Tag Archives: food

Chocolate sesame date balls (vegan and gluten-free)

Chocolate sesame date balls

There are many recipes for chocolate balls. Some of the recipes are not nutritious at all (full of sugar and other health-saddening ingredients) and some are very nutritious (sweetened with fruit and full of nutritious ingredients).

This recipe is nutritious (of course) and yummy! The chocolate flavor comes from cocoa powder (or cacao powder) with a bit of carob powder to up the nutritional value. If you like the flavor of carob, increase the ratio of carob powder to cocoa powder. If you prefer a more chocolaty flavor, add less (or no) carob powder.

Sesame seeds up the nutritional value and add a bit of crunch. If you prefer a smoother texture, leave them out.

If you like coconut, coat the balls in coconut. If you love coconut!, add some to the mixture.

This dessert satisfies the sweet tooth and nourishes the body at the same time. Yumtritious!

Makes 20-24 balls,
depending on size and how much dough you snitch while making them 🙂

Ingredients

1 cup medjool dates, pits removed and cut in halves or quarters

1/4 cup  tahini paste (from whole sesame seeds is best)

1/4 cup cocoa powder or combination of cocoa powder and carob powder

Pinch of ground nutmeg

1 Tbsp sesame seeds (optional)

Unsweetened shredded coconut for coating the balls (optional)

Steps

  1. Place all the ingredients in a food processor, and process until they are all combined.
  2. Roll the dough into balls.
    Chocolate sesame date balls 2
  3. (Optional) Roll the balls in the shredded coconut.
    Chocolate sesame date balls with coconut

Notes

  • I doubled the recipe, so the pictures show more balls than you will get without doubling it.
  • The dates should be soft when you place them in the food processor. If you keep the dates in the refrigerator, let them come to room temperature before using them.

Beet-rich quinoa (vegan)

 

Quinoa and beets

Tasty, nutritious side dishes add color and variety to a meal. The combination of quinoa and beets in this yumtritious recipe nourishes the body and entertains the senses.

Makes 8-ish cups

Ingredients

3 Tbsp cold-pressed sunflower oil (or other mild tasting oil)

2 cups white quinoa, rinsed

2 medium size beets, peeled and chopped small

1/2 tsp dried oregano

1/4  tsp ginger powder

1 Tbsp fresh ginger, chopped small

4 cups water

1 tsp coarse salt

1/2 cup slivered almonds, toasted

1 cup fresh parsley, chopped

Steps

  1. In a medium-large pot, heat the oil then add the quinoa and chopped beets. Cook, stirring at regular intervals until the beets are blended in with the quinoa so that the quinoa is a uniform shade of pink (8-10 minutes).
  2. Add the oregano and stir for 1 minute.
  3. Add the ginger powder and stir for 1 minute.
  4. Add the chopped, fresh ginger and stir for 1 minute.
  5. Add the water. As soon as the water boils, lower the heat and cover. Cook for 28-30 minutes. The water should be complete absorbed and the quinoa should be somewhat stuck to the bottom of the pot, without burning. Remove the pot from the heat.
  6. Stir in the salt and toasted slivered almonds.
  7. Wait 5 minutes and then stir in the chopped parsley.

Variations

When I originally made the recipe, I used 1/3 cup slivered almonds. The addition of the crunch to the dish is nice so I upped the amount to 1/2. If you prefer less almonds, reduce the amount to 1/3.

If you like fresh cilantro, use 1/2 cup parsley and 1/2 cup cilantro.

Beet-rich quinoa

Peanut-Peanut Butter Sauce (vegan)

Peanut butter sauce

This sauce is smooth and crunchy. The smoothness comes from the peanut butter dressing. The crunchiness comes from the peanuts and fresh vegetables that combine with the dressing to complete the sauce.

