Artichoke Stuffed Portobellos

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Image Credit: Juan Carlo

Artichoke Stuffed Portobellos are scrumptious and make a handy appetizer or side dish that can be served with ease and elegance.

In this stylish treatment, baby Portobello mushroom caps are topped with a heavenly velvet-textured filling and baked in a hot oven.

Portobello mushrooms are actually mature Cremini, or Italian brown mushrooms, that have been allowed to ripen up to seven days longer.As a result of their longer growing period, Portabello mushrooms develop much larger caps that average up to six inches in diameter. Continue reading “Artichoke Stuffed Portobellos”

Amazing Quiche: No Eggs, No Dairy, No Kidding!

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Image Credit: Juan Carlo

Quiche is thought of as a complex French classic that requires a bit of skill and lots of fatty ingredients. While there are several variations of the basic theme, the rich custard base is a constant.

Traditionally, high-fat ingredients loaded with cholesterol, such as cream, eggs and cheese are baked in a rich pastry shell. Certainly, quiche made in this way would be considered far too heavy in fat, calories and cholesterol for today’s health conscious cook.

There is a far better way to produce light and lovely quiche with all the flavor and texture of the heart-heavy standard. And this delightful quiche is as good for you, as it is good for the planet.

How can you make quiche without eggs or dairy products? Continue reading “Amazing Quiche: No Eggs, No Dairy, No Kidding!”

Tuscan White Bean Soup ~ Healthy Recipe for People and the Planet

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Photo Credit: Juan Carlo

The plant-based lifestyle is proactive environmentalism at its best, and is as good for you as it is for the planet. Legumes, which include beans, lentils, peas, soybeans and peanuts, are one of the best sources of soluble fiber and a staple food in just about every country on earth.

Legumes are also very low in fat and high in quality protein. The Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommends 3 cups of legumes per week. That would be 6 servings, as a half cup of cooked beans, peas, lentils, or tofu is considered a serving.1

Replacing fatty animal products with legumes is likely to lower the risk of cardiovascular disease and type2 diabetes.2 Legumes have a low glycemic index value (the measure of the potential for foods to raise blood glucose levels) and are a great choice for diabetic individuals.3 Continue reading “Tuscan White Bean Soup ~ Healthy Recipe for People and the Planet”

Acorn Squash: A Rock Star Among Superfoods!

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Winter squash is actually grown from late summer through December and has a satisfying flavor, luscious texture and extensive shelf life. For locavores, who support sustainable agriculture by eating seasonal foods grown within a 100-mile radius, this versatile vegetable has a lot to offer.

Acorn squash is prized for its sweet golden flesh and unique ribbed shell, which makes attractive scalloped bowls when halved and a handy case for savory stuffing.

Acorn squash is a very good source of fiber, vitamin C, vitamin B6, as well as manganese, thiamin and potassium. One cup of cooked acorn squash has 115 calories 9 grams of fiber and 895 mg of potassium.

Potassium is an essential mineral that is integral to the functioning of all living cells. Continue reading “Acorn Squash: A Rock Star Among Superfoods!”

Want to Lose Weight? Eat Potatoes

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What’s the most popular vegetable in America?  If you guessed potato, you are right!  Plant foods, the exclusive source of dietary fiber, also provide us with precious vitamins, minerals and antioxidants.  And since potatoes are grown throughout the year, they’re also a fresh, seasonal and sustainable option for your winter meals.  Unfortunately, potatoes have often been denounced as fattening and the anti-carb craze of recent years has only added to that undeserved perception.

Weight control is rapidly becoming the major health issue of the 21st Century. More than a third of adults in the US are overweight and obesity is reaching epidemic proportions.  We know that potatoes are great tasting, inexpensive and nutritious, but how does this versatile vegetable become part of the solution?

Medical and nutrition experts have long advocated the health benefits of a diet rich in fruits and vegetables. Potatoes are root vegetables and complex carbohydrates high in water-absorbing fiber. Therefore eating potatoes makes you feel more satisfied and less hungry and can actually help you to lose weight. Continue reading “Want to Lose Weight? Eat Potatoes”

Purple Jasmine Rice Pudding: Fair Trade and Gluten-Free. Sweet!

