B-6 2.2 %
Vitamin C 24.3 %
Vitamin D 0.0 %
Vitamin E 2.8 %
Calcium 2.3 %
Copper 1.7 %
Folate 19.7 %
Iron 4.0 %
Magnesium 1.5 %
Manganese 19.4 %
Niacin 1.7 %
Pantothenic Acid 1.2 %
Phosphorus 3.0 %
Riboflavin 3.7 %
Selenium 0.3 %
Thiamin 4.2 %
Zinc 1.2 % 

*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

Dec 042013
 

 This sweet, spicy and savory Raw Thai Noodle Salad is easy to make and as an added bonus is also naturally gluten free and vegan.

Raw Thai Noodle Salad

Raw Thai Noodle Salad

Walking through Native Sun last week I stopped and did a double take. Kelp noodles. Hmm. Interesting.
I’m embarrassed to say I have never worked with these noodles of the sea. I bought them and then visited the noodle website on line for more info.

“Kelp Noodles are a sea vegetable in the form of an easy to eat raw noodle. Made of only kelp (a sea vegetable), sodium alginate (sodium salt extracted from a brown seaweed), and water, Kelp Noodles are fat-free, gluten-free, and very low in carbohydrates and calories. Their noodle form and neutral taste allow for a variety of uses including salads, stir-fries, hot broths, and casseroles, while their healthful content provides a rich source of trace minerals including iodine, which kelp is well known for. Their unique texture completes the package, making Kelp Noodles a one-of-a-kind healthful and tasty alternative to pasta and rice noodles. Best of all, no cooking is required. Just rinse and add the noodles to any dish and they are ready to eat!”

Love the healthy convenience of a ready to eat raw food! One of the main reasons raw is great is because the healthy enzymes stay in tact since they are not heated above 115 to 118F.

nutrition_facts_kelp_noodles

nutrition_facts_kelp_noodles

Raw Thai Noodle Salad

Raw Thai Noodle Salad

Once I opened the bag and rinsed, I had to dress them up. I chose fresh carrots, sesame seeds, raw broccoli and aromatic cilantro to add to the noodle base and, in just a few minutes time, was able to whisk a spicy, sweet and salty sauce to massage into the mixture.  This mixture can be heated, but it was delicious cold! This salad has a wonderful crunch from the veggies that work so well with the thin, semi-chewy noodles that have the perfect amount of bite.

 Have you tried kelp noodles? What do you typically do with them?

Raw Thai Noodle Salad

Raw Thai Noodle Salad

Raw Thai Noodle Salad

Serves 5 1-cup servings
Vegan, Gluten Free
Printable Recipe

**On sale now at Native Sun Natural Food Market Nov 7 through Dec 6, 2013

Ingredients

Salad
1 pkg kelp noodles, rinsed and drained
1 small head broccoli (and stalk), chopped **
2 green onions, sliced
1 cup chopped red cabbage
3 carrots, julienned
2 Tbsp black sesame seeds
2 Tbsp white sesame seeds
Handful fresh cilantro, chopped (Fresh from KyV Farm)

Sauce
1/4 cup raw nut butter of choice
2 Tbsp liquid aminos
1 Tbsp ume plum vinegar (or rice vinegar will be fine)
1 Tbsp raw organic agave or raw local honey (non-vegan)
2 tsp organic chili sauce (Sriracha)
1/2 Tbsp raw sesame oil (optional)

Directions 

1. Whisk sauce ingredients together in a medium bowl and set aside.

2. Add salad ingredients to a large bowl; pour dressing over salad mixture; mix with hands to combine and coat the noodles and vegetables evenly.

Nutrition Facts
5 Servings
Amount Per Serving 

Calories 174.2
Total Fat 11.6 g
Saturated Fat 2.1 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 4.1 g
Monounsaturated Fat 5.0 g
Cholesterol 0.0 mg
Sodium 751.3 mg
Potassium 394.6 mg
Total Carbohydrate 14.5 g
Dietary Fiber 4.1 g
Sugars 6.9 g
Protein 6.1 g

Vitamin A 99.1 %
Vitamin B-12 0.0 %
Vitamin B-6 11.8 %
Vitamin C 62.0 %
Vitamin D 0.0 %
Vitamin E 10.9 %
Calcium 11.4 %
Copper 17.6 %
Folate 14.1 %
Iron 10.4 %
Magnesium 15.4 %
Manganese 19.9 %
Niacin 13.4 %
Pantothenic Acid 4.0 %
Phosphorus 13.2 %
Riboflavin 6.0 %
Selenium 3.6 %
Thiamin 8.2 %
Zinc 8.0 %

*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

 

Nov 252013
 

 Juicy Orange Vinaigrette over Crisp Pear & Apple Salad with Cranberries, Almonds and Fresh Rosemary. Need I say more?

