Saturday, May 28, 2011

Carmelized Vidalia Onions with Coconut

Why I decided to combine these two foods, I don’t know. Maybe it’s because I had coconut on the brain from my last post for Powerballs, or because dinner last night was pecan and coconut-crusted salmon, or because I just bought Vidalia onions today for The Daily Detox. Or maybe it’s a combination of all three.

For tonight’s dinner, I planned on making a simple salad with organic baby greens, sautéed asparagus that I picked up at the farmer’s market this morning, and eggs from a local farm that I would soft-boil (although they came out semi-soft). And that’s exactly what I made.

Then, as I was lying on my mat during yoga class, the idea of carmelized sweet onions came to mind and “sounded” so good on top of that salad, that I decided to add them in too.

Later, as I was watching the onions soften up and become translucent in the pan, and the sweet smell was wafting through the air, I thought, “what would coconut taste like on top of those onions? “ Well, it’s delicious. To me, it is a perfect combination.

1 large Vidalia onion

1 T grapeseed or coconut oil

sea or Himalayan salt

shredded, unsweetened coconut

Peel the onion then slice thin: I like to cut the onion length-wise, then place each half with its flat side faced down on the cutting board. I then cut thin slices length-wise again, but either way is fine.

Heat the oil to medium in a large frying pan or dutch oven, then add the onions and a pinch of salt. Stir well and cook over medium heat until the onions become soft and begin to lightly brown. Try not to cook them too quickly with heat that is too high or they will burn.

Sprinkle with coconut and serve.

What to do with these… I added them to my salad. Try them on top of broiled salmon, or with scrambled eggs. They’d go well in a veggie wrap or on top of sautéed, mixed vegetables, or as a side dish with just about anything. Toasted coconut would also add a nice texture and flavor to the soft, sweet onions. You won’t need dessert after eating these, that’s how much I enjoyed them anyway. In fact, I ate the entire onion : )

Friday, May 27, 2011

Ezekiel Protein Bites - a.k.a., Powerballs

I’ve seen a lot of recipes lately for protein- or superfood-based treats and they’ve all wet my appetite. In fact, this morning, I was thinking about how I could come up with a variation on the recipes I’ve seen and as I was eating my Ezekil’s 4:9 Sprouted Whole Grain Cereal, I thought that it might make a good base for a high-energy bite.

I recently posted a blog about my love for the cereal and why I believe it’s a good source of grains. So here we go. Below is my recipe for Ezekiel Protein Bites, or Powerballs as I like to call them.

For me, these would make a perfect snack after an intense workout since they’re providing a healthy mix of carbs, protein, and fats. And if you’re running out the door in the morning, they could even serve as breakfast. Careful though, these balls are calorie dense, with close to 100 calories per ball. As a meal, two or three at the most would do the trick.

Although many recipes use dried fruit for sweetening, I simply used maple syrup and honey, but raisins, currants, or dates would probably work well. I’m guessing that every time I make these, the recipe will change ever so slightly and dried fruit will, for sure, find its way into the batter.

Ezekiel Protein Bites - a.k.a., Powerballs

1 T chia seeds

¼ c almond milk (or other non-dairy milk)

½ t vanilla

1 cup Ezekiel sprouted grains cereal

¼ c protein powder of choice (hemp, rice, whey, etc.)

¼ c nuts (walnuts, pecans, almonds, etc.)

2 T unsweetened cocoa powder

2 T unsweetened, shredded coconut

2 T ground flax seed

1 T spirulina or green powder of choice (optional)

½ t cinnamon

½ t sea or Himalayan salt

1 heaping tablespoon nut butter

1 T unrefined coconut oil

1 T pure maple syrup

1 t honey

Place the chia seeds in a small bowl. Add the almond milk and vanilla and allow to sit for 15 minutes.

In the meantime, combine the next 9 ingredients in a food processor and process until a fine powder forms.

Add the final 4 ingredients and the soaking chia seed mixture and pulse until a thick, moist batter forms.

Roll heaping teaspoons of the batter to form balls. If desired, coat them in shredded coconut, ground nuts, or any other fine powder that will stick. These are ready to eat, or can be refrigerated to chill.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Banana Ice Cream

I am never disappointed and always amazed at how delicious this simple dessert tastes. And it’s not just the taste. The texture is so smooth and creamy, like a nice soft-serve ice cream. I know how many people out there love their ice cream, especially at night. This would make a good substitution, although, because bananas are high in sugar, this would be best eaten in moderation like anything else.

Still, if you look at the nutrition data for a cup of mashed banana, you’ll see that it offers lots of vitamin C, B6, riboflavin, and folate, as well as potassium, magnesium, manganese, and copper. There’s fiber and a bit of protein there as well with a small amount of fat.

I very often will simply whip the bananas and have them plain, but it’s simple enough to add flavorings and spices of your choice. In the above picture, I’ve added cocoa powder and a tablespoon of honey. Cinnamon would be a nice addition as well.

