Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Hummus. It's what's for dinner. (*Raw, *Vegan, *GF)

Hummus (Raw, Bean-free)
from Living & Raw Foods
This is one of my all time favorite recipes I have come across!!!  I have always been a huge fan of hummus but when I discovered a recipe that was a raw hummus, I had to try it.  Instead of chickpeas it uses raw zucchini!  Crazy sounding, I know.  But I promise I have served this to many people and no one has ever suspected the main ingredient of this dish.  My children love this recipe as well and at least once a month we have "Hummus Night" where we will serve a big bowl of hummus and a bunch of veggies.  I have not, however, told them they are eating raw zucchini.  Some things are better left unsaid....

2 medium zucchini
1/4 cup olive oil
4 cloves garlic
2 tsp sea salt 
1/2 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
3/4 cup sesame seeds
3/4 cup tahini
1/4 tsp cayenne
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp cumin

Process zucchini, olive oil and garlic first in food processor.  Add remaining ingredients and process until smooth.

Marinated Greens (*Raw *Vegan *GF)

Marinated Greens
from Living and Raw Foods
I first tried this recipe when I was trying to do mostly raw foods.  It was an instant hit with my husband and I (the kids like it alright but it would never be requested for their birthday dinners, I assure you).  It is still one of Ken's favorites , is a nice alternative to a traditional "salad" and loaded with the "healthies"  :)

one bunch kale
one bunch spinach
one red pepper
one yellow pepper
olive oil (approx 3/4 c)
sea salt
cayenne pepper
one lemon
1" piece ginger (personally I have omitted this on several occasions & it's still been great)
1/4-1/2 red onion (depending on how much you love onion!)

Wash the kale and strip the leaves from the stems.  Chop (or tear) into bite size pieces.  Wash and tear spinach as well.  Throw greens into a large bowl and pour approx 1/2 c (or more if you like) olive oil and the juice from the lemon on the greens.  Mix well.
In a food processor or blender combine peppers, red onion, ginger and 1/4 c olive oil, sea salt and cayenne pepper to taste.  Process until it's a liquid.  
Pour marinade over greens and mix well.  
It's enjoyed both right away or after sitting for a few hours!

Friday, February 4, 2011

Green is Good (Cheech's Original Powerhouse Smoothie) (*Raw *Vegan *GF)

Cheech's Original Powerhouse Smoothie
After reading about 'superfoods' I decided to come up with a smoothie that incorporated some of the best.  I drink this probably at least 5/7 mornings for breakfast.  It's loaded with protein, fiber, omegas, lignans and energy-giving ingredients! 
1 cup non-dairy milk ( I use unsweetened hemp milk)
2 T. Hemp protein powder
1 T. ground flax seed
1 tsp spirulina 
handful of greens (I usually use spinach or kale)
3/4 banana
handful of berries (you can use fresh or frozen)
approx 3 T goji berries

Blend all ingredients.

*The spirulina does have somewhat of a strong flavor but you can extra sweetener to this by using a vanilla flavored "milk" or by adding dates, agave nectar or honey*

I've attached a link on the benefits of spirulina:

Butternut Squash & Kale (* Vegan *Gluten Free)

Butternut Squash & Kale Salad
* original recipe from Whole Foods - adjusted to fit ingredients I had on hand*
Last night we had Butternut & Squash Kale Salad.  It was liked by all 4 in the family (Gage didn't "prefer" the squash - it's a texture thing)!  It was pretty easy & quick also :)

2 bunches kale (stems and ribs stripped and leaves torn or sliced)
1 cup low sodium vegetable broth
1 butternut squash (approx 2 pounds) peeled, seeded and cut into 1/2" cubes (I cheated and used Trader Joe's precut squash!)
1/2 red onion diced
1/3 cup raisins
2 T balsamic vinegar

Put kale and 1/2 cup vegetable broth into a large pot (very large - it will be a ton of kale to start with) and place over medium heat.  Cook, covered, stirring frequently, until kale is wilted - about 3 min.  Add squash and continue cooking approx 12 min.  Cool to room temperature.

Meanwhile combine the remaining 1/2 cup vegetable broth, onion, raisins & vinegar in a small saucepan.  Bring to boil, lower heat and simmer, uncovered, until onion is very tender and liquid is reduced by about half (about 6 min).  Cool, toss with kale and squash.  Serve room temperature or slightly warm.


Thursday, February 3, 2011

And so it began....

So here it is.  My first blog.  Let me start by saying I'm a novice.  A newbie. Completely clueless to all things technological and computer-related.
So....why am I blogging?  After multiple requests for various recipes and healthy eating ideas I thought instead of writing/emailing them to individuals I could just post/blog them and have them available for everyone at once.
How did this all start?  About 2 years ago I did my first body cleanse/detox.  At that time I experienced such significant changes that I began researching food and healthier ways of eating.  I am by no means a professional on food or nutrition.  I have just discovered what type of food/eating has made a difference for me.
I currently am eating primarily vegan, gluten free with a lot of raw foods (I have tried to go all raw but with a nut allergy, 2 small children and a carnivore-loving husband have found it to be limiting, difficult and expensive).  Vegan and gluten free do have their challenges but are more doable with a family, allergies and "real life".  In addition, I try to eliminate all processed sugars (& use only natural sweeteners such as agave, honey & dates), trans fats and partially hydrogenated oils.
Do I eat this way 100% of the time?  No.  I definitely "cheat" but I just try to keep it to a minimum.
Do I consider this a diet?  Heck no!  Just the word makes me cringe.  I have told my husband I consider the way I eat not a diet but a "do-it".  It's more about choosing good things for me than about all the things I can't have.  (Cheesy & nerdy, I know).
Do my kids eat this way too?  Yes and no.  A lot of nights they have to eat what mommy makes.  But hey - part of the fun of being a kid is eating pizza at Chuck E Cheese and ice cream with Nanee!  :)
Has this really made a difference?  Absolutely!

So there it is in a nutshell (or in my case, a hemp seed shell)!  

Hopefully the wonderful world of technology and I can co-exist in my attempts to maintain this blog!