Oct 022013
 
Fresh and Bold Italian Panzanella (Toasty Bread Salad)

Fresh and Bold Italian Panzanella (Toasty Bread Salad)

Sometimes I just want to be a little naughty.

Fresh and Bold Italian Panzanella (Toasty Bread Salad)

Fresh and Bold Italian Panzanella (Toasty Bread Salad)

I am not an individual that suffers from celiac disease or even a wheat sensitivity.  I just choose, the majority of the time, not to eat wheat. My daughter has a wheat allergy – so I rarely eat it around her.

The other night though, my husband and I were invited to a party.  A no-children-allowed party.

I giggled mischievously.

I would be making something with a glorious loaf of crusty bread.

(For anyone that is gluten free – try this gloriously crusty gluten free bread! and To replace the eggs click here.)

Fresh and Bold Italian Panzanella (Toasty Bread Salad)

Fresh and Bold Italian Panzanella (Toasty Bread Salad)

I whipped up some of my favorite ingredients all in one bowl.  Crisp romaine, tender baby lettuces, juicy tomatoes, tart-sweet sun dried tomato, crunchy red cabbage, nutty pine nuts and flavor-punched red onion just to name a few.  Then I cut generous slices of bread and toasted them – but not too much – just so they had a nice crust but were still soft inside.  I sprayed them with a bit of olive oil, coarse sea salt and fresh ground pepper and sliced them into hearty 1 inch cubes. Easy as pie.

Fresh and Bold Italian Panzanella (Toasty Bread Salad)

Fresh and Bold Italian Panzanella (Toasty Bread Salad)

To dress this salad simply I used a FCC version of my all time favorite plant based-oil free dressing. The 3-2-1 dressing from my beloved Forks Over Knives Handbook. The recipes is comprised of the 3-2-1 ratio of balsamic, mustard and maple syrup and then I added in some fresh garlic. I also made a version with oil and I was happy to say that the oil free version went first – in fact it looked like someone licked the bowl. This one turned out so well it has landed in the “favorites” department. Enjoy!

Fresh and Bold Italian Panzanella (Toasty Bread Salad)

Fresh and Bold Italian Panzanella (Toasty Bread Salad)

Fresh and Bold Italian Panzanella (Toasty Bread Salad)

Serves 10 – 12 (Serving size varies by size of veggies but it is a generous amount.)
Vegan, Gluten Free Option
Printable Recipe
Dressing inspired by 3-2-1 dressing from Forks Over Knives Handbook
**On Sale now at Native Sun Natural Foods Market, Sept 7 – Oct 6, 2013

Ingredients

1 crusty multigrain bread loaf cut into 1 inch slices
Olive oil spray (I use an olive oil mister.)
1/4 tsp Coarse sea salt, 1/8 tsp fresh ground pepper or to taste, plus some to season bread
1 head romaine lettuce, chopped
4  cups baby lettuce mix
1 English cucumber
1/2 sliced red onion
2 tomatoes, sliced
1 cup sliced red cabbage
1/3 cup julienned sundried tomato
1/3 cup pine nuts
1/2 bunch fresh parsley, chopped finely
6 Tbsp balsamic vinegar**
4 Tbsp olive oil (optional)**
1 to3 cloves garlic, minced
3 Tbsp course ground prepared mustard
2 Tbsp REAL 100% pure maple syrup

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 400F. Place bread slices on baking sheet; bake 5 minutes or until top is lightly browned, flip and bake an additional 3 minutes or until lightly browned and center is still soft. Remove from oven, spray olive oil and season with a bit of salt and pepper. (Save the larger amount for salad) Set aside to cool. Slice into 1 inch cubes when cool.

2. Mix lettuce through parsley in a large bowl; mix balsamic through maple syrup in a small bowl. Top lettuce mixture with bread cubes and just before serving pour dressing.

Nutrition Facts
12 Servings
Amount Per Serving
(Without optional olive oil.
When added, add an additional 40 cals per serving and 5 grams fat)

Calories 173.3
Total Fat 4.0 g
Saturated Fat 0.3 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 1.3 g
Monounsaturated Fat 1.5 g
Cholesterol 0.0 mg
Sodium 422.9 mg
Potassium 168.4 mg
Total Carbohydrate 29.0 g
Dietary Fiber 1.9 g
Sugars 2.8 g
Protein 5.5 g

Vitamin A 28.2 %
Vitamin B-12 0.0 %
Vitamin B-6 1.9 %
Vitamin C 26.7 %
Vitamin D 0.0 %
Vitamin E 1.8 %
Calcium 2.3 %
Copper 4.1 %
Folate 7.7 %
Iron 6.9 %
Magnesium 4.0 %
Manganese 29.2 %
Niacin 2.2 %
Pantothenic Acid 1.2 %
Phosphorus 3.9 %
Riboflavin 2.3 %
Selenium 0.4 %
Thiamin 3.0 %
Zinc 3.3 %

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

Aug 282013
 
Luscious Lemon Olive Oil Dressing over Crunchy Rainbow Salad

Luscious Lemon Olive Oil Dressing over Crunchy Rainbow Salad

Since leaving my corporate job I have been so much busier than I thought I would be – but every minute has been filled with gratitude, peace and excitement about the future.  After 13 years in the structured day of corporate finance I expected to have anxiety with the change of moving into a self directed environment. In reality I have found that I am even more productive and get more done because I’m EXCITED to face the day.  Work doesn’t feel like work.  Being self directed though is not an excuse to let my eating habits fall by the wayside. Hence this big salad – I could eat it all week and easily incorporate variations each day.

