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Sunday, December 26, 2010

A Quick Fix: Blueberry Kale Protein Smoothie

Hi guys!  Dave and I just enjoyed this tasty smoothie after a morning workout.  Delicious!  If you've never yet tried kale blended in your smoothie, seriously give it a try!  You can't even taste it!

Enjoy! :)

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas to all...

Hi guys and gals!

Just wanted to take a moment to wish each and every one of you a very Merry CHRISTmas!   Hope you have wonderful, cozy celebrations with family and loved ones.  Enjoy your feast(s).  If Maximized food is on the menu, all the better! :)

Many blessings,


Monday, December 20, 2010

Homeward Bound

Dave and I have been staying with our dear friends Dr. Drew, Lyra and family in Eau Claire, Wisconsin for the past month.  Now we are finally venturing home for Christmas after about 5 months total of nomadic living.  We've been all over the map since August, and it's only going to get better in 2011.

Dave had traveled to Canada in August for his final internship of chiropractic school.  I stayed back in Minneapolis but eventually drove over to join him in London, Ontario.  We had the opportunity to move back to the States to help out Dr. Drew and Lyra with their Maximized Living office and were very excited to come back.  Our month here in Wisconsin is up, and today we are homeward bound.  Home is the Upper Peninsula of Michigan (also referred to as the U.P. in many of my posts), Houghton area to be exact.  We're pretty excited to be making the drive home for a week's stay.  We've been living out of our suitcases and a single room for long enough.  Time to relax and cozy up in our good old beds! :)

We are looking forward to many great meals and spending time with family and friends.  Very excited to see my aunts Ruth and Claudia again!  Ruth is coming from Washington D.C. area and Claudia all the way from Japan.  It's not every Christmas that they can make the trips home.  This will be an extra special year for us!

The U.P. gets a lot of snow...
With the snow, God blesses us with beautiful scenes.
A pasty.  Oooh yum!
While we're not looking forward to the many feet of snow waiting for us, we are super excited to pick up our favorite comfort food: a pasty (pronounced pass-tee).  I am still working on making these Advanced Plan friendly, but Core Planners unite in joy!  These are an Upper Peninsula classic, a savory meat and veggies pie.  Eat hot or cold, as is or with ketchup or gravy...it is the one thing I long for throughout the year until we can come home again.

So for now, consider me on vacation.  More healing recipes to come after Christmas!  Many blessings and sweet wishes for you and yours thru this week and next.

xo <3   Elise


Don't forget to take advantage of the $9.99 SALE on Season's Eatings holiday e-cookbook!  I'll be preparing a fabulous spread of the recipes from Season's Eatings for my own family this year.  It also makes a great gift! :)

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Gluten FREE Fluffy Pancakes

Here is a delicious recipe that I hope you can utilize on Christmas morning.  I know growing up pancakes were a treat we only enjoyed on Christmas morning.  I've been attempting to perfect my pancake recipe for some time now, and I'm finally satisfied with this one.  I've also made it with finely ground almond flour, and it works very well!

These guys are super fluffy and easy to make!  They have a light texture, which is sometimes hard to achieve with pancakes.  The fluffiness is controlled by how much you whip the egg whites.  The more you whip them, the fluffier the batter will be.  I usually separate my egg whites and yolks, then beat my egg whites to the point of just starting to get white and airy.  If you want even fluffier pancakes, go ahead and beat your egg whites to a stiff peak.

Fluffy Pancakes
Makes 10

6 large free-range eggs, beaten
1 Tbsp raw butter, melted
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp spoonable stevia powder
1/3 cup coconut flour, sifted twice
1/2 tsp cinnamon (optional)
1/4 tsp nutmeg (optional)
1-2 cups fresh or frozen raspberries (optional)

1.)  We don't use maple syrup in our house.  Instead we make a berry syrup/compote to drizzle over top our pancakes.  In a medium saucepan, add berries and simmer over Medium heat for about 12 minutes.  Use a fork or masher to squash berries down and blend into a compote.  Make as smooth or chunky as you'd like!

