Saturday, December 29, 2012

Challenge #93 - Simple Roasted Veggies

I had a bunch of veggies in the fridge I wanted to use up so I give you simple roasted veggies that only take minutes to prep.  Feel free to add or subtract veggies depending on what you have readily available.  This would make a fantastic side for a pot luck - both delicious and colorful.

1 head cauliflower (chopped into florets)
3 peppers (1 yellow, orange, red) (chopped)
1 small red onion (chopped)
1-2 cups brussel sprouts (halved or quartered)
4-6 tbsp Veggie Broth
Sea salt
Curry Powder
Garlic Powder

Step #1 - Chop all veggies.  Add sea salt, spices and veggie broth and toss.  I did a few shakes of spices over the veggies going heavier with the cumin.  Sea salt was a couple of small pinches (about 1 tsp)
 Step #2 - Roast Veggies at 350 for about 1 hour or until brussel sprouts and cauliflower florets are fork tender. I mixed veggies twice during cooking time.  Enjoy!

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Challenge #93 - Butternut Squash Lentils

I rarely eat lentils, maybe only once or twice a year.  As the weather got colder, I just wanted them! 
If you follow food combining, they combine as a starch even though they are technically both a protein and starch (nature's opps!).

This made a lot!  I had soooo much leftovers.  So if this is only for 1 or 2 people, cut recipe in half and you will still have enough for more than one meal.

2 cups green lentils (I'm sure any kind would be fine)
3 cups veggie broth
2 cups water
2-1/2 cups butternut squash
1 small onion
2-3 garlic cloves
1"-2" ginger (depending on how much you love ginger)
3 tbsp cumin
1 tbsp curry
1 tbsp sea salt

Step #1: Add a small amount of veggie broth to pan, enough to coat bottom.  Chop up onion and add onion plus zested garlic to broth and saute till onions become soft and fragrant.

Step #2:  Add 2 cups lentils, 2 cups veggie broth and 1 cup water and spices and zest in ginger.  Stir well, bring to boil then cover &  reduce heat and simmer for about 25 mins.

Step #2: While simmering, cube up butternut squash into small cube. I cut them so they were about 1/2" cubed.  Add butternut squash and remaining 1 cup veggie broth and 1 cup water to lentils.  Stir well and continue to cook until butternut squash is tender (about 30 mins)
The above reflects the adjusted spice measurements as I was cooking and tasting.  Feel free to start with less and add more as you go.  My husband and I are big fans of cumin.
 Step #3: Serve and enjoy!

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Traveling Tips

I just returned from a long weekend in California for a friend's wedding.  My husband and I had a great time and eating in Cali was super easy for me.  I wanted to share with you a few things I took with me, some great juice bars we visited, and meals we had.

I figured I wouldn't have an issue finding plenty to eat in California, but I always travel prepared.  Perhaps if Rande is reading this, she might add some traveling tips for us!

I traveled with some coconut wraps, individual servings of chia, SeaSax (which my dog also loves), a lemon, fruit, and raw pumpkin seeds. I add greens, veggies, sprouts, whatever you like to the coconut wraps and just roll them up - delicious!
We also visited several juice bars.  Some where just fabulous like Kimberly Snyder's brand new juice bar GLOW BIO, Kreation,  and Nekter. We also wound up at 2 chains, Robeks and Juice It Up.  Although it was not organic, I was able to get a 32oz green juice after we landed and before we traveled home, so I was happy.  Juice it Up however, did not have any green juices and sold food I had a hard time believing was in a juice lace. However, the carrot combo worked in a pinch, though I would not go back unless desperate. It was what I drank for brunch at a friend's while everyone else had eggs and pancakes. 
And now for my favorite dinner while in California at Cafe Gratitude!  I highly recommend this place. I think it's perfect  to take people who are not into raw/vegan food because they offer a great variety of cooked foods and the dessert is so ridiculously delicious.  My husband did opt or the raw veggie lasagna which was delicious (I sampled some too!  We shared everything we ordered). I was excited because for once, my options were not limited.  Below is what we ate, and everything was amazing.  Please pardon the poor quality of photos I took with my phone!
Kale Chips with Garlic- Tahini dip
Kimchi - had a kick!
Chickpea free Hummus and Crackers

Kelp Noodles with Pesto
Raw Veggie Lasagna
Aren't the plates cute? I was grateful for my yummy "pasta"
Tiramisu - Yum, yum, and yum!  I might attempt this at home  
Fudge - Rich and decadent
Peppermint Tea - fabulous paired with the fudge

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Challenge #92 - Veggie soup with Jerusalem Artichoke

I was given a bunch of Jerusalem artichokes and sage from someone's garden and decided to make a soup with them.  Jerusalem artichokes look similar to fingerling potatoes and are also referred to as sunchokes.  I am also taking this opportunity to try to experiment using no garlic or onion, which worked out very well.  You should feel free to add onion and garlic to the recipe below if desired.
Both my husband and I really enjoyed this soup.  Our dogs liked it too!  My husband had some broth left over from his meal and shared with them. This was really nice as the weather is getting colder.

