Oil-Free Dressing Recipe!

Gooood morning!

Well, construction on the ark has begun.  You see, here in the Pacific Northwest when it starts to rain in November, it pretty much continues on until about February.  Okay, it’s not really that bad, but this weekend we had a lot of rain, particularly on Sunday.  That was my lazy day.  Yes, I admit I laid on the couch for a couple of hours and watched non-stop HGTV.

Weekend wrecks:
Weekends are made for experiments in the kitchen and this weekend was not unlike most.  There were some bombs (Swimming Rama) and there were some successes (carrot ginger dressing).  There was also one that I figured I’d give another go at later on (blue kuri squash soup).  It wasn’t a total fail — I’ll eat what I made — but it isn’t worthy of posting the recipe.  Can you say too much cardamom? Maybe I should throw in some apples and more cinnamon and call it breakfast!  Hey, now there’s an idea.  Hmmmm….

Weekend eats:
I will share with you, though, how salad making is an easy-peasy process and then I’ll give you a TV-inspired salad dressing.  Eating the way we do sure does require a lot of time spent in the kitchen chopping, slicing, dicing, and shredding.  And that’s before anything goes in a pan.  I’m sure I’ve said over and over again to basically measure twice, cut once.  In kitchen-speak, that means cut up the veggies you’ll be using for the week in one shot.  Why peel and shred carrots three times throughout the week when you can do a whole bunch in one two-minute round with the food processor?  I know, it’s a pain to assemble, disassemble & wash, but it’s much faster to do it one time than it is to do it every day with the hand grater.  Here you can see I processed a bunch of carrots, one beet and both green & purple cabbage.

IMG_1695I also pre-wash my greens.  I usually buy two heads of romaine and a couple bunches of kale for the two of us for a week.  Instead of washing and chopping the greens ahead of time, I just rinse well, drip dry in a colander and then lay them out on a towel and roll up, and place in a plastic bag.  The greens keep well that way, staying crisp and tasty for quite a few days.  This is what it looks like:

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When you’re ready to make your salad, unroll the greens, take out the desired number of leaves, give them a chop, place them in a bowl and add the desired ingredients, plus some chopped tomato, cucumber and beans and you’ve got a meal in just about 3 minutes!  Today’s salad was accompanied with a dressing inspired by a TV show I was watching the other day.  You know those shows where they go into a factory and follow every step that is taken of whatever it is the factory makes?  I love it.  I enjoy learning what goes into our food and how it’s made.  Of course, I don’t eat much processed stuff, but I still find it intriguing watching things cruising down the assembly line.  Anyway, the show happened to be about all things Asian… soy sauce, carrot ginger dressing, Peking duck.  Okay, so I decided to make my own carrot ginger dressing sans the oil, sugar and salt.  The result was pretty good.  As for the Peking duck, I had to turn the channel when it came to that segment.  I couldn’t bear to watch the way the animals were treated.  But I did learn that only the female ducks quack.  The males make more of a grunting sound.  Hmmm…. I’ll hold my comment there.

So you can click on the picture below to be taken to the recipe for Carrot Ginger Salad Dressing.  I hope you enjoy it.

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Wrap Up:
Well, today is the first day of the Dr. Fuhrman Holiday Health Fest.  I’m looking forward to having some motivation and support throughout the holidays to stay on track.  If you want to join in the fun, you can either click the link and join as a member or “like” Dr. Fuhrman’s Facebook page and get access to the same information there.  I know, it appears I’m always promoting Dr. Fuhrman.  I am, I agree.  But I will also tell you I gain nothing from it.  I just like to share his knowledge and hope that others will join me in living a healthy lifestyle free of disease.

I hope you have a healthy, wonderful week.  I will “see” you Friday.

Toodles…

It’s Squash Week

At least squash don’t attack like sharks!  I do feel, however, I’ve had a squash invasion at my house.  There’s so many types to choose from…

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Kobacha

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Blue Kuri

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Delicata

There are many more varieties, as you can tell by these pictures taken at the local farm stand:

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I’d never tried the blue kuri before so I picked one up just because I liked the name.  The delicata (my fave) and kobacha I’ve had.  Next I’ll have to try the turban squash — that’s the one in the picture on the left.  I love winter squash for their sweet pulp and ease of preparation.  You can see with these next few pictures how easy it is to roast or bake them.

