Umami Lentil Soup

Umami Lentil SoupMy husband and I love lentil soup, in particular the lentil soup we use to get in Tarpon Springs which made you feel you could eat bowl after bowl. Our tummy’s would be bloated after but we tried to ignore that aspect because it was so good. Over time we started thinking; could there be MSG in this soup, it seemed so addictive. One day we saw the commercial size bucket of stock they used for the soup. So I googled the brand and sure enough there it was listed as the 2nd ingredient; MSG; that marked the end of going to Tarpon Springs for lentil soup. Ever since, I’ve been trying to come up with a way to recreate this lentil soup with that umami flavor, but in natural form. So… Read More →

Cheesy Creamy Grits ‘N Shrimp + Greens

Cheesy Creamy Grits 'N Shrimp Shrimp + GreensHave you ever asked yourself what is the difference between grits and polenta? Well I have and here’s what I learned from The Kitchn website. I’m shamelessly plagiarizing here because I think she’s done a great job of explaining.

Both polenta and grits are made from stone-ground cornmeal, dried corn that’s ground down into smaller, coarse bits. So how do the two differ? Some people think the difference lies in geography: the Italian version is known as polenta whereas the Southern version is known as grits. Others think that polenta is made with yellow corn while grits are always made with white corn.

Anson Mills founder Glen Roberts is quoted in the piece describing the difference as he sees it: while both grits and polenta are made from stone-ground cornmeal, “Southern grits and Italian polenta are traditionally made from two vastly different types of corn. How many times it’s milled and the fineness of the grind also differ. And then there’s the taste and texture.”

Most grits in the South are traditionally made from a class of corn called dent corn whereas in Italy, most polenta is made from a class of corn called flint corn, which holds its texture better. Why do these different classes matter? Because of the different type of corn, grits can even come across as almost mushy while polenta is often more coarse and toothsome.

When I was shopping in Whole Foods Market I had a bag of Bob’s Red Mill white corn grits which also had a note stating otherwise known as polenta. In my other hand I had a bag of De La Estancia – Organic Polenta GMO free chemical free. Bob’s bag was much larger and also not marked organic. I figured it would take me too long to work thru that much cornmeal, grits, polenta; whatever you want to call it so that coupled with an organic brand made me go with De La Estancia. So ultimately the confusion comes down to your time in the grocery store. If you have a polenta recipe or a grits recipe either of the brands I’ve mentioned here will work. Just so you know the one I picked yielded a delicious bowl of creamy grits or polenta. You say tomato I say tomahto ;) Read More →

Coconut Cream Cupcakes

Coconut Cream CupcakesI love cupcakes, but have long since given them up since most recipes are devoid of nutrition. Until now that is :) These came about because I had some leftover canned coconut cream in my fridge that I did not want to go to waste. From that these lovely super moist blond cakes were born.  Best part they are not loaded with sugar and calories.  These are only sweetened with dried dates and the natural sweetness of the coconut.  The grain flour used is Amaranth which contains more than three times the average amount of calcium and is also high in iron, magnesium, phosphorus, and potassium. It’s also the only grain documented to contain Vitamin C. Very little research has been conducted on amaranth’s beneficial properties, but the studies that have focused on amaranth’s role in a healthy diet have revealed very important reasons to add it to your diet.  You may hear the protein in amaranth referred to as “complete” because it contains lysine, an amino acid missing or negligible in many grains.  I won’t bore you with much more info on amaranth, just google it for yourself and see what a gem this little grain is. I hope you give these little cupcakes a chance I promise you won’t be disappointed.   Read More →

FOCACCIA + KALAMATA SUNDRIED TOMATOES

Foccacia Kalamata Sundried TomatoIt was time to revisit this healthy nutrition grain free bread.  The loaf turned out lighter in color because I used golden flax seeds.  I also topped it with 1/4 cup of grated Sheep’s Milk Pecorino Romano cheese.  This cheese is rich in omega 3 fatty acids due the sheeps grazing on the green pastures in Sardinia, making this bread even healthier.