2.)  Preheat a cast iron or stainless steel skillet over Medium heat.  In a medium bowl, add the wet ingredients and whisk together until well blended.

3.)  Add the dry ingredients to the wet mixture. Whisk together until well blended and frothy – this will get them even fluffier!

4.)  Add a dab of coconut oil to the skillet to grease it.  Spoon batter into small circles or shapes in the frying pan.  Keep the heat fairly low and let the pancakes heat up slowly and rise – about 3 minutes.

5.)  Wait until there are several bubbles appearing on top of the pancake  and the edges are cooked.  Flip each pancake to cook the other side.  This will take only about a minute more, then move cooked pancakes to serving platter.  Continue this until all the batter is gone.  Drizzle pancakes with raspberry topping and serve.
Make Christmas morning fun with festive holiday characters!  Get creative!  Stack large, medium and small pancakes to form a snowman's body.  Rudolph with your cranberry nose so bright -- use a leaf shaped cookie cutter or a knife to cut out antlers.  Santa's beard, a half circle.  His hat, a quarter circle with a notch taken out of a straight side.  An angel using a small pancake for her head, 2 quarters for wings and 1 quarter for her dress.  There are so many options! (snow flake, Christmas tree, gingerbread man/woman, cross, elf, mitten)

Dress these characters up and bring them to life -- grab raisins, dark chocolate chips, cranberries, cream cheese, shredded coconut, fresh or frozen berries..eyes, nose, arms, mouth.  Your kids will love to help!  This could be a new tradition your family looks forward to every year.  We'll be doing it when we start a family.  :)

Here are a few pictures for inspiration of what other bloggers have done.  Just remember to keep it healthy and cut out as much of the sugar as possible.  A Holiday breakfast to remember!

Friday, December 17, 2010

Chickpea Stuffed Cucumber Cups

At a party a while back (it was a cocktail party, I had to wear a dress, which I don't necessarily enjoy so to distract my mind from the uncomfortableness, I focused in on the food tables looking for ideas!), they had these little things I thought were hummus stuffed sushi.  I took a bite, but to my surprise they were hummus stuffed cucumbers!  What a delight!  So...here's my take on this cute little appetizer.  I've adapted this recipe from one in my not always so healthy for you Better Homes & Gardens cookbook for Asian inspired deviled eggs.  These make great snacks or appetizers for your own party!
Chickpea Stuffed Cucumber Cups
Makes 12

2 organic cucumbers
1 cup organic chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 inch of fresh ginger root, finely grated
3 scallions, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
1 Tbsp Bragg's liquid aminos
a dash of hot sauce or cayenne pepper (optional)
1 Tbsp white miso paste OR Healing Cuisine Mayonnaise
Fresh black pepper to taste

1.)  Start by cleaning and slicing the cucumbers into 1 1/2 inch thick coins.  Hallow out the centers using a melon baller or small spoon, leaving a little at the bottom of the cucumber so the filling doesn't leak thru.

2.) Throw all the remaining ingredients into the food processor or blender and puree (including the scooped out cucumber seeds!).  When it’s mostly smooth, spoon (or use a piping bag) filling into the cucumber cups.  Refrigerate two hours before serving.  If you have leftovers, try it spooned over a salad or as a spread for a sandwich or wrap!

Experiment with flavors!!  ... curry?  mint?  roasted garlic?  You can also stuff with various salads (egg salad, salmon salad, chicken salad, black eyed pea salad...etc).  Another idea is using raw zucchini cups instead of cucumber.   So many possibilities!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Grasshopper Pie

Christmas is almost here, and to finish off my 12 days of Cookies, I introduce to you the raw Grasshopper Pie.  This pie is a combined spin off of my Key Lime Pie and Pumpkin Pie Cheesecake.  You really can't go wrong with this beautifully perfect layered pie of chocolate, vanilla and mint.  Smooth and silky, it's the perfect dessert to end a holiday meal.

Garnish with sifted cocoa powder or shaved dark chocolate if you'd like.  DELICIOUS!

