Mar 212012

Welcome back to Wine Down Wednesday where I will review a vegan dish paired with two different wines. 

To pair wines with a meatless dish we must look at the spices and main flavors of the recipe.
Bay, garlic, thyme and vinegar are the flavors we will pair with this casual dish today – a mixed bean with veggies, quinoa and sautéed kale. The suggested wines are Broadbent Vinho Verde n/v (Portugal) and Badenhorst ‘Secateurs’Red 2010, (Swartland, South Africa).
Before I looked up some background info on each wine, I tasted it myself and recorded my notes to see how close my perception is to the actual description.

 Broadbent Vinho Verde n/v (Portugal).  Composed of 50% Loureiro, 40% Trajadura, and 10% Pederna and the description I found said Crisp notes of lime and tart apple are complemented by a slight fizz and pleasant acidity. Wine Spectator said notes of “blood orange and peach”.  It is also considered a “fresh, youthful, green wine” – apparently the teenager of the wine world.

 I loved this second description because it gave the wine a bit more character in my mind;  It isn’t just the wine here that is green. The countryside is lush and leafy across much of Minho, and is intensively farmed. Vines are grown in the majority of properties, whose average area is just a few acres. The tell-tale sign of a vinho verde vineyard is not just its diminutive size, but its upwards orientation: the density of viticulture here is such that most farmers train their vines on high pergolas, and even telephone poles.

 Hmm…just like a teenager to do things like climb telephone poles.

Badenhorst ‘Secateurs’ Red 2010, (Swartland, South Africa). This wine is a blend of grapes, Shiraz, Cabernet, Sauvignon, Carignan, Cinsault and Grenache, grown on the un-irrigated slopes of Swartland, South Africa.  The grapes are hand picked, chilled and crushed.  They start their fermentation in concrete tanks, run through a transition to casks and tanks and finish for fourteen months in old French oak casks.  The owners, Hein and Adi Badenorst are described as the “good looking” cousins that restored a neglected farm in South Africa from the 1930s where they make wine in the traditional manner, as naturally as possible.  
This is my second wine from Badenhorst, so I feel like family at this point.  Hopefully Adi will have me over to South Africa to drink wine and frolic in the vineyards.  Plus he is one of the good looking cousins.
Here is the rating info.

Category #1 – How well my dish turned out.
Category #2 – How well I like the wine (and fellow tasters).
Category #3 – Pairing notes – How well this wine pairs with the dish.

Rating Scale
Bleck -This wine is pretty bad.
Ho Hum- I could drink it if I was at a football game and there was nothing else in the cooler.
Nice -Good table wine. I would keep this in the wine cooler if it was a good value.
Yum – This is good, I would pay a fair bit more and have it for a special occasion.
Damn that’s Good – Self explanatory.
** We will use the same terminology for how the dish turned out and how well it paired.

Category #1 The dish.
Rating of ho-hum. I chose to try the Engine 2 Diet’s Kale with Quinoa and Kidney beans. There were elements of the dish that I liked – the beans and quinoa because I cooked it with broth and some additional spices; however, I thought more could have been done with the kale. I liked the aromatics of the thyme and bay with the vinegar-y tang of the beans. The whole dish was super light as Rip Esselstyn, creator of the Engine 2 Diet, uses no oils or butter of any kind. I would add some additional elements when I make it next time. Possibly add some heat with chili and some saltiness with tamari and even a tad bit of oil.  I haven’t reached the point of cutting all fats out yet,
Category #2 The wines
Broadbent Vinho Verde n/v (Portugal)

Rating of NICE; but in the summer drinkability context I give it a YUM.  The weather is getting warmer, it is lighter later.  Let’s take the boat out and have some Vinho Verde.
I loved the fizziness without the “Acid-y” feeling.  (See my post on pH in the body.)  It was light, dry and refreshing. I had trouble deciding what flavors I perceived so I let my daughter smell it. She said apples. On second sniff I agreed. A citrusy apple-y taste. 
Badenhorst ‘Secateurs’ Red 2010, (Swartland, South Africa)
Rating of YUM and my hubby gave it a DTG. It was medium bodied and I smelled what I thought was a tobacco but maybe more smoky fruit. Definitely drinkable, but in the context of the warm weather and summer it would get just under a YUM.
Category #3 How did the wines pair with the dish.
This time I put each wine this time in a small tasting glass and put each element, thyme, garlic, vinegar and bay in a small dish.  First I drank the wine, smelled the spice and then drank again.
The thyme was what brought the most out for me.  I suddenly tasted a brighter citrus in the Vinho Verde and currant flavor in the Secaturs Red.  The cider vinegar for the Vinho didn’t change much but with the Secaturs it brought out a really strong tobacco/smoky flavor.
 Overall, I like the Vinho Verde better with it because of the citrusy and apple flavors and the fact that the dish is so light.
Where to buy
All the wines will be for sale locally at the Grotto in San Marco. You can contact Mitch Woodlief, with questions and pricing and anyone outside the Greater Jacksonville area can contact E-MAIL:
PHONE: US +1 415-931-1725.

