Day 20: Tomatoes #27DaysOfThanks

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Day 20: Tomatoes

Add flavor to so many dishes with tomatoes!
There are so many varieties and ways to use tomatoes to spice up your cooking. If you don’t like tomatoes it may be because you haven’t found the right variety yet, there are so many different textures and flavors out there, keep trying.  Some of my favorites are heirloom tomatoes and cherry tomatoes. What about you?
It’s actually so simple and delicious to make your own tomato sauce. Just food process a few tomatoes, sauté them with some garlic, seasonings (red chili flakes, garlic powder, oregano, basil, cayenne) add spinach or veggies, add a can of organic chopped tomatoes or tomato sauce and a few tbl. spoons of tomato paste and that is all you need!
Paired on top of some gluten-free pasta and you are good to go! You can even add lentils to your sauce to create that bolognese flavor!

  • Tomatoes are full of anti-oxidants and are linked to heart health.
  • Tomato paste is an excellent source of iron! If you are a ketchup fan, make your own with tomato paste! It’s so much healthier and super easy too.
See you tomorrow for letter “U.” ♥

Day 19: Sushi + Seaweed Salad #27DaysOfThanks

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Day 19: Sushi + Seaweed

Vegan Sushi is the best! There are so many ways to make it I’d say it’s another staple in my diet. It’s actually pretty easy to make, and once you make it, you will be making it all the time!
You can’t tell in this picture but I added a steamed sweet potato to one of the rolls..so good! I picked up this seaweed salad from the farmers market and it’s delicious with the sushi, and healthy too, here’s why:

    1. Everybody needs iodine these days, and it’s packed with it. This will support healthy thyroid function.
    2. Full of essential nutrients and minerals (like calcium & iron) that will benefit your hair, skin and nails. Seaweed is a concentrated superfood and beauty food.

#27DaysOfThanks for sushi + sea vegetables and the variety and nutrients it adds to our diet!

See you tomorrow for letter “T.” ♥

Day 18: Rice + Rice Cakes #27DaysOFThanks

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Day 18: Rice

Rice Cakes with Peanut Butter, Julienne Peeled Apple, Sprinkled with Cinnamon and Coconut!

 This makes the perfect after dinner snack if you’re having sweet tooth, it really satisfies your craving and is a good carb to have before bed because the apple will give you some fiber and the rice cake will give you some good carbs to help you get to sleep…

Arsenic and Rice:

There is a lot of controversy about rice right now because of high arsenic levels. Research shows that it is highest in brown rice, so I would avoid it altogether. White rice is a safer choice (organic doesn’t  change arsenic levels), it’s also easier to digest. It’s best when it’s grown in California or Asia (no where else in the U.S.). Also, rinsing it first helps. I would avoid giving it to children or very sparingly.
It’s too bad about rice, because it is an absolute staple for me and my gluten-free, hclf diet! I am still eating it (white, black or wild rice), but I am going to start eating it less often…What are your thoughts about rice?
See you tomorrow for letter “S.” ♥

Day 17: Quinoa + Quinoa Porridge #27DaysOfThanks

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Day 17: Quinoa

Were any of you wondering what on earth I’d come up with for “Q?”
(For anyone who is new, I’m doing a #27DaysOfThanks series of healthy, vegan foods from A-Z, ending with a vegan Thanksgiving dinner)…Thank goodness for Quinoa! 🙂
Quinoa is a staple grain for my gluten-free diet and there are so many ways to eat it…
I normally always eat fruit first think in the morning, before any cooked foods, but as the weather cools, and if I need a bit more fuel for the day, I will have a bowl of oats, or in this case, quinoa porridge!

 

  • This is simply quinoa cooked with almond milk, a smashed banana and topped with tons more fruit and peanut butter! Yum…

3 Reasons to love Quinoa

  1. Essential grain for a vegan + gluten-free diet because it’s also a complete protein (including essential amino acids).
  2. Quinoa is loaded with antioxidants and minerals. Particularly high in iron, magnesium and zinc.
  3. Low glycemic index, yet still high in the healthy carbs that we need! It’s full of fiber too, which will help with weight loss and keeping a healthy digestive system.

