Tag Archives: Cook

Microwave Goodbye

If you’re trying to eat healthy, wave goodbye to that invention that is destroying your food.

micro w x

Your microwave doesn’t just take up space in your kitchen, it denatures your food, destroying the nutrients and causing mutations in the molecules and proteins, turning some into carcinogens and rendering others useless.

So think about all that money you spent on organic food (because you read my blog and want to get on the organic bandwagon ūüėČ )…

…and think about how nutrient-poor our soil is to begin with…

…and then think about how long that food was sitting in the grocery store and now in your fridge before you decided to eat it…

…and now think about how you’ll destroy what little is left when you put it in the microwave.

That’s just a waste of money, a waste of calories, and a waste of trying to eat more veggies (which I know you are doing!).

And those containers that are in there with your food?

Microwaving both paper, plastic, and melamine causes them to release toxins that are extremely harmful to your health: BPA, dioxins, PET, and benzene, to name a few.

Think those microwaveable popcorn bags are safe? Think again.

Next time you reach for the Jiffy Pop, keep in mind the corn is genetically modified, the “butter” flavor in no way resembles real butter, and¬†the bag lining has harmful chemicals that leach into your food (if you can call it that). Now add the microwave damage on top of that. That disaster in a bag just made the list of of 10 Most Unhealthy Cancer Causing Foods.

And hey, New Mamas: don’t even think about warming baby bottles in there. Consider all the reasons above and also consider that microwaving causes hot pockets in food and liquid which can end up burning your baby.

In retrospect, it shocks me that it didn’t occur to me sooner…like when I was younger and everyone said, “Don’t stand in front of the microwave while you ‘nuke’ your food.”

Um hello? That should’ve clued us all in right then and there.

We can’t stand in front of it, but we can put into our bodies whatever was in there, even though our cells are made from the food that we eat.

Oh, and we call it “nuking.”

Great.

I’ve been microwave-free for quite some time now, but it still doesn’t feel like long enough because I can remember a time – oh, like the majority of my life – when it was the only way I knew how to cook my food. Since I discovered that other invention called the stove, and it’s neighbor, the oven, things have gotten much more fun in my kitchen.

Microwaves have long been embraced by those who want to expedite the cooking process. Because we’re all in a rush. Because we have no time to wait or to cook. Because we want things easy.

If you’re anything like me, you see some BIG RED FLAGS¬†there.

Ask your favorite health coach and I’m going to tell you that we shouldn’t be living our lives in such a rush. (And next time you buy one of those microwavable plastic pouches full of vegetables, and put it all in the microwave the way they tell you to do it, know that I’m cringing somewhere.)

Cooking is meant to be a celebration of food and taste, a recreational activity to be shared with others or to be enjoyed by oneself as a time out from the madness. For me, it is like a laboratory experiment, and things can get interesting when I ditch the recipe and go rogue.

But if you still really want some fast food, try a bag of baby carrots. Raw. Can’t get any faster than that.

And if you’re hungrier than that and don’t want to bother “cooking,” throw together a big salad with all kinds of fun ingredients in it, fresh or leftover:
-your favorite veggies (raw, steamed, sauteed, grilled, marinated…)
-avocado
-olives
-lentils
-seeds (hemp, chia, sesame, sunflower, pumpkin, buckwheat…)
-nuts (almonds, cashews, walnuts, pine nuts…)
-fruit (oranges, tangerines, grapefruit, berries, pears, apples, kiwi, dried fruit…)
-beans (garbanzo, black, white, kidney…and always Eden Organics if canned because they’re BPA-free)
-fresh herbs (basil, mint, parsley…)
-organic chicken, turkey, grass-fed beef, or low-mercury seafood (salmon, sardines, bay shrimp)
…get creative!

And slow down.

Enjoy your food.

Enjoy preparing your food.

And wave good riddance to your microwave.

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5 Comments

Filed under BPA, Chemicals, Fast Food, Health, Superfoods, Tips and Tricks, 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. ūüôā

4 Comments

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

My Ten Truths of 2012

As I look back on 2012, I can’t help but appreciate all I’ve experienced and all I’ve learned.

It was an interesting year for me, to say the least. Action-packed and educational.

I wanted to share with you what crystallized for me in the last 12 months:

1. Listen to my body
Earlier in the year, I wrote about craving cauliflower. As my tastes are always changing, that ship sailed and now I’m into green beans for the first time in my life.

Let your body tell you about different foods. Don’t force something that doesn’t appeal. And while you may not like something now, be open to the possibility that one day you might.

2. My sweet potatoes kill
They really do. I make the best damn sweet potatoes.

Here’s how:
-Wash the sweet potato
-Stab all over with a knife
-Wrap tightly in unbleached parchment paper
-Bake on the rack at 350 for about an hour to 1:20 (until it’s really squishy to the touch)

You won’t need to add sugar, butter, or anything. It’s that sweet. And that delicious.

