Archive for November, 2012

Spotlight On Health Series: Magnesium

Nov 30 2012 by | Comments (0)

Everyone has heard about magnesium but do you really know what it’s good for?  Eating plenty of nuts, beans and dark green, leafy vegetables appears to prevent stroke.  Each of these foods is rich in magnesium and according to a new study involving nearly a quarter of a million people, indications are that magnesium intake is linked to a lower risk of ischemic stroke, the most common kind of stroke.  For every extra 100 milligrams (mg) of magnesium a person eats per day, the risk of ischemic stroke (usually caused by a blood clot) dropped by 9 percent.  It’s recommended that men ingest 420 mg of magnesium per day, while women need 320 mg.  An ounce of almonds provides 80 mg and a half cup of brown rice contains 40 mg.  Some other yummy options:

Raw Spinach, 1 cup loosely packed, 24 mg of magnesium

Dry Roasted Mixed Nuts, 1 ounce, 64 mg

Cooked Barley, 1/2 cup, 40 mg

Peanut Butter, 2 tbsp, 49 mg

Baked Potato with Skin, 57 mg

Pinto Beans, 1/2 cup, 43 mg

Banana, 34 mg

Frozen Peas, 1/2 cup, 23 mg

Here’s a delicious way to start your morning off right with a big dose of magnesium.  Over half the ingredients in our Toasted Banana Breakfast Roll contain at least 30 mg of magnesium each.  Reducing your risk of stroke has never tasted so good!

Source:  “Dietary Magnesium Intake and Risk of Stroke” by S.C. Larsson et al., Am J Clin Nutr, 2/12

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Mediterranean Cauliflower

Nov 28 2012 by | Comments (4)
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This is my favorite time of year and Thanksgiving my favorite holiday but after the feasting is over I like to cleanse my pallet with more refreshing flavors before thoughts of the next holiday meal take over. This cauliflower dish is light and bright and just the thing to offset some of the heavier holiday fare. It makes a great side dish or it can be made into a meal by adding chickpeas or serving over a grain like orzo, barley, farro or whatever you prefer.

Kristy

Ingredients:

  • 1 tbsp plus 1 tsp olive oil
  • 2 shallots, thinly sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 medium size cauliflower, cut into bite size florets
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 2 tsp oregano
  • 1 tsp marjoram
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 4 tbsp white wine vinegar (not white distilled vinegar-sub with red wine vinegar if you don’t have white wine vinegar)
  • 4 tbsp water
  • 1 cup diced tomatoes, the jucier the better
  • 2 tbsp black olives, chopped (about 8 olives)
  • 1 tbsp fresh parsley, minced

Preparation:

  1. In a large skillet heat 1 tsp olive oil over medium high heat. Add the shallots and cook for 1-2 minutes until starting to soften. Add the garlic and cook a minute more.
  2. Add the remaining 1 tbsp oil, cauliflower and salt . Cook, stirring occasionally 4-5 minutes. Season with the oregano, majoram and black pepper.
  3. Stir in the vinegar and water. Cover, reduce heat to medium low. Cook until the liquid is absorbed, about 5 minutes.
  4. Add the tomatoes and olives. Continue to cook until the cauliflower is tender and the tomatoes are soft.
  5. Garnish with fresh parsley.

Yield:

Approximately 4 servings – 1 cup each.

Notes:

Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 2-3 days. Reheat if desired or it’s also good chilled.

 

Naked BLT

Nov 26 2012 by | Comments (1)
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I used to love BLT sandwiches.  The crunchy toasted bread, creamy mayo and of course the bacon.  Even before we switched to a plant-based diet I had long given up bacon – both for health and ethical reasons.  I’ve played around with a few tofu bacon recipes and while they all turned out – they were just ok.  That is, until now!  I admit its been a while since I’ve tasted real bacon but this tasted just like what I remember.  I actually had to make 2 batches since my whole family demolished the first batch in minutes.  This ‘bacon’ is great crumbled up and sprinkled on a salad or baked potato or place a couple slices on your favorite burger, add some Daiya cheese and turn it into a delicious bacon cheeseburger.  Of course my favorite way to enjoy this tasty ‘bacon’ is in my beloved BLT sandwich.  I proceeded to eat the whole sandwich in about 5 seconds after I snapped this pic.  Best lunch ever!  Enjoy.

