Tag Archives: gluten free

Tempeh and “Chicken” Salad

 

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Hi everyone! Today I’ve got a super healthy recipe using tempeh and an article on why we should include it in our intake of soy foods. I don’t eat soy foods everyday but when I do, I stick with tempeh and miso. In case your not sure what tempeh is, basically its fermented soy beans and a much powerful way of eating soy. In my view on soy, tofu may be popular but overrated. Tempeh on the other hand provides so much more and here is why…

More Protein: Tempeh is an excellent source of plant based protein with all of the essential amino acids and almost double the protein than contained in tofu. Tofu has about 12 grams per 4 ounces, tempeh has about 22 grams for the same serving!

Its Whole: If your going to be on a plant based whole foods diet, one of the most important things to remember is to choose foods that are unprocessed and unrefined, or processed as little as possible. Tempeh is a whole food by nature. The vast majority of soy consumed in the U.S. come from highly processed methods. Some of the most processed foods today include vegan foods! Manufacturing soy includes dehulling, crushing, high pressure heating which can destroy all the enzymes, and subjecting soy beans to solvents such as hexane to separate the oils. What’s left after the oil extraction is called defatted soy flour which is used to make soy protein isolates, soy protein concentrates, TSP (texturized soy protein), and animal feed. These soy protein isolates and concentrates are what’s used to make a lot of packaged foods, including vegan foods.

Less Processing: Have you seen how tofu is actually made? If anything, tofu is a denatured machine based food. Tofu is formed (watch here) through a process of curdling heated soy milk, and then adding coagulant ingredients to make blocks. In ancient times and in traditional recipes, the coagulant is natural. Today, most tofu found at the grocery store are made with chemical coagulants. Many people, including myself, believe that being whole foods plant based means getting most of our diet, if not all, from foods that come directly from the earth, not highly processed from huge tanks and machines.

More Nutrition: Although tempeh is a little higher in calories than tofu (about 60 calories more per half cup), its less processed and contains more protein and fiber. Since we shouldn’t be consuming more than 3-5 servings of soy a day anyway, getting more with less would be a pay off.

Alkaline Protein: Soy tempeh is alkaline. As most of us know, animal proteins such as meat, poultry, fish, and dairy are highly acidic foods. What many may not know is that processed grain filled “mock meats” such as seitan, otherwise known as wheat meat, and TVP (texturized vegetable protein) can also increase the acidity levels in our tissues, which is the root cause of inflammation.

Probiotic Food: Another big benefit to choosing tempeh over tofu is its fermented and easier to digest. Eating more fermented foods helps to build gut flora, something we all could use to help build our immune and improve our health. Personally, I prefer tempeh’s meat like texture over mushy tofu anytime!

More benefits or click here to learn more about Tempeh:

  • Excellent source of protein, contains all 9 of the essential amino acids
  • Excellent source of calcium, potassium, magnesium, and iron
  • High in B vitamins including folic acid (B9)
  • High in enzymes which can help to preserve our own
  • High in soluble and insoluble dietary fiber
  • Low in sodium
  • Low in saturated fat
  • Cholesterol free
  • Better flavor and texture and as mentioned, less refined than tofu

Your in for a surprise with this incredible “chicken” salad recipe because not only does it taste great, its super easy to make! So let’s get started:

Ingredients

  • 8 ounce package organic soy tempeh (I use Lightlife)
  • 1/2 large cucumber, partially peeled and minced
  • 2-3 stalks of celery, minced
  • 3/4 cup rainbow tomatoes, chopped
  • 2-3 tablespoons minced olives (green or black)
  • 2 tablespoons minced red onion
  • 2 tablespoons minced cilantro or flat leaf parsely
  • 2 tablespoons soy free Vegenaise (to avoid processed soy)
  • 1 tablespoon non dairy greek yogurt (helps reduce overall fat)
  • 1 tablespoon relish
  • 2 tsps mustard
  • 2-3 limes, juiced
  • onion powder and Himalayan pink salt

