Nov 062013
 

This “Three Ingredient Vegan Ranch” is tangy, creamy and super easy to throw together. Your kids will love you (and their veggies) for it!

Three Ingredient Vegan Ranch

Three Ingredient Vegan Ranch

I’m “the Garden Mom”.

This means that when volunteer requests came around at school I put my hand up to help fill the garden beds at my daughter’s school that were established by her teacher Sarah. Sarah’s passion for teaching kids about veggies and where they come from is inspirational and I hope that more teachers follow her lead in growing healthy minds AND bodies!

To fill the garden I called my friends at KyV farm and guess what they did…..

They donated TONS of organic seedlings and one of the owners, Vivian, came over to help me and the kids plant them. Vivian is just as passionate about teaching kids about farming and where veggies are grown. She patiently helped each child dig a small hole in the soil and gently place their delicate seedling. Each child left with a deeper connection to the earth and where food comes from. I can only hope that this experience will ignite a passion for conservation, local and sustainable farming and the importance of consuming lots of plants.

Many thanks to KyV Farm!

School Garden

School Garden

Here is a recent photo of the fruits of our labor. Gorgeous!

School Garden

School Garden

So far we have created “Monster Smoothies” at Halloween and the kids enjoyed delicious veggie and fruit smoothies made with several kale varieties and Swiss chard.

Today some of the kohlrabi and a few more of the greens were harvested to be eaten raw. What better way to eat raw veggies than with ranch dressing right? Except….my daughter is allergic to dairy and frankly, I’m not that excited about the idea of her having dairy anyway. So just this morning I created this recipe.

Three Ingredient Vegan Ranch

Three Ingredient Vegan Ranch

I was SO happy with the results that I simply had to share.  Three ingredients almost doesn’t seem like a recipe at all, but it is a great way to get skeptical kids to eat a whole variety of veggies. I can’t wait to use this for all the veggies we will get next week from our first KyV Farm Share installment!

**Please keep in mind that this is meant to be used sparingly. You’ll definitely want to stick to 1-2 tablespoons because it is fairly calorie dense.  Use this as a treat to help kids dip their toe into trying new veggies or as a fun party dip.

Three Ingredient Vegan Ranch

Three Ingredient Vegan Ranch

Three Ingredient Vegan Ranch

Serves 4 Generous 1-Tbsp
Vegan, Gluten Free
Printable Recipe

Ingredients

1/4 cups Pesto Vegenaise
1 Tbsp plain non-dairy milk (I used rice milk)
1 tsp coarse ground prepared mustard

Directions

1. Mix all ingredients in a small bowl or dish. Use as dip, dressing or spread!

Nutrition Facts
4 Servings
Amount Per Serving 

Calories 93.1
Total Fat 9.0 g
Saturated Fat 0.5 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0.0 g
Monounsaturated Fat 0.0 g
Cholesterol 0.0 mg
Sodium 116.4 mg
Potassium 0.0 mg
Total Carbohydrate 0.4 g
Dietary Fiber 0.0
Sugars 0.0 g
Protein 0.0 g
Vitamin E 0.1 %

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

Proof that kids will eat raw vegetables….

 

 Posted by at 11:28 am
Sep 092013
 
EASY Vegan Eggplant "Parm"

EASY Vegan Eggplant “Parm”

 Wednesday is a big day.

Easy Vegan and Gluten Free Eggplant Parm

Easy Vegan and Gluten Free Eggplant Parm

I’m goin’ back to school!

What will I be taking?

Classes towards my certificate in plant based nutrition with Cornell!

Here is the info on it….

“A powerful science-based approach to nutrition that can dramatically reduce your risk of cancer, diabetes, heart disease, and obesity and improve your quality of life.”

“”You are what you eat.” We’re all familiar with this oft-quoted adage. Today, thanks to an emerging body of research on plant-based nutrition, we’re better able than ever to understand how diet affects both the development and treatment of disease. This powerful, research-based approach is shifting the healthcare paradigm.

