7 Quick Tips for 7 Servings of Fruits and Veggies a Day

A diet high in vegetables and fruit promotes fat loss. It fills you with fiber without a ton of calories. AND a recent large study out of Britain found that mental well-being and happiness were higher among people who ate about 7 daily servings of fresh fruits and veggies!! Pass the salad!   To be honest, a lot of people are intimidated by the thought of it, especially if it is far from what they normally eat.  If you have a busy schedule and find it easy to stop for a Starbucks and a ding dong for breakfast, drive through the local fast food place for a quick lunch and take home barbecue or chinese for dinner, then you are in the majority of the standard american diet (SAD). But it is SO simple to add fresh foods, you will be surprised.  And there is no right or wrong here, it is just what suits you.  You will find though, that the more fresh fruits and veggies you eat, the more you will be willing to try new ones.  So start where you are and work your way to a wider variety.  The more colorful and diverse your diet, the higher amount of micronutrients you will feed your body.  So, don’t sweat the fact that you can’t grow your own veggies and sprout your seeds and drink apple cider vinegar straight from the bottle like your crunchy neighbor. Do what you can, where you are.  Fresh food can be fast food too! Here are 7 quick tips for 7 servings (especially good for those with picky kids!):      1 – Store pre-chopped raw veggies in the fridge for snacks and dip in hummus.  It’s easy enough to buy the veggies already chopped and pre-made hummus (look for oil-free)      2 – Start dinner with a small salad.  Mix it up, it doesn’t have to be “lettuce”.  Try shredded cabbage with raisins and sunflower seeds with an orange vinaigrette, or a bowl of thinly sliced cucumber with sliced sweet onion with a little apple cider vinegar and maple syrup,  how about spiraled zucchini with grape tomatoes, pine nuts and a dressing made from balsamic vinegar, dates, garlic and oregano.  Mix it up – color is fun to eat! The fiber will fill you too, so you eat less of the empty calories.      3 – Have an afternoon snack between lunch and dinner everyday as a pick me up (instead of that afternoon candy bar or soda ;D) *** a little almond butter (fat and a protein) with an apple (healthy carb!) – it will hold you over, wake...

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Are you ready for some football???

  If your house is anything like mine, when Superbowl Sunday is on the horizon, there is always a lot of anticipation for the football game, no matter who’s playing.  And if we are planning to have friends over, the frenzy includes, what the heck am I going to serve?  Chili is always part of the deal, the easiest to make ever meal.  But we want snackeroos too . . . and we want TASTY food! This recipe is one I have made for about 15 years now.  A friend of a friend brought a version of it to a Dirty Santa party one year, and I don’t even remember her name now, but THANK YOU to her because this is a staple for special occasions in our home!  There will be months that go by and I’ll be scrambling to make something to bring to a party or something and this will come to mind, and it’s always a no-brainer . . . and I ALWAYS go home with an empty dish.  Just think — creamy cream cheesy, spicy sweet with a little crunch, with a savory aftertaste, you are in for a heavenly treat!  If you have the time, make your own cream cheese from soaked cashews, and make your own chutney.  Otherwise, the recipe is listed with store bought ingredients so you can throw this baby together quickly.     Ingredients: 1 jar Major Grey’s Mango Chutney (if you’re in a rush use this, if not: make your own with less sugar) 1 tub whipped Go Veggie Cream Cheese 1-2 c. finely shredded romaine lettuce 1/2 c. unsweetened shredded coconut 1/2 c. roasted peanuts, coarsely chopped (if you are raw vegan, use raw nuts of your choice) 1/4 finely diced chives (can substitute with scallions) Directions: This is SO easy.  Smear the creek cheese directly onto serving platter.  Next, smear chutney directly on top of cream cheese, leaving an inch of the cream cheese not covered all around the edge, for looks.  Then top with remaining ingredients, in order. Serve with a melange of crackers and fruits and vegetables, and you’re good to go!   The flavors of this can easily be changed, like using strawberry conserve instead of the mango chutney and eliminating the chives and adding in mint and replace the peanuts with pistachios.  That would remove most of the savory flavors and it would be more like a dessert dip!  YUM!  I think we may have to give that a try 😉  ...

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Meatless Monday’s!

  If you are anything like the hundreds of people I have talked to about food prep, you simply don’t have time to stand in the kitchen preparing a gourmet meal every night. You want simple, you want tasty and you want it now!  Well, if you prepare in advance, a healthy, filling, nutrient dense meal like this is only ten minutes away!  And if you aren’t sure if a vegan diet is right for you, why not try something new and try this Meatless Monday meal 🙂 This was a simple meal one night, lazy, lazy! Black bean burger in the toaster . . . 4 minutes Salad: romaine & spring greens, grapes, sunflower seeds, balsamic vinegar . . . 4 minutes Zucchini sliced in half, tomato sauce poured on top, Daiya cheese sprinkled on top, broiled until melted . . . 4 minutes If you do it in that order, you can make dinner for 2 in less than 10 minutes, whole food = fast...