Mixed Beans with Kale and Quinoa
Inspired by E2 Diet’s Kale, Quinoa and Kidney bean recipe

Serves 4
Vegan, Gluten Free, Dairy Free
Printable Recipe


1 cup dry quinoa, rinsed and cooked to package directions with veggie broth or water
1 onion, chopped
2 carrots, sliced thinly
2 leeks
1 bay leaf, minced or crushed
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp dried thyme
2 Tbsp cider vinegar
1 14.5oz can mixed beans or red kidney beans
¾ cup veggie broth, divided
1 bunch kale, washed, de-stemmed and chopped
Sea Salt and Fresh Ground Pepper


1. Spray a straight sided skillet or pot with cooking spray and heat over medium high heat; add onion, carrot, leek and bay leaf and cook about 5 minute, or until translucent. Reduce heat and add garlic, cook for one minute. Add thyme, vinegar, beans and ½ cup broth, cook about five minutes. Mush the beans down a bit to create a thicker sauce.
Pour bean mixture into a small bowl and set aside.

 2. Heat remaining ¼ cup broth over medium high heat; reduce heat, add kale and simmer until kale is wilted; about three minutes. Season to taste.

 3. Divide quinoa, bean mixture and kale over four plates.

Nutrition Facts
4 Servings
Amount Per Serving

Calories 380.4
Total Fat 4.8 g
Saturated Fat 0.2 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0.9 g
Monounsaturated Fat 0.3 g
Cholesterol 0.0 mg
Sodium 407.7 mg
Potassium 691.0 mg
Total Carbohydrate 73.3 g
Dietary Fiber 12.3 g
Sugars 8.2 g
Protein 15 g

Vitamin A 443.7 %
Vitamin B-12 0.0 %
Vitamin B-6 42.1 %
Vitamin C 109.7 %
Vitamin D 0.0 %
Vitamin E 8.4 %
Calcium 17.7 %
Copper 23.4 %
Folate 31.3 %
Iron 44.3 %
Magnesium 18.5 %
Manganese 76.3 %
Niacin 6.6 %
Pantothenic Acid 5.4 %
Phosphorus 55.4 %
Riboflavin 94.6 %
Selenium 6.7 %
Thiamin 10.3 %
Zinc 10.7 %

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

Mar 062012

Last season I created this unexpected recipe to utilize the gorgeous tops of my fresh carrots from the farm.  I just couldn’t bear to throw them away!  Since I got a few bunches with my last pick up I had to create it once again, this time using some chickpeas to create a light meal.

I love the mild parsley-ish taste of the carrot tops and the crunch the carrots add to the texture.  The mint makes this super fresh and the lemon adds a tang factor.
Tip: You can save a ton of money buy cooking dried beans in salt free veggie broth and freezing them in 2 cup packages to pull out for later use.
The carrots, scallions and tomatoes came from KYV farm and the mint, parsley and lemon from my garden and my dad’s tree. Now that’s local and seasonal produce!
Tip: Use your food processor for this one to make quick work of the chopping or if you don’t have one, bribe a friend to help chop.
Carrot Top Tabbouleh with Chickpeas
Serves a LOT – bring this to a pot luck or eat it all week and share with friends
Vegan, Dairy Free, (Gluten Free Option)
**Tip: For gluten free option, replace the bulgur wheat with white quinoa (cook to package directions using appropriate amount of veggie broth.)


