Chocolate Pistacio Snack Balls

chocolate pistachio nut balls

 

These little guys pack a punch, and its as easy as throwing things into a food processor, and then rolling them into a ball.  They are basically raw, except the pistachios I used are roasted…but use sesame seeds or coconut on the outside instead and you have yourself a healthy raw snack.  This is another one that is really versatile.   I think next time I’ll use almond butter and walnuts, with sesame seed on the outside.

There’s no added sugar in these, being naturally sweetened by the dates.  They are also filled with healthy fats, lean proteins, and healthy carbohydrates for energy.  Plus pistachios are natural mood boosters, so eat and enjoy!

Chocolate Pistachio Snack Balls

  • 1 cup almond flour
  • 15 medjool dates, pitted
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 tbsp chia seeds
  • 1 tbsp raw cacao
  • 1/3 cup raw cashews
  • 1/3 cup shelled pistachios,

For the outside:

  • ground up shelled pistachios

Process everything in a food processor until it becomes a thick paste.  Roll them into  palm sized balls and then roll them in the extra pistachios to coat them.    Place them in the freezer to set for a half hour.  Enjoy!

These stay good for a up to a week in the fridge, and up to two in the freezer.

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Crispy Thai Tofu and Eggplant with Basil Sauce

Its been a bit since I’ve posted!  To my readers, I’m very sorry its been so long.  My husband has returned from his last underway, and we have been readjusting to life together.   One of the things that is very hard for me, which I’ve written about in A Nutritionist and a Navy Chef, is the fact that he is not vegan and we don’t exactly see eye to eye on issues of nutrition.  When he comes home, I tend to slack a bit more on what is allowed into my house, and I have to cook dinner with him in mind.  This meal, while not the healthiest dish one could make, introduces him to tofu.  The tofu is nice and crispy, and it is cooked in coconut oil.  Coconut oil might be the healthiest of all the oils (especially when you’re frying tofu, since you can heat it up to high temps without it becoming a carcinogen) but it still raises bad cholesterol.  But everything in moderation, tofu is still healthier then eating fried chicken and it is full of probiotics.  This dish was inspired by a dish I had at a Thai restaurant the other night, and while Thai dishes are usually made with fish sauce, this instead uses Amino acids to  keep it nice and vegan.   My husband actually really liked it, so I was quite relieved!

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  • 1 cube extra firm tofu, cubed
  • 1 cup cornstarch
  • 1/2 cup ener-g egg replacer (thats 1/2 cup after mixing it with water)
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 eggplant, cubed
  • 1 tbsp amino acids
  • 2 dash’s stevia
  • 2 tbsp water
  • 1 red bell pepper, cubed
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 1 tsp sriacha sauce (more if you like spicy)
  • 3 green onions, cut long
  • 1 inch ginger, sliced
  • 12 basil leaves, roughly cut

Heat the oil until it melts in a pan, and while its heating up, coat the tofu in the egg replacer, and then cover in corn starch.  Cook the coated pieces in the coconut oil in batches, we are using a small amount of oil here, so you will have to turn them every few minutes.  They don’t take long to cook, about 2 minutes on each side.  I used a small sauce pan to this.   Put the cooked pieces on a plate to drain.

In a wok, mix the amino acid, stevia and water, add the garlic and eggplant, cover and cook 7 minutes.  Check it after 5 minutes and give it a stir to make sure nothing is sticking.  After 7 minutes, add the pepper and onion and cover back up and cook another 3 minutes.  Then add the green onions, ginger and basil leaves.

When the vegetables are done cooking, add the tofu pieces, and mix to coat with the sauce.  Serve with brown rice.

 

 

Simple Mediterranean Dressing

I changed the appearance a bit today, I hope you all like it!  Let me know what you think by leaving a comment below.  I also made it easier for people to share my recipes and articles, so please, if you find something you like, make share to share it on your social networking sites!

Here is a recipe that  I put on everything from salad, to healthy sauteed vegetables:

Easy Mediterranean Dressing:

The most simple ingredients make the best dressing!

The most simple ingredients make the best dressing!

  • Juice of 1 lemon (about 1 tsp)
  • 1 crushed garlic clove (remember to allow it to sit for 5-10 minutes to release the enzymes)
  • 1 tbls extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper

 

Put all the ingredients in a jar with a lid and shake it up, or you can just put them on whatever you want individually.   The flavor is the same either way.  However, if you want to use it as a dip, as I do for things like artichokes, you’ll want to put it in a jar and shake it like a dressing.  For a salad you can just drizzle the oil directly on, then add the salt and pepper and the garlic and of course, the lemon juice!

When we add oil to our vegetables, instead of cooking in it, it helps absorb the nutrients.  Heating oil to high temperatures changes the chemical properties making it a carcinogen.  However, used moderately  oil added as a flavoring is quite healthy.  Extra virgin Olive oil that is, not vegetable oil, or crisco, or hydrogenated oils which is a trans-fat.  You want Cold Pressed Extra virgin olive oil (the best is organic, or course) which is the first and least processed version.  