This certification program consists of three two-week courses that provide you with a holistic view of proper nutrition and its relationship with health and disease. Learn the basis for dietary causes of chronic degenerative diseases, and clinical solutions for reducing risk. Uncover practical applications of a whole-food, plant-based diet and the positive effect it could have on our health care systems and society. All nutrition courses in this program are based on the breakthrough work that Cornell Professor Emeritus T. Colin Campbell has developed during his 40+ years experience in experimental research and 20 years in public policy. This work was popularized in the best-selling book, The China Study.”

I am SO excited and plan to do a review of my experience and sharing the info with you all – my dear readers.

Hot Rocks Seasoning

Hot Rocks Seasoning

I don’t expect there to be many changes to my recipe choices or style – but I do hope that the information will enrich the content of this blog and I plan to include what I learn in my cooking classes and the programs I want to start with kids.

Garlic Joy Marinara

Garlic Joy Marinara

This recipe is a creation inspired by my upcoming classes.  Rich with eggplant and tomato – I can’t seem to get enough tomato sauce or marinara lately! But after my return from my week long camping trip in the Keys last week I just didn’t have it in me to make up a pot of my own sauce – so for this recipe I broke out my most treasured jarred sauce – Garlic Joy Marinara!

My daughter and I made this recipe together and we sheepishly polished off a serving and a half and she ate the rest for lunch the next day.  It was that good.  The eggplant came out so delicious that we could have just eaten this seasoned breadcrumb crusted delicacy without the sauce but we were sure glad we waited!

EASY Vegan and Gluten Free Eggplant "Parm"

EASY Vegan and Gluten Free Eggplant “Parm”

Out-Of-This-World Easy Eggplant “Parm”

Serves 4
Vegan, Gluten Free
Printable Recipe

Ingredients

3 Japanese Eggplant
1 cup gluten free breadcrumb (or regular if GF not needed)
Olive Oil spray
1 tsp seasoning mixture such as “Hot Rocks” (mixture of salt, pepper, herbs and crushed red pepper)
2 cups good quality marinara
3/4 cup shredded mozzarella non-dairy cheese

Directions

1. Preheat broiler to high; slice eggplant into 1/4 inch strips; spray olive oil on both sides of each pieces; dredge both sides in breadcrumb; season eggplant with 1 tsp seasoning mixture; broil 5-7 minutes per side or until crispy.

2. Preheat oven to 375F;. In a 8×8 baking dish (or I used a small round baking dish) layer 1/4 cup marinara; 1/2 the eggplant, 3/4 cup marinara, 1/2 the eggplant and the final cup of marinara; top with cheese; bake 25 minutes or until heated through.

ESTIMATED Nutrition Facts
4 Servings
Amount Per Serving 

Calories 216.7
Total Fat 9.5 g
Saturated Fat 1.9 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0.3 g
Monounsaturated Fat 2.1 g
Cholesterol 0.0 mg
Sodium 735.5 mg
Potassium 299.9 mg
Total Carbohydrate 30.1 g
Dietary Fiber 4.5 g
Sugars 11.8 g
Protein 4.4 g

Vitamin A 32.5 %
Vitamin B-12 0.0 %
Vitamin B-6 6.0 %
Vitamin C 4.0 %
Vitamin D 0.0 %
Vitamin E 1.6 %
Calcium 5.3 %
Copper 3.9 %
Folate 6.6 %
Iron 13.8 %
Magnesium 5.0 %
Manganese 10.2 %
Niacin 4.2 %
Pantothenic Acid 3.5 %
Phosphorus 3.1 %
Riboflavin 2.8 %
Selenium 0.6 %
Thiamin 4.8 %
Zinc 1.4 %

*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.

Aug 082013
 

I confess.

