Archive for August, 2012
That’s not a very catchy name for a recipe, is it? But, that’s what it is. A simple dish made up of sweet potato, kale and bulgar without a lot of fuss but oh so good in it’s simplicity.
- 2 sweet potatoes, peeled and diced
- 1-2 cups kale, chopped
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 tbsp neutral flavor oil
- 1/2 cup bulgar
- 1/2 cup apple cider
- 1/2 cup water
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 tsp thyme
- 1/2 tsp sea salt or to taste
- 1/4 tsp ground white pepper
- juice of 1 lemon
- Toasted almonds, chopped (optional)
- In a large skillet heat the oil over medium high heat and add the sweet potatoes and garlic. Cook 3-4 minutes or until the potatoes have browned a little.
- Add the remaining ingredients except the lemon juice. Cover and reduce heat to low and cook until the bulgar and potatoes are tender and the kale is wilted, approximately 10 minutes. Add more water as needed if the pan gets too dry.
- When done squeeze the lemon juice over the top and sprinkle with the almonds (if using).
Makes approximately 4 cups.
Serving size 1 cup.
Nutrients per serving: Calories: 222, Cal. from Fat: 34, Total Fat: 4g, Sat. Fat: .5g, Carbs: 42g, Fiber: 6g, Sugars: 13g, Protein: 5g, Sodium: 276mg, Chol: 0mg
Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
Years ago, when Caleb was still just a young baby I joined Meetup.com. I was part of a mom’s group and it was lots of fun. When we moved to California I looked around for a few groups to join and one of them was a plant based foods group. About a month a go I received a notification that there was going to be a meetup dinner that would be serving organic plant based foods for the whole family. I was so super bummed as we had other plans that night but I made sure to keep a look out for any new dinners that were planned. Sure enough, last week I saw that another meetup was planned and this time I cleared our schedule. On Saturday night the family and I headed down to Solana Beach to the Center For A Healthy Lifesyle where Organic Blood was hosting their meetup.
The dinner took place at The Eco Lounge inside the center. It’s a beautiful place! When you first walk up there is a gorgeous staircase that awaits you. You’re greeted at the door by one of the members who fill you in on what’s going on for the evening.
You’re surrounded by the gardens that have been planted with everything from flowers, vegetables and fruit to chickens (yup, they have chickens!) and butterflies!
Caleb and Keegan had a blast wandering through the gardens and checking it all out.
After we had finished exploring it was time to head back inside for some yummy food.
There are both cooked and raw food choices available. The menu changes each time as foods are prepared with fresh local organic ingredients. Chef Matthew Purnell cooks up your food in a cute little open area kitchen. I loved seeing all the beautiful ingredients come together to make amazing meals.
I had a hard time choosing what to eat since everything smelled and sounded so yummy. I eventually decided to try the Fiesta Tacos which were a raw meal and the Green Potato Salad. Let’s talk about these tacos! First off, how AMAZING do they look???
The filling is a nut and mushroom mix and is topped with lettuce, a pepper salsa, guacamole and a to die for macadamia nut sour cream. It must have been the look of pure bliss on my face that inspired my veggie hating husband to give these a try. I almost didn’t want to share cause they were so delicious but I gave him a bite and he devoured the rest of them. Good thing I had this gorgeous green potato salad to fill me up!
Little red potatoes, broccoli, fresh herbs and some sprouts are the features in this salad. It was so yummy and perfect for our summer night dinner. My husband and kids shared some of the Italian Noodles. It was filled with fresh tomatoes and 2 slices of juicy portabella mushrooms.
There is a large patio area right off the kitchen that we ended up sitting at for dinner. It was a beautiful night and the kids enjoyed running around in the garden while Cliff and I relaxed. There is even a DJ so that you can listen to music while you’re eating and chatting with friends.
