Monday, October 27, 2014

Paleo Pumpkin Pie





I LOVE pumpkin pie! I especially love it for breakfast. Is that weird?

I can go on record saying that I love all kinds of pie. But when I find myself at a holiday table with options of berry, apple, or pumpkin... I go for the pumpkin. I also grab a second piece for the morning after.

If you haven't already tried it, I'll let you in on a little secret- Pumpkin pie is probably the dessert that most closely resembles it's original version after making Paleo substitutions. Paleo chocolate chip cookies? Good, but not the same. Paleo pancakes? Indulgent and covered in maple syrup (yum!), but not the same. Paleo pumpkin pie? It tastes the exact same! I might even say it tastes better than the original, as you're probably using more quality ingredients.

I chose to make mine with a gingersnap crust because not only am I self proclaimed "cookie monster", but it provides added health benefits and awesome flavor to the pie. I top mine with coconut milk "whipped cream", but If you fancy cashew cream or almond milk ice cream even, those would work as well. Special tip- If you have leftover cookie crust, it makes amazing cookies! Just make round balls and flatten with your hands. Bake at 350 for 10 minutes.

This recipe is gluten-free, grain-free, dairy-free, and refined sugar-free.



PLAEO PUMPKIN PIE WITH GINGERSNAP CRUST

For the gingersnap crust:
1 1/4 Cup almond flour
1/2 Cup almond butter
1/4 Cup grade B maple syrup
2 Tablespoons molasses
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1-2 Tablespoons grated fresh ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 Tablespoons flaxseed meal, optional
1/2 Cup walnuts, very finely chopped


  • In a medium-sized bowl, mix together the flour, baking soda, flax, salt, cloves, cinnamon and walnuts with a fork. There should be no clumps of almond flour. 
  • In a separate bowl, whisk together the almond butter, maple syrup, molasses and fresh ginger until smooth. If it helps, slightly melt the almond butter. 
  • Add the wet mixture to the dry until combined. 
For the filling:
1 (15 oz) can of pumpkin puree 
3 eggs, slightly beaten 
1/4 Cup raw honey 
1 Tablespoon pumpkin pie spice 
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract 
Pinch of sea salt 
1/4 Cup coconut milk 

For the topping (optional): 
1 can of full-fat coconut milk 
1 Tablespoon grade B maple syrup 
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract 
Pinch of cinnamon 

  • Preheat your oven to 325 degrees. 
  • Grease 4 ceramic ramekins or 1 pie pan with coconut oil. Press the prepared gingersnap crust into each ramekin, dividing evenly, or into the pie pan. Keep the crust on the bottom of the dish. Do not press onto the sides. Place the ramekins or pan onto a baking sheet. 
  • In a bowl, whisk together all of the ingredients for the filling until thoroughly combined and smooth. Distribute evenly into the ramekins or pour into our pie pan. 
  • Bake for 40-45 if using 4 ramekins. Bake for 1 hour if using a pie pan. Each oven and location is different, check to make sure the center doesn't jiggle before removing from the oven. 
  • While the pie is baking, make your topping. Place all ingredients in a bowl and place it over another bowl filled with ice. Using a hand mixer or a whisk, beat until it begins to thicken and slightly resemble whipped cream. 
  • Cool pies completely after removing from the oven. Then, top with coconut milk topping. Store in the fridge for at least 2 hours before eating. Special tip- they get better the longer they chill! 

Monday, September 22, 2014

How to Stock a Grain-Free Kitchen




Now that I've told you my story about going grain-free, I thought I'd offer up my tips for keeping a grain-free kitchen. Anytime you take on a new lifestyle, it calls for cleaning out your kitchen and stocking up with new ingredients to match. Switching from gluten-free to grain-free is an easy transition. There are just a few more items to restrict but, for the most part my kitchen remains the same.

Along with all of my programs, I send my clients a "grocery list". Essentially, it's a list of what to keep in their home at all times. As you know, some household items are purchased monthly, while others are purchased weekly. Same goes for this list. When starting out, it seems like a lot. Once you're in the swing of things, it's actually a fairly simple and budget-friendly list.

