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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

What's been nourishing me

It's late August and the past couple of weeks have been full of family fun... it's the time of year when everyone knows that Summer vacation is coming to an end and those long days get shorter and the days turn to hours and to minutes and then in a blink, here we are at the night before school starts again! In the moment I have before I hit the sack, I just want to write about nourishment.  So often, I get caught up in food... what we have, what to make, what I'm hungry for, what will give us the best bang for the buck, what my kids will eat... and while food is incredibly important, what we do between the chews is as important because it is in those regular, crazy, bubbly, sprinkler fun, belly laugh making, boo-boo kissing, day dreaming, bill paying, hand holding, sneak-off-to-the-hammock-in-peace, phone calling, car driving, shower singing, on-you-knees-praying, wine sipping, puddle jumping, stop-to-smell-the-roses, juicy miracle moments that we are truly nourished.  I don't know about you, but in those moments, I am reminded of what I have and what I don't, what my burdens are and what they're not... where I am incredibly blessed and where I am challenged to find opportunity... who I am lucky enough to be loved by and who I am lucky enough to love. Here are a few photos of what's been nourishing me this month.  What's been your sustenance lately? [caption id="attachment_660" align="alignleft" width="640"]Cape Cod sunset Cape Cod Sunset[/caption] [caption id="attachment_659" align="alignleft" width="640"]Peace and Love Stopping to smell the roses @ Fuller Gardens[/caption] [caption id="attachment_658" align="alignleft" width="640"]Arugula, frisee, mache and green tomato in miso maple vinegrette with Brown rice, stir fried veg and pickled ginger Arugula, frisee, mache and green tomato in miso maple vinegrette with Brown rice, stir fried veg and pickled ginger[/caption] [caption id="attachment_657" align="alignleft" width="640"]Mache with Blackberries, Tarragon marinated mushrooms, roasted asparagus, heriloom tomatoes and chunky hummus with basil Mache with Blackberries, Tarragon marinated mushrooms, roasted asparagus, heriloom tomatoes and chunky hummus with basil[/caption]

 


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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

Seasonal Salad Dressings

If you're anything like me you won't be able to pass up the incredible bounty of tree ripened fruits that are available at this time of year.  In New England, apples and peaches are plentiful.  Weekend apple picking means a week full of applicious eating.  I've been dicing my red beauties and adding them to salads, oatmeal, smoothies, muffins... and salad dressing.  Flavoring with whole foods is an adventure because moisture content/juiciness varies as well as sweetness/tartness.  So, I can guarantee that your dressing won't taste just like mine... but it will taste great and recipes like this one give you license to play with your food!  You need to taste and adjust and experiment.  The dressings I'm sharing today showcase the beauty of whole food dressings.  You'll get nutrients and healthy fats from the nuts and avocado, so additional oils aren't necessary -- the dressing will come together in a beautifully emulsified and creamy way. Dress salad greens and veggies or change it up and dress a cabbage slaw mixed with apples and serve over naked greens.  Top with a sprinkling of pecans or walnuts and a tsp of chia seeds per serving for that boost of calcium.  [caption id="attachment_484" align="alignright" width="300" caption="Harvest Salad with Apple Dijon Dressing"]Apple Dijon Dressing[/caption] Apple Dijon Dressing (yield 1+ cup, depending on size of your apple) 1 macintosh apple or other tart apple ¼ cup apple cider vinegar 2 Tbsp Dijon mustard ½ cup avocado 2 cloves garlic 1 Tbsp ginger, fresh 4 brazil nuts, optional 1 medool date, optional Combine all ingredients in Vitamix, other blender or food processor and blend until smooth and creamy.   If your apple is quite tart and you need to balance the dressing, adjust the flavor by adding a date and blending again.  The brazil nuts add a hint of creaminess and a ton of selenium, but don’t really effect the flavor.  Use them if you have them for that nutrient boost.   Spicy Peach Dressing [caption id="attachment_485" align="alignright" width="300" caption="Apple Celery Cabbage and Carrot Slaw with Spicy Peach Dressing over romaine"][/caption] (yield 1+ cup, depending on size of your peach) 1 ripe peach, cut in half, pit removed ¼ cup apple cider vinegar ½ cup raw cashews 2 cloves garlic 2 Tbsp ginger, fresh 1 tsp Bragg’s Amino’s sriarcha, to taste, optional Combine all ingredients in Vitamix, other blender or food processor and blend until smooth and creamy.  Add ¼ cup of water, if necessary, to loosen the consistency of the dressing.  Everything depends on the juiciness of the peach, so if the dressing is too thick just add that water and blend again.  Spice up the dressing with sriarcha… I reserve a portion of dressing to toss with greens for my boys and then liven up the remaining dressing by starting with 1 tsp of sriarcha.  If you’re not feeding kids or if you prefer things spicier, start with 1 tsp and taste, then adjust if you want more heat.