We had a wonderful night and can’t wait for the next one! If you’re in the area I highly recommend you come out and give this event a try. They host the meetup once a month and you can check out the specific details on the Meetup.com page here - www.meetup.com/organicblood. In the meantime I’ll be crossing my fingers that the Fiesta Tacos show up on the menu again!
Purple pepper, purple pepper, purple pepper! I like saying it as much as I like eating them. This last week my local grocery store was bursting with peppers- red, green, orange, yellow and of course, purple. I might have gone a little pepper crazy but I put them to good use! I had some limes that I needed to use up so I threw together this delicious pepper inspired salad. I put some on top of salad greens for lunch one day, later my husband and I enjoyed it as a dip with tortilla chips and the other night I used the last of the salad in quesadillas. I love a versatile dish . Oh, and don’t worry if you can’t find purple peppers, you can simply substitute with a red or green pepper. It just won’t be as fun to walk around your kitchen saying “purple pepper, purple pepper, purple pepper”.
- 1 can (15 ounces) Eden Foods no salt added black beans, drained or 1 3/4 cup cooked black beans
- 1/2 a yellow pepper, seeded and diced
- 1/2 an orange pepper, seeded and diced
- 1/2 a purple pepper, seeded and diced (red or green work well too)
- handful fresh cilantro, roughly chopped (for those that dislike cilantro you can use parsley but you’ll lose some of the mexican flavor)
- 1/2 cup sweet corn, if frozen, thaw first
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- zest and juice of 1 lime
- 2 green onions, roughly chopped
- 1 jalapeno, seeded and finely diced
- 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- sea salt to taste
- In a small bowl mix together the lime juice, zest, garlic and oil. Stir well and set aside.
- In a large bowl mix together the beans, peppers, cilantro, corn, green onions and jalapeño. Add in the dressing and stir well. Sprinkle with sea salt to taste.
- Refrigerate for 30 minutes before serving to let the flavors blend.
Makes approximately 3 cups.
Serving size 1/2 cup.
Nutrients per serving: Calories: 112, Cal. from Fat: 28, Total Fat: 3g, Sat. Fat: 0g, Carbs: 17g, Fiber: 4.5g, Sugars: .5g, Protein: 5g, Sodium: 10.5mg, Chol: 0mg
Leftover salad can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days.
If you, like many people first fell in love with vegetables like broccoli and cauliflower smothered in a cheese sauce then this recipe is for you. It doesn’t contain any cheese but with this fragrant creamy sauce who needs cheese anyway?
p.s. This is a good recipe to keep handy for your Thanksgiving menu.
- 1 head of cauliflower, cut into bite size florets
- 1 head garlic or at least 10 cloves
- 2 tbsp olive oil, divided
- 1 cup unsweetened soy milk, heated but not boiling
- 2 tbsp Earth Balance Organic Buttery Spread
- 2 tbsp white whole wheat flour or other whole wheat flour *see notes
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes (optional)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Cut off the top of the garlic (see Easy Roasted Garlic for detailed instructions), place the garlic bulb in the middle of a piece of foil. Drizzle 1/2 tsp olive oil over the bulb. Wrap the bulb with the foil closing tightly at the top. Place in the corner of a baking sheet.
- Toss the cauliflower with the remaining olive oil and lay in a single layer on the baking sheet with the garlic.
- Bake 30 minutes or until the cauliflower is tender and browned around the edges.
- While the cauliflower is roasting melt the Earth Balance over medium high heat in a sauce pan. When melted slowly whisk in the flour, stirring constantly. Lower heat to medium low and continue stirring for 2-3 minutes.
- In a steady stream add the milk while stirring constantly to avoid lumps.
- Add the salt and pepper flakes (if using) and cook until thickened. Pour into a blender.
- When the cauliflower is done remove the garlic from the foil and squeeze out the garlic cloves. Add them to the blender with the sauce.
- Process until smooth. Pour over the cauliflower and serve.
Makes about 3 cups of cauliflower with sauce.
Serving size 1/2 cup.
