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Sarah Lawrence

Simple Detox Recipes ~ because I love you <3

Special Waves and Warm Welcome to all you new Blog followers!  So glad to have you here.  I can't wait to hear from you and get to know you.  Please join me over on Facebook too --- click the link on the right side of this post.  I just can't get enough of all you lovelies!  xoxo ********** So, last week I completed a 10 Day Detox with a great group of people.  I designed the Detox to be gentle by reducing stimulants like caffeine and sugar before cutting them out, then using a clean dietary approach to support the body’s natural detox pathways.  Gotta tell ya… my Detoxers were ROCKSTARS!  Most lost 4 pounds during the 10 days and one SuperStar dropped 7 pounds and was absolutely glowing.  I confess that I feel a bit guilty to have kept the 10 Day Detox on the hush, but I’m ready to share a secret with you --- (you’re truly the first to know!)  --- On March 4th I am launching my next program:  “10 Weeks to a Healthier You!”  Because I work really closely with my clients, I am only opening 15 spots in this exclusive program.  I will be accepting applications from people who are ready to make some healthy habits a reality, so if this is you, be on the lookout for an update with all the deets tomorrow.  I have great bonuses and goodies for all you Early Birds who want to jump right in!  Just think --- you can be on your way to achieving any of your New Year’s weight loss resolutions in time for Mother’s Day!  Build on the momentum of love from Valentine’s Day and give yourself this gift.  Promise I’ll be back tomorrow with more so you can get in on the goodness.  (You’re totally worth it!) Phew!  Now that I’ve let my secret slip, I feel much better!  (Here’s the song in my head --- “I’m so excited, and I just can’t hide it…”)  Back to business ~ I meant to post and share the love before Valentine’s Day, but life got busy with classroom parties and lots of valentines to prepare.  I want all of you to feel the love so this post is a host of pics and recipes from the detox.   Simple meals make me happy and keep me healthy and they can do the same for you!  Foods that support detoxification are tasty, colorful and filling, but don’t take my word for it… try it yourself and let me know what you think!   Breakfast = Breaking the Fast Liquid nutrition in the form of smoothies and juices is a fabulous way to FLOOD your cells with nutritional love! Mixed Berry Blast 1 cup frozen mixed berries 1 frozen banana 3 kale leaves, stems removed A big handful or two of baby spinach, washed (go for two cause you're a rockstar!) 1 - 1½ cups almond milk Put everything in the Vitamix or blender and whiz 050until quite smooth. My Beeting Heart Juice 1 large organic beet, scrubbed 1 large organic cucumber 3 kale leaves, stems removed 6 swiss chard leaves, stems removed 3 large carrots, peeled 1 red apple Cut all the veg in pieces that will fit in your juicer.  Juice according to your juicers directions or blend in a Vitamix and strain using a nutmilk bag or several layers of cheesecloth. [caption id="attachment_706" align="alignleft" width="256"]Juice shots for my boys and the pint glass for me! Juice shots for my boys and the pint glass for me![/caption]   043 [caption id="attachment_705" align="alignright" width="300"]Juicy Smiles from my 6 year old! Juicy Smiles from my 6 year old![/caption] Mid-day and Evening Meals Go for 80% raw and 20 % cooked whole foods for your lunch and dinner meals.  Raw foods provide live enzymes and accessible nutrients.  Cooked whole foods provide the comfort of warmth and variety in texture. Simple Salad for 4 8 cups of mixed salad greens (mesculin greens, kale, romaine, spinach, chard, frisee, red or green leaf lettuce, butter lettuce, endive, mustard greens, beet greens, dandelion greens) 4 cup diced veg of your choice (tomatoes, cucumber, pepper, red or green onion, celery, carrot, mushroom, beet) 1 diced avocado 1/4 cup of hemp seeds, flax seeds, chia seeds or sesame seeds ¼ cup chopped cashew, almond or brazil nuts ¼ cup fresh herbs (dill, basil, cilantro, parsley, mix of thyme/oregano, mint) 2 cups mixed fresh fruit (optional, but great for variety) The possibilities with salad are never ending.  I use a variety of greens for lots of color and texture. Family Friendly tips: 
  1. Let you kids choose the veggies and fruits for the salad. 
  2. Once your greens are washed have your kiddos tear the leaves into fork friendly pieces.
  3. Fill it up!  We have a large oval platter that is great for serving salad family style.  How much salad do you need?  It is really easy to judge once you’ve served salad family style a few times because you will be able to eye-ball it based on your experience.  I know that if we fill up the platter with greens, pile on the veg and add the toppings that the whole thing will go… so all I need to say is “Fill it up” and my people can have fun while practicing a healthy habit.
  4. Let your kids serve themselves if they are old enough to manage a fork.  It’s a life skill.  I find that my kids take what they need and it’s usually more than I would have put on their plates. 
  5. Pour on the props!  Praising the kiddos (and any reluctant adults at the table) is a great way to ensure that they will feel good about making healthy choices.  Praise builds confidence, so when they try a new combo, give them credit and ask them how things taste and if they would make the same salad again.
*** Just think, it’s as easy as P-I-E ~ Praise Involve Encourage! [caption id="attachment_704" align="alignleft" width="640"]Simple Salad for 4 Simple Salad for 4[/caption] [caption id="attachment_711" align="alignleft" width="640"]Simple Salad for 4 with Beet Hearts and berries Simple Salad for 4 with Beet Hearts and berries[/caption] Raw Bowl with Beans 1 cup raw mushrooms, sliced 2 cups kale or spinach, stems removed and leaves sliced into strips ¾ cup raw sauerkraut (homemade or one like Bubbies) 1 cup cooked beans of your choice (homemade is great; no sugar if using canned beans) 040 Triple Nut Veg Burger 1 large onion, quartered 2 stalks celery, quartered 1 clove garlic 1/2 cup almonds 1/2 cup cashews 1/2 cup walnuts ½ cup hemp seeds 1 bunch parsley, stems removed 2 slices gluten free, dairy free millet bread or GFV breadcrumbs ¼ cup nutritional yeast 1/2 tsp sea salt ½ tsp freshly ground black pepper 1/3 cup lemon juice ½ cup white beans (optional, makes patties a firmer texture) Put onion, celery, garlic, nuts, seeds and parsley into your food processor and pulse until everything is fine but not a paste.  Tear the GFV bread into pieces or add the breadcrumbs, nutritional yeast, salt and pepper and pulse again.  Add lemon juice a little at a time to get the mixture to a consistency that you can shape into patties. Heat a cast iron skillet (or your favorite skillet) and place ½ cup size patties on until one side is golden, then flip.  Serve. An alternative to cooking these bad boys is to shape them and pop them into your dehydrator.  The flavor remains bright and the texture becomes much firmer than what you get in the skillet, even with the bean option.  I like the non bean burger, dehydrated and crumbled into lettuce leaves with salsa for a tasty taco like yum. ***Depending on the size of your veggies you should get at least 6 patties, likely a few more. [caption id="attachment_712" align="alignleft" width="640"]Triple Nut Veg Burger Triple Nut Veg Burger[/caption] Tomato Vegetable Soup  ~ you may want to double this one and freeze half 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil 1 cup chopped red onion ¼ teaspoon sea salt 2 cloves garlic, minced 1 cup shredded carrot 1 cup chopped celery 1 24-ounce jar diced tomatoes or 2 lbs fresh tomatoes, diced 5 cups low-sodium vegetable stock (gluten free) 2 cups cooked white beans, drained and rinsed ½ tsp freshly ground black pepper ½ tsp cayenne, chipotle or smoked paprika (optional) fresh parsley leaves, garnish Heat oil in a soup pot over medium heat.  Add garlic and onion and sauté for a few minutes.  Add the remaining ingredients and bring to a simmer.  Cover and cook for 15 minutes.  Sprinkle with parsley just before serving. 026

