Tag Archives: vegetarian recipes

YUM Friday Recipe – Berry Chia Oatmeal

22 Oct

You’ve probably heard it a 1,000 times and now it will be 1001; breakfast is the most important meal of the day to eat.  Think of breakfast as powering up your systems for the day.  Remember when you take care to put proper nutrients into your body, the benefits will show-up on your skin.

A breakfast of oatmeal, berries, chia seeds, and some walnuts is truly the breakfast of champions.  In one bowl, you get a powerhouse of nutrients.  Let’s start with oatmeal.  By the way, we’re talking whole grain oatmeal and not that gross stuff that is so processed that you basically end up eating sugary slime after adding the hot water.  As we’ve mentioned before, the further you get away from the food source, the less nutrients that remain in the food.  Okay, back to oatmeal nutrients.

Oatmeal has skin loving B’s, selenium, copper, K, and omega 3.  In addition, oatmeal also has omega 6, protein, calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorous, potassium, tryptophan, fiber, and the antioxidant compound, avenanthramides.  There are suggestions that oatmeal can also make the body less acidic and more alkaline; this is especially good for the treatment of dry skin and other skin problems.

Consider adding oatmeal to your diet for protection from the flu or to fight bacterial infection.  Oatmeal has the polysaccaride, beta glucan.  Beta glucans boost the immune system and helps the immune system fight bacterial infection by quickly delivering immune responders to the infection site.

Chia Seeds are the new super food–if you haven’t heard.   Chia seeds are a complete protein; they have the right balance of omega 3 and 6.  Because of omega 3, they fight inflammation. They are low on the glycemic index and have several minerals.  Chia seeds are a favorite of long distance runners because of the energy they provide and how they help keep the body hydrated.  Hydration is also very important for the skin.

One of the fruits we used in our recipe was dried elderberries.  Elderberries are also well known for their ability to to boost the immune system against flu and colds.  But, they also have some wonderful nutrients for the skin.  Elderberries have loads of vitamin A and C, some B’s, zinc, copper, selenium, omega 3, and flavonoid antioxidants.  Elderberries have anti-inflammatory, antiviral, and may have anti-cancer properties.  Elderberries are also said to help Candida.  Candida symptoms can appear on the skin as red and itchy patches.

We also vary this recipe by using blueberry juice instead of water to cook the oatmeal.  Whatever berries or berry juice are used will have about the same nutritional value–vitamin A and C, some B’s, selenium, potassium, omega 3 and 6.  So, no matter what berry you use, you will get healthy benefits.

This dish is already packed with anti-inflammatory nutrients that help the body in so many ways and also helps the skin.  Adding some chopped walnuts to the dish really makes this a super anti-inflammatory meal.  Many health professionals think that many of our major health issues (including skin problems) are caused by inflammation in the body.  We can’t avoid inflammation in the body completely, but we can stack the deck in our favor by eating foods that fight inflammation and aid in balancing the body.

Yum Fruity Chia Oatmeal – serves 2
As mentioned earlier, we make this dish two ways.  One way is to use a berry fruit juice like blueberries; the other is to use a dried berry, such as elderberry.  Go wild and crazy…and make the oatmeal using both juice and berries.

Fruity Chia Oatmeal Recipe made with Fruit Juice
2 ½ Cups unsweetened juice, such as blueberry, pomegranate, or cranberry.
1 Cup of old fashioned oatmeal
2 4 Tablespoon chia seeds
1/3 Cup chopped walnuts (or other chopped nuts)
Maple Syrup
Ghee or pat of butter
¼ Teaspoon salt

In a medium saucepan, bring juice and salt to a boil.  Slowly add, the oatmeal and chia seeds; stir.  Turn heat down so that oatmeal simmers. Cover.  Cook until thick–10 to 15 minutes.  Stir occasionally.  You may need to add a little water if juice gets absorbed and oatmeal is not cooked.  Towards the end of cooking, add the chopped walnuts.  Remove from heat and spoon into bowls.  Add maple syrup to taste and a teaspoon of ghee or pat of butter.

