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    • Got Rice?....preferably BROWN :)

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    •  9/1/2011 4:08:22 PM
    • "I'm not eating carbs right now!"......Oh how this sentence makes me cringe!  Probably because I hear an echo of my own voice. It brings me back to the days when I got most of my nutritional information from a 3 minute sound-byte on the News or a some article in an Entertainment magazine.  And yet 7 years later I still hear that phrase over and over! 

       

      It still makes me a little crazy , but more often then not it just makes me sad and is a reminder of the confusion still going on in this countryCarbs are essential part of a healthy lifestyle....Essential! However...the term "carb" needs a little clarifying.  There are "carbs" in all fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and beans - these of course are the "good carbs".  We should nosh on these regularly (as should our children).  But the "carbs" in doughnuts, cheetos, Wonderbread, and cheeseburgers (and even white rice) are the ones to be AVOIDED....like the plague for some of us!

       

      And so.....I write this blog as a little shout out to our good friend,  the-all-too-often-forgotten-and-sometimes-lumped-in-with-the-bad-carbs.....(drum roll please)....BROWN RICE!

       

       

      With the new and exciting fanfare surrounding quinoa these days (which is actually as seed), I can't help but feel a little bad for good old brown rice that has stuck it through with us throughout the ages.  So in case we've forgotten, here are some of the finer points of brown rice:

      • An excellent source of manganese, selenium and magnesium
      • Contains B1, B3, and B6
      • Loaded with fiber and a great source of protein, AND is low in fat
      • A WHOLE GRAIN, so it hasn't been stripped of it's "powers"

       

       It can also been eaten at every meal!.....yes, even breakfast.  I love to eat leftover brown rice the same way I would oatmeal - with a little almond milk, stevia, raisins, and chopped fruit. Much like this recipe. Add it to soups, salads and sauces, wraps, pitas, enchiladas, for great flavor and texture.  It even makes a great dessert like this one.

       

      So if it's been awhile since you've enjoyed this little gem (and an inexpensive one at that), it's time you enjoyed it's simpleness once again!  Below is a list that I found on saveur.com of some different types.  When purchasing these, or course make sure they are the whole grain (brown) variety not their nutrient-depleted counterpart (the white stuff)!

       

      (I learned a great tip today -  soaking rice for long periods of time before using it allows for germination to take place within the seed.  This process activates enzymes in the rice that add even more value to its nutritional profile.  I am definitely going to try it this week!)


      There are some fun ways to change the flavor of the rice.  Instead of water, you could cook the rice in vegetable broth, or a half and half.  Coconut milk also adds a great taste.  I've also thrown in some lime wedges with the rice as it cooks.  Experiment a little and have fun with it!

       

      1. Some Asian producers package a version called quick-cooking brown rice, from which part of the bran has been milled off, cutting cooking time considerably; quick-cooking brands are sold online and at many Asian markets.

       

      2. Widely available in supermarkets, long-grain brown rice, usually of the indica subspecies, requires more water and more time to cook but yields grains with a springy character that's nicely suited to casseroles and other baked dishes.

       

      3. Medium-grain brown rice, usually of the japonica subspecies, tends to be stickier and more tender when cooked than long-grain rice; it's the most common type grown in Spain and is ideal for paellas.

       

      4. Brown basmati rice, grown in South Asia, gets longer, not fatter, when cooked and develops a firm, dry consistency, making it perfect for biryanis and pilafs.

       

      5. Aromatic jasmine rice has the elegant look of long-grain varieties but cooks up moist and tender, like a medium-grain rice; it's available at most Asian markets.

       

      6. Nicknamed baby basmati, tiny kalijira rice grains could almost be mistaken for couscous; sold at Whole Foods markets, they're a fragrant, quick-cooking marvel.

       

      7. Nutty-sweet red rice, also available at Whole Foods, owes its color to a pigment in its bran layers; some types are sweet enough to use in puddings.

       

      8. Ideal for croquettes and risottos, short-grain brown rice, whose grains are barely longer than they are wide, can have an almost creamy texture when cooked.

       

      9. Expensive and hard to find in the States, Japan's haiga-mai is a partially milled rice from which the bran has been removed but not the nutrient-packed germ, or embryo.

       

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    • 7 Day Kickstart

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    •  9/1/2011 10:00:08 PM
    •  

      One of the most common questions we Whole Food Mommies get is, ".....so....um..what DO you eat then?"

       

      We smile and let our friend know that we mainly eat fruits, vegetables, legumes, and whole grains!  Simple enough right?

