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Monday, June 27, 2011

Picnic Week: Broccoli Cauliflower Salad

I'm closing out Picnic Recipe Week with a yummy favorite, sure to please the kids.  I've cleaned up the classic broccoli-cauliflower-ranch salad to make it Advanced Plan.  Don't be intimidated at making your own ranch dressing!!  You'll see my recipe below is simple and easy to put together.  (See more easy salad dressing options here.)  Hope you have enjoyed this fun week of summer inspiration!  I sure had fun creating these tasty salads for you!  Enjoy!

Broccoli Cauliflower Salad
Makes 6 Servings

1 cup organic plain Greek yogurt (full-fat)
1 cup raw milk (full-fat)
1 1/2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup Healing Cuisine Mayonnaise
1 tsp garlic powder
1 Tbsp onion powder
1/2 tsp dried basil
1/2 tsp celery salt
2 Tbsp fresh dill, chopped

2 cups organic cauliflower florets, diced
2 cups organic broccoli florets, diced
1/3 cup organic celery, finely chopped
1/3 cup green onion, finely chopped
1/2 cup raw cheddar cheese, shredded (optional)
1/2 cup raw sunflower seeds or chopped raw cashews (optional)

1.)  Prepare the buttermilk ranch dressing:  In glass measuring cup, add milk and lemon juice and let stand for about 5 minutes (turns the milk into a buttermilk substitute).  Add Greek yogurt, mayonnaise, garlic powder, onion powder, basil, celery salt, and 1 Tablespoon of dill into blender.  Pour lemon/milk mixture into blender.  Blend until thoroughly combined.  By hand, stir in remaining 1 Tablespoon of fresh dill.  Transfer to small bowl, cover, and let stand in refrigerator for at least one hour to allow flavors to blend.  (Sometimes I let it sit over night.  OR stop here for a great ranch dip!)

2.)  When dressing is ready, add all ingredients to a large bowl.  Toss well to combine.  Refrigerate at least 2 hours before serving (over night is best).  Stir and toss again before serving.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Picnic Week: Healing Cuisine's Deviled Egg Salad

We've got just one more Picnic Week recipe to come after today.  I think you'll really enjoy today's dish.... Deviled Egg Salad!  It's a new spin on my Classic Egg Salad recipe.  It's great as a main dish or side dish, and is so yummy inside lettuce wraps or served over fresh greens!

Healing Cuisine's Deviled Egg Salad
Makes 8 Servings

10 free-range eggs, hard boiled, peeled and chopped
3/4 cup Chipotle Mayo
1/3 cup organic dill pickle, finely minced or pureed (more/less to taste) (I love the Real Pickles brand)
2 tsp organic unsweetened Dijon mustard
1/4 tsp sea salt
1 tsp fresh black pepper

In a large bowl, mix all ingredients together until well combined.  Chill for at least 2 hours before serving.  Sprinkle with paprika and cayenne before serving.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Picnic Week: Curried Chicken Salad

Picnic Week continues!  This is a fabulous new way to enjoy chicken salad.  It's great in lettuce wraps or over a bed of greens.  And of course so great on its own.  Surely a crowd pleaser!

Curried Chicken Salad
Makes 6 Servings

3/4 cup Healing Cuisine Mayonnaise
1 Tbsp curry powder
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
3 cups free-range chicken, grilled/roasted and shredded
1 1/2 cups organic Granny Smith apple, 1 inch thin slices
2/3 cup organic celery, diced
1/3 cup organic unsweetened raisins (OMIT IF ADVANCED PLAN)
1/2 tsp sea salt

In a large bowl, whisk together mayonnaise, lemon juice, and curry powder until smooth.  Add remaining ingredients to bowl and toss well to coat.  Refrigerate at least 2 hours before serving.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Picnic Week: Fresh Carrot Dill Slaw

Picnic Week continues with a fresh Core Plan coleslaw - Carrot Dill Slaw.

Fresh Carrot Dill Slaw
Makes 5 Servings

2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
2 tsp fresh lemon zest
3 Tbsp olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
Sea salt, to taste
Fresh ground pepper, to taste
2 cups organic carrot, grated
3 Tbsp fresh dill, chopped
2 Tbsp organic green onion, thinly sliced on bias

Whisk lemon juice, olive oil, garlic, sea salt and pepper in a medium bowl. Add carrots, dill and scallions; toss to coat. Chill 2 hours to over night before serving.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Picnic Week: Healing Cuisine's Creamy Coleslaw

I've got another personal spin on a classic picnic recipe: Creamy Coleslaw.  Leave out the carrot if you are Advanced Plan.  It's still just as good, just missing a little splash of color.  Instead you could finely slice some yellow or orange bell pepper on a mandolin and add that in as substitute.

