Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Cranberry Orange Bread

This has to be my new favorite Fall bread!  I am not a huge cranberry fan, but the tartness of the cranberry and the hint of orange from the orange zest makes this combination fantastic!  You  must try it today!!  Just trust me on this one :)

Cranberry Orange Bread
4 eggs
1 c. sugar
2 bananas, mashed
1 orange, zest (you can squeeze some of the juice in as well if you would like.  I used 1/2)
2/3 c. coconut oil, melted (or butter, but I always use coconut oil)
2 c. whole wheat flour (or 1 1/2 c. wheat flour + 1/2 c. almond meal flour)
1 t. baking soda
1 t. baking powder
1 bag fresh cranberries, rinsed
1 c. walnuts, chopped (optional)

In mixer, beat eggs & sugar until fluffy (6-7 minutes).  Then add the mashed banana & orange zest.  Mix in.  In a separate bowl, combine all the dry ingredients (flour, soda & powder).  Then gradually add the dry ingredients to the mix, alternating with the coconut oil until they are all well combined.  Mix for another minute or two.  Then fold in the cranberries & walnuts.  Pour into pans sprayed with oil or lined with parchment paper.

I baked mine in mini loaf pans (4), but you can bake them in a 9 X 13 as well.  Bake at 350 degrees for 35 minutes (if using 4 mini loaf pans) or for 40-45 minutes if using a 9 X 13 pan.  Bake until golden brown on top & the middle is cooked through.

When finished, pull them from the oven & let rest for a couple minutes.  Then remove the mini loaves from the pan & place them on a cooling rack.  Cut & serve warm (preferably).  Bon Appetit!

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Homemade Bean Burgers

These veggie burgers are better than the ones you buy in the store and have a LOT less sodium as well.  If you read your labels you will find that most veggie burgers and black bean burgers are loaded with sodium.  Hint:  When reading labels try to keep your sodium levels equal to or less than the calories.  
I learned to make these this summer from Jeff Novick, a chef for Whole Foods.  He is amazing and has some wonderful stuff online, so check him out!
My 11 year old twins even enjoy these burgers.  Try them at your next party and I think you'll be surprised how many people will enjoy them!!

Bean Burgers
(makes 8-10 burgers)

1 can Kidney beans, rinsed
1 can Black beans, rinsed
1 c. brown rice, cooked
1 c. rolled oats, dry
¼ c. ketchup, BBQ sauce or other sauce you enjoy
4 t. Mrs. Dash or other desired spice (Mrs. Dash makes wonderful salt-free blends.  Check them out next time you're at the store and get a couple)

Mash beans in a bowl with potato masher.  Mash until beans are mixed together and sticky, but you can still see parts of the whole bean.  Do not mix in a food processor.  Add rice, oats, sauce, & spices.  Stir until all the ingredients are mixed together well.

Roll appx. 1/3 c. of mixture into a patty & put on a pan lined with waxed paper.  This mixture should make about 8-10 burgers.  Put in refrigerator for about 10 minutes to dry out a little.  Cook on a hot pan or grill for 2-3 minutes on each side until well browned.  You don’t have to worry about under cooking because there aren’t any raw ingredients, but just cook until heated through.  Add cheese, if desired, and let melt on top.

Serve on a wheat bun with desired toppings (spinach, onion, tomato, pickle & sauces)

This is what your bean mixture should look like when you're done smashing the beans. 

 This is how toasty they look when they're about done.  Like I said before, the ingredients aren't raw, so don't worry about undercooking them.  Just worry about burning them :)

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Big Bowl Breakfast

This recipe is adapted from "The Engine 2 Diet" book called "Rip's Big Bowl."  It is SUCH a filling breakfast.  When you eat a bowl of this loaded with fresh berries, bananas, or any fruit on top, you will be full for HOURS!  Promise.  It's my new favorite breakfast.

