November 10, 2016

Green Drink to Boost Mood and Energy

As we head into the holidays, it's good to slow down and take care. Food is a wonderful way to soothe the spirit and keep the body healthy. 

When the sun sets earlier in the afternoon and we need energy to make it through the rest of the day, anti-inflammatory spices and energizing berries and vegetables can lend that energy.
Try this drink to support you during and afternoon slump and boost your immunity, too!

Green Drink


In a food processor, blend these ingredients well:
1 1/2 cups fresh spinach
1/2 cup fresh parsley
1⁄2 cup frozen blueberries
juice of 1⁄2 lemon
1 inch of of fresh ginger root, sliced
1 teaspoon turmeric powder
1 cup almond or coconut milk

Drink this beverage when you are feeling tired or cravings sweets / carbohydrates in the mid-afternoon. This kind of drink tends to slow down digestion in the morning, but provides a great afternoon energy boost. 

I like to heat it gently after I blend it to have a warm, soothing drink. You can make a double batch and keep it in the fridge for up to 3 days.

Blueberries: strengthen immunity and enhance overall health with power-packed antioxidants; support brain function and offer acid-alkaline balance in intestines. 

Ginger: warming, anti-inflammatory, soothes stomach cramps, reduces flatulence, alleviates common cold and flu symptoms.

Parsley: Rich in Vitamin C to decrease inflammation, beta carotene to help prevent infection and strengthen immunity, and folic acid (B vitamin) to support cardiovascular health. Contains volatile oils that can help neutralize particular types of carcinogens as well as ease the burn of insect bites and stings.

Spinach: high in fiber to support healthy digestion and intestinal flora, iron for energy and healthy immune response, and folic acid for heart health.

November 3, 2016

Gluten-Free Homemade Breads

Are you trying to eat food without gluten?

This practice can help heal gut imbalances such as dysbiosis, SIBO (small intestine bacterial overgrowth), IBS (irritable bowel syndrome), leaky gut syndrome, constipation, diarrhea, gas and bloating and a whole host of other conditions. Eliminating gluten also reduces inflammation, thereby improving mood, providing energy, and rerong, reducing the symptoms of auto-immune disorders. 

Avoiding gluten is also a great way to simplify your diet and head into the winter with strong immunity. However, one caveat: packaged gluten-free breads and baked goods are just as toxic to the system as those containing gluten. Please stay away from them. 

When you are craving bread or a baked good, try your hand at these simple recipes.

Sweet Potato Bread


You will need:
1 cup roasted sweet potato flesh
1 cup coconut flour
1 cup unsweetened coconut yoghurt
6 eggs
1/2 teaspoon baking soda

Preheat your oven to 400.

Chop sweet potato into chunks, place on a cookie sheet and toss with olive oil and salt.
Roast sweet potato in large chunks for 30 minutes. Remove from oven.

If you would like, roast a larger quantity of sweet potato and set some aside to have as a snack with nuts or nut butter.

Place the sweet potato, coconut flour, yoghurt, and eggs into your processor and blend until the mixture resembles a smooth, runny batter. Add the soda and mix to combine.

Grease a loaf pan.
Reduce oven heat to 350.
Pour the mixture into your prepared tin and bake for 45 minutes.

Remove from the oven and cool in the tin for 10 minutes before gently transferring to a cooling rack. Allow to cool for 30 minutes prior to cutting.

Cornbread


You will need:
2 eggs
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
½ cup brown rice flour or millet flour
1 ½ cups cornmeal
1 teaspoon each: baking powder, baking soda, and salt
4 tablespoons coconut oil
½ cup almond milk

Preheat oven to 350.
Put all ingredients in a blender or food processor and blend well.
Grease a loaf pan with coconut oil.

Scrape in the cornbread dough; it will be thick like cookie dough, not a pourable batter. Press down on the top to form an even layer. It is easiest to do this with a rubber spatula.

Bake for about 30 minutes or until the top is golden brown.

