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You will be glowing from the inside out with this healthy juice concoction, courtesy of Omega!

Green Goodness

Ingredients

½ cup of broccoli
1 green apple
½ cup of spinach
1 leaf Kale
1 kiwi
½ inch of fresh ginger
½ lemon (peeled with most of the white rind still on)

Preparation

Juice together in the order given with an Omega Juicer. Stir the juice to mix the flavors and pour over ice. Enjoy!

For this recipe, Omega recommends using a masticating style juicer like their Vert VRT330 HD or Vert VRT350 Low Speed Juicing System to give you the highest degree of extraction and the healthiest possible juice.

*Recipe and image courtesy of Omega.*

Get on your feet in the morning with this three ingredient freshly squeezed juice!

On Your Beet

Ingredients

1 small beetroot (the small ones are sweeter!)
2-3 medium sized carrots
1 stalk of celery

Preparation

Juice together in the order given with an Omega Juicer. Stir the juice to mix the flavors and pour over ice. Enjoy!

*For this recipe, Omega recommends using a masticating style juicer like their Vert VRT330 HD or Vert VRT350 Low Speed Juicing System to give you the highest degree of extraction and the healthiest possible juice.

*Recipe and image courtesy of Omega.*

If you often have small quantities of several varieties of dried beans in your pantry, here is a great way to use them up. For a festive presentation, add the bread crumb or caramelized apple topping.

Cider Baked Beans

Ingredients

Medium (approx. 4 quart) slow cooker

2 cups assorted dried beans 500 mL
2 onions, finely chopped
3 stalks celery, peeled and thinly sliced
2 carrots, peeled and thinly sliced
2 large parsnips, peeled and thinly sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp chili powder 10 mL
1 tsp salt 5 mL
1 tsp cracked black peppercorns 5 mL
4 whole cloves
1 cinnamon stick piece, about 2 inches (5 cm)
1 cup apple cider or juice 250 mL
1 cup water 250 mL
1⁄2 cup maple syrup 125 mL
2 tbsp cornstarch, dissolved in 30 mL
2 tbsp (30 mL) cold water

Preparation

1. Soak beans according to your preferred method (see pages 6 and 7). Drain and rinse and set aside.
2. In slow cooker stoneware, combine beans, onions, celery, carrots, parsnips, garlic, chili powder, salt, peppercorns, cloves, cinnamon, apple cider, water and maple syrup. Cover and cook on Low for 10 to 12 hours or on High for 5 to 6 hours, until beans are tender.
3. In a bowl, combine dissolved cornstarch with 2 tbsp (30 mL) hot cooking liquid from beans and stir until smooth. Gradually add up to 1⁄4 cup (60 mL) hot bean liquid, stirring until mixture is smooth. Return mixture to stoneware and stir well until sauce thickens.

Serves 8.

Variation

Cider Baked Beans with Bread Crumb Topping: Preheat broiler. After beans are cooked, ladle them into individual heatproof tureens or a baking dish. In a bowl, combine 1 cup (250 mL) dry bread crumbs with 1⁄4 cup (60 mL) each melted butter and finely chopped parsley. Sprinkle over beans and place under broiler until topping is lightly browned and beans are bubbling.

Make Ahead

To manage your time most effectively when making this dish, soak the dried beans overnight. Peel and chop the onions, celery, carrots, parsnips and garlic the night before you plan to cook. Cover and refrigerate overnight. Measure the dried spices and cover. Combine apple cider, water and maple syrup in a 4-cup (1 L) measure. Cover and refrigerate overnight. The next morning, drain and rinse the beans and proceed with the recipe.

Excerpted from 250 Best Beans, Lentils & Tofu Recipes by The Editors of Robert Rose Inc. © 2012 Robert Rose Inc. www.robertrose.ca All rights reserved: May not be reprinted without permission.

Here’s a vegan-friendly dish that is Cajun-inspired in its ingredients yet packs just a hint of heat and yields a great sense of freshness. Deliciously different, served over rice, it makes a great one-pot meal.

Cajun-Style Tofu with Tomatoes and Okra

Ingredients

Medium (approx. 3 quart) slow cooker

2 tbsp oil 30 mL
1 onion, finely chopped
4 stalks celery, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp salt 5 mL
1 tsp cracked black peppercorns 5 mL
1 tsp dried thyme 5 mL
2 bay leaves 2
1 tbsp tomato paste (see Tips, left) 15 mL
1 can (14 oz/398 mL) diced tomatoes with juice
2 cups thinly sliced okra (see Tips, left) 500 mL
1 cup corn kernels 250 mL
1 red or green bell pepper, seeded and diced

Tofu

1⁄4 cup all-purpose flour 60 mL
1 tbsp Cajun spice mix 15 mL
1⁄4 tsp cayenne pepper, optional (see Tips, left) 1 mL
1 lb firm tofu, cut into 1-inch (2.5 cm) squares 500 g
1 tbsp oil 15 mL

Preparation

1. In a skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Add onion and celery and cook, stirring, until softened, about 5 minutes. Add garlic, salt, peppercorns, thyme and bay leaves and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Stir in tomato paste. Add tomatoes with juice and bring to a boil. Transfer to slow cooker stoneware.
2. Cover and cook on Low for 6 hours or on High for 3 hours. Stir in okra, corn and bell pepper. Cover and cook on High for 20 minutes, until pepper is tender. Discard bay leaves.