Dilled Chickpea Salad

Dilled Chickpea Salad

I miss tuna fish sandwiches and chicken salad – but substituting chickpeas with the same flavors is just as satisfying on a plant based diet! I love that clean and fresh taste of dill – so distinctive – paired with nuts or seeds.

Dilled Chickpea Salad

Dilled Chickpea Salad

As soon as I saw this recipe from my friend Alissa I knew exactly how I was going to use the Nasoya vegan whipped spread called Nayonaise I was asked to review. A little goes a long way in this recipe. I enjoyed the tangy flavor with just a hint of lemon and the mild seasonings of turmeric, paprika and garlic. Thanks Nasoya!

This versatile salad is perfect as an appetizer, quick lunch or over greens for a complete and satisfying meal.

If you are on a plant based diet are there any recipes you miss?  Have you been able to recreate them in a satisfying way?

Dilled Chickpea Salad

Dilled Chickpea Salad

Dilled Chickpea Salad

Inspired by Connoisseurus Veg 
Serves 2 dinner portion or 4 appetizer portion
Vegan, Gluten Free
Printable Recipe
**On sale now at Native Sun Natural Food Stores August 7 – September 6, 2013

Ingredients

2 cups cooked garbanzo beans/chickpeas** (or 1 14.5 oz can will work too)
2 Tbsp chopped onion
1 Tbsp black and/or white sesame seeds
1 Tbsp chopped fresh dill
2 Tbsp whipped Nayonaise
1 Tbsp sunflower seeds**
1/8 tsp coarse grind sea salt

Directions

1. Mix all ingredients in a medium bowl; crush chickpeas a bit with a fork.

Nutrition Facts
4 Servings
Amount Per Serving 

Calories 195.4
Total Fat 7.6 g
Saturated Fat 0.9 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 4.3 g
Monounsaturated Fat 1.9 g
Cholesterol 0.0 mg
Sodium 404.2 mg
Potassium 254.9 mg
Total Carbohydrate 26.3 g
Dietary Fiber 5.6 g
Sugars 0.2 g
Protein 7.4 g

Vitamin A 0.9 %
Vitamin B-12 0.0 %
Vitamin B-6 28.3 %
Vitamin C 7.4 %
Vitamin D 0.0 %
Vitamin E 18.0 %
Calcium 6.1 %
Copper 20.1 %
Folate 22.2 %
Iron 11.2 %
Magnesium 11.8 %
Manganese 41.7 %
Niacin 3.8 %
Pantothenic Acid 8.1 %
Phosphorus 19.0 %
Riboflavin 3.4 %
Selenium 12.4 %
Thiamin 3.8 %
Zinc 11.0 %

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

Jul 182013
 

 True or False – you will save money if you make it from scratch.

True. Sort of.

Kale Spa Salad

Kale Spa Salad

I think back to my days before children, when I could gallivant about the city going to weekly wine tastings and dinners.  I was young, professional and thought I was hot stuff.  Several co-workers and I would leave work on each fine Thursday, drive to the Grotto Wine Bar in San Marco to nosh on appetizers and drink wine; afterwards we would head to Pom’s Bistro (which sadly is no longer there) and I would order the Pad Thai- damn good Pad Thai at that. I can’t say I’ve had better since. But…it was expensive at $18 dollars.  I was sure I could make it at home cheaper.

So I went and bought all the ingredients, many I would most likely not use very often……to the tune of $40!  I spent about two hours getting all the ingredients measured out, cooking it and plating….and for the grand finale….the taste testing.

It was ok at best. Ug!

I learned an important lesson though.  Sometimes it is cheaper and less work to simply buy a smaller portion of a pre-made item and can be just as healthy as from scratch with just a few tweaks.

The key is to read the INGREDIENTS on the pre-made item. If there are 300 ingredients, or you have no idea what the ingredient is, run for the hills.