One morning my sister and I had a bowl together and I had already had a smoothie, so I wasn't very hungry.  I didn't finish mine because I was so full, and as we sat and talked, I watched my bowl expand and grow to twice it's size as the grains all soaked up the almond milk.  It was eye opening to me because it made me realize that it's doing that in my stomach as well, and that's probably why I don't get hungry in the mornings at all when I eat it!  It's full of whole grains & goodness!

Big Bowl Breakfast
2 c. rolled oats, raw
2 c. Grape Nuts or Ezekiel brand equivalent
2 c. Kashi cinnamon or island vanilla shredded wheat squares
2 c. Oatmeal Squares or Uncle Sam Cereal
1/4 - 1/2 c. ground flaxseed meal
1/2 c. raisins or golden raisins (you can omit the raisins if you are using fresh fruit)
1/2 c. nuts, raw (walnuts or almonds are my preference)

I assemble all these ingredients in a large Ziploc bag or a cereal container if you have one, shake them up all together and you're ready to go!  Just pour desired amount in a bowl and add your favorite milk substitute (almond, rice, & coconut are my recommendations) & fresh fruit (I prefer any berry, especially blueberries & bananas).  Coconut is higher in fat so if you're watching your fat calories, then go with rice or almond.  If you are just starting to use milk substitutes I would recommend getting the vanilla versions or the sweetened versions, but if you're trying to cut calories & sugar, get the unsweetened versions.  My kids favorite is coconut, vanilla flavored, because it's very sweet and I don't mind the extra fat because they could use it! I have very skinny boys.

Tip:  My husband loves to take this with him while traveling.  He buys a bowl of fruit at the airport or the grocery store and throws it in with this dry mix and eats it just like that.  No milk or anything.  You can even use water if you'd like.   One of my boys loves this mix and I think it's a great breakfast if you can get your kids to eat it because it will help them focus at school with a full belly!

Thursday, June 7, 2012

White Chicken Chili

It's been beautiful summer weather here, but we have had a major cold front sweep through here the last couple of days, and it definitely makes me in the mood for this white chicken chili.  I took a classic recipe and made it with MUCH less fat than normal.  I replaced all the sour cream with a 0% fat Greek plain yogurt.  You will not believe it because you can't even taste the difference.  Greek yogurt is a great replacement for sour cream and there is not a lot of flavor difference, even on your baked potatoes :)  Give it a try!

White Chicken Chili
1-2 T. extra-virgin olive oil
1 onion, diced
2-3 garlic cloves, peeled & minced
4 c. chicken broth
6 c. Great Northern beans or any white bean (add liquid from can too)
4-6 chicken breasts, cooked & shredded or chopped small
2 t. cumin
1/4 t. cayenne pepper
3 cups 0% fat Greek plain yogurt
1 7 oz. can diced green chili's (you can add more if you like them a lot)
1 1/2 t. oregano
1/2 t. pepper
2 t. salt

Heat up a stock pot over medium high heat, add olive oil & onion.  Sauté for about 3-4 minutes or until onions are becoming clear.  Reduce heat to medium and add minced garlic. Sauté for another minute.  Then add all the rest of the ingredients.  Stir well until all the ingredients are mixed in.  Cook on low for 30 minutes or so to let the flavors meld together.  If you're in a hurry, just eat it when the soup is warm.
This is a soup you can do in the crockpot if you would like.  Just throw in all the ingredients in the order listed and let it cook on low for at least 4 hours.  (Add the greek yogurt for the last 1/2 hour)
I like to add a little bit of crushed tortilla chips on top for some crunch, but that's definitely optional and it's healthier without it.  I just love a good crunch!
Bon Appetit

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Peanut Ginger Chicken with Mango Salsa & Brown Coconut Rice

This is one of my most favorite dinners!  It is honestly a winner that everyone enjoys and it's very low-fat & healthy!  It's perfect for a summer BBQ.  It also makes great leftovers.  The salsa stays fresh with the vinegar on it, so it's still good the next day.  WARNING:  The coconut brown rice is addicting!!  I'm just warning you :)

