Monday, February 20, 2017

New Laraball Flavor: Crunchy Pumpkin Spice Cookie Dough!

This delightful recipe was inspired by a Laraball recipe, No-Bake Carrot Cake.

This recipe doesn't make a pretty picture, but it sure is tasty! It also has about 5 check marks on Dr Greger's Daily Dozen checklist from his awesome book, How Not to Die. He provides a list of the healthiest foods to eat every day, according to the best available nutrition evidence.

You'll get 1) nuts, 2) fruit (dates, raisins, pineapple), 3) other vegetables (carrot), 4) spices (turmeric, and more!), 5) flax.




Crunchy Pumpkin Spice Cookie Dough
1 c walnuts (2/3 + 1/3)
1 Tbsp ground flaxseed
2 tsp pumpkin spice
1/4 c raisins
1/4 c pitted dates (5 pieces)
1/2 of a large carrot, chopped in a few pieces
1/4" fresh turmeric
1 piece unsweetened dried pineapple

Simply blend all ingredients (except 1/3 c of walnuts) in a food processor until they stick together like a gooey dough. Add 1/3 c walnuts, and blend a bit more, so you have some extra crunch! Then put the whole dough ball into a resealable bag and make into balls from outside the bag without getting gooey hands. Really, you can just pull/pinch out a piece of the dough, and pop it in your mouth. We refrigerate the dough because it is moister than other Laraballs. Enjoy!

You can also try Skinny Mints which are chocolate-mint Laraballs; they are like Thin Mint Girl Scout cookies and PB and J Poppers!

"Like" my FB page to see on your home page when new posts show up here!

PS- if you haven't, please check out the previous post! Free Naked Food Subscription AND Vegan/Vegetarian Stuff Popping Up Everywhere! It was so fun to make! It's about how we keep hearing about vegetarian, vegan, tufu, organic, etc in shows and books and magazines. I think it's a good sign that more and more people are becoming aware of this healthier way of life! Also, you can subscribe to a new PBWF magazine for free! It's called Naked Food, and it was created in association with The China Study.

WHAT DO YOU THINK? Tell me in a comment below!

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Free Naked Food Magazine, and Vegan/Vegetarian Stuff Popping Up Everywhere!

Happy birthday to me :) It started with a Smooth Banana Bread birthday breakfast! A many Dr Greger check mark recipe!
He even made it to my birthday celebration; see on the cardboard: Dr Greger on a computer saying "Eat More Plants!"
You can celebrate too, by taking the opportunity we all have to get a FREE 2-year digital subscription to a new Whole Foods Plants Based magazine: NAKED FOOD MAGAZINE! This magazine is associated with Dr Campbell, The China Study, and an awesome plant based initiative called PLANTPURE NATION. You may also like to buy a paper subscription to the magazine, and The Plantpure Kitchen, which I'm sure has awesome recipes! You can also look for their meal starters which are reasonably priced, and I want to try soon! Note, THERE IS NO PURCHASE NECESSARY to subscribe digitally. CLICK HERE TO SUBSCRIBE!

NAKED FOOD MAGAZINE


Next, I want to share a fun collection I've been accumulating. They represent a sign of the times - plant base whole foods are catching on! Check out the captions if the photos are too small to see. Enjoy!
"Everything's organic, authentic, fair-trade, and locally sources! Are you vegan? You seem vegan..." in Strawberry Shortcake #2 Comic.

"Worms!" Catina yelped. "You know I'm vegetarian!" "They are not real worms," Houndsley assured his friend. They only look like worms. They are made of tofu." in Houndsley and Catina by James Howe.

This was from the 2/12/17 Simpsons episode (my hubby watches ;) ). There was TOFU BELL, KENTUCKY STEAMED CHICKPEAS, and more! in "Fatzcarraldo".
Lego Magazine: "Does it come with seaweed? I'm a vegetarian."

If you live in Cleveland, OH, here is a flyer for my next classes! Monday, FEB 20, for Let Food Be Thy Medicine, and FEB 28, for Fueling Your Young Athlete! Please email if you're interested! It's always so much fun, and everybody learns some things, and gets some new ideas and motivation to be the healthiest they can be!