I shared some with my mom as well – after one taste she declared that she could become vegan if I made this for her every day.
It is all in the dressing and the CRUNCH from the veggies.

Luscious Lemon Olive Oil Dressing over Crunchy Rainbow Salad

Luscious Lemon Olive Oil Dressing over Crunchy Rainbow Salad

This salad is perfect by itself or served over spinach and lettuces (as shown in these photos), topped with tofu cubes or avocado.

Why is RAW great? Because the disease fighting phytonutrients and digestion-friendly enzymes stay in tact.  Edamame packs a protein punch to keep you full and satisfied longer.

….But it is the drool-worthy dressing I get so excited about. It may seem simple, but this mixture of ingredients will make you beg for more. Fruity and flavorful olive oil, tart lemon, a hint of olive oil and dash of agave or honey to sweeten the deal. You’ll be putting this dressing on everything!

Luscious Lemon Olive Oil Dressing over Crunchy Rainbow Salad

Luscious Lemon Olive Oil Dressing over Crunchy Rainbow Salad

Luscious Lemon Olive Oil Dressing over Crunchy Rainbow Salad

 6 servings – about 2 cups each
Vegan, Gluten Free
Printable Recipe
**Ingredient on sale now at Native Sun Natural Foods Market, August 7 -Sept 6, 2013

Ingredients

3 tomatoes, chopped
3 bell peppers (varying colors), seeded and chopped
1 slice red onion, chopped
1 cup chopped red cabbage
3 celery ribs
3 small summer squashes, chopped
1 cup chopped broccoli**
12 oz shelled edamame

Dressing
1/2 olive oil
2 Tbsp coarse ground prepared mustard
1/2 Tbsp agave or local honey
Juice of 2 lemons
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp fresh ground pepper

Directions

1. Mix veggies and edamame in large bowl; mix well.

2. Mix dressing in a medium bowl or Magic Bullet; mix well and pour over vegetables; toss to coat.

Nutrition Facts
6 Servings
Amount Per Serving 

Calories 278.3
Total Fat 20.1 g
Saturated Fat 2.5 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 1.7 g
Monounsaturated Fat 13.3 g
Cholesterol 0.0 mg
Sodium 278.6 mg
Potassium 491.5 mg
Total Carbohydrate 18.4 g
Dietary Fiber 3.5 g
Sugars 6.0 g
Protein 9.0 g

Vitamin A 22.2 %
Vitamin B-12 0.0 %
Vitamin B-6 17.4 %
Vitamin C 119.4 %
Vitamin D 0.0 %
Vitamin E 15.7 %
Calcium 9.3 %
Copper 6.0 %
Folate 13.1 %
Iron 10.9 %
Magnesium 7.0 %
Manganese 15.1 %
Niacin 5.0 %
Pantothenic Acid 4.0 %
Phosphorus 6.3 %
Riboflavin 9.0 %
Selenium 2.0 %
Thiamin 7.5 %
Zinc 2.7 %

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

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.

Jun 112013
 

Quinoa Florentine

Before I get to my Savory Quinoa Florentine recipe – I’ll share a tidbit I learned over my long 35 year life. ;)

Laura S Walker State Park

Laura S Walker State Park

Make the time to do the important things.  What are the important things?

Think about what means the  most to you. How would you feel if that thing was no longer there? Could you just get another one?

Ah – there is the key.  With material things, we can always get another one.  But the people and the experience can’t be replaced.

When people ask me why I love camping “in the dirt and bugs”, experience is why I love it.  In a hotel room, you most likely won’t be outside as much. You might do some sightseeing during the day, go back to the hotel and watch some TV as you get ready for dinner. But CAMPING gets you outside – getting to feel, hear and see nature. (As long as you aren’t in one of the converted buses with your satellite dish outside.) No electronics in sight.

Some of the best things about last weekend’s trip…..

Watching my friend Justine enjoying the sunset as her son fishes. Taking my daughter kayaking.
The stillness by the water in the morning.

Laura Walker State Park

Laura Walker State Park

Chatting by the fire as a cool breeze blows, sipping a glass of chilled chardonnay.

Laura Walker State Park

Laura Walker State Park

My daughter – so proud of her little camper.

Laura Walker State Park

Laura Walker State Park

Roasting the perfect marshmallow.

Laura Walker State Park

Laura Walker State Park

Quietly spending time with my mom.

Mom Laura Walker State Park

Mom Laura Walker State Park

The kids fishing for Lilly pads.

