Monday, February 28, 2011

Thai Food, Anyone?

I have really grown a taste for Thai and Indian cuisine. This is another Green Smoothie Girl recipe from her 12 Steps to Whole Foods book. It is not just a recipe book, but it contains a lot of recipes to help you implement the things she teaches. Some of the recipes are winners, others not so much. This was a winner--not just a "we could eat it again."

Be warned that it has a kick (one my two year old could handle though. Take care if your kids are wary of spicy foods). It must be the red curry paste. But you can do yellow or green curry paste as well. To find good deals on curry paste and other Asian products go to your local Asian market. The prices are WAY better there and the stuff is probably more authentic. Gluten intolerance? Asian markets have lots of rice and yam noodles for cheap. Really, give them a try. It's one of my new favorite places to shop. :)

I made this with brown basmati rice and would highly recommend the same for you, unless you are really wanting it with noodles.

Whole-Grain Pasta with Thai Coconut Sauce

My teenaged son calls this dish “Asia Meets Europe.” You can serve it with 4 C of cooked brown rice instead of pasta, if you prefer to keep it truly Asian.

16 oz. whole-wheat or spelt pasta, cooked according to package directions
3 Tbsp. coconut oil
1 can coconut milk
2 Tbsp. cornstarch
2 onions, chopped
1 head cauliflower, chopped
2 red bell peppers, sliced
3 carrots, chopped
2 Tbsp. fish sauce
2 Tbsp. red curry paste (or green or yellow, if you prefer)
1 can lychee fruit, drained (pronounced “LEE-chee”) --I left this out--
1 can baby corn, drained
¼ tsp. sea salt

Heat the coconut oil in a wok or skillet and sauté vegetables until tender-crisp. Blend the coconut milk,cornstarch, fish sauce, curry paste, and salt in a blender. Add to the vegetables, along with the lycees and baby corn. Heat and stir until sauce thickens. Toss vegetables/sauce with pasta and serve.

Of course, I always recommend serving dinner with a big green salad.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Vegetarian Chili

This recipe comes from Robyn Openshaw's (The Green Smoothie Girl) 12 Steps to Whole Foods book (I highly recommend it), and we quite enjoyed it. Be warned, it makes A LOT. I had to use my mom's canning pan to make it and froze a gallon bag full for later, plus having it for several meals and leftovers.

Of course, you could downsize the recipe. I like having freezer meals and leftovers sometimes. And we are still only three in our family (until May or June), so if you have a big family it might be just right for you.

I can’t overestimate this recipe’s role in helping my mom raise eight children on my father’s military income.Vegetarian chili is inexpensive, nutritious, filling, and a complete protein with brown rice added. As kids, we loved seeing it on the table on winter evenings with chips, shredded cheese, and a big green salad.

4 C pinto beans, soaked overnight and rinsed well
12 C water
2 C brown rice, rinsed well
2 diced yellow onions 4 cans tomato sauce
2 qt. diced tomatoes, with juice
2 Tbsp. chili powder 2 Tbsp. garlic powder
1½ tsp. sea salt
1 tsp. pepper
2-3 bay leaves
optional: 2 green bell peppers, diced
optional: 2 Anaheim or jalapeño peppers, diced

In a very large stock pot, bring the water and beans to a boil and then simmer for 2 hours (or longer, if the beans are very old), until they are almost tender. Add all the remaining ingredients, simmer for 1 hour, and serve. The taste improves overnight after refrigeration. Save leftovers to use for a baked potato bar—or, if you have a small family, you’ll have enough to freeze for another night’s meal.

I made it with the green (and I did red as well) peppers added, and left out the spice for our little boy. Without jalapeño peppers it is not spicy at all but has good flavor.

It's great as just a bowl of chili, but we also got creative and morphed it into other meals.

Here it is as a topping for some boiled red potatoes with tomatoes, salsa, sour cream, etc. (I was going to do a baked potato bar, but I had these boiled already. Same dif.):

I also used it as a "taco" replacement for a taco salad of sorts. Much like the potato bar but with a huge green salad and some homemade ranch dressing on top. Another note: the ranch dressing is great with some jalapeño pepper blended into it, if you like a kick.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Coming Up,

I've been trying lots of new recipes, many of them from the Green Smoothie Girl's 12 Steps to Whole Foods book. I'll be posting the really good ones we've tried here. I don't want to discourage you from buying it though, if you are interested. I get nothing for saying this, but it is great info that has really blessed our family. Plus, it is really large, and I'll only be posting a few.

