Everyone knows that having an apple a day keeps the doctor away but did
you know that if you ate one each day it can lower your serum cholesterol
levels by 8-11%? Apples are rich in fiber and flavonoids which help decrease
heart disease. Pecans are cholesterol free, nutrient dense and are packed with
These baked apples aregreat for breakfast or as side with a spinach salad tossed
with a warm cider dressing.
Cherry Ginger Nut Stuffed Apples
2 Gala Apples
1/2 Cup Pecans, Chopped
1/4 Cup Dried Cherries
3 Tablespoons Coconut Sugar
2 Tablespoons Crystallized Ginger, Chopped
1 Teaspoon Cinnamon, Ground
1/8 Teaspoon Cloves, Ground
Dash Himalayan Pink Sea Salt
2 Tablespoons Coconut Oil (add this just before baking)
Using a knife or spoon to hollow out the apples leaving approximately 1/2
inch apple in the bottom to keep filling from coming out.
Mix together pecans, dried cherries, coconut sugar, crystallized ginger,
cinnamon, cloves and sea salt. Fill apples with nut mixture.
At this point you can put in an airtight container and wrap with plastic
wrap to keep for a couple of days.
Put apples in a baking dish and add 1 tablespoon of coconut oil on top.
Bake in 350 degree oven for 40 minutes.
These only take a few minutes to prep and are really great alternative to morning cereal, eggs or pancakes.
Not because they are incredibly sweet, tart and juicy but
because they are good for my heart.These
potent powerhouse jewels are rich in potassium and magnesium; strawberries are
effective in lowering blood pressure caused by sodium intake.High in folate, fiber and antioxidants –
Vitamin C and flavonoids make strawberries a heart healthy fruit that can
effectively reduce cholesterol and Vitamin B will help strengthen the heart
muscles for better function.
Every spring and summer I can’t get enough of these
beautiful heart shaped gems.I find all
kinds of ways to incorporate them into my daily intake.Breakfast has become an essential part of my
day and I try not to get out the door without something substantial in me to
make it through to a late lunch.
Oatmeal has been something that I eat on a regular basis lately
and mixing it up is so easy and blends with so many different types of
flavors.This morning I sliced up some
ruby red strawberries, added some fresh basil and sweetened it with some
stevia.After I cooked my oatmeal, I
added a tablespoon of extra virgin coconut oil (for my daily supplement), which
makes it nice and just like adding butter but with health benefits!I tossed in a few chopped pecans and walnuts
and dressed it with the strawberry basil salsa.
Salsa Oatmeal Breakfast
¾ Cup Water
½ Cup Old
Fashioned Gluten Free Oats (I use Bob’s Redmill Brand)
Himalayan Pink Sea Salt
1 Tbsp Fresh
Basil, Julienned Sliced
Truvia (Stevia Sweetener)
1 Tbsp Extra
Virgin Coconut Oil
In a small
saucepan over medium high heat, add water and salt.Bring to a boil and add oats.
and cook stirring occasionally until water is absorbed.Remove from heat.
oil and mix in.
In a small
bowl, mix sliced strawberries with truvia sweetener and fresh basil.
To Serve –
Place oatmeal in bowl, top with chopped nuts and add strawberry salsa around
the edges for a nice presentation.(If you’re
into that stuff – remember an eye catching meal is much more satisfying.)
Boring steamed broccoli...Yuk! I just can't bring myself to eat it steamed...
Did you know that broccoli is rich in calcium which provided essential nutrients that promote bone health and also helps strengthen muscle contraction, expansion and contraction of blood vessels, transmitting impulses throughout your nervous system and secretion of hormones and enzymes?
And did you also realize that your body constantly borrows or deposits calcium from your bones and teeth to meet your daily needs? Your bones and teeth make up approximately 99% of your calcium content. So make sure you keep it stocked up!
The Dairy Association has convinced us that if we don't drink our milk we won't get our recommended calcium intake. However there are other ways to get calcium; through broccoli, coconut milk, soybeans, kale, oatmeal, almonds, salmon, dried figs, arugula, turnip greens, tofu, sunflower seeds, sardines. Be sure to also consume foods that are rich in vitamin D rich to help absorb the calcium.
