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Recipe Friday – Vegan Pesto Stuffed Tomatoes

April 7, 2017
Stuffed Tomato

Stuffed Tomatoes

We know it’s not quite summer yet, but this warm weather had us craving tomatoes this week! With tomatoes on our mind, we made these light and refreshing stuffed roasted tomatoes. It’s a perfect way to eat tomatoes this early in the season, since the best tasting fresh tomatoes won’t be around until mid-summer.

Tomatoes are one of those super foods that seem to have so many benefits. We are coming to the end of our detox and highlighting some of the detoxifying effects tomatoes have on your body seems appropriate. Tomatoes have natural content of sulphur and chlorine, which helps protect our bodies from infections and aid the proper functioning of kidneys. Of course, tomatoes are brimming with anti-oxidants, Vitamins B3 and B6. They also help to strengthen vision, boost our immune system and prevent atherosclerosis.

Stuffed Tomatoes

Stuffed Tomatoes Ingredients

Stuffed Tomatoes

 

Stuffed Tomatoes

Ingredients:

  • 6 medium size tomatoes
  • 1 cup (uncooked) Quinoa (see below)
  • Handful of spinach leaves
  • Few fresh basil leaves
  • ½ onion diced
  • 3 tablespoons of pesto sauce (see below)
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • Italian seasoning (optional)

Quinoa:

Cook 1 cup of quinoa as directed. For a nuttier taste sauté quinoa in a little dab of olive oil in a frying pan. Keep stirring until lightly brown. Then cook quinoa – 1 cup of quinoa in 2 cups of water. Bring to a boil and let cook covered for about 15 minutes.

Easy Pesto Sauce (vegan):

  • 1 ½  cup fresh basil leaves
  • 3 T pine nuts
  • 1 clove of garlic (optional)
  • Nutritional yeast (substitute for Parmesan)
  • 1/3 cup olive oil (to desired consistency)
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

*In a food processor, mix basil, pine nuts and garlic and nutritional yeast until emulsified. Add 1/3 cup olive oil slowly until desired consistency. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Stuffed tomato filling:

  1. Preheat over to 375 degrees.
  2. Cut the tops off and remove seeds and inner core of 6 tomatoes.
  3. If quinoa is still warm-hot mix spinach, chopped basil leaves, diced onions, pesto sauce and seasonings. If quinoa has cooled, sauté onions over a tsp of olive oil, add quinoa, spinach, basil, pesto sauce and seasonings until thoroughly mixed.
  4. Stuff tomatoes by the spoonful and add the tops back.
  5. In a glass baking dish drizzle a thin layer of olive oil and a dash of salt and pepper.
  6. Lineup stuffed tomatoes side by side in the baking dish.
  7. Bake at 375 degrees for 30-35 minutes or until the tomatoes slightly blister

 

Bon Appétit!

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Recipe Friday – Homemade Hummus

March 24, 2017
Hummus dip

Homemade Hummus

Homemade hummus is one of our favorites! It’s always a winner when we bring it to gatherings. But even better than that, it’s so easy and quick to make and the result is the best tasting, fresh hummus! Seriously, you just pop all of the ingredients into a food processor and blend. What’s easier than that?

Hummus is mainly made from chickpeas (aka garbanzo beans) and they have so many health benefits! Chickpeas provide a rich source of protein without the high calories or saturated fats found in meat. They are also a great source of both soluble and insoluble dietary fiber. Studies have shown that insoluble fiber helps to produce bulk and prevent constipation and soluble fiber helps to regulate blood sugar. Regular intake of chickpeas have shown to lower LDL levels and contain significant amounts of magnesium, folate, maganese and iron. Finally, chickpeas contain saponins, which act as antioxidants and can lower the risk of breast cancer and osteoporosis and protect agains hot flashes in menopausal women.

Hummus Ingredients

hummus and veggies

Hummus and chickpeas

Hummus and veggies

 

Homemade Hummus

We love this recipe from simple-veganista. You can adjust the recipe to suit your own taste and consistency. We tend to use less garlic and more lemon for a hummus that is slightly more tart. If used as a sauce for roasted veggies, we like to add more water to make it smoother and more dressing-like.

