Archive for February, 2012
It’s interesting sometimes how recipes are created. I suppose mostly out of necessity, what ingredients you have on hand and of course what pairs well together. This salad was brought together by Sarah asking for suggestions of what spices would go well in a recipe she was making. I first consulted The Flavor Bible but didn’t find any inspiration so I opened my spice cupboard and started taking out bottles and sniffing. Ok, I admit I just like to do this because it’s like aromatherapy to me but as I opened the smoked paprika an idea hit me. I bet I could use something with this smoked paprika to make “bacon” bits. From bacon bits the recipe progressed to bacon, lettuce and tomato and then throw in some peas for color and texture, toss with some of the California Dip left from Super Bowl Sunday and there you have it. A new recipe is born and I gotta say this is one phenomenal salad.
- 1 cup finely diced mushrooms (I used cremini for a darker color but any mushroom will work)
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- 1-2 tsp smoked paprika
- 1 cup frozen peas
- 1 cup diced tomatoes
- 1 head romaine lettuce or about 2 cups, roughly chopped
- 2 tbsp California Dip
- Place the frozen peas in a colander and run under cold water until no longer frozen. Drain and set aside.
- Heat the oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add the mushrooms, salt and smoked paprika. Saute until the mushrooms have sweated out their liquid, about 4-5 minutes. Reduce heat to low and let continue to cook until browned and almost crispy, about another 5 minutes.
- Once the mushrooms have cooked, prepare your salad by tossing together the lettuce, tomatoes, peas and California Dip. Plate each serving and top equally with the “mushroom bacon bits”.
Makes 2 servings.
Nutrients per serving: Calories: 266, Cal. from Fat: 166, Total Fat: 19g, Sat. Fat: 3g, Carbs: 20g, Fiber: 6g, Sugars: 10g, Protein: 8g, Sodium: 697mg, Chol: 0mg
This salad does not save well so only make the amount you plan on eating right away.
Caesar Salad Dressing is very good on this salad too in place of the California Dip.
Before my family and I switched to a ‘clean’ diet, one of my favorite places to go for lunch was Panera Bread. I would get a bowl of soup with a side of crusty bread and a salad. Perfect lunch! While it’s been years since I’ve been to a Panera, I haven’t given up my perfect lunch. The past few weeks I’ve been enjoying a bowl of Creamy Potato Onion Soup and a Caesar Salad for lunch. A bowl of soup just isn’t complete without a slice of delicious, homemade bread. This turned out to be one of the best loaves of bread I’ve ever made. The recipe makes 2 large loaves yet we barely had any leftovers. The perfect ending to a perfect lunch. YUM!
- 2 cups lukewarm water, divided
- 1 tsp raw honey or coconut nectar
- 1 package dry yeast
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 1 cup mashed potatoes (any type of white potato will work)
- 2 1/2 cups spelt flour + a little extra for dusting your work surface
- 2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
- 3 1/2 tbsp minced onion
- 1 tbsp Garlic Gold Oil or olive oil
- In a large bowl, combine 1/2 cup of the water and the honey. Once the honey is completely dissolved sprinkle the yeast on top and let stand for 10 minutes.
- Add in the remaining water and the rest of the ingredients except the oil. Mix well until all the ingredients are thoroughly combined.
- Remove the dough from the bowl and place on a lightly floured work surface. Gently knead the dough for about 6-7 minutes. You shouldn’t need to add any additional flour – the dough will be slightly sticky but shouldn’t stick to the surface.
- Shape your dough into a ball and set aside.
- Add the oil to your large bowl and give it a swirl to gently coat the bowl.
- Place your dough ball into the bowl and cover with a damp kitchen towel. Set the bowl some place warm and let the dough rise for 1 hour.
- Prepare a large baking sheet with nonstick foil or a nonstick baking sheet such as a silpat.
- Transfer the dough back to your prepared baking sheet (no flour needed) and carefully shape into 2 loaves as pictured.
- Cover again with your damp kitchen towel and let the dough rise for another 30 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
- Remove the kitchen towel and place the baking sheet in the oven for 22-25 minutes. If you have a spray bottle filled with water it’s helpful to spray a couple of squirts directly into the oven to help give the bread a crusty finish.
- Remove the finished bread from the oven and let cool on a baking rack before slicing.
Makes 2 loaves about 6 inches wide by 16 inches long.
Serving size one 1 inch piece.
Nutrients per serving: Calories: 82, Cal. from Fat: 8, Total Fat: .5g, Sat. Fat: 0g, Carbs: 16g, Fiber: 2.5g, Sugars: 0g, Protein: 2.5g, Sodium: 1mg, Chol: 0mg
Leftover bread can be stored for up to 24 hours at room temperature. After 24 hours place the remaining leftovers in the fridge for up to 5 days. You can also freeze leftovers for up to 6 months.
