Apple Beet Celery Juice - ABC for Good Health

This juice is a nutrient packed medley of red apple and powerful vegetables, tailored to boost your immune function and reduce inflammation. Apple Beet Celery Juice

Remember if you want to harness the maximum amount of enzyme power and vitamins from foods you juice, you need to use a juicer that does not create 'heat' when processing.

A juicer with metal parts will break down the enzymes, as will a juicer which has a motor close to the juicing mechanism.

Here are two examples:

1.  Hamilton Beach Big Mouth Juicer

>> Features: Stainless Steel Blades

Hamilton Beach juicer

2. Bella™ High Power Juice Extractor

>>  The cutter blades sit right on top of the Motor.

Bella Juicer

It's worth the small investment to buy a masticating juicer, that will keep the nutrients in your foods intact, and thus contribute to your good health.

I own an Omega Juicer like this one:

omega juicer

Notice that the motor is in the back of the machine, away from the chute.

Also, there are no metal parts in the 'juicing' mechanism... instead there is acplastic rotating grinder that basically chews the foods releasing the juice.juicer mechanism

 

 

 

Apple Beet Celery Juice

Strong anti-oxidants and vitamins.

  • 1 small, or half a medium organic Red-skin Apple
  • 1/4 organic Beet
  • 3-4 organic Broccoli florets
  • 2-3 stalks fresh organic Celery
  • 1 organic Red Radish (2 if small)
  • 1/2 large Carrot
  • 3 leaves organic Red or Green Leaf Lettuce
  • 2 tsp. fresh organic Lemon juice (add at the end)

Apple Beet Celery Lettuce Juice

Cut each item into slices that will fit the juicer's chute.  Add lemon juice at the end.

Juice all, and drink up!

TIP: Save the pulp and add to stew, soup, or muffins!  You can freeze it and use it later.

When Should I Drink My Juice?

It's best to drink your juice on an empty stomach, either first thing in the morning, or an hour away from meals.

This will allow you to absorb the maximum amount of nutrients.

CAUTION:

If you are just beginning to juice, and your normal diet includes many processed foods or refined sugar, take it slow!

Start by juicing once every 2 - 3 days and increase the amount slowly.  The reason for this is that when you juice, your body absorbs the nutrients very quickly, and will begin to detox your cells.

If you detox too fast, it can overload your liver and kidneys and make you feel sick.

Another caution is juicing fruits.

Most fruits are high in sugar.  You don't want to include many fruits in your juices since they will spike your blood sugar.

Diabetics should consult their doctor or a nutritionist before beginning a juicing regimen that includes fruit.  Vegetables are not a problem.

Choose a small red apple (actually lowers blood sugar when eaten with the skin), or 2 small slices of pineapple, half a peach, or half a pear per juice.  These fruits are lower in sugar.

BERRIES - are Great.. but with the exception of Cherries, don't juice well.

~ Cheers! 

Quick Mini Veggie Wraps with Peanut Sauce

This recipe has become a favorite as a quick lunch, or salad substitute with dinner. The presentation is colorful.  

brown rice wrap
brown rice wrap

Next time you shop buy two packages of Brown Rice Wrappers and Nori sheets to have on hand.

You can improvise with the filling, and surely you have a jar of organic, no-sugar-added Peanut Butter for the sauce base. :)

Mini Veggie Wraps with Peanut Sauce

Note: You can make the sauce without the pepper flakes, and/or add 1 tsp. Lime Juice for more zip.

Also, adjusting the amount is simple.. for each additional sheet or Nori or Rice wraps, you'll want another 1/2-3/4 c. of shredded or sliced veggies.

  • 4 sheets Brown Rice Wrappers
  • 2 sheets sushi-grade Nori
  • 1 1/2 c. organic Zucchini, shredded
  • 1 c. organic Carrots, shredded
  • 4 organic Scallions, cut into thin strips
  • 3/4 c. fresh organic Cilantro, stems trimmed
  • 1/2 c. organic Mushrooms, sliced thin
  • 1/2 c. organic Red Cabbage, shredded
  • 1/4 c. organic Yellow or Red Bel Pepper, thinly sliced

Spicy Peanut Sauce

  • 1/4 c. organic, no-sugar-added Peanut Butter
  • 3 Tbs. Coconut Aminos or Tamari Sauce
  • 2 Tbs. Rice Vinegar
  • 2 Tbs. organic ev Olive Oil
  • 1 Tbs. raw, organic Honey (Maple syrup for vegan)
  • 2 tsp. Sesame Oil
  • 2 tsp. organic Garlic, minced
  • 2 tsp. Ginger
  • 1 tsp. crushed Red Pepper flakes
  • 2 tsp. Water or Lime juice (opt)

Mix all ingredients, whisking until smooth.  (You may add a few crushed peanuts if you so desire.)  Place in a bowl.

rice wrap ingredts
rice wrap ingredts

 

  • Place on a chopping board or kitchen counter covered with parchment paper.
  • Spread 2 tsp. of sauce along center, and place up to 3/4 cup of filling (1/6 of each veggie), in layers, on wrap. Fold ends in and roll carefully but firmly, so as not to tear sheet.
  • Cut into 1-1/2" slices with very sharp knife, and place on serving platter.
  • Do this with remaining sheets or rice wraps.

To make Nori, go through the same process, but do not dip in water.

  • Serve with additional peanut sauce, or Tamari.

~ In Good Health! ♥

Black Bean Salad Lunch Plate

Whenever I make Tabbouleh I am sure to make enough to last 3 days. That's about the limit for freshness. It goes so well with so many foods, and as a condiment in sandwiches. I had some left from yesterday, and some black beans left from making the Dark Chocolate Black Bean Bars, so I transformed the latter into a salad, and added the last piece of Ginger Cod. Very tasty, very healthy... high protein, omega 3's, high fiber, high antioxidant!

