Archive for the ‘heart healthy foods’ Category

  • EASY NUTRITIOUS SUMMER SALAD

    Date: 2011.08.22 | Category: Dairy free, Gluten-free, heart healthy foods, RECIPES, Salads, sprouting | Response: 2

    With the plethora of fresh vegetables available this time of the year in our own gardens, why not indulge in a healthy salad, bursting with colors, textures, flavors and nutrition?

    Fresh corn is available in stores at the moment (choose organic over conventional since most of the corn grown today is genetically modified to feed cattles and farm animals).

    One of my favorite addition for this healthy salad is mung Bean sprouts. It is one of the easiest thing to sprout. You can’t mess it up regardless of the temperature, even if you don’t rinse them twice a day as it is usually required for other types of seeds or beans. They also keep refrigerated for almost a week.

    Mung beans sprouts are crunchy and produce a slight nutty flavor, making them a perfect addition to most salads and wraps.

    They may seem small and plain but don’t let this fool you. They pack a lot of nutrition in every bite. 1 cup of raw mung beans contains 3 grams of protein. It is an excellent source of folate (vitamin B for DNA and blood cells) and manganese, a mineral essential for a healthy metabolism and bone formation.

    Ingredients:
    1-2 cups of mung bean sprouts
    1 cup fresh corn kernels
    1/3 cup of diced red onion
    1/2 cup fresh or blanched green beans 
    1/2 diced avocado 
    1 grated carrots
    2 Tbl pine nuts (optional)
    2 Tbl grated coconut powder (unsweetened) optional
    Fresh mint or coriander leaves

    Salad dressing: 
    I usually don’t buy salad dressing because I have been disappointed by most of them and because they always add all kind of weird stuff to make it thick. Since it only takes less than a minute to make it why not?

    Ingredients:
    2 Tbl olive oil
    1 Tbl balsamic vinegar
    1 tsp lemon
    1 Tbl nutritional yeast
    salt, pepper to taste

    By the way, this salad tastes even better if refrigerated over night.
    I used the leftover to make a wrap with collard leaves from my garden. Talk about fresh!

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  • NEW POTATOES AND LEEK STIR-FRY

    Date: 2011.06.16 | Category: Dairy free, Gluten-free, heart healthy foods, RECIPES, Vegan Entrees | Response: 0

    Nature is such a wonderful thing we take for granted.
    Last fall, I discovered some potatoes that I had completely forgotten about and as a result had sprouted in the back of my pantry. I proceeded by cutting them into small pieces, each with a sprout and planted them in my garden covering them with thick layer of leave mulch. I knew that not much grows in the winter in the Northwest but hoped that something will come out eventually out of it. And it did. Beautiful leaves grew a few months ago and some potatoes even appeared. It was time to harvest. Wow, so many beautiful little potatoes. It was like a treasure hunt. And when I thought I was done, more were found.

    And the funny thing is that the original pieces of potatoes were still almost intact in the ground, and yet they had produced a whole family of little ones.  Next to the potatoes, some leeks also grew. And when you have potatoes and leeks, what do you do? You make potato leek soup, oven roasted vegies or a great stir-fry. We did all three.

    New potatoes are only harvested in the spring and summer so look out for them in the stores or better, grow your own. Eat with the season to  What is really unique about them is that they have a thinner skin and a high moisture content which gives them a creamy texture. They are usually used as side dish but why not making them the star of the show?

    You can lightly steam the potatoes and stir fry them with a little garlic, green onion, salt and pepper and any other condiment you like. Potatoes goes really well with rosemary for example for something different. That’s what we did in the photo. Super simple, quick and delicious. I added some vegan sausages for a little quick protein.

    Leeks are essentially giant green onions. They are from the same alium family. In terms of nutrition, leeks are a great source of vitamin C as well as iron and fiber, they are known for helping the blood and the heart.
    In terms of handling leeks, you always want to check and wash the dirt of the bottom after removing the roots. You can also stir fry the leeks with a little water and salt.

    The finished product:

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  • SUMMER CLASS SCHEDULE UPDATED

    Date: 2011.05.08 | Category: Dairy free, French cuisine, heart healthy foods, Mexican, Moroccan | Response: 0

    Please note the new dates.
    I clicked the publish button prematurely on the previous post!

