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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

Spanakopita in a SNAP! (Gluten Free, Dairy Free, Nutrient Dense)

On busy school nights, quick dinners are helpful.  This comes together in a flash and is full of flavor.  My cheat is using frozen organic cut leaf spinach.  It is loose in a bag rather than a frozen block so it thaws in about 2 minutes in the pan rather than 15!  You can absolutely use fresh greens, fresh onion and garlic if you have the time; using fresh vs. dried and frozen adds about 20 minutes onto the cook time. Want raw?  No problem!  I make a raw Spanakopita Salad using the same recipe and fresh raw ingredients.  Beacuse I find raw onions difficult on the stomach, I choose sweet vidalia onions when I can get them or red onions. While I love raw food and am about 90% raw, it just so happens it's a cool New England night and something warm feels good to me!  Without further ado, here you go... (try it for yourself and let me know how yours turns out!) Quick Vegan Spanakopita Sarah's Spanakopita 2 lbs frozen organic cut leaf spinach or fresh, minced 1 lb frozen kale or fresh, minced 1/2 lb fresh mushrooms, minced 2 Tbsp dried garlic or 3 cloves fresh garlic, minced 2 Tbsp dried onion flakes or 1/2 onion, minced 1 cup hot water Combine ingredients in a cast iron skillet and cook over medium heat until the spinach is thawed, the mix is fragrant and most of the liquid is gone. While the spinach is cooking, grab your blender or food processor and whiz this up: 1 cup raw unsalted cashews 1/2 cup nutritional yeast 2 Tbsp raw apple cider vinegar 1 tsp dried oregano 1 Tbsp dried dill 1 tsp dried garlic powder 1 tsp salt This quick nut cheese is nothing like feta's salty briny flavor, but it is tangy and has great flavor. To plate, spoon out about 1 cup of the spinach mixture and top it a spoonful of the nut cheese and a good sprinkle of sesame seeds. Enjoy with white beans(go for canned if you don't have home cooked ones in your fridge) dressed with a squeeze of lemon juice and a sprinkle of tarragon or oregano and add a cup of berries for a sweet, fiber-rich and nutrient dense meal that has all your essentials -- Greens, Beans, Onions, Mushrooms, Berries and Seeds A refreshing drink with this meal is Cucumber water --- if you have a juicer, go ahead and juice a few big cukes, then add to a pitcher of water with a sprig of mint and a slice of lemon.  If you don't have a juice, slice a cucumber and put it into a pitcher of water with the mint and lemon.  Mild, fresh and good for you! My question of the day:  (Talk to me!  I love reading your comments!) What are your favorite tips and tricks for making quick, nutrient dense, meals?

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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

Easter 2012 – our best (and easiest) Gluten Free Vegan Feast ever!

