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millet patties

After trying the millet patties at Angelica Kitchen last week, I knew that I had to make them at home.  I was thrilled when I was browsing through the Spring section of the Clean Food cookbook and came across these:

Millet Black Bean Patties with Corn – score!

I have seen so many recipes including Millet lately, so I was curious about the health benefits.

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Millet is a tasty grain that has a mildly sweet, nut-like flavor.  It is nearly 15 percent protein, and is rich in fiber, B-complex vitamins, essential amino acids, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, and potassium.  The magnesium in millet can help to reduce the severity of asthma, the frequency of migraines, lower high blood pressure and reduce the risk of heart attack.  Millet is non-glutinous, and is not acid forming, so it is soothing and easy to digest.

I followed the recipe exactly, and the patties came out perfect!  The mixture was delicious, and the patties actually stayed as patties when cooked (unlike my other veggie burger variations I have made!).  It was nice to try a grain that I do not cook with a lot.

I sauteed the onion, corn, black bean and spice mixture until soft and warm.

I could have eaten the mix just like this!  But, I added the cooked millet instead – and cornstarch to make it easier to mold into patties.

This made 15 patties for me, even though the recipe says it will make 10!  I cooked 5 patties as suggested – fried on each side in a little olive oil over medium heat.  They were deeply browned on each side.

I baked the other 10 patties in the oven at 375°F for 20 minutes (10 on each side).  They came out great as well – now as browned, but still a little crunch on the outside with a soft patty on the inside (and healthier without the extra oil!).

Lot’s of leftovers for the week – yum!

I served our Millet Patties with a salad and homemade pita chips.

Salad with arugula, raisins, sweet curry sprouted sunflower seeds, feta cheese and a homemade dressing of olive oil, red wine vinegar, salt and pepper.

Delicious dinner!

And, a mocktail with seltzer, pomegranate juice and lime.  I needed a change from water!

Give these patties a try, they are great!  The recipe makes a lot, which makes it great for a crowd or for plenty of leftovers.  I am planning on freezing about 1/2 of the leftovers to keep for quick lunches and dinners when I am in a pinch.

springtime produce

I am in a workshop all day today (Friday) and tomorrow, so I figured I would set up a few posts while I am tied up.

I found a fun new website the other day called Vital Juice.  I think that it is similar to Daily Candy in that you can sign up for email newsletters that they will send you with tidbits of info each day/week/etc.

I was searching through some of the articles on nutrition and found one on Spring Vegetables that I thought was super interesting.

(Source)

Even though the weather keeps tricking us, it really is starting to feel like spring around here.  Flowers are popping up, and we keep getting some very nice 60 degree days.  At this point, I will take what we can get!

As you know, I love to eat seasonable local produce, and try to as much as possible.  But, it is hard to eat locally over the winter in New England!  Therefore, once the spring comes, I am more than ready for the farmers markets and CSA’s to begin.

But, my absolute favorite thing about Spring and Summer veggies – grilling them!  It brings out the best flavors and keeps them very healthy.  All you need is a little olive oil and you are good to go.

(Source)

The article on Vital Juice, lists many healthy spring fruits and veggies that are important to get into our diets, especially since many of us have been missing out on them (and their nutrients) all winter long.

Check out the list below:

  • Asparagus: Contains a type of fiber called inulin to promote healthy gut bacteria.
  • Artichokes: They pack the most antioxidants of all vegetables.
  • Apricots
  • Fennel: Beats bloat.
  • Swiss chard, collards, mustard, spinach and spring greens: Loaded with vitamins A, C and E, these leaves boast blood building vitamin K and iron and bone boosting calcium and magnesium.
  • Peas: A half cup serving has more fiber than a bowl of oatmeal.
  • Chives
  • Strawberries: One cup contains more than 160% of your daily quota of immune-boosting vitamin C.
  • Mangoes: Contains age-fighting vitamin E.
  • Honeydew melon: Eat your water! This fruit is 90% water to help hydrate the skin and fill you up.
  • Vidalia onions: These stinkers are rich with sulfur compounds that may reduce the risk of heart disease.
  • (Source)

    I have definitely been getting my fair share of asparagus and mangoes recently, but can’t wait for my local farmer’s market to start bringing their greens and native strawberries along.  My body seems to crave different produce in the spring and summer, and this is definitely a normal trait.  In the winter we want more comfort foods to make us warmer (such as potatoes and other starchy veggies) but in the summer, refreshing fruits (such as strawberries and melons) are all that I crave.  Your body is an amazing thing – just listen to your cravings and it will tell you what your body wants and needs.

