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Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Wordless Wednesday: June 27, 2012

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Hello from Michigan!

Hiya folks!  In case you're not part of our Facebook community (and if you aren't, why not?!  Come join in the conversations!), just wanted to let y'all know I'm on an extended vacation in sunny [and COLD] Michigan through next week.  Baby Austin and I are visiting with family and friends for a while and enjoying being home and by our favorite lake (Lake Superior).  However, it's been rather cold during our visit!  Currently only 65 degrees...certainly not beach weather!  I'm still hoping to bring Austin into the water before we leave sometime next week.  But until then, we're enjoying the fresh air, beautiful scenery and wildlife, and great company that we have missed so much!

Some upcoming topics to look forward to once I return home and get settled:

  - How To: Advanced Plan jam/jelly making
  - Questions Answered: is canning food healthy?
  - Product Review: all natural mascara (I have a new favorite to share!!!)
  - Reworked Recipe: Broccoli and Cheese Soup
  - Article: truly natural birth control methods
  - New Recipe: Advanced Plan "Hamburger Helper" (yup, you read that right.)

So that's what we have to look forward to in the week ahead.  Many of these upcoming topics came from your email requests!  Keep them coming in (email me any time)!  No topic or question is off limits.  Your questions always help me to think of new articles to write or recipes to post.  Thank you for your inspiration and curiosity!

Talk to you all next week!   ~ Elise

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Wordless Wednesday: June 20, 2012

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Product Review: The Coconut Tool + NEW RECIPES!!!!

Who here loves coconut?  And who here eats a ton of coconut (milk, shredded, flour, water) on their Maximized Living Nutrition Plan?  Hands up!  I am about to share with you a kitchen tool designed specifically to make your life with the coconut 1000 times easier.

It's called The Coconut Tool, and it was designed, patented, and mass produced by a friend of mine (who also happens to be a Minneapolis area Maximized Living doctor) Dr. Hugh Wegwerth.  He started with a vision, and turned that vision into an amazing tangible tool that has revolutionized the way the world deals with fresh raw coconuts.  The Coconut Tool came to be after Dr. Hugh struggled to get the meat out of a fresh coconut.  He, like so many of us, wanted to reap the health benefits of fresh raw coconut meat, but found it impossible to get the meat out of the coconut.

His plan?  Design a kitchen tool that helps you remove the fresh raw meat from the coconut in a minute flat!  The old way of getting the meat out involved making a mess, using a special shredder to slowly shred all the meat out, or being strong enough to chop the coconut (shell and all) in to pieces, baking the coconut in attempts to loosen it from the shell (yes, I said baking it...hmmm, damaging affects to the raw quality?), and then you still had to peel the meat after all that.  Phew!  I'll be honest and say it was way too much work for me, and it made a huge mess that I didn't feel like cleaning up afterward.  We had used fresh coconut meat maybe a handful of times in the four years we've been married, and I never planned to buy fresh again.  Until now!

Here's The Coconut Tool:

Think about how much money you can save by purchasing your coconuts fresh and whole, and making your own coconut everything!  Well, almost everything.  :)  I'll still buy my coconut oil in bulk, but this tool seriously makes pulling the meat out so fast and easy that I'll be making our own coconut milk, flour, and shreds, and in the long run I'll be saving $$$ and gaining huge nutrient benefits along the way.  Check it out!  Here's how to use The Coconut Tool (and I didn't even need to ask my husband for help!  You don't need to be big and strong to use this gadget!):

What you need to get started:
     a cleaver or a clean hammer
     a bowl
     a fine mesh strainer
     The Coconut Tool
     a fresh organic coconut

(How to tell if a coconut is fresh and ripe?  Hold it up to your ear and shake.  You should be able to hear the water splash around inside.  If you don't hear the water, that's and old coconut.)

Start by cracking open the coconut.  Look for the line around the coconut (the "equator").  You'll aim the blunt end of your cleaver (or hammer) at this line.

Give the coconut a good one or two whacks, the rotate a few inches down the "equator" and whack one or two more times.  Continue around the entire equator.  Have a bowl on hand with mesh strainer resting inside.  This will catch the coconut water as it spills out when the coconut splits in half.

Grab your Coconut Tool firmly in your good hand (I'm a righty).  Insert the tip of the tool in between the coconut meat and the brown hard shell.  It should slip right in with a little pressure.

