I have long been a fan of an amazing vegan seed and nut cookie at the epic Epic Cafe in Tucson, Arizona. After much experimentation over the years this is my version. It is not quite the same as their crunchier treat, but it'll give you the same feeling of satisfaction for having had a filling healthy snack.
This is one of those recipes where you can alter it to fit your mood and the ingredients you have on hand so be creative - and enjoy it!
Su's Gluten Free Seed Cookies (vegan option noted) - Makes abt. 10 -3 inch round cookies
Note that ingredients should be organic as much as possible.
Mix in small bowl:
2 eggs (for a vegan version let 2 Tbs. ground chia seeds sit in 6 Tbs of water for 10-15 minutes
and add that instead of the eggs)
1 teas. vanilla
2 Tbs. melted Coconut Oil (coconut butter will also work)
Mix in medium bowl:
Your choice of crushed seeds and nuts. I prefer to lightly toast mine first and then semi-grind them (is that a word?) in a small food grinder so that some small seed pieces remain. You can see what I mean in the picture (you should be able to click on it to enlarge it). For the cookies in the picture I used:
1/4 cup toasted and partially ground sunflower seeds
1/4 cup toasted and partially ground pumpkin seeds
1 Tbs hemp seeds
1/4 cup lightly toasted sesame seeds
Other additions could include walnuts, ground flax seeds (always grind flax seeds to get the best nutrition) , dissicated organic coconut and small dried fruits.
1/4 cup coconut flour (hazlenut or almond flour could also work)
3 Tbs. ground Gluten free rolled oats
2 Teas. Cinnamon
Dash powdered ginger
2 Tbsp. Coconut Palm Sugar (or your choice of sweetener. The trick is to just add a touch of sweetness)
Mix the liquids with the dry ingredients well. Pat into small disks.
Cook in the oven on parchment at 350 for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes turn off the oven but leave the cookies in for another 10 minutes so they cool slowly. This helps them to not be too crumbly since they should be on the dry side.
I package them one or two to a baggie for a treat, they're filling so you don't need a whole handful to be satisfied!
Have you been waiting for the holidays to fade before you start an "Old Year's Detox" or a New Year's Heath Plan? Now's the time to prepare! Here's my favorite. Alejandro Junger's Clean plan eliminates the foods we're most likely to have allergies or sensitivities to and provides a list of healthy foods to eat. In the 21 day plan, which I've done successfully, you have a healthy balanced smoothie for breakfast and dinner, a healthy lunch from the allowed foods list, and just enough snacks so you don't get hungry. I know what you're thinking and yes, you can have your meal for dinner on those days you can't avoid a dinner out.
Will it work for you? If you want increased energy it will. Many people do lose some weight on the plan, especially men, but it's not a weight loss plan. I like to call it an energy creating plan. You will feel the difference once your body eliminates the caffeine (that's right, no coffee but there are lots of alternatives) and other foods that your body does better without.
Supplements and shakes are available though the Clean website or you can put together your own. There is also a 7 Day Plan and a Gut Cleanse plan. Each of these plans has a book available with details and recipes. The Clean book is highly recommended. Even if you don't do the cleanse it's a great resource. Once you start the plan the website has lots of links to recipes on other sites as well. It's not one of those diets where you have to stick to the book. You'll also learn what to substitute to make your own recipes clean, part of what makes it a lifelong health change for the better.
This plan also has the best support site I've seen. You can log on to the Discussion Forum to see a myriad of recipes and questions and answers as fellow cleansers work their way though the 7 or 21 days. It's a very supportive group and sure to get you through the plan.
I call it a diet for life because you will continue to integrate many of it's elements into your eating habits after the cleanse is over. For example I still replace my meals with the wonderful shake recipes on occasion, and I'm always conscious of the 12 hour overnight digestion period. Plus, you'll find yourself automatically making substitutions when you cook, making your meals healthier. When you start adding other foods back into your diet after the cleanse you'll learn what foods you are particularly sensitive to so you can avoid them in the future.
If you're looking for a new way of eating for your new year this is it, a "diet" for life!
This sugar free chocolate is made with raw organic cacao powder. No soy lecithin or sugar syrups in this recipe. It's healthy and satisfying. Keep it in the refrigerator. I have successfully taken a few pieces with me to work for a snack but it's not heat stable for long periods of time.
3 Tb. organic grass fed salted butter
3 Tb. organic coconut oil
Liquid vanilla stevia
1 cup raw organic cacao powder
Melt the following in a warm pan, as if you're making a chocolate sauce:
3 tablespoon organic grass fed salted butter
(use palm oil if avoiding butter)
3 tablespoons organic coconut oil
Gradually add about 1/2 - 3/4 cup raw organic cacao powder. You may have to experiment with the amounts, add enough cacao until the mixture is thick enough to spread into a thin layer. The more cacao the darker the chocolate.
Add 3-4 droppers of liquid vanilla stevia to taste.
Spread the mixture onto a piece of aluminum foil in a thin layer.
