alkaline enhancing Beet Smoothie (new and improved!)

Inspired by an article in my new favorite magazine, Mother Earth Living, I’ve been on a mission to alkalize my diet.  The more I learned about how food plays a key role in balancing the pH level of my body, the more I wanted to make this happen.

Maintaining a balance pH level is, apparently, not easy. The toxins we encounter daily through air borne pollution and the acidic toxins we ingest tip the scale toward acidity.  On the pH scale, 0 is extremely acidic, 7.0 is totally neutral and 14 is totally alkalized.  Our bodies, born with a neutral 7.0 reading, have mechanisms in place to ensure that our blood remains slightly alkaline for optimal health.  However, as we eat acidic foods (unfortunately, these are the delicious ones on the Standard American Diet like sugar, dairy, and processed grains) important nutrients like calcium and magnesium are leached from cells in order to bring balance back to the blood stream.  This can leave us tired and sore.  Think: the ‘lactic acid’ build up you’ve heard about that makes your muscles sore after running.  Or, for you and for myself: sore after yoga.  (No, Thank you!  Read my tips for recovery to reduce soreness here.)

Not to mention, maintaining an acidic state in the blood level kicks in our body’s natural ability to combat this acid by storing sugar in fat cells.  Many health professionals think that maintaining the optimal pH balance is the key to losing weight.  For more information, check out Michelle Schoffro Cook’s book 60 seconds to Slim. 

What’s the easiest way to alkalize your body back into optimal health (and hopefully reduce muscle soreness)?  Green and Yellow: Veggies and Lemons.   

smoothi pic 1

To make it easy on myself and on you, I’ve re-invented my favorite beet smoothie recipe this summer.  I’ve cut out the extra sugars by eliminating apple juice and orange juice.  I’ve added an extra veggie or two.  And most importantly: concentrated on adding alkalizing foods: sour cherries, lemons and limes.  Introducing, Lisa’s totally liver cleansing, red blood cell oxygenating, alkaline enhancing Wonder Beet Smoothie!  (Please note: this is not a juice.  It is full of fiber and will feel like you are eating a delicious salad.)

smoothie finished

Ingredients:

  • 1 green zucchini, cut into pieces
  • 2 small beets, cut into pieces
  • 6 large rainbow chard leaves, stemmed (or 2 Cups other leafy green vegetables)
  • ½ C organic tart cherry juice
  • 1 C cold water
  • Juice from 1 lemon
  • Juice from 1 lime

Add ingredients to Blender in this order.  Blend on low for a few minutes, adding more water if needed.  Blend on high for 2-3 minutes.  (Turn the blender down if the smoothie starts to froth.)

Yield: 4 8 oz smoothies.  For best results, enjoy this treat COLD.  I keep mine in the freezer overnight and then let it thaw in the kitchen sink in the morning so it’s ready for lunch.

For more smoothie recipes, check out my article from 2014: summer smoothies galore.

Enjoy! -lisa

 

mushroom and walnut stuffed bell peppers: vegan goodness.

mushroom and walnut stuffed bell peppers: vegan goodness.

Last March my Ironman made these delicious mushroom and walnut ‘meatballs’ to go with a spaghetti squash dinner.  Three months later we were still talking about them. stuffed peppers

Oh holy cow they were insanely delicious.  I set out on a mission: how else could I enjoy the earthy combination of mushrooms (high in vitamin D) and walnuts (high in protein and folic acid, which you can learn about here) in new dishes?

Well, thanks to the trusty VitaMixx, I found it! Vegan Mushroom and Walnut Stuffed Bell Peppers– Mediterranean Night: here we come!

Ingredients:

  • 8 button mushrooms, washed
  • 1/2 cup walnuts
  • 1 to 2 Tbsp homemade hummus,  check out my recipes here
  • 2 handfuls fresh dill
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 bell peppers, sliced in half
  • drizzle of grapeseed oil

Combine first 5 ingredients and blend on low until a paste forms.

Slice bell peppers in half and clean out the seeds  (If you slice them top to bottom, they dads-stuffed-bell-peppers-1hold more stuffing!)