    Another great find for me was the cookbook Clean Food by Terry Walters.

    It contains many wonderful recipes broken up into 4 sections – Winter, Spring, Summer, Fall and Anytime.  I have not tried any recipes yet because I literally just picked up the book, but  I have plans to try many Spring recipes in the next few weeks.

    It is so important to eat a variety of foods to get all of the vitamins and minerals that our bodies need, and even more important to support local farmers!  This cookbook is a great way to help you do both.

    Do your cravings change as the seasons do?  What foods have you found yourself craving on the warmer days we have had this month?

    pineapple cashew quinoa

    On my goodness – this was amazing!

    I recently purchased the cookbook, Veganomicon due to all of the rave reviews it has received.  I was looking for a vegan cookbook to try out some stuff, so I figured, why not?!

    We had girls night tonight, so I thought it was the perfect time to make a fun springy recipe.

    Enter: Pineapple-Cashew-Quinoa

    You can find the recipe here!

    It was sweet and spicy at the same time, and the flavors all worked really well together.

    I decided to use both white and red quinoa to make it prettier.  Red and white quinoa have the same health properties.  The only difference is the color!  Quinoa is most commonly referred to as a grain, but it is actually the seed of a leafy plant, related to spinach, beets and Swiss chard.  It has a very delicate taste, and therefore, takes on the taste of the foods that you mix it with or cook it with (like pineapple juice!).  It is considered a complete protein and is very rich in iron, potassium and dietary fiber.  It is very easily digested!

    The recipe recommends that you cook the quinoa in 1/2 water and 1/2 pineapple juice, so I did just that.  I cut up a pineapple and reserved 4 cups of pineapple chunks, then juiced the rest for cooking.

    While the quinoa was cooking, I got to work chopping up the remaining ingredients, including red peppers, chili peppers, scallions, basil and mint.  It is important to have everything chopped up ahead of time, because once you start cooking everything gets added to the pot quite quickly.

    I started by toasted the cashews over medium-low heat until toasted.

    Once the cashews are toasted (it took about 7 minutes), place them in a separate bowl and turn the heat in your pan up to medium heat.  Then add sesame oil, scallions and garlic and saute for about 5 minutes, until garlic sizzles.

    At this point, we were chatting, so I forgot to snap photos of each step :).  But, after the garlic sizzles, you add the chile peppers (above), and then the peppers, peas and quinoa.  Once heated through, add the basil and mint for 2 minutes, then the pineapple and cashews.

    Continue to stir-fry for about 10 minutes until everything is heated through, then serve warm.

    I served this along with a spinach, tomato and mozzarella salad.

    This was delicious!  I think everyone else loved it as well.

    cross country skiing

    It was chilly up here in New Hampshire yesterday, so we started with a hearty breakfast!

    My mom made a delicious breakfast with broccoli quiche, sour cream coffee cake and fresh cut cantaloupe.  It was a great start to the day.

    And, my plate!

    After breakfast we headed out to cross country ski with my in-laws.  I haven’t been cross country skiing in a really long time, so it took a little while to get the hang of it, but once I did it was fun!

    We went to the rental place to pick up our stuff.

    After what seemed like forever to get our gear, we headed out to the slopes!

    We made it 2 laps around these cross country trails.  It felt like a great total body workout!  I am exhausted. 🙂  Some pics of our day!

    It was mostly flat or uphill, until we came to the hills – yikes!

    We made it down and stopped by the river for some photo ops!

    It was a gorgeous day!  After we finished skiing, I snacked on my new favorite bar for some protein before lunch.

    Once home, we had panini’s and homemade soup for lunch!

