Nov 252013
 

 Juicy Orange Vinaigrette over Crisp Pear & Apple Salad with Cranberries, Almonds and Fresh Rosemary. Need I say more?

Juicy Orange Vinaigrette over Crisp Pear & Apple Salad with Cranberries, Almonds and Fresh Rosemary

Juicy Orange Vinaigrette over Crisp Pear & Apple Salad with Cranberries, Almonds and Fresh Rosemary

Sometimes an unexpectedly happy email pops into your inbox ~ maybe it is from an old friend, maybe it is a response to a job opportunity or maybe it is from Mommypage for an interview!

This is an AWESOME resource for moms out there!

Mommypage  is an online community of like minded women to share stories, advice, recipes, craft ideas, coupons and more. You can be caught for hours browsing around the useful information and connecting with people.

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When I got the email asking if I would be open to sharing some recipes and writing up an interview I said of course!

I was so excited to be able to share a little snapshot of information about plant based diets and how it can benefit people and especially their children. Here is one of the questions I was asked….I loved this question because it enabled me to expand on the difference between vegan and plant based. Yes there are lots of reasons to go vegan, but when it comes to health for our bodies and the environment, plant based is a great way to go. It essentially is vegan but is based around as many whole foods as possible.

Are you raising your daughter to be vegan? Do you think parents should consider this food lifestyle for their kids?

No, I’m simply teaching her the principals of plant-based nutrition – why it is healing, what happens in the body, the effects of animal foods and where food comes from – especially the conditions of the animals in factory farms.  Every man, woman and child should learn about the centralized feeding operations that supply our meats and dairy and the ties between the USDA and these industries.  Many times the bottom line is not our health, it is money.  She has a dairy allergy and I don’t buy or cook with meats but she will occasionally have local honey. Also important to note is that even if someone calls themselves vegan they can still eat junk food all day!

No, I don’t think people should consider a “vegan” lifestyle for their kids, instead consider a whole foods plant-based lifestyle where they eat plants as close to the source as possible.

Juicy Orange Vinaigrette over Crisp Pear & Apple Salad with Cranberries, Almonds and Fresh Rosemary

Juicy Orange Vinaigrette over Crisp Pear & Apple Salad with Cranberries, Almonds and Fresh Rosemary

 While you are reading Mommypage I have a fabulous recipe for you to nosh – guilt free! There is something about fresh citrus in a dressing. It is so zingy, invigorating and sunny! This time I threw the whole orange in – yup the pulp and all – and I loved the texture. Feel free to juice the orange first instead, but you will miss out on all that glorious pulp!

Juicy Orange Vinaigrette over Crisp Pear & Apple Salad with Cranberries, Almonds and Fresh Rosemary

Juicy Orange Vinaigrette over Crisp Pear & Apple Salad with Cranberries, Almonds and Fresh Rosemary

Juicy Orange Vinaigrette over Crisp Pear & Apple Salad with Cranberries, Almonds and Fresh Rosemary

Serves 4-6
Vegan, Gluten Free
Printable Recipe
**Ingredient on sale now at Native Sun Nov 7 thru Dec 6

Ingredients

4 cups chopped romaine lettuce
3 small pears**
3 small apples**
1 tsp chopped fresh rosemary
2 Tbsp dried cranberries
1/8 tsp sea salt & dash fresh ground pepper
2 Tbsp chopped natural almonds

Dressing
1 fresh orange, peeled
1 (to 2) Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 Tbsp local honey or agave
2 Tbsp water

Directions

1. Mix salad ingredients in a large bowl; mix dressing ingredients in a small bowl; toss dressing over salad mixture.

2. Garnish with fresh rosemary.

Nutrition Facts
4 Servings
Amount Per Serving 

Calories 213.4
Total Fat 7.3 g
Saturated Fat 0.8 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0.5 g
Monounsaturated Fat 2.6 g
Cholesterol 0.0 mg
Sodium 77.6 mg
Potassium 498.9 mg
Total Carbohydrate 38.3 g
Dietary Fiber 7.3 g
Sugars 24.1 g
Protein 3.2 g

Vitamin A 31.2 %
Vitamin B-12 0.0 %
Vitamin B-6 4.3 %
Vitamin C 66.3 %
Vitamin D 0.0 %
Vitamin E 15.9 %
Calcium 7.1 %
Copper 8.9 %
Folate 24.0 %
Iron 7.7 %
Magnesium 8.8 %
Manganese 24.8 %
Niacin 2.5 %
Pantothenic Acid 2.4 %
Phosphorus 4.3 %
Riboflavin 6.6 %
Selenium 2.1 %
Thiamin 6.0 %
Zinc 2.1 %

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

Sep 242012
 

Stuffed Acorn Squash with Roasted Garlic Pumpkin Sauce and Squash Blossoms

What do you do with squash blossoms?

