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This is an awesome breakfast smoothie. It also works well with those that don’t like kale. This smoothie is packed with protein, calcium, iron, and multiple vitamins. What a  great way to start your day!

For two servings:

2 frozen bananas

1 apple

6-7  ice cubes

3 tbsp of raw tahini
4 kale leaves
optional: agave or stevia to taste

Blend all ingredients on high until smooth.

 

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This raw vegan cheese can be used for five days (if kept in the fridge.) Right away, the consistency should be soft and ricotta-like, but if you continue the process (putting the “cheese” in the cloth bag and letting it sit under a weight,) the “cheese” would become harder. If you want to make a soft “cheese,” put it in the refrigerator right after you blend the ingredients.

For a simple dish, cut a zucchini in spaghetti-like strips, add some chopped tomatoes, fresh basil, olive oil, garlic, paprika and this “cheese.”

Ingredients:

Almonds, soaked in water overnight  1 cup
Cashews, soaked overnight  1 cup

1/2 tsp  salt

optional: four garlic cloves, minced

Put all of the ingredients in the blender, add water to cover. Blend all of the ingredients until smooth. Put the mixture into a nut milk bag and hang over a bowl or a pot overnight. In the morning, put the bag on a cutting board with another cutting board on top. Put weight on top (I use three thick books.) Pour the draining liquid out periodically. The “cheese” is ready for the fridge! Refrigerate the “cheese” for an hour or so.

This is probably the easiest butternut squash soup you’ve ever made. You can make it even easier by using water with 3 tbsp of olive oil instead of the vegetable stock. I also like using this soup as baby food.

Ingredients:

Butternut squash, cubed -3 cups

Vegetable stock – 4 cups

Parsley, whole 1/3 bunch

Onion, chopped 1 medium

Put all of the ingredients in a large pot, bring to a boil. Lower the flame and let simmer until the squash becomes soft (about 15 minutes.) Transfer the contents of the pot to a blender and puree until smooth. Voila! Serve with or without sour cream, with or without some parsley on top and with or without pita chips.

While living in NYC, I loved Angelica’s Kitchen restaurant. It’s a wonderful vegetarian eatery with fresh , mostly local food and a relaxed ambiance. They also had a cornbread to die for: it was the non-traditional kind; it tasted grainy and hearty. I actually purchased Angelica’s cookbook just for the recipe of this cornbread! I baked it many times and modified its original version. Enjoy it with a  soup or a salad or even as a nutritious breakfast. Give it to your kid with tahini sauce as a spread and a source of calcium or with applesauce instead of a sugary dessert. The cornbread also refrigerates and freezes well.

Ingredients:

Rolled oats 1 cup

Cornmeal 1 cup

Brown rice, cooked according to the package instructions  3 cups

Apple juice 2 cups

Applesauce 1 cup

Salt 1/2 tsp

Olive or corn oil, unrefined 1/3 cup

Sesame seeds 1/4 cup

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Mix all of the dry ingredients, except for the sesame seeds. Mix in the juice and the applesauce and make sure the mixture is even. Add almost all of the oil. Grease the baking dish and sprinkle the sesame seeds on it. Pour the mixture into the baking dish and bake for about an hour, or until the wooden stick you put in it to test its readiness comes out dry. Let the bread cool off and cut into squares.

Image: hinnamsaisuy

This salad is wonderful for lunch or for eating at a picnic: just add some green leaves for health value. I usually use rice pasta for it, but other varieties should work fine. The salad is also good as part of a nutritious school lunch.

Ingredients:

Penne ( either whole wheat, or rice or quinoa variety) 1.5 cups

Green beans, cut lengthwise 1.5 cups

Cherry tomatoes, halved  1 cup

Chives, finely chopped 1/2 cup

Basil, finely chopped 1/4 cup

Olive oil 2 tbsp

Optional: grated parmesan or vegan cheese 2 tbsp

kosher salt and pepper to taste

Cook the pasta according to the package instructions.Throw the green beans in the last three minutes of cooking. Drain and rinse in cold water. Add all other ingredients and gently toss together.

 

photo by Michelle Meiklejohn

Yesterday I told you to bake your own cookies. These are my favorite “healthy” cookies. Lighter and fluffier than regular ones, they melt in your mouth. Frequently, we bake them together with my oldest son: he “measures” out the ingredients.

