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

Dec 292014
 

Time to get back to my roots with Sautéed Beet Greens with Zucchini and Brown Rice. Simple. Seasonal. Delicious.

Sautéed Beet Greens with Zucchini and Brown Rice

Sautéed Beet Greens with Zucchini and Brown Rice

…one of the tricks of opportunity. It has a sly habit of slipping in by the back door, and often comes disguised in the form of misfortune or temporary defeat. Perhaps this is why so many fail to recognize opportunity. ~ Napoleon Hill, Think and Grow Rich

A shocking email landed in my inbox just before Christmas. My consulting work with one local business that I really enjoyed had been absorbed into other internal roles. After a year of event planning – cooking demos, workshops, dinners and more, that experience had come to a very sudden end.  Though I knew there would be changes coming, and it was not personal, my ego was bruised because I wasn’t told in person and the timing of the holidays made it tough to answer questions about how my favorite consulting gig was going.

Thoughts are things.~ Napoleon Hill, Think and Grow Rich

Instead of being defeated, I got up and brushed myself off. I made the decision to shift my focus. I picked up my book “Think and Grow Rich, by Napoleon Hill”, about the power of positive thinking and visualization.

I took a moment to be grateful for the side business that I started in 2012.

My network marketing business. I can feel the eyebrows raising, so let me first explain. Network marketing, the REAL network marketing, is something everyone should do. Not the hyped up, over the top, say-anything-to-swindle-me kind of thing that exists in everyone’s imagination (that exists in corporate America too), I’m talking about the develop yourself, empower yourself, confidence building, seek to help others, overcome negativity, give hope and health kind of business. If it wasn’t for that business, I would never have come across this book. Though my side business doesn’t define me, it is not all I’ll ever do, it is part of how I have become who I am, and as I shift focus to my passion of finding a way to help children, animals, the environment and people in general, I use my business knowledge as a stepping stone to get where I want to go.

One of the weaknesses of mankind is the average person’s familiarity with the word “impossible”. ~ Napoleon Hill, Think and Grow Rich

For 2015 here is what I’ve decided to do.

Business:
I will gather myself, take a step forward every day towards my dreams and goals, and always be open to opportunity. Working with this business was only part of my consulting role (though a large part that I loved). I also enjoy educating others about food, cooking, essential oils etc. I will continue on with that, as well as continue with my own education.  I will always consider myself a student.
I am working on a product that will combine all the areas I’m passionate about. I will finalize and launch this year.
I will consider and make a decision about creating a mastermind group – a group of business minded and open minded people just as concerned about health, environment, animals and people as I am. Once the decision is made, I know we will find each other.

Blog:
I will finish the cookbook I spent the day working on after I received that email and will have it published by the end of January.
I will figure out how to revamp this blog to get rid of formatting issues. Somehow the photos end up scattered and I can’t figure out why!
I will continue to seek ways to increase my photography skills.

Spiritual:
I will spend time each day reading a motivational and inspirational work.
Each morning I will continue my focus on visualizing the future I desire as if I have already achieved it; focus on gratitude and spend time being present.
Once per day I will watch a video that enriches my spirit. I found Gabrielle Bernstein’s website and signed up for her email updates at http://gabbyb.tv/

What I’m letting go of:
Self judgment
Self doubt
Worry and anxiety


 As Marie Forleo says, the best discussions happen after the post. I would love to hear from you.

Have you been dealt a surprising setback at an inopportune time? How did you deal with it?
or
What are your focuses for 2015? What do you want to let go of?

Leave a comment and someone else that has experienced the same thing!

Did something in this post resonate with you? If so, share with others!


These greens were perfect to get me back on track. Tender zucchini and flavorful and nutritious beet greens were just what I needed. It is so nourishing for body and spirit to eat simply and seasonally. Beet greens are rich in carotenoids such as beta-carotene and lutein/zeaxanthin ~ high in antioxidants and provide wonderful benefits for the eyes. They may even aid in the prevention of macular degeneration.

Sautéed Beet Greens with Zucchini and Brown Rice

Sautéed Beet Greens with Zucchini and Brown Rice

Sautéed Beet Greens with Zucchini and Brown Rice

 Vegan, Gluten Free
Serves 4
Printable Recipe

Ingredients

1 tablespoon of olive oil
1/2 onion, sliced
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 zucchini, chopped (Kyv Farm CSA)
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp garlic powder
Fresh ground pepper
4 cups of beet greens (KyV Farm CSA)
2 cups cooked rice
1 tsp cider vinegar
Hot Sauce or crushed red pepper, to taste

Directions

1. Heat skillet over medium high heat; add olive oil; add onion, sauté about 4 minutes; add garlic sauté 2 minutes, add zucchini, cook 7 minutes; add beet greens 5 minutes; add cooked rice and vinegar; taste and re-season if necessary.