Millet Squares


Place 1 cup millet into a cooking pot with 4 cups water. Bring to a boil, then, reduce to simmer.

Simmer until millet begins to thicken (about 20 minutes).

Stir occasionally, as though cooking oatmeal.

Add your favorite spices to make it savory. I like this combination: 3 Tablespoons olive oil, ½ teaspoon each sea salt thyme, oregano, and rosemary.

These spices are also anti-microbial and help ward off the cold and flu.

If you would like to have millet for breakfast, add blueberries, coconut oil, and ½ teaspoon each cinnamon and cardamom.

Cook on low heat and stir occasionally until millet thickens.
Grease a glass baking dish with olive oil. Pour millet into the baking dish and flatten it evenly. Allow to cool and set.

Enjoy! Slice it, toast it, fry it, or warm it up and use it as bread. It makes a great pizza crust when spread out into a thin layer on a cookie sheet.

October 31, 2016

My Favorite Chocolate Chip Cookies

Looking for a healthy treat recipe that kids and adults alike will enjoy?

I have many on this blog, including:
Coconut milk brownies
Pineapple ginger upside down cake
Maple pecan fudge

These cookies are amazing because they taste good and are high in protein, which curbs the blood sugar spike and subsequent crash that happen when we eat sweets without protein.

My (Current) Favorite Chocolate Chip Cookies


You will need:
1 /4 cup coconut flour
1 cup almond flour
1 /4 cup dark or semi-sweet chocolate chips
a pinch of salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
2 eggs, whisked
1 /3 cup maple syrup
3 tablespoons almond milk
3 tablespoons coconut oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
In a medium-size mixing bowl mix together flours, spices, and chocolate chips.
Make a well in the center of the flour mixture.
Add the eggs, almond milk, maple syrup, almond milk, coconut oil and vanilla extract. Whisk these together, then incorporate with the other ingredients.

Oil a cookie sheet with coconut oil.
Place on cookie sheet in heaping spoonfuls.
Bake for 15 minutes or until golden brown.

October 22, 2016

Moussaka

This incredibly comforting and delicious dish is akin to a Middle Eastern version of Sheperd's Pie.

The spices are warming (cinnamon), digestive (coriander and black pepper), and anti-bacterial (allspice and oregano).

Enjoy!

Know that you can make it vegan by using kidney beans instead of turkey or beef and olive oil instead of butter.

Moussaka


For the sauce:
1 pound ground turkey or beef (hormone and antibiotic free)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 chopped onion
4 chopped garlic cloves
1 teaspoon each: cinnamon, coriander, allspice, black pepper
2 teaspoons dried oregano
1 bay leaf
1 cup tomatoes (diced)
1/4 cup red wine
Salt to taste

For the layers:
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
2 eggplants or 3 zucchini
3 Yukon gold or other yellow potatoes
Olive oil

Prepare the sauce by chopping the onions and sautéeing then in olive oil for 5 minutes or until translucent.
Add the garlic, spices and beef or turkey. At the wine and stir well with a metal spatula until meat is thoroughly cooked.
Add the tomatoes, bring to a boil, reduce to simmer and simmer for 15 or 20 minutes until the sauce is reduced and thick.
Remove bay leaf.

Meanwhile, slice the eggplant or zucchini, toss with olive oil and salt, and roast at 415 degrees for 25 minutes. Remove from oven and set aside.

Boil the potatoes, drain three quarters of the boiling water, mix with nutmeg and butter and mash thoroughly with a fork or potato masher. Set aside.

Reduce oven heat to 375.
Oil a 9x9 baking dish or small rectangular casserole dish. 

Assemble the moussaka:
place a layer of beef/turkey sauce on the bottom;
Arrange half of the eggplant/zucchini over it;
Cover it with another layer of beef;
Add the rest of the zucchini/eggplant;
Smooth the potatoes over the top.

