POPCORN: The no FAT way!

OK, so I have seen and heard of this on various blogs, so I finally tried it.  You will need: regular uncooked popcorn in the bag (go organic since most corn is GMO), a microwave, a paper bag, Braggs Spray Liquid Aminos, and Nutritional Yeast.

Put about 1/4 c popcorn in a paper bag, and microwave on popcorn setting, or 2 1/2 - 3 minutes until the popping subsides.  Dump popcorn immediately into large bowl, or on a large tray, andspray gently with Braggs Amino, while gently mixing.  Do not overspray, as it will be way to salty (my first attempt).  Continue to mix, and sprinkle with nutritional yeast, and mix well.   Enjoy with a good movie!

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"Where do you get your protein?"

Where Do You Get Your Protein?       

Anyone following a WFPB lifestyle will get enough protein from all the fruits, vegetables, legumes, whole grains, nuts and seeds that their body needs.  Our bodies only need 6-10% of our calories to be from protein, and all plants contain at LEAST 6% protein.  In answer to the common question, “So where do you get your protein?” , I offer the following: Average dark leafy greens contain anywhere from 35%-51% protein, vegetables 25% protein, whole grains 14% protein, quinoa 18% protein, and beans 25-27% protein.  A WFPB diet easily provides the protein required to keep a body active and strong.  Someone on a WFPB diet could not possibly be protein deficient unless that person was not consuming enough total calories. 

Even endurance athletes can benefit from a WFPB diet.  Athletes need to be sure that they are consuming enough calories to keep up with the calories expended during training and workouts.  They should include whole grains as a big focus in their diet including pasta and breads.  They should also include more starches like brown rice, quinoa, sweet potatoes and regular potatoes. Remember that plants have many anti-inflammatory substances, not found in animal products.   Dark leafy greens, ginger, walnuts, flax meal, hemp and chia seed will aid in quicker recoveries, and also help repair those endothelial cells that are the guardians of our bodies!   Pre-workout foods should include fruits for that quick energy boost.  And for longer workouts, athletes should consume oats, quinoa and whole grains to sustain them.  Athletes that switch to a WFPB diet over the SAD (Standard American Diet) are taking it to the next level, and will have a performance advantage over their SAD eating peers.

Anyone on a WFPB diet does not need to take any additional supplements other than Vitamin B-12.  In fact, many supplements suggested by the body building industry (casein, soy protein isolate and whey) can actually be detrimental to your health and should be avoided.  Adding additional protein that the body does not need is associated with cancer promotion, kidney and liver issues, bone density issues and a drain on energy levels.   A WFPB gives you everything you need.  It eliminates the garbage from the animal proteins (saturated fats, cholesterol, growth hormones, IGF-1) and will improve your energy, strength, endurance, performance and recovery.

Baba Ganoush....Oh MY Gosh!

Well I just discovered one of our new favorite snacks, appetizers, or even a meal!  You can find Baba Ganoush at any Mediterranean restaurant, but here I have a recipe that is made with  NO OIL.  Remember we are trying to exclude oils from our cooking, as they are a big source of fats, and "the fats we eat, are the fats we wear" !  This recipe could not be any easier!  If you want more of a meal, add some cooked lentils, or cooked chickpeas to the blender!  The key to this deliciousness is to serve both the baba ganoush and pita bread WARM!  Your family and friends will fight over this, guaranteed!  After you blend, taste to see if you need a bit more lemon juice or salt.  I liked the addition of the sweet potato!

Baba Ganoush

  •  1 lg eggplant
  • 3 T tahini
  • 2 -4 cloves garlic
  • fresh lemon zest, 1-2 T lemon juice (to taste)
  • 1/4 - 1/2 t cumin
  • 1/4 t sea salt
  • 1-2 T cooked sweet potato (opt)

Wash the eggplant, and poke 4-5 holes with a fork all around it.  Roast at 425 in a baking dish for 35-45 minutes until soft.  Let cool, then peel skin from flesh, and cut into 4-6 pieces.  Put all ingredients in blender or food processor and blend until smooth.  Serve warm with warm whole wheat pita pockets (100% Whole Wheat Pita Bread, Baklava Bakery local brand). 

ICE CREAM!!! Cherry Banana "Nice"cream

It has become our newest obsession, our after dinner treat!  And it is so easy.  I always keep sliced frozen bananas in my freezer so that healthy icecream is just a blender whorl away!  I use my small Blendtec canister that I use to make hummus and nut butters, since it comes with the lid that has long stir utensils connected to it.  You can stir the contents of the blender as you blend, rather than having to stop and stir every few minutes.  If you don't have the small 16 oz canister attachment, you might consider purchasing it.  Well worth the approx. $100 investment (Don't forget your BBB, 20% coupon!).  Here is the recipe.

Cherry Banana Nicecream

  • 1/3 blender frozen sliced bananas
  • 1/2 blender (maybe more) frozen organic cherries
  • 1/3-1/2 c raw almonds
  • 2-4 pitted dates
  • 1 -2 t maple syrup, optional
  • 1 t vanilla
  • 1/2 - 3/4 c water, added slowly as needed

Put all ingredients in blender or food processor, and mix until right consistency.  Add more cherries or water, depending on consistency.  It will be softer than the regular icecream you are familiar with.  You can put it in freezer for a short time to harden up, but not too long.