[caption id="attachment_553" align="alignleft" width="300" caption="Easter 2012"]Easter 2012[/caption] I really wish you could have been here today to SMELL our Easter Feast cooking.  Have you ever had one of those proud moments where you are outside and you smell something amazing and think to yourself, "I'd love to taste THAT!"  --- it's that kind of smell that totally makes you jealous, unless it's coming from your house... your kitchen... and then you just feel proud!  Yup, I had that moment today.  I think you're going to love me for experimenting with socca today (if you don't already love me!)  Maybe you think it's wrong to experiment with food on a holiday, but I'm always game.  Becuase I've been on a socca kick lately, I figured that socca works so beautifully when it's thin that it might work beautifully as a binder in a thick pie/kind of quiche form... and I am beside myself with glee because it does and it does so in an amazing, dare I say, incredible way!   I wanted something like Spanikopita, so I used kale for a base of greens and artichoke for that feta-like saltiness.  This is one basic idea that I can't wait to play with using other greens and flavor combinations.  What will you try? What's even better than a meal that tastes great?  -- A meal that's also easy to prepare.  No slaving in the kitchen for this cook today! I turned on the oven, spent about 20 minutes prepping veggies and then enjoyed time with my family for an hour while things cooked.  Easy enough for any night of the week and PERFECT for leftovers!  Try them and let me know what you think!    Mesculin Greens with Beets, Grapefruit and Toasted Pecans  - Fill salad bowl with greens, top with diced beet (ours were peeled, raw); slice grapefruit in half and cut out the segments, then squeeze rind to lightly splash greens with the grapefruit juice; top with toasted pecans (I toasted ours in a dab of coconut oil and sprinkled with a pinch of coconut sugar and a pinch of salt). Butternut Squash Soup  -- Peel and de-seed 1 butternut squash (or cheat and buy peeled squash at the market like I did this time!); Dice about 1 cup of sweet onion.  Add squash and onion to a soup pot and add 8 cups of water.  Add 1 tsp salt, heaping tsp pepper, a few cloves of garlic, 1 tsp cumin.  Boil for 20 minutes.  Cool.  Puree in blender.  Reheat and serve. Kale and Artichoke Socca Pie -- Wash and chop 1 lb kale.  Dice 1 cup onion.  Mince 3 cloves garlic.  Add to hot skillet and sauté until veggies are soft.  Season with rosemary, nutmeg, salt and pepper to taste.  Stir in ¾ cup chopped artichoke hearts. -- Combine 2 cups chickpea flour, 2 cups water, juice of 1 lemon. -- lightly oil/spray an 8 inch springform pan.  Pour enough batter to coat bottom, then add half veg mixture, top with batter, add remaining veg and top with remaining batter.  Lightly mix using a fork… it’s more like moving the veg to the side so the batter can penetrate. -- bake in 400 F oven for 50-60 minutes or until a wooden skewer inserted in center comes out clean. Roasted Veggies -- Clean and chop veggies into bite sized pieces.  I used carrots, potato and onion.  Add 1 tsp coconut oil and stir to coat.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Roast in 400 F oven with the Socca Pie for 1 hour.  Toss with fresh dill before serving.

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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