Bake at 375 for 25 minutes or until potatoes are golden.
Cool for 10 minutes before slicing.
Enjoy!

October 20, 2016

Cabbage Recipes

Why cabbage? It is a healthy and inexpensive vegetable that’s in season in the fall and winter. It contains polyphenols, cancer-preventive plant nutrients. It’s packed with Vitamins A & C to boost immunity. It helps reduce inflammation and heal stomach ulcers.

Purple Cabbage Soup

You will need:
1 head purple cabbage
1 rutabega
2 yellow onions
3 tablespoons olive, grapeseed or sunflower oil
1 tablespoon mustard
1 teaspoon each: thyme and coriander
salt and pepper to taste

Chop onions into thin crescent moons.

Heat oil in the bottom of a soup pot.

Add onions, stir briefly with spatula, turn burner down to medium-low, and cover. Simmer for 10 minutes.

Add mustard and spices and simmer for 15 more minutes.

Meanwhile, chop rutabega and turnips into small chunks.

Chop 1 medium red cabbage into threads, removing the hard inner core.
Add vegetables to the pot and add enough water to cover vegetables. Bring both to a boil, reduce to simmer, and cook with the lid on until vegetables are soft.

Purée with a blender or immersion blender.
Enjoy with a dollop of unsweetened yogurt or sour cream!

Comforting Cabbage and Noodles

This is adapted from a traditional Slovakian recipe, Haluski.
You will need:
1 package wide egg noodles or gluten-free noodles
3 tablespoons butter
1 yellow onion
½ head green cabbage, chopped (about 5 cups)
Salt and pepper to taste

Cook the egg noodles according to the package directions (boil until tender) and then drain in a colander.

While the noodles are cooking, thinly slice the onion. Remove any dirty or damaged outer leaves of the cabbage.

Cut the cabbage into wedges, remove the core, then slice thinly.

After draining the noodles, add 1 tablespoon of the butter and the sliced onions to the pot used to cook the noodles. Sauté the onions over medium heat just until they begin to soften (about 3 minutes). Add the cabbage and continue to cook until the cabbage is tender (5-7 minutes).

Return the drained noodles to the pot with the cabbage and onion. Add the remaining butter and stir until the butter is melted and everything is evenly coated. Season the cabbage and noodles liberally with salt and freshly cracked pepper. Serve warm.

You can scramble an egg and serve that over it to add protein to your meal!


Savory Cabbage Fritters

This is adapted from a traditional Japanese recipe, Okonomiyaki.
You will need:
2 eggs
½ cup water
1 tablespoon soy sauce or wheat-free tamari
1 tablespoon sesame oil
1 cup all-purpose flour
4-5 cups shredded green cabbage
1 carrot
3 green onions

¼ cup mayonnaise
2 tablespoons hot sauce or sriracha

Cut the cabbage into quarters and remove the core. Thinly slice the cabbage until you have 4-5 cups.
Peel the carrot and shred it using a large-holed cheese grater.

Slice the green onions.
In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, water, soy sauce, and sesame oil until smooth.

Begin whisking in the flour, ¼ cup at a time, until it forms a thick, smooth batter.


Add the cabbage, carrots, and green onion to the batter and stir until the vegetables are mixed and everything is evenly coated in batter.

Heat ½ tablespoon of oil in a non-stick or cast iron skillet over medium heat. Once hot, add ¾ cup of the vegetable and batter mixture.

Press it down into the hot skillet to form a circle, about 6 inches in diameter and ½ inch thick.

Place a cover on the skillet to hold in the steam, which will help the cabbage soften as it cooks.

Cook the pancake until golden brown on the bottom (about 5 minutes), then flip and cook until golden brown on the second side.

Pile the cooked pancakes on a plate and cover with foil to keep warm until ready to eat. Add more oil to the skillet as needed as you cook the pancakes.

To prepare the spicy mayo, mix together the mayo and hot sauce.
Drizzle over each pancake just before serving.

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