Saturday, February 26, 2011

Veggie Dip

1 cup whole plain yogurt
8 oz. cream cheese, softened or goat cheese
1 tbsp dill weed
1 tsp parsley
1 tsp minced onion
1 tsp sea salt

Mix all ingredients together thoroughly until well blended.  Allow to chill at least one hour before serving for best flavor.  Enjoy this dip with fresh carrot sticks, celery, bell peppers, cucumbers or spread on sandwiches in place of mayo.

Presto Pizzas

Need a tasty snack that will satisfy both kids and adults?  How about these little pizzas that you can make anytime with whatever you have on hand.  I've even served them for dinner with a fresh salad.  Or try spreading the tortillas with mashed black beans and salsa instead of the marinara.

Makes 2-4 Servings

2 sprouted or whole grain tortillas
1/2 cup marinara sauce (I like Newman's Own)
1 or 2 cloves minced garlic, to taste
1 cup shredded cheese
2 cups diced fresh veggies; tomatoes, peppers, mushrooms, olives, onion, etc.
1 cup cooked sausage, chicken or ground beef (optional)

Heat oven to 350 degrees.  Place tortillas on a cookie sheet and bake 5-8 minutes until slightly crisp.  Top each tortilla with half the sauce, garlic, shredded cheese, diced veggies and meat.  Bake another 8-10 minutes until cheese is melted and starting to brown.  Sprinkle with chopped fresh herbs if desired.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Valentine Pancakes

1 cup whole wheat flour
1 very ripe banana, mashed
1 egg
¾ cup milk
2 tablespoons unrefined coconut oil***
1 tablespoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt

Preheat a griddle or cast iron skillet over medium heat. Grease with butter if necessary. Beat egg with whisk until fluffy, then add flour, mashed banana, milk, oil, baking powder and salt. Beat in just until smooth. If necessary, add 1 or 2 tablespoons milk to thin the batter. Using a funnel, pour batter into a large squeeze bottle (like a clean ketchup bottle). Squeeze out the batter onto the hot griddle to form shapes or letters, like hearts and XOXO. Flip pancakes carefully with spatula when surface shows many small bubbles.

For a special breakfast in bed, place pancakes that spell I (heart) U on a large serving plate and be sure to bring 2 forks and lots of strawberries and fresh whipped cream to share.

***Coconut oil is solid at room temperature and requires a warm climate to remain in liquid form. If you are not fortunate enough to live in a tropical region, simply warm the oil slightly on the stove or in the oven before you make the pancakes. Be sure to warm up extra coconut oil if you plan to have an intimate moment that morning. Unrefined coconut oil is a perfect natural lubricant and body oil with a pleasantly sweet coconut taste and smell. Enjoy!

Fresh Whipped Cream

1 cup heavy cream
8-10 drops liquid stevia extract (to taste)

Chill a deep medium bowl and mixing utensils for best results. Beat cream and stevia extract in chilled bowl on medium speed until steep peaks begin to form. Or in other words, until it fluffs up like whipped cream. Serve immediately.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Hippy Breakfast

I'm not much of a breakfast eater, to be honest.  Usually I just have some fresh fruit before work, then find myself in need of a snack around 10:30am.  But having a hippy breakfast keeps me energized all morning. 
My son loves it too.
You can make the granola ahead and store in an airtight container, or any natural granola can be used.  Remember to watch portion sizes carefully whenever eating granola.  Adult serving size is 1/4 cup.

To Make a Hippy Breakfast :

Scoop 1/4 cup granola into a bowl.  Pour 1/2 cup fruit smoothie over granola.  Top with a sliced banana or additional berries if desired.  Smile!


5 cups uncooked whole rolled oats
1 cup almonds
1 cup coarsely chopped walnuts
1 cup pumpkin or sunflower seeds
1 cup shredded coconut (optional)
1 cup unrefined coconut oil
1/3 cup raw honey
1 cup flax seed
1 cup dried cranberries or raisins

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.  Combine oats, nuts, pumpkin or sunflower seeds and coconut in a large bowl and mix well.  In a small pan, heat oil and honey until melted.  Pour over dry ingredients and mix well.  Spread granola onto cookie sheets and bake for about 20 minutes.  When cool, mix in flax seeds and cranberries.  Store in air tight containers.

Fruit Smoothie

1 cup fresh or frozen berries
1 banana, cut into chunks
3/4 cup whole plain yogurt
1/4 cup almond milk or whole milk
2 tablespoons flax oil or ground flax seed

Place fruit in a blender, then add yogurt, milk, and flax.  Blend until smooth.  Serve immediately with a straw or over granola.

Layered Dip

2 cups all natural plain yogurt
1 cup red leaf lettuce, shredded
1 cup shredded cheese
1 16oz can black beans
1/3 cup salsa
1 large fresh tomato, diced
1 avocado, mashed (optional)
1 cup sliced olives

Combine beans and salsa in a bowl.  Spread half of the mixture into a flat serving dish.  Spread 1 cup yogurt over the bean mixture, then top with half the mashed avocado, 1/2 cup tomatoes, 1/2 cup cheese, 1/2 cup lettuce and 1/2 cup olives.  Repeat layering.  Cover and chill until ready to serve.  Serve with tortilla chips, veggie chips or pita wedges.

