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My company, Rachel's Basic Bites, is a small startup in the Kent county area of Rhode Island. I provide handcrafted granola bars, made with high quality organic ingredients.

The Food Blog

Mexican Quinoa and Veggie Stuffed Bell Peppers (0 Comments)

Published on February 21st, 2018 in Food Blog, Health Tips

 

Bell pepper LOVE right here! This is one of my all time go-to dishes to create in the kitchen. I have made these beauties in a variety of ways from different flavors, with meat and no meat like this style right here. This vegetarian style is packed full of nutrients, full of flavor and will keep you satisfied. This filling is so darn delicious with the lovely quinoa, spice blend, beans and veggies mix in along with the creamy cashew cream. It is quite delectable once stuffed in the sweet and colorful peppers roasted to perfection. The great part about these guys are that it is super simple to make, with light preparation, so filling and very versatile in making your own custom blend. If you happen to give this a try, i would love to hear what you came up with!

 

 

 

 

HEALTH BENEFITS OF QUINOA:

 

Quinoa isn’t just a hippie food, it’s actually amazingly nutritional and versatile. It’s a grain that’s grown and the seeds are eaten. It’s not quite a grass or cereal, but more related to other healthy vegetables like spinach or beetroot.

 

No reason why herbivores and carnivores alike can’t enjoy this food item. It is so versatile in many dishes to incorporate in meals and desserts. Below are some of the many reasons why you may want to incorporate quinoa in your life.

 

 

 

 

An amazing nutrient that it is a COMPLETE PROTEIN. Just one cup it offers 5g of fiber and protein plus a wide range of minerals and vitamins.

 

A LOW CALORIE food item. If you are either maintaining or losing weight, this your guy right here. It only has 222 calories per cup and 4g of fat.

 

Quinoa is so VERSATILE whether it’s in a salad, snack, side or main dish or incorporated in desserts too. Because it contains protein it is excellent for weightlifting or body building.

 

It contains more FIBER than many other grains out there. A simple switch for one grain to quinoa can significantly improve your health with little effort.

 

Full of ANTIOXIDANTS!

 

A LOW GLYCEMIC index which helps to maintain blood sugar levels.

 

It’s completely GLUTEN FREE. If you have any sensitivities at all this is for you.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Since we know the amazing benefits, let’s scroll down to the recipe.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SERVES: about 3-4

 

 

 

INGREDIENTS:

1 cup quinoa, prepared and cooked

2 cups stock, vegetable or chicken, organic and low sodium

4 medium bell peppers (any color you prefer) halved and seeds removed

3 tbsp olive oil

1/2 onion, diced

2 garlic cloves, minced

2 cups mushrooms, chopped

any remaining bell pepper tops, chopped

1 cup corn, frozen or fresh

1/2 cup chickpeas, or black beans, rinsed and drained

1 jalapeno, sliced, seeded and chopped

2 tsp cumin

1 1/4 chili powder

1 tsp garlic powder

1/4 cup cashew cream

 

 

 

CASHEW CREAM: (quick soak method)

2 cups cashews, raw and unsalted

water, filtered

dash, sea salt

 

In a saucepan, combine the two and bring up to a boil. Then once boiled; turn off the heat and cover. Let sit for about an hour before using. Drain and pulse until smooth in a blender or food processor. Sea salt, to taste. Set aside until ready to use.

 

 

 

 

GARNISHES:

salsa, or preferred sauce

avocados

fresh cilantro

 

 

 

 

INSTRUCTIONS:

In a saucepan, add quinoa and stock together; bring to a boil over high heat. Once boiling, reduce heat to low; let cover and simmer until liquid is absorbed and quinoa is fluffy. Let simmer about 20 minutes or as instructed on the package.

 

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Place halved peppers in a baking dish 9×13 or smaller is fine and set aside.

 

In a large saucepan, heat the oil in the pan. Add the onions and let cook for a few minutes until soft. Add in the fresh garlic and let cook, stirring constantly, for 2-3 minutes or until fragrant. Add in the remaining ingredients of mushrooms, veggies, corn, beans and the seasonings; let cook for another 5-7 minutes or until combined and fragrant.Lastly, add in the cashew cream and blend. Let the flavors marry well and remove from heat.

 

You are ready to place the stuffing mixture into the bell pepper vessels generously and then cover with foil. Place the baking dish in the oven; let cook for about 35-45 minutes, or until peppers are soft and so fragrant.

 

When cooked, remove from the oven and let cool before serving. Serve with desired toppings. These beauties are great the next days and for at least 2-3 days in the refrigerator.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

NUTRITIONAL CONTENT: calories 514; total fat 17.3g; sodium 35mg; total carbohydrates 75g; dietary fiber 15g; sugars 12g; protein 19.6g; vitamin D 8%; iron 46%; calcium 8% and potassium 24%.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dreamy Dark Chocolate-Coconut Truffles (0 Comments)

Published on February 15th, 2018 in Food Blog, Health Tips

 

Get ready to lose some self control with these luscious beauties. These are truly super simple to create in your kitchen along with only two ingredients and no fancy equipment involved. This method is just simply chopping some chocolate, melting coconut milk, some stirring involved and a chill out period before engulfing these tasty treats. The best part about making your own is that it has no extra added sugars and chemicals plus you may customize to your hearts desires. You may dress these beauties up with creative garnish such as chopped nuts, cocoa powder, shredded coconut, etc.

