Sunday, March 22, 2009

Health for Life Cooking in April

Spring into summer healthier and leaner with Health for Life Cooking! Plant foods are your greatest tool to achieve optimal health and your ideal weight! They are naturally low in calorie, high in fiber, and rich in the essential nutrients that are critical for optimal health.
On the menu for this month is Not Meat Loaf, Steamed Asparagus w/ Roasted Garlic Sauce, White Bean Potato Soup, and Raw Berry Pie w/a nut crust. The Not Meat Loaf is a favorite of mine that reminds me of the traditional meat loaf that many of us grew up with. I love it the way I loved meat loaf as a kid....with ketchup. And I will have some home-made ketchup for you to try along with the recipe. It is simple to through together but takes about 45 minutes to cook. The foundation of this loaf is tofu and oats with some veggies, seasonings and sauces added to make it tasty. The garlic sauce on the asparagus (which is in season this time of year) is made with pine nuts and roasted garlic with just a touch of lemon juice. The White Bean Potato soup is a rich creamy hearty soup that could be classified as one of those "comfort foods." And to top off the meal.....Raw Berry Pie. This pie is so healthy, you could eat it for breakfast! No processed sugars are used and the crust in this picture was made with almonds but could be made with pecans, walnuts, or even seeds for those who have allergies to tree nuts. And there you have it! I look forward to having you for dinner!
Best of health,

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Nutrient Rich and Delicious!

I had a VSU friend and one of my cooking class attendees e-mail me about the abundance of kale that she had growing in her green house, and she asked for some recipes using kale. I don't have a lot of recipes but I DO use it a lot. Mainly in my morning smoothie and I'll add it to soups and other dishes when I can. It's one of the most nutrient rich foods on the planet! High in protein, calcium and many cancer fighting phytochemicals! And it's delicious! AND it grows good here in St. George. In fact my fall crop lasted through the winter. There were only a couple of months where I didn't cut it because it just wasn't growing. But as soon as it warmed up a bit, it came out of dormancy and I think the freeze made it sweeter. It was so delicious! Anyway, back to the reason for this post. I've recently discovered beans and greens! And this dish that I made tonight for dinner was so yummy I just had to post the recipe. Besides the sweet potato that baked for an hour, it took only 10 minutes to make this meal. In the past I've used garbanzo beans and kale together but I had some left over black beans from last nights "Oscars Tacos" so I used them with the kale instead. Black beans are one of the most nutrient rich beans, and along with this kale, and then the sweet! Oh yes, and the avocado mixed in increased the uptake of nutrients into your body. As for nutrients, it doesn't get a whole lot better then this. So, for Marilee, and anyone else who is interested, here is the recipe.

Kale w/Black Beans and Avocado

1/2 cup water w/ 2 tsp Braggs Liquid Aminos - love this stuff!
1 large clove garlic
1/2 bunch of kale chopped
1 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp chili powder (next time I'll use 1 tsp)
1 cup black beans
1/4 avocado mashed

Cook garlic in water over medium high heat for 1 minute. Add kale, cover and cook for 3 - 5 minutes. Check for tenderness. Add seasonings and black beans and cook another minute. Mix in mashed avocado and serve. (the sweet potato has some avocado mixed in as well)

I just fed myself tonight but if I was feeding my husband, I would have doubled the recipe. However, I've cooked a whole bunch of kale and have eaten it all myself so the amount you make just depends on how weird you are!

BTW, when I use garbanzo beans, the seasonings are cumin, coriander, garam masala, and I use about 1/4 cup pumpkin seeds that have been ground to powder instead of the avocado.

If you try this recipe, please let me know what you think.

Best of health to you!

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Cancer and the wonderful world of cruciferous vegetables

Cancer is a killer! It took both of my parents and so I guess that's why I have a huge interest in the research on cancer and a plant based diet. The incredible evidence on the power of plant foods, especially green cruciferous vegetables, on cancer is amazing to me! And more research continues to surface all the time. Like this one published in Reuters on the benefits of broccoli. The article states "What broccoli seems to be doing is switching on genes which prevent cancer developing and switching off other ones that help it spread." BROCCOLI! Who would imagine! This should be on the front page of every news paper in this country and announced on every news broadcast. Unless you are interested in the subject and looking for it, you probably aren't going to hear it. I get a lot of this kind of information from Dr. Joel Fuhrman's blog. Those of you that know me and have come to my cooking classes, know that I'm a huge fan of Dr. Joel Fuhrman and his Eat to Live/ Eat for Health diet style which is a diet loaded with these high nutrient anti-cancer foods. He seems to be right up to date of all the latest research and he has helped thousands of his patients over come major illnesses with nutrition alone. And I've met some of them. Here are a couple of his posts that have to do with cancer and cruciferous vegetables.

In this second link it states that cruciferous vegetables "halt the growth of breast cancer cells."
That means they stop the growth. Wouldn't every women with cancer want to know this? If I had cancer I would be eating the stuff for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Come to think of it, I do eat it for breakfast, lunch, and dinner! Fruit smoothie with 3 oz of kale for breakfast, big green salad for lunch with about a cup of steamed either broccoli, cauliflower, or brussel sprouts, and I usually try to have some with dinner. I feel protected! Not only that but I'm slowing down the aging process. Fruits and veggies are great for complexion, nails, hair, eyes, and everything!! If I could only get it to change the silver colored stuff in my hair. Oh, you mean I can do that myself? Nah! Too much stress, money, and time involved.

OK, so here is the recipe I'm using right now for my fruit smoothie:

2 Oranges (oranges are in peak season and wonderful!)
1/2 cup water
3 - 4 ounces of kale, collards, or bok choy (all cruciferous veggies)
1 cup frozen blueberries
1 cup frozen mixed berries (buy from Costco)
1 Tbsp ground flax seeds

Blend this up in a high powered Vita Mix or Blend Tec until smooth. When you blend these vegetables the beneficial chemical compounds in the plant are so much more absorbable then when you chew because most of us really don't chew very well. Your body will absorb 90% of these incredible cancer fighting nutrients. So load up on these nutrient packed foods and take control of your health! No one else can.
Best of health to you!!

100% Plant Based 100% Nutritious 100% Delicious

Health for Life cooking will demonstrate how to incorporate the wonderful plant foods that nature provides into delicious meals that are rich in phyto-nutrients, protein, calcium, and taste! Processed flours and sugars are rarely used and processed oils are never used! To purchase my cookbooks and find out when my next cooking classes are, visit