Kale Spa Salad

Kale Spa Salad

The pad thai experience all came back to me when I returned home armed with groceries from Native Sun including kale, some green onions, red onion and a cup or so of their premade Kombucha Spa Salad.
[edamame, orzo, peaches, strawberries, carrots, yellow peppers, kombucha, olive oil, OJ, scallions, ginger, agave, cider vinegar, dijon mustard, garlic]

Now how much would it have cost me to gather and prep the Kombucha Spa Salad?  Probably a lot for what my needs were. So I simply grabbed the fresh ingredients I had on hand and put those together, added some avocado for additional protein and threw the spa salad right on top – thereby making it a WOW salad that was both cheaper AND much faster!

Though you may not have the Kombucha spa salad available to you – is there a local restaurant in your area that carries anything pre-made like this?  You can purchase that and use it the same way I did here! Native Sun has LOTS of options and coming soon KyV Farm should be adding some pre-made options at next year’s CSA!

Kale Spa Salad

Kale Spa Salad

Kale Spa Salad

Serves 4
Vegan, Gluten free (If pre-made salad contains no gluten. This particular one does because of the orzo.)
Printable Recipe
**Ingredients on sale now at Native Sun Natural Food Market, July 7 through August 6, 2013

 Ingredients

1 bunch kale, detemmed, washed and torn into bite size pieces
1/4 red onion, sliced very thinly
1/3 cup balsamic vinaigrette (such as Annies**)
1 green onion, sliced**
Coarse sea salt & Fresh ground pepper, to taste
1 avocado, pit and skin removed and chopped
1 cup Kombucha Spa Salad (or premade salad of choice)

Directions

1. Mix the kale and onion in a large bowl, top with dressing; massage dressing into kale to break down the fibers, about 2 minutes. Top with green onion, avocado and pre-made salad. Enjoy!

Nutrition Facts (Before adding the pre-made spa salad)
4 Servings
Amount Per Serving 

Calories 215.9
Total Fat 15.0 g
Saturated Fat 1.4 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 1.2 g
Monounsaturated Fat 4.3 g
Cholesterol 0.0 mg
Sodium 144.4 mg
Potassium 722.0 mg
Total Carbohydrate 20.2 g
Dietary Fiber 7.5 g
Sugars 4.8 g
Protein 5.0 g

Vitamin A 532.5 %
Vitamin B-6 21.8 %
Vitamin C 143.5 %
Vitamin D 0.0 %
Vitamin E 11.4 %
Calcium 15.3 %
Copper 20.0 %
Folate 17.7 %
Iron 11.7 %
Magnesium 12.8 %
Manganese 46.3 %
Niacin 9.3 %
Pantothenic Acid 7.7 %
Phosphorus 9.0 %
Riboflavin 12.1 %
Selenium 3.1 %
Thiamin 10.1 %
Zinc 5.5 %

*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
I hope you enjoy this spa salad made quick, easy and cheap!

 Posted by at 9:45 am  Tagged with:
Jul 042013
 

Gently sweet, a little salty and a little spicy.
Is your mouth watering yet?

Strawberries, Agave and Ginger

Strawberries, Agave and Ginger

Anyone that follows my blog knows that I tend to keep things simple. As soon as I the ingredient list climbs above 7 items I know the likelyhood of people making it goes way down.  We just don’t have the time any more!  We all know we should get more veggies and fruit in our diet but sometimes grabbing an apple can be a bit monotonous.  By just adding a few flavors that compliment that produce we can take it from ho-hum to WOW!

Strawberries, Agave and Ginger

Strawberries, Agave and Ginger

There is a book I’ve mentioned in the past called the Flavor Bible.  When I’m stumped on one ingredient I like to crack it open and search for flavors that not only compliment, but are also unexpected.  If you love cooking and are at any level – from novice to expert -the is a must have resource and makes a wonderful gift for anyone in your life that loves to cook. (My second Christmas idea!)