Ingredients

  • 1 can chickpeas (garbanzo beans)(15 0z), drained and rinsed or 1 1/2 cups cooked
  • 4 tablespoons tahini
  • 1/4 cup water (+ 2 tablespoons as needed)
  • 1 small garlic clove or 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • juice of 1 or 2 lemons, to taste
  • 1/2 to 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 tablespoon roasted pine nuts, optional
  • 1/2 teaspoon himalayan salt, or to taste

Place all ingredients in food processor and blend until desired consistency. Taste for flavor adding anything here and there that you like….garlic, lemon, salt, cumin. Depending on the size of your lemons or how many you used, you may like to add the extra 2 tablespoons of water for slightly thinner consistency. I used all the water for the recipe pictured here.

Store in airtight container in refrigerator for up to a week or so.

Notes: 

You can use 2 tablespoon tahini + 2 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil if you like. Or you can use all olive oil omitting the tahini all together and still have a great hummus. Keep in mind the olive oil will slightly color the hummus, but not in a bad way.

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Credits: Author: Jill Uechi // Photography: Coco Iv

 

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Recipe Friday – Healthy Sweet Balls

January 7, 2017
Healthy Sweet Balls

Coconut Topping

Happy New Year!

We took a little hiatus during the holidays, but we are back with Recipe Friday and some clean eating ideas.

The holidays were a little tough at times. Visiting family and friends didn’t always understand our attempt to eat healthy and there was a lot of temptation. These Healthy Sweet Balls are so delicious and were a lifesaver when we wanted to reach for something sweet but healthier than all of the sugar-laden desserts.

You can get creative on the toppings! Here are some ideas for toppings with healthy benefits.

Health Benefits of Raw Cacao

  • Facilitates anti-aging and rejuvenation
  • Reduces appetite and promotes weight loss
  • Helps with cardiovascular health
  • Dilates blood vessels and reduces blood clotting
  • Reduces risk of stroke and heart attacks
  • Acts as an anti-depressant and balances brain chemistry
  • Builds strong bones

Health Benefits of Coconut Shavings

  • Glowing skin
  • Regulates thyroid function
  • Improves brain function
  • Stimulates immunity
  • Keeps heart heatlhy

Health Benefits of Pistachios

  • High in Vitamin E, which slows down aging and is essential for healthy, radiant, youthful looking skin
  • Prevents diabetes type 2
  • Cardioprotective properties

Health Benefits of Sesame Seeds

  • Keeps hair healthy
  • Aids in reducing the appearance of age spots
  • Aids in treating anxiety and depression
  • Gives relief from pain associated with gout and arthritis

 Nuts Topping

Cocoa Covered

Healthy Sweet Balls

 

Healthy Sweet Balls

Ingredients

  • 1 Cup Raisin
  • 1 Cup Dates
  • 1 Cup Prunes
  • 3/4 Cup Flour (you can use almond flour if making gluten free)
  • 1/4 Cup powder milk (can double the flour to making vegan)
  • 1/2 tea spoon Cinnamon
  • 1/4 tea spoon All Spice
  • 1/4 tea spoon Nutmeg
  • Pinch of clove – mix together
  • Splash of Lemon juice at the very end and save
  • Toppings – You can get creative on the toppings. Some ideas are: Almonds, Coconut Shavings, Macadamia nuts, Cacao Powder, and Sesame Seeds.

Method

In a food processor, combine raisins, dates and prunes together. In a separate mixing bowl, mix flour, milk powder (if using), cinnamon, all spice, nutmeg and clove together. Add the grindings mix into the mixing bowl. Scoop small spoonfuls of mixture and roll into balls with your hands. These can be enjoyed plain, or coated with various toppings.

To add the toppings, use leftover lemon to wet the balls and roll in toppings.

