Tuesday, July 29, 2014

What To Do With All Those Cherry Tomatoes?
Make Yellow Pear Cherry Tomato Salad
With Cucumbers, Avocado And Jalapeño

A delicious and simple way to use those cherry tomatoes
and other garden veggies. Only 53 calories per serving!

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My Garden Overfloweth
While my garden zucchini has taken much of my attention, these cute and very prolific yellow pear cherry tomatoes are gathering steam. My cucumbers and jalapeños are also holding there own so what better way to use them all up than in this simple raw salad! 

Raw yellow tomatoes are low in calories and are an excellent source of Vitamin C, niacin, folate, potassium, copper and manganese.

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Yellow Pear Cherry Tomato Salad
Raw Vegan, Gluten Free
[makes 6 servings]

2 cups halved yellow pear cherry tomatoes
2 cups peeled and diced cucumbers
1 avocado, peeled, seeded, and diced
2 tablespoons minced red onion
1 small jalapeño, thinly sliced (seeds optional)
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lime juice, or more
1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste
1/4 teaspoon black pepper, or to taste

Place the tomatoes, cucumbers, avocado, red onion, and jalapeño in a bowl. Sprinkle with lime juice, salt, and pepper and toss gently until well coated.

Per serving: 53 calories, 4 g total fat, 0.5 g saturated fat, 29 mg omega-3 and 441 mg omega-6 fatty acids, 0 mg cholesterol, 1 g protein, 5 g carbohydrates, 2 g dietary fiber, and 207 mg sodium.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Marrow Beans With Lemon And Rosemary
Fast Cooking And Creamy!

Marrow beans are so creamy and they cook very quickly.

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available on Amazon and iTunes.

Marrow Beans
My friend Margarite loves beans. Actually, I'd have to say she is obsessed with them. Just last week she bought 80 pounds of various beans from Purcell Mountain Farms (a great internet shop that offers exotic beans). 

She's always introducing me to new foods. Last week she came over and presented me with a little bag of dried marrow beans that she picked up at Tierra Vegetables farm stand in Santa Rosa. I had never heard of them before but was excited to try a new bean!

These plump white beans look a lot like cannellinis but they are softer, creamier and cook faster. In fact, they cook so quickly you have to really watch them so that they don't get too soft. That's good news for those of us who don't have hours and hours to cook dried beans. 

Some say marrow beans have a bacon-like flavor but I didn't detect that. Perhaps that's because I haven't eaten a piece of bacon over 30 years! 

Why Dried Beans are Superior
Having a quick cooking dried bean is a wonderful thing. Although it's very convenient to pick up a can of beans, it's hard to find one that isn't lined with bisphenol-A (BPA). BPA is an industrial chemical that can be an endocrine disruptor, interfere with the bodies hormones, and is linked to an increased risk of infertility, obesity, breast and reproductive system cancer, and more. Cooking your own beans from scratch avoids this issue. It's also a lot cheaper! 

Buy marrow beans online at Purcell Mountain Farms or on Amazon.

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Marrow Beans with Lemon and Rosemary
Vegan, Gluten Free
[Eight servings]

2 cups dried marrow beans
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 cup diced onion
1 packed tablespoon minced fresh rosemary
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 carrot, peeled and chopped
1 bay leaf
1 teaspoons salt, or to taste
1/4 teaspoon black pepper, or to taste
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice

Pick over beans and rinse thoroughly in cold water.

Two methods to soak beans: 
Place the beans in a bowl of fresh water and soak, covered, for 3 to 8 hours or overnight. Drain and rinse well. 
Or, place the beans in a pot of water and bring to a boil. Turn off the heat, cover, and soak for 1 1/2 hours, drain and rinse well.

Heat the oil in a medium pan (I use my 5-quart Dutch oven) and cook the onion, rosemary, garlic, and carrot for 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. 

Add the soaked and rinsed beans, bay leaf, and 4 cups of water.  Bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer, partially covered, until the beans are cooked to the desired texture, 30 to 45 minutes. Add more water if needed. 

After about 35 minutes of cooking

Remove the bay leaf and add salt, pepper, and lemon juice to taste.

Serve over rice, quinoa, or pasta or by serve by itself as a stew.

Per serving: 165 calories, 2 g total fat, 0.3 g saturated fat, 82 mg omega-3 and 263 mg omega-6 fatty acids, 0 mg cholesterol, 9 g protein, 28 g carbohydrates, 6 g dietary fiber, and 303 mg sodium.

Friday, July 18, 2014

How My Morning Smoothie Became A Chemistry Experiment

Just have fun when making a smoothie!

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My eBook, Health Begins in the Kitchen,
is available on Amazon and iTunes.

Summer Smoothies
Now that it's warm, I generally start every morning with a raw smoothie. I rarely use a recipe and quite often they become a chemistry experiment. Yesterday's chemistry experiment was awful and today's was wonderful. But it's always fun to see what happens. I encourage you to do the same.

This morning I started out with kale. Besides it being a superfood, its volume in my garden is only surpassed by zucchini. So we eat some kale at just about every meal.

Next I added a heaping tablespoon of chia seeds that I soaked in Tempt's new Coconut Hempmilk. (A yummy new product .) This made it thick and full of omega-3.

A few stalks of celery made it in there so that I didn't feel too guilty about using so much fruit.

