Super-Green Swiss Chard Salad

High quantity, high quality, and absolutely nourishing!

Packed with antioxidants, this salad is a good way to pack in your greens. Leafy greens such as swiss chard are awesome because they are so low in calorie and high in antioxidants. You can truly eat as much as you want! I also added some beet greens as well. More often than not, people toss the green and just use the beet. But the beet greens are absolutely edible!

Along with the greens, I added some raw beet. It adds a great taste, crunch and color! Along with adding taste to the salad, it’s full of betalains (a great antioxidant). Betalains may help protect against certain oxidative stressors in the body (anti-aging).

I always love carrots in my salad, great for vitamin A and C!

Avocado adds great taste and texture, along with some healthy fats to give your skin and hair a healthy glow!

Pumpkin seeds add a nice crunch as well as some nourishing zinc and a little protein.

I topped off the salad with a mixture of balsamic vinaigrette, Udo’s oil, and a little bit of apple cider vinegar. As well as some salt and pepper.

( I love Udo’s Oil because it is such a great mixture of healthy omega-3,6, and 9;s! )

* As a side note, check out the ANDI Guide –> ANDI Guide

Its a pretty straight forward guide that “rates” produce based on its nutrient density.

IMG_20150721_123620

Super-Green Swiss Chard Salad

  • 3 1-foot long swiss chard leaves
  • 3 beet-green stems (with leaves)
  • 1 carrot
  • 1/4 cup pumpkin seeds
  • 1 small beet
  • 1/4 avocado

Dressing:

  • 1 tbsp Udo’s Oil
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinaigrette reduction (balsamic vinaigrette would work too)
  • 1 tsp apple cider vinegar

Chop the swiss chard leaves into bite sized pieces. Break the leaves off of the beet-green stems. Add to bowl. Chop carrot into 1/4 inch slices. Julianne the beet, or slice into small slivers. Slice avocado into 1/4 inch pieces. Add carrot, beet, and avocado into bowl. Add dressing. Cut with fork and knife until all components are well incorporated. Salt and Pepper to taste.

Enjoy! 🙂

Healthy “Butter” Popcorn

Grocery stores are now stocked with plenty of healthy popcorns popped with coconut oil, kale, chia, what have you.. Most of them are healthy and quite tasty! But also pretty expensive… Well, popcorn doesn’t have to be expensive to be healthy! Its super easy to make your own, and make it however you’d like. You just have to be equipped with the right tools.

This popcorn I made with coconut oil, Udo’s oil, nutritional yeast, and a little salt and pepper.

This popcorn is vegan, dairy-free, and gluten-free ! The Udo’s oil gives it a nice buttery taste and the nutritional yeast gives it a yummy cheesy taste. (think cheesy as in Smart-Food popcorn, not American cheese).

Popcorn itself is an awesome snack for its low-calorie, high fiber, and a whole-grain! Being so healthy by itself, lends a great opportunity to make it “super-healthy” with what you top it with.

Udo’s oil is full of healthy omega-3, 6, and 9’s ! Awesome fats that are good for your skin, full of anti-inflammatory properties, as well as great antioxidants.

Nutritional yeast is popular especially with vegans, for it gives a nice “cheesy” flavor to things. Whats awesome out this food is that it is a complete protein! Its a good source of fiber, as well as B-vitamins. Sometimes it is fortified with B-12 which is important for those who live a dairy and meat-free life.

IMG_20150714_094855

So here’s the recipe:

DIY Healthy Popcorn

  • 1/2 Tbsp coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup popcorn kernels
  • 1 tbsp Udo’s Oil
  • 3 shakes of Bragg’s Nutritional Yeast
  • Salt
  • Pepper

Put coconut oil and kernels into a sauce pan and cover. Turn to medium heat. Shake pan every few minutes to prevent popcorn from burning.

Pop until popcorn “pops” are 1 to 2 seconds apart. Then remove from heat.

Dress with Udo’s oil, nutritional yeast, and a sprinkle of salt and pepper.

You can adjust the ratios to fit your tastebuds.

Enjoy 🙂

*DO NOT pop with Udo’s oil. Udo’s oil is not heat stable and is only to be used for dressing purposes.

Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

Since it’s been so rainy and stormy these past few days, I decided to brighten things up with some tasty oatmeal raisin cookies! So I adapted this Oatmeal Raisin Cookie recipe from the “Essentials of Healthful Cooking” cookbook by Williams-Sonoma, but I did make a few of my own additions and substitutions. I will bold the substitutions when I post the recipe below.

