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

Vegan
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
 
Burger
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
 
Optional
4 Ezekiel Whole Grain Burger Buns
Hot Sauce of choice
 
Directions
 
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.
 
 
Jul 142012
 
Tropical Grilled Pineapple Salad with Creamy Mango Avocado Lime Dressing
Oh my goodness I am one busy girl.  Not only has work been crazy but I’m also taking care of a sick little one, sharing Mila, doing yoga, hitting the gym, writing a food blog and cooking (to name just a few).  
And I have some exciting new to share with you!  I was asked to do a presentation at Baptist Beaches Hospital this Wednesday for an MS group there, Native Sun is now carrying some of my recipes (check it out!) AND I was invited to an exclusive media dinner at the Casa Monica’s restaurant, 95 Cordova, to review their new summer menu on August 10th!
Things are really moving along and gaining momentum.  In fact, last week on Tuesday I made the decision, after a particularly stressful day at work, to make peace with where I am in life and really have gratitude for what I have.  So I started a “Gratitude Board” where I write something I’m grateful for every day and really try to think about WHY I’m grateful for it.  Also, I began writing in a journal my goals and dreams in great detail as if they have already happened.  This little trick sets your subconscious up to be looking for ways to achieve what, in writing, has already happened.  I made a conscious decision to think of myself as a lucky person – and guess what.  I was on Native Sun’s blog and entered a little contest by guessing a secret ingredient and actually won!  The fact that it’s just a little (but VERY delicious) smoothie doesn’t matter….it’s the fact that when you get your mind right the universe responds to you.
Here are some of the things I wrote in my journal in a nutshell.
My first goals are to go back to school to the Institute of Integrative Nutrition to become a Certified Health Coach like my friend Michelle at Find Your Balance.  To get there I will greatly grow my business with Mila so that I can share Mila with LOTS of people and change their health forever.  I want to continue doing seminars and presentations on health and nutrition and continue being the volunteer coordinator and event planner for KYV farm.  
I will make the world a better place than I left it. Ultimately, I strive to make a positive impact on people’s health and the environment.
How is that for a deep subject on a Saturday?  So where does food and recipes fit into this you ask?
I’m not sure, but the universe must have been telling me to try Cara’s Spicy Tomato Coconut Sauce because I found something my husband and I both love.  This was very surprising to me because I actually made this sauce for myself he isn’t a fan of tomatoes or coconut. I know, very selfish of me but I had been dying to try it.  Cara – the universe is talking and it’s telling the world to make Spicy Tomato Coconut Sauce.  It is perfect over some GF pasta.
Spicy Coconut Tomato Sauce

And for the salad – mangoes were on sale at Fresh Market 10 for $10 so I bought some and then decided on a tropical salad so grilled pineapple fit the bill.  I made this dressing for my friend Suzanne and her husband Dan who are oil free vegans that also eat Mila and lost a TON of weight. This dressing is sweet and creamy from the avocado and mango and the onion adds that hmmm factor and helps, along with the lime, to keep the avocado from oxidizing.

Tropical Grilled Pineapple Salad with Creamy Mango Avocado Lime Dressing

I will definitely be grilling more pineapple in the future. I haven’t done it in ages and I’ve been missing out. It turns even sweeter and caramelized on the outside….you don’t need dessert after this salad!

Tropical Grilled Pineapple Salad with Creamy Mango Avocado Lime Dressing
Tropical Grilled Pineapple Salad with
Mango, Avocado and Fresh Lime Dressing
Serves 4
Vegan, Gluten Free

Ingredients

4 slices pineapple, sprayed with organic cooking spray

Dressing
1 ripe mango, skin removed and chopped
1/4 avocado
1/4 red onion
Juice 1/2 lime
1/4 tsp sea salt

Salad
6 cups spinach blend
1/4 red onion, sliced
1/2 cucumber, sliced
1/2 green pepper, sliced

Directions

1. Preheat grill to medium high.  Add pineapple – grill 5 to 7 minutes per side or until nice grill marks form.

2. Meanwhile mix the dressing ingredients in a Magic Bullet or blender – set aside.

3. Mix the salad ingredients in a large bowl.  Slice grilled pineapple into wedges.  Serve 2 cups salad mixture, 1 sliced pineapple around and a few Tbsp dressing on each plate.  The dressing can also be mixed in beforehand.

