One of my favorite comfort foods is a dish I call “Pasta Roni” which is a play on the classic decades-old “beefaroni” dish made of macaroni, beef, and tomato sauce except that my version tastes better, is plant based, and more nutritious! Oil and dairy free, Pasta Roni is the dish everyone wants on a cold night when nothing but a tummy-warming bowl of pasta will do.
Inspired by Isa Chandra Moskowitz’s recipe for Lentil-A-Roni in Isa Does It, the Pasta Roni recipe showcases whole grain pasta, lentils, tomatoes, and greens for a delicious and nutritious meal. Isa uses raw cashews that have been soaked in water, drained and then blended with vegetable broth in a high-powered blender to make the sauce creamy but I am not a cream sauce person so I don’t use cashews. If your preference is for a creamy sauce, then by all means, soak 1/2 cup of raw (not roasted) cashews in water for a few hours and then blend away before adding to the sauce.
But first, a few words about other ingredients: Read more
When vegans or plant-based eaters discover dates, it’s a game changer. Dates are moist, chewy, and naturally sweet, so this luscious “food from the Gods” lends itself to making naturally sweet treats including what many people refer to as date balls: dates, nuts, seeds, spices, and other ingredients (i.e. cocoa, coconut, goji berries, raisins, etc) mashed and blended together into dessert or snack balls.
Although there are a zillion recipes for date balls on line, there are occasions when time or equipment (a food processor) is a factor so people turn to ready-made balls. But, as with every prepared food, ingredients are key so read labels or turn to Glaser Organic Farms – a trusted preparer of raw, vegan, and organic certified snacks. Read more
If you’re looking to spice up a salad, pasta dish, or virtually any side dish or entree, think about sprinkling pink peppercorns on the top. In contrast to red, white, green, or black peppercorns which are hard and crunchy and really need to be ground to release their powerful flavor, pink peppercorns are light, airy, and have a hollow like texture making them very easy to eat.
In terms of flavor, pink peppercorns are slightly sweet with a very light peppery flavor (so you won’t be overwhelmed with eating them straight). These super beautiful and tasty dried berries add color, texture, and flavor to almost any dish. Read more
Holidays are all about enjoying food so there is no better time to give a palate pleaser than now. Not everyone is a foodie but nearly everyone appreciates wholesome, delicious food like pure maple syrup, colossal roasted cashews, creamy, rich peanut butter cups or almond cups, award winning crispy potato chips made with extra virgin olive oil, dark chocolate mint meltaways, fresh fruit, and chewy, sweet dates. To wash all that down, consider Fever Tree drinks: tonic, club soda, or ginger ale. Read more
Pure maple syrup is an addictive indulgence that most people pour over pancakes and waffles but like any whole food, the quality and taste of maple syrup varies greatly. Starting with healthy maple trees and an agreeable climate (night temperatures in the 20’s and sunny days in the 40’s, which is why Canada and the northeast are the primary sources of maple syrup), good harvesting processes, and a commitment to not use additives makes for a good syrup but the single greatest factor affecting the taste of maple syrup is the time in which the maple sap is harvested during the season. Harvest early and the syrup is light golden and mild while a later harvest produces a darker amber and a more refined maple syrup. Read more
Beet juice may boost stamina to help you exercise longer, improve blood flow, and help lower blood pressure some research shows.Why? Beets are rich in natural chemicals called nitrates. Through a chain reaction, your body changes nitrates into nitric oxide, which helps with blood flow and blood pressure. ~WebMD
Beet juice is not on any top ten juice list that I am aware of but that could change as more and more people realize the benefits of beet juice, especially for athletes. According to Nutrition Facts (www.nutritionfacts.org), consuming beet juice has been shown to improve athletic ability and endurance which is an amazing finding (click here to watch the 2-minute video entitled “Doping With Beet Juice“). In addition, consider watching a short video entitled “Whole Beets versus Juice for Improving Athletic Performance” and “Oxygenating Blood with Nitrate Rich Vegetables.” Read more
Last week my husband brought home a produce carry tote that contained “Organic Sweet Carnival Grapes” which were described as “as sweet as any carnival treat.” To be honest, my first thought was “cotton candy” which didn’t sound appetizing as I was never a fan of the sticky, puffy, blue and pink stuff sold at carnivals. But, I couldn’t have been more wrong.
Sweet Carnival grapes are sweet and super crisp (an essential attribute of a good grape for me) but they are especially delicious when ice cold, although they are also exceptional chilled or at room temperature. The flavor is reminiscent of cotton candy for sure so they taste like a sweet crunchy flavorful treat that is a healthier choice than cotton candy. That these green (although they are called “white”) are seedless and organic is an added bonus. Read more
A tablespoon or two of organic milled flax seed is on my menu every single day. As long as I’m at home, it’s easy to get my daily dose of flax seal meal because I keep a container in the refrigerator (note: milled flax seed needs to be refrigerated) but when I’m traveling, it’s a different story.
I would fill a ziplock bag with flax seed meal but after a bag burst in my suitcase, I knew I needed a better option. Enter Carrington Farms Organic Milled Flax Seed Paks: pre-measured single serve 12 gram (1 tablespoon) sealed packets that make it easy to take flax seed meal on the go. Read more
Lark Ellen Farm Trailblazers are the newest additions to the trail mix market. Unlike GORP (Good Ol’ Raisins and Peanuts), Trailblazers have a base of sprouted nuts and seeds that are sweetened with maple syrup and then combined with ingredients like semisweet chocolate chunks, fruits, pure vanilla extract, salt, and spices to create the most unique and delicious trail mix options on the market.
Organic, grain-free, gluten-free, and vegan, the Trailblazers are also low in sugar (2-5 grams per serving) and high in flavor, texture, and, of course convenience. Lark Ellen Farm Trailblazers come in three savory varieties: Read more