I sliced up a big pear because they have tons of fiber (6 grams per medium pear.)

And then there was that peach that needed to be eaten. A bit too ripe to bite into but still yummy enough for a smoothie.

Of course what would a smoothie be without frozen blueberries. Their colorful anthocyanins make the smoothie a more pleasant color. I'd much rather sip a thick purple drink than one that looks like it was scooped out of a pond. 

I added a few figs that I froze from my neighbors crop from last year because this year's crop is already coming in and I need to finish them up. Oh yes, I had to use that ripe banana. 

I finally stopped adding things because I ran out of room in the blender and there was only two of us here to drink it. I put in a few cups of cold water and blended until smooth and creamy. 

I finally ran out of room!

So you can see where I'm going with this. Smoothies are fun to experiment with. As long as you start with fresh or frozen organic fruit and veggies, you can't really go wrong. And if you do, try something else tomorrow!

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

How Dry Skin Brushing Can Reduce Cellulite, Tighten Your Skin, And Help You Detox!

Dry skin brushing has many benefits!

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My eBook, Health Begins in the Kitchen,
is available
 on Amazon and iTunes.

Add This to your Daily Routine
You brush your teeth and your hair every day but do you brush your skin? That sounded a bit crazy to me too at first but it turns out that doing this has amazing benefits!

Did you know that your skin is the largest organ in your body? And it's pretty complex too, made up of glands, nerves, and other important cells. So it's worth a few minutes a day brushing away dead cells and stimulating your skin so that it can do a better job. 

Besides being invigorating, dry brushing your skin has many important benefits. Here are a few:

* Stimulates your lymphatic system which allows you to get rid of cellular waste products. Promoting lymphatic drainage is, perhaps, the most important benefit of all. When waste and toxins build up, inflammation and disease occur so dry skin brushing is an effective way to help your body detox

* Improves kidney function.  When the lymphatic system is contributing more to detoxification, it takes some of the burden from the kidneys. 

* Reduces cellulite by softening and redistributing the subcutaneous fat deposits under the skin where toxins get trapped and lead to the formation of cellulite. 

* Promotes tighter and smoother skin by increasing blood flow and cell renewal.

* Unclogs your pores by clearing away dead skin and accumulated toxins, allowing your skin to breathe. 

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How to Get Started!

Buy a good brush. Find a brush with bristles made from natural fibers. Make sure that it has a long handle so that you can reach your back. 

Bernard Jensen Products makes a good brush. 
I have an Yerba Prima Tampico Skin Brush which has served me well. 

This brush is made from tampico fiber,
the unbleached stem of the agave plant.

How to Brush
* Brush every day. You can do it twice a day but, hey, who we kidding? We're lucky if we can squeeze this in once!

* Always brush your skin when it is absolutely dry. Make sure the brush is absolutely dry.

 * It's best to do this before you shower so that you can bathe away all the dead skin and impurities resulting from brushing.

* Always brush towards your heart with long, sweeping strokes. I generally start with my legs, then my arms - always towards my chest. Then up from my lower back (stop at the heart) and down from my neck (again, stopping at the heart.)

* Don't brush too hard. These brushes are pretty stiff so it takes some getting used to. You want to stimulate your skin, not leave bruises. 

Brushing your skin is one more thing you can do to improve your health. This along with a plant-rich diet, plenty of exercise, and happy thoughts will go a long way to a long and healthy life!

Wednesday, July 09, 2014

Warm And Delicious Venezuelan-Style Arepas
Easy-To-Make Gluten-Free Vegan Corn Cakes

Low-fat, gluten-free arepas are delicious at any meal!

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is available on Amazon and iTunes.

My friends introduced me to arepas - petite guten-free corn cakes made from pre-cooked corn flour. They are a staple in Venezuela and Colombia. I prefer the smaller, thicker, Venezuelan-style arepas that are about 2 1/2 inches in diameter and about 1/2 inch thick. In Colombia they make them larger and thinner. They are made from a precooked corn flour called masarepa or masa al instante. I like using the white maize meal, harina de maiz blanco. If you can't find it at a local Latino grocery store, you can find it on Amazon.

Precooked white maize meal.

You won't believe how easy these are to make!

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Venezuelan-Style Arepas
Vegan, Gluten Free
[makes 8 arepas]

1 cup arepa flour (pre-cooked cornmeal)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup + 2 tablespoons warm water
1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil plus some for pan

Mix the flour and salt in a bowl.

Mix the oil and water. Pour into the flour and mix until well combined.

Cover the dough with plastic wrap and let it rest for 15 minutes.

Divide the dough into 8 pieces and roll into balls. Shape each ball into a disk 2 1/2 inches wide and 1/2 inch thick.

Place the arepas in a heated, greased, non-stick frying pan. Place the arepas in the pan, flattening them with a spatula, and cook until slightly brown on each side, about 5 minutes.

Remove from the pan and place on a cookie sheet or foil-lined, shallow roasting pan. Bake for 15 minutes at 350 degrees. 

Serve them hot with any meal for a gluten-free bread substitute. They are great with vegan cream cheese or Earth Balance buttery spread. My favorite way to serve them is as an appetizer covered with guacamole dip.

Per arepa: 78 calories, 0.4 g total fat, 0 g saturated fat, 0 g cholesterol, 1 g protein, 16 g carbohydrates, 2 g dietary fiber, and 145 mg sodium.