**You will most likely have dressing left over to reserve for another use.

Nutrition Facts Salad
4 Servings
Amount Per Serving

Calories 59.6
Total Fat 0.6 g
Saturated Fat 0.0 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0.2 g
Monounsaturated Fat 0.1 g
Cholesterol 0.0 mg
Sodium 37.1 mg
Potassium 399.6 mg
Total Carbohydrate 13.9 g
Dietary Fiber 2.4 g
Sugars 9.4 g
Protein 1.9 g

Vitamin A 86.3 %
Vitamin B-6 10.5 %
Vitamin C 65.2 %
Folate 25.5 %
Iron 9.2 %
Magnesium 12.7 %
Manganese 91.2 %


Nutrition Facts Dressing
4 Servings
Amount Per Serving

Calories 54.0
Total Fat 1.8 g
Saturated Fat 0.3 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0.2 g
Monounsaturated Fat 1.1 g
Cholesterol 0.0 mg
Sodium 147.4 mg
Potassium 145.2 mg
Total Carbohydrate 10.3 g
Dietary Fiber 1.8 g
Sugars 7.7 g
Protein 0.5 g

Vitamin A 8.3 %
Vitamin C 27.1 %

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

Apr 192012
 
Welcome back to Wine Down Wednesday where I 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.


For an ideal pairing we look for wines that that compliment Sweet Potato and Tahini Burgers Citrus, Mango and Avocado Salsa we look at the tahini, sweet potato, citrus and mango.


The Wines selected to taste are Warwick ‘First Lady’ Cabernet Sauvignon and Barboursville Viognier.

Sweet Potato and Tahini Burgers
with Citrus, Mango and Avocado Salsa

These sweet-spicy burgers are super easy to put together – only six ingredients. They can be baked, grilled or pan seared.  The mango salsa a spur of the moment inspiration that compliments the burgers so well it is a match made in heaven.  Mangos are on sale for a dollar and avocado is super cheap right now, too.  I had a jalapeno on hand to add a kick and some fresh Florida oranges and limes to add a nice tang.  For a side, I a added some nice steamed edamame with a sprinkle of coarse sea salt.

Time Saving Tip: To save time for the salsa, simply buy a quality store bought mango or citrus salsa in the refrigerated produce section of your grocery!


From 1791 through 1902 Warwick Wine Estate in South Africa was originally known as  ‘De Goede Sukses’, the Good Success farm.  It was later renamed Warwick after being purchased by Colonel Alexander Gordon of the Warwickshire regiment.  In the 60′s the winery traded hands again when it was purchased by Norma Ratcliffe and her husband Stan.  After initially selling the grapes wholesale to other wineries, Norma studied the art of winemaking and began producing her own wine in 1984.  She was the first female wine maker in South Africa, thus the ‘First Lady’ Cabernet Sauvignon is named as a tribute to Norma.

The winemaker’s notes, “The wine has a deep and intense ruby red colour. The nose reveals lots of red berries and sweet black cherries, complemented by sweet vanilla and chocolate oak background. The smooth ripe, round tannins make this wine easy to drink while still retaining a full body. The balanced acid creates a firm finish that is complemented by a lingering sweetness.”


Barboursville vineyards reside along side the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia, owned by Gianni Zonin of Gamnbellara Italy who is a 7th generation winemaker. This Viognier Reserve is grown by the general manager-winemaker Luca Paschina who has a degree in oenology; the study of all aspects of wine. 

It looks like I have found my calling – I must go back to school for an oenology degree. I wonder if this is an offering at FSU.  If not, I will simply have to attend the the Instituto Umberto in Alba Italy as Luca Paschina did.
Gregg from Broadbent Selections sent me some additional information on the vineyard that I thought was interesting, “this second-generation estate house at Barboursville plantation was designed by Thomas Jefferson, one of only 3 residences he designed for his friends. The Barbour family continued to occupy this residence until it was destroyed by accidental fire at Christmas, 1884, and returned to the elegant Georgian villa next door for several generations, now The 1804 Inn”

The Viognier, pronounced Vee-‘O’-nyaaay, is fermented in steel with tropical and floral tones.  It does well with aging of 4 to 5 years.  The photos of the vineyard are gorgeous-I would love to visit and take some of the cooking classes offered at their restaurant.