    JUNIOR CHEF ACADEMY – June 6th, 13th, 20th, 5-7:30pm, Firstenburg, Vancouver, WA

    MOROCCAN NIGHT – July 6th, 6-8:30pm, Clark College, Vancouver, WA

    FRENCH CUISINE – July 7th, 6-8:30pm, St John Community Center, Portland

    HEART HEALTHY COMFORT FOODS – July 11th, 5-6:30pm, Firstenburg C.C., Vancouver

    MEXICAN FIESTA – July 14th, 6-8:30pm, St John Community Center, Portland

    A TASTE OF THAILAND – July 21th, 6-8:30pm, St John Community Center, Portland

    DAIRY FREE AT LAST – July 25th, 5-6:30pm, Firstenburg Community Center, Vancouver

    CHINESE BANQUET – July 28th, 6-8:30pm, St John Community Center, Portland

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  • TOFU SCRAMBLE, the Breakfast of Champions

    Date: 2011.03.01 | Category: Gluten-free, heart healthy foods, RECIPES, Vegan Breakfast and Brunch | Response: 0

    Tofu Scramble
    Sleeping in!

    When Sunday comes and we get to sleep in a little and start the day more slowly, we usually feel a bit more hungry than usual. And the one thing that everyone seems to agree on is a nice tofu scramble. You can serve it with toasted bread (rye is great with it), some fresh vegetables on the side or if you have more time, make some pan-fried potatoes for a true American classic. And if you really want to be decadent, serve both bread and potatoes!

    This is truly the easiest dish you can put together without even being fully awake. Which could easily happen on a Sunday morning… There is no way you can mess this one up.

    Pretty much any vegetable you have in your refrigerator can be added to it (with the exception of root vegetables like carrots that would need a little tenderizing first). The trick is to dice everything pretty small so that you barely cook your vegetables, get a nice crisp texture and get most of the nutrients in the process. I like to have different kinds of greens and red veggies for the visual effect and whatever fresh herbs I have on hand (dried will work fine too). The usual culprits we have at home are zucchinis, snow and snap peas, green onions, green beans, mushrooms, tomatoes… we usually stay away from bell peppers because a lot of people don’t digest them well.

    BASIC INGREDIENTS:

    •    1 package of organic* firm tofu drained on a towel
    •    2-4 Tbl nutritional yeast
    •    1 tsp or more of turmeric** for color (turmeric does have a unique flavor, so experiment with a little at first,  then add more if you want a deeper yellow color).  
    •    1 tsp or more of garlic and onion powder
    •    1/2 cup green onions minced
    •    1 tsp ground flax seed (optional)
    •    Vegan cheese like Daiya (optional)
    •    Combination of vegetables finely diced
    •    Fresh herbs (Basil or cilantro) optional 
    PREPARATION:
    1. With clean hands, break the tofu in a bowl to loosen up the pieces.
    2. I prefer not leaving large chunks as they tend to not absorb as much flavor and come out bland. We like all our bites to be equally flavored!
    3. Sprinkle the yeast first and mix,  then the turmeric, garlic and onion powder and salt, mix some more.
    4. Add the green onions and other dried herbs of your liking.
    5. Heat up a large frying pan with 1 tsp of oil, making sure the oil is evenly coating the pan
    6. Pour the tofu mixture and gently stir over medium heat.
    7. You can start toasting the bread or preparing the salad while this is cooking because it doesn’t take much time to finish the scramble at this point.
    8. Now add the finely diced vegetables, mix well and cook a few more minutes. Taste and add seasonings if you want. Sprinkle some vegan cheese, turn of the heat and cover with a lidd.
    9. Serve as mentioned at the top. Chop from fresh herbs available and place on top.

    Bon appétit! So, this isn’t a Julia Child fancy dish but it does the trick every time, plus depending on what vegies I have in the fridge, it is never the same.

    SOME VARIATIONS:
    If you are in a Mexican mood, add some salsa and chilis and serve with corn chips or a warmed tortilla and a side of black beans.
    If you feel like adding an Indian touch, you could add some curry to the spices and eat with chapattis.

    * Organic tofu is really important because a good part of the soy grown today is fed to livestock along with the all-pervasive corn (I swear, a cob of corn should be added to the American flag for the amount we are growing and consuming). So much of these two crops have been genetically modified and no serious clinical study was ever done on human population prior to introducing these new seeds. The reason being that since it would ‘mostly’ be given to animals and they seem to handle it just fine! I love the FDA’s (Food and Drugs Administration) logic. If they can take it, why shouldn’t we! The problem with GMO corn and Soy, but mostly corn is that it is in so many by-products today, that if the manufacturers were to label GMO ingredients on their products, the vast majority of the products sold in stores would have to list GMO ingredients and traces on their packaging. So Stick to organic when it comes to soy/tofu and for corn, good luck, this may be a little more difficult.
    If you want to find out more about the largest producer of GMO products and how to protect yourself, click here.