 

 

A wonderful crowd pleaser for a party, as a gift, or just for your loved ones. From time to time i enjoy making truffles around the Christmas season and especially for Valentine’s Day. These basic bites are simply creamy, dreamy and decadent deliciousness in one bite. And make sure you purchase the good quality kind, at least 70% cocoa, in reaping the benefits and taste. Below are a list of dark chocolate health benefits.

 

 

 

 

 

DARK CHOCOLATE HEALTH BENEFITS:

 

Protection against disease causing free radicals

 

Potential cancer prevention

 

Improved heart health

 

Better overall cholesterol profile

 

Healthy cognitive function

 

Aids in blood pressure and glucose levels

 

Antioxidant rich superfood

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SHALL WE SCROLL DOWN TO THE RECIPE?!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SERVES: about 16- 20 depending on size

 

 

 

 

INGREDIENTS:

 

9 ounces dark chocolate, chopped or chip style

6-7 tbsp coconut milk, can or regular

1/8 tsp sea salt

 

 

 

FOR GARNISHES YOU MAY USE:

shredded coconut

chopped nuts or seeds

cocoa powder

sprinkles

 

 

 

 

INSTRUCTIONS:

 

In a medium bowl, place the chopped chocolate or chips and set aside. The finer the chopping the better it melts more quickly.

 

In a separate bowl, place coconut milk and either heat in the microwave for 15 second intervals, or over the stove with double boiler. Once heated, place the milk over the chocolate. Quickly cover and let sit for about 5 minutes. Then lift cover and gently mix until smoothly combined. Place mixture in the refrigerator for about 2-3 hours until set. To be sure stick a knife in the middle and if comes out clean it is ready.

 

Once chilled and firm texture, get the garnish ready in bowls before shaping chocolate mixture. Next, scoop about tbsp of mixture and roll with your hands; dip in the garnishes and place on a parchment lined baking sheet. Repeat until complete. You may enjoy immediately or keep in the refrigerator until needed.

 

 

 

 

 

 

NUTRITIONAL CONTENT: calories 100; total fat 6.3g; cholesterol 4mg; total carbohydrates 9.8g; sugars 8g; protein 1.4g; calcium 2%; iron 3% and potassium 2%.

 

Dreamy Cashew Cream (0 Comments)

Published on February 7th, 2018 in Food Blog, Health Tips

 

Oh my! I AM in LOVE. So darn delicious.

 

For awhile now I’ve been wanting to make my own and it was the right day for it. What i am sharing with you is a velvety vegan style cream sauce made with cashews. Yes! It is vegan, but if you are not it’s just fine. I believe carnivores and herbivores alike will love this creamy dreamy sauce. I am not a vegan, but tend to gravitate towards more of a whole food plant based lifestyle as much as i can in properly fueling my body with variety of nutrients. Lately, I’ve been wanting to reduce or as close to eliminating dairy into my body due allergens and certain beliefs with the conventional ways. What i love about cashew cream is it’s unique and lovely taste, it’s versatility and so super simple to create in your own home.

 

This cream sauce is a blank canvas for you to create anything your heart desires and to go beyond just the garlic and sea salt. And with just one kitchen gadget like a blender or processor, you have a multi-purpose cream sauce that can be utilized for a creamy pasta, nacho cheese sauce, use with veggies or fruit dip or even made to use in ice cream as well. Below is a list of items you may incorporate into the sauce.

 

Pesto or herbs

Nutritional yeast

Any hot peppers or sauce

Squash, pumpkin, sweet potatoes, or other greens like spinach

And you can replace the garlic and sea salt with peanut butter, cocoa, sweetener, vanilla or whatever your heart desires

 

 

 

A wonderful base sauce recipe with minimal ingredients in creating dips, pasta sauce, or other cheesy alternatives. If you happen to give it a try, i would love to know. Do tell!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Whenever most people talk about WHY they could never give up dairy, most times i hear is ” I LOVE my cheese so much to live without!” or something like ” I’ll miss my ice cream way too much!”. And i admit i was one of those people with dairy creamer for my coffee or certain cheeses for meals. These particular dairy items is what was keeping me from going dairy free. At first it was hard to part with, my conventional coffee creamer, until i fell in love with other alternatives such as coconut, almond and cashew now. Totally enjoying this homemade cashew creamer I’ve made a couple times now. Truthfully i do not know why i had waited so long to make this transition. I LOVE this and that is why i am sharing this with you. Maybe you had the same thoughts and/or ideas surrounding the dairy aspect. Do tell i would like to know.