1 container Organic Low Sodium Veggie Broth
3-4 carrots (peeled)
3-4 stalks of celery
1 medium zucchini
Bunch of Jerusalem artichokes
Few handfuls of spinach
2 cups water
sea salt (to taste)
Herbamare (to taste)
1 spring sage
2 tbsp tomato powder (you can replace this with tomato paste)

Step #1 - Chop up all veggies.  I kept the skin on  the Jerusalem artichokes.  They are picked below before I cut them up.
Step #2 - Add enough veggie broth to pot or large pan to cover the bottom.  Add sage spring and heat on high for a few minutes until fragrant.
Step #3 - Add in veggies, cover with full container of veggie broth plus 2 cups water.  Add in salt, Herbamare, and tomato powder.  Bring to a boil then simmer on low until veggies are tender.
Before remaining broth and water was added
Step #3 - When veggies are fork tender, turn off heat and add in a few handfuls of spinach. Remove sage spring.  Enjoy!

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Challenge #91 - Sunflower Sprout Salad

I love sunflower sprouts.  I often throw them in my salads, but today I used it as my base since I ran out of lettuce and didn't want to go to the store in the snow.  I topped them with my favorite avocado salad which I also slightly altered to accommodate what was in the fridge.

Sunflower Sprouts
2 Avocado (cut into chunks)
2 radishes (diced)
colored peppers (I used 3 mini sweet peppers) (diced)
1/2 cucumber (quartered and sliced)
Herbamare to taste (or can you sea salt, garlic & onion powder)
1 lemon (I sued the whole lemon b/c they were really small, so you may only need 1/2)

Step #1:  Combine all ingredients but sunflower sprouts, add lemon juice and seasonings and mix.
Step #2:  I added my avocado salad over a bowl full of sunflower sprouts.  My husband had his minus the sprout.  Enjoy!

Challenge #90 - Baked Plantains with Coconut Cream

I recently learned plantains combine as a starch, if you practice food combining!  So here is a quick and simple dessert.  Both my husband and I loved these. If you don't like coconut, you can omit the whipped cream.

Ripe Plantains
Coconut Cream (about 1/4 cup)
Vanilla Extract
Stevia (optional)

Step #1 - Peel and dice plantains into rounds.  I cut mine to about 1/2" thick.
Step # 2 - Place plantain rounds on parchment lined baking sheet and sprinkle with cinnamon.  Roast in oven at 350 for about 8-10 minutes or until plantains are fork tender.  You will begin to smell when they are almost ready.
Step #3 - Optional -whipped coconut cream.  Add coconut cream and a splash of vanilla to a chilled bowl.  You may choose to add some stevia if you want it to be sweeter, I decided not to.  I don't have an electric mixer, so I used some good old muscle to whip the coconut cream until thick.  Ok, I got impatient and my husband took over for me.  It takes about 5 minutes to whip.
Step #4 - Remove plantains from oven, place in dish and add whipped cream if desired.  Enjoy!
I plan to experiment more with plantains soon.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Challenge #89 - Ginger Cookies!

As the weather has been getting colder and we are approaching the holiday season, I've been wanting some different flavors like ginger and cinnamon.  I saw this awesome ginger cookie recipe  from Megan at The Detoxinista
I made the batch for myself and a colleague who sometimes does not do well with maple syrup, so I switched it for agave.  We both loved them - so yummy.

Happy baking!  These will be making an appearance in my kitchen for Thanksgiving.

I also wanted to share a little tip with you.  I don't really bake, so I don't own a cooling rack.  I have a microwave in my apartment, but the only thing I use it for is to cool things off so the dogs don't grab it off the counter.  Now it has another purpose.  I took the shelf out, put it on 2 plates, and made a makeshift drying rack.  The cookies are pictured on the "rack".

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Challenge #88 - Fennel Apple Juice

I usually just juice a bunch of light greens, dark greens and some lemon, but the other day I tried this new combo and it was yummy!  My husband liked it too and it's so simple.
I enjoyed this after my normal green juice.

