Archive for January, 2012

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So I gotta be honest, I finally came clean to my husband about the ‘regular’ potatoes I used in my Sweet Potato Quinoa Burgers.  At first he didn’t believe me that sweet potatoes could be white but a quick google search ended that belief rather quickly.  Now that he’s come to the realization that he likes sweet potatoes I decided to make it up to him and show him all the delicious ways you can enjoy this delectable potato.  With the Super Bowl coming up I thought it would be perfect to give these beer infused fries a try.  Of course, what are fries without ketchup?!  But this is not just any ketchup – oh no.  I literally wanted to drink this ketchup up it was so tasty.  I will never use another ketchup again.  This might just be our best tasting Super Bowl party ever!



For the Sweet Potato Beer Fries:

  • 3 pounds sweet potatoes
  • 1 bottle of organic beer of your choice (if you follow a gluten free diet make sure to use a gluten free beer)
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 2-3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 tsp oregano
  • 1 tsp course sea salt
  • fresh black pepper to taste

For the Roasted Tomato Ketchup:

  • 10 medium sized tomatoes
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1/2 a large onion, finely diced
  • 1 clove garlic, finely minced
  • 3 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 2 1/2 tbsp raw coconut crystals
  • 1/8 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp allspice
  • 2 tbsp coconut nectar
  • sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste


For the Sweet Potato Beer Fries:

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  2. Scrub the potatoes and cut into 1/4 inch thick pieces (leave the skins on).

    I used an organic lager for this recipe

  3. Place the potatoes in a large bowl, add the bottle of beer and soak the potatoes for 15-30 minutes.

    Toss with olive oil, garlic, oregano and salt and pepper until well coated

  4. Drain the beer and toss with olive oil, garlic, oregano, salt and pepper until well coated.
  5. Line a large baking sheet with parchment and spread the fries in a single layer.

    The cooking time will depend on how done you like your fries

  6. Place in the oven and bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour, tossing 3-4 times. The length of time will depend on how done you like them and how thick they are cut.
  7. Remove the fries and serve immediately.

For the Roasted Tomato Ketchup:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

    Place the tomatoes on a baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil and a sprinkle of salt

  2. Wash and cut tomatoes in half. Place each half on a parchment lined baking sheet. Lightly drizzle with 1 tbsp oil and a pinch of sea salt.

    Bake in the oven for 30 minutes or until the tomatoes are caramelized

  3. Place in oven and roast for 30 minutes or so, until tomatoes are caramelized and fragrant.
  4. Heat the remaining 1 tbsp of olive oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat.  Add the onions and sauté until translucent.
  5. Transfer the onions and roasted tomatoes to a food processor or blender and process until smooth.

    Place the tomato puree in a fine mesh strainer and strain, discarding any pulp

  6. Using the back of a wooden spoon or spatula, press the tomato puree through a mesh sieve back into the medium saucepan.  Discard any remaining pulp.
  7. Add the remaining ingredients to the tomato puree and continue cooking, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until thick, about 20 minutes.

Nutritional Info:

For the Sweet Potato Fries:

Makes 4-6 servings.

Nutritional info for the fries will vary depending on what type of beer is used.

For the Roasted Tomato Ketchup:

Makes 2 cups.

Serving size 2 tbsp.

Nutrients per serving:  Calories: 42, Cal. from Fat: 16, Total Fat: 1.5g, Sat. Fat: 0g, Carbs: 6g, Fiber: .5g, Sugars: 4.5g, Protein: .5g, Sodium: 8mg, Chol: 0mg


The fries are best eaten right away (not that you’ll have any leftovers) but can be stored in the fridge and reheated the next day in the oven until crispy!  And if for some insane reason you do have leftovers, please bring them to me!

The ketchup may be refrigerated and stored for up to 1 week in an airtight container.  You can also freeze the ketchup for up to 6 months.

Herbed Vegetable and Flax Crackers

Jan 30 2012 by | Comments (6)
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My goal with just about everything I make is to try and pack as many vegetables into every single bite that I can. Sometimes I am successful and sometimes not so much. Herbed Vegetable and Flax Crackers are one of my favorite successes. Crispy, healthy ingredients that are full of nutrition and flavor. These tasty crackers are an easy to carry snack, a crunchy topping on a salad, or a perfect accompaniment to soup.