IMG_1707 For the blue kuri, I just plopped it on a baking sheet and put it in the oven at 375° for about 45 minutes.  That’s in a convection oven, so you might want to raise the temp to 400°.  To tell if it is done, you just thump on the outside of the shell and you just know.  I think it’s sort of like those barbecue masters who can tell when a steak is done by touching it with their fingertips or something.  Anyway, the blue kuri came out perfectly.  Look at the insides:

IMG_1709It’s so much easier to cut them and scoop out the seeds after they’re cooked.  The flesh on this one is very similar to a pumpkin and works wonderfully well in soups.  It’s rich and sweet, firm and not stringy at all.  I can’t wait to try a tasty, cozy soup this weekend.

As for the delicata, I find this one very easy to make too.  I do slice it open, remove the seeds and roast it in a pan.  I like the little bit of a crunch the high heat gives it after I flip it over.
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So the way I do this one is 30 minutes “face down” in a little water, covered with foil.  Flip over and roast uncovered for another 30 minutes or until fork tender.  You’ll want to do this in a 375° / 400° oven as well.  This variety you can eat the skin.  I actually enjoy it cooled and sliced on my salad or mixed in with some mushrooms, kale, spices and other leftover veggies like peas or beans topped with some tahini & lemon.  I like this recipe that comes from the mastermind of my friend and fellow blogger, Carrie, from Carrie on Vegan.

I think I’ll give the kobacha a try at Thanksgiving time mixed with some rice or other grain (maybe quinoa), cranberries, sage, nuts and other ingredients to make a stuffing of sorts.  The neat thing about squash is with its thick skin, you don’t really need to worry about them spoiling on your countertop.  They last quite a while which is good because I tend to buy too many with great ambitions to go squash crazy and then I don’t.  This week, however, is a little bit of an exception.  And I’ll be sharing a recipe with you on Monday (if my soup turns out).  So stay tuned.

Health Benefits of Squash:

Winter squash contain many antioxidants which protect our bodies from free radicals (aka cancer-causing elements).  The more colorful the vegetable the more carotenoids they have, right? Well, hello! Can you get any more colorful than orange?  Be careful!  Your very own skin just might take on that same hue if you eat too much.  But what’s better than great-looking skin in the dead of winter?!

These squash(es) also have great anti-inflammatory effects, contain about one-third the amount of Omega-3s that walnuts have (and are much lower in fat), and only about 15% of the calories come from fat!

Coupled with the antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits, squash just might be the food to include in a diet to keep away cardiovascular disease.
Source:http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=63

And did you know that squash are in the same family as cucumbers and melons?  Wow! The amazing things you learn!

Wrap Up:
So now that you know everything there is to know about squash, check back here on Monday to see what, if anything, I made with my blue kuri ball of tastiness!

Toodles…

Start the Day off Right with Oats

Hi there!  Glad you could join me.  On this Veteran’s Day, I wish to thank all of our service members.  My father served, my father-in-law did too, and now my own son is proudly serving our country.  I am so grateful for those who have the courage and the drive to do something I could NEVER do!  Thank you.  If you have a loved one who is a veteran, please give them a hug from me.

Sigh… another breakfast recipe:

I know.  I know.  You’re tired of breakfast recipes.  Maybe it’s because breakfast is the most important meal of the day that I focus on that more than any other.  Maybe it’s because my lunches are leftovers of my dinners and my dinners are just repeats of many of the recipes I’ve already posted.  I tend to get stuck in a rut and eat the same things over and over.  That’s okay…  I think.  It goes like this:  Salad.  Soup.  Salad.  Tacos.  Salad.  Salad.  Salad.  Salad.  After all, salad is the main dish.

Anyway, let’s get to the point.  Oats are good for you.  The less processed the better.  That makes steel cut oats the best.  The problem is they take so gosh-darned long to cook.  Who has ten minutes to stand over the stove on a busy weekday morning?  That’s why I usually save my cooked oats for the weekends.  Of course, I like my raw oats too.  You can find a very yummy recipe here for raw apple oats.  But with this new recipe that I recently came across and adapted, I can get everything ready and turn on the pressure cooker, hop in the shower, and breakfast will be ready for me when I’m finished!  Steel cut oats pack a powerful protein punch with 7 grams to a serving of 1/4 cup (uncooked).  They’re also high in fiber (we know what that does for us) and phosphorous, a vital mineral needed to keep our heart pumping, our kidneys filtering, and our bones strong.  H³ eats oats of some type almost every morning after his intense workouts.  Giving him energy and refueling, he stays full until lunchtime… sometimes he doesn’t even eat again until dinner!

