Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Green is Kean! Organic is fantastic!

I'm on a mission -- have been for a long time -- to eat "green" as much as I can!  In the mornings I drink a "green" drink consisting mainly of either organic kale or spinach (1 cup), 1/2 bunch parsley, 1/2 organic cucumber with skin, sliced, 1/2 small banana, 1 /2 an apple, a thumbsize piece of fresh ginger, 1/2 small lemon including the peel (well washed), 1/2 small lime (well washed, including peel) a few pieces of a fruit or berries (kiwi, blueberries, strawberries), freshly ground flax seeds and purified water.  Talk about nutrient-dense! 

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Red, White and Green Kale Salad

This kale salad - and any kale salad for that matter - is best when the kale is organic and very fresh, rinsed in cold water, drained and finely shredded or chopped.  There is a technique I use when preparing raw kale:  I wash it well, allow it to drain.  I then use a very sharp knife to remove the tough stem.  Then I take as much as I can hold in my hand and I squeeze it into a ball in my palm: this massaging effort breaks down some of the tough fiber in the kale and causes it to taste less bitter.  Then with a handful of squeezed/massaged kale (compacted into a ball), I shred it as fine as I can with the very sharp knife, carefully.  :)   Here's my recipe for a hearty, nutrient-dense, kale salad.


Red, white and Green Kale Salad

4-5 medium/large leaves of purple kale finely shredded or chopped

1 can cannellini beans, well rinsed

½ large red pepper, finely chopped

1/3 large cucumber, finely chopped

a generous handful of fresh chopped herbs (oregano, basil, mint, parsley)

optional: sliced black olives, hearts of palm or artichoke hearts (rinsed)

Place above ingredients into large bowl.  Mix well.



Prepare dressing:

Juice of ½ fresh lemon
3-4 tablespoons good olive oil

pinch cracked red pepper

½ teaspoon good Italian Seasoning herbs

½ teaspoon minced onion and garlic (minced together)



Put dressing ingredients into screw top jar, shake vigorously.  Let stand for a few minutes, shake again.  Pour onto kale mixture.  Toss very well and refrigerate for ½ hour.  Toss again (adjust seasoning – salt & pepper if desired).  Serve on cold salad plates.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Red and Green = Nutrient Dense




Red Swiss Chard is simply delicious steamed.  I've noticed that steaming it takes away the bitterness. And further, by steaming it, there is no need to saute it in oil.   My method for enjoying this super nutrient dense green is to first wash it well in cold water, cut off the thick stems, then stack the leaves and slice in thin (1/2") strips.  Filling the steamer pot with lots of fresh cold water, I place the chard in the steamer basket, cover the pot,  bring the water to a rolling boil, then turn heat down to medium and steam away for about 6-8 minutes until the chard wilts.  Now that it's cooked I am ready to enjoy it:

underneath a piece of poached or broiled salmon or filet of sole
underneath a helping of rainbow quinoa, or brown rice pilaf
for breakfast with a piece of multi-whole-grain toast. 

Friday, January 24, 2014

Go Green, even in the morning!

This is the perfect time of year for buying and consuming one of the most nutrient-dense vegetables around -- Brussels Sprouts.  They are oh-so-healthy!  I usually eat Brussels Sprouts with dinner but this morning I decided to get creative--I made a Brussels Sprout Fritatta.  


Here's my recipe for One:                                      Pre-heat oven to 400

12 Brussels Sprouts, sliced to 1/4" (rinsed/washed/drained)
1 teaspoon Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Just a pinch of salt and freshly ground black pepper
Toss above ingredients well in a large bowl.
Line a baking sheet with foil.
Place the prepared Brussels Sprouts on the pan and roast for 10 minutes.
In the meantime,
whisk 2 egg whites and 1 whole egg in a bowl along with 1/2 teaspoon turmeric (optional)

When Brussels Sprouts have cooked for 10-11 minutes they should  start to turn brown around the edges.  Now's the time to pour the egg mixture over the sprouts and bake in oven another 2 -3 minutes until the eggs cook.

Sprinkle grated cheddar cheese atop.  Or for a healthier alternative sprinkle Nutritional Yeast on top.

Fold onto a plate and enjoy. 

Friday, October 25, 2013

I never get tired of cooking, even on my day off!


This lovely Fall morning I’m baking Granny Smith apples.  Oh the aroma in my kitchen!  My neighbors must be lovin it too!


I just pulled the baked apples out of the oven and had an interestingly different idea for them aside from simply eating baked apples in the traditional manner.   Imagine that!  (I love making things up – experimenting with food – food is my canvas).     I let the apples cool, then I put them in my VitaMix with ½ cup coconut milk and a cup purified water.  I blended  the concoction on high for a minute and poured it into a glass.  When I tasted how awesome this is, I didn’t let a moment go by without writing down my recipe to share with the world!  So, here’s “Baked Apple Smoothie”,  for two:

2 organic Granny Smith green apples
1” piece of fresh turmeric root, peeled, minced – optional
½ cup coarsely chopped walnuts
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon Splenda brown sugar – optional

Preheat oven to 350°

Use a potato peeler to peel apples, and drizzle them with a little fresh lemon juice, then slice apples in ½” slices.   Drizzle again with lemon juice.   Using a small ceramic baking dish (I used a 7” LeCreuset baking dish) place ½ the apple slices on bottom, sprinkle ½ the walnuts and ½ the cinnamon on top, then repeat with remaining apples, walnuts and cinnamon.  Pour a few tablespoons of either apple juice, coconut water or even purified water into the dish and place in oven for about ½ hour until the apples are soft but not mushy.  Allow to cool for ½ hour, if you can wait that long!