  • 2 cups ground flax seeds
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1/2 cup (about 8-10) sun-dried tomatoes, chopped (I use sun dried tomatoes in oil)
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 2-4 tsp dried oregano
  • 2 tsp dried basil
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/2 tsp coarse sea salt (optional)


  1. Process the red pepper, onion, tomatoes, garlic and water in a food processor until you have a paste like consistency.
  2. Add the ground flax, lemon juice, oregano and basil and process until smooth.
  3. Divide the mixture in half and spread out onto 2 small baking sheets (approx. 10 x 15)  lined with a silicone mat or parchment paper. Press or roll it until about 1/8 inch thick (like a pie dough).
  4. Sprinkle with sea salt if using.
  5. Place in the oven at the lowest temperature your oven can go (mine is 170 degrees).

    The cracker after 2-3 hours moved to a cooling rack placed onto the baking sheet.

  6. After about 2-3 hours the crackers will be a leather like consistency. At this point remove the pan from the oven and place the cracker  (you should be able to lift the whole piece without it breaking) onto a cooling rack without the silicone mat or parchment and place the rack back on the baking sheet and then back into the oven. If you don’t have a cooling rack just flip it over and continue baking on the silicone mat or parchment. You will have to adjust baking time according to your oven temperature but at 170 degrees it takes approximately 6 hours total.
  7. Remove from the oven and immediately cut into 2 x 2 inch squares with a sharp knife.

Nutritional Info:

Makes approximately 48 crackers.

Serving size 4 crackers.

Nutrients per serving:  Calories: 168.5, Cal. from Fat: 101, Total Fat: 12.5g, Sat. Fat: 1g, Carbs: 11g, Fiber: 8.5g, Sugars: 2g, Protein: 6g, Sodium: 124mg, Chol: 0mg


Store leftover crackers in an airtight container for 3-4 days.

5 Day Juice Detox – Recap

Jan 28 2012 by | Comments (0)


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Pho Noodle Bowl

Jan 28 2012 by | Comments (0)
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There’s this restaurant on the corner where I get my hair cut called Pho House. The aroma that comes from that place is killer. I feel like I am being put under a spell and drawn towards the doors to go in and eat whatever is creating that lovely smell. I mentioned this to my hair dresser and she asked me if I’ve ever had a pho noodle bowl? She said you have to try it. The broth is unlike anything else you have ever tasted. Unfortunately there wasn’t a vegan option let alone organic so, not to be denied I came home and did some research and came up with my own vegan version. While I don’t know what the authentic Pho House noodles tasted like I certainly am in love with the results of this light, delicate and very aromatic soup that I ended up with. The broth is poured over cooked rice noodles and vegetables of your choice. The heat from the broth lightly cooks the vegetables so they taste fresh and retain their texture. Traditionally Pho is served with hoisin or sriracha but I can’t imagine muddling the beautiful flavor of this broth with anything but a little squeeze of lime to brighten it all up. I had even made my own fish- less version of hoisin but didn’t use it.

I’ve heard Pho is better for curing a cold than chicken soup and I believe it. Try it out sometime and see for yourself how restorative this lovely soup is.



For the broth

  • 1 large onion, quartered
  • 2 inch piece fresh ginger root, sliced in half lengthwise
  • 3 inch cinnamon stick * see notes regarding spices
  • 2 star anise
  • 3 whole cloves
  •  4 cardamom seeds
  • 1 tsp whole coriander seeds
  • 4 cups vegetable stock
  • 1 tbsp low sodium soy sauce or tamari
  • 2 cloves garlic, no need to peel just smash with the side of your knife
  • 2 carrots, coarsely chopped
  • 1 tsp raw coconut crystals

For the filling

  • 4 ounces brown rice noodles, cooked (I used brown rice spaghetti since it’s the only brown rice noodle I could find that was organic)
  • 1/4 cup shiitake mushrooms, stems removed and thinly sliced (any mushroom would be good)
  • 1/2 cup bok choy, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup broccoli florets, cut into small bite sized pieces
  • 1/2 cup napa cabbage, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup edamame (if frozen thaw first)

For the garnish

  • green onions, thinly sliced
  • chili pepper, thinly sliced
  • bean sprouts
  • cilantro
  • thai basil
  • lime wedges
  • hoisin sauce (this is not vegan)
  • sriracha


  1. Preheat broiler to high.
  2. Place the onion and ginger on a baking sheet and put under the broiler until slightly charred on one side and then turn over to char on the other side.
  3. In a large soup pot place the cinnamon, star anise, cloves, cardamom and coriander. Dry roast over medium heat until fragrant, about 1 minute. Stir constantly to prevent burning.
  4. Add the onion, ginger, vegetable stock, soy sauce, garlic, carrots and coconut crystals. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer, covered for at least 30 minutes but longer is better to develop more flavor.
  5. Strain the broth, then return back to the soup pot and keep hot.
  6. To serve, divide the noodles evenly between 2 large soup bowls. Add the filling ingredients of your choice. Pour half the hot broth over the filling and top with garnishes of your choice.

