Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Butternut Squash Whole Wheat Couscous

Oh so yummy and versatile! This is a perfect side dish that will compliment any dish!! 


Ingredients:



  • 1 tbsp Olive Oil
  • 1 butternut squash, peeled and diced into bite sized pieces
  • 5 tbsp silvered almonds
  • 1 package of Cashbah whole wheat couscous
  • 2 cups of organic low sodium chicken stock
  • 1/4 tsp of sea salt
  • 2tbsp of freshly chopped parsley
  • 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
In a large pot, heat oil over medium heat, cook squash until softened, about 7 minutes. 

Add in onions and almonds and cook for 3 more minutes

Add chicken stock, bring to a boil.

Stir in couscous and salt, remove from heat, and cover and let stand for 5 minutes

Remove lid and fluff with fork. 

Gently stir in parsley and lemon juice


ENJOY!!




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Easy Eggplant Parmesan

I am not sue if my taste buds have started to change but I am developing more of a savory taste bud! Dont get me wrong, I will always have that sweet tooth, but I have been craving some classic dishes like lasagna, meatballs etc. So this dish is a bit of that lasagna feeling minus the pasta! Its so easy and so enjoyable!!!


Ingredients
  • 1 large purple eggplant
  • 1/4 cup of olive oil
  • 1/2 cup of Parmigiana Reggiano grated
  • 6 slices of Part skim Mozzarella Cheese
  • 1/4 cup of freshly chopped basil
  • 1 jar of tomato basil pasta sauce (any sauce will do)
Preheat oven to 400


Trim the the ends of eggplant and discard. Cut the eggplant into 1/4" thick slices, and lightly brush with olive oil on both sides. Place on a cookie sheet, and bake for 10 minutes, then flip and bake again for another 10 minutes

Spread 1/4 cup of the pasta sauce on the bottom of a 8" square glass baking dish

Layer eggplant, mozzarella, basil, parmigiana(save some for the top layer) and repeat layers once more


Pour the balance of the sauce over top and add the remaining parmigiana and sprinkle a little fresh basil on top.


Bake in the oven for about 20 minutes.

Serve and ENJOY!!!


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Monday, December 12, 2011

Banana Hemp Heart Muffins

These were a little creation in my kitchen, and wow, I am impressed with the texture and taste! So amazing!!!! So healthy!!




Ingredients:

  • 1 cup of spelt flour
  • 1 cup of brown rice flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 4 overripe bananas
  • 1/2 cup of sucanat
  • 1/2 cup of organic cane sugar
  • 1/3 cup organic unsweetened applesauce
  • 1/3 cup of plain fat free yogurt
  • 2 organic eggs
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla
  • 1/2 cup of hulled hemp hearts
  • 1/2 cup of raw cacao nibs
  • Coconut Oil Spray (for muffin tin)
Preheat oven to 375 and lightly spray muffin tin with coconut oil

In a large bowl combine all dry ingredients and set aside

In a medium bowl mash bananas and add wet ingredients

Combine wet to dry slowly and at the end fold in hemp hearts and cacao nibs

Spoon batter into muffin tins and bake for 18 minutes.

ENJOY!!!!


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Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Pure Honey





I had the pleasure of meeting Fatima Golos  Basic today! She is an upbeat and passionate owner of NutraBee! I love honey for its natural sweetness and found myself in search of the best honey available. I have been surprised to read about recent articles unveiling the raw truth about most honey sold in grocery stores! The truth is we trust labels too much, and just because it says organic doesn't mean its pure and of the best quality!

Click this link and read this article to learn more: http://eatocracy.cnn.com/2011/11/09/most-honey-sold-in-u-s-grocery-stores-not-worthy-of-its-name/




NutraBee makes 100% pure and natural Canadian Honey. They have many different honey options to choose from and seeing my sweet interest, I bought a few of her best sellers!

 Bee Active- for energy, endurance and concentration (so excited about this product!)
 Mountain Gold Honey, the best tasting honey to be added to toast, oatmeal...whatever you choose! 
 Bee Guard, natures flu shot!
Here are my purchases!! I added in honey candies and a green tea extract for teas! 




NutraBee has 2 locations and you can place orders online.



Canada
NutraB Inc.Store Location:
2E Tremont Drive, #3
St. Catharines, Ontario
L2T 3B2
USA
NutraB Inc.
1623 Military Road, # 525
Niagara Falls, NY
14304
1.905.227.66181.905.227.6618



http://www.nutrab.com/

Thanks again to Fatima as she has made a customer out of me, as her products are of exceptional quality and the taste is fabulous!


