Granola Treats

  These are supposed to be a little more round, and I was supposed to let them harden a bit in the fridge, but I went ahead and snapped a pic because the last 5x I made these, I couldn’t help myself, and ate a few before I got to my camera. 🙂  I’ll eventually redo this post but I just had to share these with you now before one or two went missing! 

  
You’ll need: 

  • 1/3 cup almond butter or peanut butter (or a mixture of both as pictured here)
  • 1/2 cup of granola cereal
  •  2T raisins or finely chopped dark chocolate
  • 1- 2T honey 
  • Sprinkles
  • 1t vanilla extract (optional)

Mix it all up, except for the sprinkles. Roll into balls. Then top with sprinkles. Let sit in fridge for 30 minutes to harden. Presto! Healthy treats just like that! 
Note: you can refrigerate the mix before rolling into balls to keep your hands from getting so messy, but then it’s harder to get the sprinkles to stick. 

This recipe was adapted from a #fitgirls recipe for chocolate chip cookie doughettes. 

Cosmic Cauliflower Bites

This healthy snack is out of this world!

  
What you’ll need:

1/2 head of cauliflower, florets only

2 eggs

1/2 cup mozzarella

1/2 cup onions, diced

1 TBS dried parsley

3 TBS almond meal

2 TBS corn meal

2 TBS chia seeds

 salt and pepper, to taste

Optional: Poppy seeds and dried herbs of choice, to taste

  

 How ya do it:

1. Preheat oven to 375°

2. Chop cauliflower and onion in a food processor or blender if you don’t have one (like me)

3. Empty the mixture into a bowl and stir in the eggs

4. Add the rest of the ingredients to the cauliflower and egg, and mix well

5. Roll into balls (approx 1 1/2 inches) and place on greased cookie sheet. Press with a spoon to flatten into rounds.

6. Bake for about 20 minutes, turning halfway through cooking time.

  
Notes:

I used a sprinkle of poppy seeds and a pinch or two of fennel seeds and dried sage. 

This recipe was adapted from this: http://potluck.ohmyveggies.com/cauliflower-medallions-chia-seeds/#1MkIv86Rvw4OCA7t.99 

I didn’t boil my cauliflower so the texture came out hearty, tasting a bit like a crab cake!

Happy eating!

Braised Daikon Radish

Daikon as radish is a cruciferous vegetable with numerous health benefits including cancer prevention, weight loss and relieving menstrual cramps.  It is commonly served raw, particularly in Japanese cuisine.  Today I wanted to share a tasty way to prepare this, in a method I adapted from Alicia Silverstone in her book, The Kind Diet. This method takes out the pungent, spicy flavor and leaves a sweeter taste, with a consistency similar to that of baked apples.

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You will need the following and should be able to find them all at your local health food store or international market:

1 daikon radish (I used a half to fit it in one pan)
1/4 cup Mirin Rice Cooking Wine
2 Tbsp Shoyu
Water (filtered)

Peel the daikon as you would a carrot and slice into 3/4 inch slices. Place in the pan with just enough water to almost cover them:

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Add the Mirin and Shoyu. I added a bay leaf to help with digestion, but this step is not necessary.

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Simmer over med-low, covered, for 45 minutes. Then remove the cover and simmer for another 30-45 minutes until all the liquid is absorbed:

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These can be served as a side dish, or you can eat them all by themselves as a mono meal. Aren’t they pretty???

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These are supposed to be eaten shortly after cooking, but sometimes I store them in the fridge and serve one or two with  meals that contain a higher fat content.  I find it helps my body break down the food better and keep me feeling light in my tummy. If you do this, it is best to use them within 3 days.

Happy eating!

Mercedi

Lemon-cashew rice 

  

  • 1 cup cooked basmati rice
  • 1/2 cup frozen peas
  • 1/2 cup cashews (soaked for at least 2 hours for easy digestion)
  • Handful of raisins (soaking optional)
  • 1 1/2 tbsp butter or ghee (or coconut oil for vegans)
  • 1/4 tsp black mustard seeds
  • 1/4 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric 
  • Juice of one small lemon 
  • Agave nectar to taste

This is an Ayurvedic recipe which also happens to be gluten-free! Yay!  In a true Ayurvedic recipe, one would simmer the spices for a long time in ghee but I prefer speedy cooking. For this same reason, I keep cooked rice in the fridge so I can pull some out and make a quick one-pot meal on the fly. 

I toasted the mustard and cumin seeds in a pan over medium heat until they began to pop. (Remember to stir often to prevent burning.) In another pot I added all of the other ingredients except the lemon and agave and mixed them  together. Yes, my peas were still frozen! I had to add a little splash of water since my rice was refrigerated, but if you are making yours fresh, the water is not necessary. Add the seeds to the rice mixture when they are done and stir until heated through. Finally, drizzle with the lemon juice and agave to your liking. (I used the juice of a whole lemon and it was too sour, so I recommend starting with half and taste-testing to perfection!)