I add chopped nuts and cacoa nibs on top before serving!

 

 

Smashed Panini Potatoes!!

My friend Sharon shared this meal idea earlier this week during our early morning walk!  You will need a Panini grill, or a George Foreman Grill  to make this work really well.   

Step 1:  Turn on your griddle to medium high heat. Cook several whole potatoes (skin on) in a pressure cooker (fastest way), or bake them in the oven. 

2. After the potatoes are cooked, cut them in half, then into quarters, but don't cut through the skin all the way.  Open it up, and flatten it out slightly, so that you can transfer it to the grill.  Salt and pepper the potato, add a thick slice (or 2) of onion, and slices of fresh jalapeno (optional).  Then close the lids, and grill it for 2-3 minutes, or until onion browns. 

3. Slide the potato onto a plate, and drizzle mustard and ketchup over it.  We had some Sloppy Joe Lentils that we put on the potato.  Next time we'll try ketchup!

Sharon, this is a winner! 

Smashed potatoes, onions, jalapeno in Panini maker, along side of sloppy lentils! 

Smashed potatoes, onions, jalapeno in Panini maker, along side of sloppy lentils! 

French Fries Anyone?

I have found that the best way to make french fries is to boil them first, as this keeps the insides from drying out. 

First get a large pot of water to the boiling point.  I use my Vidalia Onion Choppper (larger grate) to cut the potatoes into fries.  Put them into the boiling water until they get just get a little soft to the bite, barely.  You don't want to boil too long, or they turn into a mushy mess (Believe me, I learned the hard way!) Then drain with a colander, and rinse well with cold water.  Then add aquafaba (chickpea liquid) to the potatoes, in a bowl, along with salt and pepper, flax meal, chipotle, paprika, garlic, turmeric or whatever flavor you desire. Use parchment paper so they don't stick, and spread them out to a single layer, leaving lots of air space around each one.  Don't crowd them at all. 

Bake at 425 for 15-20minutes.  To brown them up a bit, you can change to broil the last few minutes, but STAY RIGHT THERE to watch them.  For smaller portions, a toaster oven is great.  Now get out the ketchup and mustard, and get ready to feast on fries!  Plant Based foods are the best!

Tip:  For use later in the week, I boil them, drain and rinse, then spice them up and cool.  I keep them in the fridge for use later in the week.  When I reheat, it is either microwave, toaster oven, or fry pan over heat.

Breakfast Treat - Almond Banana Quesadilla

There are mornings where I am craving something sweet, in addition to my morning buda bowl.  I want to tell you about something so easy, but oh so good! 

I like to use the sprouted grain tortillas, found in the refrigerator section of your store.  I put a layer of almond butter along the entire tortilla, about 2 T, plus or minus.  Leave the outer 1 inch edge free of nut butter to keep it not quite as messy to eat.  On one half, place thinly sliced bananas.  And on the other side, sprinkle sunflower/sesame/hemp seeds, sliced almonds, and cacao nibs.  Then sprinkle entire tortilla with cinnamon (I also add a wee bit of cardamom, nutmeg, and cloves).  Fold in half, and it is ready to heat.  On your preheated ceramic fry pan, cook your tortilla on both sides.  Let cool before you cut it into quarters with your kitchen scissors.  This quesadilla can be prepared the night before, and heated in the morning. 

Use your imagination, and create other fast meals like this.  What about a pizza quesadilla using compliant canned pizza sauce or tomato sauce?  I am going to try that!

 

Watch the video below to learn how to make your own fresh nut butters at home using your high power blender!

The REALLY Important Foods: GBOMBS

You might be asking yourself, "Am I eating enough of all the right foods?"  I will share what several  experts suggest that we include in our daily food consumption.  The easiest to remember is GBOMBS.  Dr. Joel Fuhrman, author of Eat To Live,  suggests we eat our GBOMBS everyday.  G-Greens, B-Beans, O-Onions, M- Mushrooms, B-Berries, S-Seeds/Nuts.  This is an easy acronym to remember.

And Dr. Michael Greger has his Daily Dozen:

Water/Coffee/Green Tea/Hibiscus Tea- 5 servings (12 oz each)

Whole grains, fruits, beans- 3 servings each

Greens, other veggies- 2 servings each

Berries, cruciferous veggies, flax seed, nuts, spices, exercise- 1 serving each

A few extra tips: When you have a meal, soup, salad, wrap or sandwich, think to yourself, "How can I make this meal healthier?"  I add flax meal to just about anything, and if I have a savory dish, I always add turmeric as well.  If I am having a salad, I'll add beans, nuts and seeds to get those added nutrients and protein.  If I am making a soup, I'll add whole or pureed beans/lentils or pureed cashews.  And when serving any soup, I'll chop up a handful of fresh greens, and ladle the hot soup right on top of it!  I also put onions and garlic in most every savory dish I make.  I'll add some of my homemade sweet spice blend (cinnamon, cardamom, nutmeg, cloves, allspice) to my coffee, oatmeal, bread or cookie recipe.  Always be looking for ways to add the power cancer fighting foods to your meals.