Monday, June 27, 2011

Green Goddess Hummus

green humus made with greens
What's different about this hummus?  It's not hard to notice that it is green.
 Don't let the healthy, rich in chlorophyll color  deter you from eating it.
It doesn't taste green. It tastes light and delicious.

Hummus is a great snack because it is high in protein and  when its made using tahini ( sesame seed paste) it is also rich in calcium.This hummus is made with parsley, fresh garlic, green scallions, and red onion. In addition, the garlic and red onion provide antioxidants which help build the immune system. Despite all the onions, it still has a mild flavor.

The recipe calls for cooked chick peas. Normally, I would just open a can, but lately I have been reading about how the lining of the cans contain a harmful chemical called BPA.

Read This:
The following quoted paragraph is from an article published in Bloomberg Businessweek :

"TUESDAY, May 18 (HealthDay News) -- Bisphenol A (BPA), a common chemical used in the metal linings of some canned foods, poses a serious health threat to consumers and should be banned, a new report claims. BPA is ubiquitous in plastic products, found in baby bottles and sippy cups, and it has come under scrutiny in recent years, with studies linking it to a host of health and developmental problems. This latest research looked at its presence in the metal linings of canned foods. "

OK, I already knew about watching for BPA in plastics , but after reading that article, I knew I was ready to get rid of the few cans I use too ( mostly for beans and chopped tomatoes)

So, for the first time, I actually cooked my own chickpeas for this recipe. It was really easy and had way less salt ( in fact no salt).

This is how I made the chick peas. I just soaked the dry organic chick peas overnight. ( come on that's easy) Then in the morning, I drained them, put them in the crock pot, ( EASY)  Covered them with water, added a teaspoon of dry ginger ( don't know why) just for flavor and cooked them on low for about 8 hours. Took them out, drained them and they were ready to use to make hummus.

OK, I had to think in advance, but it really was easy, less expensive, and healthier.

Ingredients;
Recipe 2 cups chick peas, cooked
1/2 - 3/4 cup parsley
3/4 -1 cup tahini ( depending on how creamy you like it) available in health food stores and supermarkets
1/4 cup red onion, chopped
1/4 cup green scallions, chopped
Juice of two limes ( or lemons)
2 cloves fresh raw garlic, chopped fine
1 tsp. cumin ( or more to taste)
1/2 tsp. coriander ( or more to taste)
salt and pepper to taste
( I also added Trader Joe's 21 Salute which is a saltless spice mixture)

Place all ingredients in food processor or strong blender and process until smooth
This recipe is shared on the following blog carnivals which you can click to see lots of delicious recipes ( not all are gluten free)

Monday, June 20, 2011

Is Your Microwave Leaking Radiation ?

Healthy Lifestyle Awareness

Microwave ovens are sealed so they don't leak radiation. However, sometimes the seals break and that means that you may be exposed to unsafe levels of radiation every time you use your microwave and not even know it.

According to Bottom Line Magazine there is a simple test that you can do to see if your microwave is leaking.

Supposedly, a cell phone cannot recieve a signal in a microwave that is sealed properly.
So, here is the test.
  • Take your cell phone and place it in your microwave.
  • Close the door, but DO NOT turn the microwave on.
  • Go to another phone and call your cell phone
  • If it rings, it means the seal of your microwave is broken because signals are getting through
  • If it doesn't ring, it means your microwave seal is tight and signals cannot get through.
Why do we care? Well , according to Bottom Line Magazine when you use a microwave with a broken seal, higher levels of radiation than acceptable are released in your kitchen and everyone who is in your kitchen is exposed.

Disclaimer: The information in this blog is for informational purposes only. Please try this test at your own risk. We are just passing on information that we read.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Jicama Rainbow Salad With Mint

salad with jicama , mint, cucumber, corn, beans
jicama, radishes, tomatillo, tomatoes, cucumber, celery, fresh corn from the cob, raisins, mint , basil, red onion- yum! 

I just didn't know what to call this incredible summer jicama salad. It is a combination of everything that is in the garden right now combined with some organic salad vegetables that I picked up at the farmers market.  In addition to vegetables, I used basil and  mint from my potted herb garden.

This salad is bursting with vitamins, minerals, and  immune building antioxidants. It is also an energy booster.You are going to love its natural sweet and tangy flavors. It is a combination of the usual salad vegetables plus a few more exotic vegetables thrown in including jicama, fresh grated coconut, and tomatillo which are all plentiful in the supermarkets right now. If you are not familiar with jicama , read my previous blogpost that explains all about it , how to use it, how to buy a jicama, how cut a jicama, why it is so good for you, and why it may stimulate weight loss. click here.