2 sm/med apples or 1 large apple
2 large stalks of fennel
1 stalk of fennel fronds

Step # 1 - Juice and enjoy!

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Challenge #87 - "Garlic Bread"

I love looking at other people's recipes to become inspired.  Rande is always coming up with new stuff or finding other amazing recipes and posting them.  A couple of weeks ago, she posted  this recipe which looked so delicious, but I wanted to try a vegan version.  So thanks to Rande and Alissa for the inspiration...

1 medium to large zucchini
1 clove garlic
2 tablespoons Nutritional Yeast (for the cheese flavor, found at any health food & most grocery stores)

Step #1 - Zest garlic clove. 

Step #2 - Add Nutritional Yeast to zested garlic  and begin to mix to form a paste.  Add water as needed to facilitate blending

Step #3 - Cut zucchini in half and add diagonal cuts.
Step #4  - Spread garlic paste onto zucchini and bake ay 350 for 20-30 mins until the zucchini is tender
Step #5 - Remove from oven when done and enjoy.  We ate ours along with whipped parsnips and an avocado salad.   Very yummy!  My husband liked it too even though I didn't use actual cheese or bread!
Oh I went a little overboard on the garlic, so this recipe adjusts for that. I plan to make the less garlicky version again this week.

Challenge #86 - Changing up Salad

A couple of months back, my husband and I had lunch at  Cuban restaurant.  The only vegetarian or non fried thing on the menu was a watercress and avocado salad.  It was so good, but lacking color as it was mostly all green (watercress, avocado, red onion, and lime dressing).  So I have made my own version using more ingredients for more flavor and color.  I've made it several times and have been enjoying the flavor of watercress to change up my normal salad choices.

Avocado, sliced
Red Onion, thinly sliced
Fennel, thinly sliced
Cherry or grape tomatoes
Sea Salt

Step #1 - Add  everything to a bowl, sprinkle with sea salt and squeeze lime.  Toss and enjoy.  That simple.

On another note, I recently only started to like fennel after trying it again after many years.  I got this fennel the other day from the farmers market.  As you can see has more fronds than fennel bulb.  The fronds are fabulous in salad.  Just roll the fronds up and running a knife through like you would for herbs, remove the heavy stems and throw into a salad.  Adds a great layer of flavor.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Hiking Event and Cookbook recommendation

I promise more recipes soon, but for now I have some exciting things to share...

This past Saturday I was one of the team members for a hiking event in New Jersey with Gina Abrams at Align Wellbeing .  The event was a lot of fun and it ended with a drum circle.  I never participated in one before and it was quite the experience, very energizing.  If you you ever get the opportunity, try it out.  The day also began with green juices and yoga outside.

As a team member, I got to help the amazing Doris Choi in the kitchen while everyone was hiking.  She has a cookbook coming out in November with Natalia Rose, and I promise you, you will not be disappointed.  I am pretty confident you will want to make every recipe in the book. 
Check it out, you can pre-order on amazon...The Fresh Energy Cookbook

Below are some of the dishes created for the hikers when they returned!  Beautiful, full of color and delicious.  The wonderful aromatic smells in the kitchen full of veggies and herbs were incredible.

Carrot Salad

Zucchini "pasta" with roasted beets

Kale Salad

Roasted red & golden beet & butternut squash

Homemade kimchi (soooo yummy!)

Cauliflower "Couscous"

Mixed greens & seaweed Salad
Do you just not want to eat all of these things?!  I've had my book pre-ordered for months, and I highly recommend it.  It's one cookbook that won't collect dust on the shelf.  I got a sneak peak on Saturday!

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Tips for Eating Out and Travel

This past month has been a little crazy.  My husband and I moved and I also was away for a week.  During the move, I rarely got into the kitchen and we ate out more than usual.  I have a lot of friends who wonder how I eat out, but I can find something to eat just about anywhere.  So here are a few of the things I do when I am not preparing my own meals . 

1. Ironically a steakhouse is where I get some of the best vegetarian meals.  I always order a salad and 2 veggie sides.  The portions are always big as the sides are usually meant to be shared, so I never leave hungry.

2. I love Italian food and even though I don't eat pasta or bread, I still get some of my best meals.  I will order a large salad then my favorite...Pasta Primavera HOLD the pasta. Yes you get odd looks at first, but when I do this I always get a beautiful plate full of veggies, sometimes over spinach in a delicious marinara or simple garlic saute.  Note, make sure to ask that it is cooked in veggie broth.  Sometimes places use chicken broth even though it's a veggie dish.