Fruity Chia Oatmeal made with Dried Fruit
2 ½ cups water

1 cup of old fashioned oatmeal
2 Tablespoon chia seeds
¼ – 1/3 cup dried berries – (elderberries, blueberries, blackberries)
1/3 cup chopped walnuts
Maple Syrup
Ghee or pat of butter
¼ Teaspoon salt

In a medium saucepan, bring water and salt to a boil.  Slowly add, the oatmeal, chia seeds, and dried berries; stir.  Turn heat down so that oatmeal mixture simmers.  Cover.  Cook until thick–10 to 15 minutes.  Stir occasionally.  You may need to add a little water if the water gets absorbed and oatmeal is not cooked.  Towards the end of cooking, add the chopped walnuts.  Remove from heat and spoon into bowls.  Add maple syrup to taste and a teaspoon of ghee or pat of butter.

A Yum Scrub Organics Recipe

Reference:

“Elderberry”, University of Maryland Health Center http://www.umm.edu/altmed/articles/elderberry-002880.htm

“Nutritional Facts,Cereal, Oats…” Self Nutritional Data. http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/breakfast-cereals/1597/2

“Oats,” The World’s Healthiest Foods. http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=54

“Seed, Chia Seeds, dried,” Self Nutritional Data. http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/breakfast-cereals/1597/2

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Yum Friday Recipe: Easy Breezy Kale Chips – 4 Ways

29 Jul

Kale chips are easy to make and are very light and breezy on the taste buds–not to mention–light on calories.  But, kale isn’t light in the nutrition department.  Kale is filled with the skin loving nutrients A, C, and K.  Kale is also a good source of the B’s and Omega 3.  Research also shows that kale supports the body in detoxification.  How can you not want to eat kale?

If you haven’t known what to do with kale or even know what it is, these four easy and delicious chip recipes are a great introduction.  The chips make a great snack and great way to introduce kids to eating their veggies.

Yum Easy Breezy Kale Chip4 Ways
Preheat oven to 375 degrees

Yum Salt/Vinegar Kale Chips
8 oz (4 cups cut) of any variety of kale or combination
2 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
1/4 teaspoon salt

Rinse and dry kale.  It’s important that the kale is dry. Cut the kale away from the stems into about 2 inch pieces.  If the kale is very young, and stems are very thin and tender then you don’t have to cut the kale away from the stem.  Place cut kale in a bowl.
In a large measuring cup or small bowl, whisk apple cider vinegar, extra virgin olive oil and salt.
Pour the mixture over the kale pieces and toss thoroughly making sure every piece is coated.  Lay the coated kale pieces in a single layer (as best you can) on a cookie sheet that has sides.
Bake for 7 – 8 minutes.  The first time you make them start watching to see if they are done (crispy) at about 4 minutes or so.  This is because individual oven temperatures differ and also the type of pans can affect the length of baking.

Yum Ghee and Turmeric Kale Chips
8 oz (4 cups cut) of any variety of kale or combination

2 teaspoon ghee* or clarified butter
1 teaspoon turmeric
1/4  teaspoon salt

* Ghee is the Indian version of clarified butter; it’s cooked longer and so it’s more nutty tasting and a purer oil than clarified butter.  It can be purchased at natural grocery stores, such as Whole Foods.

Rinse and dry kale.  It’s important that the kale is dry. Cut the kale away from the stems into about 2 inch pieces.  If the kale is very young, and the stems are very thin and tender then you don’t have to cut the kale away from the stem.  Place cut kale in a bowl.
Melt the ghee or clarified butter in a small saucepan, whisk in the turmeric and salt.
Pour the mixture over the kale and toss thoroughly making sure all the kale is coated.  Lay the coated kale pieces in a single layer (as best you can) on a cookie sheet that has sides.
Bake for 7 – 8 minutes.  The first time you make kale chips start watching to see if they are done (crispy) at about 4 minutes or so.  This is because individual oven temperatures differ and also the type of pans can affect the length of baking.

