Archive for January, 2012
Many, many years ago when I lived in Michigan there was a local grocery store called D&W that had a salad bar that I loved. I would stop by every night and get a salad for my dinner. The best part of the salad was the amazing tangy french dressing that they carried. I loved that dressing so much I could literally drink it! I asked many times for the name of the dressing or the company that made it but they never told me. When my husband and I moved to Chicago I actually made him go to D&W on moving day so that I could have a salad one last time. Months later when I was pregnant with our first child I HAD to have a D&W salad. Did it matter that we lived 6 hours away? Not to this pregnant woman!
I had all but forgotten about my precious D&W salad until recently when I was at my local grocery store getting myself a salad from their salad bar. The thought of some delicious tangy french dressing popped into my head and I couldn’t shake the thought. I searched around online for some inspiration and after experimenting I came up with the most fabulous dressing ever. You’ve been missed my old friend!
- 1/2 cup Garlic Gold Oil or extra virgin olive oil
- 1/4 cup raw coconut crystals
- 1/3 cup tomato paste
- heaping 1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
- 2 cloves garlic, minced (if you’re a garlic lover like me you can add in 4 or 5 cloves)
- 1/4 tsp sea salt
- 1/4 tsp Italian seasoning
- fresh ground pepper, to taste
- Combine all the ingredients in a blender and process until smooth. You can also mix by hand.
- Transfer to an airtight container and store in the fridge until just chilled.
- Drizzle over your favorite salad or veggies and enjoy!
Makes approximately 1 1/3 cups.
Serving size 2 tbsp.
Nutrients per serving: Calories: 103.5, Cal. from Fat: 86.5, Total Fat: 10g, Sat. Fat: 1.5g, Carbs: 4g, Fiber: 0g, Sugars: 3.5g, Protein: 0g, Sodium: 11mg, Chol: 0mg
Dressing can be stored in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.
I have a family of picky eaters. They are not only picky but VERY suspicious of new things. I made these burgers a few months ago and they all liked them. Recently I made them again. Normally I’m pretty much left alone in the kitchen but this last time everyone was around and when I got out the standard orange sweet potatoes I got “the look” from each of them. You know the “the look”. It’s the I-don’t-eat-weird-colored-foods-and-even-if-it-tastes-good-I’m-going-to-pretend-I-don’t-like-it look. And of course once dinner was prepared everyone complained that they didn’t like the burgers. My husband even commented that I should just use regular potatoes instead of the yucky sweet potatoes.
Did you know that sweet potatoes come in 2 different varieties. The white sweet potato looks just like it’s orange counterparts on the outside but inside it looks like a regular white potato. Aside from the lack of beta carotene, the white sweet potato is pretty much identical to the orange variety. Anyone see where I’m going with this?
Last week I again made these sweet potato quinoa burgers. I made sure everyone was around when I got out the sweet potato and mashed it up. My husband even came up and gave me a kiss as I was cooking and thanked me for using ‘regular potatoes’. I just smiled.
Believe it or not everyone loved the burgers again! It’s a miracle I tell ya! True story folks. Sad but true.
- 1 can (15 ounces) no salt added black beans, drained and rinsed
- 3 cups cubed sweet potatoes, peeled (about 3 regular sized potatoes)
- 3/4 cup sweet corn, frozen or fresh (thawed if frozen, fresh grilled corn would be excellent in this dish)
- 1/2 medium red onion, finely chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/2 cup cooked quinoa
- 1 tbsp Garlic Gold Oil or olive oil
- heaping 1/3 cup garbanzo bean flour (you can also use finely ground rolled oats or almond flour)
- 2 tbsp roasted sunflower seeds
- 1/4 tsp sea salt
- fresh black pepper to taste
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1 tsp oregano
- 1 tsp chili powder
- 1/4 tsp cayenne (optional)
- 1 tbsp hot sauce (optional – Tabasco Garlic Pepper Sauce works great in these burgers)
- Fill a large pot 3/4 full of water and bring to a boil on the stove. Add the sweet potatoes and lower the heat to simmering. Let the potatoes cook for about 20-30 minutes. Drain the potatoes and set aside to cool. (You can also use a steamer bag and cook the potatoes in the microwave.)