Healing Cuisine's Creamy Coleslaw
Makes 8 Servings

1/4 cup Healing Cuisine Mayonnaise
1/4 cup organic plain Greek yogurt
1 Tbsp organic unsweetened Dijon mustard
2 tsp Bragg's apple cider vinegar
1/4 tsp pure liquid stevia
1/2 teaspoon caraway seed or celery seed
Sea salt, to taste
Fresh ground pepper, to taste

2 cups organic red cabbage, shredded
2 cups organic green cabbage, shredded
1 cup organic carrots, grated (OMIT IF ADVANCED PLAN)
1/4 cup organic green onion, thinly sliced

1.)  In a large bowl, whisk together mayonnaise, Greek yogurt, mustard, vinegar, stevia, and caraway seed.  Taste and season with sea salt and pepper to your liking.

2.)  Add in cabbage, carrot, and green onion. Toss well to coat.  Cover and chill 2 hours to over night before serving.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Picnic Week: Spicy Turkey Bean Salad

Picnic Week continues...  This salad is pretty darn yummy!  In my testing stages, I've also tried with chicken instead of turkey which was still really good, but tastes the best with roasted turkey!  Also replaced the olives with diced zucchini and that was good as well, for a different taste.

Spicy Turkey Bean Salad
Makes 8 Servings

1/3 cup Bragg's apple cider vinegar
1/2 tsp sea salt
a little less than 1/2 tsp pure liquid stevia
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1 large clove garlic, minced
1/2 tsp organic Tabasco sauce, or to taste
1 1/2 cups olive oil

6 handfuls of organic mixed salad greens, rinsed and dried
2 cups organic black beans, rinsed and drained
1 cup organic olives, sliced (I used black and red)
2 cups free-range turkey, cooked and shredded
1 organic avocado, diced
1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
2 tsp fresh lemon zest
1 Tbsp organic jalapeno pepper, minced
1/3 cup red onion, chopped
1/2 cup raw cheddar cheese, grated

1.)  In blender, add apple cider vinegar, sea salt, stevia, oregano, cumin, garlic, and Tabasco sauce.  Blend on Medium speed until smooth.  While running blender on Medium-Low, drizzle in olive oil until emulsified.

2.)  In a large bowl, add all remaining salad ingredients, tossing to combine.  Pour dressing over the salad and toss until well coated.  Chill for 1-2 hours, then serve immediately.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Picnic Week: Three Bean Salad

Picnic Week continues!  This is my spin on the classic Three Bean Salad.

Three Bean Salad
Makes 10 Servings

2 cups organic green beans (fresh or frozen thawed), 1 inch pieces
2 cups organic yellow beans (fresh or frozen thawed), 1 inch pieces
2 cups organic red kidney beans, rinsed and drained
1/2 cup organic bell pepper (any color), diced
1/2 cup red onion, diced

1/2 cup Bragg's apple cider vinegar
1/3 cup olive oil
1 Tbsp raw honey (OMIT IF ADVANCED PLAN)
16 drops pure liquid stevia
1 tsp sea salt
Fresh pepper, to taste
1-2 pinches fresh thyme leaves (optional)
1 Tbsp organic unsweetened whole-grain mustard (optional)

1.)  Bring a large saucepan of filtered water to boil.  Add in the green and yellow beans and cook until crisp tender, about 5-8 minutes.  Remove from saucepan with a slotted spoon and drop into a bowl of ice water to stop the cooking and refresh.  Drain and spread beans over a clean tea towel or unbleached paper towel to dry.

2.)  In a large bowl, add green, yellow, and kidney beans, bell pepper, and onion.

3.)  In a medium bowl, whisk together the dressing ingredients until smooth.  Pour dressing over bean mixture.  Toss three bean salad well and chill for at least 4 hours.  Stir again before serving.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Picnic Week: Apple-Cherry Slaw

Welcome to Picnic Recipes Week at Healing Cuisine!  I am SO SO excited to share with you some new and some classic picnic recipes that are simple to make and easy to tote!  These will of course fall right under the potluck category as well, which I am always getting emails from you all for new potluck friendly recipes.  So these will arrive just in time for your 4th of July celebrations!  Hope you find some inspiration for your summer events in the upcoming week's worth of recipes!

I'm kicking off Picnic Week with a sweet and tangy Apple-Cherry Slaw!  Enjoy!!