Peanut Ginger Chicken Marinade:
1/2 c. hot water
1/2 c. all natural peanut butter
1/4 c. chili garlic sauce (found in the Asian section of your grocery store)
3 T. Bragg's Liquid Aminos (or low sodium soy sauce)
2 T. olive oil
2 T. vinegar
1 T. fresh grated ginger or 1/4 t. ground ginger (fresh is always best)
6 boneless skinless chicken breasts or 18 chicken tenderloins

In a small bowl, stir hot water into peanut butter.  Stir in the next 5 ingredients until well mixed.  Place chicken in a bowl or bag & pour marinade over the chicken.  Hint:  I like to use chicken tenderloins or slice my chicken breasts into thin slices so they can absorb more marinade and they don't take as long to cook.  I never have to worry about dry overdone ends and pink in the middle of the breast.  It's easier to serve that way too.  Marinate at least a couple of hours, but up to 24 hours.  Mix or turn bag occasionally.

Grill chicken on a medium heat grill for about 5 minutes on each side.  They may not take that long, just test them for doneness.  Serve with mango salsa & coconut rice.

Mango Salsa:
2-3 mango's, diced
1 cucumber, diced
2 T. thinly sliced green onion
1/4 c. fresh cilantro, chopped
1 tsp. sugar or agave
1 tsp. vinegar ( I like Bragg's apple cider vinegar)

Combine all ingredients in a bowl, cover & chill.  This can be made ahead, so I like to do it a couple hours before.

Coconut Brown Rice:
2 c. sweet brown rice (or any type of brown rice)
2 c. lite coconut milk (1 can)
2 c. water
1/2 t. sea salt
1/4 c. sugar
1/4 c. dry shredded coconut (unsweetened)
1 T. coconut oil

Rub coconut oil on pan.  Add all the ingredients & bring to a boil over a high heat.  When it boils, cover & turn down heat to low (about #2 on your stove dial).  Allow for 1 hour to cook or until rice has absorbed all the liquid.  If it seems like the liquid is not absorbing, take the lid off and let it cook some more.  Allow it to sit for 5 minutes or so and then fluff with a fork.
This can also be made a little ahead of time because it can sit in the pan with the lid on and stay warm for about an hour without any heat or on very, very low heat.
 This is how thinly I cut the chicken.  I love the extra marinade and how fast they cook!
 If you have never cut a mango before, this is how I do it.  You hold your mango upright because the seed is long, flat & skinny.  You cut off both sides of the mango around the seed.  Once you cut off both sides you will be left with the small skinny middle (see in picture next to the whole mango).  Then score each side down to the skin, being careful not to cut through the skin.  Once they are scored, flip it inside out and it looks like a mango city :)  That's what my kids call them.  They love to say, "Mom, can we have Mango Cities!"  The problem is they would eat five each if I would let them.  If only I could grow mangos!  Anyways, then just cut them off and dice them a little smaller if needed.  Enjoy!!

Bon Appetit!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

PB Cacao Smoothie

This is a wonderful way to curve your sweet craving for the day!  It's the perfect blend of cacao and peanut butter (or almond butter).  It is like drinking a deluxe chocolate milk but getting the wonderful health benefits of cacao.  If your kids like chocolate milk, they will love this.  It's also a great way to get in some protein after a workout or for a quick breakfast.  It's very filling and satisfying.  Try it out and see what you think.  Feel free to play around with it.  There are many versions of this type of smoothie, so do what works for you!

If you're not sure what cacao is, it's the unprocessed beans that are used to make chocolate.  The word "cocoa" is actually a misspelling of the word cacao.  It is rich in antioxidants as well as good fats (minimal), and minerals such as calcium, zinc, iron, and potassium.  It can suppress overactive appetites :) Yeah! That's always a plus!  Start using it in your smoothies & baking.  Because the chocolate we buy today is sweetened with sugar and cream, you will be surprised that it does have a bitter flavor, so make sure you sweeten it with something.  In this smoothie, it's the bananas!

