Archive for the ‘Recipes’ Category

Snack Attack

Tuesday, January 24th, 2012
I love snacks. For as long as I can remember I’ve had a mid-morning and mid-afternoon snack. My choices in what I snack on have changed over the years depending on whether I’m are trying to shed a few lbs, eat healthier, or prevent the mid-afternoon bonk during a workout. Here are a few snack ideas. My snacks are always vegetarian, wheat free, and typically low in grains.
Snacks

Snacks

My motto has been “don’t deprive yourself”. If there is a particular snack (or dessert of that matter) that you absolutely love, but may not be the most healthy of choices; don’t try to go without. Have it on certain days; just not every day. During the race season we try to do desserts only on weekends. I say ‘try’. My weekend sometimes starts Friday and ends Monday….

Another option is to ‘water’ down the snack. Add something healthy to it. For example if you like chocolate, then make some trail mix with the chocolate.

Watch the portion size. Set out a single helping of any given snack, rather than keep dipping your hand into the big bag of trail mix or chips.

Here are some snacks I turn to:

-Smoothie
-Trail mix
-Raw Bars (homemade or Lara bars)
-Fruit / nut butter
-Yogurt
-Veggies / Dip
-Rice crackers
-Chips
-Cottage Cheese

SMOOTHIE

Green Smoothie

Green Smoothie

Ingredients:
Plain Kefir (probiotics)
Almond Milk or water to get the right consistency
Frozen Mango or berries
½ ripe banana (as a sweetener and also potassium)
Big handful of greens (Kale, spinach, beet greens, chard, etc.)
Flax seed oil (or ground up flax seeds)
Chia Seeds
Hemp or brown rice protein powder or scoop of almond butter
Cardamom

TRAIL MIX

Trail Mix

Trail Mix

Ingredients:
raw cashews, almonds and peanuts (Trader Joes)
unsweetened coconut flakes (Wholefoods)
raw sunflower seeds (Trader Joes)
Jumbo raisins or apricots or cranberries (Trader Joes)
Carob (Wholefoods)

BARS – recipe can be found here.
2 cup of raw nuts (almonds / cashews / peanuts / walnuts / pecans)
1 cup of (unsweetened) coconut
1 -1 ½ cup of Medjool dates (with pits removed!)
1 cup of dried apricots
½ -1cup of dried berries (cherries, cranberries or goji berries)
½-1 cup of seeds (sesame / sunflower / pumpkin)

Optional ingredients for flavor variations: Lemon zest, cinnamon, vanilla, peppermint extract, Organic cocoa powder, ginger, or carob.

FRUIT and NUT BUTTERS

 

Fruit

Fruit

Apple and peanut butter
Pear and almond butter (I really like Trader Joes Raw Crunchy Almond Butter).

YOGURT

Yogurt and Berries

Yogurt and Berries


Plain Greek yogurt with maple syrup or berries
Plain Greek yogurt with granola.

VEGGIES and DIP
Raw veggies such as carrots, snow peas, sugar peas, zucchini, and celery with a bean dip.
Celery with cream cheese or peanut butter.

CRACKERS
Rice crackers with cheese and tomatoes
Rice Crackers with bean dip (hummus or lentil)

CHIPS

Chips & Salsa

Chips & Salsa

Chips with salsa
Chips with black bean dip.

Salsa Recipe:
2 cups Roma tomatoes
½ Cup red Onion, finely chopped
1 glove garlic, finely minced
3 tbsp cilantro, chopped
Juice of 1 lime
1/8 tsp oregano
1/8 tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper
Chopped green onions
2 tbsp red wine vinegar

Options: 1 serrano chili pepper (stems, ribs and seeds removed), finely diced, corn, peach, mango or black beans.

Method:
Bring the chopped tomatoes and onions to a quick boil. As soon at the mixture starts to boil, remove from the heat. Depending on the consistency you like, you may want to strain away some of the liquid. Mix in the other ingredients. Serve as is, or blend.

