Saturday, January 29, 2011

Veggie Garbanzo Burger Recipe, Italian Macadamia cream dressing and Italian tempeh and vegetables in tomato cream sauce

Italian Tempeh and Veggies in Tomato Cream Sauce

My sister and her husband came to dinner last night and I wanted to make a delicious Italian dish because she LOVES pasta!  I created this italian recipe just for them.  The recipe is absolutely delicious and is PACKED with nutrition!
This photo also features some gluten free breadsticks, I had little time so I made them out of biscuit dough, they turned out good but they aren't recipe blog worthy in my opinion so I won't feature the recipe here.

Recipe Thoughts, Nutrition Tidbits, and Carrot Juice Nutritional Profile

Carrot juice is found in many of my recipes because it is so packed with nutrients and adds such an amazing flavor to the food.  It is sad to me that so many people are so ill informed when it comes to nutrition.  Nutrition understanding is based on a totally reductionist view of nutrition.

We select a food such as protein, find the food we 'think' has the most protein and that food is then considered healthy and necessary in order to get your protein.  We do the same thing for calcium, omega 3's and any other fad nutrient to come along.  The problem with this is, we totally miss the boat entirely through this approach, we eat unhealthy foods that are not good for us because they contain some random, high prized nutrient in large quantities, when in reality ALL food contains this nutrient and therefore that particular food is unnecessary anyway.

To give you an example, our humble carrot juice.  Let me guess, you think carrot juice has sugars and some vitamin A [carotenoids]  right?  Wrong?  The nutritional profile of carrot juice is BROAD!!  Carrot juice has been used by natural health professionals for hundreds of years as a healing juice, why?  Because the nutritional profile of carrot juice is impressive and supremely health promoting.  If you thought you knew a lot about nutrition, lets take a peak into the nutritional profile of carrot juice and you might think twice about what you think you know about nutrition.

Nutritional Profile of Carrot Juice

1 cup of Carrot juice
All percentages are the daily percent of the RDA


Protein................2.2g        [Carrot juice has protein....gasp...shock]

Fat.......................4g         [Carrots have fat? Yes, this is how our fat needs are met without refined oil, gasp]

Vitamin A............1935%


Vitamin B1.............20%

Vitamin B2.............12%

Vitamin B3.............7%

Vitamin B5...........11%

Vitamin B6...........39%

Vitamin C............27%    [But I thought only oranges had vitamin C]

Vitamin E............18%

Vitamin K...........41%

Calcium..............6%   [Okay wait, only cows milk has calcium, NOPE!]







Sodium.............5%   [But I thought we had to eat table salt for sodium, nope, it is in plants]


Omega 3's......2%     [Something other than flax and fish has omega 3's?  I am shocked at the poor understanding of nutrition these days, almost ALL plant foods contain fat and even omega 3's, I know, I know how crazy is that, nature provided well for our  nutritional needs and yet, we don't even realize it]

As you can see, something as simple as 1 cup of carrot juice can provide a significant amount of nutrition.  In fact, consuming carrot juice mixed with a variety of vegetable juices can provide nearly all nutrients we require in a day. 

Hopefully that helps you understand why you see so many vegetables, including carrot juice in so many of my daily recipes and menu plans, it is for the nutritional content!  I hope this brief look into the nutritional profile of carrot juice has helped broaden your understanding of nutrition so that you see that nutrition and nutrient consumption is so much more than milk=calcium, fish=omega 3's etc....

on to more recipes............

Italian Macadamia Cream Salad Dressing Recipe 
This salad dressing recipe was a creation in an effort to get my husband and kids to eat a salad for was a smashing success!!!  They all LOVED this salad dressing recipe and cleaned their plates.  I added the yellow squash to the salad dressing recipe as a thickener in place of refined, empty calorie oil and to increase the nutritional content of the dressing.
Blending zucchini, yellow squash and other veggies in sauces is a great way to sneak veggies into your family's diet!