This was the question I heard over and over from customers at the KyV Farm tent set up at the St Johns Farmers Market at Alpine Grove Park last Saturday.  There are many fried and stuffed recipes on the internet so here is a unique one that showcases the fresh blossoms with their sweet, nutty flavor.  They create a beautiful presentation and taste without adding lots of calories – only about five per cup.

The St Johns farmers market is a newly established one right on the St Johns river.  They had a good number of fresh vegetable vendors as well as a great mix of art work, jewelry, crafts and personal care products.  I would like to see some more prepared food vendors (vegetarian would be awesome!), possibly a food truck and some live music, but overall it was a GREAT market and you can find KyV Farm there every week featuring their organic produce.  Please head out there to support this new market – it is every Saturday, 10AM to 2PM, 2060 State Road 13, Switzerland, Florida.

The acorn squash, spaghetti squash, blossoms and garlic are all organically grown from KyV Farm. In fact, the spaghetti squash I had from the end of last season, waiting patiently on the counter for me to use it – so this started out as a spaghetti squash recipe but quickly morphed into a stuffed acorn squash since I bought two of those fresh at the market on Saturday.  There were so many delicious elements in this recipe that I had trouble fitting them all in the title; sweet roasted garlic, aromatic sage and thyme, fresh rosemary, caramel-y roasted onions, squash blossoms and that creamy pumpkin sauce.  This dish incorporates all of the welcoming tastes of fall and if you are like me living in Florida, it is a great way to celebrate the new season, even if we are only just starting to see some cooler weather.

I am SO excited about this recipe and if you try it, I know you will be too!

Lastly, I hope you will follow me on facebook if you don’t already.  It is such a great way to connect with the people that support and follow my blog.  Thank you to all of you!

Stuffed Acorn Squash with Roasted Garlic, Sage, Pumpkin Sauce and Fresh Squash Blossoms

Stuffed Acorn Squash with Roasted Garlic, Sage, Pumpkin Sauce and Fresh Squash Blossoms

Inspired by my friend Caras Cravings
Serves 6 – 1 cup spaghetti squash, 1/2 acorn squash, 1/4 cup sauce

Vegan, Gluten Free
Printable Recipe

Ingredients
1 spaghetti squash**
3 acorn squashes
1 onion
2 small bulbs garlic or one large
Salt and fresh ground pepper, to taste

Sauce
1/2 cup canned pumpkin puree
1/4 cup nutritional yeast (or Parmesan cheese for non-vegan)
1/2 cup plain non dairy creamer – I used Silk Original (or regular creamer for non-vegan)
1/2 tsp coarse sea salt
1/2 tsp dried sage
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1 Tbsp fresh chopped rosemary
4 squash blossoms (optional)

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 350F.  Cut squashes in half and scoop out seeds, chop onion, cut tops off garlic and wrap in foil; prepare pans with non-stick cooking spray.   Place squashes face down on pans, add onions and garlic around squashes.  Bake 60 minutes.

2. Add pumpkin puree, nutritional yeast, creamer, salt, sage and thyme to small sauce pan; heat over medium, low heat.  Stir in roasted onions and garlic and simmer mixture, about five minutes or until heated through.

3. Place 1/2 acorn squash on each of six plates, top with 1 cup spaghetti squash and 1/4 cup sauce mixture. Slice squash blossoms; sprinkle evenly over 6 plates, top with sprinkle of chopped fresh rosemary.