Yum Spicy Parmesan Kale Chips
8 oz (4 cups cut) of any variety of kale or combination
3 tablespoon freshly grated Parmesan cheese
2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons cayenne pepper sauce (i.e. Frank”s Red Hot) or more to taste
1/4 teaspoon salt

In a large measuring cup or small bowl, whisk olive oil, pepper sauce, and salt together. Pour the mixture over the cut kale and toss thoroughly making sure all the kale is coated.  Lay the coated kale pieces in a single layer on a cookie sheet that has sides and sprinkle the kale with the shredded Parmesan cheese.
Bake for 7 – 8 min. The first time you make the kale chips start watching to see if they are done (crispy) at about 4 minutes or so.  This is because individual oven temperatures differ and also the type of pans can affect the length of baking.

Yum Teriyaki Kale Chips
8 oz (4 cups cut) of any variety of kale or combination
2 tablespoon good quality teriyaki
2 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil

Rinse and dry kale.  It’s important that the kale is dry. Cut the kale away from the stems into about 2 inch pieces.  If the kale is very young, and the stems are very thin and tender then you don’t have to cut the kale away from the stem.  Place cut kale in a bowl.
In a large measuring cup or small bowl, whisk teriyaki and olive oil together.  Pour the mixture over the kale and toss thoroughly.  Lay the coated kale pieces in a single layer on a cookie sheet that has sides.
Bake for 7 – 8 min. The first time you make the kale chips start watching to see if they are done (crispy) at about 4 minutes or so.  This is because individual oven temperatures differ and also the type of pans can affect the length of baking.

Suggestions:

Chips are very good made with just some olive oil, salt and pepper.
Top a casserole after its done with the baked chips.

Click to Buy Our Great All-Organic Skincare Line:

Yum Scrub http://bit.ly/1jKksLG

Abe’s Market  bit.ly/1rueto2

Recipes by Denise Karson
copyright Abhijit Chandra, LLC 2011

Yum Friday Recipe – Coconut Milk Fruit Shake

27 May

Summer is here–well almost. Yeah! This also means strawberries and blueberries are in season.  And what a way to shake-up, shape-up, and cool off, than with this version of a milkshake that is not only delicious but also very healthy.  It’s so rich and decadent you’ll think you are drinking something totally bad for you……………………………….

Coconuts Bad Rap
Coconut milk has gotten a bad rap for way too many years.  It’s because, well there are many reasons…some (or a lot…) of it political (don’t get me started…).  Coconuts poor image was because coconuts have saturated fat.  Saturated fat is a dirty word in America, sorry. Coconut’s saturated fat has become the boogeyman in food.  The thing is–saturated fats are not equal, and most Americans eat saturated fats from other source (meat and dairy).

The Coconut Boogeyman
Interestingly, at the same time coconut milk was being made into a boogeyman, things like margarine and consuming copious amounts of cheap meat where being toted as healthy. Well, we now know the score on the detriment of hydrogenated oils found in margarine.  And we also now know what a diet with too much meat can do to the body.  With the rise of obesity, diabetes, cancer, and heart disease in America, people are now realizing it’s time to rethink the typical American diet.

Here’s the other thing about coconut milk: People in parts of the world where coconuts grow having been eating it for thousands of years without problems. They also use it as part of their body-care regimen.  So, what makes coconut products healthy?

Not All Fats Are Created Equal
First, let’s get back saturated fat and their differences.  Briefly, most of the fatty acids in coconut and palms are medium chain fatty acids (MCFA) whereas the saturated fat from meats and dairy products are long chain fats acids (LCFA).  These fatty acids affect the body differently. One study has shown that the liver processes MCFA’s quicker than LCFA pointing in a direction that suggests that LCFA’s turn into fatty deposits whereas MCFA’s don’t.