Fishing at Laura Walker

Fishing at Laura Walker

 One thing that struck me recently while cleaning out my dad’s office was that all these things – small mementos, things he collected, art work….he wasn’t able to take anything with him.  He’s moved on to another place and all he can take with him is love, his experiences and the journey.

I came across a quote in a book about “the dash” that fits perfectly.  The dash is that space between the date of someone’s birth and death.
“For it matters not how much we own; the cars or the house…the cash, what matters is how we live and love and how we spend our dash.  So think about this long and hard….are there things you’d like to change? For you never know how much time is left that can still be rearranged. If we could just slow down enough to consider what’s true and real, and always try to understand the way other people feel. And be less quick to anger, and show appreciation more, and love the people in our lives like we’ve never loved before. If we treat each other with respect, and more often wear a smile….Remembering that this special dash might only last a little while.” – Linda Ellis

Take the time to enjoy life.  Put the phone down.  Cook a meal that nourishes your body and soul.

Quinoa Florentine

Quinoa Florentine

I love cooking with quinoa because it is one nourishing food we can take the time to cook.  15 minutes is all – and a quick five of rest.

Quinoa Florentine

Quinoa Florentine

Quinoa is versatile, and can be dressed up or eaten simply on it’s own – with a bit of salt.

Quinoa Florentine

Quinoa Florentine

This quinoa Florentine is more of the dressed up version – but simply and elegantly – with tomatoes, onions, garlic and spinach; cooked just long enough to give the vegetables a nice sweet caramelization, adding the spinach at the last minute to quickly steam it down and save those important vitamins and minerals.

Quinoa Florentine

Quinoa Florentine

Quinoa Florentine

Serves 4 rounded 1-cup servings
Vegan, Gluten Free
Printable Recipe
**Items on sale now at Native Sun Natural Food Stores, June 7 through July 6, 2013

Ingredients

1 cup quinoa**
1 1/4 cup water or veggie broth
1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 pint cherry or grape tomatoes
1/4 tsp salt (plus extra, to taste)
1 onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, chopped
2 Tbsp to 1/4 cup white wine
7 oz to 10 oz baby spinach

Directions

1. Heat 1 Tbsp olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat; add onion; cook 7 to 10 minutes or until translucent; add garlic, cook an additional 2 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, heat water or broth over high heat; rinse quinoa with a fine mesh strainer; add to boiling water or broth; reduce heat and cover. Cook 15 minutes; remove from heat; let sit an additional five minutes.

3. Add tomatoes and salt to onion mixture and 1 to 2 Tbsp white wine; cover and cook 20 minutes or until tomatoes burst; uncover cook an additional 5 minutes, adding additional wine as needed; add spinach, cover and cook 2 minutes, or until wilted; uncover and stir well.

4. Reserve 1/2 cup quinoa for later use; stir in spinach mixture; toss gently.

Nutrition Facts
4 Servings
Amount Per Serving 

Calories 181.5
Total Fat 5.5 g
Saturated Fat 0.5 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0.4 g
Monounsaturated Fat 2.5 g
Cholesterol 0.0 mg
Sodium 196.0 mg
Potassium 312.1 mg
Total Carbohydrate 26.9 g
Dietary Fiber 3.6 g
Sugars 1.0 g
Protein 6.4 g

Vitamin A 101.9 %
Vitamin B-6 6.6 %
Vitamin C 36.1 %
Vitamin E 7.1 %
Calcium 7.3 %
Copper 3.9 %
Folate 25.8 %
Iron 24.5 %
Magnesium 10.8 %
Manganese 27.5 %
Niacin 2.0 %
Pantothenic Acid 0.5 %
Phosphorus 3.1 %
Riboflavin 6.1 %
Selenium 1.2 %
Thiamin 3.1 %
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.
Enjoy this Savory Quinoa Florentine!

Jun 062013
 

Hen of the woods, bears head tooth, giant puffballs and the shaggy mane.

They aren’t names of characters in a children’s book – they’re names of edible mushrooms!

Roasted Balsamic Mushrooms and Tomatoes

Roasted Balsamic Mushrooms and Tomatoes

Ever wondered how in the world people identify edible wild mushrooms?

Most of the store-bought mushrooms we eat today are grown on farms in sterilized environments – definitely my suggestion when choosing to nosh on these fanciful little fungi – but how interesting to learn about what folks do in the field when identifying edible mushrooms!

Most mushrooms have small gills under the cap where spores are produced.  These spores are released into the air beneath the mushroom, and are also one of the ways edibles can be identified.  The cap is placed on a white sheet of paper and the color of the spores examined – this is called a spore print. Some other methods that are used include color, odor, habitat and season, and in modern times, microscopically.

My suggestion, should you choose to try your hand at ingesting wild mushrooms, is to take a class on edibles, get a field guide to mushrooms in your area and to learn as much as possible prior to venturing out because eating the wrong type of mushroom can be deadly.  According to the experts- when in doubt throw it out!

There is only one type of mushroom it is VERY important to purchase. And that is the organic mushroom.  Mushrooms are so porous that they readily absorb pesticides, fungicides and any metals or toxins in their environment.  If you are concerned about the pricing of organic mushrooms – try your hand at growing them at home with a fun little box farm! Here is one example. 

