Aug 282012
Can tomato and pineapple be friends?  After tasting this recipe, I do believe they are the BEST of friends; neither overpowering the other, living in a sweet-savory harmony.
And WHY would I put an Argentine chimichurri over a Japanese teriyaki? Because it works!  These flavors can go hand in hand – in this case it’s best not to discriminate – trust me.
If you aren’t a tofu lover – this chimichurri will go well over any of your favorite proteins or even used as salsa.  And the second great thing is that this is one fresh topping that doesn’thave cilantro but is still AMAZING. In my experience, there are two types of people in the world.  Those that love cilantro and those that hate it.  Cilantro is one of those ingredients that either gets a, it’s so fresh, I love it!, or a, It’s the most disgusting thing ever and tastes like soap.
With this recipe you can please everyone on your list.

Pineapple Tomato Chimichurri over Teriyaki Tofu

Pineapple Tomato Chimichurri over Teriyaki Tofu

 Pineapple Tomato Chimichurri over Teriyaki Tofu

Serves 4
Vegan, Gluten Free
1 cup chopped fresh pineapple
2 tomatoes, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup minced fresh parsley
2 Tbsp minced fresh oregano
2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
1/4 tsp sea salt
Dash ground cumin and dried thyme, to taste
1 block organic, firm tofu, pressed of water
1/3 cup Teriyaki marinade, (OrganicVille )
1. Cut tofu into 4 “steaks”; pour marinade over evenly and marinate 1 hour to 24 hours.
2. Preheat oven to 400F.  Place tofu on baking sheet sprayed with organic non stick spray; bake 15 minutes; flip and broil on high, 5 minutes.
3. Mix pineapple through cumin and thyme in a medium bowl.**
4. Topeach tofu steak with 1/4 salsa mixture.**Pineapple mixture can also be prepared ahead the night before, while the tofu is marinating.
Pineapple Chimmichurri
Nutrition Facts

4 Servings
Amount Per Serving

Calories 91.0
Total Fat 7.3 g
Saturated Fat 1.0 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 1.1 g
Monounsaturated Fat 5.1 g
Cholesterol 0.0 mg
Sodium 151.1 mg
Potassium 146.9 mg
Total Carbohydrate 7.5 g
Dietary Fiber 1.0 g
Sugars 4.3 g
Protein 0.7 g

Vitamin A 10.4 %
Vitamin B-12 0.0 %
Vitamin B-6 4.5 %
Vitamin C 24.6 %
Vitamin D 0.0 %
Vitamin E 1.1 %
Calcium 1.5 %
Copper 4.0 %
Folate 3.7 %
Iron 3.6 %
Magnesium 3.1 %
Manganese 36.4 %
Niacin 2.1 %
Pantothenic Acid 1.7 %
Phosphorus 1.6 %
Riboflavin 2.1 %
Selenium 1.0 %
Thiamin 4.1 %
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.

Tofu (Estimated because much of the marinade is poured off)
Estimated Nutrition Facts
4 Servings
Amount Per Serving

Calories 129.2
Total Fat 7.1 g
Saturated Fat 1.0 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 4.0 g
Monounsaturated Fat 1.6 g
Cholesterol 0.0 mg
Sodium 571.4 mg
Potassium 151.3 mg
Total Carbohydrate 7.2 g
Dietary Fiber 0.5 g
Sugars 4.6 g
Protein 11.8 g