I've also spoke before on my very tight grocery budget. While this list might be a starting point that you'll add to, for me it's exactly what I create my daily dishes with. Besides special menu items for my Husband, this is the extent of what I buy and is what my diet is made up of. It's how I stay healthy. It works for me! And I hope it can benefit you as well. Check it out...

GRAIN-FREE PANTRY

  • Almond flour 
  • Coconut flour 
  • Baking soda
  • Aluminum-free Baking powder 
  • Chia Seeds
  • Ground flaxseeds
  • Sunflower seeds 
  • Nuts (excluding peanuts) 
  • Coconut flakes, unsweetened 
  • Dried fruits, no sugar added 
  • Nut butters (excluding peanut butter) 
  • Cocoa powder
  • Pure vanilla extract 
  • Broths 
  • Enjoy Life chocolate chips 
  • Local raw honey
  • Pure maple syrup 
  • Olive oil
  • Vinegar
  • Sea salt 
  • Dried herbs
  • Spices 
  • Your favorite fruit and nut bar 
  • Grain-free granola 
  • Canned tomatoes 
  • Canned tomato sauce 
  • Canned tomato paste 
  • Wine for cooking 
  • Canned tuna 
  • Canned salmon
  • Canned sardines
  • Canned smoked herring 
  • Olives 
  • Canned pumpkin 
  • Arrowroot startch 
  • Sweet Potato Chips 
  • Plantain Chips 
  • Tea 
  • Coffee
  • Black beans
  • Garbanzo beans 
GRAIN-FREE PRODUCE BOWL 
These items sit in a bowl on top of my kitchen counter. 
  • Lemons 
  • Onions
  • Garlic
  • Sweet Potatoes
  • Spaghetti Squash
  • Zucchini 
  • Tomatoes
  • Oranges
  • Bananas
  • Seasonal fruit
  • Peppers
GRAIN-FREE REFRIGERATOR 
  • Pasture butter
  • Ghee
  • Spinach
  • Broccoli
  • Carrots
  • Kale or swiss chard 
  • Eggs 
  • Beets 
  • Berries if in season 
  • Almond milk
  • Organic condiments with no sugar added 
  • Stewed fruit 
  • Mushrooms 
  • Wild caught salmon 
  • Fennel and parsley, if the budget permits 
GRAIN-FREE FREEZER 
  • Bananas 
  • Berries
  • Frozen vegetables 
  • Peas 
  • Wild game 
  • Marinara sauce 
  • Against The Grain Gourmet's grain-free rolls 
  • Almond milk ice cream, if the budget permits 
  • Leftovers 
EXTRA-TIPS 
  • I keep everything in glass containers and brown paper bags. 
  • I use homemade cleaners to sanitize my kitchen. Mostly, vinegar, lemons, and salt. 
  • I keep a separate shelf in the pantry for my Husband, as I respect his decision to eat grains. 
  • I freeze ALL leftovers. You never know when you can use something. It saves money! 
  • It helps to have all of the necessary kitchen equipment and tools. 
  • If you purchase story bought packaged foods, read the labels! 

Go check out my grain-free granola recipe at Mother Earth Living and start your grain-free kitchen makeover today! Also, keep following me here and on social media for more tips! 

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Gut Flora, Brain Health, and My Decision to Go Grain-Free

First of all, I should probably mention (for the sake of my new readers) that I got into the health and wellness industry after a long battle with my own health. After years of different ailments and western medicine, a series of surgeries and diagnosis, and a chemo-treatment that acted as my "rock-bottom", I found holistic nutrition and chinese medicine as my savior. After more years of personal research, I decided to get my holistic nutrition certification so I could help others going through similar battles.

Since then, I've been a success story. I found good health, a hopeful spirit, restored my fertility and had a super-healthy pregnancy, and perfectly-healthy baby girl. Plus, I found love. Cherry on top? Building my nutrition business and helping people every day, which is what I set out to do.