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Before the added toppings

Remember, when you have oats, to add in some flax or chia seeds and serve alongside a bowl of berries.  You’ll be good to go and feel great for eating so healthy!

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Loaded with walnuts, flax, date crumbles & extra ceylon cinnamon!

I hope you have a great week and have the chance to try a new yummy breakfast.  It really is the most important meal of the day.  Actually, every meal is important, so eat up!

Check back on Friday.  Hopefully I’ll have a new lunch or dinner option for you.

Good Morning, Friday! And a Holiday Smoothie

Hello, Friday… I’m so happy to see you.

I hope y’all had a good week and are ready for a long weekend.  We government workers have a holiday on Monday.  I always enjoy an extra day off, and when it’s something like Veteran’s Day, I take a moment to send up a little prayer for all of our veterans and those who are currently serving our country.  It’s more than a weekend of shopping deals at the mall for me.  I challenge you to take the time when you’re out and about to thank a current or former service member.  They’re easy to spot.  And it feels so good to say thanks.

A Holiday Smoothie:
Check this out:
IMG_1674I was inspired by a recipe I came across in a Williams-Sonoma catalog.  You know how they always put a tantalizing recipe next to something they’re selling.  It’s usually some meat entree that looks totally greasy and unappetizing to me, but this time, right next to the Vitamixes was this Cranberry Orange Banana Smoothie.  I did a little tweaking, removing the yogurt and agave and substituting with ingredients that fit more in my dietstyle.  Click the picture above and check out the recipe.

I think it would be delicious served as a morning wakeup for holiday guests.  Or how about using frozen bananas and turning it into a sorbet of sorts.

Wrap Up:
I’ve been a little out of touch recently, but I am making my way back to the blogosphere and will try to be here a little more often and keep you updated with a new recipe as often as I can.  I am poring over a few new cookbooks and trying some new recipes as time and the taste testers will allow.

Do you have a new recipe you’ve tried recently that is so good that you feel you just have to share with everyone you meet?  If so, email me at janmarieglaze@gmail.com  I love to try new dishes and love even more sharing them with the world!IMG_1672

It was a food fest weekend!

Food, food and more food.  I think I ate my way through the weekend.  It was all (mostly) healthy.

Healthy Foods Potluck:

The weekend started by me waking up in the kitchen.  Well, not really.  Have you ever had one of those days where you’re in the kitchen before the sun comes up and you’re just going at it for what seems like hours and then you realize you’re hungry and it’s like 10 a.m.?!  Yeah, that was me Saturday.  I was at the grocery store while the night stockers (not stalkers) were still doing their thing.  I love it when the “cashier” is really one of the stock boys and has no clue what’s in the produce bags that come down the belt.  I guess a few years ago I wouldn’t know kale from a beet from a kabocha squash either.  It gave me a giggle, though, as nearly every bag earned a “what the…?” as it came to him.  Anyway… why was I in the kitchen so early?  I was hosting a healthy foods potluck lunch at my house.  I had a busy weekend and was clearly ill prepared for entertaining.  I pulled it off, however.  A small group of healthy foodists gathered and we feasted on Black Eyed Pea Chili from Fat Free Vegan, Dr. Fuhrman’s Golden Austrian Cauliflower Soup, a delicious Vegetable Quinoa salad from The Garden Grazer, a tossed salad with one of my favorite Dr. Fuhrman dressing recipes, Dijon Date.  We also tasted “better burgers” made with mushrooms, walnuts & oats.  For dessert we indulged in baked apples stuffed with a tasty apricot walnut cream, Carrie on Vegan‘s Peanut Butter Chocolate Pie, and a little taste of banana walnut Nice Cream.  Can you believe I was so distracted with chatting and eating and doing stuff that I forgot to take even just one picture?  I will post a couple of the recipes that I made soon.