Instructions

  1. Start by chopping the tempeh into small pieces and juicing the limes. In aΒ  bowl, marinate the tempeh for about 20 minutes or until you’ve chopped the rest of your ingredients. This helps to brighten its flavor. Tofu is extremely porous and soaks up flavors more quickly, but tempeh needs marinating before cooking for maximum flavor, just like real meat! You can also add garlic for more flavor. tempeh chopped
  2. Drain the tempeh and in a small frying pan sprayed with olive oil, lightly sizzle the soy for about 7-10 minutes with salt and onion powder. Cool for 5 minutes.tempeh fried
  3. In a mixing bowl, combine the cooked tempeh, Vegenaise, greek yogurt, mustard and relish until the tempeh is fully covered.creamed tempeh
  4. Next, fold in the cucumbers, celery, tomatoes, olives, onions, and cilantro. I like cherry or grape tomatoes because they are loaded with flavor and tend to stay firm in recipes. I used these lovely rainbow cherry tomatoes in mine.rainbowt tomatoes2tomatoes and tempeh
  5. Your done! Now you can serve it by topping it on gluten free toast, making a sandwich, stuffing a pita bread, or wrapping it in greens as I did! Enjoy. πŸ˜€
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by Lupita Ronquillo, holistic nutrition writer

sources:
1. http://www.rense.com/1.mpicons/acidalka.htm
2. Brown, Susan E., and Larry Trivieri. The Acid Alkaline Food Guide: A Quick Reference to Foods & Their Effect on PH Levels. Garden City Park, NY: Square One, 2006.
3. http://nutritionfacts.org/video/too-much-soy-may-neutralize-plant-based-benefits/
4. Daniel, Kaayla T. The Whole Soy Story: The Dark Side of America’s Favorite Health Food. Washington, DC: New Trends, 2005.
5. http://www.emeraldinsight.com/doi/abs/10.1108/00346650610664904
6. http://nutritionfacts.org/video/how-much-soy-is-too-much/
7. http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=126
8. http://www.cornucopia.org/hexane-guides/nvo_hexane_report.pdf

Purple Sweet Potato Pie with Raw Pecan Crust

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This pie was absolutely fabulous! It not only tasted great, its mostly raw so its super healthy! While I was making it, the taste and the aroma kept my toddler coming back for “tastes” so if your a mom, your kids will love it. We’re told to eat more fruits and vegetables to keep us healthy but if you want to live longer, we need to eat more purple foods. Their simply packed with antioxidants but most people don’t get enough of this color in their diet. According to a Nielson poll, over 2,400 people were asked which color from produce they eat in a typical day; 85 percent said green, 79 percent said yellow and orange, and only 18 percent said blue and purple!

So what could be smarter than sneaking in those purple foods into desserts and pies? Studies have shown purple foods contain properties such as anthocyanins that improve our memory and vision, slows aging, controls blood pressure, fights heart disease, and prevents cancer. According to the USDA, darker potatoes have more than 4x the antioxidants than other potatoes.

I’m a big fan of raw food but sometimes we can absorb more nutrients by cooking certain foods. But not all cooking methods are equal in retaining the most nutrients. A study has shown boiling sweet potatoes can help keep most of the antioxidant power than roasting, steaming, or baking. This is because boiling thins out the cell walls of potatoes and gelatinizes the starch, which enhances the bio-availability of nutrients. Another bonus in boiling is the glycemic index ends up about half that of baking or roasting giving us a lower spike in blood sugar!

The skin of sweet potatoes have almost 10x the antioxidant power as the inside flesh. When you bake sweet potatoes, the peel loses most of its nutritional power. Baking also reduces its vitamin A by a whopping 80% while boiling, substantially less. From a nutritional stand point, boiling is just better for cooking sweet potatoes. I didn’t use the skin for this recipe but that doesn’t mean you can’t eat them after peeling them off! πŸ˜‰

If you want to retain ALL of the antioxidant power of purple foods, I recommend using them in juices and smoothies. I love juicing purple fruits and vegetables for their superior antioxidant and anti-aging benefits. Click here for a delicious and super anti-aging juice, Purple Roots of the Earth posted right here on Vegan Health and Yoga.

