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Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Mixed Veggies Stir Fry

Mixed Veggies Stir Fry
Makes 2-3 Servings

2 organic carrots, sliced
1 bunch of organic kale, deveined and chopped
2 small organic zucchinis, sliced
1 medium organic yellow squash, peeled and chopped
1 organic red bell pepper, diced
1 medium onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 avocado, sliced
1 free-range egg per person
1 Tbsp coconut oil

1.)  Prepare all the vegetables (we try to wash, peel and chop up all of our vegetables each week when we get home from the grocery store and store them in glass containers thru the week so we're ready to whip up a quick meal like this one after a late night of work.  We then freeze any veggies that weren't used before they spoil.  Frozen veggies will also work well with this recipe!).

2.)  Heat your wok or large skillet over Medium-High heat.  Add 1 Tbsp coconut oil to the pan.  When heated, add the carrot, onion, bell pepper and kale.  Stir and cook for about 3 minutes.

3.)  Add garlic, zucchini, and yellow squash to pan and continue to stir and cook for about 6-8 minutes until carrots are softened.  All veggies should be heated thru at this point.  Turn heat to low and let simmer while cooking eggs, adding sea salt and pepper to taste.

4.)  In a separate skillet, over Medium heat, add a teaspoon or two of coconut oil to coat pan.  Crack each egg into the skilled to fry on each side.  It's great to leave the yolks runny -- mixes great with the vegetables -- but cook thru to your liking.

5.)  Plate the stir fry and top each plate with an egg (or two) and slices of avocado.  Enjoy one of the quickest meals you've possibly ever made!  :)

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Healing Cuisine Chicken Salad

Healing Cuisine Chicken Salad
Makes 6 Servings

3-4 cups cooked free-range chicken, shredded
2-3 cups diced celery
2 Tbsp diced red onion
1 Tbsp fresh squeezed lemon juice
1/4 cup chopped raw almonds
1/4 cup unsweetened dried cranberries (omit if Advanced Plan)
1/4 tsp sea salt
Fresh ground pepper to taste

In a large bowl, mix all ingredients together until combined.  Refrigerate for about 2 hours (or over night) to allow flavors to blend.   Serve over lettuce or spinach leaves.

How Cold-Pressed Coconut Oil is Made in Fiji!

Dr. Alejandor Junger visited Fiji and recorded how the locals make their cold-pressed coconut oil.  Very cool!

How Coconut-Oil Is Made from Clean Program on Vimeo.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Banana Almond Smoothie

Banana Almond Smoothie

1 large frozen banana (peel and dice before freezing)
1 c organic almond milk (plain, unsweetened)
1/3 c organic coconut milk (full fat, no sugar)
4 ice cubes
1-2 Tbsp raw almond butter
1/4 tsp liquid stevia (optional)
1/2 tsp almond or vanilla extract
1 scoop plain or vanilla Whey Cool protein powder (optional)

Blend all ingredients in blender until smooth.  Enjoy!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Mashed Fotatoes

A great replacement for high-carb mashed potatoes!  I swear you can't tell the difference!

Mashed Fotatoes
Makes 4 Servings 

1 1/2 heads of cauliflower
2 Tbsp olive oil or butter
2 Tbsp roasted garlic (about 5-6 cloves)
1 Tbsp brown rice miso paste
Sea salt and pepper to taste
Splash of Bragg's liquid aminos

1.)  Wash and chop the cauliflower.  Steam until tender.

2.)  In a large bowl or food processor, mash the cauliflower until it is a chunky consistency.  Add remaining ingredients and mash to combine until smooth.  Garnish with fresh parsley.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Spinach-Artichoke Dip

Spinach-Artichoke Dip

1 c frozen chopped spinach or fresh spinach
1 1/2 c thawed frozen artichoke hearts
1/2 c Vegenaise
1/2 c organic sour cream
1 c freshly grated Parmesan (raw, organic)
1 c grated pepper jack cheese (raw, organic)
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes

1.)  Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.  Grease a casserole dish with coconut oil.

2.) If using frozen spinach, dump thawed spinach into a clean tea towel or tripled up paper towel.  Wrap towel around spinach and squeeze out all of the liquid remaining in the thawed spinach.  If using fresh spinach, wash and chop.

3.)  Coarsely chop the artichoke hearts in a food processor.  Combine all the ingredients except the jack cheese in a large bowl.  Stir well.

