Jan 072014
 

This cheesy chia seed soup is simple, filling and comforting, and will help you lose weight naturally with the perfect blend of fiber, good fats and protein.

Conquer your New Years Resolution!

Cheesy Chia Seed Soup

Cheesy Chia Seed Soup

I have completely fallen in love with this soup. Warm, flavorful organic broth, hearty chia seeds with their good fats, fiber and micronutrients, and nutritional yeast with it’s signature cheesy flavor, packed with b-vitamins is a satisfying breakfast, quick lunch or warm, light dinner. This is an AWESOME recipe to take on the go. Pack some warm broth in a Thermos and bring a snack size cup with the chia seed and nutritional yeast – just stir in when you are ready to eat!

Cheesy Chia Seed Soup

Cheesy Chia Seed Soup

The chia I use is called Mila – and this blend happened to be blonde.  Any varietal/color can be used and it will be delicious.  Mila is microsliced so that the seeds are opened and have more surface area without damaging the cotents. It is a blend of chia seed grown at various farms along the equator in volcanic soil. For four more reasons I choose this blend visit this Mila bar recipe.

Cheesy Chia Seed Soup

Cheesy Chia Seed Soup

Cheesy Chia Seed Soup

1 Serving
Vegan, Gluten Free
Printable Recipe

Ingredients

1 cup vegetable broth
2 Tbsp nutritional yeast
2 Tbsp chia, ground (any varietal)

Directions

1. Heat vegetable broth in a small stock pot over medium high heat; stir in nutritional yeast and chia. Enjoy!

Nutrition Facts
1 Serving
Amount Per Serving

Calories 195.0
Total Fat 6.8 g
Saturated Fat 0.2 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 5.0 g
Monounsaturated Fat 0.0 g
Cholesterol 0.0 mg
Sodium 575.1 mg
Potassium 440.0 mg
Total Carbohydrate 20.2 g
Dietary Fiber 13.9 g
Sugars 3.0 g
Protein 14.3 g

Vitamin A 2.0 %
Vitamin B-12 133.0 %
Vitamin B-6 480.0 %
Vitamin C 0.0 %
Vitamin D 0.0 %
Vitamin E 0.0 %
Calcium 17.0 %
Copper 6.0 %
Folate 60.0 %
Iron 18.0 %
Magnesium 25.0 %
Manganese 5.0 %
Niacin 280.0 %
Pantothenic Acid 10.0 %
Phosphorus 17.0 %
Riboflavin 565.0 %
Selenium 32.0 %
Thiamin 640.0 %
Zinc 21.0 %

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

Nov 272013
 

 Drool-Worthy, No-Bake Passionate Pumpkin Pie ~ Vegan and Gluten Free…..it’s what I’m making for Thanksgiving dinner (along with a chickpea, quinoa loaf with mushrooms and sundried tomatoes.)

What are some of your holiday traditions? Do you make the same thing every year or try new dishes?

Passionate Pumpkin Pie - No Bake!

Passionate Pumpkin Pie – No Bake!

As I was scrambling  yesterday to create a dessert my daughter could eat at Thanksgiving with all her food allergies, I brought together the decadence of nuts and dates, the richness of coconut oil and sweetness of maple syrup to create this drool-worthy and easy to make pie.  If you have a food processor, you’ll be able to whip this puppy up in about ten minutes.  My food processor is unfortunately broken – but no worries! My Magic Bullet worked just as well – so feel free to use any sort of blender.

Passionate Pumpkin Pie

Passionate Pumpkin Pie

In this last day before Thanksgiving please know how grateful I am to each of you that stop by to view recipes or to say hello. One of the best things about blogging is being able to meet new people, help people and to just learn about others in general.  Starting today, I plan to learn how to make this blog more interactive, as a platform to share your thoughts and desires, so if there are any suggestions out there to help in this endeavor I’m always looking for advice!

To start – I am going to do another gift post to give people Christmas gift ideas and to help support businesses in the USA! If you have any “local” businesses (meaning in the USA) you love and would like to have added to the list please email me at chefdawn@hotmail.com by December 4th.

May each of you have a safe, healthy and happy Thanksgiving.

Passionate Pumpkin Pie - No Bake!

Passionate Pumpkin Pie – No Bake!

Passionate Pumpkin Pie

Serves 8
Vegan, Gluten Free
Printable Recipe

Ingredients

crust:
3/4 cup roasted and salted sunflower seeds
½ cup raw almonds
½ cup raw pumpkin seeds
2 Tbsp mila
¼ cup unsweet shredded coconut
1/2 cup raisins
1 cup Medjool dates, pits removed
1/8 teaspoon salt

pumpkin filling:
1 14oz can pureed pumpkin
1 cup Medjool dates, pits removed
4 Tbsp melted coconut oil
1/3 cup maple syrup
2 Tbsp pumpkin pie spice

Directions

1. Add sunflower seeds, almonds, pumpkin seeds, mila and coconut to a food processor and pulse until a flour like consistency is reached; add the raisins, dates and salt; pulse to combine until a dough is formed; firmly press into the bottom of a pie pan.

2. Process pumpkin pie filling in a food processor or high speed blender until a smooth consistency is reached; spoon over crust; refrigerate until firm.