I used to love Caesar salads. It’s been years now since I’ve had one. A couple of weeks ago I got a craving for one and I just knew I had to recreate a healthy version for myself. The key to an awesome Caesar salad is the dressing. I’ve tasted a lot of Caesar dressings in my time and I gotta say – this is the best dressing EVER! Instead of using the standard egg or parmesan cheese this recipe uses hemp seeds. Hemp seeds are nutrient-dense whole foods that contain all 10 essential amino acids, meaning they are a complete source of protein. Unlike animal protein, hemp is also alkalinizing and very easy to digest. I used a standard romaine for this recipe but you can easily substitute any of your favorite greens in this dish. This salad is fantastic all on its own or as the perfect compliment to any meal. Enjoy!
For the Caesar Dressing:
- 2-3 cloves garlic
- 1 tbsp capers
- 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce (If you follow a gluten free diet make sure to use a gluten free sauce)
- 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
- 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
- 1/4 cup Garlic Gold Oil or extra virgin olive oil
- 1/4 cup shelled hemp seeds
- 1/4 tsp sea salt
- freshly ground black pepper to taste
For the Cheezy Garlic Restaurant Style Croutons:
- 4 slices bread of your choice
- 2 tbsp Garlic Gold Oil or extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tbsp Nutritional Yeast
- 1 tsp garlic salt
- 1/4 tsp Italian seasoning
- 1/2 tsp Garlic Gold Nuggets (optional)
For the Salad:
- 14 onces romaine hearts, roughly chopped
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
- Place all ingredients for the dressing in a blender or food processor and process until smooth and creamy. Set aside.
- Cut the bread into 1 inch pieces and place in a small bowl or plastic baggie. Add the oil and remaining ingredients to the bowl and stir well until until the bread pieces are nicely coated.
- Place the coated bread pieces on a baking sheet and place in the oven for about 10 minutes or until the croutons are golden brown and crispy.
- In a large bowl add the romaine, croutons and dressing. Mix well and serve.
Makes 6 servings.
Serving size 1 bowl.
Nutrients per serving: Calories: 201.5, Cal. from Fat: 150, Total Fat: 17.5g, Sat. Fat: 2g, Carbs: 8g, Fiber: 2.5g, Sugars: 2g, Protein: 5g, Sodium: 108mg, Chol: 0mg
The dressing can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days. Any leftover croutons can be stored in an airtight container for up to 2 days at room temperature and then in fridge for up to 1 week. To reheat the croutons simply place in the oven until heated all the way through.
When my husband and I were coming off our 5 day juice detox we needed to make sure that we eased our way back into eating solid foods. One of the things that is recommended is starting off with soups. My husband is not a fan of broth based soups so I needed to come up with something creamy that he would enjoy.
The potato often gets a bad rap but it’s really just a myth! After all the potato is a vegetable and vegetables are good for you! Potatoes are also a good source of fiber, potassium and vitamin C and unless you’re eating an absolutely plain potato all by itself, its slightly higher GI value (Glycemic Index) doesn’t matter. A high-GI potato becomes a low-GI meal if you simply add a little olive oil, because the added fat helps slow the absorption of the potato’s carbohydrates. It’s also worth noting that the glycemic index is an imperfect and controversial scale.
Now that we’ve cleared the air about the bad boy of the vegetable world it’s time to show it some love. This is a lick the bowl clean kinda soup and leftovers will be slim to none. Enjoy!
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 12 – 15 small red potatoes (about 2 inch in diameter), skin on, washed and quartered
- 3 cups non dairy milk (I used an unsweetened almond milk)
- 2 cups reduced sodium vegetable broth
- 5-6 cloves garlic, minced
- 1-2 tbsp Garlic Gold Oil or extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tbsp Italian Seasoning
- 1/4 tsp sea salt *see notes
- fresh black pepper to taste
- In a large soup pot add the oil and heat on high. Add the onions, lower the heat to medium high and sauté until the onions are translucent.
- Add the remaining ingredients, bring to a boil, then reduce to simmer for 20 minutes.
- Remove from heat and use an immersion blender to puree the soup or transfer the soup to a food processor or blender to puree and transfer back to the pot. Always use caution when blending hot food!
- Serve immediately and enjoy!
Makes approximately 10 cups.
Serving size 1 cup.
Nutrients per serving: Calories: 178, Cal. from Fat: 22, Total Fat: 2g, Sat. Fat: 0g, Carbs: 34.5g, Fiber: 2.5g, Sugars: 3g, Protein: 4g, Sodium: 102.5mg, Chol: 0mg
Leftover soup can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days. You can also store your leftovers in the freezer in single serve freezer safe containers for when you need a quick lunch or dinner option.
