Jun 212013
 

I have a confession that is very embarrassing.

Chunky Salsa Taco Salad

Chunky Salsa Taco Salad

I’m an “as seen on TV” junkie.

Chunky Salsa Taco Salad

Chunky Salsa Taco Salad

I’ve tried:

On a scale of 1-10 (10 being the best) here is how I would rank some the ones I’ve tried.
Music Bullet 10 – a small speaker that you can recharge and is perfect to plug into your smart phone to listen to Pandora.
Lens CPR 1 – to fix scratches on my eyeglasses lens. My glasses came out really cloudy and weird. Maybe I didn’t do this right.
Strap Perfect  3 – pulls bra straps together in the back so you can’t see the straps. Eh. It’s ok.
Ped Egg 7 – pedicure tool.  I like it! When I have time to use it.
Instabulb 3 – A light bulb you can take anywhere.  Didn’t stay stuck to the wall and wasn’t very bright.
Vidalia Chop Wizard 8 – Veggie chopper.  I loved it until I broke the poor thing. It was great to chop everything into equal bites.  My daughter thought it was really fun.
Perfect Tortilla 10 - Love it! Stackable pans that you easily press a tortilla into and it bakes into a perfect bowl.  I debated on whether to get this and finally caved. I tried it and love it! It was SO easy and no oil needed!

Have you tried any As Seen On TV gadgets? If so which ones have you tried? Did you like them?

Chunky Salsa Taco Salad

Chunky Salsa Taco Salad

Wondering what to stuff in the shells? Anything! I chose to chop up some gorgeous fresh summer veggies from KyV farm that I had on hand to make a sort of deconstructed salsa and hidden beneath was some left over grains and beans. I seasoned very simply with fresh lime and salt but it would be great with a pinch of cayenne and some cumin as well.

Get creative with these shells! Try sprinkling some cinnamon and sugar before baking to make dessert shells, use them for dips, salads or chili!

I think everyone knows what they are getting for Christmas now.

Chunky Salsa Taco Salad

Chunky Salsa Taco Salad

Chunky Salsa Taco Salad

Serves 4
Vegan, Gluten Free
Printable Recipe
**Ingredients from KyV Farm

Ingredients

1/2 14.5oz can kidney beans, rinsed and drained
2 cups grape tomatoes, sliced**
2 cups yum yum peppers, sliced**
1/2 avocado, chopped
3 ears fresh corn, husk and silk removed and cut from cob**
1/4 red onion, chopped
Fresh cilantro (or in my case, chives since hubby doesn’t like cilantro)
Fresh lime
Coarse ground sea salt
4 Rice Tortillas

Optional
2 cups left over beans and rice
Hot Sauce
1/4 poblano pepper, chopped**

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 400F; mix beans through salt in a bowl and set aside; press tortillas into tortilla shell pans; bake 7-10 minutes or until crispy and browned; fill each shell with 1/4 salsa mixture, and 1/4 cup beans and rice if using.

Nutrition Facts (without leftover beans and rice)
4 Servings
Amount Per Serving 

Calories 289.1
Total Fat 7.0 g
Saturated Fat 0.6 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 1.0 g
Monounsaturated Fat 2.4 g
Cholesterol 0.0 mg
Sodium 352.7 mg
Potassium 755.3 mg
Total Carbohydrate 51.7 g
Dietary Fiber 10.2 g
Sugars 1.8 g
Protein 8.1 g

Vitamin A 75.9 %
Vitamin B-12 0.0 %
Vitamin B-6 15.3 %
Vitamin C 200.1 %
Vitamin D 0.0 %
Vitamin E 5.2 %
Calcium 2.6 %
Copper 15.9 %
Folate 23.7 %
Iron 13.2 %
Magnesium 23.8 %
Manganese 19.7 %
Niacin 21.7 %
Pantothenic Acid 16.4 %
Phosphorus 23.9 %
Riboflavin 9.5 %
Selenium 2.2 %
Thiamin 27.5 %
Zinc 9.4 %

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

Apr 292013
 

Having a Cinco de Mayo party and just don’t know what to cook? I can help! Here are eleven delicious and healthy ways to celebrate.
Enjoy!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Vegan Seven Layer Bean Dip with Cashew Sour Cream and Mila

Vegan Seven Layer Bean Dip with Cashew Sour Cream and Mila

 

 

Mar 172013
 

Vegan Taco Salad

Feisty Vegan Taco Salad

Feisty Vegan Taco Salad

Do you love traveling? I have to say that I do enjoy some travel but leaving home weekly would be tough – my life is so crazy that I savor the quiet minutes at home. When the travel bug does happen to hit me, one of the very first things I do as a plant based foodie is check out unique restaurants located in my destination that offer some creative vegan options, or at least some great dishes that can be easily altered.