Black Bean Salad

  • 4 c. cooked organic Black Beans, drained
  • 1/2 c. organic sweet Onion, chopped
  • 1/2 c. organic Cilantro, chopped
  • 1/4 c. organic Mint, chopped
  • 1/2 organic Serrano Chili Pepper chopped (opt.)
  • 2 medium organic Tomatoes, chopped
  • 2 organic Green Onions, chopped
  • 4 Tbs. organic Apple Cider Vinegar (Bragg's is best)
  • 2 Tbs. Lemon Juice
  • 2 Tbs. Flax Seed Oil
  • 1 Tbs. Olive Oil
  • 1 tsp. Sea Salt
  • 1/2 tsp. Cumin or more to taste
  •  

Mix everything together in a large bowl. Taste and adjust seasoning to your taste. I added a sprinkle of black pepper.

My son ate some for a snack right out of the bowl. He's my gourmet, finicky food critic.  :)

~ Bon Apetit! ♥

Lentils and Mung Beans - the Whole Story

There are some days when I get an awfully strong craving for Indian spices. I either want to have a curried dish, or a lentil dish... those are the two competitors for my attention. My favorite dish when I was a girl, is called Mjaddara, a 'peasant' type winter dish popular in the villages of Lebanon.  It's basically a lentil/rice/onion mash that is sooo tasty, sooo comforting and sooo healthy!  That's THREE Soooo's!!  :) Mom was an expert Mjaddara maker, like her father.

According to Choosemyplate.gov...

Health Properties

"Aside from their slight differences in calorie, carb and protein values, red and French lentils have very similar health benefits. Both are protein-rich, plant-based foods, which gives them a unique set of positive nutritional properties.

mung bean sprouts 1
mung bean sprouts 1

According to ChooseMyPlate.gov: low-fat proteins such as lentils are essential for growing, building, repairing and maimaintaining tissues in blood, skin, bone and muscle cells.

Protein is also a particularly satiating nutrient and may be able to keep you full for longer than carb- or fat-rich foods, which can be important if you’re watching your weight. Both red and French lentils are high in dietary fiber, which means they can improve digestive health and potentially lower levels of blood cholesterol and blood sugar."

Mung beans are low in Saturated Fat and Sodium, and very low in Cholesterol. It is also a good source of Protein, Thiamin, Niacin, Vitamin B6, Pantothenic Acid, Iron, Magnesium, Phosphorus and Potassium, and a very good source of Dietary Fiber, Vitamin C, Vitamin K, Riboflavin, Folate, Copper and Manganese.

To find out if a carb food you are about to buy (bread, crackers, pasta, etc..) is a healthy choice do the following:

Add a zero to the total grams of fiber per serving, so 2g becomes 20.  Compare it to the total grams of Carbs per serving.  The fiber number should be MORE than the total Carbohydrates number.  This means if a product has 20g of Carbs and 1g of Fiber (i.e. 10) Then put it back on the shelf!There is not enough fiber to slow down the conversion of the carbs into glucose, and it will spike your blood sugar.  These spikes that occur all day long are what predispose us to Diabetes and other diseases.  Aim for at least 1.5 times the Fiber to Carbs.

1 cup of cookedMung beans has 2 grams of Fiber vs. 6 grams of Carbs.  That's 20 vs 6! A very good ratio.

1 cup of Lentils have 16 grams of Fiber vs. 40 grams of Carb...160 to 40!  An Excellent ratio.

And of course we know that a diet high in fiber can help prevent colon and breast cancer. So eat your beans!

I adapted this recipe to include both lentils and mung beans.

Sprouted Lentils and Mung Beans, Indian Style

  • 2 c. sprouted organic brown Lentils
  • 1/2 c. organic Mung Beans (soaked overnight)
  • 2 tsp. extra virgin Olive Oil
  • 3/4 c. organic Onion, chopped
  • 1 green organic Chili Pepper (I use Serrano)
  • A 1-inch piece of organic Ginger
  • 1 Tbs. organic Cilantro, chopped
  • 1/2 tsp. Cayenne Pepper
  • 1/2 tsp. dried Coriander powder
  • 3/4 tsp. Cumin
  • 1/4 tsp. Black Pepper
  • Sea Salt to taste
  • 1-1-1/2 c. hot Water

Heat a medium stainless steel pot over medium heat for 1 minute.  Add oil and wait another 1 minute.

Add onion and chili pepper and saute for 2 minutes. Add ginger and cilantro, stirring for 1 minute.

Add beans and spices and 1 cup hot water, stir, cover and simmer over medium-low for 15 minutes.

Press one of the beans between your fingers to make sure they are done, and add the last 1/2 c. of hot water if too dry.

Adjust seasoning, and serve hot or at room temperature.

lentils_Indian style
lentils_Indian style

~ Cheers! ♥

Haight Street and Roasted Vegetables with Tea Leaves

I had an appointment with my anthroposophic Doc in San Francisco yesterday.  I've been having vertigo that lasts for a few seconds when I lay down, and inner ear congestion, so I sought her help.  She is an amazing woman with more accomplishments than I can ever remember. 

haight street SF
haight street SF

J and I drove in 4 hours early since he had a meeting on Haight Street with contractors bidding for a remodel on a new building his boss purchased to turn into another Music store.  I hadn't been to Haight in a number of years.  My niece and I used to go to a Middle Eastern restaurant across from the building where J has his appointment, to enjoy the food and belly dance to live music.