 

 

 

 

So once you have the basic idea of this cashew cream process you can literally turn this into all kinds of concocted creations. It also holds up well in heating and baking with no separation as i have used in a couple of my dinner recipes. Also i would like to note that it is best to get good quality raw cashews and make sure they are unsalted too. Next are just a few more tips on this method for you and a couple recipes for the sauce and coffee creamer.

 

 

TIPS:

 

QUICK SOAK METHOD – cover cashews with boiling water and let sit for at least one hour before processing.

 

SWEETENER – you may want to add more or less depending on your preferences. It’s best to go with pure maple or raw honey for nutritional purposes for the creamer.

 

You may also want to warm up the cooled cashew creamer due to separating in the coffee and while taking out the chillness from the creamer from being in the refrigerator. I like my coffee hot.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

RECIPES:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CASHEW CREAM

 

INGREDIENTS:

2 cups cashews, raw and unsalted

water, filtered

 

 

INSTRUCTIONS:

 

Firstly, prepare cashews in allowing them to soak. In a small bowl, combine cashews and water; let soak for at least two hours. Drain and rinse; set aside.

 

In a food processor or blender, place the soaked cashews along with the water ( 1 cup for heavy cream or 2 cups for half and half consistency) and puree until very smooth. If too thick add in a bit of water to loosen. Remember once cooled it will thicken up so you may want to adjust. you may store this up to 7-10 days in the refrigerator.

 

Place mixture into a mason jar or airtight container into your refrigerator.

 

 

 

 

 

 

NOW for the COFFEE CREAMER

 

 

 

INGREDIENTS:

1 cup cashews, raw and unsalted

water

1/4 cup raw honey, or maple

1 tsp vanilla extract, pure no alcohol

1/4 tsp sea salt

 

 

INSTRUCTIONS:

 

Place cashews in a bowl or jar; let soak overnight or at least 3-6 hours.

 

Drain and rinse nuts. Place in blender. Add 2 cups filtered water, the sweetener of choice, vanilla and sea salt; blend on high until super smooth about 2-3 minutes.

 

Store in covered container and place in the refrigerator when ready to use. This will keep up to 10 days and the cream will thicken a bit while being cooled, but you may adjust.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

WHAT YOU MAY NOT KNOW ABOUT CASHEWS

 

 

These nuts are rich in anti-oxidants, vitamins and minerals which are required for normal functions in our body. Did you know, they actually belong to Brazil but the Portuguese brought them to India in the 16ht century? These kidney shaped beans are chock full of goodness.

 

 

 

PREVENTS CANCER due to flavonols present

 

HEART HEALTHY being low in fat, no cholesterol and presence of antioxidants

 

LOWERS HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE due to containing magnesium

 

STRONG HAIR due to the mineral of copper

 

HEALTHY BONES which contains calcium and magnesium

 

PREVENTS GALLSTONES

 

AIDS IN WEIGHT LOSS

 

VITAMIN RICH in riboflavin, thiamin, niacin, etc

 

BETTER SLEEP

 

HEALTHY GUMS & TEETH

 

FREE RADICALS

 

MACULAR DEGENERATION

 

 

 

 

 

Now that you know more about the health benefits of cashews, consume at least a few once every week for optimal benefits. Remember to nourish your mind, body and soul for overall well-being.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

No-Bake Date Energy Bites (0 Comments)

Published on February 5th, 2018 in Food Blog, Health Tips

 

Here is a tasty and energizing snack that is super simple and requires no oven at all. A great snack for on the run and practically guilt free goodness. It is naturally sweetened, so tender, pinch of crunch with the cashews, peanut buttery and oh so tasty. One of my all time go-to snacks that are packed with nutrients and real food ingredients to keep you fueled. I’ve made these tasty bites a variety of ways with different nut butters, fruits and vegetables like pumpkin. These are so easy to create in your very own kitchen with your personalized blend.

 

 

It’s been discovered and proven for years that dates have a healing powers for our bodies. Due to trading, these dates have traveled to southwest Asia, Spain, Northern Africa and were later introduced and became popular in Middle Eastern cuisine. Dates are considered a good source of calcium, iron, phosphorus, potassium, magnesium and zinc. Below are quite a few reasons in consuming dates regularly.

 

 

 

 

 

HEALTH BENEFITS OF DATES:

 

IMPROVES CHOLESTEROL due to not containing any and assists in weight loss.

 

EXCELLENT PROTEIN source in helping you stay fit and keeing muscles strong. Most gym geeks are asked to consume at least a couple dates everyday for their daily routine.

 

VITAMIN RICH in B1, B2 and B5 as well as A1 and calcium. Not only will it keep you healthy, it will enhance your energy levels due to natural sugars such as glucose, sucrose and fructose. An excellent quick snack.

 

BONE STRENGTH these guys are rich in selenium, manganese, copper and magnesium. Great in preventing osteoporosis.

 

HEALTHY DIGESTION especially when soaking dates before hand in consuming these lovelies. Of course excellent for constipated individuals.

