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Archive for the ‘Healthy eating’ Category


GreensCover_pngWhile working on the cookbook Fifty Plates of Greens, I experimented with different recipes and ate a lot of greens. I have found that I love greens! The more greens you eat, the more you like them. Any trip to the grocery store now includes a purchase of some kind of greens. I usually buy what looks good and fresh: kale, mustard greens, bok choy, collards. If all other greens look wilted, I can usually count on finding some pretty good organic baby spinach greens. And spinach is so versatile.

Here is a recipe from my just released heart-healthy cookbook Fifty Plates of Greens. It is now available in pdf format. All recipes are vegan, low-fat, and designed to promote good health. What’s more, most of the recipes are gluten-free, and the few that aren’t include gluten-free substitutions. The majority also consist solely of whole food ingredients, sure to please anyone trying to eat a “clean” or unprocessed foods diet. And since none of the recipes contain added sugar, cheese or butter, they are ideal for anyone watching sugar intake or trying to control weight.

Check it out. I think you will find some recipes you will love.

Rustic Kale Soup with Cauliflower, Carrots & Barley

(if following a gluten-free diet, substitute brown rice for the barley)

10-15 kale leaves
1 ½ cups chopped cauliflower
2 large or 3 small carrots, peeled and
sliced
½ cup (uncooked) barley
1 celery stalk, chopped
1 leek, white & light green, sliced
1/3 yellow onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
2 quarts low-sodium vegetable broth
½ tsp. turmeric
1 tsp. parsley
1 tsp. oregano
1 tsp. smoky paprika (or any paprika)
¼ tsp. red pepper flakes
1 tsp. celery flakes or celery seed
2 bay leaves
Extra virgin olive oil
Salt & pepper, to taste

Rustic Kale Soup with Cauliflower & Barley

Rustic Kale Soup with Cauliflower & Barley

1) In large kettle on medium-high heat, add a couple tbsp. of olive oil and the onion and
leek. Saute about 5-7 minutes.

2) Next add the cauliflower and carrots. Saute about another 5-7 minutes.

3) Add all spices to the kettle. Stir in the chopped celery. Add more olive oil, as needed.

4) Meanwhile, cook barley according to package directions in a separate pot.

5) Chop the kale leaves and remove the stem. Add to the main soup pot. Stir for about 5
minutes. The greens will cook down. Add the garlic.

6) Pour in the vegetable broth. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Simmer for about
20-30 minutes. Add the barley when it’s tender.

 Makes 4-6 servings.

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Greens Cookbook in the Works!

Mustard Greens with Roasted Sweet Potatoes and Toasted Pumpkin Seeds

Mustard Greens with Roasted Sweet Potatoes and Toasted Pumpkin Seeds

Leafy green vegetables not only contain enough vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and fiber to make them the star of any dinner table, they also add so much flavor. It seems like people everywhere are starting to discover greens. I’ve been working for the last six months on a cookbook featuring 50 greens recipes from 14 different types of greens. These 50 recipes are:

  • Low-fat
  • Heart-healthy
  • Vegan
  • Gluten-free
  • About 95% clean-diet friendly
  • Sugar-free
  • Delicious

Let’s all enjoy the holidays and start the year with new recipes for a healthier life. Be watching for the cookbook. I hope to have it out by Christmas, at least in a pdf version, with a kindle version to follow.

Below is one of the recipes from the cookbook to give you an idea of the types of recipes it will contain. Happy cooking and eating!

Mustard Greens with Roasted Sweet Potatoes and Toasted Pumpkin Seeds

Two medium sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks One bunch of mustard greens, cleaned and chopped (about 4 cups, raw)
½ cup pumpkin seeds
1 ½  tsp. paprika
½ tsp. garlic powder
½ tsp. turmeric
¼ tsp. red pepper flakes
Extra virgin olive oil
Salt & pepper, to taste

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

1) Prepare sweet potatoes and arrange on an olive oil greased baking sheet. Pour a couple of tbsp. of olive oil over them and sprinkle 1 tsp. of paprika over them. Place into a pre-heated 400 degree oven. After 10 minutes, turn the sweet potatoes so they can brown on both sides. Then return to oven and bake another 10-15 minutes. They should be fork-tender but not mushy.

