Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘Recipes’

Kale Chips (Video)

IMG_2643

Kale is one of my favorite vegetables. It is densely nutritious and surprisingly versatile. While I normally sauté kale, you can also bake it in the oven with a few simple ingredients to make a delicious snack food. These Kale Chips are considerably more nutritious than regular chips and still taste fantastic. Kale is also fairly inexpensive, and this recipe is quite easy.

While I don’t agree with every aspect of his philosophy, I am still a big fan of Mark Sisson’s blog, Mark’s Daily Apple. Mark held a contest in which readers were asked to make a video of a recipe that fits into the “Primal Blueprint” (his diet/exercise/lifestyle philosophy). I entered the contest with my recipe of Kale Chips and thought I would share the video with my readers.

Kale Chips
– 1 bunch kale
– 2 TBS extra virgin olive oil
– sea salt
– chili powder

1. Rinse and dry kale thoroughly. Tear into chip-sized pieces and place in bowl, discarding stems.
2. Pour olive oil, sea salt, and chili powder (to taste) over the kale and massage with hands until fully coated.
3. Bake in a 275F degree* oven. After 10 minutes, shift kale slightly, and bake until crisp (about another five minutes).

*In the video, I say to use a 200F degree oven. However, I found out after filming this that my old (and squeaky!) oven was very inaccurate. An oven thermometer informed me that my oven was actually heating much higher than I was setting it. 275 degrees should work.

Let me know if you enjoy video recipe posts and you may see more in the future!

IMG_2642

Thanks for reading (and watching),
Emily

Advertisements

Read Full Post »

It’s no secret that I’m a huge advocate for salad. I eat a large salad for two meals of the day on average. But no matter the combination of vegetables, greens, and patés, salad can get a little redundant. That’s where dressing comes in.

Nearly all dressings you buy in a bottle are full of chemicals, additives, thickeners, and sugar. A quick check of the ingredient list tells all. But an easy, healthy, and considerably more delicious option is to make your own dressing. Fresh squeezed lemon juice and a good quality olive oil make a nice dressing, but sometimes you want something with a little more pizazz.

IMG_2365

Personally, I’m partial to creamy dressings. I use nuts and seeds to achieve a rich, creamy dressing while adding healthy fat. I have never measured the ingredients while making a salad dressing, but I’ll give you a basic template to experiment with, as well as some of my dressing recipes.

Template for Salad Dressing
1/2 cup nuts or seeds. Try cashews, walnuts, almonds, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, pumpkin seeds, or a combination.
Tangy component. I prefer fresh squeezed lemon juice (one lemon’s worth) which is detoxifying and alkalizing to the body. You can also use 1 tablespoon raw, unpasteurized apple cider vinegar, which has many known health properties as a detoxifier. Avoid other types of vinegar as they encourage “bad bacteria” growth in the intestines and don’t offer anything nutritionally.
Fresh herbs or spices. I will use almost a full bunch of cilantro or basil to make a dressing flavorful. Herbs and spices have great medicinal properties and can be used in abundance. Don’t be stingy; this is creating your dressing’s flavor identity! Basil, cilantro, dill, parsley, and thyme are all good options. If you don’t have fresh herbs on hand, try spices like cumin, curry powder, or powdered ginger.
A little kick. I will often add 1-3 cloves of fresh garlic. You can also use a bit of red onion. Remember that because these ingredients are raw, they will be quite pungent. A little goes a long way. If you like a spicy dressing, add cayenne pepper.
Sea salt. How salty you like your dressing is up to you, but certainly add some to enhance the flavor. You can also use raw soy sauce (Nama Shoyu) or Bragg’s Liquid Aminos.
Water. I’ve never measured how much water I use, but I estimate around a half a cup. Add more as needed. How thick you want your dressing is up to you. Remember that once you refrigerate your dressing, it will thicken.

Combine all ingredients in a blender. I use my high powered Vita-Mix. If your blender is not very strong, consider grinding your nuts/seeds in a food processor first. Store in a glass jar or tightly-closed tupperware container in the refrigerator for up to a week.