**There may be some left over depending on the size of the squash.

Nutrition Facts
6 Servings
Amount Per Serving 

Calories 209.8
Total Fat 2.4 g
Sat Fat 0.2 g
Polyunsat Fat 0.3 g
Monounsat Fat 0.1 g
Cholesterol 0.0 mg
Sodium 106.8 mg
Potassium 1,080.1 mg
Total Carb 46.7 g
Dietary Fiber 8.0 g
Sugars 12.2 g
Protein 6.2 g

Vitamin A 18.4 %
Vitamin B-12 44.3 %
Vitamin B-6 187.3 %
Vitamin C   52.6%
Vitamin D 0.0 %
Vitamin E 1.1 %
Calcium 12.0 %
Copper 12.8 %
Folate 33.3 %
Iron 14.1 %
Magnesium 24.0 %
Manganese 32.6 %
Niacin 107.5 %
Pantothenic Acid 17.9 %
Phosphorus 16.7 %
Riboflavin 192.1 %
Selenium 13.6 %
Thiamin 238.4 %
Zinc 11.5 %

*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 032011
 
My second KYV Farm CSA bag, once again, had such variety. Thanks to KYV!

Radish and Broccoli


Bok Choy and Lettuce


 Onions

Kale


Golden Beets


Pigeon Peas


Arugula

Now-for the “turkey” tempeh-I have a confession.

I was going to cave.

I’ve cut out meat and have been doing awesome, but for Thanksgiving I was thinking about turkey.  I still had a little hope that I might be able to make something that would be just as delicious.


 I created a marinade-this green soupy stuff to marinate the tempeh in.  After looking at my concoction I can’t say I had high hopes.  The goal was a marinade made with seasonings I would normally pair with turkey-since I know that a lot of times when I marinate tofu in a sauce or seasoning I’m craving, it actually does satisfy that craving.

Tempeh, for anyone who has never heard of such a thing, is a sort of fermented soy cake.  I know that sounds gross, but I really love the texture and flavor.  It has more “meat” than tofu and a subtle nutty flavor.  Some folks steam it, as sometimes tempeh can have a bitterness to it, but this marinade I created was strong enough to take any bitterness out of the tempeh.

Much to my suprise, when I tried the marinated and pan seared tempeh, it was delicious!  It had a nice hearty texture and I didn’t miss turkey ONE BIT.


“Turkey” Tempeh
Inspired by All Recipes
Serves 2 to 3

Ingredients

1 package tempeh, I use Lightlife
4 Tbsp EVOO, (1 Tbsp reserved for cooking)
2 Tbsp water
2 Tbsp liquid aminos or soy sauce
Juice 1 lemon
1 Tbsp mustard
Handful fresh chives
1 1/2 Tbsp dried sage
Handful fresh oregano
Handful fresh parsley
2 Tbsp dried thyme
3 cloves garlic, minced
½ Tbsp paprika
1 Tbsp poultry seasoning
1 fresh sprig rosemary

Directions

1. Blend all ingredients but tempeh; marinate tempeh overnight in mixture. Store in the refrigerator.

2. Scrape as much of marinade off tempeh as possible.  Heat 1 Tbsp olive oil in skillet over medium high heat.  Sear on one side until browned, about 3 to 5 minutes.  Flip and sear second side an additional 3 to 5 minutes.  Slice and enjoy.



Nutrition Facts for Tempeh only
(From Lightlife Site)
Per Single Serving
Serving Size 4oz. (113g)
Servings per package: about 2
Nutrition: Amount per Serving Percentage Daily Value


Calories 240
Calories from Fat 100
Fat, g 11 17%
Saturated Fat, g 2 10%
Trans Fatty Acids, g* 0
Cholesterol, mg 0 0%
Sodium, mg 10
Potassium, mg* 360 10%
Carbohydrate, g 16 5%
Fiber, g 9 36%
Sugars, g <1
Protein, g 20 40%
Vitamin A, % 0%
Vitamin C, % 0%
Calcium, % 8%
Iron, % 15%


Ingredients
Cultured organic soybeans, water, organic brown rice, organic barley, organic millet, lactic acid (from plant sources).

Nov 092011
 
I learned something really interesting today from my coworker, Sarah.  Her son, Jake, did a fabulous presentation on plastic.  Have you heard of the Great Garbage Patch? It is this huge garbage mound of plastic in the middle of the ocean that is “roughly the size of Texas, containing approximately 3.5 million tons of trash. Shoes, toys, bags, pacifiers, wrappers, toothbrushes, and bottles too numerous to count are only part of what can be found in this accidental dump floating midway between Hawaii and San Francisco.”