That said, wouldn't you find it hard to believe that I endured yet another health battle? Me too.
You'd think that someone who devoted their whole life to health research and a holistic lifestyle would be some kind of unicorn-like picture of health. Well, shit happens. And unfortunately, residual post-chemo shit happens.

I gave birth to my beautiful, healthy baby girl last November. She's 10 months old now. My postpartum health and recovery was amazing. I left the hospital with a flat stomach, I felt fantastic, healed quickly, and was back to "normal" within weeks. Mama and baby were healthy and happy. About 1-2 months postpartum, I began having some questionable symptoms.

Warning- It's about to get gross. 

Diarrhea, every day. Followed by stomach cramps. Then, bloating and distention. My stomach began to blow up larger than the size of my 9-month baby bump. This happened off and on, no matter what I ate. Then, weakened immune system, days when I couldn't get out of bed, joint pain, and just everything going haywire! Naturally (for me), I changed my diet about a million times and dove into research trying to diagnose this new issue. Reluctant but desperate, I started going to Doctor's appointment after Doctor's appointment. Referral here, referral there, tests here, tests there. I had 6 visits to the emergency room, 9 pelvic exams (at first they thought it was related to my labor), 7 different ultrasounds, 8 separate blood panels, a colonoscopy, upper endoscopy, small bowel follow through.... You name it, I did it.

9 months later... A diagnosis. Small Intestine Bacterial Overgrowth. 

I'd like to mention that I came up with this diagnosis on my own about 4 months in. I could check off every symptom on the list. I was sure it was a SIBO long before any professional told me so. Needless to say, the waiting and delayed diagnosis didn't restore my faith in the American healthcare system.

Once I knew what the problem was, I had pre-existing knowledge on the subject and began to treat it on my own naturally. Diet, herbs, etc. I also dove into more research, going deeper into the subject, and found some amazing facts.

Interestingly enough, around the same time I received my official diagnosis I was researching the link between nutrition and Autism for a client. I had pre-existing knowledge on this subject also, but I always like to freshen-up, look into current medical research, etc. As a lot of us know, Autism affects the intestinal lining as well as the brain. A lot of us also know that a certain diet is believed to "cure" Autism. Reading these basic factual (I believe) statements about Autism and looking at the foods that nourish the lining of the intestines, a light bulb went off. I started seeing the connection between the foods I was eating to cure my bacterial overgrowth and the foods that reduce the physical and mental affects of Autism.

Then, another light-bulb.

Without going too much into detail, I fought another battle these last 9 months. I'm sure my Husband can vouch for this, but my emotions were out of control! Uncharacteristically, I was suddenly negative, sad, a roller-coaster of emotions, angry, irritable, almost aggressive, and anxiety-ridden. I noticed the change and tried to use meditation, yoga, and positive affirmations to get my brain back on track. When I began putting together the pieces of this intestinal-brain health puzzle, it clicked. This was the answer to my intestinal health, my brain health, and everything in between!

My conclusion, and I'm not the first one to declare this, is that "gut flora" is directly related to brain health. The two go hand-in-hand and they communicate via the nervous system. They're both also also related to the immune system. I decided that to restore my intestinal health also meant to restore my mental health. As you might imagine, I was thrilled at this revelation!

Now that I've explained, let me break it down for you.... The foods that are GOOD for intestinal and brain health vs. The foods that are BAD.

FOODS THAT NOURISH OUR BRAIN AND PROMOTE HEALTHY GUT FLORA:

  • Salmon
  • Sardines
  • Flaxseeds
  • Walnuts
  • Kefir
  • Sauerkraut
  • Kimchi
  • Lactose-free Yogurt
  • Ghee
  • Bananas
  • Asparagus
  • Beans
  • Legumes
  • Garlic
  • Leeks
  • Onions
  • Peas
  • Cod-liver Oil 


FOODS THAT HINDER GUT FLORA AND BRAIN HEALTH:

