Archive for September, 2010
When out training for a marathon or half marathon or just a long run, I like to take something along with me to get me over that 8-10 mile slump. For those days when you’re falling asleep at your desk at 3 in the afternoon these honey sweet peanut bars will pick you up without the crash and burn that a sugar filled candy bar would give you. They are easy to make with no baking involved. Recent research has shown that honey is an excellent ergogenic aid and helps in boosting the performance of athletes. Honey facilitates in maintaining blood sugar levels, muscle recuperation and glycogen restoration after a workout (Organicfacts.net). Plus they taste SUPER yummy!
- 1 cup raw honey, brown rice syrup or coconut nectar
- 1 cup peanut butter (if you keep your PB in the fridge then bring it to room temp)
- 1 cup old fashioned rolled oats
- 1/2 cup unflavored unsweetened protein powder (I used NurtiBiotic Organic Rice Plain Protein Powder)
- 1/2 cup dried currants
- 1/2 cup raw sunflower seeds
- Place the sunflower seeds in a shallow pan and toast on medium heat for about 3-4 minutes stirring often, set aside.
- Pour the honey in a 2 quart pan and bring to a boil on medium-high. Reduce the heat to low and boil stirring constantly for about 3 minutes, remove from heat and add the peanut butter.
- Stir well.
- Next add the oats, protein powder, sunflower seeds and currants. Press the mixture in a 8 x 8 non stick pan (I line the bottom with parchment paper for easier removal).
- After cooled, cut into bars (2 x 2) and wrap individually for an easy portable snack.
Makes 16 bars.
Serving size 1 bar.
Nutrients per serving: Calories: 198, Cal. from Fat: 76, Total Fat: 8.5g, Sat. Fat: 2g, Carbs: 26.5g, Fiber: 1.5g, Sugars: 17g, Protein: 6.5g, Sodium: 12mg, Cholesterol: 4mg
I love adding 1/3 cup of chocolate chips to the mixture. I use SunSpire Grain Sweetened Chocolate Chips. When you add them to the mixture they will soften a little due to the heat.
You can also use dried blueberries, raisins or even cherries in place of the currants.
The bars will keep at room temperature for several days. They will keep in the fridge for a few months or 6 months in the freezer.
I’ve had a love affair with pizza for a very long time. In fact my mouth is watering right now just thinking of that thin crust, delicious sauce and fresh toppings. I think my favorite thing about pizza is the infinite ways you can top your pizza for a one of a kind meal every time. Of course I have my favorite, Thai Peanut, Roasted Vegetable and BBQ with Caramelized Onions. Luckily this recipe makes a large batch of dough and I usually have enough to make all my favorites!
- 1 tbsp raw honey or coconut nectar
- 1 cup lukewarm water
- 1 pkg active dry yeast
- 2 1/2 cups whole wheat flour, divided
- 4 tsp vital wheat gluten (optional)
- 3 tbsp olive oil, divided
- 1 tsp sea salt
- In a large bowl, mix together honey and 1/2 cup water.
- Sprinkle in yeast and allow to proof, undisturbed (do not stir or move bowl), for 10 minutes or until yeast is foamy.
- While yeast is proofing, mix together 2 cups flour, wheat gluten (if using) and salt in another large bowl.
- Once yeast is foamy, add remaining water and 2 tbsp oil to yeast mixture. Pour in flour mixture and gently fold in bowl with a spatula until combined. The mixture will form a wet ball.
- Coat the bottom of another large bowl with remaining oil. Make sure the bowl is large enough so that when doubled in size the dough will not reach the top.
- Transfer the dough to the oiled bowl, rolling the dough a bit to coat with oil. Cover bowl tightly with plastic wrap and set aside at room temperature to rise for 1 hour. Dough will be very soft and sticky.
- Lightly dust counter with about 1/4 cup flour. Transfer dough to floured surface and roll lightly in flour, knead for 1 minute, dusting your hands with additional remaining flour as needed.
- Form dough into a ball and place back into bowl. Cover bowl again tightly with plastic wrap and set aside at room temperature to rise for 30 minutes.