Non-cooking Cooking Class:

But I also want to share with you the other food related thing I did this weekend.  I attending a “cooking” demonstration at a raw restaurant.  Now you know why the word “cooking” is in quotes.  No need to cook if you’re eating raw, right?  But what else would you call it?  The theme of the demo was sauces and was the main reason I went.  One of the most important things as a plant-based eater is flavor, right?  We basically eat the same foods over and over and the way you change it up is by changing the seasonings and flavor.  Sauces and spreads are HUGE in our world.  So off I went for a quick hands-on demo.  We put different ingredients into blenders, whizzed them up and came away an hour later with five samples of different sauces.  Plus, the 30 of us in attendance bombarded Francisco, the chef at AmeRAWcan Bistro, with questions ranging from how long to soak your nuts (no giggling, now) to the key ingredients in their top-selling entrees.  He happily obliged and shared and said he is willing to share the recipe for anything on his menu except for the enchilada sauce and tortillas.  Somebody had already squealed the recipe for the enchilada sauce and I secretly wrote it down. Buwahahaha!  I’ll share that one later.

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Francisco was great!

So what did we end up with?  Well, how about the recipe for a versatile almond cheese?  A sampling of alfredo sauce to top your spiralized zucchini noodles?  A very tasty Caesar dressing that gets its fishy flavor from nori & kelp rather than anchovies?  How about a raw marinara sauce that was oh, so yummy — and mix it with the alfredo for something a little different and you’re in heaven.  The falafel dressing wasn’t my favorite and I’d have to substitute the 3/4 cup of OIL out with avocado to make it fit my dietstyle.  The Ginger Miso dressing would be perfect on an Asian-inspired salad.

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All in all it was an informative hour.  Francisco even spilled the beans on how he makes his Parmesan “cheese” out of macadamia nuts.  It was intriguing and probably not something I would try to make.  So much of raw food preparation requires a dehydrator — something I don’t have.  And dehydrating takes a lot of patience — another thing I don’t have.  This class wasn’t too informative on the raw eating style, a perfect balance, really, so I was pleased with the information that was shared by the chef and his two assistants who are obviously well-versed in the subject.  I did learn, however, that a true raw foodist wouldn’t eat nuts sold conventionally as nuts are pasteurized, therefore, heated above 118 degrees which is the magic cut off for what is considered raw.  But as Francisco says, “They’re healthy right?  I eat them cuz they’re healthy.” I agree.

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Francisco’s helpers kept us all informed and on track

AmeRAWcan Bistro will host a class each month.  In November we will be making cheesecake.  Obviously, there is no cheese in their desserts, but are cashew based and naturally sweetened.  I learned all about coconut nectar and am excited to try it (sparingly) in some recipes coming up.  I’m really looking forward to attending in November and will definitely keep you posted.  Just in time for the holidays.  Who couldn’t do with a decadent pumpkin cheesecake or maybe even raspberry?  Hmmmm… I can hardly wait!

Well, check back here on Friday & see what I’ve whipped up in the kitchen throughout the week.

Toodles…

Gratitude is an Attitude

The above words were spoken at church over the weekend and really touched me.  Imagine what the world would be if more people had an attitude of gratitude.

I don’t have a recipe for you today.  No great fitness advice.  Nothing to report in the exercise realm.  Just gratitude.  Yep.  That’s it.  Just one word.  Maybe it’s the time of year.  Perhaps it’s because the summer is officially over and things are slowing down.  Flies don’t move as quickly in the cold weather and, realistically, neither do I.  More time to spend thinking of the things I’m grateful for.  Everything from the gifts we have been given here on earth — the sunrises and sunsets — to the gift of health and the ability to be active.   I have the ability to worship and not be persecuted; to write this blog freely.  I have an amazing family and am grateful for the time I spend with them; blessed with an incredible son who has chosen to serve our country.  I am grateful for the fact that I can buy food each week to satisfy our bellies; sharing the abundance with those less fortunate.  The list goes on and on.  You probably have different things on YOUR list that you’re grateful for.

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A number of years ago, probably when he was in about ninth or tenth grade, our son wrote a piece that, then, made me stop and think.  You know, kids are so innocent and have a sense of the way things should be.  If a 15- or 16-year old can have these thoughts, think of the love that would be shared if world leaders and others had similar sentiments.