Be sure to store your mushrooms in the fridge when you get them home because higher temperatures will result in the loss of nutritional value.  Many mushrooms have immune system boosting and anti-inflammatory properties, high amounts of b-12, and crimini (button) mushrooms in particular are a significant source of CLA, or conjugated linoleic acid, a type of fatty acid that can lessen the production of estrogen that some breast cancer tumors rely on for growth.

As for the taste? Earthy, meaty and a touch sweet with the balsamic vinegar and tomatoes with just the right amount of acidity.

Roasted Balsamic Mushrooms and Tomatoes

Roasted Balsamic Mushrooms and Tomatoes

Roasted Balsamic Mushrooms and Tomatoes

Serves 3
Vegan, Gluten Free
Printable Recipe

Ingredients

1 10oz pkg button mushrooms
2 vine ripe tomatoes
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1 Tbsp oil (I used avocado oil that is heat stable.)
1/8 tsp coarse sea salt
Fresh ground pepper, to taste

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 400F.  Wipe mushrooms clean of dirt and slice; slice tomatoes; toss mushrooms and tomatoes in balsamic vinegar, oil, salt and pepper; cook 25 to 30 minutes or until tomatoes and mushrooms are cooked through and caramelized.

Nutrition Facts
3 Servings
Amount Per Serving 

Calories 79.9
Total Fat 5.0 g
Saturated Fat 0.7 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0.6 g
Monounsaturated Fat 3.3 g
Cholesterol 0.0 mg
Sodium 111.1 mg
Potassium 388.0 mg
Total Carbohydrate 7.6 g
Dietary Fiber 1.6 g
Sugars 1.8 g
Protein 3.3 g

Vitamin A 5.2 %
Vitamin B-12 0.6 %
Vitamin B-6 7.1 %
Vitamin C 10.7 %
Vitamin D 17.9 %
Vitamin E 4.1 %
Calcium 0.5 %
Copper 16.6 %
Folate 5.3 %
Iron 3.9 %
Magnesium 3.3 %
Manganese 4.4 %
Niacin 19.5 %
Pantothenic Acid 15.2 %
Phosphorus 9.0 %
Riboflavin 24.3 %
Selenium 12.2 %
Thiamin 7.3 %
Zinc 3.5 %

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

Apr 012013
 

Kale 3 Ways – Cheesy Kale Tomato Sauce, Kale Basil Pesto and Quinoa Power Bowl

Quinoa Power Bowl

There was a certain time during our camping trip last week that I took my life into my own hands. I was in a stare down with a tired and hungry 4 year old after a day of sun and fun with no nap. I needed to whip up something fast and healthy because I had already busted her hiding under a pillow with marshmallows stuffed in her cheeks like a chipmunk with a third waiting to follow.  Needless to say she was not thrilled when I grabbed the lone remaining marshmallow.

I quickly set some water on to boil and pulled some brown rice noodles, nutritional yeast (nooch) and a jar of quality pasta sauce in the cupboard of my little teardrop shaped trailer and some kale from the mini fridge.  (What, that’s not normal camping fare?) With those ingredients I made a semi-homemade cheesy kale tomato sauce with a vegan twist by stirring in some nutritional yeast as I heated the sauce and then simmering some finely chopped kale right in the sauce to wilt it down nicely. Voila – it looked like normal pasta sauce but had lots of protein, vitamins and minerals.  Once I got home I simply had to create it from scratch. It was super simple to do and would be great over salad, tofu and tempeh, poured over baked dishes or anywhere sauce is used.  It’s rich and hearty and has a great balance of acidity, sweet and savory flavors.  After trying the sauce, my daughter ate at least a full cup of the made- from-scratch version.  I’d much rather see her cheeks fully of healthy sauce than marshmallows!

Kale and Nutritional Yeast

What is nutritional yeast? Find out here. And why all the kale? Kale is that powerful and vibrantly green plant that packs a huge nutrient punch. It is one of the sources of plant based calcium that is super absorbable and alkalizing. It also helps to lower cholesterol, fights inflammation and oxidative stress and has tons of vitamin K, A and C.

Quinoa Bowl and Fresh Pesto

The idea for the quinoa power bowl came from a breakfast dish I had recently at a local restaurant.  Their quinoa and kale is typically served with tomatoes, a creamy pesto, chicken and feta so I had to do lots of “leave this off please“.  I loved the idea, but there were way too many animal based foods in it.  I decided to nix the chicken, feta and creamy pesto and create a virgin olive oil based pesto with fresh garlic, kale and some of the Cheesy Kale Tomato sauce.  Wowza!  The fresh pesto really makes this dish pop. There is nothing like aromatic basil and garlic with a touch of salt; what a versatile recipe.  Here are some ideas of how to use pesto; use it as a spread for sandwiches, stir into soups, use it on pasta, top any vegetable or salad, make hummus or potato salad!

Time Crunched?