~Sarah

Ingredients:

For the ‘bacon’:

  • 14 ounce package extra firm tofu
  • 6 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 1/2 cup + 1 tbsp canola or sunflower oil
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 6 tbsp coconut nectar
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 3 tbsp reduced sodium soy sauce or tamari
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 3/4 tsp liquid smoke
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil

For the sandwich:

  • sliced bread of your choice, toasted
  • lettuce of your choice
  • thinly sliced tomato
  • thinly sliced red onion (optional)
  • Earth Balance Organic Mindful Mayo or 1 avocado, mashed

Preparation:

  1. Remove the tofu from its package and drain completely.  Wrap the tofu in several layers of paper towel or use a couple of dish towels.  Place on a flat surface and use a heavy stack of books or other heavy weight to place on top of the wrapped tofu.  Let sit for 2-3 hours.
  2. While the tofu is being pressed, mix together in a small bowl the nutritional yeast, oil, water, coconut nectar, maple syrup, soy sauce, salt, liquid smoke, onion powder and garlic powder.  Set the marinade aside.
  3. Using a very sharp 8-10 inch chef’s knife, slice the tofu into paper thin slices.  Place the slices in a large shallow baking dish and pour the marinade over top.  Place in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour or overnight if desired, making sure to flip the slices over once during the time period.
  4. Heat the coconut oil in a large sauté pan over medium high heat.  Working in batches if necessary, cook each piece of tofu for about 3 minutes on each side or until the edges are brown.
  5. Assemble the sandwich by spreading a layer of mayo or mashed avocado on one slice of toast.  Top with a layer of lettuce, tomato and onion (if using).  Add a few strips of the ‘bacon’ and top with the remaining slice of toast.

Yield:

Depending on how thin you slice the ‘bacon’ you can get about 4-6 sandwiches out of 1 package of tofu.

Notes:

Leftover ‘bacon’ can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days – if it lasts that long!

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Chocolate Hazelnut Spread

Nov 21 2012 by | Comments (3)
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I have lusted over Nutella for many years and now Jif has gotten in the market with their own version of this creamy dreamy spread and tempted me yet again. You would think that hazelnuts and chocolate would speak for themselves but no……both Nutella and Jif’s first 2 listed ingredients are sugar and oil and Jif sinks even further with other unhealthy and unnecessary ingredients.

I wanted the delicious rich flavor of the toasted hazelnuts to be the star of the show so they are the main ingredient. I’ve also used chocolate cacao powder (a good antioxidant source as well as vitamins and minerals) and mesquite powder (rich in fiber, protein, potassium, iron, zinc, calcium and magnesium) to add a little more sweetness and flavor. What a bonus to get a little extra nutrition in such a sweet delight!

Mmm, I love apples topped with Chocolate Hazelnut Spread. What’s your favorite way to use it?

Kristy

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups raw hazelnuts (filberts)
  • 1/2 cup non-dairy milk (coconut milk add a nice flavor)
  • 1/4 cup chocolate cacao powder
  • 1/8 cup mesquite powder
  • 1 tbsp raw coconut nectar  (add more if you want it a little sweeter)
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt

Preparation:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spread the hazelnuts out on a baking sheet in a single layer. Bake 10 minutes, stir then turn off the oven, leaving the nuts inside to toast another 3-4 minutes. Watch carefully so the nuts don’t burn.
  2. Transfer the nuts to a dish towel. Fold the towel over the nuts and rub to get the skins off. You probably won’t get all of the skins off but a little left on won’t be a problem.
  3. Place the nuts and the rest of the ingredients in a high powered blender or food processor. Blend until smooth, tamping down the mixture as needed until you have a smooth consistency.
  4. Spread on toast, dip pretzels, apple slices, bananas, pears, celery in it, use as a topping on cupcakes or waffles. The possibilities are endless.

Yield:

Makes approximately 2 cups.

Notes:

Store the spread in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 7 days. You can also freeze in small batches for longer storage.

 

We need your HELP!

Nov 20 2012 by | Comments (8)
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Putting together this holiday e-book was a mission of love.  I’ve always had a very creative and decorative side – it’s probably why I originally majored in Interior Design.  I love designing layouts and creating beautiful things and designing cookbooks is a perfect outlet for my creative nature.  I spent my days inputing recipes, taking photos, working on cover designs and I spent many, many nights staying up until 2 or 3 in the morning trying to make everything perfect so that we could present you with a cookbook that we would be proud of.