Serves 4-6.

Tips

If you’re using Italian San Marzano tomatoes, which are very rich, omit the tomato paste.

Okra, a tropical vegetable, has a great flavor but it becomes unpleasantly sticky when overcooked. Choose young okra pods, 2 to 4 inches (5 to 10 cm) long, that don’t feel sticky to the touch. (If sticky they are too ripe.

Gently scrub the pods and cut off the top and tail before slicing.

Whether you add cayenne depends upon how spicy your Cajun spice mix is and how much you like heat.

Make Ahead

Complete Step 1. Cover and refrigerate for up to 2 days. When you’re ready to cook, complete the recipe.

Excerpted from 250 Best Beans, Lentils & Tofu Recipes by The Editors of Robert Rose Inc. © 2012 Robert Rose Inc. www.robertrose.ca All rights reserved: May not be reprinted without permission.

Serving up vegetarian or vegan alternatives at your next gathering or upcoming holiday soiree is simple with Nate’s Meatless Meatballs! These savory organic meatless meatballs are made from soy, and contain 9 grams of protein per serving. Cholesterol-free, the meatballs can be simmered in a favorite sauce, or placed lovingly on a plate of whole-wheat spaghetti or in between slices of focaccia bread for a meatball sandwich!

Nate’s Meatless Meatballs offers three distinctly delightful varieties of meatless meatballs including Zesty Italian, Savory Mushroom and Classic. “Mom” fell in love with the Savory Mushroom, which paired well with a spicy arrabbiata pasta sauce!

All varieties keep well in the freezer for a quick option for dinner, and can be found nationwide. You can locate a store near you that carries Nate’s Meatless Meatballs by visiting Nate’s website.

To learn more about Nate’s Meatless Meatballs, please visit natesmeatless.com.

*Company generously provided samples and images for this piece.*

This side dish is delightfully simple and is excellent when paired with a grilled white fish, such as tilapia.

Tiny Green Mom’s Roasted Baby Portobello Mushrooms & Asparagus

Ingredients

1 lb. fresh asparagus, washed and trimmed

6 oz. fresh baby portobello mushrooms, rinsed and sliced

3 garlic cloves, minced

3 tbsp. DEVO Basil Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Preparation

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.

Combine all ingredients in a large glass baking dish, and stir to coat the asparagus and mushrooms with the oil, garlic, salt and pepper evenly. Place dish in oven and roast for 20 minutes. Halfway through roasting, stir the vegetables so that they are cooked thoroughly. Enjoy!

Back-to-school eco-fuel! GravelNuts are the perfect packables in your child’s lunchbox or backpack for a quick after school snack before sports. All-natural, gluten-free, and vegan friendly snacks are the ultimate “on-the-go” munchies for kids and adults alike. Delicious and organic, Gravelnuts will give your future microbiologist or sports star a burst of energy before any activity, during or after school! “Mom” is loving the GravelSins!

Packed with great flavors and nutritional benefits, Gravelnuts bars and gravel packs are available in 5 sinful delicious blends, including:

GravelNuts Go-Bars – An energy rich, harmful-free radicals bars. Great as a pre-workout snack!
Almonds, walnuts, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, rolled oats, brown rice crisps, a dot of brown sugar, vanilla, sea salt, blended with agave nectar to form this unique bar.

Gravel Tropics – Sit back, relax, and imagine you are lounging at a beach with this tropical mix.
Hazelnuts, almonds and sesame seeds dance with papaya, pineapple and mango in a lemon and agave nectar glaze.

GravelSins – A chocoholics’ Delight!
Walnuts and almonds, sumptuous dark chocolate, stimulated by a touch of orange extract, all wedded by agave nectar.

GravelSeeds – Nutless heaven those allergic to nuts.
Sunflower, pumpkin, hemp and ground flax seeds lightly blanketed with cinnamon and blended with agave nectar.

GravelNuts Granola – A nutritious addition to your favorite breakfast!
Almonds, walnuts, sunflower seeds, rolled outs, brown rice crisps, a touch of brown sugar, peanut oil, cinnamon, vanilla and sea salt unite with agave nectar.

To learn more about GravelNuts, to locate a retailer near you, or to order online, visit GravelNuts.com.

*Company generously provided samples and images for this piece.*

For beautiful results, use both pink and white grapefruit in this refreshing salad courtesy of Whole Foods Market.

