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! ♥

Kale and Lentil Salad

Here is a salad that I accidentally created today when I was trying to finish off some leftovers... it turned out to be amazingly Delicioso! Yesterday I cooked some sprouted lentils with onions as a quick version of Mjaddara(The Lebanese Lentil Mash dish).  The sprouted version hold their shape much better, so not really as creamy as Mjaddara, but still very tasty.

Here is that recipe.

1. Hoda's Sprouted Lentils with Onion

  • 2 Tbs. extra virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 small organic white Onion, chopped
  • 1/4 c. organic brown Rice
  • 1-1/2 c. hot Green Tea (or boiling water)
  • 2 c. sprouted organic Lentils
  • 1/2 tsp. Sea Salt

Place medium size pot over med heat for 1 minute.  Add onions and saute for 2 minutes stirring occasionally, until lightly brown on edges.

Turn heat to med-low.  Add olive oil and rice, stirring for another 2 minutes. Add water, cover and simmer for 25 minutes.

Add lentils and salt, stirring to mix. Cover and simmer another 10 - 15 minutes, until rice is done and the water absorbed.  You may need to add a little more water after adding lentils if too dry.  There should be enough water at that point to soak but not cover the lentils.

Taste, and adjust salt seasoning.

Sprouted lentils
Sprouted lentils

So this was what I added to my Kale salad which had the following ingredients:

2. Kale, Tomato and Parsley Salad

  • 3 c. organic Kale, chopped
  • 1 organic Tomato, chopped
  • 2 organic Green Onions, chopped
  • 1 c. chopped organic Parsley
  • 1/4 c. chopped organic Mint
  • Juice of 2 lemons
  • 1/2 tsp. cumin
  • 3 Tbs. extra virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 tsp. Sea Salt

Mix it all together.

Combine the two Salads in any ratio that pleases you.

P.S. I ate the combo before I had a chance to take a Photo!  Will update next time I make this. ♥  :)

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! ♥

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! ♥

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!

Parks and Cool Hot-Weather Recipes

Our city has 4 lovely public parks, each with its own unique character and attractions.  Our family is large..( 2 of my siblings live within a mile of me) so between our 9 children and their significant others, and children we're about 28 people. When we all get together it's often outdoors!

Being blessed with a family of excellent cooks, potlucks have less to do with luck and more with certainty! The certainty of tasty dishes from everyone.

Regular Cast of Characters

These appear at most every picnic event we hold:

  1. Authentic Homemade Hummus
  2. Tabbouleh  or Fattoush
  3. Marinated Chicken Kabobs for grilling
  4. Kafta for grilling
  5. Baked Beans

Below are 3 additional Summertime Recipes for your files.  I chose ones that don't take a lot of prep, and that are full of the Fantastic Foods you want to incorporate into your daily diet.

Quinoa and Mango Salad

This recipe can be made several hours before and refrigerated. Take it out of the refrigerator about 30 minutes before serving.

Mango Quinoa salad
Mango Quinoa salad
  • 2 c. brewed Green Tea
  • 1 c. uncooked Quinoa
  • 1 c. Mango,  cut into small chunks (not too ripe to cut back on sugar content)
  • 1/2 c. sliced organic Green Onion
  • 2 Tbs. dried Cherries, chopped (opt.)
  • 2 Tbs. organic Parsley, chopped
  • 1/4 c. extra virgin organic Olive Oil
  • 1 Tbs. Apple Cider Vinegar (I recommend Bragg's organic)
  • 1 tsp. Dijon Mustard
  • 1/2 tsp. Sea Salt
  • 1/8 tsp. Black Pepper

Combine tea and quinoa in a medium saucepan, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer, covered, for 10 minutes. Remove from heat and let stand for 15 minutes. Then transfer to a large bowl.

Add mango, onion, cherries and parsley and mix well.

Combine liquid ingredients with spices and whisk until blended. Pour over quinoa, and mix.

This makes about 8 servings.

~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~

Tropical Chicken Macadamia Salad

Spicy Vinaigrette

Combine the following in blender, adjusting seasoning as preferred:

tropical Chicken salad
tropical Chicken salad
  • scant 1/4 c. organic E.V Olive Oil
  • 1/4 c. Red Wine Vinegar
  • 2 Tbs. Worcestershire Sauce
  • 1 Tbs. Cayenne sauce
  • 2 tsp. Curry Powder
  • 2 tsp. Stevia
  • 2 Cloves Garlic, minced
  • 1/4 tsp. Sea Salt
  • 1/8 tsp. Black Pepper

Reserve 1/2 c. of dressing.