Christmas Menu - a Gluten Free Vegan Feast

Christmas is such a wonderful holiday... celebrating the gifts of love and friendship... enjoying time with our family and friends.  For me, it's a joyful time.  In the kitchen, I want comfort and cozy... and I want tasty, healthy food that doesn't take all day to make!  I confess that I usually try new recipes at holiday time.  This year is no exception.  I'd love to share the inspiration for my 2 favorite dishes with you and hope that they can be a spark for you too! Okay, the ladies over at PPK are simply brilliant.  With a few modifications of the PPK vegan Macaroon recipe my Gluten Free Vegan version was born.  I can’t tell you how much I enjoy coconut and the macaroon is just one of those things that’s eluded me… but no longer!  Now you can enjoy them too!   I played with these a little and my favorite variation was pressing a whole almond into the top of the mound of dough, baking and then drizzling with chocolate instead of dipping the bottom... kind of like an Almond Joy if you're into that!  GFV Macaroons GFV Macaroons 3 oz extra firm silken tofu ¼ cup coconut oil 2 tablespoons coconut milk 1/3 cup sugar 2 teaspoons almond extract 1 teaspoon vanilla extract ½ cup sorghum flour or ¼ sorghum + ¼ cocoa powder (for a chocolicious version) ¼ cup almond meal ¼ cup arrowroot starch ¾ teaspoon baking powder ¼ teaspoon salt 1 ½  cups unsweetened shredded coconut whole almonds, optional ½ cup chocolate chips, melted using a double boiler Variations recommended by PPK: Chipper: Add 1 cup mini chocolate chips to the batter Touch of Orange: Add 2 tsp orange zest and omit almond extract Preheat oven to 350 F. Line a baking sheets with parchment. Puree tofu, oil and milk in a blender or food processor until smooth.  Scrape the sides to get everything back into the mix.  Add the remaining ingredients except the coconut.  Pulse to combine.  Tip out into a large bowl and mix in the coconut.  The dough will be stiff. Scoop tablespoons of dough out of the bowl and onto a parchment lined baking sheet.  I use my nifty Pampered Chef medium ice cream scooper to get uniform balls of dough.  These cookies don’t spread, so you can get a TON onto a baking sheet.  But, don’t overcrowd them or they will take longer to bake. 15 minutes in your preheated 350 degree oven should do the trick… golden bottoms and lightly toasted tops. Transfer to a cooling rack while you melt the chocolate (I like the double boiler method where you place your bowl with the chocolate over a pot with a bit of boiling water on the stove… the bottom of the bowl shouldn’t touch the water, rather it should be big enough that it rests on the rim of the water pot so the steam and heat from the boiling water will gently melt the chocolate as you stir.) Once the chocolate is melted dip the cooled cookies in and coat their bottoms.  Then set them back onto the parchment lined baking sheet to set. Pop them in the fridge if you need them quickly, otherwise, a while at room temp will also set them up just fine.   The other super stars of our holiday feast were these chickpea almond tart shells.  Green Kitchen Stories is a new blog to me, but I am already in love!  David and Luise created a stellar GFV menu for Bon Appetit and their filled version of these shells was totally inspiring!  The recipe posted here includes my modifications based on our tastes.  I found the original recipe to be a bit too salty so I've cut the salt.  Also, the coconut oil I use is raw and tastes very coconutty, so for our tastes and with the pantry items we use I prefer to use Earth Balance to play off the nuttiness of the almond and chickpea flour without giving the added coconut note (even though I love coconut... it just didn't work for me here).  I added flaxseed meal to bump the nutritive value of the shell and loved the extra nuttiness that the flax gave.  So, try the original version and try my version... then make your own!  The beauty of cooking is that you have the freedom to create things that suite your tastes.    I spread a thin layer of garlicky roasted eggplant puree on the bottom of each baked shell, then added a layer of braised kale (chopped kale, garlic, shallot, parsley, veg broth), and topped with a dollop of herbed mashed potato. GFV Christmas Feast 2011 Served these alongside Quinoa studded with cranberries, pecans and roasted yams; mesculin greens with raspberries; steamed carrots seasoned with cardamon... and the meal was divine. Chickpea Almond Tart Shells Chickpea Almond Tart Shells Makes 6-8 tart shells depending on the size of your pans Tart shells 1 cup chickpea flour (besan) 1/4 cup flaxseed meal ¾  cup almond flour or almond meal 1/3 cup potato starch, tapioca starch, or cornstarch 1/8 tsp sea salt Freshly ground black pepper 3 Tbsp fresh herbs of your choice or 1 ½ Tbsp dried 6 Tbsp Earth Balance + 6-9 Tbsp cold water special equipment: small tart pans Preheat oven to 375°. Combine all ingredients in your food processor and pulse until a nice dough forms. Tip it out onto a lightly floured work surface (using either the chickpea or almond flour).  Divide the dough into 8 equal pieces and press into your tart shells.  If your pans are non stick there shouldn’t be a need to oil them, but if they’re not then definitely give the pans a quick coating. Take a piece of dough and press it evenly onto the bottom of the 1st tart pan, then work it up the sides.  Use your thumbs to keep the dough from going over the edges while forming a nice uniform thickness on the sides.  Since I don’t know the size of your tart pans, you may need more of less dough to make this work.  The shells that we liked the best had less than ¼ inch thickness to the sides and bottom.  They bake up crisp and are not dense. Place tart pans on a baking sheet and pop into the preheated oven.  Bake for 15-20 minutes or until golden and fragrant. Remove the sheet from the oven and let the shells cool before filling them.  The bottoms will get soggy if you leave a filling in for too long, so be prepared to serve within about 45 minutes from the time you fill these little beauties.

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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