Feisty Vegan Taco Salad

Feisty Vegan Taco Salad

The restaurant that stands out from a trip to San Francisco a few years ago was Peter Lowell’s in the little town of Sebestapol. I found it on a recommendation from a local woman and then logged on to my smart phone and checked it out.  They offered tons of vegan, local and sustainable options!  One of the first things that hit me when I walked in the front door was seeing industrial sized salad spinners in the back for cleaning all the greens they go through.  Now THAT is the sign of a good restaurant!  I ordered a macro bowl with lentils, greens, tempeh and some delicious sauces to-go.  What an impression it made! It was so flavorful that I still remember sitting on a bluff overlooking the ocean as I savored every morsel.

Feisty Vegan Taco Salad

Feisty Vegan Taco Salad

When I think of locations I haven’t been to in the US that I’d like to travel to, I think of Montana (anyone have any suggestions on great cities in Montana?), Lake Tahoe, South Padre Island, Outer Banks of North Carolina, and Vegas baby!  My parents are going to be heading out there in September so my mom was asking about some places to eat – I searched around on line and found this a great list of celebrity chef restaurants in Vegas.  I’d LOVE to try Bobby Flay’s restaurant.  Though he doesn’t cater to a vegan diet, there is a LOT to work with there.  Black beans, fresh salsas and sauces, and avocados.  You just can’t go wrong with avocado!

Feisty Vegan Taco Salad

Feisty Vegan Taco Salad

All the talk of avocado was making me hungry – and this salad was certainly gratifying.  Crunchy chips, creamy avocado, fresh salsa and a hearty seasoned mixture of walnuts and barley with the kick of cayenne are perfect to satisfy any Tex-Mex craving.

I created a chipotle walnut lettuce wrap with mango salsa in the past, based on a recipe from the glorious blog My New Roots (Who ironically just posted about travel as well.), that was better than any greasy beef dish I’d ever had – so I used the basic idea of taco seasoning and walnuts but added in some chewy barley to enhance the “beefy” texture.  The barley can be pre-cooked a few days beforehand but keep in mind that if you want a warmer temperature that you will have to heat the walnut barley mixture.

Tips: Not a spice fan? If you don’t like the heat, simply leave out the cayenne pepper.
Gluten allergy?  Sub quinoa for the barley!

Feisty Vegan Taco Salad

Feisty Vegan Taco Salad

Feisty Vegan Taco Salad

6 servings
Vegan
Printable Recipe

Ingredients

½ cup barley
1/2 cup raw walnuts
6 ribs romaine lettuce, chopped
1 bag organic blue corn chips

Flavor Punch!

1 Tbsp tamari, soy sauce or liquid aminos
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground chili powder
1 tsp garlic powder
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
1 Tbsp olive oil

Salsa

1 avocado
1/2 lime, juiced
¼ red onion
1 tomato
Dash of coarse sea salt

Directions

1. Rinse barley in a fine mesh strainer; soak barley in 2 cups water overnight; drain; add to a medium pot with 1 1/2 cups water or veggie broth; bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer for 15 minutes. (**See below for cook times without pre-soak.) Reserve 1/2 cup cooked barley for recipe and save the rest for another use.

2. Place walnuts in a food processor or magic bullet; mix flavor punch! ingredients in a small bowl and add to walnuts; pulse until well combined; stir in cooked barley.

2. Mix salsa ingredients in a small bowl.  Lay a few chips on each plate; top with 1 rib chopped romaine, crumble 2 Tbsp walnut barley mixture and 2 Tbsp salsa.