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Sarah Lawrence

Blueberry Pie, Oh My!

With a few pounds of beautiful blueberries left from our first haul of the season, it was high time to make a great blueberry dessert.  What I love about blueberries is that they are such nutrition powerhouses yet they taste fabulous too.  My kids gobbled their servings while I got the satisfaction of knowing that they got a hefty dose of healthy, whole food based fiber, omega 3’s, protein, good fats, vitamin K, Vitamin C, manganese, Anthocyanins and a host of other impressive phytonutients.     And even though my little people know that the things we eat we eat with health in mind, things like this blueberry pie still feel and taste like a treat.  This recipe yields 4-6 servings, is quick to prepare and easy to assemble.  Kid rating was 4 enthusiastic thumbs up.  Drop me a comment and let me know what YOU think!  Image Raw Blueberry Pie Crust: ½ cup cashews or almonds 4 medool dates, pitted ½ cup coconut flakes In Vitamix or food processor, pulse these ingredients until they form a coarse meal. Transfer to a small bowl if making individual servings, or press mixture into bottom of an 8x8 inch pan. Filling: ¼ cup chia seeds 4 cups blueberries (divided, 2 cup + 2 cups) Stevia – 10 drops of liquid stevia or ¼ tsp stevia powder Using Vitamix or other blender, blend chia, 2 cups of berries and stevia until smooth. Add 2 cups of blueberries.  Stir to combine. If you’re making individual portions, start with 1 Tbsp of the crust mixture.  Pat that down on the bottom of your plate or bowl.  Top it with a few spoons of the blueberry mixture and then sprinkle a bit of the crust mix on top. If you’re making a pan, spread the berry mixture over the crust that you pressed into the 8x8 pan earlier. Either way, let everything set up for about 10 minutes in the refrigerator before serving. Note: the blueberry mixture will turn an earthy blue when exposed to the air, so try to work quickly if the darker blue doesn’t appeal to you!