Apple-Cherry Slaw
Makes 8 Servings

1/4 cup Bragg's apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup fresh squeezed orange juice/lemon juice
10 drops pure liquid stevia
2 tsp organic unsweetened Dijon mustard
Dash ground cinnamon
Dash ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp sea salt
1/3 cup olive oil

4 cups organic red cabbage, shredded
2 cups organic arugula, rinsed and dried
1 Granny Smith apple, 1 inch thin slices
1/2 cup unsweetened dried cherries, coarsely chopped (can substitute raisins; OMIT IF ADVANCED PLAN)
1/4 cup red onion, thinly sliced
1/3 cup raw walnuts, coarsely chopped

1.)  In a large bowl, whisk together apple cider vinegar, orange juice, stevia, mustard, cinnamon, nutmeg, and sea salt until smooth.  While briskly whisking, stream in olive oil until dressing is emulsified.

2.)  Add remaining salad ingredients to bowl.  Toss well to coat.  Chill for up to 2 hours before serving for maximum crispness.  If making in advance, wait to add the Granny Smith apple and arugula until just before serving.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Sweet-n-Spicy Ginger Smoothie

Happy Father's Day to all dads and dads-to-be today!  What are you making for the special man in your life?  If you're not yet sure, I encourage you to try out my newest salad creation: Grilled Hamburger Salad!  It's quick and easy to make, and helps dad stay on his Maximized Living Nutrition Plan while still enjoying all the flavors of his favorite burger.

Stay tuned for Picnic Week starting tomorrow!  I've mastered 8 new picnic-friendly recipes that are simple to make and easy to tote!  Excited to share them with you over the next eight days.

Today, I am sharing what we had for breakfast this morning.  My tummy was feeling a little uneasy (thanks somewhat to the little person living inside of me I'm sure), so I wanted a gingery smoothie to help ease it.  This smoothie turned out very tasty!

Sweet-n-Spicy Ginger Smoothie
Makes 2 Servings

1 1/2 cups full-fat organic Greek yogurt
1/2 cup full-fat organic coconut milk
1/4 cup organic unsweetened almond milk
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1 tsp fresh lemon zest
1 Tbsp fresh ginger root
12 drops pure liquid stevia
2 scoops unflavored or vanilla protein powder
1 cup ice
Pinch of cayenne (optional)

Blend ingredients in blender until smooth.  Serve immediately.

Come back tomorrow for the kick-off to Picnic Week!!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Happy Father's Day!: Grilled Hamburger Salad

I've been racking my brain for ideas for a great ML Nutrition Plans approved recipe for Father's Day.  Especially this year, as it's Dave's first official Father's Day.  I wanted to surprise him with an awesome and manly dish.

For weeks I was thinking and thinking, jotting down ideas on scratch paper, but nothing had come together in a "That's It!" kind of way.  So, I went to the source.  I asked papa Dave, "What does the best Father's Day food look like to you?"  And I waited, praying he would offer the inspiration for an amazing new recipe.  He thought about it, and finally said, "A burger on the grill."  That was it, all he wanted.  I had one of those duuuuhh moments I usually get at these times and proceeded to flip my mindset away from chicken dishes and stir fries back to the classic, manly summer dish, the hamburger.

I've twisted it up, Healing Cuisine style, to make the Grilled Hamburger Salad!  It's everything but the bun!  Dad can keep it Advanced Plan easily, and still get all the great tastes of his fav summer meal.  Try it for your dad this Father's Day!

I'm serving this salad with a combo of mayo-ketchup dressing.  Mustard is also optional.  I think it would be great with my Homemade Buttermilk Ranch dressing or Healing Cuisine's BBQ Sauce as well.  Feel free to experiment!  Caramelized onions also sound really good atop if you want to stray from the classic red onion.

(By the way, the burger recipe below is my signature recipe for classic burger patties.  They'll turn out perfect every time, guaranteed!  Add in your favorite seasonings, like chili powder or cumin, as you make homemade gourmet burgers at home with different toppings!)

Hamburger Salad
Makes 4 Servings

1 lb free-range 100% grass fed ground beef
1 large egg, beaten
1/3 cup red onion, grated
1/4 cup almond meal
1 Tbsp unsweetened Worcestershire sauce
2 cloves garlic, minced or smashed
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/4 tsp black pepper

4 grilled hamburger patties (above)
3/4 cup red onion, sliced
2-4 dill pickles, sliced (I love the Real Pickles brand)
1 large organic tomato, diced
1 avocado, diced
1 large head organic iceberg lettuce, chopped
1 large head organic romaine lettuce, chopped
1 cup raw cheddar cheese, grated (optional)

3/4 cup Healing Cuisine Mayonnaise
3/4 cup Healing Cuisine Ketchup
Squirt of unsweetened organic mustard (optional)
Few drops of Tabasco sauce (optional)

1.)  Prepare the hamburger patties.  In a medium bowl, with your hands, mix ground beef, egg, onion, almond meal, Worcestershire sauce, garlic, sea salt and pepper until just blended.  Be careful not to over mix as it will make tough burgers.  Divide mixture into four equal portions and shape each into a patty about 4 inches wide.