The Need for Lauric Acid
Also, coconuts are filled with some great nutrients; one of the main ones is lauric acid.  Lauric acid, found in mother’s milk and coconuts, is considered to be antiviral, antibacterial and antifungal.  For people with acne or blemish problems, there are studies showing lauric acid helps with these skin conditions.  Many researchers and nutritionists say that Americans missing lauric acid in their diets may be a reason for health issues we have in our country.  Coconut milk also has calcium, magnesium, potassium, copper, zinc, vitamins C and E.  And drum roll please…coconut is cholesterol free.  Only animal based foods have cholesterol.

Rounding out our shake are the strawberries and blueberries with their marvelous antioxidant properties.  Tufts University researched the antioxidant properties of 60 fruit and vegetables.  They found that blueberries had the most antioxidants of all.  Strawberries are also a good source of antioxidants.  And fruit has been shown to help with vision and prevention of certain eye diseases.

Note: Coconut milk can now be purchased in cartons in the refrigerated section.  But beware: The coconut milk in cartons may contain unnecessary ingredients such as sweeteners and other additives. This gets away from coconut milk being a healthy food. Buy coconut milk that has no additives such as the kinds that come in a can or in a tetra-pak.  You can also buy light coconut milk.  Vigorously shake or stir the coconut milk before using to blend the cream found on the top with the milky liquid below.  Store unused portions in the refrigerator.

Yum Coconut Milk Fruit Shake – Serves 1
1 cup coconut milk
1 cup sliced strawberries (5 -6 strawberries depending on size)
¾ cup blueberries
2 – 3 teaspoons agave syrup (optional)
1 tsp lime juice

Put all ingredients in a blender and blend on high for 30 – 45 seconds.  It’s so delicious you’ll want to gobble it, but contain yourself…………

Suggestions:

  • Get an electrolyte boost by replacing half the coconut milk with coconut water.
  • Try adding a few ice cubes for an even colder drink.
  • Chill coconut milk ahead of time.
  • Try other fruit combinations as they come into season

Reference:

“Got Coconut Milk?,” Los Angeles Times, Mar. 22, 2010. Online: http://articles.latimes.com/2010/mar/22/health/la-he-0322-nutrition-lab-20100322

“Worlds Healthiest Foods & Spices,” Whole Foods.  Online: http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=32 http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=8        

“Coconut,” Coconut Research Center. Online: http://www.coconutresearchcenter.org/

“Lauric acid, found in breast milk…,” NY Daily News.  Online: http://articles.nydailynews.com/2010-04-20/entertainment/27062274_1_breast-milk-clinical-trials-acne

Friday Yum Recipe – Pico de Gallo Vegetable Polenta

20 May

Today we’re combing two cultures, Italian and Mexican, to make one delicious dish.  If you are looking for a healthy comfort food that’s gluten-free and low in fat, try polenta. Polenta is a cornmeal dish that originated in northern Italy.  It was originally made from different grains, but now is generally made with a coarse cornmeal. Polenta is one of those all day foods; you can have it in the morning topped with maple syrup (probably not with this recipe), or for lunch or dinner.  Here we pair it with another favorite, Mexican pico de gallo. Pico de Gallo, which mean rooster’s beak….go figure…, is a fresh salsa (salsa fresca) sometimes made with chilies and sometimes not.  We aren’t using chilis in this recipe, but you can.   Delizioso!  Delicioso!  No matter which way you say delicious, this dish is good for a healthy body and  healthy skin.