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Sarah Lawrence

Eating Something Beautiful

The summer garden is a phenomenal source of inspiration.  Besides the gorgeous heirloom tomatoes, zukes, cukes, squash and herbs are a few major beauties that you might not consider putting on your plate. If you haven’t tried them already or didn’t know you could, I’d like to introduce you to the common daylily.  The plant I’m talking about is the one that grows in great clumps by rambling New England stone walls.  It’s the one that has clusters of creamy orange blooms atop tall stems.  We’re not talking Easter Lily or any other lily variety --- some are quite toxic.  If you’re not sure about the plant growing in your garden or in the wild, DON’T eat it.  But if you you’re your stuff and you want to try something new, read on!  Daylily flower buds and blooms are edible raw and are also lovely steamed or sautéed.  To prep them requires a check check for bugs, a pinch and a turn to remove the cluster of stamens/pistols from the center of the blossom and a moments pause to take in their beauty before you devour them!  Now, the stems and tubers are also edible, but we’re going to save those for another day because I’m not digging up these pretties while they’re putting on such a great show!  Honestly, I don't want you to go digging up your daylilies right now either... let them live... they won't mind you pinching a few buds and blossoms.  I think it's quite a tribute to their single day showcase to enjoy the beauty of the bloom and them use it to nourish your body. Much like squash blossoms, daylily blossoms kind of beg to be stuffed.  So whether you spoon a dollop of something sweet or savory into the center of the blossom and eat it like a popper, you won't be disappointed.  Talk about a stunning nibble for a party!  Now if you're not into the totally ladylike feat it takes to eat a popper you can opt for a fork friendly option by removing the petals and peppering a salad with the tender bites or take your cues from the Asian origins of the Daylily by steaming or sautéing the buds.  One thing is for sure:  You will elevate your meal by using this simple, stunning, surprisingly flavorful flower.  I really hope you'll post a note for me if you try these or are inspired by the idea!   Daylily Poppers [caption id="attachment_598" align="alignleft" width="300"]filled daylilies filled daylilies[/caption] Fresh picked daylily flowers, stamens removed 1 cup corn ½ cup cashews 3 stevia leaves or 1 date ¼ cup lemon juice ½ cup blueberries (optional add in) Put corn, cashews, stevia leaves, lemon juice and berries into Vitamix and blitz until smooth.  You can make the corn base first, remove a bit of that and then blend in the blueberries for a 2nd flavor profile.   Spoon about 1 tsp of the mixture into the cleaned hollow of the flower.  Top with a fresh berry. [caption id="attachment_599" align="alignright" width="300"]Daylily Poppers Daylily Poppers[/caption] To eat, fold the petals up like you’re closing a purse and pop the bite right in your mouth.  These are a beautiful appetizer or dessert.  The filling possibilities are just about endless.  Think about a no bake cheesecake filling, or a lemon mousse… instead of going the sweet route with the stevia, omit it and add ½ cup of chopped scallions or dill for a great onion cream cheese mixture.  Peppery mock tuna salad makes a lovely bite as well.    This light, colorful salad is an amazing way to nourish the body.  The basil and oregano really make the dish come alive.  All garden fresh or grown in the yard, takes about 1 minute to put together and it’s just vibrantly yum… in my book, it doesn’t get much better than this! Colorful Daylily SaladColorful Daylily Salad 1 or 2 kale leaves, minced a few leaves of basil, minced sprig oregano, leaves plucked off stem 2 daylilies, petals minced 2 small yellow cucumbers, diced 1 cup blueberries Toss all ingredients together and serve.