- Transfer dough back to floured surface, adding more flour to prevent dough from sticking, if needed, and cut dough in half to form 2 balls. Lightly knead each for about 30 seconds and reform into balls.
- Dough is now ready to be formed into pizza crust or wrapped for future use.
- To store, wrap each dough ball individually in plastic wrap. Dough can be kept refrigerated for 24 hours or frozen for up to 1 month.
- If using immediately after making follow the directions below.
- If using from the refrigerator, remove dough from fridge and allow to warm a little at room temperature, about 10 minutes, then follow the directions below.
- If using from the freezer, transfer dough from freezer to fridge and allow to defrost overnight before removing from fridge and allowing to warm at room temperature for about 10 minutes.
Directions for Pizza Dough:
- Lightly dust work surface with whole wheat flour.
- Place dough ball onto floured surface. Using fingertips, flatten into a 6- to 8-inch circle, about 1/2-inch thick.
- Using a floured rolling pin, flatten dough in 1 direction, moving the rolling pin back and forth, to give you an oval shape.
- Flip dough and rotate it clockwise a quarter turn, so the dough lies horizontally. Add flour to surface and dough, as needed, to prevent sticking and tearing. Roll again, back and forth, to even dough into a circle.
- Repeat steps three and four until desired thickness and diameter are achieved – about 1/4-inch thickness for a regular crust or about ’1/8-inch for a thin crust.
- Transfer dough to pizza pan or baking sheet. To keep air bubbles out, repeatedly pierce dough with a fork in 1 inch sections over entire surface. (Note: You may want to leave a 1/2- to 1-inch border for a puffy crust.) Garnish with toppings and bake at 450 degrees for about 10-15 minutes.
Directions for Breadsticks:
- Roll out pizza dough to desired thickness.
- Use a pizza cutter to slice out the desired number of breadsticks.
- Brush the slices with olive oil and sprinkle with garlic and oregano.
- Bake at 475 degrees for about 8 to 10 minutes.
Makes 2 pizza dough balls.
Serving size 1/8 of each dough ball, no toppings.
Nutrients per serving: Calories: 96, Total Fat: 3g, Sat. Fat: 0.5g, Carbs: 15g, Fiber: 2g, Sugars: 1g, Protein: 3g, Sodium: 121mg, Cholesterol: 0mg
The possibilities are endless with pizza. You really can’t go wrong. In case the old standby, pepperoni, just won’t cut it for you here are 3 of my favorite pizzas.
- Savory Peanut Sauce
- Bean Sprouts
- Red Pepper
BBQ with Caramelized Onions
- Homemade BBQ Sauce
- Caramelized Onions
- Eggplant (thinly sliced and roasted)
- Your Favorite Marinara Sauce
- Oven Roasted Vegetables
One of the most popular items in my house for snacking is nuts. Seriously, we are nuts over nuts. My husband is a fan of every kind there is and my daughter was saying ‘crunchie’ (her word for nuts) shortly after ‘momma’ and ‘dadda’. We buy tons of different nuts and seeds and separate the trail mix into snack bags for a super easy snack on the go. There is no wrong way to make this recipe. Add your favorite nuts, seeds and dried fruit and you have a healthy and delicious snack waiting for you!
- 5 cups of your favorite combination of nuts (I like using almonds, cashews, peanuts, pistachios, walnuts and pecans)
- 4 oz dried fruit of your choice (raisin, cherries, blueberries, apricots, gogi berries – any type will work)
- 1 1/2 cups of your favorite seed combination (I like sunflower seeds and pumpkin seeds)
- Mix all ingredients together in a large bowl.
- Store in an airtight container or separate into snack sized bags and store in a dry and cool place.
Makes approximately 30 servings.
Serving size 1/4 cup.
Nutritional info will vary depending on the specific ingredients used.
Be careful when buying dried fruits. You would think that fruit would be sweet enough on it’s own but most companies will add sugar to the final product. Make sure you read the ingredients list carefully and avoid any products with added sugars and/or harmful chemicals and preservatives.
