Sunday, November 28, 2010

Mango Lime & Raspberry Zinger Sorbet

Well one holiday down and the other is right around the corner. I did pretty well this year and didn't indulge in turkey for the first time. However I did have mashed potatoes and gravy which was one of my favorites that I just didn't pass up this year. I passed on the pie but the neighbor had to sabotage me with home baked monkey bread and I picked a couple of pieces off the top. Oh well...I won't beat myself up and move on.

So tonight I wanted a little something sweet after dinner so I decided to whip up a simple sorbet. I don't know about you but I'm already sick of holiday food. Maybe it's because I work for a catering company and the magazines, blogs and food shows have already over stimulated us with every kind of holiday dish imaginable that I just couldn't bear to post something after Thanksgiving weekend that was about pie or something heavy so I opted for a light full flavored sorbet that is super easy to prepare and is a better choice than the sugar laden ice creams and store bought sorbets.

I combined by love for red raspberries and that mango chili lime combo to make this sensational sorbet. Here's the recipe.

Mango Lime & Raspberry Zinger Sorbet

1 Cup Mangos, Chunks (Frozen)
1 Cup Red Raspberries, (Frozen)
1 Stevia Individual Package
1/2 Lime, Juiced
Pinch of Chile Seasoning

In a food processor add the mangos, raspberries, truvia, lime and chili. Process until it becomes a smooth sorbet.

You can eat it right away or freeze it to make it a little more firm.

Raspberries are loaded with vitamin C, manganese, folate, magnesium, niacin, potassium and copper. This makes them a very good source of B class vitamins, as well as an excellent source of soluble dietary fiber. They are also high in ellagic acid a phytonutrient belonging to the family of tannins that have been reported to have an anti-cancer activity which this compound is particularly exclusive to the raspberry.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Coconut Water - Nectar of the Gods

God is an awesome God and he has provided us with so many incredible plants to provide food and healing for our bodies. Young coconuts are so good for you in many ways. The water inside a young coconut is so pure and refreshing. Coconut has a long history of being both food and medicine.

Coconut water contains a load of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, amino acides, enzymes, growth factors and phytonutrients. They are grown close to the ocean and their roots have access to the oceans mineral rich salt water. These minerals are absorbed by the roots and are passed to the heart of the coconut. An 8 oz cup of coconut water is loaded with more potassium that a banana with trace elements of zinc, seleium, idodine, sulfer, manganese, etc.

There are many things that coconut water can help with correcting in the body but my favorite and most important factor is the lifeline to the heart. The minerals magnesium and potassium are known to help reduce high blood pressure and in Jamaica they consider coconut water as heart tonic. Studies have shown that coconut water when consumed improves the ratio of good cholesterol to bad and lowers the reduces plaque formation in the arteries thus reduces the risk of heart attack and stroke.

With the benefit of blood circulation it is a wonder food for diabetics. It also contains certain forms of fiber and amino acid that help moderate sugar absorption and improve insulin sensitivity.

The benefits of coconut are too many to mention and I've only touched the surface. I would encourage you to do some additional research and learn all that this wonder plant has to offer.

You can find young coconuts in the grocery store by the speciality produce items or at an ethnic grocery and health food store. These young coconuts are green but are peeled and left with a white soft shell. Just trim the white shell from the top close to the point and then take your knife and use the bottom part of the blade to make a dent then take the knife edge and pop the top off. Grab a straw and enjoy this wonderous juice inside. You can them to smoothies or other juices. I love drinking them alone. Its so refreshing and satisfying.

Top 10 Reasons to Drink Coconut Water

1. Contains 5 essential electrolytes: Potassium, Mangesium, Phosphorus, Sodium and Calcium.
2. Replenishes the body of fluides and aids in dehydration.
3. Provides immune support and detoxification.
4. It cleanses the kidneys and ease the stomach.
5. Improves muscle performance and allows for quicker muscle recovery.
6. Promotes smoother skin, hair and nails.
7. Boosts circulation and oxygen into the cells filling them with nutrients.
8. Reinforces proper alkaline balance.
9. Restores alkaline balance in the body.
10. Promotes heart health, weight loss and mental clarity.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Pan Fried Tacos & A Quick Sandwich

Who said vegans don't eat real food? It's not all carrot sticks and lettuce wraps. Here are some simple mealtime solutions that will satisfy any meateater. I just love a couple of brands of Vegan Chorizo that I want to share with you.