Herb Basted Salmon

2 tbsp. olive oil
2 tbsp. melted butter
1 tbsp. fresh chopped basil
1 tbsp. fresh chopped parsley
1 tsp. grated lemon peel
Salt and pepper to taste
4 wild salmon steaks or 1 wild salmon fillet (about 1 lb.)

Combine all ingredients except salmon in a small bowl to create baste.  Brush salmon with baste and bake in preheated 450 degree oven, about 10 minutes per inch of thickness. Brush with baste as needed.  Makes 4 servings.
Why It's Better:
Wild salmon is a great source of Omega 3s and protein.  It also contains vital nutrients like Vitamins A, B and D and a variety of minerals including Calcium, Selenium and Iron.  Eating salmon improves the look and texture of your skin and hair and can reduce the risk of colon cancer.  Salmon also improves cardio-vascular health and lowers blood sugar levels. 

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Lasagna for Real Life

So you think that lasagna is just too difficult and time consuming to make at home? Think again! I've adapted this recipe from one that was on the back of the box of whole grain lasagna noodles that I bought. My family loves it, and they don't even notice all the veggie goodness packed inside. For a vegetarian option, simply omit the meat. To make it gluten-free, use brown rice lasagna noodles OR thin sliced strips of eggplant (omit water if using eggplant.)

Lasagna for Real Life
1 lb ground beef
1 red bell pepper, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 cups (26oz jar) spaghetti sauce
1 ½ cups water
1 ¾ cups (15oz) ricotta cheese
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese (divided)
½ cup Parmesan cheese
2 eggs
1 cup chopped spinach, fresh or frozen
¼ cup chopped fresh parsley, basil or oregano
½ tsp salt
¼ tsp pepper
9-12 whole grain lasagna noodles (uncooked)

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Brown meat in a large skillet over medium heat until still slightly pink, drain. Add pepper and garlic and cook about 3 minutes until meat is completely browned. Add spaghetti sauce and water. Simmer about 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, mix ricotta cheese, 1 cup mozzarella, Parmesan, eggs, spinach, herbs and salt and pepper. Pour 1 cup of sauce mixture into the bottom of a 9x13 inch baking dish. Arrange 3 or 4 UNCOOKED lasagna noodles lengthwise to cover the bottom of the dish. Cover with 1 cup sauce, then spread ½ of the cheese mixture on top. Repeat layers of lasagna, sauce and cheese. Top with remaining lasagna and cover with remaining sauce. Sprinkle on remaining mozzarella. Cover with foil and bake 45 minutes. Remove cover and bake another 10 minutes until cheese is browned and sauce is bubbling. Let stand at least 10 minutes before cutting and serving.

This post is linked to Real Food Wednesdays, enjoy!

Cruisin' Enchiladas

This recipe is one of my family's favorites. I love how versatile it is. I have included a vegetarian option, and it would be simple to adapt it to vegan as well. For those of you who have trouble digesting grains or are doing a low carb diet, you can omit the rice and it's just as delicious. Feel free to add hot peppers, fresh diced tomatoes, avacados or a variety of beans as you see fit. This is a dish you can really make a little differently each time, or find your favorite and stick with it.

These enchiladas are super easy to make with leftover meat and rice from a meal of Beef and Peppers or stir fry. Or you can start the rice cooking, then brown the meat before adding the peppers to make it all from scratch without adding much more prep time. No matter how you slice it, this meal goes from opening the fridge to serving the plates in less than an hour.

Cruisin' Enchiladas

1 lb cooked beef or chicken, shredded or cut into thin strips
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 red bell pepper, diced
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
½ cup cooked black beans
1 jar salsa
1 pkg sprouted or whole grain tortillas
cooked brown rice
shredded cheese
whole plain yogurt

Heat oven to 350 degrees. In a medium skillet, saute pepper in oil 2-3 minutes, just until the color brightens. Add chopped garlic and saute one minute more. Add meat and beans and stir.
Spread 1/3 cup salsa on the bottom of a rectangular baking dish. Place one or two spoonfuls of meat mixture in the middle of each tortilla and roll them up, placing them in the baking dish with the seam down. When all the tortillas have been filled, pour the remaining salsa over the enchiladas. Top with shredded cheese and bake for 20 minutes or until cheese is melted and beginning to brown. Serve over cooked brown rice and top with whole plain yogurt, if desired.

Veggie Version

Omit meat, and increase beans to one cup. Add 1 yellow bell pepper, chopped with the red pepper.

This post is linked to Real Food Wednesday.  Enjoy!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Beef and Peppers

1 lb. beef, venison or bison, cut into small chunks
1 med. onion, chopped
1 red bell pepper
1 yellow bell pepper
1 can all natural bamboo shoots (optional)
2 tbsp. olive oil or butter
Braggs amino liquids, OR tamari, to taste
fresh ground pepper, to taste
whole grain brown rice or quinoa (optional)

Brown meat in butter or oil over med-high heat until centers are still pink. Add onions and cook for a few minutes until they become translucent. Add peppers and cook 2-3 minutes more, until peppers brighten and soften slightly, then add bamboo shoots and amino liquids or tamari. Season with fresh ground pepper and your favorite herbs and serve over hot whole grains, if desired.Real Food Wednesday