- While your potatoes are cooling preheat the oven to 375 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper or non stick foil.
- Once your potatoes have cooled use a fork to mash them. You want them mashed but not creamy.
- In a large mixing bowl add half of the black beans and mash them with a fork.
- Add the rest of the beans and the remaining ingredients. Stir until just combined.
- Form the mixture into 10 balls. Each burger should be about 1/2″ thick.
- Place each patty on your prepared baking sheet and place in the oven for 30 minutes, flipping the burgers over once halfway through baking.
- Remove from the oven and serve!
Makes 10 burgers.
Serving size 1 burger.
Nutrients per serving: Calories: 132.5, Cal. from Fat: 28.5, Total Fat: 3g, Sat. Fat: 0g, Carbs: 21.5g, Fiber: 4.5g, Sugars: 2.5g, Protein: 5g, Sodium: 30.1mg, Chol: 0mg
These burgers save really well. Make sure you let them cool completely before storing. Place them in a sealed container in the fridge for up to 5 days. You can also store them in freezer safe bags in the freezer for up to 6 months. To reheat simply place on a baking sheet and cook at 350 degrees until warmed all the way through.
You can pan fry these burgers if you wish. I think they taste like hash browns this way! Heat a pan to medium heat and add a tbsp or so of oil. Cook on each side for about 5 minutes each or until golden brown.
To grill the burgers, bake in the oven for 10 minutes on each side. Remove the burger from the oven and place on a preheated grill (make sure to grease your grill properly). Grill each side for about 3 minutes.
Do you ever have those moments when you feel like you need to get away from it all? No cellphones ringing, no TV blaring, no emails or social networking. Sometimes it’s nice to get away from the busy 24/7 society we live in and just relax and enjoy the peace and quiet that nature has to offer. We call this a vacation but actually it’s a detox. The word detox often gets a bad wrap but really it’s just a special treatment that helps a person to stop using a product or substance.
I recently asked on Facebook if anyone had been on a juice detox and whether they liked it and what the results were. I got a lot of different comments. There were those that had done a juice detox and were happy with the results and those that hadn’t and thought it wasn’t a beneficial way to diet or eat. Do I think that juicing is a good way to lose weight? Not really. I think eating a diet full of a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables along with nuts, grains and legumes is a better and healthier way to achieve weight lost. Do I think a juice detox has benefits? Yes, I do!
Why am I doing a juice detox?
Most people juice in an effort to lose weight, improve their diet and eliminate the unhealthy foods they currently consume. This is not the case for me. I am at a healthy weight and I already eat a 100% organic plant based diet full of a variety of fresh, seasonal foods. So why do I want to do a juice detox? Bottom line – I’ve stopped listening to my body to give me cues. I eat breakfast, lunch and dinner everyday and mindlessly eat what is on my plate. Often times throughout the week I find myself feeling like I ate too much food. My life is busy and hectic and I’m putting most of my effort into outside influences and I’ve lost focus on my body. I want to give my body a break from the hurried eating routine that I’ve gotten myself into.
The benefits of juice detox?
While my main reason for doing a juice detox is to give me a chance to focus on my body there are other benefits that I’m looking forward to. Often times during a juice detox you will find that after the first day or so that you have an increase in energy, a clearer mental focus and a reduction in junk food cravings. While I eat a very healthy diet I still crave (and often times overeat) my fair share of desserts. A cookie is still a cookie even if it’s made with whole wheat flour and coconut crystals! Clearer skin and relief from chronic health issues are also well known benefits of juice detox.
The side effects?