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creativecalligraphy

A Duo of Quick and Tasty Salad

Salad and greens are the mainstay of my daily diet.  What's phenomenal about greens are their versatility.  The variety of flavors that you can grow in a window box or sprouter is equally impressive.  So, while some might think "boring" when they think salad, I think of the possibilities and the freedom! I made this for lunch today and used about ¼ of the beautiful green papaya that I bought at Lanni Market.  To feed more than one person just double or triple the recipe.  It’s quick, easy and full of flavor!  I love Som Tum, the Thai Green papaya Salad and while it’s not difficult to make according to traditional recipes which include fresh chilies, palm sugar and fish sauce, I love my speedy vegan version that uses local ingredients from my pantry.  Jicama can be substituted for the green papaya if you can’t get your hands on one.  And if you really want to keep it local, try using a produce item from your area that is crisp and mild.  I’ve used local apples and slightly under-ripe green melon with nice results.   The kelp granules give that hint of the sea flavor that fish sauce imparts in traditional Som Tum recipes.  Not critical, but it is nice and adds a sprinkle of nutrients and iodine as well. [caption id="attachment_457" align="alignleft" width="300" caption="Quick Green Papaya Salad"]Quick Green Papaya Salad[/caption] Quick Green Papaya Salad 1 cup green papaya, thinly sliced (as thin as you can make it!) 1 clove garlic, pressed or minced 1 medium sized tomato, about ¾ cup sliced 1 small knob ginger, grated, about 1 tsp grated ginger 1 tsp maple syrup 1 tsp braggs aminos ½ tsp kelp granules (optional) ¼ - ½ tsp chipotle chili powder Put all ingredients into a bowl and use your fingers to combine everything well.  Eat! *************************** Our dinner salad was an experiment in balance.  The garlic ginger dressing was sweet and spicy.  The romaine was sweet and crisp; blueberries, tart; tomatoes, creamy; cucumber, crunchy and green; plums, lusciously sweet and creamy.  Next time, I would add a bitter green to the bowl... a handful of arugula or watercress would be perfect!   Ginger Garlic Dressing (yields 1 + cup of dressing) 2 cloves garlic 2 Tbsp fresh ginger root, grated 1/4 cup sesame oil 1/3 cup rice vinegar or apple cider vinegar 1/3 cup mirin 1/4 cup Bragg’s aminos or soy sauce 2 Tbsp rice syrup (or 1 Tbsp honey if you prefer) 1/4 cup water, optional Mash the garlic using your mortar and pestle or mince very finely.  Combine with remaining ingredients and thin with water if you like.  [caption id="attachment_458" align="alignleft" width="300" caption="Balanced Salad"]Balanced Salad[/caption] Balanced Salad (makes 4 entree servings, 2 adult and 2 kid portions) 2 romaine hearts, chopped 1 cup kale, stemmed and chopped (about 4 leaves) handful of arugula, watercress or dandelion greens 1 cup blueberries 2-3 local tomatoes, quartered 1 local cucumber, cut in half lengthwise, seeded and sliced 4 local black plums, quartered Make sure your hands are washed before you start prepping your salad, because you're going to use them! Cut the greens into bite sized pieces to make them more appealing and easier for kids to eat.  Toss all ingredients into a large bowl.  Ladle 1/3- 1/2 cup of dressing over the salad and mix thoroughly with your hands.  Rubbing the dressing into the greens will coat them beautifully.  Pay particular attention to the kale bits... rubbing them tenderizes them a little... it's magical!