Makes about 5 cups sauce, enough to coat 1 pound/500 gr pasta

Ingredients

Peanut butter dressing

1 cup natural, unsalted, unsweetened peanut butter

1 1/2 cups water

1 Tbsp fresh ginger root, chopped coarsely

1 tsp lecithin granules

1 tsp flax seeds, ground

2 Tbsp lemon juice

3/4 tsp coarse salt

2 garlic cloves

1/2 tsp cayenne pepper or other spicy ground pepper

1 Tbsp Tamari sauce

————

Peanut-veggie mix

1/3 cup peanuts, roasted

3 Tbsp sesame seeds, roasted

3/4 cup green cabbage, shredded

1/2 cup carrots, sliced thinly

1/2 cup green onions, chopped

1 Tbsp sesame oil

Steps

  1. Put all the peanut butter dressing ingredients in a a food processor or blender and process until very smooth.
    Peanut butter dressing
  2. Put all the peanut-veggie mix ingredients into a large bowl and mix well.
    Peanut sauce
  3. Pour the dressing onto the peanut mix and stir well to coat.
    Peanut sauce 2
  4. Serve on your favorite nutritious noodles.
    Peanut butter sauce

Notes

  • Tofu chunks sauted in olive oil and tamari sauce would be a nice addition.
  • The sauce is unheated so it’s especially nice to eat during the warmer months.

 

Cucumber-Yogurt Salad

Cucumber-yogurt salad

This salad is somewhat like Tzatziki dip. The additions of pumpkin seeds and green onions up the salad’s nutritional value.

Makes 3 cups

Ingredients

(Change the amounts according to your taste. For example, I like onions, so I used 3 green onions.)

6-7 small cucumbers, chopped (2 1/2 cups)

2 garlic cloves, minced (1/2 Tbsp)

2-3 green onions, chopped

3/4 tsp coarse salt

6 spearmint leaves, minced (1/2 Tbsp)

1/2 Tbsp lemon juice (not from a plastic lemon or bottled lemon juice)

1/2 cup (150 gm) plain yogurt, at least 3% fat

1 Tbsp olive oil

2 Tbsp pumpkin seeds

3 Tbsp green olives, chopped (optional)

Steps

  1. Mix all the ingredients in a bowl.
  2. Let the salad sit for at least 1/2 hour so that the salt dissolves and the flavors mix.

 

Notes

  • Low-fat yogurt is not satisfying to the body so don’t use it.
  • Try not to use the large cucumbers. They aren’t as nutritious as the smaller ones.
  • If you use the green olives, you can lower the amount of salt.
  • If you like the crunchiness of the pumpkin seeds, add more.

Peach Crumble Tweaked (vegan, raw, and gluten-free)

Peach crumble 3

This version of peach crumble is tweaked with the addition of zucchini and carob powder.  With a food processor, it is a snap to make.

Fills a pie plate

Ingredients

6-7 medium size peaches

3/4 cup almonds

3/4 cup walnuts

1/2 cup sunflower seeds

1/2 tsp cinnamon

1/8 tsp cloves

2 Tbsp carob powder

1 medium zucchini, peeled and chopped

1/2 cup raisins

1/4 cup figs, chopped

3 Tbsp honey or maple syrup

Steps

  1. Chop the peaches, and place them in the pie plate. Set aside.
    Peach crumble 1
  2. Put the almonds and walnuts into the food processor and process on high speed until the nuts are finely chopped.
  3. Add the sunflower seeds, cinnamon, cloves, and carob powder and process until the sunflower seeds are finely chopped.
  4. Add the zucchini and process until the zucchini is mixed in.
  5. Add the raisins and chopped figs and process until they are well chopped.
  6. Spoon the crumble mixture on top of the peaches.
    Peach crumble 2
  7. Drizzle the honey or maple syrup on top of the crumble mixture.
    Peach crumble 3
  8. Let the peach crumble sit for at least 1/2 hour before eating. Letting it sit longer will soften the peaches and make the crumble tastier.