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Sarah Lawrence

You can't beet this juice

[caption id="attachment_590" align="alignleft" width="300"]Ruby Red Energy Juice Ruby Red Energy Juice[/caption]
Veggie juices and smoothies are a quick solution to morning nutrition.  While a juicer can make the process a breeze, you can also employ your high speed blender, a nut milk bag and a little therapeutic hand work for the same result.  Prefer to keep your foods full of fiber?  No problem!  Add a few small apples to the blender along with a splash of water and you can create a velvety, sweet smoothie that will perk you up all morning long while providing filling liquid nutrients that are equally easy on your GI tract. 
  When choosing greens for this or any juice/smoothie, consider Romaine not only for it’s watery sweetness but also for Vitamin A, K and C; spinach for manganese, magnesium, iron, calcium and potassium as well as Vitamins K and C; kale for Vitamins K, A and C as well as a bunch of minerals.  Every leafy green is pretty much a nutrient dense powerhouse.  Greens are also a source of ALA which is an Omega 3 fatty acid.  Omega’s 3’s are making headlines all over the nutrition world these days, and you can get yourself a plant strong shot of them first thing out the gate every morning by including greens in your juices and smoothies.  Vitamin and Nutrient levels differ based on variety, so my approach is to use a combination of the greenest greens every day.  But if I had to choose just one green, hands down, it would be kale… Kale will add slight bitterness to your drink, but it is full of glucosinolates (pronounced “glue-co-sin-o-lates”) which our bodies break down into isothiocyanates or (ITCs) (pronounced “I-so-thigh-o-sigh-a-nates”).  While those are a mouthful to say they are worth the trouble!  ITC’s are major players in cellular detoxification as well as being documented cancer preventers and cancer fighters.  It may sound like I’m pitching you something in an info-mercial when I say, “but wait… that’s not all!”  Truth is, that’s not all!  Kale is rich in antioxidants (specifically lutein, beta-carotein and quercetin, but there are at least 40 more); these antioxidants protect your body from all kinds of oxidative damage.  They are like a clean up and repair crew at a cellular level.  They are the anti-inflammatories in nature’s medicine chest.  You want these guys on your varsity team and juices and smoothies like this one are a painless way to play.     If you’re an info junkie, like me, click to check out The George Mateljan Foundation website for a lot more documentation on kale.  You can also look up other foods… in case you’re curious! Red Rising 1 ruby red grapefruit, peeled (any grapefruit will do, but ruby reds are a little sweeter) ½ lemon, peeled (unless it’s organic, then throw it in peel and all) 1 big beet, raw (scrubbed and quartered) 1 lb greens liquid stevia (optional)
  1. Place ingredients in Vitamix or high speed blender in the order listed so the juiciest items hit the blades first.  Blend until smooth.
  2. Pour the puree into your nut milk bag.  Twist the top closed and start massaging the juice out of the bag.
  3. If you need to adjust for sweetness, try a drop of liquid stevia.  Personally, I find the slight bitterness of this blood red juice to be just perfect, but if you’re not used to the bitter flavor or prefer something with a hint of sweetness, give it a drop and a stir and go from there.
Berry Good Variations (wink!):  Add 1 cup of raspberries, strawberries or cherries. Alternative:  Add 2 apples and about ½ cup of water to create a smoothie rather than juice.  Blend as above, but do not strain.  Just pour and enjoy.

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Sarah Lawrence

Banana Goji Berry Smoothie

Add this guy to your smoothie list… this one tastes like banana while having the antioxidant benefits of the goji, omega 3’s from the flax oil and the killer nutrient punch from the kale.  It’s an earthy orange color and my kids gave it two thumbs up!  Nervous about adding kale or greens to your smoothie?  I was too... but the thing is that you really don't end up tasting them.  In this recipe, you taste the banana and the goji's and the color masks the greens well.  In some of my other recipes, I use blueberries or other berries to make the smoothies more appealing to the eye while also making them taste like fruit.  The BIGGEST ISSUE with adding greens to smoothies is usually the texture.  If you have a vitamix you'll be fine because that thing blends just about anything to a silky smooooooth perfection.  If you're using another blender you may find the texture to be grainy.  If that's the case you can try steaming the greens without any seasoning and then adding the wilted greens to the blender.  Another thing to note is that smoothies are a great way to incorporate your powdered probiotics.  I use a product that has a very high count of beneficial bacteria to manage my autoimmune imbalance.  Even though I use the unflavored version, it doesn't taste good when mixed with just water, so I pour out everyone elses portions of smoothie and then add in my packet, blend and I'm good to go! Looking for other smoothie recipes?  Use the search box on this page and type in “smoothie” or check out my smoothie page.  I am working to update the list.  We start every day with a fruit and vegetable packed smoothie, so I’ve not even typed up a fraction of the ones we’ve made… [caption id="attachment_505" align="alignnone" width="300" caption="This one is a nice earthy orange color"]Banana Goji Berry Smoothie[/caption] Banana Goji Berry Smoothie (serves 3) 3 bananas 2 cups almond milk 2 Tbsp flax oil ½ goji berries 2- 3 cups kale (I just pack the Vitamix with kale and blend) Blend everything in the Vitamix until smooth. Serve.