Pico de Gallo Vegetable Polenta – Serves 6-8
Polenta Ingredients
2 cups polenta corn (coarse corn meal)
2 – 2.5 cups chopped mushrooms – (try a variety of mushrooms)
1 young zucchini chopped
1 cup onion chopped
2 gloves garlic finely chopped or minced
2 -3 TBL chopped cilantro
3 -4 TBL ghee or butter
1 Tsp. salt
pepper
6 – 7 cups water

Pico de Gallo Ingredients
3 tomatoes
1 clove garlic
cilantro
salt/pepper
Garnish
2- 3 avocados sliced

Polenta Directions
Preheat Oven 350 degrees
Prepare Pan – Liberally butter the bottom and sides of a loaf pan.
Place 6 cups water, zucchini, mushrooms, onion, garlic, cilantro, and 1 TBL of the butter or ghee in a medium saucepan; bring to a boil. Turn heat down to medium and cook vegetables for about 4- 5 min.  Slowly add the coarse corn meal, cook mixture for another 5 minutes stirring constantly, adding more water if necessary.  Add the rest of the ghee or butter.
Bake
Pour polenta into prepared pan, place in  350 degree oven for 35- 50 min.
350 degrees for 35 – 40 minutes.
After the polenta bakes, allow to cool for a few minutes. Run a knife along the sides of the polenta to help release it.  Turn the loaf pan upside down over a serving plate.  Or place a serving plate over the top of the loaf pan and carefully flip both.

Pico de Gallo
Dice the tomatoes
Finely chop the garlic
Chop cilantro for 1/4 cup
Mix the ingredients adding salt/pepper to taste
The Pico de Gallo for this recipe is made without onions.  You may add 1/4 cup chopped scallions.                                                      

Garnish and Plating
1. Pour the pico de gallo over the polenta and arrange avocado slices around the plate.
2. Slice polenta and arrange on plate; pour pico de gallo over the slices and arrange avocados.
3. Individualy plate with a couple of polenta slices, pico de gallo and avocado.
Recipe by: Lisa Mackenzie Karson
copyright: Abhijit Chandra, LLC, 2009

Spinach, Asparagus, Strawberry Salad with Fig Vinegar

13 May

Get your spring vegetable salad on with this skin-loving recipe.  Spring vegetables, baby spinach and asparagus, team up with in-season strawberries and sliced almonds.  How do you spell…yum.  This is a great salad to start off a Sunday brunch.

In our first recipe entry, we talked about the nutrients that are really good for the skin.  Asparagus has many of them.  It’s high in vitamin K, folate (vitamin B9 ), C, A and has wonderful levels of other B’s, copper, and contains skin loving zinc and selenium. The anti-inflammatory benefits of asparagus are helpful for skin inflammations such as acne, eczema, etc. Asparagus is also said to be good for the digestive tract.  The anti-oxidant nutrients from the strawberries with their high amounts of vitamin C and from asparagus help with wrinkles and other skin conditions. Spinach, one of the very beneficial dark leafy vegetables, is also chock-full with many of the same nutrients.  So, this salad, gives you a whammy of body-loving and skin-loving healthy benefits.

Fig-infused vinegar pulls it all together into one lip-smacking salad.

Yum Spinach, Asparagus, Strawberry Salad with Fig Vinegar
Serves 4 -6
This salad is lovely when plated individually.  But you can also layer it in a bowl or on a platter.

Ingredients:
2 ½ cups of shaved (directions follow) asparagus (or asparagus cut on the diagonal in 2 1/2 – 3 inch slices)
5 or so cups of baby spinach
2 ½ cups sliced strawberries
½ cup sliced almonds
juice from ½ lime
fig infused vinegar (optional: well-aged balsamic vinegar)
salt and  freshly ground pepper

Toast Sliced Almonds
Preheat oven to 170 degrees Fahrenheit. Place almonds on a sided cookie sheet and bake for 15 minutes. This temperature and time maintains the nutritional content of the almonds.

Tackling the Shaved Asparagus
You can serve the shaved asparagus raw.  But, we like to blanch it and add some lime juice to bring out the color and flavor.

Shaving works better on semi-thick stalks just don’t go for the really thick ones.  Slice or snap off the bottom of the stalk.  Using a vegetable peeler and starting at the cut end, shave pieces of the asparagus in about 3 inch shavings.  Continue shaving all the way to the tips.  We find it easier to draw the peeler towards you as you shave the asparagus.

