Friday, April 26, 2013

Olive Hummus with Toasted Pinenuts

Mmmmm....hummus. I freaking love hummus and I eat the shit out of it!  Why buy it when it is so easy to make and when popular brands have all this garbage...

Instead....make this!

Olive Hummus with Toasted Pinenuts

1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
2 cloves garlic
2 Tbsp tahini
Juice of 1/2 lemon
1/3 c mixture of kalamata olives and green olives...or get creative and use jalapeƱo stuffed green olives
1/2 c juice from olive jars
1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil (or substitute flax oil for an extra health boost!)
Salt & Pepper to taste
1/4 pine nuts, toasted on a dry skillet until lightly browned

Process all ingredients except for the Pinenuts in a food processor until smooth. Add more olive juice if you need to smooth it out a little. Top with toasted pine nuts, a drizzle of olive oil and garnish with additional chopped olives.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

RAW MILK: A logical view from an adult human.

OK....let's get real.  I am going to make this short and simple.  Milk is produced by mammalian mothers for their young. Not for adults of another species.

Lately, raw milk has been gaining popularity.  From a completely logical standpoint, I understand that raw milk is full of wonderful magical stuff that boost immunity and kills pathogens.  To these people I say:  OF COURSE IT DOES!!!  ITS F*CKING BREASTMILK!

We all know the Breast is Best!  That's a no-brainer.  If you are so concerned about boosting immunity and don't want to do it through eating a healthy ADULT diet, by all means, call up mommy and suck on her teat for a while.

The end.  I have spoken my peace.  Cows milk is for baby cows.  Not adult humans.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Stromboli 2 Ways!

I have nothing to blog about.  Or, moreso, the time to do here, short and simple, is my recipe for a quick easy version of a traditional Stromboli (1 of my favorite foods when I was a kid!) and a Thai twist on another one.  =)

Vegan Stromboli

I am not providing measurements for the ingredients below.  These are based purely on what you like and your preferences.  In addition, if you don't have one of the ingredients, skip it!  I would not skip the vegan cheese because the cheese acts as a binder to hold all the insides together (plus, its freaking delicious) but feel free to add other ingredients you like or omit some.

1 package refrigerated pizza crust or french bread
vegan ham (I ran out.  I just used pepperoni on the one pictured)
vegan pepperoni
steamed broccoli
chopped onions (I used red, but any will work!)
tomatoes, sliced or chopped
fresh spinach
vegan Daiya (or other favorite brand) mozzarella cheese
olive oil
garlic powder
crushed red pepper

You dont need instructions.  Here are the pictures.  =)

First, gather your ingredients.

Spread your dough out, drizzle olive oil if you like and start adding your fillings!We started this one with vegan pepperoni.

MMmmm...broccoli.  =)

Onions add a kick to everything! 

You say "Tomato".  I say "Tomato"...wait...  lol

It was good enough for Popeye...

Vegan Cheesy Yummyness

Drizzle with olive oil.  Then, (not pictured) sprinkle some garlic powder and crushed red pepper on top.  You can also sprinkle dried basil, nutritional yeast or anything else you like on a pizza.

Bake according to the directions on your refrigerated dough.  This took 25 minutes at 350 degrees.

This.  Is.  Delicious.  Serve with organic pizza sauce or marinara sauce for dipping.  Now...go!  Stuff your face!!

Thai Stromboli

This version is not as quick a version as the last one.  This requires some prep work.  So, here we go...


Thai Peanut Dipping Sauce
1 can coconut milk
2-3 Tbsp organic peanut butter
1 Tbsp tamari
dash (really....only a dash...this stuff is potent!) toasted sesame oil (optional)
dash agave nectar or honey
dash sriracha sauce (spicy chili sauce), or cayenne

Mix all ingredients except for cilantro on medium-low heat until combined.  Add cilantro and remove from heat.

1 package refrigerated pizza dough or bread
1 package (Non-silken) tofu
1 Tbsp cooking oil (canola or peanut work well)
1 recipe Thai Peanut Dipping Sauce, divided
red bell pepper, sliced
Thai spicy peppers (if you like it hot!)
shredded carrots
green onions, sliced on the diagonal
bean sprouts

Spread your dough on a pan.  Drain and cut tofu into thick chunks.  Heat oil over medium-high heat.  Add tofu.  Cook tofu about 15 minutes until browned.  To give tofu the desired texture, you will need to keep the heat medium-high and continue to stir with a spatula until brown.  A cast iron skillet works great.  Otherwise, you may need to add oil, just a dash at a time to keep the tofu from sticking.  When almost brown, add 1/2 c of the dipping sauce and stir.  Remove from heat.

