There's something so comforting about a bowl of hot soup on a cold day. This is one of my favorites from a past Refresh. It's one of those recipes you find yourself going back. I hope you'll give it a try. If you are curious about what a Refresh is, I'll explain at the end. For now, I want to get the recipe to you. :)
This story involves the challenges in feeding kids. It also involves bean dip.
Let me be very up front. This story may mean much more to me than to you.
However, it could resonate with you if you are a parent, especially if you are a parent who tries to feed your child nutritious food. And if you are one of those parents, you know that it isn't as simple as providing nutritious food for them. That generally works quite well when they are younger - say 2 to 3 years old. Then something happens. I don't recall the exact age but my daughter, one day decided if a food was green then she shouldn't eat it. Just like that. She had been observing me eating "green" food often so her logic was, "You eat green food. I don't." I could tell a few stories around all of that....
Thankfully we have gotten past that stage - or so I thought. It came back yesterday. So here's the story about lunch....
Wow! I can't believe it has been a month since I last posted. Lots going on here that has kept me busy. I'll share more on that soon. ;)
I found this recipe on Pinterest and later modified it. I tried it as is but we found it too sweet. I'll include notes so you can make it either way - tastes for sweets can vary. One version involves agave and the other dates. I have really learned to appreciate using dates to sweeten all sorts of things. It's a whole food sweetener so you get the fiber and other nutrients which is awesome. If you are fan of Lara Bars then you are accustomed to consuming dates. You should be able to find them at your local grocery store without any issues. At my store, they are located in the produce area - on a separate kiosk with dried nuts, dried fruits, seeds, etc. Be sure to check to see if you are getting pitted or un-pitted. If you are new to using dates and/or want the quickest option - go for pitted.
I like these for a little taste of sweetness. With the nuts and oatmeal (you barely notice the oats) they are very satisfying. A well rounded little snack or treat I think. (No pun was intended (well-rounded) but I like it. ;) )
Here's the recipe:
The third flavor of my latest obsession (well - maybe obsession is a little strong ;) )
It all started with a new cookbook, "Let Them Eat Vegan" by Dreena Burton. It was a Mother's Day gift. I had perused it marking various pages. Well, when it came time to try the first recipe, I decided to start at the back - in the home made (non-dairy) ice cream section. Sort of like eating dessert first. ;)
A Strawberries & Cream (pg. 267) caught my eye. I experimented with non-dairy ice creams last summer. I made several that were ok but none that we LOVED. My daughter really wanted strawberry ice cream. This recipe looked like it might fit the bill. It's dairy free although high in fat for what I typically eat. Ice cream is a treat though, right? And these are all good fats from whole foods. Well, we made it and loved it. I was able to get great fresh organic strawberries at our local grocery store. Truly it is a fresh, fruity, creamy ice cream. But this is supposed to be about chocolate, right! I'm getting there.
My friend Shelly at Plantiful Wellness created this. You can whip it up in a jiffy then add it to all kinds of savory dishes. Easy Peasy. Tastes great! And it gets better!! This stuff is actually nutritious!! Nutritional yeast is a source of B vitamins, protein, amino acids and fiber. If you want to read more, here's a link to an article on Mind, Body Green, "5 Reasons Why I'm Obsessed with Nutritional Yeast". You can find nutritional yeast in health food stores in the bulk section or in a jar. Amazon also offers it - Red Star, which is a great brand.
The other key ingredient is walnuts, another nutritional powerhouse. I especially love them for the ever sought after Omega-3 fatty acids. Here's a link with loads of information on the benefits of Walnuts from World's Healthiest Foods, a great resource for nutritional information on food.
Here's the recipe:
Have you tried making ice cream using frozen bananas yet? As long as you keep a few frozen bananas in your freezer, you can have ice cream in a few minutes. Great for a sudden ice cream craving. ;)
You'll need a blender for this. A Vitamix is perfect but other blenders will do the job as well. Just break your banana into quarter size pieces or smaller before freezing. The smaller the pieces, the less work for your blender.
This is one of my favorites.
When the weather gets warmer, this is a drink we tend to crave. There's something about a carbonated beverage when it's really hot out that seems to quench your thirst.
I first learned how to make it when I was going through training to become a LEAN coach (a program by Dr. William Sears). It's simple - frozen juice concentrate and seltzer water, a.k.a. "fizzy water" in our house. Dr. Sears calls it "Celebration Soda". We call it "Pink Soda". The juice concentrate we started out using made a drink that was pink. We had to switch to a different concentrate so now our "Pink Soda" is technically red. Those aren't the details you really need though. ;)
Here's how I make it:
What's better than chocolate cookies (that are actually pretty nutritious)? Cookies you don't have to bake! Less time before you get to eat them. ;) This is a healthier version of a favorite cookie of mine growing up. I've learned that some people call them "Cow patties". They aren't the prettiest of cookies. I actually called them "the ugly cookies" for awhile.
For me these serve as a sweet treat, an in between meal snack and even breakfast. They have oatmeal which is definitely a healthy thing to eat. Oat fiber is awesome. Milk, maple syrup and peanut butter are all things I have associated with breakfast one way another. ;)
At any rate, they are yummy and easy to make. Recipe follows. It is courtesy of Karen Campbell, from Forks Over Knives: The Plant-Based Way to Health.*
This is another of my favorite meals. I've loved rice and beans for awhile. I think it began after a trip to Puerto Rico. Habichuelas rosadas con arroz (Pink beans with rice) was what got me hooked. There are tons of varieties of rice & bean dishes using different types of beans, seasonings, etc. Rice and beans combines the benefits of low cost (especially if you cook using dried beans), easy preparation and full flavor with lots of room for personalization.
I learned how to up the nutritional content of this dish from Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn's book, Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease. If you have any concern about heart disease, I highly recommend this book. Dr. Esselstyn's son also has written a book, Engine 2, also great. Both books include recipes. Engine 2 has a website and they include their version of the recipe there. Click "read more" below to see what I do.
rice noodles, steamed broccoli, grated carrots
Here's another favorite recipe from Happy Herbivore - Cheater Pad Thai sauce. I love Thai food. I like this recipe because it's quick, easy and tasty.
Here's the recipe along with my comments (as usual) in blue. :) When I first started using this recipe, it was posted by Happy Herbivore as Cheater Pad Thai - the rice noodle dish. Now it's just the sauce and lists various uses. I think that is excellent. When I first made it, I thought the sauce had other potential. You'll see instructions for a rice noodle dish using the sauce (how I typically make it) along with comments for other uses. Keep reading for the recipe. Be forewarned though. It can be addicting. It was for me when I first made it. ;)
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The Parsley Princess
I'm a Mom with a passion for wellness - learning, exploring, sharing and encouraging others. And yes, my daughter helped me come up with the name. I would never seriously call myself a princess. lol