Nutrition Facts
8 Servings
Amount Per Serving 

Calories 446.5
Total Fat 20.9 g
Saturated Fat 7.1 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 5.9 g
Monounsaturated Fat 4.6 g
Cholesterol 0.0 mg
Sodium 115.1 mg
Potassium 652.4 mg
Total Carbohydrate 65.5 g
Dietary Fiber 9.4 g
Sugars 48.7 g
Protein 7.5 g

Vitamin A 114.1 %
Vitamin B-12 0.0 %
Vitamin B-6 12.8 %
Vitamin C 3.0 %
Vitamin D 0.0 %
Vitamin E 43.5 %
Calcium 9.2 %
Copper 28.2 %
Folate 9.9 %
Iron 13.8 %
Magnesium 22.1 %
Manganese 66.6 %
Niacin 10.4 %
Pantothenic Acid 12.7 %
Phosphorus 23.8 %
Riboflavin 8.4 %
Selenium 14.5 %
Thiamin 5.1 %
Zinc 14.9 %

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

I am a PROUD supporter of Mila and I am willing to bet that if you try it for a month you will be too!
To purchase a bag of Mila click here, then click shop and enter representative ID US11065661. $1.57 per serving.
If you try Mila and love it, join the wholesale membership club for $39, get Mila for $1.43 per serving – along with 25% off all kinds of other products.

For questions email me at chefdawn@hotmail.com.

Nov 052013
 

Warm Harvest Apple Breakfast features warm apples, pie spices and lots of healthy seeds over a bed of any grain you choose. In this case I chose my favorite grain – oats – but in their purest form. The oat groat.

Harvest Apple Breakfast

Harvest Apple Breakfast

Can you feel it in the air?

Harvest Apple Breakfast

Harvest Apple Breakfast

The cooler weather, scents of sage and thyme, fall leaves and the holidays just around the corner.

Before you (and I) start hyperventilating about all the things we need to get done, let’s stop and take a breath.
Are you the kind of person that can’t wait for the holidays or one that gets so stressed out that you wish they would go away? (Not mentioning any names – my husband Chris.)

I saw this well-timed Jim Rohn quote on facebook and it reminds me to stop and focus on the important people and things in my life. Obviously there needs to be a balance of getting things accomplished and having time; instead of plopping down in front of the TV, this quote motivates me to use that time to be with people that mean something to me or do something nice for myself instead.  I remind myself that I’ll never get that hour back that I watched TV.

Jim Rhone

Instead, maybe I’ll do something like this with my daughter (ironically I also got this off facebook so it looks like I need to put the facbeook down. See, look at how aware I’m becoming. Ha!)

Hand Ornament

Harvest Apple Breakfast

Harvest Apple Breakfast

This breakfast is one of those ways you can slow down and share a warm meal with the people you love.  Oat groats take about 45 minutes to cook but you won’t have to babysit them. Put them on the stove with the other ingredients and know that in just under an hour a very hearty and delicious will be ready for you and your family.  Oat groats are stick-to-your-ribs filling so the serving size is 2/3 cup.

Harvest Apple Breakfast

Harvest Apple Breakfast

Cheers to you, my readers and many thanks for all the times you visit me and share in my life. May your holidays be warm and blessed!

Harvest Apple Breakfast

Harvest Apple Breakfast

Warm Harvest Apple Breakfast

Serves 4
Vegan, Gluten Free
Printable Recipe

Ingredients

2/3 cup oat groats (Gluten Free for Celiac)
3 cups water
1 banana, chopped
1 apple, chopped
1/2 cup unsweet vanilla almond milk
1/4 tsp sea salt
1 tsp cinnamon
2 Tbsp Mila chia, ground
2 Tbsp flax, ground
2 Tbsp unhulled sesame seeds, ground
2 Tbsp raisins
2 Tbsp dried cranberries

Directions

1. Heat oatmeal, water, banana, apple, milk, salt, cinnamon, chia, flax, unhulled sesame seeds, raisins and cranberries in a small saucepan over medium high heat until bubbling; cover, reduce heat and simmer 30 minutes; remove cover, stir and simmer an additional 15 minutes.

Nutrition Facts 
4 Servings
Amount Per Serving

Calories 228.4
Total Fat 8.6 g
Saturated Fat 1.1 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 2.3 g
Monounsaturated Fat 1.3 g
Cholesterol 0.0 mg
Sodium 171.6 mg
Potassium 238.6 mg
Total Carbohydrate 37.6 g
Dietary Fiber 9.4 g
Sugars 9.4 g
Protein 8.0 g

Vitamin A 1.6 %
Vitamin B-12 0.0 %
Vitamin B-6 8.2 %
Vitamin C 5.5 %
Vitamin D 3.1 %
Vitamin E 7.2 %
Calcium 15.7 %
Copper 11.1 %
Folate 2.1 %
Iron 15.5 %
Magnesium 6.3 %
Manganese 9.0 %
Niacin 1.7 %
Pantothenic Acid 0.7 %
Phosphorus 4.4 %
Riboflavin 2.3 %
Selenium 0.7 %
Thiamin 3.4 %
Zinc 2.6 %

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

Oct 232013
 

Halloween is scary. Candy, cocktails and sugar crazed children oh my. To make Halloween a little less scary I gathered some of my favorite tips from around the web and cataloged them here  for you – all in one place!

Vampire Carrots

Have a happy and safe Halloween! 

1. Pass out Halloween pencils, erasers, stickers, and tattoos. (Jumpstart MD)

2. Don’t hand out your favorite candy. (Suggestion and stats from David Zinczenko with Matt Goulding)

A cocker spaniel weighs about 24 pounds. You know what else weighs 24 pounds? The heft of candy the average American gobbles down each year, a big chunk of that falling to our waistlines in the days before and after Halloween. Fun size? I don’t think so—unless it’s fun being size 16.  