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Blackberry Currant Layered Cheesecake

If you saw my FB post yesterday, you saw my oh-so-yummy noncheese cheesecake! Part of what I am doing this year is a sort of gradual detox to rid my body of harmful chemicals from all the medicine I took last year through my illness. As of the first, I am eating no cooked foods. I made this as a treat for New Year’s Eve, knowing I’d have enough left for a “go-to” if I had to have a treat. I don’t usually have hankerings for particular foods anymore, but it’s not hard to want a piece of this!  And it’s pretty simple too, aside from straining the blackberries through a sieve, you can probably make the whole thing from start to finish in under 20 minutes! To start, you will need 3 cups of soaked cashews.  The best way to do this, is to purchase RAW nuts the day before, and place in a jar or bowl big enough to hold the cashews covered in water, plus an additional cup of water and still have some space left in the container.  I use a 2 liter mason jar to do this, it’s just easiest for me.  The reason you want to do this, is that the nuts will absorb the water and expand.  It’s also important to note, to ensure you don’t get bloating or discomfort,  drain and rinse the nuts and soak again halfway through soaking time.  You want a minimum of 4 hours, but 24 hours is superb.  The longer they soak, the creamier your cheesecake!  The reason you drain and rinse is because nuts have enzyme inhibitors that are released when they touch water.  Those inhibitors can cause intestinal discomfort aside from the fact they will keep you from absorbing all the goodness!  So, the recipe takes a little forethought, but is quickly made! For the pie crust: 2 cups raw nuts (I use pecans mostly, with some walnuts and almonds) 5 tablespoons cacao nibs (can use non-dairy chocolate chips) 2 T. cocoa powder Some himalayan sea salt ½ t. vanilla 5 medjool dates, pitted (room temperature works best)   For the filling: 12 – 20 oz. fresh blackberries This reminds me – I went to Cracker Barrel with my family not long ago, and the only thing on the menu that I could eat was the fruit bowl – fresh blackberries and pineapples. I’m not a big blackberry fan because of the seeds, but o.m.g. . . . . these blackberries were HUGE and JUICEY and so good, I had to ask the chef where he got them from locally. That’s kind of what...

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Forbidden Soup
Nov22

Forbidden Soup

Forbidden Soup (makes 6-8- servings) 1 ½ c. forbidden rice 4 c. shitake mushrooms, sliced 1 large leek, sliced 4 c. water 4 c. vegetable broth 2 cans no sodium fire-roasted tomatoes (can use favorite tomato sauce instead) 2 c. giant fava beans, dry, soaked overnight or canned, no sodium Mache Rosettes Raw Cashews Bring water to low rolling boil and add forbidden rice. When rice is al dente, add beans and broth and continue low boil for 15 minutes until beans are soft. Toss in mushrooms, leeks and tomatoes. When serving, portion into bowl, place 1 cup mache on top of soup, and 2 T. cashews. Don’t forget to lick the...

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Banana Chocolate Chip Bread
Nov22

Banana Chocolate Chip Bread

Banana Chocolate Chip Bread INGREDIENTS: One loaf, minus the ends of Ezekiel Cinnamon Raisin Bread 1 cup vegan chocolate chips or 1/2 cup cacao chips, your choice 4 medium ripe bananas, sliced ½” thick 3 cups almond milk 5 tablespoons arrowroot powder or tapioca flour 3/4 cup maple syrup 2 teaspoon vanilla extract 1 teaspoon cinnamon 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg DIRECTIONS: Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease 2 – 9 x 5 loaf pans with coconut oil. Place cubed bread in the pans and set aside. In a small bowl whisk together milk and the arrowroot powder till no lumps remain. Add maple syrup, vanilla, cinnamon and nutmeg and whisk to combine. Pour over cubed bread and stir to coat every piece. Allow to sit for at least 15 minutes for liquid to soak into bread. Depending on what kind of bread you use and how stale it is, add a little more milk and allow more soaking time till every piece of bread is saturated and there’s a little bit of extra liquid. Mixture should look mushy and wet. Fold in chocolate chips and bananas, I use my hands to squish the bananas. If you have kids, this can be a fun part of the recipe! Pour mixture into loaf pans. Bake 30-35 minutes till top is puffed, slightly browned and feels firm. Allow to cool slightly before slicing and serving. Always a hit when served...

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