Juicy Orange Vinaigrette over Crisp Pear & Apple Salad with Cranberries, Almonds and Fresh Rosemary

Juicy Orange Vinaigrette over Crisp Pear & Apple Salad with Cranberries, Almonds and Fresh Rosemary

Sometimes an unexpectedly happy email pops into your inbox ~ maybe it is from an old friend, maybe it is a response to a job opportunity or maybe it is from Mommypage for an interview!

This is an AWESOME resource for moms out there!

Mommypage  is an online community of like minded women to share stories, advice, recipes, craft ideas, coupons and more. You can be caught for hours browsing around the useful information and connecting with people.

_mp-Newsletter-Swap-Banner250x250

When I got the email asking if I would be open to sharing some recipes and writing up an interview I said of course!

I was so excited to be able to share a little snapshot of information about plant based diets and how it can benefit people and especially their children. Here is one of the questions I was asked….I loved this question because it enabled me to expand on the difference between vegan and plant based. Yes there are lots of reasons to go vegan, but when it comes to health for our bodies and the environment, plant based is a great way to go. It essentially is vegan but is based around as many whole foods as possible.

Are you raising your daughter to be vegan? Do you think parents should consider this food lifestyle for their kids?

No, I’m simply teaching her the principals of plant-based nutrition – why it is healing, what happens in the body, the effects of animal foods and where food comes from – especially the conditions of the animals in factory farms.  Every man, woman and child should learn about the centralized feeding operations that supply our meats and dairy and the ties between the USDA and these industries.  Many times the bottom line is not our health, it is money.  She has a dairy allergy and I don’t buy or cook with meats but she will occasionally have local honey. Also important to note is that even if someone calls themselves vegan they can still eat junk food all day!

No, I don’t think people should consider a “vegan” lifestyle for their kids, instead consider a whole foods plant-based lifestyle where they eat plants as close to the source as possible.

Juicy Orange Vinaigrette over Crisp Pear & Apple Salad with Cranberries, Almonds and Fresh Rosemary

Juicy Orange Vinaigrette over Crisp Pear & Apple Salad with Cranberries, Almonds and Fresh Rosemary

 While you are reading Mommypage I have a fabulous recipe for you to nosh – guilt free! There is something about fresh citrus in a dressing. It is so zingy, invigorating and sunny! This time I threw the whole orange in – yup the pulp and all – and I loved the texture. Feel free to juice the orange first instead, but you will miss out on all that glorious pulp!

Juicy Orange Vinaigrette over Crisp Pear & Apple Salad with Cranberries, Almonds and Fresh Rosemary

Juicy Orange Vinaigrette over Crisp Pear & Apple Salad with Cranberries, Almonds and Fresh Rosemary

Juicy Orange Vinaigrette over Crisp Pear & Apple Salad with Cranberries, Almonds and Fresh Rosemary

Serves 4-6
Vegan, Gluten Free
Printable Recipe
**Ingredient on sale now at Native Sun Nov 7 thru Dec 6

Ingredients

4 cups chopped romaine lettuce
3 small pears**
3 small apples**
1 tsp chopped fresh rosemary
2 Tbsp dried cranberries
1/8 tsp sea salt & dash fresh ground pepper
2 Tbsp chopped natural almonds

Dressing
1 fresh orange, peeled
1 (to 2) Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 Tbsp local honey or agave
2 Tbsp water

Directions

1. Mix salad ingredients in a large bowl; mix dressing ingredients in a small bowl; toss dressing over salad mixture.

2. Garnish with fresh rosemary.

Nutrition Facts
4 Servings
Amount Per Serving 

Calories 213.4
Total Fat 7.3 g
Saturated Fat 0.8 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0.5 g
Monounsaturated Fat 2.6 g
Cholesterol 0.0 mg
Sodium 77.6 mg
Potassium 498.9 mg
Total Carbohydrate 38.3 g
Dietary Fiber 7.3 g
Sugars 24.1 g
Protein 3.2 g

