Monday, October 31, 2011

Pumpkin Pie Smoothie

Pumpkin pie is a popular dessert this time of year and through the holidays.  Making a smoothie is a healthful way to enjoy the taste of pumpkin pie without all the extra refined sugar and calories.  Today we begin a season of holidays where treats and desserts seem to be everywhere.  So the next time you walk past that bowl of Halloween candy, just keeping walking and make one of these to satisfy your sweet tooth!

In a blender mix 1/2 cup canned pumpkin, 1/2 cup plain yogurt, 1 frozen banana in pieces, 1/2 cup your choice of milk (I used almond), 1/2 teaspoon of pumpkin pie spice, 1/2 teaspoon vanilla, 1 teaspoon honey and a few ice cubes.  Blend well.


Friday, October 28, 2011

Vegetable Fried Brown Rice

Fried rice is quick and easy to make at home.  It is a great way to clean out the refrigerator using whatever vegetables you have on hand and is a satisfying meatless entree.  In this recipe I use carrots, shiitake mushrooms and peas but you can add broccoli, peppers, beans, corn, anything you like.  I always have Trader Joe's frozen brown rice on hand so I just warm it up and use that for the rice.  This recipe will serve 3 as an entree or 6 as a side dish.

Chop 6 green onions using white and light green parts.

Dice 3 peeled carrots.

Dice 6 shiitake mushroom caps.

Lightly oil a saute pan and scramble 3 eggs.
Set aside.

Heat 2 Tbsp olive oil in a wok or large saute pan over medium high heat.
Add 4 cups of cooked brown rice, 
mushrooms and 1 cup of peas.
Saute for 5 minutes stirring occasionally.

Add 4 Tbsp soy sauce and saute for another 5 minutes.

Stir in the scrambles eggs breaking them up as you combine.

Stir in the green onions and remove from heat.


Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Q Ginger and Q Tonic

I am not a big soda drinker, but when my friend Sue gave me a Q Ginger, I was smitten.  It was crisp and refreshing, not too sweet and had a little kick from coriander, cardamon, capsicum, orange peel and rose oil.  The best part is Q Ginger is sweetened with agave, not refined sugar or high-fructose corn syrup.  The company also makes Q Tonic which is made from hand-picked Peruvian quinine and sweetened with agave as well.  These charming little bottles are a great addition to your bar for mixers or on their own when entertaining.   The company's website has some unique cocktail and mocktail recipes.  I buy it at Lakewinds and have seen Q tonic, but not Q Ginger at Whole Foods.  It is also available online through Amazon.  Enjoy!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Southwestern Sweet Potato Fries

Ah, the sweet potato.  Once my childhood nemesis, now a favorite side dish at dinner.  As a child I spent many an evening staring down various cold vegetables on my plate, long after the rest of my family had finished eating and  were off enjoying their evenings.  The sweet potato was one of those vegetables.  Today I really enjoy them and my favorite way to prepare them is baked as fries.  In this recipe I season them with southwestern spices, but they are great with just salt and pepper too.  My kids eat them this way which is great because they are full of beta carotene and Vitamin A.

In a small bowl combine 2 tsp sea salt, 1 1/2 tsp chili powder, 1 1/2 tsp cumin,
1 tsp paprika, and 1/8 tsp cayenne

Set aside 1 tsp of spice mix

Peel 4 large or 6 small sweet potatoes

Cut the off the pointy ends

Cut the sweet potatoes into pinkie finger size fries

Place sweet potato fries in a bowl

Add 3 Tbsp olive oil and toss

Add the larger portion of spice mix

Preheat oven to 425
Spread fries in a single layer on baking sheet
Bake for 15 minutes and turn fries, bake another 10 minutes and turn again,
bake for another 10 minutes and turn again, bake for an additional 5 minutes.

While the fries are baking mix 1/4 cup ketchup
(look for one without high fructose corn syrup),
1/4 cup plain yogurt or mayonnaise, and the tsp of spice mix you set aside 

Set aside dipping sauce

Remove fries from oven

Serve with dipping sauce and enjoy!

Monday, October 10, 2011

Grain-Free Apple Cinnamon Muffins

These muffins are made with almond flour and are a wonderful substitute for people who can't have gluten or are watching their carbs.  They are packed with protein and make a great quick breakfast or afternoon snack.  This recipe includes a streusel-like topping made with pecans, butter and honey.  The topping can be omitted if preferred.  One batch makes 16 muffins. They can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for 3 days or in the freezer for 2 months.

Dice one medium honeycrisp or other baking apple.
Set aside.

Finely chop pecans to make 3/4 cup.

Melt 1 Tablespoon organic butter over medium heat.

Add pecans, 2 Tablespoons honey and 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon.

Stir well to combine and cook for 2-3 minutes.
Set aside.

Place 3 cage-free organic eggs and 1/2 cup honey in mixer.

Mix on medium-high for 3 minutes.

Add 2 1/2 cups almond flour, 2 Tablespoons butter melted, 2 Tablespoons plain yogurt,
1/4 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon baking soda and 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon.

Mix until well combined.

Add diced apple.

Mix on low speed until combined.

Line muffin pan with paper liners or use silicone baking cups.
Fill 2/3 full with batter.

Top with pecan streusel topping.
Bake at 375 for 15-20 minutes until golden and baked through.

Remove from oven and let cool.


Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Carrot Apple Coleslaw

Eating coleslaw is a great way to include more cruciferous vegetables like cabbage in your diet.  Cabbage is low in calories, high in calcium and is considered to have cancer preventive benefits.  In this coleslaw recipe I add apples which are high in fiber and help regulate blood sugar, and carrots which are high in the antioxidant beta carotene.  The creamy dressing is made with yogurt and I use honey to sweeten it instead of refined sugar.  I also add toasted walnuts for a nutty taste.  Walnuts are full of antioxidants, good fat and have anti-infammatory benefits.    

Roughly chop 1/2 head of cabbage.

Run 2 apples through a spiral cutter, mandoline or julienne by hand.
Dry on a paper towel.

Grate 3 medium carrots using a cheese grater or julienne by hand.

Combine cabbage, apples and carrots in a large bowl.

In a small bowl whisk together 1/2 cup homemade or good quality mayonnaise,
1/2 cup plain yogurt, 1 Tbsp cider vinegar, 2 tsp dijon mustard, 2 tsp honey,
1/2 tsp sea salt and 1/2 tsp black pepper.

Toss the dressing with the cabbage, apples and carrots.

Lightly toast 1/2 cup of chopped walnuts over medium-low heat.

Add cooled walnuts to coleslaw and mix well.