Category Archives: Recipe

Simple Summer Side Salad

Friends! I know it’s been awhile. I’ve missed you.

Well, happy Friday, for starters!

I wanted to send you into the weekend with this fun little recipe. It’s the perfect summery side dish or snack.

Best part? It’s healthy! (Obviously.)

Second best part? It’s easy!

Now, who doesn’t love that combination?

Okay, here we go…

ORANGE COUSCOUS

INGREDIENTS
  • 1 cup whole wheat couscous
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 cup orange juice (freshly squeezed is best)
  • 1 teaspoon ume plum vinegar
  • 10 dried apricots, chopped* 
  • 2 tablespoons dried raisins*
  • 3 medium carrots, shaved and chopped
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts
  • drizzle of olive oil at the end (optional)
  • 2 persian cucumbers, chopped and added at the end (optional)

*Dried fruit should be organic, unsulphured and with no added ingredients – just apricots or raisins

DIRECTIONS

  1. Pour couscous into a medium-sized bowl.
  2. In a small pot, combine water, orange juice, and vinegar. Bring the mixture to a boil and add the dried fruit. Let simmer for about 1 minute.
  3. Give it a quick stir and then pour the liquid mixture over the dry couscous. Stir to eliminate any dry pockets. Add the carrots on top and then cover with a plate or towel to keep in the heat.
  4. The couscous will cook in 15 to 20 minutes.
  5. When the couscous is cooked, stir in the carrots and add in the pine nuts and cucumber. You may opt to drizzle olive oil on top.
  6. Best served cold or at room temp.

Now, some people don’t love couscous. That’s okay. For example, in my house the Hubby doesn’t like it so that means more for me. No complaints. 🙂

While couscous works best in this recipe, if it’s not for you, you can choose a different grain…or non-grain. Buckwheat is a heartier choice and arguably even healthier.

Why? Well, it’s gluten-free because it’s not actually wheat, despite its misleading name. It’s a seed related to rhubarb and it’s a great source of protein, fiber, complete essential amino acids, zinc, magnesium, and B vitamins. Plus, it’s whole grain and very versatile, great in a sweet or savory dish.

I recommend Eden Organics Buckwheat. You should cook the buckwheat first (takes 30 minutes) or make it in advance. Then add the ingredients to it as you would uncooked couscous and the results should be similar. BUT, you should reduce the liquid substantially, since the buckwheat is already cooked. I’d say probably 1 tbsp of water, 1/4 cup of orange juice and 1/4 tsp of vinegar to 1 full cup of cooked buckwheat. You don’t want it liquidy. Let it chill in the fridge for a bit and add more buckwheat if it’s still too wet. If you like couscous, though, the recipe works better with it.

Also, I’m not the biggest lover of raisins, so sometimes I make this with just apricots, which I do love. Works great and I don’t feel the need to up the amount either. Plenty of sweetness here.

I’ve also been known to throw in some fresh herbs, too. Parsley and basil from my garden add a different flavor that I like sometimes. Herbs are super healthy, so that’s always a bonus. Just depends on my taste buds on any given day. Get creative!

And as always, all ingredients are organic. You know me. That’s how I do!

couscousBuckwheat

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Filed under Fruit, Gluten-free, Health, Organic, Recipe, Snacks, Vegetables

Deliciousness = Full and Happy Bellies

In my last post I mentioned it was my mom’s birthday. Well, being the health coach that I am, I had to make sure we ate healthy on her special day, so I cooked up an organic brunch complete with Barefoot Coffee. Now, you know healthy doesn’t mean it can’t be delicious. Because it was. And we all agreed that I should write a post about it.

Now, I’m tooting my own horn here because I really knocked it out of the park this time, you guys.

And just for letting me toot the horn, I’m sharing these two insanely good recipes with you.

Super simple. Super delicious. Super healthy.

The first was an egg casserole, loaded with veggies. The second was a baked french toast that was dairy-free and had only low-glycemic coconut sugar. Both recipes are completely organic, with the exception of the salt, as salt is not organic. Instead of topping the french toast with syrup, we had fresh fruit, and it was the perfect compliment.