Good, the hard part's done.  Now, commence with pictures!

Here's the fillin's! Peanut tofu, carrots, red pepper, green onions & bean sprouts!

Arrange your peppers on the dough.  As many or as little as you like.


Carrot Top....or top with carrots.
Green onions!

Bean Sprouts!
Again, fold dough over.  Bake according to package directions.  Cut, serve with dipping sauce!

Thai Stromboli!

Friday, April 19, 2013

Product Review: The Nutrition Bar Face Off

FINALLY!  I have been wanting to crap all over this damn bar since I first tasted it.
"Don't publicly announce your hatred for this bar." I'd say.
"It's probably a small company just making healthy bars" Id say.
"Just choke it down, they're good for you" Id say.
"You may be a bitch but why put down a product that appears to be doing such wonderful things" Id say.

I said enough.  It was disgust at first bite.  It tasted like something I had already digested, pulled from the toilet, packed tightly into a mold and then shoved into a friendly looking wrapper.  I hated it.  I fucking hated it.  I reluctantly tried several flavors.  All evoked the same response from my taste buds: Utter fear before each forced bite.  I couldn't do it.  I just could not bring myself to like that god damned LARABAR.
Gross.  Effing gross.

In the literal sense of the word, it tasted like shit.  Just like almost every other protein bar I had eaten pre-health nut.  Garbage.  Who eats this shit I thought?  Starving Ethiopians?   Prisoners of war?  Then, to top it off, I saw it win awards in Veg News magazine.  Other magazines raved about how tasty and nutritious they were.  I appeared to be the only person in the world who would rather jump into a pit full of melting legos than eat another god forsaken bite of that nasty stuff.  I felt cold and alone.  Was I crazy?  This company appeared to be wonderful!

Meanwhile, I was having an absolute love affair with the almighty Luna Bar.  They had pizzazz.  They had finesse   They had crunch.  They had chocolate!  They had peanuts and honey and pretzels all rolled into one!  They had a plethora of flavors, each and every one equally delicious!  This was no ordinary nutrition bar.  This was heaven, or 6 heavens to be exact, in a box!  I hid my affair.  After all, LARA is supposed to be so healthy!

Until last weekend.  I was so stupid!  I always research stuff!  I hadn't!  It only took 3 freaking minutes on google to find my answer!

Luna Bar (A mouth orgasm) is owned by CLIF, who is an independent company and does NOT use GMOs.  CLIF = Good.

LARABAR.  Parent company: General Mills.  While LARABAR claims they use NO GMOs in their bars, they are owned by General Mills who actively fights labeling laws which would make labeling products containing GMOs mandatory.  General Mills = Bad.

Just to be clear, while I do mostly avoid GMOs, I do on occasion buy products whose parent companies fight labeling laws.  I have made myself familiar with the list now and am cutting the little I do buy, out.  Yes, I use Boca crumbles on occasion because my husband likes them since I dont use beef, but no I dont go buying GMO shit all willy-nilly.  However, knowing this made me thrilled about my secret life as a Luna Lover. Screw You LARABAR!  There's a new nutrition bar in town!  (...and this one doesn't taste like munching on a turd!)

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Spinach - Raw vs. Cooked

Was Popeye right?  

There is no denying spinach is healthy for us but does the way in which we eat it affect its ability to give us superhuman strength?

One of the most popular misconceptions I come across regularly is people telling me how they juice and eat spinach for iron and calcium.  After all, we are told leafy greens contain plenty of the both and lots of vegetarians need to load up on their iron and calcium.  Truth is, spinach (and chard and beet greens) contains high amounts of oxalic acid, which prevents the absorption of both iron and calcium!

Wait...don't put that spinach down yet!  It still contains buttloads of Vitamin K, A and Folate...but its not the iron powerhouse that many think it is.  In addition, although raw veggies are chock full of enzymes, it seems that the verdict is out and lightly cooked spinach contain some higher concentrations of these vitamins and minerals.  Cooking or steaming spinach does kill off some of the oxalates but probably not enough to make a significant difference.  Due to the oxalic acid in this leafy green, it is estimated that only about 5% of the calcium contained in those luscious leaves can be absorbed.