If you don’t have time to make the sauce from scratch but want to try your hand at the quinoa power bowl, simply do what I did the first time – purchase your favorite store bought brand, heat and stir in 2 cups kale and 1/4 cup nutritional yeast.  No time even for that? Open a can of fire roasted tomatoes, drain and use in place of tomato sauce on the Quinoa Bowl.

Another time saving tip.

There are many delicious store bought versions of pesto.  Simply purchase one and add a tbsp to each plate.

Have some extra time to make all three?  Here is a handy grocery list.

Cheesy Kale Tomato Sauce

Cheesy Kale Tomato Sauce

Cheesy Kale Tomato Sauce (Vegan)

Basic sauce recipe by Giada De Laurentiis
Makes about 5 cups
Vegan, Gluten Free
Printable Recipe

Ingredients 

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 small onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 carrot, chopped
1 dried bay leave, crushed
4 fresh basil leaves, finely chopped
3 (14.5 oz) cans fire roasted diced tomatoes
3/4 tsp sea salt and some freshly ground black pepper
1 Tbsp agave
2 cups finely chopped kale
1/4 cup nutritional yeast

Directions

1. Heat 1/4 cup olive oil in a Dutch oven or large stock pot.  Add onion, saute until translucent, about two minutes; add garlic, saute n additional minute.  Add carrot and saute about 5 minutes. Add bay, basil, tomatoes, salt and pepper and simmer covered on low heat for 30 minutes.

2. Using an immersion blender, blend the sauce until semi-smooth or to desired texture.  Alternatively; process the sauce in a food processor until smooth; stir in agave.

3. Add kale and simmer an additional 20 minutes.

4. Stir in nutritional yeast; and taste to check seasoning.

**If not using all the sauce, allow it to cool completely and pour 1 to 2 cup portions into freezer plastic bags. This will freeze up to 6 months.

Kale Basil Pesto

Kale Basil Pesto

Kale Basil Pesto

Makes about 1/2 cup
Serves 4
Vegan, Gluten Free
Printable Recipe
 

 

Ingredients

1/2 cup chopped kale
Handful fresh basil
3 cloves fresh garlic
2 Tbsp oil
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 cup pine nuts
1/4 cup vegetable broth

Directions

1. Blend all ingredients in a magic bullet or blender.

 

Quinoa Power Bowl

Quinoa Power Bowl

Quinoa Power Bowl with Tomato Sauce, Kale and Basil Pesto

Inspired by First Watch
Serves 4 (plus extra quinoa for another use)
Vegan, Gluten Free
Printable Recipe

Ingredients

2 Tbsp olive oil, divided
1 cup dry quinoa
1/2 onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, chopped, divided
2 cups vegetable broth
1/2 tsp sea salt, divided
4 cups chopped kale
2 cups Cheesy Kale Tomato Sauce (or sub store bought tomato sauce of choice)
1/2 cup Kale Basil Pesto (or sub store bought pesto of choice)

Directions

1. Rinse the quinoa in a fine mesh strainer; heat 1 tbsp olive oil in a medium stock pan; add quinoa, onion and 2 cloves garlic to heated oil; toast by stirring about 3 minutes; add 1/4 tsp salt and vegetable broth; cover and simmer 15 minutes.  Remove from heat, covered and let sit 5 minutes. (Makes 4 cups. Reserve 2 cups for recipe and set aside 2 cups for another use.)

2. Heat second Tbsp olive oil in pot originally used for quinoa; add kale and 1/4 sea salt and second 2 cloves garlic.  Saute until wilted; about 5 minutes.

3. Place 1/2 cup quinoa, 1/4 kale mixture; 1/2 cup tomato sauce and 1 Tbsp pesto on each of four plates. Enjoy the fruits of your labor!

**I have been making quesadillas with my leftover quinoa – delicious!

Nutrition Information
___________________

Cheesy Kale Tomato Sauce (Vegan)

Kale Basil Pesto

Quinoa Power Bowl with Tomato Sauce, Kale and Basil Pesto (For the quinoa and kale only.) 
Kale 3 Ways – Cheesy Kale Tomato Sauce, Kale Basil Pesto and Quinoa Power Bowl

Nov 102012
 

Yesterday was our FIRST delivery of the CSA season and what a great start!

In our bags we got squash, onions, broccoli, broccoli rabe, spinach, bok choy, peppers, radishes, beans, lettuce, purple kale and more.

Kohlrabi, Broccoli Rabe, Radishes

To celebrate – by popular request, I am posting my very first video on how to store and prep kale and lettuce! Please keep in mind I was at work at 6:30AM, worked through lunch, got my daughter, ran straight to the farm to grab my veggies, got home, took photos and then started dinner and made this video.  Since this is my normal life, I decided the videos are going to be really spontaneous.  Real life! My hair and makeup won’t be perfect and these won’t be scripted or edited.

Store those wrapped greens in the fridge and simply remove the amount you want for each dish!

What came of this spontaneous video was one of the most delicious salads I’ve had in a long time.  I have fallen in love with the new line of dressings that KyV Farm is carrying and the one I tried last night was Tomato Basil.