Everyone knows that one aspect of San Francisco's charm is the wonderful Victorian architecture.  The intricate designs and eye-catching colors never cease to please me.

red victorian SF haight
red victorian SF haight

Haight Street is best known as the principal street in San Francisco's Haight-Ashbury district. The Haight-Ashbury district is famous for its role as a center of the 1960s hippie movement. College and high-school students began streaming into the Haight during the spring break of 1967.

Hunter S. Thompson labeled the district "Hashbury" in The New York Times Magazine, and the activities in the area were reported almost daily.  I'm sure we all remember the Summer of Love, the social phenomenon in the summer of 1967, when about 100,000 people converged on the Haight-Ashbury triggering a major cultural and political shift.

The 'Peace Cafe' located in the Red Victorian, is neighbor to a Vintage Costume and Rental store.  We got ourselves something to drink from a cafe across the street, decorated with huge paintings on canvas based on "The Wind in the Willows".

Back at home, I decided to roast some veggies, bake some Cod filet with ginger and green onions, and steam Butternut squash with a hint of coconut oil, salt and pepper. For a salad a Slaw with Red and Napa Cabbage.

Roasted Rainbow Vegetables

8 Servings

~I only use veggies that are Organic.

  • 1 cup chopped Red Cabbage
  • 1 cup coarsely chopped Onion
  • 3 Zucchini, cut in half lengthwise and sliced 3/4" thick
  • 3 Carrots, sliced 3/4" thick
  • 1/2 large Eggplant, cut in chunks
  • 2 cups Butternut Squash, cut in bite size chunks
  • 2 Sweet Potatoes, cut in bite size chunks
  • 7 -10 cloves Garlic, halved if large
  • 2 Tbs. Green Tea leaves (reserved from making tea, or soaked)
  • 2 Tbs. Olive Oil
  • Sea Salt
  • Black Pepper
  • 1 tsp. Caraway Seeds
  • 1 tsp. Cayenne Pepper

Pre-heat oven to 425ºF ; 220ºC.

Combine veggies in a large bowl with tea leaves. Add Olive oil and toss to coat thoroughly.

Sprinkle with Sea Salt, Black Pepper, Caraway and Cayenne. Toss again until evenly coated with the spices.

Spoon Veggies into a large ceramic or glass baking dish that has been lightly sprayed with Coconut or Olive oil.

Roast veggies for 30 minutes, toss them with spatula and continue to roast for another 10-15 minutes or until carrots are tender.

veggies roasted
veggies roasted

Adjust seasoning, and serve hot.

~ Bon Apetit! ♥

Coconut Cilantro Chutney

One of my sweet 30-something nephews came over for lunch today.  We hadn't really visited for some time since he lives an hour away. We caught each other up on news over chicken tacos, chicken Thai curry, whole wheat couscous, kale salad and spinach flat bread (I like eclectic meals).

I realized that I didn't have a chutney to serve, since most are so full of sugar I rarely buy them.  I came across this recipe... It goes very well with fish too, and takes just minutes to whip up.

Coconut Cilantro Chutney Recipe

GreenCoriander chutney
GreenCoriander chutney
  • 3/4 c. shredded unsweetened Coconut
  • 3/4 c. fresh organic Cilantro, coarsely chopped
  • 1 small seeded organic Serrano chili,  quartered
  • 1/2 c. light coconut milk (or green tea)
  • Juice of 1/2 organic Lime
  • dash of Sea Salt

Place all but Lime juice in blender, or food processor, and pulse until consistency is almost smooth.

Pour into a bowl and mix in lime juice. Taste and adjust seasoning.

As a variation you may add 1 clove of garlic to veggies, or a 1/2 inch slice of ginger.

Makes about 1 cup of chutney.

~ āp kā khānā svādiṣṭa ho! ♥

Blood Sugar and Weight Loss Support in a Bean?

A friend of mine told me about green coffee bean extract a few weeks ago, and I have finally found a minute to do a little research. My sister who lives in London, and my older brother both have Type II Diabetes.  I am always looking for natural ways one can keep blood sugar levels in line, because sometimes we all cheat on our diets!

I posted the list of Foods that Help Lower Blood Sugar, so add this to them.

I don't subscribe to TV, but I understand Dr. Oz had a show on the benefits of Green Coffee Bean extract. After doing a little digging here's what  found:

Green coffee bean extract is a powerful anti-oxidant

Friday, May 18, 2012 by: Dr. David Jockers

There are two major types of coffee plants; Arabica and Robusta. The highest quality green coffee bean extract comes from the Arabica plant which is higher in the polyphenol anti-oxidants chlorogenic and caffeic acids. The majority of coffee drinkers are missing out on much of the benefits that coffee contains. The deep roasting process significantly reduces the anti-oxidant content.

Additionally, coffee is one of the most widely pesticide/herbicide sprayed crops in the world. Studies have shown over 1000 toxic chemicals in roasted coffee. It is essential to use organic coffee that is free of these dangerous chemicals that mimic hormones, congest our liver, kidneys and bowels and promote cancer growth.

Another powerful carcinogen is produced when high temperature cooking (baking, frying & roasting) damages sugars which then interact with the amino acid asparagine. This chemical reaction creates the potent carcinogen acrylamide. Instant and deeply roasted coffee has been shown to have significantly more acrylamide than brewed coffee.

There are many great health benefits associated with coffee consumption. A recent 2011 study indicated that individuals who consumed the most coffee had the lowest risk of type II diabetes. The researchers found that the chlorogenic acid reduces the release and creation of excess glucose in the body.