Vitamin A 31.2 %
Vitamin B-12 0.0 %
Vitamin B-6 4.3 %
Vitamin C 66.3 %
Vitamin D 0.0 %
Vitamin E 15.9 %
Calcium 7.1 %
Copper 8.9 %
Folate 24.0 %
Iron 7.7 %
Magnesium 8.8 %
Manganese 24.8 %
Niacin 2.5 %
Pantothenic Acid 2.4 %
Phosphorus 4.3 %
Riboflavin 6.6 %
Selenium 2.1 %
Thiamin 6.0 %
Zinc 2.1 %

*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

Aug 282013
 
Luscious Lemon Olive Oil Dressing over Crunchy Rainbow Salad

Luscious Lemon Olive Oil Dressing over Crunchy Rainbow Salad

Since leaving my corporate job I have been so much busier than I thought I would be – but every minute has been filled with gratitude, peace and excitement about the future.  After 13 years in the structured day of corporate finance I expected to have anxiety with the change of moving into a self directed environment. In reality I have found that I am even more productive and get more done because I’m EXCITED to face the day.  Work doesn’t feel like work.  Being self directed though is not an excuse to let my eating habits fall by the wayside. Hence this big salad – I could eat it all week and easily incorporate variations each day.

I shared some with my mom as well – after one taste she declared that she could become vegan if I made this for her every day.
It is all in the dressing and the CRUNCH from the veggies.

Luscious Lemon Olive Oil Dressing over Crunchy Rainbow Salad

Luscious Lemon Olive Oil Dressing over Crunchy Rainbow Salad

This salad is perfect by itself or served over spinach and lettuces (as shown in these photos), topped with tofu cubes or avocado.

Why is RAW great? Because the disease fighting phytonutrients and digestion-friendly enzymes stay in tact.  Edamame packs a protein punch to keep you full and satisfied longer.

….But it is the drool-worthy dressing I get so excited about. It may seem simple, but this mixture of ingredients will make you beg for more. Fruity and flavorful olive oil, tart lemon, a hint of olive oil and dash of agave or honey to sweeten the deal. You’ll be putting this dressing on everything!

Luscious Lemon Olive Oil Dressing over Crunchy Rainbow Salad

Luscious Lemon Olive Oil Dressing over Crunchy Rainbow Salad

Luscious Lemon Olive Oil Dressing over Crunchy Rainbow Salad

 6 servings – about 2 cups each
Vegan, Gluten Free
Printable Recipe
**Ingredient on sale now at Native Sun Natural Foods Market, August 7 -Sept 6, 2013

Ingredients

3 tomatoes, chopped
3 bell peppers (varying colors), seeded and chopped
1 slice red onion, chopped
1 cup chopped red cabbage
3 celery ribs
3 small summer squashes, chopped
1 cup chopped broccoli**
12 oz shelled edamame

Dressing
1/2 olive oil
2 Tbsp coarse ground prepared mustard
1/2 Tbsp agave or local honey
Juice of 2 lemons
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp fresh ground pepper

Directions

1. Mix veggies and edamame in large bowl; mix well.

2. Mix dressing in a medium bowl or Magic Bullet; mix well and pour over vegetables; toss to coat.

Nutrition Facts
6 Servings
Amount Per Serving 

Calories 278.3
Total Fat 20.1 g
Saturated Fat 2.5 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 1.7 g
Monounsaturated Fat 13.3 g
Cholesterol 0.0 mg
Sodium 278.6 mg
Potassium 491.5 mg
Total Carbohydrate 18.4 g
Dietary Fiber 3.5 g
Sugars 6.0 g
Protein 9.0 g

Vitamin A 22.2 %
Vitamin B-12 0.0 %
Vitamin B-6 17.4 %
Vitamin C 119.4 %
Vitamin D 0.0 %
Vitamin E 15.7 %
Calcium 9.3 %
Copper 6.0 %
Folate 13.1 %
Iron 10.9 %
Magnesium 7.0 %
Manganese 15.1 %
Niacin 5.0 %
Pantothenic Acid 4.0 %
Phosphorus 6.3 %
Riboflavin 9.0 %
Selenium 2.0 %
Thiamin 7.5 %
Zinc 2.7 %

*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

Aug 212013
 
Grape Skewers with Lemon Vanilla "Frosting"

Grape Skewers with Lemon Vanilla “Frosting”

 I thought I was SOOOO smart.