 

IRON RICH dates help deficiencies in low levels of iron such as anemia and great for blood purification as well.

 

ANTI-AGER due to the great source of vitamin C and D in keeping skin smooth and elastic. Also prevents the accumulation of melanin in your body.

 

 

 

 

 

The best way dates are to be eaten is by themselves. This delicious and sweet fruit is great for breakfast snacks, oatmeal, no-bake treats, smoothies and cereals. Some people even may switch to date syrup over refined sugars. Great to have a container of these guys on hand on the counter or in the refrigerator. Wonderful to add to trail mix, a date smoothie, incorporated in baked goods and toss them in salads.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Let’s move on to the recipe……………………………………………………

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SERVES: about 12, depending on size

 

 

 

INGREDIENTS:

1 cup dates, soaked or as is

1/4 cup cashews, unsalted and chopped

1/2 tsp raw honey (optional)

1/2 cup oats, rolled or quick

2 tbsp peanut butter, organic

1-2 tbsp water, filtered

sea salt, to taste

 

 

INSTRUCTIONS:

Prepare the dates by pitting them and soaking them in hot water for about 10 minutes. Drain and set aside.

In a food processor, or hand blender, combine all ingredients including the soaked dates; process until fairly smooth.

Remove from blender and place the mixture into a bowl; let set in the refrigerator for about 20-30 minutes.

When ready, scoop out a small spoonful, bite size, of the mixture and use hands to roll in a ball. You may need to wet your hands just a bit due to texture from sticking. Repeat until the process is complete. Place formed mixture into an airtight container to keep in the refrigerator for long lasting freshness. you may roll the balls into crushed nuts, shredded coconut, chocolate powder or Ganache or whatever your heart desires.  And that’s all. Enjoy!

 

 

 

 

 

NUTRITIONAL CONTENT: calories per serving 88; total fat 2.9g; sodium 33mg; total carbohydrates 15g; dietary fiber 1.8g; sugars 10g; protein 2g; calcium 1%; iron 4% and potassium 3% type of snack.

Rosemary Infused Roasted Beets (0 Comments)

Published on February 2nd, 2018 in Food Blog, Health Tips

 

Not only are beets sweet and tasty, but provides numerous health benefits for our mind and body. Sharing with you a super simple recipe that is easy to create in your home with such versatility and flavor. Beets are wonderful to utilize in most meals such as an appetizer, salads, smoothies, baked goods, soups and just by itself. These sweet and earthy root vegetables are packed with surprising nutrients and benefits. Below is a list of why you may want to consume more beautiful beets into your healthy lifestyle.

 

 

 

 

HEALTH BENEFITS OF BEETS

 

 

Beets are rich in nitrates, which your body converts to nitric oxide, a compound that relaxes and dilates blood vessels in turning them into superhighways for your nutrients and oxygen rich blood, which means better circulation and improved blood pressure.

 

 

REDUCTION in heart disease risk due to rich in betaine and folate, which together helps to lower levels of homocysteine in the body.

 

 

Improved STAMINA – Researches has suggested when athletes consume beets that nitrates boost endurance performance. In one study, cyclists who drank beet juice could pedal harder longer 15% in time trail to exhaustion. So if your are racing, drink up and crush it!

 

 

BETTER BRAIN function due to nitric oxide in relaxing and dilating blood vessels, in turn increase blood flow to the brain which brings on healthy neurons in the body.  Give your brain a boost with beets!

 

 

LIGHTER LIVER in consuming more beets will allow better cleansing of the unwanted toxins in your body.

 

 

CHRONIC DISEASE fighter due to a rich source of betalains, a potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatories that battle free radical and inflammation related chronic diseases like heart disease, obesity and possibly cancers.

 

 

PROMOTES IRREGULARITY  with it’s source of high fiber with just one cup of beets contains 4 grams of dietary fiber, which helps reduce the risk of constipation, hemorrhoids and diverticulitis.

 

 

 

 

PURCHASING FRESH BEETS:

 

 

Did you know, that the greens of the beets are edible and provide rich nutrients such as carotenoids and lutein/zeaxanthin? They are mostly available at farmers markets and can be used interchangeably with chards.

 

Although we mostly see bright purple colored tones in grocery stores, they come in many colors. Beets are widely available year round, but the peak season is normally summer (June) to fall (October). And stay clear of spotted and bruised beets where it may be bleeding from the root.

 

 

THE HEALTHIEST WAY TO EAT BEETS ARE:

 

RAW – they firm, crunchy and mildly sweet tasting and an excellent addition to smoothies, salads, and juices. When eaten raw you do not lose any of the nutrients as well.

 

 

COOKED – they are often paired well with goat cheese, balsamic vinegar and arugula salads. They are commonly canned and pickled and can alter the taste and nutrient profile depending on how it is prepared.

