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Archive for the ‘family health’ Category

Flourless Chocolate Cake Last weekend I had the opportunity to celebrate a delicious birthday with my dear friend Nora. I have been gluten-free for a while (and have been feeling and looking sooo  much better for it), so I was ecstatic to find out Nora had decided to create a totally gourmet gluten-free feast in honor of her own dietary transition.

This recipe was a total hit, which is why I am sharing it with you. I modified it to be sugar free as well, using xylitol (a sugar alcohol derived from birch or corn). I recommend buying the kind made from birch, which is also called birch sugar sometimes. Xylitol can just about be substituted cup for cup with regular sugar, but will not spike blood sugar or cause any of the other funky sugar issues.

Enjoy this healthier indulgence during your next celebrations! (Thank you Nora!)

Nora’s Birthday French Flourless Chocolate Cake (Gluten-free)

Yield: 12 servings

Ingredients:

7 oz (200 g) semisweet chocolate (45-50 % cocoa)

8 oz (225 g) organic butter, ghee or coconut oil (unsalted)

just under 1 cup xylitol (get the birch kind made from birch, not corn)

5 eggs, separated

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F

2. Line a 9 in (23 cm) cake tin with greaseproof or other non-stick paper and butter the tin. (Nora didn’t use the paper)

3. Break the chocolate into small pieces and melt it with butter or ghee over hot water, or in the oven works also

4. Beat the egg yolks with half of the xylitol. I put in all the sugar with the egg yolks and added a couple of tablespoons of warm, not hot water

5. Fold in the melted butter and chocolate mixture – be sure that its not to hot otherwise you cook the eggs

6. Beat egg whites until frothy by using an electric mixer; (gradually add the remaining xylitol,) beating until stiff peaks form.

7. Fold in the beaten egg whites.

8. Bake at 350 degrees until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean, approximately 40 minutes.

9. Use a knife to separate the cake from the non-stick paper. Please observe that the cake is quite sticky!

The Flourless Chocolate Cake may be served warm or cold with Cashew Whipped Cream or Coconut Bliss (yumm!). The cream may be dusted with raw cacao powder before serving, and decorated with raspberries or strawberries.

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Yes, this recipe really DOES taste and smell a whole lot like pizza!

This is a rich, delicious and satisfying main dish salad that promises to please.

The recipe uses raw goat cheddar, which is unpastuerized and has all the enzymes and nutrients that we expect to be in our pasteurized dairy, but are not. It is much easier on the digestive track that  gluey pasteurized cheese.

2 cups baby arugula
3 cups chopped Romaine, washed and dried
1-2 ripe heirloom tomatoes, chopped
4-5 unsulfured sun-dried tomatoes (soaked until soft & chopped)
3-4 oz. raw goat cheddar cheese (available at most health food stores – really delicious!)
1/4 cup fresh  chopped basil
1 tbsp. chopped fresh oregano or dried
2-3 sun-dried black olives, minced
1 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
1 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
1-2 cloves garlic, minced
Celtic salt and pepper to taste

Mix everything together, adjust flavors to personal taste, and ENJOY with gusto!

Variations: I added raw corn kernals cut off the cobb, grated zucchini and other summer vegetables for variety. Use your imagination.

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2 omega-3 organic eggs

1 cup coconut cream (or full fat coconut milk)

2 tablespoons organic blackstrap molasses

1 tablespoon vanilla

3 scoops Vanilla Dream Protein (hormone and antibiotic free whey)

1/3 cup ground Flaxseed

2-3 tablespoons Ground Cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon (approximately) of each:

pinch ground Nutmeg

1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon ground Ginger

pinch ground clove

pinch ground allspice

1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice

1/2 teaspoon Real Salt, Celtic or Himalayan pink Salt

pinch stevia powder, if needed

2 (15 oz.) cans organic pumpkin puree (unsweetened). Or make your own by pureeing

cooked pumpkin, winter squash or sweet potato.

1 cup organic walnuts

ground Cinnamon, sprinkle to taste

Directions:

1. Lightly oil 9 x 9 baking pan with extra virgin coconut oil.

2. Using a 14-cup food processor, blend eggs until creamy.

3. Add coconut cream, molasses and vanilla to eggs. Blend until thick and creamy (approximately 1 minute).

4. Add one can of pumpkin at a time to the mixture, blending in between.

5. Add remaining ingredients, except nuts, and blend until mixed.

6. Mix in nuts until blended.

7. Taste the batter to check sweetness. Add some stevia or more spices according to your liking.

8. Pour into the sprayed pan and sprinkle cinnamon on the top before baking.

9. Bake at 325° for 1 hour and 45 minutes. Rotate the pan at 50 minutes to ensure even browning.

10. When the bars are cool, cover with plastic wrap or foil. Cracks will appear on the top and will flatten when the bars cool.

Note: Bars must sit overnight for the flavors to meld. They will not taste good right out of the oven.

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Looking for a fabulously delicious way to stay healthy through the cold and flu season? This salad is loaded with antioxidants, vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients. Make a bunch and enjoy the left overs.

