Kris Karr's Green Smoothie

Our first-of-the-season CSA farm pick-up upstate last week included TONS of leafy greens...literally eight varieties! Arugula, Kale, Swiss Chard, Senposai, Komatsuna, Yukina Savoy, Bok Choi, and Turnip Greens. One of the many ways my family devours these bountiful summer greens is with morning green drinks. 

This is a great way to start the day in a pH-balanced way!

*Jennifer's version of the recipe: I omit the avocado (unless the drink is to be the main part of breakfast), and I use pear, whatever fresh leafy greens are on hand, a blend of coconut water and plain water, plus lemon juice (no stevia).

 

KRIS KARR'S GREEN SMOOTHIE
from her website, Crazy Sexy Wellness



Yield: 2 servings

1 avocado
1 – 2 pieces of low-glycemic fruit: green apple, pear, berries and cantaloupe
1 cucumber
A fistful of kale or romaine or spinach
Coconut water (or purified water)
Stevia, to taste, and/or a sprinkle of cinnamon or some cacao (optional)

Blend ingredients in a high-powered blender.


Tuna(Free) Salad Sandwich

This is a perfect recipe for picnics! Mix everything together, transfer it to a portable container, pack some whole grain bread or baguette or pita, plus maybe some lettuce, tomato and avocado slices. The seaweed flakes give that flair of seafoody flavor, but with zero mercury risk!

 

TUNA(FREE) SALAD SANDWICH

Recipe by Allison Rivers Samson, as published in VegNews Magazine, 2009

Serves 6

30 oz (2 cans) garbanzo beans, drained
¼ cup red onion peeled and finely chopped
½ cup celery, finely chopped
¼ tsp garlic, minced
¼ cup dill pickle, finely chopped
2 Tbsp nori seaweed flakes (*JM: I usually use a blend by Maine Coast Sea Vegetables)
1 cup vegan mayo
1 tsp sea salt
½ tsp black pepper, ground
12 slices bread, lightly toasted
6 large, crisp lettuce leaves
12 fresh tomato slices

In a large bowl, mash the garbanzo beans with a potato masher or the back of a fork.

Fold the onion, celery, garlic, pickle, nori,

Orange Peel Vinegar Cleaning Solution

My daughter learned how to make this concoction from her teacher last year. It was winter at the time, when her class was apparently eating a lot of clementine oranges at lunch or snack time. If you're like us though, some sort of orange is in the fruit basket year round (I'm currently staring at three large, juicy navel oranges!). The essential oils that come out of the orange naturally add a perfect citrus freshness to our favorite all-purpose natural cleaner (white vinegar!).

ORANGE PEEL VINEGAR CLEANING SOLUTION

orange twisted peel.jpg

Instructions:

Enjoy snacking on delicious oranges. Fill a large glass Mason jar with the orange peels. Cover peels with vinegar. Screw on lid and let sit for about two weeks. Strain off the liquid, then use as a cleaning solution in any way you wish, perhaps even adding it to a spray bottle for easier use. For certain surfaces, you may want to dilute with water.

*Why not create your own citrus mix, adding lemon or grapefruit peels!

Spring Macaroons

Spring has finally sprung in Brooklyn! En route to school this morning, we tallied all the flower buds peeping out. Despite still wearing coats, the kids are excited to at last wear shoes that are not snow boots!

Last week, however, my family clung hard to cold-weather fun by meeting up with Montreal friends in the Saint-Sauveur region of Quebec during our so-called "spring break" from school. Pregnant mama was in snowshoe paradise on mountain trails while everyone else enjoyed glorious spring skiing.

As a shortcut since we knew our daily outings would leave minimal time to cook proper dinners, we arranged advance pickups from a Montreal-based chef, Veganessa. As you can guess, she is vegan, but also gluten-free. 

My family has no gluten sensitivities (yet...that we're aware of!), but it was nice to give our digestive systems a gluten break. Veganessa totally hooked us up with casseroles (such as Shepherd's Pie and Lasagna), as well as veggie burgers and muffins and power balls.

Speaking of gluten-free, these vegan macaroons from Whole New Mom seem like the perfect Easter treat. Why not make them even more "springy" by adding a dash of natural pastel? (Ideas: beet juice for pink, carrot juice for orange, blueberry juice for lavender...of course being aware that the extra liquid can change the constitution of the recipe.)

 

COCONUT MACAROONS

from Whole New Mom


Makes approximately 2 1/2 dozen cookies.


Ingredients

2 cups unsweetened, shredded coconut

1 cup coconut milk (Rice Milk or Almond Milk would work as well, but coconut milk is thicker and will result in a better finished product)

4 Tbsp sweetener (if using granulated sweetener, you may need to add 1 Tbsp water. If using stevia extract, sweeten to taste)

2 Tbsp gluten-free flour (ex: a mix of sweet brown rice and millet noting that sweet rice adds a bit of “stickiness” to gluten-free baked goods; use almond flour if grain-free or on THM diet)

1 tsp vanilla extract

1/4 teaspoon salt

For the chocolately version: cocoa or carob powder (use 4 Tbsp for the whole batch / 2 Tbsp if you split the batch in half and make half vanilla and half chocolatey)


Method

1. Preheat the oven to 350°.
2.  Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper or prepare by greasing. (Or use baking stones that require no pre-treating.)
3.  In a heavy saucepan over medium heat, whisk together the coconut milk, sweetener, and salt.
4.  Add flour and stir completely.
5.  Heat the mixture to a full boil and simmer for about two minutes or until thickened (if making chocolate version, add 2 Tablespoons cocoa or carob powder to the mixture).
6.  Remove from heat and stir in vanilla and coconut.
7.  Drop mixture by heaping teaspoonfuls onto the baking sheet. A cookie scoop makes things quick and less messy (and it makes nicely shaped macaroons, too!).
8.  Bake for about 16 minutes, or until golden brown.
9. Cool on cookie sheet for a few minutes, then transfer to cooling rack.

Re-Diversify, Starting with Breakfast

To celebrate surviving round-the-clock nausea from the first 19 weeks of my third pregnancy, I joined in on a winter weekend yoga retreat in the northern Adirondacks, put on by dear friend, Zaidee Bliss (owner of Align Again Yoga near Saratoga Springs).

Zaidee and I met during nutrition school studies many moons ago and she's remained a big inspiration to me, for both food ideas and for life. This retreat was the perfect medicine to help me re-balance and re-nourish after the little storm that's been taking place in my body. 

The biggest reminder I got from eating Zaidee's delicious, healthy meals (other than the reminder of how amazing it is to be cooked for!): how important it is to shake up our food habits. It's not just laziness, it's human nature to create habits in order to save time and brain energy -- we do this when food shopping (using the same shopping list over and over) and also when planning meals.

We must remember to re-diversify, especially since different foods have different amounts of vitamins, minerals, fiber, antioxidants, and healthy fats. Mixing it up helps ensure complete nutrition…and spontaneity! 

 

ZAIDEE'S OATMEAL BUFFET

Even the retreat's line-up one morning of oatmeal additions was inspiring; I realized how often I blindly grab my family's rote porridge toppings.

Prepare oatmeal (or other hot cereal) as usual. Then set out these toppings and any others you fancy, add the ones that scream out to you.

-Walnuts
-Chia seeds
-Hemp seeds
-Sesame seeds
-Goji berries
-Raisins
-Cinnamon
-Turmeric (I saw Zaidee add this, who knew!)
-Coconut oil
-Almond butter
-Maple syrup
-Date sugar 
-Baked apples
-Homemade almond milk

 

By adding a well-rounded selection of toppings, you will instantly upgrade an otherwise "average" bowl of porridge! 

Valentine's Day Heart Sugar Cookies

These are the Valentine's Day treats my daughter has chosen for us to make...so I think, "why not?!". Depending on what we have on hand at baking time, I may experiment with a blend of whole wheat flours, or I might use coconut sugar. Let's see!

 

VEGAN HEART SUGAR COOKIES

from happyhealthylife.com

Makes 12 2-3"cookies

 

1 1/2 cups white flour, organic

1 cup raw turbinado sugar

1 tsp almond extract

1/4 tsp vanilla extract

1 tsp salt

1/3 - 1/2 cup virgin coconut oil, melted

3 Tbsp freshly squeezed citrus juice (I used tangerine)

1/4 cup warm water

+ you will need additional flour for rolling out cookie dough and handling

 

Coconut Glaze:

1/2 cup powdered sugar, organic

1/4 cup virgin coconut oil, melted

pinch of salt

 

Optional: vegan sprinkles on top, pink or red! (No sprinkles? Try thinly sliced strawberries for color.)

 

Tool: heart-shaped cookie cutter

 

Notes from recipe creator:

* Yes, you can substitute another variety of sugar, but the raw turbinado sugar has a very caramel-y flavor.

* The almond extract is optional, but advised. If you need to, you can substitute with vanilla extract. Or a lemon or orange extract could be nice too.

 

Directions:

1. Combine the warm water with the coconut oil so that the oil melts into a very liquid state, a few soft clumps are okay.

2. Add in the salt, extracts, citrus juice and sugar.

3. Start folding in the flour. Make sure your wet mixture is not hot when you do this. The warm water should be just warm enough to soften the coconut oil. Continue stirring until the mixture thickens to a very soft dough.

4. Transfer this soft dough to a small bowl and place in the fridge to chill for at least an hour. This will firm up the dough to a rollable state.

5. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and pull dough from the fridge. Heavily flour your rolling surface and press out the dough with your fingers or a rolling pin. Slice out hearts and place on a greased baking sheet. Add sprinkles over top cookies.

6. Bake cookies at 350 degrees for about 20 minutes, you want the edges to start to puff up and crisp out to look toasted and not doughy anymore. Slightly browned edges will give you a crisper cookie. 