3. I have also been to Italian or American Bistros and ordered a salad followed by a grilled veggie panini HOLD the panini.  Yes again, odd looks, but I promise it works.

4.  Just because you don't see a vegetarian option, doesn't mean you can't make one.  I often check menus before going somewhere.  I look at the meat, seafood , and poultry option and see what is being served with them.  I order a salad, then order a meal from the sides being served with the entrees.

5.  Don't be afraid to ask what the size of a salad is.  Everyone has a different idea of what a large is.  If it seems to small, I ask for a double order.

6. Don't be afraid to ask for just steamed or grilled veggies with what they have on hand.  I have received beautiful plates of foods that the chef seemed delighted to prepare and artistically arrange.  Rarely I have gone to a restaurant that was not accommodating, so I do my best and then don't return.

7. I have also made a quick meal with a box of mixed greens, thrown in pre-cut veggies and used guacamole and/or salsa as dressing.  The box servers as your bowl. Simple to grab everything at the store, put together, eat, and continue on your way.

8. Don't stress about it.  For me, I would rather do a little miscombining of food then stress myself out by being perfect. I don't cook with oils (except coconut) but when I go out, since it is so infrequent, I don't bother to ask them not to cook with olive oil.  It's such a small amount, I just let it slide.  I love Lara bars, and when we moved and traveled I ate them way too frequently because it was a good quick thing to grab.  I did so knowing it was for a limited time, and now have cut back to what is ideal for me.

9. Enjoy and have fun while eating out. 

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Official Sign up for Recharge Retreat

Hi everyone!
   Below is a link to officially register for the fabulous Recharge Retreat with Gina at Align Wellbeing.  It's a day of hiking, meditation, and delicious food by the amazing Doris Choi whom I will be assisting in the kitchen.  If you are in the area, please join us for an unforgettable day!

Best Health,


Thursday, August 2, 2012

Challenge #85 - Olive Tapenade

I've been wanting to experiment with an olive tapenade for awhile and I finally got around to trying it out.  I used baked eggplant as my "cracker" to spread it on.  Very yummy, please forgive the photo, my battery died and I needed to use the camera phone.

1 cup pitted kalamata olives
2-3 cloves garlic (rough chop)
2 tbsp capers (drained)
1/2 lemon (juiced)
Half handful parsley (rough chopped)

Step #1 -  Put all into food processor, pulse then blend.
I chose not to add sea salt because I had enough salty flavor from the capers and olives, but feel free to add if desired.  You may also add olive oil if desired.

Step #2 - Spread tapenade on whatever you like.  If you want to make the eggplant crackers, slice eggplant to about 1/4" thick discs. Sprinkle on some salt and let sit in colander for about 10-15 minutes.  Rinse, pat dry then place eggplant slices on parchment lined baking sheet.  Bake on 350 until desired crispiness is reached.  I flipped my slices a couple of times.  I had them baking maybe 40ish minutes.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Challenge #84 - Happiness in a Crepe

I finally got around to trying these ridiculously delicious banana crepes.  I got the recipe from The Rawtarian and I highly recommend you try them too.  I made a couple of minor changes which was half-ing the recipe for less crepes and I added about a teaspoon or so of ground vanilla.  I admit, I did get anxious, so I didn't lower the temp on the dehydrator per the directions.  I filled mine with some chocolate sunflower butter. For those of you not familiar with sunflower butter, it is reminiscent of peanut butter, something I avoid, so this is a great substitute.  Not only were these incredible, but they were super easy.  I'm not sure if you can do these in the oven on the lowest temp with the door cracked opened if you don't have a dehydrator.  If anyone has tried this, please let us know.
Please note, this recipe is not raw because I didn't turn the temp down and the sunflower butter is made with roasted sunflower seeds.

 Crepe (half the recipe)
4 ripe bananas
1/4 cup water
1 tsp or so vanilla

2 tbsp sunflower butter
1 tsp cocoa powder
stevia and sea salt (needed if using sugar and salt free sunflower butter)

Step #1: To make the crepes, follow the directions from The Rawtarian.
   Photos below.
Step #2:  Once the crepes are done, mix the sunflower butter and cocoa for the filling.  I usually like to get the No Sugar& Salt Added one, but grabbed the wrong jar, so I didn't need to add stevia and sea salt.
Spread over crepe and fold.  I spread over half, folded, added a little more and folded again.
Step #3: Enjoy!  These were so good, I wish I hadn't waited so long to try these crepes, but I am glad I finally did. Yum.   My husband liked them as well.