  • Three miniature Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups—the kind you find in office candy bowls and trick-or-treat-bags—fill your belly with more sugar than a glazed doughnut.
  • Half a pack of Skittles has more sugar than a scoop of Haagen-Dazs Cookies and Cream Ice Cream. 
  • Nine Twizzlers carry as many calories as a Wendy’s Double Stack Burger.

photo (4) 3. Don’t drastically cut calories earlier in the day in an attempt to counteract any excessive candy eating later on. (Care of Hungry Girl)

That’ll just set you up for a candy binge. Eat filling meals, and drink plenty of water. (If you’re dehydrated, it’s easy to mistake thirst for hunger.)

4. Keep the empty wrappers in sight so that you’ll be aware of how many you’ve already had. (Tip from Small Steps)

5. Stifle their sugar rush: Halloween buy-back! (Little Inspirations) 

I give my children one dollar for every pound of candy they give to me instead of eating. Keeps the cavities away, and the kids feel rewarded for all their hard work trick-or-treating.

6. Set (and enforce) limits on how much candy may be eaten each day and when (i.e., only after meals). (Monica Reinagel, Nutrition Over Easy)

7. Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark (from Beyond Fit Physiques)

If you’re craving chocolate, then the darker, the better. Dark chocolate has less sugar, is dairy-free, and is rich in antioxidants that have been shown to reduce blood pressure and decrease your risk of heart disease. BONUS: cocoa is a craving killer and a few bites of the real stuff will help you eat less in the long run!

8. Keep your trick-or-treating route short. (Everyday Family)

9. Fill up on lots of fiber, healthy protein and drink lots of water on Halloween day. That’s my tip :)

Eat Mila and Join a CSA such as KyV Farm and you’ll have plenty of veggies on hand! (I couldn’t help getting a farm share/CSA plug in there)

10. Minimize your exposure. (Am I Hungry)

Wait until the last minute to buy Halloween candy then buy only what you really think you’ll need for the big night. Get the stuff kids love rather than bags and bags of your favorites.

What are your favorite Halloween survival tips? Are you dressing up this year? 

 Posted by at 11:10 am  Tagged with:
Jun 162013
 

There are four reasons I choose Mila.

Chocolate Chia (Mila) Meal Replacement Bars

Chocolate Chia (Mila) Bars

WHY is it better?   A fair question.  Over the years, I have been approached with many various products – from skin care, to food, to pills and shakes and this is the only product I have chosen to support.

Quality.

We need to eat Omega 3′s, our bodies can not produce them.

There are so many benefits of Omega 3′s including:

Protection against:
heart disease
stroke
rheumatoid arthritis
inflammatory bowel disease
lupus
autism
depression, bipolar, eating disorders
joint degeneration
asthma
Many other diseases caused by inflammation (Google “Omega 3′s, any condition and medical studies” and you will see if Omega 3′s help that condition)

Chocolate Chip Mila Bars

Chocolate Chip Mila Bars

First let me back up and start with why I choose chia in the first place.

Fish Oil: I do not take fish oil pills because of several discoveries during my research over the years; the first being cancer-causing “fish oil lipid peroxidation“, secondly, contaminants such as PCB’s and mercury may be present and thirdly, the side effects such as gas, bloating, belching and diarrhea.  Fish oil is a man made supplement and I prefer to eat mostly whole raw foods because of the multiple benefits that come along with it – fiber, protein, calcium, vitamins and nutrients.

So that leaves me with plant based sources – chia and flax.

Flax: For the same reasons that people are scared of soy, flax is on my “consume less” list – flax is a phytoestrogen. Phytoestrogens can change the hormone balance in the body and there has been some evidence that it can promote the growth of cancer tumors. The jury is still out on whether high amounts of soy and flax can help or hurt, but I eat a fair amount of soy so I choose to limit the amount of flax I eat. Flax can also go rancid very quickly and many of the sources are genetically modified – therefore banned in several countries.

Mila vs other brands Chia: Chia grows best in climates along the equator with nutrient dense soil. Lifemax has connected with several farms in these regions and ensured they only grow organic, non-GMO seed.  As each harvested crop comes into the warehouse it is randomly sampled by independent laboratories to ensure that the quality of the seed is the same from scoop to scoop.  The various crops are blended together to guaranty the high amounts of fiber, Omega 3′s, protein etc. The seeds are then cleaned in a five step cleaning process housed in a facility that ensures there is no wheat or other contamination and therefore is certified gluten free, and finally the seeds are micro-sliced to ensure maximum absorption without damaging the contents of the seed.

Results from scientific study from the North Carolina Research Institute on Mila vs other brands of chia.
Results from scientific study from North Carolina Research Institute on absorption of micro sliced chia

After finding Mila I asked myself – how DO the other brands clean their chia seeds? Have you ever tried to clean a chia seed? They are about the size of the head of a pin, so the likelihood is high that most brands are not being as thoroughly cleaned for dirt, mold and salmonella.

Chocolate Chia (Mila) Bars

Chocolate Chia (Mila) Bars

I experienced the difference personally.

For years I ate organic chia until my mom’s neurology nurse practitioner sent me a month supply of Mila for my personal review. After eating it for three weeks I noticed better energy and better digestion and three months later won my battle with depression.
I have also seen the difference in my mom with her Multiple Sclerosis – she has much more energy and it helps keep her weight down, thereby making it easier to get around. There are so many stories I’ve come across from people that have been helped by this food that I can’t ignore the fact that it is different.

