Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Quinoa and Vegetable Salad with Low Fat, Oil Free Citrus Dressing

Quinoa Vegetable Salad with Citrus Dressing

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Nutrient-packed quinoa salad topped with a delicious low-fat, oil-free citrus dill dressing.  This salad would make a delicious lunch or a light, refreshing dinner on a hot summer evening.  The The combination of fresh lemon and orange juice make a perfect citrus combination in this refreshing dressing and the dill adds a delicious flair of flavor!
We had a fun Memorial Day BBQ complete with grilled veggie burgers, corn, potato salad, watermelon and a delicious 7 layer bar dessert that unfortunately did not set up.  
It is so hard when you  make this delicious dessert only to take it out of the oven and realize that it did not firm up!!!  I was at my moms house dealing with very limited access to ingredients and of course the dessert has to be a complete flop!  It would have made a FABULOUS topping for some homemade vanilla ice cream though.
I made a delicious crust with gluten free graham crackers, pecans, turbinado and some earth balance.  Topped with with a delicious coconut, pecan, vanilla cream and chocolate chips.  It would have been the perfect dessert if I had had access to some silken tofu or cashews to help thicken up the coconut cream topping....  Oh well I guess you can't win every time.
I made these delicious veggie burgers with pinto beans, kidney beans, brown rice and a bunch of delicious flavors and so I decided to make it again for memorial day.  I added some potato starch to make sure they held together on the grill....BIG MISTAKE!  Don't change recipes on the day you are serving other people!  The potato starch made the veggie burgers gooey!  I tell  you I really succeeded in messing up the memorial day BBQ Royally!    However, we had  a great time and everyone enjoyed the day despite my culinary disasters. 
I hope you enjoy this delicious salad recipe as much as I did!

Friday, May 18, 2012

Delicious Vegan Penne Florentine

Vegan & Gluten Free Penne Florentine

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Whole grain pasta, sauteed yellow squash, and spinach smothered in a creamy sauce with a hint of spicy kick to it.   This delicious dairy free cream sauce has a 'secret' ingredient that boosts its protein content and nutritional value...Shhh the kids won't even know it's in there!

The two most common complaints I hear from busy moms....picky kids who won't eat healthy food and how to sneak healthy ingredients into foods their children WILL eat.  I have found a myriad of ways to get vegetables in my kids meals.  In fact, my vegetable based cheese sauce is a staple lunch ingredient for them everyday.  It takes a little creativity but you can find ways to sneak vegetables, beans, fruits and other healthy foods into your kids meals, and even into their desserts!

**One tip to make whole wheat pasta softer like white pasta, cook it twice as long as white pasta!  I learned that trick and it made all the difference for my family.  Brown rice pasta however is soft with less cooking so I don't have to worry about that anymore but I know there are many people struggling to like whole wheat pasta because they don't know how to cook it.

This delicious dairy free penne florentine features white beans in the cream sauce.   Why would I add a can of white beans in my cream sauce....sneaky added nutrition!

The white beans add the following nutrition per serving of penne florentine

Omega 3's......7%

You can add beans in homemade ice creams, brownies, cream sauces and many other recipes to boost nutrition.

Along with striving to create healthy meals that will appeal to the whole family, its always nice to create recipes that are simple and easy.  Busy mom's need simple recipes they can create easily for their family.  
Who doesn't love pasta with a cream sauce?  This is the perfect family meal!

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Sunburger and Spinach in a Garlic Cream Sauce Recipe

Sunburger and Spinach in a Garlic Cream Sauce over Brown Rice Recipe

If you would like to continue following my work please visit my new site:  http://www.plantbasednutritionista.com

I hope to see you there!
A simple, hearty dish featuring sauteed spinach and crumbled sunburgers in a rich, creamy cashew garlic cream sauce.  This simple recipe features a gourmet flavor in the garlic cream sauce, yet, it can be made in a matter of minutes.  

When I don't have the time to sit and wait nearly an hour for brown rice to cook I use one of my favorite quick and simple alternatives....instant brown rice.   It only takes 10 minutes!

So, when my nutrition clients complain that they don't have time to cook brown rice and use white rice instead I don't buy it for one minute!  If you don't have time to cook brown rice you have two simple solutions!

1.  Instant Brown Rice:  I buy instant brown rice so I can use it for breakfast or for times I really don't have time to cook brown rice and I want something quick and easy.  No excuses, instant brown rice is FASTER than white rice.  Yes, it is more expensive but it is a lifesaver when you are in a pinch.

2. Brown Rice freezes extremely well!  On a lazy Saturday afternoon or on a day when you have some time on your  hands cook up a HUGE batch of brown rice and freeze it in freezer bags or plastic containers.  I freeze brown rice with 4 servings per bag, that way I can easily defrost enough for my family.

When you make the commitment to improve your health and eat healthier you have to find ways to make it work.  For every excuse there is a simple solution.  You  have to be willing to put forth the effort though, if you are a chronic excusitarian, healthy eating certainly is not for you!   I have dealt with dozens and dozens of people and it is rare to find one who is willing to do what it takes, but those who are willing are always the ones who are able to completely reverse diabetes, fibromyalgia and other chronic diseases.  It is a joy to find that rare diamond in the rough who is ready and willing to do what it takes!  It is these individuals who keep me going, seeing their dramatic healing inspires me to move forward despite seemingly insurmountable opposition.

It is interesting to me that those who let food dictate their lives, their friends, their habits, and their health become horrible Food Snobs!  

