Enlightened Tofu, Snow Peas and Brown Rice

 

Tofu and Snow Peas Photo Juan Carlo

Stir-frying involves quick cooking over high heat in a small amount of oil. Quick cooking in this manner preserves the flavor, color and texture of the food and the vegetables come out slightly crisp with all of their vitamins intact.

When stir-frying you may use a traditional Chinese wok or a heavy gauge 14 inch stir fry pan that has sloping sides of a typical wok.  A pan like this is similar in that the heat concentrates at the bottom of the pan and the curved sides allow you to push the ingredients to the side. A stir-fry pan will also feature a long handle for easy maneuvering.

Stir-fry calls for oil with a high smoking point, such as corn or safflower and heating oil to the smoking point. Choosing a heavy gauge wok pan and there isn’t any need for such oils.  Continue reading “Enlightened Tofu, Snow Peas and Brown Rice”

Hot off the Griddle ~ High Protein Strawberry Banana Pancakes ~ No Added Fat!

 

Tasty, healthful, antioxidant rich and vegan… These Strawberry Banana Pancakes are a great way to start the day!

Pancakes have been with us for a very long time.  There is evidence of pancake cookery from the Stone Age.  Analysis of grinding tools from about 30,000 years ago suggests that pancakes were among the first foods that humans learned to cook.

The ancient Greeks and Romans ate pancakes that were sweetened with honey and in the Elizabethan era, pancakes were a popular breakfast food flavored with spices, rosewater, sherry and apples.

With origins in the Middle Ages, Shrove Tuesday or Pancake Day falls on the first Tuesday before Ash Wednesday, a day of feasting before the beginning of Lent. Traditionally lots of pancakes were eaten as a way to use up eggs, milk and sugar before the 40 days of fasting during Lent. Continue reading “Hot off the Griddle ~ High Protein Strawberry Banana Pancakes ~ No Added Fat!”

The Truth about Carbs and Weight Gain!

The average American diet, heavy in animal products, requires the production of an extra ton and a half of greenhouse gases compared to a plant based diet.1 A diet rich in whole grains, vegetables, fruit and legumes is environmentally responsible and can help maintain a healthy weight.

In recent years, however many diet books have blamed plant foods, which are high in carbohydrates for the obesity crisis. While the theory persists, health care professionals have advised against low-carbohydrate diets for years.

A  study in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association found that consuming a low-carbohydrate diet (less than 47 percent of calories from carbohydrates) is associated with a greater likelihood of being overweight or obese.2 The July 2009 study found that the lowest risk may be in consuming a diet with 47 to 64 percent of calories from carbohydrates. This was not the first study with these findings.

Continue reading “The Truth about Carbs and Weight Gain!”

Glazed Poppy Seed Bundt ~ No Eggs, No Dairy No kidding!

Who doesn’t love a gorgeous glazed bundt cake? The sheer volume of most bundt cakes make the choice all the more worthwhile. This luscious cake is filed with apple chunks and cranberries, topped with a sweet lemon glaze and calls for Fuji apples. Fuji is a variety that is large, firm and crisp, which makes them perfect for baking.

Poppy Seeds add More than Crunch and Color to Baked Goods

Poppy seeds are a lovely addition to cakes and quickbreads, but they don’t just add color and crunch!  Even the small amount sprinkled on a roll contains some niacin and folate and just one teaspoon of poppy seeds supplies measurable amounts of iron, calcium and zinc. Continue reading “Glazed Poppy Seed Bundt ~ No Eggs, No Dairy No kidding!”

Are Intact Whole Grains Better? What About Fruits and Veggies?

Fruits and vegetables are the most nutrient-dense foods on the planet, and dark green leafy vegetables lead the pack. Each of the top five so-called powerhouse fruits and vegetables are greens. If we blend them up in a smoothie, soup or sauce we’re taking food with the most nutrition and breaking cells and dumping that nutrition into the bloodstream.

Chewing is good, but blending is better in terms of digestive efficiency and nutrient absorption.

But, if we take in all that nutrition and it doesn’t all make it down to our colon, might we be starving our microbial selves? Why are intact grains, beans and nuts better than bread, hummus and nut butters?