Chocolate Chia (Mila) Bars

Chocolate Chia (Mila) Bars

100% FAIR TRADE – this company gives back. This is one of my most favorite reasons! 

The small farmers that are taught to grow this organic seed are located in some of the most impoverished countries in the world.  Not only can they consume it for their nutritional benefit but also are given a way to make an income for their families though fair trade standards. Fair trade is so important for any product you consume.  These standards ensure ethical working conditions for the farmers, prohibit child labor and ensure sustainable farming practices.  This comes at a higher price – but is absolutely worth it.

Our long-term world vision is to educate families in villages to sustain themselves by teaching them to grow the healthiest whole, raw food. Our access to this extraordinary seed gives us the opportunity to affect the well-being of those around the world. Our goal is not only to change their health but also to create an economical infrastructure for the benefit of future generations.”

Genesis Pure gives people a way to not only get the food for free but to create a real asset for themselves and their family

I agree with my friend Mikaele at Green Your Spirit.  In today’s economic climate people are definitely looking for additional sources of income and this is a food that everyone from your grandmother to your children to your pets needs in their diet.  The reality is that most people are now at least aware of Omega 3′s but are not necessarily consuming what their body needs.  What a gift to be able to offer people!  I love the fact that I’m creating an asset for my daughter in the future.

The most that can be spent on Mila is $1.57 per serving  - preferred customer and distributors get it for less.   It is definitely worth it to me to spend the money on this blend.  Nutrition is the one thing I will not skimp on for myself and my family.  This is why I belong to KyV Farm, a organic, local farm share and why I shop at Native Sun.  I am willing to pay for the assurance that the food I’m putting into my body is quality.

To purchase a bag of Mila click here, then click shop and enter representative ID US11065661. $1.57 per serving.
If you try Mila and love it, join the wholesale membership club for $39 bucks and get the food for $1.43 per serving – along with 25% off all kinds of other products!
For details on joining the wholesale membership club, email me at chefdawn(at)hotmail.com.  

Chocolate Chia (Mila) Meal Replacement Bars

Chocolate Chia (Mila) Meal Replacement Bars

Chocolate Chip Chia (Mila) Meal Replacement Bars

Inspired by Wellness Mama
Serves 4
Vegan, Gluten Free
Printable Recipe

Ingredients

8 pitted Medjool dates
Rounded 1/8 tsp salt
1/2 cup Mila
3 Tbsp sunflower seed butter (or peanut butter)

Optional
2 Tbsp mini chocolate chips (I used Enjoy Life, vegan)
2 Tbsp roasted sunflower seeds

Directions

1. Place dates in a food processor and process into a paste; add salt, Mila and sunflower seed butter; mix by hand. (If needed add up to 1 additional Tbsp sunflower seed butter if mixture is too crumbly. This will adjust calorie content.) Mix in mini chocolate chips and sunflower seeds and form a large ball; press into a square shape and cut into four equal bars.

Nutrition Facts
4 Servings
Amount Per Serving 

Calories 256.8
Total Fat 14.5 g
Saturated Fat 2.3 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 5.3 g
Monounsaturated Fat 3.0 g
Cholesterol 0.0 mg
Sodium 125.3 mg
Potassium 198.9 mg
Total Carbohydrate 25.9 g
Dietary Fiber 8.4 g
Sugars 15.8 g
Protein 7.0 g

Vitamin B-6 1.4 %
Vitamin E 10.2 %
Calcium 9.8 %
Copper 11.1 %
Folate 0.8 %
Iron 11.1 %
Magnesium 11.2 %
Manganese 13.2 %
Niacin 5.6 %
Pantothenic Acid 1.0 %
Phosphorus 12.0 %
Riboflavin 0.6 %
Selenium 0.7 %
Thiamin 0.6 %
Zinc 4.1 %

*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
I hope you enjoy these Chocolate Chip Chia (Mila) Meal Replacement Bars!

May 312013
 

 It’s gettin’ hot in here.

Coconut Berry Crisp

Coconut Berry Crisp

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

Coconut Berry Crisp

Coconut Berry Crisp

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

Almost.

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

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

____________________________________

Like this? You may also like these!

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

Coconut Berry Crisp

Coconut Berry Crisp

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

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

Coconut Berry Crisp

Coconut Berry Crisp

Coconut Berry Crisp – On The Grill!

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

Ingredients

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

Optional
Vanilla coconut ice cream

Directions

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

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

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

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

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

Nutrition Facts
6 Servings
Amount Per Serving

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

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

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

May 152013
 

Decadent Black Bean and Quinoa Brownie Fudge

Over a week ago I had this post read to print when the unthinkable happened.  In an effort to get back to some normalcy and keep my mind off things I am up and looking at my site and want to share something positive and fun with you – this brownie/fudge recipes.
Mila lovers – this is another great way to eat your Mila.
I’m looking forward to making these again as soon as I can.

______________________________________________

 There are certain flavors that just don’t work.

Decadent Black Bean and Quinoa Brownie Fudge

Decadent Black Bean and Quinoa Brownie Fudge

Like toothpaste and orange juice. Yuck!

toothpaste-and-orange-juice-ice-cream-ben-and-jerry

Black Bean Quinoa Brownie Fudge (Photo after refrigerating)

Black Bean Quinoa Brownie Fudge (Photo after refrigerating)

But there are some things that go together surprisingly well.

Cocoa powder in a chili recipe, bananas and beans in a salsa….

Black Bean Quinoa Brownie Fudge

Black Bean Quinoa Brownie Fudge

black beans and quinoa together in a dessert.