At my daughter’s daycare I had created tons of vegan and gluten free lunch and snack ideas that she loved and were easy to prepare.  With all her food allergies to wheat, dairy, eggs, nuts and dyes (like red 40) it was just easier to send our own food in.

But the catch was that most of them could be heated on site by the resident chef.

Upon talking with the food manager at her new school there is no heating of lunches for kids with food allergies.

Ug! Back to the drawing board for cold friendly items.

For those of you with kids – what do you pack for their school lunches? Or do they buy food at the school?

Grape Skewers with Lemon Vanilla "Frosting"

Grape Skewers with Lemon Vanilla “Frosting”

I have found that the key with children is to keep things simple and fun.  Lately her favorite breakfast is toast with sunbutter, three raisins for the eyes and nose, unhulled sesame seeds for the hair.

These skewers fit the bill perfectly. She loves to dip so this is a fun way to help her get a serving of fruit.
Upon tasting the yogurt mixture she promptly announced that it tasted like frosting. Score! We loved the sweet jeweled look of the skewers and the lemony burst in the vanilla yogurt is sure to please kids and grownups of all ages.

Grape Skewers with Lemon Vanilla "Frosting"

Grape Skewers with Lemon Vanilla “Frosting”

Grape Skewers with Lemon Vanilla “Frosting”

Serves 2-4 (1/2 cup fruit with generous 3 Tbsp frosting.)
Vegan, Gluten Free
Printable Recipe

Ingredients

1 cup grapes
1 cup blueberries
1 60z vanilla yogurt (I used non-dairy almond yogurt)
1 Tbsp agave (or local honey)
1 pinch coarse sea salt
1 tsp lemon zest

Directions

1. Skewer two blueberries and one grape on toothpicks.

2. Mix yogurt, agave, sea salt and lemon zest in a small bowl.

3. Dip grape skewers into yogurt mixture and enjoy!

**Tip: the grape skewers are delicious frozen too! 

Nutrition Facts
4 Servings
Amount Per Serving 

Calories 98.6
Total Fat 1.8 g
Saturated Fat 0.2 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0.1 g
Monounsaturated Fat 0.0 g
Cholesterol 0.0 mg
Sodium 43.8 mg
Potassium 80.9 mg
Total Carbohydrate 20.6 g
Dietary Fiber 1.6 g
Sugars 17.1 g
Protein 1.0 g

Vitamin A 1.3 %
Vitamin B-12 0.0 %
Vitamin B-6 2.9 %
Vitamin C 15.1 %
Vitamin D 0.0 %
Vitamin E 3.2 %
Calcium 0.7 %
Copper 3.0 %
Folate 1.0 %
Iron 1.1 %
Magnesium 1.1 %
Manganese 6.5 %
Niacin 1.3 %
Pantothenic Acid 0.5 %
Phosphorus 0.9 %
Riboflavin 2.5 %
Selenium 0.5 %
Thiamin 3.6 %
Zinc 0.5 %

*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

Jun 162013
 

There are four reasons I choose Mila.

Chocolate Chia (Mila) Meal Replacement Bars

Chocolate Chia (Mila) Bars

WHY is it better?   A fair question.  Over the years, I have been approached with many various products – from skin care, to food, to pills and shakes and this is the only product I have chosen to support.

Quality.

We need to eat Omega 3’s, our bodies can not produce them.

There are so many benefits of Omega 3’s including:

Protection against:
heart disease
stroke
rheumatoid arthritis
inflammatory bowel disease
lupus
autism
depression, bipolar, eating disorders
joint degeneration
asthma
Many other diseases caused by inflammation (Google “Omega 3’s, any condition and medical studies” and you will see if Omega 3’s help that condition)

Chocolate Chip Mila Bars

Chocolate Chip Mila Bars

First let me back up and start with why I choose chia in the first place.

Fish Oil: I do not take fish oil pills because of several discoveries during my research over the years; the first being cancer-causing “fish oil lipid peroxidation“, secondly, contaminants such as PCB’s and mercury may be present and thirdly, the side effects such as gas, bloating, belching and diarrhea.  Fish oil is a man made supplement and I prefer to eat mostly whole raw foods because of the multiple benefits that come along with it – fiber, protein, calcium, vitamins and nutrients.