The recipe also calls for raw corn cut off the cob. Don't skip the raw corn. It is crunchy and sweet and absolutely delicious. If I sound too excited, its because I just finished eating a big bowl of it , and boy was it good!



I've been trying to eat more raw foods. Holistic practitioners often suggest eating a diet of 80% raw food which is packed with enzymes and antioxidants. We need enzymes to digest our food, and raw fruits and vegetables are enzyme powerhouses. While I find it almost impossible to eat 80% raw in the winter, it is a real possibility in the summer. I've been eating mostly raw for about a month now and loving it. I still am eating some vegan food, but only for one meal a day.

Ingredients;
2 red summer tomatoes , chopped
2 Kirby or Persian cucumbers, chopped ( I get the Persian at Trader Joe's)
2 ears of raw uncooked corn on the cob, cut off the cob
3 sweet radishes, chopped
1/4-1/2 cup raisins, soaked for about 10 minutes and then drained
1/4 red onion, diced
2 large ribs of celery, diced
2 tomatillos, diced ( gives it a nice tangy flavor) available in most supermarkets
1/2 jicama ( about the size of a grapefruit) diced ( if you don't know what it is or why it is so good for you, read my previous post all about jicama. ( how to buy it, peel it, and cut it)
generous 1/4 cup fresh basil, chopped
generous 1/4 cup fresh mint chopped
Topping:( optional)
 grated red beets
 grated fresh coconut

Dressing:
Juice of 1fresh  whole large lemon
1/4 cup olive oil
1 Tablespoon apple cider or rice vinegar

Directions:
In a large bowl, mix all ingredients together. Make the dressing and toss. Add grated beet and grated coconut if desired. Allow to sit for at least 10 minutes for flavors to mingle and then enjoy.

Step by Step with Pictures






Topped with grated beet for a variation

Chop all vegetables and herbs. Mix in large bowl. Top with dressing


Monday, June 13, 2011

Lemon/Garlic Pasta with Mushrooms & Asparagus- Secret Recipe Club


Saute Mushrooms in Butter

This creamy lemon pasta recipe is made with lots of fresh sauteed mushrooms and asparagus and  is absolutely heavenly. We had it for dinner the other night , and we couldn't stop raving about it. The garlic/ lemon sauce definitely makes it exceptionally tasty.

Actually, its not my recipe. It is the creation of Anna from Sweet Anna's blog.  I made it because I am participating in a blog group called the "Secret Recipe Club," and my secret assignment for this month is to post a recipe from another member's blog.

I followed Anna's recipe but made a few gluten free and personal preference substitutions.  I used  gluten free brown rice spaghetti pasta  ( Anna called for penne pasta but I only had spaghetti, so I went with it).

Ingredients:
1 lb gluten free pasta (penne or rotini work well!)
3-4 tablespoons butter ( or dairy free substitute)
1 lb mushrooms, sliced thick
1 lb asparagus, cut into 1" pieces
1-2 garlic cloves, minced ( or more if you love garlic)
8 ounces of spreadable feta cheese log ( omit for dairy free)
2 tablespoons heavy cream ( or coconut cream)
salt & pepper, to taste
juice of one large lemon
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese ( optional)
1/2 cup chopped tomatoes
1/2 cup chopped fresh basil
Directions:
  • Cook the pasta, according to package directions, until al dente, drain and rinse. Save 1/4 cup of pasta water
  • While the pasta is cooking... in a large skillet over medium-high heat, melt the butter over low heat and  saute the mushrooms until golden. Toss in the asparagus and saute until just tender. Stir in the garlic and cook for about a minute.
  • Turn off the heat and stir in the rest of the ingredients.
  • Continue to stir until smooth, adding up to 1/4 cup of the pasta water if needed until everything is nicely coated.
  • Top with more freshly grated Parmesan, chopped tomatoes, and fresh basil
Wait until you taste this pasta dish! I knew Anna's recipe looked really good, but we were in love when we took our first bite. My husband and I both said, " This is beyond good, this is amazing.

It's a recipe that everyone will love.  I know it's definitely going to be a recipe that I will make again and again. Thank you Anna.  

If you like this recipe, head over to Anna's blog. You'll really enjoy it, her pictures are beautiful and many of her recipes can easily be adapted to be gluten free with a few minor substitiutions.

Step by Step Pictures

Assemble Ingredients




Chop asparagus


Follow recipe directions and voila!