Blood sugar balance

Blood sugar balance is an absolutely critical measure of healthy aging in the body. Too much sugar and grains in the diet will lead to blood sugar imbalances. The body then goes through spirals of hyperglycemia and hypoglycemia. These blood sugar imbalances cause inflammation in the body that damage hormonal control systems, organs, and immune function.

Glucose overload is another major cause of blood sugar imbalances.  The common sign of this is elevated fasting blood sugar levels. At night, the individual has elevated glucose-6-phosphatase (G6P) enzyme activity that causes an elevated release of blood sugar from the muscle and liver. The body is basically eating these tissues.

The latest evidence shows that healthy fasting blood sugar ranges are between 65-85 mg/DL. Meanwhile, post meal ranges (2 hrs after) should never go above 120 mg/dL. When levels test higher it is a clear indication of oxidative stress damaging cells and tissues of the body.

The major anti-oxidant in green coffee bean extract, chlorogenic acid, has been shown to profoundly inhibit the release of the G6P enzyme which significantly stabilizes blood sugar levels. In one clinical study a dose of 400mg of green coffee bean extract showed a 32% reduction in the post meal blood glucose spike. This translates into someone who would have an extremely dangerous 160mg/dL blood sugar level down to a safe post-meal level of 109mg/dL

Stable blood sugar allows for better energy, mental clarity, hormone function, detoxification capabilities and weight loss. Raw green coffee bean extract along with other superfoods such as cacao and cinnamon all show great results in stabilizing blood sugar and improving overall bodily functions. The combination of these three also synergizes to create even greater effects in the body.

Due to the diuretic effects of caffeine in the coffee it is necessary to consume extra water. The water should ideally be from a natural spring or have gone through a deep filtration process to remove environmental toxins.

Sources: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20171062 http://greencoffeebeanbenefits.com/

And a second reference that states:

There are many reasons you may not be losing weight. If you started lifting weights, then chances are you are building muscle, which would negate any fat loss. This is good because muscle burns more calories than fat, so chances are you’ll see nice weight loss results down the road.

Second, if you do not sleep enough or aren’t eating enough, your body’s metabolism will slow down, negating the powerful weight loss properties of green coffee extract. Women should eat at least 1,200 calories per day and men should eat at least 1,500 calories per day.

Third and finally, the most likely culprit is that you’re still eating too much. Studies have shown that humans tend to under-estimate their caloric intakes by 25-40% on a normal basis. Therefore, you could be eating 300-600 calories more per day then you think you are.

Another likely culprit for overeating is due to emotional eating. Dr. Oz recently tackled this problem that affects a large percentage of the population. You see, when we are sad our dopamine levels are significantly lower. To increase these pleasure chemicals in our body, we eat junk foods, which have chemicals designed to increase these dopamine levels.

To combat this, Dr. Oz recommends taking saffron extract,  a natural extract from a flower grown in tropical regions. Saffron extract replaces the dopamine levels you are lacking, which prevents you from snacking on unhealthy foods.

Source:
WebMD article: Green Coffee Beans May Aid Weight Loss (click on Title).

CAUTION: If you have hypertension, or a medical condition that cautions against the consumption of Caffeine, do not take this product.  Always check with your doctor before starting any Supplement.

~ Be Well!

The King of Vegetables and My Eggplant Caponata

As a child, eggplants were my least favorite vegetable, much to my mother's disappointment.  The only exception was Baba Ghannouj, a must at every Lebanese appetizer table.
You see, in the Middle East, the Eggplant is referred to as the King of Stuffed Vegetables due to its versatility and the large number recipes that feature this violet beauty.
When I was in my preteen years, I decided that every couple of weeks or so I would force my self to eat one food item that I did not like. When the eggplant's turn came around, it took a while, but slowly I grew to love that little bit of creamy bitterness it offers.  Soon my favorite recipes included 4 eggplant dishes... 1) Eggplant rounds pan-fried in olive oil and topped with a Spicy Tomato-Onion medley; 2) Eggplant stuffed with Rice, Lamb, Onions, Tomatoes and Spices; 3) Eggplant-Beef boats with Pine Nuts; and 4) Baba Ghannouj.
The recipe below calls for the Caponata to be served cold as an appetizer.  Since it is versatile, I have heated it up and spooned it over hot whole wheat couscous that has been cooked in chicken or vegetable broth, for a wonderful meal!

Recipe

Serves @ 10 as an appetizer
  • 2 lbs. organic Eggplant, peeled and diced
  • 2 Tbs. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 c. organic White Onion, small diced
  • ½ c. organic Bell Pepper, small diced
  • 2 Tbs. Garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 c. organic Tomatoes (peeled, seeded, and small diced)
  • ¼ c. organic Basil, fresh chopped
  • 2 Tbs. Sherry Vinegar
  • 1 Tbs. organic Lemon, squeezed
  • 1 packet Stevia
  • 1 small Green Chili, minced (opt.)
  • ¼ c. Green Olives, chopped
  • 2 tsp. Black pepper, coarsely ground
  • 1 Head of Green leaf Lettuce
Sauté diced eggplant in olive oil until lightly browned; removed from pan. In the same pan, sauté onions, bell peppers, tomatoes and garlic for 2 minutes (vegetables should still have some texture, and garlic should not brown). Mix everything else together in a large bowl with the cooked vegetables.
Refrigerate overnight.
Serve a large scoop of pate over a bed of lettuce and surround with toasted whole wheat pita bread triangles, or scoop onto whole wheat Tuscan bread that has a light smear of Vegenaise.

~ Buon Apetito!