Avocado and Grapefruit Salad

Ingredients

2 grapefruits
2 avocados, peeled, pitted and chopped
1/4 small red onion, thinly sliced
1 head Bibb or butter lettuce

Preparation

Using a large knife, carefully peel grapefruits, making sure to remove all of the white pith. Working over a large bowl to catch any juice, cut along the side of each membrane to release the segments and let them drop into the bowl. Add avocados and onion, and toss well. Arrange lettuce leaves on a platter, spoon salad over the top and serve.

*Recipe and image courtesy of Whole Foods Market.*

Healthy Milk Alternatives

There are many reasons not to consume dairy. First, we are the only species that consumes the milk of another species (you have to admit that’s kind of gross). Second, an estimated 75% of adults experience lactose sensitivity, and third, recent studies have debunked milk’s primary justification as a calcium builder, by proving that milk, ironically enough, supports calcium loss from your bones.

As little as five years ago, soy milk seemed like the only milk alternative regularly available on the market. But as recent studies have identified soy as a common food allergen (much like milk) and linked the dairy alternative to breast cancer-causing isoflavones (very similar to estrogen), other substitute milks, such as almond, coconut, and hemp, have gained popularity.

Whether you’re vegan, lactose intolerant, or overall health-conscious, there are plenty of healthy milk alternatives besides soy which you can incorporate into your diet. Below are some of the top-rated milk substitutes to satisfy your creamy cravings.

Almond Milk

In addition to being low in calories, carbohydrates, and cholesterol, Almond Milk contains bone-strengthening calcium (30% recommended daily value), immunity-boosting Vitamin D (25%), skin-nourishing Vitamin E (50%), and healthy muscle-repairing B vitamins. Some of the tastiest brands include Trader Joes Original and Unsweetened Vanilla Almond Milk, Silk’s Unsweetened Original and Vanilla Almond Milk, and Almond Breeze’s variety of flavors (which even includes unsweetened chocolate!). These beverages are great in cereal, baking recipes, smoothies, protein shakes, and on their own.

Coconut Milk

With the advent of low-carb and Paleolithic-diets, coconut milk has become a popular dairy substitute. The high levels of manganese in coconut milk can help manage blood sugar, the potassium content is effective in lowering blood pressure, Vitamin C supports the immune system, fiber promotes fullness and weight management, and zinc promotes prostate health when paired with a natural prostate medication, like Prosvent’s all-natural solution. In addition to its numerous health benefits, coconut milk is a bit sturdier than almond milk and holds up better in cooking dishes, especially Thai and Indian, which benefit from its rich flavor. Stick to canned coconut milk, as refrigerated cartons typically have added preservatives. Some of the tastiest brands include Thai Kitchen (rich and creamy), Trader Joe’s 99 cent light variety (wallet conscious), and Native Forest (organic and BPA free).

Hemp Milk

As hemp milk doesn’t need or use pesticides for growth, it is better for the environment and your health. The beverage is brimming with Omega-3s and Omega-6s, which improve mental capacity while warding off diabetes, bad cholesterol, and high blood pressure. Hemp milk is an excellent vegetarian source of protein, as it’s packed with amino acids for building and repairing lean muscles. Hemp milk is typically boxed and can be found in the dairy substitute aisle of any health food store. Living Harvest’s Tempt Hemp Milk comes in original, vanilla, chocolate, unsweetened original, and unsweetened chocolate and has one of the best texture/flavor combinations on the market. A close second is Pacific Natural Foods, which is a bit more affordable and readily available at Whole Foods around the country.

Remember, all of these milk substitutes are all-natural and can be made at home with a little patience and dedication. Look up different recipes online and try experimenting with different natural sweeteners, like agave and honey! Happy digesting!

About the Author

Lynn Maleh is a graduate of University of Southern California’s Master of Professional Writing program. She regularly blogs on a variety of topics, including health, lifestyle, and eco-living.

*Image courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net.*

Gluten-free and vegan, these stuffed mushrooms are light and perfect for serving at an appetizer at any party this summer!

Gluten-Free Pine Nut Stuffed Mushrooms

Ingredients

24 large button mushrooms
1/4 cup white onion, minced
2 Tbsp. olive oil
1/2 cup cooked brown rice
1/2 cup cooked quinoa
2 carrots, peeled and grated
1/2 cup pine nuts, finely chopped
2 Tbsp. organic salsa
1 tsp. sea salt
1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
2 chives, finely chopped

Preparation

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Prepare a baking dish with nonstick baking spray.

Clean mushrooms and remove stems. Set mushroom caps aside; discard stems.

In a small skillet over medium heat, cook onion in olive oil until translucent, approximately 6 minutes.

Add cooked brown rice, quinoa, carrots, pine nuts, salsa, sea salt and pepper; cook until warm, approximately 3-4 minutes. Remove from heat.

Using a teaspoon, transfer rice mixture in each mushroom cap. Slightly over-stuff mushroom caps with rice mixture.

Place stuffed mushrooms in a single layer on prepared baking dish. Bake, uncovered for 15 minutes.
Remove from the oven; garnish with fresh chives.

Serve warm.

*Recipe and image courtesy of Amie Valpone, Culinary Nutritionist and Personal Chef – The Healthy Apple.*