Strawberries, Agave and Ginger

Strawberries, Agave and Ginger

 When it comes to strawberries what do you think of? Various dairy items? Chocolate? Shortcake?  Had I not opened my Flavor Bible I would never have thought ginger – but what a compliment it was! For those people that eat honey – check out your local farmers market and choose a local bee-keeper and ask about his methods to ensure they are sustainable. Vegans should choose a quality agave (I buy mine at Native Sun!)

Strawberries, Agave and Ginger

Strawberries, Agave and Ginger

Strawberries, Agave and Crystallized Ginger

Serves 1
Vegan, Gluten Free
Printable Recipe
**Ingredients on sale at Native Sun Natural Foods Market, June 7 through July 6, 2013

Ingredients

5 strawberries**
2 ginger chews (crystallized ginger)
1 tsp agave (or honey for non-vegan)
Dash of coarse sea salt

Directions

1. Slice strawberries and ginger chews; top with agave and sea salt.

Nutrition Facts
1 Serving
Amount Per Serving 

Calories 92.2
Total Fat 0.4 g
Saturated Fat 0.0 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0.2 g
Monounsaturated Fat 0.1 g
Cholesterol 0.0 mg
Sodium 161.7 mg
Potassium 152.7 mg
Total Carbohydrate 24.0 g
Dietary Fiber 2.3 g
Sugars 15.2 g
Protein 0.6 g

Vitamin A 0.5 %
Vitamin B-12 0.0 %
Vitamin B-6 2.7 %
Vitamin C 85.1 %
Vitamin D 0.0 %
Vitamin E 0.6 %
Calcium 1.3 %
Copper 2.3 %
Folate 4.1 %
Iron 2.0 %
Magnesium 2.3 %
Manganese 13.3 %
Niacin 1.0 %
Pantothenic Acid 3.1 %
Phosphorus 1.7 %
Riboflavin 3.6 %
Selenium 1.0 %
Thiamin 1.2 %
Zinc 0.9 %

*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!

Jun 062013
 

Hen of the woods, bears head tooth, giant puffballs and the shaggy mane.

They aren’t names of characters in a children’s book – they’re names of edible mushrooms!

Roasted Balsamic Mushrooms and Tomatoes

Roasted Balsamic Mushrooms and Tomatoes

Ever wondered how in the world people identify edible wild mushrooms?

Most of the store-bought mushrooms we eat today are grown on farms in sterilized environments – definitely my suggestion when choosing to nosh on these fanciful little fungi – but how interesting to learn about what folks do in the field when identifying edible mushrooms!

Most mushrooms have small gills under the cap where spores are produced.  These spores are released into the air beneath the mushroom, and are also one of the ways edibles can be identified.  The cap is placed on a white sheet of paper and the color of the spores examined – this is called a spore print. Some other methods that are used include color, odor, habitat and season, and in modern times, microscopically.

My suggestion, should you choose to try your hand at ingesting wild mushrooms, is to take a class on edibles, get a field guide to mushrooms in your area and to learn as much as possible prior to venturing out because eating the wrong type of mushroom can be deadly.  According to the experts- when in doubt throw it out!

There is only one type of mushroom it is VERY important to purchase. And that is the organic mushroom.  Mushrooms are so porous that they readily absorb pesticides, fungicides and any metals or toxins in their environment.  If you are concerned about the pricing of organic mushrooms – try your hand at growing them at home with a fun little box farm! Here is one example. 

Be sure to store your mushrooms in the fridge when you get them home because higher temperatures will result in the loss of nutritional value.  Many mushrooms have immune system boosting and anti-inflammatory properties, high amounts of b-12, and crimini (button) mushrooms in particular are a significant source of CLA, or conjugated linoleic acid, a type of fatty acid that can lessen the production of estrogen that some breast cancer tumors rely on for growth.

As for the taste? Earthy, meaty and a touch sweet with the balsamic vinegar and tomatoes with just the right amount of acidity.

