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Archive for June, 2009

Book Reviews

I wanted to let you know about a new review for my book, 101 Natural Healthy Eating Tips, that was just posted on About.com’s Teen Health site. You can read the review here. Also, the nice vegan blog Vegan Lunch Box did a review of my book which you can read here.

If you’ve read my book, I’d love for you to write a review on Amazon. I’m always interested to hear your thoughts, concerns, and questions!

-Emily

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Food, Inc.

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Have you heard of the newly released movie, Food, Inc.? It’s a documentary on our over-processed, chemically-ridden, corrupt food system. [Watch the trailer here.] It’s only out in select theaters, but you can see dates and places of release here. I’m seeing it tomorrow in Cambridge, MA, and if it’s playing near you, I strongly encourage you to go see it! It wouldn’t hurt to bring a friend who’s not so enlightened about just how unnatural the American food system is. I’m very excited to see it, and if you do, let me know what you thought!

-Emily

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Sometimes I resent that salads are looked at as a mere appetizer or the dinner choice of prissy weight watcher. Many tend to think of salads as bland and uninteresting. Not true! They can be unbelievably filling and satisfying while providing extraordinary nutrition. Awhile back I did a post on salads (see Salad-Making 101) that gave a basic foundation on how to make a great, healthy salad. I wanted to add to that, exploring some more options to make your salad exciting without the junk (croutons, ranch dressing, bacon bits).

IMG_1897This salad is made with a Curry Paté and topped with Creamy Tahini Dressing.

When it comes to vegetables, I usually use whatever I have on hand (see Salad-Making 101 for detailed tips). I like to vary my non-vegetable additions. One of my favorite things to make is a nut or seed paté. Patés are very popular for those following a raw food diet as they offer protein, healthy fat, and fiber from a raw source. I don’t follow a specific recipe to make patés. Instead I combine various nuts, seeds, herbs, and spices in the food processor and taste along the way. You only need about one cup of nuts/seeds to make a batch with upwards of four servings.

Template for Raw Patés
1 cup raw nuts or seeds. In this curry paté I used sunflower seeds, cashews, and sesame seeds. Try almonds, walnuts, pine nuts, macadamia nuts, or pumpkin seeds.
Herbs or spices. I had no fresh herbs on hand, so I used 1-2 tablespoons of curry powder and a teaspoon of cumin. Any fresh herb will work, too.
Fresh flavor. I used one clove of garlic (a little goes along way) for this batch. Also try a bit of raw red onion, bell peppers, or fresh squeezed lemon juice.
A little sea salt.
Drizzle water. I didn’t measure how much I used, but how creamy or chunky you want your paté is up to you.

In a food processor, grind all nuts and seeds to a relatively fine texture. Add remaining ingredients, saving water for last. Process until ingredients are fully chopped and mixed. Add more water if necessary.

Patés make salads more delicious and infinitely more satisfying. A batch using about a cup of nuts or seeds makes multiple servings. It should last about a week in the fridge, but is best consumed as soon as possible.

Homemade dressings are also a way to make your salad healthier and more interesting. Most store-bought dressings are full of sugar, preservatives, thickeners, and other unnecessary ingredients. An organic, cold-pressed oil and lemon juice make a divine dressing, but if you’re looking for something more exciting, consider making your own. I like to make a guilt-free creamy dressing like tahini. Tahini, which is ground sesame seeds, can be purchased roasted or raw. You can also blend sesame seeds with a small amount of water to make your own tahini dressing. Add lemon juice, garlic, cumin, and salt and you’ve made a creamy dressing, effortlessly. If tahini is too bitter for you, consider using other nuts or seeds to make a creamy dressing. Also experiment with fresh herbs to flavor your dressing.

A paté or dressing can completely change the taste and character of your salad, and that’s not even factoring in all the vegetable combinations! Salad possibilities are endless. Just remember to avoid the processed junky salad add-ons and get creative!

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IMG_1896

How do you like your salad?

-Emily

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Eggs and Omelets

While the majority of my meals are vegan and vegetable-based, I will admit to being an avid egg eater. Eggs, especially when organic and grass-fed, are a dense source of nutrition and protein. Generally we think of “whole foods” as vegetables and whole grains, but eggs are also unprocessed. Add onions, peppers, and a leafy green like spinach to your omelet to make it even more nutritious. The great thing about eggs and omelets is that they’re available at many restaurants that don’t have many healthy options. You can find yourself at a diner with a menu that seems to consist of burgers and fries, but often times you’ll be able to get an omelet. While these eggs are not usually organic, a veggie omelet is a much smarter choice than a burger or something deep fried. Just remember to skip on the greasy potatoes and white bread toast!

Making eggs or an omelet at home can be much healthier, and you can incorporate whichever vegetables you like. I also like to add an herb like thyme, and sometimes some goat cheese. If you don’t feel you have omelet-making technique, you can scramble your eggs with the vegetables to make a scrambled omelet.

omelet
Veggie Omelet with Onions, Red Pepper, Kale, and Goat Cheese

I suggest cooking your eggs in olive oil. Lightly sauté the onions, pepper, kale, or other vegetables. Add three beaten organic eggs and scramble over low heat (for fluffy eggs). Add herbs, sea salt, and pepper to taste.

Instead of ketchup or hot sauce, I recommend salsa on your eggs. It’s a delicious addition and adds natural anti-inflammatory foods like onion and garlic. It also avoids the dreaded high fructose corn syrup that’s in so many commercial condiments.

Many people think egg whites are a healthier choice when eating eggs. Recent studies are showing that the cholesterol in egg yolks doesn’t seem to affect body cholesterol. Plus, the yolk has the most nutrition. It’s best to eat a food as nature provides it; when man steps in, things usually go wrong! Also avoid products like Egg Beaters, which are full of preservatives and additives to make it seem like “the real thing.”

How do you like your eggs?

-Emily

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