healing cuisine logo

healing cuisine logo

Friday, April 30, 2010

Gluten-FREE Apple Crumb Pie

I was just going to post this recipe, simple and delicious as it is.  But I wanted to add a little bit on waxed paper, as I recommend utilizing it for the crust of this scrumptious pie.  I highly recommend switching over to an all natural waxed paper.  You can look up various brands online to learn more.  All natural waxed paper is made 100% petroleum-free.  They also use an unbleached paper, meaning that paper went thru much less chemical contact before it reached your food.  They get the waxy finish from all natural soybean wax.  And it's safe for our planet, too, as it is non-toxic and biodegradable, which is wonderful.  We use our waxed paper in place of plastic baggies for packing our lunches and storing foods in the fridge.  So that's my note.  Give it a try.  Now on to today's dessert recipe...

Gluten-FREE Apple Crumb Pie
adapted from Cooking With Coconut Flour (an amazing cookbook everyone should own)

1/2 cup coconut flour, sifted twice
1/2 cup almond meal (chop raw almonds in food processor until the consistency of flour)
2 free-range eggs, slightly beaten
1/2 tsp raw honey (optional)
1/4 cup organic unsalted butter, melted
1/4 tsp sea salt

4 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and thinly sliced
1/3 cup xylitol
1/4 tsp liquid stevia
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/8 tsp sea salt
2 Tbsp arrowroot powder
1/4 tsp almond extract

Crumb Topping:
3/4 cup chopped raw almonds
1/4 cup raw brown sugar (OMIT IF ADVANCED PLAN)
2 Tbsp organic butter, melted

1.)  CRUST   Sift the coconut flour twice and set it aside.  Beat the eggs slightly, then thoroughly mix all the remaining crust ingredients into the eggs.  Add the coconut flour last and mix it in well to form the dough.   Kneed the dough with your hands for about 1 minute.

2.)  Roll the pie dough out between 2 sheets of waxed paper to ensure minimal breakage.  Coconut flour is very tricky to work with, so I highly recommend this step.  If needed, tape the waxed paper down to secure your work surface.  Roll the dough into a ball then place between the waxed paper sheets.  Press down with your hands until about 6 inches in diameter.  Use your rolling pin to flatten to about 1/8 inch thickness.

3.)  Moving the dough to the pie shell is the trickiest part.  I recommend slipping a thin, flat object such as a pizza paddle, cookie sheet or piece of cardboard under the bottom layer of waxed paper.  Untape the waxed paper, discard the top sheet, and carefully lift the cookie sheet and dough off the counter and into the fridge for a couple minutes to firm up.  Remove.  Using both hands, gently but quickly flip the dough over and on top of your pie pan.  Shape the dough into the pan, removing the waxed paper.  You did it!!  It will be so worth the extra sifting, taping and shaping to taste this yummy, nutty gluten-free flour!

4.)  TOPPING    In a medium bowl, mix all the topping ingredients together with a fork.  Set aside.

5.)  FILLING   In a large saucepan over Medium heat, cook apples in 1/2 c water with lid on until slightly softened (around 10 mins).  Add agave nectar, stevia, cinnamon, nutmeg and sea salt.  Mix arrowroot with 1/4 cup of cold water and stir into mixture to thicken.  Cook thru until apples are tender.  Remove from heat and stir in almond extract.  Fill pie crust with mixture.

6.)  Spread topping over the pie and bake at 375 degrees F for about 18 minutes.  I recommend using a pie crust ring or trimming the pie shell with aluminum foil to prevent the pie crust edges from burning (remove at last 5 minutes of cooking).  Watch that the nut topping does not burn, too.  If it starts to get dark, tent the pie with aluminum foil to disperse heat on the almonds.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Healing Cuisine's Homemade Ketchup

Use organic ingredients to make this home made ketchup with no sodium, no sugar, and no chemicals.  Perfect for the Maximized Living Nutrition Plans!

Healing Cuisine's Homemade Ketchup
Makes 4 Cups

4 pounds organic tomatoes, seeded and diced
1 large onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1/4 cup unsweetened apple juice
1 pinch cayenne pepper (optional)
1 bay leaf
1/2 tsp whole cloves
1 tsp celery seed
1 tsp black peppercorns
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
3 Tbsp Bragg apple cider vinegar

1. Combine the tomatoes, onion, garlic, apple juice, and cayenne pepper in a large stock pot. Bring to a boil.  Tie off the bay leaf, cloves, celery seed and peppercorns in cheesecloth.  Add to the pot and continue to boil, stirring often until the mixture has reduced by half.