       

      Well, not always!  We each went through our own transitional period of changing from the Standard American diet to one that was much healthier and much more nutritious (or "nutrient-dense").  I very vividly remember years ago Veteran Mommy for a special birthday present.  I told her that all I wanted was a list of the things that she ate for one week.  She generously obliged, and it gave me a bird's eye view of what a week as a "nutritarian" looked liked.

       

      I teach Healthy Cooking classes (mainly for The Cancer Project) and I see that people genuinely want to change some of their eating habits, but they don't necessarily know how (....hence the birth of this website ;)  So for those people, and for any of you that are ready to take a plunge and tweak some of your eating habits,  I have put together this 7 Day Kickstart.  It's a simple 7 Day plan with easy meals that will keep you satisfied and feeling great! 

       

      Click on our "Essentials" tab to purchase.

       

      The Wellness Warrior herself, Kris Carr!

       

      We are getting ready to celebrate the 2 year anniversary of our fantastic website and we will be doing some fun giveaways in September.  One of the giveaways will include this 7 Day Kickstart!. Check back often for ways to win and make sure to "Like" us on Facebook!

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    • Mostly raw Broccoli soup

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    •  8/17/2011 9:44:50 PM
    •  

       

      I found this recipe on www.deliciousvitality.com.  (Check it out here)

      I was looking for a quick and super healthy meal, and I thought this would be perfect.  It is definitely a healthy soup, and it tastes it too (you might want to add a little 'something').   I added some Nut thins (crackers) to it and I loved it, although my kids weren't very anxious to taste it!

       

       

       

      Warming Broccoli Soup (It’s 99% raw and yummy!)

      Posted by Alexandra on December 15, 2009 at 9:56 am

      This soup  takes 10 minutes to make and offers great warming nutrition and healing support for the winter. Greens like broccoli, kale, collards and bok choy are great for clearing congestion, cleaning the blood and healing the gut, so ramp up your green intake for winter wellness!

      Ingredients:

      2 cups broccoli florets

      ½ avocado

      ¼ cup diced red onion

      1 stalk celery, chopped

      1 cup raw spinach

      1 inch peeled ginger root

      1/2 tsp sea salt

      1 clove garlic, minced

      pinch freshly ground black pepper

      ½-1 cup room temperature water

      • Steam the broccoli for 5 minutes.
      • Place the broccoli and remaining ingredients in a blender.
      • Blend and add enough water to make smooth. Enjoy!


       

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    • Party Pasta Salad (great for potlucks!)

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    •  8/10/2011 11:53:22 AM
    •  

       

      1 lb Whole wheat pasta

      1 cucumber, chopped

      1 cup broccoli florets

      1 red pepper, chopped

      1 6.5 oz jar artichoke hearts, liquid included (this helps to make the "dressing" for the salad)

      1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes, chopped

      1/2 bunch cilantro, chopped

      2 Tbs fresh basil, chopped

      1 clove of garlic, minced

      1 packet Italian dressing seasoning

      2 TBS olive oil

      2 TBS Balsamic Vinegar

      2 TBS white vinegar

       

       

      Prepare the pasta according to the package directions.  Once cooked, pour the olive oil over the pasta and allow it to cool (this prevents it from sticking).

      Once cool, add the rest of the ingredients and it's ready to go.  This will keep good in the fridge for a few days. You can add more olive oil and vinegar as desired.

      A little tip - if your sun-dried tomatoes come in oil, you can pour some of that over the pasta salad to add to the flavor.

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    • Green Smoothie - super easy...crazy delicious!

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    •  8/5/2011 10:13:57 AM
    •  

       

       

      This is the smoothie that I made on the News and the one I make at my Cancer Project classes.  If you are turned off by the green color...what's wrong with you?

      Just kidding...you can mask the green color by using mixed berries instead of the tropical fruits.  This makes it more of a purple color.

      1 banana

      2 cups frozen fruit (I used the "Festival Blend" from Costco consisting of mango, papaya, pineapple and strawberries)

      1 cup Almond Milk (for a sweeter taste you can use "Vanilla", otherwise just stick to "Original:)

      2 cups fresh spinach (add as much.....but not too "little"....as you'd like)

      Combine the ingredients in a high-powered blender, until it reaches the desired consistency...and enjoy!

       

       

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    • Easy Bean Dip

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    •  8/4/2011 5:29:10 PM
    •  

      Super Easy Bean Dip

      1 can black beans, rinsed and drained

      1 cup salsa of your choice

      Combine the beans and the salsa in a food processor and pulse until it is the consistency you like

      How easy is that!  Serve with chips, pita wedges, veggies etc.

      Nutritious and Delicious!

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