Nutrition Facts
4 Servings
Amount Per Serving

Calories 163.3
Total Fat 4.6 g
Saturated Fat 0.8 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0.5 g
Monounsaturated Fat 2.5 g
Cholesterol 0.0 mg
Sodium 234.4 mg
Potassium 512.2 mg
Total Carbohydrate 27.9 g
Dietary Fiber 4.1 g
Sugars 1.0 g
Protein 3.7 g

Vitamin A 58.1 %
Vitamin B-12 0.0 %
Vitamin B-6 6.0 %
Vitamin C 25.1 %
Vitamin D 0.0 %
Vitamin E 3.2 %
Calcium 5.7 %
Copper 6.3 %
Folate 4.0 %
Iron 7.7 %
Magnesium 9.7 %
Manganese 14.4 %
Niacin 1.9 %
Pantothenic Acid 1.7 %
Phosphorus 4.2 %
Riboflavin 6.3 %
Selenium 1.2 %
Thiamin 4.4 %
Zinc 1.9 %

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


You have the power

You have the power

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

Nov 052014
 

Bean Burger, Avocado and Sweet Potato Stacks are a delicious way to start celebrating the Thanksgiving Season.

Creamy avocado and tender sweet potato proudly stand atop a bed of hearty kale for this feast – perfect as a unique dish for a dinner party and simple enough for a weeknight meal.

Bean Burger, Avocado and Sweet Potato Stacks over Kale Salad

Bean Burger, Avocado and Sweet Potato Stacks over Kale Salad

There is so much to be thankful for this year. In this post (that is long overdue) I thought I might list a few of these wonderful blessings.

I spend time each morning doing three things when I wake up. I quiet my mind for just a few minutes, visualize where I want to be in life, as if I’ve already achieved it, and spend a few minutes focusing on gratitude.

I have a safe, warm home to live in.
Running water.
My health.
My husband and daughter.
A loving family.
Wonderful friends.
Plenty of healthy food.
Transportation.
Freedom.
Time. Time to be quiet and time with my family and friends.

Though my blog has been taking a bit of a backseat to a few projects I’m working on, it is a wonderful outlet, and I’m so grateful for all of my readers. Thank you to all of you. Over the years I have met so many other bloggers and readers that I’m blessed to be a part of this amazing community.

May you spend today focused on gratitude as well, and may it bring back to you love, joy and positivity!


News:

Before I leave you with the recipe – I’ll share information about my next upcoming live cooking demo. It will be on November 18th at Native Sun in Mandarin, 6pm. You will leave with a belly full of pumpkin soup, delicious samples and tons of tips on having a stress free holiday. The details and how to sign up will be released soon on Native Sun’s Event Page. Seating is limited so save the date and I hope to see you there!


Bean Burger, Avocado and Sweet Potato Stacks over Kale Salad

Bean Burger, Avocado and Sweet Potato Stacks over Kale Salad

Bean Burger, Avocado and Sweet Potato Stacks over Kale Salad

 Serves 4
Vegan, Gluten Free
Printable Recipe

Ingredients

1 large sweet potato
1 tsp coconut oil
1/8 tsp Himalayan salt (or any salt will do)
4 bean burgers, premade, like Sunshine Burgers, or homemade
2 ripe avocados, peel and seed removed and sliced
1/4 red onion, sliced

Kale Salad
1 bunch kale
1/4 red onion
1 tsp olive oil
1 Tbsp Dijon mustard
1/2 Tbsp maple syrup
1 1/2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 clove garlic, minced
2 Tbsp raisins

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 375F; massage sweet potato with oil and sprinkle with salt; poke holes event over skin with fork; wrap sweet potato in foil; bake 40 minutes or until soft. Remove from oven and cool.

2. Meanwhile, remove leaves of kale from stems and chop; slice red onion thinly and top kale; mix olive oil; mustard; maple, balsamic and garlic in a small bowl; pour over kale and onion mixture; massage until kale begins to break down and fibers soften. Top with raisins.

3. Heat bean burgers; slice sweet potato; layer 1/4 kale mixture, one slice sweet potato, two slices of avocado, bean burger, another slice sweet potato; another slice avocado and some fresh onion on each of four plates.