2. Remove the spice bag and stir in the lemon juice and apple cider vinegar.  Continue to boil for 10 more minutes, then remove from the heat.  Pour into a glass container(s) and cool (puree in food processor if desired).  Cover with a lid and refrigerate until using.  Use or freeze within 1-2 weeks. 

We just made this and we divided it into two glass containers.  One for the fridge, one for the freezer.  We'll grab the frozen ketchup as needed and will have plenty for months and months!  This recipe makes about 4 cups of ketchup.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Leek & Potato Soup

This is a delicious soup that we do on our "vacation" days, the days we bend the rules a little on what we eat.  We usually take a vacation meal once or twice a month, sometimes more if we're dealing with hectic times.  So keep in mind that a main ingredient in this soup is potatoes, and potatoes are not included on the basic or advanced Maximized Living Nutrition Plans for this reason:

Potatoes are a high-starch carbohydrate with high Glycemic Index (GI) values.  Carbohydrate means "carbon plus water" (citing the Dictionary).  While carbohydrates are an essential nutrient for brain fuel and health, keep in mind the type of carbs you are taking in.  Potatoes contain glucose, the simplest carbohydrate which turns to sugar extremely fast in the body.  All other vegetables in general contain much less glucose creating a relatively slower glycemic spike during and after the meal.  So while practicing the Maximized Living Nutrition Plan, whether basic or advanced, you want to steer clear of potatoes due to their high-starch, high glucose content.  New white potatoes (which you can use in this recipe) are better choices, with sweet potatoes being best of all.  Potatoes are a fat-free healthy food that provide useful amounts of vitamin C, potassium and fiber.  Their high GI value can be reduced by eating them with other low-GI foods as part of the same meal.

Leek & Potato Soup
Makes About 4 Servings

10 small red new potatoes
5 cups organic, sodium free chicken broth
2 leeks, chopped and rinsed
3 Tbsp coconut oil
2 cups unsweetened organic almond milk
6 cloves garlic, smashed
Sea salt and fresh pepper to taste

1.) Place potatoes into a large saucepan with water to cover.  Bring to a boil and cook until tender.  Meanwhile, saute leeks in coconut oil until translucent.

2.) When potatoes are done, skin them while they are still hot and cut them into bite sized pieces (skinning is optional).  Place potatoes into a stock pot with chicken broth, smashed garlic cloves and leeks.  Season with sea salt and pepper.

3.) Cook over Medium heat until simmering.  Stir in almond milk and return to simmer until thickened slightly.  Garnish with fresh parsley and serve immediately.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Search Bar Down

Wanted to let you know that my search function is not working properly.  I've been working all morning on trying to figure out why, but nothing has worked yet.  Now we're heading out for a wedding and I probably won't get back to fixing this feature until later this week.  Sorry for the inconvenience!  Check out the Labels section in the right hand column of the Homepage to help you find the recipes you need.  I'll let you know what it's fixed and the site is fully searchable again!  Happy cooking!

Friday, April 23, 2010

Kombucha Tea Flavorings

It's been a few months now, and many batches of Kombucha later, I have compiled a list of our favorites.  Word of advice: we add these ingredients during the 2nd fermentation stage (after the SCOBY is removed and the tea is re-bottled and sealed for its second week of sitting out at room temperature).  [TIP:  For added kombucha fiz/carbonation, add a pinch of sugar or 1/4 tsp raw honey to the jar(s) for the 2nd fermentation stage.  This will further feed the yeast in the tea creating a more bubbly end product.  It's really a matter of personal preference.  A word of caution on the fizz factor…when storing your bottled kombucha at room temperature, please store your bottles in a cabinet or box or some other safe place in the event a bottle cracks or explodes.  I have heard horror stories about explosive bottles shooting glass shards and the sticky mess all over the room..]