 

 

ROASTED – make sure to cook or roast lightly in retaining it nutrient qualities for overall well-being. Studies have shown that the content of phytonutrients are diminished through high heat. The healthiest way to cook them is either steaming them for 20 minutes or roasted for under an hour, which slowly cooks them. Always best to wrap them when roasting or cooking to prevent staining on hands or surfaces.

 

 

 

 

 

Shall we let’s scroll down to the recipe……………….

 

 

 

 

 

 

SERVES: about 2 to 3

 

 

 

INGREDIENTS:

 

3 whole beets, fresh, organic

1 tbsp olive oil

1/8 tsp sea salt

1/8 tsp black pepper

1-2 tbsp rosemary, fresh or essential oil 1-2 drops

 

 

INSTRUCTIONS:

Preheat oven 400 degrees

Prepare the beets by scrubbing top layer or peeling and then rinse well.

Lay beets down on aluminum or parchment on a flat surface. Drizzle olive oil over the beets and rub in with gloves on or you may use a brush. Add the the rest of the seasoning and blend well. Fold foil to form a closed packet. Then place them on a baking sheet and into the oven for about 30-40 minutes, or until soft and fragrant.

Remove from oven and let cool. You may slice or leave as is until needed in the refrigerator.

 

 

 

 

 

Slow Cooked Coconut-Curry Chicken Soup (0 Comments)

Published on February 1st, 2018 in Food Blog, Health Tips

This lovely meal that I am sharing with you today is quite super simple, with light prep work, and made with real food ingredients. If you LOVE spice, heat and everything nice this is for you. This was so good that my hubby and I had it for lunch the next day. Really loved the combinations of flavors, ingredients and textures in this meal. There is some prep work, but very easy. Firstly, i marinated the chicken with a few spices, a touch of olive oil and mixed thoroughly until evenly distributed. Placed in the refrigerator until i needed it for dinner. Next, i sauteed some of the veggies with the spices and heat to elevate the flavors in the dish. Then, all of the other ingredients i combined right into the crock-pot. The rest of the time let the slow cooker do it’s job. It’s pretty simple, but so darn delicious. When it’s ready, you may place in the bowl along with you preferred starch and garnish with fresh cilantro and juice of the fresh lime. Not only is it tasty, but there are so many health benefits with the combinations of flavors in which i mention down below.

 

 

 

 

CURRY BENEFITS:

Prevents cancer

Protects the heart

Improves bone health

Antibacterial activity

Liver toxicity

Relieves pain and inflammation

Prevents alzheimer’s

 

 

 

CUMIN BENEFITS:

Promotes healthy digestion

Rich source of iron

contains beneficial plant compounds

May help with diabetes

May improve blood cholesterol

Fights inflammation

Helps with drug dependence

 

 

 

TURMERIC:

Fights inflammation

Fights free radicals

Boosts immunity

Eases joint pain

Protects the heart

Healthy digestion

Boosts your mood

May stave off neurodegenerative diseases

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

BELOW is the recipe………………….

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SERVES: about 6-8

 

 

INGREDIENTS:

1 tbsp olive oil

1 medium red onion, peeled and diced

1 carrot, washed, peeled and chopped

3 garlic cloves, minced

1/4 tsp ginger, dried or fresh

1 tsp turmeric

1 tsp cumin

1 tsp curry

1/2 tsp Asian garlic chili sauce, or preferred sauce

dash, sea salt

dash, black pepper

6-8 small colored potatoes

3 cups vegetable broth, organic and low sodium

1 cup corn, frozen or fresh

1 cup peas, frozen or fresh

1 can coconut milk, lite

1 package boneless chicken tenderloin, marinated, cooked and shredded

Garnish, fresh cilantro

Limes, zest and/or juice

Starch, optional

 

 

 

 

INSTRUCTIONS:

 

In a medium saucepan, low to medium heat, combine the onions and carrots; let cook for about 3-4 minutes, or until softened and fragrant. Add in the garlic; let cook, stirring frequently, for 2-3 minutes or until soft and fragrant. Next, add in all the spices, heat, 1/4 cup coconut milk and sea salt/black pepper to the mix. Mix to combine and let the flavors marry well together.  Remove from heat and place mixture into the slow cooker. Add in the rest of ingredients of corn, peas, potatoes and the last half hour add in the chicken or preferred meat option. Add the rest of the coconut milk and mix to combine. At this point, taste to see if extra flavor is needed.

 

Cover and let cook on high for 4 hours, or best at 6-8 hours. When ready, place in bowls with a bed of rice or another preferred item and garnish with fresh herbs and lime. And voila! A delicious meal for just two or a crowd.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

NUTRITIONAL CONTENT: calories 409; total fat 16g; total carbohydrates 49.5g; dietary fiber 9.4g; sugars 8g; protein 13.3g; calcium 4%; Iron 22% and potassium 29%.

 

 

 

Tomato-Basil Herb Vinaigrette Dressing (0 Comments)

Published on January 28th, 2018 in Food Blog, Health Tips

What i am sharing with you today is light and refreshing vinaigrette style dressing that you can create in your own home. This dressing contains fresh ingredients of cherry tomatoes, mix of herbs avocado oil and fresh sauteed garlic. What i LOVE about making my own is the quality control and flavor versatility by utilizing real food ingredients either in your own backyard or from the market.