IMG_2368

Here are a few of my dressings to get you started.

Creamy Cilantro Dill Dressing
(pictured above; quantities of ingredients can vary)
– 1/2 cup combination of pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds
– 1/4 to 1/2 cup water
– 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
– 1/2 bunch to 1 bunch fresh cilantro
– 2 tablespoons dried dill
– 1/8 cup chopped red onion
– sea salt

Tahini Dressing
(quantities can vary)
– 1/2 cup sesame seeds
– 1/4 to 1/2 cup water
– 2-3 cloves of garlic
– 1 tablespoon cumin
– juice of one lemon
– sea salt

Basil Pesto Dressing
(quantities can vary)
– 1/2 cup combination of cashews and almonds
– 1/4 cup to 1/2 cup water
– 1/2 bunch to 1 bunch fresh basil
– 2 cloves of garlic
– juice of half a lemon (optional)
– drizzle olive oil
– sea salt

I hope this inspires you! Do you have any good ideas for salad dressings? Share them with me. I’m thinking of attempting an Asian-inspired dressing next, using fresh ginger, soy sauce, and sesame oil. If you need a little salad inspiration, be sure to check out my post, Salad Making 101 for a step-by-step guide. Keep your salads interesting!

IMG_2369

Eat well,
Emily

Read Full Post »

I am not unlike most people: I love pizza. But because I stay away from refined grains (white bread, white flour), and processed dairy (most commercial cheeses), pizza is not a regular meal for me. I’ve been trying to perfect a healthy pizza crust recipe for some time, and find other ways to improve pizza’s nutritional value. The best thing about this recipe is that it’s simple, fast (no kneading necessary!) and doesn’t require any unfamiliar ingredients. You can modify any of these toppings to your liking; this pizza was made half with onion, pepper, and pesto, and the other half with onion, pepper, pesto, and broccoli.

pizza1

pizza2

Whole Grain Yeast-Free Pizza
Crust Ingredients:
– 2 1/2 cups alternative flour (I used mostly whole wheat pastry flour and some oat flour)
– 1/2 tsp sea salt
– 1 TBS baking powder
– 3 TBS olive oil
– 2 tsp dried basil or oregano (more or less depending on how seasoned you want the crust)
– 1 1/4 cups water

1. Preheat the oven to 445 degrees.
2. Combine all dry ingredients. Add oil and mix. Add water and mix.
3. Mix dough thoroughly. Add more flour if dough is excessively sticky (it should be a little sticky). Transfer dough to an oiled baking sheet, and with floured hands, spread the dough on the sheet to desired thickness and size.
4. Bake for 8 minutes. While baking, prepare sauce.

Pizza Sauce
If there’s a brand of packaged pizza sauce that doesn’t have unnatural ingredients or a high sodium content, feel free to use it. I simply buy organic strained tomatoes and add a few cloves of garlic, a teaspoon of both dried oregano and dried basil, a drizzle of olive oil, and a dash of salt. The quantities of all of these ingredients can be adjusted to your preference. Simmer on the stove for a few minutes.

5. When crust is done, remove from oven and add the sauce.
6. Top with grated cheese. I use all natural goat cheddar cheese. I don’t recommend most cow cheeses and certainly not processed cheeses. Goat cheese has a deliciously rich flavor, but if you’re not a fan, you can omit the cheese and double up on toppings. You can also try dabs of soft goat cheese as opposed to grating hard goat cheese.
7. Add your toppings. This pizza has onion, bell peppers, broccoli, and pesto. Try any combination of vegetables. The vegetables are one of the main components that make this pizza so healthy.
8. Return to the oven and bake another 8-10 minutes.