Vidalia Valley Dressings

Think of the best homemade tomato sauce you ever had and turn that into a dressing.  A perfect balance of sweet, acid, tart and aromatic basil.  I remember enjoying Outback Steakhouse’s tangy tomato – and it doesn’t hold a candle to this organic blend.  I’ve had three servings since yesterday.

Hiding underneath that dressing is the tart sun dried tomatoes, red onions with a bite, crunchy nuts, and even Mila, nature’s healthiest whole raw food, decides to join the party on top of this blend of purple kale and lettuce. 

Purple Kale and Sun dried Tomato Salad

 Raw kale? 

Yes! This tender kale can be eaten raw! And isn’t that almost always the best way to eat a vegetable?

Purple Kale and Sun dried Tomato Salad

 Purple Kale and Sun Dried Tomato Salad

Serves 4
Vegan, Gluten Free
Printable Recipe

Ingredients

4 cups chopped purple kale, KyV Farm
4 cups chopped lettuce, KyV Farm
4 Tbsp Mila 
4 Tbsp sun dried tomatoes packed in oil, drained
4 plum tomatoes, quartered
1/3 cup mixed whole nuts
1/4 cup chopped red onion
1 green onion, chopped
8 Tbsp Vidalia Valley Tomato Basil Dressing (Buy some right at KyV!)

Directions

1. Place 1 cup kale, 1 cup lettuce,  1 Tbsp Mila, 1 Tbsp sun dried tomato and one tomato on each of four plates; add the nuts, red onion and green onion over evenly. Top each with 2 Tbsp dressing. 

Nutrition Facts (not including dressing)
4 Servings
Amount Per Serving
  

Calories 149.0
Total Fat 8.0
Saturated Fat 0.8 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 3.0 g
Monounsaturated Fat 3.3 g
Cholesterol 0.0 mg
Sodium 106.3 mg
Potassium 680.8 mg
Total Carbohydrate 15.6 g
Dietary Fiber 7.4 g
Sugars 2.9 g
Protein 7.1 g


Vitamin A 383.9 %
Vitamin B-12 0.0 %
Vitamin B-6 12.4 %
Vitamin C 113.5 %
Vitamin D 0.0 %
Vitamin E 9.8 %
Calcium 16.5 %
Copper 20.1 %
Folate 25.1 %
Iron 16.7 %
Magnesium 14.1 %
Manganese 63.4 %
Niacin 8.6 %
Pantothenic Acid 3.5 %
Phosphorus 17.3 %
Riboflavin 10.8 %
Selenium 2.1 %
Thiamin 10.9 %
Zinc 6.1 % 

 

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

Oct 222012
 

Upside Down Lentil Pot Pie

So last Wednesday night I picked my daughter up, got home and had to make dinner. My hubby was still at work and I did not feel like cooking. I walked to my pantry. Nothing. Walked to my fridge. Nothing.  Opened the freezer.  Pie crusts!  Ok so what could I make with pie crust that involved zero pre-cooking.

Ha! Soup of course! And what better soup to use than Amy’s Kitchen Lentil Soup?  I didn’t even get a bowl out; I mixed the three ingredients right in the pie crust – no seasoning necessary.  The soup added plenty of flavor.

I remember the days when I would use a can of Cream of Mushroom soup to make different dishes ….until I read the ingredients. What do you want to bet that most of this soup has genetically modified ingredients?  

WATER, MUSHROOMS, MODIFIED FOOD STARCH, WHEAT FLOUR, VEGETABLE OIL (CORN, COTTONSEED, CANOLA AND/OR SOYBEAN), SUGAR, SOY PROTEIN CONCENTRATE, CREAM (MILK), CONTAINS LESS THAN 1 % OF: LOWER SODIUM NATURAL SEA SALT, POTASSIUM CHLORIDE, SALT, CALCIUM CARBONATE, DEXTROSE, DISODIUM INOSINATE, DISODIUM GUANYLATE, SPICE EXTRACT, MALTODEXTRIN, FLAVORING, DEHYDRATED GARLIC, MUSHROOM POWDER.

Here is what is in the Amy’s Kitchen:

Ingredients : No Trans Fat/No Added MSG/No Preservatives (Vegan) Filtered water, organic lentils, organic celery, organic carrots, organic onions, organic potatoes, organic extra virgin olive oil, sea salt, spices*.*100% pure herbs & spices (no hidden ingredients)

We can actually read the ingredients – Lentils. Celery. Carrots…..
None of us are going to go to their pantry and grab some modified food starch, maltodextrin or  disodium inosinate.

Remember that if you aren’t using fresh in a recipe – be sure to read the ingredients.

Upside Down Lentil Pot Pie

I will admit that did not have high hopes for this recipe and was not even going to record it – but when it come out of the oven, with the seasoned lentils in a flavorful pie crust my little ugly duckling became a swan. I had to take a few photos to save this one for later, and in fact, I’m marking this one as a “favorite”.

Bookmark this recipe for the next time someone tells you it is too difficult to eat vegetarian or vegan and it is too much work to prepare dinner so they just went to the drive through.