Ingredients for Purple Pie Filling

  • 2 large purple sweet potatoes
  • 1 cup unsweetened vanilla coconut yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon tapioca starch
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup (or raw honey if you prefer)
  • 2-3 packets stevia sweetener (I use Sweet Leaf)
  • 2 teaspoons ginger powder
  • 2 teaspoons Chinese five spice

Ingredients for Fully Raw Pecan Crust

  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 1 cup soaked & chopped dates
  • 3/4 cup raw pecans
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 2 teaspoons Chinese five spice
  • 1 teaspoon ginger powder

Instructions

  1. Boil thickly cut purple sweet potatoes with the skin on for about 20 minutes. Leaving the skin on prevents them from getting too mushy for this recipe. After their cooked, allow them to cool.
  2. Peel off the skin. Using the skin in the recipe will give you lumps in your pie which is why I left them out but if you want to include them you can.
  3. In a mixing bowl, stir in all the pie filling ingredients. Fluff up the batter with a hand mixer for about 3 minutes on high.

purple potato filling

4. Next, add all the pie crust ingredients into a high speed blender and pulse until everything is incorporated. Use a spatula to push down the sides. Mixture should be sticky and minced.

Raw Pecan Crust

5. Spray olive oil onto a round pie pan to prevent the crust from sticking and breaking apart when serving. Empty the mixture into the pan and push down to form your crust.

raw crust ready

6. Now add the purple pie filling and smooth it out. You can top your pie with anything you like but I used extra pecans and coconut to compliment the ingredients in the pie.

purple pie

7. Refrigerate for a few hours to set. You can serve your pie warm by placing it in a 350 degree oven for about 5-7 minutes.

I served this for Thanksgiving with some cranberry sauce and it was perfect! You can also use your preferred whipped cream or fruit sauce.
Hope you enjoy it! πŸ˜€

slice of lifeslice of pieslice2

by Lupita Ronquillo, holistic nutrition writer

Resources:
Why You Should Eat More Purple Fruits and Vegetables
Is it Better to Bake, Boil, or Steam Sweet Potatoes?
The Power of Purple Foods-Dr. Oz
Americans Don’t Eat Healthy

 

Raw Pumpkin Carrot Cake with Pumpkin Cashew Frosting

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Pumpkin flavor is back and what better way to celebrate than with a pumpkin flavored carrot cake! I already stocked up my shelf with some canned pumpkin puree for smoothies but yesterday I decided to get a little more creative. I’ve made raw carrot cake before but for this one, I added pumpkin and created a seasonal flavor for fall. I love carrot cake but what makes eating it more enjoyable is when ALL the ingredients are healthy and raw! Adding pumpkin and carrots to any dessert can only maximize your intake of beta carotene and who couldn’t use that?? Even the frosting was perfect and complimented the cake with just the right amount of pumpkin flavor!

Ingredients for Cake

  • 2 cups shredded carrots
  • 1 1/2 cups moistened dried plums
  • 1 1/2 cups rolled oats
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree
  • 3/4 cup walnuts
  • 1/2 cup dried coconut
  • 1/4 cup crushed pineapple
  • 2 teaspoons ginger powder
  • 1 teaspoon Chinese five spice
  • juice of 1 lemon

Ingredients for Frosting

  • 1 1/2 cup raw cashews, soaked
  • 3 tablespoons pumpkin puree
  • 2 tablespoons pineapple juice
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon ginger powder