I also try to consume at least 1-2 tbsp of Extra Virgin Coconut Oil per day as a daily supplement for heart disease, increase immunity, proper digestion and metabolism and blood pressure. Swapping butter for coconut oil is a great way to do it. Plus you get the added benefits of a fat that make everything taste better!
Chipotle Lime Grilled Broccoli
Broccoli Head, Large Chunks (large enough to fit on grill nicely)
1/2 cup Extra Virgin Coconut Oil
1 Lime, juiced and zested
1 Tbsp Chipolte Adobo Sauce (sauce from inside canned chipoltes)
Himalayan Pink Sea Salt (to taste)
Black Pepper, Freshly Cracked (to taste)
Cut up broccoli so it's in nice chunks and you can lay them on the grill.
Melt the Extra Virgin Coconut Oil in a small pan, add the Lime Juice, Zest and Chipolte. Brush over Broccoli as it cooks over medium heat on the grill. Be careful as you brush it on, the grill will flare up from the oil.
I like to cook mine until they are bright green and still has a nice crunch!
What if I told you that you could help heal your body, lower your blood pressure, speed up your metabolism, help prevent heart disease, dissolve kidney stones, balance blood sugar and control diabetes, enhance your immune system, protect your skin and gain a youthful appearance all by consuming coconut products?
Would you believe me?
Ah…the Coconut! Did
you know that coconuts can produce a variety of edible products that can help
transform your health? If you notice lately, there is a lot more buzz about coconuts;
from the meat, water, cream, milk and my favorite…the oil. But there are other products such as flour, sugar,
aminos, and vinegar.
Coconut Meat - is
the white edible portion of the seed. Fresh
coconut meat spoils quickly so that is why we usually see the meat shredded and
dried. However most shredded coconut has
sugar added. But the unsweetened coconut
usually sold in health food stores is better for you and can be used in a
variety of recipes.
Coconut Water - The
liquid inside the young coconut is the coconut water before they mature. This water holds many nutrients such as vitamin
C, calcium, magnesium and phosphorus.
Plus there is potassium and it’s low in sodium. Coconut water is an
isotonic solution which replaces the fluids and minerals that the body loses
during physical activity. It’s a better
sports drink after exercising and comes in a cans or tetra packs. Replace this for sugar flavored juices for
kids and they will go bananas over how refreshing it is and Mom’s will feel
better giving these to their kiddos throughout the day. It can also help reduce urinary and kidney
stone problems if consumed regularly. It’s
great a reducing vomiting and is a wonderful beverage for a hangover.
Coconut Sugar –
Becoming known as one of the best natural sweetener that is non-toxic. It is a whole food that is derived from the
sap that drips from the coconut flower which is grown organically. It is unrefined and not highly processed such
as brown or other sugars.
Coconut Milk – The
liquid that comes from the meat of the coconut.
It comes in cans for pina coladas and Thai curries. But these days, coconut milk also can be
found in cartons in the milk aisle in pints, half gallons, yogurt, coffee cream
and my favorite…Ice cream!
Coconut Aminos – A
soy free seasoning sauce made from the sap of the coconut tree. It comes
directly from the tree so it’s active, alive and filled with nutrients. It’s blended with a mineral rich sun dried
sea salt and aged but fermented.
Coconut Vinegar – Derived
from the sap of a coconut blossom. An
abundant source of 17 amino acids, vitamin C, minerals, B vitamins has a nearly
neutral pH. It is unheated, enzymatic
live product that is naturally aged for 8-12 months.
Coconut Flour – Raw
coconut flour is made in small batch from unheated coconut meat and is dried
using a tumbler drying method. Its
gluten free, low in carbohydrates and actually lowers the calorie content in
food. It contains 40% dietary fiber
promotes lipid oxidation which helps to burn fat, aids in digestive health and
balances blood sugar levels. Use in
baking, to thicken sauces or as a supplement to super-boost fiber content in
your morning smoothies. It’s best if it
is blended with a ratio of ¼ cup coconut flour to ¾ cup almond flour.
Oil – By far the healthiest oil you can consume and
my personal favorite for skin care and cooking.