Black Bean Dip Recipe:
2 cups of cooked black beans.
1/2 cup prepared salsa, hot or mild
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
¼-1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
2 medium cloves garlic, minced
Salt & freshly ground pepper, to taste

Method:
Use a potato masher to mix all the ingredients together, or use a hand blender.

COTTAGE CHEESE

 

Cottage Cheese

Cottage Cheese


Organic Cottage Cheese (I like Nancy’s) with fruit.

 

Raw Bar Recipe

Thursday, May 26th, 2011

My neighbor lent me her food processor.  I’m having fun experimenting with it. I especially like the slicer, shredder, grater tool. I grated up more carrots and zucchini than I know what to do with.  I hope she doesn’t want it back anytime soon….Anyway, in a search for ways to use this gadget, I thought about making some raw “Larabars”. I love Larabars. I love that they are all natural, raw and made from very few ingredients.  Here is what I came up with. With the food processor they are so quick and easy to make.

Larabar

Larabar

Raw Bar Recipe:

2 cup of nuts (almonds / cashews / peanuts / walnuts / pecans)
1 cup of (unsweetened) coconut
1 -1 ½ cup of Medjool dates (with pits removed!)
1 cup of dried apricots
½ -1cup of dried berries (cherries, cranberries or goji berries)
½-1 cup of seeds (sesame / sunflower / pumpkin)

Optional ingredients for flavor variations: Lemon zest, cinnamon, vanilla, peppermint extract, Organic cocoa powder, ginger, carob.

 Proportions do matter! Too much of the dry ingredients and the bars easily crumble.

Chopped Nuts

Chopped Nuts

  1. Process the nuts, seeds and coconut together. Add to a bowl.

    Medjool Dates

    Medjool Dates

  2. Process dates and dried fruit until pureed.
  3. Add the pureed fruit to the nuts/seeds and mix well. It should be a sticky mess.
  4. Line a casserole dish with plastic wrap and press the mixture into a casserole dish, and place in the refrigerator.  After a couple of hours, I cut the bars up, put them into snack baggies to store back in the refrigerator. They should keep for a week (if they don’t get eaten before then).

Bento Bowl

Thursday, April 28th, 2011

This is a one of our go-to meals when we’re short on time.  It’s even quicker to throw together if you have leftover rice or quinoa.  

INGREDIENTS:
Brown Rice or Quinoa
Black Beans
Tempeh / Chicken
Veggies (cabbage, spinach, broccoli, carrots, green beans, snow peas, etc.)
Toppings: Cheese, sour cream, avocado, cilantro, and / or sweet chili sauce

Lightly Steam Veggies

Lightly Steam Veggies

METHOD:
Cook rice or quinoa as directed.
Lightly steam veggies.
Warm up the beans.
Put the rice or quinoa in a large bowl, layer the beans and veggies, and then top with your topping(s) of choice.

Trader Joes Sweet Chili Sauce

Trader Joes Sweet Chili Sauce

Rice Crust and Roasted Veggie Quiche

Thursday, March 17th, 2011

OK, so this is exactly a quick meal to prepare. But it is so worth it and it’s easy to double the recipe and make two.  It has 3 cook phases: cook the rice, roast the veggies, and then cook the quiche. By using leftover rice, you can cut this down to only two cook phases. We enjoy this quiche year round with some sweet chili sauce and a salad.  

INGREDIENTS:
1-2 cups of cooked brown rice (leftovers work great)
5 eggs
Cherry or Roma Tomatoes
Mushrooms
Peppers
Zucchini
1/3 cup of milk
Garlic
Thyme
Goat Cheese or Feta Cheese (I also add cottage cheese)

METHOD:
Pre-heat the oven to 375 degrees.
Mix the rice with one egg. Press the rice mixture into a greased pie dish to form a crust.