Roasted Balsamic Mushrooms and Tomatoes

Roasted Balsamic Mushrooms and Tomatoes

Roasted Balsamic Mushrooms and Tomatoes

Serves 3
Vegan, Gluten Free
Printable Recipe

Ingredients

1 10oz pkg button mushrooms
2 vine ripe tomatoes
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1 Tbsp oil (I used avocado oil that is heat stable.)
1/8 tsp coarse sea salt
Fresh ground pepper, to taste

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 400F.  Wipe mushrooms clean of dirt and slice; slice tomatoes; toss mushrooms and tomatoes in balsamic vinegar, oil, salt and pepper; cook 25 to 30 minutes or until tomatoes and mushrooms are cooked through and caramelized.

Nutrition Facts
3 Servings
Amount Per Serving 

Calories 79.9
Total Fat 5.0 g
Saturated Fat 0.7 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0.6 g
Monounsaturated Fat 3.3 g
Cholesterol 0.0 mg
Sodium 111.1 mg
Potassium 388.0 mg
Total Carbohydrate 7.6 g
Dietary Fiber 1.6 g
Sugars 1.8 g
Protein 3.3 g

Vitamin A 5.2 %
Vitamin B-12 0.6 %
Vitamin B-6 7.1 %
Vitamin C 10.7 %
Vitamin D 17.9 %
Vitamin E 4.1 %
Calcium 0.5 %
Copper 16.6 %
Folate 5.3 %
Iron 3.9 %
Magnesium 3.3 %
Manganese 4.4 %
Niacin 19.5 %
Pantothenic Acid 15.2 %
Phosphorus 9.0 %
Riboflavin 24.3 %
Selenium 12.2 %
Thiamin 7.3 %
Zinc 3.5 %

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

May 312013
 

 It’s gettin’ hot in here.

Coconut Berry Crisp

Coconut Berry Crisp

So heat up the grill instead of the oven!
(Although feel free to use the oven too – I tried both ways and they both work well.)

Coconut Berry Crisp

Coconut Berry Crisp

This was the dessert I made TWICE over the memorial day weekend.  Fruit crumbles and crisps are probably my favorite dessert because they are so fool proof.

Almost.

The first time I made this recipe I was at a friend’s house. I popped it into their top oven because we hadn’t heated up the grill; I set the timer for an hour and peeked in on it regularly – wondering why it wasn’t bubbling yet. FINALLY the timer went off, but strangely, the top still wasn’t golden as expected. Our friend Kyle opened up the oven and realized it was cold.

I had turned on the lower oven instead of the top oven.  Oops.

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Like this? You may also like these!

Blissful Blueberry Bake
Curried Pear Crumble
Tropical Mila Crumble
Country Apples and Walnuts
Honey, Balsamic and Fresh Fig Tart

Coconut Berry Crisp

Coconut Berry Crisp

 The moral of the story is – go with the grill instead of your friend’s double oven. At least you’ll know it’s cookin’.

This dish is sweet but not too sweet, tangy from the berries and satisfyingly filling from the oats and chia.  It is absolutely delicious with a scoop of creamy vanilla coconut ice cream on top.

Coconut Berry Crisp

Coconut Berry Crisp

Coconut Berry Crisp – On The Grill!

Serves 6
Vegan, Gluten Free
Printable Recipe
**Items on sale now at Native Sun Natural Food Stores, May 7 through June 6

Ingredients

1 cup gluten free oatmeal
1/4 cup raw cane sugar
1/4 cup unsweet shredded coconut**
2 Tbsp chia (I used Mila)
1/4 tsp coarse ground sea salt (plus a dash extra to sprinkle on fruit)
2 Tbsp coconut oil, melted
2 10-oz bags frozen organic fruit
2 Tbsp agave

Optional
Vanilla coconut ice cream

Directions

1. Preheat grill to medium high- about 350F.

2. Mix oatmeal through 1/4 tsp salt in a magic bullet or small food processor (a few pulses to create a coarse grind); stir in coconut oil.