Um WHAT?  I followed the link to Plastic Pollution Coalition and found that “Plastic recycling is not a sustainable solution. Most of our plastic waste is landfilled, downcycled, incinerated or exported to other countries. Recycling of plastic is costly and does not stem the production of virgin plastic product.”

Great, so the fact that I reuse my plastic bag for my snack veggies all week and then recycle it doesn’t make any difference.  I am proud that I have switched to glass containers for my leftovers and to pack my lunches but I think about how much plastic is on everything and it makes my head spin.

Gum.  I buy the three pack of gum.  Not only does it come wrapped in plastic but then each pack is also wrapped in plastic.  WHY is that?  Because gum won’t stay as fresh? Riiight.

Bread.  The brown rice bread I buy my daughter is wrapped in plastic and then placed in a plastic bag. 

Water Bottles. Cases of water bottles are plastic and then wrapped in plastic.

Plastic bags at the grocery. Don’t you love when they put one toothbrush or pack of gum in it’s own bag?  I always refuse and tell them I don’t want to waste the bag.

Precut veggies at the grocery.  Come in plastic bags and then are placed in a plastic bag to leave the store.

The list goes on and on.

This makes me feel even better about my farm share.  A few months ago I got a spaghetti squash. NOT wrapped in plastic. And it sat on my counter for a few months until I came across a fabulous recipe at Biscuit Batches that I had to make immediately. I split the squash open and it was still perfect. No plastic involved, AND it involves pumpkin.  Two of my favorite squashes in one recipe makes me very happy.

Roasted Spaghetti Squash with Kale and Pumpkin Cream Sauce
Inspired by Biscuit Batches
Serves 6
Gluten and Dairy Free, Vegan


Ingredients

2 Tbsp Olive Oil
Spaghetti Squash, cut in half and seeds removed
1 bunch kale, washed, de-stemmed and chopped
1 onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
¼ tsp dried thyme
2 stems fresh rosemary, leaves removed and chopped
¾ cup pureed pumpkin
1 cup plain non-dairy milk (I used coconut milk)
¼ cup nutritional yeast (optional; you can purchase this at health food stores)
¼ tsp pepper
½ tsp salt
1/4 cup chopped walnuts

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 375F; place squash, cut side down on a small baking sheet or casserole dish.  Season with a bit of salt and pepper. Pour in about ¼ cup water and roast for an hour.  Let cool then scoop out the inside and place in a medium bowl.

2. Heat 1 Tbsp oil in a pot; add half the onion and sauté until translucent, about 5 minutes; add kale, half the rosemary and half the salt and pepper, sauté until leaves become soft and pliable, about 7 minutes (or cook to desired doneness). Remove from pot and set aside in a separate dish.

3. Heat remaining 1 Tbsp oil in pot; add the remaining onion and sauté about 5 minutes, reduce heat and add garlic, remaining rosemary and thyme; sauté about 1 minutes, add pumpkin puree, milk, nutritional yeast and remaining salt and pepper.  Simmer until thickened, about 5 minutes.  Pour over spaghetti squash and toss to coat; top with walnuts.  Serve with sautéed kale.

Estimated Nutrition Info

6 Servings (serving size will vary with size of spaghetti squash and amount of kale)
Amount Per Serving


Calories 178.7
Total Fat 9.5 g
Saturated Fat 1.2 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 3.1 g
Monounsaturated Fat 3.8 g
Cholesterol 0.0 mg
Sodium 179.1 mg
Potassium 648.9 mg
Total Carbohydrate 21.4 g
Dietary Fiber 6.8 g
Sugars 5.4 g
Protein 6.8 g


Vitamin A 453.5 %
Vitamin B-12 33.3 %
Vitamin B-6 138.3 %
Vitamin C 99.8 %
Vitamin D 4.2 %
Vitamin E 19.7 %
Calcium 17.0 %
Copper 19.8 %
Folate 24.3 %
Iron 13.4 %
Magnesium 14.9 %
Manganese 47.3 %
Niacin 78.7 %
Pantothenic Acid 8.6 %
Phosphorus 13.6 %
Riboflavin 149.7 %
Selenium 11.1 %
Thiamin 169.6 %
Zinc 10.5 %


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