Enjoy! Remember, if you like what you read, subscribe!

pizza4

pizza3

Eat well,
Emily

Read Full Post »

Smoothies have earned a reputation as a “healthy” breakfast or mini-meal, but they are typically high in sugar and low in protein, fiber, and fat. I never buy smoothies, but I make my own for breakfast every morning. When you control what goes into your smoothie, you can make it a delicious, healthy, and filling breakfast.

smoothie1

Blueberry Vanilla Smoothie
– 1/3 to 1/2 cup frozen blueberries
– 2 large frozen strawberries
– 1 to 1 1/4 cups unsweetened vanilla soy or almond milk
– 1 scoop unsweetened vanilla rice protein powder
– 1/4 cup cashews, almonds, or pecans (or a combination)
– cinnamon
– a few drops liquid stevia (or other natural sweetener; try agave nectar or yacon syrup)

Simply blend in a blender.

A few notes:
1. I use frozen berries and I highly recommend them. They’re cheaper than fresh, which makes it more affordable to buy organic. Plus, they last longer and make your smoothie cold without adding any ice.
2. Any protein powder will do, but I avoid processed soy protein powders.
3. I use my incredible Vita-Mix blender. It has no trouble completely liquefying the nuts, which add a delicious creaminess and thickness to the smoothie. If your blender is not powerful enough, substitute two tablespoons of a nut butter such as almond or cashew.
4. I strongly recommend liquid stevia. It’s easy to find at any health food store and a few drops does wonders in hot or cold beverages. It has no effect on blood sugar, no calories, and is completely natural. Agave and yacon are good substitutes, but bear in mind that they will be adding natural sugar content to your smoothie as they are more like natural syrups.

This smoothie keeps me full for hours and is a great way to start my morning. It has protein, fiber, healthy fat, little sugar, and still tastes wonderful. It’s truly a full meal replacement, not just a sugary drink that will make you crash later.

Remember, if you like what you read, subscribe!

Eat well,
Emily

Read Full Post »

I know it’s hard to believe, but these pancakes (and their toppings) are made without any added sugar and with all natural ingredients. Unlike most pancakes, these have protein, healthy fats, and complex carbohydrates. This way, you stay full (for a LONG time!) and don’t experience the typical post-pancake sugar crash. I’m calling them “Oatty Nutty Pancakes,” and both the blueberry syrup and cashew cream are delicious additions. If it seems too ambitious to make both toppings, one will surely be enough.

Oatty Nutty Pancakes
serves about 4
Ingredients:
– 1 1/2 cups alternative flour (I use whole wheat pastry flour and oat flour, but also try combinations of whole wheat, buckwheat, spelt, quinoa, or amaranth flour)
– 3/4 cup rolled oats, soaked in unsweetened almond or soy milk
– one banana (overripe, if possible)
– 2 tsp baking powder
– 4 TBS ground flaxseed*, in small amount of hot water
– 1 1/2 cups unsweetened almond/soy milk
– 1 TBS coconut oil
– 1 tsp vanilla extract
– 1 tsp cinnamon
– 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
– 1 TBS powdered stevia**

1. Soak oats in enough milk to cover. Put 4 TBS flaxseed in a small bowl and cover with hot water and let sit until the mixture becomes gummy (a few minutes).
2. Combine dry ingredients, combine wet ingredients, mix together.
3. Coat a skillet with coconut oil and cook.

* I use flaxseed because it provides healthy fats, fiber, and works as a great egg replacer in baking. If you don’t have any on hand, you can replace the flax and water with 2-3 eggs.
** I know using stevia can be hard because each brand varies drastically in concentration. A good clue is to look at the serving size. Usually the more mild stevia powders have a serving size of about 1/4 of a teaspoon. The kind I used for this recipe had that serving size, and one tablespoon was enough for the batter. Some more concentrated stevia powders have a serving size of 1/16 of a teaspoon. Just check your label and adjust accordingly. How much you use also varies on your personal preference.

Cashew Cream
This is so easy to make (provided you have a food processor) and is incredibly delicious. It’s great on pancakes, but also can be used as a whipped cream for desserts or fruit.

