Crispy Quinoa Cakes

Sunday, April 27, 2014

The most common thing I hear from people when I ask if they like quinoa is, "Eh...it's ok." Rather than boiling a batch of plain old quinoa, try this recipe. It's something to get you excited about this ancient grain.

This recipe makes about 15-20 cakes. They freeze nicely in a pyrex dish and then they are so easy to pull out and re-heat on a busy workday. Enjoy!

Crispy Quinoa Cakes

Ingredients 

In a large bowl, combine the following:


1 cup quinoa
2 cups water
3 small (or 2 large) sweet potatoes, shredded
1/2 bag frozen spinach
1/2 cup kalamata olives, halved

In a small bowl, combine the following:

1/2 cup tahini (or sunflower seed butter or almond butter)
4 organic eggs
2 tbsp white wine vinegar
1 tsp salt
1 tsp oregano
1/2 tsp thyme

Preheat oven to 375 F. Bring water to a boil. Add the quinoa and simmer on low for 20 minutes. Meanwhile, whisk together the wet ingredients in the small bowl. Pour the wet ingredients into the large bowl and stir until everything is thoroughly mixed. Make into patties with your hands and place them on a greased cookie sheet. Bake for 25 minutes. Remove from oven and flip. Bake another 20 minutes. Top with salsa (my kids love to top them with the peach salsa from TJ's) and chopped avocado.


Healthy Hemp Hearts

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Hemp hearts are my new favorite plant-based protein source. Hemp contains all 10 essential amino acids. Hemp also provides a nice balance of essential fats. Hemp hearts (or seeds) are a complete protein, providing 10 grams protein per 3 tbsp. Adding hemp hearts to oatmeal or smoothies will not only keep you full but also focused. Hemp hearts enhance your brain's memory and cognitive function.

Hemp Heart (aka Hemp Seed) Encrusted Salmon

Here are some of my favorite recipes to incorporate hemp hearts in
your diet:

Hemp Crusted Salmon

Ingredients 
  • 1/2 cup hemp hearts
  • 1 pound wild-caught salmon fillet, cut in 4 pieces
  • 1/3 cup organic mayo (or veganaise, made with grapeseed oil)
  • 1/2 tsp thyme or tarragon
  • 1/2 tsp salt
Instructions
1.   Preheat oven to 350 F. Grease baking sheet with olive oil
2. Arrange salmon on baking sheet and spread with a thin layer of mayo. Top with hemp hearts and sprinkle with herbs and salt.
3. Bake 20 minutes.

Super Seed Granola

Dry Ingredients

  • 4 cups gluten-free oats
  • 1/2 cup hemp hearts
  • 1/4 cup ground flax seeds
  • 1/4 cup chia seeds
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
Wet Ingredients
  • 1/4 cup raw organic honey
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
Instructions:
1.  Preheat oven to 275 F. Grease 2 baking sheets.
2. In a large bowl, combine dry ingredients. In a small bowl combine wet ingredients.
3. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients. Spread mixture on baking sheets.
4. Bake for 30 minutes.

Coconut Chocolate Hemp Balls
 
Ingredients
  • 1 cup nut butter (I use cashew butter, almond butter or sunflower seed butter)
  • 1/4 cup raw honey
  • 1 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • pinch of sea salt
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 1/4 cup raw sunflower seeds or pumpkin seeds
  • 1/2 cup raw hemp hearts, for rolling
Instructions
1. In a large bowl, mix together the nut butter, honey, cocoa powder, cinnamon and salt until well combined. Add the coconut and seeds (pumpkin or sunflower).
2. Refrigerate dough for 20-30 minutes.
3. Roll the dough into 1.5 inch balls.
4. Roll the balls into hemp seeds to coat.
5. Store in fridge or freezer.


Gluten-Free Granola

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Cereal is not a healthy breakfast food. As a general rule of thumb, if it comes from a box it is not real food. I am always suggesting my patients (and friends and family!) to eat REAL food. By this I mean substance from the earth...not from a factory. This includes fruits, nuts, vegetables, seeds, eggs, fish/meat/poultry, and WHOLE grains (meaning grains that you acutally have to cook...your whole grain bread in a bag does not count). My favorite breakfast is a green smoothie.

With that said I understand the craving for some crunch in the morning. Thus, a bowl of homemade granola. This recipe is not too high in sugar (as opposed to store-bought granola), contains seeds for added protein (and satiety) and good fat.

Gluten-Free Granola

  • 3 cups GF oats
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup honey
  •  1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/4 cup ground seeds (chia seeds, flax seeds, pumpkin seeds or sunflower seeds)
1. Preheat oven to 300 F.
2. Stir together honey, coconut oil and vanilla.
3.  Stir together oats, salt, cinnamon and ground seeds in a separate bowl.
4. Combine all ingredients.
5. Spread mixture in a thin layer on a cookie sheet.
6. Bake in oven, stirring after 10 minutes. Total baking time is approximately 20-25 minutes. Watch closely so you don't burn!

For other healthy breakfast options, see my previous post, "Healthy Breakfast, Healthy You."




Carrot Raisin Flax Muffins

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

I love flaxseed. I love it for its delicious, nutty taste. And of course, I love it for its health benefits:
1. It is an excellent source of fiber, making your gut healthy. A happy,healthy gut is at the foundation of optimal health.

2. It contains anti-inflammatory essential fats. And since inflammation is at the root cause of most chronic diseases, eating flaxseeds is helping to prevent and treat many chronic and degenerative diseases. For more on flaxseeds' ability to dampen inflammation, see my post here.