Chicken Salad

  • 1 lb. boneless, skinless organic free-range Chicken Breasts
  • 8 c. rinsed and torn Watercress and Boston or Green Leaf organic Lettuce
  • 1/4 c. coarsely chopped unsalted Macadamia Nuts
  • 1/2 c. shredded organic Coconut, toasted
  • 1 Tbs. organic Red Bell Pepper, diced (opt.)

Place chicken in large resealable plastic food storage bag.  Pour remaining dressing over chicken. Seal bag, and marinate in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.

Heat oven to broil, or prepare barbecue grill. 

chicken-1379373_1280.jpg

Remove chicken from marinade. Grill or Broil 10 - 15 minutes or until center is no longer pink (165º F).  Arrange greens on a platter. Slice chicken breasts and arrange over greens. Tops with nuts, coconut and bell pepper. Serve with reserved dressing.

Makes about 4 servings.

~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~

Egg White Salad

This high protein salad has less than 2g. of fat per serving, and a whopping 11 g. of protein.

  • 6 Hi Omega-3 hard-boiled Egg whites, chilled and chopped
  • 1/2 c. chopped organic Celery
  • 1/4 c. chopped organic Red Onion
  • 1 Tbs. chopped dill or sweet organic Pickles
  • 2 Tbs. chopped organic Parsley
  • 3 Tbs. Vegenaise
  • 1 tsp. Dijon Mustard
  • 1 tsp. organic Lime Juice
  • 1/2 tsp. organic Lemon Juice
  • 1/8 tsp. Sea Salt
  • 1/8 tsp. Black Pepper
  • 1/4 tsp. Cayenne (opt.)

Mix dry ingredients in a medium size bowl.

Mix dressing ingredients in small bowl, whisking till blended.  Pour over egg mixture.  Chill for 30 minutes.

Serve on lettuce leaves, whole grain crackers or on Gluten Free or Whole Grain organic bread.

~ Bon Apetit!

Vegan Eggplant and Spicy Chopped Salad Sandwich

Another warm day in the Bay Area.  I just finished ironing 7 shirts (my soon-to-be-17 son wears a larger size than my bf).  Lunch had to be something cool, refreshing, easy... Yesterday I made an eggplant/mushroom medley, and today it was going to be the guest of honor in my sandwich. I used the rest of the parsley and cilantro bunches, to make a spicy chopped salad.

Here are the recipes:

Eggplant - Mushroom Medley

I love this concoction because it goes well on pasta, in a sandwich, and as a dip.I make this with no oillike many of my personal recipes that call for sautéing onion. I drizzle virgin olive oil once a dish is cooked, for flavor.

  • 1 med. organic white Onion, chopped
  • 1 med. Eggplant, mostly peeled and diced
  • 5 organic Mushrooms, peeled and chopped
  • 1 organic Tomato, chopped
  • 1 c. chopped Parsley
  • 1 Tbs. organic Tomato  Paste mixed with 1/2 c. hot water
  • 1 tsp. Sea Salt, or to taste
  • 1/2 tsp. Black Pepper
  • 1/2 tsp. Cayenne Pepper (opt.)
  • 5 cloves of Garlic, chopped

Place onion in a large saucepan over medium heat, no oil.  Watch the onion, stirring until it begins to turn brown.

eggplant muchroom saute
eggplant muchroom saute

Add eggplant and cover, turn to medium low, and stir every 2 minutes, until eggplant is wilted.

Add mushrooms, tomato and parsley. Stir, cover and simmer over low  heat for 10 minutes.

Add the diluted tomato paste, seasoning and garlic, turn heat to medium, and cook uncovered for another 8 - 10 minutes, or until veggies are cooked through and water is absorbed.

We're adding the garlic last so it doesn't lose all its antioxidant power!

You may add a drizzle of olive oil once you remove from heat.  This dish is good warm or cold.

