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Green Beany Salad

26 Sep

Green Beany Salad

This salad is so easy to make, it’s all raw and packed with flavor! Great for potlucks!

a big handful of green beans

a big handful of yellow string beans

3-4 ripe red tomatoes

2-3 ripe yellow tomatoes

1 small red onion

1-3 cloves of mince garlic

1/2 bunch of fresh cilantro finely chopped

juice from 2 lemons

a spoon of fresh grated ginger

salt and pepper to taste

Wash the beans, tomatoes and cilantro. Remove the ends of the beans and chop then into 1/4 inch pieces. Diced the tomatoes. Dice the red onion finely. Mix all ingredients in a large salad bowl. Add the ginger, garlic, salt and pepper. Mix throughly. Add the lemon juice and cilantro and toss until well mixed.

Tip: add a splash of lime for a zestier tasting salad!

Enjoy!

~jasmine

photo by savorytart on flickr.com

Viva Kale

21 Sep

Viva Kale

This is so great as a vitamin packed side dish. Easy to make, full of color and healthy too. The secret combo of purple, red and yellow colors will make your mouth water!

1 head of purple kale, stems removed and loosely chopped

juice from 1 lemon

dash of maple syrup

2-3 diced roma tomatoes

15-20 yellow/orange grape tomatoes halved

a handful of raw (or roasted) pumpkin seeds

a splash of olive oil

salt and pepper to taste

In a pan, heat oil on medium heat and add the juice from the lemon, maple syrup and the spices. Add roma tomatoes and cook for one min. Add kale, remove from heat, cover for a minute to allow kale to wilt. Then add yellow tomatoes and stir until well mixed. Serve on a plate and garnish with the pumpkin seeds.

Viola! Yum…..

photo by: anthro_aya on flickr.com

Healing Kombucha Tea

21 Sep

Healing Kombucha Tea

I really LOVE Kombucha Tea! The first time I saw the Kombucha, I thought that it looked like this weird slimy alien-like fermented growth and didn’t want to drink the tea made from it. Well, when I did try the tea, I fell in love with it. It was slightly fizzy, sweet and tangy and oh-so-good for you. Kombucha tea is a healing tea with many medicinal properties. It can aid with digestion, restore an alkaline balance in the body, aid in Vitamins (especially B Vitamins), can boost energy levels and support the body as a nutritious drink.  You can’t buy the Kombucha culture in a store. You can get a starter Kombucha from someone you know or there are online resources that will ship one out to you. Once you get one, follow this recipe for your perfect batch of healthy goodness!

You will need:

a big wide mouth glass jar for fermenting the Kombucha (1.5 to 2 litre capacity)

a 2 litre pyrex measuring cup for brewing tea

a wooden spoon

3 tea bags of English Breakfast tea (preferrably organic)

2 tea bags or organic fruit tea (peach flavored)

1 cup of sugar (for 2 litres of water)

paper towel and rubber bands

1-2 jars with lids for storing the Kombucha once it’s ready

**IMPORTANT: always use VERY CLEAN utensils and clean hands while preparing the Kombucha and NEVER let the kombucha touch metal of any kind including rings and bracelets. Metal will kill the Kombucha!**

Boil 2 litres of water and pour into the pyrex measuring cup. Add the sugar and stir with a wooden spoon until dissolved. Add all of the tea bags and steep for 8 min. Let the tea cool down completely until room temperature. This can take anywhere from 3-4 hours. Please be patient, it’s worth it. Then in your large capacity fermenting jar, pour some of the tea that came with your Kombucha culture into the jar (filling about 1/4 of the jar). Then pour in the cooled tea that you brewed into the jar. With your hands, take the Kombucha and gently float it on top of the tea mixture in the jar. It’s ok if it sinks to the bottom. Then cover the jar with a piece of paper towel and put a rubber band around it to hold it in place. This will keep out dust, pets and insects. Then place the jar in a location where it won’t be disturbed and allow to ferment for 7-10 days. A new Kombucha culture will form on the top of the liquid. Then it’s ready for harvest. Repeat the entire process above to make a new batch. Make the new batch with the newly formed Kombucha. With the “old” kombucha, you may give it away to a friend. With the left over newly fermented Kombucha tea, use some to start the new batch and the rest pour into a glass jar, place  a lid on it and put it into the fridge. It will keep for a couple of weeks.

If you see mould growth on the Kombucha, get rid of it and get a brand new Kombucha culture!

Enjoy! Bottoms up!

photo by: Zero-X on flickr.com

Veggie Lasagna

25 Jan

Veggie Lasagna

I LOVE this recipe! It’s like what Mama used to make. It also makes great leftovers for lunch the next day.