Aug 072012


Tropical Salsa with Cucumber, Fresh Mint, Peach and Mango


Summer here is all about quick and easy – especially since last week I was really sick.  My doctor said I caught it before it turned into full blown pneumonia.  Goodness knows that one thing I can’t seem to do is slow down, so I had simply worn myself down.  For someone in-tune with their body, I have a hard time listening when I’m sick and that is something I need to work on.  
On a positive note, I found Netflix on line and watched every episode of Survivors from the BBC where a flu pandemic wipes out most of the world and the few survivors left have to live life and find a cure.  I loved all the story lines and watching the writer’s ideas of what would happen when government is gone – which is also kind of a fun fact about me.  I LOVE reading and watching survivalist books and movies.  Not necessarily zombie movies, though I did like I Am Legend.  (It doesn’t have”zombies”, but there are definitely some un-realistic vampire/undead people.)  It’s the whole virus part I find so interesting. Biology and sociology were some of my favorite subjects in college – in fact, I started out majoring in biology and ended up with a sociology degree! Studying people is SO interesting so wondering what would happen and what we would do if a major virus outbreak or climate change. 
After that, at the suggestion of some co-workers I started watching Breaking Bad.  It’s about a high school chemistry teacher that finds out he has terminal lung cancer and starts to cook meth with a local drug dealer.  So far I haven’t really been able to get into that one but they keep telling me to get through the first two episodes so I’ll have another go at it later.
And finally, I got my hands on the Secret.  If you haven’t watched it, you have to rent it.  It’s all about the power of positive thinking and changing our thoughts from constantly thinking about what we DON’T want to what we DO want.  So instead of me saying, I hate sitting in a cubicle, I hate being stuck till 9 pm away from my husband and baby girl at end of month, I have changed my thoughts to I can’t WAIT for my career in food and nutrition.  I can’t WAIT to change people’s lives for the better.  I can’t WAIT to make a real and positive impact on this world.  In fact, I have TWO “vision boards” and a gratitude board. 
On the vision boards we paste pictures of what we want – I have the logo for Institute of Integrative Nutrition up there, teacher training at Yoga Den, a photo of the big tent that attaches to my camper and my beach house in St Augustine – down to the comforter on the bed and the layout of the kitchen.  What this does is keep our wants in the forefront of our brains so we are constantly reminded of it and thinking about it.
Has it worked so far? Absolutely.  I got my Dyson vacuum, after LOTS of problems I finally got my healthy baby girl, I lost the weight I wanted, brought my daughter to Cape Cod, took my trip to wine country, got my daughter to sleep through the night when she was a baby – and on and on.  You can put ANYTHING on there.  It’s actually lots of fun!
Next up, the gratitude board, where each day I write something I’m grateful for and really try to think about it.  A roof over my head, healthy husband and daughter, running water, hot shower, food at the grocery, my parents and in-laws live five minutes away – and so many more things.
My second love is motivational books. I recently read The Choice, Beach Money and the Business of the 21st Century from the author that also wrote Rich Dad, Poor Dad. 
What are your favorite subjects to read about and watch?   Do you have a “vision board” – if so what is on there?
10 minute -5 Ingredient Vegan Black Bean Burgers
Back to the burgers!
These 10 minute – 5 ingredient bean burgers are a main staple in the house so I hope you’ll forgive me for posting these again with a fresh twist.  Since these burgers are mainly beans and oats, I love that my 3 year old daughter can help me make them and she even loves to lick the bowl!
Tropical Vegan Black Bean Burger
This combo of hearty black beans, cool cucumbers, fresh mint, ripe peach and sweet mango blended together in a perfect melody.  I just had to share it! 
Throw a little hot sauce on for a kick and you’ve got yourself a meal.

Vegan Tropical Black Bean Burgers

with Cucumber, Mint, Mango and Peach Salsa

Serves 4
Salsa Ingredients (Makes about 4 cups – 8 servings)
1/4 red onion, chopped
1 cucumber, peeled, seeded and chopped
1 peach, seeded and chopped
1 mango, peeled, seeded and chopped
1 lime, zest and juice
1/4 tsp coarse sea salt
2 Tbsp chopped fresh mint
2 cups cooked and drained black beans (or use a 14.5 oz can)
1/3 cup instant oats (or 1/2 cup rolled oats pulsed in the food processor)
1 Tbsp steak seasoning
1 Tbsp coarse ground prepared mustard (or whatever mustard you have)
2 Tbsp Gluten Free Ketchup
4 Ezekiel Whole Grain Burger Buns
Hot Sauce of choice
1. Mix salsa ingredients in a large bowl.
2. Preheat the broiler on high and spray a baking sheet with cooking spray.** Mix all ingredients in a medium bowl; divide into four burgers or eight sliders. Broil first side for 6 minutes; flip and cook an additional 4 to 5 minutes or until browned.
3. Toast buns; top each with 1 burger, 1/4 cup salsa and a few dashes of hot sauce.
** Reserve extra salsa for later use.
Aug 022012

Just think…warm and sweet butternut squash, bright, sunny lemon, nutty tahini, purple onion and wilted spinach….doesn’t that sound great for summer?  It’s wonderful even cold!
This butternut squash dish was one of the recipes that Cara and I chose to make while she was in town visiting.  In addition to the tahini and olive oil, we stirred in some honey, cumin and fresh baby spinach. 
Once you try that one out….here is a wonderful round two recipe for you with avocado and sprouts that enhance the taste of fresh lemon.