Nutrition Facts
4 Servings
Amount Per Serving

Calories 498.2
Total Fat 28.3 g
Saturated Fat 4.6 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 2.0 g
Monounsaturated Fat 9.4 g
Cholesterol 0.0 mg
Sodium 425.9 mg
Potassium 979.4 mg
Total Carbohydrate 53.4 g
Dietary Fiber 19.3 g
Sugars 9.2 g
Protein 11.6 g

Vitamin A 529.5 %
Vitamin B-12 0.0 %
Vitamin B-6 30.2 %
Vitamin C 131.9 %
Vitamin D 0.0 %
Vitamin E 14.8 %
Calcium 16.3 %
Copper 25.9 %
Folate 25.4 %
Iron 15.3 %
Magnesium 15.1 %
Manganese 53.1 %
Niacin 15.3 %
Pantothenic Acid 18.6 %
Phosphorus 12.3 %
Riboflavin 16.7 %
Selenium 3.2 %
Thiamin 13.3 %
Zinc 8.4 %

*Percent Daily Values for Bean Burger, Avocado and Sweet Potato Stacks over Kale Salad are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

Gratitude

Gratitude

Sep 142014
 

North African Spiced Vegetable Kebabs with Coconut Tahini Sauce. Fragrant olive oil, fresh ginger, cumin, cinnamon and allspice – oh my!

North African Spiced Kebabs

North African Spiced Kebabs

The other night I wanted something a little different.

Something with some SPICE to it. And a creamy sauce to balance it out.

 North African, or Chermoula, spiced kebabs with a coconut tahini sauce. Perfect.

Ethnic food is so exciting to create – new flavors and textures to be discovered. These kebabs in particular made me realize how much I miss the creative side of food. Life has gotten so busy since leaving my corporate job (ironically enough). I have resorted to discovering delicious semi-homemade dishes due to lack of time, but I love the times I can slow down and savor.

I had be researching different ethnic foods when I came across the definition of Chermoula. It sounded so appealing, but of course I threw in a few variations.

I added fresh ginger for a bit of a kick and fresh lemon – though preserved lemon would be delicious too.

As I was chopping my vegetables and mixing my sauce I got to thinking.

How old is this dish? Who originally created Chermoula? Is it more healthful to eat the way our ancestors did?

National Geographic has had a really interesting series on how we will feed the population of the future and the state of health, food and nutrition. The article in this month’s issue, written by Ann Gibbons is fascinating. She dissects the origins of the Paleo diet. This diet asserts that there are a few experts saying that we should eat what the cave man ate.

But who was the cave man? Did every population across the globe eat the same exact foods?

The author asserts, “As we look at 2050, when we’ll need to feed two billion more people, the question of which diet is best has taken on a new urgency. The foods we choose to eat in the coming decades will have dramatic ramifications for the planet. Simply put, a diet that revolves around meat and dairy, a way of eating that’s on the rise throughout the developing world, will take a greater toll on the world’s resources than one that revolves around unrefined grains, nuts, fruits and vegetables.”

“Until agriculture was developed around 10,000 years ago, all humans got their food by hunting, gathering, and fishing.”

There are very few indigenous tribes left and scientists are rushing to study their habits before they disappear. Why are there such low instances of diseases from every population from the meat eating Inuit Indians to the plant eating populations of rural China. What are they doing that we aren’t doing?

The Paleo way of life suggests that if we eat what we think our ancestors ate, we will be eating healthfully. Free range meats, fish, no dairy or grains and select fruits and vegetables. But what about HOW they obtained their food?

There are a few things that we forget when we think Paleo. Our hunter-gatherer ancestors had to hunt their food, on foot, with a spear. The kind of energy this requires is astronomical, therefore they craved more caloric, energy dense foods.

That being said, no one actually ATE meat all that often. “Everybody thinks you wander out into the savanna and there are antelopes everywhere, just waiting for you to bonk them on the head,” the article states. When meat was scarce, which was OFTEN, they relied on plants. Even the Paleolithic man’s diet was mostly plant based – 70% or more, and many times, completely plant based, depending on the season and location.

When it comes down to it, humans have survived on just about anything. Our hallmark is our adaptability, the article stresses. It is when we adopt the diet of today that the diseases begin to run rampant- the GMO foods in everything from plants to the feed of livestock and dairy cows, the salt and sugar, the amount of processed foods, and our lack of exercise.

Experts actually say that we have the Paleo diet wrong. It does well to focus on unprocessed foods and no dairy; however, the focus on meat, albeit free range, is not in line with how the Paleolithic man actually ate, nor is the activity level near what would be required to offset the meat consumption.

I think Michael Pollan sums it up well – Paleo diet or not.

“Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.”

And I’ll add in – and get up and move.

North African Spiced Kebabs

North African Spiced Kebabs

North African Spiced Vegetable Kebabs with Coconut Tahini Sauce

Serves 4
Vegetarian, Gluten Free
Printable Recipe

*Vegetable Marinade and Dressing

1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp sweet paprika
½ tsp sea salt
1/8 tsp fresh ground pepper
1/8 tsp ground coriander
1/8 tsp ground cinnamon
Pinch allspice
¼ tsp minced fresh ginger
Juice ½ lemon
3-4 Tbsp olive oil

Kebabs

1 Japanese eggplant
1 small zucchini
1 small yellow squash
½ red onion

Coconut Tahini Sauce

¼ cup unsweet coconut milk
½ tsp raw honey
¼ cup raw sunflower seeds
3 Tbsp water
½ Tbsp white miso
½ Tbsp tahini

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 375F; soak wooden skewers in water.