2.)  Have Dad to the grilling, after all it is his day!  Preheat grill over High heat and oil with coconut oil.  Lay burgers on grill over High heat (you can hold your hand at grill level only 2 to 3 seconds).  Close lid.  For medium-well cooked burgers, cook about 7-8 minutes, turning once.  Remove from grill.  Allow patties to rest 10 minutes before cutting into or serving.

3.)  While Dad is grilling, prepare your dressing.  In a small bowl, mix together the mayonnaise and ketchup with a fork.  Stir in the optional mustard and Tabasco.  Chill until ready to serve.

4.)  Plate the salads.  Lay out a bed of mixed lettuce.  Top with the onion, pickles, avocado and tomato.  Place 1 burger patty in the center of each salad.  Sprinkle with cheese (optional) and drizzle with Ketchup-Mayo dressing.  Serve immediately while burgers are warm.  Be sure to serve with a steak knife for easy cutting!

Now that's a Father's Day meal to remember!

Monday, June 13, 2011

How To: Bladder Infection and UTI Remedy

This article is more so for the women, guys.  But keep reading!  You never know when you might find yourself suffering from a urinary tract infect (UTI) or bladder infection.

It's been my latest battle over the last three months.  Yes, three months.  My bladder infection came along due to pregnancy, one of the most common times a woman will experience the infection.  As baby grows, he pushes down on the bladder and can prevent all of the urine from escaping when mom relieves herself.  Bacteria then has time to grow and multiply.  Voila!  Perfect formula for infection.

Thank goodness my infection has been painless.  My only symptoms were frequent urination with little flow and cloudy urine.  My midwife tested and detected my infection, which I was clueless to for who knows how long.  I just thought frequent urination was part of normal pregnancy!

Other common symptoms of a UTI/Bladder Infection whether your are pregnant or not:

-  Pain, burning, or discomfort when emptying your bladder
-  The need to empty your bladder more often than usual
-  A feeling of urgency when you urinate
-  Feeling the need to urinate shortly after emptying bladder
-  Blood or mucus in the urine
-  Cramps or pain in the lower abdomen
-  Pain during love making
-  Chills, fever, sweats, leaking of urine without control
-  Change in amount of urine - either more or less
-  Urine that looks cloudy, smells foul or unusually strong
-  Pain, pressure, or tenderness in the area of the bladder

If you suspect you have a bladder infection, you can seek out a naturopathic doctor or midwife who can test your urine for you and let you know the grade level of your infection (how much E. coli is present), or you can test yourself by purchasing urinalysis test strips from your local health store.  I have been monitoring my infection on my own since my initial midwife appointment.  It's a lot cheaper to test on your own, and really in my opinion, it doesn't matter how much of the bacteria is present.  Keep following my remedies to follow until your test comes out negative!


What is the most common way people get rid of their bladder infections?  They go in to their medical doctor and the doctor writes a prescription for antibiotics.  Antibiotics are a "quick fix" for many types of infections, but we have to take a step back and ask the question, "Does taking a pill really FIX the problem?"  The answer is no.  It is simply covering up the symptom for a short time until it either returns as the same infection multiple times, or comes back even stronger in the form of a more severe infection or disease.

Has anyone ever told the you effects antibiotics have on your body?  I'm sure your medical doctor hasn't.  Speaking from personal experience, antibiotic use can lead to extreme health problems and disease.  Here's why:

Throughout your body, especially prevalent in your stomach, intestines and colon, are millions and billions of healthy, good bacteria.  This is how we are born.  The good bacteria not only help you digest your food, but are one of your strongest immune system defenses.  You want to keep your army of good bacteria strong throughout your life to ensure healthy immune function and defense against disease.

When you take a round of antibiotics, it knows no difference between good/healthy bacteria and the bad bacteria that is infecting your bladder. Antibiotic literally means "against life."  Once you swallow that pill, it goes through every part of your body to kill off ALL bacteria, good and bad!  Your immune system is instantly weakened.  And how many times have you taken an antibiotic?  It very rarely stops with one round in a lifetime.  Use of antibiotics does severe damage to your digestive organs, primarily causing Candida.  This is what I suffered from for so many years and was causing infertility in my body, until recently remedying it naturally thru Maximized Living and personal intense detoxification measures.  Loss of good bacteria in your body can lead to an array of health problems other than Candida, so I strongly encourage you to avoid antibiotics at all costs!  Your body was designed to heal and can combat all disease if given the chance.


Since my infection was pretty hard to get rid of, most likely thanks to baby's position on top of my bladder, I implemented a multi-level natural remedy system that eventually did the trick.  Once I got all of these components working together at the same time, my infection was gone within 2 weeks.   It took me three months to research, research, research to find how all of these components work together to heal the bladder and UT naturally.