Next, put everything in your high-powered blender and add ½ cup coconut milk (I used the regular style that comes in a can, organic version) and 1 cup purified water, or coconut water.  Blend, drink, enjoy!

I had some leftover so I decided to pour the leftover 6 ounces into a plastic container with tight fitting lid and placed it in my freezer.  Now, when I want a sweet evening treat way healthier than ice cream, I now have “Baked Apple Smoothie Icy”  . 




Thursday, January 31, 2013

The Healthiest Lunch You Can Eat

A lunch of beans and greens is a fine way to get a great tasting, nutrient dense, filling meal.
For myself and my clients I prepare "3 Bean and Green salad".  First I make the "3 Bean" salad. I usually make a big batch and keep it on hand in the refrigerator for several days.  Then when I want to prepare a hearty lunch salad, I chop whatever greens I have on hand, arrange on a plate, then top with  "3 Bean salad. "  Voila! "3 Bean and Green Salad".


3 Bean Salad

1 can black beans
1 can red kidney beans
1 can garbanzo beans
½  cup  finely chopped FIRM tomato, seeds removed (1 small tomato)
½  cup finely chopped celery (2 medium stalks)
½ cup finely chopped carrots (1-2 carrots)
2 green onions – finely sliced
3 cloves minced garlic
½ cup chopped parsley (Italian preferred)
½ cup finely chopped cilantro
1 tsp cumin
½ tsp salt
¼ tsp fresh cracked pepper
½ teaspoon Allepo pepper  - or a pinch of red pepper flakes
2 tblspns olive oil
1 tblspn white balsamic vinegar

Drain beans and rinse very well.  Place in large bowl and toss all remaining ingredients.  Mix well.   Serve at room temp or refrigerate for several days.

To make "3 Bean and Green" salad:


Thoroughly wash, spin and chop whatever greens you have on hand.  I use a combination of two or three or all the following:

spinach - kale - dandelion - watercress - romaine - red leaf

Place the greens on a salad plate or bowl, top with  1 cup of "3 Bean" salad then drizzle fresh squeezed lemon juice and 2 tablespoons of fresh champagne wine vinaigrette or red wine vinaigrette.


Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Friday, September 21, 2012

Super Healthy Nutrient Dense Green Soup


  
Kale
Many of us love those healthy “green drinks” we have concocted for us on the spot at our local juice bars.  They’re so nutrient dense!   Alas, I’ve an economical way to get all those nutrients….in a soup. I’ve been preparing “green soups” for years because I believe them to be oh so healthy.  So, here is my recipe 
for nutrient dense “green” soup. 

1 bunch organic kale
½ bunch or about 12 leaves organic dandelion
    or swiss chard
1 bunch organic spinach
1 large carrot, chopped to ¼”
1 medium-large onion, chopped to ¼”
1 large celery stalk, strings removed,
      chopped to ¼”
4 large garlic cloves, thinly sliced
½ eggplant, skin removed, cut into ½" cubes
1 small red potato, skin removed, cut in ½" cubes --
   (optional for a thicker soup)
1 cube Rapunzel Vegan Vegetable Broth w/sea salt *  
    -- or 2 cups prepared organic vegetable broth
1-teaspoon turmeric
1 teaspoon dried coriander leaves
½ teaspoon curry powder
Salt and pepper

Thoroughly wash all greens and set in a colander. 
Remove tough lower stems on all the greens, then cut in 1” strips. 
Place in large bowl.

If using the Rapunzel vegetable broth cube, dissolve it in two cups
near boiling water.  Set aside.

In a 4-quart pot, heat 3 tablespoons veggie broth on medium 
high heat until it sizzles, then quickly add in onions.  Saute for
about 4 minutes until they are soft.  Then add garlic, carrot and 
celery and stir and sauté another 2 minutes.  
Then add eggplant and potato and stir and sauté 2-3 minutes until 
all veggies are soft.  Then add 8 oz (one cup) of the veggie broth.  
Stir.  Add kale, dandelion and ½ of
the spinach.  Stir.  Add remaining veggie broth and 2.5 cups water.  
Stir.  Add in turmeric, coriander or cilantro and salt, stir well.  
Bring to boil.  Then turn heat down and simmer for 18 minutes
until all is very tender. Stir in remaining spinach (this gives the soup 
a nice rich green color).   Remove from heat to cool down.  Put 90% 
of it in a blender.  (Leave the other 10% of vegetables in the pot.)  
Blend to puree then pour back into soup pot with remaining 
veggies.  Now you have a thick pureed soup with little veggie 
chunks too.

Season to taste with a little salt and very little pepper.

*available at better health food stores

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Eat nutrient dense foods for better health

Having read the book "Eat to Live" by Dr. Joel Fuhrman, I decided to give his healthy eating style a try. (I eat really healthy already but I wanted to follow his regime precisely to see how it felt). I followed his program for 10 days and I lost 5 pounds But it's not the weight loss that excites me (I really don't need to lose weight), its the way I felt including a mindset that eating much more nutrient dense foods as a lifestyle can actually decrease risks of illness and slow aging. Terrific, I'll take that! Basically his philosophy is "eat a plant based diet". Not an easy thing for most of us to do. I did it for 10 days and think its a good lifestyle, especially the not eating animal protein and fat. I'm grateful that I've always loved fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds and whole grains, and that I'm not interested in consuming white flour products or sweets. The experience of reading "Eat to Live" and going on the plan for a short time gives me more experience to help my clients eat better and get healthier. I love being "The Wellness Chef".