1 box (pound) whole wheat lasagna noodles, cooked
1 package extra firm tofu, drained and crumbled
2-3 cloves of minced garlic
1 large onion diced
2 bunches spinach, washed, dried and chopped
1 bunch parsley leaves chopped
1 bunch of fresh basil leaves chopped
5-7 springs of fresh oregano, leaves removed
1 jar of pasta sauce
6 ripe roma tomatoes diced
grated mozzarella cheese (for topping)
2-4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Salt and Pepper to taste

In a large pan over medium heat, add olive oil, onions and garlic and cook until soft. Add spinach,  herbs and spices and cook until the spinach is wilted. Remove from heat. Add tofu and stir well, then let cool.

In a 8 x 12 inch glass baking dish add a very thin layer of tomato sauce and working in layers add pasta,diced tomatoes, spinach mixture, and pasta sauce. Sprinkle grated cheese and a light drizzle of olive oil over the top of the lasagna. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 min or until cheese gets a little bit crispy. Remove from oven and let cool for 10-15 minutes before serving.

Tip: I love this served with a healthy salad and a thick slice of garlic toast! Yum!

Happy Eating!

~jasmine~

photo by: anna-rchy on flickr.com

Cancer Fighting Foods

7 Jan

Cancer Fighting Foods

Here is a list of foods that help to conquer cancer cells in the body. These foods create an internal environment in the body making it hard for cancer to manifest. It’s not at all hard to increase these foods in your diet. I make sure that I get enough of these on a daily basis.

Avocados: good source of beta carotene and high in anti oxidants that neutralize free radicals in the body which are cancer causing agents.

Broccoli, cabbage, and cauliflower: can aid in protecting the body from breast, colon and rectal cancers. Broccoli sprouts are even more beneficial than the broccoli itself.

Carrots: have alot of beta carotene, that can help reduce cancers including lung, mouth, throat, stomach, intestine, bladder, prostate and breast. Better if eaten raw.

Chili peppers and jalapenos: contains capsaicin, that may help prevent stomach cancer.

Cruciferous vegetables – broccoli, cauliflower, kale, Brussels sprouts, and cabbage contain two antioxidants, lutein and zeaxanthin that may help fight prostate cancer.

Flax: contains omega-3 fatty acids, which may protect against colon cancer and heart disease. Ground flax seeds add more fibre to the diet which helps to lessen the time toxins are in the intestines and aids is better bowel movements.

Garlic: boosts the immune system which can help to fight cancer cells. Garlic can help to reduce stomach and colon cancers.Garlic can help block carcinogens from entering cells to slow tumor development. Garlic may help prevent stomach cancer because is acts as a neutralizer for the bacteria H. pylori, which is found in the stomach and can lead to cancer.

Grapefruits: contains vitamin C, beta-carotene, and folic acid. High in antioxidants to fight damaged cells in the body.

Grapes, red contain bioflavonoids, resveratrol and powerful antioxidants that work for cancer prevention.

Green and yellow leafy vegetables has been associated with lower levels of stomach cancer.

Kale: may help to suppress tumors and block damaging substances from reaching healthy cells.

Licorice root: contains glycyrrhizin, that may help prevent the growth of prostate cancer.

Mushrooms – Shiitake, maitake, reishi all help to strengthen the immune system.

Nuts: have quercetin and campferol that reduce cancers. Brazil nuts may protect in cases of prostate cancer.

Oranges and lemons: create healthy cancer-killing immune cells.

Papayas: have huge amounts of vitamin C that keeps the immune system healthy and acts as a power antioxidant.

Raspberries: contain many vitamins, minerals, plant compounds and antioxidants that may help protect against esophagus and colon cancers.

Red wine: is high in antioxidants, that neutralizes damaging free radicals. Should be consumed in moderation because of the alcohol content.

Rosemary: as a tea or a seasoning helps to detoxify the body. To make a tea: Use 1 tsp. dried leaves per cup of hot water; steep for 15 minutes.

Seaweed and other sea vegetables contain beta-carotene, protein, vitamin B12, fiber, and chlorophyll, that guards against breast cancer. Seaweeds also contain potassium, calcium, magnesium, iron, and iodine.

Sweet potatoes: contain lots of beta-carotene, which may protect DNA from cancer-causing agents outside the nuclear membrane.

Teas: Green Tea and Black tea: contain certain antioxidants known as polyphenols (catechins) which stop cancer cells from dividing.

Tomatoes contain lycopene, an antioxidant that attacks free radicals, that cause cancer. They also have vitamin C, which can prevent cellular damage that leads to cancer.

Tumeric: inhibits production of the inflammation-related enzyme cyclo-oxygenase 2 (COX-2), levels of which are abnormally high in bowel and colon cancer.

Happy Eating!

~jasmine~

photo by afloden on flickr.com

Exotic Yams

4 Jan

Exotic Yams

One of my favorite dishes! I like to eat this one as a main meal served with salad. It also makes a great side dish or appetizer. I used all organic ingredients.

