Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Behold the Mighty Avacado!

OK, folks, our very own Chimmy has an avocado lover's dream dish to share with us. She likes to think of it as an alternative to potato salad. It's certainly a great way to include the many nutritional benefits of this fruit and a delicious alternative to guacamole.

Try it and let us know what you think!

Avacado Salad


4 granny smith apples, cubed
4 celery sticks, chopped/cubed
4 avocado, cubed
2 hard boiled eggs (or more), cubed-like :)
1/2 lemon, cut into two wedges
pine nuts (optional)
black pepper


Combine apples and celery; squeeze one of the lemon wedges (helps keep apples from going brown and adds zing)

Toss in avocado and hard boiled eggs

Squeeze in second lemon wedge

Add salt and pepper to taste

Sprinkle with pine nuts and serve

I change it up sometimes adding dried fruits (dates) or sprinkle some Gorgonzola cheese and use walnuts instead of pine nuts... have fun with it! You can also serve on a bed of greens. I liked it best with watercress and Boston lettuce.

And, of course, I also add however much avocado my heart desires!


Thank you Chimmy!

And, if you want ten compelling reasons to eat avacadoes, other than because they are yummy, here you go:

Prostate Cancer Prevention
Avocados have been shown to inhibit the growth of prostate cancer.

Oral Cancer Defense
Research has shown that certain compounds in avocados are able to seek out pre-cancerous and cancerous oral cancer cells and destroy them without harming healthy cells.

Breast Cancer Protection
Avocado, like olive oil, is high in oleic acid, which has been shown to prevent breast cancer in numerous studies.

Eye Health
Avocados have more of the carotenoid lutein than any other commonly consumed fruit. Lutein protects against macular degeneration and cataracts, two disabling age-related eye diseases.

Lower Cholesterol
Avocados are high in beta-sitosterol, a compound that has been shown to lower cholesterol levels. In one study, 45 volunteers experienced an average drop in cholesterol of 17% after eating avocados for only one week.

Heart Health
One cup of avocado has 23% of the recommended daily value of folate. Studies show that people who eat diets rich in folate have a much lower incidence of heart disease than those who don't. The vitamin E, monounsaturated fats, and glutathione in avocado are also great for your heart.

Stroke Prevention
The high levels of folate in avocado are also protective against strokes. People who eat diets rich in folate have a much lower risk of stroke than those who don't.

Better Nutrient Absorption
Research has found that certain nutrients are absorbed better when eaten with avocado. In one study, when participants ate a salad containing avocados, they absorbed five times the amount of carotenoids (a group of nutrients that includes lycopene and beta carotene) than those who didn't include avocados.

Glutathione Source

Avocados are an excellent source of glutathione, an important antioxidant that researchers say is important in preventing aging, cancer, and heart disease.

Vitamin E Powerhouse
Avocados are the best fruit source of vitamin E, an essential vitamin that protects against many diseases and helps maintains overall health.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Coffee "Grounds"

Today’s post is a little different. No recipe. Don't be mad, k?

I do, however, have a “gardening” tip that I thought you all might find useful. If you are not a gardener, it’s okay. Don’t delete me yet.

If you drink the java, you may like this.

If you have a garden, or a lawn, or plants, you may like this.

If you want to lessen your trash load a tad, you may like this.

If you like things that are easy, you are in the right place!

Here it is:
Put a container next to your coffee maker and instead of throwing your coffee grounds into the trash, put them in this container. Every few days, add water to the grounds. Then, sprinkle them directly on your lawn, in your garden, or in your potted plants.

Coffee grounds are rich in nitrogen; in fact, they are approximately 1.45% nitrogen. They also contain magnesium, calcium, potassium, and other trace minerals. ( coming in handy, as always.)