Once the final draft had been proofread and edited, we were thrilled.  It was everything we would want in a cookbook.  It had beautiful color photos for every recipe (something we feel is a must!), an easy to read layout and a warm and inviting feel that is the perfect reflection of this holiday season.

We quickly got to work selecting a company that would help us convert the book to a Kindle format so that we could place it on Amazon.com and make it available to many of our readers that utilize that technology.  This is when our story starts to take a turn for the worse.

I love the Kindle app.  In fact, I use it both on my Mac and on my iPad.  Since I always have one of those 2 things with me, it’s great for doing some reading when I have downtime.  What is it not good for?  Cookbooks.

Kindle was developed for regular text heavy books (both fiction and non-fiction).  It doesn’t support columns or layouts and is basically  just a very long list of words in electronic format.  Why is this bad?  Here is a page from CELEBRATE!.

And here is the very same sample page from the Kindle version:

And with that you now see our dilemma.  Yesterday, when we received the final formatted Kindle version this is what we saw.  It was a shock to us and our joy in being able to offer this to our readers was quickly dashed away. To offer this book in Kindle format we need to eliminate what we feel is the entire layout of the book.  The easy to read recipe pages, the inviting layout and the full color photos (there will still be photos but not as many).

So readers, what do we do?  Do you still want a Kindle version?  The pdf version of CELEBRATE! can easily be read on almost all devices – iPads, iPhones, Android phones, Mac based computers, Windows based computers, etc.  Chances are if you have a Nook or Kindle device then you also have a computer that would be compatible with the pdf version and therefore would be able to utilize the e-book as originally designed.

Please let us know your thoughts and feedback on this issue.  If a Kindle edition is still a popular option then we will work even harder with the developers to create a book that is as close as possible to our original design.

So, tell us what you think?

~Sarah

Categories : Recipes
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This time of year has always been one of my favorites.  I love the crisp cool mornings, the warm and comforting foods and the beautiful colors that nature displays.  It’s no wonder that our first ebook focuses on our favorite recipes from this time of year.

CELEBRATE! is a collection of 50 mouth watering recipes that you’ll be thrilled to have on your holiday dinner table.  Along with classics like Cranberry Relish, Herbed Holiday Dressing and Just Like Mom’s Gravy, you’ll also find some new, original recipes like Fall Bruschetta, Wild About Squash Salad and Apple Walnut Lentil Loaf.

We want to help make your holiday meals as yummy and delicious as possible so we’ll be giving away a copy of our new book to 2 lucky winners!  We’ll also be throwing in an official Naked Kitchen organic t-shirt, water bottle and apron!  You have 3 different ways to enter (or do all 3 to increase your chances of winning!).  You can leave us a comment below telling us what your favorite holiday tradition is, you can tweet about the giveaway or you can leave a comment on our Facebook page letting us know what your favorite holiday meal is.

EVERYONE is eligible to enter the giveaway below and the winner will be announced on Monday, November 26th, 2012.  Merchandise products however, will only be mailed to those living in the 50 US states.

If you just can’t wait to get your hands on a copy of our ebook you can purchase it right now for only $4.99!  You can buy a pdf version from our homepage or Facebook page.

To get you in the holiday mood we thought we’d share this delicious, seasonal donut with you.  Moist and fluffy pumpkin spice donuts with a creamy pumpkin flavored frosting – YUM!  The donuts themselves are fantastic with or without the frosting but for those ultimate pumpkin lovers out there we decided to take it up a notch and create this fantastic pumpkin flavored frosting.  Along with being delicious on your donuts, this frosting is also perfect for bagels, toast, other baked goods or as a yummy dip.  It’s going to be such a yummy holiday season!  Enjoy!

~Sarah

Ingredients:

For the donuts:

  • 1 cup whole wheat pastry flour or brown rice flour
  • 1/2 cup coconut crystals (do not substitute with maple syrup, honey or any other liquid sweetener)
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/16 tsp nutmeg
  • pinch of cloves
  • pinch of allspice
  • 1 tsp vanilla powder or vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup non dairy milk
  • 1/2 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup cooked pumpkin puree (canned is fine)
  • 3 tbsp melted coconut oil

For the frosting:

  • 1 cup cashews, soaked for at least 2-3 hours then drained
  • 1 cup cooked pumpkin puree (canned is fine)
  • 2 tbsp melted coconut oil
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup
  • 2 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/8 tsp cinnamon
  • dash of nutmeg
  • 1/8 tsp vanilla powder or vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp coconut nectar