I’ve seen so many black bean brownie recipes recently that, frankly, look too dry. And I found none that had both black beans and quinoa together, so I thought, why not create one!  I love my brownies super moist and gooey rather than cakey.  If you want a more cake-like brownie try adding more quinoa flour and see how that works.

Decadent Black Bean and Quinoa Brownie Fudge

Decadent Black Bean and Quinoa Brownie Fudge

 These little brownies are so moist and rich I had to call them brownie fudge. They are delicious at room temp or right out of the fridge – a perfect snack, dessert or even breakfast. My friend Justine and I each polished off two servings with coffee.

After one bite, Justine’s eyebrows rose in surprise - they’re delicious!

Decadent Black Bean and Quinoa Brownie Fudge

Decadent Black Bean and Quinoa Brownie Fudge

We all know the how great quinoa is for us – the super nutrient dense little seed that markets itself as a grain.

You sneaky little seed, we’re on to you.

Quinoa is high in protein, anti-inflammatory phytonutrients, and has a nice dose of healthy fat.
The high amounts of lysine and isoleucine actually make quinoa a complete protein source. The next time someone asks how you get your protein on a plant based diet and tells you that you can’t get all your nine essential amino acids – tell them to look up the facts about quinoa! Worlds Healthiest Foods is a great resource.

I hope you try these just out of curiosity and are pleasantly surprised as how delicious these are!

Decadent Black Bean and Quinoa Brownie Fudge

Decadent Black Bean and Quinoa Brownie Fudge

Decadent Black Bean and Quinoa Brownie Fudge

Serves 12
Vegan, Gluten Free
Printable Recipe

Ingredients

1 14.5oz can (1 1/2 cups) black beans (unseasoned, rinsed and drained)
1/3 cup agave or maple syrup
1/4 cup virgin coconut oil, melted (or vegetable oil) + 1 tsp to “butter’ baking dish
2 tsp vanilla
1/4 cup pure raw cane sugar
1 chia egg (1 Tbsp Mila + 3 Tbsp water)**
1/4 cup quinoa (ground into flour with a Magic Bullet, coffee grinder or blender)
1/4 tsp salt
3 Tbsp raw cacao powder (or cocoa powder) + 1 tsp
1/2 cup vegan mini chocolate chips (or chocolate chips of choice)

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 350F. Spread 1 tsp coconut oil evenly over 6×6 inch baking dish; sprinkle with 1 tsp cacao powder.

2. Blend black beans, agave, coconut oil and vanilla in a blender; mix sugar, quinoa flour, salt and cacao powder in a bowl and pour black bean mixture over evenly; mix well to combine; stir in chia egg, stir in chocolate chips; pour into baking dish; cook for 20 minutes or until top is firm.

3. Refrigerate 1 hour to overnight and cut into 12 squares.

**I recommend using Mila in this recipe.  Why? Read my story.  To purchase click here.

Nutrition Facts
12 Servings
Amount Per Serving 

Calories 182.6
Total Fat 8.0 g
Saturated Fat 5.7 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0.3 g
Monounsaturated Fat 0.3 g
Cholesterol 0.0 mg
Sodium 49.1 mg
Potassium 102.9 mg
Total Carbohydrate 26.3 g
Dietary Fiber 3.0 g
Sugars 12.1 g
Protein 2.9 g

Vitamin B-6 0.8 %
Calcium 1.4 %
Copper 4.8 %
Folate 8.1 %
Iron 5.8 %
Magnesium 6.3 %
Manganese 7.4 %
Niacin 0.7 %
Pantothenic Acid 0.6 %
Phosphorus 7.3 %
Riboflavin 8.1 %
Selenium 0.6 %
Thiamin 3.6 %
Zinc 2.2 %

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

Apr 222013
 

Let me take a personal journey for a moment in hopes that I will help someone else be able to say, I won the battle with depression and got off antidepressants.”  

Sunny Mila (Chia) Dreamsicle Smoothie

Sunny Mila (Chia) Dreamsicle Smoothie

I felt like a three ton weight was pressing on my shoulders and wanted to just lie in my darkened closet and not come out.

One of the hardest parts was that I looked normal.

It is not easy to share the details of my life in a public forum like this, in fact I’ve had this post written for a while and continued to put off posting it because I just wasn’t sure I wanted to put it out there, but I’m going to do so in the hopes that I might be able to help someone else.

My life was (and is) seemingly perfect. I have a supporting and loving family, husband and daughter, a wonderful home, a job, I have figured out my passion, I have all my limbs and hey, I live in Florida, how bad can things actually be?

I was suffering from major depression. What made it worse was that I should NOT be depressed, right?  I should have felt only happiness and gratitude.  And I DID, but I also had a cloud that hung over my head and no matter how much I tried to talk myself out of it, read positive books, think positive thoughts, it would still be there.  It was so bad that I would cry almost every day on the way on the drive to work and many days on the way home. When I got to work I would blow my nose, put some cover-up around my eyes, slap on some powder and put my glasses on to cover it up.  I was exhausted all the time, so much so that it felt like physical pain.  I would tell my mom this almost daily. Mom I’m so tired it hurts.