2) Meanwhile, in a deep skillet, heat 1/2 tbsp. olive oil on medium-high heat. Add the pumpkin seeds and toast them. They will need about 7 minutes. Stir frequently. Remove to a bowl.

3) Add 1 tbsp. of olive oil to the same skillet you used for the pumpkin seeds. Add the greens. They will reduce in size considerably as they cook. Stir in the garlic powder, turmeric, red pepper flakes and remaining paprika over the greens. Let them cook on medium to medium-high heat for about 8-10 minutes.

4) Add the roasted sweet potatoes and pumpkin seeds to the skillet with the greens and stir together.

Four side servings.

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Make the most of the last of summer’s fresh peaches with these two delicious, healthy recipes. Frozen or canned peaches would work also, but there is nothing like fresh summer peaches.

Peach and Blueberry Turnovers

Peach and Blueberry Turnovers

Peach and Blueberry Phyllo Turnovers

2 large ripe peaches or 3 medium ones
¼ cup blueberries
1 tsp. cinnamon
¼ tsp. nutmeg
8 sheets of phyllo
Canola oil
1 tsp sugar

1) Peel peaches and cut into cubes.

2) Stir together peaches and all ingredients (except phyllo and canola oil)

3) On flat clean surface, place one sheet of phyllo. Brush on a bit of canola oil. Place another sheet of phyllo on top and brush with canola oil. Repeat with two more sheets of phyllo. Cut layers into three even strips.

4) Place a couple tbsp. of the peach mixture on one half of each phyllo strip and pull up the strip to cover the mixture. Press down the edges of the phyllo. Place onto greased baking sheet. Sprinkle tops with sugar.

5) Repeat steps 3 and 4 with the remaining phyllo sheets and peach mixture.

6) Bake in preheated 350 degree oven for 20 minutes.

Makes 6 delicious turnovers.

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PeachMuffins

Fresh Peach Muffins

Fresh Peach Muffins

1 ½ cups white whole wheat flour
1/4 cup sugar
1 organic, free range egg white
1 tbsp. ground flaxseed whisked with 3 tbsp. water
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. vanilla
½ cup unsweetened almond milk
¼ cup Smart Balance (butter substitute), softened
1 large ripe peach, peeled and chopped

Topping

¼ cup brown sugar
1 tbsp. Smart Balance, softened
2 tbsp. chopped pecans or walnuts (optional)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

1)      Mix together the dry ingredients.

2)      Stir in the wet ingredients and then fold in the chopped peach.

3)      Add to muffin cups or greased muffin pan.

4)      Mix together topping and place some on top of each muffin.

5)      Bake in 375 degree oven for 15 minutes.

Makes 11 muffins.

Peach muffins

Peach muffins hot out of the oven

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Delicious Stuffed Pepper

Delicious Stuffed Pepper

These peppers are a little labor-intensive, but worth the effort! So delicious and good-for-you, filled with so many healthy ingredients: brown rice, fresh corn, black beans and tomatoes. Not to mention the peppers themselves. Also, you can make them the night before if you are having friends over for dinner. They also make great leftovers.

Stuffed Peppers, Southwestern-style

3 large bell peppers (your choice of color), stems and seeds removed, and cut in half
2 cups cooked brown rice
1 15 oz. can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 15 oz can whole tomatoes
1 10 oz can Rotel brand diced tomatoes
2 ears corn
½ onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbsp. cilantro
½ tbsp. cumin
1 tsp. chili powder
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1 ½ cup low-fat cheddar cheese or Daiya vegan cheese
Olive oil

1)      Prepare peppers. Place halves in large casserole dish greased with olive oil, with smooth side facing down.