Nutrients per serving: Calories: 120, Cal. from Fat: 74, Total Fat: 9g, Sat. Fat: 1.5g, Carbs: 9g, Fiber: 3g, Sugars: 2.5g, Protein: 4g, Sodium: 191mg, Chol: 0mg
*You can use any whole grain flour of choice but the white whole wheat works best to keep the sauce a light color. Regular whole wheat will be a little darker.
Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 1-2 days.
First let me say that I am not a workout video aficionado. I am a runner. I have always found a good run to be all I wanted or needed. That idea has slowly changed for me as I’ve gotten older so I started looking around for some strength training options to supplement my running.
I looked into a gym, classes at the Y, yoga and a few other things. I know myself better than to think I would really stick to going to a gym or being tied down to a scheduled class so I tried a couple of workout videos and ended up laughing at myself more than anything else. While I am in good physical shape from years of running I found I’m not all that coordinated when it comes to workout moves. I came across Erin O’Brien’s Strong Body, Ageless Body and decided to give it one last try. I’m so glad I did because this video is perfect.
While this video might be geared more towards older women don’t count it out for a good workout at any age. In fact Erin points out some of the exercises being good for women who are pregnant as well as postpartum.
The video starts with a warm up then goes through a course of strength training circuits using hand weights (you can see that Erin uses 6 lbs weights. I started with 3 lbs and worked up to 5 lbs), floor work and then stretching. The 45 minute routine covers both upper body and lower body exercises for a complete workout. Enough to work up a good sweat and feel your muscles being worked but not abused. If you want more of a challenge there is a box in the top corner showing more difficult variations you can follow.
I was able to complete this workout from the first. There were no crazy dance moves to learn or quick changes from one position to the next. All throughout Erin educates on form and function explaining the specific impact of each exercise.
I highly recommend this workout video for anyone, regardless of age, as a good strength training supplement to your exercise routine.
The last 3 weeks have been a haze of cupcakes – all of which were major fails! I had cupcakes that if thrown could be a lethal weapon. I had cupcakes that fell apart into a crumbly mess if you even looked at them. Then of course there were the ones that tasted like dirt. Yes, dirt. Not even good dirt. They all sucked and I gave up on my cupcake quest. Then I managed to make the perfect Creamy Vanilla Frosting. How ironic that I had the perfect frosting and no cupcake to go with it. The fates were laughing at me! I decided to give it one more try and low and behold – the perfect cupcake to go with my perfect frosting was born! And it is a perfect cupcake. It’s moist, airy, delicious and was so easy to make. I love a
happy tasty ending!
- 1 cup garbanzo bean (chickpea) flour
- 1/2 cup potato starch
- 1/4 cup tapioca starch
- 1/2 tbsp plus 3/4 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp cornstarch
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/3 cup melted coconut oil
- 2/3 cup coconut nectar or brown rice syrup
- 5 tbsp Naked Apple Butter or applesauce
- 1 1/2 tbsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup hot water
- Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.
- Line a standard 12 cup muffin tin with paper liners.
- In a medium bowl whisk together the flour, potato starch, tapioca starch, baking powder, baking soda, cornstarch and salt.
- In a small bowl add the oil, coconut nectar, apple butter and vanilla. Mix well.
- Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir to thoroughly combine. Now add in the hot water and continuing mixing until the batter is smooth.
- Pour 1/3 cup of batter into each prepared muffin cup.
- Place the cupcakes in the oven on the center rack and bake for 15 minutes, rotate the muffin tin and bake for another 8 minutes.
- Remove from oven and let the cupcakes sit, in the muffin tin, for 20 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool completely before frosting.
Makes approximately 12-14 cupcakes.
Serving size 1 cupcake.
Nutrients per serving: Calories: 155, Cal. from Fat: 49, Total Fat: 5.5g, Sat. Fat: 4.5g, Carbs: 24g, Fiber: 1.5g, Sugars: 12.5g, Protein: 2g, Sodium: 18.5mg, Chol: 0mg
While these cupcakes are best when eaten fresh, leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days.