**Rinse barley; add to 1 1/2 cups water; bring to a boil, reduce heat and cover; cook 45 minutes.

Nutrition Facts
6 Servings
Amount Per Serving 

Calories 194.3
Total Fat 14.9 g
Saturated Fat 1.6 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 5.1 g
Monounsaturated Fat 6.8 g
Cholesterol 0.0 mg
Sodium 213.4 mg
Potassium 309.3 mg
Total Carbohydrate 14.6 g
Dietary Fiber 4.7 g
Sugars 0.5 g
Protein 3.6 g

Vitamin A 12.0 %
Vitamin B-12 0.0 %
Vitamin B-6 10.5 %
V
itamin C 14.7 %
Vitamin D 0.0 %
Vitamin E 5.2 %
Calcium 2.5 %
Copper 11.4 %
Folate 13.8 %
Iron 7.2 %
Magnesium 7.9 %
Manganese 24.7 %
Niacin 6.8 %
Pantothenic Acid 5.8 %
Phosphorus 7.2 %
Riboflavin 5.5 %
Selenium 2.9 %
Thiamin 6.3 %
Zinc 4.5 %

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

Enjoy this Feisty Vegan Taco Salad!

Jan 142013
 
Gingery Kale and Quinoa Power Salad with Garlic Herb Cashews

Gingery Kale and Quinoa Power Salad with Garlic Herb Cashews

This month my favorite natural food store, Native Sun Natural Foods Market, has quinoa on sale in the bulk bin – so I hope you are all ok with a few quinoa posts!  Quinoa IS one of the trendy foods of 2013, so just think, we’ll be ahead of the curve.

Quinoa

Quinoa

This is one of those cleansing power salads that will just make you feel amazing!  Not only is this delicious and filling salad high in protein, it has tons of fiber, zero cholesterol, lots of calcium and the ginger aids in digestion.

Gingery Kale and Quinoa Power Salad with Garlic Herb Cashews

Gingery Kale and Quinoa Power Salad with Garlic Herb Cashews

Take a minute to scroll down and look at the vitamin and nutrient profile for this recipe…

So many vitamins and minerals are present in large quantities. Here are some, just to name a few.

Vitamin A 354.6 %
Potassium 485.6 mg
Vitamin A 354.6 %
Vitamin B-6 29.5 %
Vitamin C 97.6 %
Vitamin E 9.9 %
Calcium 12.7 %
Folate 18.8 %
Iron 22.8 %

Kale and quinoa are a one two punch when it comes to power foods. Kale can lower cholesterol, detoxify the body, reduce inflammation and is a powerful cancer fighter.  As for the grain-like seed called quinoa, to quote Worlds Healthiest Foods, “Perhaps the most striking health benefit provided by quinoa is its overall nutrient richness.”  Like kale, it also is high in anti-inflammatory phytonutrients and calcium as well.

This salad has lots of texture – crunchy nuts and soft kale – as well as many layers of flavor that shine through, a bit of tart lemon, sweet agave and nutty cashews.   Enjoy!

Gingery Kale and Quinoa Power Salad with Garlic Herb Cashews

Gingery Kale and Quinoa Power Salad with Garlic Herb Cashews

Gingery Kale and Quinoa Power Salad with Garlic Herb Cashews

Serves 6, about 1 cup per serving (will vary upon amount of kale)
Vegan, Gluten Free
Printable Recipe
**Ingredients on sale now at Native Sun, January 7 through Febrary 6, 2013

Ingredients

1 cup dry quinoa, rinsed well**
1 1/4 cups vegetable broth**
1 bunch curly kale, de-stemmed and chopped**
1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1/2 tsp coarse sea salt/Fresh ground pepper, to taste
1/4 cup chopped Garlic Herb cashews (or regular roasted and salted)**

Dressing (or sub 1/4 cup Annie’s Sesame Ginger Dressing)
Juice 1/2 lemon
3 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 Tbsp agave nectar**
2 tsp ground cumin
1 rounded Tbsp chopped fresh ginger
2 cloves garlic, minced

Directions

1. Combine rinsed quinoa and vegetable broth in a small sauce pan, bring to a boil, reduce heat and cover; cook 15 minutes; remove from heat (still covered) for an additional five minutes. Save 2 cups and reserve the rest for another use.

2. Mix dressing ingredients in a small bowl; place kale in a large bowl and pour dressing ingredients over kale; massage dressing into kale for about 2 minutes – until the fibers in the kale break down a bit and soften.   Season with salt and pepper; add chickpeas and quinoa, mix well; top with cashews and serve.