We prefer to drink our Kombucha cold, with the exception of the last flavor on this list, so try refrigerating the finished product before taking your first taste and making an impression.  If you try any of these recipes, please let me know how you liked them!  And if you have any other interesting flavorings of your own, please pass along!  We are always excited to try a new experiment! :)


Cranberry Ginger:  1/4c unsweetened dried cranberries and 2 tsp fresh ginger chunks

Strawberry:  1/4 c strawberry jam, 7 fresh/frozen strawberries, OR 5 dried strawberries

Blueberry:  1/4 c blueberry jam, 1/3 c fresh/frozen blueberries, OR 1/4 c dried blueberries

Strawberry-Banana:  1/4 c strawberry jam + 1/2 of a fresh banana

Lemon-Ginger:  the zest of half a lemon (in strips) + 2 tsp fresh ginger chunks

Triple Berry (black berries, strawberries, thimbleberries):  1/3 c total of mixed berries

Raspberry:  1/4 c raspberry jam OR 1/3 c fresh/frozen raspberries

Grape (from a friend's back yard):  3/4 c organic concord grapes

Lemon-Lime:  [use a traditional zester to create threadlike strips of peel]  1/4 c lemon peel + 1/3 c lime peel

Apricot:  1/2 c organic unsweetened apricot juice OR 1/3 c dried apricots

Peppermint:  2 Tbsp fresh mint leaves (slightly crushed)

Cherry:  1/4 c dried cherries OR 1/3 c pitted fresh cherries

Coffee: coffee has similar flavinoids and tannins to tea;  use a dark organic roast: 3-5 Tbsp of coffee per gallon (4 quarts) of water you use plus your usual sugar; I recommend tying off the ground coffee in a coffee filter with cooking twine and adding to the boiling water on the stove, like a homemade tea bag -- makes for easier clean up and less straining.  Pour your cooled coffee/sugar mix into your bowl with the starter.  Add the SCOBY and let ferment.  Coffee Kombucha will take about twice as long to ferment, so be prepared (2 weeks instead of 1).  We make it along side a normal batch of tea Kombucha so we don't run out.  It is well worth the wait!  And don't worry if the Mother has dark spots on it  --  it took us a while to realize that they're just coffee stains.  Give it its second fermentation stage like normal, adding a pinch of sugar for that week to help it along.  It packs a different energy jolt than traditional tea Kombucha!  I think you will enjoy!  :)

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Every Day Is Earth Day! How Do YOU Say Thank You?

Earth Day is about appreciating our planet and giving back.  I understand the goal of the marketed Earth Day is to make us concious about the pollution and situation our planet is in, but every year I can't help but want to scream out "What if we made these changes, dedicated this much time back to our Earth all year round!?  Come on people, green your LIFE!!"  So in honor of this special day, I wanted to share some resources for you to check out that will help you not only green your diet, but your entire lifestyle as well!

After going thru the books and blogs I've read or follow, I realized there are so many "green" resources out there.  After reading various resource books already, I've noticed most of these guidance books have the same information written a dozen different ways.  I want to send you to a great "Green Bible" if you will, something that will cover all the basic information for those of you who are newer to green living.

Dave and I were recently involved in a local expo called Restore.  The leading holistic healers and organic businesses from the Twin Cities were asked to be a part of Restore, and Revolution Wellness Center was asked to join that ranking again this year.  SO Dave and I headed out to the Depot to save more lives in our community.  At Restore, I came across the book "Gorgeously Green" by Sophie Uliano.  I actually ended up winning it in a door prize drawing, and was so excited to win!  We were getting ready to order it online the next week, so it was a blessing to win it and save a few bucks.  I've since been devouring the pages of Gorgeously Green and think it's just wonderful!  What I love most is Sophie's way of taking you through the "8 steps of going green."  It's not about sacrifice and suffering.  It's about living a cleaner healthier live for YOU, your family and our Earth.  Sophie will guide you thru the 8 steps and also walk you thru alternative products and different ways to live your life but still feel satisfied and happy.  I love it and highly recommend you order a copy for yourself!  Her website is also a fabulous resource -- find passwords throughout the book to access different areas of the site that will further help you make green lifestyle changes.  Gorgeously Green will help you eliminate toxins from every area of your life, even if you've already started to make changes.  Sophie has great tips many people don't think of on their own!  Can't say enough about this book, check it out!!

Here are some great online sources that I follow on a regular basis.  You never know what these amazing people are going to post on.  It's a great idea to start a blog roll specifically dedicated to Green, Natural Living so you can constantly get new tips.  If you don't have a blog of your own, you can still share your own Green ideas by posting comments on blogs like these ones.  Hundreds of people will read your comments -- you just might impact one or many more lives!