Nutrition Info:

Makes 2 servings.

Nutritional information not available as it would depend on the filling and garnishes you choose.


*I had all of these spices on hand from my Christmas Spicy Infusion Tea gift bags. If you don’t have all of these spices and don’t want to purchase them you can use Chinese 5 spice but it isn’t quite as nice.

If you don’t plan on eating all of soup right away store the broth in an airtight container in the refrigerator separately from the vegetables and only assemble when ready to eat.

Single Serve Snack Cake

Jan 27 2012 by | Comments (2)
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Quite a few years back there used to be this boxed snack cake mix that came with a plastic baking pan and a cake mix that you just had to add water to right in the baking pan, microwave and “beep, beep, beep” 2 minutes later you had an instant single serving of cake. I hate to say it but I loved that cake. When I think of it now I shudder thinking of all the chemically processed ingredients that must have been in that cake mix and I don’t even want to think of what that plastic container was made of. Ignorance is certainly not bliss…it’s deadly!

One thing I do like about this idea is the single serving fast baking aspect. When you want a sweet snack and you need it quick before you eat something else that’s not so good for you it’s ready in a flash and there is only one serving so you don’t over indulge. Since it’s made with whole natural ingredients and it’s not too sweet or fatty it’s a great little trick to keep you in control of those sweet cravings.



  • 1 tbsp unsweetened apricot preserves/jam (blueberry and plum are good too)
  • 1/4 cup whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp ginger
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 cup low fat unsweetened almond milk or other non-dairy milk
  • 1/2 tbsp ground flax
  • oil to grease baking dish
  • Fresh fruit to garnish (optional)


  1. In a smal bowl mix together the milk and flax seed. Set aside for 5 minutes.
  2. Stir in the apricot preserves.
  3. Add in all the other dry ingredients and stir just until combined.
  4. Grease a small microwave safe dish (I used a 7 ounce ramekin) and spoon in the dough.
  5. Microwave on high 1:45 -2  minutes or until the center is set.
  6. Dig in and eat while still warm.

Nutritional Info:

Makes 1 single serving.

Nutrients per serving (nutrition info will vary depending on the fruit preserve you use.):  Calories: 202, Cal. from Fat: 39, Total Fat: 4g, Sat. Fat: 0g, Carbs: 35g, Fiber: 5g, Sugars: 11g, Protein: 3g, Sodium: 280mg, Chol: 0mg


You really shouldn’t have any leftovers since this is a single serve cake.


5 Day Juice Detox – Day 4

Jan 26 2012 by | Comments (0)


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Roasted Tomato and Quinoa Soup

Jan 26 2012 by | Comments (12)
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I did it again. I got carried away at the market and bought more than I should have. This time it was cherry tomatoes. But they were on special and they had this nice tray of testers and those beautiful little red nuggets were so sweet and juicy. How could I resist?

My favorite thing for using extra tomatoes is to roast them in a little olive oil and then use them in a bean salad but it was cold and damp out and I wanted a nice warm soup so here is what I came up with.



  • 2 pints grape or cherry tomatoes *see notes
  • 2 carrots, diced
  • 2 ribs celery, diced
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 red pepper, diced
  • 1 chili pepper, diced (remove ribs and seeds for less heat)
  • 3 tbsp olive oil, divided
  • 2 tsp sea salt or to taste
  • 2 tsp paprika
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp ground chipotle chili
  • 2 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 8 cups low sodium vegetable broth
  • lime wedges (optional)
  • cilantro, chopped (optional)


  1. Preheat broiler to high. Place the tomatoes on a baking sheet and drizzle with 1 tbsp of the oil.
  2. Broil in the oven 10 minutes or until the skins burst and are just starting to blacken. Place on a cutting board and rough chop or you can put them in a food processor and pulse 1 or 2 times to chop. If you don’t like skins continue to process until pureed. Set aside.
  3. In a large soup pot heat the remaining oil over medium high heat and add the carrots, celery, onion, red pepper, chili pepper and sea salt. Sauté 5 minutes or so until the vegetables are starting to soften and then add the paprika, cumin, chipotle, and coriander.
  4. Stir in the quinoa, roasted tomatoes and vegetable broth. Bring to a boil, cover, and lower heat to a simmer.
  5. Simmer 30-40 minutes or until the quinoa is fully cooked.
  6. Serve with a squeeze of lime and cilantro if desired.

Nutritional Info:

Makes about 10 cups.

Serving size 1 cup.

Nutrients per serving:  Calories: 146, Cal. from Fat: 47, Total Fat: 5g, Sat. Fat: 1g, Carbs: 21g, Fiber: 3g, Sugars: 6g, Protein: 4g, Sodium: 505mg, Chol: 0mg


Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3-4 days or freeze for up to 6 months.