It has been a staple in tropical cultures for thousands of years. It promotes your heat health, supports your
immune system, aids in managing weight loss, promotes a healthy metabolism, is
an energy booster, kills disease-causing bacteria, keeps your skin looking
youthful and healthy and supports proper functioning of your thyroid
gland. It’s an excellent replacement for butter and nightime moisturizer for your face!
This amazing gift from God is the key to help you transform your health. So next time you run to the store for one of these essentials, replace it with a coconut product and start reaping the benefits of coconut cures.
"What are these little fish eyeballs?" My son said today when I gave him some of this Moroccan Spiced Red Quinoa. I cracked up. He took another look at it and said "No for real Mom, what is that?"
Quinoa - An ancient grain that when it's cooked it pops out a little tail which is the germ of the seed. It's an excellent source of fiber, vitamins, and minerals, and
unlike other grains, it is a complete protein all by itself.
Quinoa has a natural bitter coating that must be rinsed away prior to cooking so I
always start by rinsing the little round “seeds” under running water
until the water runs clear. Some quinoa comes pre-rinsed, just check the packaging. Note of precaution...if you don't rinse it will have a bitter flavor, so make sure not to skip this step.
Whats great about quinoa is it can be used as a substitute for rice, so it’s easy to
start thinking of it as a side dish, a cold salad, added to soups, included in a stir fry, etc. A lot of people are intimidated by quinoa for some reason, but just think of it as rice and you can do it!
Cook 1 cup to 2 cups liquid (chicken, vegetable broth or water) I like to season the liquid with a seasoning of some sort as it adds good flavor while it's cooking.
Tonight I wanted a quick dinner with little hassle so I decided to make my favorite Moroccan Carrot Salad and mix it with a Moroccan Spiced Red Quinoa. It was perfectly light, flavor packed and crunchy!
Moroccan Carrot Salad
Yields 1 lb
1 lb Carrots, Peeled & Cut into Chunks
1 Tbps Cumin Seeds, Whole
2 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1/4 Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
3 Tbsp Lemon Juice, Freshly Squeezed
2 tsp Garlic Cloves, Finely Minced
2 Tbsp Cilantro, Chopped
1 tsp Moroccan Spice Mix (see recipe)
1 Lemon, Zested
In a small skillet over medium high heat, add 2 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil and Cumin Seeds. The seeds will release their essential oils when the hit the hot oil. Then add Carrot chunks and saute or 1-2 minutes only. No more, you want it to have little crunch and be al dente. Remove from heat.
Mix dressing and add the warm carrots to the dressing and toss.
Moroccan Spiced Red Quinoa
Yields 4 Cups
1 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 Cup Red Quinoa, Rinsed Well
2 Cups Liquid (Chicken, Vegetable Broth or Water)
1 Tbsp Moroccan Spice Mix
In a small sauce pan over medium high heat, add Extra Virgin Olive Oil and Moroccan Spice Mix then add the rinsed Red Quinoa, toss around the quinoa until coated with the oil and then add the liquid.
Reduce heat to a low simmer and covered for 20-25 minutes until liquid is absorbed and the little seed tail pops out.
Mix the cooked Moroccan Spiced Red Quinoa with the Carrot Salad. Serve room temperature.
Did you know that those pre-made chicken kabob at the grocery store have approximately 1/2 chicken breast on it and maybe a couple of chunks of bell pepper and onion for $12 Bucks for 2 Kabobs? I was looking for something to throw on the grill this week and was floored to see the price they put on convenience. Having a growing 15 year old son who can eat 2 kabobs, it sure pays off to make them up myself.
One thing I do is purchase a package of about 8 chicken filets and then freeze them by the 2pks so I can pull out a couple at time. I had just pulled one last night and happened to have a red and green bell pepper in the fridge for salads and I always keep red onion on the counter. All I had to do was soak a few kabob sticks in water for about an hour. I diced up the 2 breasts and made 4 kabobs using only half of each bell pepper. That was a lot less than $12 for 2 - I think it was about $3 for 2 chicken breasts and then $1 for the bell peppers. So that really only cost me $4 for 4 kabobs making it $1 Buck each!
Keep those bamboo skewers in the drawer to whip up a kabob to string shrimp, chicken or vegetables on is super easy and makes a great, quick dinner.