Boil water.  Have a bowl of ice water and a layer of paper towels or very clean kitchen towel ready.  Place the shaved asparagus in a bowl or saucepan of boiling water for about 45 – 60 seconds, until the asparagus is bright green and soft/crunchy.  Use a slotted spoon to remove the asparagus from the hot water and place it in the ice water (laying the asparagus along the inside edge of the bowl makes it easier to remove the shavings once they cool).  Remove asparagus shavings and place them on paper towel or kitchen towel; pat dry.  In a bowl, pour the lime juice, add some salt and pepper; mix.  Add the blanched asparagus; lightly toss.                                      

If you choose to use cut asparagus, steam until tender/crunchy then add lime seasoning.

Plating
Keep in mind the ingredients are divided by the number you want to serve.

In the center of individual plates, place some spinach.  Sprinkle around on the spinach some of the seasoned asparagus.  Next arrange some sliced strawberries on the greens.  Sprinkle with the toasted almonds.

Drizzle fig infused vinegar over each salad.

Serve and wait….wait…wait….receive the accolades.

Suggestions

You can also drizzle well-aged balsamic vinegar over the salad.  Fig infused or other sweet fruit infused vinegars can be used alone as a dressing without making a vinaigrette with oil to soften the tartness.  The more aged a balsamic vinegar is the sweeter it is.  Buy balsamic vinegar that’s been aged 20 years or more.  Yes, the price is indulgent, but well worth it.

Crumble some very good goat cheese over the salad.  We recently tried a handmade and hand packed goat cheese by Belle Chevre.  It was very mild and smooth with just the right bite.

Keep asparagus fresh by placing the stalks upright in a open jar or glass with about an inch of water in the bottom and storing in the refrigerator.
Recipe by: Denise Karson
copyright: Abhijit Chandra, LLC

Friday Recipe Time! Quinoa Fiesta Taco Salad

6 May

This looks long and complex- but it’s not at all!  Super Easy and Super Fresh!  It’s in honor of Cinco de Mayo.  Yes, we know Cinco de Mayo was yesterday, but now it’s the weekend–we have more time to CELEBRATE.

This salad is  always a crowd pleaser when we serve it.  And the meat eaters are always impressed that it contains no meat.

The star of this food show is quinoa (pronounced KEEN-wha).  Quinoa rocks.  First, it’s looks like a grain, but it’s a seed that belongs to the same family as spinach and swiss chard.  Secondly, it delivers a powerful punch of protein, and it is a complete protein.  A complete protein has all nine of the essential amino acids the body needs. Quinoa is filled with other nutrients such as magnesium, calcium, vitamin A, folate, and others.  While it does have some carbs, they are complex carbohydrate aka good carbs. Thirdly, quinoa is versatile.  It can be eaten for breakfast as a porridge; it can be added to baked goods, or used in a savory dish like this recipe does.

This salad is chocked full of other skin loving nutrient such as avocados, tomatoes, lime, garlic, and onions.  Did you know that it is said that cilantro helps to remove metal toxins from the body?

Yum Quinoa Fiesta Taco Salad   6 – 8 servings

This salad has different components to it.  So, we’ve broken it down by each component, but we’ve listed all the ingredients for the entire salad first.  The parts of the salad are the dressing, pico de gallo, quinoa “taco” mixture, grilled vegetables, and putting it all together.  Of course, we believe in using organic ingredients whenever possible.

Ingredients:
3 large or 5 medium ripe avocados
1 bunch cilantro (enough to make 2 cups chopped)
3 med. to large limes
4 cloves garlic
3 large tomatoes
6 scallions
1 zucchini (or yellow squash)
1 large green pepper
1 red pepper
8 mushrooms (enough to make 2 cups diced)
1 onion
8 – 10 oz of spring lettuce mix (can substitute other types of lettuce)
½ cup uncooked red or white quinoa
3-½ teaspoons chili powder (Mexican)
3-½ teaspoons cumin
2 cans pinto beans or black beans (can have a combination, but do not use chili beans)
Bag of tortilla chips
½ cup extra virgin cold-pressed olive oil plus extra for sauteing
Salt and Pepper

Prep
Soak the quinoa in a bowl of water; set aside.
Open the cans of beans; rinse them under water, and set aside to drain.
Wash all the vegetables (except garlic and onion) and set aside.  Wrap the cleaned cilantro in a paper towel or very clean kitchen towel.