3. It balances hormones. It has the unique ability to mimic estrogen if estrogen is too low, and it can also bind and decrease estrogen if it is too high. We call this hormone- modulating.

This recipe is so good. Makes for an easy breakfast or delicious, satisfying snack.


Carrot Raisin Flax Muffins (Gluten-free, Dairy-free)

  • 2 cups oat flour (simply process 2 cups gluten-free oats in a food processor)
  • 1 cup ground flaxseeds (aka flax meal)
  • 1/2 cup coconut sugar (maple syrup or honey would work too)
  • 2 tsps baking soda
  • 1 tsk baking powder
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 cups shredded carrots
  • 2 cups shredded apple
  • 1/4 cup chia seeds
  • 1 cup raisins or currants
In a separate bowl combine and mix:
  • 2 organic eggs
  •  3/4 cup unsweetened almond milk 
 Preheat oven to 350 F. Grease muffin pan. Combine all ingredients. Fill muffin tin and bake for 20 minutes. Enjoy!

Chocolate Kale Smoothie

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

This smoothie satisfies your chocolate cravings while at the same time providing excellent nutrition. Cece and Lulu know this as "chocolate milk."

It has cacao nibs in it, which provide a nice crunch and a huge burst of nutrition. Cacao is one of the best food sources of magnesium, which helps relax the mind and body. This smoothie also contains super-food kale. I am always looking for more vehicles to get my family to eat more kale, and smoothies just happen to be a great one!

You can make this for breakfast, afternoon snack or desert.


Chocolate Kale Smoothie
  • 1 cup almond milk, unsweetened
  • 1 handful of chopped kale
  • 1 banana
  • 2 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 1-2 tbsp cacao nibs (found in bulk section at your health food store)
  • 1 tbsp ground flax seed
  • 2 scoops vanilla or chocolate protein powder (I prefer pea protein)
Combine all ingredients in a blender. Blend and enjoy!

    Grain Free Chocolate Chip Cookies

    Saturday, December 29, 2012

    These cookies are made with almond flour, making them not only gluten free but also grain-free. Almond flour is packed full of protein and essential fat. For more on cooking with nut flours, see my previous post. I get my almond flour at Trader Joe's- it is much more affordable there!

    My old "go-to" chocolate chip cookie recipe used oat flour (which is easy to make with oats and a food processor). However, after making these and discovering how moist and delicious they were, this will be my new "go-to."

    These cookies are sweetened with coconut sugar. Coconut sugar does not spike your blood sugar and insulin like regular table sugar does. It is also unrefined, meaning it retains all of its natural vitamins and minerals. It has a caramel or maple flavor, giving your recipe a very deep flavor. You can use it as a one-to-one replacement for white and brown sugar.

    Chocolate Chip Cookies
    • 1 cup almond flour (aka almond meal)
    • 1/2 stick organic butter, melted
    • 1/2 cup dark chocolate chips
    • 1 egg
    • 1/4 cup coconut palm sugar
    • 1 tsp cinnamon
    • 1 tsp vanilla
    • pinch of sea salt
    Preheat oven to 340 F. Mix together all ingredients. Fold in chocolate chips. Bake 15-20 minutes. 

    Brussel Sprouts with Hazelnuts, Sunflower Seeds and Dates

    Sunday, November 25, 2012

    Cruciferous vegetables are part of the bassica genus of plants. They include brusssel sprouts, broccoli, cauliflower, kale, cabbage, collard greens, and bok choy.

    Cruciferous vegetables contain indole-3-carbonol, which has been found to inhibit the development of several cancers, such as bladder, breast, colon, liver, lung and stomach. Indole-3-carbonol in these super-veggies has the following effects on cancer:
    • They help protect cells from DNA damage.
    • They inactivate carcinogens.
    • They have anti-inflammatory effects.
    • They induce cell death in cancer cells.
    • They inhibit tumor blood vessel formation (angiogenesis) and tumor cell migration (metastasis). 
    These effects are powerful and are a testament to food is medicine! Aim to include at least one serving of a cruciferous vegetable in your diet daily.

    I typically roast brussel sprouts, seasoning them with coconut oil, salt and pepper, and a drizzle of maple syrup. Here is a new recipe that I tried out tonight. It was delicious- so delicious that I may be including it as part of Christmas dinner. Enjoy!

    Brussels Sprout Salad with Hazelnuts, Sunflower Seeds and Dates
    Ingredients
    1 1/2 lb brussel sprouts
    Salt
    2 tbsp butter
    2 tbsp olive oil
    2 tbsp rice vinegar
    Juice of 1/2 lemon
    4 dates, diced small
    1/2 cup hazelnuts
    2 tbsp sunflower seeds
    Freshly ground black pepper

    1. Cut ends off brussel sprouts. Process them in food processor to shred them.
    2. Place 1/4 cup water in a large saucepan, add a pinch of salt and bring to a boil. Add sprouts, cover and cook over high heat for 3-5 minutes.
    3. For the dressing, melt butter in a pan over medium-high heat until its bubbling and brown; pour into a bowl. Add oil, vinegar, lemon juice, dates and 1/4 tsp salt. Mix well; dress sprouts. Sprinkle in nuts and seeds. Add pepper to taste.


    For other cruciferous recipes:
    Preventing Cancer with Collard Wraps
    Kale chips
    Coconut-Curry Chickpeas and Cauliflower 
    Cauli Mash
    Millet Mashed "Potatoes"

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