Nutrition Facts
6 Servings
Amount Per Serving 

Calories 296.0
Total Fat 11.9 g
Saturated Fat 1.6 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 1.7 g
Monounsaturated Fat 6.8 g
Cholesterol 0.0 mg
Sodium 500.7 mg
Potassium 485.6 mg
Total Carbohydrate 41.3 g
Dietary Fiber 7.4 g
Sugars 5.7 g
Protein 9.5 g

Vitamin A 354.6 %
Vitamin B-6 29.5 %
Vitamin C 97.6 %
Vitamin E 9.9 %
Calcium 12.7 %
Copper 23.9 %
Folate 18.8 %
Iron 22.8 %
Magnesium 15.9 %
Manganese 55.1 %
Niacin 4.4 %
Pantothenic Acid 3.8 %
Phosphorus 27.1 %
Riboflavin 36.1 %
Selenium 6.1%
Zinc 10.1 %

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

Gingery Kale and Quinoa Power Salad with Garlic Herb Cashews

Gingery Kale and Quinoa Power Salad with Garlic Herb Cashews

Oct 182012
 

Pear Apple Salad

You don’t eat meat or dairy?  What DO you eat? 

Even though it has now been about a year, I am still asked this question regularly. Folks still think that when animal food are cut out, that there is nothing to eat or whatever is left is cardboard!

Does this salad look like cardboard?  Heck no!

Pear Apple Salad

  This salad features crunchy apples, sweet pears, toasted sunflower seeds and a dressing that is out of this world – creamy, sweet and salty.

This dressing would also be great on a sort of ambrosia salad – it is VERY versatile and super easy to throw together!

Pear Apple Salad

Crisp Fruited Salad with Maple-Yogurt Dressing

Serves 4
Vegan, Gluten Free
Printable Recipes
**Items on sale at Native Sun Natural Foods Market Oct 7 through Nov 6, 2012

Ingredients

4 cups chopped romaine
2 fresh Bartlett pears, cored and chopped**
2 apples, cored and chopped**
1/2 cup shredded coconut
1/2 cup roasted sunflower seeds
1 cup vanilla soy yogurt
2 Tbsp maple syrup (Tree of life)**
1/4 tsp coarse ground sea salt

Directions

1. Place 1 cup chopped romaine on each plate; add 1/4 of the pears and 1/4 of the apples to each.  Top with 1 Tbsp each shredded coconut and sunflower seeds.

2. Mix yogurt, maple syrup and salt in a small bowl.  Top each salad with  2 Tbsp dressing.

Nutrition Facts
4 Servings
Amount Per Serving 

Calories 339.0
Total Fat 18.3 g
Saturated Fat 8.9 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 5.4 g
Monounsaturated Fat 1.6 g
Cholesterol 0.0 mg
Sodium 157.9 mg
Potassium 466.7 mg
Total Carbohydrate 42.3 g
Dietary Fiber 8.7 g
Sugars 18.7 g
Protein 6.7 g

Vitamin A 30.0 %
Vitamin B-6 9.7 %
Vitamin C 32.5 %
Vitamin E 43.8 %
Calcium 15.0 %
Copper 21.1 %
Folate 30.1 %
Iron 11.0 %
Magnesium 8.1 %
Manganese 55.0 %
Niacin 7.6 %
Pantothenic Acid 13.1 %
Phosphorus 22.2 %
Riboflavin 7.7 %
Selenium 19.6 %
Thiamin 6.4 %
Zinc 10.0 %

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

Sep 282012
 

You know when you come across something that is so good you just want to eat it all the time?  For me it is still that salad I told you about a few posts ago- the simple purple cabbage and creamy avocado.  But last night I was looking for a bit more protein, so I came up with this super satisfying salad that has all the great textures; the crunch of the cabbage, creaminess of avocado and light crisp cucumbers, but also has some heartiness from the falafel burger.  This salad will really stick with ya. 

Falafel Salad

 If you are like me, your life is super busy; between my day job, running a business, writing recipes, working out, camping and having fun with my family and friends, there isn’t much time left for elaborate dinners – especially during the week – so I love to use time saving shortcuts like these Sunshine Burger pre-made falafel burgers.  Not only are they DELICOUS, but you can actually pronounce each and every ingredient; such as, sunflower seeds, brown rice etc. 

Falafel Salad

 For the dressing, I used my favorite Annie’s dressing, totally vegan and another one of those amazing all natural products that you can feel good about eating. The goddess dressing has tahini, lemon, garlic and a bit of soy which makes for the perfect compliment to the falafel burger.