Spicy Chopped Salad

  • 1/2 bunch organic Parsley, chopped
  • 1/2 bunch organic Cilantro, chopped
  • 1 small white Onion, diced
  • 1 organic Tomato, chopped
  • 1/2 organic Jalapeno pepper, minced
  • 1 Tbs. fresh Lime juice
  • 2 tsp. fresh Lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp. Sea Salt
  • 1 Tbs. virgin Olive Oil

Mix it all up!

Serve as a topping for rice dishes, stews, sandwiches or as a fresh dip with toasted whole wheat Pita bread, broken into 'chips'.

Assemble Sandwich

  • Vegenaise (opt.)
  • 1 Tbs. organic Tomato Paste
  • Bread

Take two slices of your favorite Whole Grain Bread.

eggplant sandw1
eggplant sandw1

Spread one slice with tomato paste and the other slice with Vegenaise.

eggplant sandw2
eggplant sandw2

Spread some of the Eggplant Medley over the tomato paste.

Top with Spicy Salad.

eggplant sandw3
eggplant sandw3

(You may add protein of your choice if you like).

eggplant sandw5
eggplant sandw5

Cover with other slice, press down, and munch!

~ Bon Apetit! ♥

Authentic Baba Ghannouj... or When Eggplant Meets Tahini

It's difficult to translate the name Baba Ghannouj literally because there isn't one word that captures the adjective "Ghannouj" but I'm going to try. When someone, usually children or girls up into their early 20's, act cutesy, shy and cuddly we say they are a "ghannouj" for a male, or a "ghannouji" for a female.

Baba means father.. so Baba Ghannouj means Dad is being cutesy and cuddly!

Now here is my creative genius at work:

The term fits the unusual looking Eggplant... perhaps because it has to act cutesy and shy to tempt us into eating it! Or, it could be that this dish is so yummy, that Father had to act all cutesy and shy before he had the nerve to ask the Mom to make it!

Choose your version... either way... it's delicious!  :)

Recipe

  • 1 large organic Eggplant (close to 1 lb)
  • 2 medium cloves organic Garlic
  • 1/2 tsp. Sea Salt
  • 1/4 - 1/3 c. freshly squeezed Lemon Juice
  • 1/4 c. Sesame Tahini, mixed well to incorporate oil Garnish:
  • 2 tsp. virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 Tbs. chopped organic Parsley
  • Pomegranate seeds (opt.)
  • Sprig of fresh Mint

Charring the Eggplant

Remove leaves from around stem, but don't but stem off.  You'll need to use it as a 'handle'. Cut several small gashes around the eggplant to allow steam to escape during charring.

Place Eggplant in preheated 375º oven, and bake for 30 minutes, or until outside is crisp and inside is soft.

Allow to cool for 20 minutes.

Holding by stem, cut open eggplant and scoop out the flesh into colander. Discard the skin and stem.

Drain for about 10 minutes. Allowing the liquid to drain will eliminate the bitterness.

Making the Dip

Mash garlic with salt in a mortar and pestle until a smooth paste. Scrape into a medium bowl, and add eggplant pulp. Mash together with pestle until it is of uniform consistency with very few lumps.  (Small ones are ok).

Add the lemon and mix, then add the Tahini and mix again until well incorporated.

Once cool, cover and refrigerate for an hour.

Transfer Baba Ghannouj to a shallow serving dish.  Wet the back of a large spoon, and use it to smooth the surface of the dip, leaving a raised rim, much like a pie crust. Keep a small mound in the center so you've created a moat around it.

Decorate the center with sprig of mint, or a carved red radish. Sprinkle parsley around the rim in clumps, alternating with pomegranate seeds...or create your own pattern.

Drizzle olive oil into 'moat'.

Serve with whole wheat Pita bread, or crudités.

~ Sahtein!

Another Wonderful Salad - Fattoush

When my daughter was a little girl, there were certain words that made her giggle...Sfoofwas one of them (a turmeric cake served in the mountain villages of Lebanon) and Fattoush another. When she helped me find a location for my Cafe, she said; "You know that you're going to have to name it Sfoof's, right?"

Well, I did.  We were known as Sfoof's Woofle Cafe! Say THAT 5 time fast! :)

sign final
sign final

And...her favorite salad is still Fattoush

Fattoush
Fattoush

Traditionally this salad is made with Purslane, another wonderful edible plant treated like a 'weed' in the West.  My gardeners accidentally weeded my wild patch of Purslane... but they only did it once!

purslane
purslane

According to David Beaulieu: When you taste the "weed," purslane in cooking recipes, and familiarize yourself with the research concerning its nutritional benefits, you might re-think the outdated logic that says, "This plant is a weed; therefore, it must be eradicated from my landscape!"