I heard this word first from my sister in law who called her husband a food snob because he is a picky eater.  I thought it was quite cleaver, however, I decided to put my own spin on the term food snob.  I believe a food snob is someone who is intolerant of others food choices and exhibits this by incessantly mocking, teasing, arguing, and trying to start debates at the dinner table about food.   A food snob is someone who is so insecure about their own food choices they feel they have to hate, gossip about, or make fun of anyone else who has the courage to change dietary habits.    Honestly, who cares!  I don't make comments to anyone about their personal dietary choices, I honestly don't care and it is none of my business!  If they want to come to a dinner party and bring their own alfalfa hay or horse manure to gnaw on what difference does that make to me?   

They also refuse to accommodate others dietary choices because they honestly assume that there is something inherently wrong with avoiding a certain food due to ethical, moral, religious, simple personal choice, or health reasons.   My husband once asked me if I would be willing to accommodate someone who was on a low carb diet and I said absolutely!   I wouldn't be willing to cook meat simply because I find it absolutely repulsive but I could absolutely accommodate a low carb diet if need be.  I would make a delicious salad topped with a nut-based dressing,  a delicious seitan marsala or something like that.  It might be different than what they are used to but I would certainly be willing to do so if I had invited someone to dinner and found out ahead of time that this was their personal dietary choice.   

Over the last 8 years I have met some wonderful people who were excellent examples of love and kindness and I have met some very poor examples as well.  When we lived in Virginia a wonderful, sweet woman invited us to dinner and when I informed her that we were vegetarian she didn't skip a beat, she said okay, great we will make a great vegetarian meal.  She did make a beautiful meal, we all ate and had a great time.  When we were moving she came by the night before we moved out with a box FULL of food.  She said I know you probably don't have anything for breakfast in the morning so I brought you this.  It was full of fruit,  dairy free biscuits, granola and all kinds of delicious food!  It was wonderful, because we really didn't have much for breakfast in the morning and we all enjoyed what she had brought.  It also had some vegetable soup for lunch the next day too.   I have learned great lessons from people along the way about being loving and accepting despite differences but I have also had some very painful experiences from those who have been rude and hateful.

Don't we all have foods we simple do not like? I know I certainly do and always have.  We all have foods we don't like and that is OKAY!   Some people think fruit is unhealthy and don't eat it, some people don't like soy or think it is unhealthy, some people don't like vegetables, some people don't like 'carbs', some people don't like eggs, some people don't like dairy and some people don't like meat...... it's ALL okay.

We were invited to roast hot dogs at a neighbors house and we politely said we would be happy to bring our own and we brought our veggie dogs and they ate their bratwurst and we had a great time and food was a complete non-issue.  This is the way it SHOULD be! 

You are not a food snob because you avoid a certain food for ethical, moral, religious, personal or health reasons!  You are a food snob when you refuse to accept others because of their food choices.

Okay, enough of my ramblings and on to the delicious recipe.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Millet Berry Vanilla Porridge

Millet Berry Vanilla Porridge Breakfast Recipe

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A hearty, healthy and yet delicious breakfast that will keep you going strong all morning.  Delicious mix of apple, berries, millet and vanilla gives this porridge a delicious flavor.  This millet berry breakfast is packed with nutrition and will satisfy even the pickiest eater.  Serve this on a cool rainy spring morning or as a nice beginning to a beautiful fall day.   This makes a great gluten free substitute for cream of wheat.

One of my fondest memories as a child was waking up in the morning at grandma's house and smelling the delicious cream of wheat cooking in the kitchen.  As a child I didn't know how she did it but grandma made the BEST cream of wheat ever!  It just wasn't the same when I was at home....  Waking up and smelling that delicious breakfast is something I will never forget.

At grandma's house you were never hungry, well, better put, you were always STUFFED! We would make delicious wonder bread toast slathered in butter and dip it in our cream of wheat, Mmmmmm that was a delicious breakfast.   As an adult I now know how grandma made her cream of wheat so special.  It was slathered in butter, sugar and 2% milk!   Well, just as those childhood memories are in the distant past so are my indulgences with butter, refined sugar and cows milk but that doesn't mean I don't like to take myself back to those wonderful mornings at grandmas eating cream of wheat and wonder bread toast!

Now as a gluten free adult it makes it even harder to create that delicious breakfast I loved as a child but this is my nutrient packed, whole foods, antioxidant rich version of cream of wheat.

My son really enjoyed this breakfast and he is usually ALWAYS hungry.  If he eats a bowl of cereal he is usually back in the kitchen an hour later looking for something else.  Some of that is obviously emotional eating and some of it is the fact that he is a big boy.  Who would have know that a 4' 11" mom and a 5' 7" dad could have a child in the 90th percentile of height and weight who is on track to be 6' 2"!!!

Okay, so feeding a pre-teen boy is expensive, but, this amazing porridge holds him until lunch which is a great feat in itself!  It is very filling and he actually really enjoys it!  If you are feeding boys that are breaking the bank this is a very cheap solution for breakfast.  Luckily  millet is a very inexpensive grain and it is also very healthy.

Nutrition Breakdown for 1 Cup Millet

Omega 3's..........4%

It also has much more but that is just the basics!

Nutrient Breakdown for 1 serving of millet berry porridge

{I calculated 1 serving as HALF of the recipe}

Omega 3's..............130%
Vit. A.....................10%
Vit. C......................9%
Vit. D.....................15%
Vit. E.....................5%
Vit. K....................17%