A quick note about substitutions – try at your own risk. It took me 3 weeks to perfect this recipe and I tried all sorts of flours and combinations. If you substitute any ingredient please be aware that you might not have the same results as the original recipe produces.
The last 3 weeks were filled with some seriously awful cupcake and frosting failures. I had lumpy frosting, watery frosting, chalky frosting and just plain horrible tasting frosting. Of course the 20 or so batches of cupcakes I made that all failed made my frosting adventure seem great. It was seriously mission impossible. It got so bad that at one point everyone in my family refused to try anymore of my ‘attempts’. I spent hours and hours searching for tips to make a frosting that contained no artificial junk or added chemical agents. I spent about $150 on coconut oil before I finally had a winner. I made a second and third batch just to make sure the first time wasn’t just some fluke – and it wasn’t. I finally had a creamy, thick mixture that looked, tasted and felt like real frosting. Now I just needed to make the perfect cupcake…
- 1 1/2 cups unsweetened soy milk
- 3/4 cup dry soy milk powder *see notes
- 1 tbsp coconut flour
- 1/4 cup coconut nectar
- 1 1/2 tbsp pure vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 cups melted coconut oil
- 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
- In a food processor, combine the soy milk, soy powder, coconut flour, coconut nectar and vanilla. Process for 1-2 minutes.
- While the machine is still running, SLOWLY drizzle in the melted oil in half cup increments. After each half cup add in 2 tsp of the lemon juice. This step should take about 10 minutes or so. The oil should be added in only in a small thread-like stream. Adding in too much will result in a watery frosting.
- Once all the oil and lemon juice has been added pour the mixture into an airtight container and refrigerate for 6 hours or for up to 1 month.
Makes approximately 3 cups.
Serving size 2 tbsp.
Nutrients per serving: Calories: 142, Cal. from Fat: 128, Total Fat: 14g, Sat. Fat: 12g, Carbs: 1g, Fiber: 1g, Sugars: 0g, Protein: 2g, Sodium: 0mg, Chol: 0mg
This frosting is kinda like an airy version of cream cheese. Because of the use of coconut oil it has a slightly coconut taste but overall tastes like a rich vanilla frosting. While it’s perfect for cupcakes I also used it for Cheesecake Stuffed Raspberries and as a topping for my Crispy Waffles. Since the frosting will keep for about a month in the fridge you can find tons of uses for it!
I was not able to find organic soy milk powder (without other ingredients) at my local grocery stores so I ended up ordering it online. I found a great place that not only had organic powder but it contained nothing but organic soybeans!!! #WIN Shipping was very reasonable and I received the product very quickly. You can find the soy powder here.
A note about substitutions. Try at your own risk! I made about 4 different variations of this frosting and none of them worked. Also, I was not able to make this properly in anything but a food processor. My Vitamix didn’t work. In theory I think this will work well by using rice milk and rice milk powder. The only reason I didn’t try it was that I was unable to find a plain organic rice milk powder. If you have more luck and give it a try please let me know how it turns out. You can not however substitute the coconut oil – this is a must and any other oil will NOT work.
I can’t state enough how important it is to add the oil in SLOWLY. This will make or break your frosting. You need a steady thread- like stream. If you add in too much too soon you will end up with a more liquid type frosting. Take your time, pour slowly and you’ll be rewarded with thick creamy frosting.
You can store the frosting in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 1 month. When using it as a frosting for cupcakes, make sure to refrigerate the cupcakes after about an hour at room temperature. The frosting will start to turn yellow if it’s left sitting out for too long. The taste will still be fine but they don’t look as appetizing.
This summer I had the amazing opportunity to get my certification in Plant Based Nutrition from eCornell. I absolutely LOVED this class and learned so much more about the benefits of plant based nutrition. The course is based off of the book The China Study by Dr. Campbell and I highly recommend you pick up this book. It is eye opening and will change everything you think about animal proteins (milk, meat, etc).