As usual, there were no GMOs here and everything was prepared with safe cookware. See my post on what I like to use to avoid BPA and chemicals from non-stick cookware.

I really should have a picture of this feast, but there was no time for pictures. I couldn’t wait to dive in. Forgive me.

And without further ado…

EGG CASSEROLE
Ingredients:
8 eggs (I used 4 whole, 4 whites)
1 1/2 bags of spinach
1 box of mushrooms
1 tbsp of ghee
1 tsp of turmeric
Seasoning: pink salt and/or pepper and/or Italian Seasoning to taste

1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

2. Chop up mushrooms and any other veggies you love.
Tip #1: always let veggies sit for 5 minutes after cutting and before cooking to let the freshly broken enzymes do their thing.

3. Scramble eggs in a bowl with turmeric, a pinch of salt, and seasoning (I used a bit of Italian Seasoning). Use whatever combination of whole eggs/egg whites you prefer.

4. Heat the ghee in a pan.

5. Sautee mushrooms in ghee with a splash or two of water – you want just enough for a juice so they don’t stick and burn, but not too much that it’s really saucy. Once cooked (give it about 4 minutes), add spinach. and cook until wilted, not longer.

6. Line a 9×9 casserole dish (stoneware or glass) with unbleached parchment paper and spread the mushroom/spinach mixture evenly along the bottom. Pour the egg mix over the veggies.

7. Bake at 375 for 30-35 minutes (until egg sets).

8. Tip #2: always sprinkle pepper (any kind will do) on your eggs to break down the glairy mucus from the whites.

Enjoy!

RIDICULOUS BAKED FRENCH TOAST

Yup. Ridiculous.

Ingredients:
1 lb of organic whole wheat bread (I used 1 1/2 loaves of Petit Pain Pascal from Trader Joe’s – it’s in their day bread section and it’s fantastic)
1/2 cup of ghee, melted
4 large eggs
3/4 cup almond milk
1/3 cup coconut sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract (non-alcohol) + 1/4 tsp of ground vanilla
1.5 tablespoon cinnamon (use 1 1/4 in the mixture, 1/4 sprinkled on top)
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon pink salt
Fixins on the side: 1/2 cup each of blueberries and banana slices

1. Preheat oven to 350F.

2. Line an 11×15 inch pan with unbleached parchment paper. Melt the ghee on the stove on low and allow it to cool so you don’t curdle the milk or cook the eggs.

3. Cut the bread into 1 inch pieces and place on the parchment paper, making sure it all fits along the bottom without too much stacking.

4. Mix ghee, eggs, almond milk, coconut sugar, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt and pour over the bread. Make sure to wet every piece gets wet. Pour a little extra milk if necessary (you may even need to make additional batter if there’s not enough for sufficient soakage), sprinkle with a little sugar and cinnamon on top. Put a few pieces of unmelted ghee across the top. Cover with foil and let soak for 4 hours in the refrigerator.

5. Bake for about 30 to 35 minutes. It will brown but don’t overbake because you want it moist. Some pieces should be a little toasted but there will still be some liquid in the center.

5. Serve yourself a big honkin’ piece and top with blueberries and banana, or any other fruit you like. This does not need syrup or additional sugar.

6. Tip #3: go back for seconds because sometimes we just need to enjoy ourselves.

You’re welcome. 🙂

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Filed under BPA, Fruit, GMO-free, Health, Low-glycemic, One Pot Dish, Organic, Recipe, Tips and Tricks, Vegetables

Day of Pumpkin

Halloween is almost upon us! Halloween is a favorite holiday in our house, so I thought I’d get in the spirit a little early with a day of pumpkin.

Yup. Pumpkin for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

Two posts ago, I had some requests for pumpkin soup. I heard you loud and clear and here’s what I’ve come up with…

Take a fresh sugar pumpkin, cut it in half, and scoop out seeds and strings.

(For roasted pumpkin seeds: separate out the seeds, wash and dry them discarding the strings, and roast them at 350 for no more than 20 minutes with sweet or savory seasoning – a great snack for you pregnant gals!)

