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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Cheesy Mexican Chicken Skillet (Vegan)

 

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Its been some time since my last blog post, we were spending some time with family in Wyoming.  Between the steak houses and the family cooking, it was hard to stay healthy.  Of course, vacation is over and its time to get back on track, and this time my husband is totally on board with me.  This is my take on a Cheesy Mexican skillet dish.    To keep this as healthy as possible, remember not to cook your vegetables too long, you don’t want them soggy and over cooked.

 

Vegan Cheesy Mexican Skillet

  • 4 tbsp vegetable broth
  • 1 onion, sliced thin
  • 1 package white button mushrooms, sliced
  • 1/2 tbsp chili pepper (or less if you don’t want it spicy)
  • 1/3 tbsp dried oregano
  • 1/2 cup frozen organic broccoli florets
  • 1 package vegan shredded chicken
  • 1 tbsp organic stone  ground mustard
  • 1 garlic clove, diced (let to sit 10 minutes)
  • 1 medium tomato, diced
  • 2 green onions, diced
  • 1/2 cup Monterrey jack vegan cheese (daiya brand)
  • salt to taste (optional)

In a large skillet, heat the vegetable broth up till it starts to steam.  Add the onions and mushrooms, cover and let simmer for 3 minutes over medium heat.  After 3 minutes, uncover it, and add the broccoli, vegan chicken, chili pepper, and oregano.  (At this point, If  it all starts to stick to the pan, add a bit more vegetable broth, but no more then 1 tbsp)  After a minute, add the mustard, tomatoes, green onions, and vegan cheese.    Let the cheese melt into the dish, stirring for another minute.  Add salt to taste (or omit)

 

I served this with fresh organic corn on the cob, and brown rice.

Peanut Sauce

I made this tonight, and it is my BEST peanut sauce to date. I hadn’t planned on putting it up on the blog….so I ate it before I got to take any pictures. However, since it was SO yummy, I changed my mind last minute. If I make this again I’ll add a picture…in the meantime, here’s a picture from the web. I served this over brown Rice noodles, but it would be delicious over soba or rice as well.

sesame peanut noodles

sesame peanut noodles (Photo credit: tiny banquet committee)

 

Peanut Sauce

  • 4 tbsp all Natural Peanut butter (use sugar free, the kind that separates from the oil…if you can grind your own, even better!)
  • 1/3 cup of warm water
  • 2 tbsp amino acids
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 1 garlic clove, grated let to sit for 5 minutes (I used garlic paste actually, from the indian grocery)
  • juice of half a lemon (about 1 tbsp)
  • 1 tsp sriracha sauce (more if you like things spicy, or omit altogether)
  • 1 tbsp rice vinegar
  • 1 tbsp cilantro, diced really small

In a sauce pan, add the peanut butter, water, amino acids, honey and garlic and stir it over medium heat, bringing it to a boil and stirring constantly to melt it all together. This should take about 5 minutes. Lower the heat, continuing to stir, about another 2 minutes, it will thicken and reduce. Add the lemon, srirach, vinegar and cilantro and stir another 5 minutes over low heat.

garnish:

raw sesame seeds

green onions

Indian Spiced Coconut Lentil Soup

Indian Spiced Coconut Lentil Soup

Its a cold rainy day today, the kind of weather you would expect in Autumn, or maybe even later winter, definitely not the type of weather you would think of in late June.  Honestly, though, nothing surprises me in Washington anymore.  This soup is a comfort food of mine, full of protein and fiber, and chock full of nutrients.    Make this over rice for a more filling meal, or eat it as I am, as a soup.

Indian Spiced Coconut Lentil Soup

  • 2 cups cooked Lentils (I used Green Sprouted Lentils from TruRoots)
  • 2 Tbsp Vegetable Broth
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 garlic clove, grated
  • 1 inch fresh ginger, grated
  • 1 can diced tomotes
  • 1 tbsp cumin
  • 1 tbsp coriander
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 can coconut milk

Heat the broth in a pan and when it starts to steam, add the onions, cover and cook 3 minutes.  Uncover and let it  cook another minute, adding the garlic and ginger and stirring until it becomes fragrant.  Drain a little bit of the liquid off the tomatoes, and add them into the onions.

While that’s cooking through, add the coconut milk to the cooked lentils, and heat it up over medium heat, about 5 minutes.