I love having quinoa in a salad too! What are your favorite ways to eat quinoa?

See you tomorrow for letter “R.” ♥

Day 16: Pumpkins #27DaysOfThanks

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Day 16: Pumpkins

I recently made my first ever YouTube video all about the health benefits of Pumpkins + 3 Easy Pumpkin Recipes!

Would you guys like to see more videos like this? What other subjects would you enjoy?

Let me know in the comments! 🙂

Here is a clip from the video…(full video underneath)

Full Video~

See you tomorrow for letter “Q.” ♥

Day 15: Oat +Baked Oatmeal #27DaysOfThanks

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Day 15: Oats

There are so many delicious ways to eat oats, do you ever forget they’re healthy?
You can bake them in cookies, use them as bread crumbs, add them to your smoothie or make baked oatmeal with fresh fruit like I did here…

3 Reasons to eat Oats:

  1. Oats are great source of whole grains packed with energy fueling carbs, fiber and protein.
  2. Eating oats helps stabilize blood sugar, lower cholesterol, and control blood pressure.
  3. If you are Gluten-Free like me, you’d like to know that recent studies show that eating more oats will enhance then nutritional value of your GF diet by increasing your mineral, vitamin and antioxidant level!

I’ve been wanting to try baked oats for so long and was excited when I found a pack of 3 baking ramekins at Ross for $3.99! This recipe is SUPER simple, there are so many possible combinations you can use, it will be fun trying new things…
I used gluten-free oats, no refined sugar and no oil.

Baked Banana Apple Oatmeal

Ingredients:

1/2 cup GF oats
1/2 cup almond milk
1/2 teas. baking powder
1 banana
1 date
1 small apple
cinnamon

(Other options are adding 1/2 teas. vanilla extract, blueberries, cacao or maple syrup)

Instructions:

  • Heat oven to 350f.
  • Combine Oats and almond meal, let soak for a few minutes.
  • Meanwhile, cut your banana in half.
  • Mash half your banana and one date and mix with oats.
  • Add cinnamon.
  • Pour mixture into your ramekin.
  • Top with banana and apple slices.
  • Bake for about 20 mins until slightly brown on top and crisp.
  • Top with coconut flakes

Enjoy!

See you tomorrow for letter “P.” ♥

Day 14: Navel Oranges #27DaysOfThanks

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Day 14: Navel Oranges

Navel Oranges make a great healthy snack, you already know that….let’s see if I can tell you something you may not know…
  1. We are in Navel Orange season right now! It goes from mid-November until spring! yea!
  2. They call them “Navel” because at the bottom it looks like a real navel
  3. Navel Oranges are considered to be the best flavored, sweetest and easiest to peel…
  4. As we head into cold season, they will keep your immunity up and give you vitamin C, but did you know they have protein, calcium and fiber too? (I love how nature grows the foods we need most at the time we need them most)
I’m thinking this Friday afternoon calls for a fresh ginger, carrot, orange juice…


Cheers to Navel Oranges!!!

See you tomorrow for letter “O.”

#27DaysOfThanks ♥

Day 13: Mung Beans #27DaysOfThanks

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Day 13: Mung Beans

I loved Mung Beans! I’ve always found them so delicious and full of nutrients, but after researching them a bit further, I am even more impressed…

Reasons to love Mung Beans:

  1. They are so easy to make! These here are sprouted mung beans so they cook in even less time with even more #health benefits.
  2. They fight all kinds of diseases. Research has shown that they suppress the growth of several different cancer cells. They can also prevent a blood infection called Sepsis.
  3. Mung beans can help you live longer and look younger. Phytoestrogens in mung beans can stimulate the production of hyaluronic acid, collagen and elastin! This will give you healthier, younger looking skin.
  4. They have a low-glycemic index which is safe for diabetics and great to eat when trying to lose weight. They will help you feel full while giving you fiber, protein and energy.

#27DaysOfThanks for Mung Beans and their many health benefits!

Let’s try to eat them more often, okay?

See you tomorrow for letter “N.” ♥

Day 12: Lentils +Lentil Soup #27DaysOfThanks

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Day 12: Lentils

Lentils are one of my top favorite go-to foods. They are so versatile, I try and throw them in as much as possible because they add so much flavor, protein and nutrients to so many dishes.