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Sarah Lawrence

Quick Veggie Pad Thai (gluten free vegan goodness)

After the ridiculous story that broke yesterday about pizza being qualified as a vegetable by the USDA for US School Lunches, I just have to write!  When the pizza industry rules the world, it’s a SAD day!   According to an ABC news article the details boil down to cost and big business influence where dairy, wheat and mystery meat are the standard.  Well, this momma doesn’t play that way... and I'm not alone!  I think it’s time that we stand up and say, “There’s a new sheriff in town!” and actually mean it!  UGH!  Stand with me and make a change in your family.  Start where you are able.  If you’ve followed me for any length of time, you know that I adore Dr. Fuhrman.  His “Nutritarian” approach to eating literally changed my health in the span of a few months and has given me back a balanced, nearly pain free body despite my psoriatic arthritis diagnosis.  I make  nutrient dense foods the main players in my meals (I almost wrote that I “try” to make them the main players, but, as my inner Yoda reminds me: “Do or Do Not.  There is no Try.” LOL!)   Now, if any of you follow Dr. Joel Fuhrman, you may have heard this acronym that he uses “GOMBBS” --- it’s an easy way to remember a list of potent antioxidant rich foods that Fuhrman cites not only as being superfoods, but also as being part of a cancer preventative way to eat.  So, GOMBBS foods are Greens, Onions, Mushrooms, Berries/Beans, and Seeds/Nuts.  There is a plethora of science backing the goodness of these guys.  You can read more about that here.  My vegetable rich, GOMBBS filled Pad Thai is an example of how I pack our family meals with all the goodness I can while still making something that tastes great, is high in fiber, gluten free and dairy free (to meet our requirements from allergy and intolerances). I used to make this dish with white rice noodles but have found brown rice noodles that offer more fiber than their counterpart while adding a pleasant nuttiness.  If you can find them, give them a try.  If not, use traditional white rice maifun.  Either way, know that you are making a meal that is colorful, flavorful and healthful!  This makes a generous 6-8 portions and it reheats beautifully for lunch or a meal another day. Enjoy! [caption id="attachment_500" align="alignnone" width="300" caption="Quick Veggie Pad Thai"]Quick Veggie Pad Thai[/caption] Quick Vegan Pad Thai with Veg, Greens and Goji (serves 6, 15 minutes start to finish) 2 packages dry brown rice noodles (maifun) 1 package firm, cubed tofu (I use Nasoya organic), drained 4 cloves garlic, minced 1 lb cabbage or bok choy, shredded ½ lb carrot, sliced thinly on the diagonal or into matchsticks ½ lb celery, sliced thinly on the diagonal or into matchsticks ½ lb onion, sliced thinly ½ lb kale, shredded ½ lb mushrooms, sliced ½ lb zucchini, sliced thinly on the diagonal or into matchsticks (optional) ½ cup peanuts, unsalted 1/3 cup gluten free tamari 1/3 cup rice wine vinegar 1 Tbsp tamarind paste 1/4 cup goji berries dash of sriracha or fresh red thai chili 2 dates green onions, for topping 1-2 Tbsp oil for the pan Put rice noodles into a large bowl and pour hot water over them.  You want the noodles covered with hot water so they soften. In the now, heat a wok or large cast iron skillet and add a bit of oil.  Toss in your garlic and tofu.  We want them to get golden, but not brown.  Stir often with a metal spatula and remove everything to a big serving bowl after about 5 minutes or when yours are golden and fragrant. In the same hot skillet that you just took the garlic and tofu out of, throw in all the veggies except the mushroom and get them going.  These guys are going to work for about 4 minutes. While the veggies are sweating, mix the tamari, vinegar, tamarind, sriracha, goji and dates in your Vitamix or food processor until you have a smooth sauce.  Taste it and adjust the seasoning to suite your taste if necessary. Check the veggies and give them a few good stirs.  Add the mushrooms into the mix.  We are looking for the veggies to get soft, but not mushy and the mushrooms end up keeping a nice toothsome bite since we're arriving to the party fashionably late.  Give the veggies another 3-4 minutes then transfer them to the serving bowl right on top of the garlic and tofu. Add a tiny bit of oil to your pan.  While it’s heating, drain the noodles that were soaking.  Add the noodles to the hot pan and immediately stir them around.  Pour the sauce over the top and use tongs or a big spoon to combine everything.  You want to keep the noodles moving so they don’t stick.  Once they’re hot and the sauce is fragrant tip the veggies, tofu and garlic back into the pan.  Add the peanuts.  Use tongs to combine everything.  Transfer the lot to the serving bowl or straight onto dishes if you prefer.  Top with the sliced green onion and extra peanuts if you like.  YUM!