I tend to avoid added salt in my diet so all the nuts used in this trail mix and roasted and unsalted. It’s fine to use one or two salted nuts in this recipe, just be aware that you will have a higher sodium content per serving.
This is a pretty basic dish that I eat probably 3-4 times a week. You can change it up by using different vegetables, adding beans, serving over cooked quinoa or rice. I like to use the vegetables that are in season and freshest for the most nutritional dish possible.
- 3-4 cups total of whatever vegetable combination you like (the following is a sample combination)
- 8 ounces mushrooms (I like baby bellas)
- 1 red pepper
- 1 onion
- 1 medium size zucchini
- 1-2 carrots
- 1 medium beet (If you use a red beet keep it separate so the color doesn’t bleed into the other vegetables, the orange beets work better)
- 1 parsnip
- 1 turnip
- 1 potato
- 1 sweet potato
- 1/2 cup cubed squash of your choice (butternut squash works well)
- 6 brussel sprouts, halved
- 1/2 cup cherry tomatoes
- sea salt, to taste
- freshly ground black pepper
- 2-3 tbsp olive oil
- 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar (optional)
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- Peel and chop vegetables into approximately 1 inch size chunks (the vegetables that take longer to cook- potatoes, carrots, beets, etc - should be cut a little smaller than say onions or mushrooms.
- Place the vegetables in a large zip lock bag and add olive oil and shake until all the veggies are coated.
- Spread the mixture on a large baking sheet or roasting pan, so that every piece is touching the bottom of the pan (I like to use a non stick foil on the pan for super easy clean up!)
- Sprinkle with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. Roast in oven, stirring once or twice for about 30 minutes or until vegetables are tender and slightly browned.
Nutritional info for this dish will vary greatly depending on what vegetables you use.
This dish is best served right away. You can stored leftovers in the fridge for 1-2 days but they will lose their crispiness when reheated.
A friend of mine who knows how I love to read recipes, gave me some cooking magazines a couple of weeks ago. I was browsing through one and found a recipe that looked interesting, Black Bean Lasagna. I was disappointed after reading the recipe. It was a typical lasagna with a chili sauce rather than pasta sauce, ricotta, mozzarella and parmesan. That’s no fun. If you’re going to make it a mexican style lasagna with a black bean chili sauce then I think the rest of the ingredients should be authentic as well. So, I did a little research and headed to my local Whole Foods for what my grandson would call a “mission”. I had found that Requeson is a Mexican cheese similar to ricotta and Oaxaca is like mozzarella and Manchego is similar to parmesan. I headed to the cheese department where the young lady who works there is always very helpful. They didn’t have Requeson but I decided on a mix of ricotta and Queso Fresco. I got the Oaxaca and Manchego and my “mission” was accomplished. The black bean sauce was a little bland so I spiced that up a little too. Here’s the final recipe!
- 9 whole wheat lasagna noodles (or rice noodles for a gluten free lasagna)
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 2 cans (16 ounces each) black beans, rinsed and drained
- 1 can (28 ounces) tomato puree
- 1 can (15 ounces) crushed tomatoes
- 1-2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
- 2 tsp chili powder
- 2 tsp ground cumin
- 4 egg whites, beaten
- 1/2 of a 15 ounce carton reduced-fat ricotta cheese
- 6 ounces Queso Fresco, crumbled (or 1 whole carton ricotta and omit the Queso Fresco)
- 1/2 cup finely shredded Manchego cheese (parmesan cheese may be substituted)
- 1/4 cup minced fresh parsley
- 2 cups shredded Oaxaca cheese (mozzarella cheese may be substituted)
- Cook noodles according to package directions. Meanwhile, in large skillet over medium heat, cook onion and garlic in oil until tender.
- Add beans, tomato puree, crushed tomatoes, crushed red pepper flakes, chili powder, and ground cumin. Simmer on low for 5-10 minutes.
- In a small bowl, combine egg whites, ricotta, Quesco Fresco, Manchego and parsley.