Other Ingredients

  • raw slivered almonds
  • raw sprouted pumpkin seeds

Instructions

  1. After soaking cashews for about an hour, drain the water. Blend all the ingredients for about 2-3 minutes. Mixture should be very thick and smooth. Scrape out the frosting with a plastic spatula into a bowl, cover and chill until ready to use. The frosting will thicken up by the time your ready to frost the cake.
    frosting
    2. In a high powered blender or mixer, add lemon juice, pineapple, and pumpkin puree first. Then add the remaining ingredients. Pulse blend and stop to push down ingredients as needed until all ingredients are thoroughly mixed . Be careful not to over blend. You want to aim for a MINCED batter, not a smoothie batter.
    batter

    2. Add half the batter into a small springform cake pan. If you don’t have a springform pan, you can just use a regular cake pan and line it with wax paper. Just make sure you leave enough sticking outside of the pan to be able to pull out the cake. The wax paper helps make removing the cake easier after its frozen. Press the cake batter down firmly into the pan. Create your middle layer by adding some frosting and almonds on top. You can add fruit such as crushed pineapple instead if you choose.

raw cakefrosting layeralmonds layer
3. Now add the remaining cake batter on top of the middle layer and press down firmly smoothing out the top. Cover and freeze for about 2-3 hours.
4. Once frozen, remove side rings and frost your cake. Its much easier to frost a raw cake when its frozen. Feel free to decorate your cake as you please. I kept it simple and just added almonds and sprouted pumpkin seeds on top. Hope you enjoy! πŸ˜‰

by Lupita Ronquillo, holistic nutrition writer
whole cake

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Raw Cauliflower Couscous Salad

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If your trying to cut back on calories and get more veggies in your diet, here is a great recipe holding the grains. You can actually imitate the texture of rice and couscous by simply preparing cauliflower using a high powered blender for only a few seconds. Most people don’t eat enough broccoli much less cauliflower but these foods fight cancer! There are many studies linking cauliflower and cruciferous vegetables to preventing bladder, breast, colon, prostate, and ovarian cancers. Steaming or boiling cauliflower which is the most common way of preparing it can destroy most of its precious phyto-nutrients, specifically sulforaphane. The benefit of pulverizing cauliflower raw in the blender is that this process counts as “chopping” which is how sulforaphane is born in broccoli and cauliflower. This is the phyto-nutrient known to fight cancer. So change it up and get more raw with this delicious recipe!

Health benefits of eating more cauliflower:

β™₯ High in vitamin C
β™₯ High in B vitamins
β™₯ High in fiber
β™₯ High in folate
β™₯ Builds the immune system
β™₯ Very low calorie
β™₯ Super rich in antioxidants
β™₯ Anti-inflammation
β™₯ Prevents and fights cancer
β™₯ Supports digestion
β™₯ Detoxifies the body

Ingredients

  • 1 head organic cauliflower
  • 2-3 rainbow radishes, minced
  • 2-3 shredded carrots
  • 1 small green bell pepper, minced
  • 1/2 cup purple cabbage, chopped
  • 1/2 cup or more minced flat-leafed parsley (forgot to add it in mine)
  • 2-3 tablespoons vegenaise
  • 2 tablespoons raw sunflower seeds
  • 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 1 teaspoon Himalayan pink salt
  • dash or 2 of pepper

Instructions

1. Add one fully chopped cauliflower into high powered blender and pulverize until shredded. It literally will look like couscous or rice.

shredded cauliflower
2. In a large bowl, mix in all ingredients.

raw couscous mix

Depending on how big your cauliflower was, this recipe makes about 6-8 servings. It can stay fresh stored in the refrigerator for about 2 days. Feel free to add any other spices or ingredients you wish such as cucumbers, olives, sun dried tomatoes, etc. Hope you enjoy it as much as we did! My toddler loved it! πŸ™‚

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by Lupita Ronquillo, holistic nutrition writer