Since I had brown rice for lunch today and don't like to repeat the same ingredients in my meals in a day, I opted for roasting some corn on the cob while the chicken was grilling. I keep them in the husk and just put them on the top rack. The husk will keep them nice and moist and it pulls off easily removing the silks with no stragglers.
I cut the corn off the cobb, tossed it with a little coconut oil and a splash of rice wine vinegar for a little acidity. Then I used the corn as a bed for the chicken kabobs.
My son loves kabobs and switching out the rice with the corn helps sneak in extra vegetables without him realizing it! Getting a teenager to eat a lot of vegetable is tricky so I do anything I can to sneak them in!
As my kabobs grilled I slathered a secret concoction on it that makes it nice and savory.
Savory Grilled Chicken Kabobs
Yields 4 Kabobs
2 Chicken Breasts, Large Dice
1/2 Red Bell Pepper, Large Dice
1/2 Green Bell Pepper, Large Dice
1/2 Red Onion, Large Dice
4 Bamboo Skewers, Soaked
1/2 Cup Coconut Oil
2 Tbsp Coconut Aminos (Soy Replacement)
1/2 tsp Himalayan Pink Sea Salt
1 Tbsp Fresh Basil, Chopped
1 Tbsp Fresh Oregano, Chopped
1 tsp Fresh Garlic, Minced
In a small sauce pan over low heat, add sauce ingredients and mix together until melted. Use to brush over Kabobs while grilling. (Be careful because the oil can make the grill flare up.)
String Chicken and Vegetables on a bamboo skewer that has been soaked in water for at least an hour so it won't burn on the grill. (Alternate the vegetables and chicken)
Season Kabobs with Himalayan Pink Sea Salt and Fresh Cracked Black Pepper. Place on hot grill and grill on each side approximately 5 minutes on each side, rotating. While the Kabobs are grilling brush the sauce over the Kabobs to season and keep moist.
Remove from heat and take off bamboo skewers. Serve on a bed of brown rice like I did, on a bed of crunchy corn relish!
Step away from the canned salmon...I don't care how easy it might be it won't compare to using roasted salmon when making this delicate salad. The moist flaky pieces mixed with crunchy red bell peppers, red onions, celery and fresh herbs make it a flavor and texture festival in your mouth. Pair it with a silky smooth nutrient rich avocado and you have a beautiful elegant lunch or dinner salad.
I have people ask me all time ways to serve elegant food fast for dinner parties or luncheons. An easy away to make an impact is to make sure to combine all the essential elements - texture, flavor, freshness and color.
Stuffing an avocado is an easy way to present food in an pretty way. It serves as a vessel for the food, adding color, silky texture and vitamins. Plus it's healthy fat to help you burn fat! A nice salad stuffed inside an avocado is much better for you than finger sandwiches or a bulky, butter croissant.
I like to roast the salmon the night before and let it rest in the refrigerator over night. Then the next day all I have to do is crumble it up and add a few items to fluff of a salad.
Here is how to do it:
Avocado Stuffed Salmon Salad Serves 2
1 Fresh Avocado
4 oz Fresh Salmon Filet
1 Rib Celery, Diced Fine
1/4 Red Bell Pepper, Diced Fine
3 Tbsp Red Onion, Diced Fine
1 Tbsp Mayonnaise or Veganise
2 Tbsp Lemon Juice, Freshly Squeezed
1 Tbsp Lemon Zest
1/2 Clove Garlic, Minced
1 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
2 Tbsp Fresh Cilantro, Chopped
1 Tbsp Fresh Basil, Chopped
Himalayan Pink Sea Salt (to taste)
Fresh Cracked Black Pepper (to taste)
1 Cup Arugula (Garnish - optional)
Roast salmon in oven at 400 degrees for approximately 12-15 minutes. Refrigerate Salmon overnight.
In a medium size bowl, add Mayonnaise, Garlic, Lemon Zest, Lemon Juice and Extra Virgin Olive Oil. Mix together well.
Add chopped Celery, Red Bell Peppers, Red Onion, Fresh Basil and Cilantro and mix together.
Crumble Salmon in chunks and add to mixture. Fold Salmon in gently so it doesn't break up into too small of pieces. Season with Himalayan Pink Sea Salt and Freshly Cracked Black Pepper.
Slice Avocado in half and remove seed. Gently remove outer shell by taking a large spoon and scooping the avocado out being careful not to break it apart.