You will definitely require more salt than 1/4 tsp included for this dish but how much will be entirely up to you. I’ve kept the sodium amount low because it’s better to start with less and add more as needed.
Today my husband and I headed out to Escondido, CA to hike Boden Canyon. It was a perfect day for a hike – 62 degrees and mostly sunny. There are 2 trails at Boden Canyon, the north and the south trailhead. We decided to hike the north trail as it has beautiful views of the Santa Ysabel Creek.
The trail itself is only 2 miles but it’s mostly switchbacks and there is a lot of straight up climbs. We stopped every so often to catch our breathe and take in the gorgeous scenery. When we reached the halfway point we had a fantastic view of the valley below.
We stopped at the top of the mountain and had a picnic lunch. It was amazing being so high up and taking in the views. Plus it was nice to rest! It was definitely a workout hiking it up the mountain. After our lunch we headed back down and couldn’t believe how far up we had hiked!
We had an awesome time on our hike today and we’re looking forward to doing the south trailhead in the future. We also plan on coming back to the canyon in the spring when the plant life is bloom. I’m sure my hamstrings will be feeling it tomorrow but I had a fantastic time and it was a great way to start the weekend.
A warm night, soft breeze, the sun setting through the palm trees and the sound of gentle ocean waves breaking on the shore. Sound good? That’s what this drink reminds me of. The orange and red swirl through the glass like the sunset and a hint of coconut kisses your lips as you take your first sip. Even if you aren’t sitting and watching the sunset with your Valentine on a warm tropical night you can imagine it, can’t you?
- 1 large ripe mango, peeled, seeded and chopped
- 5 ounces raw young coconut water (I like Body Ecology best)
- 1/4 cup unsweetened fresh pressed pomegranate juice (unsweetened cherry juice works too)
- Place the mango and coconut water into a blender and blend until smooth. Set aside.
- Pour the pomegranate juice into a small sauce pan and bring to a simmer on medium heat. Reduce heat to keep at a gentle simmer until reduced by half, about 5-7 minutes. This step is necessary as the juice would be too tart otherwise.
- When ready to serve divide the pomegranate reduction into two 6 ounce glasses (about 1 tbsp each). Pour the mango puree over the top and give a little swirl with a stir stick just to swirl the colors. Do not over mix. The drink would still taste good but it wouldn’t look as pretty.
- Enjoy your Tropical Kiss with your “honey” beside you no matter where you are. Happy Valentines Day.
Makes 2 (6 ounce) glasses.
Serving size 1 glass.
Nutrients per serving: Calories: 107, Cal. from Fat: 4.5, Total Fat: .5g, Sat. Fat: 0g, Carbs: 21g, Fiber: 3.5g, Sugars: 22g, Protein: 1.5g, Sodium: 129mg, Chol: 0mg
It’s Friday! Hello weekend. Here are the things I’m digging this Friday.
1. I totally want one of these t-shirts.
2. Do you have inner princess that is begging to come out? I do and these are so on my wish list.
3. It’s been almost 10 months that we’ve been living in Southern California and I am still amazed every single day by the weather here. This ‘winter’ the average temperature have been about 70 degrees with bright blue sunny skies almost every single day. It’s truly amazing living here. The last few days the intoxicating smell of jasmine has been floating through our windows. It’s in bloom right now and we are fortunate to have several bushes in our yard. When I win the lottery I plan on having a backyard filled with jasmine.
4. Next week is Valentine’s Day. Anyone doing anything special? I have a new burger recipe that I’m going to try out along with a caesar salad. I’m crossing my fingers that the caesar salad dressing turns out.
5. Speaking of V-Day I think this is a such a cute gift for the ladies out there.
Happy Friday Everyone! Have a healthy and fun weekend.
Who doesn’t love ice cream sandwiches? Chocolate-y graham crackers filled with creamy vanilla ice cream that smooshes out the sides as you bite into all that yummy goodness. Perfect for Valentine’s Day or any time you want to show someone how much you love them.
- 16 Chocolate Graham Crackers (cut into heart shapes before baking for a special Valentines effect)
- 1 cup Vanilla Ice Cream (or Creamy Chocolate Ice Cream for real chocolate lovers), or your favorite ice cream
- Place 2 tbsp of ice cream on 8 crackers of the crackers.
- Top with the other 8 crackers and push down gently to distribute the ice cream to the edges of the crackers.
- Take a bite and enjoy!
Makes 8 sandwiches.
Serving Size 1 sandwich.
Nutritional information not available as it would depend on the ice cream used to fill the sandwich.
Obviously these need to be eaten right away. It’s best to assemble only the ones you plan on eating.
I don’t know why I never thought of making Chocolate Graham Crackers before, but now that I have I’m sure glad I did. Besides just being good to eat there are so many delectable possibilities I don’t know where to start. Wait, yes I do! Ice Cream Sandwiches.