Red Chili Vegan Enchiladas

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I love these enchiladas! They were so rich and creamy and loaded with mouthwatering red chili flavor! If you’ve decided to try this recipe and are thinking of just buying a can of red chili sauce at the store, allow me to change your mind! The secret to making your enchiladas taste amazing is in the sauce you use. Store bought sauces don’t come close to the flavors you’ll get by simply making your own. For the rich and delicious red chili sauce my husband made, check back for my next post… πŸ˜‰

Ingredients

  • 12-15 organic corn tortillas (we used Mi Rancho brand)
  • 2 cups Daiya mozerella style shredded cheese
  • 2 cups red chili (homemade is best!)
  • 1 cup black beans and brown rice mixed
  • 1 1/2 cups sliced baby portobello mushrooms
  • 1/2 cups minced fresh cilantro
  • 1/3 cup minced red onion
  • mixed baby greens
  • garlic and onion powder
  • Olive oil spray

Instructions

1. In a glass baking dish, layer 3-4 corn tortillas. Depending on the shape of your dish, you may need to cut some tortillas in half to cover the corners.
2. Lightly spray olive oil with each layer of tortillas and then sprinkle garlic and onion powder on top.
3. Next, pour and cover red chili over corn tortillas until completely covered.
red chili layer2nd layer
4. Then layer some of the black beans and rice and some sliced mushrooms.
5. Now layer some mixed baby greens, cilantro, and red onion.
mushroom layergreens
6. Top with Daiya cheese and then some more red chili.
cheese layerlast layer
7. Repeat steps 2-5 for about 3-4 layers or depending on how much your making.
8. After your done layering, top with 3 or 4 corn tortillas and pour remaining red chili on top.
9. Cover and bake at 375 degrees for about 20-25 minutes.

Makes about 8 servings. Goes nice with a green leaf and cucumber salad! πŸ™‚

by Lupita Ronquillo, holistic nutrition writer

Spicy Black Bean Kale Veggie Burgers

the veggie burger
Veggie burgers can be found in most grocery stores today but their usually not cheap. Sometimes their not even that good. Making your own is the real way to go and can help you save money while feeding your family something healthy. These super food vegan burgers are not only juicy, spicy, and loaded with fiber, the combined rice and beans provide complete protein with all the essential amino acids. They also serve up a good serving of vegetables with the kale, mushrooms, and bell peppers.

Ingredients

  • 1 can organic black beans, drained
  • 1 cup organic rolled oats
  • 6 large dinosaur kale leaves, stemmed
  • 1/4 cup cooked brown rice
  • 1 cup minced yellow bell pepper
  • 1 cup minced portobello mushrooms
  • 1/2 cup minced red onions
  • 1 large minced jalapeno
  • 2 limes, juiced
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste (not sauce)
  • 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1 tablespoon dried onion flakes
  • 1 teaspoon each paprika and turmeric
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • dash of Himalayan pink salt

Instructions

  1. Drain the black beans in a filter bowl for a minimum of 5 minutes. Shake it periodically to make sure all the beans are thoroughly drained. This is important if you don’t want mushy burgers.
    drained beans
  2. In the meantime, juice the limes and chop the kale to roughly 1/2 inch chopped pieces. Pour the lime juice and a few dashes of salt into a bowl with the kale. Gently “tenderize” it with your hands for about 30 seconds until the kale is completely soaked. Set aside allowing it to marinate. This process allows the kale to cook easily in the veggie burgers.
    kale
  3. Mince the bell pepper, mushrooms, onions, and jalapeno. The yellow bell pepper gives a hint of sweetness and texture to the burgers. Mincing your veggies here helps to keep them in form once they start cooking. The last thing you want are heavy pieces breaking off.
    minced veggies
  4. Now we add the beans into another bowl and smash them with a bean masher. They should end up somewhat dry yet creamy.
    smashing beans
  5. Next, add in the tomato paste, garlic, yeast, onion flakes, paprika, turmeric and pepper. The tomato paste gives the “meat mixture” another dimension of flavor, plus it adds a boost of lycopene! If your using store bought minced garlic, try to avoid adding in the juice and drain it from your tablespoon.
    seasoningmixture
  6. With washed hands, gently mix the burger batter until everything is blended. If you’ve ever made regular hamburgers, most people use their hands so nothing different here. This will season up those beans very nicely!
    veggie burger mixture
  7. Next, collect all the kale from the bowl and gently squeeze out the lime juice. Add it into the mixture along with the rolled oats and the rice. Blend and work everything in with your hands for a few minutes and then form your burgers .
  8. Place a frying pan on medium heat sprayed with olive oil and cook the burgers for about 15-20 minutes. Important, make sure to cover the pan to keep the juices sealed in!
    veggie burgers
  9. Avoid flipping your patties too many times. Two or three times is plenty and will help to keep them intact. Allowing them too cool down first before serving also helps.
    cooked burgers

