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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.

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  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.

Sorry, I haven’t been able to post for a few days. We went to Asheville, NC for a few days, and the house we rented had internet  troubles. On the more positive note, Asheville is home to my favorite vegetarian restaurant in the country. I’ve been to  the Millennium in San Francisco, I’ve been to Angelica’s in NYC. I also visited countless veggie spots around the country. Still, the clean,  spacious and delicious Laughing Seed Cafe in Asheville cannot be beat. It gets the highest marks in my book both for its food (they  have daily veggie specials to die for) and its service ( they brought organic veggies, cut into bite-size chunks for my babies when I foolishly left  the baby food bag in the car.) And they actually have healthy food on their kid’s menu!

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When I was in my early twenties, studying at NYU, taking yoga classes at Jivamukti, living alone in NYC , I never cooked anything, because my apartment’s  kitchen was barely large enough to accommodate a teapot, forget about the actual cook (me.) I loved going to Angelica’s Kitchen restaurant and ordering a Dragon Bowl. The simplicity of this perfectly balanced vegetarian dish reminded me of home-cooking. That, and it was superhealthy and inexpensive. The Dragon Bowl was an example of a perfect equilibrium in food: bitter, but also sweet, healthy, but filling. It tasted like home, yet I ate it in a restaurant. “The Bowl” also fit nicely into a “One Bowl,” which was a nutrition book I  followed for a while.

Some years later, in Asheville, I was pleasantly surprised when I saw a Harmony Bowl on the Laughing Seed Cafe’s menu. It was very much like my old Dragon Bowl! I was feeling like I was twenty again as I devoured it. The next day, I came back and ordered another one.  And two days later, I made one at home. The simplicity and versatility of this dish are overwhelming: you can use any grain, bean or vegetable you have. Here’s the Bowl, in a nutshell.

Cooked brown rice

Cooked black beans

Steamed Veggies

Sauce

Optional: Tofu

Pick a nice-size bowl, suitable for one person. Put some cooked brown rice (or other grain) on the bottom of it. Put black beans on top of the rice. Put tofu on top, if using it. Put the veggies over everything and pour the sauce over the veggies.

When picking the vegetables, try to cover many flavors: squash or carrots for sweetness, kale for bitterness… Don’t forget green staples, like zucchini or broccoli.

The dish at this point is rather bland. The sauce is what really makes The Bowl sparkle. My two absolutely favorite sauces for the Harmony Bowl are carrot/ginger or tahini.

I didn’t list any proportions or amounts here on purpose: the bowl is an individual dish, so make it your own by playing an experimenting. You can make it pretty, or you can make it simple. Busy parents:  don’t be afraid to use canned beans.

 

photo: Piyachok Thawornmat

A friend’s child is lactose-intolerant, so she asked me for some dairy-free recipes. Most of all, she wanted a recipe for dairy-free sour cream. My vegan-raw sour cream does not taste exactly like its dairy version, but it still tastes great. It works very well in recipes, asking for sour cream. This sour cream can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to a week.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup raw cashews
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3-4 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 small avocado, mashed
  • Optional ingredients:
  • 3-4 garlic cloves, pressed
  • 2 tbsp. onion powder or finely diced chives
  1. Cover cashews with water and let them soak for a few hours or overnight.
  2. Pour off all water, and place nuts in food processor.
  3. Add 1/8- 1/4 cup cold water, salt, vinegar and avocado. Add garlic and onions.
  4.  Puree for 3-4 minutes or until smooth and creamy.

 

 

This post a reprint of a post by AnneMarie Colbin. The author suggests the following tips for  a healthy school year. I would take this one step further and recommend these steps year-round for happy and healthy children. Annemarie has been on the forefront of educating people on how to eat healthily through her books, articles and seminars.

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Here are my four top tips for helping your children to stay healthy and avoid illnesses in the new school year. The foods that make kids the sickest are sugar and dairy.