4.)  Scrape into the prepared casserole dish and sprinkle the jack cheese on top. Bake for 30 minutes.  Serve with vegetables.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Gluten FREE Coconut Flour Bread

This is a great bread that you can enjoy while following the Maximized Nutrition Plans.  Coconut flour is gluten free, jam packed with fiber (58%!) and low in carbohydrates.  Coconut oil, coconut flour, and coconut products in general are fantastic for anyone who is looking to lose weight and improve their health.  Rich in lauric acid, coconut oil contains NO trans fat, strengthens your immune system and boosts your metabolism!   Coconut oil/flour helps keep you feeling full so that you eat less and is an anti-fungal to boot!

Keep in mind that while this recipe is super quick and easy to make (no soaking required as there is no grain!), it is not anything like regular old wheat bread.  You'll find this loaf to bake up very short at about 1 1/2 to 2 inches tall.  It will also be very dense.  Not ideal for sandwiches, but so good slathered with honey (butter, almond butter, pureed berries) along side a cup of tea.

Coconut Flour Bread

6 eggs
1/2 c melted coconut oil or butter (I usually use coconut oil)
1-2 Tbsp honey (optional, I usually leave it out)
1/2 tsp sea salt
3/4 c coconut flour (sifted once or twice)

1.) Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Sift coconut flour with sea salt into medium bowl.  In small bowl, beat eggs together slightly then add to flour.  Stir in oil/butter and optional honey.  Pour into a small oiled loaf pan. Bake for 40 minutes.

2.) Turn the loaf out and cool completely on a rack before serving.  That’s it!

Monday, March 22, 2010

Raw, Sugar FREE Key Lime Pie

*** This recipe has been updated!  Second try's a charm!  Dave and I made this pie for a party we attended this weekend and we made a few changes in the ratio of avocado to lime to coconut.  It turned out much better.  The crust is perfect for this tropical inspired pie!  ***

This is yet another delicious and HEALTHY dessert that you can have on your Maximized Nutrition Plan.  I am a Key Lime Pie lover, but I couldn't remember the last time I had one because, as you probably know, those pies are full of refined sugars, flours, and most likely food dyes to brighten up the greenish yellow color, among who knows what else.  So here we go!  I guarantee you will love this creamy dessert, and your kids probably won't even notice it's a raw dish!

Raw, Sugar FREE Key Lime Pie

The Filling:
5 medium avocados
1/2 cup organic full-fat coconut milk
20 key limes, zested and juiced (should get almost 3/4 cup of lime juice and  a couple Tbsps of lime zest from the limes, depends on their size)
1 tsp pure liquid stevia
1 Tbsp vanilla extract
pinch of sea salt to enrich flavors

The Crust:
1 1/2 cups coconut flour
1/2 cup organic unsweetened coconut flakes
5 Tbsp coconut oil (room temp)
1 Tbsp almond butter
1/4 tsp pure liquid stevia
1/4 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

1.)  The Crust:  In your food processor, add all crust ingredients and pulse until it is of uniform consistency.  It should be crumbly.  Transfer your crust to a pie pan and press it firmly and evenly to line the pan.  Set aside.

2.)  The Filling:  Wipe out the food processor. Next, add and blend all filling ingredients until smooth, making sure to scrape down the sides if there are lumps.  Then, with a spatula, pour the filling mixture onto the crust and spread it evenly throughout the pan.

3.)  Garnish with about 1/4 tsp. of lime zest, some coconut flakes, and refrigerate for at least 2 hours OR freeze 30 minutes before serving.  :)

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Chicken Breast with Cranberry-Thyme Sauce

Who said cranberries were just for the fall?  I like to mix it up and enjoy cranberries year round.  This is a great way to incorporate this antioxidant packed fruit in a healthy, savory meal.

Chicken Breast with Cranberry-Thyme Sauce
Makes 4 servings

4 boneless, skinless free-range chicken breasts
1 Tbsp coconut flour
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/4 tsp fresh black pepper
1 Tbsp coconut oil
1/2 c onion, chopped
1/2 Tbsp fresh thyme, chopped
1 c frozen or fresh cranberries
1 c chicken stock (organic and salt free!!)
1 Tbsp raw honey
1 pinch ground cayenne pepper

1.)  Place the chicken breasts on a cutting board and top with a sheet of parchment paper.  Pound the chicken breasts out with a mallet to an even thickness, about a 3/4 to a 1/2 inch thickness.  (Don't have a mallet?  Try using a small cast iron skillet or saucepan.)

2.)  Mix the flour, salt and pepper and use to coat the chicken.

3.)  In a large skillet, add coconut oil over medium-high heat to coat pan.  Place the chicken breasts in the heated oil and sear for about 3 minutes per side until cooked thru.  Transfer chicken to plate and cover loosely to keep warm.