Ingredients:
– 1 cup cashews
– 1/2 cup unsweetened almond or soy milk
– liquid stevia (or agave nectar)

1. In a food processor, grind cashews to a fine powder.
2. Pour in milk. Add more to reach desired consistency, if necessary.
3. Add a few drops liquid stevia or a drizzle of agave nectar.

Blueberry Syrup
Ingredients:
– 1 cup blueberries (frozen works fine)
– 1 cup water
– 1 tsp stevia powder (see stevia note, above)
– 4 tsp tapioca starch (or any alternative for cornstarch)
– 4 TBS cold water

1. Combine blueberries, 1 cup water, and stevia in a pot and bring to a boil.
2. Combine starch and 4 TBS cold water and stir. Let sit a few minutes.
3. Add starch to blueberry mixture, simmer a few more minutes. Add liquid stevia or agave nectar to taste, if necessary.

These are truly a fun breakfast.

Thanks for reading, and remember, I’m always happy to take your questions.

Love your food,
Emily

Read Full Post »

Vegetable Purée Soup

There’s really nothing more comforting in winter than a bowl of soup.  I love vegetable purées and I was feeling inspired.

I had never done this before, so I did everything intuitively and used whatever vegetables looked good when I was shopping.

Ingredients (but certainly feel free to experiment)
– vegetable broth (look for organic and low-sodium, available at health food stores)
– yams/sweet potatoes
– zucchini
– broccoli
– red onion
– kale
– tomato
– garlic
– ginger
– sesame tahini
– sea salt

1. In a pan, sautée the garlic and/or ginger with the onions in olive oil.
2. Chop and steam the yams, broccoli, zucchini, and kale.
3. Bring the vegetable broth to a boil (with chopped tomato).
4. Once vegetables are steamed (about 15 minutes) and garlic/ginger/onions are slightly browned, add all to the broth, add salt, and simmer.
5. Combine in blender, add a modest amount of sesame tahini, and blend to desired texture.

I topped mine with a bit of cayenne pepper which was a very nice touch.

I love purées much more than regular vegetable soups; they’re hearty and filling. You can really use any combination of vegetables, but certain things are important to keep in mind:

1. You want some type of potato to keep the texture creamy and thick. I don’t recommend white or red potatoes since they have a poor effect on blood sugar; opt for a sweet potato or yam instead (they taste better, too!).
2. It’s important to have spices or herbs (garlic, ginger, basil, rosemary, etc) to keep the soup from being too bland. Also make sure to include more vegetables (onions, leeks, etc).
3. If you don’t have vegetable broth, you can use pure water; you may just want to simmer your vegetables for longer to enhance flavor.
4. You don’t need any cream to make this soup creamy. It doesn’t take much sesame tahini to add a rich, creamy flavor.
5. Dark, leafy greens are a nutritional powerhouse, so although it doesn’t seem like a standard soup ingredient, add some kale, spinach, or chard to your purée.

Enjoy your food,
Emily

Read Full Post »

I was given the honor of cooking Thanksgiving dinner for my family in 2007. It was only three of us so it wasn’t a huge challenge, but still a fun project!

The most extraordinary part about this meal was that it was vegan, organic, sugar-free, all-natural, mostly alkaline, and with nothing refined, processed or artificial.

This meal contains: sautéed swiss chard, steamed asparagus, roasted vegetables, mashed yams, and quinoa. Dessert is berry pie and pumpkin pie.

Let’s look a little more in-depth at each of these dishes.

Sautéed Swiss Chard

Swiss chard and red onion sautéed in garlic and olive oil.
Dark, leafy greens are one of the most nutrient-dense foods and should always be a part of a healthy diet. Swiss chard is one of the best choices; it is recognized as an excellent source of vitamin K, vitamin A, vitamin C, magnesium, manganese, potassium, iron, vitamin E, and fiber. It is a very good source of calcium, B vitamins, and protein.