Juicy summer cherries are the perfect compliment!

Butternut Squash and Chickpea Quesadilla with Avocado and Fresh Sprouts
Serves 4
4 whole wheat wraps
1/2 cup Daiya cheddar cheese
1 avocado, seeded and sliced
1/4 red onion, sliced
1 cup sprouts
1. Preheat broiler to high.  Stuff 1/4 cup butternut squash salad into wheat wraps, top with 2 Tbsp Daiya.  Spray with cooking spray; broil, on high, 3 minutes per side or until browned.
2. Top with 1/4 sliced avocado, 1/4 of the sliced red onion and 1/4 cup sprouts.
**No nutrition info available for this one.
Aug 262011
Today is a special Friday as it happens to by my 34th birthday.  The plan is to go shopping, lunch at Mandaloun and then a pedicure before a dinner with the family tonight.  Tomorrow is a date night out with friends; dinner and dancing.

I made my own birthday cake….here is a sneak peek from while I was making it.

I won’t give it away entirely but there is dark chocolate, banana and coconut involved.  I can’t wait to post!

As for the polenta, this is one of those recipes that I’m so excited about for several reasons.

1. The outcome was fabulously delicious.

2. It was so quick and easy.

3. My whole family (including me the plant eater, my hubby the omnivore and our 3-year old daughter who is allergic to everything.)  The verdict is that it was much better than my first whole-family vegetarian attempt at mushy bean burgers.

4. It doesn’t sound like it would be but it was filling and satisfying with over 11 grams fiber and 15 grams protein!

Broiled Polenta Cakes with Sautéed Broccoli and Cannellinis
Inspiration from the lonely bean

Serves 4 (1/4 broccoli bean mixture and 2 slices polenta)
Vegan, Gluten Free
1 tube organic garlic-basil polenta, I used Food Merchants Organic Garlic Basil Polenta
Non-stick cooking spray
1 onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, crushed
¼ cup vegetable broth or water
1 large head broccoli, chopped
¼ cup sliced sun dried tomatoes
Splash (about 2 to 3 Tbsp) of good quality white wine (Meaning you would drink it.)
1 15 oz can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
¼ cup pine nuts, toasted
Sea salt, fresh ground pepper, Italian seasoning, garlic powder, to taste
1. Preheat broiler.  Slice polenta into 8 slices and place on baking sheet sprayed with non-stick cooking spray.  Broil until first side is browned, about 10 minutes, flip and broil second side until browned.  Set aside.
2. Meanwhile, spray a large skillet with non-stick cooking spray and heat over medium-high heat, sauté onion until translucent, about 3 minutes; add garlic, sauté additional 2 minutes; add broccoli, salt, pepper, Italian seasoning and garlic powder, to taste;  cook 1 minute; add broth, wine and sun dried tomatoes, cover and reduce heat; simmer about 5 minutes until broccoli is tender-crisp.  Stir in beans and pine nuts.  Serve over crispy polenta.

Estimated Nutrition Facts

4 Servings
Amount Per Serving

Calories 236.6
Total Fat 77.7 g
Saturated Fat 0.6 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 3.3 g
Monounsaturated Fat 1.7 g
Cholesterol 0.0 mg
Sodium 419.9 mg
Potassium 1,059.4 mg
Total Carbohydrate 49.2 g
Dietary Fiber 11.3 g
Sugars 2.2 g
Protein 15.3 g

Vitamin A 54.2 %
Vitamin B-12 0.0 %
Vitamin B-6 18.6 %
Vitamin C 253.8 %
Vitamin D 0.0 %
Vitamin E 14.1 %
Calcium 16.2 %
Copper 21.9 %
Folate 44.5 %
Iron 29.4 %
Magnesium 28.1 %
Manganese 84.9 %
Niacin 7.5 %
Pantothenic Acid 10.6 %
Phosphorus 24.9 %
Riboflavin 14.3 %
Selenium 9.5 %
Thiamin 15.7 %
Zinc 15.5 %

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