Rice Crust

Rice Crust

Cut the cherry tomatoes in half or the Roma tomatoes into quarters. Toss with olive oil, salt and pepper. Do the same with all the other veggies you plan on using. Place all the veggies in a roasting pan.  Place the rice crust and the veggies in the oven at the same time. The rice crust will be ready in 10 minutes, the veggies 15-20 minutes. Reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees.

Roasting Veggies

Roasting Veggies

Arrange the roasted veggies on top of the cooked rice crust and sprinkle with minced garlic, goat cheese (feta cheese and / or cottage cheese works too) and thyme. Mix the milk and eggs together and pour over the veggies.  Bake in the oven for around 45 minutes or until it is set. 

Rice Crust and Roasted Veggie Quiche

Rice Crust and Roasted Veggie Quiche

If I’m going to the trouble to make this recipe, I usually make two. It really isn’t too much extra work. And they freeze pretty well.

Salad Dressings

Thursday, February 3rd, 2011
Home made salad dressings

Home made salad dressings

In a previous posting I listed some changes I wanted to make to our diets. One of those changes was to get away from store bought dressings and sauces. My beef with store bought dressings is the potential for the oils to become easily rancid. (You can read more about rancid oils in a previous posting).

Oils and Vinegars

Oils and Vinegars

Here are some recipes we’ve been enjoying.  So easy to make. And it just feels good knowing that they are better for you.  The trick is to have good quality staple ingredients in stock: olive oil, lemon juice, honey or agave, a selection of vinegars and you’re set. No need for any fancy equipment. I typically just put all the ingredients into a mason jar and give it a good shake to mix all the ingredients up. Having said this, my Mum did get me a nice looking dressing bottle (from Wedgwood no less).

Salad Dressing Jars and Bottles

Salad Dressing Jars and Bottles

Balsamic Dressing
INGREDIENTS:
1 tsp dijon mustard
3 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1/3 cup of extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp flax seed oil
salt and pepper

METHOD:
Blend all ingredients together and chill.

Honey Mustard Dressing
INGREDIENTS:
5 tbsp dijon mustard
4 tbsp white wine vinegar
4 tbsp honey or agave
3 tbsp olive oil
salt and pepper

METHOD:
Blend all ingredients together and chill.

Peanut Dressing I
INGREDIENTS:
1/2 cup plain yogurt
1/4 cup of peanut butter
1 tbsp lime juice
1/2 tsp soy sauce or Bragg
2 tbsp water

METHOD:
Blend all ingredients together and chill.

Peanut Dressing II
INGREDIENTS:
1/2 cup peanut butter
1/4 cup of soy sauce or Bragg
1?3 cup water
2 tbsp ginger
1 minced glove of garlic
2 tbsp red wine vinegar
1-2 tbsp sesame oil
2 tsp honey or agave

METHOD:
Blend all ingredients together and chill.

Lemon and Parsley Dressing
INGREDIENTS:
1/2 cup of lemon juice
1/4 cup of olive oil
1 tbsp honey or agave
1 inch piece of ginger
1 bunch of parsley or dill
1 tsp salt

METHOD:
Add all the ingredients to a blender and blend away.
Keep refrigerated for up to a week.

Blackberry Dressing
INGREDIENTS:
1 cup of fresh blackberries
1 cup of water
1/4 cup of avocado
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup lemon juice
1 tsp salt
1 tbsp honey

METHOD:
Add all the ingredients to a blender and blend away.
Keep refrigerated for up to a week.

Tahini Dill Dressing
INGREDIENTS
1 tbsp tahini
1/4 bunch dill
1/2 lime juiced
1 tsp agave
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup water

METHOD:
Add all the ingredients to a blender and blend away.
Keep refrigerated for up to a week.

Tahini Garlic Dressing
INGREDIENTS:
2 tbsp tahini
1/4 cup apple juice
1 clove of garlic
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp salt

METHOD:
Add all the ingredients to a blender and blend away.
Keep refrigerated for up to a week.