Kale Medley Wraps

Kale and Greens

medley bags from Trader Joe (baby kale, baby chard, baby spinach)  and decided to create an Asian Style wrap filling using that and a few other ingredients.

I had a cup of soaked and sprouted mung beans in the fridge, and about a cup of sprouted lentils that I cooked with green tea, onion, cumin, salt and pepper. So here's what was born from this starter.

Kale seasoning
Kale seasoning

Kale, Greens and Bean Filling

  • 5-6 cups mixed organic Greens (Kale, Chard, Spinach, Collards, Watercress, etc..)
  • 2 tsp.organic  extra virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 organic White onion, sliced thin
  • 1 c. organic Carrots, shredded
  • 1 c. cooked sprouted Lentils (cook in broth or green tea and spices to give it flavor)
  • 1 c. Mung Beans, soaked overnight till sprouted
  • 1/4 c. Water or Vegetable broth
  • 2 Tbs. organic Ginger, chopped
  • 3 Tbs. Tamari Sauce (Gluten Free)
  • 3 Tbs. Sweet Chili Sauce
  • 1 packet Stevia
  • 1 tsp. Black Pepper
  • 1 tsp. Cayenne Pepper

Pour olive oil into a large sauté pan over medium heat, for 1 minute. Tilt pan to spread oil a little. Add onions and saute for 2 minutes, then add greens and carrots.

Stir for 5 -6 minutes or until greens turn bright.

carrot onion kale saute
carrot onion kale saute

Add Mung beans, lentils and water. Stir to mix.  When it starts to simmer, turn heat to Low, cover and cook for 10-12 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Kale burrito filling 3
Kale burrito filling 3

Add ginger, and all seasonings.

kale saute _ginger
kale saute _ginger

Stir well, cover and simmer for another 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until kale is tender. Add a little more water if necessary.

Taste and adjust seasoning.

Kale burrito filling 4
Kale burrito filling 4

Serve wrapped in wilted Chard leaf, whole grain Tortilla, or open face on whole wheat Pita bread. May also be served on top of wild rice or mixed in with buckwheat noodles!

 Bon Apetit!

Make it Fruity

I'm sifting through my Hot Weather recipes to gather them for reference in the upcoming weeks of Summer.  

Fruit is the main feature in a number of tasty meals I am planning for many reasons... its nutrition content, its ease of preparation, its tastiness and its cooling effect, not to mention the gorgeous colors it brings to our table.

I replaced the dairy I used to use with Tofu here.  It's possible to serve this without the topping, and just sprinkling the mint on the fruit.  Watermelon and grapes have high sugar content, so don't overdo those two fruits.  Also make sure you bananas are firm and a little on the green side, since they too are overly loaded with sugar when ripe.

 

bowl-723390_1280.jpg

Makes 4 servings

  • 1/2 c. seedless organic Red Grapes
  • 1 c. organic Strawberries, halved
  • 2 c. organic Soft Tofu, crumbled
  • 2 Tbs. organic Mint, chopped

In a bowl combine Vegenaise, lemon juice, and Stevia; stir well and set aside.

In a large bowl combine fruit, and spoon into serving dishes. Mix Tofu with mint and divide among dishes. Serve with the dressing.

Enjoy!

Baked Falafel

The first couple of times I tried making baked Falafel in our oven, they were just OK.  They dried out a bit more than they should have, and weren't as crispy as I like them... even though I brushed them lightly with olive oil.

Well, tonight I decided to give Big Boss a try.. and it didn't disappoint!

Big Boss Falafel
Big Boss Falafel

I put the first batch in for 10 minutes at 400ºF, and then flipped them and added another 10 minutes. Hmm, not very crispy.

So J suggested we cook the second batch at 425ºF for 10 minutes on each side, and YAY, the edges were nice and crunchy, and the middle still moist.

Flafel big boss
Flafel big boss

I stuck with Tradition and whipped up Tahini Sauce, and sliced some organic tomatoes, onions and pickles to go on top. Steamed broccoli, broiled chicken and baked Mac 'n Cheese for the kids completed dinner.

Tahini Health Benefits

Tahini is a source of healthy fatty acids, containing 60.1 mg of omega-3 fatty acids and 3.421 mg of omega-6 fatty acids. Your body doesn't manufacture these fatty acids, so getting them from the foods you eat is critical and they are beneficial for your brain and heart.

Thiamine : Consume tahini to boost you thiamine intake. Each serving provides 16 percent of the daily suggested intake of this vitamin, also known as vitamin B-1. The thiamine in tahini influences your nervous system, muscles and digestion.

Phosphorus : Tahini provides 12 percent of the phosphorus you require in each serving. This mineral is important for the strength of your bones and teeth

Copper : You need only small amounts of copper in your diet each day, and tahini can help you meet those nutritional needs. This mineral helps keep your blood vessels and bones healthy

Traditional Tahini Sauce recipe

  • 1 c. organic Sesame Tahini
  • 2 small Garlic cloves, mashed well with 1/4 tsp. Sea Salt
  • 1/4 c. organic Lemon Juice
  • 2 Tbs. organic Parsley, chopped
  • 1/4 c. + cold Water, enough to give sauce the consistency of Ketchup.

Pour lemon into garlic and salt mush, and stir well.

Add to Tahini sauce along with 1/4 c. water. Stir.  Tahini will thicken first (due to chemical reaction to lemon juice.  Keep stirring and adding water in 2 Tbs. increments until consistency is reached.

Add parsley and stir. Will keep for 1 week in refrigerator.

Serving Ideas: Use on Falafel, Fish, as a topping on Steamed Veggies, or as a spread on Baked Eggplant and Tomato sandwiches.