Sorry to veer from the usual, friends, but I was so excited to learn this tip a couple weeks ago, I just had to share it, especially knowing how many of you drink coffee. See, I’m FINALLY starting my compost bin when I get back from vacation. (This is after three years of deciding I wanted one. I tend to really drag “projects” out.) And, I learned this in the process of getting ready. I figure it one small step in the right direction, yes?
Thanks for letting me share!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

The Sweetness of Summer

Summertime. Fresh berries. Synonymous, no?

One of the foods I look forward to the most in the summer is berries. Blueberries, blackberries, raspberries and strawberries..mmmm! And Henry is the same. He can eat a pint of blueberries in one sitting – not kidding.

Last week, I took Henry and Olive strawberry picking. Check out our stash!

Quite impressive, no? (By the way, this doesn’t include the basket that Henry ate while picking. Seriously, the kid is to be commended. )

Besides adding fresh berries to our morning smoothies and just picking them out of a bowl to eat plain, I wanted to share one of my new favorite strawberry recipes. This one is from Weelicious. If you haven’t swung by Weelicious before, you simply must.

Friends, meet Strawberry Muffins.

Strawberry Muffins (Makes 24-28 Mini Muffins)
-2 Cups All Purpose Flour
-3 Tsp Baking Powder
-1/2 Tsp Salt
-1 Large Egg (I use 1 tbsp of ground flaxseed mixed with three tbsp of water as a substitute.)
-3/4 Cup Milk (low fat or whole cow’s milk, almond, rice or soy milk will work) (I use soy milk.)
-1/4 Cup Vegetable or Canola Oil
-1/2 Cup Honey or Agave Nectar
-1 Tsp Vanilla Extract
-1 Tsp Lemon Zest
-1 1/2 Cups Strawberries, chopped

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
2. In a bowl, combine the first 3 ingredients.
3. In a separate bowl, whisk egg and add milk, oil, honey, vanilla, and lemon zest and stir.
4. Using a standing mixer or hand mixer, slowly combine the dry ingredients with the wet until incorporated (try not to over mix the batter).
5. Add the strawberries to the batter and slowly combine.
6. Line or grease muffin tins and fill 2/3 of the way with batter.
7. Bake for 20 minutes or until toothpick tester comes out clean.
8. Cool and serve.

* If you want to make regular sized muffins, fill 12 muffin cups and bake for 25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.


Monday, August 2, 2010

Dangerous in the Kitchen

Hi friends. I'm finishing up a project at work and getting ready for a big trip East. So, I've called in reinforcements, aka, friends who kick serious arse in the kitchen. Julie and I met in childbirth class three years ago. She's so healthy and active, it's I thought she would be the perfect person to inspire us and make our tummies grumble for some good eats! Everyone, meet Julie!

Hi, I’m Julie and I think it’s funny that I’m posting recipes. What’s even funnier to me is that I own a salsa company (eat, not dance) and I’m really not much of a cook (Jeannie, here. She's lying.). But, even though I’m dangerous in the kitchen, I enjoy being/eating healthy and really like what I’ve seen on this blog, so what the heck, right?

So, I should be giving someone out there credit for this recipe but now I don’t remember which
website I found it on. So, this is a creative, yummy recipe from someone other than me.

Sweet Quinoa Salad (Sorry to interrupt again, but Julie brought this to my house this weekend and it was DELISH!!!!)

1 c. apple juice
1 c. water
1 c. quinoa
3/4 t cinnamon
2 medium apples, diced
1 c. sliced celery
1/2 c. dried cherries or cranberries (I used cherries)
1 T olive oil
1/4 t salt
1/2 lemon

Combine juice, water, quinoa and cinnamon in a pot. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer 20 minutes. Refrigerate 1 hour. Toss with remaining ingredients.

I made this to serve the next day so I tossed the apple pieces (to keep from browning) with most of the lemon juice first and then tossed everything else.

This turned out great and I think I’m going to have it for breakfast tomorrow!
Thanks, Julie!
Enjoy all!

Friday, July 23, 2010

Calling All Island Lovers

This one comes from Erin. Neither of us has tried it yet, so who will be the first to provide a review? I can hear the waves crashing already!

