Archives for category: I recommend…

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Check out six myths that the beef industry wants you to believe, and make your own choice about whether you want to include it in your diet.

 

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Zoodles! 

Tis the season for zucchini, and many times we end up with more than we can handle.  I just love zucchini noodles or ‘zoodles’ as I like to call them.  I was inspired to make a dish similar to a Veggie Bolognese dish that I get at the Amazing Cafe in the South Side.  I used veggies and ingredients that I had on hand to make a hearty sauce, so feel free to sub out some of the veggies and try your own version with what you have at your house!

Ingredients*:

3 zucchini (medium to large size)

I used a spiralizer to noodle-ize my zucchini.  This gadget is well worth the modest price, and it helps to break up some of the perceived monotony and apprehension around eating vegetables.

This is one of my favorite ways to eat zucchini.  The zucchini does not need to be cooked or peeled, so you get all of the benefits of eating raw too.  For this dish, I lightly salted the zucchini after spiralizing then let it sit for about an hour to remove some of the moisture.  This is not a necessity if you are watching your salt intake.  I used three medium zucchini for this dish, and I had enough for two dinners and two lunches.

For the sauce, I combined:

1.5 cups of red sauce (your choice – I used what I had in the fridge.)

1 package of white button mushrooms sliced

1 bulb of fennel sliced

1 onion sliced

1 fresh tomato sliced

1-4 cloves of  fresh garlic – depending on what you fancy

1 TBSP veggie stock concentrate (I use organic Better than Bouillon)

1 TBSP EVOO
1.5 cups of water
1 tsp garlic powder

1 tsp onion powder

1 tsp italian seasoning
1/2 tsp fennel seed

1 can of white cannellini beans (cleaned and rinsed)

Salt & pepper to taste

I threw all of the sauce ingredients in the slow cooker, and cooked it for 1.5 hours on high.  Once the fennel and veggies were tender, I let the sauce cool.  I put the washed cannellini beans on top of the zucchini, and the sauce on top of that.

I served this whole dish room temperature on the patio on a warm summer evening.  You could also just serve your zoodles with a jarred sauce of your choice and add some fresh basil if you are pinched for time.  Whatever works for you!

Let me know how your zoodling goes….

*I used all organic ingredients and recommend the same for you.

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Remember when we were told that milk ‘does a body good’? Today, science isn’t necessarily backing up this claim, and we’ve also learned  that  much of the research that claims the health benefits of dairy is funded by the dairy industry itself.  In fact, much research implies the opposite. T. Colin Campbell, PhD, and author of The China Study has even linked the dairy protein, casein, to the promotion of cancer cell growth.  Check out this article from One Green Planet to read more on some of the big dairy myths from our past. You’re sure to recognize a few!

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One of my favorite people in the world, Sara, makes a wonderful Indian pastry called a Shangarah.  I met Sara in college, and her family is from Bangladesh.  They serve up some of the most delicious food that I’ve ever tasted, and I had a hankering for it last week.

Shangarahas are sort of like dumplings in a way – delicious pastry pockets stuffed with potatoes, cauliflower, peas, onion, and tons of wonderful spices.  I had a hard time finding a pastry that did not contain eggs and decided to try a version of Sara’s Shangarahs in the slow cooker instead.  This also helped slow down my busy week.

This dish turned out wonderfully after I consulted with her on the spices.  We had it for dinner and then also had enough for two lunches.  I served it over brown basmati rice with some sweet & spicy chili sauce on the side.  Oh, and fresh lemon is excellent squeezed on this as well.  Thanks, Sara!

Ingredients*

3 cups of water

1 head of cauliflower (I kept stems & leaves in this dish)

4 large potatoes (I used a mix of about 8 small blue & russets leftover from my CSA)

2 onions

1/2 bag of frozen peas (8 oz)

4 garlic cloves

1 TBSP EVOO

2 tsp Onion Powder

2 tsp Garlic Powder

2 tsp Cumin

2 tsp Coriander

2 tsp Turmeric

2 tsp Himalayan Pink Salt

3 cups of organic brown basmati rice in the rice cooker

*I use all organic ingredients whenever possible.

Instruction

Thoroughly clean all veggies.

Tear or cut cauliflower into bite sized pieces.  I also kept much of the stem & leaves in the dish.

Cut potatoes into bite sized pieces.

Chop onion and garlic.

Add the liquid (water and oil) first with the spices can help to evenly distribute the spices into the slow cooker.

Then add the potatoes first, then garlic, onion, cauliflower, and peas.

Cook on high for 3 1/2 hours stirring occasionally if you are home.  Stir and serve this dish hot over brown basmati rice.

Mmm…

 

 

 

 

Food for Thought...

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About a year ago, we started making our own nut milks instead of buying them.  Honestly, this was one of the last things that I wanted to do.  I kept telling myself that it was just so much easier to buy a boxed brand, and I wasn’t excited about taking this step.  I think this is a step that so many don’t want to take because it seems so cumbersome (but it’s not), AND it’s actually easier than running to the store!  Homemade nut milks TASTE much better than boxed or cartons too. You can even add chocolate, vanilla, or almond flavor if you want.  After our first batch, I was hooked and have enthusiastically continued to make and experiment with nut milks.

After reading up on some of the ingredients in ORGANIC nut milks, I wasn’t thrilled and this fueled the fire to create my own milks at home.  For instance, carrageenan is a common ingredient that is used as a thickener.  Carrageenan has been linked to stomach problems in people producing a colitis like effect.  I actually have a close friend and family member who both experience stomach issues with carrageenan.  Additionally, it causes inflammation in the body and may be carcinogenic. Many doctors would argue that chronic inflammation is the root cause of all disease.  If you are going to continue to buy packaged nut milks, read the ingredients and look for brands without carrageenan and minimal fillers.

For more on carrageenan:

http://www.drweil.com/drw/u/QAA401181/Is-Carrageenan-Safe.html

http://foodbabe.com/2012/05/22/watch-out-for-this-carcinogen-in-your-organic-food/

Anyway, onto the good stuff.  Cashew milk is the easiest nut milk to make because you do not need a nut milk bag or to strain it.  Place all ingredients into a high speed blender, and blend on your highest setting for 3 minutes.  You will have a frothy, creamy delicious dairy-free beverage good for cooking, cereal, coffee, and anything you would use milk or nut milk for.  Once blended, it’s warm from the torque – and this is delicious topped with a bit of nutmeg & cinnamon on a chilly evening.  I store my cashew milk in a large mason jar in the refrigerator, and it keeps for several days.

Not only are they my favorite nut, cashews are extremely beneficial to your health as they are high in copper, zinc, and iron.  Iron supports your immune system and helps destroy infectious diseases.  Zinc promotes healthy cell growth and development while copper aids in energy production.  They contain magnesium which helps muscles relax and can even aid in preventing migraine headaches. Cashews are cancer fighting and also help to protect the skin against UV damage.  For more on cashews, try this article from Dr. Mercola.

Ingredients
1 cup of organic, raw cashews (Raw is necessary for blending.)

3.5 cups of water  (You can add more or less water depending on the consistency that you want – less water produces a more dense beverage.  See my post on cashew cream as a waffle topping on 2/24/14.)

2 pitted dates

1 pinch of pink himalayan sea salt

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