Falafel Salad

Crisp Cabbage and Creamy Avocado Salad with Falafel “Croutons” and Annie’s Goddess Dressing

Serves 1
Vegan, Gluten Free
Printable Recipe

Ingredients

1 cup sliced red cabbage
1 cup chopped cucumber
1/4 avocado, chopped
1 slice red onion, chopped
1 falafel burger, I used Sunshine Burger 
1 Tbsp Annie’s Goddess Dressing 
Salt and pepper, to taste
Optional – 4 Slices Bell Pepper or Mild Pepper of Choice

Directions

1. Heat burger in toaster oven until just warmed through.

2. Layer cabbage, cucumber, avocado and onion in a large bowl; tear heated falafel burger gently and add to salad; top with Goddess dressing, salt and pepper, to taste and bell pepper if using.

Nutrition Facts
1 Serving
Amount Per Serving

Calories 416.4
Total Fat 25.5 g
Saturated Fat 3.0 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 1.0
Monounsaturated Fat 4.3 g
Cholesterol 0.0 mg
Sodium 421.8 mg
Potassium 602.1 mg
Total Carbohydrate 39.2 g
Dietary Fiber 15.0 g
Sugars 2.1 g
Protein 9.5 g

Vitamin A 58.1 %
Vitamin B-12 0.0 %
Vitamin B-6 13.2 %
Vitamin C 64.2 %
Vitamin D 0.0 %
Vitamin E 3.8 %
Calcium 8.4 %
Copper 6.7 %
Folate 23.0 %
Iron 8.0 %
Magnesium 9.6 %
Manganese 14.9 %
Niacin 6.7 %
Pantothenic Acid 9.5 %
Phosphorus 6.8 %
Riboflavin 7.2 %
Selenium 1.5 %
Thiamin 7.0 %
Zinc 4.5 %

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

Sep 052012
 
I find cabbage to be a bit intimidating and I’m not sure why.  Kohlrabi and daikon radish have had no problems making it to my plate, but that darn cabbage will reside in its refrigerator drawer, giving me a sneer every time I open the door.
Ha!  You don’t know WHAT to do with me!
It’s time to take the bull by the horns and start simple.
It doesn’t get much more effortless than this salad.  When mixed with romaine and avocado, that cabbage just doesn’t seem as menacing – in fact, it adds a nice hearty crunch that is really satisfying against the creamy avocado.
At first I wasn’t going to post this recipe because it is so simple, it almost seems like cheating.  But then I thought, why not?  When I’m looking for a recipe to use with a particular ingredient, I’m not necessarily looking for a 30 ingredient Emeril recipe.  Why not stick to the fact that simple can also be delicious?
Purple Cabbage and Creamy  Avocado Salad
Purple Cabbage and Creamy Avocado Salad
Serves 4
Vegan, Gluten Free
Ingredients
4 cups chopped romaine lettuce
2 cups shredded purple cabbage
1/4 red onion, sliced
1 avocado, seed removed and sliced
1/2 cup dressing of choice, I used a vegan, gluten free dressing I whipped up
Directions
1. Layer 1 cup romaine, 1/2 cup shredded cabbage, 1/4 avocado and 2 Tbsp dressing.
Nutrition Facts (BEFORE DRESSING)
4 Servings
Amount Per Serving

Calories 96.5
Total Fat 6.9 g
Saturated Fat 1.0 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0.9 g
Monounsaturated Fat 4.3 g
Cholesterol 0.0 mg
Sodium 20.2 mg
Potassium 500.6 mg
Total Carbohydrate 8.9 g
Dietary Fiber 5.0 g
Sugars 1.9 g
Protein 2.5 g

Vitamin A 40.3 %
Vitamin B-12 0.0 %
Vitamin B-6 12.6 %
Vitamin C 71.8 %
Vitamin D 0.0 %
Vitamin E 4.4 %
Calcium 4.7 %
Copper 5.3 %
Folate 31.0 %
Iron 6.9 %
Magnesium 5.9 %
Manganese 26.9 %
Niacin 6.5 %
Pantothenic Acid 8.0 %
Phosphorus 6.4 %
Riboflavin 8.8 %
Selenium 0.8 %
Thiamin 8.0 %
Zinc 3.6 %

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

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.

Jun 272012
 
One of the best things in life is meeting new people and experiencing new things.  Last Saturday was one of the most fun and memorable.  My friend Gregg, who has been supplying me the wines for the Wine Down Wednesday posts, and his wife Kerry (I hope that is the correct spelling!) had us over for dinner.
  A dinner party turned Karaoke night around the piano.
Think Elton John. Rocket Man.