1.)  Get Adjusted.  This is the most important thing you can do!  Your body has an amazing ability to heal itself.  That power starts in the brain and travels thru the spinal cord to every organ and cell of your body.  Chiropractic looks for any interference in the spine which prevents the healing power from traveling to the places it needs to.  Your Maximized Living doctor will take the best care of you to assess your nervous system and look for blockage going to your bladder and urinary tract (not to mention reproductive organs -- so important when carrying baby!!)  My Maximized Living chiropractor, Dr. Dave, did just that.  Sure enough I had blockage in the bottom section of my spine.  I went in more often for my adjustments, every other day, for the three months and I know this greatly accelerated the healing of my infection.  Visit MaximizedLiving.com to find a Maximized Living doctor near you!

2.)  Cranberry Juice/Capsules.  You want to look for organic unsweetened cranberry juice.  Follow this pattern for an entire day (as long as you are awake):  16 oz water, wait 1 hour, 8 oz cranberry juice, wait 1 hour, 16 oz water, wait 1 hour, 8 oz cranberry juice...etc.  Follow this pattern thru the entire day.  You'll urinate just about every hour, and that is precisely what you want to happen.  Pure, unsweetened cranberry contains hippuric acid which acidifies the urine and prevents bacteria from sticking to the walls of the bladder.  Drinking plenty of water thru the day will allow you to flush out all of the bacteria lurking in your bladder and UTI.  It is okay to mix stevia in with the cranberry juice to help against the bitter taste.  Can't stomach the juice?  You can substitute with organic, pure, unsweetened cranberry capsules (don't skimp on the quality!  You get what you pay for!)  Unfortunately, I found out the hard way that I am allergic to cranberries, so I was unable to stick it out with the juice or capsules.  Instead I implemented D-mannose (#3).

3.)  D-Mannose.  What's interesting about the bacteria E. coli is the way it attaches itself to the bladder walls.  The bacteria's endings look like "grappling hooks" and easily hook on to the walls of the bladder and adhere almost like Velcro.  It has been proven that D-mannose causes a direct attraction to the E. coli bacteria.  If D-mannose is present in the urine, the bacteria will detach from the bladder walls and go to the D-mannose molecules.  You then pass them out as your urinate.  D-Mannose is simply a naturally occurring form of sugar.  I personally don't think it tastes like much.  It has a very low carbohydrate value, and thus doesn't taste very sweet at all.  Dosage:  2 teaspoons 8x per day in 8 oz water.  Follow each intake with another full glass of water to help flush out the bladder.

4.)  Herbal Tinctures.  Thru each day, I added liquid herbal tinctures to my water.  Various herbs support different organs and heal the body in different ways.  Here are the ones I recommend for UTI:

Uva Ursi:  AVOID IF PREGNANT, antibacterial, 30 drops 4x daily
Usnea (lichen):  USE INSTEAD OF Uva Ursi IF PREGNANT, broad spectrum antimicrobial, 30 drops 4x daily
Marshmallow:  reduces inflammation, 1 tsp 3x daily
Nettle: immune booster, kidney support, 20 drops 3x daily
Super Echinacea: immune system support, 30 drops, 3x daily
Dandelion Root: direct support to bladder and kidneys, 100 drops 3x daily

5.) Vitamin C, Vitamin D & Garlic.  Add in 5,000-10,000mg of Vitamin C daily, 1,000IUs of Vitamin D daily, and 500-1000mg garlic daily to boost your immune system and help snuff out the infection.

6.)  Advanced Plan Diet.  If you aren't already on the Advanced Plan, switch over immediately.  You want to eliminate all sugar from your diet as long as you have the infection (this goes for any infection of the body, btw) -- with the exception of D-mannose which will help you.  Eliminate processed foods, refined sugars, honey, artificial sweeteners, caffeine, alcohol, all grains, juice, pop, fruits, root vegetables.  Up your antioxidant intake.  Add in a probiotic supplement for immune and digestive support.

7.)  Take Care of Yourself.  Drink, drink, drink your water!  8-16 oz every hour will keep your bladder flushed so bacteria can't sit stagnant and grow.  Empty your bladder immediately as soon as you have the urge to do so.  Empty your bladder before and immediately after love making.  Avoid love making while suffering from the infection, especially if painful/swollen.  After emptying bladder, always wipe from front to back.  Wash vaginal area with water only -- avoid soaps, douches, and bathes.  Wear all-cotton underwear, avoiding use of thongs and pantyhose, and air out vaginal area at night as you sleep.