I had an aging (and very noisy) Labrador, Madison, that would wake me at night and afterwards I wouldn’t fall back to sleep which made the exhaustion worse.  One particular weekend stands out in my memory.  Some friends, Matt and Stephanie, came in town and several couples were going out for dinner. My hubby was busy doing something that I can’t recall so I was going to go myself.  I put on a beautiful new dress that had the colors of the ocean, blues and greens, and drove to my friend Justine’s house 45 minutes away from mine to see them.  Everyone was chatting and gathering their things to head to dinner. I tried to put on my game face but I was so worn down that I was wrestling with myself.  Just suck it up and go, you’ll be fine. And the next thought, I’m so tired it hurts. I just want to sit at home and wallow. The exhaustion won. I said I’m so sorry, I can’t do it. I have to go home. I’m exhausted.   I envisioned everyone mentally rolling their eyes at me.  Of course they weren’t, but I was so embarrassed. I’m still embarrassed about that day and sad that I missed seeing Matt and Steph. I was too young to be that tired. Anyone is too young to be that tired.

That memory always fades into another; my husband and I were staying in St Augustine to celebrate the “February Birthdays” with about five other couples, and I was so worried about even making it to dinner, never mind out afterwards for drinks and music.  I was so tired that I wanted to forgo dinner at the Floridian and just stay in my hotel room at the Edgewater by myself. I drank two red energy drinks and one and a half of those little energy bottles and was still exhausted.  I was so embarrassed that I would resort to drinking such chemicals when I have a food blog about eating a healthy, plant based diet.

The story of how I won the battle with depression and got off antidepressants.

The story of how I won the battle with depression and got off antidepressants.

I was on the highest dosage of Bupropion I could be on and I had tried many of the other antidepressants. Nothing seemed to work.  My poor mom is a saint for listening to me through all the crying.

On a particularly dark day I said enough was enough and called my physician to see if she would increase my dosage again. I told her I just want to be a zombie. Get through the day. Go home.  I don’t want to feel this weight any more.  She said no. You are on the highest dosage.  It can not be increased any more, Dawn.  I cried about that.

My hair was falling out so I fired my hair dresser thinking that he had over-processed my hair.

Then one day I got an email from my mom’s neurology nurse practitioner, Megan.  (My mom has Multiple Sclerosis.) Megan, asked me if I would do a talk on food, nutrition, recipes and my CSA (KyV Farm) for her MS group she runs and I told her of course, I would love to.  She said my mom had been telling her about my food blog and she got very excited because she is vegetarian.

Things would come up and I didn’t get around to it, but we continued to talk and become friends. She became a regular follower of my blog and we would occasionally discuss recipes offline.

A while later I did a few posts about flax and chia seed.  Once again she contacted me and said she saw I was eating chia seeds. I said yes, and told her how I was eating lots of organic chia and freshly ground flax daily.  She asked if I had tried Mila, a raw seed blend.  I said no and asked if it is organically grown and non GMO.  She said yes to organic and no to GMO. She said I’d be happy to share some with you.  I said as long as it’s one ingredient and is a whole, raw food, send it on over. I’d try it.

A few days later I got a large bag of seeds. Being the health nut that I am I cracked it open and began eating it.  About three weeks into it I noticed better digestion, more energy and I was falling back to sleep after Madison woke me up at night. Hmm…well that was nice.  The seeds I was eating before hadn’t had the same effects.  I started getting low and asked her for more.  About three months into eating it I noticed something about my depression. Not that I wasn’t getting upset, but that I wasn’t crying all the time. I seemed to be able to get over the hump easier.

Eager to get off any pharmaceuticals, I decided to cut out one day a week of taking them, after a week or two I cut out two days. And so on and so forth.

After a few months I was completely off pharmaceutical antidepressants, and for some reason I didn’t put two and two together.  But I finally thought about it and the ONLY thing I had changed was this food.

I did some research.  I found many studies about high amounts of Omega 3’s helping the symptoms of depression.  The blend I was eating has 3000mg per serving, I know other brands do as well, but for some reason the organic kind I was eating before didn’t touch the depression.

The fact that I had no idea this was one of the “side effects” of eating this whole, raw food until after I was off the meds was what really moved me.

My hair started growing back in.  I didn’t realize that many people experience hair loss on high dosages of antidepressants, so now that I was off them, my hair started growing back.  Now, over a year later, I don’t even take one medication, my weight is lower and I have more energy. I can’t remember the last time I drank a disgusting red energy drink or took those little energy bottles.  I have a cup or two of coffee in the morning because I enjoy it, and that’s all I need. I get up between 4:15 and 4:40 am and typically get to bed around 9 or 10 pm.

I’m so thankful that Megan sent me that purple bag of seeds that was so different than everything I had tried before that I think of her daily with gratitude.

The best part is that the three ton weight is gone.  And I’m happy to say I finally did do that talk for the MS group and had a great time.

This is my story. I’m not embellishing or exaggerating.  I still absolutely do get upset about things but am able to deal with them a bit better and find my moods much more even.  I did join the business with Megan in order to share information about my story and the food that helped me so much and I’m so proud to represent it.  I tell people about it like a good movie or good restaurant. If they want to try some, great and if not, that is fine too.  I am NOT by any means saying that what I found will cure anything whatsoever, and I’m NOT giving any advice on how to get off antidepressants, all I know is my own experience and how it helped me. Everyone’s bodies are different and react differently to foods.  Please also notice that I said it took THREE months. If I had been expecting the effects of this food I probably would have gotten impatient. Because I didn’t know this was a benefit of this food, it was like an added bonus. And what a bonus!

All I ask is that you treat yourself with love and consider the side effects of taking any sort of pharmaceutical BEFORE you start.  Your doctor will most likely NOT try to treat any ailment through food and nutrition before going to pharmaceuticals.  There are a very few like Megan and if you have found one, hold on to them like gold.