2. Mix marinade ingredient in a small bowl and set aside. Blend coconut tahini sauce ingredients in a small blender and set aside.

3. Slice kebab vegetables; thread onto wooden skewers; brush marinade over vegetables evenly; set remaining marinade aside for dipping later; roast vegetables for 30 minutes, or until golden. Serve 1 skewer over garlic Naan or Garbanzo Bean Garlic Naan; top with coconut tahini sauce.

*In a time crunch, try subbing 1 tbsp Za’atar, Curry or Vindaloo seasoning blend and adding the lemon and olive oil.

Nutrition Facts
4 Servings
Amount Per Serving

Calories 217.2
Total Fat 15.4 g
Saturated Fat 2.3 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 3.8 g
Monounsaturated Fat 8.7 g
Cholesterol 0.0 mg
Sodium 12.8 mg
Potassium 630.9 mg
Total Carbohydrate 19.2 g
Dietary Fiber 6.1 g
Sugars 3.6 g
Protein 4.3 g

Vitamin A 14.2 %
Vitamin B-12 3.1 %
Vitamin B-6 16.2 %
Vitamin C 25.7 %
Vitamin D 0.0 %
Vitamin E 25.1 %
Calcium 7.0 %
Copper 15.9 %
Folate 17.3 %
Iron 7.0 %
Magnesium 12.4 %
Manganese 27.3 %
Niacin 9.1 %
Pantothenic Acid 10.1 %
Phosphorus 16.9 %
Riboflavin 8.4 %
Selenium 9.3 %
Thiamin 10.2 %
Zinc 6.1 %

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

9-5-2014 3

Sep 052014
 

I am so excited about this flourless Chickpea, Olive Oil and Garlic Naan recipe that I could do cartwheels!

Chickpea Garlic Naan Recipe

Chickpea, Olive Oil and Garlic Naan Recipe

With a lovely bread-like texture and light crisp crust I’m wondering what took me so long to create something delicious with chickpea flour. My friend Vivian has been telling me for months that I had to try it. She uses it to make pancakes, breads, tortillas and more. I played around with the liquid ratios and found that you need to thin the flour quite a bit and let it bake up. Next time I might try coconut oil and see how that goes. I could definitely see making this for a crowd so I might try it out at the next cookout! If you do the same, don’t be shy with the olive oil – use a bit extra and let it really soak in, and try mixing some roasted garlic in with the batter. This is best served immediately out of the oven and my version is only 80 filling calories per square so go ahead and enjoy two squares. I won’t tell.

(I’m even MORE excited about the recipe in the next post….stay tuned. Hint…see the below photo. Can I say OMG?)

Chickpea Garlic Naan Recipe

Chickpea Garlic Naan Recipe

Chickpea Garlic Naan

 Vegan, Gluten Free, Flourless
Serves 12
Printable Recipe
Inspired by Vivian, Owner of KyV Farm

Ingredients

2 cups garbanzo bean flour
scant 3 cups water
1 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper
2-3 Tbsp olive oil

Directions
1. Mix flour, water, garlic powder, salt and pepper in a large bowl until well blended. Let sit 2-4 hours to fully incorporate all ingredients.

2. Prepare 9×13 pan with oil, brush evenly over surface; pour batter into pan.

3. Bake at 375F for 25-30 minutes, or until a knife comes out clean; remove from oven, cool, cut into 12 squares; sprinkle with additional sea salt if desired. Serve immediately.

*Reheat any left over bread.

Nutrition Facts
12 Servings
Amount Per Serving

Calories 80.1
Total Fat 3.3 g
Saturated Fat 0.5 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0.2 g
Monounsaturated Fat 1.7 g
Cholesterol 0.0 mg
Sodium 106.8 mg
Potassium 3.1 mg
Total Carbohydrate 9.0 g
Dietary Fiber 1.7 g
Sugars 1.7 g
Protein 3.5 g

Vitamin A 0.2 %
Vitamin B-12 0.0 %
Vitamin B-6 0.4 %
Vitamin C 0.1 %
Vitamin D 0.0 %
Vitamin E 1.4 %
Calcium 0.7 %
Copper 0.0 %
Folate 0.0 %
Iron 4.3 %
Magnesium 0.1 %
Manganese 0.2 %
Niacin 0.0 %
Pantothenic Acid 0.0 %
Phosphorus 0.1 %
Riboflavin 0.0 %
Selenium 0.1 %
Thiamin 0.1 %
Zinc 0.1 %

*Percent Daily Values for Chickpea Garlic Naan Recipe are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.
Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs. Do What Makes you Oh SO Happy

Jul 102014
 

Fresh summer produce gave me the idea for this Easy Vegan Three Bean Salad. There is nothing better than vine ripened tomatoes, hearty edamame and garbanzo beans, and crisp-tender green beans dressed simply with olive oil and sea salt.