Categories



Category #1 – How well my dish turned out.
Category #2 – How well I like the wine.
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 Nice.  I would definitely make these burgers again as long as I could make the salsa with them.  I think that is what really made the dish.  It had all the elements I love - sweet from the mangos and sweet potato, aromatics from the cilantro and a spicy kick from the Cajun seasoning and jalapeno peppers.  The tahini wasn’t a prominent flavor, it just added enough to give it a nutty hint in the background. These were awesome with a bit of Arizona Gunslinger hot sauce on the side. 


Category #2 The Wine

Warwick Cabernet Sauvignon 2009 gets a rating of Damn That’s Good.  I’ve started a little wine journal now so I can sit down and write the first things that come to mind.  I’m still amazed when I go and look at reviews afterwards and the reviews actually coincide with my perception.  For this Cabernet the first thing I wrote down was chocolate/cocoa and no aftertaste. After sitting and swirling a bit I added perfect balance of dry and sweet, not too heavy.  Smoky mesquite.  Great with grilled foods.  My husband happened to be cooking on the grill at the time which may have had some influence there.

Virginia Voignier Reserve, 2010 also gets a rating of DAMN THAT’S GOOD.  I had to write that one in caps for emphasis.  On first taste I wrote honey, mango and tad sweeter than Chardonnays, higher percentage of residual sugar ?  I loved the honey-lemon color.  I also wrote down grass reminiscent of summer fresh cut grass which is interesting because in a review of the wine I read “herbal frame” – I wonder if my interpretation was the grassiness.

Category #3 The Pairing

Both get a rating of Yum.  Each brought the dish up to another level in it’s own way.  If I had rated the dish higher, the wines would have elevated the pairings to a DTG. 
The smoky-cocoa cabernet brings out the spicy elements of the dish and has a light enough body to not overpower the sweet potato burgers. 
The Viognier complimented the sweetness of the mango and sweet potato; the wine acquired an added layer of a lemony-citrus flavor when paired with the dish-refreshing and smooth.

Where to buy

All the wines will be for sale locally at the Grotto in San Marco. Please call first to ensure they are in stock.  You can contact Mitch Woodlief, grottomitch@aol.com with questions and pricing.  Anyone outside the Greater Jacksonville area can contact E-MAIL: info@broadbent.com PHONE: US +1 415-931-1725.

Sweet Potato Tahini Burgers

with Citrus, Mango and Avocado Salsa

Inspired by Lunch Box Bunch
Serves 6
Vegan, Gluten Free, Dairy Free

Ingredients

Burgers
1 can of sweet potato
2 cans cannellini or pinto beans, rinsed and drained
2 heaping Tbsp tahini
2 Tbsp maple or agave syrup
1/2 tsp Cajun seasoning
1/3 cup oats, pulsed in magic bullet, blender or food processor to grind it a bit

Salsa
1 mango, seeded and chopped
2 oranges, peeled and chopped
1 avocado, seeded and chopped
1/4 jalapeno pepper, chopped
1 tsp minced fresh ginger
Juice of 1 lime
Handful fresh cilantro, chopped

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 350F.  Add all burger ingredients to a food processor and pulse a few times, so just mixed.  Form into patties and place on a baking tray rubbed with oil.  Bake for 20 to 30 minutes, turning halfway through.  Turn on broiler to high at the end to crisp outside – about 1 to 2 minutes or until browned.

2. Meanwhile mix the salsa ingredients in a small bowl. 

3. Top each burger with a generous heaping of salsa and serve with Barboursville Viognier or Warwick First Lady Cabernet.