Notes

  • If the zucchini is pesticide free, you don’t have to peel it; however, when it is unpeeled there are specks of green in the crumble. The green bits don’t affect the taste, but do make the crumble look unusual. (Notice the green bits in my pictures.)
  • A friend suggested cooking it for 15 minutes to make the flavors blend more quickly. I didn’t try cooking it so I can’t say whether cooking it is an improvement. I did find that the crumble was yummier the next day.

Pasta with Creamy Crunchy Pesto and Tofu (vegan)

 

Creamy Crunchy Pesto

Tofu for pesto

 

 

 

 

 

 

This recipe explains the assembly of the dish, with exact instructions only for the pesto here:

 https://yumtritiouseating.com/2015/05/25/creamy-crunchy-pesto/

The tofu is cut into small chunks and sauted in olive oil until starting to brown and then tamari sauce is added, continuing the sauteing until the tofu is nicely browned.

The pasta should be whole wheat or other whole grain so that it adds nutritional value to the meal.

Assembly

  1. Put a serving of pasta into a bowl or onto a plate.
  2. Top with enough pesto to make your taste buds happy.
  3. Add the tofu chunks, then mix.

I don’t have a picture of the finished product, because I ate it too quickly. 🙂   Enjoy!

Zucchini-Horseradish Mishmash

Zucchini and Horseradish Mishmash

Fried zucchini is often dipped in a horseradish sauce, but that combination is not so nutritious. In the recipe presented here, they are paired to create a nutritious and tasty side dish. The horseradish is not a typical ingredient in a zucchini dish, hence the name “mishmash”.

Ingredients

2 Tbsp olive oil

1 medium onion, chopped

2 Tbsp horseradish root, peeled and chopped small

2 large zucchini, chopped (6 cups). Peel if you suspect chemical residues.

3/4 tsp coarse salt

1/2 tsp caraway seeds

Steps

  1. In a medium sized skillet or pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat.  Saute the chopped onion until softening.
  2. Add the chopped horseradish and saute until the onions are browning.
    Onions and horseradish
  3. Mix in the zucchini two cups at a time. Then add the salt and caraway seeds.
    Zucchini and Horseradish Mishmash 2
  4. Cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally to evenly brown.
  5. When the zucchini is the right texture for you, remove from heat. (I like the zucchini soft, but not mushy.)

Zucchini and Horseradish Mishmash 3

Creamy Crunchy Pesto (dairy-free)

Creamy Crunchy Pesto

This version of pesto is creamy from the addition of lecithin and water. It is crunchy from the toasted slivered almonds and sesame seeds. This pesto recipe is easy to make and is yumtritious!

Makes 1 3/4 cups pesto

Ingredients

1/3 cup slivered almonds

3 Tbsp whole sesame seeds

————

3 Tbsp lemon juice (not from a plastic lemon or bottled lemon juice)

3/4 tsp coarse salt

1 tsp lecithin granules

3 medium cloves garlic, coarsely chopped

6 cups basil leaves, washed

3 Tbsp water

1/3 cup olive oil

Steps

  1. In a small pan, dry toast the slivered almonds, stirring regularly, until they are beginning to color and then add the sesame seeds. Toast and stir about a minute more until the sesame seeds start to pop. Remove from heat.
  2. The order of the ingredients is important. Into a food processor, add all the ingredients–except the toasted almonds and sesame seeds–in the order in which they are presented in the list. By adding them in this order, the pesto will process easily.
  3. Process the pesto on high speed until the pesto looks creamy. You will probably need to stop midway to push down the pesto on the sides of the food processor, using a spatula.
  4. When the pesto looks creamy, lower the speed to the lowest setting and add the toasted slivered almonds and sesame seeds. Process for a few seconds just to mix them in.

The pesto is ready to use or store in the refrigerator.

Lentils and Rice Plus

Lentils and Rice plus

Lentils and rice are a well known yummy and nutritious combination. There are hundreds of recipes for lentils and rice. I’m adding this recipe because it ups the nutritional value of the dish and is yummy.