Perfect Pot Luck Salad!

Perfect Pot Luck Salad!

For cookouts, beach days, and everyday life, this is the PERFECT summer base salad. What is a base salad? Something you can add to; sautéed tofu, cashew cheese, or any protein or cheese you like.


July 4th was a whirlwind.

There was lots of time for fun and a few points of reflection.

The holiday kicked off with a cookout, followed by a beach day complete with paddle boarding and body surfing, and later that evening we watched our daughter see fire works for the first time on the boat….now THAT was cool.  There was even an unexpected limo ride the next day!

We were at our second cookout of the weekend, when suddenly there was a limo at the front door. Our friend’s landscaper/part owner of a new restaurant had sent a limo by to fetch us to enjoy food and drinks at his new place.

Then the unthinkable happened.  I got a call from my mom who had been rushed to the emergency room with chest pain.

With thoughts of my Dad‘s sudden passing in my head, I drove to the hospital. After many tests and a weekend of hospital food, she was diagnosed with severe gastrointestinal issues (not from the hospital food, but that’s a whole other story). Since she never complains about aches and pains, the pain must have been really bad at the time.

On the way home I reflected how fragile life is. After losing Dad so suddenly, I could clearly see the possibility of losing both my parents, and what was left was devastating. It made me so grateful that she is ok and back home and that I have been able to make the changes I had yearned for – leaving Corporate America, becoming self-employed, loving every minute with my small daughter and relishing the ability to be creative. Every. Day.

Has it been easy? Not always. But worth it? Yes.

I further reflected on what kept me where I was for so long.

Fear.

Fear that I might fall flat on my face, fear that I might be embarrassed, fear that I would have to work so hard and hate it, fear of failure.

There’s an old saying, if you love what you do, you never have to work a day in your life. 

It is SO true. Yes I work hard, but I enjoy every day now.

And guess what else I found out. Failure is part of success.

You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take. ~ Wayne Gretzky

This is my wish for you. Live every day as if it is your last. If you don’t like where you are in life now, begin to take steps to change it. Don’t stay where you are out of fear. Turn off the TV. Read books that will help you in life, like How to Win Friends and Influence People. Study people like Marie Forleo and Tony Robbins. Get up early, start dreaming, planning and taking action. Take a chance, let yourself fail, get back up and keep on going.

Don’t wait.

And while you’re dreaming, I have the perfect salad to fuel you.


Are you where you want to be? Do you have changes you need to make in life? What is holding you back?


Easy Vegan Three Bean Salad

Easy Vegan Three Bean Salad

Three Bean Salad

Serves about 10 rounded 1/2 cup servings
Vegan, Gluten Free
Printable Recipe

Ingredients

1 pint cherry or grape tomatoes, halved or quartered
1 can garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
12 oz fresh green beans
12 oz shelled edamame
2 green onions, sliced
1/4 cup red onion (optional)
1/4 to 1/2 tsp coarse ground sea salt
1/8 to 1/4 tsp fresh ground pepper
2 to 3 Tbsp good quality extra virgin olive oil
1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice

Directions

1. Steam green beans until crisp-tender; about 10 minutes; remove from steamer and run under cold water and let drain. Cut into bite sized pieces.

2. Mix all ingredients in a large bowl. Toss well.

Nutrition Facts
10 Servings
Amount Per Serving

Calories 151.6
Total Fat 5.8 g
Saturated Fat 0.6 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0.7 g
Monounsaturated Fat 3.1 g
Cholesterol 0.0 mg
Sodium 234.8 mg
Potassium 233.4 mg
Total Carbohydrate 18.7 g
Dietary Fiber 4.1 g
Sugars 0.8 g
Protein 7.3 g

Vitamin A 13.0 %
Vitamin B-12 0.0 %
Vitamin B-6 14.1 %
Vitamin C 18.2 %
Vitamin D 0.0 %
Vitamin E 3.9 %
Calcium 6.2 %
Copper 6.7 %
Folate 12.6 %
Iron 9.7 %
Magnesium 6.6 %
Manganese 20.1 %
Niacin 2.7 %
Pantothenic Acid 2.6 %
Phosphorus 6.5 %
Riboflavin 4.0 %
Selenium 2.4 %
Thiamin 4.2 %
Zinc 4.2 %

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

Three Bean Salad 

Jun 162014
 

Tender sweet potatoes, rich curry and toasted bread are the feature ingredients in my crunchy, delicious Sweet Potato Sliders with Curry Pesto.