So that leaves me with plant based sources – chia and flax.

Flax: For the same reasons that people are scared of soy, flax is on my “consume less” list – flax is a phytoestrogen. Phytoestrogens can change the hormone balance in the body and there has been some evidence that it can promote the growth of cancer tumors. The jury is still out on whether high amounts of soy and flax can help or hurt, but I eat a fair amount of soy so I choose to limit the amount of flax I eat. Flax can also go rancid very quickly and many of the sources are genetically modified – therefore banned in several countries.

Mila vs other brands Chia: Chia grows best in climates along the equator with nutrient dense soil. Lifemax has connected with several farms in these regions and ensured they only grow organic, non-GMO seed.  As each harvested crop comes into the warehouse it is randomly sampled by independent laboratories to ensure that the quality of the seed is the same from scoop to scoop.  The various crops are blended together to guaranty the high amounts of fiber, Omega 3’s, protein etc. The seeds are then cleaned in a five step cleaning process housed in a facility that ensures there is no wheat or other contamination and therefore is certified gluten free, and finally the seeds are micro-sliced to ensure maximum absorption without damaging the contents of the seed.

Results from scientific study from the North Carolina Research Institute on Mila vs other brands of chia.
Results from scientific study from North Carolina Research Institute on absorption of micro sliced chia

After finding Mila I asked myself – how DO the other brands clean their chia seeds? Have you ever tried to clean a chia seed? They are about the size of the head of a pin, so the likelihood is high that most brands are not being as thoroughly cleaned for dirt, mold and salmonella.

Chocolate Chia (Mila) Bars

Chocolate Chia (Mila) Bars

I experienced the difference personally.

For years I ate organic chia until my mom’s neurology nurse practitioner sent me a month supply of Mila for my personal review. After eating it for three weeks I noticed better energy and better digestion and three months later won my battle with depression.
I have also seen the difference in my mom with her Multiple Sclerosis – she has much more energy and it helps keep her weight down, thereby making it easier to get around. There are so many stories I’ve come across from people that have been helped by this food that I can’t ignore the fact that it is different.

Chocolate Chia (Mila) Bars

Chocolate Chia (Mila) Bars

100% FAIR TRADE – this company gives back. This is one of my most favorite reasons! 

The small farmers that are taught to grow this organic seed are located in some of the most impoverished countries in the world.  Not only can they consume it for their nutritional benefit but also are given a way to make an income for their families though fair trade standards. Fair trade is so important for any product you consume.  These standards ensure ethical working conditions for the farmers, prohibit child labor and ensure sustainable farming practices.  This comes at a higher price – but is absolutely worth it.

Our long-term world vision is to educate families in villages to sustain themselves by teaching them to grow the healthiest whole, raw food. Our access to this extraordinary seed gives us the opportunity to affect the well-being of those around the world. Our goal is not only to change their health but also to create an economical infrastructure for the benefit of future generations.”

Genesis Pure gives people a way to not only get the food for free but to create a real asset for themselves and their family

I agree with my friend Mikaele at Green Your Spirit.  In today’s economic climate people are definitely looking for additional sources of income and this is a food that everyone from your grandmother to your children to your pets needs in their diet.  The reality is that most people are now at least aware of Omega 3’s but are not necessarily consuming what their body needs.  What a gift to be able to offer people!  I love the fact that I’m creating an asset for my daughter in the future.

The most that can be spent on Mila is $1.57 per serving  – preferred customer and distributors get it for less.   It is definitely worth it to me to spend the money on this blend.  Nutrition is the one thing I will not skimp on for myself and my family.  This is why I belong to KyV Farm, a organic, local farm share and why I shop at Native Sun.  I am willing to pay for the assurance that the food I’m putting into my body is quality.

To purchase a bag of Mila click here, then click shop and enter representative ID US11065661. $1.57 per serving.
If you try Mila and love it, join the wholesale membership club for $39 bucks and get the food for $1.43 per serving – along with 25% off all kinds of other products!
For details on joining the wholesale membership club, email me at chefdawn(at)hotmail.com.  