I have no idea what other ailments my body was suffering from those high dosages of antidepressants, not to mention the energy drinks but I am so thankful, every day, that I found this food.

I am so blessed to be able to say “I won the battle with depression and got off antidepressants!” If you have questions about my experience please contact me at chefdawn (at) hotmail.com.

“If you’re concerned about your health, you should probably avoid products that make health claims. Why? Because a health claim on a food product is a strong indication it’s not really food, and food is what you want to eat.”
Michael Pollan, In Defense of Food: An Eater’s Manifesto

Sunny Mila (Chia) Dreamsicle Smoothie

Sunny Mila (Chia) Dreamsicle Smoothie

Sunny Mila Dreamsicle Smoothie

Serves 1
Vegan, Gluten Free
Printable Recipe

Ingredients

1 cup vanilla almond milk
2 mandarin oranges, peeled and sectioned
1/2 frozen banana, chopped
1 scoop (2 Tbsp) Mila
**If using unsweet vanilla almond milk, you can add a bit of agave, honey or sweetener of choice

Directions

1. Blend everything together and enjoy!

“While it is true that many people simply can’t afford to pay more for food, either in money or time or both, many more of us can. After all, just in the last decade or two we’ve somehow found the time in the day to spend several hours on the internet and the money in the budget not only to pay for broadband service, but to cover a second phone bill and a new monthly bill for television, formerly free. For the majority of Americans, spending more for better food is less a matter of ability than priority. p.187”

― Michael PollanIn Defense of Food: An Eater’s Manifesto

Nutrition Facts
1 Serving
Amount Per Serving 

Calories 252.4
Total Fat 6.8 g
Saturated Fat 0.1 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 3.1 g
Monounsaturated Fat 0.1 g
Cholesterol 0.0 mg
Sodium 184.5 mg
Potassium 460.0 mg
Total Carbohydrate 43.9 g
Dietary Fiber 11.2 g
Sugars 28.2 g
Protein 6.5 g

Vitamin A 10.8 %
Vitamin B-6 14.6 %
Vitamin C 7.7 %
Vitamin D 25.0 %
Vitamin E 50.7 %
Calcium 53.3 %
Copper 4.6 %
Folate 2.4 %
Iron 10.9 %
Magnesium 7.7 %
Manganese 20.9 %
Niacin 1.4 %
Pantothenic Acid 1.3 %
Phosphorus 14.0 %
Riboflavin 5.0 %
Selenium 0.8 %
Thiamin 1.5 %
Zinc 0.6 %

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

Everyone knows pills are the answer and wants to be able to say “I got off antidepressants“. If you want to try mila for yourself click this link and then click “shop” and use US11065661. Mila is retail $55 and wholesale membership club $45 for a monthly supply.

Mar 102013
 

  PicMonkey Collage

I’ve finally discovered the secrets to making great tasting great veggie or bean burgers when they used to fall apart, turning into mush.

The first secret is some flour – any kind will do; add it a tablespoon at a time until the mixture is firmer but only just stays together.  (This does take some practice because if you add too much, it is firm before you cook it. but after it’s cooked it is too dry.)

Second, add some mila.  It acts as an egg replacer but is a whole, raw food instead of that powdered stuff you buy at the store. (More on mila below.)

Third, put avocado on top. Everything is better with avocado.

Savory Veggie Burger with Vegan Cheese

Savory Veggie Burger with Vegan Cheese

These burgers were actually a round two recipe for me – I used the leftovers from the Quinoa and Black Bean Stew and, using fresh beets from KyV Farm, I re-created the veggie burgers I had recently eaten at Manatee Cafe in St Augustine.  I don’t know what they put in those things but I could eat them every day. Maybe twice a day. Make that three times. They are GOOD.

These burgers are really flavorful with the Bragg Liquid Aminos (tastes like soy sauce), sweet raisins and fresh salsa in the mix.   Put them on a burger bun with some vegan cheese and avocado and I bet you won’t miss the beef!

For my mila lovers out there – this is a great use for it!  In this recipe it acts as an egg replacer and also happens to be a whole, raw food with 3000 mg of Omega 3′s.  This powerful little seed has TONS of benefits and has been all over the news in the past few weeks.  Mila  was recently featured on Good Morning America as a great aid for weight loss! (You can see my friends Greg and Rachel in the clip – SO proud of you guys!). How awesome to finally have a way to help lose weight that isn’t some fake powder shake, pill or pharmaceutical.  It is the seed used in Dr Bob Arnot’s new book the Aztec Diet and was also featured on Fox News. If you are wondering what the heck mila is – you can check it out here.

Veggie Burger

Veggie Burger

Savory Veggie Burger

Inspired by Manatee Cafe Veggie Burger

Serves 6
Vegan, Gluten Free
Printable Recipe
**Veggies from KyV Farm

Ingredients

2 beets**
2 cups finely chopped purple cabbage**
2 red onions with tops, chopped finely (or 1/2 cup chopped onion)**
1/4 cup cooked quinoa (or cooked rice or any grain)
1/3 cup cooked black beans (or beans of choice)
1/2 cup nutritional yeast
2 Tbsp flour of choice
1/4 cup raisins

Flavor punch!

1/2 cup salsa mixed with 2 Tbsp mila as binder (Mila is optional but I suggest trying an additional Tbsp flour without it; however, this has not been tested.)
1/4 cup Bragg Liquid Aminos (or tamari or soy sauce)
2 tsp garlic powder
2 tsp onion powder

Optional toppings

2 avocados
3 red onion slices, chopped
Vegan cheese slices

Directions

**This is a great place to use left over quinoa and black bean stew in place of the precooked grains and beans.   Another option is to use canned beans and quickly cook the quinoa.  Feel free to also precook the beets, cabbage and onion in step one the day before.