*Some people prefer to cook with coconut oil, and while that form of oil is safe to heat up to high temps  it still raises bad cholesterol and lowers good cholesterol, the same way that butter does.

The Powerhouse Smoothie

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Love asparagus as much as I do?  Add it to your green smoothie!  Asparagus is full of potassium, folate and vitamin A.  It helps loose weight, keeps us looking young, helps prevent bloating, is anti-inflammatory, and even helps prevent cancer.  Eaten raw, you get all the nutrients full force.  Add some coconut flakes and the fat in it will help your body absorb the nutrients.   This is a very sweet smoothie, the stevia is absolutely optional.  When buying stevia, don’t buy Truvia brand, which is a mix of Xylatol ( a natural fruit sugar) and the herb stevia.  When buying Stevia, make sure to read the label, you want pure stevia without any additives   You can find it sold at places like Trader’s Joes, health food stores, and even some large chain supermarkets.  Stevia is an herb with no caloric value, and a glycemic index of 0.  It is just like adding oregano to a dish.   It should be a staple in every health conscious person’s house.

I’ve read quite a few smoothie fail posts where they attempted to add asparagus to their smoothie and …well, failed…but I assure you, this is sweet as ever, smooth and rich.  The trick is having a good blender.  I would not attempt this with anything less then a vitamix or equivalent.  This smoothie is a powerhouse of antioxidants and nutrients.

The Powerhouse  Smoothie:

makes 2 servings:

  • 1 cup coconut water
  • 1 cup rice milk
  • 1 large chunk pineapple
  • 1 green apple, cored
  • 1/2 lemon
  • 4 kale leaves
  • 1 cup baby spinach
  • 4 purple asparagus
  • 4 tbls coconut flakes
  • 5 strawberries
  • 2 sprigs parsely
  • 1 dash stevia (optional)

 

combine all in a high speed blender and drink up!  Cheers!

 

Golden Milk Recipe (plus why you need Tumeric and Magnesium in your diet!)

Me holding my delicious cup of golden milk

Me holding my delicious cup of golden milk

Normally, I don’t to go into the benefits of specific nutrients and where you can get them because I feel that if you are eating a wide variety of whole foods, organic fruits and vegetables and whole grains (barley, oats, brown rice), then you don’t really have to think about this stuff.  But I find that the topics I’m going to talk about in this post come up a lot.

Tumeric is a wonder herb.  Usually used in Indian cuisine, it has been used in Eastern Medicine for thousands of years. Curcumin, the specific antioxidant in turmeric, is now being studied because it is just…so…amazing…literally.  Its antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant,  protects against diabetes, and may even starve off Alzheimer’s.   Be careful when handling this super herb because it will dye everything yellow.  I did mention  here: https://omgirlsguide.wordpress.com/2013/04/11/so-fresh-and-so-clean-the-non-toxic-way/  that to get your teeth white, you can add Tumeric to your homemade tooth paste, surprisingly even though it dyes everything it touches yellow, it somehow whitens teeth wonderfully.

Below is  a recipe that uses Tumeric.  If taken 3 times a day, it may reduce and possibly even completely reverse joint and muscle pain due to inflammation and arthritis.   The paste can be taken by spoon, although it has a very bitter taste, but what medicine tastes good anyway?  However, golden milk, which is the recipe I’m sharing in this post, is absolutely amazing.  No bitter taste at all, and even my 2-year-old loves it.

Another ingredient in this golden milk is black strap molasses, which is incredibly high in magnesium.  Magnesium is known as a natural muscle relaxer.  If you ever have twitchy muscles or suffer from “restless leg syndrome” it is most likely due to a magnesium deficiency.   Magnesium deficiencies are subtle and usually go undetected by doctors and are much more common than you would think.  Besides the twitches, a sign that you are deficient is insomnia, cramps, migraines, anxiousness and irritability   In very serious cases it  can lead to irregular heart beats and kidney stones.

I’m providing a video on the bottom of my page of where I learned how to make golden milk.  The Doctor in the video puts oil in it, which I do not do…however I have used coconut oil and sesame oil before just to try it and it was very yummy.  Personally, I try to minimize my oil intake so having it on my salad and on my vegetables is enough for me (The RDA is 3 tbls a day).

So on with the recipe:

Tumeric Paste:

  • 1/4 cup Ground Tumeric
  • 1/2 cup pure spring water

Place the tumeric and the water in a sauce pan over medium heat and stir continually for 7-9 minutes.  It might become to thick, at which point you can add more water a tsp at a time.  Put this mixture in a glass jar with a lid in the fridge, it will stay good for up to 2 weeks.

Golden Milk:

  • 2 tsp Tumeric Paste
  • 2 cups milk.  (I use 1 cup of oat milk and 1 cup of whatever other milk I have laying around.  I like to add two different kinds of milk so that I get the most nutrients.  Oat milk has different nutrients then soy milk, which is different then hemp.. which is different then almond milk ect…)
  • 1 tbls Black Strap Molasses
  • Optional: 1 tsp coconut oil or sesame oil

Heat it all up in a sauce pan for about 2 minutes.  Enjoy!