3-4 large garnet yams peeled and cubed

1 onion diced

1-2 cloves of garlic minced

1 large red pepper chopped

a handful or so of raisins

a spoon of garam masala spice

1/2 spoon or so of cumin seeds

salt and pepper to taste

a spoon of ghee (or butter) – substitute olive oil for a vegan version

In a large fry pan, add ghee and spices. Cook on medium heat for one minute to bring out the flavor. Then add onions and garlic. Fry for 2 min stirring constantly. Then add about 1/2 cup or so of water to the pan. Add in raisins, yams and red peppers. Bring to a boil then immediately reduce to a simmer. Cook covered for about 20 min, stirring occasionally. If the water is becoming dry, the add a little more as you cook. When the yams are soft, it’s ready!

Tip: I like to sprinkle cinnamon on top. It adds a deeper exotic dimension!

Yum Yum!

~jasmine~

photo by sweetbeetandgreenbean on flickr.com

Sangria

4 Jan

Sangria

Here’s a great sangria recipe that is so easy to make. The trick here is to let it sit overnight to really bring out the flavor.

1 apple thinly sliced

4-5 strawberries sliced

one orange thinly sliced

one lemon thinly sliced

one lime thinly sliced

a handful of blueberries

1/2 cup of evaporated cane juice sugar

1 bottle of red wine (Cabernet Sauvignon)

1 can of spritzer soda (I like to use an orange or mango flavor)

In a large bowl, empty the wine and dissolve cane sugar. Add all the fruit and mix well. Cover the bowl and put in the fridge overnight. To serve: fill a wine glass with the spritzer about 1/4 full, the fill the rest of the glass with the sangria. Serve chilled.

Tip: I like to add mango and pineapple for a more tropical version.

Enjoy!

~jasmine~

photo by divya on flickr.com


Selecting Healthy Cooking Oils

4 Jan

Selecting Healthy Cooking Oils

Did you know that not all cooking oils are healthy? Did you know that to extract the oil from the seed, some manufacturers soak the seeds in hexane which is a petroleum product. Hexane allows 100% of the oil to be extracted from the seed. Yes, this happens. Hexane is not listed in the ingredients on the label because according to the FDA, it evaporates during processing. I think that this is totally gross! How carcinogenic can that be? For myself, I don’t want to take any chances with that. I don’t think alot of people know about this either. So, how would you get around this? I tend to buy oils that are expeller pressed. This process crushes the seed to extract the oil. Only about 50-70% or so of the oil is extracted which makes these oils more expensive to buy. In my opinion, it’s worth it.  Hexane is also very polluting to the environment. So by choosing expeller pressed oils you are also being kind on the environment.

Choose to be informed!

~jasmine~

photo by marysia on flickr.com

Magnificent Mango Salad

4 Jan

Magnificent Mango Salad

This salad is so great to make anytime of year. Even better in the winter to create a bit of summer in the dark cold days. I love the color this salad creates!

2-3 ripe avocados peeled, pitted and diced

1-2 ripe mangoes peeled and diced

1 red pepper seeded and diced

3 sprigs of green onion finely chopped

1 head of red leaf lettuce washed and torn into bite size pieces

1 spoon of toasted sesame seeds

dressing:

2 spoons of freshly squeezed lime juice

2-3 spoons of extra virgin olive oil

1-2 spoons of maple syrup

a dash or two of tamari sauce

a pinch or two of ground cumin

salt and pepper to taste

In a large salad bowl, mix all the salad ingredients except the dressing. In a small bowl, mix together all the dressing ingredients. Add the dressing to the salad and toss until everything is well coated. Serve in bowls and then sprinkle the sesame seeds on top before serving.

Tip: sometimes I like to add diced red onion to jazz it up a bit

Enjoy!

~jasmine~

photo by visualdensity on flickr.com

Tangy Pasta Salad

3 Jan

Tangy Pasta Salad

This is the best salad to make if you have pasta on hand and to use whatever veggies you have in the fridge. I make this one alot to take to work for lunch. The thing that makes this salad is the cilantro and fresh lime juice. These are must have items. All organic ingredients used here.

a package of tri color fusilli pasta (bowtie or penne pasta is great too)

1/2 red onion diced

4-6 roma tomatoes diced

1/2 a head of spinach chopped

2-3 cloves of garlic minced

1/2 a red pepper chopped

1/2 a green pepper chopped

1/2 a yellow pepper chopped

1/4-1/2 a cucumber chopped

1/2 a bunch or so of cilantro minced

juice from 2 limes freshly squeezed

2-3 spoons of extra virgin olive oil

2-3 spoons of apple cider vinegar

salt and pepper to taste

Cook pasta as directions indicate on the package. Drain pasta and rinse in cold water until pasta is cold. In a large salad bowl, combine all the chopped veggies and mix well. To make the dressing, combine salt with the vinegar and stir until dissolved. Add lime juice and pepper and mix well. Add the olive oil and then mix well. Add to the bowl of veggies and mix well. Then add cooked pasta and toss until the pasta is well coated with the dressing. I like to add a little bit of fresh ground pepper on top of the salad and to squeeze a bit more lime juice too.

Tip: I like to make this salad with more veggies and less noodles. It looks more colorful and fresh that way.

Happy eating!

~jasmine~

photo by michael.paul on flickr.com