This recipe makes about 7 vegan burgers. Serve on your choice of whole grain or gluten free bread, Enjoy! πŸ™‚

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me cooking
by Lupita Ronquillo, holistic nutrition writer

Chocolate Pecan Ginger Spiced Ice Cream

choc ice cream

Fully RAW, dairy free, sugar free, gluten free, super simple rich chocolatey ice cream with only 5 easy ingredients! Yes, you can give into those “chocolate” cravings any time you want with this super healthy recipe. Getting the kids involved in making this can be a great way for you to show them that they don’t need icky dairy or sugar to enjoy eating ice cream. Its also a fun flavor to cool off with as an after dinner dessert for the whole family! πŸ˜€

Ingredients

  • 5 Bananas, frozen into 1/2 inch chunks
  • 1/2 cup Pecan halves
  • 2 heaping tablespoons Carob powder (or cacao if you prefer)
  • 2 teaspoons Ginger powder
  • few splashes of unsweetened Almond milk

Blend all the ingredients into a high powered blender for about 2 minutes until thick and smooth. Only use a few spills of the almond milk just to get the ingredients moving. Too much can end up making your ice cream runny. For a chunkier pecan texture, fold in a handful of chopped pecans after blending. If you decide to use cacao, it may not come out as sweet so make sure your bananas are extra ripe before freezing or you can add in a little stevia. That’s one of the reasons I prefer carob over cacao, it has its own natural sweetness. Makes about 4-5 half cup servings. Enjoy!

chocolate ice cream
by Lupita Ronquillo, holistic nutrition writer

Zucchini Noodles with Creamy Lime Dressing

raw noodles done

I finally made my own fully raw zucchini noodles but instead of the usual tomato pasta sauce, I smothered them in a tangy lime avocado dressing! Ordinary pasta dinners can add so much extra calories, a whopping 400 for just a 2 cup serving but zucchini noodles only have 60 calories for the same amount, plus their gluten free! You won’t feel bogged down after eating them either because raw noodles digest much faster so you can enjoy that second serving with no guilt. Raw noodles will fill you up because their loaded with fiber and provide you with more disease fighting nutrients than cooked processed pasta. Another little bonus is your saving water because there’s nothing to boil, drain, and throw out. πŸ˜‰

Ingredients

  • 2 large organic zucchinis
  • 3/4 cup chopped grape tomatoes
  • 1/2 small avocado
  • 1/3 cup chopped red onions
  • 1/4 cup minced cilantro
  • 2 tbsp raw sprouted pumpkin seeds
  • 2 tbsp lime juice
  • 2 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • dash of Italian seasoning
  • dash of Himalayan pink salt

Instructions

  1. Spiralize the zucchinis into a bowl. In this step, you may want to cut your noodles while spiralizing to the desired length to prevent making them too long.
  2. In a small bowl, smash and mix the avocado with the lime juice until creamy.
  3. Next, add in all the remaining ingredients with the noodles along with the avocado dressing.
  4. Gently stir all ingredients until they are fully coated with the dressing.
  5. Your done! This is actually faster than making regular pasta because at the same time, my husband was making spaghetti and I finished before he did! πŸ˜‰ Makes about 4 servings.