1/2 cup bulgur wheat**(see above for gluten free)
1 1/2 cups vegetable broth
1 bunch carrots with tops (say about 6 small 51/2 inch long)
Handful fresh mint
Handful fresh parsley
1 bunch scallions, chopped
5 small organic tomatoes, chopped
2 cups cooked chickpeas (or 1 can, drained, will work too)
3 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
Juice 1 lemon
Salt and Pepper
3 cloves crushed garlic


1. Heat the bulgur and broth to a boil, stirrings constantly, reduce heat, cover and simmer about 10 to 12 minutes or until liquid is absorbed. Set aside to cool while you process the veggies.

2. Place the carrots, tops removed, into a large food processor (or in front of bribed friend), pulse several times to rough chop; add the carrot tops, mint, parsley and scallions, pulse until desired texture is reached, I like mine finely chopped.  Pour into a large bowl and add the tomatoes and chickpeas.

3. Whisk the olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper and crushed garlic in a small bowl.  Pour over carrot top mixture and toss well.  Reseason with salt and pepper, to taste.


Nutritional Information
Total Recipe
Amount Per Recipe
Calories  1255.4
Total Fat 46.9g
Sat Fat 6.2g
Polyun Sat Fat 6.3g
Monoun Sat Fat 31.2g
Cholesterol 0.0mg
Sodium 2357.8mg
Potassium 2156.1mg
Total Carb 151.7g
Dietary Fiber 32.5g
Sugars 17.2g
Protein 29.1g
Mar 022012
Two facts.
1. Waste and I are not friends.

2. Kids have no problem with waste.

For example. I bought Band-Aids with Tinkerbell on them.
Every morning my daughter asks me if she can have a Band-Aid.

“Where is the booboo?”
She inspects her hands, brow wrinkling in thought.
“Right here.” Pointing to her fingertip.
I lean down, “that is the red marker you drew all over my recipe with.”
“You aren’t bleeding and we don’t need to waste a Band-Aid.”
“What’s waste?” She asks.
“Waste is when you don’t use something and just throw it away.”
“So it goes to the trash mountain? That is full of diapers?” she asks.
“Yes, that is correct.”
Again the brow wrinkling and contemplation. 

She looks up. “Can I have a Band-Aid?” she asks.

Sigh.  She’s three, so I’ll cut her some slack.

The next day she wanted some pineapple. She ate the entire can and I stared at the juice, contemplating what to do with it.  Hmmmm, I thought, hmmmm. This would make a great marinade when paired with soy sauce or miso. I don’t use enough miso so I went with that.

So, in the continuation of my War on Waste, this recipe was born.

A little salty from the miso, a little sweet/tart from the pineapple and nice spice from the curry.  This went perfectly with my stir fried rice and cabbage to create a sort of Asian-Indian fusion.

Baked Pineapple Curry Tofu with Fried Basmati Rice and Veggies
Rice recipe inspired by Eating Well
Serves about 4-6
Vegan, Gluten Free, Dairy Free

Tofu Ingredients

1 block firm organic tofu
1 cup pineapple juice
2 Tbsp curry powder
2 heaping Tbsp white miso
2 tsp dark sesame oil

Rice Ingredients
2 cups cooked basmati rice

2 teaspoons canola oil
1 onion, diced

2 carrots cut into matchsticks
4 cups cabbage, shredded
1 cup sliced green onion
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 to 1 tsp dried ginger
1 1/2 Tbsp Bragg Liquid Aminos
2 Tbsp rice vinegar
1 tsp toasted sesame oil
Hot red pepper sauce, to taste


1. Press tofu 1 hour to overnight to remove water. Cut into 1 inch cubes. Whisk marinade in a small bowl and pour over tofu. Marinate overnight. 

2. Preheat oven to 375. Spray a baking sheet with cooking spray; add tofu and bake 30 to 40 minutes or until golden.

3. Heat canola oil in a wok or straight sided skillet over medium-high heat; add onion and carrot and cook about 5 minutes. Add cabbage, green onion, garlic and ginger; cook an additional two minutes or until veggies are softened.

4. Add the cooked rice, soy sauce and vinegar to the pan; cook until the liquid is absorbed, 30 seconds to 1 minute. Remove from the heat; stir in sesame oil and hot sauce.