  • Gluten
  • Wheat
  • Any grains
  • Dairy
  • Soy Protein 
  • Yeast
  • Sugar
  • Plums
  • Grapes
  • Pears
  • Apples
  • Vinegar
  • Aged meats
  • Potatoes 
  • Food additives
  • Pesticides 


Upon putting this list together, I realized how much of the "BAD" foods my 10-month old Daughter is eating every day. On top of that, she has been "hyperactive" since she began eating grains (cereals) and these different fruits. I also realized that the nights she consumed organic multi-grain cereal or brown rice cereal, applesauce, or baby food I made with potatoes or plums, she didn't sleep well. She was constantly waking up crying (I couldn't figure out why) with what seemed like tummy aches or gas.

On top of that, I've had several clients interested in helping their young children with nutrition, who complain of frequent tummy aches and have related emotional or aggression issues.

It all fit together like a puzzle.

This information could benefit anyone and everyone. Obviously, I have chosen to restrict all grains (and the other foods on the list) from my diet. I have also made the very difficult decision to raise my Daughter grain, dairy, and soy free. I've also restricted the other items on the "BAD" list that she ate previously. I've tried to re-introduce apples and potatoes to her diet, only to find that they do in fact give her stomach troubles, whether it be constipation or gas. I personally believe that restricting these foods from my diet will prevent future intestinal issues, improve my mental health, and help me maintain a positive outlook and physical life. I also personally believe restricting these foods from my Daughters diet will prevent possible ADHD (which her biological Father has been diagnosed with), promote healthy brain development, nourish the lining of her intestines, and strengthen her immune system.

I'm happy to report that I have been grain-free (I have been dairy and soy free for years) for just 3 weeks and I am already feeling AMAZING! Considering my disappearing symptoms, positive outlook, and diminished "foggy" brain, I totally believe this new lifestyle has helped me. Also, my Daughter has been grain-free for just 2 weeks and has already showed improvements. She seems to be a happier baby overall and has slept through the night (doesn't usually) several times! Hallelujah!

So, what do we eat?
I plan to write more posts on this subject. In the future I'll provide more detail on our daily diets and give you more recipes to match. So, keep checking back!

In short, here's the foods I have been eating most of lately:

  • Eggs
  • Spinach
  • Grain-free baguettes and rolls
  • Avocados
  • Salmon
  • Walnuts
  • Smoothies
  • Flaxseeds
  • Chia seeds
  • Peas
  • Dairy-free yogurt
  • Sauerkraut
  • Organic meat with no hormones added
  • Sardines
  • Ghee
  • Bananas
  • Almond butter
  • Almond milk ice cream 


Here's some baby food combo's I've been putting together for my Daughter:
(Please note- all babies are on their own eating schedule and it is best to consult your pediatrician before following my advice for your child)

  • Sweet potatoes, broccoli
  • Peas, avocados
  • Bananas, avocados
  • Pineapple, mango, chia 
  • Peas, carrots
  • Spinach, mango, pineapple
  • Coconut milk, bananas, strawberries
  • Spinach, parsnip
  • Broccoli, parsnip
  • Peas, carrots, parsnip
  • Butternut squash, peas 
  • Egg yolks, avocados
  • Egg yolks, spinach 
  • Lentils, spinach, carrots
  • Lentils, coconut milk, carrots, peas 
  • Lentils, avocados
  • Strawberries, avocados, pumpkin 
Here's some great information on a study that confirms gut flora affects your brain health:
http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2013/06/20/gut-brain-connection.aspx




GRAIN-FREE CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES 
1 Cup almond flour
1/4 Cup almond butter
1/4 Cup pasture butter, melted
1 Egg
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract 
1/4 Cup honey or maple syrup 
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt 
2 Tablespoons chia seeds
2 Tablespoons ground flaxseeds 
3/4 Cup Enjoy Life chocolate chips 

  • Preheat your oven to 350. 
  • In a medium-sized bowl, melt the butter and whisk in the almond butter and honey or maple until smooth. 
  • Add the chia seeds, egg and vanilla extract. 
  • In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, flaxseed meal, baking soda, and salt. Add to the butter mixture. 
  • Fold in the chocolate chips. 
  • Drop spoonfuls of the dough onto a two cookie sheets, about 1-2 inches apart. 
  • Bake for 10 minutes. 
  • Let cool for 2 minutes, then use a spatula to place cookies onto the cool counter or a wire rack. 
  • Enjoy! 