Other recipes I'll share more freely. Come and see what's been cooking (and sometimes not cooking--i.e. raw foods) in my kitchen!

Monday, February 21, 2011

Black Beans

I got this from Anitra at

Black beans...full of nutrition

Who knew that there was so much good in a little black bean? Well here are some facts that may surprise you...

Black Beans are a wonderful source of dietary fiber which has been shown to naturally help lower cholesterol. In addition, the high fiber content in Black Beans helps keep blood sugar levels from rising too rapidly after a meal, making them a wise choice for people with diabetes, insulin resistance or hypoglycemia.

When Black Beans are prepared with whole grains such as barley or wild rice, the Black Beans provide a virtually fat-free, high quality source of protein. But that's not all. Recent research also shows that Black Beans are rich in antioxidants as well. Antioxidants destroy free radicals, and when eaten regularly, have been shown to offer protection against heart disease, cancer and aging.

Did you know that Black beans have more antioxidant activity, gram for gram, than other bean? And do you realize that a
100 gm serving size of black beans has about 10 times the amount of overall antioxidants in an equivalent serving size of oranges and similar to the amount found in an equivalent serving size of grapes, apples and cranberries?

And this is the recipe she put along with it. I'll add my modifications and thoughts, of course.

Southwestern layered salad...


This tasty recipe is straight out of my "Celebrate Dinner" book and it's one of my favorite black bean recipes. Give it a try!

Southwestern Layered Salad

8 cups shredded romaine
8 hard-cooked eggs, sliced 1 can black beans, rinsed & drained 2 cans whole kernel corn
1 can red beans, rinsed and drained 2 ripe avocados, diced ½ cup thinly sliced green onions 1/4 cup shredded cheese 1/4 cup green peas (optional) 3 1/2 cup cherry tomatoes, quartered 1 tbsp. lime juice

Layer the salad starting with the lettuce and topping off with the green onions. Arrange egg slices around the sides of the bowl as shown.

Dressing: Combine 1 ½ cup mayonnaise, 2/3 cups salsa, 2 tbs lime juice, ½ tsp. cumin, ½ tsp. chili powder, 1 ¼ cups fresh minced cilantro. Top with shredded cheese and sliced ripe olives.

I almost always leave cilantro out of recipes because we don't like it. Also, this is great as a side (or on top of) Mexican dishes like chicken enchiladas and the like, minus the eggs for such dishes if you please. This would be a great salad to bring to a potluck.

Eat up!

Friday, February 11, 2011

Valentine Treat Ideas

Wardeh from GNOWFGLINS has a great post up right now for healthier dessert options for your valentines. They look so good. Check 'em out!

Click Here

and begin drooling.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Good news for us!

My mom sent this to me today. My boys LOVE mushrooms however I serve them.

"In the Geometric Signature pattern of the Thyroid, Mushrooms have the highest concentration of Iodine. The edible mushrooms are used as food but also as pharmacology.

The nutrient content of mushrooms are remarkable: 30-40% of their dry weight is protein...they also contain virtually all of the minerals required by the human body as well as Vitamins A, B1, B2, C and D.

Serving Tip: Throw them raw in salads, cook them into soups or saute them in olive oil with a little sea salt - fantastic!"

Sauteing white mushrooms with some butter and onions is so great on top of baked potatoes, rice, and other grains.
I rarely use a recipe with these, but if I can replicate the mushroom saute that we put over rice the other night, I'll post it. What are your favorites?

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

The Great Health Debate

There have been so many PROVEN diets for people's best health. This is a kindof neat idea: Let's get together all of the experts from these professed "best" diets and have them tell their experience and debate. I never thought I'd hear some of the raw vegans say that 40% of people don't thrive on such a diet, and how and what to add for people's needs. Pretty cool.

They are doing it right now.

Check out this link to listen for free for a short time.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

My Favorite Starter Smoothie

For green smoothie beginners, I have a special blend I use that is a crowd pleaser for all ages and kinds. I had so many request my "recipe" from the last classes I taught that I thought I'd post it here.

Try this:
a couple handfuls of red grapes
some fresh pineapple (and core if your blender can hack it)
A couple large handfuls of spinach
A large leaf of kale (add more as you develop a taste for it)
Some frozen banana chunks
Water to desired consistency