 Carefully rock and scrape the tool back and forth, gliding it around the entire inside of the shell.  I found it easiest for my little hands to use the aid of the table to anchor my work.  My husband tested the tool out on a second coconut and he just stood holding it, gliding through with ease (bigger hands, haha).
 In about 3-4 turns of the coconut you'll have made your way around.  It takes all of 60 seconds!  And *pop* out comes your coconut meat!  It's that simple!

To finish the job, you can use a sharp vegetable peeler to take off any left behind scraps of the brown papery shell lining.  Then you can start turning your meat into yummy creations!

You can get your own Coconut Tool here.  I promise, you will not be disappointed!  See what other users are saying.  I can say personally this tool is THE BOMB!  We are going to be enjoying fresh coconut a lot more often now!  It's now on my list of kitchen must haves!

Now, here is what we made with our first Coconut Tool try: fresh raw full fat coconut milk, shredded coconut AND coconut chips!

First, the Better Than Store Bought Coconut Milk.  I forgot to take a picture while blending... but, all you need to do is chop up the meat of a whole coconut into rough chunks.  Drop into your blender.  Add 1 cup of filtered water and blend away.  A Vitamix blender will give you the best coconut milk I expect, but I just have a simple Bullet style blender.  Depending on the quality of your blender, you'll have some of the coconut solids left behind in varying thicknesses.  Strain out the coconut milk from the solids using a nut bag or a fine mesh strainer.  And voila!  You are left with the richest creamiest and freshest coconut milk you have ever tasted!

 The shredded coconut pulp that is left behind can be used in baked goods, add on top of salads, blend again in your smoothies, whatever you'd like!  I put mine into the freezer for later use in my Blueberry Bread.
 And finally, lightly toasted Coconut Chips.  Super simple!  Take the meat of one coconut.  Run it through a slicer (I used the slicer blade in my food processor).  Spread the sliced chips out on a baking sheet.  Place in a 350 degree F oven and bake for about 15 minutes, or until the edges of most of the pieces are a light brown and fragrant.  Remove from the oven and sprinkle with 1 teaspoon of sea salt.  Let cool and store in an air tight container in the fridge.  So easy, and they make a delicious and nutritious snack or salad topping!

 And that is everything we made with our first two coconuts and The Coconut Tool!  A lot of food, isn't it??  Guess how much it cost us?  $1.98 per organic coconut, so all of this coconut milk, coconut pulp, and coconut chips only cost us $3.96!  That's it!  The Coconut Tool is a time saver AND a money saver!

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Wordless Wednesday: June 13, 2012

Monday, June 11, 2012

Reworked: The Green Green Smoothie

If you're here as part of the Green Green Smoothie craze....welcome!  Pinterest has opened a whole new portal to sharing my recipes with newcomers, and really for this one I think I need to be thanking a handful of you for originally sharing the Green Green Smoothie recipe on your boards!  (Thank you!!)  I'm used to seeing a few thousand hits on a daily basis here on my site as a whole.  But, the Green Green Smoothie has been blown out of the water with a thousand hits of its own every single day for the past month or so!  Hope y'all are loving the flavor of the smoothie (I think it's superb), and you can't beat its immune boosting power!

I wanted to share my reworked version of the recipe.  This is my Advanced Plan version, and I like it even better than the original.  And Dr. Dave is hooked (always a good sign)!  Tap in and enjoy!

Green Green Smoothie II
Makes 2 Servings

1 1/4 cups cold filtered water
2 handfuls organic spinach
1 organic cucumber, chopped
3 stalks organic celery, chopped
2 organic Granny Smith apples, cored and chopped
Small handful fresh cilantro
Small handful fresh parsley
2 Tbsp fresh lime juice
1/2 tsp cayenne powder (optional)
20-30 drops pure stevia liquid (optional)
2 Tbsp flax seed oil (optional)
2 tsp probiotic powder (optional)
2 scoops plain or vanilla protein powder (optional) (I use Natural flavor Vega O.N.E)

Add spinach, cucumber, celery, apple, cilantro and parsley to blender.  Pour water over top.  Starting the blender on Low speed, blend until smooth, gradually moving to High speed (that's the trick for getting a smooth blend).  Add lime juice, cayenne, stevia, flax oil, probiotic powder, and protein powder.  Combine briefly on Low until all the protein powder is just dissolved.  Serve immediately.

For a thicker smoothie, freeze the veggies and green apple first.  Also, check out my Top 10 Smoothie Making Tips.