Spoon stuffing into pepper boats, place in an oven safe glass platter.  Drizzle the tops of each pepper with grapeseed oil.

Put in the oven at 350 F and bake for about 35-45 minutes.

Serve with fresh veggies and hummus, and a Greek salad… on your back porch… in the summertime.  Yes, it’s a charmed life.

Let me know how it tastes. Enjoy!

-lisa

summer smoothies. (recipes galore!)

 Summer smoothies. (Recipes galore!)

2014-05-23 13.44.32

Yeah, I know that Barnes and Noble has a whole shelf filled with Smoothie Recipe Books… but making my own is so much more fun!  I tried my best to measure ingredients (ugh… you all know by now how I feel about measuring and concise quantities) to provide you all with the best summer smoothie recipes of 2014.  Katie Carnahan-Shipley/ “Ms. I’m so bored with my morning smoothie routine,” these are for you!

Sedona Surprise (aka Pineapple and Avocado)

  •  1/2 avocado
  • 4 pineapple slices
  • 6 kale leaves
  • 4 ice cubes
  • 1/4 cup aloe juice or water

Beets for Lunch

  • 1 beet, chopped into small pieces
  • 1/2 Cup mixed berries (raspberries, strawberries, blueberries, etc)
  • 1 Cup grapefruit juice
  • 1/2 apple
  • As much kale as you can fit in

A Team (Carrot and Kale)

  • 1 orange, peeled
  • 1 pear
  • 1 Cup carrot juice
  • As much kale as you can handle

Green Tart  photo

  • 1 green apple
  • 1/2 cucumber
  • 1 cup grapefruit juice
  • 10+ rainbow chard leaves

Healthy Elvis

  • Frozen banana
  • 6 frozen strawberries
  • 1/2 Cup soy milk
  • 1 tbsp almond butter
  • 1 cup Spinach

Earthy Smooth

  • 1/2 avocado
  • 4 oz + spinach
  • 1 Cup orange juice
  • 1/4 Cup walnuts
  • 1/2 pear
  • 2 celery stalks
  • 1/2 tbsp chia seeds

inexpensive homemade hummus recipes

inexpensive homemade hummus.  (or: SnackTime!)

A few months ago my paleo-diet cousin “went vegan” for a week (I’m pretty sure it was a double-dog-dare).  By the second day, he texted me that he was hungry: he found it difficult to make on-the-go snacks that actually made him feel full.  I told him I eat about three pounds of hummus a week, and suggested he do the same.  (Ok, slight exaggeration…)

I was already relatively adept at making my own hummus as a way to actively reduce kitchen waste (even ‘recyclable’ plastic packaging is wasteful if you buy that much hummus! Read my Aparigraha April posts) and save money… but to help my cousin out, I committed to hunt for the easiest, least expensive homemade hummus recipes.  Many recipes call for roasting the garlic (time consuming) or tahini (expensive) and I’m a big fan of using whatcha already got in your kitchen.  After some refining (yum!): here are my top three Homemade Hummus recipes.

First: Go buy some chickpeas in bulk.  They are super cheap.  (Aluminum cans are not in fashion any more).  Chickpeas are packed with protein, fiber and iron.  And they cook relatively quickly: Just add chickpeas to your crock pot/slow cooker, add water (double up the same you would for beans: 1 C chickpeas to 2 C water) and set it on high for 3 hours, or low over-night.  Cook 2 cups, then divvy up ½ Cup servings in freezer-safe containers to use later.  Thaw one container in the morning and make your fresh hummus in the afternoon.

I like hummus to be creamy, so I do not drain the chickpeas before freezing them or spooning them out to put in the blender.

