Posts Tagged ‘healthy’

I’m Digging Two Moms In The Raw

May 28, 2010

Here’s my latest discovery – Two Moms In The Raw. Nope, it’s not a video you can get fired for looking at on your work computer. It’s the name of an amazing brand of gluten-free, organic, 100% raw crackers and granola bars made from millet, buckwheat, flaxseeds and sunflower seeds. And they’re delish.

What started out as a quest for wellness resulted in a product line dedicated to creating these convenient, nutritious, raw products for the whole family.  Thanks to Two Moms In The Raw, you and your kids can enjoy dairy-free, wheat-free, gluten-free, organic and raw treats that are not only super good for you, they are addicting!

Try their granola bars in goji berry, raisin, cranberry or blueberry or have their sea crackers made with flaxseed and kombu in garden herb, pesto or tomato basil. You won’t regret it.

But the real story here is how I discovered just how delicious these products are. I tried them right in the aisle at Whole Foods.

As I contemplated purchasing these products, I must admit I hesitated slightly because they are a little pricey.  So I did what I normally do and ask around if anyone has ever tried them before I spend my hard earned cash on them.  No one had so the Whole Foods guys told me I could just open the bag and try them.  Imagine that!  Of course I shared them and everyone loved them.

Next up, I try the same tactic at the Hermés store.

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Swedes, Bergman and Berries

May 25, 2010

Whenever I eat wild strawberries I can’t help recalling the classic Bergman film, Wild Strawberries….or as the Swedish refer to it as Smultronstallet

Strawberries are in season and, for those of you keeping track, they are by far my favorite fruit. Did you know there are over 600 varieties? When available, I go for the small wild ones, which are unbelievable!

A few quick tips:

Strawberries are delicious as is, but you can add them to most anything.  Try them in smoothies, pancakes, salads, oatmeal, dipped in chocolate, frozen into pops, you name it.  The possibilities are endless.

Strawberries are a great source of vitamins A and C. They also contain fiber, potassium, folate and antioxidants and flavonoids.

Don’t wash your strawberries until you are ready to eat them because they spoil quickly.

Be sure to purchase your strawberries organic since they are a regular on the “dirty dozen list.”   (You can download a wallet size version of the list here.  http://www.foodnews.org/walletguide.php. )

Here is a super easy recipe for Stawberry and Rhubarb Popsicles:

Ingredients
8-10 medium strawberries, hulled and chopped
1 cup rhubarb,chopped
1 tablespoon agave nectar
2 tablespoons water

Method
Simmer the berries with rhubarb and water until very soft about 8-10 minutes.Puree in a blender or processor.Cool a little.Pour in the molds.Freeze for 6-8 hours.
To get the Popsicle out,dip or run under warm water,and slowly pull them out.

And finally, for my fellow strawberry fanatics, check out the next strawberry festival here:

http://www.troyohiostrawberryfestival.com/cwt/external/wcpages/strawberry-festival/index.aspx

Fava Beans and a Nice Chianti

May 7, 2010

Hannibal Lechter aside, did you know that fava beans were eaten in ancient Rome and Greece and even Gladiators ate them with barley to give them strength for battle? These tender, creamy members of the pea family are also known as broad beans, pigeon beans, horse beans and Windsor beans and make their appearance in early spring.

Great steamed and served with olive oil, salt and lemon, they are also delish in purees, soup, added to pasta or just sprinkled with sea salt. Favas are high in fiber and iron, have no cholesterol, low in sodium and fat and high in protein. It’s also been said that these little guys are libido boosters. So, there’s that.

Be sure to shell your favas before eating and don’t eat them raw, some people of Mediterranean descent have an allergic reactions to raw or unpeeled favas called favism. Shelling favas are labor intensive so make your husband do it, I mean, allow plenty of time.

Here’s an easy recipe for fava bean dip

Fava Bean Dip with Goat Cheese and Garlic Recipe (from Simply Recipes)

INGREDIENTS

2-3 pounds fresh fava (broad) beans, shelled (about 2 cups)

1 Tbsp salt

1/2 cup chopped green garlic (can substitute 4 cloves chopped garlic)

Olive oil

1 teaspoon lemon zest

2 Tbsp lemon juice

1/4 cup or more water

5 ounces goat cheese

Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

METHOD

1 Remove the outer shell from the fava beans. The easiest way to do this is to work over a large bowl, bend the fava bean pod near one of the beans, squeeze the bean with your fingers, to have it shoot out into the bowl when the bean snaps. Keep squeezing, pinching and snapping, until you’ve de-beaned all the pods.

2 Bring 2 quarts of water to a boil. Add 1 tablespoon salt. Add the shelled beans, simmer for 5 minutes. Use a slotted spoon to remove beans from the hot water and place in a bowl of ice water to stop the cooking and to shock the beans into maintaining their bright green color. When the beans have sunk to the bottom of the bowl of ice water, fish them out and remove and discard the outer peel.