More Nutrition Tidbits

Okay, so you read the carrot juice nutritional profile and you might be thinking that was interesting, but why add yellow squash to a salad dressing?  Well, it is the same reason I add carrot juice to many recipes, NUTRITION.  Unfortunately, most people have little understanding of the simple nutritional profile of vegetables, because our society focuses on protein=meat and milk=calcium and that's about where nutrition knowledge ends.  Vegetables only make up about 5-7% of the American diet and therefore we have VERY little understanding of the nutrition in fruits and vegetables.

I enjoy creating delicious salad dressing recipes to share, but I think it is important for you to understand WHY you need to eat your veggies.  Sure, you know veggies are good for you because your mom said so, but WHY are they good for you?  Lets find out by using the humble yellow squash nutritional profile as an example.

Yellow Squash Nutritional Profile

1 yellow summer squash


Protein..................4g [squash has protein? Surprise!]

Fat................... .6g [you can get all the fat you need from natural foods]

Vitamin A............28%


Vitamin B1.........14%

Vitamin B2.........42%

Vitamin B3.........11%

Vitamin B5.........10%

Vitamin B6.........54%

Vitamin C...........73%

Vitamin E............3%

Vitamin K...........11%










Another shining example of how nutritionally dense vegetables are. In only 51 calories you get A LOT of nutrients!!! This is the reason you should EAT YOUR VEGETABLES!! Your mom was right! Most nutrient deficiencies are due to a lack of a variety of vegetables. They are nutrition powerhouses packed with a small amount of calories, this is the absolute key to weight loss too. Eat your veggies. The nutritional profile of the humble yellow squash is amazing and yet it is only one example of the potent nutrition found in vegetables.

This is the reason you will see vegetables featured in every main meal recipe I create, because they should absolutely take center stage.

Carrot Veggie Bean Burger Recipe

My sunburgers have been a hit with EVERYONE who has tried them.  They are a staple in our house, however I decided to create a veggie burger with higher nutrient density and this delicious little veggie burger was the result.  My husband said it is better than my sunburgers and that is saying a lot because sunburgers are his favorite!!

**I did not dress up this veggie burger for the photo because I wanted you to see the texture of the patty and the veggies.

Nutritional Profile of the Veggie Burgers

I thought it would be interesting to show you the nutritional profile of these veggie burgers so you can see how potent a plant based diet is nutritionally, I figured this for 1 veggie burger.




Vitamin A............31%


Vitamin B1...........34%

Vitamin B2...........38%

Vitamin B3...........21%

Vitamin B6...........35%

Vitamin C..............12%

Vitamin K..............5%

Black Bean Dip Recipe
My goal this past week has been to get the fam to eat MORE veggies.  My son LOVES beans, he will eat them right out of the can, so this was my little trick to get him to eat veggies, my black bean dip recipe creation.  It worked like a charm, he dipped veggies in this bleack bean dip all week.  However, he did end up eating a lot of  the black bean dip right out of the bowl, but it still is a healthy snack without the veggies too!
This is a fabulous dip for veggies!!  You can also bake up some sprouted ezekiel corn tortillas and dip those in it too.  Enjoy!

Looking for Articles on Nutrition?
I have authored a couple of articles that are available on Article Base, if you are interested in learning more about nutrition please check out my articles.
I will be publishing articles frequently so please subscribe and read my articles, thanks so much for all your support!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Gluten free pop tart recipe, vegan enchilada recipe, guacamole and cheese sandwich....

Gluten Free Pop Tart Recipe

My children have been begging me to make them 'healthy' pop tarts ever since I let them have the ones from the health food store.  I don't consider the pop tarts in the health food store to be healthy by any stretch of the imagination but they did have them once and they have begged for more.

I told them that some day I would make them healthier, whole grain pop tarts that were low in sugar.  Well, finally last night I decided to take on the challenge and the result was absolutely DIVINE!!!

****Warning:  If you choose to make this recipe the dough is EXTREMELY hard to work with!!!!  Please take this into account.

In order to produce a very flaky crust it is difficult to work with, I couldn't roll it out so I pressed it with my hands.  It is well worth the effort, trust me.

