Tag Archives: food makeovers

Start HERE !!

Oh all the hallaballoo over New Years’ resolutions and our health makes me insane.

Really?

Nothing like putting a ton of extra pressure on yourself and doubling up on the guilt after enjoying the holiday season with your family and BFFs.  Come on!  Do NOT try rectify every self-perceived wrong doing you perpetuated on your body from Thanksgiving to New Year’s day  by doing a complete 180 and coming completely clean all at once.  It won’t work!  It NEVER does.

What do we hear more and more about these days?  Sustainability, right?  If you want to improve your diet with good, strong  and sustainable change  start slowly.  Yes, you read that right, slowly.  Nothing makes us want to eat more than self-imposed restrictions.  Nothing.

“oh I can’t, thanks…I’m on a diet.”

Like it’s going to be okay to eat it when the diet’s over?  Be realistic.  Put your big girl pants on and pull the damn things up.

So here is my suggestion for starting out the New Year.  Are you ready?  Sitting down?  Commit to one changed meal per day, but do it EVERY day, without exception.  It has to be raw, and it has to be green.

“What the heck does that equate to?”

Pick one – Green smoothie or a big honking green salad.

Oh and stop the whining about cleaning the blender already.  I hear it all the time.

“I don’t like cleaning the blender in the morning. It takes too much time.’”

For real?  You take the sprayer hose from your sink and swish it around the inside of the blender til it’s clean.  You turn it upside down to dry.  That’s too hard?  Wuss.  Stop your belly aching and get in the kitchen.

So here  are the rules:

Salads have to be as big as your head.  Lots of colors in it.  Eat the rainbow, baby.  And don’t negate all the good underneath it by dumping a half a bottle of crappy blue cheese dressing on it.  Again, big girl pants…you know better.  Here’s a trick.  Put your entire salad into a big bowl and pour a little dressing on top.  Toss with tongs until everything is well coated.  Turn it back out onto a plate and enjoy.  You use less dressing this way.  Change your greens up weekly.

IMG_1678

Green smoothies have to be GREEN, we are NOT making daiquiris.  If you make them right they will look like swamp water but taste like fruit.  Scout’s honor.

I’ll put some recipes up soon, but again, not rocket science.  You can buy cleaned and ready to go greens at the supermarket.  Spinach and lettuces are a great place to start. You can upgrade later to greens YOU have to clean (kale, parsley, cilantro, swiss chard) but for now we are pushing the easy button.  Capice?

The easiest thing to do is start with a RIPE banana.  The more ripe it is  the sweeter it will be.  Add a big handful of greens then top it off with a second fruit.  You can use frozen fruit if you like as your second choice.  Maybe some blueberries, or mango…  Add some water and blend the daylights out if it until it’s smooth.  Drink half and put the other half in a glass jar and bring it with you for the day.  You can have it as a snack in the afternoon (instead of a cup of coffee or a DIEt Coke.)

Viola’.  Two easy things you can take action on now without being overwhelmed.

Disclaimer – You can make a salad that will last for 3 to 4 days in your fridge (individual or one big one). Don’t slice tomatoes ahead of time (use whole cherry where you can) and remove the seeds from cukes before including them.  Those two are the first things to make a salad start gettting yucky fast.   Carry dressing in a separate container (small caper jars are GREAT for this) and dress before eating.

Smoothies are best consumed the day they are made, but we don’t like to waste food.  24 hours is best for maximum bodily reward.

In a few weeks, we’ll add a new sustainable item to our repertoire.  Good luck.

 

I’m Back — Bigger and Better

Wow.   My business is evolving and I’m thrilled to be able to tell you about some new and exciting changes.

I have a new partner that I am giddy with excitement about, the beautiful spa, Escape at Wind Creek.  Lawdy is this place GORGEOUS.

View of the Spa building and pool from the luxurious level 15 accommodations that are exclusively for spa visitors.