Instead of fighting it as a weed, you may begin to find it eminently logical to treat it as a herb of edible landscaping.  Purslane just happens to contain alpha-linolenic acid, one of the highly sought-after Omega-3 fatty acids.

Click here for more on the Health Benefits of Purslane.

Recipe

Fattoush is great as a picnic dish.  It complements grilled meats.

  • 2 c. organic ripe Tomatoes, diced
  • 1 small white Onion, chopped
  • 1/4 c. organic flat-leaf Parsley, chopped
  • 1/4 c. fresh organic Mint, chopped
  • 1 organic Green Bell Pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 2 c. Purslane leaves (no need to chop if they are small)
  • 1/2 c. Pomegranate seeds (opt.)
  • 2 loaves whole wheat Pita bread, toasted, broken into bite-size pieces (Omit for Gluten-Free version)

Dressing

  • 1/4 c. organic Lemon juice
  • 1/4 c. virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 Tbs. dried Sumac *

Combine all veggies in a large bowl. Whisk the dressing ingredients in a small bowl.

Add dressing to veggies, and toss. Just before serving, Mix in toasted pita bread.

    * Found in most Middle Eastern or specialty markets.

~ Sahtein! ♥

Eat Wild Thyme for a Wild Time!

Thyme, botanically known as Thymus vulgaris, is a perennial garden herb that has been employed since ancient times for medicinal and culinary uses.The World's Healthiest Foodsnotes that thyme has traditionally been associated with courage, with medieval women giving sprigs of thyme to knights going into battle; it has also been used as an herbal remedy for a host of ailments (PMS, Indigestion, Coughs..). It is an excellent source of iron and manganese, a very good source of calcium and a food source of dietary fiber.Since the 16th century, thyme oil has been used for its antiseptic properties, both as mouthwash and a topical application. Thyme tea, rich in volatile oils, minerals, beneficial phenols and flavonoids, is a healthy beverage choice. One of the popular culinary herb plants, thyme is native to Southern Europe and Mediterranean regions.

For thousands of years, herbs and spices have been used to help preserve foods and protect them from microbial contamination. Research shows that both thyme and basil contain constituents that can both prevent contamination and decontaminate previously contaminated foods.

Thymol has been found to protect and significantly increase the percentage of healthy fats found in cell membranes and other cell structures. In particular, the amount of DHA (an omega-3 fatty acid) in brain, kidney, and heart cell membranes was increased after dietary supplementation with thyme.

In Lebanon we use green and dried thyme extensively.  Dried thyme mixed with sumac, toasted sesame seeds and salt is called Zaatar.

It is the main ingredient in the most traditional breakfast food, namely the Man'oushi...or Zaatar pie, which is sold in every bakery and many street vendor carts.

Mom was certain to serve us Zaatar on mornings when we had exams at school.  She said it helped with memory.  Although she wouldn't have known science was behind her belief, she was right!

 (photo courtesy of Stephen Masry)

Culinary Tips

Green wild thyme makes a very healthy salad!  Serve it with grilled meats and fish, or accompanied by Feta cheese and tomatoes for breakfast.  I like to use it in place of Oregano in some pasta dishes.  Dry Zaatar is delicious sprinkled on yogurt, hummus and plain omelets.

You can find Zaatar at most Middle Eastern markets. Make sure you choose Jordanian or Lebanese Zaatar.  There are some inferior products out there that taste like dirt!

Amending Store Bought Zaatar

For each cup of store bought Zaatar (Middle Eastern Thyme mix) you will need:

  • 1 Tbs. dried Sumac (available at Middle Eastern markets in packets or jars) 1/2 tsp. of salt
  • 2 tsp. toasted Sesame Seeds (even if there are some in the mix)

Mix all together and store in airtight jars in the refrigerator for 6 months, or freeze for up to 2 years.

Green Wild Thyme Salad

  • 1 bunch of green Wild Thyme, rinsed and leaves picked off stems
  • 1 very small Onion (yellow or white), finely chopped
  • 1/3 c. finely chopped organic Green Onion
  • Juice from 1 freshly squeezed Lemon
  • 1 Tbs. extra virgin Olive Oil
  • 1/4 tsp. Sea Salt (opt.)