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Monday, December 5, 2011

Health Perks of Coffee

As most of my followers and readers know, I love coffee, and when Caffe Society approached me to do a guest post on my blog about the health benefits of coffee, I was excited to learn more!! 

See below:


Caffe SocietyHealth Perks of Coffee

Most of us refuse to start the day without a cup of coffee and scientists have spent years trying to find out how good coffee actually is for us. Recent research has suggested that coffee drunk in moderation may help to fight Alzheimer`s disease and dementia, mainly because of how caffeine works in the brain. However, the role of caffeine in preventing these disorders is still unknown.

We are aware that caffeine does boost concentration because most of us have all experienced the feeling when we know that another cup of coffee is the only way that we are going to be able to finish that important job. Caffeine is a central nervous system stimulant and because it stimulates the brain it makes us feel more alert. One study has shown that regular cups of coffee do improve our mental processes and a Californian study has suggested that the risk of suicide may be lowered by drinking coffee regularly. It has also been recommended that a couple of cups of coffee and a short rest or doze to allow the caffeine to get into the blood stream, can help to prevent fatigue when driving.

There are around fifteen research studies that have explored the link between coffee and diabetes. The research suggests that those who drink coffee, as compared to non-coffee drinkers may be less likely to have Type 2 Diabetes. As well as caffeine, coffee contains chromium and magnesium. These minerals have a role in regulating insulin production in the body and it is when this regulation becomes defective that diabetes occurs. There have also been links suggested between coffee consumption and a reduced the risk of Parkinson`s disease. Some of these positive effects have also been observed in studies that used decaffeinated coffee,

Like tea, coffee contains antioxidants. These molecules play an important role in protecting cells and tissues from damage by other types of molecules known as free radicals. These free radicals are produced in the body from normal cell processes as well as entering the body in a variety of ways, including from the diet, UV exposure or smoking. Accumulation of free radicals in the body contributes to aging and age-related diseases.

Even taking time out of your busy day to make or buy a cup of coffee may just give you that ten minutes of de-stress time that you need away from your desk. From <a href="http://www.caffesociety.co.uk/coffee-machines/bean-to-cup-coffee-machines">bean to cup</a> coffee has a number of health perks which can not only help you get through the day but may also provide some of those longer term health benefits.


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Monday, November 28, 2011

Pumpkin Chocolate Spelt Muffins

So I am on a pumpkin muffin kick!! This one is my favorite!! Seriously had to control myself with this one. It must be the chocolate! 



Ingredients:



  • 2 1/4 cups of Spelt Flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1 1/2 cups of organic cane sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup of organic pumpkin puree
  • 1/2 cup of fat free plain yogurt
  • 1/4 cup of no sugar added dark chocolate chips
Mix all dry ingredients in one bowl, and wet in another, add dry to wet slowly and then the chocolate chips last.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees and bake for 18 minutes.

ENJOY and try to control yourself, these are awesome!!!


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Sunday, November 27, 2011

Pumpkin Pecan Bran Muffins


This high fiber, low fat bran muffin is a perfect little snack!! I created this recipe, and I think its a new staple!!



INGREDIENTS:
  • 1 1/2 cups of wheat bran
  • 1 cup of plain fat free yogurt
  • 1/3 cup of organic pumpkin puree
  • 1 egg
  • 2/3 cup of organic cane sugar
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 cup of spelt flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/2 cup pecans
Preheat oven to 400 degrees:
Combine all dry ingredients and mix in a large bowl.
Combine all wet ingredients and slowly add dry.


Pour into sprayed muffin pan (I use coconut oil spray)
and bake for 18 minutes!


Today is my daughters 4 month birthday!! Time is going so fast!!! Here is a picture of my loves!





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Friday, November 25, 2011

Butternut Squash Risotto!


I was feeling adventurous with making a healthy version of risotto! I am so impressed with this dish! Ronnie even ate triple his portion, he said it was to die for!! I think this will be a new staple in my home. 


 OK, I really need to learn  how to make my food pictures more attractive! LOL! This certainly doesnt look like it tastes! I promise!!! 