    I enjoyed a grilled cheese with cheddar and some roasted root vegetable soup from Barefoot Contessa made by mom!

    After lunch we took a scenic drive up to the Mount Washington Inn!  The sky was a gorgeous blue and so clear that we had a perfect view of Mount Washington from the Inn.

    We decided to sit in the gorgeous lobby overlooking the enormous fireplace and enjoy an afternoon cocktail!

    I enjoyed a hot apple grog (cider and brandy) along with my mom and father-in-law, while Brant and his mom enjoyed an Irish Coffee.

    With a cinnamon stick!

    And, some snacks.

    Once home from our lovely and relaxing afternoon, we started preparing for the dinner party!

    A fun cheese platter!  I have a major cheese weakness…I love the Apricot Stilton, yum!!

    And, the whole appetizer spread.

    Lots of yummy choices, but I stuck with the cheese and crackers.  They went better with my cosmopolitan!

    Dinner was chicken marsala, israeli couscous salad, spinach pie, and salad.  Here is some of the spread.

    My favorite was the couscous!  YUM!

    And, it is so simple!  Just israeli couscous, toasted pinenuts, raisins and some herbs.  Delicious.  I made a plate up of green salad and the couscous with added mushrooms from the chicken marsala (minus the chicken)!  Along with a glass of red wine.  Perfect!

    cookies and blt’s

    Bet you never thought I’d write a post about BLT’s, huh?  Well, in place of bacon, I used my dehydrated eggplant bacon!

    Eggplant Bacon

    from Everyday Raw by Matthew Kenney

    Ingredients:

    • 1 large eggplant, thinly sliced
    • 1 tablespoon sea salt
    • 1/2 dried chipotle chile, soaked at least 2 hours – omitted because I didn’t have any!
    • 1/2 cup soaking water from the chipotle peppers – omitted, and added a little water instead
    • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
    • 2 tablespoons olive oil
    • 2 tablespoons nama shoyu
    • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
    • 1 teaspoon chili powder
    • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
    • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
    • pinch black pepper
    • pinch cayenne

    Directions:


    Cut the eggplant in half, then slice thinly to make ‘bacon’ strips.



    Sprinkle it with the sea salt and allow to sit for 1-2 hours on paper towels.


    In the mean time, blend all of the other ingredients in your high speed blender or food processor.


    Press our the extra moisture in your eggplant by blotting it with extra paper towels.


    Then, submerge the eggplant in the marinade and let sit 30-45 minutes.




    Carefully lay out the eggplant strips onto your dehydrator and dehydrate at 115°F until crispy (mine took about 14 hours – I put it on before I went to bed, and it was done mid-morning).




    13.5 hours later, my eggplant bacon was crispy and done!


    It tasted great!  Definitely not like real bacon, although I probably haven’t had that in at least 10 years!  It was crispy and the flavor was great, so I’m glad I used the marinade!


    To make our BLT’s for dinner, I took 2 slices of sprouted grain bread and toasted them, then spread a thin layer of mustard on each.

    I layered the toast with green leaf lettuce, yellow tomatoes and eggplant bacon.


    After the sandwich was put together, I put it on our grill pan to press it a little bit.


    Yummy!  The eggplant bacon was crispy enough that it really did remind me of real bacon, besides the flavor.  But, then again, I used to eat BLT’s because I liked the crunch, so this works just fine for me!



    I served our sandwiches with a side of zucchini and kale chips, which I dipped in ketchup!


    Yesterday morning, I took my zucchini chips out of the dehydrator after 9.5 hours!  Here is how they turned out:




    They were crispy, just like chips!  I liked the flavor better dipped in ketchup, so next time I will use some kind of seasoning before dehydrating.  I’m thinking even italian seasoning would be delicious!

    For dessert I made some Super Charge Me cookies from Eat, Drink and Be Vegan.