Mix all together in non-metal bowl.  Serve at room temperature for best flavor.

~ Sahtein! (double health) 

Are You from Brussels? Then Why so Bitter?

The Case of the  Brussels Sprout

This is not the story of a young boy from Brussels and how he wound up in Court....

This is the story of a Sprout accused of being bitter and unfriendly.  The first mention of this sprout is traced to the late 16th century. It is thought to be native to Belgium, specifically to a region near Brussels, after which it was named.

This Sprout is a member of the Brassica family and therefore related to Broccoli and Cabbage. It takes after its Uncle the Cabbage, but is a mini version, with a diameter of about 1 inch.  Don't be fooled by its size however!  And watch what you say because a Sprout grows up with a bunch of 20 to 40 other Sprouts, on the stem of a plant that grows as high as three feet tall!

These miniature-sized vegetables contain the largest content of anticancer phytochemical compounds such as glucosinolates1.

Much like broccoli, the indole-3-carbinol has been found to reduce cancer growth especially for estrogen dependent cancers (e.g. uterine, breast, cervical).

In order to plead the case for this Sprout I lay before you the following:

Character Traits *

  • Brussels sprouts can help us avoid chronic, excessive inflammation
  • You'll find nearly 100 studies in PubMed (the health research database at the National Library of Medicine in Washington, D.C.) that are focused on Brussels sprouts, and over half of those studies involve the health benefits of this cruciferous vegetable in relationship to cancer
  • They provide us with this cholesterol-lowering benefit whether they are raw or cooked. When the cholesterol-lowering ability of steamed Brussels sprouts was compared with the cholesterol-lowering ability of the prescription drug cholestyramine, Brussels sprouts bound 27% as many bile acids
  • The fiber content of Brussels sprouts: 4 grams in every cup makes this cruciferous vegetable a natural choice for digestive system support.
  • They lend us Anti-oxidant support. In one study examining total intake of antioxidant polyphenols in France (where the Sprout has long been restored to its position of respect) found Brussels sprouts to be a more important dietary contributor to these antioxidants than any other cruciferous vegetable, including broccoli!
  • The detox support provided by Brussels sprouts is extensive. Brussels sprouts are an outstanding source of glucosinolates.  There is evidence from human studies that enzyme systems in our cells required for detoxification of cancer-causing substances can be activated by compounds made from glucosinolates found in Brussels sprouts.

* HealthDiaries.com: 11 Health Benefits of Brussels Sprouts

It Takes Proper Cooking to Bring Out the Sprout's Goodness!

Perfectly cooked Brussels sprouts have a crisp, dense texture and a slightly sweet, bright, and "green" taste. Steaming the Sprouts increases their health benefit potency.

Steam them

Bring a scant 1/2 inch salted water to boil in a large frying pan or saute pan. Add Brussels sprouts, cover, and cook until sprouts are tender to the bite and water has evaporated, about 5-7 minutes (depending on how crisp you like them).

In a Steamer Basket:   Bring about an inch of water to a boil in the bottom of a pot into which your steamer basket or insert fits. Put cleaned Brussels sprouts in the steamer basket, set over the boiling water, cover, and steam until tender to the bite, about 5-7 minutes.

You can toss them with Expeller-Pressed Coconut Oil, salt and pepper; with virgin Olive Oil, lemon, salt and pepper; or with Pasta Sauce!

Roast them

  • 1 1/2 lbs. organic Brussels sprouts, ends trimmed and yellow leaves discarded
  • 3 tsp. virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 tsp. Sea Salt
  • 1/2 tsp. freshly ground Black Pepper
  • 1/2 tsp. organic Garlic Powder
  • 2 Tbs. lemon juice.

Rinse Sprouts. Toss all ingredients together.

Place in oven proof dish and roast at 400º for 35 minutes. When done sprinkle with lemon juice and toss.

Braise them

Braising, or slow cooking in liquid on the stove, is a great way to elicit Brussels sprouts' natural, nutty flavor.

~ I rest my case. 