 

 

1. Avoid dairy.

If you can possibly raise them without milk products, you will prevent the most common mucus conditions, especially colds and ear infections. Milk is a great mucus producer; bacteria love living in it, and casein, the protein in milk, is commonly used in laboratories to set up bacterial cultures. Cheese is just as much of a problem, and yogurt is little better. And it’s not because of the fat – in fact, butter does not bring on infections, according to my observations – it is the protein and the calcium, which in cow’s milk are intended to help baby cows become big cows (or steer), and are excessive for humans.

 

2. Don’t reward them with sugar.

If you can avoid giving your kids sugared foods – including sugared breakfast cereals, cookies, cake, candy, and ice cream – you will allow their immune systems to do a better job of keeping them healthy. Sugar is known to depress the immune system, and what is worse, it is really addictive. According to a recent study at the University of Bordeaux, France, it appears to be more addictive than cocaine. I know that we tend to reward the children with sweet goodies, but that habit is perhaps best reconsidered – crayons, balloons, comic books or nuts and raisins might be a better idea for rewards.

 

3. Give them lots of protein.

To keep the kids healthy, they also need to eat sufficient protein (some in each meal, such as fish, chicken, meats, or beans and legumes), with lots of vegetables both cooked and raw, as well as good quality fats (extra virgin olive oil, coconut oil, organic butter). See my post on protein breakfasts for more advice. 4. Make sure they get plenty of rest Most importantly, they need enough sleep and rest, which will allow their bodies and their brains to recuperate and restore, as well as grow. Lack of sleep is one of the major causes of stress and illness. So there you have it: feed them well, keep them off the ice cream and sweets, and make sure they sleep enough, and they will avoid many illnesses.

 

4.  Make sure they get plenty of rest

Most importantly, they need enough sleep and rest, which will allow their bodies and their brains to recuperate and restore, as well as grow.  Lack of sleep is one of the major causes of stress and illness.

So there you have it:  feed them well, keep them off the ice cream and sweets, and make sure they sleep enough, and they will avoid many illnesses.

This breakfast is  sweet, delicious , easy to make and also works as an afternoon snack. You can substitute olive oil for butter or coconut oil, if desired. The crepes are usually well-received by kids who like sweets. If fruit salad is not your thing, consider filling the crepes with two-three sliced bananas and maybe a couple of tablespoons of nut butter.

Buckwheat is a gluten-free grain, which is rich in iron, b-vitamins, calcium, protein and fiber. Buckwheat flour can be purchased in any health-food store.

 

 

   Ingredients (for 6 crepes):

  • 1/2 cup buckwheat flour
  • 1 tbsp quinoa or almond flour
  • 1 large egg or chia
  • 1 cup of water
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • A pinch of sea salt

Whisk the water, he olive oil, and egg together and then mix in the dry ingredients.  Set aside for 15-20 minutes.  Heat a pan and melt some olive oil (or butter). Once the pan is  heated, pour some batter in and rotate the pan to get the batter thin and smooth. Return the pan to heat for a couple of minutes until the top is hard.  Flip the crepe over.

Ingredients for Fruit Salad:

2 bananas, sliced

1 apple or pear, chopped

4 strawberries, sliced

1 kiwi, sliced

1/2 cup Orange juice

Mix the fruits together and sprinkle the juice on top.

 

Fill the crepes with the fruit salad and serve.

 

My family and I are trying to go gluten-free for a while. Gluten an dairy have been linked to allergies and immune weakness by multiple nutritionists, so our new diet would probably do us a lot of good. The problem is,  gluten hides in many things we like, like our morning oatmeal, for example. So, here’s what I came up with:

 

Quinoa With Raisins

1 cup cooked quinoa

3 tbsp. unrefined extra virgin olive oil

salt to taste

1/4 cup raisins (or dried cranberries, r dried apricots)

optional: 1/4 cup almonds or walnuts or 1/4 cup toasted coconut flakes or 1 tsp. of  cinnamon and 1 tsp of agave syrup.

Mix the quinoa with the oil and the salt, put raisins on top.

 

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Buckwheat flour is widely available, but since I always have some cooked grains lying around, I came up with this breakfast recipe. Feel free to add blueberries, if you wish.