Make Avocado-Cilantro Dressing-
Ingredients go in a food processor or powerful blender.
Cut 1 large (or 2 med) avocado in half; remove the seed and scoop out the fruit with a spoon and place in processor or blender.
Take a fistful of cilantro and using a pair of scissors cut pieces into the processor or blender.  (This is about 1 cup chopped, but much easier to do this way.)
Squeeze the juice of 2 limes (catch or filter any seeds) into the dressing mixture.
Add the 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil.
Add ½ teaspoon salt and some fresh ground pepper.
Process or blend the dressing until smooth.

You want to add enough water to the dressing to make it smooth and pourable.  Start with about a ¼ of a cup; gradually add enough water until you get a dressing consistency.
Taste and adjust seasonings.  Place finished salad dressing in a cruet or pourable container and place in the refrigerator.

Pico de Gallo
Place following ingredients in a bowl and mix together then set aside.
3 diced tomatoes
2 chopped scallions
1 finely chopped or minced garlic
1 cup chopped cilantro (can use the same system as for the dressing)
juice from ½ lime (set aside the other half)
salt and pepper to taste

Cook Quinoa
Retrieve the bowl of soaking quinoa; place you hands in the water and rub the quinoa between your hands several times to remove any possible remaining bitter saponins.  Place quinoa in a strainer and rinse under running water.

Place the quinoa in a saucepan with 1 cup of water.  Add 2 teaspoons chili pepper, 2 teaspoons cumin, 1 clove of garlic and a small piece of the onion.
Bring the quinoa to a boil; reduce heat to a simmer and cover.
Quinoa takes about 12 – 15 min. to cook.  It’s done when water is absorbed and quinoa has a soft/crunchy bite, and you can see little “tails”. 

Prepare Remaining Vegetables While Quinoa Cooks
If quinoa gets done before vegetables are prepared, set it aside.
Chop the remaining part of the onion.
Chop the 7-8 mushrooms (about 2 cups). Set aside on a cutting board or in a bowl.
Chop 2 garlic cloves. Set aside on a cutting board or in a bowl.
The scallions, zucchini, green and red pepper can all be placed in a bowl together after preparing them.
Scallions – after removing the root part and any damaged green parts, slice on the diagonal about 2 inches in length.
Zucchini – slice the zucchini so that you have thin “stick” slices about 3 inches long.
Green Pepper – cut in half remove seeds and stem.  Cut into 3 inches long thin slices.
Red Pepper – same as green pepper.
2 Avocados – cut in half, remove seed and scoop out the fruit.  Slice each of the halves lengthwise in thin to medium thick slices.  Place in a bowl.  Squeeze the juice from the remaining lime over the slices.  Cover and set aside.

Quinoa Taco Mix
You’ll need the diced onions, mushrooms, chili powder, cumin, quinoa, salt and pepper, and about ¾ cup water.


In a heated skillet, add 2 Tablespoon of olive oil, add the diced onion.  Sautee onions for 2 minutes, then add the mushrooms.  Sautee until the onions and mushrooms are golden brown–about 10 minutes.  Add 2 teaspoons chili powder, 2 teaspoons of cumin, salt/pepper to taste, the chopped garlic, and quinoa. Stir and cook for 1 – 2 minutes.  Then add the water.  Cook until water is absorbed.  Taste and adjust seasonings.  Set aside.