Banana Ice Cream

5 bananas, peeled, sliced and frozen

2 T cocoa powder

1 T honey

Allow the bananas to sit at room temperature for a few minutes to defrost a bit.

Place them in a food processor or high-speed blender and blend on high until the pieces break up and begin to look creamy.

Add the cocoa powder and honey if desired and whip until a smooth, even consistency is achieved. Serve immediately.

The one thing I’ve found about banana ice cream is that it doesn’t freeze well. It freezes very hard and needs to be defrosted for quite a while before eating. Therefore, I recommend making just enough to serve at one sitting. One banana per person is a good guideline to use when planning how much to make.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Everything But the Kitchen Sink Cookies

Several years ago, while visiting my daughter, Ariel, in California, I tried an amazing cookie that was born at “The Red Radish”, a vegan/vegetarian restaurant where my daughter was working. She was able to take the recipe with her when she left the restaurant and over the years, it’s evolved a bit. In fact, we made some major changes to it today and the result was amazing.

You can watch Ariel make the cookies in the video below:

And of course, here is the recipe:

Everything But the Kitchen Sink Cookies

1 c oil (coconut, grapeseed, olive)

½ c real maple syrup

½ c molasses

2 T tahini

3 C rolled oats

2 c whole grain spelt or other flour

1 t baking soda

1 t baking powder

2 t kosher or sea salt

¼ c raw sugar (I almost think this can be left out, but I haven’t tried yet)

2 T ground flax seeds

1 c raisins or other dried fruit

1 c pumpkin or sunflower seeds

1 c chocolate chips or chunks

Mix the wet (first 4) and dry (next 7) ingredients together in separate bowls. Combine the wet and dry ingredients together.

Add the fruit, seeds, and chocolate and mix well.

Tightly pack the bowl of a small ice cream scoop with batter, then turn it out onto a parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Space the cookies ~3” apart.

Bake at 350°F for ~15 minutes, or until lightly browned and the middle does not look raw.

Allow the cookies to cool completely on the baking sheet (they will fall apart until cooled). Then, dig in!! Store in an air tight container.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Bread by Ariel

I hadn’t seen my oldest daughter, Ariel in over two years, so it was a nice surprise to have here visiting from California. For the last week, we’ve been catching up and cooking together which is a lot of fun because we’re very similar in the foods we like to eat.

What surprised me was that one of the first things she wanted to make was bread. These days, I eat very little bread unless it’s made with sprouted grains, or something really special. Well, the bread she made definitely fit that bill. She made it with wild-crafted nettles that she picked back home and dried, flax and sunflower seeds, garlic, thyme and Himalayan salt.

It was, by far, one of the best breads I’ve had in a long time, especially when it was sliced while still warm and smothered in butter. In fact, I made similar breads following her recipe for Mother’s Day and she made more bread last night!

To me, this is a real treat since it’s not something I would eat everyday but something we are thoroughly enjoying for this week. And because it’s homemade, it’s made with basic, whole-food ingredients, with nothing artificial and without preservatives or other chemicals. If you’re going to eat bread, this is the way to go!

The recipe is below and you can also watch Ariel make the bread in this video below:

Bread by Ariel

2 c warm water (~110°F)

1 T Himalayan or sea salt

1 T honey

1 package yeast

~5.5 c organic bread flour

¼ c flax seeds

dried nettles, or other dried, green leafy herb (optional)

¼ c sunflower seeds processed with 2 cloves garlic (optional)

fresh thyme (optional)

extra virgin olive oil

Begin by pouring the warm water into a large, glass mixing bowl. Add the yeast, salt, and honey and mix well. Allow the liquid to rest for a few minutes for the yeast to become active.

Add ~2.5 cups of the flour to the bowl and mix with a spatula to incorporate most of the flour, then add another 3 cups of flour.

With oiled hands, combine the mixture until the flour is completely incorporated and it forms a soft dough that is not sticky.

Turn the dough out onto a clean, floured surface and knead the dough for 5 minutes by folding one corner over diagonally and kneading. Then rotate the dough 90 degrees and repeat this process for the entire kneading time.

Place the round of dough into a clean, oiled bowl and transfer some of the oil onto the dough. Cover the bowl with a clean, dry cloth and place the bowl in a warm place for 1 – 2 hours to allow the dough to double in size.

Preheat the oven to 400°F. Punch down the dough and knead it several times to remove any air bubbles. Knead flax seeds and dried nettles into the dough until incorporated.

Split the dough in half with a knife, then form loaves. Place the loaves onto a large baking pan coated with corn meal or oil.

Make several slices into the bread and stuff them with the sunflower seed, garlic, thyme and sea salt mixture. Bake the breads for ~30 minutes, or until they are nicely browned all over and sound hollow when tapped. Allow the breads to cool on a wire rack. Slice and Enjoy!!