- Drain noodles.
- Spread 1/2 cup bean mixture into a 13 x 9 baking dish coated with cooking spray. Layer with three noodles.
- Top noodles with half the ricotta mixture and top that with 1/3 of remaining bean mixture and top that with 1/3 Oaxaca cheese. Repeat layer again with 3 noodles, the remaining ricotta mixture, 1/3 bean mixture and 1/3 Oaxaca cheese. For the last layer, 3 noodles, the remaining bean mixture and the remainng Oaxaca cheese.
- Cover with foil (if you have non stick foil it works best so the cheese doesn’t stick to it) and bake at 350′ for 45 minutes. (To avoid cooking over into your oven, place a baking sheet under your lasagna pan!)
- Uncover and bake 15 minutes longer or until bubbly. Let stand 10 minutes before cutting.
Makes 12 servings.
Serving size 1 piece.
Nutrients per serving: Calories: 306, Cal. from Fat: 114, Total Fat: 13g, Sat. Fat: 7g, Carbs: 28g, Fiber: 6g, Sugars: 6g, Protein: 19g, Sodium: 292mg, Chol: 21
Leftover lasagna can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days.
This is an excellent dish to separate into single servings and freeze for later meals! Lasagna can be stored in the freezer for up to 6 months.
I have made scalloped potatoes many times. It was one of my husbands favorite meals. My son in law also loves this dish so I decided to clean it up. To add a little more flavor I decided to sauté the onions first. What a difference. It adds such flavor. I made a few other minor adjustments to accommodate my son in laws love of cheese and there you have it. A delicious side dish or with the addition of the ham a main meal sure to satisfy your whole family.
- olive oil spray
- 1-2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 medium onion, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced
- 1/2 tsp sea salt, divided
- fresh ground black pepper, to taste
- 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 1/4 cup whole wheat pastry flour
- 2 cups fat free milk
- 1 cup low fat Monterey Jack cheese
- 2 pounds Russet potatoes, peeled and sliced as thin as possible. (I used a mandoline, be sure to use the guard!)
- 2 ounces Parmesan cheese, grated
- 2 tbsp whole wheat panko (Japanese breadcrumbs)
- 1 cup diced organic ham or turkey ham or even Canadian bacon (be sure to read the ingredients for added sugars and chemicals) – optional
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Coat a 2 quart baking dish with cooking spray.
- Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion, 1/4 tsp salt and pepper. Cook, stirring frequently, until light browned, about 5-7 minutes.
- Reduce heat to low and add garlic and flour. Cook, stirring constantly, for 1 to 2 minutes or until onions are coated with flour.
- Add milk and increase heat to medium-high. When liquid begins to simmer, reduce heat to low and cook until mixture thickens slightly, about 3-4 minutes. Add 3/4 cup Monterey Jack and remaining 1/2 tsp salt and stir until melted. Remove from heat.
- Arrange half of potatoes in an even layer in prepared baking dish. Cover with half of onion mixture and 1/2 cup ham (if using). Repeat with remaining potatoes, remaining onion mixture and remaining 1/2 cup ham.
- In a small bowl, combine remaining Monterey Jack, Parmesan and panko; cover and refrigerate until ready to use.
- Bake potatoes in center of oven for 70-85 minutes or until potatoes in center of dish feel tender when pierced with a fork. When finished baking, remove potatoes from oven and sprinkle evenly with cheese-panko mixture.
- Preheat broiler to high and return baking dish to oven and broil until cheese is melted, about 2 minutes. Let cool for 10-15 minutes before serving.
Makes 8 servings.
Serving size about 1 cup.
Nutrients per serving: Calories: 232, Cal. from Fat: 72.5, Total Fat: 8g, Sat. Fat: 4g, Carbs: 28.5g, Fiber: 2g, Sugars: 4.5g, Protein: 11g, Sodium: 314mg, Chol: 7.5mg
Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days.