Add the onion/tomato mixture to the lentils/coconut mixture, and continue to cook over medium heat, uncovered, another 5 minutes.   Season it with salt.

Tea Time!

What is the one thing that you can consume, besides organic, local produce, that will help you on your journey to good health?  The answer is tea.  Just like food, tea is medicine.  Each plant has different health benefits, each a unique taste, and some you need to boil in order to release the healing properties, while others you can just steep.  Tea can do all sorts of things, from cleansing the liver, the kidneys, the colon, to clearing acne and helping people through menopause.  Some tea even helps maintain a healthy weight.  There is a lot of tea out there, but today I’m going to share with you some of my favorites.

I get my green tea and oolong from a little tea shop in Seattle, but the herbal teas are made from a very awesome lady nearby who sells at the local farmer’s market.  If you are having a hard time finding any teas, I highly suggest shopping online at Mountain Rose Herbs (click the name to be redirected to their site)

 

Raspberry Leaf Tea

Raspberry Leaf Tea

Raspberry Leaf Tea:

This tea does not taste like raspberries, although its really yummy.  Raspberry leaf tea is used as a diuretic, and can be used to help ease diarrhea, and to calm sore throats.  One of the best things to use it for, however, is if you are trying to get pregnant.  It is a uterine stimulant, and as such should not be taken during the early stages of pregnancy.

Be Calm Tea

Be Calm Tea

Be Calm Tea:

This tea is a mix of different things:

wood betony – cleanes the kidneys, eases anxiety

Rose petals- also  help to stimulate the kidneys

Calendula- helps with skin problems and aids in indigestion

Basil leaves- Soothing and cleansing, intestinal parasites, acne, immune
stimulant, antidepressant

Lavender – also an antidepressant; Headaches, nervousness

Red Clover Tea

Red Clover Tea

Red Clover Tea contains isoflavenes, which latch on to estrogen receptors.  This tea is excellent for people going through menopause.  Or as I like to use it for, to  keep my skin acne free.  This tea must be boiled in order for the isoflavenes to be released.

Moon Beam Tea

Moon Beam Tea

Moon Beam Tea:   

Another blend of herbs:

Red Clover: Red clover flowers (simmer): Colds, skin problems, blood cleanser

Nettle: Kidney troubles, hypertension, gout, hay fever, PMS, and scurvy.  Nettle is wonderful if you are trying to loose or maintain your weight.

Peppermint: aids in easing coughs and lends a wonderful flavor.

Calendula: helps with skin problems and aids in indigestion

 

 

I also drink Dandelion tea, and roast the roots into coffee quite often.  It is an excellent liver tonic.  You can read more and about dandelion at my post here.

 

Keep all your herbal teas in glass containers so they stay fresh for a long time.  It doesn’t take very much of the leaves to make a tea, you can steep 1 tsp in 3 cups of water and still have wonderful tea.  I drink my teas plain, but by all means add stevia or honey to yours, or some fresh squeezed lemon juice.

Eggplant and Zucchini Indian Stir Fry

Eggplant and Zucchini Stir Fry

 

I learned to cook this dish from an Indian family that I used to work for as a nanny.  It was my first meal I cooked without oil before I even knew that cooking without oil was a way.  The eggplant and zucchini in this dish cook in tomato juice, and it is simply spiced with just a bit of turmeric, a hint of ginger, and a bit of garlic.  I make this dish over brown rice, and eat it as  a main course, but it could of course be a side dish as well.  One zucchini with the skin has about 2g of protein, 2g of fiber, and a ton of vitamin A.  Since it is a low energy food, it keeps you feeling fuller longer and helps manage weight.

I could only use half the zucchini in this recipe, it was so huge!

I haven’t mentioned what allicin is in a while, so just a reminder as to why we let the garlic sit for 5 minutes:  when garlic is cut it releases healing enzymes called allicin.  These enzymes are antibacterial and help to ward off germs.  Usually these enzymes would be released when we chew but since most people don’t chew thoroughly, it is best to let the knife do the work for us.  Many studies have been conducted on garlic and its healing properties and they have concluded that people who consume at least 6 cloves of garlic a week are much less likely to get sick.  Taking garlic extract pills is also very useful…but why take a pill when you can just make delicious meals with fresh garlic and get the same effect!