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creativecalligraphy

Avocado "Ranch" Dressing

For the love of avocado, you have to try this!  And do yourself a big favor by adding fresh tomato and carrot to the salad that you're dressing because avocado has been shown to dramatically boost absorption of beta carotene and lycopene (check out the link above for more info!). Notes: I found the garlic bite to be quite intense when I first mixed up the dressing.  Letting it stand definitely helps to mellow that flavor, but if you intend to serve this to kids shortly after making it you might want to half the garlic, try 1/4 tsp garlic powder or omit it all together.  The chives give a really lovely subtle onion flavor.  The dill flavor takes time to develop, so if you have a chance to let the dressing sit before serving, you will be rewarded.  I dressed some garden fresh greens for dinner tonight, but you can try this on baked potato, with fresh veggies or steamed veggies or as a dip for artichoke (yum!)  If you prefer a thick dip texture, or know some kids who do, cut the almond milk back to 1/2 cup but leave the remaining ingredients the same.  You could also leave the almond milk at 1 cup and add 1/2 a block of silken tofu to firm up the dressing into a dip.  If you go this route you will want to increase the chive to 1/2 cup and dill to 2 Tbsp to boost the flavor and balance the mellow tofu. Have you guessed yet that I adore avocado and need no special occasion to play with it in the kitchen!?  Talk about a creamy and versatile fruit!  I'm charmed. [caption id="attachment_427" align="alignleft" width="300" caption="Avocado "Ranch" Dressing"]Avocado "Ranch" Dressing[/caption] Avocado "Ranch" Dressing 1 cup unsweetened almond milk juice of ½ a lemon (approx ¼ cup) 1 Tbsp raw apple cider vinegar 1 ripe avocado (about 1 cup) 1 clove garlic 1 bunch fresh chive (used a handful/ about ¼ cup, adjust to suit your taste) 1 Tbsp dried dill or ¼ cup fresh dill, finely minced ½ tsp salt ½ tsp pepper Place everything in your Vitamix, blender or food processor and blend until smooth and creamy.  Adjust for seasoning and then pour into a bowl and cover.  We want to chill this dressing for an hour or longer so the flavor develops. [caption id="attachment_428" align="alignleft" width="300" caption="Garden Fresh Greens with Avocado Ranch Dressing: the orange tomato came from our garden, but there were only 2 so we each got 1/2!"]Garden Fresh Greens with Avocado Ranch Dressing[/caption]