Preparation:

For the donuts:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a large bowl add in the flour, coconut crystals, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, cloves, allspice and vanilla powder (if you are using vanilla extract, wait and add it with the wet ingredients).  Mix well and set aside.
  3. Place the milk, vanilla (only if using vanilla extract), vinegar and pumpkin puree in a small saucepan over low heat.  Once the mixture is slightly warm add the coconut oil.  Stir continuously until the coconut oil is completely melted.  Set the mixture aside and let it cool down to room temperature.
  4. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix together.  Do NOT over mix.  You should have a light and fluffy batter.
  5. Lightly spray your donut tin with olive oil.  Fill each donut mold with batter about 1/2 to 3/4 full.  You should have just enough batter to fill each donut mold of a 6 count tin.
  6. Bake donuts in the oven for 12 minutes.  Remove from the oven and let cool for 1 to 2 minutes.
  7. Place a sheet of wax paper or parchment on your countertop and turn the donut pan on top of the paper.  Gently tap the back of your donut pan and the donuts should pop right out.
  8. Let the donuts cool completely before adding any toppings.  Enjoy plain or top with Creamy Pumpkin Frosting.

For the frosting:

  1. Place the cashews in a food processor and process 1-2 minutes.
  2. Add in the remaining ingredients and process until you have a smooth, creamy mixture.
  3. This frosting be used to frost donuts, cakes or other pastries.  Also great in place of cream cheese on bagels and toast.

Yield:

Makes 6 donuts and 2 cups frosting.

Notes:

Leftover donuts can be stored at room temperature for up to 24 hours or in the fridge for up to 5 days.

Frosting can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 1 week.

******GIVEAWAY NOW CLOSED********

Scalloped Sweet Potato and Apple

Nov 16 2012 by | Comments (7)
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This recipe is a ‘sweet’ little dish to have in your recipe box especially during the holidays. It’s simple to make and a little different from the usual potatoes you find on the holiday table.

Kristy

Ingredients:

  • 2-3 sweet potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced *see notes
  • 2-3 apples, peeled, cored, halved and thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened orange juice
  • 1 tbsp maple sugar or syrup
  • 1 tbsp neutral flavor oil plus a little to grease the baking dish
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp ginger
  • 1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1/4 cup chopped, toasted pecans or hazelnuts (optional)

Preparation:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Grease a 9 inch pie pan or an 8×8 or similar size shallow baking dish with a little of the oil.
  3. In a small bowl mix together the orange juice, maple sugar, oil, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and salt. Set aside.

    Layer half the sweet potatoes in the baking dish and then top with a layer of half the apples.

  4. Layer the prepared baking dish with half the potatoes, lightly overlapping the edges. Layer half the apple slices over the potatoes.
  5. Spoon half of the juice mixture evenly over the apples.
  6. Layer on the other half of the potatoes and then the apples.
  7. Spoon the remaining juice mixture over the top.
  8. Cover with foil and bake 20 minutes. Remove foil and bake an additional 20-25 minutes or until tender when pierced with a fork.

Yield:

Makes approximately 6 servings.

Notes:

Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 1-2 days.

*Try to find long thin sweet potatoes. If you can’t then cut the potato in half before thinly slicing to make layering easier.

Baked Stuffed Apples

Nov 14 2012 by | Comments (5)
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The past week we’ve had some super chilly weather.  The nights have been downright cold and I’ve looked for any excuse at all to turn on the oven.  Not only does this recipe keep me nice and warm but the whole house smells wonderful!  I’ve stuffed the apples with pistachios and almonds but you could easily use walnuts or pecans.  Feel free to tweak the spices to suit yourself as well.  I kept it simple with cinnamon and vanilla but a dash of nutmeg, allspice or cloves would be a great addition too.  Enjoy!

~Sarah

Ingredients:

  • 4 apples (Pink Lady, Honeycrisp or Fuji work well), cored
  • 1/4 cup dried golden raisins or cranberries, chopped
  • 1/4 cup unsalted pistachios, chopped
  • 1/4 cup almonds, chopped
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 cup apple juice
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla powder or vanilla extract
  • 2-3 tbsp lemon zest or 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp melted coconut oil
  • 2 tbsp coconut crystals

Preparation: 

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a small bowl combine the raisins, pistachios, almonds and cinnamon.  Set aside.
  3. In a small saucepan, combine the apple juice, vanilla powder, coconut oil and coconut crystals.  Bring to a simmer for 5 minutes and then remove from heat and let it cool.
  4. Core the apples and cut about 1/4 of the top off, reserving the tops.  Use a spoon or melon baller to scoop a bit of the middle out, forming a cup-like shape.