Tofu Nutrition Facts
4 Servings
Amount Per Serving
Calories 122.1
Total Fat 8.8 g
Saturated Fat 1.4 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 4.8 g
Monounsaturated Fat 2.3 g
Cholesterol 0.0 mg
Sodium 33.3 mg
Potassium 324.3 mg
Total Carbohydrate 14.3 g
Dietary Fiber 3.1 g
Sugars 8.7 g
Protein 13.5 g
Vitamin A 3.50%
Vitamin B-12 0.10%
Vitamin B-6 9.40%
Vitamin C 12.00%
Vitamin D 0.00%
Vitamin E 0.30%
Calcium 58.40%
Copper 21.20%
Folate 11.10%
Iron 19.20%
Magnesium 16.80%
Manganese 89.20%
Niacin 3.30%
Pantothenic Acid 2.00%
Phosphorus 18.30%
Riboflavin 7.40%
Selenium 21.80%
Thiamin 11.90%
Zinc 11.30%
*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
Rice Nutrition Facts
4 Servings
Amount Per Serving
Calories 161.6
Total Fat 3.5 g
Saturated Fat 0.3 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 1.2 g
Monounsaturated Fat 1.8 g
Cholesterol 0.0 mg
Sodium 440.8 mg
Potassium 122.5 mg
Total Carbohydrate 31.0 g
Dietary Fiber 1.1 g
Sugars 3.7 g
Protein 800.1 g
Vitamin A 60.20%
Vitamin B-12 0.00%
Vitamin B-6 4.30%
Vitamin C 5.50%
Vitamin D 0.00%
Vitamin E 3.30%
Calcium 1.60%
Copper 1.50%
Folate 2.10%
Iron 5.10%
Magnesium 1.50%
Manganese 10.80%
Niacin 6.90%
Pantothenic Acid 1.00%
Phosphorus 1.90%
Riboflavin 1.30%
Selenium 0.90%
Thiamin 10.60%
Zinc 0.90%
*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

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Jan 162012
There is something about the Indian spice blend, garam masala that is so warm and inviting.  Cloves, nutmeg, star anise and cumin are a few of the sweet aromatics that make up this medley
When I thought of what I wanted to do with the golden beets I got from my farm, roasting came to mind.  Pairing the earthy sweetness of the beets with garam masala sounded like a match made in heaven.
These make a perfect side dish for some curried tofu or any simple protein of choice.  I chose to top the fries with some fresh cilantro as a compliment to the spicy sweetness but it can be left off if you prefer.
Keep an eye on them towards the last twenty minutes as they may cook faster, depending on how thinly the beets are sliced.
Indian Spiced Beet and Carrot “Fries”
Serves 4 to 6
Vegan, Gluten Free, Dairy Free


2 large golden beets, peeled and sliced into a fry shape
1 cup carrots, sliced into a similar shape
1 tsp garam masala (Indian spice blend)**
1 1/2 Tbsp melted coconut oil
1/4 tsp salt
1 Tbsp agave (or honey for non-vegan option)
Pinch of Cayenne pepper
Fresh cilantro to garnish, optional


1. Preheat oven to 400F.

2. Mix garam masala, coconut oil, salt, honey and cayenne.  Pour over sliced beets and carrots.  Bake 60 minutes; stirring every 20 minutes.  Top with chopped fresh cilantro if desired.

**If you don’t have Garam Masala on hand, curry powder will work just as well.

Nutrition Facts

4 Servings
Amount Per Serving

Calories 131.8
Total Fat 5.4 g
Saturated Fat 4.5 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0.2 g
Monounsaturated Fat 0.3 g
Cholesterol 0.0 mg
Sodium 273.7 mg
Potassium 548.7 mg
Total Carbohydrate 20.4 g
Dietary Fiber 4.7 g
Sugars 15.0 g
Protein 2.5 g

Vitamin A 78.5 %
Vitamin B-12 0.0 %
Vitamin B-6 6.9 %
Vitamin C 14.4 %
Vitamin D 0.0 %
Vitamin E 2.9 %
Calcium 3.3 %
Copper 5.9 %
Folate 38.6 %
Iron 6.8 %
Magnesium 8.8 %
Manganese 25.0 %
Niacin 3.9 %
Pantothenic Acid 3.0 %
Phosphorus 6.6 %
Riboflavin 4.4 %
Selenium 1.5 %
Thiamin 4.2 %
Zinc 3.8 %