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creativecalligraphy

Chopped Garden Salad with Creamy Avocado Dressing

This salad is great for a quick dinner but is equally lovely for a potluck or picnic.  It is super easy to change out the veg to things you have on hand.  The peppers can be any color, though the red and orange brighten up the plate beautifully.  Try summer squash, zucchini or celery in addition or in place of the cucumber.  I used fresh greens from our garden and mixed in some dinosaur kale.  If you have reluctant kale eaters, this dish is a winner because the bold and creamy flavors of the bean/veg mix really cover the kale and make it magically blend in with other greens.  Start with a bit of kale if you're not used to it, but definitely give it a try.  I used to wonder how people could eat kale, but now it's probably my favorite green!  Arugula, beet greens, frisee, endive, romaine, radicchio... they all work really well with this salad.  It's hard to go wrong! You'll find that the flavors in the bean/veg portion of this dish get better on the 2nd day... so if you have leftovers, you're in for a treat!  With time to plan ahead you can prep this the day before you plan to eat it so you'll have that intense garlicky flavor throughout. Also, the dressing is great on other things as well.  Because of the avocado the benefits of some healthy whole food fats... a nice option for those who might normally choose a processed creamy style dressing or ranch dressing. [caption id="attachment_419" align="alignright" width="300" caption="Chopped Garden Salad with Creamy Avocado Dressing"]Chopped Garden Salad with Creamy Avocado Dressing[/caption] Chopped Garden Salad with Creamy Avocado Dressing (makes 4 generous servings) Dressing: 1 large ripe tomato, skinned and quartered (if you're using a Vitamix leave the skin on) 2 cloves garlic, minced 1 shallot, minced ½ cup cilantro 2 avocado or 1 cup “wholly guacamole” juice of ½ a lime ¼ tsp black pepper pinch of salt ¼-½ tsp ground chipotle pepper, optional Salad: 6 cups fresh greens (1 use 2 cups of greens per adult, 1 cup per child) 1 English cucumber, diced 1 orange pepper, diced 1 red pepper, diced 3 cups cooked black beans, (drained and rinsed if using canned beans) Make the dressing by putting all dressing ingredients into your food processor and blending until smooth.  Taste and adjust for heat if you like --- add ¼- ½ tsp chipotle pepper if you like things spicy. Next, dice your veggies and mix them with the cooked beans.  Toss with the dressing and set aside so the flavors combine. Tear or cut your greens into bite sized pieces.  When you’re plating, you can either lay down a bed of greens and top it with the veg mixture or mix everything together and put the tossed chopped salad onto the plates.  My family naturally mixes their veg in with their greens as soon as they dig in, but I admit that the plates look prettier if you put down the greens first and top them… but that’s just aesthetics!  If you are not serving this right away definitely keep the greens separate until you're ready to serve.  For portion sizes, I use 1 cup of the bean/veg mixture for each adult and 1/2-3/4 cup per child. Enjoy!

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Sprouted Buckwheat Salad and Red Lentil Burgers

I've had a few recipes hanging around that I keep meaning to post, so today I am just going to put them out there for you.  Pictures to follow when I have more time! Raw buckwheat is a new addition to my diet.  I tried buckwheat flour a while back and found it to be a very strong flavor… and one that I don’t care for.  So, much to my delight, the mild, nutty flavor of raw buckwheat is a welcome addition to the list of good grains. Sprouted Buckwheat Salad 1 cup raw buckwheat, soaked for 4-8 hours, drained and sprouted for up to 2 days 1 cup raw sunflower seeds 1 pepper, any color, diced 2 cups white beans, homemade or canned (rinse them well if canned) 1 cup cilantro, minced Vinaigrette Juice of 1 ½ lemons 1 Tbsp olive oil 1 shallot, minced 2 cloves of garlic, minced pinch of salt several grinds of pepper Combine all ingredients in a pretty bowl.  The flavors get stronger as the salad sits, so allow for a few hours of fridge time before serving if you have time.    Red Lentil Burgers 1 ½ cups red lentils 2 carrots (about 1 cup) 1 leek (about 1 cup) ½ cup almonds 1 tsp chipotle powder or 1 chipotle pepper with a bit of adobo (from a can) 1 tsp cumin 1 tsp smoked paprika 1 Tbsp Braggs Liquid Aminos 1 Tbsp olive oil ¼ cup tomato paste ¾ cup water Let’s heat things up!  Get your oven on to 400 degrees.  If you have baking stones, set them on the lowest oven rack so they get screaming hot.  If not, prep a baking sheet with a piece of parchment or lightly oiled foil. Put lentils into food processor and pulse until they become coarse flour.  Add remaining ingredients and pulse until combined into a slightly chunky dough/paste.  You will need to scrape the sides of the processor at least once to ensure that no bits of veg are left unblitzed.  Give a tiny taste and adjust seasoning if you need to. I use my ice cream scooper to get even scoops of batter.  Drop them on your prepared sheet or baking stone and flatten slightly to about a 3 inch diameter and ¼ inch thick.  They won’t spread, so you can get them a bit close, but it’s best to leave some room so you can flip them.  Bake for 10 minutes and then lower heat to 350, flip them and bake for another 10 minutes. Serve on your favorite gluten free bun or on a bed of greens.

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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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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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