PB Cacao Smoothie
serves 1-2
1 c. Organic rice or almond milk
1 T. raw cacao powder (purchase at the health food store)
1 T. all natural peanut butter or almond butter
1 frozen banana

Pour your milk into the blender, add the rest of the ingredients, and mix well.  Make sure you use a frozen banana to help thicken it up a little and keep it cold.  You also want to make sure that your milk is cold to begin with.  It makes a difference.  If you want it sweeter, you can sweeten with some honey, agave, or more banana.  If you like it with more chocolate, add a little more cacao.  Just play with it and find your perfect blend.  I promise it will take your chocolate craving away for the day :)  Bon Appetit!

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Cinnamon Coconut Granola

This is the perfect crunchy snack for the afternoon or the perfect topping on your breakfast yogurt & berries.  You cannot go wrong with this recipe.  I love it so much!  If you're like me, I don't like to eat yogurt very much unless it has granola on it.  There's something about the texture of yogurt that gets me, so I always have to have something crunchy with it.  My good friend Amber, from my gourmet club in California, sent me this wonderful recipe and I just modified it a little to be a little healthier.  It's absolutely divine!  Thanks Amber!

Cinnamon Coconut Granola

1/2 c. Coconut oil
1/2 c. Maple syrup
1/4 c. Honey
1/3 c. Flour
1/2 tsp. Vanilla
1/2 tsp. Almond extract
1 tsp. Cinnamon
2 c. Rice Krispie cereal
2 c. Rolled oats
1 cup Shredded unsweetened coconut
1 cup Craisins
1/2 cup Sliced or slivered almonds
1/2 c. flax seeds or flax meal
1/2 c. wheat germ (optional)

Heat oven to 325 degrees.
Put first four ingredients in pot and bring to a boil over medium heat.  When all the ingredients are melted together, remove from heat and add the vanilla, almond, & cinnamon.  In a large mixing bowl, mix the dry ingredients together.  Pour hot mixture over dry mix in bowl and stir until well mixed.
Transfer the mixture onto a baking pan with parchment paper on it. Bake for 15-20 minutes until golden brown. You may have to use a spatula to mix it around if it’s getting too brown on top.  Allow the granola to cool for 1 hour in the pan.  Break into desired pieces if clumped together, then place in an air tight container.  Keep in fridge for longer freshness.

This is my favorite yogurt in the whole wide world!!  It's a honey flavored greek yogurt. (see the little honey symbol on the bottom left corner?  Make sure it has that symbol) You have to try it.  You'll never want another flavor again :)  Well, at least I never want any other flavors!  It's not the healthiest in the world and it does have high fat content, but I only eat about 1/2 c. at a time. A healthier option would be to buy the plain yogurt and drizzle a little honey over the top if needed.  I usually top with fresh fruit as well.  Delicious :)

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Spinach Veggie Wrap

There is nothing more delicious on a warm spring or summer day than a wrap full of fresh veggies!!

 These pictures are from our Yoga Retreat with Lone Tree Yoga down in St. George, UT.  They were the perfect lunch after our beautiful hike through Zions National Park.

Spinach Veggie Wrap
(the possibilities are endless, but here's what I like in it :)

Large spinach tortillas
Hummus, any flavor
Bell Peppers
Red Onion
Cheese, optional
S & P, optional

Either make your own hummus or buy a flavor of your choice.  Spread a thick layer of hummus on your tortilla and fill it full of all of that vegetable goodness!  Don’t skimp on the hummus because it is your meat replacer (protein).  Believe me, you don’t  need meat.  You will be full after you eat one of these babies!!

Thanks beautiful Fayth for posing for the picture :)  Such a fun day!