3. Slow down
Sometimes I just have to slow down. I can’t do it all. Nor should I try. Nor should you.

4. I fell in love with my kitchen
Fall in love with yours. Cooking at home is the healthiest way to live.

5. Embrace imperfections
I’m still working on this one, but I’m getting better. I’m finding the beauty in the flaws…most of the time.

6. Diet can change everything
I used to be the sleepiest person. Now that I live my life free of the white stuff (white carbs, white sugar, etc.), I have tons of energy. Sometimes, too much (See #3). If something isn’t quite right with you, look at your diet first.

7. Simplify
I discovered that I’m happier when I simplify things in my life. I will continue to do so. Look to see where in your life you can reduce.

My new favorite product is NuttZo Seven Nut and Seed Butter.¬†With chocolate. So I’m getting my chocolate fix with a protein snack all in one. One spoonful packs a punch. Yum, yum, and…organic, of course. ūüėČ

8. Baby Steps
Rome wasn’t built in a day, right? Some of the greatest accomplishments take time…lots of time. Stick with it.

9. Life takes unexpected turns
I’ve been very surprised by my life in 2012. It took some turns that were unexpected, exciting, scary, challenging, and fulfilling. I’ve grown a lot and grown some gray hairs to prove it. 2012 was further proof that when (wo)man plans, god laughs.

Which god? Doesn’t matter. Have your own kind of faith and let it guide you.

10.¬†¬†I’m a blogger
That’s right. 2012 made me a blogger. And I’m loving it. Here’s a big thank you to all of you for your support and interest.¬†I have some great topics lined up for 2013, so stay tuned.

In the meantime, what have you learned this year?

Happy New Year!

12 Comments

Filed under Baby Steps, Health

Dehydratin’ Away…

So the hubby and I are pretty much inseparable. We work together, we live together (obviously), and we go places together. It’s awesome. And the dog ain’t far behind.

I mean, look at that face. Would you leave her? Exactly.

But this week, I have a new best friend. Her name is Excalibur.

That’s right. Health Coach Jillian is dehydratin’ the bejesus out of anything she can get her hands on with her new 5-tray Excalibur Food Dehydrator.¬†It’s BPA-free and phthalate-free.

But if the hubby feels threatened, he has only himself to blame. (And maybe two employees at Whole Foods.) All three commented on my out of control addiction to kale chips. All of them said, “Why don’t you make your own?”

The first time I got the question I replied, “Whenever I make kale chips in the oven, they burn.”

But last time I got the question, I fielded it differently. “MY DEHYDRATOR IS ON ITS WAY TO ME!! I JUST ORDERED IT!”

Okay, maybe the cashier was unprepared for that level of enthusiasm, but he asked and with my Excalibur en route, I was excited. Super excited.

So now I’m trying anything that sounds like it will taste good when dried out: apple with cinnamon, strawberries, figs, carrots, zucchini, and of course, kale.

Now, one might wonder what the point is. Don’t we want the water that’s in these foods? Sure!

And when you eat dehydrated food you should drink water to rehydrate. So it seems totally pointless, right?

Not exactly.

I keep the temperature on 105F so the foods are still technically raw, but cooked. Cooking with high heat destroys much of the nutrients in food, but at this temperature, I’m preserving the nutrients and the live enzymes that are in raw food. And¬†I get on-the-go healthy snack food – like carrot chips and zucchini chips. This way, I can make some healthy concoctions instead of always eating cold food out of the fridge. But mostly, I just eat truckloads of kale chips.

Finally, I gotta give a special shout out to the Mom and Dad – my new bestie is a result of some birthday cashola (yes, HCJ gets older in the summertime). Thanks, guys! I’m having a blast with my new toy!

13 Comments

Filed under BPA, Chemicals, Fruit, Health, Organic, Raw, Snacks, Vegan, Vegetables, Water

Who’s Hungry?

You’ve all been such patient blog followers, reading my posts on various health-related topics. So it’s high-time I post a recipe already. Right? Who’s hungry?!

This one is a big hit with my family and so easy to make, it’s kind of ridiculous.

Mushroom Barley Soup (makes 10 servings):

1 3/4 cups of water
4 cups of organic chicken broth
1 cup of low sodium organic chicken broth
16 oz of mushrooms
1 cup of carrots
1 cup of celery
1/4 cup of onion
1 cup of barley (either organic purple prairie barley or pearled barley)
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 cup of extra virgin olive oil
3 bay leaves
Italian seasoning
1/2 lb of organic chicken breast (optional)

Heat the oil in a large soup pot over medium heat. Add the onion, carrots, celery; cook and stir until onions are tender and transparent. Stir in mushrooms and continue to cook for a few minutes. Pour in the chicken broth and add barley. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low. Cover and simmer until barley is tender, about 50 minutes. Season with salt and pepper and a good amount of Italian seasoning (feel free to get really liberal with this one).

Couldn’t be easier. Couldn’t be more delicious. Good for dinner. Good for lunch. And healthy, too!

(And don’t forget to buy organic veggies. ūüėČ )

Question of the Day:
What’s your favorite one pot dish?

4 Comments

Filed under Chicken, One Pot Dish, Recipe, Soup