Nutrition Facts
6 Servings
Amount Per Serving

Calories 381.5
Total Fat 8.2 g
Saturated Fat 1.3 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 2.2 g
Monounsaturated Fat 4.1 g
Cholesterol 0.0 mg
Sodium 113.4 mg
Potassium 1,199.3 mg
Total Carbohydrate 67.5 g
Dietary Fiber 14.4 g
Sugars 8.3 g
Protein 15.8 g

Vitamin A 185.7 %
Vitamin B-12 0.0 %
Vitamin B-6 20.7 %
Vitamin C 65.9 %
Vitamin D 0.0 %
Vitamin E 5.8 %
Calcium 18.3 %
Copper 35.7 %
Folate 42.5 %
Iron 36.5 %
Magnesium 31.7 %
Manganese 78.9 %
Niacin 8.5 %
Pantothenic Acid 12.9 %
Phosphorus 27.3 %
Riboflavin 14.1 %
Selenium 5.2 %
Thiamin 25.9 %
Zinc 19.1 %

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

Please note that as an ammendment to the Black Bean Soup post I would like to change my rating of the Pares Balta to a Damn thats Good. I’ll definitely be ordering more of because of it’s summer drinkability factor as well as the new information provided that this wine is produced with absolutely now animal products so it’s perfect for a plant based diet.

Apr 042012
 

Welcome back to Wine Down Wednesday where I review a vegan dish paired with two different wines. 
To pair wines with a meatless dish we consider the spices and main flavors of the recipe. For black bean soup we need a wine that nicely compliments Bragg Liquid Aminos, chili powder and cilantro.
The wines chosen to pair.
PARES BALTA Ros de Pacs 2011, (Penedes, Spain)
 PARES BALTA Ros de Pacs 2011, (Penedes, Spain), is a family owned organic winery about half an hour south of Barcelona.  The winemakers are two young women, Maria Elena Jimenez and Marta Casas.  Pares Balta has a National Park as part of its land holdings, the vineyard photo below is of a clearing in the park. Pares Balta has their own colony of bees to pollinate the vines and a flock of sheep to eat weeds in the vineyards and provide a natural compost. These vineyards have never seen chemicals.  I have decided I must visit this winery.  It is definitely right up my alley.  You go Maria and Marta.  Girl power!
A clearing at the winery – beautiful.

 

Parés Baltà

 

CRASTO Douro Red 2009, (Douro, Portugal)
CRASTO Douro Red 2009, (Douro, Portugal) is from Quinto do Crasto whose vineyard dates back to the 17th century.  A few of their grape varieties are soon-to-be organic!  The grapes are primarily farmed on these picturesque terraces.


The grapes are both fermented in this state of the art part of the winery and they also crush grapes the old fashioned way - by foot!  Because the foot has padding whereas stainless paddles don’t, it’s a much gentler way to extract the juice. 


My friend Gregg from Broadbent who is providing the wines.
A little yoga and wine.  Tough day at the office, poor guy.

As an update to two previous wine posts, I actually had the privilege of meeting Adi, the wine maker of the BADENHORST ‘Secateurs’ Chenin Blanc 2011, (Swartland, South Africa) and BADENHORST ‘Secateurs’ Red 2010, (Swartland, South Africa).  Gregg brought him to our yoga class and, amazingly, he held up pretty well – he didn’t pass out or leave.  We figure it’s because he must wrestle lions in Africa.

Nothing like a photo after a 90 minute heated power yoga class.
BLACK BEAN SOUP WITH FORBIDDEN RICE
Black bean soup is such a comfort food that you would never guess how healthy it is.  It is filling and flavorful with the saltiness from the Bragg Liquid Aminos (tastes like soy sauce), creamy cool avocado, and super fresh cilantro.  This is a SUPER simple recipe and, if using leftover rice, will take you less time than it takes to go get fast food. I love quick and easy meals! 

Categories
Category #1 – How well my dish turned out.
Category #2 – How well I like the wine.
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.
** The same terminology will be used to rate the dish and how well it paired. 

Category #1 – The Dish
Rating of Damn That’s Good
After my last experience with an E2 diet recipe, I knew I needed to add a little bit of fat.  I added a tablespoon or two of olive oil and added and amended a few ingredients.  The result was absolutely delicious.  I was unsure how the Liquid Aminos would taste in a black bean soup, but I loved the saltiness with the tang of soy.  The avocados and cilantro really cooled the soup down.  Next time I might actually make this spicy although this time I abstained because my three year old isn’t too keen on cayenne.  I added the forbidden rice because I had it on hand – it was perfect because it mirrored the hearty texture of the black beans.

Category #2 – The Wines

PARES BALTA Ros de Pacs

PARES BALTA Ros de Pacs -Rating of YUM.  It both looks and tastes like strawberries.  I LOVE the color – like cherry red lipstick.  It has a very light body and would be perfectly refreshing on a hot day.