1 butternut squash
1 Tbsp of Olive Oil
1/4 of sweet onion (chopped)
2 cloves of garlic (minced)
2 tsp of thyme (fresh, chopped)
4 tsp of sage (fresh, chopped)
2 cups of organic sprouted brown rice (you can use regular brown rice)
4 cups of low sodium chicken broth
Sea salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste


Preheat oven to 400, Cut squash in 1/2 and scoop out the seeds and pulp. Rub flesh and skin of squash with 1 tbsp olive oil. Sprinkle with thyme, sage, salt and pepper. Place on a cookie sheet, skin side up (fleshy side down), bake in oven for 45 minutes. Set aside to cool


Once cooled, scrape into a bowl and mash. Set aside.


Cook brown rice in the chicken broth as directed on package


Heat 1 tbsp of olive oil in a large pan, add onions, garlic, thyme sage and cook until onions are soft. Stir in cooked rice, and add a little water if needed. Add mashed squash.


Spoon into bowls and ENJOY!!! OH SO GOOD!!!!







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Thursday, November 24, 2011

Lemon Pepper Baked Chicken with Black Bean Salsa


 Salsa...nothing beats homemade salsa! Chop up tomatoes, red onion, green and red pepper, chopped cilantro, splash of fresh lime juice and add a can of organic black beans. 














I tossed chicken breasts in a mixture of freshly squeezed lemon juice, sea salt and black pepper...EASY!! Baked in the oven at 350 for 30 minutes with a lemon slice on top, and foil around the baking dish.


To complete the dish, I put the salsa and chicken on a bed of organic spinach! PERFECT LUNCH!!! YUM!!


I actually made enough for the week! I like knowing what I am going to eat every day, and with my busy life I like to prepare meals ahead of time. 


And for fun...here is a recent pic of me and my baby girl!!! I just love her so very much!!!





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Sunday, November 20, 2011

A New Way to See Food

This documentary is something EVERYONE should watch!!!
A New Way To See Food
I have always believed that "we are what we eat" and we should be much more conscious of what we are putting in our bodies.
Food Matters
Nutrition is the most important part of our lives. It affects every aspect of us. You can have all the money in the world, but your health is the most valuable asset to you. 


A New Way to See Food


http://www.truththeory.org/a-new-way-to-see-food/



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Friday, November 18, 2011

Sweet Salad!

Chop up broccoli and cauliflower into bite size pieces, toss the in a large bowl with 1/2 cup of honey flavored greek yogurt, 1/2 cup of cranberries, 1/4 cup of unsalted sunflower seeds

 This is so simple yet I promise you, everyone will love this side dish and you wont have left overs!!
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Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Chia Seeds~Natures Super Food




I love Chia seeds! In fact I put 2 Tablespoons in my smoothie every single day! It can be used similarly to ground flax seed, however Chia has NO FLAVOR. But I will caution that if you put it in your HOT oatmeal, it does get a bit "gummy" so I prefer to enjoy it cold, mixed into yogurt, smoothie, or cold cereal.


http://chiaseedssuperfood.com/


Check out some of these amazing nutrition facts Chia Seeds have over other health powerhouses!

chia seeds nutrition compare
Check out some of the vitamins, minerals and amino acids included:
chia seeds nutrition facts


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Thursday, November 3, 2011

Crock Pot Porridge with QUINOA

One of my favorite breakfast foods is Oatmeal, and Tosca Reno has a fabulous recipe for "Crock Pot Porridge" in her Eat Clean Diet Cookbook. I revamped it a little and use Quinoa as one of the grains. Its a perfect protein as it contains all 9 amino acids that are required for the body as building blocks for the muscles. This is referred to as a complete protein. Quinoa is so wonderful as it is full of fiber, antioxidants, and magnesium. 




  • 1/2 cup of cracked wheat
  • 1 1/2 cup steel cut oats
  • 1/2 cup of rye flakes
  • 1/2 cup of organic quinoa (rinsed, to remove the bitter coating)
  • 1/4 cup of wheat germ
  • 6 1/2 cups of water
  • 1/2 cup of raisins
  • 1/4 cup of organic apricots
  • 1/4 cup of chopped dates
  • 2 tblsp pure vanilla
  • pinch of nutmeg and cinnamon
Place ALL ingredients in a 3 quart or greater crock pot. Stir well, and cover.

Set on lowest setting, cook overnight or for at least 4-5  hours.

Spoon into cereal bowls and serve with a splash of milk and agave nectar for some added sweetness!!

This porridge recipe makes for about 8 servings.