I personally love oatmeal raisin cookies, and they hold some healthy properties as well! Oats are known for their fiber and are hold a higher amount of protein than other grains. They are also a good source of riboflavin, thiamin, and vitamin E. I added pumpkin seeds as well as walnuts to some of my cookies for an extra crunch and flavor! Walnuts are a good source of omega-3 fatty acids that fuel a healthy heart and a healthy brain. I added pumpkin seeds simply because I love the taste! But they do offer some of the additional nutrients of vitamin E and zinc.

IMG_20150709_095607

So, here’s the recipe!

Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

  • 2 1/2 cups of quick cooking rolled oats ( I used gluten-free )
  • 1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour (I used gluten-free)
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  •  2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp allspice
  • pinch of salt
  • 3 Tbsp unsalted butter (at room temp.)
  • 2 Tbsp coconut oil
  • 2/3 cup maple syrup
  • 1 large egg white
  • 1/3 cup apple butter
  • 1 tsp ground vanilla
  • 2/3 cup raisins
  • 1/3 cup pumpkin seeds (sprouted)
  • 1/4 cup chopped walnuts

Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Set the oven racks in the upper 1/3 of the oven and the lower 1/3 of the oven. Set the oven to 325F ( when swapping maple syrup for brown sugar, you usually lower the oven temperature by about 25 F).

In a bowl, mix the oats, flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, allspice, and salt until well incorporated. In a separate bowl mix butter and coconut oil until well blended. Then mix in maple syrup and stir for about 1-2 minutes. Then incorporate the egg white, apple butter, vanilla. Then mix your dry ingredients with the wet ingredients. Right before a sticky dough forms, mix in the raisins, pumpkin seeds, and walnuts.

On parchment paper, drop dough about the size of a tablespoon, 2 inches apart. If you would like flatter cookies, gently press down on each drop of dough.

Bake cookies for about 7 minutes, then rotate 180 degrees, switch positions between the racks, and bake for an additional 7 minutes.

There you have it! Enjoy your cookies. 🙂

IMG_20150709_092306

*Recipe adapted from Essentials of Healthful Cooking by Williams-Sonoma

Kale and Beet Soup

IMG_20150519_170436

So, as my first recipe post, I’d like to share with you one of my favorites! This is my Kale and Beet Soup. So, what makes this healthy and heartwarming? Well, let me give you a little insight to why this is so nourishing. In this recipe we have:

  • Kale~ a recently “found superfood” is an excellent source of Vitamin A, Vitamin C, and Vitamin E. These powerhouse vitamins help promote new cell growth and have a hand at anti-aging ( yay! ). It is also loaded with Calcium and Magnesium great for those who don’t drink a lot of milk. Kale is highly Alkaline which is important, especially to those who regularly consume the “Standard American Diet” of heavy processed foods.
  • Carrots~ contain a wonderful amount of beta-carotene (Vitamin A!) Carrots also contain Silica (a trace mineral) that is known to strengthen the body’s connective tissues and vital for healthy skin.
  • Beets~ the deep purple juices of the beet root are wonderful at helping widen blood vessels and lower blood pressure. The Nitrates in the beet are to thank for this!
  • Tomatoes~ containing a lovely amount of the carotenoid, lycopene. Along with a good amount of Vitamin C
  • Turmeric~ the curcumin that makes this spice yellow has been found to be helpful in reducing the amount of plaque that builds up in the brain. It has also been shown to reduce the amount of inflammation inside the body, particularly in the gastrointestinal tract.
  • Garlic~ Another protector of the gastrointestinal tract. Garlic has been shown to have a mild effect of lowering blood pressure and cholesterol. Garlic has also been shown to have properties for fighting off infections.
  • Pink Himalayan Salt~ Pretty in pink, this salt contains 84 different minerals. What is great is that most brands, this includes Iodine. Iodine is important in the function of the thyroid, which can directly influence the metabolism and immunity.

( *Found in Dr.Libby Weaver’s book “Beauty From the Inside Out” and “The World of Healing Plants” by Dr. Andrew Weil.)

So, to make this delicious soup, you start with:

  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup vegetable stock
  • 2 handfuls of kale
  • 2 carrots
  • 2 small or 1 medium beet
  • 1/3 cup of favorite tomato sauce
  • 1 cup of vegetable stock
  • 1 dash of garlic powder
  • 1 dash of turmeric
  • 1 pinch of Pink Himalayan salt

First, set oven to 400 F and cut up carrots and beet into 1 inch pieces. Place in oven for about 20 minutes or until soft.

Then in a sauce pan, put in vegetable stock with kale and bring to a simmer around medium heat. Place top on pan to wilt the kale. Once it is wilted, add the beet and carrot along with the tomato sauce. Add spices and salt to taste.

This soup can be adjusted to fit your needs! I added a little Parmesan cheese on top, but that can easily be omitted if you are following a diary-free or vegan diet. Lentils or chicken can be added for some additional protein to the soup. But this soup is easy and tasty! So very comforting, especially after a long day!