Crasto Douro Red

CRASTO Douro Red 2009- Rating of YUM (but possibly higher if I was a “red” girl like I used to be.) I loved the color of this one as well – a deep purple/burgundy. My first thought was a really light port and come to find out, it is made from the same varieties that are used in a Port wine, but it is fermented dry and not fortified.

Category #3 – The Pairing
Rating of  Damn that’s Good for the Pares Balta highlighted the avocado and cilantro flavors and, during the meal the berry flavor intensified. It was really refreshing. 
Rating of YUM for the Crasto along with the black beans made me think of coffee, chocolate and mole sauce.  If you like a rich red wine, this is perfect.

Where to buy

All the wines will be for sale locally at the Grotto in San Marco. You can contact Mitch Woodlief, grottomitch@aol.com with questions and pricing and anyone outside the Greater Jacksonville area can contact E-MAIL: info@broadbent.com PHONE: US +1 415-931-1725.
Black Bean Soup with Forbidden Rice
Inspired by E2 Black Beans and Rice
Serves 4, 1/2 cup beans and 1/2 cup rice
Vegan, Gluten Free, Dairy Free
Printable Recipe

Ingredients

2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
2 cups cooked black beans (of using canned, be sure to rinse and drain well) 
1 to 2 cups vegetable stock
1/2 cup canned, undrained fire roasted diced tomatoes
2 Tbsp braggs liquid aminos or gluten free tamari or soy sauce
1 Tbsp chili powder
2 cups cooked forbidden rice or brown rice

Garnish
1 avocado, seeded and cubed
Fresh diced tomatoes (from KYV farm)or extra fire roasted tomatoes
Lost of fresh cilantro (from KYV farm)
Fresh lime juice (about one lime)

Directions

1. Heat olive oil in a small pot, sauté onion about five minutes; add garlic, sauté an additional minute.  Add black beans, vegetable stock, tomatoes, liquid aminos and chili powder.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer about 10 minutes, or thickened to your taste.

2. Serve black beans over rice; top with 1/4 avocado, a dollop of diced tomatoes, fresh cilantro and a squeeze of lime.

Nutrition Facts
4 Servings
Amount Per Serving

Calories 394.5
Total Fat 16.0 g
Saturated Fat 2.1 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0.7 g
Monounsaturated Fat 5.1 g
Cholesterol 0.0 mg
Sodium 566.7 mg
Potassium 362.6 mg
Total Carbohydrate 70.1 g
Dietary Fiber 23.1 g
Sugars 2.6 g
Protein 15.1 g

Vitamin A 13.7 %
Vitamin B-12 0.0 %
Vitamin B-6 7.3 %
Vitamin C 24.9 %
Vitamin D 0.0 %
Vitamin E 4.6 %
Calcium 8.4 %
Copper 2.1 %
Folate 2.6 %
Iron 20.4 %
Magnesium 2.1 %
Manganese 6.7 %
Niacin 1.2 %
Pantothenic Acid 0.7 %
Phosphorus 2.4 %
Riboflavin 1.6 %
Selenium 1.0 %
Thiamin 2.0 %
Zinc 1.1 %

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

Mar 282012
 
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.
For the spring rolls we look for a wine that would pair well with the following ingredients -
Fresh mint leaves, fresh cilantro, fish sauce, fresh lime juice and garlic.

The wines chosen to pair – LOUIS Dry Riesling 2010, ( Rheinhessen, Germany) and ARESTI Estate Carmenere 2010, ( Curico, Chile)

So far my favorite part about doing these wine pairings is learning more about the wines.  I tend to find a few and stick with them, but this exercise is getting me to branch out and learn more about the wine makers, varietals and background of each winery, which gives each wine more depth in my mind.

Louis Guntrum Winery was originally established in 1648 and was taken over by Louis Konstantin Guntrum – the 11th generation of wine makers.
During World War II, the family winery and mansion was occupied by US General Patton as he was crossing the Rhein river right in front of their estate.
The winery is located in Rheinhessen, Germany where the grapes reside in a cool climate that gets approximately 1800 hours of sunshine a year and has been certified as a sustainable winery by the German Agricultural Society.  The wine itself is actually called Niersteiner Oelberg Riesling Spatlese Trocken but they figured it was an easier sell as LOUIS Dry Riesling.  I would agree with that.