Tahini Sauce
Tahini Sauce

Luckily there is enough left for lunch tomorrow!

Falafel Plate
Falafel Plate

 ~ Sahtein (double health)! ♥

Power Lunch Ideas

If you read my post entitled Power Breakfast Ideas, then you know that thinking about meals and what to eat during cancer treatment is a difficult task. Besides your emotional and physical reaction to the changes taking place, your mind just isn't capable of adding yet one more thing to worry about.

Ideally, someone can help you with meal prep a few days a week.  If not, below are some easy ideas to help you ensure you're getting the necessary nutrients during or after treatment, to build your immune system and boost your energy.

Click here to be taken to the Fantastic Foods section under Diet and Nutrition for more ideas on what to eat!  I hope this Power Lunch Guide is helpful to you.

~*~*~*~

Sardine or Salmon Salad Nicoise: romaine, arugula, endive and radicchio greens, 3 oz. wild caught cooked salmon, or 3 sardines, tomatoes, red bell pepper, lightly steamed green beans, sunflower sprouts, avocado and apple cider vinaigrette or lemon juice and olive oil.

Hoda’s Garbanzo Bean Salad: 1 cup cooked garbanzo beans, 1/4 c. cooked organic brown rice, ¼ c, chopped scallions, 2 Tbs. chopped red onion, ¼ c. chopped tomatoes, 1 Tbs. each chopped basil, mint, parsley and ½ - 1 tsp. chopped jalapeno pepper,  Season with a little salt, juice of 1 small lemon and 2 Tbs. extra virgin olive oil.

Tabbouleh Lunch: (click here for my recipe) and ½ baked acorn squash, small organic greens salad or steamed greens flavored with garlic powder and a squeeze of lemon (swiss chard, kale, spinach, beet greens).

Tempeh Sloppy Joes: Chopped grilled tempeh mixed with tomato paste, 1 tsp. olive oil, garlic, diced bell pepper & chili powder and a dash of salt. Serve open-face on 1 slice whole-grain bread, with steamed broccoli and beets or carrots. (courtesy of Jeanne Wallace, PhD, CNC)

Bison Burger: Organic grass-fed bison or beef burger (scant 1/4 lb) topped with ripe tomatoes or tomato paste, lettuce, red onion and sprouts; serve with sweet potato oven-fries sprinkled with pepper & garlic powder. Add a side salad of organic greens and chopped apple with a lemon, garlic, olive oil dressing.

 Whole Grain Pasta Salad:  Use buckwheat or kamut pasta; add chopped veggies, parsley, basil, garlic. Heat enough tomato paste and water to make a sauce, adding oregano, basil, garlic powder, black pepper, a little sea salt and olive oil.

 Veggie Wrap: Organic cooked brown rice, organic black beans, avocado, cucumber, broccoli sprouts, scallions, chopped cilantro and onions, wrapped in a sheet of Nori seaweed or whole-grain organic tortilla or rice-paper wrap.  (courtesy of Jeanne Wallace, PhD, CNC)

Tempeh Fingers: Marinated strips of tempeh wrapped in steamed chard leaves, with a baked sweet potato or yam topped with a mixture of 1 Tbs. flax oil, 1 Tbs. nutritional yeast 1 Tbs. chopped chives or green onion and shredded rice/ almond cheese.

 Vegetable Curry: Curried veggies over 1/4 c. organic brown basmati rice or faro, cooked in green tea. Serve with a cucumber, mint and tomato salad.

Vegetable or ‘Free-Range Chicken’ Burrito: Mix cooked chicken or roasted veggies with organic pinto or black beans, a little brown rice, salsa and/or guacamole in a Whole Wheat tortilla.

Pacific Brand Organic Soup: In a pinch these can be used as a base (tomato, butternut squash, and mushroom varieties).  Add your favorite veggies, beans or whole grains.

~ To Your Health!

Power Breakfast Ideas

During treatment, one of the last things you feel up to doing is thinking about what to eat. You already know it's critical that you alter your diet if you haven't yet, but to call upon mental resources to focus on cooking the right things is a challenge. I am blessed that many family members live within 1 - 10 miles of us, so three of my nieces took it upon themselves to rotate weeks and cook 2 main dishes for me (compliant with my diet), which they delivered the 3rd day after each Chemo treatment...when the side effects manifested! They made enough so that I got at least 4-5 meals out of each delivery.

Breakfast was easy once I got into the habit of shopping for the groceries I would need early in the week, (either my daughter or Jon would replenish fresh produce as we ran out), and developed a few routine favorites.

Lunch and snacks depended on what I had in the fridge or the pantry, so I was sure to stock healthy, easy to prepare foods...Sardines, organic beans, hi-fiber bread or RyeVita crackers, salsa, baby carrots, spinach, lemons (for squeezing in tea and on almost anything), almond butter, organic fruit spreads, coconut milk, homemade hummus, avocados and nuts. I'll post some ideas for these two meals soon.

Remember that you are eating to both support your immune system and to boost your energy during treatment. Spice up your food to instantly add antioxidants.

To help you develop the knack of easily creating healthy breakfasts, or for someone who may prepare them for you, I put together the Power Breakfast Guide below.  Be generous with the use of spices you like in any of these breakfasts.

~*~*~*~

Berry Oats: ¾ c. of organic oats, 1 cup blueberries, blackberries, raspberries or sliced strawberries, 1 Tbs. chopped almonds or pecans, 1 Tbs. freshly ground flax seeds, coconut or cashew milk, a sprinkle of nutritional yeast and cinnamon. Add cup of Matcha* or Sencha green tea (buy in bulk on Amazon).