4.)  Lower heat to medium-low and add onion and thyme.  Sautee until soft and golden.  Add cranberries, stock, agave nectar, cayenne and extra sea salt to taste.  Bring to a simmer and cook over medium-high heat until thickened.  Pour over plated chicken breasts and serve.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Berry Coconut Breakfast Smoothie

Berry Coconut Breakfast Smoothie

1/2 can organic coconut milk (whole fat, unsweetened)
2 Tbsp unsweetened shredded organic coconut
1/4 tsp stevia powder (or to taste)
1 tsp organic vanilla extract or almond extract
one scoop vanilla protein powder
6 frozen organic strawberries (or other organic berry)
2-3 ice cubes

Combine all ingredients in a blender and blend.  Add more ice if needed to thicken up and blend until desired consistency is achieved.  This makes a beautiful creamy smoothie that is not too sweet.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Shamrock Shake (GUEST POST!)

This is a St. Patrick's Day inspired recipe from my friend Lyra at Back on Track Family Chiropractic in Wisconsin.  I caught the words "Shamrock Shake" as I skimmed through my News Feed on Facebook and my eyes halted on Lyra's status which had this recipe laid out, ready for me to try!  And no people, this is NOT the chemically created shake that you get from a drive thru window, oh no.  This is a health-creating, nutrient and God fat rich energy shake.  Thank you Lyra!!  It is so good!

Shamrock Shake
Makes 1 Serving
1 avocado
1 1/2 cups ice
1 cup organic spinach
a few drops food-grade peppermint oil
30-40 drops pure liquid stevia (to taste)
chocolate chips to choco it up (optional)
1 scoop protein powder (optional)

Add all ingredients to blender and mix until smooth.  I didn't have the chocolate chips on hand, but can't wait to try (it still tastes great without chocolate)!  The second time I enjoyed this smoothie this week, I added half of a frozen banana and it was very yummy with the mint.

I was looking for a simple St. Patty's day quote to end this post with and besides a plethora of paragraph sized quotations, I came across this which I will leave you with.  Happy St. Patrick's Day.

Why should you never iron a 4-leaf clover?  You don't want to press your luck.  :)

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Basil Chicken in Coconut-Curry Sauce

Curry is probably my absolute favorite flavor when it comes to dinner.  Eating out, I always opt for the curry dish on the menu, whether it's a super spicy dish or a more mild, coconut-curry dish like this one.  Dave and I have cut way back on eating out in the past year, and in turn I've had to figure out how to recreate the restaurant dishes I love at home.  Have fun blending these spices together to make your own curry seasoning!

Basil Chicken in Coconut-Curry Sauce
4 servings

4 skinless, boneless chicken breasts
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp ground coriander
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp cardamom
1/2 tsp fresh black pepper
1/4 tsp chili powder
1/4 tsp ground turmeric
1 large red onion, diced
6 cloves garlic, minced
2 jalapeno peppers, seeded and minced
1 Tbsp coconut oil
15 oz organic, full fat coconut milk
2 tsp arrowroot
3 Tbsp fresh basil
1 Tbsp chopped ginger root
Hot cooked wild rice

1.)  Rinse chicken & pat dry.  Cut into 1" pieces and place in medium bowl.  In a small bowl, stir together all spices.  Sprinkle over chicken pieces, toss to coat well.  Cover and let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes or in fridge up to 2 hours.

2.)  In stainless steel skillet, heat coconut oil over medium high heat.  Add onion, garlic and jalapeno and cook for about 2-3 minutes.  Remove, reserving drippings in the skillet.

3.)  Add half of the chicken to skillet.  Cook and stir for 3 minutes or until cooked thru.  Remove chicken and add remaining half; cook thru.  Remove from skillet.

4.)  Combine coconut milk with arrowroot and carefully add to skillet.  Cook and stir over medium-high heat until thick and bubbly.  Add chicken mixture, whole basil leaves and ginger root.  Cook 2 minutes more to heat thru.