Lentils make a great substitute for any dish requiring ground meat because the flavor and texture is very similar. Even more healthy than meat, less fat, great protein and added fiber! You can use them to make things like bolognese sauce, meatballs or shepherds pie.

Yesterday, I threw some black lentils in a slow cooker and made a big pot of delicious lentil soup. It was so easy and tasty I can tell it’s going to be one of those staples for the winter… #27DaysOfThanks for lentils!

 

Easy Vegan Lentil Soup

I made this soup in a slow cooker (or crockpot) but you can make it on the stove top as well, just follow the cooking instructions for the lentils, add veggies and cook until tender…

Ingredients:

One bag of any color lentils (I used black lentils this time but green, brown or red work great too)
Carton of veggie broth
Can of diced tomatoes (I used fire roasted)
1 potato (your choice, I used a gold but sweet would be good)
2 carrots (diced)
3 stalks of celery (diced)
One bag of cut up butternut squash (optional)
2 large garlic cloves
3 bay leaves
spices (I used a dash of cayenne & garlic powder)
Dash of salt/pepper

 Instructions

  • Wash and sort lentils – throw in the pot
  • Wash and chop all veggies – thrown in the pot
  • Add broth, chopped can tomatoes, garlic and spices
  • Put the lid on and you are done!
  • Follow slow cooker instructions or wait a few hours you will know when it’s done…usually 4-5 hours on high, 6-7 on low.

Enjoy a wonderfully nutrient dense delicious hot soup that should last a few days 🙂

Day 11: Why you should eat Kale #27DaysOfThanks

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Day 11: Kale

To be honest I haven’t always been a fan of kale…if it isn’t prepared right or just blended in a smoothie, it’s hard for me to get it down. It isn’t until recently that I’ve experienced a few amazing salads that have opened my pallet to this nutrient dense cruciferous green. The key is finely chopped, massaged kale with the stem removed, lightly covered in a tangy, garlic, lemon, dressing and a hint of a sweet dried fruit. This is exactly what I have created here and it’s the kind of salad hardy enough to stand on it’s own. It fills you up and makes your body feel good as if it’s been given the nutrients it craves. In fact, kale is among the most nutrient dense food you can eat. It has essential nutrients hard to get in other foods, for both vegans and non-vegans.

Why to eat Kale:

  1. Kale is low in calories and high in nutrients; eating more kale will quickly increase the total nutrient content to your food.
  2. Kale is a great source of hard to get nutrients like calcium, iron, magnesium, vitamin A, C, K and B6.
  3. Powerful antioxidants and other nutrients in kale can help with anti-aging and can fight against cancer cells.
  4. Kale also has protein! Mixed with it’s high fiber content and zero fat content, it can help you lose weight.
  5. Kale contains Omega- 3 which is anti-inflamitory and great for your brain.
There are tons more good things to say about kale, but this is a good start. Combine this knowledge with some tasty recipes and you are good to go!

 Edible, Tangy, Crave-worthy, Kale Salad

Ingredients:

Head of Kale
1 lemon
1-2 Tbls. olive oil
2 large garlic cloves
Paprika
Cayenne pepper
Sea salt and pepper
Cranberries (or other dried fruit)

Nut parmesan

Almonds (or any nuts you prefer, pecans, walnuts, cashews…)
Nutritional Yeast

Directions:

  • Clean and dry kale.
  • Peel (or cut) all the kale leaves from the stem. (You will not be using the stem)
  • Chop up remaining leaves as finely as you can and place in a large bowl. Or use your food processor to chop it even finer!
  • Mix half of your lemon juice with half your olive oil and a few sprinkles of sea salt and pour over your kale and begin to massage the leaves until they become slightly wilty. (About 2 mins).
  • Set aside.
  • Mix remaining lemon, garlic, olive oil and seasoning into a cup and stir to make the dressing.
  • Pour over Kale and mix thoroughly.
  • In a food processor chop up almonds until the the texture is fine, similar to parmesan cheese.
  • Plate your salad and top with cranberries, nut parmesan and nutritional yeast.

Enjoy!

See you tomorrow for letter “L.” ♥