2)      Cook corn in the microwave (each ear should be microwaved about 1 minute 15 seconds). When cool, scrape from cob. A serrated knife works well for this.

3)      In large sauce pan, add a couple tbsp. of olive oil. Heat oil on medium high heat and add chopped onions. Saute until tender. Then add minced garlic, ciliantro, cumin and chili powder.

4)      Add corn and black beans and stir. Remove tomatoes from can and set juice aside. Chop tomatoes and add to the sauce pan. Add 2 tbsp. of the Rotel tomatoes.

5)      Stir in two cups of cooked brown rice and ½ cup cheese or vegan cheese.

6)      Spoon rice mixture into the pepper halves. Mound it up, as needed.

7)      For sauce: Add tomato juice from canned tomatoes, remaining Rotel tomatoes, garlic powder and 1 tbsp. oil oil to medium-sized bowl. Stir together. Pour over peppers.

8)      Cover with foil. Bake at 375 degrees for 20 minutes. Remove foil. Sprinkle with remaining cheese and bake for another 20 minutes.

Makes 6 servings. Great leftovers.

Peppers before baking

Peppers before baking

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Corny Corn Bread

Corny Corn Bread

Since it’s summer, it’s easy to find fresh, sweet corn. While making cornbread the other day, I decided to add some fresh corn to it. It really sweetened the bread and made it extra delicious. It’s a simple recipe.

By the way, this bread is made from corn meal, which is a whole grain, so it’s gluten-free. Also, I use unsweetened almond milk and no eggs, so it’s vegan. And did I mention heart-healthy?  You and your family will love it!

Easy Extra Corny Corn Bread          

1 cup corn meal (I use Virginia’s Best)
1 cup unsweetened almond milk
1 tbsp. canola oil
1 tbsp. ground flaxseed whisked with 4 tbsp. water
1 ear of corn

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

1)      Shuck corn. Cook in microwave for 1 minute 10 seconds. Let cool. Scrape corn from cob into a plate.

2)      Mix all ingredients together

3)      Pour into pan that’s approximately 6” X 6”.

4)      Bake in 400 degree oven for about 20 minutes.

5)      Serve with Smart Balance buttery spread.

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Raspberry Oatmeal Cookie Bar

Raspberry Oatmeal Cookie Bar

I bought a pint of fresh raspberries at the Farmer’s Market Saturday and felt inspired to make raspberry oatmeal cookie bars. The recipe below is vegan, gluten free and heart healthy. I adapted it from a recipe on the Vegetarian Times website, but switched the white flour for oat flour and made it vegan. And I reduced the amount of sugar. I also added fresh raspberries. And I made a couple of other changes. Okay, it’s pretty much original. You could make this recipe with blueberries or strawberries too.  Try serving with raspberry or chocolate sorbet for an awesome dessert. Would be a welcome part of a brunch menu also.

Raspberry Oatmeal Cookie Bars

• 1 ¼ cups organic oat flour
• 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
• ½ tsp. baking soda
• 3/4 cup brown sugar
• ½ cup butter substitute (I used Smart Balance)
• 2 tbsp. ground flaxseed, whisked with 7 tbsp. water (egg substitute)
• 1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
• 1 3/4 cups oats plus an additional ¼ cup
• 10 oz. raspberry jam (about 1 cup)
• 2/3 cup raspberries
• ¼ cup chopped pecans, sliced toasted almonds or chopped walnuts (optional)

1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Coat 9-inch-square baking dish with cooking spray.
2. Stir together oat flour, cinnamon and baking soda in large bowl.
3. Whisk sugar and butter substitute until light and fluffy. Add the flaxseed mixture and vanilla and whisk til smooth.
4. Add flour mixture to sugar mixture; mix until combined. Stir in 1 3/4 cups oats.
5. Spread 2/3 of batter on bottom of prepared baking dish. Spread raspberry jam over the batter with back of spoon. Sprinkle raspberries on top.
6. Add remaining 1/4 cup oats and nuts to remaining batter. Crumble evenly over top.
7. Bake 25 minutes. Cool, then cut into bars.