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

Jan 112012
What’s the first thing you think of when you make a salad?
Lettuce, right?
Have you ever tried to bring a salad to work and forgotten the dressing? Boooring. Or thought, I’ll just put a little on and discovered a mushy mess at lunch?
Well here is a great solution-pack a lettuce free salad already dressed!
What a delicious and non-mushy way to get veggies into your diet. This salad is packed with tons of Vitamin A (158 percent!), which is great for vision and immunity, and almost all your Vitamin C (90.3 percent), good for gums and skin. Eating fresh, raw veggies (right from your CSA/farm share) is the best way to maximize intake of these vitamins as cooking can remove around 25 percent or more of the vitamins.
As a quick and easy solution for a time crunch, I used some organic pre-made dressing. I love Annie’s Organic dressings-preservative free and completely delicious.
Carrot, Pepper, Raisin and Pumpkin Seed Goddess Salad
Serves 2
Vegan, Dairy Free

2 cups chopped carrots and peppers
2 tsp raisins
2 tsp pumpkin seeds
2 Tbsp Annie’s Organic Goddess Dressing (or dressing of choice)***
Fresh ground pepper, to taste
Dash of garlic powder


1. Mix all ingredients together and divide into two bowls.

***For a gluten free option try any of these Annies gluten free dressings.

Nutrition Facts

2 Servings
Amount Per Serving

Calories 125.7
Total Fat 7.1 g
Saturated Fat 0.6 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0.3 g
Monounsaturated Fat 0.1 g
Cholesterol 0.0 mg
Sodium 178.5 mg
Potassium 365.8 mg
Total Carbohydrate 15.8 g
Dietary Fiber 2.8 g
Sugars 8.6 g
Protein 1.6 g

Vitamin A 158.0 %
Vitamin B-12 0.0 %
Vitamin B-6 12.9 %
Vitamin C 90.3 %
Vitamin D 0.0 %
Vitamin E 4.0 %
Calcium 3.0 %
Copper 4.8 %
Folate 5.8 %
Iron 3.6 %
Magnesium 4.9 %
Manganese 9.5 %
Niacin 5.0 %
Pantothenic Acid 2.3 %
Phosphorus 4.1 %
Riboflavin 3.7 %
Selenium 0.4 %
Thiamin 6.0 %
Zinc 2.5 %

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

Dec 272011
This loaf was super easy to make-it sounds like a lot, but it took under 30 minutes to prep using my food processor to chop the veggies; and, leaving it uncooked overnight in the fridge worked out well, as the flavors has more time to work into the tofu.  And leftovers?  Don’t even get me started!  I made a gorgeous loaf sandwich with a slather of my holiday roasted garlic-maple mustard, a bit of reduced fat Vegenaise and some fresh lettuce from the farm.  On the side were some fresh peas we harvested by hand (also from KYV farm), simply sautéed in some Earth Balance, sea salt, fresh ground pepper and garlic powder.

Walnut-Tofu Loaf
Serves 8
Vegan, Gluten Free


2 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1 large onion, diced
Pinch sea salt
3 cloves garlic , minced
3 medium-size carrots , finely diced or grated
1 handful yum yum peppers,  (or red bell pepper , finely diced)
6 pieces oil-marinated sun-dried tomato
1 tsp dried sage
1 tsp dried thyme 
Grated zest of 1 lemon
1 block firm organic tofu, pressed of water
1/2 cup gluten free bread crumbs (or regular)
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1/4 cup minced flat-leaf parsley

1 tsp vegan Worcestershire
1 Tbsp white miso
1 Tbsp Braggs Liquid Aminos (tamari or soy sauce)
1 Tbsp coarse ground mustard
1 Tbsp lemon juice
Freshly ground black pepper


1. Preheat oven to 375F.

2. Heat 1 Tbsp olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat; add onions and a bit of sea salt, sauté about 1 minute.  Add garlic through lemon zest and sauté an additional 5 minutes. Set aside in a large bowl.

3. Whisk the seasonings together in a small bowl; add to the veggie mixture.  Crumble the tofu into the same bowl and add the breadcrumbs, walnuts and parsley and mix well.  Spray a loaf pan with organic non-stick spray and press in mixture.  Drizzle remaining 1 Tbsp olive oil over top evenly. **

4. Bake, uncovered, for about 35 to 40 minutes or until top is browned.

** The loaf can be made ahead and stored overnight until baking.  Simply complete through step 3, cover and refrigerate.  When ready to bake, let the loaf sit out until it comes to room temp (about 30 minutes or so while you preheat oven to 375F) and then proceed to step 4.