3 In a small skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil on medium. Add the chopped green garlic (or chopped regular garlic cloves) and cook until softened, but not browned, about 3 or 4 minutes.

4 Place shelled and peeled beans in a food processor with softened green garlic, lemon zest, lemon juice, and water. Pulse until smooth. Stream in a tablespoon or two more of olive oil while puréeing.

5 Scrape mixture out of food processor into a bowl. Mix in the goat cheese until well combined. Season with kosher salt and freshly ground pepper.

Serve with sliced cucumbers or jicama.

Makes about 2 cups.

Radish Chips anyone?

May 6, 2010

Radishes really don’t get the respect they deserve.

Usually just seen as a fun, colorful garnish, these little earthy-spicy guys are not only versatile but a great source of vitamin c and rich in minerals like sulphur, iron, and iodine. Braise them, drop them in salads with fennel and grapefruit, you can even bake them. Pick some up at your local farmer’s market and try this easy, delicious, nutritious, low-calorie recipe for Baked Radish Chips:

Ingredients:

10 radishes

1 tsp chili powder

½ tsp garlic salt

½ tsp paprika

Directions:

  1. Thinly slice radishes
  2. Steam in microwave for 5 minutes
  3. Put in bowl with spices; stir
  4. Bake at 350 for 10 minutes, flip the chips and bake for another 10 minute, lo

Okay, now it’s really time to get serious

May 5, 2010

It’s officially beach weather and some of us haven’t quite gotten down to our bikini weight yet. Look, we all put on a few ell bees during the winter. It happens. But, this happens to be one of those years that we are apparently just going to skip spring and jump straight into boiling hot summer. (Remember when we used to ease into the hot stuff with a few weeks of brisk mornings and mild afternoons? The nineties were awesome.)

Anyhoo, it’s time to make the decision to shed those extra pounds or go shopping for beach appropriate mumus.  I say we lose the weight. And I’ve got a great way to jump start the process.

A great way to stop those sugar and junk-food cravings partially responsible for your extra junk around your trunk is to incorporate more greens into your diet.  Greens are rejeuvanating, cleansing, excavating, energizing and nutritious.  The problem is sometimes they are hard to eat, especially if you are on the go.  So, here’s an easy way to start your day with Dr. Oz’s green drink which is high in fiber, low in calories and rich in vitamins.

See you at the beach.

Ingredients

2 cups spinach

2 cups cucumber

1 head of celery

½ inch or teaspoon ginger root

1 bunch parsley

2 apples

juice of 1 lime

juice of ½ lemon

Directions:

Combine all ingredients in a blender.  This makes approximately 28-30 ounces, or 3-4 servings.

It’s Meatless Monday! (although some of us wish it was Mother-In-Law-less Monday)

May 3, 2010

When it comes to raising kids everyone has an opinion, and unfortunately most people are not shy in sharing.  When new mothers are at their most vulnerable (and sleep deprived) “advice” from family and even strangers can be the straw that breaks the camel’s back.  My advice is relax.

The other day my vegan client, who wants to raise her kids vegan, called me in tears.  Her mother-in-law was attacking her choice and told her that her kid not only needed iron, but that not giving her child meat was child abuse.  First off, yes iron is important.  Secondly, consider moving in the middle of the night without a forwarding address.

Actually, the most common nutritional deficiency among babies is lack of iron, which causes anemia.  Babies are born with a store of iron that lasts around 6 months and after this they need to get iron through food.  For babies the best sources of iron is breast milk, iron-fortified formula, iron fortified baby cereals or prune puree.  For bigger kids and adults there are many vegan ways to get it.

Some iron rich foods for vegans are swiss chard, lima beans, tempeh, enriched bagel or cereal, tofu, quinoa, spinach, lentils, blackstrap molasses, soybeans and dried apricots.

Also be sure to eat foods rich in Vitamin C to better absorb iron.  And did you know that food cooked in a cast-iron skillet (especially acidic foods like tomato sauce) has an increased iron content?  Sometimes even 20 times more!  Also, giving milk separately from meals also promotes iron absorption.

Here’s a super easy and convenient way for kids and adults to get iron on the go.  As in when you’re walking away from a know-it-all, blowhard mother-in-law.

½ cup of walnuts

½ cup peanuts

½ cup of dried apricots

½ cup of raisins

¼ cup of chopped dates

Just mix and go.

Finally, a global movement that involves waffles.

April 28, 2010

I just discovered a new movement whose mission is to promote  friendlier healthier, and more sustainable living. Through waffles.

The Global Vegan Waffle Party was born in 2008. They’re a great resource for vegan waffle recipes (yep, they exist and they’re good – just look at my husband asleep at the breakfast table, drooling like an eight month old). There are a whole bunch of local waffle party events around the country and you’re more than welcome to host your own, or you can join in the Third Annual Global Vegan Waffle Party on May 29th.