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Sarah Lawrence

Lemon Goji Smoothie

image

Kids developed this smoothie this morning and it was quite a neon shade of orange but tasted of lemon all the way!  A keeper!  They called it "lemon-neon"...

Lemon-neon smoothie
3 carrots
3 small oranges, skin removed
1 organic lemon, skin removed from half
1/2 cup Goji berries
1banana
3 Brazil nuts
2 cups water

Place all ingredients in vitamix.  Blend until smooth.  Taste.  Sweeten with a few drops of liquid stevia if needed.

It was a perfect foil for our omega 3 liquid supplement as well as a hefty dose of probiotics! 

P.s this is my first mobile upload... a bit of a test.  Figure I need to post when its convenient or I may not have time to post!  Fun android phone!


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creativecalligraphy

Coconut Mocha Smoothie

I love a good smoothie in the morning.  There's nothing better than knowing that I am starting the day with a healthy nutrient rich sip.  My boys generally have some smoothie with me as well, so I know that they are getting at least one serving of fruit and veg right out of the gate! Using Tropical Traditions large coconut flakes, I find this smoothie to be really nice.  If you want to intensify the coconut flavor and you have access to fresh coconut, try subbing fresh coconut meat for the flakes.  Want to go over the top?  Sub coconut milk for the water.  You will increase the fat content in a big way, but if coconut flavor is what you need, it's okay to go for it from time to time.  According to recent science, the fat in coconut oil has considerable health benefits.  As with all fats, moderation is key. Wondering how this smoothie tastes?  Surprisingly, with all that spinach, you might expect it to taste "green", but it doesn't.  The cocoa and coconut flavor is dominant and the blueberry provides an undertone.  I like using the berries because of their antioxidant punch.  I make another version of this smoothie minus the berries, but that one feels more like a guilty pleasure than a nutritious start to the day! [caption id="attachment_404" align="alignleft" width="225" caption="Coconut Mocha Smoothie"]Coconut Mocha Smoothie[/caption] Coconut Mocha Smoothie (serves 2, yields 4.5 cups) 1 cup frozen blueberries 1 cup water 4 cups raw baby spinach  3 Tbsp cocoa powder ¼ cup large coconut flakes or fresh coconut meat 1 tsp powdered stevia or 1/2 dropper liquid stevia Blend everything in the Vitamix until smooth.  Serve.     Here's a peek at my lunch today.  Fresh romaine, arugula, kale, escarole and endive + fresh berries and apricot, leftover roasted red pepper and BBQ tofu that I cubed + a luscious dollop of white bean hummus.  A nutritious salad doesn't have to be greens and tomato and traditional veg.  Use what you have.  Use what you love... and you can't go wrong!  (The highlight of this bowl for me were the amazingly sweet peppers that I roasted last night paired with bites of kale and berries.): [caption id="attachment_405" align="alignleft" width="300" caption="Salad with berries, apricot, roasted pepper, BBQ Tofu and white bean hummus"][/caption]