Nutrition Facts
6 Servings
Amount Per Serving

Calories 217.6
Total Fat 16.6 g
Saturated Fat 2.0 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 8.1 g
Monounsaturated Fat 5.4 g
Cholesterol 0.0 mg
Sodium 436.2 mg
Potassium 469.4 mg
Total Carbohydrate 17.7 g
Dietary Fiber 4.6 g
Sugars 2.6 g
Protein 12.0 g

Vitamin A 102.8 %
Vitamin B-12 0.0 %
Vitamin B-6 13.7 %
Vitamin C 82.8 %
Vitamin D 0.0 %
Vitamin E 6.6 %
Calcium 41.3 %
Copper 23.3 %
Folate 12.9 %
Iron 16.1 %
Magnesium 17.1 %
Manganese 65.7 %
Niacin 6.8 %
Pantothenic Acid 3.5 %
Phosphorus 18.6 %
Riboflavin 7.7 %
Selenium 19.2 %
Thiamin 13.5 %
Zinc 10.2 %

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

Dec 042011
Last Thursday was my second CSA pickup and I stayed behind to discuss some workshop ideas with Vivian and Francisco for KYV farm.

As we chatted, Vivian offered me some soup. 

It was delicious.  A hearty mix of all the veggies we got from our CSA, lentils and barley.

The most surprising ingredient was radishes.  They tasted, well, not very radish-y.  More like a mild, soft potato-I couldn’t believe it!  Normally I’m not a fan so I’m so glad to have found a new way to prepare them.

I cut some fresh herbs from my garden but a mix of dried would work just as well.

My daughter and I shelled some of the pigeon peas.  This is really weird but it’s one of my favorite tasks.  I can focus on the mindless task of shelling and working on my intention of staying in the present moment, especially through the holidays.

Florida Fall Harvest Soup


1 Tbsp olive oil
1 onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 small butternut squash, peeled and chopped (or 2 cups pre-prepared)
1 bunch radishes, chopped
1 handful baby carrots, chopped
2 cups yum yum peppers, chopped (or 1 red bell pepper)
Handful fresh herbs-parsley, culantro and chives
1/4 tsp Tony Chachere’s Cajun Seasoning (or salt)
1/8 tsp fresh ground pepper
1 cup shelled pigeon peas
1/3 cup lentils
1/3 cup barley
6 cups organic vegetable
1 bunch curly kale, de-stemmed and chopped


1. Heat 1 Tbsp olive oil in Dutch Oven ;add onions, sauté about 3 to 5 minutes or until translucent; add garlic through fresh ground pepper, cook an additional 5 minutes.

2. Add remaining ingredients except kale, bring to a boil; reduce heat, set cover askew to let steam out, and cook on low 30 minutes.  Add kale to pot and cook an additional 5 minutes.

Sep 162011
One more day and I’ll be off; flying through the air, straight to San Francisco where we will be for four nights and then heading over to Sonoma for the next three nights for our 10th anniversary.  This is really the second major trip my hubby Chris and I have taken where we fly out of town (last one was to Mexico about 6 years ago) so I wouldn’t call us major out of state travelers; hence why I’m SOOO excited.  We will be there with another couple, our best friends Justine and Kerry that we have vacationed with before.  I promise to get back to blogging right when I return, but in the mean time I will try and tweet some good photos and updates.
As my parting gift I leave you with this salad.  But it’s not any salad.  It’s an almost raw salad (except for the chickpeas; they would be kinda hard not cooked), so it’s super easy to throw together, versatile; I ate this alone and then in two other recipes, and perfectly balanced.
Lightly sweet and very fresh.
Mango, lime and cilantro are such a classic and delicious combination, don’t you think?
(Almost) Raw Moroccan Mango Chickpea Salad
Inspired by Taste Space
Serves about 8 1/2-cup servings
Vegan, Gluten Free


3 garlic cloves
1 knob fresh ginger (about 1 1/2 inches long)
1 cup baby carrots
1/2 large red onion, quartered
Juice 1 lime
1 tsp garam masala
1 Tbsp agave
1/4 tsp of salt
1 bunch of cilantro, chopped
1 ripe mango, seeded and chopped (1.5 cups)
1 cup cooked chickpeas  (this is the not-raw part so omit if you are eating raw)


1.  Mince the garlic and ginger in a food processor until very finely diced; add the baby carrots and onion and pulse until finely diced.

2. Mix the lime, garam masala, agave and salt in a small bowl and add to carrot mixture. Pulse to disperse through; add cilantro, pulse once or twice until combined. 