We will be presenting  the YOUR FOOD MAKEOVER retreat September 28th – 30th that is unlike anything currently being offered in the Gulf South region.   It is a unique program that will provide attendees with the tools they need to start their own food makeover at home quickly, easily and deliciously.  We will walk through all the conflicting and confusing information about what you should and shouldn’t be eating and then I’ll teach you how to shop, prep and store foods to maximize nutrition.  This is incredibly well priced and I can guarantee you that next time I host this retreat (after the new year) that it will be more expensive.  Get in on this GREAT pricing today.

Beautiful meditation garden with waterfalls and relaxing music. It’s especially beautiful at night..

The Spa also has an INCREDIBLE culinary studio that makes me so excited I can hardly contain myself.  This is great for hands-on classes and corporate events and/or retreats and in the upcoming months I will highlight ways that companies can do either day-long or overnight excursions to the facility.

Hands-on kitchen with 6 FULL cooking stations. Inspiring!

Since my last post I have had another article published in Pensacola Magazine entitled, Fresh From the Garden.  Be sure to read it here if you don’t have access to the hard copy.

I’ll be starting up a newsletter this month as well, so be sure to keep your eyes peeled for sign up on my website in the coming weeks.

You’ve heard me say it before, and will likely hear it again.  Summertime is the best time to develop new, lighter and healthier eating habits.  It’s hot.  Lighten it up a bit with more fresh fruits and veggies.  You’re body will thank you for it.

 

Simple Summer Snacking

Hey y’all,

I hope that the holiday weekend was good to you and you were able to spend some time with those you care about most.

Things in my kitchen and office are busy, busy, busy and any day now I’ll be bringing you some exciting news about a very swank event I’ll be hosting in late September.  My lips are sealed until the link is up.

For now, my latest article in Pensacola Magazine, Simple Summer Snacking,  is out and available for you to read.

Welcome to SUMMER!

Raw Strawberry Cheesecake Pudding

Raw Strawberry Cheesecake Pudding w/ Double Chocolate Pecan Crumble

This is the dish I prepared at the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival.  I hope you enjoy it as much as the audience did.

For the pudding:

1 ½ Cups of raw cashew pieces soaked overnight

2 Tbsp. fresh squeezed lemon juice

¼ vanilla bean – seeds scraped out and added

6 large ripe strawberries (more if desired)

¼ cup,  plus 2TBSP water (if you add more fruit, cut back on water)

2TBSP raw local honey

Zest of lemon – (organic only and only a about three quick scrapes off the fruit)

In a high speed blender add ingredients except 2TBSP of water and blend at high speed until smooth.  Add remaining water as needed to achieve desired consistency.

For the crumble:

In a smaller food processor fitted with an “s” blade combine:

1 cup of raw pecan pieces

1 TBSP cacao nibs

2 TBSP cacao powder

3 medjool dates – pits removed

Pinch of sea salt

Pulse all ingredients until evenly sized.  At the very end drizzle in 1 TBSP. raw local honey while the machine is spinning.   This will pull it together a bit and make it sticky.

Serve in a ramekin  and top with the crumble  OR pile it up parfait style with some sliced strawberries.  Either way it will knock your socks off.

Makes 4 ,  small servings as pudding, more if you prepare as parfait.

TIP – Take remaining crumble and roll it up into bite sized balls.  Freeze and enjoy as a snack.

TIP – The pudding can be used as a fruit crudite’ dip and can be flavored with any fruit you choose.

Beet, Carrot, Apple & Ginger Juice

I have been on a juicing bender since I bought my juicer last fall. Love, love LOVE IT!  Like all consumption of fresh produce, it is important to rotate the ingredients you use so that you can get a WIDE variety of benefits from what you are consuming.  Eat (and drink) the rainbow, folks. Your body will thank you.

This particular juice totally rocked my world.

1 bunch of beet greens

2 organic carrots

1 organic apple

2 stalks lemongrass

1” knob of ginger

If I had a cucumber, I’d have thrown that in too.

