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    • Creamy Black Bean Soup (vegan, gluten-free, fat-free)

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    •  1/29/2014 1:38:17 PM
    • This is one of my favorite soup recipes.  Even though it is technically a soup, my kids and I refer to this to our Favorite BEAN DIP.  I make the recipe extra thick, so when you blend all of the ingredients together, it is thick like a bean dip.  We still eat this as a soup but I love it as a left-over.  We dip chips in it the next day, we combine it with some cilantro lime quinoa and put it over a bed a greens.  It actually isn't bad to eat COLD.  It is super versatile.  This is one of those dinner creations that actually look better during the making process then when it is complete.  It's hard to make this soup look pretty, let's just say that!  But when making it, it is gorgeous!  Hope you enjoy!

       

       

      Creamy Black Bean Soup

       

      Ingredients

      2 14 oz cans black beans (with juices- do not rinse and drain)

      (I used 1 plain black bean and one cuban style)

      1 carrot, chopped

      1 stalk celery, chopped

      1/2 red onion, chopped

      3 cloves garlic, minced

      1 green bell pepper, chopped

      1/2 cup dry lentils

      1 (28 oz) can peeled and diced tomatoes (you can add more tomatoes if you want it less thick)

      2 teaspoons chili powder (mild for the kids)

      1 teaspoon ground cumin

      1 teaspoon dried oregano

      1/4 teaspoon black pepper

      2 TBS red wine vinegar

      2 tsp salt

      1/2 cup uncooked rice (optional)

       

      DIRECTIONS

      1.  Place all the ingredients (except for the rice) into a large pot and slowly bring to a boil.  Let boil for a good 10 minutes, then turn to medium-low, cover and simmer for about 45 min to 1 hour. Stirring occaionally.  Cook until the lentils are soft.  Optional:  Add the 1/2 cup white rice and cover and cook for an additional 20 minutes until rice is cooked.

      2.  Puree about half of the soup with a blender or food processor, then pour back into the pot before serving.  I usually puree most of the soup to make it more like a dip.

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    • Asian Quinoa Salad

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    •  1/24/2014 12:43:56 PM
    • When I am really trying to eat healthy, a good practice for me is to always have a salad in my refrigerator that contains CRUCIFEROUS vegetables.  (Cauliflower, Cabbage, Bok Choy and Broccoli)  I usually turn to one of my favorites below:

      Crispy Oriental Salad

      Cabbage Fruit Salad

      Broccoli Salad

      Super Big Bowl of Super Salad (membership)

       

      All of these salads have high amounts of CABBAGE and Broccoli, which helps them last a long time in my fridge.

      Well...I have officially added another salad to my FAVORITE Cruciferous Salad list!!!  I had this for dinner last night and fell in LOVE!  It is super easy to make and I had all of the ingredients on hand. I love that the dressing only has 1 TBS of oil, which you could probably replace with water (I didn't have sesame, so I just used light olive oil). You need to try this!  I got the recipe from vegangela.com and made just a few minor adjustments.  I am tempted to try it without quinoa next time and make a RAW salad.  Maybe add some green cabbage?  I'll let you know.

      Hope you enjoy!

       

       

      Asian Quinoa Salad

      Ingredients

       
      1 cup quinoa
      2 cups finely cut purple cabbage
      1 cup shredded carrots
      1 red bell pepper, diced
      2 green onions, thinly sliced
      ½ cup chopped cilantro
      ½ cup cashews (or peanuts)
       
       
      Dressing
       
      ¼ cup peanut butter (or cashew/almond butter)
      2 cloves garlic, minced
      1 tbsp grated fresh ginger (or 1 tsp dried ginger)
      3 tbsp tamari (light soy sauce)
      2 tbsp maple syrup (or agave)
      2 tbsp warm water
      1 tbsp rice vinegar
      1 tbsp sesame oil (I used Olive Oil)
      ½ tsp crushed red chili pepper (or 1 tsp Sriracha sauce)
       
       
      Look at all that colorful goodness!!! 
       
       
      Instructions
      Rinse and drain the quinoa and place in a medium saucepan along with 2 cups of water. Cover and bring to a boil, then reduce to the lowest heat setting. Simmer until water is completely absorbed and quinoa is fluffy, about 15 minutes.
      In a large bowl, whisk the dressing ingredients together. Add the quinoa to the dressing and mix well to combine.  Add the veggies, onions, cilantro and cashews.
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    • BERRIES- the yummiest Super Food!

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    •  1/15/2014 8:48:52 PM
    • Ok- Seriously...who doesn't LOVE berries???  Even my picky eater son will drop everything and run into the kitchen when I pull out any of these scrumptious super foods. 
       
      These colorful and beautiful fruits are definitely
      my favorite of the SUPER FOODS!
       
      They are rich in fiber and phytochemicals and low in calories, making them the most nutrient dense fruit.  Did you know that BLUEBERRIES, RASPBERRIES, STRAWBERRIES and BLACKBERRIES are some of the highest antioxidant foods in existence?  Several studies have shown that high intake of BERRIES is associated with considerable risk reductions (up to 45%) for coronary heart disease.  It is also associated with lower blood pressure and reduced risk of heart attacks.
       
      The best thing about BERRIES, is they taste AWESOME!
      Dr. Fuhrman (Eat to Live) recommends eating them every day.  Even during winter, we can get our daily dose from frozen berries. In fact, I just came home to find my 18 month old, sitting next to the open freezer drawer eating from our bag of frozen blueberries.  With purple all over his hands and face, he looked up at me and smiled.  How could I be mad at that???
       
      Also remember that in addition to promoting heart health, berries also have anti-cancer effects and provide protection against diabetes and dementia.

      Quinoa with BERRIES

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    • Go Yonanas!

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    •  1/8/2014 11:16:49 AM
    • My mother was nice enough to lend me her new YONANAS machine.  I don't know about you, but I have never heard of these machines before...so I was excited to try it out.

      This machine is the master at making an ice cream like dessert using ONLY frozen fruit.  I have been using my high-powered blender for years to make our vegan ice cream recipes...but I have to tell you- my blender has never made ice cream with this nice of a texture.  The texture it makes is AWESOME!

      You basically let your frozen fruit (I used bananas) thaw slightly on your counter for about 10 minutes, then insert them into the machine and what comes out is amazing!  I made a basic chocolate coconut dessert by mixing in cocoa powder and shaved coconut.  It was really good!  I am excited to try more recipes!

      If you can get your hands on one of these- I would recommend it.  So yummy!  Now I just hope my Mom doesn't ever ask for it back!

      Hope you are having a fabulous NEW YEAR!

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