Vegan Quinoa Breakfast Bars

Vegan Quinoa Breakfast BarsBy request, this is a vegan version of the Quinoa Breakfast Bars. These gluten-free, protein-packed and only slightly sweetened bars are a healthy, grab-and-go breakfast or snack item. This recipe is not only easy, but endlessly customizable. Dried, fresh or frozen fruit, coconut, seeds, nuts can all be added to the mix! You can’t go too wrong. These bars can be made ahead and last for days refrigerated. Yield: 24 bars

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Raw Cacao Spice Date Bars

Raw Cacao Spice BarDates didn’t interest me in the least, until Costco. No frugal foodie can resist two pounds of discounted organic fruits. This quick and easy raw date bar recipe gives me even more reasons to love dates. I have made this recipe with various types of dates and prefer the Medjool variety, and not just because Costco carries them. Medjool dates are larger (Left below) and seem a little sweeter, more flavorful and softer than other varieties, such as Deglet Noor (Right below). Full of fiber and dairy, gluten and sugar-free, these bars are a favorite pre or post-workout treat, especially with a glass of chilled almond milk. Yield: 16 bars.

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Braised Red Cabbage with Apple

Salmon and Ginger Braised Cabbage with AppleIf I lost you at ‘Braised’… hold on. For years, I equated the term ‘braise’ with ‘boring’. I assumed it was the official cooking technique for tough meats and items otherwise inedible by any other method. Items no one cared to eat in the first place. Skirt steak anyone?

Braising connotes a Fall-Winter tone. Yet, it is almost April and the mercury is still hovering in the 30s. So, while we are ready for asparagus and artichokes, there is still time to celebrate cabbage, especially for those of us stuck in the Polar Vortex. Continue reading “Braised Red Cabbage with Apple” »

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Red Cabbage. “This Vegetable Has Everything!”

Stefon SNL

Stefon, SNL’s city correspondent, is gone. However, the memory of him describing New York’s hottest new clubs lives on. (Photo credits: NBC.com) But, what if Stefon wasn’t really gone? What if he simply changed jobs, packed up from 30 Rockefeller and sashayed down the street to the Food Network? I love the thought of him reviewing a vegetable, perhaps red cabbage. I can almost hear his demure, raspy voice.  Continue reading “Red Cabbage. “This Vegetable Has Everything!”” »

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Raw Coconut Yogurt

Raw Coconut YogurtCoconut yogurt. It has an exotic scent, a tart, yet slightly sweet taste and the texture of a creamy custard. And, it actually improves digestive and immune health. All this and both dairy and soy-free? The concept seems almost too good to be true. But, shopping for coconut yogurt can be challenging, if not frustrating. Most grocery stores carry limited, and seemingly over-priced options.  Continue reading “Raw Coconut Yogurt” »

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Bad Dates? …Good Dates!

Coconut Cashew Bars

DSC_6776While enjoying any Lara Bar, it’s hard not to think, ‘Tasty, spendy and they CAN’T be that hard to make!’ Well, you are right; their beauty is their simplicity. And, who knew Lara was Paleo?!

This is actually a 5-minute preparation recipe with a food processor. The recipe works just as well in a high-speed blender. But, you may want to coarsely chop the dates and the mix will require longer processing and intermittent scraping of the jar. I have made this recipe with various types of dates and prefer the Medjool variety. Medjool dates are larger and seem to be a little sweeter, more flavorful and softer than other varieties.

Full of fiber and dairy, gluten and sugar-free, these are my favorite pre or post-workout treat. They are also excellent with a glass of chilled almond milk and an ABC Afterschool Special.  Yield: 12 bars Continue reading “Coconut Cashew Bars” »

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Coconut-Almond Tapioca Pudding

Coconut-Almond Tapioca PuddingI have never quite replicated my mother’s perfectly airy, yet creamy tapioca pudding. Like clockwork every year, my dad would request the chewy pearls for his birthday dessert. While I always tried to create a perfect ending to his special day, the result was tasty, albeit imperfect. I always whipped the egg whites just a tad too long. But, whoever made it, made it with love, and he knew it.

Anyone can master this vegan, sugar and dairy-free version of the traditional tapioca pudding recipe. I created this recipe while in need of a treat during a month-long cleanse. It has the richness and texture of the original recipe, but uses coconut milk and almond milk as the base and Stevia as the sweetener. If you prefer not to use Stevia, you can substitute it with 1/4 to 1/3rd cup of unrefined sugar. Using the ground tapioca pearls or tapioca starch is also optional. The same thickness can be achieved with longer cooking. Continue reading “Coconut-Almond Tapioca Pudding” »

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Refridge Madness

Washed Produce

Your refrigerator is full of produce, but you have nothing to eat. Your produce is still fastened in its zip-ties and wearing a thin layer of dirt, pesticides, herbicides and whatever else came its way via the dirt, air, truck or human hands. It is similar to having ‘a closet full of clothes and nothing to wear’ and equally frustrating. 
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Fire Cider. It really IS all that!

Fire CiderI first came across Shire City Herbal’s Fire Cider while visiting the Berkshires. Being an apple cider vinegar enthusiast, the manufacture’s description intrigued me. ’Fire Cider is whole foods medicine, vinegar perfected! It’s A Medicinal Tonic. It’s A Cocktail Mixer. It’s Both…and More!’ I was sold, until I saw the price. $12.99 for an 8 ounce bottle?! I’ll pass.

But, I kept seeing it on the shelves of independent health food stores and decided this tonic deserved a little research. According to the Huffington Post, “Fire Cider is one of those grandma-style cold and hangover remedies that is designed to be one part soothing, one part refreshing and one part BURNING-IT-OUT-OF-YOU.” The base of this product is raw, unpasteurized, living apple cider vinegar blended with raw wildflower honey and immune boosting, roots and fruits, such as oranges, lemons, onions, ginger, horseradish, garlic, turmeric and Habanero pepper. Not your garden variety vinegar.

Then next time I saw it, I bought a bottle and tried it on the spot. This is not for the faint of heart, but it is zesty, invigorating and tasty! Fourth of July in a bottle. Every day I looked forward to a tablespoon treat. I also started adding a splash to soups and vegetables.The bottle was gone in a week. Clearly hooked on this vibrant tonic, I started researching recipes to make it at home to feed my habit in a more economical way. I recently found one from a noted herbalist. Stay tuned!

Have you tried Fire Cider? If so, how do you use it?

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