My dear hubby (and kiddos :) found vegan cupcakes to celebrate at Vegan Sweet Tooth! Delicious! Absolutely a treat - we were all knocked out by the sweetness :) Chocolate raspberry, strawberry shortcake, chocolate salted caramel, vanilla, and some interesting sort of lavender flavor :) Also, some ginger turmeric tea! And other cool stuff from family and friends. I'm such a lucky girl!



Friday, February 17, 2017

Tricky Traditional Lasagna, Simplified :)

I simplified this recipe, so now it is easier to make with fewer ingredients, and still DELICIOUS!

Loads of Dr Greger Daily Dozen Check Marks: 1) grain, 2) flax, 3 and 4) lentils and tofu, 5) spices, 6) tomato sauce, especially if you make it yourself.


OMGosh - this is the bomb! My 11 and 12 year-old niece and nephew LOVED this dish! These are the children of a Sicilian-born restaurant owner and chef at delicious Alessandro's. One said "I love this meat!" and the other said "This is really good! If you would have offered me tofu and lentil lasagna, I would have probably said NO".

Let's get to it!

Tricky Traditional Lasagna

The 'Meat'
1.5 c lentils
1.5 c water
1 clove garlic (tsp)
3 Tbsp Italian seasoning (make your own!)
2 Tbsp ground flaxseed
Optional: you can get away with adding 1/2 inch of fresh turmeric without anyone noticing!

The 'Cheese'
2 packages firm tofu (smooth works too)
2 Tbsp onion powder
Tbsp lemon juice
Tbsp Italian seasoning (make your own!)

Whole wheat lasagna noodles

6-8 cups spaghetti sauce (2-2.5 jars)

For meat, simmer lentils in 1.5 water covered for 20 min. Add spices and flax and blend in food processor until it looks like ground beef (few min)!

For cheese, drain tofu, and combine with other 'cheese' ingredients in food processor, and process until smooth. Taste test and add spices as you like!

Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees. Cover bottom of a 9x13" pan with sauce (~1c), then lasagna noodles, then 'meat', then 'cheese', and repeat until pan is full, ending with a layer of pasta covered in sauce. If you have extra ingredients, you can make an extra small lasagna, and share with a friend! Bake for an 45-60 min, and enjoy!


Plant-Based Traditional Lasagna
(with vegan ground meat and vegan ricotta cheese)
This recipe makes me so happy! I love making this basic, traditional meal with no meat or cheese! It's also fun that you really don't need any veggies on the side because it is made entirely of veggies! I've made the Plant-Strong Lasagna (check it out here), and it's a great veggie meal. On the other hand, Tricky Traditional Lasagna provides the familiarity of a meal you've probably eaten many times before, as you try potentially unfamiliar tofu and lentils. I hope you love it as much as we do!

COMMENTS: What vegan Italian food do you like to eat?

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Cranberry Toast Snack and Top 3 Reasons to Eat Cranberries


Cranberries are a superstar in the world of nutrition! Loaded with anthocyanins (the pigment in red, purple, and blue plants), they help our bodies stay and get back to awesome! In the lab, anthocyanins have been found to keep FAT from growing in the liver*, as well as protect us from CANCER in the liver, brain, colon, lung, mouth, ovary, prostate and stomach!

One great way to eat cranberries, is as a sauce -- try Tangy Sugar-Free Cranberry Sauce!

Here is a delicious snack:

Cranberry Toast Snack
Sprouted grain toast
Natural peanut butter or almond butter
Tangy Sugar-Free Cranberry Sauce

This contains about 5 Dr Greger Daily Dozen Checkmarks!
1) whole grain, 2) nut butter, 3) berries, 4) other fruit (orange, dates), and 5) cinnamon

Enjoy!



Did you know you have to eat 26 CANS OF CRANBERRY SAUCE (processed) to get the anthocyanins in ONE cup of whole cranberries? Tangy Sugar-Free Cranberry Sauce recipe calls for 3-4 cups of cranberries. That is as much anthocyanin as one might get from processed cranberry sauce in a whole lifetime (assuming one eats it just during the holidays...like most people I know)!