Nature Moms  I absolutely love and enjoy reading Tiffany's experiences taking her family into the eco-friendly lifestyle.  She also shares many of my same values (no-vaccines family, raw foods, gluten free, sustainable eating habits, holistic healing/no medications, etc), so that really appeals to me.  She is still missing the chiropractic puzzle piece to healing, but I trust in time that will happen.  Check her amazing blog for so many Green, natural mom , food and cleaning tips!  Outstanding!

Organic Mania  This blog is dedicated to making sense of healthy, green living.  These ladies do the research for you on making organic purchases, because let's face it..if you are going organic, there is a lot of time involoved researching the products and making sure the products are truly pure.  I love their saving money tips, too, because let's face it..going green can be expensive at times!

Tree Hugger  Such a cool place to get green information on just about any topic imaginable.  They won the 2010 Best of Green Award of Excellence.  You have to at least visit this site once and perouse, see if you find something you like.  I imagine you will be back.. :)

Take Action!  These are some places you can go to voice your opion and speak out 

Green Peace

In what ways have you said Thank You to Earth today?  All year round?  If it's new to you, take it one day at a time.  Make a list of changes you want to make over the next few months or year.  Introduce a new change each week.  Taking baby steps is key to not feeling overwhelmed with change.

Happy Earth Day!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Raw Chocolate Pudding

This combination may seem a little strange, but the banana provides the taste, the avocado adds texture, and the cacao nibs add the chocolaty flavor for this rich dessert!

Raw Chocolate Pudding
Makes 2-3 Servings

1 avocado - peeled, pitted, and cut into chunks
1 banana, peeled and cut into chunks
1 cup unsweetened organic almond milk
1/4 cup 73+% dark chocolate shavings
2 Tbsp raw honey
1 tsp lemon juice
1/4 cup shredded unsweetened coconut (optional)

Place all ingredients into a blender.  Cover, and puree until smooth.  Divide into small containers, and store in the refrigerator 1 hour until set.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Spicy Sweet Kale Shake

Spicy Sweet Kale Shake
2 Servings

1/2 bunch kale, rinsed
1 frozen banana
1/4 c seedless red grapes (I like to freeze first)
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp cinnamon
1 dash cayenne pepper (to taste)
1/2 c ice
1 scoop flavorless protein powder
1/2 c water
sprinkle of stevia (optional)

Blend all ingredients until smooth.

[TIP:  You can also use frozen kale -- when you bring it home from the store, wash the leaves, destem them then chop up.  Store in freezer in individual containers, just enough per container to throw into your smoothie.  I do this with kale, spinach, broccoli and cabbage for our smoothies.  Freezing the greens first helps you taste them less in the shake!]

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Gluten FREE Chicken Chili Wraps

Gluten FREE Chicken Chili Wraps
Makes 4 Servings

1 can organic refried black beans (Garden of Eden uses BPA-Free cans)
2 free-range raw chicken breasts, sliced
1 red onion, sliced
1 red pepper, sliced
1 green pepper, sliced
3 garlic cloves, diced
1 c organic/homemade salsa
1 Tbsp chili powder
2 tsp cumin
1 avocado, sliced
4 whole lettuce leaves, rinsed

1.)  In a small saucepan, add the refried black beans, chili powder and cumin and heat over Low, stirring occasionally.

2.)  Meanwhile, in a skillet over Medium heat, add 2 tsp coconut oil to coat pan.  Add chicken strips and cook until white.  Add peppers, garlic and onion and saute about 4 minutes until softened.  Stir in salsa and simmer a few minutes until salsa liquid is reduced.

3.)  To serve, place lettuce leaves in plates.  Layer the bean mixture, chicken/pepper mixture, and avocado slices to make a delicious, gluten-free way to enjoy these wraps.  Add extra salsa for an added kick!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Gingered Chicken or Salmon

Gingered Chicken or Salmon
Makes 4 Servings

2 Tbsp coconut oil
3 Tbsp grated fresh ginger root
2 Tbsp freshly ground black pepper
Sea salt to taste
4 wild caught salmon fillets or 4 free range chicken breasts

Side Dish:
1 bunch organic kale, deveined and chopped
1 medium  organic zucchini, chopped
1 organic red bell pepper, chopped

Ginger Vinaigrette
1 Tbsp grated fresh ginger root
2 Tbsp chopped shallot
2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 Tbsp fresh lime juice
1 Tbsp Bragg Liquid Aminos
1/2 c coarsely chopped cilantro
1 Tbsp sesame oil
1/2 c olive oil
Sea salt and pepper to taste
[Combine ginger, shallot, vinegar, lime juice, liquid aminos, cilantro and sesame oil in blender.  With blend running on medium, slowly drizzle in olive oil to emulsify.  Season with sea salt and pepper.  Refrigerate leftovers up to 2 days before discoloring.]