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 All rights reserved by Baking and Mistaking

Buckwheat Pancakes

1 cup cooked buckwheat

1 egg

1 grated apple

1 banana

Mix everything together and fry on a lightly oiled skillet.

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 All rights reserved by fakeginger
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Scrambled Eggs With Onions, Tomatoes, Mushrooms and Kale

1/2 onion, chopped

2 leaves of kale, cut into strips. Stalks separated and thrown out

1 tomato, chopped

1/2 cup mushrooms

4 tbsp. olive oil

salt to taste

1/4 cup parsley, diced

Tobasco sauce to taste

4 eggs

Put the kale into a frying pan, add 1/2 cup of water, cover  and let simmer for about 2-3 minutes, until the kale is soft. Open the lid, add the onion and the olive oil and saute for about 2 minutes. add the mushrooms and sautee for another 2 minutes. Add the tomato and possibly, more olive oil. Add the parsley and sautee for about another minute. Add the tobasco. mix well. Add the eggs and cook for another minute or two, making a scramble.

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We also love eggs over buckwheat with onions: hearty and delicious.

 

Do you have any gluten-free breakfast recipes?

I love this green, low-calorie, nutrient-packed soup. If you don’t like tofu, you don’t have to put it in. You can also add potatoes, whole wheat pasta or beans of any kind. You can season the soup with some curry for a more of an exotic twist. Yo u can even add some brown rice or buckwheat!

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 1/2 cup green onion, chopped
  • 2 stalks of celery, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons chopped garlic
  • 1 bunch kale, stems removed and leaves chopped
  • 9 cups water
  • 7 cubes vegetable bouillon
  • 1/2 bunch parsley, chopped
  • 1 block of tofu, cubed
  • 1 bunch of broccoli, separated into florets
  • salt and pepper to taste

Heat the olive oil in a large  pot. Cook the onion and garlic until soft. Stir in the kale and cook until wilted, about 2 minutes. Stir in all other ingredients, except for the green onions. Simmer on medium heat for about 2o minutes. Add more water if needed. Add the green onions. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

When you think of a sandwich, do pastrami or turkey come to your mind first? Or is it the gooey cheese? Most people I know have no idea how to make a vegan sandwich, let alone how to make one that tastes good.

Here are some pointers:

1. Pick good bread. Spelt tortillas, whole wheat slices, sprouted rolls – try to go as whole grain as possible.

2. Pick your spread. Hummus, pesto, sun-dried tomato paste, avocado, avocado or vegan mayonnaise with a bit of curry, nuts, processed to a paste with some parsley and garlic added to the mix… The list is quite long. Even sweet purees, like mashed dates or bananas work, especially if combined with bitter veggies or barbecued or marinated tofu or tempeh. I also like miso paste, combined with tahini paste. Pure tahini paste and nut butters work, too. Carrot butter is awesome: puree some cooked carrots and add some olive oil and a bit of miso. Applesauce is ok for certain combinations. To make a good vegan sandwich, you must be generous with the spread, otherwise the whole thing would turn out dry. In a regular sandwich, meat and cheese are the things that keep it moist and delicious. While making a vegan sandwich, put the spread on both sliced of the bread used.

3. Pick your veggies. Make sure you put a lot of vegetables in your sandwich. Avocado is almost a must and so are the greens and the tomatoes. You can also put cucumber slices, grated carrots, celery and onions. Sauerkraut works in some cases, too.

4. Sprinkle some salt and pepper on the veggies. You can also sprinkle some basil or parsley or even curry. Some balsamic vinegar works sometimes.

5. Pick your protein. Surprisingly, a scoop of cooked quinoa works well. Tofu or tempeh work better. Pumpkin seeds are fine and so are pecans of walnuts. I don’t like processed soy products, like soy burgers, but they definitely work, taste-wise.

6. Add something fun, like tobasco sauce or  coconut or raisins or dried cranberries. This is not mandatory.

What’s your favorite vegan sandwich?

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