Cooking spinach and some other veggies breaks down the cell walls of the vegetable, making the vitamins and minerals more available to us.  While both raw and lightly cooked can be considered healthy, the cooked version supposedly does boast more vitamin and mineral content than that of is raw sister.  When cooking, though, steam or lightly saute.  Boiling will diminish the nutritional content so much that it's hardly worth eating.

People prone to kidney stones should also note that oxalates found in raw spinach (beet greens, chard, etc) combine with calcium to form kidney stones.  This does not mean that eating spinach will cause kidney stones, but that if you are prone to them, you may want to limit your intake of this veg in the raw.  Those suffering from thyroid disease or gout may want to limit consumption also.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Summertime....and the livin's easy...

It happens every summer.  As Spring rolls around and the stores have already been selling swimsuits since mid-January here in Florida, I get the itch.  The itch to live like the Floridian I was born to be.  Beaches.  Bikinis.  Margaritas.  And suntans.  I'm not gonna lie...I love the look of perfectly sun kissed skin.  Some people look good sporting the 'Snow White' look.  I don't.  I like being tan.  In college, I was addicted to the tanning beds.  When I decided that they would kill me slowly, I became addicted to laying out under the sun all slathered in whatever chemical concoction promised me the darkest tan on the bottle.  Now, in the name of vanity, I am addicted to completely different method for getting that "I'm a beach bum and I know it" glow.  

Science has shown that although our skin, the largest organ of our body and our first line of defense for immunity, is not impermeable.  In fact, a large percentage of crap that we rub all over ourselves is actually absorbed through our skin and ends up in our blood stream.  This includes a butt load of carcinogenic substances, neurotoxic chemicals and other random shit that companies feel the need to inject into their products to make it 'pretty!' or smell better.  From human infant foreskins to crushed parasitic beetles, there are hosts of uninvited guests hanging out in your lotion bottles just waiting to penetrate your skin.  A number of ingredients commonly used in skin care products are known carcinogens and have been shown to aid in tumor growth.  So, I ask you.  Which is scarier?  Exposing your skin to the sun or generously rubbing chemicals into your beach bod to avoid sun exposure which will inevitably be absorbed into your blood stream?  Are you one of those parents who applies conventional sunscreen to their kids every 15 minutes like clockwork to prevent even the slightest amount of sun to break through in an effort to prevent future skin cancer?  Meanwhile the sunscreen you're applying contains chemicals strongly linked to cancer?  You may want to rethink your strategy.  

Want the best of both worlds?  Tan skin but no chemicals?  You can!  I use these tips for my own skin during the hot summer months.  

1.  Exfoliate.  Dry brush in the morning.  Exfoliate in the shower.  Exfoliating removes dead skin cells and leaves your skin ready for the sun.  Why waste time tanning dead skin thats just going to come off anyhow?  

2.  Use either a natural sunscreen or a natural tanning lotion.  Look for varieties that practice what they preach.  Read the ingredient list!  Avoid parabens, oxybenzone, artificial colors, etc.  You can use the information located on the Environmental Working Groups Skin Deep site to help you navigate products and ingredient lists.

3. The sun is not evil!  Your body naturally synthesizes Vitamin D from the sun, so soak it up! it in short bursts.  Go outside every day, but only expose your skin for 15-20 minutes.  You may not tan as fast, but it will be a nice long lasting tan, and one that will not threaten you with a burn or worse.

4.  Lips!  Make sure to use a natural lip balm or coconut oil, shea butter or cocoa butter on your lips when out in the sun.  Lips are so often overlooked and can burn so easily!  Keep them moisturized   

5.  Drink carrot juice!  Haven't you seen those babies whose skin are a slight orange tint from eating so much carrot puree?  Carotenoids, which do double duty for you since they are also powerful antioxidants, are natures sunless tanning supplement.  Increase your consumption of orange fruits and veggies and Voila!  
For avoiding sun exposure, I recommend finding a NATURAL sunscreen and donning a big sunhat.  At times, the sun is unavoidable and you need to protect yourself. Light colored and airy fabrics that cover you body and hats are a great start.  From someone who has a terrible case of melasma, I must depend on carrot juice and mineral bronzer for my face.  Meanwhile, I will wear a hat and tan my legs.  =)  Happy sunning!