Sources:
Fresh: the ultimate live-food cookbook by Sergie and Valya Boutenko
Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon

Quinoa Salad

Friday, December 17th, 2010

Quinoa (keen-wa) has been described as a super food.  According to Wikipedia superfood is a “term sometimes used to describe food with high phytonutrient content that may confer health benefits as a result”.

Uncooked Quinoa

Bob’s Red Mill label states that whole grain quinoa is the most nutritious grain around. Not only is it high in fiber, iron, but it also contains all 8 of the essential amino acids (good news if you are a vegetarian!).

Quinoa has been on “my list” of foods to eat more often. I’ve committed to trying a new quinoa recipe once a week. The first one I tried was OK. It was a pilaf type of dish.  Then I tried a veggie burger recipe: it was good, but I couldn’t quite categorize it as quick and easy. Whereas this salad recipe can be; it is quick, easy, and tasty.   We had it along with pasta and veggies.

Cooked quinoa

Cooked quinoa

SALAD INGREDIENTS:
1 cup of quinoa (I used a mix of Bobs Red mill Whole Grain Quinoa and Trader Joes Red Quinoa)
1/2 a chopped red pepper
1/2 cup shelled edamame (Trader Joes frozen edamame)
Bunch of diced green onions
1/2 cup dried cranberries or cherries
White Wine Vinaigrette Dressing (See recipe below)

DRESSING INGREDIENTS:
2 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp white wine vinegar
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1/2 -1 tsp honey
Salt and pepper to taste

DIRECTIONS:
Bring 2 cups of water to a boil. Add 1 cup of quinoa and cover. Cook on medium heat for 12 minutes. That’s it!  Rinse in cold water and toss with the rest of the ingredients. Mix the dressing ingredients in a glass jar. Give it a good shake and pour over the quinoa mix. And voila there you have a good tasty salad dish.

Quinoa Salad

Quinoa Salad

Super Green Smoothies

Wednesday, October 27th, 2010

Super green smoothies: Odwalla make them so they must be good for you, right?

I’ve been reading a lot about how we don’t eat enough greens (In Defense of Food by Michael Pollan and Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon). Greens include lettuce, spinach, kale, swiss chard, and even dandelion leaves and are all packed with nutrients.  

In Defense of Food

In Defense of Food

According to www.rawfamily.com “Greens are high in cellulose which makes them difficult for the digestive system to break down”. That is unless they are in a liquefied form.  And so the green smoothie comes through for us.  

 To be able to make decent smoothies you need a decent blender.  I have a vitamix which I now love. It has taken me a while to really use it. I bought it at a very weak moment. I was 5 months pregnant and a sales guy told me how it made the best baby food…like I said, it was a very weak moment. (FYI my hand blender made baby food just fine and it was a whole lot easier to clean!).  However, the vitamix does make good smoothies. The blade rotates so fast it actually creates heat so for smoothies you need to add ice or frozen berries to keep the drink cold. Warm smoothies just aren’t very appealing. 

Vitamix

Vitamix

There are tons of recipes out there. Two good resources include:  The raw family’s website and Vitamix’s website.  Here is one recipe that I came up with that adds some protein, fat (omega 3) and some good immune boosting nutrients too.

Ingredients include:

2/3 cup full fat plain Greek yogurt or Kefir (fermented milk drink full of good bacteria)
1/2 banana
1 cup frozen berries (If you use fresh berries, make sure you add ice to keep the smoothie cold)
1/2 cup orange juice
1/2 carrot
1/2 apple
1 tbsp Flax seed oil
1 tsp probiotics powder
large handful of Organic greens (kale, lettuce or spinach)
and / or 1 scoop of super green power (Trader Joes)

There are lots of variations to play around with. Experiment away. It’s a great way to use up fruit and veggies that may not get eaten in time. And it is cheaper than buying store bought super green smoothies in a plastic bottle.