    Super Charge Me Cookies

    adapted from Eat, Drink and Be Vegan

    makes 12 ‘ice cream scoop’ sized cookies


    Ingredients:

    • 1 cup quick oats (i used rolled oats)
    • 2/3 cup spelt flour (i used whole wheat pastry flour)
    • 1/4 tsp sea salt
    • 1/4-1/2 tsp cinnamon (i used 1/2 tsp)
    • 1/8 cup unsweetened coconut (i used 1/4 cup)
    • 1/4-1/3 cup raisins or other dried fruit ( i used 1/3 cup raisins)
    • 3-4 tbsp carob (to be vegan) or chocolate chips (i used 4 tbsp dark chocolate chunks)
    • 1 tsp baking powder
    • 1/3 cup flax meal
    • 1/2 cup pure maple syrup
    • 3 tbsp almond butter (i used Futter’s Almond Haze)
    • 1.5 tbsp vanilla extract
    • 2 tbsp canola oil (i used coconut oil)

    Mix all of the ingredients together, scoop with an ice cream scoop and place on a cookie sheet.

    Bake at 350°F for 13 minutes.

    I took my cookies out after exactly 13 minutes, and they were perfect.  Enjoy!!

    These cookies were great.  It will be my new go-to cookie for awhile now.  They are extremely east to make, and I normally have all of the ingredients in my pantry!

    freshly made yogurt

    Another one of my Christmas toys was a yogurt maker!  As I’ve said before, I really try and prefer to eat healthy foods without any additives or preservatives.  Unfortunately, most of the yogurt that we see in the dairy aisle today all contain additives, and most importantly, loads of sugar!  I love yogurt, so I have continued to eat all of the added sugar, but recently I have been trying to stick to the basics by eating greek yogurt.  Greek yogurt (if you get the plain kind) does not contain any added sugar.  I love greek yogurt as a snack with a little honey or jam – YUM!

    Even though I aim to eat more natural foods, I still 100% believe that you can eat anything that you want, as long as it is in moderation.  No one is perfect (I certainty am not!), but personally I feel better when I eat healthy the majority of the time and still allow myself to have treats every so often!  If you deprive yourself, you will just want that chocolate bar or donut even more.  I definitely eat some kind of chocolate everyday!

    My yogurt maker will allow me to avoid buying yogurt all together and make my own!  The maker that I received comes with individual jars to cook the yogurt in, which is perfect for grabbing when I am running out the door to work.  You can cook it plain, add a flavor to the mix, or add flavors to the individual jars to come out with 7 different types!  I’ll most likely be keeping mine plain.

    All you need to make yogurt is pasteurized milk (of your choice) and a starter, which can be a container of a plain yogurt that you enjoy (or from your last batch of freshly made yogurt) or starter cultures that you buy.  You then heat the milk on the stovetop (this will ultimately create a creamier yogurt), add the starter once it cools to room temp and pour the mixture into each jar in the yogurt ‘oven’.  The yogurt will ‘cook’ for 8-12 hours depending on the type of milk you use.  Sounds easy, right?  Well, here goes my first shot:

    My Very Own Homemade Yogurt

    1.  Thoroughly clean each of the yogurt jars and allow to dry.

    2.  Heat 42 ounces (specific to my yogurt maker) on the stovetop until it boils.  I am using 1% milk this time because it is what I have in my fridge!  Next time, I will definitely use a creamier milk, like 2%.

    3.  Remove saucepan from heat and let sit until the milk reaches room temperature.

    4.  Once milk has cooled, pour it into a pitcher.

    5.  Add yogurt starter to the milk and stir until it dissolves.

    6.  Pour the room temp mixture into the 7 glass jars of the yogurt maker.

    7.  Place the jars (without lids) into the yogurt maker and place the cover on top.

    8.  Plug in the unit and switch the ‘ON’ button.  Set the unit to the desired length of time (most likely 10-11 hours for 1% milk).  My 1% milk took 10 hours!

    9.  Once the 10 hours is up (add actual length of time here), check the yogurt to make sure the yogurt is set.  It may take a few tries at making your yogurt until you receive the consistency and tartness that you desire.