Optional add-ins: Sprinkle with crushed walnuts or other seeds or nuts, acai powder, chia seed, desiccated coconut or even dried wheat grass greens. You can make this a super antioxidant treat! Sometimes I sprinkle a touch of xylitol over the top to make it a touch sweeter and give it some crunch.
Place your sheet of chocolate in the freezer for about 20 minutes. After the chocolate has hardened you can break it into pieces and store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Enjoy a few pieces as a healthy pick me up with some afternoon coffee or tea!
Time to re-post -- so many sites have been added! If you like to cook healthy meals you'll love these recipe blogs and healthy food sites. Great inspiration for healthy eating!
I continue to add to the list as I find new sites!
Vitacost Health Blog
Sondi Brunner's Nutritious Recipes
The Chic Life
The Clean Eating Chick
Real Food Liz
Life's a Plate
Oatmeal With a Fork
The Healthy Apple
The Earth Diet
The Greatist - Cheap Healthy Recipes
My Man's Belly
Green Kitchen Stories
Girl Cooks World
Healthy Blender recipes
Clean Program Recipes
the Nourishing Gourmet
the Healthy Foodie
For the Love of Food
Simply Sugar and Gluten Free
365 Vegetarian Days
A Harmony Healing
Real Food Outlaws
Whole Green Love
We Like it Raw
Here's a great flexible recipe for homemade tomato soup.
2 TB. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 Medium onion chopped
1 TB. Tomato paste
3 Cloves garlic minced
1 Tsp. xylitol
1 15 oz. can diced tomatoes (I recommend Muir Glen's organic fire roasted diced tomatoes)
1 Tsp. Balsamic Vinegar
1/2 Teas. dried basil
1 Teas. dried thyme
2 Cups water
1. Heat the oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion and the garlic and saute until clear. Add the tomato paste and xylitol and stir well for 1 minute.
2. Stir in the tomatoes, vinegar, thyme, basil and water. Bring the soup to a boil. Once boiling, cover and simmer for 10 minutes.
3. Transfer the soup to a blender or blend with an immersion blender until desired consistency is reached. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Optional variations include adding 3/4 cup light cream in step 2 and/or 2 Tbs. organic butter. Top with croutons or a sprinkling of Parmesan cheese or chopped fresh basil if desired.
I don't usually write about a specific product, but as I was making soup in my Vitamix Blender last night I thought it was time to share the truth about the blender. The simple truth is the companies claim that the Vitamix is amazing is absolutely true. Check out the recipes on their site. For example, if you blend your soup recipe long enough it even heats the soup up for you!
I bought my Vitamix Blender over 20 years ago. It was the first major kitchen appliance I ever purchased. It was a big decision for me, let's face it, they are definitely on the pricey side. I can't even tell you how many times over the years I've been thankful I decided to invest in one.
I have not been easy on my blender. I often pile in more vegetables than I should or not enough liquid. I've been known to pile in too much of ice with some organic half and half for my homemade ice cream milkshakes (recipe below). The blender has handled it all with aplumb.
One day I overdid it, the motor was clearly struggling with a very thick nut butter, and then it stopped altogether. A quick call to the helpline relieved my fears that I'd finally broken the poor thing. At their advice I turned it off for a while and sure enough, the motor was revived and started working again just like new.
The Vitamix Blender is definitely an investment and if you want to make an investment on a kitchen appliance that you'll always use, this is the one. (They have slightly lower priced reconditioned blenders available too.)
Here's a current favorite dessert recipe of mine. If you have another heavy duty blender give it a try, it may work just as well. It never fails with the Vitamix.
Yummy & Organic Sugar Free Milkshake (1 Personal Servin5)
Place in blender:
5 ice cubes
1 cup Organic Half and Half (Organic whipping cream can be used for a richer shake)
3/4 dropper full Liquid Vanilla Stevia (or to taste)
Optional: 1/3 cup blueberries or other berry of choice, so yummy!
Blend until the ice is completely ground and pour into a tall glass for an amazing and healthy milkshake.
~ If you're low fat dieting you can use fat free half and half for a really low fat dessert treat! Use organic with the lowest sugar content you can find as low-fat usually means some added sweetener.
~ If you freeze some half and half or cream as ice cubes ahead of time and use them with some liquid cream you will get a lovely ice cream consistency.
Click on this link to see the variety of choices of Vitamix Blenders and what they can do.
I tried a gluten free dinner roll recipe over the holidays and I have to say, they didn't really thrill any of us as the spicy herbal dinner roll I was expecting. I immediately recognized them as the perfect gluten free alternative to fill another place however. They puff up and are stable enough to be perfect sandwich or hamburger rolls! Here's the recipe -- let me know what you think.
Makes about 8 burger sized rolls.
3 cup almond flour
1/2 cup hard cheese of choice (Parmesan or cheddar work well)
1 cup sour cream or plain yogurt
optional: 1 small onion grated
1 tbsp. chives
1 tbsp. parsley chopped
1/4 cup water
2 garlic cloves
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1. Preheat oven to 325
2. Mix almond flour, baking soda and powder, cheese, chives & parsley in a bowl.
3. In another bowl whisk the eggs, then add yogurt, garlic, onions & water
4. Add wet to dry ingredients and mix well.
5. Batter is very wet, I didn't think it would bake -- but it does!
6. Using a spoon scoop onto a baking pan lined with parchment papaer or greased and floured. Because it's such a wet batter, parchment paper works best.