1.)  Heat coconut oil in a large stainless steel skillet over medium-high heat.

2.)  In a small bowl, combine the ginger and pepper.  Rub each salmon fillet/chicken breast with the ginger-pepper mixture, season with salt to taste.  Sear each fillet skin side up until a nice crust forms.  Flip the fillets and repeat the process, cooking until heated thru (do not over cook!).  If using chicken, cook well until juices run clear.  Remove from skillet and set on a warm platter.

3.)  Add chopped vegetables to same skillet and saute until heated thru but still crisp.  Place scoop of vegetables onto center of each plate.  Surround with chicken/salmon.  Drizzle each plate with vinaigrette and serve.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Better Butter

Ever get frustrated when you need a soft pad of butter and you go to your butter dish but it's empty, so then you have to try to scrape thin layers of cold butter trying to make it spreadable at that instant.  Here's an idea for you.  I just came across this while reading Lorna Vanderhaeghe's book Sexy Hormones (doing a little research, it's a great book to have on hand whether you're a doctor or a patient!  Great insight on how our hormones are supposed to function and how to heal them naturally if they're off).  After reading thru the recipe, it was kind of a DUH moment for me...but I wanted to post it as I think it will help a lot of you!

Better Butter
Makes About 2 Cups

1 lb or 4 sticks of organic/raw butter
1 c organic flaxseed or olive oil

Cut butter into pieces and put into food processor.  Blend slowly streaming in the oil, until smooth.  Move to air tight container and store in refrigerator.  Now you'll have spreadable butter, healthy Omega-3 packed, whenever you need it!

Friday, April 9, 2010

Easy Go-To Snacks

Does that tummy grumble on a Tuesday when the clock hits 2:53p only send your mind off your work and dreaming of that vending machine on the next floor down?  Think again people!  Giving in even once a week for a candy bar or pastry loaded with chemicals, altered grains, food dyes, and refined sugars will set you back on your path to healing!  Having healthy snacks will help to keep your blood-sugar level and your appetite in check.  I recommend eating healthy, GOD snacks throughout the day to keep your metabolism balanced and to eliminate temptation for unhealthy treats.

To stay on track, have easy go-to snacks with you throughout your day to keep you on track and your hunger at bay.

-  Nuts and Seeds:  Raw is the key here, as roasting damages the sensitive healthy oil in the nuts.  Raw almonds, cashews, shelled sunflower and pumpkin seeds are protein-PACKED and very easy to store at your desk, in your purse or gym bag.  Try adding raw coconut flakes, carob or cacao chips, dried blueberries and strawberries to make a simple HEALING trail mix.  Skip the M&Ms, and Craisins as they've got a lot of sugar and probably a lot of chemical additives.  And avoid the peanuts, too, unless they're organic Valencia (the only peanuts without the naturally occurring toxic fungus called Aspergillus flavis which most people are allergic to).

-  Half an Avocado with Lime:  Have you tried this yet??  A great source of energy when you need it!  Fill up on good GOD fats!  Mash up half an avocado with a squeeze of fresh lime juice and sprinkle of sea salt.  You can do that in the morning and store in the office fridge til snack time.  The lime juice will keep the avocado from turning brown!

-  Hard Boiled Eggs:  Should be a staple in your office fridge, organic hard boiled eggs can nourish you thru a few hours until you can clock out.  Boil a dozen on Sunday and take a couple with you every day thru the week.  One egg holds 6g protein.  And eat that yolk!  Free-range eggs are rich in Omega 3 fatty acids!

-  1 cup Full Fat Greek Yogurt:  While raw yogurt is always the best, we often can't find it easily in our grocery isles.  Greek yogurt can be found at most grocery stores and is processed a little differently than the regular homogenized yogurt you find on the shelves.  It's thicker and richer than the regular stuff and seems almost like a dessert!  Greek yogurt has about 50% more protein than regular yogurt, too.  A cup of Greek yogurt is packed with 20 grams of protein.  As long as you're buying organic, get the full fat because it's the least processed.  Americans are deeply deprived of good Omega 3 fatty acids in our diet -- we get them from healthy fats found in meat, eggs, fish and dairy!  Opt for full-fat whenever possible -- the rule applies only for raw or organic sources of dairy.