Grasshopper Pie
Makes 8 Servings

1 1/4 cups coconut flour
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
5 Tbsp coconut oil (room temp solid)
1 Tbsp raw almond butter
2 tsp spoonable stevia powder
1/4 tsp sea salt
1 tsp vanilla extract

2 cups raw cashews, soaked 2 hours
1/3 cup coconut oil, melted
3/4 cup full fat organic coconut milk
1 Tbsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp sea salt
3/4 tsp pure liquid stevia
1/2 cup 73+% dark chocolate chips

2 large OR 3 small ripe organic avocados
1/3 cup raw cashews, soaked 2 hours
1/3 cup full fat organic coconut milk
1/3 cup unsweetened organic almond milk
1/2 tsp pure liquid stevia (more/less to taste)
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 tsp mint extract (more/less to taste)

1.) THE CRUST   Line a 9 inch spring form pan OR 8x8 inch glass dish with all natural parchment paper.  In your food processor, add all crust ingredients and pulse until it is of uniform consistency.  It should be crumbly.  Transfer your crust to to your parchment-lined pan and press firmly and evenly to line it.  Set in fridge to firm slightly while preparing fillings.

2.)  THE CREAM LAYER   Soak raw cashews at least 2 hours.  Rinse soaked cashews under filtered water until water runs clear.  Place cashews, coconut oil, coconut milk, liquid stevia, vanilla extract and sea salt into food processor.  Puree until smooth.  Should be spreadable.  If too thick, add filtered water 1 Tablespoon at a time.  Transfer to medium bowl and stir in cacao nibs.  Spread over the pie crust and place in FREEZER to set while preparing Mint Layer.

3.) THE MINT LAYER  Soak cashews at least 2 hours.  Rinse under filtered water until water runs clear.  Pour drained cashews into blender.  Spoon avocados into blender.  Add liquid stevia, vanilla extract, mint extract, almond milk and coconut milk.  Blend on High for about 1 minute (stirring thru hole in lid with a wooden spoon as needed).  Again, mixture should be smooth and spreadable.  If too thick, slowly add in more coconut milk.  I recommend adding 1/4 cup at a time until a creamy consistency is achieved. You should not need much extra.

4.)  With a spatula, spread avocado puree over the cream layer and spread smooth, avoiding lumps.  Place in freezer for 2 hours prior to serving.
Thanks Dr. Drew Kaminski for this photo in the snow.
This will be MUCH enjoyed with a glass of Eggless Nog this Christmas.  :)

I hope you will love it!!  What are some other pie/cheesecake combinations you are dying to enjoy on your Maximized Living Nutrition Plan??

Monday, December 13, 2010

"Candy Cane" Macaroons

Continuing on with my three newest Christmas inspired dessert recipes in honor of my 12 days of Christmas Cookies post...

I got the initial idea for these delicious Christmas cookies from a friend's party, where she served these:

Her version of candy cane macaroons.  I had but a small bite, just to experience the taste and they were delicious.  But, much too much sugar for my liking, let alone the Core OR Advanced Plans.  So it was time to re-invent the Candy Cane Macaroon.  Here is what I came up with, the perfect combination of mint and cookie to calm your sweet tooth. :)

Goji berries are the perfect addition to this recipe as they are a low glycemic berry and provide a kick of sweetness and the look of candy cane (Advanced Plan)!  Dried cranberries are another option for Core Plan followers.  You could add in the level of chocolate with dark chocolate chips, too!  Here is what my "Candy Cane" Macaroons look like.  None of the sugar or food dyes and all of the flavor!

"Candy Cane" Macaroons
Makes 20

1 1/2 cups organic unsweetened coconut flakes
1 cup raw almond meal
5 tsp spoonable stevia powder
1/4 tsp sea salt
1/2 cup organic coconut oil, melted
1/4 cup raw butter, melted
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 tsp peppermint extract
Handful of Goji Berries, chopped

1.) Line a baking sheet with all natural waxed paper or natural parchment paper.  Place all ingredients in a large bowl and stir until well combined.  Place into fridge to set slightly, about 20 minutes.

2.) Use a melon baller or small spoon to scoop out little cookies.  Place on lined baking sheet.  Freeze to set.  Serve when firmed up!  These little cookies will stay firm for about 4-6 hours at room temp.