If juice detoxing is so great wouldn’t everyone be doing it? I certainly don’t want anyone to assume that juice detoxing is some easy thing that you can wake up one morning and decide to do! While there are definite benefits to doing a juice detox, there are side effects as well. As with any type of detox the first few days usually present the same common symptoms - headaches (you’re more likely to experience headaches if your diet contains a lot of caffeine, sugar or salt), nausea, dizziness and sometimes bad breath. You’re also likely to have frequent urination (I drink a lot a water so this is something I have everyday), diarrhea and fatigue (this is a side effect you experience in the beginning, by the end you should have a vast increase in energy).
What do I need to have in order to start a juice detox?
First and foremost – you need a juicer! There are a variety of juicers on the market and picking the right one can seem daunting. Here is an article about the different types of juicers that are available that should help point you in the right direction. I have an Omega 8005 Juicer that I will be using for my juice detox. I currently use my juicer everyday and am very pleased with it. Aside from having a juicer you’ll want to load up with fresh fruits and vegetables. Some of my favorites are spinach, apples, kale, collard greens, blueberries, strawberries and carrots. Skip the bananas as they are not able to be juiced and if you have a sensitive stomach you’ll want to limit the amount of citrus fruits you use.
Juicing vs blending?
You might be wondering if you can still do a juice detox if you own a blender and not a juicer. Technically yes, there will just be a bit more work involved. When you juice your food you are eliminating the fiber from the foods and you decrease your digestion to almost zero. By placing your foods in a blender you are not eliminating any of the fiber and your body will need to digest the ‘juice’ the same way as if you were to eat it raw. To work around this issue you will need to strain the blended juice before drinking any of it. Use a fine mesh strainer or cheesecloth to remove all of the pulp from the juice.
Do I need to peel my fruit and vegetables before juicing?
Generally, if you buy organic produce you can leave the peel intact. Non-organic foods should be peeled or at least washed thoroughly. Citrus fruits should be peeled because the rind tastes bitter and may contain pesticides, but you can leave the white pith. Hard “pit” seeds such as peach, plum, and cherry must be removed first. Apple seeds do contain a small amount of a cyanide compound so I recommend coring your apples before juicing.
Can I make all my juice at one time and store it for later on?
The vitamins and nutrients in juice can oxidize or decrease over time so it is ideal to drink the juice right away. The presence of light and oxygen speed up this process, but you can slow it down by keeping the juice in the refrigerator and storing it in a dark or opaque colored container. Try to use a container that is the same size as the amount of juice you will consume. You only want to open the container once and that is when you drink the juice. It is best to drink the juice within a 24 hour period but it can safely be stored for up to 3 days. You can freeze any leftover juice but make sure to allow for adequate thawing time. Juice should be thawed in the refrigerator and can take up to 24 hours to completely thaw.
Can I use mostly fruits for my juice detox?
Fruits can be great in limited quantities, but they speed up the detoxifying process and can make your detox symptoms (shakes, headaches) feel worse. Just like with any healthy diet you should be consuming a variety of fruits and veggies. I recommend a 70/30 vegetable to fruit ratio. 70% of your juice should be from a vegetable source and the other 30% from fruit.
How many days should I do a juice detox for?
If you’ve never done a juice detox before I recommend starting with a simple 1 day detox. Most detox plans are for 3, 5 and 7 days. These short detoxes can be done various times throughout the year. If you are planning on doing a detox for longer than 7 days you need to enlist the help of a health professional.
A juice detox is not for everyone. If you are under the age of 18, pregnant or under the supervision of a health professional you should not do a juice detox. If you have any concerns always check with your healthcare professional first before making any dietary changes. I am not a medical professional and the information above should not be taken as medical advise.
Here we go!
Starting tomorrow my husband and I will begin a 5 day juice detox. I will be filling you in each day via a video message as to how we are doing. I’ll share the good, the bad and the ugly. If you have any specific questions please feel free to post them to our Facebook page and I will do my best to answer them during my video messages. I’ll also be posting the juicing recipes that we make and drink throughout the week. In the meantime, check out this great documentary about juicing – Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead. Wish us luck!
