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Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Celebrate July 4th with a Luscious Red, White, and Blue Dessert




Prepare a colorful strawberry, blueberry, and coconut dessert to celebrate Independence Day or any day you want a healthful treat. You're sure to see smiles on the faces of family and guests as you look round your dinner or picnic table, if you serve it. This three ingredient recipe is a snap to assemble. Just follow the steps below.

Ingredients:

1 Quart Organic Strawberries or about 16 oz. of berries that are lightly washed in cool water and hulled (see links below)
1 Quart Organic Blueberries or about 16 oz. that are washed in cool water
1 Cup unsweetened shredded coconut (either fine or coarsely shredded)




Read what Molly Watson @ http://about.com says about washing and hulling strawberries.





4 hulled strawberries



What to Do:

1. Wash and hull strawberries and wash blueberries as described above. Place them in a medium-sized glass bowl and mix them together.
2. Sprinkle the berries with coconut flakes.
3. Insert serving spoons into bowl and place on your holiday table or portion out into individual dessert dishes for a more formal touch.

Strawberries and blueberries contain many healthful elements. They are high in vitamin C and phytonutrients and have no cholesterol. The shredded coconut provides fiber, iron, and healthy fat that satisfies and staves off hunger. 


Look at the links below for additional nutrition facts from Driscolls.com


Nutrition facts about blueberries


Serve this color rich dessert to celebrate our nation’s birthday on July 4th or on any day you want to have fun topping off your meal with a red, white, and blue dessert.







Before you go, please ask yourself how often you serve summer berries, those you find at a farmer's market, pick in a home garden, or purchase at a local shop. Produce loses nutrients the longer you keep it, so please serve within a day or two of purchase. What are your favorite ways to serve strawberries and blueberries? Please share about that by leaving a comment on this blog. I'd love to learn about your favorite recipes and concerns.

Here's the quotation for today from Jordin Sparks:

"I love berries. Strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, black berries, anything with an 'errie' in it!"
Read more at Brainyquotes.com

This post is shared at Healthy, Happy, Green & Natural Party Hop
The-Healthy-Happy-Green-Natural-Party-Blog-Hop # 32

This post is shared at The Plant-Based Potluck Party Link Up # 19
The Plant-Based Potluck Party Link Up # 19

Saturday, June 7, 2014

How to Make Fabulous Cooking Spray in 2 Easy Steps



Make your own healthy, happy, and eco-friendly homemade cooking spray from 2 ingredients you probably already have on hand. It’s economical, gentle on our planet, and good for your health.

How to do it:

1. Get a small glass spray bottle, remove the top, and sterilize both parts by placing them in a saucepan of boiled water that is off the stove. Let the spray bottle and top soak for a few moments.

2. Use a funnel and pour in 5 parts distilled or filtered water to 1 part organic canola or organic soybean oil. Then, put on the top. Make the commitment to your health to use organic products, and avoid ingesting genetically modified ingredients. 

Here’s a link from WebMD.com that provides information about cooking oil fat content and health benefits.  WebMD

    This is a link that explains when it's appropriate to use olive oil: WorldsHealthiestFoods.com

Note: It’s true that oil and water don’t mix, but if you shake the container right before you need to use the spray, enough will combine to make it work.

Why Mixing up your own oil spray is a good idea:

Compared to using a costly cooking oil spray sold in supermarkets, this homemade version costs pennies on the dollar.

Commercial sprays contain propellant as a rule, a chemical that enables the substances inside the can to be misted. Most contain grain alcohol as a preservative, and some contain artificial flavors and additives too. All are ingredients I'd rather not have.

The aluminum spray bottles used to house commercial sprays have to be thrown out after they are empty, and aluminum may have a link to Alzheimer’s’ disease. Read about it here: Mercola.com


Glass or BPA free plastic spray bottles can be reused. When you make your own cooking oil spray, you are free to select the exact grade of cooking oil you prefer and control the quality of the oil. I used organic canola oil, because it has a high smoke point.

Note: Try experimenting with the percentage of water to oil being used, and see whether you can reduce the fat content even more.


Happy Cooking with your New Homemade Spray Cooking Oil Dispenser Folks! 

* Please let me know which kind of oil you prefer and how this make-your-own venture turned out for you.

Here's the Quotation for today:

The people who can most successfully lose weight and maintain a healthy life style are foodies. When it comes to healthy eating, people who know how to cook and make ingredients taste good have a distinct advantage over those who can't.


Edward UgelI'm With Fatty: Losing Fifty Pounds in Fifty Miserable Weeks, 2010


This post is linked up to the:
Share the Food & Fun at the Plant Based Potluck Party Link Up #15

Sunday, May 11, 2014

I'm in the mood to cook, Good Eats include baby bok choy, portobella mushrooms and brown rice


Baby Bok Choy, Portobella 

Mushroom, 

and Brown Rice Dinner

I love the contrasting colors, savory and pungent flavors, spicy aromas, and health benefits of eating this low fat, complex carbohydrate, nutrient rich gluten free dish so much that I serve it often. See whether this fresh medley of goodness entices you.

Ingredients

1 lg. red organic onion peeled and chopped (about 1 ½ cups)
2 portobella mushrooms, cleaned, and diced into 1/4 in chunks (about 3 cups)
1 Tablespoon peeled, grated ginger (snap off a knob, peel, and grate)
2 cloves fresh garlic peeled and chopped (about 1 Tablespoon)
1 Tablespoon Braggs Liquid Aminos or other gluten free liquid seasoning
2 Tablespoons fresh parsley minced and/or other fresh herbs. The more the merrier. I used parsley, oregano, and thyme.
1 cup organic basmati brown rice and 2 cups water or vegetable broth for cooking rice
1 Tablespoon extra- virgin organic Olive Oil
1 Tablespoon water or vegetable broth
6 baby bok choy heads (about 4 cups baby bok choy that as been cleaned and chopped)




What to Do

1. Rinse brown rice in cold water and pour into a small saucepan with 2 cups water. For additional flavor, use vegetable broth. Add a pinch of salt and bring to a boil. Lower the heat to a simmer and cook according to package directions (approximately 30 minutes or until all the water is absorbed and the rice is medium-soft).