Ingredient Adventure: Black Chickpeas

I love trying new ingredients.  This bag of Black Chickpeas has been in my pantry for a little over a month now and I decided that tonight was their opening night in our kitchen!  Most of the recipes I've seen that use black chickpeas describe them as a snack or side dish and use them in a spiced sauce with some gamey meat.  Instead of using these little nuggets in their traditional supporting role, I've used them as the star.  This meal was rounded out with a gorgeous saute of ripped kale, seasoned with a sprinkle of salt and pepper as well as a scoop of steamed quinoa.  I also created a Gingered Coconut Almond Cream to top the Chickpeas, just because... I love ginger and I love a creamy sauce that I can dip into or swirl into a dish.  About 1 Tbsp topped each serving of Chickpeas. The Family Verdict: My 9 year old enjoyed the meal; the 5 year old mixed everything together and ate all but a few bites; my sweet husband left some of the kale and noted that because the black chickpeas look like black beans he expected them to be softer.  I cooked the chickpeas just past al dente, but it would be really easy to cook them a bit more to soften them. Notes: the Black Chickpea soaks and cooks the same as a tan chickpea, though this variety seems much smaller than tan chickpeas.  The taste is also very similar if not the same as the tan variety.  My next 2 experiments will be dry roasting them and trying a Black Chickpea hummus. [caption id="attachment_475" align="alignright" width="300" caption="Black Chickpeas with Kale and Quinoa"]black chickpeas in Spiced Tomato Sauce[/caption] Black Chickpeas in Spiced Tomato Sauce (yields 6-8 servings) Adapted from this Chana-chanp recipe 2 cups dry Black Chickpeas, soaked 1 tsp coconut oil 1 lb Onion, chopped 1 cup coconut milk + 2 Tbsp lemon juice 1 lb Tomato, crushed 1 Tbsp cumin powder 1 tsp turmeric powder 3 Tbsp Garlic, chopped 2 Tbsp Ginger, chopped 1 Tbsp chili powder or a generous squeeze of Sriracha, optional handful fresh Cilantro, chopped Salt, to taste Prep: Rinse the chickpeas in cool water to clean them.  Soak the chickpeas over night; drain. Heat oil in a pan and fry the onions until soft.  Add the tomatoes, chickpeas, ginger, garlic, turmeric powder and cumin and boil until chickpeas are soft, about 45 minutes.  Once the chickpeas are cooked, turn off the heat and add the coconut milk/lemon juice mixture.  Taste.  Season with chili powder or sriracha as desired.  If you are serving children, you may want to reserve a portion before seasoning with the hot pepper options. Top with minced cilantro and serve.   Ripped Kale 1 bunch of kale, ripped or chopped into small pieces 1 tsp coconut oil Heat coconut oil in a wok or saute pan and add the kale.  Saute over high heat for 3-4 minutes until the kale is vibrant green and wilted.  Season with a hint of salt and pepper if desired.   Gingered Coconut Almond Cream (yields 1 1/3 cup) 1 cup coconut milk 1 cup raw almonds 1 tsp ground ginger or 1 Tbsp fresh grated ginger Combine all ingredients in the Vitamix or other high powered blender.  Blend until very smooth.  The flavor or the cream intensifies the longer it sits.  Fresh ginger yields a stronger flavor faster.

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creativecalligraphy

Quinoa Burgers with Greens and Chilled Curried Peach Soup

 I am so excited to share this meal with you!  My boys absolutely gobbled the burgers and each had several "sippers" of Curried Peach Soup.  The burger makes use of three of my weekly staples: quinoa, homemade hummus and kale; and the gorgeous organic peaches we picked up at the market this week really shine while boosting up Vitamin A, C and Potassium.  

Quinoa Burgers with Greens and Chilled Curried Peach Soup
Quinoa Burgers with Greens and Chilled Curried Peach Soup

Quinoa is such a superb seed!  Not only is it incredibly easy to prepare, versatile and yummy but it’s a powerhouse of protein, B vitamins, iron, zinc, potassium, calcium & vitamin E.  Here, quinoa shares center stage with the amazing chickpea, aka garbanzo.  The chickpea takes on a big role as a binder, but is so mild and creamy that the other flavors come through.  