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I have a quick post today and I hope you don’t mind.  I want to leave you with these words:

I am grateful for the simply beautiful things given to me gratuitously… given by God, friends and complete strangers.  Be it a smile, a sweet sip of water, a friendly nod, or a piece of someone’s lunch on the days I forget mine at home on the kitchen table.

As days continue to show up on my doorstep, realization has come as well, and it is understood now, that I have nothing that is mine.  I am owed nothing, and everything, including the air I breathe, is a gift.

And if you are taking the time to read this, I thank you as well.  I hope that we as a people can interact, take time to write letters, make phone calls, smile at a stranger and most of all say “thank you.”

We are made to love, so let someone know that you appreciate their love.
~Alex Glaze

Have a great week & I wish you well.
Until Friday…

Toodles

Where are Cinderella’s Glass Slippers?

Well, I haven’t been so excited for the weekend since last Friday. Ha Ha!

I missed Monday’s blog and some people actually noticed.  That makes me feel good, but also puts a little pressure on me.  It’s okay though.  Want to hear why?  You’re never going to believe this story:

So I went to a glamorous ball over the weekend. I was having such a good time and not paying close attention to the clock.  I fled quickly and as I was riding along in my coach — actually, it was zooming along rather rapidly to assure that I was home by curfew — the clock struck twelve and my magical transporter turned into a pumpkin.  As this happened I began to panic.  Then I thought of the age-old saying “When life gives you lemons, make lemonade” and decided to make the best of my situation and literally ate myself into a pumpkin coma.  There were pumpkin smoothies, pumpkin scones, pumpkin lattes, and pumpkin nog similar to this recipe.  It was a crazy week, and I have recently awakened.  (I can’t tell you how much grief that last sentence has just caused me — awakened? awoke?)

See, I told you that you wouldn’t believe it!

Busy Busy:

I love it when you have been sick for a few days and you just wake up and ka-boom you’re ready to go, lots of energy and are feeling great.  That’s what happened after a couple of days off and lots of rest.  I really do think that healthy eating plays a role in recovery time.  I still worked out during the time I was sick and I even ran a 5k last weekend.  It must have helped the last few germs to exit my body because I felt fabulous afterwards and have ever since!  Bam!

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My friend and me just before heading out in the 5k last weekend. She topped her age group!

Speaking of Running:

I recently discovered the local running store hosts runs on Wednesday evenings and joined the group this week.  It’s nice to show up and have a mapped run all ready for you.  There were about a dozen folks who took off in the setting sun for some exercise.  Some ran at a sprinter’s pace, others took it easy, and yet a few even walked.  I was the only one who ran the three-mile course, so I wasn’t able to glean any sage advice from the seasoned runners.  I guess I’ll have to show up next week to try again.  Since they also map out a 6-mile course, it gives you the opportunity to stretch your ability just a little and step outside of your comfort zone a bit.  Not sure I’m there yet, but eventually I’ll give it a try.  They also provide some healthy snacks and water afterwards, all for free!  Though intrigued by the mooshed almond butter / banana / blueberry concoction in a squeeze bottle, I didn’t try it as the #2 ingredient was sugar.  Water satisfied me until I raced home to a GIANT salad.  It was a different experience for me to run in the evening as I usually keep my exercising to the morning, but it seemed like I had enough energy at the end of what was otherwise a very stressful day.  It actually was a great stress relief.  I see this being helpful in the future.

Weekend Plans:

So what do you have scheduled for your weekend?  The weather here is a little iffy, so it looks like whatever I do will end up occurring indoors.  Maybe roller skating?  No, not really.  It’s just what popped into my head, but it does sound like fun, doesn’t it?  I might have to find an eight-year-old girl to go with so I’d have an excuse to go roller skating, cuz I don’t think old people just show up at the local rink and skate alone, do they?

Anyway, I’m hosting a healthy foods potluck at my house in a week so I’ll be making some preps for that over the weekend including a little decorating, making sure I have tasting cups and spoons available and cleaning.  I always enjoy having people over who have similar eating styles to mine.  It takes the angst out of meal planning, especially when it’s a potluck! No angst involved!  I’m looking forward to sharing experiences, recipes and a fun day with some terrific people.  I will definitely post about that in the future.

I hope you have a great weekend and I’ll see you back here Monday.  Make it a healthy one!  Now, where did I leave my glass slippers?

Toodles…