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Kale Parsley Soup

Tempting, isn’t it?  Let’s just say me and my new food processor are best friends.  It’s becoming my 2011 ‘Trend’ but I’m sure it will stick with me forever as I can’t seem to leave it for more than a few hours…

I mean, how beautiful is this soup? Come on, don’t you wanna just try it?

I’ve been creating delicious, quick and easy dishes for all of my meals and snacks…

How did I not think of this before? Like 5 years ago, before…

Life is so much easier with a fabulous food processor.

My mouth is happy…fresh vegetables, fresh herbs.

My stomach is happy…less irritability and easier digestion.

So, I’m happy.

And smiling.


For this soup, I decided to combine a mixture of fresh kale, fresh tomatoes and fresh parsley.  I just love adding fresh herbs to any dish, but for some reason when I add it to my food processor the flavor becomes even more incredible.  I know you’re thinking why would I make a chilled soup in the winter, but this dish is perfect with breakfast, lunch or dinner and even as a snack in between.  You can easily turn this into a smoothie and put it into a to-go water bottle.

I have been enjoying these processed meals as I eat them along with my breakfast and they are a great way to start the day off with a slew of veggies.  After facing years of stomach pain, bloating and digestive troubles, I’ve become a new person the last week. Seriously. I kid you not.  My stomach is normal, well normal for me.  And it feels great, which goes to show that our bodies need this extra ‘process’, well at least mine does…maybe after all these years of eating so much, my stomach just needed a lil R n’ R (rest n’ relaxation via the food processor) making my meals go down smooth and feeling great hours after eating.

This has gotten me to thinking, why don’t I try healing my stomach via the food processor and seeing how I feel.  It’s been fabulous so far, so I’m challenging myself to take on many of my meals, whether they be chicken, turkey, vegetables, soup, tofu, beans, etc. and plop them into the food processor to puree into a fine, smooth texture that is easy to digest and makes me feel great. Many of my clients love using their food processors and I have showed them countless ways of creating delicious pates, hummus, ground chicken, turkey, tofu, polenta, beans, vegetables, soups, and smoothies in a cinch.  I’m even working with many clients creating homemade babyfood via the foodprocessor, which is working wonders.

Exciting, isn’t it?

Keeps me happy.  Another tid bit I’ve come across is Meatless Mondays.  Have any of you tried to go ‘meatless’ on Mondays? This is something that has been quite interesting and fun to take on….I usually create a delicious vegetable dish with hummus, nuts, seeds, avocado and fresh herbs…maybe a bit of salsa and Greek yogurt, as well….

What are your thoughts on Meatless Mondays?

Gotta love those antioxidants, vitamins and minerals in each sip or spoonful, whichever you choose.

Speaking of ‘Trends’ this food processor is more than a ‘trend’ to me, it’s becoming a staple in my everyday meals n’ snacks.  So, I thought it’d be fun to share with you some of the 2011 ‘What’s Hot’ Restaurant Trends…I thought this was pretty interesting…

Vegan Kale Parsley Soup

Serves 2

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup curly parsley, chopped
  • 6 cups fresh kale, chopped
  • 1 Tbsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 Tbsp. freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 1 tsp. white balsamic vinegar
  • 10 grape tomatoes
  • Pinch all spice
  • Pinch sea salt and freshly ground white pepper

Directions

  1. Combine all ingredients in a food processor; puree until smooth.
  2. Serve at room temperature or chilled.
  3. Enjoy!

And of course, let’s sum up the week with some headlines ‘In The News’…

“Lunch” School Lunch Documentary

America’s Test Kitchen Healthy Family Cookbook Launch

Thoroughness is Key in Children with Food Allergy Diagnosis

The Cooking Channel’s Top Food Trends for 2011

Top 10 Food Trends To Watch in 2011

Vegan’s Come A Long Way

There’s An App For Reading Food Labels

‘Fresh’ Tops 2011 Grocery Trends

It’s been a chilly week here in Manhattan, so I’m thinking about spending the weekend in my family’s warm home by the beach baking scones and making chili.  Mmmmm, gotta love the winter cravings for healthy, hearty fare, don’t ya?

What are your weekend plans? Any baking and cooking?

Vegan Green Quinoa Gazpacho

Steamed greens…they’re so easy to make.  Just a blanch here, a blanch there…a bit of water here and there.

I mean, what more can I ask for? Steamed pure green veggies…soaring with antioxidants n’ vitamins.

So, when I recently came across The Pioneer Woman’s Gazpacho recipe, I thought…why not create a spin on Ree’s recipe and add my steamed greens to the recipe.  It was easier said than done. Just plopped these steamed veggies into my food processor and added Ree’s gazpacho ingredients.  What more can I ask for?

So, here’s what I did.