I love that only one pot and one skillet are involved on the messy side of things (if you need to make the hummus, you’ll have the food processor to contend with as well).  But, this one take relatively little effort to get great results.  To make this guy your own, try changing the spices.  You can use another green in place of the kale or try combinations of herbs instead (parsley and cilantro, thyme and oregano, dill).  Finishing the patties with rice flour gives a light crust and makes for a pretty golden brown burger. Use your hands to mix things and you will soon get the feel for the right texture so you will be able to adapt to the ingredients you choose.  My hummus recipe is a stiff hummus, actually much more stiff than commercial varieties, so if you are using a store bought hummus you may need to add in the garbanzo flour or rice flour to aid in binding and reduce the moisture level. Quinoa Burgers (Makes 6 burgers) 1 cup quinoa + 2 cups water 1 Tbsp organic onion powder 2 cloves garlic, whole and unpeeled 1 cup homemade hummus (recipe below) 1/4 cup minced kale (about 2 leaves) 1 teaspoon Frontier All Purpose Seasoning or your favorite herb blend 1 teaspoon smoked paprika 2 Tablespoons Bragg Liquid Aminos 1-2 Tablespoons garbanzo bean flour or rice flour (as needed) Fresh ground black pepper Brown rice flour 1 Tbsp Olive oil Preheat a skillet to medium high heat and pour in the quinoa.  Lightly toast the seeds for a minute or two until they start to smell nutty but are NOT burnt.  Add in the 2 cups of water, onion powder and unpeeled garlic.  Bring the mixture to a simmer and cook for 10-15 minutes or until the water is absorbed.  Remove from the heat and fish out the garlic. Put your softened garlic onto a plate or cutting board and, with the edge of a knife, lightly press on the garlic to squish it out of the peel.  Add this back into the quinoa mixture. Add the hummus, kale, herbs, smoked paprika, Braggs and several grinds of pepper into the quinoa pot and mix well.  I like to use my hands for mixing because I get a good feel for the stickiness of the dough and can tell if things are binding together or if I am going to need to adjust with the bean/rice flour and/or water.  So, once the ingredients are incorporated take about ½ cup of the mixture and make a ball.  If you can shape it into a burger type patty without anything crumbling off or wilting over, then you have the right consistency.  If you can’t, and your mixture is too wet, sprinkle 1 Tablespoon of garbanzo flour over the mixture and stir it in.  If your mixture is too dry, try adding a teaspoon of water at a time and mixing.  We are looking to make a mixture that it neither too wet nor too dry.  We want moist. Continue adjusting until you get a patty that holds well on its own. [caption id="attachment_445" align="alignright" width="300" caption="ready for mixing"]ready for mixing[/caption] Divide the mixture into 6 equal bits and form into balls which you will then shape into ¼ inch thick patties. [caption id="attachment_444" align="alignright" width="300" caption="shaping and dredging"]shaping and dredging[/caption] Get your cast iron skillet hot over a high flame and coat it with the olive oil. Turn the heat to medium.  Lightly dredge the patties with some brown rice flour that you’ve put in a shallow bowl or plate.  Get your burgers into the skillet and cook for 5 minutes on each side or until you get some browning. Serve on your favorite bun or GF bread or set up a pretty plate with greens and fresh tomato and avocado.  I think a grainy mustard is a wonderful condiment for this burger, but you’ll find your favorite.   Homemade Hummus 3 cups cooked chickpeas ¼ cup tahini 3 cloves garlic juice of one organic lemon dash of salt and pepper 1 tsp ground cumin ½ tsp ground chipotle pepper (optional) Put all ingredients in your blender.  Pulse to combine and then blend until a smooth texture is achieved.  If needed, stream in a tablespoon or two of veg broth or olive oil to thin the mixture (this step is really dependent on the moisture level of your chickpeas and tahini, so it will vary). Flavor develops more after a day in the refrigerator, but this is totally great right out of the food processor.  Use half the batch for the quinoa burgers and enjoy the remainder with veggies during the week or as an accompaniment for salad, or thin it out with water or almond milk to make a luscious dressing/dip. ************************************************** My kids LOVE this soup!  It’s a great soup for teaching, actually, because each of the components tastes so different on their own.  Taste the ingredients one by one before putting everything into the blender and then taste the final product.  When combined, the flavor of this golden peachy toned creamy soup is a little sweet, a little spicy.  Chill for an hour or more before serving, but don’t keep it for more than a day as the color will go a funny orange and the peach flavor loses something. Chilled Peach Soup 4 organic peaches ¼ cup coconut flakes 1/2 cup water 1 teaspoon curry powder ½ tsp fresh grated ginger Wash and pit the peaches.  Put everything into the Vitamix and blend on low speed for 10 seconds.  Whiz on maximum speed for 30 seconds or until the coconut is thoroughly blended and the mixture is smooth.  Transfer to a bowl or container and chill for at least an hour before serving. Note: blender or food processor will work but may not yield a smooth texture.  If you don’t have a Vitamix, consider using ½ cup of prepared coconut milk instead of coconut flakes and water.

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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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