For the first part of my course I had an amazing instructor – Lewis Freedman. Lewis and his wife Priscilla have been eating a whole foods plant based diet for many many years and recently published their very first cookbook – The Great Life Cookbook. For over 15 years Lewis and his wife have been hosting Friday Dinners. People come and gather at their house and are served a delicious whole foods plant based meal. It’s a wonderful tradition that celebrates not only healthy, whole food, but friends and family as well. In The Great Life Cookbook they share with us their favorite Friday Dinner recipes.
While the recipes are based on serving sizes of around 20-24 people, all of them can easily be adjusted to fit your needs. I have long been a fan of corn muffins and couldn’t resist whipping up a batch as soon as I saw it in the book. I cut the recipe in half and also made them into mini muffins and couldn’t believe how moist and delicious these were. Seriously the BEST corn muffins EVER!!! I’ve enjoyed them almost everyday with my Krunchy Kale Salad and my husband has been having them with his Fiery Mexican Soup. I probably should have made the whole recipe since they didn’t last very long.
One of my favorite parts of this book is that each section features seasonal recipes. Every month has recipes dedicated to the seasonal produce that is available during that time. Each section is color coded for a specific month and the recipes are listed at the beginning. You’ll find tons of photos of not only the recipes but of the many people that participate in Friday Dinners. With over 95 recipes to choose from you’ll never have to wonder what’s for dinner again. Each month also has recipes for each course. The book is laid our perfectly to help you host your own dinner party or to spoil your family with an amazing meal!
I’ve already tried a handful of recipes and so far I’ve loved them all. If you’re a fan of desserts you have got to try Theresa’s Blueberry Crunch Cake (page 146) – it was amazing! Although it’s technically a March recipe I couldn’t help but try the Millet Almond Balls (page 64). I added some minced garlic and did half parsley and half chives – I could have eaten every single ball myself! They would be a great starter for a dinner party. They will definitely be going on my list of recipes for Thanksgiving this year.
I’ve always believed that if you take whole, natural foods you can make amazing meals that are full of all the flavors the earth has blessed us with. This cookbook does exactly that. It takes whole foods and creates delicious gluten free meals that are perfect for the whole family. You’ll also notice that most recipes are either very low in oil or contains none at all. Even though there is a lack of oil, you won’t be missing out on any flavor.
A lot of cookbooks that are geared towards those on a plant based diet are somewhat advanced and require a lot of specialized ingredients. The Great Life Cookbook has recipes that are perfect for those just starting out as well as the veterans out there that are looking to expand their daily meals with some variety. Most of the recipes require simple, everyday items that you’ll already have in your pantry and for those that need a little more help or background knowledge, the last chapter is an apprentice guide that shows you the basics. You’ll find tips for working with vegetables, cooking styles, thickeners, sweeteners and host of other information all in one place. It’s a valuable guide and so helpful for those that are just starting out on a plant based journey.
For more information on this amazing book or to purchase a copy of your very own check out their website – The Great Life Cookbook. It’s truly a fantastic cookbook and one that you’ll love having as a part of your collection.
I really love yogurt but store bought non-dairy yogurt contains so many artificial ingredients like thickeners, preservatives and what not that I gave up eating it altogether. I’ve been craving it lately so I figured it was time to make my own. I was a little hesitant thinking it would be hard or that I would need special equipment but it turned out to be really easy and the only special equipment needed was something most of us already have, a slow cooker. While I have to admit homemade yogurt isn’t as thick as store bought it is delicious tasting and I’m so excited to have it to use in many of my favorite recipes again like Overnight Oats.