2. As soon as you lower heat on the rice to a simmer, assemble, clean and chop onion, mushrooms, bok choy, herbs, and spices. 

Note: If you're unfamiliar with how to prepare portobella mushrooms for cooking, look at this video or read about how to do it at the link:

portobella mushroom prep

Place onion in one dish, mushrooms in another, bok choy in a third, and green herbs in a forth. Put garlic and ginger in a fifth. Each is separated, because of differing cooking times.

3. Pour the olive oil into a large frying pan or wok over medium heat and sauté onion for 2 or 3 minutes, add garlic and ginger and continue cooking until onion is slightly browned. If all the oil is absorbed before the onion is golden brown, add a drop of Braggs, vegetable broth, or water. Then, put in sliced portobella mushroom chunks and continue cooking for 5-8 minutes or until mushrooms are tender and you can stick a fork in them easily. 

4. Add chopped parsley and other herbs and turn off heat.

5. Check the rice, testing to see whether it’s finished cooking. As soon as it is, turn off flame and cover.

6. Add the baby bok choy to the frying pan ingredients and warm for 2 minutes. Take care not to overcook. Bok choy needs to be crunchy for best taste and nutrition. It's high in vitamin A and C.




6. Fluff rice with a fork and portion out 4 servings. Top each with a quarter of the mushroom and bok choy mixture and serve hot or at room temperature. Enjoy!




Here's a link which describes the health benefits of bok choy from WebMD.

The quotation for today, discovered on Goodreads follows:

“How would your life be different if...You were conscious about the food you ate, the people you surround yourself with, and the media you watch, listen to, or read? Let today be the day...You pay attention to what you feed your mind, your body, and your life. Create a nourishing environment conducive to your growth and well-being today.” 
 
Steve Maraboli, The Power of One

This Post Has Been Shown at the Healthy, Happy, Green & Natural Party Blog Hop #25 and Featured at Blog Hop #26

Live It Up at the Healthy, Happy, Green & Natural Party Blog Hop #26

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Eat Out Eat Smart!


Eat Out Eat Smart

There are times when even the most devoted cook needs a break from kitchen routines. Certainly, it’s refreshing to eat food made by another person, be waited on, and leave the clean up to someone else.

Before you set out to that new restaurant or café you’ve been meaning to try, here are five tips to assure that when you eat out, it will be a healthful experience.

  1. Call ahead to ask which menu items are steamed, baked, or grilled with little or no oil or butter, and whether they are low in salt and sugar. Ask for vegan options or heart healthy vegetarian items on the regular menu.
  1. When you arrive, let the hostess or maître d know you are on a healthy eating plan. Make sure you tell your server this information as well. Supply details, if you have any food allergies or food aversions. Savvy modern eateries cater to their patrons’ tastes and preferences, by providing flexibility in food preparation styles, portion size, and they allow for substitutions. 
  1. Select dishes that are packed with fruits and vegetables. Ask to have the salad dressing and sauces served on the side. Hidden calories, fats, and sugars lurk in gravies, toppings, sour cream, mayonnaise, and cheese. Request fresh herbs and spices, lemon juice, marinara, or salsa replace fattening ingredients. Drink tea, coffee, and water rather than sugary soda.
  1.  If there is no wise choice on the menu, look at the side dishes and order a crispy baked potato with steamed greens, a large salad, and a cup of lentil or pea soup.
  1. Skip the dessert or share it with your dinner partner. Ask for fresh melon, sorbet, or mixed seasonal berries instead of cake, ice cream, or other cholesterol laden offerings.


     Delightful meals on the town can be a flavorful part of your life. For more inspiration check out WebMD http://www.webmd.com/food-recipes/healthy-eating-making-healthy-choices-when-you-eat-out

 This post has been shown at "Healthy, Happy, Green and Natural Party" Blog Hop!





The quotation for today is:

William LondenTo insure good health: Eat lightly, breathe deeply, live moderately, cultivate cheerfulness, and maintain an interest in life.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Blood Moon, Kids' Health, Relaxation and Rest

Today my blog is a potpourri of topics. Here what I'm thinking of right now.

Number 1. 


I care about the children and people in our nation and am saddened that by 2050, studies project that 1 in every 3 Americas will have diabetes.

Watch this video and tell me whether you are concerned about this important health and wellness issue too. What do you think we can do about it? I welcome your ideas.

Epidemic in America


Number 2.

I'm glad a lunar eclipse is in the offing for Monday, April 14th. Mars will be big and bright, and this first total lunar eclipse in more than 2 years will be visible from all parts of the U.S. To learn why it's been called a blood moon eclipse by some, click on the link below.

Will you stay up to watch it, and do you know there will be three more lunar eclipses this year? That fascinates me.

Blood Moon Eclipse


Number 3.

I have to admit to you, dear readers, and myself. I need to re-lax. I have been going full steam ahead all week and my fingers are sore from working their magic at my computer. That's why this blog is shorter than usual.

Before I sign off, one last thing. Here's the quotation for today. It's from Sydney J. Harris. It's one I'm taking to heart.

The time to relax is when you don't have time for it.

Thanks for Visiting

Hope you enjoyed your visit to my blog and will return again. Wishing you a day that's brimming with good health and peace. Warm regards, Nan