    Divide the nut mixture evenly between the apples, replace the tops and pour the apple juice mixture over top.

  5. Place the apples in an ovenproof dish and divide the nut mixture evenly between the apples.
  6. Cover the apples with their tops and pour the apple juice mixture over the top.
  7. Bake for 1 hour or until the flesh is tender, regularly spooning the cooking juice over the apples.
  8. Remove from the oven and serve warm, topping with leftover cooking juice.  Garnish with a scoop of ice cream or Homemade Whipped Cream.

Yield:

Makes 4 servings.

Notes:

This dish is best served right away.  Make only the serving amount that is required.

Perfect Apple Pie

Nov 12 2012 by | Comments (1)
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During the holidays, in my family, pie was always the only dessert choice on the menu.  Pumpkin, apple and usually cherry were the choices we got to choose from.  I can’t even remember a Thanksgiving or Christmas without pie.  My husband is a big fan of apple pie.  It’s usually his one food request for Thanksgiving and Christmas dinner.  I am most definitely not a pastry chef but I can make one mean apple pie!  This recipe is fairly simple and is the perfect use for all the yummy varieties of seasonal apples that are available this time of year.

~Sarah

Ingredients:

  • 1 batch Perfect Pie Crust
  • 2-3 cups (or enough to fill your pie crust) sliced apples of your choice (Granny Smith, Golden Delicious or Honeycrisp are great choices)
  • 3-4 tbsp coconut nectar, raw honey or brown rice syrup
  • 1/4 tsp ground allspice
  • 1/8 tsp nutmeg
  • 1-2 tbsp cinnamon (amount will depend on how much cinnamon you want in your pie)
  • 1/2 tbsp vanilla powder or a dash of vanilla extract

Preparation: 

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Prepare your crust by following the directions as stated for the Perfect Pie Crust, including pre-baking the bottom crust.
  3. In a large bowl mix together the apples, coconut nectar, allspice, nutmeg, cinnamon and vanilla.  Transfer the mixture to the pre-baked bottom pie crust.

    Use a fork or your fingers to crimp around the edge.

  4. Roll out the remaining dough to the same size and thickness as the bottom crust.  Place on top of the apple filling and trim off the excess dough leaving about 1/2 inch overhang.  Crimp the edges of the pie with your fingers or a fork.  Score the top of the pie crust with 4 or 5 cuts (I use a cookie cutter to cut out shapes before I place the top piece over the filling).
  5. Transfer the pie to the oven and bake for 20 minutes.  Reduce heat to 350 degrees and continue baking for 30-45 minutes (time will depend on type of apple used) or until the apples are soft and tender and the top is golden brown.
  6. Remove from the oven and let sit for 1 hour before serving.  Serve warm or at room temperature.  Garnish with Homemade Whipped Cream or vanilla ice cream if desired.

Yield:

Makes one 9 inch apple pie.

Notes:

Leftover pie can be stored at room temperature for up to 1 day.  Leftovers can also be covered and stored in the fridge for up to 3 days.

Presenting our Holiday e-book!

Nov 09 2012 by | Comments (1)
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Can you believe we are a little less than 2 weeks away from Thanksgiving?!  I absolutely love this time of year – the food, spending time with family, warm cozy fires. I love it all!  This year, Kristy and I wanted to share with you some of our favorite holiday recipes.  The holidays are such a special time for our family and we love preparing delicious meals that everyone can enjoy.

CELEBRATE! is filled with 50 delicious, plant-based holiday recipes that you’ll be proud to serve at your holiday fest.  We’ve included 15 never before seen recipes like Old Fashioned Gingerbread Cake, Stuffed Dates with Candied Pecans and Apple Walnut Lentil Loaf.  Each recipe is accompanied by a full color photo.  We’ve filled the book with breakfast, soups & appetizers, salad, side dishes, entrees and desserts.

Starting today you can purchase CELEBRATE! in pdf format for only $4.99!  It is available directly on our homepage or through our Facebook page.  Payment is accepted by paypal.  To make payment by check please contact us via email.

We hope you’ll enjoy our new e-book and we look forward to bringing you many more in the future.

Happy Holidays!

~Sarah and Kristy

Categories : Recipes
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