Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Health for Life Cooking in August

Raw Zucchini Pasta w/ Almost Raw Marinara

Hoppin' John Salad

Jicama & Pepper Salad
w/ Snap Peas & Corn

I'm excited to be back in the kitchen! And I'm excited to share with you some of my most favorite summer time dishes. With the temperatures up in the triple digits, I prefer to keep my meals simple and use a lot of raw vegetables. Not only do raw fruits and vegetables contain live enzymes, they also have a high water content. Because of this, these foods are very easy to digest and they help keep our body well hydrated during these hot summer months. In his lecture on the Vegetarian Society of Hawaii web site ( John Westerdahl Ph.D indicates that the water in the cells of plant foods is a great source of water for us because it gets absorbed into our cells more efficiently. That makes a lot of sense! Plant foods in general are what our body craves!
One dish that I'm really excited about is a Raw Zucchini Pasta (picture above) made with my favorite new kitchen gadget, the *Spiral Slicer. I top this with an almost Raw Marinara made with garden fresh tomatoes and spices. The reason it's not completely raw is because I can't find sun dried tomatoes, at a reasonable cost, that aren't packed in oil or that don't have sulfur dioxide as a preservative.

I find tomato paste works very well in giving this sauce a rich flavor like the sun dried tomatoes would. And, if you heat the sauce just a bit, you hardly know it's not real spaghetti. One of the reasons I'm so excited about this dish is because I don't normally like zucchini. But because it's so nutritious, I've tried and tried to find ways to make it good. And this so far is the best!!

Another dish that I'll be demonstrating is a Hopin' John salad (pictured above). This is NOT a raw salad but more of a grain based salad using cooked brown rice and black eyed peas. The grains and beans together make a great hearty meal for the finicky man in your life, and when you pile this on a bed of romaine lettuce and garnish with garden fresh tomatoes, it adds the powerful anti-oxidants and phyochemicals that would normally be missing from this salad alone.

The third dish that I will be demonstrating is a Jicama & Sweet Pepper Salad w/Snap Peas and Corn (picture above). I've been making different versions of this salad for years and just love it! Because it's completely raw and contains a lot of high water content veggies, it's perfect for lunch when you don't want to eat something heavy that will take a lot of energy to digest. I need my energy for work during the day, not for digesting a heavy meal. With all the sweet veggies in this salad and the sweet vinegar dressing, you're sweet tooth will be satisfied and you wont want (or need) that late afternoon high sugar snack.

Are your kids asking for money for the ice cream truck or are they begging you to stop for a Shaved Ice after swimming? Instead, offer to make them a home made icy cool refreshing treat. Frozen Cherry's will be the fruit in this Lemon Cherry Slush (no picture yet) but any frozen fruit will work.

So there you have it! Whether you are into raw foods or not, this class will teach you how to make three delicious summertime dishes and will also give you ideas to incorporate into other traditional favorites that will help make the transition to a plant based diet satisfying and enjoyable. I look forward to seeing you at class!
*When I purchased my Spiral Slicer I bought 3 of them to get free shipping. The two remaining are available for purchase at my cost of $20. First come first serve!!

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Chocolate Banana Ice Cream

I love ice cream!!! And it was the last to go when I eliminated dairy products from my diet. Once I discovered vegan ice cream options though, there was no turning back. There are several excellent options on the market, including one of my favorites, Soy Delicious. However, even though they are healthier then their dairy based counterparts, they are far from health promoting. They are high in processed sugars and extracted oils, which I have eliminated from my diet, other then the occasional treat or dinner out.
This home made ice cream treat that I came up with years ago has long been a favorite of mine and my husbands, as well as my, at that time, teenage daughter. And I recently made it for my 8 year old cub scouts and one of them liked it so much that he told about it at the next pack meeting.
If you have the frozen bananas on hand, it is so quick and easy. You can have soft serve ice cream in minutes. Here is how to make it:
Peel and slice spotted bananas and freeze in zip lock bags for at least 24 hours. I like to keep these on hand for smoothies as well. Add desired amount of frozen banana slices to a food processor and process with a bit of water, soy, or almond milk until smooth and creamy. You will need to stop the food processor a few times and use a fork to break up the chunks. Add cocoa powder to taste and serve. If you would like it sweeter, add a bit of agave nectar or other liquid sweetener in stead of the water.
There is another great home made ice cream option that I love to make but it takes a bit longer and it's best if you have an ice cream maker. It's called Cashew Ice Cream and the recipe can be found on the Vegetarian Society of Utah web site at Go to the recipe link and find many more recipes as well.
Best of health to you! April

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