Sometimes the simplest recipes have the most amazing results! I had this salad years ago at a 5 star restaurant in Chicago. I couldn’t believe such a basic salad would have so many flavors! The sweetness of the roasted grapes and ripe pears paired so well with the peppery arugula and I wanted to lick my plate to get every last drop of the roasted shallot dressing! You wouldn’t think such a simple salad could be so elegant but this is quite the impressive salad. I’m also on a mission to find every way possible to incorporate roasted grapes on ever meal I eat. They are that good folks!
- 3/4 pound seedless red grapes, stemmed
- 1/2 cup + 2 tsp extra virgin olive oil
- 2 shallots, peeled
- 4 tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 1 tbsp raw honey or coconut nectar (optional)
- 6 ounces arugula
- 1 ripe pear
- Preheat oven to 250 degrees.
- Line a baking sheet with non stick foil or parchment paper. Arrange the grapes in a single layer and drizzle 1 1/2 tsp of olive on top, toss to coat.
- Place the grapes in the oven and bake for about 2 1/2 hours or until they are shriveled and lightly caramelized.
- After the grapes have been cooking for an hour place the shallots in some heavy duty foil. Drizzle with 1/2 tsp oil and fully enclose the shallots in the foil, place on a small baking sheet and place in the oven for 1 1/2 hours.
- After the grapes are done cooking remove them from the baking sheet and reserve any of the remaining juices in a small bowl. Add the shallots (and their juices) along with the vinegar and remaining oil. Stir well to combine (taste the dressing and add a bit of honey if you want a sweeter dressing). You can also process in a blender for a smoother dressing.
- Quarter the pear and cut into thin slices. Set aside.
- Place the arugula on a large plate and top with roasted grapes and pears. Drizzle the dressing over top and garnish with some fresh black pepper if desired.
Makes 3 servings
Nutritional info not available at this time.
You can prepare almost all of this salad ahead of time. The roasted grapes can be stored in a airtight container in the fridge for up to 2 days ahead of time. Make sure to bring them to room temperature before serving. You can also make the dressing before hand as well. Simply assemble the salad and serve!
The last few weeks I’ve gone through a LOT of different protein powders. I’ve been trying to find a protein powder that I can add to a smoothie for part of my morning breakfast that doesn’t leave that chalky, weird tasting/feeling in my mouth. I’ve tried hemp powder, rice powder, raw blended powders, pea powders and a bunch of others. They all sucked! Lately I’ve been incorporating hemp seeds into my meals. They are really small and for the most part pretty mild in flavor. I figured if I added them to a smoothie that they would blend up and wouldn’t be noticeable at all. I’m happy to report that they worked perfectly! I’ve been adding them to different smoothies throughout the week and I love them! This chocolate peanut butter shake was hands down the favorite in my family. My husband and daughter loved it and for my son, who doesn’t like peanuts, I substituted with almond butter and he gave it 2 thumbs up! Breakfast just a got a whole lot yummier!
- 3 tbsp shelled hemp seeds
- 1 tbsp cocoa powder
- 2 tbsp creamy peanut butter (you can substitute with any of your favorite nut or seed butters)
- 1 ripe banana
- 1 cup non dairy milk (I used oat milk)
- a splash of vanilla (optional)
- 1 tbsp coconut nectar (optional)
- Place all the ingredients into a blender and process until well combined.
- For a frosty type shake add in some ice and blend until smooth.
Makes 1 serving.
Nutrients per serving: Calories: 617, Cal. from Fat: 309, Total Fat: 33.5g, Sat. Fat: 3.5g, Carbs: 62g, Fiber: 10g, Sugars: 35g, Protein: 23g, Sodium: 162mg, Chol: 0mg
If you’re serving this for kids it’s best to add in the vanilla and coconut nectar for a little extra sweetness. Both my husband and I thought it tasted fine without it but my kids preferred the sweetness.