We wined and dined and had an amazing time.  He showed us around his vintage home in Riverside – complete with wine memorabilia from Bono no less!
Also in attendance were my friends Alyson and her husband Chip, who brought a meteorite from their back yard as a dinner conversation piece, and Mark and Sheri – we all do yoga together so it was great to meet up off the mat.  I can’t wait for us all to meet again.


To detox after a night of wine I got it into my head that I wanted to make a macro (macrobiotic) bowl with grains and veggies but when I looked at my acorn squash I just couldn’t remove the skin – it was too pretty – so I thought, why not turn the squash into the bowl? 

Secondly, I’m always looking for new ways to eat my Mila. Because I write about Mila a lot, I created this little info blurb.  That way any frequent visitors that already know the benefits can skip over that and head right to the recipe.
What is Mila?

Mila is an organically grown, non-genetically modified blend of chia seed that is cold pressed and sliced to make it more bio-available. 

It is RAW, GLUTEN FREE, AND VEGAN, perfect for cooking and baking.

It is super high in OMEGA 3s – equal to fish oil pills per serving.  

A single serving also has FIVE GRAMS OF FIBER, more antioxidants than blueberries, more iron than spinach and many more benefits.

This little seed has anti-inflammatory properties, is excellent for brain function, energy, elimination, sleep and the best part?  It’s a FOOD!

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Acorn Squash from KYV Farm
I got this unique acorn squash from Vivian at KYV Farm (CSA SIGNUPS ARE GOING ON NOW)  I’ve never seen such a thing in the grocery store.  I usually see the typical green acorn squash that has a tinge of orange but this one is the beauty queen of squashes.
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Stuffed Acorn Squash
Stuffing them with onions and garlic during cooking imparts a LOT of flavor.  This technique is perfect at Thanksgiving.  While everyone is stuffing their bird you can stuff your squash.
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Macro Acorn Squash Bowl with Mila, Massaged Kale and Tahini Sauce
Macro Acorn Squash Bowl with Mila, Massaged Kale and Tahini Sauce
Serves 4
Vegan, Gluten Free

Ingredients


Squash
2 acorn squash, cut in half and seeds removed
1 onion, quartered
4 cloves garlic, crushed
Olive oil spray
Sea salt
1 cup cooked brown rice
1 cup cooked black beans
4 Tbsp Mila (optional)
Salt and pepper, to taste.


Massaged Kale
1 bunch kale, stems removed and chopped
2 Tbsp ume plum vinegar (or sub any vinegar you like)
2 tsp olive oil
Sea Salt


Tahini Sauce
2 Tbsp tahini
2 Tbsp miso
2 Tbsp fresh lemon
1 Tbsp raw agave


Directions


1. Preheat oven to 375.  Arrange squash, cut side up on baking dish, stuff with 1/4 onion and 1 clove garlic; spray with cooking spray, sprinkle with sea salt; bake 1 hour.


2. Mix kale ingredients together in medium bowl, massage kale until wilted, about a minute.


4. Mix tahini sauce in a small bowl.


3. Remove squash from oven.  Remove onions and garlic; chopp and mix with rice, season to taste.  Mix Mila with black beans if using.  Stuff 1/4 cup black beans and 1/4 cup rice into each squash. 
Serve each half squash with 1/4 kale and 1/4 tahini sauce.


(**Rosted potatos on the side optional – roast along with squash)



Nutrition Facts (includes Mila)
4 Servings
Amount Per Serving

Calories 392.8
Total Fat 11.9 g
Saturated Fat 1.3 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 5.7 g
Monounsaturated Fat 3.4 g
Cholesterol 0.0 mg
Sodium 67.0 mg
Potassium 1,423.2 mg
Total Carbohydrate 63.5 g
Dietary Fiber 16.8 g
Sugars 3.3 g
Protein 14.0 g

Vitamin A 369.1 %
Vitamin B-12 0.1 %
Vitamin B-6 31.7 %
Vitamin C 141.5 %
Vitamin D 0.0 %
Vitamin E 8.0 %
Calcium 30.4 %
Copper 30.8 %
Folate 33.4 %
Iron 31.9 %
Magnesium 34.4 %
Manganese 78.5 %
Niacin 14.7 %
Pantothenic Acid 11.7 %
Phosphorus 36.6 %
Riboflavin 11.9 %
Selenium 5.7 %
Thiamin 39.7 %
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.
Jun 152012
 