This recipe uses sweet and sour tastes, as well as cumin, which are all very beneficial for those with the vata dosha. Soaking nuts and dried fruit makes it possible for those with weak digestion to eat these items without bloating or digestive upset. 

Happy eating!

Mercedi


Raise your vibration with rose petal juice

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Did you know that, at a rate of 320Hz, roses vibrate at the highest frequency of all known plants? I believe this is why they are so nice to be around. They are commonly revered as the “alpha flower” much the same way that lions are regarded as the king of the jungle. When someone gives you roses, you know they are trying to convey a message of deep significance. I am one lucky gal because my boyfriend gives me roses all the time. I’ve seen rose petals in gourmet salads, but until this morning, had never eaten any myself.

Here is a good explanation of how Prana, or life force energy, is expressed as an electromagnetic vibrational frequency. The frequency of a healthy body ranges anywhere from 62 to 68Hz with a frequency lower than 50Hz increasing your risk for cancer. So, it makes sense that we would want to do all that we can to keep our vibration rate high. I do this primarily by meditation, keeping my my thoughts positive, and of course by consuming  Prana-rich foods.

After Valentine’s Day, many ladies or couples will probably have leftover roses and rose petals.  Why not consider including them in your green juice or smoothie? Remember to bless them and thank them for their life-giving energy!

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Smiles and good vibes,

Mercedi

Healing green soup

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Whenever our bodies feel run down, it’s a good idea to eat foods that are not only nutrient-dense, but also very easy on the digestion since our bodies need to use all available resources to get back to an optimal state. Here is a beautiful Happy Belly Green Soup that you can make to keep you warm, help your body fight germs and heal your digestion at the same time.

I made this with cauliflower instead of zucchini, and I used equal parts coriander and cumin in place of the curry since these are more suited to my Vata dosha.

The author of the article above, Nadya Andreeva, wrote a book called Happy Belly that has been tremendously helpful for me in healing my digestion. I feel I would be remiss in my spreading the love of health if I did not take a moment to encourage anyone with bloating or other issues to check it out!

Wishing you optimal wellness,

Mercedi

Easy homemade hummus

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I have to confess, I rarely measure things. I have learned the most about cooking by “eyeballing” the measurements and have learned that it’s not hard when making fresh or raw items. Baking is another story…and there I am still learning. I have the most fun when I dump a bunch of ingredients into the blender or a pot and part of finding that it comes out tasting like it’s own brand of delicious is half the fun. 🙂

Here is what I used:
1 can organic chick peas
Approx. 1/4 cup sesame Tahini
Juice of 1/2 medium- size lemon
2 cloves minced garlic

Approx. 1/8 cup organic olive oil
Water as needed
Salt and pepper to taste

Toss the first four ingredients into the blender, then add enough olive oil and water until you get a perfect consistency in which to dip your favorite raw veggies.

This is where the fun of creating healthy foods comes in. I have learned that I already know that for one can of chick peas, a half a cup of oil might be too much to add to make hummus. So, I start sparingly and then keep adding and taste-testing (such a chore, but somebody’s gotta do it!) until it’s just right. I always said I didn’t know how to cook, and that I hated it. But the more I practice, I have been delighted to find that friends and family have been asking me to help them make healthy food! It really can be fun to me now and sometimes I think that not measuring anything really is how you get the most out of this food-alchemy!

Super easy vegetable soup

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I never used to like soup until it dawned on me how freaking quick and easy it is to make and how much of a nutritional powerhouse it is with very little calories or fat. I still don’t eat it much in the summer, but nothing beats a hot bowl of soup to beat the chill of winter. Plus, our bodies naturally slow down a bit in the colder months leaving less energy for digestion. Large, greasy or protein-heavy meals can make us even more tired or sluggish on gray days. A nourishing vegetarian soup is ideal to give our body a break and help keep us feeling light and vibrant.

Recipe:

28 oz can diced tomatoes
15 oz can tomato sauce
2 cups of water
1/2 bunch rainbow chard, chopped
1/2 pkg (6oz) frozen mixed veggies (I used a blend of carrots, peas, corn and green beans)

Optional:
This tastes great alone, but sometimes I add a clove or two of garlic and a pinch of basil, and/or oregano.

Cover and simmer until hot.

Lunch or dinner for the whole week? Done and done! *brushes hands together* 😎

Today’s winter juice recipe

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The weather is turning colder and my body is calling for the deeper colors of nutrient-dense purples and greens instead of the bright oranges and yellows of summer fruits.

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I juiced the kale leaves and pear then poured that into my blender with the grapes, kiwi and coconut water.

Winter juice:
1 bunch kale
Handful of red grapes
1 red pear
1 kiwi
8oz or so of coconut water

VoilĂ !

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