Upside Down Lentil Pot Pie

Upside Down Lentil Pot Pie 

Serves 6
Vegan
Printable Recipe
**Items on sale now at Native Sun Natural Foods Market Oct 7 to Nov 6, 2012

Ingredients

1 frozen whole wheat pie crust Wholly Wholesome)
1 can fire roasted diced tomatoes, drained (Muir Glen)**
1 cup cooked black beans, rinsed and drained (Tree of Life)**
1 can Amy’s Kitchen Lentil Soup

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 375F. Pour tomatoes, beans and lentil soup into frozen pie crust; stir and bake 25 to 30 minutes or until heated through.

Nutrition Facts
6 Servings
Amount Per Serving

Calories 228.7
Total Fat 9.8 g
Saturated Fat 4.2 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0.1 g
Monounsaturated Fat 0.0 g
Cholesterol 0.0 mg
Sodium 480.3 mg
Potassium 276.8 mg
Total Carbohydrate 27.5 g
Dietary Fiber 7.3 g
Sugars 4.5 g
Protein 8.0 g

Vitamin A 18.4 %
Vitamin B-6 1.0 %
Vitamin C 20.0 %
Calcium 3.1 %
Copper 6.3 %
Folate 10.7 %
Iron 10.3 %
Magnesium 5.0 %
Manganese 6.4 %
Niacin 0.7 %
Pantothenic Acid 0.7 %
Phosphorus 4.0 %
Riboflavin 1.0 %
Selenium 0.5 %
Thiamin 4.7 %
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.

Aug 282012
 
Can tomato and pineapple be friends?  After tasting this recipe, I do believe they are the BEST of friends; neither overpowering the other, living in a sweet-savory harmony.

 

Pineapple Tomato Chimichurri over Teriyaki Tofu
 
And WHY would I put an Argentine chimichurri over a Japanese teriyaki? Because it works!  These flavors can go hand in hand – in this case it’s best not to discriminate – trust me. 
 
Pineapple Tomato Chimichurri over Teriyaki Tofu
 
If you aren’t a tofu lover – this chimichurri will go well over any of your favorite proteins or even used as salsa.  And the second great thing is that this is one fresh topping that doesn’thave cilantro but is still AMAZING. In my experience, there are two types of people in the world.  Those that love cilantro and those that hate it.  Cilantro is one of those ingredients that either gets a, it’s so fresh, I love it!, or a, It’s the most disgusting thing ever and tastes like soap.

 
With this recipe you can please everyone on your list.
 
Pineapple Tomato Chimichurri over Teriyaki Tofu

Pineapple Tomato Chimichurri over Teriyaki Tofu

Serves 4
Vegan, Gluten Free
 
Ingredients
 
1 cup chopped fresh pineapple
2 tomatoes, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup minced fresh parsley
2 Tbsp minced fresh oregano
2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar 
1/4 tsp sea salt
Dash ground cumin and dried thyme, to taste
1 block organic, firm tofu, pressed of water
1/3 cup Teriyaki marinade, (OrganicVille )
 
Directions
 
1. Cut tofu into 4 “steaks”; pour marinade over evenly and marinate 1 hour to 24 hours.
 
2. Preheat oven to 400F.  Place tofu on baking sheet sprayed with organic non stick spray; bake 15 minutes; flip and broil on high, 5 minutes.
 
3. Mix pineapple through cumin and thyme in a medium bowl.**
 
4. Topeach tofu steak with 1/4 salsa mixture.**Pineapple mixture can also be prepared ahead the night before, while the tofu is marinating.

 
Pineapple Chimmichurri
Nutrition Facts

4 Servings
Amount Per Serving

Calories 91.0
Total Fat 7.3 g
Saturated Fat 1.0 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 1.1 g
Monounsaturated Fat 5.1 g
Cholesterol 0.0 mg
Sodium 151.1 mg
Potassium 146.9 mg
Total Carbohydrate 7.5 g
Dietary Fiber 1.0 g
Sugars 4.3 g
Protein 0.7 g

Vitamin A 10.4 %
Vitamin B-12 0.0 %
Vitamin B-6 4.5 %
Vitamin C 24.6 %
Vitamin D 0.0 %
Vitamin E 1.1 %
Calcium 1.5 %
Copper 4.0 %
Folate 3.7 %
Iron 3.6 %
Magnesium 3.1 %
Manganese 36.4 %
Niacin 2.1 %
Pantothenic Acid 1.7 %
Phosphorus 1.6 %
Riboflavin 2.1 %
Selenium 1.0 %
Thiamin 4.1 %
Zinc 0.9 %

*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 (Estimated because much of the marinade is poured off)
Estimated Nutrition Facts
4 Servings
Amount Per Serving

Calories 129.2
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 571.4 mg
Potassium 151.3 mg
Total Carbohydrate 7.2 g
Dietary Fiber 0.5 g
Sugars 4.6 g
Protein 11.8 g

Aug 192012
 

Easy Mexican Mila Tortilla Bake

Easy Mexican Mila Tortilla Bake

 

Friday night was my second wine and Mila soirée.
We laughed, we talked nutrition, we drank and we ate dishes made with Mila.