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creativecalligraphy

Beets, Berries and BBQ

There's been a lot of crimson goodness in my kitchen today and every bit of it's been amazing.  Started the day with a gorgeous beet berry smoothie.  If you've never used raw beets in a smoothie before, don't be afraid... they are sweet and pair really well with berries and citrus.  Try 1/2 of a beet per serving if you're okay with beets in general.  If you're not a beet fan, start with 1/4 of a beet and work your way up!  It's hard not to love a vegetable that is so richly colored. Dinner was a tasty BBQ tofu served over fresh garden greens with yellow and red roasted beets, red pepper and tomato.  My favorite bites included morsels of peppery baby arugula and the sweet and tangy BBQ tofu.  Nice. [caption id="attachment_400" align="alignleft" width="300" caption="Beet Blueberry Kale Smoothie"]Beet Blueberry Kale Smoothie[/caption] Beet Blueberry Kale Smoothie (serves 1) ½ red beet, raw 1 cup water ¼ lb dinosaur kale, about 6 leaves 1 cup frozen blueberries Blend everything in the Vitamix until smooth.  Serve.     Barbeque Sauce Recipe ~1 minute prep, 30 minutes simmering~ (Makes about 3 cups) 1 onion 4 cloves garlic 1 bottle Annies organic ketchup 1 ½ cups water 1/2 cup maple syrup 2 Tbsp smoked paprika 1 1/2 teaspoons dried parsley 2 Tbsp Braggs Amino Acid or Gluten Free Tamari 2 Tbsp lemon juice 1 teaspoon liquid smoke 2 Tbsp pomegranate molasses 1 pint fresh raspberries Put all ingredients in Vitamix and blend on low for 30 seconds, then blitz for 1 minute.  Pour into saucepan and simmer over medium heat for 30 minutes. [caption id="attachment_399" align="alignleft" width="300" caption="BBQ Tofu"]BBQ Tofu[/caption]   BBQ Tofu ~about 30 minutes~ (yields 6 pieces which is usually 3 servings) 1 block of extra firm organic tofu, water packed 1 cup BBQ sauce of your choice   Drain the tofu.  If you have time, wrap the tofu in a clean linen towel and set it on a drying rack that you’ve got in a sheet pan.  Put a heavy saucepan on top of the wrapped tofu and let it press the block for 30 minutes.  This setup lets the liquid drip through the drying rack while the sheet pan catches the liquid so there’s no mess.  The longer you press and drain the tofu, the more firm and chewy the final texture will be. Take your drained tofu and set it on it’s side lengthwise.  Slice the block into 3 slabs then cut the slabs in half so you have 6 nice palm sized pieces. Get your grill pan or grill nice and hot.  Oil it lightly.  Brush one side of the tofu pieces with BBQ sauce and put that side down on the grill.  While it’s down, brush the side that’s up.  Leave the tofu to grill for 5-6 minutes on the first side, then flip it and grill it 5-6 minutes on the other side.  Baste the up side and flip the tofu, turning it ¼ turn so you get a checkerboard grill mark.  Grill for another 5-6 minutes, again basting the up side.  Flip for the last time, ¼ turning again and grill for 5-6 minutes.  Baste the top one last time before serving.  

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creativecalligraphy

It's all in a day...