8.)  Homeopathic Remedy.  As recommended by my friend, Allison, during the last few weeks I added in homeopathic support.  There are a few different remedy options to choose from, which you can read about here based on your symptoms.  I also recommend speaking with a homeopathic practitioner to ensure you are dosing properly for your body's needs.  The one that was right for me was Cantharis 30X.

So there you go, folks!  My 8 simple steps to combating a UTI naturally!  And let me say, while it may take a few days longer to snuff out the infection compared to taking a harmful antibiotic, your body will thank you!!!

If you have other tips that you follow for UTI/Bladder Infection remedying, comment below.  Sharing knowledge will help others!

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Peanut Butter & Jelly Ice Cream

Is it summer where you live yet??  It's been summer just about everywhere across the U.S. this week.  Can't complain really.  A week straight in the sunny 90's calls for some cold ice cream experimentation!  And thus, PB&J Ice Cream was born!

Peanut Butter & Jelly Ice Cream
Makes 4-6 Servings

1 can organic full fat coconut milk
1 1/4 cups unsweetened almond milk (plain or vanilla)
1 tsp pure liquid stevia (more/less to taste)
1 Tbsp pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup unsalted organic raw Valencia peanut butter

1/2 cup unsweetened organic strawberry preserves

In a large bowl, whisk together the coconut milk, almond milk, stevia, vanilla and peanut butter.  Cover and chill in the fridge for about 2 hours.  Freeze in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s directions.  During the last few minutes of churning, add in spoonfuls of strawberry preserves.  Serve immediately or freeze until ready to serve.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Healing Cuisine's Top 10 Smoothie Tips

 1.)  PERFECT PROCEDURE    The perfect smoothie blending procedure is: liquid, frozen fruit/veggies, powders/supplements/add-ins, ice, fresh fruit/veggies.  Always add the ice cubes at the end, otherwise it could lead to over blending resulting in a watery smoothie.  Blend all of the other smoothie ingredients first until smooth, then add in your ice for a frosty texture.  If you don't have a high power blender (like a VitaMix), you can crush your ice separately, then blend into the smoothie ingredients.  This will aid in preventing ice chunks.

2.)  COCONUT WATER ICE CUBES    I use this trick especially in the summer.  On super hot days that we're outside a lot or just finished a workout, I like to replace water ice cubes with coconut water ice cubes.  Simply pour coconut water into an ice cube tray and freeze!   I like to fill a couple ice cube trays with coconut water and when set, store in a bowl in the freezer so I always have some on hand!  Coconut water is fairly neutral in flavor and goes well in any smoothie.  It naturally contains about 15 times more potassium than conventional (and toxic) "sports drinks," while providing manganese and magnesium as well.  A great option for hot summer days in the sun when we all could use some electrolyte replenishing!

3.)  FREEZE YOUR FRUIT & VEGGIES     A few notes on this.   1 -  If you have fruit/veggies that are starting to spoil but you don't want to or can't use them before its time to toss, wash, dice and store in the freezer for future smoothies.  2  -  Bananas: be sure to peel and dice before freezing.   3  -  Purchase large quantities of fresh organic berries, kale, spinach, avocados, etc, during their peak months or when on sale to save money in the long run.  When you get home, immediately wash and shake dry, dice if needed, and store in freezer for future smoothies thru the year.

4.)  BOOST TASTE     I encourage you to experiment with flavor layering your smoothies.  The most common smoothie ingredients are berries, kale and spinach.  While these are all incredibly healthy and taste great when combined, they lack much acid in their flavor.  Boost the taste of your smoothies by adding a splash of fresh lemon or orange juice or a tablespoon of citrus zest.  You'll be wowed by the results!

5.)  FIZZ IT UP     Incorporating your homemade Kombucha into your smoothies is great as it's an easy way to get your good probiotics and boost your immune system all in one glass.  Kombucha will add fizz to your blend, a great experience and taste for kids or picky eaters.

6.)  NO SUGAR HERE     Forgo the use of sugar in smoothies.  Stevia is a simple, natural alternative to sugar that won't spike your blood sugar (I recommend using a few drops of liquid stevia per serving).  Especially if you are looking to heal from disease, lose weight, or are enjoying your smoothie for breakfast, avoid sugar at all costs for maximum results.  And if you're on the Core Plan, be aware of the fruits you can have that pack a sweeter bang to the bite (like mangoes, pears, and bananas) and instead of adding refined sugar to your drink, go ahead and blend in sweeter fruits.

7.)  LESS LIQUID     It's better to start out with too little liquid than too much.  Start with 1/2 cup liquid total per serving, then see how thick your smoothie ends up after all fruits, veggies and ice are incorporated.  You can always add more almond milk, coconut water, or ice.  Better to play it on the safe side.