Quick breads are such a glorious thing. They are relatively easy to make and for such a simple thing you get such a complex flavor especially from this vanilla bean ricotta bread. It’s dense, almost like a pound cake and from the time you smell it baking in the oven, to the time you cut the first slice, your mouth will be watering. This is one of my all time favorite desserts!
- 1 1/2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
- 2 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 1 1/2 cups whole milk ricotta
- 1/2 cup real maple syrup (grade B)
- 3 large eggs
- 1 vanilla bean
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Grease and flour a 9-inch loaf pan.
- In medium bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, and salt and set aside.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together ricotta, maple syrup, and eggs.
- Split the vanilla bean lengthwise and scrape out the seeds with the blunt side of a small knife, then beat them into the batter along with the vanilla extract.
- Stir dry ingredients into the ricotta mixture, scraping down the sides as you go. Stir until just well mixed.
- Pour the batter into the prepared pan and smooth top with a spatula. Tap pan on counter a few times to remove air pockets.
- Put cake in oven and let bake for 15 minutes, then turn 180 degrees to ensure even browning.
- Lower the temperature to 325°F and bake about 35 minutes more or until cake springs back when lightly touched, the sides of the cake have pulled away from the sides of the pan, and a cake tester inserted in center comes out clean.
- Let cool completely, then serve.
Makes 12 slices.
Serving size 1 slice.
Nutrients per serving: Calories: 127, Cal. from Fat: 49, Total Fat: 5.5g, Sat. Fat: 3g, Carbs: 1g, Sugars: 0g, Protein: 6.5g, Sodium: 325mg, Chol: 68mg
Leftover bread should be stored in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
This is the time of year when salads just don’t cut it for dinner anymore. I may have one as a side but I need more substance in my main meal. Nothing fills me up more than a bowl of rice and this recipe more than hits the spot. The garlic black bean sauce adds a delicious flavor and the combinations of all the grains is fantastic. The best part about this meal is that it freezes really well. This recipe makes quite a big batch which means you’ll be able to pack away a bunch of ‘frozen dinners’! I love recipes you make once and enjoy for many days to come!
- 1 cup Wehani rice or your favorite wild rice
- 1/2 cup Kamut
- 1/2 cup whole wheat couscous (you can substitute with quinoa if you can’t find whole wheat couscous)
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 sweet onion, finely chopped
- 2 large carrots, finely chopped
- 4 – 6 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 can Amy’s Organic Low Fat Black Bean Vegetable Soup
- 4 green onions, chopped
- 1/2 cup pine nuts, toasted
- 1/4 cup zucchini, chopped fine
- 1/2 cup green peas (if frozen, thaw first)
- 1 can (8 ounces) sliced water chestnuts, drained
- sea salt and pepper to taste
- Start by preparing the rice according to the package instructions ahead of time.
- For the Wehani rice combine 1 cup of rice and 2 cups of water in pot with tight-fitting lid. Bring to boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer 45 minutes. Do not remove lid. Remove from heat and allow to sit covered for 10 minutes.
- To cook your Kamut soak 1 cup Kamut overnight. Then add additional water if needed to equal 3 cups and bring it to a boil, reduce heat to low and simmer for 40-45 minutes or until tender. If you’re not able to soak it overnight increase the cook time from 40-45 minutes to about 2-3 hours. The water should be completely absorbed when the Kamut is done cooking.
- To cook the couscous you will need to bring 3/4 cup of water to a boil in a saucepan. Add in 1/2 cup couscous, remove from heat and cover with a lid. Let sit for at least 5 minutes and then fluff with a fork.
Makes 10-12 servings.
Serving size 1 cup.
Nutrients per serving: Calories: 220, Cal. from Fat: 51.5, Total Fat: 6g, Sat. Fat: 0g, Carbs: 37g, Fiber: 5.5g, Sugars: 3.5g, Protein: 6.5g, Sodium: 115mg, Chol: 0mg
Leftover pilaf can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days. This dish freezes really well too. Place leftovers in individual freezer safe containers and store in the freezer for up to 6 months. Reheat in the microwave when ready to serve.