Starting with the Cuisinart. Yes, the Cuisinart; my very own brand spankin’ new Cuisinart that I have been obsessed with since Saturday.  I’m talking nonstop blending, pureeing, processing, o my gosh….these new Cuisinart’s are incredible.  I’ve been having way too much fun tossing all of my food into this baby.

So, after playing around for hours upon end with various steamed green veggies, I got to work.  Tomatoes, a must, of course…a bit of sweetness with anise seeds and cilantro and a bit of savory with chili powder and ground cumin.

A chop here and a chop there. Tossed into the food processor and the rest is history.

Thanks Ree, for this Gazpacho inspiration.

Vegan Green Quinoa Gazpacho

(Inspired by The Pioneer Woman)

Ingredients

  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 large red onion, chopped
  • 2 scallions, chopped
  • 1 cup green beans, trimmed and steamed
  • 1 bunch asparagus, trimmed and steamed
  • 1 cup quinoa, cooked
  • 1 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1 tsp. chili powder
  • 1 Tbsp. coriander
  • 1 Tbsp. freshly ground orange zest
  • 1/2 tsp. anise seeds
  • 5 large Roma tomatoes
  • 1 yellow squash, sliced
  • 1 zucchini, sliced
  • 1 avocado, peeled and pitted
  • 2 Tbsp. Tabasco
  • 1/4 cup white balsamic
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
  • Pinch of sea salt and freshly ground white pepper

Directions

  1. Combine all ingredients in a food processor; pulse until it forms a smooth consistency.
  2. Transfer to a large bowl. Place into the refrigerator for 1 hour to chill.
  3. Serve cool or at room temperature.
    Enjoy!

Take a peak at this new website I came across, Fooducate, which helps people eat healthier and just launched a cell phone app where you can scan or type in a bar code for a food product and receive an overall grade rating for a product based on certain ‘bad’ ingredients such as too much sodium, sugar, high fructose corn syrup, additives, etc.

Pretty clever, don’t ‘cha think?

I also stumbled upon a few articles I thought were worth sharing:

NYC Chefs Resolve to Eat Better (And Worse) in 2011

Americans Aspire to be Healthy Eaters

 

Flourless Chili Cherry Chocolate Brownies

Christmas may be over. But my fiasco with baking sure is not.

As you can see.

My mother, myself and my sister. All in our lil’ adorable Anthropologie aprons, we haven’t taken these aprons off in 4 days, hence we are snowed in with 30 inches of snow and can barely see our cars.

So, I’m just baking.  And eating.  Hehe..

This delicious gluten-free brownie recipe is perfect enjoyed bite after bite or crumbled atop your Greek yogurt parfait.

Whichever way you choose. I’m sure you’ll be nibblin’ on these brownies throughout the holiday season.

I may even whip them up again for a little New Year’s Eve treat.

And speaking of New Year’s…

Are you setting a resolution?

I’d love to hear what your goals are for 2011.

Here are a few of my New Year’s Tips n’ Thoughts on starting off a healthy New Year.

Be Sure to Make Time for Yourself

This time of the year everyone wants to see you, visit you, make plans with you, invite you to parties, but be sure to take a step back and carve out a bit of time for you. Read a good book, take a warm bath, jump in your car and take a road trip, explore a new town…the options are endless. Just remember to enjoy yourself, don’t put yourself on a schedule and savor each moment of quality alone time.

Ring in the New Year Healthfully

The holidays can be quite overwhelming for those of us with many family obligations, therefore take some time to plan your healthy New Year and the steps you are going to take to get to your goal.  Are you trying to eat ‘cleaner’? Feel better? Be more active and happy? Whatever your goal or goals may be, be sure to jot them down and take some notes about how you feel each morning when you wake up and each evening before bed.  Keeping a journal of your thoughts and feelings will keep you focused on your New Year goals.  Jot down your emotions, regrets, hopes and joys and don’t forget to think about your future. What are you hoping to accomplish this year?  Show yourself what amazing things lie ahead of you in 2011 by journaling your plans and goals for 2011. 

Make New Year’s Eve a Relaxing Event

In need of a little R n’ R?  Take it easy on New Year’s Eve. Invite a few friends over for a laid back dinner party or pot-luck.  You can even invite friends over to bring all the ingredients and you can create your own feast together.  Make your own gourmet pizzas, chili or stew for a fun get-together that’s laid back and delicious.  As for me, I could surely do a gluten-free New Year’s dinner party…

Who’s in?