ARESTI Estate Carmenere 2010, ( Curico, Chile)
Aresti wine is a family owned business that was founded in 1951 and is run by three generations of the Aresti family – they grow over 1000 acres of vineyards. The award winning labels feature a panting called “Harvest at the Bellavista Hacienda” that depict part of the Aresti winery history.

 The grapes are grown in Curaco, the second largest wine producing valley in Chile.  It has a Mediterranean climate with a dry season that lasts about five months. Chilean Carmenere grapes were initially thought to be merlot as the leaves are very similar; however, they are actually a later ripening variety of Bordeaux.Fresh Spring Rolls

When my husband and I were first married and built our first house I had lots of wine and cheese parties. Almost one Friday night a month I would turn on the white lights lining the patio, put Michael Bublé on the CD player turned just a hair too loud, pop open a few varieties of interesting wine from the Wine Warehouse and make an appetizer. Fresh spring rolls were one of my first ever “gourmet” appetizers – I was very proud of myself. It was a Cooking Light recipe and I followed every ingredient to the letter. They were delicious, but I’m glad that now I’m much more comfortable producing my own creations, many times even more delicious than the original.
I hadn’t made fresh spring rolls in a while and I was inspired by all the spring rolls on my friend’s blog, Amanda at the Grains of Paradise. I decided create some simple ones with some creamy avocado and add the super fresh factor from cilantro and mint. I did sauces two ways, one with a fish sauce and the other with a simple mixture of sriracha and agave. I tried adding several different ingredients to the sriracha sauce but the simple two ingredient mixture was sweet and spicy perfection. I’ve been putting it on everything – salads, in soups and on sandwiches.
Sauces Two Ways
Rice Wrapper Tip: Wrapping the rolls can be daunting but once you get a few under your belt you’ll be an old pro. If you have never done this before, take a plate with raised edges and add a bit of water. Take the rice paper sheet, soak it for a few moments in warm water until it just becomes pliable and place it on the plate. The water will make it so the paper doesn’t stick and rip. Gently place your fillings, not in the center, but just a bit towards you. Fold the edges over and then roll.

Categories
Category #1 – How well my dish turned out.
Category #2 – How well I like the wine.
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 Damn That’s Good.  I’m all about the bright flavors of lime, cilantro and mint and the buttery texture of the avocado.  I couldn’t decide which sauce was better. I love the spicy sweetness of the sriracha-agave mixture, but the fish sauce and peanuts with that hint of saltiness gave the rolls a whole new dimension of flavor.  These are perfect for the start of summer.

Category #2 – The Wines

Louis Dry Riesling

Riesling -Rating of Damn that’s Good
On first taste I thought melon.  I liked the smooth, silky texture and, though this is a dry wine, it had that hint of sweetness from a bit of residual sugar. Once it opened up I tasted pineapple and apricot.  

ARESTI Estate Carmenere 2010

Carmenere – Rating of Damn that’s Good
This wine has a slightly woody flavor; I thought of cedar. I enjoyed this a bit cooler out of my wine fridge - very drinkable with light body.

Category #3 – The Pairing
Rating of DTG for both.  Since I tend to lean towards white wines lately I was surprised how much I liked the Carmenere with this dish.  It really intensified the taste of cilantro.  The Riesling added to the sweetness of the agave in the sriracha sauce and brought down the heat.

Where to buy

All the wines will be for sale locally at the Grotto in San Marco. You can contact Mitch Woodlief, grottomitch@aol.com with questions and pricing and anyone outside the Greater Jacksonville area can contact E-MAIL: info@broadbent.com PHONE: US +1 415-931-1725.