Gluten free pop tarts are a little tricky, I wanted to make the crust flaky, which can be hard since I did not want to use a lot of refined oil in the recipe.  I have found that macadamia nuts make delicious, flaky crusts so the gluten free pop tart recipe utilizes gluten free macadamia nuts to achieve this.   The dough is crumbly which I am sure many gluten free eaters are familiar with.  I can make dough that is not crumbly but in this case it would make the crust more chewy than flaky so you just have to deal with crumbly dough ;-D

I know so many people who loved pop tarts as children and who want a gluten free pop tart recipe.  This recipe was not designed to merely be a gluten free alternative to pop tarts, it is designed to actually be healthier.  While I wouldn't consider this top on my list of healthy foods, the combination of fruit juice sweetened jam, nuts and whole grain gluten free flours makes this an acceptable dessert for those on a healthy diet.  This gluten free pop tart recipe will BLOW YOU AWAY!!  It is amazing, the ingredients may seem a little strange but trust me, you will love these decadent little gluten free pop tarts.  You won't miss the junk food, sugar and high fructose laden store bought pop tarts.

Vegan Sunburger Enchilada Recipe
These are delicious enchiladas!!!   This vegan enchilada recipe takes a bit of prep work and you do need to have the sunburgers on hand, but if you eat like we do you have time set aside on Saturdays to make and freeze your sunburgers.   The cream sauce in this vegan enchilada recipe is a substitution for the typical cream of chicken soup found in traditional creamy enchilada recipes.  You can use either tofu or cashew sour cream depending on your preference. 

I added broccoli to this enchilada recipe because I believe every single meal should contain vegetables!  In many other blog posts I have detailed the amazing nutrient content of vegetables so by now you probably understand why there are vegetables in all my recipes.  In fact, when I make this enchilada recipe for my family it contains many more veggies than the enchilada photo above.  I left out the veggies because I realize most people do not eat veggie enchiladas often and may not find the spinach, carrots, and cauliflower very appetizing in an enchilada recipe so this recipe has been toned down.  If you, however enjoy veggies as much as we do feel free to experiment with the recipe and add your favorite veggies to the enchilada recipe!

Guacamole and Cheese Veggie Sandwich
My husband came home late from work one night and me and the kids had just had random leftovers for dinner so I created this sandwich from leftovers and he LOVED IT!!  So easy and so delicious!
This is simple to make:
Left over cheese sauce from the enchilada recipe above
Romaine or Green leaf lettuce
Sliced tomato
Onion sliced
Sprouts are also a good option
Whole grain pita or whole grain bread

I truly hope that you try the gluten free pop tart recipe, even if you do not generally eat gluten free I promise you will enjoy this delicious pop tart recipe.  The vegan enchilada recipe was created because it is such a common staple food that many people eat on a regular basis and I realize that one of the hardest things about changing your diet is finding subsitutions for your favorite foods.  This vegan enchilada recipe is a delicious subsitution for traditional, extremely unhealthy enchilada recipes. 


Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Vegan Holiday Recipes..Vegan Cordon Bleu, Twice baked potatoes and more!

Vegan Holiday Recipes

It has taken me awhile to prepare the holiday recipes and photos for all the holiday fare I created. We had a wonderful vegan Christmas Eve Dinner and I wanted to share the photos and some recipes with you so you can create your own beautiful vegan meals for the holidays in the upcoming year.

Chocolate Turtle Cookie Bar Recipe

These were a HIT at the family Christmas party!!! Many asked for the recipe.

Vegan Cordon Bleu Recipe

** All photos were taken with cell  phone cameras so they aren't as high quality.

This recipe was created using my mozzarella cheese recipe, sunburger recipe, eggplant bacon and cream sauce.

 Dairy Free Cheese Ball Recipe

This cheese ball is so rich and delicious no one will know it is dairy free!! 

Vegan Blueberry Cheesecake Recipe

This was amazing, it was rich and creamy and everyone raved about the blueberry cheesecake!! 

Christmas Fruit Spritzer Recipe

Dairy Free Twice Baked Potato Recipe

This is a very simple recipe that can be made for a weekday dinner or it can be dressed up for a special occasion!

Bake however many potatoes you need, we did 16 potatoes

I hope you enjoy these vegan holiday recipes as much as we did!