3. Pour mixture into a bowl, stir in mango and chickpeas. 

**Garam masala is an Indian spice mixture you can get in specialy grocery stores or on line at Frontier or Penzey’s.

Nutrition Facts

8 1/2-cup Servings (Perfect for side dish)
Amount Per Serving

Calories 68.2
Total Fat 0.5 g
Saturated Fat 0.1 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0.2 g
Monounsaturated Fat 0.1 g
Cholesterol 0.0 mg
Sodium 174.6 mg
Potassium 173.5 mg
Total Carbohydrate 15.0 g
Dietary Fiber 2.4 g
Sugars 5.3 g
Protein 2.0 g

Vitamin A 42.9 %
Vitamin B-12 0.0 %
Vitamin B-6 11.3 %
Vitamin C 19.5 %
Vitamin D 0.0 %
Vitamin E 2.0 %
Calcium 2.2 %
Copper 5.1 %
Folate 7.4 %
Iron 3.1 %
Magnesium 3.7 %
Manganese 12.3 %
Niacin 2.0 %
Pantothenic Acid 2.1 %
Phosphorus 4.1 %
Riboflavin 2.4 %
Selenium 1.8 %
Thiamin 2.8 %
Zinc 2.8 %

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

Feb 142011
Happy Valentines Day!
I have such a wonderful recipe for you; but first, Eat. Live.Be.
Today’s Eat. Live. Be. topic is “Straight from the experts”.

I like the website RealAge which bases its information on a Scientific Advisory Board including the co-creators of the site; Michael F. Roizen, MD and Mehmet C. Oz, MD.

There was an article today about the 11 foods for faster easier weight loss and I really liked the list they had;
Yogurt (I will add: especially Greek yogurt for the amount of Calcium and protein)
Whole eggs, to keep you fuller, longer
Pistachios with their unsaturated fat, fiber and protein
Grapefruit, studies show that this fruit really boosts weight loss
Avocados for their Leptin content that will reduce your hunger
Mushrooms (I like this one…never would have thought of it!). Sub mushrooms for meat and save huge amounts of calories and fat.
Olive oil for the monounsaturated fats to help tell your brain when you are full
Whole grains over refined grains (this is one we all know). Helps keep you fuller, longer with the natural fiber.
Hot red peppers, such as cayenne. They contain capsaisin which reduces appetite and therefore food intake. (I need to try more of this!)
Fava beans (huh?) they have lots of lean protein and are high in antioxidants.
Rice with veggies. If you have them for lunch they will last you a long time, making you fuller, longer.

This past Saturday at Native Sun I picked up some of their Stir No-Fry.  It is a mix of raw veggies; broccoli, cauliflower, cucumber, kale, carrot, nappa cabbage, peppers and mushrooms, with a dressing of miso, garlic, ginger, sesame, soy sauce, lemon, cider vinegar, oil and agave. 

It is SO good; salty and sweet, that I decided to create a similar broccoli salad of my own but add a bit of kick to it with some sriracha.  It turned out just as well!  We served it on the side of a mixed seafood platter; sesame-wasabi seared tuna, grilled shrimp and flounder.

Spicy-Sweet Miso Marinated Broccoli Salad
6 Servings (Avg will be 1 1/2 cup)
**2 WW Pts Plus


1 rounded Tbsp light miso paste
2 tsp agave nectar (or honey)
1 tsp sriracha (an Asian hot sauce)
2 tsp dark sesame oil
2 tsp rice wine vinegar
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tsp minced ginger
2 packets stevia (optional for sweeter result)

5 cups chopped broccoli (including leaves)
1 green onion, diced
3 carrots, sliced


1. Stir the marinade ingredients together.

2. Place the salad veggies in a large bowl and pour the dressing over; stir well to coat.   

***Tasty when enjoyed right away but the longer this sits the better it will be.

Nutrition Facts

6 Servings (Serving size will vary with size of vegetables.  Average will be 1 1/2 cups)
***2 WW Pts Plus
Amount Per Serving

Calories 67.2
Total Fat 1.9 g
Saturated Fat 0.3 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0.8 g
Monounsaturated Fat 0.6 g
Cholesterol 0.0 mg
Sodium 236.5 mg
Potassium 364.3 mg
Total Carbohydrate 11.5 g
Dietary Fiber 3.3 g
Sugars 3.4 g
Protein 2.7 g

Vitamin A 96.0 %
Vitamin B-6 9.7 %
Vitamin C 119.1 %
Vitamin E 7.2 %
Calcium 5.1 %
Copper 3.0 %
Folate 15.1 %
Iron 4.4 %
Magnesium 6.0 %
Manganese 12.8 %
Niacin 4.0 %
Pantothenic Acid 5.0 %
Phosphorus 6.6 %
Riboflavin 6.4 %
Selenium 3.6 %
Thiamin 5.1 %
Zinc 2.7 %

Feb 072011

Today’s Eat. Live.Be. for a better 2011 is how to get out of a rut.