On a serving plate, add 1/2 cup Fresh Arugula for the bed of the salad, then place the Avocado half in the center.
Fill the Avocado half with the Salmon Salad.
Light - Beautiful - Elegant - Easy
Better than canned salmon and best of all...Healthy!
Five minutes in the morning to whip up something quick to feed my body with something nutrient rich is ultra important and this Sweet Potato Kale Hash works like a charm. It's loaded with vitamins, it's filling and has a great flavor that is very satisfying.
I love sweet potatoes and try to eat them frequently without adding cinnamon, sugar and butter. They can be diced up quickly, sauteed and then added to salads or mixed with other vegetables for a quick meal or side dish.
This recipe was a quick mix up one morning and it's becoming one of my favorites to keep me full till lunchtime.
Sweet Potato Kale Hash
2 Tbsp Coconut Oil
1 Sweet Potato, Peeled & Diced
1/4 Cup Red Onion, Sliced
1/2 tsp Cumin Seeds
1/2 tsp Coriander Seeds
1/2 tsp Fennel Seeds
1 Cup Baby Kale, Chopped Splash Sherry Vinegar
In a medium skillet over medium high heat, add Coconut Oil and heat. Add Red Onion, Cumin, Coriander and Fennel Seeds and let the seeds bloom in the oil and the Red Onion start to soften.
Add diced Sweet Potato and saute until cooked with a little firmness. (I prefer to cook mine like this and not cook it to soft. I like the mouth feel of a little more texture).
Add Baby Kale and toss around a bit to soften the Kale. Then add a splash of Sherry Vinegar to elevate the flavor. It's a great combination with the sweetness of the potatoes. Season with Himalayan Pink Sea Salt and fresh cracked Black Pepper.
That's it - Super Easy, Really Flavorful and Good for you!
Today is more vegetables in my meals day to balance out my week. Yesterday I had a little more than usual of grains so I want to balance it out today with getting more vegetables in all three meals. Plus I want to get more green vegetables in there so I decided to make up some collard rolls for lunch.
This was really quick and easy to assemble. Didn't take much longer than making a regular sandwich. One way I made this quick was I prepped up the vegetables last night when I was cleaning up the kitchen from dinner.
I just went a head and cut up my vegetables and removed the stems from the collard leaves so all I had to do today at lunch was do a quick saute of the filling and stuff them. I added some of the chicken I had on hand that was already cooked (tip - cook more chicken than you need at a meal to keep in fridge to pull out and use in salads, etc...saves your a step when making another entree).
Stuffed Collard Leaves
6 Brussel Sprouts, Shredded
1/4 Cup Red Onion, Diced
1 Cup Baby Kale, Chopped
1 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Summer Salt (seasoned to taste)
2 Dashes Coconut Aminos
Pinch White Pepper
1/2 Cup Chicken Breast, Cooked & Diced
3 Collard Leaves, Stalks Removed, Washed & Dried
In a medium size saute pan over medium high heat, add the Olive Oil, Brussel Sprouts, Red Onion and Baby Kale. Saute for approximately 2 minutes.
Season with Summer Salt, Coconut Aminos and a pinch of White Pepper. Then add cooked Chicken and toss around until heated through. Remove from heat and let cool enough to handle.
Lay out collard leaves that have had the stems removed. Add some filling and roll.
(These can be made up ahead of time and refrigerated. Pull out for a quick snack or meal. Lasts about 2-3 days in air tight container stored in the refrigerator.)
I also went ahead and made the side salad of roasted beets with a sesame
ginger dressing so it would soak over night and remove some of the
"dirt" flavor that permeates the beets. (You know beets are good for
you if they taste like the earth!) This dressing was very flavorful and
I like the texture the added sesame seeds add to it.
I had actually roasted the beets the other night while I was cooking a baked potato for my son and just let it cool and left it wrapped in foil in the refrigerator until last night, so all I had to do was dice up the beets and add the dressing.
Sesame Ginger Roasted Beets
1/2 Tbsp Ginger Root, Minced
1/2 tsp Himalayan Pink Sea Salt
2 Tbsp Coconut Aminos
1 tsp Dijon Mustard
2 Tbsp Sesame Oil, (Toasted)
Add all ingredients and whisk to together.