 

Eggplant and Zucchini Indian Stir Fry

  • 2 tomatoes, cubed
  • 2 tbsp vegetable broth
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed and let to sit at least 5 minutes to release the allicin
  • 1 inch fresh ginger, grated
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 green zucchini, diced (you can dice them larger then normally if you are having this as a main dish)
  • 1 eggplant, diced (again, you can dice it bigger)
  • (optional) 1 yellow squash, diced
  • salt to taste

Heat the vegetable broth in a large wok with  a lid, and when it begins to steam, add the diced tomatoes and cover it up for 5 minutes, cooking over medium heat.  The tomatoes will begin to break down.   After 5 minutes, add the garlic and the ginger and cook until it becomes fragrant, about 2 minutes.  Add the onions, cover it back up, and cook another 3 minutes.  Add the turmeric and stir it all up until it looks yellow.  Next add the zucchini and the eggplant, and the squash if you’re using it, cover it up and cook 15 minutes.  You might not even need to cook it for the full 15 minutes,  depending on how large you made the chunks, how crowded your pan is, or in my case how large the zucchini is!  (I had to cook mine for longer then 15 minutes because the zucchini was so  big that at first it didn’t all fit into my wok!)  Every so often check on it, give it a stir, make sure nothing is sticking to the bottom and the eggplant and zucchini aren’t over cooking.

You want the vegetables to become a bit translucent, but not wilt so much that they fall to mush when you stir your dish.

When its done, season it with a bit of salt, and enjoy!

 

 

 

 

Island Style Tofu Dippers

 

Island style Tofu Dippers

This is another version of my tofu dippers, a bit less simple but just as yummy!

Island style Tofu Dippers

  • 1 block extra firm tofu, wrapped in towels and pressed to drain
  • 2 egg replacers (3 tsp egg replacer to 4 tbsp warm water)
  • 1/3 cup Gluten free, vegan Panko bread crumbs
  • 1/3 cup shredded dry coconut

Pre-heat the over to 350 degrees.  Mix the bread crumbs with the shredded coconut.  Cut the tofu into 1/2 inch thick strips.  Dip each one into the egg replacer, then into the panko-coconut mix.  Place parchment paper on a cookie sheet, and put the coated tofu on the sheet, and then bake in the oven for 20 minutes or until its nice and crispy and browned.  Make the sauce while the tofu bakes.

 

Dipping Sauce: 

  • 1 can organic pineapple slices in juice (reserve about half pineapples)
  • 1 tbsp sriracha hot sauce
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1/3 cup amino acids
  • 2 dashes stevia (you can use agave, or honey here, but not too much, maybe about 1 tbsp)
  • 1 tbsp rice vinegar
  • 1 tbsp cornstarch
  • 2 tbsp water
  • 1 tsp sesame oil

In a blender, blend all ingredients together except the cornstarch, water and  oil.  You need a high speed blender, you don’t want any garlic chunks.  If you don’t have a high speed blender, you could try grating the garlic first.  Take the blended sauce and put it in a sauce pan and while the tofu bakes in the over, reduce this over medium heat.  After 20 minutes, mix the cornstarch in the water, making sure there’s no lumps, and then add it into the sauce, stirring constantly as you add it.  It should thicken up right away.   Take it off the heat, and add the oil.

Serve these with the remaining pinepple slices.  I eat this by placing half a slice of pineapple on top of my dipper, then dipping it in the sauce.  It is so good, and its good for you too!

I bet you’re all wondering what I did with that gigantic zucchini!    That recipe is coming up either later today or tomorrow, and it couldn’t be simpler! Stay tuned! =)

A Week with a Sick Child

My son has been sick since Sunday night.  He has a stomach virus, and while today he’s doing much better we’ve been stuck in the house the entire week, so I’m practically out of food…and diapers….and I don’t have much time to write.  I wanted all of my followers to know that even though I might not write, I always update my Facebook and Twitter accounts.  If you’d like to see what I’m posting, please friend me or follow me.

Facebook: Omgirl Bolante

Twitter: @Omgirlsguide

I also wanted to share wonderful online magazine, where I’ve recently been featured http://www.livingurbliss.com/2013/06/featured-blissful-sarah-bolante.html   A wonderful page about living your life fully, focusing on natural health.