Monday, September 8, 2014

Hatch Chiles & My Chicken Chile Verde






I'm sure I don't have to tell you it's hatch chile season.

If you've stepped foot in a grocery store, talked to human beings in general, watched tv or use social media, you've heard the news somewhere. People go mad for these chiles! And for good reason. Along with all the chatter, you can find thousands of recipes out there to make use of these green beauties.

Yesterday, I saw on a Facebook group that my local Albertson's had a line around the building, made up of people waiting for roasted hatch chiles. I skipped the line and broiled mine in the oven. We all have our favorite way to use em. Mine happens to be my chicken chile verde.

Before I give you the lengthy, yet super-simple recipe, some health information... All of the hype is about the unique flavor and short season, but did you know hatch chiles pack a major nutritional punch?

Turns out, they're LOADED with Vitamin C! A hatch chile and chicken soup might be the way to go for any of you battling a cold as a result of the changing seasons. They're also high in potassium, magnesium, calcium, folate (pregos!), niacin, lysine (guys!), and vitamins A, B12, and B6. And like many other chiles, they're great for lowering blood pressure. All of that goodness is worth standing in line for!



HATCH CHILE & TOMATILLO CHICKEN CHILE VERDE

5-6 tomatillos, peeled and halved
3 large hatch chiles
1 yellow onion, sliced thin
3 garlic cloves, sliced thin
2 Cups chicken stock
2 teaspoons cumin
1 Tablespoon maldon salt
Pinch cinnamon
1 lime, cut in half
1 Cup chopped fresh parsley
1 Tablespoon olive oil
2 chicken breasts
4-5 chicken thighs
1 bay leaf
2 teaspoons oregano
tortillas or lettuce for serving


  • Place the hatch chiles and the halved tomatillos on a baking sheet and place under the broiler in your oven. Broil until the tops of the chiles are starting to char. Remove from the oven. 
  • Place all of the ingredients, except the cilantro, in a crockpot and turn to low. Cook for approximately 5 hours, or until the chicken can be easily shredded with a fork. Stir in the cilantro when it's finished. 
  • Serve on tortillas or in lettuce wraps. 
  • Leftovers will keep for 3-4 days in the refrigerator in an airtight container. 







Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Apple & Chocolate Snack Cake



I'm going to let you into the mind of Malorie for a minute here. 

People often ask how I come up with so many recipes and especially how I do it on a whim. 

Here's how it goes...

"It was kind of cold this morning. I feel like baking. 

Oh yeah! I have that mushy apple I didn't know what to do with. 

Hmm, but I feel like chocolate! 

Yum... chocolate...

Oh shoot, I forgot to pay that bill. 

Gosh, I really love chocolate. 

I wonder if I have...Oh yeah! I do have almond flour. 

Awesome. Paleo snack time it is. 

People should really bake with chocolate and apples more often. 

Ooh! Remember those chocolate covered apples from the farm up north? 

Do I want crispy and chocolate? Or, warm and melty chocolate? 

I wonder if a caveman would have liked paleo baked goods? 

Yum... warm and melty chocolate..." 

So, that's how that goes. Then, I usually grab two bowls, preheat the oven, and whip something up in the next 10 minutes. 

After that unusual but typical conversation with myself, I mixed up a "paleoish" Apple & Chocolate Snack Cake. It's a lot like a banana bread, but I used grated apple and baked it in a 8x8 glass dish. 

Whether you're bored talking to yourself, in need of a satisfying and healthy snack, or have company to bake for, this cake is sure to please. 