8.)  BEST ENJOYED     Your smoothie will be best enjoyed immediately after blending.  You'll also get the maximum health benefits from the ingredients by drinking it right away.  If you make too much smoothie, freeze the rest in a container with some extra room at the top as the smoothie will expand as it freezes.  Remove from freezer and re-blend/stir briefly before enjoying.

9.)  MAKE AHEAD SMOOTHIES     Similar to tip #8 above, you can blend up batches of smoothie in advance, freeze immediately to lock in the nutrients, then thaw slightly and re-blend just before you walk out the door.   Great for families on the go.  I will be doing this in preparation for the birth of my baby and the weeks to follow, so everything I need for breakfast is all ready to go and I can focus on my newborn.

10.)  COMPLETE THE MEAL     A common point that is often overlooked when it comes to smoothies is that it's not a complete meal without protein and good fat.  Sure, it may taste delicious with your berries blended up with water and ice.  But, to ensure your blood sugar levels stay stable and that you'll feel full for longer, make your smoothie a complete meal by adding protein (grass fed whey/pea/hemp/etc powder, raw nuts, almond butter, hemp seeds) and good fat (avocado, coconut milk, flax meal, raw nuts, fish oil, chia seeds, hemp seeds) to the blend.   Your body will thank you!

Monday, June 6, 2011

Questions Answered: Natural Egg Substitutes

This was a fabulous question added by Liz (EatTheCookie) to our discussion on my Strawberries-n-Cream cake recipe.  Felt this was a must share as I do get this question fairly often from you all, but haven't done an individual post on it yet.  Liz asked:
"Think these could be made eggless somehow?  Maybe with applesauce and additional coconut flour?"   ~ eatthecookie
She's on the right track.  Eggs do two things while baking - add moisture and thicken.  With the lack of gluten in the almond and coconut flours, applesauce wouldn't do the trick.  Applesauce is more so a general replacer for oils in a recipe.  And remember, coconut flour absorbs moisture/liquid about 2x as all purpose flour.  When adding more to a recipe, you also need to up your liquid (usually this means adding an extra egg).

So, how do you substitute eggs while baking?  Here is my response to Liz -- my two tried and true ways, discovered mainly on the days I had to have brownies or spice cake and didn't have any eggs in the house.  :)

Two major areas of advice for you to go eggless, EatTheCookie:

1.) Flaxseeds are a pretty good egg replacer as they are high in omega 3 fatty acids.

Replacing one egg you will need:

1 Tbsp of fresh ground flaxseeds
3 Tbsp of water.

Stir together in a small bowl. Let sit a couple minutes and the mixture will become glutinous - like an egg white. To test, when you lift the mixture out of the bowl and let it drop, it should resemble that raw eggy texture.  If not, let sit longer.

This substitution works best in heavy breads, dense cakes, cookies, muffins, etc.  And will cause your batter to go dark in color, so probably not an ideal choice for this particular pretty pink cake.

2.) Baking soda & vinegar - the chemical reaction between the two helps to make baked recipes nice and fluffy.  The vinegar taste cooks out and the end product is light and fluffy, perfect substitute for cakes and other baked goods.

Replacing one egg you will need:

1 Tbsp raw apple cider vinegar (I use Bragg brand)
1 tsp baking soda (aluminum free and naturally mined using water)

How I do it is mix together all the other recipe ingredients to form the batter.  In a separate bowl, mix together the vinegar and baking soda.  Once it fizzes up, add to the cake batter and fold it in with a spatula (don't whisk or beat it in.  Will ruin the bubbles).  You'll be amazed at the results!

So give these methods a try, guys!  Whether you, too, are simply out of eggs and in a baking mood, or maybe you have an egg allergy or are vegan.  Whatever your reason, I'm confident you'll find success with either of these methods.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Baby Belly - 26 Weeks!

I've been really poor at sharing baby updates here on Healing Cuisine!  I just get too recipe and food focused I think!  I have been meaning to post a belly pic here for you, those of you who want to see the baby's progress.  I just did a baby update post on our family blog that you can read here.  In short, baby's healthy, I'm healthy, we're doing great and feeling great!  Thanks again for all the support and prayers thru this pregnancy!  We can't wait for the birth to come and finally find out if this little life is a boy or girl!  :)

Questions Answered: Creamy Chicken Alfredo

Jacquelyn wrote in this morning with a special request:

"Hey wondering if you can help me out?  My daughter has made a birthday dinner request, and I want to keep it on ML plan as much as I can for her.  She wants grilled chicken and broccoli Alfredo.  Got any ideas for the sauce?  HELP!  It is the only thing she has asked for, and it's her sweet 16..."   ~ Jacquelyn
No worries, Jacquelyn!  Happy to help!  Below you'll find my signature Creamy Chicken Alfredo recipe.  I hope your daughter enjoys it and has a wonderful Sweet 16!