 

This recipe came alive when realizing i had quite a bit of extra fresh basil to still use before going bad. And since I’ve been craving an alkalizing energizing salad for the evening, I figured it would be the perfect opportunity to make my own signature style dressing. And voila! Here it is.

 

So how about you, have you made your own in the past? And if so, how did it come out? When i make my own I love that it is pure, fresh and so darn tasty. I truly believe in fresh is best. Do you agree? Although, at times, we do buy store bought. But I make sure to read those labels due to additives, extra sugars and any other preservatives. High quality is best because if you can NOT recognize an ingredients your body will not either in breaking it down. And please stay away from fat-free and low-fat labeling due to extra sugars or a chemical of crap in it. In doing so you will reap the healthy benefits in nourishing your mind, body and soul for overall well being.

 

 

Below are the many benefits of the few ingredients utilized in this recipe.

 

 

 

 

AVOCADO OIL

Rich in oleic acid

Reduces cholesterol

Very healthy fat

High in lutein

Great for eye health

Enhancement of absorbing nutrients in the body

Improves heart health

May prevent gum disease

Improves skin and enhances wound healing

Neutralizes free radicals and easy to use

Reduces symptoms of arthritis

 

 

 

 

TOMATOES

Antioxidant agent

Manage diabetes

Rich source of vitamins and minerals

Heart healthy

Counter effect of smoking cigarettes

Improves vision

Aid in digestion

Lowers hypertension

Great for skin

Prevents U.T.I.

Prevents gallstones

 

 

 

BASIL

Anti-inflammatory

Antioxidant

Cancer fighter

Pain reducer

Fever reducer

Liver and Blood vessel protector

Immune booster

 

 

 

 

Let’s move on to the recipe below……………………………………………………..

 

 

 

 

SERVES: about 6

 

 

INGREDIENTS:

 

1/2 cup basil, fresh

3 garlic cloves, minced and slightly pan sauteed

1/2 cup cherry tomatoes, or preferred

dash, sea salt

dash, black pepper

3/4 cup avocado oil

3 tbsp red wine vinegar, or white is fine

dash, dried oregano

1/2 tsp thyme, fresh

 

 

 

INSTRUCTIONS:

In a small saucepan, over low-medium heat, place prepared garlic with oil; let saute for about 2-3 minutes or until fragrant and slightly soft. Do not burn. When cooked remove from heat and set aside.

Combine all ingredients including garlic into the food processor or a blender. Pulse until smooth and creamy. Place mixture into an airtight container or in a mason jar for storage. Keep in the refrigerator and when ready to use remove from the refrigerator and bring up to room temperature. This can also be made a day in advance as well. And voila! Homemade tasty treat to use and enjoy.

 

 

 

 

NUTRITIONAL CONTENT: calories per serving 43; total fat 3.6g; sodium 41mg;total carbohydrates 2.7g; dietary fiber 1.5g; calcium 1%; iron 2% and potassium 3%

Go-To Green Herbed Hummus (0 Comments)

Published on January 23rd, 2018 in Food Blog, Health Tips

 

 

Today i am sharing with you another hummus style made with just greens such as fresh basil, parsley and tarragon which nourish your mind, body and soul for overall wellness. Hummus is one of my go-to snacks to keep me on track with my health and fitness levels and not to mention tasty as well.

 

How about yourself, do you enjoy hummus and why?

 

This popular and nourishing snack is quite easy to create in your own kitchen without to much fuss and preparation. Why buy store bought when you can easily make this at home minus the chemical crap storm with conventional store types? You may say ” I have no time” or “I don’t know how to”. But i will tell you “you can do this” even if you do not have much experience in the kitchen. I hope i am able to inspire you to create something in your own kitchen. If you never made hummus before and give this a go……. please let me know how it came out for you. I would love to hear.

 

 

 

 

 

Below are the many health benefits in consuming more hummus and why these green herbs are quite powerful when combined in a super simple snack food.

 

 

 

 

HEALTH BENEFITS OF HEAVENLY HOMEMADE HUMMUS

 

 

HEALTHY DIGESTION:

Due to the high fiber content, hummus helps keep your digestive system in check. A great alternative in getting more fiber consumed into the body and plus it’s heart healthy.

 

PROMOTES HEALTHY BONE, MUSCLE, SKIN and BLOOD:

The high amount of protein in this food snack allows an essential building block in these particular areas.

 

LOWERS CHOLESTEROL:

Hummus is generally made from chickpeas, or some say garbanzo beans which have nutrients in them in lowering cholesterol. By making your own at home you are reducing the sodium intake from most grocery store bought varieties while avoiding heart disease. Homemade is best!

 

PREVENTS CANCER:

Healthy benefits of beans are their cancer preventing properties of the three compounds of sapnins, protease inhibitors and phytic acids which have shown in tests to guard against the damaging affects of cancers.