Sweet Potato Sliders with Curry Pesto

Sweet Potato Sliders with Curry Pesto

Well known as the home of the controversial Paula Deen, Savannah Georgia is one of my favorite places on earth. It is rich with history, has a great food scene and an amazing farmers market in Forsyth Park.

I visited last week, camping in my mom’s new camper at Skidaway Island State Park. If you ever stay in the area, definitely plan on the market Saturday morning. It runs from 9am to 1pm.

The mission of the Forsyth Farmers’ Market is to promote understanding and participation in a local food system that supports sustainable production and increases access to local products.”

Forsyth Farmers Market

Forsyth Farmers Market

Last week’s market held a special surprise through a gentleman named Michael Maddox; the manifestation of my dream to build a community around an organic farm. TRUE community supported agriculture. Think of the possibilities! A school, homes and families all focused around health, food and a connection with nature.

I can’t help but wonder how many of us could grow our own food if we needed to. How many kids know where vegetables come from, or even what many vegetables even taste like?

Green Bridge Farm

Green Bridge Farm

Meet Michal from Green Bridge Farm, about thirty minutes northwest of Savannah. I spoke with Michael and he is now selling lots around his organic farm, with a school just nearby. This land has been in his family since the 1700’s and he is personally funding this project.

A Sustainable Community Project

An ecologically-friendly development of twenty five wooded acres in Effingham County, Georgia.

An existing 20 year old organic farm is the center piece and shared community space on this otherwise wooded acreage. Lots for sale in sizes of 1.2-1.6 acres each, priced at $50,000.00 per lot.

Green Bridge Farm

Green Bridge Farm

There is even now a Tumbleweed home for rent! Tumbleweed homes are small homes, sometimes on wheels, that help people live simple, inexpensive, uncluttered lives. To me – that sounds like real freedom. The blog notes state,“We now have a Tumbleweed house for rent. Anyone interested in visiting the farm and staying overnight can now stay in this little home for  small fee.  Call me for details. 912-667-1118.” 

Here are the details of the main lots.

Community Space

There are approximately four acres set aside for community space including existing organic vegetable gardens and fruit orchards. Gardening is not mandatory but this project provides a unique opportunity for those interested in growing their own food. The four acre lot and gardens will be maintained by the neighborhood association.

CSA

CSA

I would love for projects like this to begin popping up all over the US. Pure utopia. It would be amazing to live in small communities, utilizing solar power if possible, and spending spare time learning how to self-sustain. No produce from Chile and Argentina, no trucks from halfway across the US. Think of the energy savings!  My next dream is to build lots that have gone vacant and build tumbleweed communities – where one family once was, now there are five, with a garden in the middle. Sort of like this one in Somoma but with the organic garden in the center.  America’s “bigger is better” mentality is unsustainable, this would be a solution to this problem. No trees would be cut down to clear new land, and families would still have the joy of owning their own space. Who wants to join me with this project?!

Forsyth Farmers Market

Forsyth Farmers Market

Back at the campground we created a lovely meal from the fresh produce we got at the market as the children played at the playground. What I love best about camping is the family time – no technology distractions. It is an inexpensive and fun way to take lots more vacations throughout the year!

Camping

Camping

One of the last days we were in Savannah we tried to visit our favorite Green Truck Pub, but much to our dismay, it was closed that day! We resorted to a small café next door to a natural food store and my mom happened to order the most delicious looking sandwich.

Sweet Potato Sliders with Curry Pesto

Sweet Potato Sliders with Curry Pesto

A sweet potato on ciabatta with a creamy pesto. It was VERY heavy, but I loved the concept and it simply had to be recreated at home….so here it is! Crunchy, sweet, delicious and with a little twist of curry on fresh baked, organic bread. Nothing better!

Sweet Potato Sliders with Curry Pesto

Sweet Potato Sliders with Curry Pesto

   Sweet Potato Sliders with Curry Pesto

Serves Estimated 8-10
Vegan
Printable Recipe

Ingredients

2 large sweet potatoes
1 baguette
1 10 oz pkg baby lettuces
1/3 cup raisins

Curry Pesto
1/2 cup raw sunflower seeds
2 tsp curry powder
2 Tbsp melted curry coconut oil (such as Ziggy Marley) + extra for greasing baking sheet and potatoes
1 clove garlic
1/8 tsp salt
1/8 tsp ground ginger

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 450F; grease baking sheet with coconut oil and rub additional on potatoes; poke holes evenly over skin of potatoes with fork; rub with salt; bake for 30 minutes; flip and bake additional 20 to 30 minutes; remove from oven, let cool and slice.