 Grill Vegetables
This is a handy way to grill vegetables without using a grill.  Try to use as little oil as possible and stir continuously.
Have scallions, zucchini, green and red pepper ready.
Over medium high heat to high heat, place 1 -2 teaspoons olive oil in a large skillet.  After pan is hot, carefully add scallions, zucchini, green and red pepper.  Stir-fry vegetables until they reach a soft/crunchy texture.  Some vegetables will have a nice brown grilled look to them.

Bringing the Fiesta Together
In a large salad bowl add in layers:
drained beans
quinoa “taco” mixture
grilled vegetables
avocados (lay slices decoratively in the bowl)
pico de gallo

You can add the lettuce, crushed chips, dressing, and toss.  But we like to serve the lettuce and chips in separate bowls from the layered vegetable mixture and have each individual fix their own bowl of salad. 

To serve individually, each person fills their bowl with chips (can crush them), the vegetable mixture, and lettuce.  Pour the dressing over.  How do you say Yummy in Spanish??  Apetitoso!

Suggestions:  Serve sliced pickled jalapenos on the side.
Serve wedges of lime on the side to squeeze over the salad.
Instead of Avocado/Cilantro Dressing, drizzle about ¼ cup EVOO and juice of a lime over the salad.
Use pinto or black beans made from scratch.

Recipe by: Denise Karson
copyright, Abhijit Chandra, LLC 2011

New Friday Feature: Yummy Recipes- Good for Body and Skin

29 Apr

We believe what you put on your skin is just as important as what you put in your body.  Conversely, what you put in your body affects your skin.  Research is now backing-up what we’ve believed all along: your skin reflects what you eat.  Although, the study of how food, nutrients, or lack-of influences skin is in its infancy, preliminary research shows that these nutrients, A, B’s, C, E, A, K, alpha-lipoic acid, copper, selenium, sulfur, zinc, and omega 3 fatty acids are healthy skin nutrient leaders.

Okay, so it’s one thing to have this information, but figuring out how to implement it in your diet is another thing.  Consistently eating fresh vegetables and fruits is the way to go, especially eating dark leafy vegetables.    But, wouldn’t it be nice if someone gave you yummy recipes that had the skin glowing nutrients in them?  Starting today, every Friday we will post a recipe that is good for the skin… and what is good for the skin is good for the rest of your body.

By the way, the earlier you start taking care of your, the better your skin will age.  And it’s never too late to start; your skin will reflect what you eat no matter your age.

Choose organic when you can, especially for spinach and celery, as they are on the Environmental Working Groups list of Dirty Dozen fruits and vegetables with the highest pesticide residuals.

YUM Spring Salad- serves 4 – 6
4 cups baby spinach
2 cups watercress
1 red onion
1 large green apple (can substitute a red variety, but make it a crunchy one)
1 cup sliced celery
1 cup coarsely chopped walnuts
3-4 tablespoon of olive oil
½ lemon
Salt and fresh ground pepper to taste

Wash and dry spinach and watercress.  Slice red onion in thin rings.  Core apple and cut into quarters and and then into large dices. 

 Put spinach, watercress, onion, apple, celery,  and walnuts in a bowl and toss.  Drizzle olive oil over salad mixture followed by squeezing the lemon over it (catch or filter seeds).  Add salt and pepper.  Toss, taste, and adjust seasonings if necessary.  Garnish with thin lemon slices overlapping one another in center of the salad.  Serve.  Sooo yummy!

 Suggestions:
Sprinkle crumbled goat cheese on top or add slices of roasted garlic.
Plate salads individually
Want to make a salad ahead of time?  Add all ingredients but the greens in a layer in a salad bowl, place the greens on top. Cover and refrigerate.  Just before serving toss, add dressing, toss salad again, and serve.
This salad goes well with salmon (another healthy skin food).

Hint:
If you like onions, but they don’t like you try this suggestion from chef Jacques Pepin.  Blanch prepared onions in boiling water for 5 seconds and then immediately submerge them in ice water to cool them.  Pat dry the onions slices with a paper towel or clean cloth and then add to the salad.

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