Roasted Beets, Diced
Sesame Seeds (sprinkle)
Fresh Cilantro, Chopped (to taste)
Toss diced Beets with Sesame Ginger Dressing. Chill over night for best flavor.
I was never a big fan of oatmeal. I couldn't see how people would be able to handle the gooey texture and drown it in butter and milk. Then I decided to try Old Fashioned Oats and cook it to the texture that I prefer, more whole and less goo.
The way I do this is I only add half the amount of liquid it calls for and cook the oatmeal a little bit. If it needs a little more liquid then I add it. Most of the time I don't need more, I add Extra Virgin Coconut Oil instead of butter. It makes it taste incredible.
The health benefits of Coconut Oil have been found to help normalize blood lipids and protect
against damage to the liver by alcohol and other toxins. It can play a role
in preventing kidney and gall bladder diseases, and is associated with
improved blood sugar and insulin control and therefore the prevention
and management of diabetes. coconut oil has antiviral, antibacterial and anti-fungal properties. It's also thought to help
strengthen mineral absorption for healthy teeth and
bones, and can also help improve the condition and appearance of the
scalp, hair and skin when ingested.
Today I diced up an organic apple (which by the way, tastes way more incredible than a regular one) and sauted it in a little bit of Coconut Oil. Then I added some spices (Cinnamon, Nutmeg, Ginger and Himalayan Pink Sea Salt). Toss that around for a second and then added the Old Fashioned Oats (I used Bob's Red Mill Gluten Free Oats). Added half the water it calls for on the package and let it cook down a bit.
Removed it from the heat, added some dried cherries and chopped pecans; then I added a touch of Coconut Oil to finish it off. Well...I have to say this was the best SWEET oatmeal I've ever tasted. If I would have had some maple syrup it would have tasted better good as well, but it was fine since the apples were incredibly sweet already, I didn't have to add any sugar.
Using Old Fashioned Oats and adding less liquid will keep the texture of the oats and not produce as much the of goo.
1 Tbsp Coconut Oil (start)
1 Cup Apple, Diced Large
1 Cup Old Fashioned Oats
1/2 Cup Water
(Just a quick shake of flavor - or use Pumpkins Pie Spice)
A Few Dried Cherries
A Few Dried Pecans, Chopped
1 Tbsp Coconut Oil (finish)
I posted a recipe in November of 2010 on my Twist of Life Blog about a SAVORY Oatmeal using Mushrooms and Sundried Tomatoes.
Here's the Post:
This story was interesting - Kinda of funny.
November 2010 - I had a funny thing happen over Thanksgiving weekend when I took the kids down to the local Walgreen's
to pick up something to drink. When we were paying for our drinks and I was
asked by the cashier if I would like to donate to the Childhood
Diabetes Foundation and if I did then I could select something off the
table. They had a table set up with a variety of baked goods.
Now that might
most people and they probably wouldn't make the connection but I couldn't
believe they did that. All the items on the table were overloaded with
sugar! It just didn't make any sense to offer sugar laden baked goods
in exchange for a donation to help fund the fight against childhood
I was floored and made a comment to the cashier. She made a
big frown at me when I made the comment and then the other cashier burst
out laughing. Now I wasn't trying to be funny but merely trying to make
I had simply said "Are you kidding me? Don't you understand
the reason behind childhood diabetes? Why would you offer a sugar fest
of baked goods in exchange?" She didn't know how to answer that
question. I had to explain to her that those foods were terrible choices
in exchange for donations. She was mad and irritated. I think the baked
goods were her idea. Oops...
I believe the reason we have so much of an issue with childhood diabetes
is most people don't understand that eating the wrong foods, over processed and full of sugar is the number one reason we have an issue in the first place.
So this post is dedicated to the lady at the Walgreen's.
Take your morning oatmeal and make it a savory dish. Think of your oats
as any other grain. You can add a variety of sauteed vegetables and
herbs. I used up some slow roasted tomatoes I had left over from the
previous nights dinner and sauteed up some crimini mushrooms which are actually baby portabellos. I also added some fresh herbs and a drizzle of olive oil. Make sure to season it with Himalayan pink sea salt and fresh cracked black pepper.
A great switch from sweet oatmeal and very satisfying!