*Matcha is premium green tea powder from Japan used for drinking as tea or as an ingredient in recipes. Matcha is rich in nutrients, antioxidants, fiber and chlorophyll. One glass of matcha is the equivalent of 10 glasses of green tea in terms of nutritional value and antioxidant content

Parfait: 6oz. of organic soy or coconut yogurt, 2 Tbs. fresh ground flax meal, and 1 cup organic berries (blueberries, cherries, raspberries, blackberries, mulberries..), a slice of gluten free hi-fiber toast with a tsp. of Coconut Oil, and a cup of matcha or sencha green tea.

Jeanne's Special: One or two boiled organic hi-omega-3 eggs with 1/2 cup steamed spinach, kale or swiss chard and 1/2 cup rosemary-baked sweet potatoes, cup of green tea.

Tasty Lebanese Eggs: Poach 1 or 2 organic hi-omega-3 eggs. Mix 2 Tbs. tomato paste, dash of salt, and 1 Tbs. hot water and stir.  Finely chop 1-2 fresh organic garlic cloves and lightly sauté in 2 tsp. ev olive oil on medium low heat, until pale golden. Add tomato paste and stir. Top poached eggs with tomato mixture and sprinkle with black pepper. Serve with 1 hi-fiber piece of toast, 1 c. fresh spinach or a handful of watercress and a cup of green tea.

Mediterranean: Whole grain toast topped with 1 tsp. flax or hemp oil, 1 clove garlic crushed with a dash of salt and 1 tsp. nutritional yeast, cucumber, basil and fresh tomato slices, and a cup of green tea with dash of black pepper.

Oats n Apples: 3/4 c. Organic steel-cut oats with grated red apple (with skin), 1 Tbs. chopped almonds or walnuts, 5 - 6 organic raisins, 1 Tbs. flax seeds freshly ground, cinnamon and coconut milk.  Remember your tea!

Miso-Veggie soup: (miso, spinach, bok choy, mushrooms, tamari, scallions), and 1 slice of whole-grain rye-flax toast with almond butter, cup of green tea with dash of black pepper.

Breakfast Burrito: Fill a whole wheat or gluten-free high-fiber tortilla with 1/2 cup black beans, chopped romaine lettuce, chopped green onion, avocado slices, salsa, grated home-made Almond cheese and a chopped boiled egg.

smoked_salmon
smoked_salmon

New Yorker: Hi-fiber Rye bread or mutli-grain topped with tofu sour cream, smoked salmon, red onion and organic lemon slices, and 1/2 cup steamed green beans. Don’t forget your green tea with dash of pepper!

Tofu scramble: cook silken tofu with grated carrots and zucchini, mushrooms, spinach, garlic and a dash of cumin, or do the same with scrambled hi omega-3 eggs, and 1 slice whole grain toast topped with "better butter" (mix equal parts organic grass-fed butter/flax oil).

CheeseyToast: Toast 2 slices hi-fiber Flax Seed bread (like Udi's) topped with sliced cassein-free Almond cheese, tomato slices and a sprinkle of organic thyme. Serve with 1/2 c. steamed Spinach drizzled with olive or flax oil and a dash of salt and cinnamon. Cup of Matcha tea.

~*~*~*~*

~ Be Well! ♥

Turnover a New Leaf? Make it Swiss!

Couldn't resist... the leaf is Swiss Chard and it's going to creep into the turnovers I am making. Savory pastries are quite popular in many European, South American and Mediterranean countries.  In my Post about Pies I mentioned a few of them:

Pierogi (Polish), Kulebyaka (Russian), Steak and kidney pie (British), Zwiebelkuchen (German), Tourtière (French Canadian), Banitza (Bulgarian), Kreatopita (Greek), Fatayir (Lebanese). Click on titles for recipes!

My favorite Lebanese turnovers or pies are:  Spinach-Onion, Swiss Chard, Chickpea-Onion, and of course Zaatar (Thyme) Pies.

Note: Only trim 1 inch off the bottom of the stems of any green. There are nutrients in the stems that may not be present in the leaves!  This will alter the amount of greens you wind up with, so I wanted to share that with you.

Make 1 recipe Basic Dough and let it rise for 90 minutes, or until about doubled.

dough rising
dough rising

In the meantime prepare Filling:

  • 1 bunch organic Swiss Chard, trimmed and cleaned
  • 2 c. organic Spinach, cleaned and chopped
  • 2 medium organic Onions, chopped
  • 2 1/2 tsp. Sea Salt
  • 2 Tbs. organic Lemon Juice
  • 2 Tbs. Sumac (found at Mediterranean markets)
  • 1 c. organic Walnuts, chopped
  • 1/2 c. Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Stack 3 leaves of Chard and slice lengthwise into 3 - 4 pieces depending on width.

Chard1
Chard1

Chop and repeat with rest of leaves.

Chard2
Chard2

Place in a large bowl.  Add Spinach.

Chop onions and add to greens.

Sprinkle Salt over mixture and using your hands mash all together squeezing the greens and onions until slightly wilted.

swiss chard mix
swiss chard mix

Add lemon juice, sumac, walnuts and olive oil, and mix well. Taste and adjust seasoning.

Tilt bowl so liquid will drain on one end, propping with a cloth underneath.

chard filling1
chard filling1

Preheat oven to 400ºF.

Lightly grease a baking sheet with olive oil.

When dough is ready, roll into balls the size of walnuts, dipping the bottoms in flour and putting aside.

dough balls
dough balls

Sprinkle flour on your board or counter top, and roll each ball into a thin round  using a little flour if sticky.

flat dough
flat dough

Place 2 Tbs. of filling in center of round. Make sure liquid is squeezed out.

chard turnover1
chard turnover1

Have a small bowl of water nearby.  Dip your finger into water and rub around perimeter of dough round to wet.