 

WEIGHT-LOSS:

Due to the tahini, which is a sesame seed butter, this contains mono-saturated fats in which helps promote weight-loss and belly fat in the body.

 

PROMOTES STRONG BONES:

Both chickpeas and tahini contain calcium which contributes to good bone health. Especially important for older women in preventing osteoporosis.

 

HELPS ALLEVIATE ANEMIA:

The combination of the beans and tahini is a great source of iron which helps deliver oxygen to the red blood cells.

 

BALANCING BLOOD SUGAR LEVELS:

Due to high nutrients in hummus, you can eat this to control blood sugar levels in the body. High protein helps you feel fuller longer while fighting and curbing food cravings.

 

ANTIOXIDANT RICH:

Consuming plenty of this will release oxidative damage done in our bodies. Just plain nourishment overall for well-being.

 

EXCELLENT FOR ALLERGIES:

Hummus is gluten free, dairy and nut free source of snack. Chickpeas are so versatile it may be used in a variety snacks and treats. Plus reduces allergic reactions.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

NOW that we discussed the many health benefits of this powerful super-food snack, let’s move on to the benefits of the herb combinations in the recipe.

 

 

 

 

 

 

BASIL BENEFITS:

There are numerous health benefits to adding it into your healthy lifestyle. I simply love basil and use it weekly in my homemade marinara sauce.

An anti-oxidant

anti-inflammatory

pain reducer

fever reducer

cancer fighter

liver & blood vessel protector

immune booster

stress reliever

 

 

PARSLEY BENEFITS:

A surprisingly small amount of parsley is packed with vitamins.

nutrition booster

promotes healthy kidneys

joint pain reliever

energizer

anti-cancer powerhouse

 

 

TARRAGON BENEFITS:

This herb is quite popular in French cooking. Tarragon is quite medicinal that it can be used to treat a range of conditions in the body.

Excellent for toothache

an anti-oxidant

improves healthy digestion

stimulates apetite

a mild sedative

heart healthy

healthy eye function

muscle building

healthy female reproduction

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

LET’S SCROLL DOWN TO THE RECIPE……………………………………………………………..

 

 

 

 

 

SERVES: 6-8

 

 

INGREDIENTS:

1/2 cup basil, fresh

1/2 cup parsley, fresh

1/4 cup tarragon, fresh

1 16 ounce can chickpeas, organic, drained and rinsed ( you may use dried & must prepare)

2 tbsp olive oil

1/3 cup tahini

dash, sea salt to taste

 

 

INSTRUCTIONS:

 

Firstly, make sure the beans are drained and rinsed if using a can and best for better quality styles. If dried, prepare them as instructed on bag.

Combine all the ingredients in the food processor or blender; mix well until combined and a smooth paste consistency.

Place mixture into a decorative dipping bowl or in an airtight container to keep in the refrigerator. Enjoy when ready!

 

 

 

NUTRITIONAL CONTENT: per serving, calories 159; total fat 9.6g; sodium 200mg; dietary fiber 3.6g; total carbohydrates 15.3g; protein 4.7g

calcium 5%; iron 11% and potassium 3%

 

 

 

 

Sausage and Veggie Slow Cooked Soup with Bowtie Pasta (0 Comments)

Published on January 9th, 2018 in Food Blog, Health Tips

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What i am sharing with you today is an inspired snow storm soup that is nourishing for the mind, body and soul.

 

On a blustery day, in New England, with temperatures dipping just below zero i was in the kitchen organizing what to plan on tonight’s recipe. Initially i wanted to create a casserole type of dish, but then my husband inspired me to make a slow cooked meal. And if you know me at all,  i LOVE my crock-pot. This is where the beauty of the magic began with my simple creation. Although running out of a couple items in my pantry, i just was able to simple tie everything together magically. I must say it came out beautifully. I’m sure my husband would agree with having more than two bowls of this slow cooked soup. This meal was just right for this evenings treat that was packed full of flavor, packed with nutrients and oh SO tasty!

 

Just having a crock-pot in my life saved me more than a few times. It’s a life saving gadget for any home with it’s versatility and easy to use care. A lovely meal created for just two or for a crowd. I’ve utilized many times for hot beverages, snacks or delicious desserts. You can easily set it and forget it. Well almost. Right? I would love to know what is your favorite slow cooked meal to create in your own home? Do tell.

 

With this recipe there is some light prep work, but definitely not overwhelming. I normally enjoy sauteing my veggies in developing the flavors of the soup. Now depending on the recipe i do braise any meat that is utilized as well for the same reasons. Then mostly the rest of the ingredients are placed in pot to slow cook away for deliciousness. My husband usually enjoys some starch and that’s why i have incorporated the pasta aspect and i added the spinach to increase my greens plus i LOVE it. This recipe is not set in stone and you may utilize different beans, veggies or any other add-ins your heart desires. Go ahead and create your own kitchen magic. If you try this, please let me know how it was. I would love to hear!