Cranberries are also one of the top ranked fruits in terms of antioxidants. There are almost as many antioxidants in cranberries, as there are in blueberries, and you would have to eat 5 and a half apples to get the amount of antioxidants there are in one cup of cranberries.

Tangy Sugar-Free Cranberry Sauce
*Liver disease is more common than you might think. ONE IN THREE adults have non-alcoholic fatty liver disease :( Avoiding cholesterol and sugar may help to prevent this deadly condition, as well as consuming foods high in anthocyanins, like cranberries!

Please check out Dr Greger's Videos (and cited resources) for more detailed information :)
Cranberries vs Cancer
Which Fruits Fight Cancer Better

Monday, February 13, 2017

Spice up Your Life with Spice Mixes! (3 recipes to save your life, time, and money)

Dr Michael Greger's book, How Not to Die, has most influenced my family's diet and the recommendations I give in my practice by encouraging the use of many SPICES throughout the day, everyday! We eat veggies for their vitamins, minerals, fiber, phytochemicals, and ANTIOXIDANTS! It turns out that SPICES contains loads more ANTIOXIDANTS than most veggies! FUN FACT: coffee is the top source of antioxidants for Americans!



SPICES flavorfully replace salt, AND fill us with an abundance of antioxidants! FLAVORS in foods indicate nutrient richness in the same way COLORFUL foods indicate nutrient abundance. The superfood sweet potato is much brighter and flavorful than a white potato, which lacks nutrient richness.

  • One great way to add lots of spices to your life is through spice MIXES. 
  • Save TIME by measuring one mixture when cooking, rather than various individual spices. 
  • Save MONEY because prepared mixes charge you extra $ for the convenience they provide. There is a super selection of individual, organic spices at Whole Foods Market
  • You gain QUALITY by avoiding extra chemicals, preservatives, bulking agents, salt, and other junk found in prepared mixes. 
  • Additionally, the bulk spices I use are ORGANIC! Amazingly, organic homemade seasoning mixes are much cheaper than alternatives that often aren't even organic! 
  • Finally, these mixes have superior TASTE!


Pumpkin Pie Spice
1 c organic cinnamon
1/2 c organic ginger
1/2 c organic nutmeg
1/4 c organic cloves
1/4 c organic allspice

1/2 c basil
1/2 c oregano
1/4 c marjorom
1/4 c garlic
1/4 c thyme
1/4 c rosemary
1/4 c black pepper
1/8 c crushed red pepper

1/2 c each of oregano, cumin, garlic, and paprika
1/4 c each of cayenne, onion, and black pepper
1/8 c of unsweetened cocoa

I am so very grateful that some blessed soul introduced me to the amazing Richa Hingle, and her outstanding gold mine of a website, www.veganricha.com! I just cannot wait to savor her entire website, and I even imagine buying her cookbook (and I don't use or own many cookbooks)!


Vegan Richa's Indian Kitchen

Richa shares an Indian spice mix (which I haven't tried yet) called Panch Phoran, as well as a recipe for, and other information about, Garam Masala! But really, while these mixes are fitting for the post, they are not even the tip of the iceberg for all that I want to try! Yum, and thank you, Richa!





Try ITALIAN SEASONING!
Penne Italiana   
Easy Eggplant "Parm"   
Tricky Traditional Lasagna   
Meatless Meatballs   
Hearty Lentil Stew

Try PUMPKIN PIE SPICE!
Spicy Ginger Latte
Pumpkin Pie Smoothie
Pumpkin Overnight Oats
Creamy Carrot Soup
Jamaican Ginger Cake

Try DIY TACO SPICE MIX!
Lentil Tacos
Tamale Pie
Avocado Quesadillas
Mexican Lasagna
Tofu Scramble

OR you can try one of these spice mixes for a quick breakfast or snack, using the EASIEST COUSCOUS PREPARATION!



Mexican Couscous = 1/2 c couscous + 1/4 tsp taco spice + black beans + diced tomato
Other add-ins: bell peppers, red onion, frozen corn

Pumpkin Couscous = 1/2 c couscous + 1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice + sliced banana
Other add-ins: nuts, raisins, berries

Italian Couscous = 1/2 c couscous + 1/2 tsp Italian seasoning + diced tomato
Other add-ins: white beans, greens, hemp seed

Friday, February 10, 2017

Easy Egyptian Stew


Easy Egyptian Stew is a colorful and tasty variation of Hearty Lentil Stew. I used sweet potatoes and black rice, since I was out of white potatoes and brown rice. Continuing my quest to increase turmeric intake, I added it, as well as cloves and cumin, also known for their awesome health benefits.