Garbanzo Bean and Kale Salad

Put Together This Delicious and Healthful Salad in Just a Few Minutes
In just a few minutes, you can slice up some raw kale, open a can of garbanzos, chop up some vitamin C packed red bell pepper and red onion and mix up a quick lemon, turmeric and oil dressing.
The added bonus is the spice turmeric which reduces inflammation and has been used for rheumatoid arthritis, and has been linked to the prevention of Alzheimer's and the ability to fight a number of cancers.

This is a super healthy, oh-so-yummy salad.

Serves 4

  • 1 Tbs. freshly squeezed Lemon Juice
  • 1 Tbs. extra virgin Olive Oil
  • 1/4 to 1/2 tsp. Sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp. ground Turmeric
  • dash Cayenne pepper
  • 1 -1/2 c. Kale, thinly sliced
  • One 15 oz can organic Garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained
  • 2 Tbs. red Onion, finely diced
  • 1/2 c. red Bell Pepper, diced

Place the lemon juice, olive oil, salt, turmeric and cayenne pepper in a medium-sized bowl and mix well.

Add sliced kale to the salad dressing and massage the dressing into the kale with your hands. (Your hands may turn a little yellow!  Just wash with soap).

Add garbanzo beans, red onion and red bell pepper and mix well.

Serve or refrigerate until serving. This makes a great "make ahead" salad since none of the ingredients get soggy.

~ Yum!

Hoda's Lentil Salad

Lentils have been a staple, like rice, in the Middle East, for many centuries.  Eaten together, they offer a low-fat, nutritious source of complete protein, fiber, iron and other essential minerals. This is one of my favorite lentil salads. It's based on a lentil and bulgur salad the my mother used to make back in the old country.

Glycemic Values

The glycemic index gives us the impact of carbohydrates on our blood sugar levels; the higher a food's number, the more it increases blood sugar. On a scale where 100 is pure sugar (glucose), white rice has a glycemic index of 64, while lentils are low on the index with a rating of 29.

I omit the bulgur now to lower the carb content, but you certainly may add 1/4 c. whole wheat bulgur that has been soaked in warm water until softened.

Adjust the seasoning if you add bulgur.

This salad is full of fiber and flavor. I hope you like it as much as I do.

Hoda's Lentil Salad

  • 2 c. boiled organic Brown Lentils
  • 3 organic Scallions, chopped
  • 1/2 c. organic Flat Leaf Parsley, chopped
  • 1 Tbs. virgin Olive Oil
  • 1/2 tsp. Sea Salt
  • 1/2 tsp. Allspice
  • 1/4 tsp. Cinnamon
  • dash of Black pepper
  • Splash of lemon juice (opt.)

Mix all together.  Let sit 15 minutes to blend flavors.  Stir and enjoy served in romaine lettuce leaf boats.

~ Sahtein (double health)!

Tabbouleh - Authentic Recipe

tabboulehTabbouleh has become a popular offering in restaurants and grocery stores across the U.S.  Most of what is passed as Tabbouleh is someone's own version of the Lebanese classic.  It either has too much bulgur wheat or includes spices that are not in authentic Tabbouleh. Havng grown up in Lebanon, I wanted to share this easy to make, nutritious and delicious salad with you.  This recipe has just the right balance of flavors. It can be a side or a meal in itself.

Authentic Lebanese Tabbouleh

Serves 6-8

2 bunches organic Italian parsley, chopped fine 1 bunch organic mint, chopped fine 6 organic green onions, chopped 2 c. chopped ripe organic tomatoes 1/4 c. fine whole wheat Bulgur, soaked in 1/2 c. warm water * 1/3 c. lemon juice 1/4 c. virgin olive oil 1 tsp. Sea Salt or to taste

Soak the bulgur wheat for 10 minutes, until it is no longer crunchy.  If you're using a coarser bulgur grain, soak a little longer.

Mix vegetables in a large bowl. Squeeze the bulgur wheat by the handful and add to veggies. Do not mix in yet. Pour the lemon juice over the bulgur wheat in the bowl, then add the olive oil and salt, and mix well. That's it...!

If you want to eat this salad as the locals do, then have some fresh organic lettuce or cabbage leaves on hand.  Fill with Tabbouleh and enjoy.

Note: The dressing is usually added to the Tabbouleh veggies 20 minutes before serving. It will keep covered in the refrigerator for 1-2 days.

* To make a gluten free version, substitute quinoa or bran flakes for the bulgur.

P.S. Sometimes I add finely chopped radish to the salad... don't tell my relatives!