-  Protein Shake:  Studies are showing Americans aren't eating enough protein for their height and weight, and thus are losing lean muscle mass.  This means our bodies eat away at our muscle when we don't eat enough which also causes our cells to age prematurely.  Make sure this doesn't happen to you!  Get yourself a good, grass-fed whey protein mix (we use The Organic Whey) and a Blender Bottle and keep them at your desk.  You can mix the shake up with just water, or keep a quart or two of organic almond milk in the fridge to add creaminess!  Throw in a scoop of greens (we use Dynamic Greens from Nutrition Dynamics) to add in your phytonutrients and antioxidants, and you've got a pretty well balanced snack ready to gulp down, very little sugar or carbs!!

-  These Fruits are A.O.K:  Granny Smith apples (perhaps with all natural Valencia peanut butter?), strawberries, blueberries, raspberries and blackberries.  Enjoy these fruits throughout your day as long as they're organic!  If weight loss isn't your concern, feel free to enjoy some melon, orange, peach, grapes, pineapple, mango or cherries every so often (o r g a n i c).  Be careful with these and any other fruits as they are high in sugar (although it is natural sugar, better than the white stuff) and higher in carbs that will slow down fat burning.

-  PaleoBars or Nutiva Hempseed Bars:  PaleoBars are made to fit into the Paleo Diet, which has some similar principles to the Maximized Living Nutrition Plans.  They are great organic nutrition bars balanced in good fats, protein and carbs created to tide you over until your next meal.  Nutiva bars are USDA organic hempseed bars, rich in Omega 3s and protein.  SO GOOD!  Dave and I enjoy both of these bars a few times each week, especially on the days we slacked and didn't do the grocery shopping for fresh produce.  They are great to throw in our lunch bag or purse and go!  PaleoBars can be ordered from Designs for Health and Nutiva bars can be ordered from Nutiva.

-  Olives:  Are you an olive lover??  If you are, indulge!  We all know how good olive oil is for us.  Olives in general are a very healing fruit.  Olives are rich in iron, Vitamin E, fiber and copper, as well as rich in healthy omega-3s.  Olives will aid in decreasing inflammation, dissolving away free radicals from the body and help to prevent an array of diseases (heart disease, arthritis, colon cancer, etc).  When choosing olives for their health benefits, always opt for those that have been traditionally cured (as opposed to lye-processed).  Keep a container of them at the office whenever you have that salty, flavorful olive craving!

-  Hummus:  Check out my recipe for hummus.  Dave and I make almost a quart of hummus every week -- rich in protein, Omega 3s, and depending on what you put in it (garlic, red peppers, cayenne..), it can be a great immune system booster!  Enjoy celery, peppers, broccoli, or cucumber sliced up and dipped in hummus as your mid-afternoon snack!  Gluten-free rice crackers or whole-grain seeded crackers are other dipping options if your body can tolerate.

- Half Cup Unsweetened Apple Sauce with Pecans:  For me, when it's coming up to "that time of the month", my pallet switches and I'm craving sweeter and sweeter foods.  So this is my snack tip for those times you just need something sweet.  However you do need to plan ahead and make this one at home at least a day ahead of time.  I take 2 Granny Smith apples (diced) and a squeeze of lemon juice, perhaps a sprinkle of stevia if they are particularly sour apples, and add that all to a small pot with 1/3c water.  Put a lid on and simmer until apples are soft.  Mush up with a potato masher and put in my glass Pyrex container for the next morning.  I top this yummy, fresh applesauce with cinnamon and raw pecans to put those sweets cravings to a halt!  You can also do raw apple sauce by putting all the ingredients (less water) into your food processor and pureeing until smooth.  Voila!  Also great topped with a little Greek yogurt and unsweetened dried cranberries.

-  An Ounce or Two of Dark Chocolate:  Organic (does this sound like a recording yet?) is always best, and be sure to stick to 70%+ intensity chocolate, meaning little to no sugar has been added.  Chocolate at 70%+ is very rich in anti-oxidants.  Every so often, a little bit of the right chocolate is a good thing!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Simple Sorbet

I make this treat for the families I nanny for sometimes, especially begged for in the summer months by 4 and 8 year olds!  It's easy to turn your food processor/blender into an ice cream maker and make a HEALTHY, homemade sorbet in just minutes!