 

 

 

 

Ingredients for 24 cookies:

Rolled oats 1.5 cups

Whole Wheat Flour 1 cup

Baking Soda 1/2 tsp

Sea Salt 1/2 tp

Coconut oil 1/2 cup

Molasses 1/2 cup

Ripe bananas, mashed 2

Brown sugar (optional) 1/2 cup

Water 1/2 cup

Peanut or almond butter 2 tbsp

Walnut halves 1/2 cup

Raisins 1/2 cup

Cranberries 1/2 cup

note: If you are allergic, or don’t want to use the nut butter, you can use two eggs instead. You can use regular butter instead of the coconut oil and you can use 1 cup of brown sugar instead of the bananas and the molasses.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Lightly grease two cookie sheets. Sift the flour, the salt and the baking soda in a large bowl. Stir in the oats, the walnuts, the raisins and the cranberries. In a separate bowl, mix the molasses with the bananas, the coconut oil, the water and the nut butter. Add this mixture to the dry mixture and mix well. Drop by round spoonfuls into the cookie sheets. Bake for about ten minutes, or until the edges begin to turn brownish.

 

The inspiration for this very simple and very healthy dish came from a famous New York raw restaurant, Pure Food and Wine. I loved their raw lasagna so much I bought their cookbook and saw a page-long recipe, which included making your own cheese out of nuts, using a food processor. I simplified the whole thing to the point that the beautiful lasagna now takes five minutes to make. Make sure that you have quality ingredients for this dish, as it has to be very fresh and crispy-tasting.

For 2 servings:

Ingredients:

Zuchini – 1 large

Tomatoes, large, thinly sliced -2

Pesto- 3 tbsp

Sundried tomato pesto -3 tbsp

Fresh basil leaves-  6

Green leaf mix -to garnish

Arrange some green leaves on the serving plates.  Slice the zucchini lengthwise fairly thinly, so that you get nice crispy zucchini rectangles.  Put two zucchini slices close together on the bed of greens. Spread some pesto sauce on top of the zucchinis. Put three basil leaves on top. Put a few tomato slices on top of the basil. Then -another layer of the zucchini slices. Then – tomato pesto. Then – tomato slices and one more layer of zucchini slices.  Serve immediately!

This yummy vegan sandwich is easy to make and easy to enjoy. I use it as a way to get more vegetables into those that wouldn’t ordinarily eat vegetables (kids?)  Sun-dried tomato pesto and avocado mix create a delicious, almost Italian flavor, which easily masks all of the greens and the sprouts in the sandwich.

Makes two sandwiches:

Ingredients:

Whole wheat bread, toasted -4 slices

Sundried tomato pesto 5-6 teaspoons

Green leaves 1 cup

Sprouts (optional)  1/2 cup

Tomato, sliced 1 small

Avocado, sliced -1 small

Grated carrots – 1/2 cup

Cucumber, sliced -1 small

Fresh basil leaves -to taste

optional: sliced tofu, hummous, regular pesto

salt, pepper to taste

Spread the sun-dried tomato pesto on the toasted bread. If using other spreads, such as regular pesto or hummus, spread those on one slice, while the sun-dried tomato pesto is on the other one. Pile everything else on top of the bread and close the sandwich with the other piece of bread. Slice in half and enjoy.

Since Valentine’s Day has turned into the International Choco-Fest, we decided to boycott the candy and host a healthy V-party.   Feel free to  modify the ideas and the dishes, to make this party truly your own.  Also, it doesn’t have to happen on Valentine’s day! The best part about this party is  that kids as young as 18 months can participate in preparations, learn basic cooking skills, be creative and have fun.

Food:

Fruit Salad

for 5 servings:

2 large bananas

1 cup quartered strawberries

juice of one orange

1/2 cup apple-juice sweetened dried cranberries

3 quartered red apples

Mix all of the ingredients, except for the juice together. Pour the juice on top and gently toss. Place the salad in white paper cups and tell the kids to draw the person they love on the cup. My kid drew a  tractor.

Smoothie

Blend together:

2 cups of rasberries

1 cup of strawberries

2 bananas

1 cup of ice

3/4 cup of milk or soy milk

Drink immediately through colorful straws.

Fruit Kebobs

On a cutting board, place an array of colorful fruit, chopped into small pieces. Berries, mangoes, kiwis are all great choices, provided no one is allergic. Give each kid some toothpicks. Each kid should put three pieces of fruit on each toothpick. Then you can do a tasting competition and may the top chef win!

I suggest covering the floor with a plastic shower curtain for this one!

Non-food:

Hearts made of play dough.

This one is pretty self-explanatory.

Hearts made of different-colored paper.

Make sure you have kid-friendly scissors and glue: you can stick a few hearts together for a garland or a multi-layered  “look.”

Individual potpourri bags of rose petals

These make great handmade gifts for Moms.

You need a large bag of dried rose petals and a small bottle of rose essential oil. You also need a piece or two of old clothing you no longer need: stained T-shirts work wonders. Get a pair of sharp scissors, a needle and a thread  and you are ready to go!

Cut the Tshirt into squares (the size is completely up to you and the amount of dry petals you have.) Fold each square in half and sew up three out of the four sides. Turn inside out.  Fill the bag up to about 3/4 with the rose petals, sprinkle two drops of rose oil and sew it shut. If your kids are older they can do this project under your supervision. Or, you can show the younger ones how to sew things.

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