Tropical Smoothie (from Natural Health Magazine):

1 cup frozen mango
1 cup frozen pineapple
1 cup frozen peaches
1.5 cups coconut water (See below for more info about this oh-so-good-for-you drink)
1 tablespoon lime juice
2 tablespoon agave nectar (Maybe not necessary with all that fruit? You could also add honey instead.)

Friends, meet Coconut Water: It's a good electrolyte replacement after workouts without the sugar and crap of sports drinks. Also, it's lower in calories and fat than coconut milk. Plus, it's a good source of MCFA (medium chain fatty acids), which are good for brain development. Aren't we all in need of a little brain developing? I just bought my first carton of coconut water this week...looking forward to giving it a try!

Surf's Up!

Cheers, Jean

Thursday, July 22, 2010

The Soda Incident

Hi folks,

Remember these posts?

Erin sent me this as a reminder awhile back. For your reading pleasure:

Speaking of, I hear Erin's dad is still soda free, correct Erin/Erin's dad? Three cheers for Dad, everyone!

Cheers, Jeannie

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Bangkok Coconut Rice and Black Beans

So, first and foremost, gambling is fun. Too fun, in fact. But, it’s the most fun when you are gambling with someone else’s money. Yep, love that. Unfortunately, that doesn’t mean you automatically come out ahead; it just makes going home a bit easier. So sad.

Anyway, onto a new tasty recipe.

Try this one on for size. It’s easy, light, and flavorful. And it makes a crapload, so make sure there’s room in the fridge for leftovers.

Bangkok Coconut Rice and Black Beans
(from The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Vegan Living)

If you’ve ever wonder who buys the Idiot’s series books, that would be me. Sometimes, I just need things to be easy, k?

4 cups filtered water
2 cups brown basmati or jasmine rice
2 tbsp ginger, peeled, and grated (I used ground)
1 tbsp garlic, minced
1 tsp sea salt
½ tsp freshly ground pepper
½ c canned coconut milk (I used lite)
Juice of 1 orange (equivalent to about 2 oz)
Juice of 2 limes (equivalent to 1-2 tbsp; I used two because I love the lime flavor)
1 tbsp toasted sesame oil
1 15-oz can black beans, drained and rinsed
½ c red bell pepper, seeds and ribs removed, and diced
½ c orange bell pepper, seeds and ribs removed, and diced
½ c green onions, thinly sliced
½ c chopped fresh cilantro
1/3 c sliced almonds

1. In a large saucepan, combine water, basmati rice, ginger, garlic, sea salt, and black pepper. Bring to a boil, cover, reduce heat to low, and simmer for 20 minutes or until all water is absorbed and tiny holes appear on top of rice. (Mile high folks, plan for 30 minutes.) Remove from heat, leave covered, and set aside for 10 minutes to allow rice to steam.

2. Transfer rice to a large bowl, and fluff with a fork to loosen grains. Add coconut milk, orange juice, lime juice, and toasted sesame oil; toss gently to combine. Add black beans, red bell pepper, orange bell pepper, green onions, cilantro, and almonds; gently fold to combine.

3. Serve plain or on a bed of chopped greens.

Idiot’s Variation: Chill rice mixture in the fridge for 1 hour or more and eat as a cold salad on a bed of chopped mixed greens.

Note: I reeeeally like rice cooked in coconut milk and was a little disappointed in how little coconut milk this recipe called for, so I added more to the mixture after it was all put together. In the future, I might half the amount of water and use more coconut milk to make up the difference. However, there is something to be said for adding coconut milk AFTER the rice has cooked in its liquid, so I would probably still add a little bit at the end.
PS: Check here to learn about the health benefits of coconut milk.

Overall, I really like this recipe and will definitely make it again. As an added bonus, your kitchen will smell like ginger for at least a couple hours. Mmmmm….Thanks Idiot’s!

Cheers, Jeannie