Put a sheet of parchment paper on a cookie sheet and bake the halves skin up, flesh down at 375 for about 30 minutes. You should be able to slice a knife through it.

Scoop out baked flesh and put in blender or food processor.

Add 1 tsp of ground vanilla bean, 1 tbsp of coconut crystals, a few shakes of nutmeg, and liberal shakes of cinnamon. I recommend purchasing organic spices, of course.

Add in water, coconut milk (I made my own – see below for the recipe!), or broth (if for soup), and blend until smooth. Amount of liquid needed depends on how much pumpkin there is – start with a little and just keep adding until pumpkin is smooth but not watery.

You now have a delicious, sweet base! (Alter spices to make it more or less sweet.)

First, I had it in my oatmeal for breakfast. I added in chia seeds, raspberries, oats, cacao nibs…you can get creative with it.

Then I ate it by the spoonful for a sweet snack throughout the day. It made a great dessert after lunch!

And lastly, I turned it into a soup for dinner. I put the puree back into a pot, added in all kinds of veggies – mushrooms, celery, carrots, cabbage, broccolini – and cooked it all for a few minutes. Then I added a few pieces of leftover chicken on top and…Voila! Soup! And a one-pot dish, no less!

Make sure to either use a bit of coconut milk or coconut oil in the mix so you absorb the vitamins. We cannot absorb all the vitamins and minerals in our veggies without a little fat. That’s especially important for my pregnant readers – getting the most out of your food is critical now!

Now for the Coconut Milk Recipe

Combine 1 cup shredded unsweetened dried coconut and 3 cups hot water in a blender. Blend for about 2 minutes or until it looks creamy and you have a good froth on top. Then strain through a fine mesh strainer.

That’s it! Quick, easy, and without all the additives you’ll find in store-bought coconut milk.

I, of course, added a couple shakes of cinnamon (as always!) to the mix because I love cinnamon and it serves as an anti-microbial while adding a little hint of flavor. Double bonus!

See Adventures in Nut Milk for more nut milk recipes.

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Filed under Chicken, Coconut, Health, Recipe, Snacks, Soup, Spices, Vegetables

No More Cheeri-(GM)Os!

That’s right. I finally weened The Husband off GMO-tastic Cheerios. They have that ubiquitous “Whole Grain” stamp on them, but they’re loaded with GMOs. So I can’t stress to you enough how huge this was for me.

HUGE.

How’d I do it?

As always, I’m so glad you asked.

Answer: BABY STEPS!!!

It was, at times, a bit tricky. The husband was not always thrilled. But after trying countless organic cereals to a less than enthusiastic response, we finally found some honey flakes that worked great. I was happy.

But then I thought I’d try one more thing…

…because box cereals are still processed and there are healthier options out there…

So what’s he eating now?

That’s just the best damn part.

He’s now eating and loving…drumroll, please…

HUBBY OATS!

(It ain’t so pretty but it’s oh-so-tasty)

Ingredients (all organic)

1/3 cup of Old Fashioned Rolled Oats 
1/4 cup-ish of homemade cashew milk (basically, just enough to wet the oats without being really wet and sloshy)
1 tsp of chia seeds
2 tbsp of raisins
1 tbsp of dried currants
2 dried figs (he asked for more of those without even knowing – didn’t see that one coming!)
1/2 banana
1 tbsp of organic peanut butter 
1 tbsp of chopped walnuts
1 tsp of coconut sugar
a sprinkle of salt
shakes of cinnamon 

What Do I Do?
Put it all in a bowl and mix it up. No heating necessary. Serve.

You could add berries, hemp seeds, different nuts. The sky’s kind of the limit on this one. And it’s so easy being a one-pot-dish. Have fun with it and report back on what you add in!

Speaking of baby steps, if you’re a mom or mom-to-be looking for help in getting healthier for you and your kids (or kids-to-be!), contact me. Initial consultations are always free!

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Filed under Baby Steps, Coconut, GMO, GMO-free, Health, One Pot Dish, Organic, Recipe, Superfoods, Victories

Adventures in Nut Milk

In addition to dehydrating up a storm, I had my first foray into homemade nut milk last week. You all know how I feel about dairy, so this girl does nut milk.