You can get a boatload of recipes here, http://bit.ly/cNOKnG, and to get you started, here’s their recipe for Naked Vegan Waffles (*ahem* the waffles are naked, not the Vegan)

  • 1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 1/4 cups soymilk
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar

Sift or whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl. Mix the soymilk, canola oil, and brown sugar in a medium bowl. Pour the soymilk mixture into the flour mixture and stir just until blended. Cook on a waffle iron for 3 to 5 minutes, generously spraying both grills with oil before each waffle. Makes 4 (7-inch) round Belgian waffles.

The Petit Appetit is a big hit

April 27, 2010

So, I have a new favorite cookbook, The Petit Appetit cookbook – easy Organic Recipes to Nurture Your Baby and Toddler by Lisa Barnes.  The book concentrates on kids 4 months to 4 years, and is full of delicious, nutritious recipes for kids of all ages.

What I really like about The Petit Appetit is her emphasis on fresh, organic food and making mealtimes and cooking not only fun but educational.  There is also valuable information on food storage, food safety and pantry must-have items. And you’ll find egg-free, gluten-free, wheat-free, vegetarian and vegan recipes that will not disappoint.

Lisa splits up the sections by age starting with “The Beginners” (4-6 months) and then moves on the “The Explorers” (6-9 months) and ends with “The Connoisseurs” (3-4 years).  I just made her Cereal Batons and my husband ate them like “The Animals.”

Get your copy here… http://amzn.to/cogYhi

It’s Meatless Monday! What’s for breakfast?

April 26, 2010

My family is pretty lucky. Every morning I arise earlier than I really have to just to make them a delicious homemade nutritious breakfast.  Now, I’m sure they appreciate my tireless pursuit of sainthood, but to be honest I am sick and tired of the clean-up.  They’re usually off to work and school before me, so guess who gets stuck with the dishes? (ahem) Yep, me.

So, I have been racking my brain to come up with breakfast ideas that require little or no clean-up. Which is why I got so excited when I found this delish recipe for Chocolate Chip Banana Bread in Living Vegan for Dummies, from one of my favorite vegans, Alexandra Jamieson (http://bit.ly/di1mUx)

Great for breakfast, snack time or anytime, all you have to do is just slice and go.

BTW, Living Vegan for Dummies is a mmmmmmust have book for anyone interested in becoming vegan or for vegans who want to create a healthy and balanced diet, collect invaluable tips for eating out and traveling as well as expand their cooking repertoire with some kick ass vegan recipes.

Yeah, I said it. Kick ass.

Chocolate Chip Banana Bread

2 large overripe bananas

6 tablespoons soy, rice or hemp milk

2/3 cup agave syrup

1/3 cup canola oil

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

¾ teaspoon salt

½ cup vegan chocolate chips

1 cup whole wheat or spelt flour

1 cup unbleached white, whole wheat, or spelt flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon

¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg

Preheat oven to 350.  Lightly oil a 9-inch loaf pan.  In a medium mixing bowl, mash together the bananas, milk, agave, oil, vanilla, and salt.  Stir in the chocolate chips.

In a large mixing bowl, sift the flours, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and nutmeg.  Pour the banana and chocolate chip mixture into the flour mixture and stir with a spatula until just blended.  Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan and bake for 40-45 m inutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.  Cool for 15 minutes before removing from the pan and serving.

Buckets for the Cure?

April 23, 2010

Susan G. Komen foundation has lent it’s support to the cause of increasing obesity, heart disease and animal cruelty in America by funding the KFC “Buckets for the Cure” program. KFC will be selling pink buckets of chicken and pledging fifty cents to Komen for every pink bucket ordered by restaurant operators during the promotion period.

Now, this makes as much sense as asking Paula Abdul for help with your math homework.

Don’t get me wrong, the foundation has done tons of great work. They’ve raised millions and millions of dollars in their fight to cure breast cancer. They fund research projects and experiment with new treatments. They tirelessly counsel those diagnosed, bringing them one of the most precious things for someone stricken – hope. I can’t say enough good things about all of their accomplishments. And the cause is near and dear to my heart. I watched my mother courageously battle this insidious disease for 10 hard years. That said, let me just dramatically raise my eyebrows and ask a few painfully obvious questions…

Really? There’s no other way to get the word out? It’s got be through, factory-farmed, antibiotic and steroid laden, fried chicken? (FYI, fried foods have been linked to all sorts of wonderful cancers like kidney and ovarian. So the partnership makes total sense. No, wait…)

The underlying message of the campaign is eat some cancer causing foods so we can find a cure for cancer and cure the cancer you got from trying to help us cure cancer.

Uh huh. I think I’ll stick with Komen’s Race for a Cure, thanks.