To make this dish, it’s super helpful to have a spiralizer.  This magical little kitchen tool lets you turn any veggie or fruit (zucchinis, carrots, sweet potatoes, jicama, beets, apples) into thin, pasta-like strands.  This particular model that I've linked above (World Cuisine brand) is the best one I have tested myself and the one I use personally.  I love that it comes with many various attachments, so you control the shape and thickness of your noodles.  For this recipe, I usually go with the medium width flat blade, to resemble fettuccine noodles.  You can use spiralized veggies as a pasta base with any kind of sauce or as a quick and easy way to prepare your veggies for a salad.  If you don’t have a spiralizer, fear not!  You can get away with thin slicing the zucchini with a peeler or grating it.

I will often serve this dish, believe it or not, with plain almond flour scones with plenty of butter (recipe can be found in my Mother's Day e-book) as they're great for dipping in the Alfredo sauce!  I also pair it with a hearty leaf salad (kale, spinach, romaine) with a sun-dried tomato basil dressing.

Healing Cuisine's Creamy Chicken Alfredo
Makes 6 Servings

2 cups organic unsweetened almond milk (plain)
2/3 cup raw cashews, soaked for at least 2 hours
1/2 cup raw Parmesan cheese, grated
1 Tbsp Bragg's Liquid Aminos
3 Tbsp raw unsalted butter
1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
Pinch nutmeg
2-4 cloves garlic, to taste
Sea salt, to taste
Fresh black pepper, to taste

3-4 free-range boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cooked and sliced
3/4 cup organic peas, fresh or frozen
4 organic medium zucchini, spiraled
1 1/2 cups organic broccoli florets, chopped

1.)  Drain and rinse the cashews.  Add all Alfredo Sauce ingredients to a blender and blend until very smooth.  You may need to scrape down sides a few times, and will take about 10 minutes on High to blend smooth.  Taste sauce and adjust seasonings as you go along (sea salt, pepper and garlic).

2.)  In a medium saucepan, pour in the blended Alfredo Sauce.  Heat over Medium-Low, stirring often, until thickened (about 8-15 minutes).

3.)  Meanwhile, in a large saucepan, bring some water to a boil.  Drop in broccoli florets and cook for 5 minutes.  Add in zucchini noodles and peas for an additional 4-5 minutes.  Drain immediately and drop blanched veggies into a large skillet.

4.)  Turn on heat under skillet to Medium.  Add in chicken.  Top with sauce and toss everything together to coat and combine.  Heat thru.  Taste once more before serving and adjust sea salt and pepper to your liking.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

We're Open in Charlotte, NC! Stop in and say Hi!

Dr. David Schwartz
Exciting news for you and your loved ones in Charlotte, North Carolina!  Dr. Dave Schwartz is now accepting new patients.  That's right, we are up and running at Family Healing Chiropractic in South Charlotte!  Come on in and receive the Maximized Living experience, on the house, by mentioning Healing Cuisine.  Learn what makes the Maximized Living approach better than any other health care office you've tried.  Come with your family or a friend NOW thru July 15th, mention Healing Cuisine when you make the appointment, and your consultation and full examination will be complimentary with Dr. Dave!  We are excited to meet you and further you on your path of healing!

Schedule Your FREE Examination:
Call:  704-540-0055, ask for Dr. Dave
Email:  drdaveschwartz@gmail.com

Why you want to get checked:  If you have any warning signs or symptoms (e.g. back pain, headaches, allergies, asthma, high cholesterol, cancer, ADD/ADHD, numbness in fingers, thyroid issues, etc), we can help you.  A new patient exam with Dr. Dave will examine your central nervous system for damage and interference.  Any interference in your central nervous system is the root cause of disease (your signs and symptoms).  Dr. Dave will go thru your results with you (also complimentary by mentioning Healing Cuisine) and make recommendations to help correct any health problems.

Get on track with Nutrition:  If you are in the Charlotte area, I am now available for nutrition consultations near you.  Please email me to arrange: elise@healingcuisinebyelise.com.  Don't live in Charlotte?  We can still do an email/Skype/phone consultation as usual.

Community Involvement:  We are reaching out to our new community, getting to know business members, community leaders, fellow Christians, and other natural health-minded individuals.  If you (or maybe you know of an organization in North Carolina) are looking to get involved with Maximized Living or Healing Cuisine, please email me at elise@healingcuisinebyelise.com.  These can be churches, small groups you are a part of, corporations you work for, charities you are involved with, anyone you know that needs our help!  Dave and I are on a mission to give back to our Charlotte community by doing health talks, providing free workshops, or simply donating our time.  It all comes back to education and providing the information for others that will enable them to make healthier, greener choices.

We are so excited to be here and helping so many great families!  Many blessings!!

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