Ingredients

3 Tbsp olive oil

1 onion, chopped

3-5 cloves garlic, chopped

1 1/2 cups green or brown lentils

1 tsp ground cumin

4 cups water

—–

1 cup brown rice

½ Tbsp salt

3 Tbsp tahini paste (from whole sesame seeds is best)

4 chard leaves–stalks cut away from the leaves. Stalks diced. Leaves coarsely chopped (Keep the stalks and leaves separate)

1/4 cup chopped nuts (I used slivered almonds)

Pepper to taste. I used 1/4 tsp white pepper

Steps

  1. Wash the lentils, rice, and chard (separately 🙂 ). You can soak the lentils and rice if you’d like. For chard washing instructions, look at the Food Prep Tips page. Drain them well before using.
  2. In a large pot, heat the olive oil and then saute the chopped onion until translucent and starting to brown.
  3. Stir in the garlic, and then stir in the cumin.
  4. Stir in the lentils, and then add the 4 cups water.
  5. Bring to a boil, lower the heat and cover. Cook for 15 minutes.
  6. Add the rice, salt, pepper, tahini paste, and chard stalks (not the leaves), then stir well to mix. Bring back to a boil, lower the heat and cover the pot.
  7. Cook for 20 minutes.
  8. Uncover the pot. (If the water seems too low, add up to 1/2 cup more.) Pour on the nuts and the chopped chard leaves. Don’t mix. Cover the pot and cook for 10 more minutes.
  9. Remove from heat and mix well.
Servings: 6-8

Lentils and Rice plus2

The health benefits of food from scratch

Green beans

(Republished from the Energy Guidance Complete blog:
http://energy-guidance-complete.com/2014/10/30/the-health-benefits-of-food-from-scratch/ )

This post is not about the vitamins and minerals in unprocessed foods. It is about the health benefits that occur when the food is prepared. We’ll use the snapping of green beans as our example.

Green beans can be purchased in cans and in bags, ready for cooking, or even already cooked. They do provide nutritional value, but the benefits of preparing them from scratch are lost.

Here’s what happens when a person sorts and snaps fresh green beans:

  1. The muscles in the hands and arms are exercised.
  2. The muscles of the hands and eyes are coordinated (as in an exercise for fine motor skills).
  3. The muscles in the neck are lengthened.
  4. The muscles in the abdomen are tightened, especially if the work is performed while standing.
  5. The muscles supporting the spine are exercised.
  6. The muscles in the shoulder blade area and chest are coordinated.
  7. The muscles that are used during breathing are relaxed because the action of snapping beans (if the person is not rushed) causes a slowing of the breathing.
  8. The muscles of the oblique groups of abdominal muscles and the re-absorption of water in the kidneys synchronize to optimize urine production.
  9. Muscles of the upper and lower torso move syncopatedly, which strengthens and stretches them.
  10. Muscles in the face rejuvenate when movements are focused on the work. (Talking on a phone while preparing the food cancels this benefit. Singing while preparing the food does not cancel this benefit.).
  11. Many other muscles and body parts are strengthened and stretched as well.

The list above presents physical benefits from sorting and snapping fresh green beans. Here are benefits to the other components of health:

  1. Emotional balancing occurs when the work is done with a generous intention.
  2. Spiritual balancing occurs through connection with whole foods.
  3. If the work is done with another family member, opportunities can arise for heartfelt conversations.
  4. The food that will be eaten is personalized; in other words, its role as nutrition provider is elevated.
  5. The color, texture, and shapes of the green beans at the various stages of preparation affect the senses in favorable ways.

The more a person is involved in creating the meal he or she eats, the more uplifting and balancing the experience of eating.

(This post is dedicated to my friends and family who hadn’t realized the benefits that come from taking the time to prepare meals from scratch. ♥)