Simple Sorbet
Makes about 4 servings

1 lb frozen strawberries, blueberries, peaches, mango, pitted cherries, OR other frozen fruit
1/2 c plain organic Greek yogurt, unsweetened (I highly recommend Fage or Greek Gods brands)
3/4 tsp liquid stevia (optional)

Put frozen fruit, yogurt and stevia into food processor or blender.  Puree until creamy, stopping to scrape down sides of bowl as needed.  If fruit doesn't break down completely, gradually add water as needed thru the feed tube while pureeing (a tablespoon or two at a time).  Serve immediately or freeze.  To serve later, allow 10-15 minutes for sorbet to soften at room temperature.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Warm Spinach and Sweet Potato Salad

This is really more of a meal salad than a side salad -- those sweet potatoes will fill you up!  But remember to add protein to your meal: maybe add some chicken, hard boiled eggs and/or almonds to the salad or side it with a protein shake/smoothie.  We didn't have much else in the kitchen protein-wise today, so we had the salad as is with vanilla protein shakes -- yum!

Warm Spinach and Sweet Potato Salad
Makes 4 servings

2 lg sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1" cubes
1/4 c and 2 Tbsp coconut oil
1 tsp sea salt
2 slices uncured organic turkey bacon (2 oz)
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 medium red onion, halved and sliced thin
1 Tbsp minced fresh ginger
1 tsp ground cumin
fresh squeezed juice from 2 oranges (about 1/2 c)
1 lb fresh spinach leaves, rinsed and spun dry

1.)  Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.  Put sweet potatoes on baking sheet, drizzle with 1/4 c coconut oil (melted on the stove top if not already liquid) to coat.  Sprinkle with sea salt and place in oven to roast, turning occasionally.  Potatoes should be brown and tender after about 25 minutes.  Remove from oven and set aside.

2.)  Cook bacon in stainless steal skillet over medium heat while potatoes roast.  Turn once or twice until crisp and cooked thru.  Drain bacon pieces on paper towel, chop into bit size pieces and set aside.  Pour fat out of skillet, leaving and darkened bits on bottom of pan.  Put back on stove over medium heat.  Add 2 Tbsp coconut oil.  When coconut oil is melted and sizzling, add bell pepper, onion, ginger and sprinkle of sea salt.  Cook, stirring occasionally til veggies are cooked tender.  Stir in cumin and turkey bacon.  Stir in orange juice and turn off heat.

3.)  Place spinach in a large bowl.  Add sweet potatoes, warm dressing and sea salt & freshly ground black pepper to taste.  Toss to combine.  Serve immediately.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

No Mayo Deviled Eggs

Here's a great idea to use up all your hard boiled eggs from Easter.  Make deviled eggs using no mayo!  (We were out of Vegenaise so I worked with what we had -- a ripe avocado!)  Another favorite of ours is to add some hard boiled eggs to our Healing Chicken Salad.

No Mayo Deviled Eggs

6 hard boiled eggs
1 ripe avocado
3 Tbsp organic sour cream
1 dash Bragg's liquid aminos
1 Tbsp chopped fresh dill
sea salt to taste
ground white pepper to taste
1 green onion, minced

1. Peel and rinse the eggs under cold water.  Halve the eggs lengthwise and scoop the yolks into a bowl.

2.  Halve and scoop out the avocado, dice it.  Add the avocado and sour cream to the egg yolks and mash into a smooth, creamy mixture.  Stir in the liquid aminos, dill, sea salt, and white pepper until the mixture is very well blended; spoon into the egg white halves and garnish with green onion.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

How To: Natural Easter Egg Dyeing

We don't have kids yet.  And to be honest, Dave nor I have dyed Easter eggs in many many years.  But all last week the question kept coming up to ME from patients at the office:  How can I dye Easter eggs naturally?  Of course it makes total sense.  We (as a collective group following the Maximized Living lifestyle) should be constantly looking for ways to decrease toxins in our every day lives.  So I wanted to share these ideas for making your own homemade natural egg dyes, 100% chemical free!  They'll save you money, too, because our kitchens and pantries are already stocked with the spices, fruits, vegetables, and other food items that can be used to create beautiful, all-natural colors.  The cold-dying process is safe too -- children and adults alike will not have to worry about hands stained with artificial dyes and the process ensures that the eggs are safe to eat later.