By the way, this is perhaps a 6 check mark meal from Dr Greger's Daily Dozen?! Beans, rice, flax, spices, seeds, two other vegetables, and hey, this stew is delicious on a bed of greens!

Easy Egyptian Stew

1 c lentils
1 c black rice
1/4 c ground flaxseed
1/4 chia seeds
1 tsp black pepper
1 tsp turmeric
1 tsp cloves
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp oregano
10 c water
2 carrots
4 celery stalks
1 large sweet potato
1 red onion
4 cloves minced garlic
(Jenny, thanks for the awesome press!)

Chop onion, carrot, celery, and potato; I used my food processor, one vegetable at a time. Bring everything to a boil in a large pan, and let simmer for about an hour (or more!), and enjoy!

INSTAPOT directions: on MANUAL for 15 min.



PS - this recipe was titled when my sister-in-law was teaching my daughter's Girl Scout troop about Egypt. She started talking about Egyptian food, mentioning lentils, cloves, cumin, and sweet potatoes. LIGHT BULB! I had a name for the stew I made earlier that day! EASY EGYPTIAN STEW! Thanks, Tanya! Here are a few pics from our lesson:


COMMENTS: Do you enjoy foods from around the world? I love Indian, Italian, Mexican, Lebanese, and pretty much most non-American food! There are so many awesome vegetarian options from around the world! What do types of food do you like?

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Healthy Fudgy Brownies

If you've already tried Peanut Butter Brownies, this recipe won't taste any different. The difference is that THIS RECIPE is EVEN HEALTHIER! I've included some previous text, since it highlights dates!

Like I often say, these are so healthy you could eat them for breakfast! In fact, that is exactly what my 10 yr-old daughter did! She said, "I had to remind myself that these were healthy, so I would stop eating them!" (she actually makes very healthy choices, but that's what she said).


Peanut butter and walnuts are healthy fats, and cocoa has it's own exhaustive list of mental and and other health benefits! 

Dates rock! Check out: Dr Greger's endorsement of dates as a healthy food. In a nutshell: a worry is that dates (mostly sugar) may raise our blood sugar, raise our triglycerides, oxidatively stress our bodies, and make us fat. According to recent studies: DATES are FANTASTIC for us! Dates have no effect on triglycerides or weight, and improve antioxidant stress levels. One study proposes that dates may be an almost IDEAL food with their many essential nutrients and health benefits!


Speaking of Dr Greger, this recipe will help you achieve 5 delicious check marks on Dr Greger's Daily Dozen Checklist!

Healthy Fudgy Brownies

2 c walnuts*
3 c pitted dates (60 dates if you're counting!)
1/2" fresh turmeric (or 1/2 tsp)
1/2 tsp cloves
1/2 tsp cinnamon
2 t vanilla
1.5 c black beans (or 1 can, drained, rinsed)
2 c water
1/2 c ground flaxseed
3/4 c unsweetened cocoa
1/3 c natural peanut butter
1 c water

In a food processor, combine nuts, dates, spices, and vanilla until smooth. Add beans and continue to blend. Then add water, 1/2 cup at a time, pulsing between, until you've added 2 cups. In a large mixing bowl, combine flaxseed, cocoa, peanut butter, and 1 more cup water until smooth. Add first mixture to bowl, and mix until well combined with a hand mixer. Line a 12x18" baking sheet with a silicone baking sheet. Spread batter about a half inch thick on baking sheet. Bake for 40-50 min at 400 degrees F (convection: 30-40 min at 375). Enjoy!

*Walnuts are healthiest, and one of the least expensive, but probably any nut will work!

These are delicious piping hot from the oven! SO YUMMY! AND even tastier the next day...if there are any left!



COMMENTS: What is your favorite dessert? Have you tried a healthy version? Is there a recipe you would like me to try to convert, sweet or savory?

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