I love Taco Tuesday and our Family Favorite Black Bean Tacos. I’m such a creature of habit. You can always count on lunch the next day being a delicious taco salad topped with the leftover bean filling mixture. And what taco salad is complete without crushed up Doritos Tortilla chips on top?! Unfortunately topping my salad with chemically processed, preservative heavy and artifically flavored chips is not appealing to me. So what’s a girl to do but make my own?! While I always start out making them to throw on top of my salad for some reason the whole batch ends up mysteriously being eaten before ever making it to said salad. Second batch most likely follows in first batch’s footsteps. Just saying!
Ingredients for 1 serving of chips:
- 1 whole grain tortilla shell of your choice
- 4 tbsp Homemade Breadcrumbs
- 2 tbsp Garlic Gold Oil or regular extra virgin olive oil
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
- Cut your tortilla shells into 8 equal sized triangle pieces.
- Lay your triangles out on a baking tray. (I line mine with non stick foil for easy clean up!)
- Lightly spray or brush your triangles with olive oil and sprinkle with the crushed crouton mixture, flip and repeat on the other side.
- Place in the oven for about 10-12 minutes. You will need to keep a close eye on them for the last few minutes as they can go from almost done to burnt very quickly!
- Once your tortilla chips are done remove them from the oven and allow them to cool for about 5 minutes. They crisp up wonderfully after cooling down.
Makes 1 serving.
Serving size 8 chips.
Nutritional info will vary greatly depending on the type of bread used in the croutons and tortilla shells used.
You can easily double or even triple this recipe to make a larger batch of chips to have on hand.
Leftover doritos can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for 2-3 days.
This is a great snack for kids! If you have a picky eater or need a way to get additional protein in their diet these are an excellent choice. Food For Life Ezekiel Sprouted Grain Tortillas have 6 grams of protein per serving and are great to use in this recipe.
The Doritos are also great for dipping into some Homemade Guacamole!
So what is ‘Naked Eating’? While it doesn’t necessary involve sitting around your kitchen eating with your clothes off, what you do in your kitchen is your business!
So what does Naked Eating involve? At its most basic, naked eating is about making the healthiest food choices possible, opting for organic fruits and vegetables and whole grains instead of processed and refined foods. To eat naked, there are a few easy principles to follow.
Naked Eating Principles:
- Eat 3-4 sensible sized meals each day
- Focus on combining healthy food choices (choose a healthy protein such as nuts or legumes and combine with fresh fruits, vegetables and whole grains)
- Avoid ALL over-processed and refined foods (especially sugar, white rice, and white flour)
- Avoid saturated and trans fat, instead consuming healthy fats (like avocados and flax seeds)
- Avoid ALL sodas and other sugary juices and drinks
- Choose organic food whenever possible
- Avoid high-calorie, zero nutrient foods (i.e., junk food)
- Eat meals with proper portion sizes
- Drink at least 8 cups of water every day
What can you expect from Naked Eating?
We’ve all heard the saying “It’s not a diet, it’s a lifestyle change” yet many of these ‘lifestyles’ focus only on what we eat or more importantly what we can’t eat. Naked Eating is definitely about providing your body with the healthiest, most nutritious foods available but it’s also about peeling back the layers and revealing the true you, it’s about ditching the negative factors in your life and opening yourself up to positive changes. It’s about living in harmony with the environment, our communities, our families and ourselves.While Naked Eating doesn’t focus on weight lose it is a great way to reduce body fat, lower cholesterol, prevent or eliminate various degenerative diseases such as type 2 diabetes and coronary heart disease, eliminate migraines, help reduce allergies and keep weight off (source). It also helps to clear up skin and grow healthier hair and nails and boosts your energy levels (source).
“The only place where success comes before work is in the dictionary.” - Vince Lombardi
Eating Naked requires time, commitment and pre-planning. It’s not just a way of eating that can accomplished weight loss or overall health by doing it on the weekends only. If you’re ready to commit to a healthy lifestyle we will provide you with the tools necessary to find success. Things are always a little scary in the beginning but we’re here to walk you through it at your pace. Click on one of the links below to get started!