I find dishes that have a contrast of taste and texture really interesting and delicious. I like to be surprised by the combination of un-traditional flavors and seasonings. This salad really has all that for me. I have seen chayote in the market on many occasions and I love to try new things but for some reason this fruit/vegetable scared me off so I never tried it. Not any more! Chayote is a part of the gourd family like melon, cucumber and squash. It has a crunchy texture like water chestnuts or jicama so it works well with the sweet and soft mango and creamy avocado in this salad. The dressing is a surprising mix of sweet and spicy that really marries all the ingredients together to take this salad over the top.
- 1 mango, sliced or cut into chunks
- 1 chayote, peeled and sliced or cut into chunks
- 1 avocado, peeled and sliced or cut into chunks
- 1/2 medium red onion, cut in half and sliced into thin half moons
- 2 tbsp unrefined avocado oil or olive oil
- 1 tbsp white wine vinegar
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 1 tsp coriander
- 1 tsp ancho chili powder (ancho chili powder is mild so if using another chili powder use less or to taste)
- 1 tsp sea salt or to taste
- 1/2 tsp fresh ground black pepper or to taste
- 1 tsp raw honey
- 2 cups baby lettuces or micro greens
- Place the mango, chayote, avocado and onion in a serving bowl.
- Mix the remaining ingredients in a small bowl and pour over the mango mixture. Toss gently to combine.
- Cover and let sit in the refrigerator for 20-30 minutes before serving.
- Serve over 1/2 cup baby lettuces or micro greens.
Makes approximately 2 cups.
Serving size 1/2 cup.
Nutrients per serving: Calories: 180, Cal. from Fat: 105, Total Fat: 12.5g, Sat. Fat: 2g, Carbs: 19g, Fiber: 4g, Sugars: 12g, Protein: 2g, Sodium: 476mg, Chol: 0mg
Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 1-2 days. The flavor really develops as it sits so you can make this salad a couple of hours before serving if desired.
The Urban Dictionary defines nom nom as ”the sound made when someone is eating or chewing something and really enjoying it”. I call this dish Nom N’omelet because it will have you making just this sound. The title also fits because it’s no omelet as it doesn’t contain eggs but has the appearance and similar texture of an omelet. You can make it with vegetables or not and season any way you like, it’s up to you. Dress it up or down but either way it’s great for breakfast, lunch or dinner.
- 1 cup garbanzo bean flour
- 3/4 – 1 cup water
- 6 tbsp olive oil, divided
- 1 tsp sea salt, divided
- fresh ground black pepper to taste
- 1/2 tsp rosemary
- 1/2 tsp thyme
- 1/2 cup mushrooms, diced
- 1/2 medium onion, diced
- 1/2 red pepper, diced
- In a medium sized bowl whisk together the garbanzo bean flour, 3/4 cup water, 4 tbsp oil, and 1/2 tsp sea salt. The batter should be rather thin so add a little more water if it appears too thick. Set aside.
- Heat the remaining oil in an 10 inch skillet (non-stick is best for this recipe) over medium high heat and add the onions, mushrooms and peppers. Add the remaining 1/2 tsp salt and sauté until tender about 4-5 minutes. Add the rosemary and thyme.
- Pour the batter into the skillet with the vegetables. Swirl it around to cover all around the bottom of the pan. Reduce heat to medium and cook until the edges start to brown.
- You can either flip the N’omelet over into another non stick skillet to cook the other side or cut it into 4 wedges and turn over each one individually in the same skillet.
- Cut into 4 wedges (if you haven’t already) and serve.
Makes 4 servings.
Nutrients per serving: Calories: 355, Cal. from Fat: 196, Total Fat: 21g, Sat. Fat: 3g, Carbs: 38g, Fiber: 3.5g, Sugars: 1g, Protein: 6g, Sodium: 472mg, Chol: 0mg
Wrap leftovers in plastic and keep in the refrigerator for up to 1 day.