 

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Credits: Author: Jill Uechi // Recipe and Photography: Katelyn Guerrero

Food & Drink Uncategorized

Recipe Friday – Sweet Potato Toast

September 16, 2016

SWEET POTATO TOAST

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Have you been trying to stay away from breads or gluten but don’t want to pay $5 for hard dry bread? Give this sweet potato toast a try. It’s naturally gluten free & packed with vitamins and will start your morning off right! This is a whole new way of cooking sweet potato and is so easy. We were skeptical at first, but we tried it and it is simple. You slice the raw potato into 1/4 inch pieces and pop it in the toaster! It might take 2 rounds in the toaster depending on how dark you set your toaster and how soft you like your potato. On our first go, we topped with almond butter, banana & pomegranates; green apple & cheddar; and hard boiled egg & avocado with rooster sauce. There are so many combinations to try and it’s a quick & healthy way to start the day!

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INGREDIENTS

  • Sweet potatoes (preferably organic)
  • Green apple
  • Shredded cheddar cheese
  • Almond butter
  • Banana
  • Pomegranate seeds
  • Hard boiled egg
  • Avocado
  • Sriracha sauce

 

INSTRUCTIONS

  • Wash the sweet potato. If it’s organic, you can eat the peel.
  • Cut into 4 slices about 1/4 inches thick.
  • Prepare toppings
  • Start toasting the sweet potato slices. Depending on your toaster and how soft you want to have it, you probably need a few rounds. We toasted two times.
  • When toasted, add toppings.

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Beauty Food & Drink Uncategorized

Recipe Friday – Twice Baked Blueberry Sweet Potatoes

August 5, 2016

IngredientsOne of the good things about eating more plant based foods and watching our sugar intake is how much better we feel. The flip side is, that after time goes on, a few cravings will kick in. One of the best ways we found to curb our sugar cravings is to eat some sweet, dessert-like foods that are actually good for you too! So, we scanned Pinterest for some ideas and found this delicious recipe for Twiced baked Blueberry sweet potatoes by Chef Robert & Monica (Blog: Bravo for Paleo)

sweet-potato-nutrients-infographic

For those of you who have been following a plant-based diet for awhile now, I think you have already figured out how awesome sweet potatoes are! If you’re like us, you might not have realized what a super food sweet potatoes are! According to Thomas M. Campbell, MD, the medical director of the T. Colin Campbell Center for Nutrition Studies, there are some cultures that have sweet potato as their main staple and are able to avoid heart disease.

Sweet Potato and Blueberries Sweet Potato Close up
Sweet Potatoes: So, in addition to all of the heart benefits, the nutrients in sweet potatoes will help to keep skin smooth, keep cell division running smoothly, and regenerate collagen. And, although they are sweet, they don’t give you the glycemic spike that, according to Jolene Hart, could contribute to blemishes.

Blueberries: Berries are some of the best lower glycemic fruits to eat because they offer up so many antioxidants. Plus, they are also rich in fiber, Vitamin C, and potassium.
Pecans: Rich source in monounsaturated fatty acids like oleic acid & great source of phenolic antioxidants. Rich in vitamin E, rich source of minerals such as manganese, potassium, calcium, iron, magnesium, zinc.
Warm blueberries and toasted pecans over a sweet potato! Ahhh…seriously it’s so good. It felt like we were eating a dessert and our sugar cravings subsided.

INGREDIENTS:

  •   1/3 cup Blueberries
  •   3 Sweet potatoes
  •   1/2 tbsp Coconut oil
  •   2/3 cup Pecans

METHOD:

* Preheat oven to 400 F

* Place sweet potatoes in oven on a baking sheet. Cook until fork can easily puncture the sweet potato. (About 40-50 minutes)

* While potatoes are baking, melt the coconut oil on a skillet on medium heat. The add pecans & stir, allowing them to be toasted. Add blueberries to skillet & stir into pecans. Turn off heat when the blueberries are warm & fully incorporated. Set aside.

* After sweet potatoes are removed from the oven, cut them in half. Scoop out the potato (from the skin) into a medium sized bowl. Repeat this for each potato. Then add half of the pecan/blueberry mixture to your potato bowl.

* Scoop out potato mixture evenly back into potato skins. Place back in the oven for 7-10 minutes, or until potato forms a crispy top.

Yum!

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