One thing is for sure, transitioning to a meat-free lifestyle isn't too difficult if you know what to look for at the store. These brands are excellent substitutes for the fat laden versions of sausage. My favorite brands are Field Roast and Upton's Natural Seitan Chorizos. They've got great flavor and since it's made with seitan it has a meater texture. I've also used Melissa brand of Soy Chorizo for the faux egg salad and it's great to mix with tofu.

Field Roast is usually in the frozen section at Market Street and Upton's is available at Wholefoods and Krogers. These might be available at other grocers but these are the ones I know of in the Dallas area. If your grocer doesn't carry them, ask someone to start offering a better selection. They don't know your looking for items until you tell them.

Here's a couple of ways to use it. Just saute in a skillet with coconut oil and break it up. Be careful not to overcook it. It's easy to do if your used to cooking meat. I like to add it to a bowl with small diced red onions, cilantro and mix with Veganaise (Grapeseed Oil is the best version) and season with salt and pepper. This makes a great faux egg salad and you can serve it with a vegan bread toasted. Look at the ingredients on the bread to make sure it doesn't contain milk or eggs if your trying to cut those items.

Another way to serve this is to mix the chorizo with some soy cheese, chopped onion and cilantro then place in a warmed corn tortilla, fold over and saute to toast on each side in some coconut oil in a saute pan. Serve with chopped fresh avocado and my favorite brand of salsa is Arriba Fire Roasted Chipotle Sauce.

You can use these a substitutes in most ground beef recipes as added flavor. They are spiced well and will add a great depth of flavor and texture. These two meals are quick easy and satisfying without all the cholesterol. Be sure to use coconut oil when cooking these as it is the best cooking oil to use and is processed by the liver quickly and body doesn't reserve it as fat.

I'll be discussing coconut oil soon. You will be amazed at all the possiblities of this wonder nut!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Himalayan Pink Salt - 84 Essential Minerals

Imagine a salt that in its purest form is enriched with an astounding 84 trace minerals in which God created within the human body. Most people over-dose their bodies with sodium chloride found in regular table salt. Our bodies only require a minimal amount of salt on a daily basis. Consuming an overabundance of sodium chloride triggers our body to recognize this as an aggressive cellular toxin and tries to eliminate it quickly which overburdens the kidneys. Table salt is used as a preservative and as a flavor enhancer. It is found most prepackaged, over processed foods and is in almost every home kitchen.

Himalayan Pink Salt is the highest form of natural salt and is the finest quality for our bodies. It was formed millions of years ago by an ancient sea evaporated by the sun leaving an absolute pristine crystalline salt in a beautiful pink hue. This crystal salt is not contaminated by pollutants or chemicals and is buried deep in the Himalayan Mountains which is mined and processed gently by hand to bring you a salt that still retains the original qualities of this ancient body of water.

When we consume regular table salt the body surrounds the sodium chloride molecule to break it up into ionized molecules of sodium and chloride to neutralize. In order for this to be accomplished, water is needed for this process, and taken from our cells which cause dehydration of the cells. Himalayan salt is a special salt and when it touches water it will come alive, setting free its essential healing energy.

Be looking for an opportunity to purchase Himalayan Pink Salt in fine and medium crystals and my Spice For Life Seasoning from my online store which will be launched in 2012.

Himalayan Healing Elements:
84 essential elements that are found in Himalayan Pink Salt. Hyrdogen, lithium, berylium, boron, carbon, nitrogen, oxygen, fluride, sodium, magnesium, aluminum, silicon, phosphorus, sulfur, calcium, scandium titanium, vanadium, chromium, manganese, iron, cobalt, nickel, copper, zinc, gallium, germanium, arsenic, seleium, bromin, rubidium, strontium, tin, antomny, tellurium, iodine, cesium, barium, lanthanum, cerium, praseodymium, samarium, europium, gadolinium, terbium, dysprosium, holmium, erbium, thulium, ytterbium, lutetium, hafnium, tantalum, tunsten, rheniym, osmiym, iniduim, platinum, gold, mercury, thalium, lead, bismuth, poloium, astatine, francium, radium, actinium, thorium, protactinium, astatine, francium, radium, actinium, thorium,protactinium, uranium, neptunium and plutorium.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Forbidden Rice & Grilled Sweet Potato Salad

Forbidden Rice or otherwise known as Black Rice is a powerhouse packed nutrient and mineral filled heirloom rice that's been my little secret. This nutty deep purple rice was once eaten only by the ancient emperors of China and were banned from the common people.