This recipe is also shared at the following blog hops:

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Healthy Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

vegan oatmeal cookies


Oatmeal raisin cookies were one of my favorites when I was growing up.
This healthy recipe is quick and easy to make and uses wholesome ingredients without sugar, flour, eggs or milk.. Everyone will love them because they taste amazing!!


Do you have some ripe bananas that you want to use up?  You will need four for this recipe. Because these cookies are just sweetened with just fruit, you don't have to feel guilty eating them or giving them to your kids for snacks. To be sure that they are gluten free,  be sure to buy certified gluten free oats, which are available in most health food stores.

Are you in a hurry? This recipe can be whipped up and baked  in less than 1/2 hour. Whenever I make them, everyone, whether gluten free or not,  loves them. In addition, the recipe lends itself to many variations, so you can be as creative as you choose. Depending on what you decide to add, you can change the taste of the cookie. If you add chocolate chips it will be sweeter. If you add chopped walnuts, it will be a little chewier. If you add dried cranberries, It will be a perfect cookie for Thanksgiving.

Since the ingredients are wholesome, why not pack a few cookies in a baggy for a snack.

Basic Recipe
2 cups certified gluten free rolled oats ( I get mine at Trader Joe's )
4 ripe bananas, mashed
4 TBSP olive oil ( or coconut oil)
2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 cup add ins of your choice ( raisins, dried cranberries, chocolate chips, walnuts, etc.)

Directions
Preheat oven to 350 degrees
Mix gluten free rolled oats, mashed banana, oil and cinnamon with a spoon in a large bowl. ( batter will be chunky)
Add raisins (or any add- in of your choice), mix with spoon and allow to sit in refrigerator for at least 10 minutes (or up to 8 hours covered)

Drop spoonfuls onto cookie sheet and bake for about 15 minutes at 350 or until tops brown a little.

Step by Step


Assemble Ingredients

Add caption

Mix mashed banana, rolled oats, olive oil and cinnamon in a large bowl.



Eat immediately or store in a little baggies to keep them soft and chewy!
Made with raisins, these can make a nutritious breakfast as well ( oatmeal, bananas, raisins, cinnamon,) YUM!

How to know if oats are gluten free click to read the article.

Variations: Using the same batter, fill muffin tins 3/4 full and bake for about 15 minutes. Cool and can be kept in a plastic bag for about 3 days. Since the recipe contains no sugar ( unless you use choc chips or sweetened dried fruit) it makes a great convenient breakfast on the run.


Disclaimer: If you are gluten free, check with your doctor before using gluten free oats. Some people may react to even gluten free oatmeal. Read my July 2010 post on gluten free oats.

This post will  be shared on some of these weekly


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Monday, June 6, 2011

Gluten Free Cookies made with Coconut Flour

cookies that are grain free on a plate


These simple coconut flour cookies are easy to make, soft and chewy , and of course gluten free and grain free. I love using coconut flour for baking. It has an interesting taste that is rich. moist, and creamy. It is also very high in fiber having five times the fiber of brown rice flour. Fiber makes snacks more satisfying and filling and keeps our system moving. I also used palm sugar which is lower on the glycemic index than regular sugar and is also lower in carbs.

 In addition, coconut flour has other benefits. An article in Natural News stated, " Coconut flour also contains healthy fats that are antiviral, antimicrobial, and antifungal. As an added bonus, medium chain triglycerides have also been shown to boost the metabolism."

So, if you have never tried coconut flour, its very easy to work with and can be easily purchased at any health food store or even Trader Joe's.

 I don't bake cookies often, but when I do, coconut flour is often my flour of choice.
These soft and chewy delicious cookies take about 10-15 minutes of prep and about 15 minutes to bake They are really fast and easy.

Ingredients:
4 eggs, beaten ( don't cut back)
1 stick unsalted butter, melted ( or 1/2 cup coconut oil)
1 tsp. pure vanilla
1/2 cup palm sugar ( more if you like it sweeter)
1/2 ripe banana, mashed
1 and 1/4 cups coconut flour
Cinnamon and sugar mixture
chocolate chips for decoration ( optional)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees
In a large bowl, mix eggs , melted butter, vanilla and mashed banana. Add coconut flour and stir by hand until smooth. Allow dough  to sit for 10 minutes. Form dough into a ball.  Break off small balls, roll in cinnamon and sugar mixture. Flatten each small ball with a fork on a greased cookie sheet. Place a chocolate chip in the center of each cookie.  Bake at 375 for 15 minutes.


Assemble Ingredients







Other gluten free recipes that use coconut flour that you may want to try:
Peanut Butter and Jelly Muffins
Banana Muffins
Microwaved 3 Minute Cake in a Mug


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