Quinoa Salad with Lime Dressing

Quinoa is a high quality protein, that is also high in iron. Quinoa, once called “the gold of the Incas, is an amino acid-rich (protein) seed that has a fluffy, creamy, slightly crunchy texture and a somewhat nutty flavor when cooked. Quinoa is a complete protein containing all eight essential amino acids.

Ingredients

2 c. water 1 c. uncooked red quinoa 2 organic scallions, chopped 1 stalk organic celery, finely chopped 1/2 organic apple with skin, finely chopped 2 Tbs. organic parsley, chopped 2 Tbs. virgin olive oil 1 Tbs. lime juice 1 tsp. cumin 1/2 tsp. salt

Combine water and quinoa in a medium saucepan. Bring to a  boil. Reduce heat' simmer, covered, 10-12 minutes or until water is absorbed. Stir. Cover and let stand for 15 minutes.

Transfer to a large non-metal bowl, and set aside.

Add apple and veggies to quinoa and toss.

Combine oil, lime juice and spices, whisk until blended.  Pour over salad and toss again.

Makes 6 - 8 servings

~Guten Appetit!

Fruity Coleslaw

This is a refreshing warm weather salad.  It has good for you low-sugar fruits, and our cruciferous friend the green cabbage.  4 cups or 1 16 oz. package shredded green organic cabbage 2 carrots, grated or strips 1 Granny Smith organic apple, cut into matchsticks 1 just ripe organic pear,  cut into matchsticks 1 c. sliced organic strawberries 1/3 c. lemon juice 2 Tbs. Vegenaise 1 Tbs. Xylitol or 2 packets Stevia 2 tsp. poppy seeds 1 tsp. Dijon mustard 1/2 tsp. salt

Combinethe cabbage and fruit in a large bowl.  Whisk lemon juice and the rest of the ingredients in a small bowl.

Pour dressing over slaw and toss gently.  Serve immediately.

Makes about 7 cups

~ Buon appetito!

Curried Quinoa and Greens with Coconut Dressing

This recipe contains ingredients that enhance Cellular Damage Control! Quinoa contains the amino acid lysine, which is essential for tissue growth and repair.

Quinoa, once called "the gold of the Incas, is an amino acid-rich (protein) seed that has a fluffy, creamy, slightly crunchy texture and a somewhat nutty flavor when cooked. Quinoa is actually a relative of leafy green vegetables like spinach and Swiss chard.

The recipe below adds Kale, another 'fantastic food'.

One cup of kale contains 36 calories, 5 grams of fiber, and 15% of the daily requirement of calcium and vitamin B6, 40% of magnesium, 180% of vitamin A, 200% of vitamin C, and 1,020% of vitamin K. It is also a good source of minerals copper, potassium, iron, manganese, and phosphorus.

Kale’s health benefits are primarily linked to the high concentration and excellent source of antioxidants, and sulphur-containing phytonutrients. If you make the recipe with Green Tea instead of the other suggested liquids, you'll dramatically increase the Antioxidant benefits!

Curried Quinoa and Greens

Makes 6-7 servings about ½ c. each

  • 2/3 c. red Quinoa
  • 2-½ c. Water, Green Tea or no-sodium Veg Broth
  • 3 c. young Kale, lower stems removed, and chopped into bite size pieces
  • 1 tsp. Curry powder
  • Pinch Sea Salt

Coconut Dressing

  • 3 Tbs unsweetened light Coconut Milk
  • 2 tsp. fresh squeezed Lime juice
  • ¼ tsp. Curry powder
  • 1/2 tsp. Stevia
  • ¼ c unsalted, dry roasted Almonds

Toast the quinoa for 5-6 minutes in a 4-quart sauté pan over med heat, until fragrant, gently stirring from time to time.  Add water or broth, kale, curry and salt; cover and raise temp to high.  Bring to a boil.

Lower heat and simmer until the quinoa and kale are tender, the quinoa ‘tails’ have popped, and liquid is absorbed, about 15 mins.

Remove pan from heat and transfer mixture to a large bowl.

In a small bowl, place the coconut milk, lime juice, ¼ tsp. curry and stevia, and whisk together briskly.  Pour the coconut mixture over the quinoa and toss to combine.  May be served warm, or chilled.

Sprinkle with almonds just before serving.

~ Bon Apetit!