Another flavor combination I just thought of is almond extract and dried cherries!  YUM.  What do you think??

 Join the Virtual Cookie Recipe Exchange with Flour On My Face  Prizes donated by King Arthur Flour, St Martins Press / Robin L. Olson and Garnish.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Peppermint Bark

Excited for 12 days of cookies?!  I am!  Most of the recipes I   L O V E   for Christmas are found in Season's Eatings holiday ebook & menu planner -- on SALE this month for $9.99!  I also have three new Advanced Plan creations for you: Peppermint Bark, "Candy Cane" Macaroons and...my most superlative dessert yet...Grasshopper Pie!

Today we're talking bark.  Peppermint bark is a Christmas classic.  Who can resist it?  Most commonly you'll see it sold in department stores and served at parties constructed of milk chocolate, white chocolate, and bits of minty candy canes.  What does that translate into?  Disease-causing sugar, food dyes, and more toxic sugar.  Well I've cleaned it up, per request of my friends Nicole and Mark, just in time for Christmas!  This delicious and super easy peppermint bark makes a wonderful treat or holiday gift.

Peppermint Bark

8 oz 73+% dark chocolate or baker's chocolate
5-10 drops pure liquid stevia (can also use naturally flavored peppermint stevia)
2 tsp peppermint extract

1.)  Line a 10x10 inch baking sheet with all natural waxed paper.  (If you only have larger sized baking sheets, double this recipe so you have enough chocolate to spread out across it.)

2.)  Melt the chocolate in a double boiler.  Add the liquid stevia (I used only 5 drops, as I don't like it too sweet...) and peppermint extract and mix well until smooth.  (Optional: Stir in chopped raw nuts -- I'm partial to raw almonds and raw hazelnuts.  Pistachios add a splash of Christmas color.  Maybe even some goji berries, or cranberries for Core Plan?)

3.)  Once melted, pour onto natural waxed paper and use a spatula to spread chocolate about 1/4 inch thick. (Optional: Sprinkle with crushed raw nuts, sea salt, dried fruits.)  Allow to cool and dry 6 hours or overnight.

4.)  Once dry, break chocolate apart into uneven chunks, store in airtight container until ready to serve.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Christmas Cookie Day!

'Tis the season to bake (and eat) cookies & sweet treats.  Here are 12 of my all-time holiday favorites, one for every day of Christmas!  Most of these are holiday classics converted into Maximized Living Advanced Plan doables by yours truly.  Some are my own creations fit for this jolly time of year!  I've had fun this past year baking up a storm.  My hope is that you can have the same fun in your own kitchen in time for Christmas!  ENJOY!

Chocolate Crinkle Cookies from Season's Eatings, page 47

Chocolate Fudge from Season's Eatings, page 54

Snowball Cookies from Season's Eatings, page 55

Chocolate Chip Nut Butter Balls  from Season's Eatings, page 46 

Peppermint Bark  watch for the post on Saturday, December 11th

Dark Chocolate Peppermint Patties from Season's Eatings, page 51

"Candy Cane" Macaroons  watch for the post on Monday, December 13th

Gingerbread Cookies from Season's Eatings, page 52

Cinnamon Walnut Cookies from Season's Eatings, page 48

Chocolate Truffles from Season's Eatings, page 46

Super Delicious Fruit Cake from Season's Eatings, page 40

So you have to eat this last one with a fork, but I am just so happy with my latest dessert creation that it had to be included in time for Christmas!!

Grasshopper Pie watch for the post on Wednesday, December 15th

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Healing Cuisine 2010 Holiday Gift Guide

Hi all!

I have been asked in several emails about Christmas gifts and what to get for your loved ones.  I'm going to break down some of my top favorite gift ideas for you.  These are wonderful gifts to give any Maximized Living foodie or anyone interested in health & wellness.  Dave and I own and use almost all of these items and have actually gifted our friends and family with a lot of these over the past years.  Can't rave enough about these companies and products...so I'm just going to list them.  Hope you, too, can discover the great quality and usefulness!