2. Meanwhile blend curry pesto ingredients; slice and toast or grill baguette.

3. Layer 1 slice baguette, spread 1 – 2 tsp pesto, a few raisins; two slices sweet potato; a few lettuce leaves, top with second baguette slice.

**Please note: un-flavored coconut oil works just fine. Feel free to use that as well!

Estimated Nutrition Info
**There may be some pesto left, so calorie count may be lower. When I created the calorie count I had to include the calories and fat from all the pesto.
10 Servings
Amount Per Serving

Calories 225.6
Total Fat 4.7 g
Saturated Fat 2.5 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0.4 g
Monounsaturated Fat 0.7 g
Cholesterol 0.0 mg
Sodium 348.2 mg
Potassium 152.1 mg
Total Carbohydrate 32.8 g
Dietary Fiber 2.6 g
Sugars 5.8 g
Protein 5.8 g

Vitamin A 67.5 %
Vitamin B-12 0.0 %
Vitamin B-6 5.4 %
Vitamin C 41.9 %
Vitamin D 0.0 %
Vitamin E 1.9 %
Calcium 3.2 %
Copper 5.1 %
Folate 1.7 %
Iron 11.7 %
Magnesium 3.8 %
Manganese 8.1 %
Niacin 3.2 %
Pantothenic Acid 4.1 %
Phosphorus 4.5 %
Riboflavin 2.4 %
Selenium 0.6 %
Thiamin 2.7 %
Zinc 1.8 %

*Percent Daily Values for Sweet Potato Sliders with Curry Pesto are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

Jun 062014
 

My Summer Coolers with fresh fruit and herbs are perfect to bring with you on the go. They will leave you feeling light, refreshed and are 35 calories or less!

Refreshing Summer Cooler with Fresh Fruit

Refreshing Summer Cooler with Fresh Fruit

Drink eight glasses of water.

Eat your fruits and vegetables.

Don’t drink sodas or diet sodas.

Hey, we all know the rules. We know we need to stay hydrated and eat our fruit, but drinking water all day gets boring, and reaching for a granola bar or diet soda is easier.

I’ve found a delicious way to get your water and fruit in – that is so refreshing, you’re freezer will be filled with mason jars.

Why are we supposed to stay hydrated anyway?

I’ve got a few good reasons. Are bodies are made up of mostly water. We need it to cushion organs, flush toxins and cool our bodies.

Speaking of cushioning our organs – think of what happens when our brain is dehydrated. Hello headaches and fatigue.

Many times we think we are hungry, but we’re actually thirsty. I can’t tell you how many time’s I’ve read a blog post or tip that tells me to drink a full glass of water before each meal to keep me fuller. Do I do it? No. Why? Because that glass of wine is calling my name.  But THIS recipe is a whole other story. I drink it morning, noon and night, and after one taste, I bet you will too.

Refreshing Summer Cooler with Fresh Fruit

Refreshing Summer Cooler with Fresh Fruit

A few other luscious ideas:

Herb Coolers

Herb Coolers

Blueberry, Thyme and Grapefruit Essential Oil (Or use fresh grapefruit juice)

Strawberry, Cucumber, Basil and Peppermint Essential Oil (Or use fresh peppermint)

Mint, Basil, Blueberry, Thyme and Lemon Essential Oil (Or use fresh lemon juice)

**Please note, use can absolutely use fresh juice in place of any of the oils – it just won’t be quite as fragrant or potent.

**If you are using oils, do NOT use just any old oil. See below for tips.

**If you would like to try the certified organic oils I use, visit my essential oils page.

Tips

Stay cool!

Refreshing Summer Cooler with Fresh Fruit

Refreshing Summer Cooler with Fresh Fruit

Refreshing Summer Fruit Cooler

Serves 2
Vegan, Gluten Free
Printable Recipe

Ingredients

*Certified Organic Lemon Essential oil (or juice 1 lemon)
1 cup fresh fruit (I used berries and peaches)
Filtered Water
2 Mason Jars

Directions

1. Spoon 1/2 cup fresh fruit into each mason jar; cover with filtered water; drop two drops of lemon essential oils into each of the jars; freeze Mason jars overnight.

2. Fill remaining space in mason jar with water (and additional fruit or herbs if desired) and drop two additional drops of lemon essential oil into each jar; cover, shake and enjoy.