No matter how well we chew, intact food particles make it down to the colon where they offer a smorgasbord for good bacteria. If grains, beans and nuts are finely ground into flour or paste, we may be leaving our gut flora high and dry. Would the same be true for fruits and vegetables? Continue reading “Are Intact Whole Grains Better? What About Fruits and Veggies?”

Pumpkin Walnut Brownies, Nutritious, Delicious and Vegan!

I like to usher in baking season with my very favorite brownie recipe.  A tribute to American’s favorite treat, these pumpkin brownies are moist, delicious and rich in healthful antioxidants.

Probably created at the beginning of the twentieth century in New England, brownie recipes traditionally call for lots of fat… as much as a full stick of butter (eight ounces) and squares of unsweetened baking chocolate, which is very high in saturated fat.

As a health conscious vegan, excess dietary fat is an issue of some concern, as most vegan desserts seem to contain high levels of fat.  In my kitchen, this is just not necessary!  Continue reading “Pumpkin Walnut Brownies, Nutritious, Delicious and Vegan!”

Kamut Khorason Wheat, Highly Nutritious and Easier to Digest

Khorasan wheat, sometimes called Oriental wheat is an ancient grain and the term Khorasan refers to a region in the northeast of modern-day Iran, ancient Mesopotamia. This actual grain is twice the size of today’s wheat and is known for its rich, nutty flavor[1]

Kamut® has been a registered trademark by Kamut International since 1990, after Bob Quinn, a fourth generation Montana farmer with a PhD in biochemistry spent 10 years cultivating a specific variety of Khorasan wheat. In ancient Egypt, ‘Kamut’ meant ‘wheat, grain and wheaten bread.’ The reason word Kamut could be registered as a trademark was because it belongs to a dead language. Continue reading “Kamut Khorason Wheat, Highly Nutritious and Easier to Digest”

Magnesium-Rich Foods Prevent Sudden Death

Most men and women who succumb to heart disease die suddenly without any known history of heart problems. As noted in my three minute video How Do Nuts Prevent Sudden Cardiac Death?, up to 55 percent of men and 68 percent of women have no clinically recognized heart disease before sudden death.

They obviously had rampant heart disease, however it just wasn’t recognized until they were lying on a slab in the morgue. So if there was ever a case to be made for primary prevention, the determination to start eating healthier right now – tonight – before the symptoms of sudden cardiac death arise is it. Especially since that first symptom is often the last. So how do we do it?

Our story begins 43 years ago with a fascinating paper in the New England Journal of Medicine entitled, “Sudden Death and Ischemic Heart Disease: Correlation With Hardness of the Local Water Supply.”[1]

There appeared to be “an increased susceptibility to lethal arrhythmias [fatal heart rhythms] among residents of soft-water areas.” So maybe one of the minerals found in hard water is protective, but which one? Researchers decided to cut some hearts open to find out. Continue reading “Magnesium-Rich Foods Prevent Sudden Death”

Ginger Fruit Ring: Luscious, Low Fat and Vegan!

ginger-fruit-ring.jpg

Maintaining a healthy weight is certainly an important component of good health and being overweight or obese increases the risk of developing heart disease, diabetes and other debilitating diseases.

Any dieter will tell you that there are some foods that are easier to give up than others and that avoiding the foods we love best is the hardest thing to do.

Desserts, in all their luscious sweet and crunchy glory are often at the top of the list. Traditional desserts are loaded with calories and fat, much of it heavily saturated.

The good news is that you can have your cake and eat it, too! Continue reading “Ginger Fruit Ring: Luscious, Low Fat and Vegan!”

Ravishing Rice Salad: Cool, Casual and Elegant

 ravishing rice salad

Photo: Joseph A. Garcia

Brown rice is a whole, natural grain with a mild nutty flavor and chewy texture that is rich in fiber and also provides important levels of some key essential minerals.

An excellent source of manganese, brown rice is also a good source of selenium and magnesium. One cup of brown rice contains 88 percent of the Daily Value of manganese, a trace mineral that supports strong bones, thyroid function, a healthy nervous system and normal blood sugar levels.

Selenium is protective against free radical damage and also plays an important role in the production of thyroid hormone. Magnesium helps build and strengthen bones and also relaxes the nerves and muscles.

Brown rice is more nutritious than white rice and what differentiates brown rice from white rice is Continue reading “Ravishing Rice Salad: Cool, Casual and Elegant”