Fresh Avocado Spring Rolls and Dipping Sauces Two Ways

Serves 8
Vegan, Gluten Free, Dairy Free
(**Asian Dipping Sauce is not Vegan)
Ingredients

Rice Wrappers
8 Rice wrappers
Handful each, fresh cilantro and mint
3 carrots, cut into matchsticks
2 seedless cucumbers, cut into matchsticks
3 green onions, sliced thinly lengthwise
1 avocado, sliced
2 limes, quartered 

Sweet Sriracha Sauce
3 Tbsp Sriracha (hot chili sauce)
1/2 Tbsp agave 

Asian Dipping Sauce
1/4 chopped peanuts
1 to 11/2 Tbsp fish sauce
Juice 1 lime
1 clove garlic, minced
2 Tbsp agave
1 tsp sriracha
1/4 cup water 

Directions
1. Pour hot water into a large bowl – large enough to fit a rice wrapper laid flat.  Soak the first rice wrapper in hot water and place on a large dish with a bit of water in the bottom (this will keep the rice wrapper from sticking and ripping).  Spread out the edges of the rice wrapper if they have folded.  Top with a small amount of cilantro, mint, carrots, cucumber, green onion, a slice of avocado and a squeeze of lime.  Fold the edges in and then roll tightly into a tube.  Slice in half.  Repeat 7 more times.
2. Mix the ingredients of each sauce in two different bowls.  Serve each roll with two sauce cups for a taste of each sauce.
Nutrition Facts
8 Servings
Amount Per Serving

Calories 155.2
Total Fat 6.3 g
Saturated Fat 1.1 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 1.5 g
Monounsaturated Fat 3.2 g
Cholesterol 0.0 mg
Sodium 304.6 mg
Potassium 429.7 mg
Total Carbohydrate 37.4 g
Dietary Fiber 4.7 g
Sugars 5.1 g
Protein 5.9 g

Vitamin A 54.4 %
Vitamin B-12 0.2 %
Vitamin B-6 8.3 %
Vitamin C 25.3 %
Vitamin D 0.0 %
Vitamin E 3.0 %
Calcium 4.4 %
Copper 11.2 %
Folate 12.1 %
Iron 6.9 %
Magnesium 9.8 %
Manganese 17.3 %
Niacin 7.0 %
Pantothenic Acid 6.7 %
Phosphorus 7.0 %
Riboflavin 4.4 %
Selenium 1.2 %
Thiamin 5.4 %
Zinc 4.4 %

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

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

Ingredients

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)

Directions

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 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



Ingredients

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)


Directions


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 %

May 042010
 
We celebrated Mother’s Day last Sunday as my mom is going on a trip to Sedona, Arizona over the actual date.  We decided to make fish and shrimp tacos and I used the same marinade I had created previously for the fish and shrimp but added a teaspoon of minced garlic (if you need a cood marinade you must try it!) and then also changed up the salsa a bit.  I added a can of black beans and diced some of the grilled onions in addition to left over grilled corn. 
Grilled Corn-Onion Black Bean Salsa
(Use any amount of the below ingredients to your liking.)

Ingredients

Grilled corn
Grilled onions
Cilantro
Campari tomatoes
Black beans
Yellow onion
Jalapeno
Lime juice
Salt and pepper
Feb 042010
 
At the farmers market I got the biggest hunk o’ fresh ginger for one dollar that I have ever seen.  Cilantro sounded like it would pair well. 

So what does one do with a large bunch of cilantro and gigantic hunk of spicy ginger? Marinate tempeh! 

I was  a little nervous grilling this as the marinade was very thick but luckily it turned out perfectly.  The flavor of the lime shows through and the marinade really brings out the nuttiness in the tempeh.

Ginger Cilantro Honey Tempeh Salad
Vegetarian, Gluten Free

Ingredients

2 Tempeh burgers, I used Artie’s Tempeh
Extra Virgin Olive Oil Spray

Marinade:

4 inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled and chopped
4 Tbsp honey 

lime juice from two limes

1 bunch of cilantro
3 Tbsp canola or extra virgin olive oil
2 Tbsp Dijon mustard
Sesame seeds (optional)

Fixins: (in any amount you like)

Broccoli slaw
Fresh baby spinach
Sprouts
Carrots
Green onions

Baby Portobello mushrooms

Directions

1. Blend all marinade ingredients except the sesame seeds until smooth.  Stir in the seeds.  Pour half in a zip top bag or bowl. Marinate the tempeh for 24 hours. Reserve the other half as dressing. 

2. Remove the tempeh after marinating and place on a preheated grill that has been prepped with cooking spray.  Grill for 4 minutes per side.  Remove from grill to cool then slice thinly.

3. Place your salad fixings on a plate, top with tempeh and some of the reserved dressing.