Now get pinning this version!  It needs to catch up to it's brother!  You can find my Pinterest Boards here.  If you're a fellow pinner, check out the Healing Cuisine Board and Natural Health Board to stay plugged in,  And follow me, so I can follow you!

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Reworked: Mediterranean Salmon-Quinoa Salad

Last night, my husband and I had a booth at a local Family Fun Festival where we put on our "Dr. Dave" and "Health Expert Elise" hats and greeted families in our community to create awareness for our wellness clinic.  A lovely couple, who as it turned out belong to our church (such a small world!), came over to say hello and tell me they are Healing Cuisine followers and their favorite recipe is my Mediterranean Chicken-Quinoa Salad.  I told them that is on the top 10 favorites list in our home, too.  And as I told them this suggestion to "rework" the recipe for a little something new, it reminded me I still needed to share it with all of you.  Introducing the One Pot Wonder:

Mediterranean Salmon-Quinoa Salad
Makes 4 Servings

1 cup dry white quinoa, rinsed
2 cups sodium-free vegetable stock
3 5-oz cans wild caught Alaskan salmon, drained and picked for bones
1/2 cup red onion, diced
3/4 cup organic sun dried tomatoes, diced
1/2 cup organic artichoke hearts, diced
1/3 cup organic capers, drained
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1/3 cup olive oil
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 Tbsp dried oregano
1/4 cup dried parsley flakes
1 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp fresh black pepper

1.)  Bring vegetable stock to a boil in a large pot.  Add rinsed quinoa to boiling stock.  Lower heat and cover at a simmer.  Let cook for about 20 minutes, or until all liquid is absorbed.

2.)  Remove from heat.  Fluff with a fork.  In a large bowl, add quinoa, salmon, onion, sun dried tomatoes, artichoke, and capers.

3.)  In a small bowl, whisk together red wine vinegar, lemon juice, olive oil, garlic, oregano, parsley, sea salt, and pepper.  Pour over quinoa mixture and toss to coat.  Serve warm or cold.

I like to top my plate as the picture shows above: a few dashes of hot sauce (my favorite flavor is Shoot That's Hot!), a couple hefty pinches of nutritional yeast, grated Parmesan cheese, and half an avocado.  SO GOOD!  Enjoy this rework!

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Wordless Wednesday: June 6, 2012

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Gluten Free Expo 2012 - Charlotte

Who came out to see us this weekend at the Charlotte Gluten Free Expo?  Healing Cuisine was a featured vendor this year, and we were so happy to be involved!  Thanks to all who stopped by to say hi, sample our orange flavored stevia water, and get your nervous system scanned by Dr. Dave Schwartz!

I forgot to get in one of our pictures...  Ooops!
Dr. Dave taking care of Mrs. United States, Shannon Ford

Friday, June 1, 2012

Sweet Potato Chicken Casserole

It's summer, but does that mean we can't enjoy a good One Pot Wonder?  I didn't think so!  This is a super easy casserole that takes all of 15-20 minutes to mix up.  You can prepare it the night before, and pop in the oven in the evening when you get home from work.  This might also be a good crock pot recipe..  Just skip the pan cooking, dump everything into the crock pot for 6-8 hours.

We like to serve ours over fresh spinach leaves.  A quick supper that even the kids will eat!

Sweet Potato Chicken Casserole
Makes 4 Servings

1 Tbsp coconut oil
1 1/4 cups onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
4 cups sweet potatoes, peeled and diced
4 boneless skinless free-range chicken breasts, chopped
1 Tbsp arrowroot powder
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp fresh black pepper
1 cup dry white wine (or vegetable stock)
1 cup sodium free organic vegetable stock
1/4 cup full fat organic coconut milk

1.)  Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.  Grease a 9x13 inch baking sheet with coconut oil.  Heat 1 Tablespoon of coconut oil in a large stainless steel or cast iron skillet over Medium heat.  Cook onion and garlic until golden.  Add sweet potatoes.  Cook 8-10 minutes until lightly browned, stirring occasionally.

2.)  Move vegetables to the edges of the pan.  Put chopped chicken into the center of skillet.  Cook chicken until seared on all sides.  Sprinkle chicken with arrowroot, sea salt, and pepper.  Gradually whisk in chicken stock a bit at a time until all is added to the skillet and arrowroot is dissolved.  Scrape any brown bits from the bottom of pan while whisking.  Stir in wine and coconut milk.

3.)  Scrap casserole mixture into oiled baking dish.  Bake for 1 hour until heated through and bubbly.

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