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Homemade Alfalfa Sprouts & Bean Sprouts

If you are like me, I LOVE sprouts!!  I love them on salads & sandwiches especially.  They make it taste so fresh & delicious.  There are risks when buying them in the store because of salmonella and e. coli so just take the risk out and grow them yourselves.  There are many good sprout growers, but it's super easy & cheap to do it yourself.  Here is a basic sprout lesson.

Sprouting Benefits:
    Enzymes are activated.
    Proteins convert to free amino acids.
    Starches change to simple sugars.
    Minerals combine to increase assimilation.
    Vitamin content increases from 3 to 12 or more times.
    Chlorophyll and carotene content increase dramatically when exposed to sunlight.
    Home-grown sprouts are remarkably inexpensive.

How do I sprout?
·      Soak raw seeds, grains, or beans for 12 hours (overnight, more or less)

·      Dump water and rinse with cold water a couple times until the water is clear
·      Leave jar upside down or tilted on it’s side to drain
·      Rinse 2-3 times daily
·      Sprouts are ready in 3 or 4 days when you see tails or your sprouts are long

·      When ready, keep sprouts refrigerated & rinse every other day or so, storing upside-down.
They should stay good for a week or two if properly rinsed.

Pure filtered water is best-it produces the most alive food possible
Dry seeds, beans & peas can be stored for years
You can buy sprouting lids at a grain store or make your own with cross-stitch plastic

·      For more information on sprouting, visit

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Sweet Green Smoothie

This might be the most refreshing drink you have ever had in the morning :)  I love the way it makes me feel when I have one.  It is so refreshing and delicious.  You have to try it at least once!  Your kids might not go for it, but when you taste how sweet it is with Kearn's Nectar, anybody can drink it.  We sell this one down at our restaurant, Sandy's Fine Food.  The recipe is a little different though.  I can't give away all my secrets :)

Sweet Green Smoothie
1 can Kearn's Nectar (any flavor, or any juice)
2 c. water
2 large carrots, peeled
1/2 cucumber
2 bananas
1/4 lemon (with peel if you have a high powered blender)
2-3 large handfuls of organic spinach

Put ingredients in your blender in the order listed, except the ice.  Blend until smooth.  Then add 1 c. or more of ice to get it real cold.  Enjoy :) 
You can always add a little agave if you need it.  I don't use it but it would help if you're just getting use to green smoothies.

This does make a large batch so if your family won't drink it with you, just half the recipe and it should be perfect!!  If your family does decide to join you, hopefully it will look like these happy boys!!

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Sprouted Wheat Berry Salad

This is a yummy unexpected side dish for a party or a lunch.  Just soak your wheat overnight.  Drain in the morning & let sit on your counter in a jar with a sprouting lid.  Rinse it twice daily & let it sit tilted on it's side or upside down so the water can drain out.  After a day or two, your wheat is ready for the salad.  It is now a live food that is super duper nutritious :)  Sprouting has so many health benefits. (see below)

2 c. sprouted wheat
2-3 apples, cored & diced
                                                                         3/4 c. Craisins
1 c. celery, diced
½ c. sliced or chopped raw almonds
Sweet Apple Cider Vinaigrette (recipe below-You only need about ½ the recipe)

Sweet Apple Cider Dressing:
                                                                        1 large shallot   
1/3 c. apple cider vinegar    
2 T. fresh lemon juice 
3/4 t. pepper
1/2 c. agave
1/2 t. salt
3/4 c. canola oil (preferably expeller pressed Canola Oil) 
Put all the ingredients for the salad dressing in a blender and blend for at least 30 seconds.  This dressing will stay good in your refrigerator for at least a couple weeks.  

Sprouting Advantages
    Enzymes are activated.
    Proteins convert to free amino acids.
    Starches change to simple sugars.
    Minerals combine to increase assimilation. (Easier to digest)
    Vitamin content increases from 3 to 12 or more times.