Well, I’ve been feeding my son a lot of binding food, bread, rice, bananas, and  pasta , with the occasional home made ice pop for the nutrients.  Lots of water, rice milk, and juice to keep him hydrated.  If your child is sick with a stomach bug, these are all good things to eat.  If you’re child is constipated, or they have gas, try giving them  prunes and raisins, lots of fruit, and of course water.  If your child will drink it, try making them ginger tea for upset tummies.   Its always hard when your child is sick, especially when they’re not eating, but don’t run to the medicine cabinet as food is, of course, the best medicine!

And while I’m keeping this short and sweet, here is a video about the study of GMO’s.  Its an issue I’ve spoken about before, and one everyone should educated themselves on.  Please take a minute to watch the  video.

Green Olive Tapenade over Vegan Cutlets and Pasta

So I mentioned I had bought a whole lot of olives, and besides snacking on them every time I open my fridge, I’ve  been brainstorming up some recipe ideas.  This meal is really quick to make, and its fancy enough to impress any dinner guest!  You can exclude the cutlets if you wish and just server this over pasta, or for my non vegan friends, the tapenade would work wonderfully over white fish or chicken.

I have to say, that the vegan fake meat is not what it used to be.  Its really great for people who are transitioning to the vegan lifestyle.  I have to mention, however, that there is debate about the risks and benifits associated with consuming too much of the soy bean isolate that is used to create these fake meats.  While eating tofu and tempeh, (the fermented version of the soy bean) is excellent for your health, it is hard to digest the soy protein isolate.   I see no reason to forgo the stuff completely, however eat it in moderation, just to be on the safe side.

All fake meat products use vital wheat gluten as one of the main ingredients.  So this is NOT a gluten free food.

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Olive Tapenade:

  • 10 green olives stuffed with red peppers
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 organic vine ripe tomato
  • 1/2 tbsp Olive oil

In a food processor, blend all the ingredients up until its roughly chopped.  It should only take 1 minute.

 

“Chicken”

  • 2 Vegan “Chicken” cutlets (I use gardien brand)
  • 1 tsp coconut oil
  • salt and pepper

Melt the coconut oil in the pan, and cook the cutlets 3 minutes on each side or until lightly browned.  When its done, season one side with salt and pepper.

 

I served this over regular  pasta (unfortunately I was out of rice pasta which would have been my first choice, but my son is home sick today and I couldn’t run out to the store).  Just place the cutlets over the pasta, then scoop a nice serving over the chicken.

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Rajma – Indian Kidney beans in Tomato Sauce

Rajma

This is a traditional Indian dish.  Garam masala is a a sweet spice mixture which usually contains black and white peppercorns, cloves, cinnamon, black and white cumin seeds and a mixture of cardamon pods.  You can find it in most large grocery stores and its not usually used in cooking, but instead used to garnish a dish.  Indian cuisine is one of my favorites, beside Asian dishes.  There are so many  vegan things you can make and its so aromatic and flavorful that its hard to say no to seconds.  This dish is really fast and easy to make, plus its a complete protein when you combine the beans and rice.    Brown rice is gluten free, so anyone can enjoy this dish without guilt or worry!  I make this dish at least once every two weeks, if you have the time you can use dried beans, but of course you need to soak them overnight and cook them for two hours before adding them to the dish.

Rajma – Indian Kidney beans in Tomato Sauce:

  • 2 tbsp vegetable broth
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 tbsp garlic ginger paste (or 1 crushed garlic clover and 1 tbsp grated ginger)
  • 1 tbsp cumin
  • 1 tbsp coriander
  • 1 can orgainc kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 can organic tomato sauce
  • 1 1/2  tsp garam marsala
  • fresh cilantro, plus some for garnish

cook the onion and the garlic ginger paste in the  vegetable broth for 2 minutes, covered.  Add the cumin and coriander, stirring constantly for 1 minute or until its fragant.  You want to cook the spices or it won’t taste right.  Add the sauce and the beans, and let cook, uncovered for 20 minutes on low heat.  When its done, mix in the garam marsala and cilantro and serve with rice.   Garnish with extra cilantro.   I made turmeric rice for this  dish, but you can use plain rice as well.

 

Yellow Rice:

  • 1 cup brown basmati rice
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • pinch of salt

Put it all in a rice cooker, cover and the rice cooker will do all the work for you!  Fluff it up when its done.