APPLE & CHOCOLATE SNACK CAKE 

1 Cup almond flour
1/2 Cup coconut flour 
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt 
1 small apple (I used gala) grated with a cheese grater 
3 eggs 
2 Tablespoons of honey or maple syrup 
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract 
1 banana, mashed 
2 Tablespoons coconut oil, melted
1 Cup dairy-free chocolate chips (I used a heaping, almost 1 1/2 cups, cup) 
1 Tablespoons flaxseed meal (optional, I do this for added nutrients) 
1 Cup chopped walnuts (optional) 

  • Preheat your oven to 350F. 
  • In a bowl, stir together the apple, coconut flour, almond flour, baking soda, salt, and flax with a fork. 
  • In a separate bowl, whisk together the eggs, honey or maple, vanilla, banana, and coconut oil. 
  • Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix well. 
  • Fold in the chocolate chips and the walnuts. 
  • Grease an 8x8 baking dish with coconut oil and pour in the batter. 
  • Bake for 35 minutes and serve. Will keep in an airtight container for up to 4 days. 

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Sunflower Seed Butter Double Whammy

2 for 1 recipe special! Whoop Whoop! (I'm a nerd)

I recently confessed my love for Sunflower Seed Butter and I've got not one, but TWO healthy recipes to share with you! Sunflower seed butter is good on just about everything.
  • Apples
  • Bananas
  • Celery
  • Carrots
  • Toast
  • Oatmeal
  • Porridge
  • Granola
  • Berries
  • Tortillas
  • Crackers
  • Healthy baked goods
  • Pancakes
  • Waffles
  • French Toast
  • Muffins
  • Sandwiches
  • Burgers
  • And more!
See? Everything!

Beyond what you may slather it on, it's great to bake with. And I've been experimenting for you!
Tough job, but somebody has to do it.

First up, the most decadent ZUCCHINI BROWNIES on the web! Strong declaration? I know. I'm passionate like that. But, I truly think they're the best, in my humble opinion. They're fudgy, buttery but not buttery, crispy on the edges, moist, and everything else good. They're also dark-chocolatey. So, this recipe is especially for my dark chocolate lovers. Also, for all of you with too much zucchini from your garden that you don't know what to do with.

My favorite way to enjoy them is with a scoop of ice cream. I buy goats milk ice cream or almond milk ice cream. They're also good plain, with a cold glass of almond milk on the side. Hey, they'd even be good blended up in one of those healthy milkshake thingamajigs you guys are making. Anyway, they're good. You should try them.

These brownies are gluten and dairy free.



DECADENT DARK CHOCOLATE ZUCCHINI BROWNIES

2 Tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1 Cup sunflower seed butter
1 1/2 Cup (or 2 small) zucchini, grated
1/4 Cup honey
1 Egg
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 Cup semi-sweet gluten and dairy free chocolate chips (I used enjoy life chips)
1 Tablespoon coconut oil, plus more for greasing

  • Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and grease an 8x8 glass baking dish with coconut oil.
  • In a microwave-safe bowl or in a double-boiler, melt the chocolate chips with the coconut oil. Remove from the microwave or double boiler and let cool for 5-10 minutes.
  • Once slightly cooled, add the remaining ingredients and thoroughly combine.
  • Pour into your prepared baking dish and bake for 35-40 minutes.
  • Let brownies cool before slicing.
  • Can be stored in an air-tight container for approx. 5 days. I also like to store mine in the freezer.
  • Optional tip- If you don't fancy DARK chocolate, omit the cocoa powder from the recipe.


And next up, Chocolate-chunk, Oat, and Sunflower seed butter cookies! I created this recipe on an impromptu thunder-storm craft day that seems like it needed cookies involved. I was right, and they turned out delicious. These cookies are gluten and dairy free!