- 1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
- 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder plus a little to work into your dough when rolling out
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- 1/3 cup coconut oil
- 1/3 cup raw coconut crystals
- 2 tbsp molasses
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1/2 cup non-dairy milk
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- In a large bowl mix the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt.
- Mix the coconut oil into the flour mixture either with your hands or a fork until completely incorporated. You should end up with a mixture the consistency of sand.
- In a small bowl mix the coconut crystals, molasses, vanilla and milk.
- Pour the liquid ingredients into the dry mixture and mix until combined. The dough should be moist and crumbly but hold together when formed into a ball.
- Place a sheet of parchment paper (approx. 18″ long) on a flat work surface. Roll out the dough onto the parchment paper into a 10″ x 16-18″ rectangle or to about 1/8″ thickness. Use cocoa powder to keep your rolling pin from sticking to the dough.
- Score the dough into rectangles approximately 2″ x 3″. You should be able to get about 24 or so crackers. You can cut away the rough edges if you wish but it isn’t necessary.
- Gently pierce each cracker with a fork in 2 rows on each cracker about 2-3 times. You don’t need to go all the way through the cracker.
- Carefully transfer the parchment with the dough onto the baking sheet.
- Bake 14-16 minutes. The crackers will still be a little soft and will crisp as they cool.
- Once cooled break apart at the scored lines.
Makes approximately 24 crackers.
Serving size 2 crackers
Nutrients per serving: Calories: 152, Cal. from Fat: 71, Total Fat: 7.5g, Sat. Fat: 6.5g, Carbs: g, Fiber: 3g, Sugars: 5g, Protein: 3g, Sodium: 136mg, Chol: 0mg
You can also cut the dough into shapes using a cookie cutter and then transfer to the baking sheet and bake as directed. For a crisper cracker place individual crackers directly onto a wire cooling rack, place the rack on the baking sheet and bake as directed.
Store leftovers in a sealed container or zip bag for up to 4-5 days or freeze up to 6 months.
Have you ever heard of Mochi? Don’t worry if you haven’t. For years I passed it by at the grocery store never knowing or even seeing what it was. Funny enough it was located right above where I would get my jar of pickles and yet it never caught my eye. Then one day I saw a women grab a package of it and put it in her cart. It was enough to spark my interest and when I finally took a look at what it was I was really surprised.
It comes in an airtight package and it’s hard and flat. There are a variety of flavors like pizza, cashew date, super seed and sesame garlic. It says that it puffs up and forms a bite sized chewy piece of ‘bread’. I decided to take a package home and give it a whirl. You’ll need a sharp knife to cut it and cooking it up takes no time at all. Once it’s in the oven you can watch as it gets all puffy and when it comes out it has this amazing chewy consistency that is just wonderful! The kids and I loved it!
Because we homeschool the kids we are able to avoid the usual candy focused Valentine’s Day so we typically have a special breakfast together before we start school for the day. This year I’m going to surprise the kids with these stuffed mochies (mochi’s, mochis? not even google could help me with the plural form). I love that they are popable and and it’s easy to make just a small batch in a matter of minutes. They are also a super fun dessert to share with your special someone.
- 1 package Cinnamon Raisin Mochi
- 1/4 cup cashews
- 2 large Medjool dates, pitted
- a splash of vanilla
- a dash or two of cinammon
- 1 tbsp coconut nectar, raw honey, brown rice syrup or maple syrup
- Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.
- Cut the mochi into 16 equal sized pieces. Place the mochi pieces on a baking sheet about 2 inches apart.
- Place in the oven for about 8 minutes or until the mochi are puffed up and slightly browned. Your mochi should be crispy on the outside, with a hollow center surround by a chewy layer.
- While the mochi are baking, add the rest of the ingredients to a blender and process until you have a smooth peanut butter like consistency. Set aside.
- Remove the mochi from the oven and let them cool for about 4-5 minutes. Once they are cooled use a knife to make a small slit on the side of each mochi, allowing you to stuff the hollowed out center with 1/2 tbsp of the stuffing mixture.
- You can serve as is or place back in the oven for 2 minutes to reheat the mochi.
Makes 16 stuffed bites.
Serving size 2 stuffed mochi.
Nutrients per serving: Calories: 167.5, Cal. from Fat: 26.5, Total Fat: 3g, Sat. Fat: 0g, Carbs: 32.5g, Fiber: 3.5g, Sugars: 10g, Protein: 2.5g, Sodium: 37.5mg, Chol: 0mg
These are best eaten right away. The uncooked mochi can be stored in the fridge for up to a week until ready to use. You can also store the stuffing mixture in the fridge until ready to use. You’ll need to heat it up slightly before stuffing your mochi.