raw noodlesadding in raw

To make the raw noodles I used a Veggetti, which I bought for $15.00 at Target. The website says you can’t buy it at stores but I’ve seen the Veggetti at both Walmart and Target. It has metal handles to keep your hands safe and a cap that allows you to twist and hold the last inch of your vegetables while turning.

avocado dressingraw in a bowl

If kids can enjoy eating raw noodles, then you know their good! Kids can be the most pickiest of eaters, my son included, but he loved them. Hope you try and enjoy this recipe soon!

by Lupita Ronquillo, holistic nutrition writer

raw for kids

Rainbow Vegan Tuna Salad

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I used to be a pescatarian before changing to vegan. In case your wondering, a pescatarian is someone who doesn’t eat meat except for fish. My favorites used to be barramundi, tilapia, salmon, and tuna. Its been a long time but frankly I don’t miss it, especially with so many disastrous oil spills we keep hearing about on the news and especially after Fukushima.

Considering all the horrifying contamination events to our oceans just in the past 5 years, I’ll probably never want to eat fish ever again. Everything fish eat, we eat, and the bigger they grow, the bigger the contamination we are exposed to. Shunichi Tanaka, the head of Japan’s Nuclear Regulation Authority said radioactive water has been leaking into the Pacific Ocean since the March 2011 earthquake. The disaster has been reported as “the largest single contribution of radionuclides to the marine environment ever observed.” Today over 4 years later, TEPCO has still yet to gain control.

What is the FDA doing to screen for radiation? As of March 10th 2014, the FDA included about 225 seafood samples to monitor for Fukushima contamination and stated Cesium levels were well below the established “standards.” Basically, they concluded there were no public health concerns but do we really want to gamble our health based on random samples?? Probably the biggest question to ask ourselves is can we really trust the FDA and their findings, especially when other sources have reported otherwise. An article from 2 years ago reported that every Bluefin tuna tested off the coast of California was contaminated with Fukushima radiation. Every single one! So no, I don’t trust the FDA.

Ok, enough bad news and on to some good food news. I’m not one to brag but I have to admit, this “tuna” recipe came out great! These ingredients really pulled through and created that perfect plant based tuna flavor I was hoping for. It even smelled like tuna salad! It does contain quite a few ingredients but when your trying to imitate something such as meat or fish, you’ve got to experiment with what you’ve in the kitchen to get the flavors you want. The good part is the ingredients are pretty basic and easy to find, most of them found in every food pantry. πŸ˜‰

Ingredients

  • 1-15 ounce can organic chickpeas
  • 1/2 cup minced celery
  • 1/2 cup chopped grape tomatoes
  • 1/3 cup chopped black olives
  • 1/3 cup chopped cucumber, peeled
  • 1/4 cup minced red onion
  • 1/4 cup minced cilantro
  • 3 tablespoons dill relish
  • 2 tablespoons Vegenaise
  • 2 tablespoons sprouted pumpkin seeds
  • 1 1/2 tbsp mustard
  • 1 tablespoon nutritional yeast
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • 3 dashes of dill

ingredients

Instructions

  1. Drain the chickpeas and empty into a large mixing bowl.
  2. Add in the mustard, Vegenaise, lime juice, and dill.
  3. Smash the beans with a bean masher until all the chickpeas are broken. You can also just use a food processor and pulse the chickpeas a few times before adding them into your bowl.
  4. Add the remaining ingredients and mix until everything is blended.
  5. Your done!