 

Nutrition Facts
2 Servings
Amount Per Serving
Calories 35.0
Total Fat 0.0 g
Saturated Fat 0.0 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0.0 g
Monounsaturated Fat 0.0 g
Cholesterol 0.0 mg
Sodium 7.5 mg
Potassium 0.0 mg
Total Carbohydrate 8.5 g
Dietary Fiber 1.5 g
Sugars 5.5 g
Protein 0.5 g

Vitamin A 1.0 %
Calcium 3.0 %
Iron 2.0 %

*Percent Daily Values for Refreshing Summer Coolers with Fresh Fruit are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

May 022014
 

The secret is in the sauce with my Garlic Black Beans over Rice Pasta. Extra garlic, onions, Kalamata olive paste and sundried tomatoes are tied together with a dash of balsamic for pure perfection.

Garlic Black Beans

Garlic Black Beans

What is the first thing you are usually thinking about when you get up each morning?

If I wake up before my alarm, my brain tends to go towards what I need to get done that day and I automatically guide it towards what I’m grateful for. If it is my alarm that wakes me up on the other hand, I’m thinking how tired I am already before I can start directing my thoughts towards a more positive place.

I’m thinking about it this morning because I came across this amazingly eye opening video by Marie Forleo interviewing Arianna Huffington. Marie writes, “Arianna Huffington, founder of the Huffington Post, has been wildly successful, but was working so hard at one point in her life that she found herself sick and burnt out, overworked, and boggled down with things to do.

In her book Thrive, Arianna Huffington shares the secret to how changing your mindset and a few habits in your daily routine can help you unlock your true wisdom, allow you to come up with your best ideas, and be your most creative self.

She’s learned from experience that following these simple steps can lead to a more productive, less stressful, and more joyful life where you’re not strangled by your to-do list and have enough time to actually accomplish (and enjoy) the things in your life that matter most.”

How to be more productive and less stressed? Sign me up! The most eye opening part for me was when she said if you start becoming fearful or stressed, change the channel.

What the hell does this have with Garlic Black Beans over Rice Pasta? Because this was a night that I was harried, stressed, tired and the last thing I could think of what to make for dinner. I had a bunch of things I needed to use in the fridge or it would be too late (and I loathe waste) so, as much as I wanted to, I didn’t go out and buy dinner. This choice would save time and money in the end.

I had to stop and tell myself that there is nothing else I can do in this moment while I’m making dinner – effectively “changing the channel”. I was able to refocus, look at what I had, and create this meal that came out deliciously, surprisingly well. Instead of traditional Cuban or Mexican spices, the olives and sundried tomatoes give this dish almost a meaty texture and taste and the balsamic vinegar at the finish adds a tangy layer of depth that simply makes the dish. We all went in for seconds – it is even going on my favorites list!

What is the first thing you usually think about in the morning? If you watch this video, what was your favorite tip?

Garlicky Black Beans

Garlicky Black Beans

Garlicky Black Beans over Rice Pasta

Serves 6
Vegan, Gluten Free
Printable Recipe

Ingredients

1 tsp EVOO
1 onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 tsp sea salt & dash fresh ground pepper
2 cups chopped kale
4 1/2 cups well cooked black beans (or 3 14.5 oz cans, rinse and drain only one, reserve liquid from second)
2-3 cups veggie broth or water (depending on how thick you prefer)
3 Tbsp Kalamata olive spread, such as Organic Divina
3 Tbsp julienned sundried tomatoes
2 tsp course ground prepared mustard
1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
10 oz rice pasta, cooked to package directions

Directions

1. Heat a stock pot over medium high heat; add olive oil; sauté onion about 5 minutes (add a tbsp of water if onions begin to stick); reduce heat; add garlic; cook, stirring constantly for 1 minute; add salt, pepper, kale, black beans, veggie broth, olive spread, sundried tomatoes and mustard. Simmer about 20 minutes or until soup has thickened. Stir in balsamic vinegar. Serve over rice pasta.

Nutrition Facts
5 Servings
Amount Per Serving

Calories 426.4
Total Fat 7.0 g
Saturated Fat 0.7 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0.5 g
Monounsaturated Fat 0.7 g
Cholesterol 0.0 mg
Sodium 766.1 mg (use water to reduce to 424 mg)
Potassium 670.5 mg
Total Carbohydrate 66.6 g
Dietary Fiber 14.2 g
Sugars 1.6 g
Protein 16.1 g

Vitamin A 146.2 %
Vitamin B-12 0.0 %
Vitamin 6 9.8 %
Vitamin C 39.7 %
Vitamin D 0.0 %
Vitamin E 2.8 %
Calcium 7.5 %
Copper 17.2 %
Folate 41.2 %
Iron 20.1 %
Magnesium 21.9 %
Manganese 38.7 %
Niacin 17.1 %
Pantothenic Acid 3.5 %
Phosphorus 17.5 %
Riboflavin 6.7 %
Selenium 3.2 %
Thiamin 32.1 %
Zinc 9.2 %

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