That's right - this rice is filled with phytonutrients that provide antioxidants, iron, amino acides and minerals important to human health. A food scientist recently said that a spoonful of black rice contains more health promotion anthocyanin antioxidants than a spoonful of blueberries, with less sugar, more fiber and vitamin E antioxidants. So if berries are used to boost health then why not black rice? Anthocyanin antioxidants are what gives fruits and vegetables their beautiful colors and what makes blackberries black and blueberries blue. They are a class of flavonoid antioxidants that protect many body systems such as the brain and nervous system.

And according to scientists they claim that the single most important dietary change for most people would be to replace fatty foods with foods that are rich in complex carbs such as sweet potatoes. They are ranked number one in ALL VEGETABLES and for good reason. The sweet potato is loaded with fiber, has natural sugars and complex carbs, protein, iron, calcium, vitamin A and vitamin C and if you eat the skin it has more fiber than oatmeal. Benefits out the wazoo and they are only about 150 calories.

The other night I made some Forbidden Rice for dinner and had some left over in the fridge. I needed a quick lunch so I peeled and sliced a sweet potato, flipped on the grill and cooked them for about 5 minutes on each side, just until they were cooked through but still had a little bite for texture. Then tossed it in a dressing while it was still warm to soak up the flavors and served it with this this nutty black rice. It was a winning combination and the presentation and color combination with something worthy of a formal dinner!

I've made this grilled sweet potato salad millions of times and everyone goes nuts over it. Now I need to make this for my next dinner party and show my friends that eating vegan is not only healthy but also interesting, easy and beautiful. I hope you enjoy...

Forbidden Rice
Cook according to package directions. (For best results for this salad, let rice cool completely before using in this salad.)
Grilled Sweet Potato Salad
1 Large Sweet Potato, Peeled and Sliced
2 Oz Red Onion, Sliced
2 Tablespoons Cilantro, Chopped
1 Teaspoon Dijon Mustard
1/4 Cup Red Wine Vinegar
Squeeze of 1/2 Lime
1/2 Cup Grapeseed Oil
Sea Salt & Cracked Black Pepper
Dash of Hickory Flavored Liquid Smoke
Slice peeled sweet potato and toss or spray with oil (lightly). Grill for approximately 5 minutes on each side or until the potato is cooked but a little firm in the center. This is best for texture.
While potato is cooking, mix together, dijon mustard, red wine vinegar, lime juice, liquid smoke and chopped cilantro. Season with cracked black pepper and sea salt.
When potatoes are finished grilling, add the red onions and toss with 1/2 of the dressing and it will soak up the flavors while it is warm.
To plate: Spoon some black rice on the plate, top with the grilled sweet potatoes and drizzle with the remaining dressing. Serve immedately.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Vegan Quest - With Rants...

November is Vegan MOFO - Which means Vegan Month of Food - Bloggers are writing about everything Vegan. Not necessarily recipes, but about the vegan lifestyle. So today my post is a rant - not a recipe.
I am stunned that everyone thinks that just because I am eating a vegan diet that I am eating boring bean sprout food. I have received comments from friends that they could never do it because it's to restricting and they don't like to eat sprouts, beans or hippy food. Hippy food - What the hell?

Now anyone that knows me knows that I love food, all kinds of food, and all flavors of food. This vegan lifestyle is anything but boring hippy food. It's about eating great food and combining great flavors while trying to consume a plant based diet for health reasons.

Another thing I have realized is that our mainstream restaurants and fast food joints are missing out on an opportunity to provide healthy food without animal products to millions of people who are looking for great food without the crap. With so many people with heart disease, diabetes, high cholesterol it's beyond me that there are not better food options. It is merely impossible to go out to eat and get vegan food without ordering sides, boring salads and picking apart an entree only to have them hold the butter and cheese. With all the fantastic talented chefs around - I don't get it. They haven't tapped into this untouched market. Sure anyone can put together a menu for restaurant with the typical ribs, mashed potatoes, sliders and cheese fries. But who has the balls to make a menu that is meateater and vegan friendly? So everyone can dine together. You either go to a restaurant that is balls to the wall loaded with meat and cheese items or you have to hunt down a vegetarian or vegan restaurant on the other side of town and get the expected lentil loaf and quiona pilaf that makes you want to eat meat!

So I challenge you my friends - the next time your eating out - look to see what options are available for vegans. I bet you will be surprised to find that it's very limited and extremely disappointing. Make sure you mention it to management and hopefully we can start to educate the world of fine dining and fast food drive thru windows that there is another world out there - a world filled with dying individuals who need better food options while dining with friends and running out to pick up a quick lunch.

I find this vegan lifestyle pretty easy to follow because I am a cook and I don't mind fixing something quick to eat. However there are so many people begging to heard.

Snap out of it people - Look around.....America needs some smart and savvy businesses to wake up and smell the coffee.