smashingvegan tunaall aboard

You can enjoy this “tuna” mix with a green salad, on whole grain crackers, in a tuna sandwich, or even some “tuna” tacos using organic corn tortillas. If you prefer the mix to be creamier for sandwiches or crackers, simply add a little more Veganaise or avocado to smash in with the chickpeas and finely chop all of the ingredients before mixing them in. As for me, I prefer a chunkier texture but either way I hope you enjoy it as much as we did! πŸ™‚

by Lupita Ronquillo, holistic nutrition writer

Cover Tuna

Spicy Balsamic Kale Feta Salad

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This salad has got it all! Its got the crunch, the spice, the tang, the nutrition, and all the flavors a salad could have, including raw kale! Yes, you read that right but don’t worry if you’ve never eaten raw kale before. If your the type that will only drink it in juices or smoothies, believe me its delicious! There’s a technique to make it “palatable” while keeping it raw that I’ll explain it in this recipe, so you don’t have to worry about any bitterness whatsoever. The “feta style” comes from using Daiya’s block style jalapeno cheese. It really gives it that Greek cheese tang and boldness without being too salty. Who knew eating dark leafy greens could actually be delicious! Here is what you’ll need…

Ingredients

  • 5 large dinosaur kale leaves, stemmed (about 2 cups worth)
  • 3 cups mixed baby greens, swiss chard, kale, spinach
  • 1 1/2 cups grape tomatoes, cut in quarters
  • 1 1/2 cups red cabbage, chopped
  • 1 1/2 cup baby portabella mushrooms, lightly chopped
  • 1/2 cup hot pickled jalapeno slices, cut in half
  • 1/3 block Daiya cheese, jalapeno havarti block style
  • 1/3 avocado
  • 1/3 cup fresh cilantro, minced
  • 1/4 cup sliced red onion
  • 1 small lemon, juiced
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • 3 tablespoons sprouted pumpkin seeds
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic dressing
  • 2 teaspoons italian seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon pink salt
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder

kale stemschopped kale2

1. Start by stemming the kale and cut them in one inch square strips. The stems toward the bottom of kale leaves tend to be tough to chew so I left those out. You can save them for juicing if you don’t want them to go to waste because they do have nutrients.

softened kalemixed greens

2. Next, juice your lemon and add into the chopped kale with the salt. Then with washed hands, add your 1/3 avocado and gently start kneading the kale until the avocado has completely coated it. This process with the lemon and salt help to break down kale’s bitter green intensity to a romaine-like leafy texture. Its a messy job but you’ll get younger looking hands and a delicious salad as a reward! The avocado works as the dressing for the kale and also helps to balance out the flavor. Add in the rest of the greens and set aside. This allows time for the kale to absorb the lemon and soften on its own.

chopped cabbagecilantro n cabbage

3. Chop 1 1/2 cups worth of red cabbage and place into a separate bowl. Add the juiced lime, garlic powder, sliced onions, minced cilantro, and your preferred balsamic dressing. I used a brand with no gluten, cholesterol, or sugar. If the one you have has sugar, make sure its not high fructose corn syrup and that its listed as one of last ingredients to minimize the intake. You could also just make your own. Mix everything thoroughly so that the cabbage is saturated with all the ingredients. I also like to do this apart from the greens so that all these flavors could get trapped into the crevices of the cabbage and so they don’t end up at the bottom of the bowl!

mushrooms injalapeno tomatoes ineverything in

4. Now we pile up our kale bowl with the mushrooms, tomatoes, pickled jalapenos, and pumpkin seeds. As you can see, this salad is very “meaty” with lots of different ingredients. It will keep you satisfied a lot longer than having a salad made with mostly iceberg lettuce. Its got protein from the greens, immune boosting vitamin C, tons of phytonutrients, and fat burning benefits from the jalapenos. Your also getting calcium and a dose of B12 from the cheese! I ate a big bowl with a side of roasted potatoes for dinner and was left completed satisfied for the whole night! To finish, toss in your cabbage and the jalapeno cheese and mix everything together. The mixing will gently “crumble” your cheese to give it that “feta style” and flavor. Your done! Enjoy it. Serves 4-6.

by Lupita Ronquillo, holistic nutrition writer

kale salad