    ** The active ingredient in turmeric is called curcumin. It is known for its antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, stomach-soothing, and liver-and heart-protecting effects.
    In India, it is used to aid for digestive disturbances and as a treatment for fever, infections, dysentery, arthritis, jaundice and other liver problems
    In China it is used to treat liver and gallbladder problems, stop bleeding, and relieve chest congestion and menstrual discomforts
    Given that it not only improves blood circulation but also helps prevent blood clot, turmeric offers some protection against heart attacks and strokes, the biggest killers in the US.
    For more information on this herb and how to use it, go to: http://www.nutritional-supplement-educational-centre.com/turmeric-benefits.html

    Tofu scramble delivers an impressive 4.8g of dietary fiber and 24.2g of protein per serving. Not bad for a humble bean!

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  • EGGPLANT CAVIAR

    Date: 2011.01.31 | Category: Dairy free, French cuisine, heart healthy foods, RECIPES, Vegan Appetizers | Response: 0

    Ok, so after an extended trip to the South of the border (3 Mexican recipes in a row!), we are going over to Europe, to the South of France where I come from, for a delicious appetizer. Traditionally, this eggplant recipe is served cold in the summer but you can also serve it warm in the colder months. It calls for the big round purple ones but you can also used the long Asian ones. There are many varieties of eggplants and all are beautiful and delicious. The only thing is to make sure that they are firm and without blemishes otherwise, you will get a lot of seeds and little flesh.

    Some cool nutritional facts:

    1. Eggplants are rich in water (92%), in minerals (magnesium and zinc) and high in potassium (260 mg/100), making it a great natural diuretic.
    2. They are also rich in easily digestible fiber if steamed or baked (forget deep frying!)
    3. The skin is high in anti-oxydants.
    4. They are good for people with type 2 diabetes because they are high fiber with a low glycemic index.
    5. If you track your calories, you will be happy to know that it is one of the lowest calorie vegetable (18 kcal/100 g), making it comparable to tomatoes, endives or lettuce.
    6. More recent studies even states that it can also help lowering cholesterol. Apparently, they have discovered that eggplant captures the fat and prevent it from seeping into the blood stream. That’s why, if you try to fry it, you will have to use a ton of oil because its fibers absorb everything! So skip the frying and instead steam or bake and let the fiber absorb the internal fat!

    No wonder, it is one of the star of the Mediterranean diet!
    So why not splurge and start incorporating it in your diet?

    INGREDIENTS (for 4 people):
    – 2 eggplants
    – 1 medium onion
    – 1 tomato
    – 3 Tbl olive oil
    – 3 Tbl lemon juice
    – 1 garlic clove
    – Fresh basil an parsley (optional)
    – salt & Pepper

    PREPARATION:

    1. Preheat oven to 300F
    2. Place whole eggplants on a baking dish and bake for 35mn until the flesh is soft when you touch it.
    3. Remove the eggplants from the oven. Without burning your finger, slice them in half lengthwise, and with the help of a soup spoon, scoop out the middle.
    4. Place the flesh in a thin thieve to drain the excess water (remember it is a sponge).
    5. Slice the onion and the garlic thinly.
    6. Gently heat a little olive oil and add the onion and garlic until golden. You can add a little water if needed. Note: If you can digest raw garlic, skip this step.
    7. Blanch the tomato. Boil some water, make a cross on top of the tomato. Drop it quickly and remove it so that you can easily peel it. Remove the seeds and dice it.
    8. Place the eggplant, onion, tomato and remaining ingredients, except the olive oil in a blender or a food processor and blend. Add the remaining olive oil and blend again. Taste and season more if you need.
    9. Pour into a nice dish, cover and refrigerate for a few hours.
    10. Serve with crackers, on sliced french baguette and with cut raw vegetables.

    Yumm!

    BONUS RECIPE:

    If you have even less time or don’t have a food processor, you can slice the eggplants with the skin, place them in a large salad bowl.  Sprinkle with a little garlic salt and drizzle with some olive oil and mix with your hands or a wooden spoon. On a lightly oiled baking tray, sprinkle with a little garlic salt and drizzle with some olive oil. Bake at 350F for 15mn, flip the slices and drizzle a little more olive oil, bake for another 5-10mn. Serve with rice, or quinoa, or in a sandwich. It is soooo good and sooo simple!

    Enjoy!

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