7. Bake at 325 for 15-18 minutes.
Recipe adapted from AndreAnna
I've tried several of the pizza dough's made with cauliflower and nut flour that can be found on the web and I haven't been happy with any of them. I decided to work on a flour-free cauliflower snack instead. I love the recipe I've come up with. It can be frozen and warmed up for a snack very quickly in the oven. It's a delicious alternative to a piece of bread with a meal and yes, it can even perform well as a pizza dough for a small personal sized pizza. If you wanted to add a couple of tablespoons of nut or garbanzo flour I'm sure it would be even stronger. For myself, I've decided I love the cheesy feel of the recipe without the flour.
So if you're eating paleo (with eggs) or gluten free , or just want a yummy snack without any flour or sugar - here it is.
1 head cauliflower
2 egg whites
1 cup mozzarella cheese ( 8 oz.)
1/8 teas. pepper
1/2 teas. onion powder
2 grated cloves garlic
Optional if using for mini pizza -- 1 Teas. Italian seasoning
Turkey pepperoni or other toppings of choice to put on top for
last 5 minutes of baking.
1. Pre-heat oven to 450.
2. Grate the cauliflower in a blender or with a box grater. You want fine granules about the size of split peas.I do it in my blender in 3 portions so it chops well.
3. Cook the grated cauliflower in a dry skillet, stirring constantly, until it's cooked through and softened, about 5 minutes. Pour it in a bowl to cool.
4. In a food processor or blender mix the remaining ingredients well.
5. Add the cauliflower and blend a minute longer to mix it.
6. Scoop by the tablespoon onto a parchment lined baking sheet. Flatten them to your preferred size. They will be the same size when they're cooked so experiment with your preferred size. I make small ones for cracker-like snacking and slightly bigger ones for mini pizzas.
7. Bake for 10 minutes or until starting to brown, then turn them over. I sometimes flatten them a little more with a paper towel at this point. Cook for another 15-20 minutes until browned. If you're making mini pizzas you can add some additional mozzarella cheese to the top a minute before removing from the oven.
8. If you want to freeze some lay them on a baking pan in the freezer to freeze individually, then wrap several together in foil. To reheat just put them in the oven for 5 minutes at 350.
I've Found It!
You've been there I'm sure. You spend an hour chopping up vegetables for a great meal or the weeks lunches, and then your glow of achievement is totally dashed when you try to gracefully transfer the scraps to your compost container. Some make it, others are all over the floor and stuck under the edge of the sink.
I've been struggling with trying to find a way to get my compost scraps to my temporary kitchen scrap container without having vegetable scraps all over the floor. My kitchen isn't equipped for a big electric under the counter composter, even if there were a reasonably priced one, and I have to have something inside until I have time to take my scraps to the outdoor composter.
I've done a lot of searching; whenever I get frustrated enough to spend some time researching options I try again. Well, today I found the Kitchen Art Scrap Trap. It fits over the top of a drawer or door so you can set it right under your work counter and just scrape your scraps into it! To add to the thrill of a useful kitchen find -- it's under $12.00!
How delightful that scrumptious Kale is also one of the very best foods for us. It’s highly nutritious and reasonably priced. It does happen to be one of the top 10 vegetables containing pesticide residue however, so be certain to wash it especially well or buy organic.
What, you don’t find kale scrumptious? Well, you need the right recipes then, and I’m here to give you some!
Kale Salad with Pumpkin Seeds
¼ cup toasted pumpkin seeds
½ cup extra virgin olive oil
2 cloves grated/minced garlic cloves
¼ cup lemon or orange juice
1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 large bunch kale, ribs cut out and cut or torn into small pieces
½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
1. To toast the pumpkin seeds, wipe a skillet with your preferred high temperature cooking
oil, I like grapeseed oil, coconut oil is another good alternative. Toast the seeds, stirring
frequently, until slightly browned. Some will pop & puff up which is desirable.
2. Whisk or blend together the oil, lemon or orange, garlic and pepper flakes.
3. Add the kale and toss, coating the kale with the oil mixture. Add the grated cheese and pumpkin seeds and mix well.
4. Let the salad sit for at least 15 minutes.
5. Eat and enjoy this healthy treat.
Moroccan Kale & Chickpea Stew
1 cup chickpeas (soaked overnight if dry or use canned &undrained)
2 cups water
1 onion chopped into medium chunks
1 large green bell pepper chopped into medium chunks
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
2 large grated/minced garlic cloves
1 can diced or skinned tomatoes (undrained)
1 ½ Tablespoon Chile powder
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon dried oregano
Pinch red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1. In a large skillet cook the onions and garlic, stirring regularly until the onions are
2. Add the peppers to the skillet and stir until soft, about 10 minutes.
3. Add the rest of the ingredients and simmer for 40 minutes, stirring occasionally, to meld
all the flavors.
4. Serve by itself or over cous cous or brown rice with hearty whole grain bread.