Fold 1/3 dough over filling, sealing top tip securely by pressing.

chard turnover2
chard turnover2

Fold other 1/3 overlapping the first and press to seal all along overlapped edge.

chard turnover3
chard turnover3

Bring bottom 1/3 up and press along seams and tips to seal well.

chard turnover4
chard turnover4
chard turnovers
chard turnovers

Place on baking sheet, repeating until all dough it used up. 

P.S. If you are left with any dough balls, allow to rise for 10 more minutes, and pop in the oven to make into Pita bread!

Bake turnovers for 15 minutes or until bottoms are golden brown.

chard turnovers baked
chard turnovers baked

Cool to room temperature.  Enjoy warm or cold.

~ Sahtein (double health!) ♥

When did Waldorf Creep into my Sandwich?

It's helpful to have something quick and healthy in your fridge ready to grab as you rush off to work or an appointment. You can relate to that I'm sure. With summer around the corner, a cold meal is welcome.

I love the combination or sweet and savory, and adding low-sugar fruits to a sandwich is both tasty and smart! 

Enter...

Waldorf Chicken (or Tofu) Salad

This salad will keep for 2 - 3 days.

waldorf-salad
waldorf-salad

Waldorf Chicken Salad Sandwich

  • 2 cups cooked organic Chicken, diced (or 2 cups grilled or barbecued Tofu for Vegan recipe)
  • 2 tablespoons Apple Cider vinegar
  • 2 medium organic Granny Smith Apples, unpeeled and chopped
  • 1/2 cup organic Grapes (halved)
  • 2 organic Celery Stalks, thinly sliced
  • Shredded organic Green Leaf or Romaine Lettuce
  • 1/2 cup chopped Pecans or Walnuts
  • 2 Tbs. organic whole Cranberry Sauce (opt.)
  • 1/2 cup Vegenaise
  • ¼ tsp. Black Pepper
  • Dash of Curry

In a medium bowl, combine all ingredients; mix well. Cover and refrigerate 1 hour. Serve on whole grain bread, Udi's Gluten Free Chia bread or atop salad greens.

~ To Your Health! ♥

Tart Cherries Invade Unsuspecting Brown Rice!

A lovely blend of flavors, fit for a luncheon served with a grilled fish or lime glazed chicken breast. Keep some tart dried Cherries around for this impromptu dish.  In a pinch you may substitute dried Cranberries.

You may cook the Gaba rice in advance (like early morning) since it takes about 35 - 40 minutes, and leave pot out until you're ready to make the Pilaf. I always have pine nuts in my freezer for immediate availability.

Recipe

Serves 8

  • 1 c.  chopped organic Green onion
  • 2 c.  chopped organic Celery
  • 1/2 c.  dried, Tart organic Cherries
  • 1/2 c. Pine Nuts
  • 1 Tbs. chopped fresh organic Thyme (or 1 teaspoon dried)
  • 1/2 tsp.  ground Black pepper
  • 1 Tbs. Coconut Oil (or Virgin Olive Oil)
  • 2 c. cooked brown Gaba rice (may use Wild Rice)

Put onion, celery, cherries, nuts, thyme, pepper and oil in a large skillet.

Cook, uncovered, over medium heat 10 minutes, or until vegetables are tender; stir occasionally. Add rice; mix well.

Cook 3 to 4 minutes, or until thoroughly heated.

That's it, simple and scrumptious!

~ Enjoy!

Scraped Knees and Apricot Sherbert

I am soo happy to see that Apricots have now joined the other organic fruit on display at our neighborhood groceries.

I remember my Mom giving me a leg-up to get into the Apricot trees in our orchard in Lebanon, and me picking the red-cheeked, juicy ones that were too high to reach from the ground, and gently tossing them onto a folded blanket that Mom spread under the tree.

For every few I tossed down, I ate one, until both the baskets and I were filled to the top! My nephew or cousins would be in other trees, and sometimes I felt it my duty to turn the basket filling into a contest. Our fruit picking trips always included a picnic featuring tasty Lebanese mezza dishes (appetizers) that Mom made the day before... Tabboouleh, stuffed Grapes leaves, homemade Arabic bread, Hummus or Baba ghannouj, cheeses, olives, fresh veggies, and a watermelon for dessert.

As a skinny preteen, I usually had scraped knees and was often found in trees or sitting top of the many 6-foot tall stone walls in our home town. I'm not so found of climbing into trees anymore, unless they are low to the ground!

Yesterday I brought Apricots home of course, and after eating 3 or 4, I decided to cook some up into jam and sherbet. Below is the dairy-free Sherbet recipe.

Recipe

  • 2 lb. ripe Organic Apricots (12-15)
  • 1/4  c. Water
  • ¾ c. Almond or Soy Milk
  • ¾ c. Xylitol or 2-3 packets Stevia (to taste)
  • 3 drops Almond extract
  • 1/2 tsp. Orange Blossom Water (Whole Foods or Middle Eastern market)

Split apricots and remove pit. Cut each into 1/6’s.

Reserve 1 Tbs. of the apricots.

Cook apricots with water in a medium non-reactive saucepan over medium heat, covered, stirring occasionally, until cooked through, about 10 mins. Add milk.

Remove from heat and stir in sweetener.

Let cool to room temp.

Puree the mixture in a blender or food processor until smooth. Stir in the extract, orange water and rest of the apricot pieces.

Chill thoroughly, then freeze in ice cream maker, or pour into Popsicle molds.

~ Sahtein! (double health)