5.)  Serve over wild rice and garnish with red onion wedges and basil leaves.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Homemade Guacamole

Did you know that making your own, fresh guacamole could be so easy and so worth it?  Homemade guac has a much more intense flavor than the store bought variety -- and it's cheaper if you make it yourself, too!  Guacamole is a great condiment in place of ranch dressing, chip dips, or sometimes even ketchup or mustard!  Sometimes we even like to mix it with hummus while we enjoy our fresh veggies.  :) 

Homemade Guacamole

2 avocados
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
1-2 cloves garlic, minced
1 organic tomato, diced
Sea salt to taste
Chili powder to taste
Cumin to taste

Optional ingredients to taste:
1/3 cup green or red onion, diced
2-3 radishes, diced
4 stems of cilantro, chopped
Fresh ground pepper to taste

Cut avocados in half (long way), take out pits.  Spoon out avocados into a large bowl and mash with a fork to desired consistency.  Add lime juice, finely minced garlic and all other diced vegetables.  Add seasonings to taste.  Mix together and put the seeds in the bowl to prevent the avocados from turning brown.  Refrigerate and serve with a favorite vegetable (bell peppers, cucumbers, celery).

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Kombucha Update

I wanted to post this picture as one of our friends recently asked a great question.  We had given her one of our baby SCOBY's last week and she had started her first batch of Kombucha this week.  Her question was that her SCOBY was forming a white patch on it, is that mold?  My answer about any mold question and the SCOBY is to touch it, see if it is attached to the SCOBY.  If it is, it's probably not mold.  Also smell it -- if there is an odd odor, don't take a chance and toss it.  It is common that as the heart of the SCOBY starts to grow, it can appear white at first.  Over time, as the SCOBY ages and eventually has babies, that white part will turn black and that is the time to throw the old SCOBY away and start using one of its babies.

And remember that doing a Google search for SCOBY images can give you a better idea of what other people's SCOBY's look like.

Here is a picture of our SCOBY in the Kombucha after sitting out for the first week.  This SCOBY is about 3 months old.  Note: even this old of a SCOBY still has some white on it.:

Favorite Fruit Salad

This is a yummy treat to enjoy when you have a sweet craving!

Favorite Fruit Salad
6 servings

8 oz organic full fat Greek yogurt
1/3 cup fresh squeezed orange juice
1 tsp ground cinnamon
2 Granny Smith apples, chopped
2 cups organic red and/or green grapes, halved
1/2 cup raw almonds, chopped

Mix Greek yogurt, orange juice and cinnamon in large bowl until well blended.  Add remaining ingredients, mixing lightly.  Serve immediately or cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Orange Honey Grilled Chicken

A sweet yet savory dish perfect for spring!  We broke out the grill, used what we had left in the kitchen and gave it a shot -- really enjoyed it!  It's a great change from the traditionally plain salt and pepper topping to chicken.  We grilled this up with sliced bell peppers and orange wedges.

Orange Honey Grilled Chicken
2 Tbsp organic butter
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/3 c organic honey
1 Tbsp orange zest
3 Tbsp fresh squeezed orange juice
1 tsp fresh black pepper
sea salt to taste
4 chicken breasts, halved (bone in or out is your choice)

1.) Preheat grill over medium heat.

2.) Melt butter in stainless steel skillet over medium heat.  Add garlic and cook until aromatic (about 2 minutes).  Whisk in honey, orange juice and orange zest.  Reserve half for basting chicken while cooking.  Brush other half on chicken breasts.  Sprinkle chicken with salt and pepper.

3.) Lightly oil grill with coconut oil.  Place chicken on the grill.  Cook for 6-8 minutes per side depending on thickness.  Baste often during the last 5 minutes.  Chicken is cooked thru when juices run clear.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Steak Tips with Savory Mushroom Sauce

This is a great dish to WoW company with, and is straightforward enough to be a quick dinner fix.  Try this -- grilled steak tips with a slightly salty, super savory mushroom sauce (that can accompany any cut of beef really).  Serve with a side of just about any hearty vegetable (roasted asparagus, steamed broccoli, stir fried zucchini) and you have a great meal that will have your guests asking for more!

Steak Tips with Savory Mushroom Sauce
makes 4 servings

2 lbs sirloin tips, uncut (grass fed of course!)
15 oz beef broth (homemade is best, or else organic salt free from carton in the store)
1/4 c red wine (optional -- use beef broth instead; any table wine that tastes good will do, we used Merlot)
2 cup sliced Portobello mushroom caps
1/4 cup organic butter
1 Tbsp organic butter
2 Tbsp red onion, finely diced
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 tsp dried thyme
1 bay leaf
1/4 tsp sea salt (to taste)
1/2 tsp fresh black pepper (to taste)
1 1/2 tsp arrowroot
1 Tbsp water

1.)  Melt 1/4 c butter in stainless steel skillet over medium-high heat.  Sautee red onion until transparent.  Add mushrooms and cook until darkened, about 5 minutes.  Remove mushrooms and set aside.  Add remaining butter to pan and add sirloin.  Sear all sides and cook to desired doneness.  Remove from pan and set aside.