1. Preheat oven to 350F. Cut tops off beets and reserve for another use; wrap beets in foil and bake for 1 hour or until soft enough to be easily pierced by a fork; unwrap and cool enough to handle; peel and chop finely. Meanwhile heat a medium pot sprayed with nonstick cooking spray; add cabbage and onion and cook until softened, about five ingredients.

2. Mix the beets through the raisins, stir in flavor punch! Preheat broiler to high; spray a sheet pan with non-stick spray form veggie burgers into six patties; broil about 3 to 5 minutes but watch closely as broilers vary. Flip when firm enough to flip; broil an additional 3 to 5 minutes or until firm. Top each burger with a slice of cheese, and/or 1/3 avocado and a sprinkling of red onion.

Nutrition Facts (Without optional toppings.)
6 Servings
Amount Per Serving 

Calories 119.3
Total Fat 1.3 g
Saturated Fat 0.1 g
P
olyunsaturated Fat 0.6 g
Monounsaturated Fat 0.1 g
Cholesterol 0.0 mg
S
odium 124.2 mg
Potassium 323.7 mg
Total Carbohydrate 21.6 g
Dietary Fiber 4.1 g
Sugars 7.9 g
P
rotein 6.8 g

Vitamin A 3.6 %
Vitamin B-12 44.4 %
V
itamin B-6 51.5 %
Vitamin C 25.5 %
Vitamin D 0.0 %
Vitamin E 1.6 %
Calcium 3.3 %
C
opper 7.2 %
Folate 15.2 %
Iron 8.3 %
Magnesium 8.4 %
Manganese 17.9 %
Niacin 36.7 %
Pantothenic Acid 68.6 %
Phosphorus 10.8 %
R
iboflavin 42.4 %
Selenium 1.3 %
Thiamin 42.6 %
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.

Jan 022013
 

 

PicMonkey Collageb

I was in the break room at work when my friend Heather walked in.  I asked her what she was eating and she said chili – she and her partner have cut out meat from their diets so she said they substitute extra tomatoes and love the texture.

Slow Cooker Tempeh Chili

Slow Cooker Tempeh Chili

Hmmm…chili sounds REALLY good right now.

Easy Tempeh Slow Cooker Chili

Easy Tempeh Slow Cooker Chili

I confess – I don’t do much with my slow cooker so I was really excited about taking it out when I decided to do this high protein, low fat tempeh version.  Probably the main reason I don’t use it is because many recipes tell me to pre-cook many of the ingredients, so I end up dirtying not only the slow cooker but a pan anyway. No thanks!

With this method you just throw the ingredients in, set it and forget it.

I do use an immersion blender at the end to give this recipe a creamier texture – but it is not necessary if you like it chunky.   I left the Cayenne out so my 4 year old would be ok with eating it and she loved it – especially when topped with a little Daiya to make it cheesy.  Additionally, this is another great way to get in your Mila for my Mila lovers out there.

One cup goes a long way because this dish is so filling.  It is perfect for football games, a busy weeknight or any time you don’t want to turn on the stove or oven but want a hot meal.

Easy Tempeh Slow Cooker Chili

Easy Tempeh Slow Cooker Chili

Cheesy Vegan Tempeh Slow Cooker Chili

Serves 6 1-cup servings
Vegan, Gluten Free
Printable Recipe
**Ingredient on sale now at Native Sun Natural Food Stores, December 7 through Jan 6, 2013

Ingredients

1 onion, chopped
2 cups cooked black beans
2 14.5 oz cans fire roasted diced tomatoes
1 Tbsp tamari
2 cups vegetable broth – salt free
1 8oz package tempeh

Seasoning
2 Tbsp chili powder
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp dried minced onion
2 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp Cajun seasoning mixture (with salt)

Toppings
12 Tbsp non-dairy shredded cheese, such as Daiya**
Fresh chopped cilantro (optional)

Directions

1. Spray a slow cooker with cooking spray; add the onion through broth; chop the tempeh well and stir mixture.

2. Mix seasoning mixture in a small bowl; stir into slow cooker; cook on low for 6 hours.

3. Using an immersion blender, blend chili mixture until creamy texture is achieved. (This can also be done in batches in a standard blender.)

4. Top each serving with 2 Tbsp shredded cheese and some fresh chopped cilantro.

Nutrition Facts
6 Servings
Amount Per Serving

Calories 231.2
Total Fat 7.9 g
Saturated Fat 2.0 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 1.8 g
Monounsaturated Fat 1.3 g
Cholesterol 0.0 mg
Sodium 611.2 mg
Potassium 617.7 mg
Total Carbohydrate 27.0 g
Dietary Fiber 7.5 g
Sugars 2.8 g
Protein 14.3 g

Vitamin A 23.3 %
Vitamin B-12 0.5 %
Vitamin B-6 12.4 %
Vitamin C 20.8 %
Vitamin D 0.0 %
Vitamin E 0.2 %
Calcium 8.7 %
Copper 21.1 %
Folate 24.9 %
Iron 16.2 %
Magnesium 19.7 %
Manganese 42.2 %
Niacin 8.2 %
Pantothenic Acid 2.7 %
Phosphorus 19.9 %
Riboflavin 11.6 %
Selenium 1.6 %
Thiamin 12.6 %
Zinc 8.0 %

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