 

 

 

 

SO let’s scroll down to the recipe.

 

 

 

 

 

SERVES: 6-8

 

 

 

 

INGREDIENTS:

2 tbsp olive oil

1 medium onion, diced

2 carrots, cleaned, peeled and diced

2 celery ribs, cleaned and diced

1 1/2 cup mushrooms, diced

2 garlic cloves, peeled and minced

1-2 tbsp tomato paste

4 cups filtered water

1 package bratwurst sausage, sliced and cooked

1 can chickpeas, rinsed and drained or dried (if dried must be prepared)

1-2 tbsp herbs, preferred (dried or fresh)

bowtie pasta (opt)

handful, spinach, organic (opt)

 

 

 

INSTRUCTIONS:

 

In a medium saucepan, on low-medium heat, heat the oil; combine the onions, carrots, celery and mushrooms together. Let cook for about 3-4 minutes, or until soft and fragrant. Add the garlic; let cook about 2-3 minutes, stirring frequently, or until fragrant. Add in the tomato paste and blend well. Let cook well for about another 5 minutes until flavors marry well together.

 

Once complete, remove from the heat. Add to the crock-pot along with the water or broth.

 

With same saucepan, add the sliced sausage and cook until golden brown. Remove from heat and place in the pot. Add in the chickpeas and the preferred herbs and mix well until combined. Cover and cook on either low for 8-10 or high for 3-4 hours.

 

Just before the soup is about ready, this is the time to prepare your pasta; let set aside.

 

When done, place the pasta and spinach to the bottom of the soup bowl. Then add in the soup. Garnish with Parmesan or herbs, etc.

 

 

 

 

 

NUTRITIONAL CONTENT: calories (per serving) 308; total fat 12.9g; cholesterol 16mg; total carbohydrates 36.4g; sugars 7.6g; protein 13.9g; vitamin D 238%; Iron 24%; potassium 16%

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Braised Veal Shanks Slow Cooked with a side of Gremolata (0 Comments)

Published on January 2nd, 2018 in Food Blog, Health Tips

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What i am sharing with you today is a classic Italian dish of fall of the bone tenderness that packs flavor and oh so good. This seriously was a two thumbs up with the hubby. A lovely gourmet meal perfect on a chilly wintry day to warm up your soul.

 

 

I LOVE creating meals in my crock-pot! Do you?

 

A wonderful dish that is fairly easy to prepare with real food ingredients along with a rich gravy and simple zesty topping of gremolata. Osso Buco is the perfect slow cooking meal for just two or a crowd. The key here is to brown the meat before placing into the slow cooker and reducing the sauce before serving. This will allow more enhancement flavor wise. As a side dish, you may complement with mashed potatoes or another starch and prepare a quick zesty topping of fresh parsley, lemon zest and garlic. that’s it!

 

 

 

 

 

 

SERVES: about 6

 

 

 

 

INGREDIENTS:

1-2 sprig rosemary, fresh

1 sprig thyme, fresh

2 sage leaves

1 bay leaf

1/8 tsp cloves, ground

kitchen twine

3 veal or beef shanks (whole) trimmed

sea salt, dash

black pepper, dash

All purpose flour, dredging

1/2 cup olive oil

1 onion, small and diced

2 carrots, small and diced

2 celery ribs, diced

1 tbsp tomato paste

1 cup wine, dry (rd or White)

3 cups beef stock, or chicken, low sodium and organic

3 tbsp thyme, fresh

1 tbsp lemon juice

 

 

GREMOLATA:

2 handful parsley, fresh

1 garlic cloves, minced

1 lemon, zest of the lemon

 

 

 

 

INSTRUCTIONS:

Prepare shanks with the kitchen twine to hold them together. Season with sea salt and black pepper on both sides.

 

In a large saucepan or pot, on medium heat, heat the olive oil about 1/2 cup for a few minutes. Dredge the shanks in flour before placing in saucepan. you may to do this in batches depending on the size of your pan. Make sure the oil is hot and brown meat on both sides. Set aside.

 

Add the veggies to the saucepan; season with salt and pepper. Let cook for a few minutes until soft; about 3-4 minutes. Add in the tomato paste and blend well; stirring frequently. Let cook for another minute. Add the stock, crushed tomatoes, herbs and bay leaf; stir well to combine. Bring it up to a boil then let simmer on low for about 10-15 minutes. Remove from heat; set aside.

 

Place the veal shanks on the bottom of crock-pot. then add the liquid mixture from the pan and place over the meat. Cover and let cook for 4 hours on high, or on low for 6-8 hours.

 

For the gremolata topping, on a hard surface, peel and mince the garlic. Then chop the fresh parsley and add the lest zest over the herb. In a bowl, place all three ingredients together and mix well. You this to garnish over the dish.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

NUTRITIONAL CONTENT: (single serving) calories 425; total fat 22.7g; cholesterol 140mg; total carbohydrates 5.6g; dietary fiber 1.8g; sugars 3g and protein 39.1g.