Saturday, March 26, 2016
Sunday, January 17, 2016
|photo credit Eric Rivkin|
There is nothing quite as beautiful, nutritious, and healthy as a vegan, gluten free cream cake!
Bottom Layer Crust
1 cup raw almonds or pecans, soaked 2 hours, rinsed
1 cup fresh or dried finely shredded unsweetened coconut
1/2 cup pitted dates
1/2 cup raw cacao powder
¼ tsp cinnamon
In a food processor with the S blade, mix until a crumb texture is reached. Set aside.
Coconut Cream Filling
2 cups firm young coconut pulp
1/4 cup coconut oil
4-5 pitted medjool dates
½ tsp vanilla extract or caviar scraped from 1 vanilla bean
Blend ingredients until creamy. Set aside and refrigerate.
Top Chocolate Layer
1 cup young coconut pulp
3 Tbsp coconut oil
½ cup raw cacao powder
3 pitted medjool dates
3 black mission figs
½ tsp vanilla extract or caviar scraped from 1 vanilla bean
¼ tsp cinnamon
Blend ingredients until thick and smooth, adding just enough coconut water to turn over in blender. Set aside.
1 cup assorted berries - raspberry, blueberry, sliced strawberries
1 tsp Agave Nectar or other liquid veg sweetener (Stevia extract, maple syrup, etc.)
Mint leaves (optional)
Blend the sweetener with a few of the strawberries to make a glaze. Toss gently with the berries and mint and refrigerate until ready to serve.
6-8 large firm strawberries, de-stemmed and sliced 1/8” thick
1. Press crust recipe evenly into a 9” spring-form torte pan with a removable side greased with a little coconut oil.
2. Slice the strawberries the long way and press the large pieces against the inside of the torte pan. Use the smaller heels in the garnish..
3. Pour in and spread the Coconut Cream Filling.
4. Freeze for 2 hours to firm up.
5. Pour on and spread the top chocolate layer mix. Refrigerate or freeze again until firm.
6. When ready to serve, first arrange the fruit garnish on top.
It looks complicated, it's not! Once you have assembled all the ingredients, this goes very quickly, and what a reward at the end!!
Adapted from a recipe originally posted by Eric Rivkin.
Tuesday, July 28, 2015
Falafel is a traditional Middle Eastern food, commonly served in a pita, which acts as a pocket, or wrapped in a flatbread known as lafa; "falafel" also frequently refers to a wrapped sandwich that is prepared in this way. Chickpeas provide the most bio-available protein of the plant world, and are the "Prime Rib" of a plant based diet! Here is a new twist on traditional falafel that I hope you really enjoy!
*Use organic ingredients if possible!
Yam Falafel balls
Saturday, April 18, 2015
It’s fair to say that cancer is a true health crisis today, but not one that we are powerless to. It was once thought diet had no correlation on cancer, but we know that’s far from the truth. Over the last decade, we've seen limitless research backing a plant-based diet as a means to fight cancer. From doctors such as Dr. T Colin Campbell,to Dr. Neal Barnard, to Dr. Joel Fuhrman, Dr. McDougall,and more, medical powerhouses now firmly state that animal foods cause cancer and plant-based food prevent it.
That’s an incredibly powerful statement when you stand back and look at it; especially since we live in a society that prioritizes animal food production over almost anything else. Considering the food guide pyramid was largely funded by the dairy industry and our entire agriculture system today runs largely on the production of animals for the American diet.
There’s no coincidence that the rise of cancer the last 25 years has grown with the massive growth of the animal food production industry. Perhaps it’s easy to live in disbelief for a short time, but a culture made up of McDonald’s, fast food pizza joints, ice cream shops, and even diets that promote animal products for the use of weight loss, is sure to get an awakening at some point or another.
Eating the Rainbow for Cancer Prevention and Protection
The war against cancer, however, is never black and white. But a diet rich in colorful fruits and vegetables may just be one of the best ways to treat cancer of all. Plants contain pigments that give them their colorful hue, which indicates their antioxidant content. Antioxidants boosts immunity and fights off disease (such as cancer.) Many of them also contain a large amount of special nutrients or specific antioxidants that have directly been linked to cancer prevention.
Why Animal Foods Are Not a Health Food for Cancer Prevention
The Physician’s Committee for Responsible Medicine (a medical powerhouse documenting case studies for a plant-based diet against cancer and diabetes) shares that certain foods contain certain colors that come with special cancer-fighting benefits. They also share that drinking just two glasses of milk a day increased cancer risks to 60 percent, and eating 35 grams of dairy protein increased cancer risks by up to 32 percent! Meat consumption was linked to a 28 percent increase, and the average Western diet (rich in processed and fast foods) increased risks by 200 percent!
Many factors can lead to cancer cell formation, however we can’t ignore studies that show high-fat, low-fiber foods such as animal products, boosts specific hormones that promote the growth of cancer cells, along with alter normal cells, which can lead to cancer cell growth. The Physician’s Committee for Responsible Medicine also advises women to reduce or eliminate their intake of meat, dairy, fried foods, and vegetable oils, due to the way these foods cause women’s bodies to create more estrogen, which increases growth hormone that leads to higher breast cancer risks, along with other cancers sensitive to female hormones.
How to Incorporate the Rainbow Into Your Cancer Fighting Meals:
Start by replacing your processed or animal-based meals with foods from each color segment below and check out their benefits on their ability to fight cancer.
Fruits and vegetables such as cabbage, broccoli, kale, turnips, cauliflower, asparagus, collards, mustard greens, green apples, fresh herbs, zucchini, turnip greens, spinach, and Brussels sprouts contain either antioxidants known as flavones and/or indoles which have been directly linked to the prevention against cancer. They also contain high amounts of chlorophyll that prevents acidity in the body. Soybeans, green peas, and green beans are also high in antioxidants that support immune health even further.