This will render you 16 – 20 oz. of spicy love

I’d love to hear what you are juicing.  Care to share?

 

Juicing and Economics – Save Money, Get Healthy

Last November I bought my very first juicer and have been smitten since I jammed my first cucumber into the machine.  We enjoy a long and plentiful winter growing season here in Louisiana, and cruciferous vegetables are plentiful and cheap (think, kale, chard, collard greens, broccoli, cabbage, etc) during the winter months.  Since I began juicing at the beginning of the season, my organic waste has plummeted and my carbon footprint is rapidly decreasing.

Food items that would have typically gone into the trash are now being stored in the fridge and juiced during the week.  In the photo above you see  Swiss chard ribs on the left and turnip green bottoms on the right.  After rendering the greens parts off of each for another food preparation, I washed them, let them dry and boxed them up for refrigeration.  When they are juiced, they are reduced down to nothing more than a handful of carbon dust.  I eat a TON of greens and now instead of filling the landfill with these items, I’m reaping the benefits of the juice and easily and readily composing the end product in my yard.  The amount of garbage I drag to the curb weekly has  easily been reduced by 40-50%.

Also, I find that every few days I make a sweep of the fridge.  Things that are frequently deemed borderline, maybe a little limp or lifeless but not rotten,  get juiced instead of being tossed into the garbage.

Going away for a week?  Juice the contents of your fridge before you go and have zero waste leading into your vacation.

Growing, shipping and refrigerating food consumes an enormous amount of energy.  Try and be sure to use all that you purchase to help keep our resources in check.

Here in New Orleans, AM radio guru, Garland Robinette, is winning folks over one at a time with his good news about juicing.  Check out this show he did back in February.

 

 

 

Pensacola Magazine Publishes Another Ultimate Kitchen Commando Article

Pensacola Magazine published an article I did called Kitchen Tips from the Ultimate Kitchen Commando.  You can click here and read it.

PM Article April 2012

 

Lime Curd – Raw

One thing I ALWAYS over buy when they are on sale is avocados. And, since I hate to waste food, I decided to get creative tonight. I made a raw curd/pudding and it came out FABULOUS.  Quick, easy, delish and nutritious.  J-A-C-K-P-O-T

Curd? Pudding? -- I just call it delicious

Recipe: Raw Lime Curd

Ingredients

  • 2 avocados
  • Zest from 1 organic lime (1 tsp.)
  • 2 tbsp lime juice
  • 2 tbsp raw honey
  • 3 tbsp. water

Instructions

  1. In a blender or SMALL food processor combine all ingredients until smooth. Scrape down the sides and blend again.

Variations

If you have some lucuma in the house, add a teaspoon of that too.

Preparation time: 10 minutes

Cooking time:

Number of servings (yield): 4 small ramekin sized servings

Green Smoothies – Build Your Own

I have finally made the time to do a quick smoothie post.  I REALLY need to do a video, I know, but this is all my busy schedule is allowing right now.

With smoothies I like to KEEP IT SIMPLE.  I have 4 basic elements I include:

  • Liquid
  • Fruit
  • Greens
  • Supplements, including protein/fat

The how much?  What size?  That depends on two things — your palate, preferred consistency and good rotation.

Rotation?

You have got to shake things up and vary your fruits and greens so that you get a wide variety of nutrients, not just the same thing over and over again.  Different foods have different nutritional profiles  and you don’t want to be denying yourself what Mr. Spinach has to offer if you are only letting Mr. Parsley come to your party.  Capice?

I decide the greens I’m going to use based on what’s on sale at the market. Same with my fruit.   It forces me to rotate, rather than getting too comfy with one additive.  Plus, if it is on sale, frequently that means it is local and plentiful.   It makes all this decision making, well….mindless.  NOTE:  The darker and more bitter greens are exceptionally good for you and blend well with the sweetness of the fruit.  Don’t leave them out.