This grain free Focaccia is not doughy in texture since no flour is used. You’ll find it very light but certainly not lacking in flavor. In addition to that not many breads can boast potent anti-cancer properties. Flaxseeds are rich in lignans, naturally occurring phytoestrogens found in some plants. These seeds are associated with happy hormones and boisterous antioxidant behavior. Studies have shown a reduction in prostate and breast cancers with a corresponding increase in dietary plant lignans. Flax seeds are nature’s highest source of these lignans.

I recommend grinding your own flax seeds in a coffee mill (one that is set aside and used only for spices) It’s so easy. You can run the risk of having rancid flax meal when you buy it already milled. Not a good thing. When flax is whole it last forever because it’s protected in its little jacket around the seed. Which leads me to, you should never add whole seeds to any baked good, always crack them first with a few pulses in the coffee mill, otherwise they are indigestible.
click here to find the recipe

GRAINS – cooking method

Grains

I discovered the benefit of pre-soaking your grains from the Vegan Coach http://www.vegancoach.com/ it’s great information to have and keep on hand. I’ve never tried soaking millet or even quinoa prior to cooking. See below for proper liquid to grain ratios as this does change when soaking your grains first. So I wondered why soak them; It is believed by some that pre-soaking all grains like millet, before cooking, makes the grains more digestible, making them even more nutritious. Read More →

Arugula Basil Pesto

Arugula Basil Pesto

Arugula Basil Pesto made with Cashew Cream

Arugula Basil Pesto, who doesn’t love this wonderful spread, sauce, dip, it’s just so versatile.  This particular pesto won’t be as calorically laden because cashew cream is used in place of the olive oil.  No one ever knows the difference, they just think it’s a traditional pesto.  Of course they are pleasantly surprised when I let the cat out of the bag :).

It is fantastic as a sauce for a pizza crisp.  My Arugula Pesto Pizza Crisp It’s on our rotation list for Friday night dinner with a movie. :)  If you try it leave a comment good or bad, I’m a big girl ;) I can take constructive criticism.  Read More →

Focaccia + Kalamata Sundried Tomatoes

Focaccia Kalamata Sundried TomatoThis flourless Focaccia is not doughy in texture since no flour is used. You’ll find it very light but certainly not lacking in flavor. In addition to that not many breads can boast potent anti-cancer properties. Flaxseeds are rich in lignans, naturally occurring phytoestrogens found in some plants. These seeds are associated with happy hormones and boisterous antioxidant behavior. Studies have shown a reduction in prostate and breast cancers with a corresponding increase in dietary plant lignans. Flax seeds are nature’s highest source of these lignans.

I recommend grinding your own flax seeds in a coffee mill…. Read More →

Power Greens + Green Grape Salad Tahini Dressing

Power Greens + Green Grape Salad Tahini DressingI love this salad. It’s a combination of greens “Organic Girl” SuperGreens; baby red chard, baby tat soi, baby spinach, baby green swiss chard, baby arugula. I added….

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Strawberry Oatmeal Protein Bars

Strawberry Oatmeal Protein Bars

Strawberry Oatmeal Protein Bars

I was pleased with these bars but found the flavor to be very mild, so I discovered they are best eaten with a light drizzle of pure coconut manna on top. They are a little chewy inside with a pleasing strawberry flavor on your…. Read More →

Potato Asparagus Cheese Frittata

Arugula, Artichoke spread + Egg Whites Veggie Wrap

Arugula, Artichoke spread + Egg Whites Veggie Wrap

 

This recipe came about when I was trying to think of something to do with some lox we had in our refrigerator. Funny thing is I was so absorbed in figuring out all the other ingredients I wanted to add that I forgot to put in the lox. Happy to say it was still really delicious but next time I will add the lox; not just to boost the protein but because I really do think the flavor combination will really be quite delicious. Read More →