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The Fair Trade initiative is a market-based approach that empowers small growers and craftspeople by organizing them into co-operatives.  Fair Trade’s strategic intent is to work with marginalized producers and workers to achieve economic self-sufficiency and environmental standards.

According to Fairtrade Labelling Organizations (FLO), as of 2007 almost 8 million producers and their families have benefited from Fair Trade projects.¹ The global market for Fair Trade goods experienced significant growth in 2008 and in the face of a global recession, realized sales of about $4.08 billion worldwide, a 22% annual increase.²  An impressive feat that can be attributed to the outstanding partnerships that have evolved between Fair Trade companies such as Alter Eco and the producer communities nurtured by international Fair Trade organizations. Continue reading “Purple Jasmine Rice Pudding: Fair Trade and Gluten-Free. Sweet!”

Grilled Fruit Sundaes

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Grilling fruit imparts a smoky intensity to the sweet juiciness of ripe summer fruit. Grilled Fruit Sundaes feature ripe chunks of pineapple, strawberries, bananas and apples over dairy-free strawberry ice cream and topped with Tosteds soynuts.

The fruit kebabs are rolled in Wholesome Sweeteners Fair Trade raw cane sugar from Malawi, a Demerara type sugar prized for its large sparkling crystals and rich aroma. You can grill fruit kebabs on a barbeque or pop them under the broiler.

Fruit makes a great dessert and contains lots of fiber and disease fighting antioxidants however; traditional dessert making can add unhealthy cholesterol, excessive fat and calories that overshadow the healthful benefits. Continue reading “Grilled Fruit Sundaes”

Turmeric: Spice of Life

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In the Old World, where spices were valued for depth of flavor and prized for therapeutic properties, turmeric was called ‘The Spice of Life.’

Turmeric has flavored food and prevented spoilage for centuries, adding a characteristic golden hue and warm ginger flavor to dishes from Asia to the Middle East. Spices are cited repeatedly as a significant part of the ancients’ daily lives in Egyptian hieroglyphics recorded on the walls of the pyramids and in passages of the Old Testament.

There is evidence of cultivated spices, herbs and seeds long before recorded history and archeologists estimate that primitive man had discovered aromatic plants as early as 50,000 B.C. Continue reading “Turmeric: Spice of Life”

Chilled Asparagus with Creamy Dill Dressing

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Asparagus is a wonderful spring vegetable with tender fleshy spears that make a lovely distinctive presentation. Long known for its strong diuretic properties, the early Greeks used this delicately flavored vegetable for medicinal purposes, believing that it could prevent bee stings and ease toothaches.

In California, asparagus is picked as early as February, however the season is considered to run from April through May. In the East and Midwest, the growing season extends through the end of July.

Asparagus is very low in calories and sodium, a good source of fiber and an excellent source of natural antioxidants.¹ A cup of asparagus supplies 288 mg of potassium, which is important for brain function, muscle growth and a healthy nervous system. Continue reading “Chilled Asparagus with Creamy Dill Dressing”

Edamame Succotash

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What is a nutritious, high protein snack that’s quick to the table, delicious and satisfying?  How about one that contains almost no saturated fat and ZERO cholesterol? Dairy free? Now that we have eliminated beef jerky, cheez doodles, and guacamole……
Give up?

How about edamame?  If you’ve been to a Japanese restaurant or Sushi Bar, you may have already enjoyed this tasty snack. Also known as Green Vegetable Soybeans, these immature soybeans are harvested early and left in the pod.

Delicious lightly salted, and possibly the worlds oldest and healthiest snack food, edamame are as popular in Japan as salted peanuts are in the west.  Edamame is fun to eat. Just thread the steaming pod between your teeth and the tasty sweet beans pop right out, toss the pod and grab another. Continue reading “Edamame Succotash”