Supplements – I could go on and on about those, and again, YOU’ll  have to decide what is good for you.  Remember, I’m not a doctor and I don’t play one on TV.  Slowly but surely I’m going to be adding more info about these on the site, but unfortunately, not today.  Some to consider are maca powder, goji berries, lucama, hemp seeds or powder, bee pollen, spirulina, chorella, wheatgrass powder, chia, cacao and coconut oil to name a few.  Since I get very little “animal” protein I make sure my morning smoothie has some good plant based protein in it (hemp seeds, spirulina) to help keep me going strong.

Oh no she didn't...

This is a very unappetizing shot of today’s morning smoothie before blending, but it gives you a little idea of what I’m including based on what I feel I need now.  I’m on a raw food cleanse and using my smoothies as more of a meal replacement this week than anything else.  Ingredients are – banana, pineapple, one tangelo, mixed fresh power greens, hemp seeds, wheatgrass powder, spirulina, maca powder, lucama, goji berry, liquid chlorophyll and water.

This is going to be a HUGE smoothie.  The ingredients come up to the 7 cup mark on my Vitamix.  And it is hard to see here, but about half of that is covered with spring water.

So all I do now, is blend the bejesus out of it.  Half I’ll consume for breakfast and the other half I’ll put in a glass jar and tuck it in the fridge for an afternoon pick me up.

Tip:  If you have a not so strong blender, cut back on the initial amount of water to give the blades something to “chew” on, rather than just pushing them around in the liquid.  Adjust your smoothie to your desired consistency after it is well blended by adding more liquid.

Easy-Peasy.  Tell me what you’re doing with YOUR smoothies.  I want to hear!

 

 

Blood Orange, Beet & Fennel Salad

Recipe: Blood Orange, Beet & Fennel Salad

Blood Orange, Beet & Fennel Salad #1

This recipe was inspired by one I saw in Bon Apetite magazine.  I made it mine and you will likely modify it a bit and make it yours.  Enjoy.  It is delicious.

Ingredients

  • 1 medium fennel bulb
  • 3 satsuma oranges
  • 3 blood oranges
  • 4 small – medium beets
  • 1 – 2 TBSP raw pumpkin seeds
  • chopped fennel fronds for garnish
  • 1/4 cup fresh orange juice
  • 1 TBSP pumpkin seed oil
  • 1 TSP raw honey
  • zest from 1 lime
  • sea salt and pepper to taste
  • * optional – seeded minced jalepeno to taste

Instructions

  1. turn oven on to 400
  2. wash and dry beets
  3. toss lightly with olive oil and put in the oven to roast until tender (approx 1 hour depending on size)
  4. remove fronds from fennel bulb then cut the bulb in half from top to bottom.
  5. remove the stem from the middle (see photo)
  6. shave on a very thin setting on a mandolin
  7. peel one satsuma, section and remove pith
  8. juice second satsuma and set aside
  9. cut the ends off of 2 blood oranges
  10. with the flat side down, cut the skins off the outside.
  11. flip over and finish
  12. cut one in half the long way then lay it on the flat side and cut into thin 1/2 rounds
  13. segment the remaining blood orange into supremes (wedges cut from between the white pithy part of the orange). Squeeze any remaining juice from this orange into the bowl with the  satsuma juice.
  14. combine all orange pieces into one bowl and set aside
  15. when the beets are done, cut into small wedges and combine with orange pieces
  16. whisk together 1/4 cup fresh juice, pumpkin seed oil, raw honey and lime zest and season with salt and pepper to taste.
  17. Quickly toss the shaved fennel in the vinaigrette.  Drain off  any remaining liquids from this bowl into the bowl with beets and oranges and toss well.
  18. Lay the beet and orange onto a plate, reserving a little of the bright red liquid at the bottom of the bowl. Lay the fennel on top. drizzle with reserved juice, garnish with frond pieces and raw pumpkin seeds.

removing stem from fennel bulb

 

removing skin to cut supremes