It's been a tasty day here.  Unfortunately, my 8 year old had a rough night of tummy trouble after having some dairy products at school yesterday and so was home taking it easy.  I needed to keep things fresh, mild and mostly raw for him since his stomach was tender.  Easy to do.  Nourishing and light for the rest of us.  Hope you enjoy the 2 smoothies, soup, spring rolls and sorbet that I made today. I made this smoothie for my 8 year old and his tender tummy: Creamy Banana Coconut Smoothie (serves 1) 1 banana ½ cup coconut milk ½ cup almond milk 1 Tbsp chia seeds 1 Tbsp lucuma powder, optional Blend everything in the Vitamix until smooth.  Serve. ************************************************** This one was for me and my 5 year old: Creamy Chocolate Cherry Goji Berry Smoothie Creamy Chocolate Cherry Goji Berry Smoothie (serves 2) 3 bananas 1 cup almond milk 1 Tbsp cocoa powder 2 Tbsp chia seeds 1 tsp vanilla powder 1 cup frozen cherries ½ soaked goji berries 3 cups raw baby spinach Blend everything in the Vitamix until smooth.  Serve. ************************************************** Lunch was a mild miso soup:Miso Happy Kale Soup Miso Happy Kale Soup (Serves 4) ~ 15 minutes ~ With miso in your fridge you can have a richly flavorful, light soup in minutes.  White miso is very mild and my kids love it.  Millet miso is a bit heartier.  Choose a miso paste that you love and you can’t go wrong… 1 onion, diced 2 cloves garlic, minced 1 carrot, thinly sliced 1 cup torn kale 4 cups water 3 Tbsp miso paste Put all ingredients except the miso into a small pot and get things simmering.  Let the pot go for 10 minutes then shut off the heat and stir in the miso paste.  Make sure you stir until the paste works into the soup so no one gets a clump of salty miso.  Serve with a salad of mixed greens, thinly sliced cucumber and a splash of rice vinegar.  ************************************************** Dinner took a little time to prep tonight, but it worked out because my guys were needing a bit of cuddle time.  While the tofu marinated I had quality time with my family.  Doesn't get better than that.  One note about the tofu is that it is a bit salty because of the Braggs in the marinade, but it works with the sweet raw veggies and bite of chili and garlicky goodness in the dipping sauce.  My 8 year old chose not to use the dipping sauce because of the chilis.  I added a slice of avocado to his spring roll to cut the saltiness and give his recovering system some healthy fat. Spring Rolls with Curried Tofu (Serves 4 as a main dish with salad) ~ ready in about 1 hour and 30 minutes, including time to marinate tofu ~ Spring Rolls with Curried TofuThis is a light and tasty meal for a warm evening.  If you don’t have time to make your own curried tofu you can purchase a flavored baked tofu instead.  Using purchased tofu will save you more than an hour in the kitchen, so if you’re short on time, it’s a decent option.  Alternatively, prep the tofu a day or more in advance.  Doing this will allow you to pull out the cold tofu, put the veg into the wraps and be good to go in a matter of minutes. Curried Tofu: 1 block extra firm tofu, sliced into 3 slabs and then each slab into 3 pieces 3 cloves garlic, minced 5 Tbsp Braggs 1 Tbsp sesame oil 2 Tbsp curry powder Wraps: lettuces or greens of your choice thai basil cucumber carrot avocado (optional) rice paper wrappers Dipping Sauce: 2 garlic cloves, finely minced 1 thai chili 1/2 lime, squeezed 1 medool date, pitted 1 teaspoon rice vinegar 1/4 cup braggs or tamari 1/4 cup water Let’s start by prepping the marinade for the tofu since the tofu needs to sit a while to absorb some gorgeous flavors.  In a large ziplock bag, combine 3 cloves of minced garlic, the Braggs, sesame oil and curry powder.  I use Spice Island hot curry powder which contains chilies… so our curried tofu sucks in a big kick of spicy flavor.  Use your favorite and adjust the spice level to suit your taste.   Give the bag a little squish to combine the ingredients then place your tofu slices into the bag, seal it and set it in the fridge for about an hour or up to a day.  The longer the tofu sits, the more marinade it will absorb. While the tofu is marinating, prep the dipping sauce.  The longer this mixture sits, the better the flavor becomes, so it’s a natural next step.  I like to pound the garlic, chili and date in my mortar and pestle to get a paste.  You can mince these ingredients super fine and then work them into a paste on your cutting board using the back of a large spoon if you don’t have a mortar and pestle.  Combine all of the dipping sauce ingredients in a small bowl and let them marry while we wait for the tofu. When the tofu is done marinating take it out of the fridge.  Pull out your skillet and give it a spray or swirl of cooking oil, get that hot and place the tofu slices right on in.  This should take no more than 3 minutes per side to get a nice golden color on the tofu.  The curry powder helps things a lot as well because of the beautiful golden turmeric.  Flip the slices and let the other side crisp up.  Now remove the slices to clean paper towel so we can drain off any excess oil and let the slices cool at the same time. Once the tofu has cooled we can assemble to wraps.  This step is really quick if you have your ingredients ready.  I often let my kids assemble theirs because it’s easy and fun and kids are more likely to eat something that they’ve made themselves! I set out a 9x13 glass baking pan with about ½ inch of warm water in it.  Next to this I lay out a clean linen dish towel that I’ve wet and wrung out so it’s just damp.  Slide one rice paper wrapper into the warm water and let it soak for about 5 seconds before removing it carefully and laying it on the damp towel.  Layer some lettuce, cucumber slices and shredded carrot, then top with a slice of cooled curried tofu and a sprig of thai basil.  Bring the bottom edge up over the filling, fold in the sides like you would a burrito, then roll her up!  Move on to the next one and continue until you are out of tofu or until you’ve made as many spring rolls as you’d like.  The curried tofu makes an excellent sandwich filling and is also great diced up and tossed on salad greens.  So, if you are making only one or two spring rolls tonight, don’t worry about the leftover tofu!   Heck, invite me over and let’s have lunch! Serve with the bowl of dipping sauce, some fresh veg, and a light salad for a complete meal.  Serve them on their own for a light lunch or snack. ************************************************** Our cool and refreshing dessert. Creamy Pineapple Sorbet Creamy Pineapple Sorbet (Serves 4) 2 ripe bananas 4 cups frozen pineapple (1 lb bag from your freezer section) ¼ cup coconut milk shaved coconut for garnish, optional fresh raspberries, optional Put everything in the Vitamix, other high powered blender or your food processor and blend until smooth.  The advantage of using the vitamix is that you can use the tamper to push the fruit into the blades for a super quick blend.  I’m done with this guy in 30 seconds using the Vitamix.  If you’re using another appliance, you may need to stop and stir to get chunks of the fruit to blend.  If the mix gets too soft after blending just pop it in the freezer for 15 minutes to firm it up before serving. Top with shaved coconut and raspberries and serve!

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