The only thing that works for me is to change things up and simply keep trying. Think about it, any time we start anything new, we go through a honeymoon phase. If it’s a new diet, we are all gung-ho at first, since it’s new. On top of that, it is really motivating to see results. Then the plateau hits, and the weight stops coming off quite as easily. For me, I’m always trying to lose the last five pounds. I love the new weight watcher program but realize that, to keep things interesting, I still need to try new foods. Having this blog really helps because it keeps me excited about trying new recipes and sharing the results.

Take this North African Chickpea Stew. I was able to use the base recipe from Eating Well and change it up to use some of the calabaza and some of the fresh cilantro in a new way, when I could have simply roasted the squash and used the cilantro in salsa. (Not that I don’t still do that. I’m just saying it is great to change it up.) On the down side, it was a bit labor intensive with prepping the squash. But, in the end, it was so worth it to be able to share it with you as well as my friend Suzanne, who belongs to the same CSA, and my friend Justine; my friend that did the Acro-yoga with me. It makes a LOT.  The serving size is 8 but I am sure I could get 10 servings out of it which is why I’m sharing.  I really liked the sweetness of the squash, the nutty crunch of peanuts and the aromatic cilantro.

Speaking of Acro-yoga, this is an example of how to keep the motivation going with working out as well. I already know I love yoga and try to make a class two to four times per week, but it’s the same teacher (unless they have a sub for some reason which is rare) and a lot of times I can anticipate what they will say next. When Justine invited me to try this workshop, I thought, yes! What a great way to visit a new studio; try a new teacher and a new form of yoga. So, on top of trying new forms of working out, you can even change up the way you already do your workouts. If you run, what about getting a running partner; if you bike, try joining a group, or do what I did….check out a new studio, teacher and method!

North African Chickpea Stew
Slightly altered from Eating Well Squash, Chickpea and Red Lentil Stew
Serves 10


3/4 cup dried chickpeas
3 lbs calabaza squash, butternut or acorn squash, peeled, seeded and cut into 1-inch cubes
3 large carrots, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 large onion, chopped
1 cup lentils
4 cups vegetable broth
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 tablespoon minced peeled fresh ginger
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon saffron, 
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1/4 cup lime juice
1/2 cup roasted unsalted peanuts, chopped
1/4 cup packed fresh cilantro leaves, chopped
3 Tbsp PB2 (a powdered peanut butter product), Optional
2 cups water (optional to thin consistency)


1. Place chickpeas in medium bowl, cover with water and soak overnight.

2.Combine the soaked chickpeas through pepper in a 6-quart slow cooker.  Cook on low 5 to 6 hours.
 3.Stir in lime juice, peanuts and chopped cilantro.

Nutrition Facts according to SparkRecipes

8 Servings
***5 WW Pts Plus (this is using the calabaza, when I switched to butternut the pts plus value went up to 6)Amount Per Serving

Calories 177.6
Total Fat 5.9 g
Saturated Fat 0.7 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 1.7 g
Monounsaturated Fat 2.4 g
Cholesterol 0.0 mg
Sodium 494.9 mg
Potassium 395.4 mg
Total Carbohydrate 24.2 g
Dietary Fiber 5.6 g
Sugars 3.4 g
Protein 9.6 g

Vitamin A 58.4 %
Vitamin B-12 0.0 %
Vitamin B-6 13.0 %
Vitamin C 14.2 %
Vitamin D 0.0 %
Vitamin E 6.3 %
Calcium 5.0 %
Copper 11.5 %
Folate 21.5 %
Iron 12.2 %
Magnesium 10.5 %
Manganese 28.8 %
Niacin 10.3 %
Pantothenic Acid 5.0 %
Phosphorus 12.2 %
Riboflavin 4.4 %
Selenium 3.7 %
Thiamin 8.3 %
Zinc 7.1 %