- 4 cups Homemade Almond Milk
- 1-2 tbsp raw coconut crystals (according to your preferred sweetness)
- 2 tbsp tapioca starch
- 1 tsp vanilla (optional)
- 1 non-dairy probiotic supplement capsule (the kind that is refrigerated)
- Turn your crock pot on to the warm setting with the lid off. Use a thermometer to check the temperature since different models will vary. You want to maintain a temperature of about 100 degrees. I also use the rack that came with my crockpot so that when I place the jars of milk into the crock they are not sitting directly on the bottom. If you don’t have a rack you can lay a folded towel on the bottom of the crock.
- Place the milk, coconut crystals and starch in a saucepan. Mix together well.
- Heat over medium heat stirring often until you reach a temperature of 180 degrees (use a candy thermometer to verify the temperature). Don’t boil the milk. Remove immediately from the heat.
- Let the mixture cool down to between 100-110 degrees.
- When it has reached 110 or below add the vanilla and probiotic supplement (break open the capsule first) and stir.
- Pour into 1 large jar or into smaller jars for single servings. Cover with the lids but loosely not tightened.
- Wrap a towel around the jar(s) and place them into the crockpot without the crockpot lid on.
- “Cook” at 100 degrees for at least 8 hours or up to 12 for a more tangy flavor.
- Place in the refrigerator and chill before using.
Nutritional info will vary depending on ingredients used.
Store yogurt in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
To make overnight oats combine 1/2 cup old fashioned oats (for those that are gluten sensitive make sure to use gluten free oats), 1/2 cup Naked Almond Yogurt (recipe above), 1/2 cup Homemade Almond Milk, 1/2 a mashed banana, 1/2 cup chopped strawberries and 1 tbsp almond butter in a jar or bowl with a lid. Stir well. Cover and place in the refrigerator before going to bed. In the morning your breakfast will be ready and waiting for you. You can vary your oats by adding different fruits, nuts, seeds, whatever hits the spot for you. Just start with 1 part oats to 2 parts liquid of your choice (yogurt, milk, juice) and add in other items from there.
I am not a morning person. In college I was one of the first people to sign up for classes, not because I was super excited, but because I wanted to make sure that I got the popular afternoon classes. I shower at night, I put everything away before bed and I make sure that I have everything ready to go for the next day the night before. During the school year my kids attend a workshop with other homeschoolers once a week. On that day I’m always rushed and trying to get out the door on time. This quick and easy breakfast roll is the perfect meal for my busy morning. I actually make it the night before and it’s ready for breakfast as soon as we go downstairs. It’s also a really great afternoon snack!
- 2 tbsp old fashioned oats (if you are gluten sensitive make sure to use a gluten free oat)
- 1/4 cup raw cashews
- 2 bananas
- 3 tbsp natural creamy peanut butter, room temperature
- 1/2 tsp raw honey or coconut nectar (optional)
- a dash of vanilla
- 1/8 tsp cinnamon
- Place the bananas in the fridge for a couple of hours (or overnight if using them for breakfast) before preparing.
- Place the cashews in a plastic bag and using a rolling pin or meat tenderizer, crush the cashews until you have very small pieces.
- Add the cashews and oats to a small sauté pan and heat over medium. Toast the oats and cashews for about 5 minutes or until golden brown. Be careful when dry toasting as you can go from done to burnt in just a few seconds.
- While the oats and cashews are toasting mix together the peanut butter, honey (if using), vanilla and cinnamon.
- Peel each chilled banana and cut in half, if desired, for easier preparation. Coat each piece with a thin layer of peanut butter mixture.
- Transfer the oats and cashews to a shallow dish. Roll each banana in the oats and cashews until coated.
- Serve as is or cut into pieces for younger children.
Makes 2 servings.
Serving size 1 banana roll.
Nutrients per serving: Calories: 339, Cal. from Fat: 148.5, Total Fat: 16g, Sat. Fat: 3g, Carbs: 40.5g, Fiber: 5.5g, Sugars: 15.5g, Protein: 11g, Sodium: 5.5mg, Chol: 0mg
Banana rolls can be stored in the fridge for up to 24 hours. They are great to make the night before so that breakfast is done and ready the next morning. They are also a perfect after school snack!