Chocolate Chia (Mila) Meal Replacement Bars

Chocolate Chia (Mila) Meal Replacement Bars

Chocolate Chip Chia (Mila) Meal Replacement Bars

Inspired by Wellness Mama
Serves 4
Vegan, Gluten Free
Printable Recipe

Ingredients

8 pitted Medjool dates
Rounded 1/8 tsp salt
1/2 cup Mila
3 Tbsp sunflower seed butter (or peanut butter)

Optional
2 Tbsp mini chocolate chips (I used Enjoy Life, vegan)
2 Tbsp roasted sunflower seeds

Directions

1. Place dates in a food processor and process into a paste; add salt, Mila and sunflower seed butter; mix by hand. (If needed add up to 1 additional Tbsp sunflower seed butter if mixture is too crumbly. This will adjust calorie content.) Mix in mini chocolate chips and sunflower seeds and form a large ball; press into a square shape and cut into four equal bars.

Nutrition Facts
4 Servings
Amount Per Serving 

Calories 256.8
Total Fat 14.5 g
Saturated Fat 2.3 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 5.3 g
Monounsaturated Fat 3.0 g
Cholesterol 0.0 mg
Sodium 125.3 mg
Potassium 198.9 mg
Total Carbohydrate 25.9 g
Dietary Fiber 8.4 g
Sugars 15.8 g
Protein 7.0 g

Vitamin B-6 1.4 %
Vitamin E 10.2 %
Calcium 9.8 %
Copper 11.1 %
Folate 0.8 %
Iron 11.1 %
Magnesium 11.2 %
Manganese 13.2 %
Niacin 5.6 %
Pantothenic Acid 1.0 %
Phosphorus 12.0 %
Riboflavin 0.6 %
Selenium 0.7 %
Thiamin 0.6 %
Zinc 4.1 %

*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
I hope you enjoy these Chocolate Chip Chia (Mila) Meal Replacement Bars!

May 182013
 

Gingery Pepita Bars – a little spicy, a little salty and a little sweet.

Gingery Pepita Energy Bars

Gingery Pepita Energy Bars

100% delicious.

Gingery Pepita Energy Bars

Gingery Pepita Energy Bars

These are so satisfying and EASY to make – you’ll never spend money on pre-made bars again.  I’ve been making tons of variations of these with whatever is on sale.  I simply add enough dates, raisins or prunes so that the mixture just stays together and then shape into bites or bars.

Bars are perfect to grab on a busy day when you just won’t have a lot of time to eat and make a great breakfast or snack.  The cashews and dates will give you tons of energy, ginger aids in digestion and has anti-inflammatory powers, and pepitas, or pumpkin seeds, are a great source of zinc, protein and iron.

Say no to store bought bars!

Gingery Pepita Energy Bars

Gingery Pepita Energy Bars

 Gingery Pepita Energy Bars

Serves 4
Vegan, Gluten Free
Printable Recipe
**Ingredients on sale now at Native Sun Natural Food Market, May 7 – June 6

Ingredients

1/2 cup chopped dried dates
1/3 cup raw cashews
1/4 cup chopped crystallized ginger (ginger chews)**
1/8 tsp coarse sea salt
2 Tbsp whole pumpkin seeds (pepitas)**

Directions

1. Place all ingredients except whole pumpkin seeds in a food processor and pulse until combined.  Mix pepitas in by hand and roll into a ball; press onto parchment paper and form a square; cut into four sections.

Nutrition Facts
4 Servings
Amount Per Serving

Calories 156.4
Total Fat 5.8 g
Saturated Fat 1.1 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 1.5 g
Monounsaturated Fat 3.0 g
Cholesterol 0.0 mg
Sodium 77.6 mg
Potassium 221.0 mg
Total Carbohydrate 26.8 g
Dietary Fiber 2.4 g

Sugars 17.3 g
Protein 2.5 g
Vitamin B-6 4.0 %
Vitamin C 0.2 %
Vitamin E 5.4 %
Calcium 1.5 %
Copper 15.5 %
Folate 4.0 %
Iron 5.1 %
Magnesium 9.7 %
Manganese 9.3 %
Niacin 2.8 %
Pantothenic Acid 4.0 %
Phosphorus 8.7 %
Riboflavin 2.4 %
Selenium 4.9 %
Thiamin 2.3 %
Zinc 5.0 %

*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
Enjoy my Gingery Pepita Energy Bars!