The day I was reading through my VegNews magazine I happened to be relaxing on a sunny day, kicking back in a lawn chair, clad in bathing suit and floppy hat when I came across the recipe for tofu feta.  It sounded so intriguing that I got up and made it right then. Little did I know, the tofu I had in my fridge happened to be the pre-cubed version – what a time savings!
I threw it together and have been eating it on a whole variety of dishes; anywhere you would put feta cheese. The extra firm tofu and salty brine are really satisfying when eaten along with Greek dishes. It’s not real feta, mind you, but it’s a great vegan sub if you have cut out cheese. In addition, there are tons of benefits to eating organic, non-GMO soy in moderation. They have lots of the 9 essential amino acids, lots of lean protein and calcium.
As for the salad, I mixed an oil free version for my friend Suzanne at work to try as well since she is an oil free vegan. The sun ripe tomatoes and cool cucumbers were perfect with just a squeeze of lemon, salt and pepper; I didn’t even miss the oil.
Enjoy!
Greek Salad with Herbed Tofu Feta
Inspired by Veg News Herbed Feta and Classic Greek Salad
Serves 4
Vegan, Gluten Free
Ingredients
Tofu Feta
1 16oz package organic, extra firm, cubed tofu (or you can buy the block and cut it into 1/2 inch cubes)
2 cups water
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
3 tsp sea salt
1 1/2 Tbsp Italian seasoning blend (with basil and oregano)
Raw Tomato Salad
2 fresh tomatoes, chopped
1 large cucumber, chopped
1/4 red onion, sliced
Handful parsley, chopped
Dressing
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
2 tsp agave nectar
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/4 tsp fresh ground pepper
(2 Tbsp olive oil optional)
Directions
1. Heat all ingredients for feta in a saucepan heated over low heat; simmer about 30 minutes.  Cool and refrigerate overnight.  The longer you keep it in the fridge marinating the better it gets!
2. Toss the salad mixture in a large bowl.
3. Whisk the dressing ingredients in a small bowl.
4. Drain the feta and add to salad bowl, pour dressing over evenly and toss mixture gently.
*Alternatively you can mix the salad and dressing and simply add the desired amount of feta on top.
Salad Nutrition Facts
4 Servings

Amount Per Serving

Calories 37.9
Total Fat 0.4 g
Saturated Fat 0.1 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0.2 g
Monounsaturated Fat 0.1 g
Cholesterol 0.0 mg
Sodium 302.7 mg
Potassium 342.0 mg
Total Carbohydrate 8.4 g
Dietary Fiber 1.9 g
Sugars 1.3 g
Protein 1.5 g

Vitamin A 20.9 % 
Vitamin B-12 0.0 %
Vitamin B-6 5.8 %
Vitamin C 30.9 %
Vitamin D 0.0 %
Vitamin E 2.4 %
Calcium 2.2 %
Copper 5.1 %
Folate 7.6 %
Iron 4.8 %
Magnesium 5.2 %
Manganese 8.4 %
Niacin 4.0 %
Pantothenic Acid 3.8 %
Phosphorus 4.1 %
Riboflavin 3.8 %
Selenium 0.6 %
Thiamin 5.2 %
Zinc 1.9 %
*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.




Tofu Feta Nutrition Facts

4 Servings (Or you may get more depending on how much “feta” you want.)
Amount Per Serving

Calories 116.8
Total Fat 7.1 g
Saturated Fat 1.0 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 4.0 g
Monounsaturated Fat 1.6 g
Cholesterol 0.0 mg
Sodium 1,755.8 mg (sodium will actually be lower since you are draining the liquid but in creating the recipe in the builder I had to include the entire amount of salt)
Potassium 189.5 mg
Total Carbohydrate 4.9 g
Dietary Fiber 0.6 g
Sugars 1.3 g
Protein 12.0 g
Vitamin A 0.3 %
Vitamin B-12 0.0 %
Vitamin B-6 3.2 %
Vitamin C 24.3 %
Vitamin D 0.0 %
Vitamin E 0.1 %
Calcium 12.0 %
Copper 10.9 %
Folate 8.4 %
Iron 10.9 %
Magnesium 20.7 %
Manganese 54.2 %
Niacin 2.1 %
Pantothenic Acid 1.0 %
Phosphorus 18.6 %
Riboflavin 3.0 %
Selenium 18.3 %
Thiamin 4.3 %
Zinc 8.6 %

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