Raw “cookies” – you won’t ever want a real cookie again!

The following two recipes have been kid tested, mother approved!   The first recipe was a big hit with the kids, even people who had never tasted a raw “cookie” before asked for more.  The second recipe is a bit more of a mature taste, but my toddler ate them up regardless.  They are healthy, gluten free, totally raw and scrumptious!  Plus they are ready to eat in less then 20 minutes.

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Raw Cinnamon Raisin “cookies”:

makes about 6 balls

  • 1 1/2 cups almond flour
  • 1 tsp vanilla  extract
  • 4 tsp raw honey
  • 1 dash stevia
  • 1 tsp ground flax seed
  • 1/4 cup coconut water
  • 1 tsp coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup organic raisins
  • 1 tbls organic ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp baking soda

combine all ingredients, making sure to get everything mixed well, roll into balls and put in the freezer for 10 minutes.

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Raw coconut sesame “cookies”

(makes about 10)

  • 2 cups almond flour
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • dash stevia
  • 1 1/2 cup coconut water
  • 4 tsp toasted sesame seeds
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

In a high speed blender, add the coconut water and the sesame seeds and blend until smooth.  You can use tahini if you don’t have a high speed blender.  You are going to need only about a half cup of coconut water if using tahini.  Mix all the ingredients together to until you have a doughy consistancy.  Roll dough into small balls and then roll in raw coconut flakes (I like  bob’s mill brand).  Place in the freezer 10 minutes and enjoy.

Vegan Cashew Lettuce Wraps with Healthy Sauteed Vegetables

Cooking in oil is a thing of the past, at least for me.  Heating oil to high temperatures changes its structural composition, changing from a healthy addition to a carcinogen.  Coconut oil, which is able to withstand high heat, is all the rage in the health world, however, it has its draw backs; it  raises LDL levels, which is the bad cholesterol.  Of course, coconut oil has its place.  I have some wonderful recipes using it in my cleaning recipes section, (see “So fresh and so clean {the non-toxic way}”)

Also, cooking vegetables in high heat breaks down vital enzymes and kills your food.   Below I show you how to healthy saute your vegetables, and the meal I made using this method.  Sauteing in stock cooks food at a much lower heat, retaining most of the nutrients and keeping those healthy enzymes in tact.

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Cashew lettuce Wraps are a simple, fast and easy dinner to make that is so yummy you will make it again and again.  I learned this method in the book, “The World’s Healthiest Foods” by George Mateljan.  It was required reading for school, and I highly recommend it.

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The first thing you want  to do is cut your vegetables in 1 inch strips.  This will make them cook up in about 3 minutes.

Next, bring 2 tbls of vegetable broth to a boil in a saute pan.  Put in all the veggies, cover it up, and let it saute 2 minutes.  No more, no less.   After 2 minutes, uncover, and let it cook another 1 minute.  The broth should evaporate out.

Vegetables wilted after only 2 minutes of healthy saute

Vegetables wilted after only 2 minutes of healthy saute

That’s all there is to it, that is the healthy saute method.   I still use Extra Virgin Olive oil, but only to dress my already cooked vegtables.    Onions, peppers, celery, and mushrooms are all cooked using this method.  Usually I steam carrots, but for this meal I like to make everything in one pan.  Below is the full Recipe for Cashew Lettuce wraps:

Makes 1 serving:

  • 2 tbls vegetable stock (I use homemade broth, but if using boxed, find low sodium organic)
  • Half of 1 carrot, cut into 1 inch strips
  • 4 slices red pepper, 1 inch thick cut length wise
  • 1 scallion cut into two pieces, then  cut in half length wise.  Finely chop and Reserve about 1 tbls of the green sections.
  • 4 crimini mushrooms, sliced thin
  • 1/4 cup green beans (I used frozen for this recipe, and just threw them in at the end of cooking to warm them up)
  • 1 tbls Thai Peanut sauce (I love the one pictured below)
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  • 2 tbls raw cashews
  • 2 large romaine leaves
  • 1/4 cup mung bean sprouts

Healthy saute the carrot, pepper, scallion, and mushrooms 3 minutes as mentioned above, remove from heat and toss with Thai peanut sauce.  Mix well.  Lay the romaine leaves on a plate, one on top of the other.  Lay out the veggies so that the romaine leaves cradle around them.  Top with mung beans, cashews, and the reserved green scallion.  Drizzle with any remaining peanut sauce in the pan.

This dish is a hit with my meat loving husband and it is one that I go to again and again.   Although I do enjoy making my own peanut sauce, Annie Chuns is a real winner for its natural ingredients and taste.  Plus, its gluten free.   And when I’m pressed for time, I really enjoy having one less thing to think about in the kitchen.

Even if you don’t ever attempt this recipe, I hope that you take away how to healthy saute your vegetables.  I promise, you will never cook in oil again.