2.) Deglaze the pan with the wine, scraping up any brown bits from bottom of skillet.  Add the beef broth, thyme and bay leaf.  Increase heat and bring to a boil.  Allow mixture to boil until it has reduced by about 1/3.

3.) When the sauce is reduced, add garlic.  Return to boil and continue to cook for another 5-10 minutes until garlic is aromatic.

4.)  At this point, if you are satisfied with the thinkness of the sauce, add the beef and mushrooms back and heat thru.  I recommend thickening the sauce:  Combine arrowroot with 1 Tbsp of cold water and whisk together until smooth.  Whisk mixture into sauce and heat thru until desired thickness is achieved.  Taste and adjust seasoning as necessary.  Stir in mushrooms and beef tips, heat thru, and serve.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Beef Short Ribs in Chipotle and Green Chili Sauce

I adapted this recipe from one I found on Epicurious.  We had some short ribs sitting in the freezer from the quarter grass-fed cow we purchased in the fall.  This was the perfect way to enjoy them!

Market Tip: Pick well-trimmed ribs with a thick solid portion of meat on the bone, as little fat as possible.

Makes 4 servings

2 tsp sea salt
1 tsp fresh black pepper
2 tsp ground cumin
2 tsp chili powder
1 tsp ground coriander
4 meaty beef short ribs
2 Tbsp coconut oil
1 1/2 c chopped onion
6 large garlic cloves, minced
14 oz organic chicken broth (homemade is best, or else the organic no salt added variety)
1 cc drained organic diced tomatoes (either a glass jar or BPA-Free can)
1/4 c fresh lime juice
1 1/2 Tbsp chopped canned chipotle chilies*
3 large fresh Anaheim (California) chilies, stemmed, seeded, cut into 1/4-inch-thick rings
Chopped fresh cilantro
Lime wedges

1.)  Mix first 5 ingredients in bowl; sprinkle all over short ribs.  Place ribs on plate; cover and chill 1 hour or up to 1 day.

2.)  Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Heat oil in large ovenproof pot over medium-high heat.  Add half of ribs and brown on all sides, about 9 minutes; transfer to plate.  Repeat with remaining ribs. It is important to not overcrowd the pan when doing this, or the ribs will not brown properly and fat juices will escape.

3.)Remove all ribs from the pot and reduce heat to medium.  Add onion and garlic to same pot; cover and cook until onion is soft, stirring occasionally, about 10 minutes.

4.)Add broth and bring to boil, scraping up browned bits.  Add tomatoes, lime juice, and chipotle chilies.  Return ribs to pot, meaty side down, in single layer.  Bring to boil; cover and cook in oven until ribs are just tender, about 1 1/2 hours.

5.)  Remove pot from oven.  Place over medium heat and simmer uncovered until sauce coats spoon and ribs are very tender, about 25 minutes.  Season sauce with salt and pepper. 

6.)  Bring ribs to simmer over medium heat; add chili rings. Simmer until chilies soften, about 10 minutes. Transfer ribs and sauce to large serving platter or plate individually.  Sprinkle with cilantro; garnish with lime wedges.

*Chipotle chilies canned in a spicy tomato sauce, sometimes called adobo, are available in the ethnic foods isle or by the taco/Mexican foods.

Gluten FREE Cranberry Nut Bread

Let me say that while this is a very delicious recipe, it is not necessarily the easiest.  While coconut flour is delicious and full of fiber, it can be a bit fussy to work with.  It is very important to always sift the coconut flour (at least once, sometime two or three times depending on the humidity) to ensure a smooth loaf/dough.  A word of advice:  it is normal for your loaves to brown both inside and out.  It's just something that happens with coconut flour  This is normal and the bread still tastes delicious.

Cranberry Nut Bread

1/2 c organic coconut flour
1 tsp sea salt
1 tsp baking soda
5 organic eggs
1/2 c melted coconut oil
1 Tbsp powdered stevia
1/4 c raw honey
1 Tbsp vanilla extract
1 c frozen organic cranberries (make sure the package is sugar free)
1/2 c chopped raw almonds (chop in your food processor)

1.)  Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Grease two 6.5x4" loaf pans with coconut oil.  In a medium bowl, sift together coconut flour, sea salt, stevia and baking soda. (If using liquid stevia, add with wet ingredients and use 1/2 tsp.)

2.)  In a large bowl, whip the eggs.  Stir in coconut oil, agave nectar and vanilla.

3.)  Blend dry ingredients into the wet.  Fold in frozen cranberries and walnuts.

4.)  Pour batter into the loaf pans and bake for about 35 minutes.

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