Roasted Vegetables

Roasted zucchini, carrots, onions, red and yellow bell peppers, and sweet potatoes in olive oil with rosemary and sea salt.
You can use almost any vegetables you like here. Cover them with oil, garnish the salt and spices, and bake on a cookie sheet in the oven for about 20 minutes at 375 degrees.

Mashed Yams

Yams, sage, cinnamon, a drizzle of olive oil and sea salt.
This is probably my favorite dish: Yams are naturally sweet but have a much smaller effect on blood sugar than white potatoes. They are a delicious complex carb that provides vitamin C, potassium, and fiber. Simply boil the yams, drain the water, then mash and combine the ingredients. It’s delicious as a cold left over, spread on bread, or eaten alone.

Steamed Asparagus

Steamed asparagus in toasted sesame oil.
This is one of the simplest dishes to make but always a favorite. Asparagus is an excellent source of vitamin K, folate, vitamin C, and vitamin A, in addition to supporting heart health and being a natural detoxifier.

Quinoa

Cooked quinoa with olive oil and sea salt.
Quinoa (pronounced keen-wa) is one of the healthiest grains available. It is actually closely related to leafy green vegetables rather than other grains. Its texture is similar to couscous but finer. Quinoa is rich in amino acids, unlike other grains, making it a complete protein. It is also a good source of iron, magnesium, and manganese. Quinoa is a “whole grain,” so it repeats the benefits of whole grains such as heart and cardiovascular health. It is also very easy to cook. Combine one part quinoa to two parts water, bring to a boil, cover and simmer for about 12 minutes.

Berry Pie and Pumpkin Pie

Raspberry, blueberry, strawberry pie and pumpkin pie, both on spelt crust.
To bake these pies, I used pre-made spelt pie crusts that contained only whole spelt flour and organic non-hydrogenated palm oil shortening.

To make these pies, I looked through many recipes and created my own. The quantities of ingredients are just estimates; I encourage you to try, use your instinct, and experiment! That’s how I went about making these pies, and the results were fantastic. I don’t eat sugar, so I used powdered “SweetLeaf” Stevia, which I highly recommend (read more about this natural sweetener here). I have never made a pie, let alone one that follows many dietary restrictions, but these were delicious and completely natural. There’s not a single harmful ingredient in either!

Berry Pie
– 1 pre-made spelt pie crust
– 4 cups blueberries, raspberries, and strawberries
– 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
– 2 tablespoons unsweetened almond milk
– 3/4 tablespoon SweetLeaf stevia powder
– cinnamon

1. Combine 3 1/2 cups of berries with flour, almond milk, stevia, and cinnamon and blend in blender. Add more almond milk if mixture does not seem wet enough.
2. Once it reaches a homogeneous consistency, add mixture to pie crust and use extra 1/2 cup of berries to cover. Sprinkle cinnamon on top.
3. Bake at 400 degrees for about 20 minutes (again, just check with a knife that the pie is warm all the way through).

Pumpkin Pie
– 1 pre-made spelt pie crust
– 2 cups canned pumpkin (or mashed, steamed carrots work, too!)
– 1 1/2 cups unsweetened almond milk
– 1/4 cup coconut oil
– all spice, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, ginger… any spices you like!
– dash of sea salt
– 2 tablespoons SweetLeaf stevia powder

1. Combine all ingredients and blend in blender.
2. Pour mixture in pie crust, sprinkle with cinnamon, and bake at 375 for about 30 minutes.

So, that was my Thanksgiving dinner. The most gratifying part was to watch my brother and mother, both meat-eaters and not particularly health-conscious, devour the food. They loved everything! I’ll admit they were quite skeptical and a little disappointed to not be having all the Thanksgiving “usuals” (No rolls? No turkey!?). But once they tried everything, they couldn’t have been happier. Don’t be afraid to introduce some of your less health-conscious friends or family members to the wonders of delicious, healthy food. There are so many negative stereotypes that vegetables or healthy food is boring, bland, and leaves you feeling hungry. Let’s show them that’s not the case at all!

Hope your Thanksgiving was happy and healthy,
Emily

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »