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Here’s what I learned yesterday.

If you have guests coming and no food except for a bag of chips of some kind, you can still make a marvelous dip for those chips in under five minutes. Oh, and you can utilize leftovers, while doing it!

Throw a can of beans of any kind ( I used black beans) into the food processor, add a handful of nuts (I used walnuts,) a bit of olive oil, lemon juice, salt and paper and a bit of water and process until smooth.If you want, you can add parsley or cilantro and/or some onion and garlic. My guests loved the dip! and my kids loved it for lunch the next day.

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In my quest for how to destroy excess zucchinis, I found a great recipe. My friend, Dr. Johnny Bowden posted the best squash spaghetti  recipe ever! If you like Thai food, try my adaptation of it. I added peppers and peanuts, substituted Tamari with Bragg’s and put peanut butter instead of almond one. The  peppers make this dish spicy, which I like.

 

zuchinni noodles
Serves 6

Ingredients:

3 Tbs. raw peanut butter

3 Tbs. Bragg’s Aminos

3 tsp. curry powder

2 fresh chili peppers, diced

3 medium organic summer squash

1/4 cup unsweetened shaved coconut

1/3 cup raisins

1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro

1/3 cup dry roasted peanuts

  1. Combine almond butter, tamari, and curry powder in large bowl, and whisk until well mixed. Set aside.
  2. Trim ends off squash. Using mandolin or sharp vegetable peeler, slice squash lengthwise into long, thin strips.
  3. Add squash strips to bowl, and gently toss with peanut butter mixture until well coated. Add coconut, raisins, peanuts, peppers and cilantro, and toss until evenly distributed. Serve immediately, or chill for up to 48 hours.

My twin babies fell madly in love with zucchinis. So, I buy big quantities of zucchinis and put them in pretty much every vegetable dish. I even like them raw in a salad. Their mild taste works for the days when there isn’t a single cucumber in the fridge. Since,in my opinion, a casserole is the easiest dish to feed the whole family, I like to make this simple zucchini bake. It tastes delicate enough to eat the leftovers for breakfast. Zucchini is rich in nutrients, especially manganese and vitamin C. One cup of cooked zukes contains 1.64g of protein and .15g of omega-3 fatty acids.

You can make this recipe vegan by using flax or chia, instead of an egg and a vegan cheese instead of cheddar. I personally never tried using quinoa or gluten-free flour here, but am sure it’s possible. If you manage to make this casserole free of gluten, please, write me a note!

Ingredients

 4     cups unpeeled, chopped zucchini (and/or yellow summer squash)

¼     cup chopped onion

1/2 cup yellow cornmeal

 2/3 cup whole wheat flour

½  tsp. sea salt

1 tbsp. baking powder

2 tbsp. olive oil

2 tbsp. agave syrup

 1     egg

 1     cup grated cheddar cheese,  set aside ½ cup

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Combine all dry ingredients and stir well. Mix in all other ingredients  (except for ½ cup cheddar cheese) and stir well. Pour into a greased 8-inch pan. Bake for about 45 minutes. Sprinkle the second ½ cup grated cheddar cheese on top and bake an additional 15 minutes.

 

I was browsing through some blogs last night and stumbled upon a post about a really delicious, easy and healthy bean spread. Oh,and the spread is supposed to be placed on a sandwich with some kale on top. I was hooked. First of all, I am all about quick and easy, healthy cooking. Secondly, I could feed this spread to my twin babies, who’d love a little extra protein, so that they can finally grow up and take their toys back from their big brother. Thirdly, I could feed the kale to my oldest, who thinks that eating kale makes you grow big enough to drive a real car ( ok, I taught him that.)

I tripled the bean spread recipe and we had the leftovers for lunch today. The babies had the spread with some celery sticks and avocado chunks and we had  baked potatoes with bean spread, avocado , kale and chives. 

After playing with the  original recipe a bit, here’s the spread and the sandwich:

 

 

Rustic White Bean Spread

  • 1 can of white cannellini beans, drained and rinsed (or 1 heaping cup of cooked beans)
  • juice from one lemon
  • 1-2 garlic cloves
  • 2 Tbs tahini
  • 1 Tbs water (or more for desired consistency)
  • 2Tbs olive oil
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Process everything until smooth.

 Kale

 Heat a bit of olive oil and water in a frying pan. Add a small garlic clove, minced, stirring a minute until fragrant. Add 1-2 tbsp. of Bragg’s amino acid sauce. Toss in a couple handfuls of kale (stems removed, chopped). Sautee until wilted. Add a few drops of tobasco, if desired.

Sandwich

 Place a generous dollop of warmed white bean spread over two pieces of toast. Top with cooked kale. Squeeze a splash of lemon over everything and put a slice of lemon on top (optional). I also put a tomato slice on top.

 

I know, the name spells:  “The Weirdest Cake On The Internet,” but it tastes awesome! I found this delicious raw cake recipe about a month ago and never found time to make it. Too bad, because it only took me 30minutes today! If you like lemon flavor, feel free to also add a  few drops of lemon extract. The original recipe asked for jicama. I used something simpler and more readily available.

 

 

 

Cake
1/2 cup finely grated white turnip
1 1/2 cups Granny Smith Apples, pealed and grated finely
2 cups almond flour (almonds, ground in a food processor)
4 tbsp.  flax meal  (flax seeds, ground finely)
1/4 cup agave syrup
1 tsp vanilla extract
lemon juice and zest of 1 lemon
1/2 cup poppy seeds

Mix all ingredients well. Separate into two halves. Take the first half and form in a shape of a cake.

Frosting:

1 cup coconut oil
1/4 cup agave syrup
Juice of 1 lemon  ( zest opti0nal)

Beat/Whip the coconut oil with beaters! Whip again and add the agave. Then, add the lemon juice.

Assembly:
Top the first layer of the cake with Frosting. Form the second half of the dough into another layer on a  separate plate. Flip the plate to place another layer on top of the frosting.Frost the whole cake: top and sides. Sprinkle Poppy Seeds on the sides and maybe on top, as well. Top with Lemon zest curls or slices. Refrigerate for an hour or more. Serve at room temperature.

Fourth of July will be here very soon. Before you start feeling bad for vegetarians, I have a really awesome bean burger recipe to share. It’s is vegan, gluten-free and soy-free. I found this recipe in Vegetarian Times magazine and changed a thing or two. The original recipe asked for quinoa, but I felt that buckwheat, while similar in texture, has a more “meaty” look to it. That, and I had some leftover buckwheat laying around. Enjoy!

Ingredients:

1.5 cup cooked buckwheat

1 cup onions, finely chopped

1/2 cup carrots, grated

1/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes, packed in oil – drained and finely chopped

1.5 cups black beans ( cooked or canned and drained) – I like to use canned spicy beans here

1.5 cups water

2 tsp.   steak seasoning

2 garlic cloves, minced

optional: a few drops of Tabasco sauce

Salt, pepper to taste

Olive oil for oiling the baking dish

Preheat the oven to 350°F. In a medium frying pan, sautee the onions, the tomatoes and the carrots for about 4 minutes, mixing periodically. Use the oil form the tomatoes to sautee. Add the beans, the spices and the water. Simmer for about 5 minutes, or until most of the liquid has evaporated. Transfer the mixture to the food processor, add the buckwheat and process until smooth. Add salt and pepper.

Oil up the baking sheet. Form 8 patties, using your hands. Arrange the patties in the baking sheet. Bake for 20 minutes, or until the patties are crisp on top. Flip the patties and bake for another 10 minutes, until both sides are crisp and brown.

Serve in a whole wheat bun with lettuce and tomato. Mayonnaise, ketchup and cheese are optional.

Remember the carrot ginger soup recipe I posted recently? What would you do with the pulp that’s leftover from juicing 3 cups of carrots? I made a casserole that turned out pretty good.

 

 

 

Ingredients:

3 cups carrot pulp (or grated carrots)

1 medium onion

1/2 cup olive oil

4 small zucchinis, sliced

1 cup of grated cheese ( I used the almond cheese variety)

2 eggs or chia gel substitute

a few drops of tabasco

1 tsp curry

1/3 cup parsley, chopped

Sea salt to taste

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Sautee the onion in 1/4 cup of olive oil. add the carrots to the onion and some more olive oil. Saute, mixing periodically, for about five minutes. Add the parsley and the spices and sautee for another minute or two. On a separate pan, sautee the zucchinis in some more olive oil for about 3 minutes. Add the zucchinis to the carrots and mix well. Mix in the cheese and the eggs. Oil the baking dish and (optionally) sprinkle some breadcrumbs on it. Put the casserole mixture in and bake for about 35-45 minutes.

I served this casserole with quinoa and  a salad with avocado in it. Avocado’s moisture balanced this casserole’s flavors really well.

I have a few recipes of healthy cookies that I like to use. This one I found on a Russian website a year or so ago. It’s simple, gluten-free, can be made vegan and always turns out fabulous! Occasionally, I add raisins or almond slices to this recipe.

Ingredients:

3/4 cup buckwheat flour

1/2 cup powdered sugar

2 eggs (or chia substitute)

1/3 cup buckwheat honey

1 tsp coconut oil

Warm up the oven to  325°F. Mix the eggs or the chia gel with the powdered sugar, add honey, добавить мед and flour and mix well.  Cover the dish with the dough with a kitchen towel and let stand in  a cool dry place for thirty minutes. Cover the baking dish with parchment paper and oil it up with coconut oil.  Put the dough on the parchment paper, using a tablespoon. Bake the cookies for 15-20 minutes. Optopnal :sprinkle with powdered sugar prior to serving.

  1. Plantains contain high levels of vitamin A, potassium, calcium, iron and fiber. They are also low in sodium, have no cholesterol and contain natural mood enhancers. Nutritionally, plantains are similar to bananas. I like plantains as an interesting potato alternative once in a while. I buy black plantains (they are sweet inside) or let the plantain ripen and turn black on my windowsill.

    Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Coat the baking dish with some olive oil. Slice the plantains lengthwise into skinny strips that are about 3 inches long. Place the plantain slices in the baking dish, sprinkle them with some more olive oil  and  place them in a hot oven. Bake for about 10 minutes. Using a spatula, turn the fries over and bake for about 20-30 minutes, or until the fries are crispy. Lightly salt the plantain the minute it comes out of the oven. You can also sprinkle the plantain with spices, such as curry, cayenne or garlic on these fries.

    Salsa and lime juice work well as an accompaniment.

    photo credit: healthbent

As I was continuing my exploration of Asheville’s healthy food scene, I visited Greenlife supermarket. A supermarket with a special section, devoted to prepared raw food items can definitely be considered healthy, don’t you think? I bought a container of raw carrot ginger soup at Greenlife. The soup proved to be so unbelievable, that I had to spend two hours browsing the web for just the perfect recipe, which matched it and another hour trying to perfect the recipe even further. If you like spicy food, this Carrot Ginger Soup would taste completely out of this world to you! I don’t even like cold soups, but this one totally got me. Perhaps, because of all the warming spices in it, I didn’t even crave for it to be warm. If you do, serve it in  a warm bowl. You can also drink this soup as a smoothie, if you are into salty and spicy drinks.

 

 

 

Ingredients:

3 cups fresh carrot juice
1 small ripe avocado
1/3 cup coconut milk

1 tbsp. coconut oil

1/4 cup lime juice
1/4 tsp cayenne
1/4 tsp Celtic sea salt
1tbsp.  fresh ginger, minced or juice an inch of ginger with the carrots.

1/2 tsp. cilantro, minced

Puree all ingredients in a high speed blender until completely smooth.  The sweetness of the carrots will determine how much agave nectar you need to use, if at all.

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