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Fresh StrawberriesSure you can find strawberries in the supermarket year round, but nothing tastes like fresh, local strawberries. In the mid-Atlantic, they are available in late spring. Berry farms let you pick them yourself and allow you to eat as many as you like while picking. Farmer’s markets have tables of fresh berries and even some of the supermarkets choose to carry local berries over the ones hauled in from far away.

Take advantage of the season with one of the recipes below.

Strawberry Cobbler

This recipe works with peaches or other berries as well. Tastes like it was really hard to make, but it’s easy. Make it ahead of time and pop in the oven just before dinner. The whole house will smell delicious.

Heat oven to 375 degrees

3 cups fresh strawberries
2/3 cup sugar
1 cup white whole wheat flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1 cup unsweetened almond milk
Dash of salt
½ cup melted Smart Balance

1) Mix berries and sugar in medium bowl.
2) Add flour, baking powder and milk to medium-size mixing bowl. Blend in melted smart balance or butter substitute. Spread into medium-sized baking pan. Add blackberry/sugar mixture on top of batter.
3) Bake about 40 minutes. Dough will rise to the top!
4) Delicious with soy or coconut ice cream.

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Fruit Turnovers

These mini fruit pies are relatively easy to make, will make your house smell wonderful and will delight your lucky guests.

Fruit Turnover

Fruit Turnover

2 vegetarian frozen pie shells (choose the kind that come in rolls, in the refrigerator section)
2-3 cups of fresh or frozen fruit (choose chopped peaches, blueberries, blackberries, raspberries or strawberries or a mixture)
¼ cup sugar, plus 1 tbsp. sugar
1/4 cup white whole wheat flour
1 tsp. cinnamon
¼ teaspoon nutmeg
¼ tsp allspice

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

1) Mix fruit, ¼ cup sugar, flour and spices in a medium-sized bowl. Let rest for at about 15 minutes.
2) Unroll pie shell and spread out. Divide into four even pieces.
3) Grease a cookie sheet. Place each pastry piece on the cookie sheet. Fill with about ¼ cup of the fruit mixture. Roll up the edges of the pie shell to form a little package. Sprinkle with sugar.
4) Bake in 425 degree oven for 20 minutes. Will be golden brown on the outside. Delicious!

Makes 8 turnovers

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Spinach Salad with Orange peppers and Strawberries

With its vibrant colors, this salad is as pretty to look at as it is tasty and healthy to eat.

Fruits and berries macro6 cups of washed baby spinach
1/2 orange pepper
About 15 strawberries
1/2 cup of toasted almonds
Dressing (I use Brianna’s Blush Wine Vinaigrette)

1) Slice orange pepper into thin 2 inch slices.Cut strawberries into quarters.

2) Purchase toasted almonds or toast them in preheated 400 degree oven for about 7 minutes. Watch carefully so they don’t burn.

3) Mix all ingredients together in large bowl. Add dressing. Let stand about 10 minutes before serving.

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Berry Banana Smoothie, 2 ways

Smoothie

Smoothie

If you have kids around, give them the ingredients and let them make their own.

8-10 fresh or frozen strawberries
½ cup frozen blueberries
1 tbsp. honey
1 banana, frozen and broken into chunks
4 or 5 cubes of ice

For 1st way, use: 1 cup juice made from dark fruit (I used pomegranate/cranberry juice blend—I think it is blended with apple juice to take away the bitterness of the pomegranate)

For 2nd way, use: 1 cup berry or banana or vanilla yogurt and 1/2 cup almond milk

1) Put all ingredients into a blender and pulse until well blended.
2) Pour into 2 glasses and add straws.

Makes 2 smoothies

 

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