If you don’t have cherry tomatoes or want to save time you can substitute with 2 cans fire roasted diced tomatoes.

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5 Day Juice Detox – Day 3

Jan 25 2012 by | Comments (0)


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Juice Detox Recipes

Jan 25 2012 by | Comments (22)
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We are well into day 3 on our 5 day juice detox and I wanted to share some of our favorite juicing recipes.  Here are just a few of our favorites.


The Green Cucumber

  • 1 cucumber
  • 1 large cup of spinach
  • 1 large cup of parsley
  • 1 celery stock
  • 1/2 medium lemon, peeled

Pink Delight

  • 8 ounces watermelon
  • 4 ounces strawberries (if frozen thaw first)
  • 4 ounces raspberries (if frozen thaw first)

*Pink Delight is best when made in a blender and then strained before drinking

Ginger Root Boost

  • 1 inch slice ginger root
  • 1 lemon, peeled
  • 6 carrots (feel free to add the green tops)
  • 1 apple, cored

Best Face Forward

  • 1 cucumber
  • 1 parsnip
  • 2-3 carrots
  • 1/2 a lemon, peeled
  • 1/4  green pepper, seeded

*Cucumber and bell pepper are good sources of silicon which is recommended to strengthen skin hair and nails. Studies show that foods high in silicon reduce signs of ageing, improving thickness and reducing wrinkles!

Refreshing Renewal

  • 2 stalks of fennel
  • 1/2 a cucumber
  • 1/2 a green apple, cored
  • 1 handful of mint
  • 1 inch piece of ginger root

Veggie Mix

  • 3-4 carrots
  • 2 celery stalks
  • 1/2 a beet
  • 2 broccoli florets
  • 1/2 a lemon, peeled

Cucumber Beet

  • 1 cucumber
  • 3 carrots
  • 1 beet
  • 2 stalks of celery
  • 1 handful of parsley
  • 1/2 a lemon, peeled

Dessert Juice

  • 1/2 cup pineapple (if frozen thaw first)
  • 1/2 cup wild blueberries (if frozen thaw first)
  • 1 apple, cored

Peach Sunrise

  • 1 cup sliced peaches, skin removed (if frozen thaw first)
  • 1/2 cup strawberries (if frozen thaw first)
  • 1/4 cup pineapple (if frozen thaw first)
  • 1 orange, peeled or 1/2 cup fresh orange juice



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I love salads.  I have at least one salad every single day.  I’ll throw leftover quinoa, lentils or black beans on my salad for a protein source but most often I use chickpeas.  I love chickpeas!  They’ll so small and round and cute.  As much as I love them even I get sick of the same boring salad day after day.  I needed to add a little pizazz to my salad and these crunchy, crispy garlic flavored ‘chicktons’ were just the thing!  While they are perfect as a salad topper, they are also wonderful as a snack all by themselves.  My daughter loved them and ate almost my whole batch.



For the Toasted Garlic Chickpea Croutons

For the Baby Greens Salad

  • mixed baby greens
  • mushrooms (thinly sliced)
  • red onion (thinly sliced)
  • any other of your favorite veggies
  • Tangy French Vinaigrette


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Rinse and drain the chickpeas in a colander.

    Lay out on a paper towel and cover with another towel to dry the chickpeas

  3. Lay out on paper towels, cover with another paper towel and roll around until the chickpeas are dry.

    In a medium sized bowl mix together the rest of the ingredients and add in the dried chickpeas

  4. In a medium sized bowl mix together the rest of the ingredients and add in the dried chickpeas.  Mix well.
  5. Spoon the chickpeas in a single layer onto a non stick baking sheet and place on the middle rack in the oven.
  6. Bake for 1 hour, stirring every 15 minutes or so.
  7. Remove from oven and let cool (the chickpeas will crisp as they cool).
  8. Add your baby greens, mushrooms and onions to a large bowl.  Sprinkle with toasted garlic chickpea croutons and top with Tangy French Vinaigrette.

Nutritional Info for Toasted Garlic Chickpea Croutons:

Makes approximately 1 3/4 cups.

Serving size 1/4 cup.

Nutrients per serving:  Calories: 125.5, Cal. from Fat: 57, Total Fat: 6.5g, Sat. Fat: .5g, Carbs: 11.5g, Fiber: 3g, Sugars: 0g, Protein: 5g, Sodium: 204.5mg, Chol: 0mg


Leftover chickpeas can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days.  They will start to lose their crunchiness but they still taste great.  If you want to crisp them up again you can throw them in the oven for a few minutes until crispy.

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