I made it this week, and pre-packaged each serving in a container to re-heat for 8 mornings!! Breakfast made easy!!! :)

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Thursday, October 27, 2011

Pumpkin Spelt Bread with Apricots

This is my favorite time of year for baking, and pumpkin is one of my favorite ingredients to bake with. Its so versatile and has many health benefits.


This is a bread recipe that I created and just may call my favorite! So delicious and best of all it is healthy!!! 



















Here is a picture of the overall ingredients I used to create this yummy bread!


Combine below wet ingredients in one large bowl

  • 1 1/2 cups of organic apple sauce
  • 1 can of organic pumpkin
  • 2 eggs, 2 egg whites (free run)
  • 1/2 cup of organic skim milk
  • 1/3 cup of organic molasses
  • 2 teaspoons of pure vanilla extract
In a separate bowl, combine the below dry ingredients
  • 3 1/2 cups of organic spelt flour
  • 1 3/4 cup of organic cane sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon each of ground nutmeg, ginger, mace and cloves
  • 1 cup of chopped organic chopped dried apricots 
  • 1 cup of chopped pecans (unsalted)
Gradually add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients. Ensure that it is well blended. 

Pour into 3 loaf pans that are lightly greased ( I use a organic coconut spray to coat the pans lightly)

As for my little topping, I sprinkled pumpkin seeds, oatmeal, wheat germ and ground flax.

Bake int the oven for aprox. 45 minutes at 350, cool for 15 minutes before removing from loaf pans, and ENJOY!!!!!





Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Apple Cider Vinegar

The benefits of Raw Unfiltered Apple Cider Vinegar!




The above brand is the one that I have personally tried. When buying your apple cider vinegar, it is important to ensure that it is RAW, UNFILTERED and 
"With the Mother". This means that at the bottom of the jar you can see the sediment, you should give it a shake up prior to each use.
Below are some of the beneficial ingredients of apple cider vinegar

  • Potassium – helps to prevent brittle teeth, hair loss and runny noses.
  • Pectin – helps to regulate blood pressure and reduce bad cholesterol.
  • Malic Acid – gives ACV the properties of being anti-viral, anti-bacterial & anti-fungal.
  • Calcium – helps create strong bones and teeth.
  • Ash – gives ACV its alkaline property which aids your body in maintaining proper pH levels for a healthy alkaline state.
  • Acetic Acid – It appears that this acid slows the digestion of starch which can help to lower the rise in glucose that commonly occurs after meals.

A Few Benefits of Raw Apple Cider Vinegar

  • 1 tablespoon of Raw Apple Cider Vinegar mixed in 4 ounces of purified water after a meal has been used as a natural remedy for heartburn and as a replacement for toxic heartburn medications.
  • Raw Apple Cider Vinegar may help improve bowel irregularity, thereby removing toxins from the body at a faster rate.
  • Helps clear up skin conditions and blemishes giving a smoother texture and complexion.
  • Raw Apple Cider vinegar may also help with joint pain and stiffness.
  • Apple Cider Vinegar helps to break down fats so that your body can use them rather than store them. For this reason, many diets include ACV in their regimen.
  • On a small scale, ACV was studied by researchers at Arizona State University. The preliminary study was published in the Diabetes Care journal. It reported that ACV helps reduce levels of glucose.
Raw organic apple cider vinegar is even good for pets. It has been used to help control fleas and even promotes a healthy shiny coat.

http://www.globalhealingcenter.com/natural-health/the-benefits-of-apple-cider-vinegar/


I have been taking 2 Tablespoons of ACV prior to each meal. I actually enjoy the taste!!
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Monday, October 17, 2011

Vegetarian Bean Chili

Its that time of year, when comfort food makes us warm and feel content. We dont have to let our comfort food get us "un"comfortable! Here is a great alternative to the high fat meat chili! Its a great way to load up on veggies and fiber!




In a large wok or pan, I use a tablespoon of olive oil and add:



  • Chopped Sweet Onion
  • Chopped green pepper
  • Diced Zucchini
  • Can of organic chickpeas
  • Can of organic kidney beans



Once the veggies are cooked 1/2 way through, I add a can of organic diced tomatoes, then finally I add YVES Veggie Chili and a few extra tablespoons of chili powder! Stir it all together and let simmer for 10-15 minutes.


Pour over steamed brown rice and enjoy a healthy veggie chili today!!! 




I also added a sprinkle of shredded almond cheese

This is a healthy cheese alternative that is low fat and high in calcium.





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