CHOCOLATE-CHUNK, OAT & SUNFLOWER COOKIES

1/3 Cup Coconut oil, melted
1/4 Cup sunflower seed butter
3/4 Cup honey or maple syrup
2 eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 1/2 Cups Oat flour (gluten free)
1 1/2 Cups gluten-free oats
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cornstarch (or arrowroot, if you prefer)
2 Cups gluten and dairy free chocolate chunks (I use enjoy life)

  • Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and line two baking sheets with parchment paper
  • In a bowl, combine coconut oil with honey, sunflower seed butter, vanilla, and eggs.
  • In a separate bowl, stir together the oat flour, oats, salt, cornstarch, and baking soda.
  • Use a small ice cream scoop or spoon to scoop dough onto the cookie sheets, about 2 inches apart.
  • Bake for approximately 8-10 minutes. Do not over bake!
  •  Remove from the oven and use a spatula to remove cookies from the pans and place on a wire rack or the cool and clean countertop.
  • Store in an air-tight container for up to one week.
  • I like to store extra cookie dough in the freezer. Thaw out for quick cookies when needed or you can spoon it into a mug, microwave for 1-2 minutes, and top with almond milk ice cream.

HEALTH BENEFITS OF SUNFLOWER SEEDS

Sunflower seeds are considered to be one of the "worlds healthiest foods". They are high in Vitamin E, Selenium, and Magnesium. Making them super-healthy for everyone, but especially those battling high cholesterol, cardiovascular disease, pregnancy, asthma, osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, menopause, diabetes, poor brain function, and the list goes on.

They're fat soluble, full of antioxidants, and a natural anti-inflammatory! It's also said that they reduce the risk of colon cancer.

Cool tip- Sunflower seeds or sunflower seed butter can help calm your nerves, your muscles, and tension headaches if you are experiencing physical symptoms of stress.
Ladies in menopause- they can help turn down the heat (hot flashes)!

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Lentil & Wild Rice Salad

It's in my nature to continue to change, progress, and cure my curiosity. Whether that's a flaw or an attribute, it's present in every aspect of my life. My family likes to joke that I wake up one day wanting to be an astronaut, and the next I'll express my desire to be a goat farmer, or something like that. Funny as it sounds, it's an accurate observation. While it may be helpful that I continue to progress in my career, the hankering to take on new work is a hindrance. Whenever I have a logical moment, I realize that chasing the bunnies is no good. That I'd probably be far more successful at this point if I stuck to one thing for a substantial amount of time. However, those logical moments don't last long before I'm off chasing another bunny.
 
 

 
 
 
Same goes for food. I know I could become an expert in one type of cuisine if I cooked for that purpose every day. Some days, I'm sure I'm a classic American cook and I always will be. I might have even told you that before. But lets be honest, tomorrow I will be certain I was born to cook German fare or maybe an expert in Italian cookery. Some weeks, I prep my meals ahead of time and cook from a list of tried and true recipes. Other weeks, I'm extremely outgoing and adventurous and live out a new kick I'm on through food.
 
 
 
 
 
I can go on and on with this post. I could go have a cup of coffee, come back and write a paragraph about some things I cook every week. Then again, I could go make breakfast and come back to write a paragraph about how my meals are never the same. I realize this is making me sound loony. I assure you, I'm not. However, this salad kind of is. That's the point I was getting to- I have a wild and crazy salad recipe for you! I created it on an adventurous whim from leftover ingredients and a few dried goods found in my pantry. On some sort of kick, dying to eat something new and exciting, this salad was born. Sometimes, it can be an entrĂ©e salad. Other times, it can be a side dish. Whatever mood you're in, this salad is always good.
 
 
 
 
LENTIL & WILD RICE SALAD
 
1 Cup dried lentils
1 Cup dried wild rice
1/2 Cup (or more, if you wish) chopped fresh mint
2 Cups red seedless grapes
salt and pepper
1/4 Cup olive oil
1/4 Cup apple cider vinegar
1 Cup goat feta, crumbled
 
  • Cook the lentils and the rice following package directions. When fully cooked, place in a bowl together and refrigerate until cooled completely.
  • Once cooled completely, add salt, pepper, feta, mint, grapes, olive oil, and vinegar. Toss to combine. Serve cold.
  • This recipe makes a large amount of salad. Will feed a family of 4 allowing plenty for leftovers.