Lisa’s Summer Staple Homemade Hummus

Ingredients: 

  • ½ Cup cooked Chickpeas
  • ½ tsp Honey Dijon Mustard
  • ¼ tsp Minced Garlic
  • ½ tsp Cumin
  • 1 tbsp Olive Oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Roasted/salted pumpkin seeds (For topping)

Add first 6 ingredients to food processor, blend on variable until desired creamy consistency.  Add water if needed.  Spoon into a bowl, top with pumpkin seeds.  Enjoy with sliced zucchini, carrots, celery, peppers and jicama.

hummus

Lisa’s Garden Homemade Hummus

Ingredients:

  • ½ C cooked chickpeas
  • 5 sundried tomatoes
  • ¼ C fresh basil (or a tbsp. dried basil)
  • Handful fresh oregano ( or 1 tbsp dried oregano)
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • Salt, pepper, and paprika to taste
  • Garlic salt (for topping)

Add all ingredients to food processor, blend on variable until desired creamy consistency.  Add water if needed.  Spoon into a bowl, top with garlic salt or fresh garlic.  Enjoy with crackers or veggies.

 

Lisa’s ‘Light it Up’ Spicy Hummus

Ingredients:

  • ½ C cooked Chickpeas
  • ¼ jalapeno (no seeds: just a sliver of the side)
  • Sea Salt, Cumin or Chili powder and Turmeric to taste
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • ½ lemon (just the juice)
  • Optional: 2 tbsp. Boys Grow Salsa

Add all ingredients to a food processor, blend on variable until desired consistency.  Add water if needed.  Spoon into a bowl, top with salsa (optional) and enjoy with tortilla chips, sliced bell peppers, crunchy red chard, etc.

Enjoy… let me know which one you love the best, I’m interested!

-lisa

zucchini carrot cake breakfast farro.

Craving a hearty, heart-healthy treat for your Valentine?  This recipe combines whole grains, veggies, and yummy goodness all in your crockpot.  An easy, vegan, delicious Valentine’s Day Breakfast.  Yes, please, and thank you!

zucchini carrot cake breakfast farro

image (1)

Use a medium sized bowl. Add:

  • 2 carrots, finely shredded
  • 2 zucchini, finely shredded
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup or honey
  • 4 cloves
  • 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 tbsp cinnamon
  • 1 cup farro (used pearled or semi-pearled)

Lightly oil your crock pot to prevent sticking.

Pour into the crockpot:

  • Carrot/zucchini/farro mix
  • 1 1/2 cups almond milk

Set on low overnight (6 to 8 hours).  In the morning, scoop it out and top with chia seeds and walnuts.  I found that a little extra honey was needed, and that adding a banana made it much more delicious.

Serve with love!  Happy Valentine’s Day!

Not sure about farro? Me either, until I read this article by NPR’s Laura Weiss.  Make sure to check out her delicious recipe for Tuscan Soup and Kale Salad.

Snow Day vegan (power protein) chocolate chip cookies.

baking cookies on a snow day is a MUST. an absolute MUST tradition.

if you are trying to: power your snow-shovelling, stay vegan, and also reduce your gluten intake, try these cookies!  they are bite-sized, power protein and whole-food wonders.

image

photo cred EMA

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F

2. Combine in a large bowl:

  • 2 c Almond Meal
  • 1 Tbs flax seed
  • 1 Tbs chia seed
  • 2 tsp 100% cocoa powder
  • 1/2 c softened coconut butter or vegan margarine
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 2 Tbs maple syrup
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • a dash of salt
  • 1/3 c carob chips (or chocolate chips if you aren’t eating vegan)

Mix, roll into balls, bake on a cookie sheet lined with aluminum foil (these cookies do not spread out, so you can fit 10 cookies on one sheet) for 8-9 minutes.

Makes about 22 cookies.  (Or 21 if you sample too much dough before baking.)

Enjoy these cookies cuddled up your couch, watching the snow fall!

If you loved this, you may want to check out detoxinista.com, for some more paleo/vegan recipes.

cozy tea

Crisp fall weather means it’s time to curl up with a warm tea and a good book.

Here’s my favorite fall cozy tea recipe: 

cozy tea

  • 1 sachet of get wellness tea by The Republic of Tea.
  • 1 dash of organic soy milk, unsweetened
  • 3 shakes cinnamon
  • 1 squirt local honey
  • somewhere cozy to sit

(steep for 5 minutes)