Now these are recipe ideas I've pulled from a couple different sites:  http://chemistry.about.com/od/holidayhowtos/a/eastereggdyes.htm  &  http://familyfun.go.com/crafts/natural-egg-dyes-668314/


You will need:   hot water          pots
                        vinegar             dying ingredients (pick the colors below)
                        strainer             glass containers to dye the eggs in
                        however many eggs you and the kids want, boiled and cooled

Make sure the hard-boiled eggs have cooled and are wiped free of any residue before getting started.  Fortunately, dying eggs with these natural ingredients is a very inexact science; experiment and see what matches your personal color preference.  It is easy to dilute a particularly rich color with more water later, so perhaps erring on the side of heavy-handedness is better. (For example, solid vegetable or fruit ingredients can be boiled in equal proportions.)

1.)  Heat 3 cups water to a boil then reduce to a Medium-Low heat simmer.  Add the ingredients of your choice (color suggestions below) until desired color is achieved (from what I am reading online, about 1 cup of vegetable/fruit to 3 cups water and about 2-3 Tbsp of a spice powder to 3 cups water).  The eggs will turn out a lighter shade than what appears in the pan, so keep in mind you need to be generous with the amount of ingredient you put in the pan.

2.)  Boil mixture for about a half hour then cool to room temperature and strain out the ingredients (for colors that used a spice, you may want to strain thru a coffee filter to prevent speckled eggs, unless that's the effect you're going for of course!).  After straining the ingredients, add one tablespoon of vinegar to the dye in order to ensure staying power and pour into glass container.

3.)  Ensure dye containers are deep enough to cover eggs completely!  Use a slotted spoon to place eggs in containers to prevent accidental breakage.  Keep eggs soaking in dye for at least 1/2 hour to get a deep color.  Experiment with the timings of each color to get different hues!

4.)  When ready, remove eggs from dye and place on a paper towel or in the egg carton.  Once eggs are dry, they will typically have a matte texture.  Shine them up with a touch of coconut oil on a paper towel.

Natural Easter Egg Dyes

Color Ingredients
Lavender Small Quantity of Purple Grape Juice
Violet Blossoms plus 2 tsp Lemon Juice
Red Zinger Tea
Violet Blue Violet Blossoms
Small Quantity of Red Onions Skins (boiled)
Hibiscus Tea
Red Wine
Blue Canned Blueberries
Red Cabbage Leaves (boiled)
Purple Grape Juice
Green Spinach Leaves (boiled)
Liquid Chlorophyll
Greenish Yellow Yellow Delicious Apple Peels (boiled)
Yellow Orange or Lemon Peels (boiled)
Carrot Tops (boiled)
Celery Seed (boiled)
Ground Cumin (boiled)
Ground Turmeric (boiled)
Chamomile Tea
Green Tea
Golden BrownDill Seeds
Brown Strong Coffee
Instant Coffee
Black Walnut Shells (boiled)
Black Tea
Orange Yellow Onion Skins (boiled)
Cooked Carrots
Chili Powder
Pink Beets
Cranberries or Juice
Red Grape Juice
Juice from Pickled Beets
RedLots of Red Onions Skins (boiled)
Canned Cherries with Juice
Pomegranate Juice


The longer you soak the eggs in the following dye liquids, the more intense the colors will be.  -  Before dyeing, you can draw shapes, pictures or inspiring words on the eggs with crayons or a piece of wax.  The wax won't absorb the color so the designs will show through.  Your crayon design will be accentuated by your choice of dye!  -  Rubber bands are all you need to make tie-dyed eggs.  Use a collection of different sized rubber bands.  Wrap the rubber bands, one at a time, around the eggs. Make sure to leave some of the egg shell exposed so it can be dyed.  Once the eggs are dyed to the color you like, remove them from the water and let them dry. Once dried completely, pull the rubber bands off to reveal your banded design.  Take a chance and give the striped eggs another dye bath in a different color to see if the layers blend into a new look!  Just make sure eggs are completely dry before removing rubber bands.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

How Mushrooms Can Save the World

Paul Stamets: How Mushrooms Can Save the World!

Become "econologically" intelligent!  Enjoy this eye-opening TED video by Paul Stamets on how mushrooms can help the world's energy crisis, CO2 emissions, and so much more!

Related Posts with Thumbnails