Fruits and vegetables such as pumpkin, squash, peaches, yellow and orange bell peppers, lemons, cantaloupe, sweet potatoes, grapefruit, papaya, and apricots all contain especially high levels of Vitamin C for immune health, along with beta-carotene, a nutrient derived from the carotenoids found in these plants that give them their colorful hue. Studies have shown that women who eat carotenoid-rich vegetables reduce their breast cancer risk by up to 19 percent!
Fruits like watermelon, tomatoes, red peppers, papaya, grapefruit, and guava, all contain lycopene that also reduces the risks for prostate cancer and heart disease. Lycopene has also been shown tolower high cholesterol that can lead to increased fat cells that stimulate cancer cell growth.
Blue and purple foods like berries, figs, beets, pomegranates, grapes, raisins, and plums, all contain high levels of antioxidants known as anthocyanins or polyphenols that protect the heart and prevent heart disease. Their intake has also been linked to the prevention of certain types of cancers, according to The American Cancer Society.
If you think white vegetables don’t count, think again! They are rich in antioxidants known as phytochemicals like allicin (garlic and onions), beans and legumes (that contain fiber to reduce cholesterol and obesity), quercetin (onions and apples), selenium (mushrooms), Vitamin C (onions, apples, and parsnips), and a variety of vitamins and minerals that support the immune system (banana flesh, white nectarines, white peaches, cauliflower, artichokes, and potatoes.) Selenium was found to be one of the most prominent minerals for mens’ prostate health while garlic and onions remain as two of the top foods to boost the immune system and fight cancer cell growth.
There are so many ways to add fruits and vegetables to your diet. Here are a few great suggestions:
- Make a delicious superfood salad brimming with anti-cancer foods like broccoli and kale. Top it with some edamame hummus for an extra cancer-fighting punch!
- Blend up a delicious smoothie in the morning filled with some greens, berries, and a green apple.
- Add some fruits and vegetables into your next batch of muffins; they’ll add flavor, fiber, and antioxidants to protect your body.
- Keep raw fruits and veggies on hand at all times for snacking and be sure to pair them with some heart-healthy dip like a no salt added salsa or some oil free hummus.
- Make a homemade pizza with artichokes, olives, tomato sauce, basil, oregano, and a hearty dose of mushrooms in place of meat.
- Add some garlic and onions to your next dinner entree.
Now, let’s add some cancer-fighting color to your diet, what do ya say? While you are at it, eliminate as many chemicals as possible (they do not wash off) by choosing organic!
Monday, March 9, 2015
This recipe was found at TheGentleChef.com. It is vegan-chef developed and is amazing! Try it with my gluten free, vegan pie crust recipe here:gluten-free-vegan-pie-crust)
photo from The Gentle Chef
• 1 nine-inch non-dairy and egg-free pie crust
• 1 carton (12.3 oz.) Mori-Nu™ extra-firm silken tofu, or similar
• 1 and ¼ cup organic sugar
• 1 cup water
• ¾ cup fresh lemon juice
• 5 T cornstarch or unmodified potato starch
• 1 T fresh grated lemon zest
• ¼ tsp fine sea salt
• ½ cup plus 2 T organic sugar
• 1 can (15 oz.) cooked white beans (Great Northern, cannellini or white navy) or garbanzo beans (chickpeas), preferably salt-free*
• ½ tsp guar gum, xanthan gum or sodium alginate
(food gum stabilizes the meringue and discourages deflation when baked)
• 1 tsp real vanilla extract
In a DRY blender process the meringue sugar (1 cup plus 2 tablespoons) until finely powdered. Set the powdered sugar aside in a small bowl. This will be used for preparing the meringue and is not added to the pie filling mixture.
Preheat the oven to 375°F. Bake the pie crust for 12 to 15 minutes or until lightly browned around the edges. Remove and set aside to cool.
In the same blender, process the pie filling ingredients until smooth. Pour the blender contents into a large saucepan and cook over medium heat, stirring frequently with a flexible spatula. The mixture will be foamy and milky in appearance. Stir constantly as the mixture begins to thicken. Keep stirring until the mixture begins to bubble and the milky and foamy appearance transforms into a thick and gelatinous lemon curd.
Pour the filling into the pie crust, smooth the top gently with a rubber/silicone spatula or the back of a spoon and place in the refrigerator uncovered for a minimum of 2 hours until the top of the pie is firmly set.
After the pie has chilled for a minimum of 2 hours, preheat the oven to 200°F while preparing the meringue.
Strain the liquid from the can of beans into a large mixing bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer. Sprinkle in the food gum and begin whipping on high speed for 3 minutes.
Gradually begin to incorporate the powdered sugar, in increments, while whipping. Continue to whip the mixture until soft peaks begin to form. Add the vanilla and continue to whip the mixture until it is voluminous and stiff peaks begin to form.
photo from The Gentle Chef
Spoon and spread the meringue onto the surface of the pie, avoiding the edges by ½-inch. Create soft peaks in the meringue using the back of a spoon. Bake in the oven for 30 minutes. To lightly brown the meringue, set the oven on “Broil” and position the pie on an oven rack close to the flame source. Keep the oven door open while doing this and watch the meringue carefully – it will brown quickly and can burn easily. Rotate the pie as needed until the peaks are evenly browned.
Remove to cool for about 5 minutes and then place the pie in the refrigerator to chill thoroughly for several hours until completely set before serving. Keep the pie refrigerated but do not cover or the meringue will turn into a gooey liquid.
Prepare the pie filling according to the recipe. Fill individual frozen mini fillo cups with the filling and refrigerate as recommended. Then top with a small dollop of meringue and bake according to the directions. Refrigerate until chilled and serve.