7. Remove cookies from oven and allow to cool. This will firm up the cookies quite a bit since the coconut oil makes them very delicate upon removing from the oven.

8. While cookies are cooling, whisk together your glaze. Place in the freezer about five minutes to firm up a bit.

9. Drizzle the glaze over the cookies when they are still slightly warm; the glaze may melt a bit, which works to attach the sprinkles. Store in a covered container at room temperature for up to 3 days. Longer, store in the freezer.

Flu-Busting Garlic-Miso Soup

This über-simple recipe is great when you get "that feeling"... you know, the one when you're about to come down with something. This is my very first course of action for myself or a family member. Make a big pot of it and sip on it throughout the day from your favorite mug.

Recipe by Annemarie Colbin, from Food and Healing, (one of my very first nutrition tomes!).

 

GARLIC MISO SOUP


1 quart water or stock  = 4 cups
1 whole head of garlic cloves, peeled
1 heaping tablespoon miso, or to taste

Simmer the garlic cloves in the water or stock for 15 minutes; fish them out and put them in the blender with a little stock and the miso; puree, return to pot with the rest of the stock, adjust taste, and serve hot.


Tip: never add miso to boiling water since boiling destroys the active enzymes in the live miso.

Crunchy Vegan Caesar Salad

Not sure if it's due to overkill of all the soft, creamy holiday food, but I've been obsessed lately with crunchy vegan caesar salads! My favorite restaurant version here in NYC is from Blossom, and upstate (in Ulster County), it's Garden Cafe in Woodstock.

Here's one we can all try at home. Kale is a wonderful (and more nutrient-rich) replacement for romaine, just sans crunch of course.

VEGAN CAESAR SALAD

from oneingredientchef.com


Ingredients:

1 cup raw cashews

1 cup  non-dairy milk

2 tablespoons lemon juice

3 cloves garlic

2 teaspoons dijon mustard

5 Kalamata olives

Salt & pepper to taste

Romaine lettuce

3 slices whole-grain bread (to make croutons)


Step Zero

Soak the cashews for at least 4 hours. The longer you soak them, the easier they will blend into the final dressing. When ready to make, drain the soaking liquid and then…


Step One

In a high-powered blender or food processor, combine all ingredients except lettuce and bread (cashews, non-dairy milk, lemon juice, garlic, mustard, olives, and a dash of salt & pepper) and let it run for several minutes. Seriously, several minutes. You want the cashews to turn into a creamy sauce with no chunks remaining.


Step Two

At this point, the sauce will likely be very thick. Slowly add several tablespoons of water at a time and continue blending until it has the perfect salad dressing consistency. Now, give the mixture a taste and feel free to adjust any ingredients. More salt, lemon, or garlic? Another olive? Throw in whatever it needs and blend until the dressing is perfect.


Step Three

Cover and refrigerate. In a pinch, you can use the sauce as is, but cashew sauces tend to get much better after chilling for several hours. It can be saved (sealed) for several days in the refrigerator.


Step Four

When ready to serve, chop the romaine lettuce and add it to a large bowl with as much dressing as you’d like. Then, use the best kitchen tools you have (clean hands) to toss and evenly coat the lettuce. Garnish with homemade whole wheat croutons (follow link for full recipe).

http://www.oneingredientchef.com/vegan-caesar-salad/

Source: http://www.oneingredientchef.com/vegan-cae...

Healthy Holiday Nog

I grew up with nog at the holidays so it's essentially part of my holiday DNA. Buying Silk Nog or other pre-made nog is a shortcut, but here's a homemade vegan nog recipe from Oh She Glows that is actually healthy! (No strange fillers or texturizers.) Even if it doesn't resemble the nog you know, think of it as a festive holiday smoothie. 

 

VEGAN NOG

Yield: 6 cups

 

Ingredients:

1/2 large avocado, pitted and frozen

1 large banana, peeled and frozen

1 can of full-fat coconut milk (400ml), chilled in fridge

1 tbsp fresh lemon juice (about 1/4 of a fresh lemon)

1.5 cups almond milk

1/2 cup pure maple syrup (*I used agave nectar)

1-3 tsp ground nutmeg (to taste, add gradually)

1/4 tsp cinnamon

1/8th tsp ground cloves

1 tsp pure vanilla extract

Cinnamon stick, for garnish

1/4 cup-1/2 cup Bourbon (optional of course!), to taste

 

Directions: Pit and freeze the 1/2 of an avocado and peel and freeze the large banana prior to making this recipe. Add the liquid ingredients into a blender and blend for about 10 seconds to mix. Now add in your frozen and dry ingredients and blend until smooth. Taste and adjust spices and liquids if necessary. You can adapt it to how you’d like it! Makes 6 cups. Serve with a cinnamon stick (optional). Serve immediately.

Note: This will not keep long, so please make it just prior to serving and serve (cold) immediately.

 

 

*Image by OhSheGlows (http://wwohsheglows.com/2010/12/18/vegan-nog-classic-and-peppermint)