For the Roasted Roots:

Choose at least 3 of the following:

1 large onion (yellow or red), peeled

3 large carrots

1-2 sweet potatoes

1-2 medium parsnips (looks like an off white carrot)

1 medium rutabega

2 medium beets*

1 medium daikon radish (looks like a big long smooth white carrot)

2-3 medium turnips

about 1-2 T. extra virgin, cold-pressed olive oil

Real or Celtic salt and pepper to taste

Optional – herbs I like include oregano, thyme and rosemary

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Scrub (no need to peel) your veggies of choice.

Chop into similar sized bite-sized pieces and collect in a large mixing bowl.

* note: if you are using red beets, you may want to prep and roast separately as they tend to color everything else.

Toss the vegetables with the oil and seasonings until well coated.

Line 2 (maybe 3) baking sheets with unbleached parchment paper (available at most health food stores), then distribute vegetables in a single layer on each sheet.

Bake for about 40-60 minutes (depends on the size of your pieces), until slightly browned on the outside and beginning to soften on the inside.

Serve on a big bed of fresh greens(below) while warm or once cooled.

Store the leftovers in the fridge for a quick nourishing snack or side dish.

Great for sweet cravings!

Bed of Greens:

½ bunch arugula, chopped if large

1 bunch spinach, chopped if large

½ bunch parsley, chopped

1/ bunch kale, chopped (lightly steam if you have thyroid issues)

optional: Fresh minced garlic to taste (this will give you an extra immune boost and keep the vampires away!)

Squeeze of lemon (optional)

Extra olive or flax oil (optional)

Add some other raw veggies like diced red bell pepper, chopped celery, grated carrot, etc.

Add a protein boost:

–       1-2 organic eggs

–       3(ish) ounces wild fish, organic poultry or 100% grass fed meat

–       3-4 ounces baked tempeh

–       ½ cup garbanzo, black beans or aduki beans

–       handful raw (preferably soaked) almonds or other nut or seed of choice

Make a bunch and enjoy this throughout your week.

And just wait to see how great you will feel!

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fruits_vegetablesMany times when we start to incorporate more fresh produce into our diets, there is a learning curve regarding how much to buy and how to store it optimally. No body wants broccoli rotting in a back corner after 5 days!

So, here are some quick and easy tips to maximize freshness and your dollars – less waste.

1) Buy as much as possible from your local farmer’s market where it has been picked that day. The majority of produce from local grocery stores is weeks old when you finally buy it.

2) To extend the life of your produce, store it in Green Bags (Ever Fresh  at http://www.evertfresh.com/ or Debbie Meyer at https://www.greenbags.com/?cid=587724 or www.hsn.com) or use the new E.G.G. (Ethylene Gas Guardian, found at http://www.4theegg.com/).

3) Store as much as possible in your “crisper”.

4) Try wrapping the ends of greens with wet clothes or organic paper towels. This seems to help them last longer and keeps them from wilting.

5) To save time and plastic, take your green bags to the market with you. Then everything is ready to be stored upon arrival.

6)Mushrooms, jicama and Jerusalem artichokes (sunchokes) should be store in paper bags to prevent them from molding.

7) Tomatoes should be kept at room temperature.

8) Potatoes and onions should be stored in a cool, dark, dry environment. Not in the refrigerator.

9) Avocados should stay at room temperature until they ripen, then refrigerate.

10) Items like apples and oranges can be left out in a basket, but will last longer in the fridge.

11) Berries will do best refriderated in a container that allows some airflow.

12) Asparagus will stay freshest if you put the ends in water and cover them with a bag. Use as soon as possible.

13) Fresh herbs should be used within a few days. To store them longer, try processing in the food processor with a little olive oil. Divide into ice trays, freeze, then store the single portion doses in the freezer in baggies or glass containers.

Now, happy produce shopping!

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flowers__and__butterfly

In honor of Spring’s Transformational Energy, I wanted to share this excerpt from a book (see credits below) that I found inspirational. Spring is a great time to re-evaluate, clean out and start fresh. Now, you can create and nurture what you want to grow.

Wishing you a beautiful April!

Take into account that great love and great achievements involve great risk.
When you lose, don’t lose the lesson.
Follow the three R’s: respect for self, respect for others, responsibility for all your actions.
Remember that not getting what you want is sometimes a wonderful stroke of luck.
Learn the rules so you know how to break them properly.
Don’t let a little dispute injure a great friendship.
When you realize you’ve made a mistake, take immediate steps to correct it.
Spend some time alone every day.
Open your arms to change, but don’t let go of your values.
Remember that silence is sometimes the best answer.
Live a good, honorable life. Then when you get older and think back, you’ll be able to enjoy it a second time.
A loving atmosphere in your home is the foundation of your life.
In disagreements with loved ones, deal only with the current situation. Don’t bring up the past.
Share your knowledge. It’s a way to achieve immortality.
Be gentle with the earth.
Once a year, go some place you’ve never been before.
Remember that the best relationship is one in which your love for each other exceeds your need for each other.
Judge your success by what you had to give up in order to get it.
Approach love and cooking with the same reckless abandon.

From Life’s Little Instruction Book: 511 Suggestions, Observations, and Reminders On How To Live A Happy And Rewarding Life by H. Jackson Brown, Rutledge Hill Press.

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