I have to say, making my own almond milk was a wee bit of work but so incredibly worth it. The taste was unreal.

I had been buying the 365 Brand of Unsweetened Organic Almond Milk from Whole Foods. It’s very good as far as pre-made nut milks go – in health and taste – but there are still ingredients in it that I don’t love. And people kept saying it was easy to make it yourself so I wanted to see what all the fuss was about.

Now I know. They taste like two totally different drinks.

The real mess was the cheesecloth because you have to strain the almonds to get smooth milk. Cleaning the cheesecloth was a bit tricky so next time, I’ll go with a fine mesh metal strainer.

BUT! I also bought some cashews to try cashew milk. While the taste of almond milk is superior, cashew milk is SO much easier to make and still tastes great.

Cashews don’t have to soak as long, which is a huge plus if you forgot to soak and need some milk (um, that was me this morning!). But the best part is that you don’t have to strain them. Cashews are soft enough that they blend really well. Faster, easier, and less mess! This makes homemade nut milk a much more realistic option.

Everyone knows that almonds are a very healthy nut but what about cashews? Well, did you know that a couple of handfuls a day fights depression? Read more about it here.

Here are the two recipes…

ALMOND MILK
Ingredients:

  • 1 cup of raw almonds (organic preferred)
  • water for soaking nuts
  • 3 cups of water
  • a few shakes of cinnamon (optional)
  • sweetener: 1-2 dates or figs (optional)
  • sprinkle of ground vanilla (optional)

Preparation:

1. Soak the almonds in water overnight or for at least 6 hours.

2. Drain the water from the almonds and discard.

3. Blend the 3 cups of water, almonds (and whatever else you choose – I used only cinnamon) until well blended and almost smooth.

4. Strain the blended almond mixture using a cheesecloth or fine mesh strainer.

Homemade raw almond milk will keep in the refrigerator for 3-4 days.

I soaked overnight and didn’t use dates or vanilla and it was amazing. A bit of cinnamon adds a nice flavor (I love cinnamon) and serves as an antimicrobial agent.

CASHEW MILK
Ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup of raw cashews (organic preferred)
  • water for soaking nuts
  • 3 cups of water
  • sweetener (optional): fig, date, raw maple syrup, raw honey (unless you’re pregnant!), or coconut sugar (never agave!)
  • a few shakes of cinnamon (optional)
  • ground vanilla (optional)
  • a dash of pink salt (optional)

Preparation:

1. Cover raw cashews with water and allow to soak for at least one hour.

2. Drain and rinse.

3. Place 3/4 cup of soaked cashews and 3 cups water into a blender or food processor and process until smooth, at least one minute.

4. Optional: add sweetener to taste if necessary.

Homemade raw almond milk will keep in the refrigerator for 3-4 days.

You can use more or less water to alter the thickness of your cashew milk, but in general, you want a 1:4 ratio of cashews to water.

You may also choose to strain your raw cashew milk. I, of course, did not.

**In my first round of cashew milk, I did not use any sweetener or salt. Just some shakes of cinnamon. It was good but not great. In my second round, I used some shakes of cinnamon and a fig. Better. In my third round, I used some shakes of cinnamon, a fig (fresh), and a sprinkling of ground vanilla bean. We have a winner!

Both milks are great on their own, in smoothies, or in oatmeal/cereal.

And I made an amazing shake that tasted like ice cream, so I’ll share that with you, too. 😉

KINDA LIKE ICE CREAM SMOOTHIE

Ingredients:

  • 1.5 tbsp of organic peanut butter (My choice is Maranatha!)
  • 1 banana
  • 1 fig (dried or fresh, depends on preference and what you have in the kitch)
  • a few shakes of cinnamon
  • a cup of almond or cashew milk (use more or less depending on the consistency you like)
  • ice
  • 1 tsp of cacao nibs

Blend and drink, my friends!

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Filed under Agave, Dairy, Health, Organic, Raw, Recipe, Tips and Tricks