All is quiet after work – waiting for my friends to arrive!
 
What is Mila?
(Those of you that follow me regularly already know but for those of you that are new, here is the info.)
 
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 6 to 10 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!
 
My friend Jodi and my mom Diane.
We discussed the fact that Mila is a FOOD, not a pill, supplement, shake, powder or bar. It does more than just anti-aging or help you lose weight – it offers so much more! The nutrition of this food is amazing; it has 3000mg Omega 3s, antioxidants, 5 grams of fiber and only 70 calories. It will absorb many times its weight in liquid to help you feel full as well as offer tons of plant based vitamins and phytonutrients. Many shakes and pill supplements state that they have more nutrients than ten oranges, three pounds of kale, a whole salmon – blah, blah, blah.  When it comes down to it, your body is going to recognize the nutrients in an actual food much faster than a man made pill, shake or smoothie.
 
Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food. — Hippocrates, father of medicine, 431 B.C.
 
Da Food

I also love the fact that Mila can be used as an egg replacer for baked goods – which is awesome because my daughter is allergic to eggs.  Instead of using a powdered egg substitute, this is a great way to both bind and add all the benefits I listed above.

Lots o’ Glorious Wine

I made my world famous seven layer dip – with Mila mixed into the black beans.

Vegan 7 Layer Dip with Mila and Cashew Sour Cream

These cookies were baked with Mila – super soft and chewy.

Oatmeal, Raisin and Almond Cookies made with Mila

My mom brought a strawberry spinach salad with a red wine and Mila vinaigrette.

Strawberry Spinach Salad with Red Wine and  Mila Vinaigrette

Jodi contributed a cheesy rice with Mila.

Cheesy Rice with Mila

A great time was had by all! A special thanks to my mentor Rachel, Megan who shared the first bag of Mila with me, my fabulous team members, Diane, Jodi, Suzanne, Chris and a long distance hug to Cara, thanks to those who stopped by and congratulations to my friend Jen who is the newest member of the team!!

Some of the fabulous ladies.
Mom enjoying her glass of wine.
 
Finally, the grand finale, my Mexican style tortilla bake - a super easy version of a lasagna. This versatile dish can be made vegan and gluten free or made with any regular tortillas you like, and any shredded cheese you have on hand.  This was an AWESOME way to slip Mila into my family’s diet.  Both my hubby and daughter polished off their serving and asked for more – little did they know they got half their day’s supply of Mila!
 

Instead of beef, I added a can of Amy’s Chili; it added tons of flavor and heartiness without the meat.  The tomatoes created a rich sauce and the black beans and fajita seasoning tie the whole dish together with a Mexican flair.  This one is definitely going under the favorites.  It is one of those casseroles that get even better the next day.

Want to try Mila for yourself?  Click HERE!

Easy Mexican Tortilla Bake with Mila

Easy Mexican Tortilla Bake with Mila

Vegan, Gluten Free
Serves 4
 

Ingredients

1 can (14.5oz) chili, I used Amy’s Medium Vegan Chili
1 can (14.5oz) black beans, drained and rinsed
2-4 scoops Mila
1 28 oz can diced tomatoes of choice (I used Muir Glen Fire Roasted, diced tomatoes with chilies), drained
2 Tbsp adobo or fajita seasoning (be sure to use a from scratch version or check the label for gluten free)
1 pkg (10oz) rice tortillas (or for non-gluten free use any you like)
1 cup shredded Daiya cheese (or any shredded cheese of choice)

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 350F.  Mix chili, beans, Mila, diced tomatoes and fajita seasoning in a medium bowl.

2. Spray a 9×13 with cooking spray.  Cut the tortillas in strips and layer on layer on the bottom of the baking pan.  Top with 1/2 the bean/Mila mixture, spreading with spatula, repeat.  Top with cheese, cover and bake 25 minutes or until heated through.

**This also freezes well!  Simply use two 8×8 pans and do not add the cheese to the half you are freezing.  Wrap tightly after layering and freeze for up to 1 month.  When ready to heat, bring to room temp, top with cheese and bake at 350F for 25 minutes or until heated through.

Nutrition Facts (with Mila)
8 Servings
Amount Per Serving

Calories 296.5
Total Fat 8.7 g
Saturated Fat 1.3 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 1.6 g
Monounsaturated Fat 0.0 g
Cholesterol 0.0 mg
Sodium 664.1 mg
Potassium 197.7 mg
Total Carbohydrate 42.1 g
Dietary Fiber 10.3 g
Sugars 4.5 g
Protein 11.3 g

Vitamin A 11.4 %
Vitamin B-6 6.5 %
Vitamin C 32.9 %
Calcium 8.2 %
Copper 6.5 %
Folate 16.0 %
Iron 18.1 %
Magnesium 12.5 %
Manganese 15.0 %
Niacin 6.1 %
Pantothenic Acid 4.0 %
Phosphorus 16.5 %
Riboflavin 1.5 %
Selenium 0.7 %
Thiamin 12.0 %
Zinc 5.2 %

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