    10. After the yogurt is set, add the lids and place the individual jars in the fridge for 2-3 hours until chilled.

    11. Once chilled, enjoy!

    YUM!  It seems like a long process, but the steps of the process are very easy.  I think that it is important to make sure the yogurt is really at room temperature before adding the starter, and the mixture into the yogurt maker.  I read some reviews from people who did not have good results their first time.  But, I seemed to have a lot of luck my first time!

    My yogurt was a little tart, which plain yogurt usually is, but it was also a little thinner than I prefer.  I enjoy greek yogurt over regular yogurt, so next time I will use different milk and I think it will help!

    I’ve been enjoying my little jars of homemade yogurt all week!

    I love it for breakfast with fresh blueberries, granola and a squeeze of honey.

    But, I also love it for dessert with raspberry jam, shredded coconut and cacao nibs!

    Next up, I’m going to try making some tzatziki for a more savory way to use yogurt.

    wild times

    It was cold and gross out when I woke up this morning, so what did I want for breakfast?!  A smoothie!  Normal, right? 🙂  I decided to be crazy this morning and change up my normal oatmeal breakfast for a chocolate peanut butter and banana smoothie.  By adding the peanut butter to my smoothie, it gives it a little staying power and fills me up.  Plus, this combo is a favorite of mine!

    I changed it up again by adding something green to my smoothie to get some fruit and veggies in my breakfast.

    Chocolate, Peanut Butter and Banana Smoothie

    • 1 banana
    • 6 ice cubes

    • 1/4 cup cacao powder
    • a few squirts of agave

    • 1 tablespoon peanut butter

    • 3 handfuls of spinach!!

    • Mix it all up and get this yummy smoothie!

    Don’t be disturbed by the green color, I promise, you cannot taste the spinach!

    And, if you can’t get over the color, than do what these girls do and use a sippy cup! 🙂

    This was my first green smoothie, and it was really good!

    Lunch was leftovers from last nights dinner!  Still great the next day -maybe even a little better because the veggies were more marinated.

    After my 8 miles of speed-work at the gym, it was time for a good and substantial dinner, so I made another Moosewood recipe, Wild Rice Waldorf Salad.  It was a twist on the classic waldorf that I love.

    While the combination of wild and brown rice was cooking, I set to work chopping up all of the fruits and veggies: yellow pepper, celery, red onion, and 2 granny smith apples.

    I tossed the apples with lemon to keep them from browning.

    Then toasted some walnuts, and whipped up the dressing!

    This was a super simple recipe.  The longest part was cooking the rice!  There was a lot of sitting and waiting around while it cooked.  Next time I will pre-cook the rice the night before.

    My husband and I both loved this dish.  The tartness of the apples and the sweetness of the raisins really added to it.

    I served it on a bed of mixed salad greens.  I love to add in more veggies when I can!

    Wild Rice Waldorf Salad

    from Moosewood Restaurants Low-Fat Favorites

    Serves 6

    Salad Ingredients:

    • 2/3 cup wild rice
    • 1 cup brown rice
    • 2 1/2 cups hot water
    • 2 medium granny smith apples
    • juice of 1 lemon
    • 1 bell pepper
    • 1 cup diced celery
    • 1/2 cup red onion, minced
    • 1/2 cup unsweetened raisins
    • 1/4 cup toasted walnuts, chopped

    Dressing Ingredients:

    • 1/2 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
    • 1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
    • 1-2 teaspoon poppy seeds
    • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
    • 1 tablespoon olive oil

    Directions:

    1. Soak the wild rice in 1 cup of hot water (in a closed saucepan) for 30 minutes.
    2. After 30 minutes, add the brown rice and the remaining 1 1/2 cups of water.  Bring to a boil, then cover and simmer for 45 minutes until rice is tender.
    3. When the rice has cooked for about 30 minutes, dice the apples and toss with the lemon juice in a large bowl.
    4. Chop the pepper, celery and onion and add to that bowl along with the raisins and walnuts.
    5. Whisk together the dressing ingredients in a seperate bowl.
    6. When the rice is cooked, add it to the bowl of veggies and toss everything with the dressing.
    7. Serve over a bed of greens!

    And, dessert was 2 homemade macaroons!  The chocolate with some raw almond butter on top.