Homemade Gifts  Save time.  Save money.  Show you care.

- A few bottles of flavored Kombucha, perhaps even share a baby SCOBY?

- Raw Chocolate Fudge

- Make your own lip balm

- Assorted box of Advanced Plan cookies (12 Days of Cookies post coming at you tomorrow!!)

- Mixed box of dark chocolate truffles & almond butter balls

- Classic gifts-in-a-jar.  Share your knowledge of gluten-free, sugar-free baking.  Gift your loved ones with a jar of all the dry ingredients and tag the recipe to the jar, in cute fashion of course (dare I suggest breaking out the scrapbooking materials??).  Some great gifts-in-a-jar recipes: Gluten Free "Candy Cane" Cookies (recipe to come next week!), Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Cookies, Gluten Free Loaded Chocolate Protein Bars, Gluten Free Coconut Flour Bread, or Gluten Free Banana Bread.  Just remember to include my URL on the tag so they can come back for more! :)

- A quart or two of chili (Healing Cuisine Chili, Pumpkin Chili, White Bean Chili) in a decorative glass container.

Gold Category  A major splurge.  Much appreciated by all.

- VitaMix

- Food Dehydrator

- P90X or Insanity home fitness programs

- Sink Water Filtration System

- KitchenAid stand mixer

- Cuisinart food processor

The Foodie  For the kitchen savvy.  And the aspiring.

- Raw Food Spiralizer

- Cast Iron Skillet or Stainless Steel Skillet

- Basic ceramic knives set

- Salad spinner

- Indoor herb garden kit

- Membership to an organic wine club

- Good bamboo cutting board

- Natural waxed paper or parchment paper.  Introduce others to the all-natural alternatives.

Kitchen Supplies  Stuff healthy peeps always need.

- Organic/all natural protein powder or meal replacement powder (Maximized Living Perfect Protein, Garden of Life Raw Protein, Sequel Vega, Sun Warrior Raw Superfood)

- Bulk coconut oil

- Coconut flour, almond flour, hemp seeds

- Organic spices -- a must!

- Clean, organic, low-to-no sugar protein bars (PaleoBars, BioGenesis bars)

- Organic powdered greens antioxidant drink (Dynamic Greens)

- Stevia (pure liquid, spoonable powder)

Body Care  Organic.  Natural.  Health-inducing.

- Any Wyndmere organic lotions, essential oils, air diffusers, soaps 

- My absolute favorite personal care line: MiEssence from ONE Group.  ANYTHING from this company would make a great gift -- all certified organic to the FOOD GRADE level!!  I've tried it all, can't say enough great things about the company and its products.  Makeup, lotions, shampoo, baby line....love it ALL.  A great place to start is their skin essentials pack.

- All natural Crystal deodorant.  Encourage your loved ones to make the switch.

- Spry fluoride free toothpaste, mouthwash, gum

- ChiroFlow water pillow -- all of the neck support with none of the toxic chemicals or off-gas.

For the Readers  Mixed bag of my favorites.

- The Love Dare

- Cooking with Coconut Flour

- Body by God

- Easy Green Living

- Pushed

- Sugar Free Cooking with Stevia

- In Pursuit of Peace

- Fertility, Cycles & Nutrition

Movies  More of my favorites.

- The Business of Being Born

- King Korn

- Food Matters

- Food, Inc.

- The Future of Food

Stocking Stuffers All natural and healthy.

- A blow up fitness ball

- Blender Bottle

- Indoor Sunshine light bulb -- create vitamin D naturally year round!

-  Jar of coconut butter

- All Natural nail polish (FancyPolish, PeaceKeeper, No Miss) & natural remover (Honeybee Gardens)

- Set of reusable, eco-friendly totes

- Pacifica soy candles -- scented naturally with essential oils

- Gift card to Whole Foods or a local co-op

- Organic t-shirt

- Klean Kanteen

- Organic lip balm, lip gloss, lipstick

You can also visit TreeHugger for some other great eco-friendly gift giving guides.  Do YOU have any other great gift suggestions??  Happy gifting! :)

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