3. Mix fruit, agave and dash of salt in a small bowl; spray jelly roll baking dish with cooking spray; add fruit mixture; top with oatmeal mixture; place on grill for 1 hour.

4. Top each serving with optional vanilla coconut ice cream.

What is Mila?  Here is my story.
Want to try some? Click here.

Nutrition Facts
6 Servings
Amount Per Serving

Calories 200.7
Total Fat 6.8 g
Saturated Fat 4.1 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 1.2 g
Monounsaturated Fat 0.7 g
Cholesterol 0.0 mg
Sodium 97.8 mg
Potassium 66.1 mg
Total Carbohydrate 35.0 g
Dietary Fiber 4.7 g
Sugars 22.0 g

Protein 2.6 g
Vitamin A 0.9 %
Vitamin B-6 2.8 %
Vitamin C 3.9 %
Vitamin E 4.8 %
Calcium 13.8 %
Copper 1.6 %
Folate 1.7 %
Iron 4.5 %
Magnesium 8.2 %
Manganese 7.0 %
Niacin 2.5 %
Pantothenic Acid 1.2 %
Phosphorus 19.4 %
Riboflavin 2.7 %
Selenium 0.1 %
Thiamin 5.3 %
Zinc 0.4 %

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

May 272013
 

One of my most favorite ingredients ever!

Nutritional Yeast Vinaigrette

Nutritional yeast is a vegan support formula where yeast (a form of fungus/mushroom) is grown on molasses, heated to kill the yeast, and finally dried into the texture of flakes.  It may be fortified with B Vitamins and has about 70 calories and 8 grams of plant based protein in one 2 Tbsp serving. It has a delightfully cheese-like flavor and  I use it in place of any recipe that calls for Parmesan cheese.

Nutritional Yeast Vinaigrette

Some great uses for nutritional yeast, or “nooch” for short, are sprinkling it on popcorn, creating a cheese sauce for pasta, a thickener for soups, as a replacement for ground oatmeal in my favorite 10 minute, 5 ingredient black bean burgers or this super easy cheesy kale tomato sauce, I love sprinkling it on my daughter’s quesadillas for added protein and on her tortilla pizza for that cheesy flavor.

This perfectly balanced dressing is slightly tangy, a little sweet and savory at the same time.  It’s perfect to dress a salad or marinate tofu or tempeh.  Enjoy!

Nutritional Yeast Vinaigrette

Nutritional Yeast Vinaigrette

13 Tbsp
Vegan, Gluten Free
Inspired by one of my most favorite restaurants, the Manatee Cafe
Printable Recipe
**Ingredient on sale now at Native Sun Natural Foods Market May 7 through June 6


Ingredients

1/4 cup + 1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup cider vinegar
2 Tbsp nutritional yeast**
2 Tbsp water
1/8 tsp salt
2 tsp agave or honey
1 rounded tsp coarse ground, prepared mustard

Directions

1. Mix all ingredients together in a small jar or dish.

Nutrition Facts
13 Tbsp
Amount Per Tbsp 

Calories 55.0
Total Fat 5.3 g
Saturated Fat 0.7 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0.4 g
Monounsaturated Fat 3.8 g
Cholesterol 0.0 mg
Sodium 21.6 mg
Potassium 29.2 mg
Total Carbohydrate 1.7 g
Dietary Fiber 0.3 g
Sugars 0.3 g
Protein 0.6 g

Vitamin B-12 10.2 %
Vitamin B-6 36.9 %
Vitamin E 3.2 %
Calcium 0.1 %
Copper 0.6 %
Folate 4.6 %
Iron 0.6 %
Magnesium 0.6 %
Manganese 0.9 %
Niacin 21.5 %
Pantothenic Acid 0.8 %
Phosphorus 1.4 %
Riboflavin 43.5 %
Selenium 2.5 %
Thiamin 49.2 %
Zinc 1.6 %

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