I’ll bring the hot-coco…

Flourless Vegan Chili n’ Cherry Chocolate Brownies

Makes 16

Ingredients

  • 2 cups black beans, cooked
  • Egg substitute for 2 large eggs
  • 1/4 cup Earth Balance Vegan Butter Sticks
  • 1/4 cup raw cacao powder
  • Pinch of sea salt
  • 1/8 tsp. chili powder
  • 1/8 tsp. all spice
  • Pinch of freshly ground white pepper
  • 2 tsp. almond extract
  • 1/3 cup stevia for baking
  • 1/2 cup raw cacao nibs
  • 1/3 cup dried cherries

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Prepare a baking dish with nonstick baking spray.
  3. In a large bowl, combine beans, eggs, butter, raw cacao, sea salt, pepper, chili powder, all spice, sand stevia in a food processor; process until smooth.
  4. Slowly add in raw cacao nibs and dried cherries; stir to combine.
  5. Transfer mixture to the prepared baking pan.
  6. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  7. Remove from oven; set aside to cool before serving.
  8. Cut into squares.
  9. Enjoy!

Epicurious and New York Time’s Top 10 Food Trends for 2010

Leave it to the fabulous, Epicurious to predict a fabulous array of foodie trends for 2010 as we head straight into the upcoming 2011 year…

A fabulous resource for everything food, Epicurious lists a few tid bits worth noting:

  • Food Halls
  • Korean Cuisine
  • Macaroons
  • Meatless Mondays and Tofu Tuesdays
  • Foraging
  • Tiki Bar Cafes
  • Sweet Potatoes
  • Urban Wineries
  • Pimenton de La Vera

What are your thoughts on the Epicurious food trends for 2010?

Do you have your own food trend list for this year?

And let’s not forget about the New York Times article about the Top 10 Food Trends

As the 2010 year comes to an end, it’s all about the lists n’ trends…

So, take a peak at these top foodie trends ranked by The New York Time’s Josh Ozersky:

  • The New Naturalism
  • Locavores Gone Wild!
  • Lardcore
  • Fast-Food Dada
  • Pop-Up Restaurants
  • The Culinary Hive Mind
  • Dude Food
  • Third-Wave Coffee
  • It’s in the Bag
  • Black Market
  • White Milk

What trends stand out to you, and what will you be keeping an eye on in the coming year?

And, let’s surely not forget to mention the Top 10 Food Stories of 2010

Well, we’ve seen it all this year.

From Salmonella to revamping school lunches.

It’s been quite a year.

As part of The Atlantic’s end of the year close, they’ve compiled The 10 Biggest Food Stories of 2010

Interesting.

Yes.

Alarming.

Very much so.

Intriguing.

I think so.

And you?  Your thoughts?

Healthy Holiday Tips

It’s that time of year, again.

Yeahhhh.

Sleigh bells ring, are ‘ya listenin’?

In the sleigh, snow is glistenin’…

And I could go on and on and on…

But I’ll stop and share a few of my healthy holiday tips since Christmas and New Year’s are right around the corner.

With eggnog on your left and gingerbread on your right, it can be tough to keep yourself in line during the holidays.

But, that’s what the holidays are all about.

Enjoying your life, your year, your happiness, your family and friends.

So, go ahead a sip on that eggnog, take a nibble of your gingerbread cookie, but be sure to keep your mind ‘aware’ of what you are consuming and check in with your stomach and your brain to ensure you’re not overdoin’ it on the ho, ho ho’s, if ya know what I mean.

So, what are some healthy holiday tips for this massive week of food n’ celebration kicking off with eats n’ treats on Christmas Eve, then good ol’ Christmas Day and who can forget the food celebrations on New Year’s Eve along with the comfort food of New Years Day.

Lighten Up the Foods You Enjoy

This can be anything from an appetizer to a dessert.  Try Greek yogurt instead of mayonnaise, avocado instead of butter, cinnamon and nutmeg instead of cinnamon sugar and stevia in lieu of sugar.  You can create delicious homemade holiday meals from lasagna to praline pie without the added fat, sugar and additives.  Get creative and use fresh fruit zest, fresh herbs, fruit and vegetable purees and low-fat unsweetened dairy alternatives such as rice milk and almond milk.

Keep Drinkin’

No, not alcohol as we all know alcohol dehydrates us. And no, not soda or diet soda.  Sip seltzer with a squeeze of fresh lime, a few pinches of freshly chopped mint or basil and a dash of cranberry juice.  Top it off with a few ice cubes and you have a delicious mock-tail to sip throughout your evening.

Taste Each Bite, Enjoy Each Taste

Learn to enjoy your food. Yes, it is the holiday season, but there’s no need to ambush Grandma’s German Chocolate Cake or inhale Aunt Val’s stuffed mushrooms.  Take a bite here and a bite there, if you enjoy it, great… if you don’t then place the food aside, sit with your thoughts and understand that your mind is telling your body and stomach that it’s not enjoying this nibble.  So, move on. Take a sip of that good ol’ seltzer and pace yourself.  Take a deep breath and enjoy your food, one bite at a time.

Add in the Good, Without Avoiding the Bad

Fill your plate with healthy fare such as vegetables, lean proteins, healthy fats and whole grains.  Steer clear of the heavy casseroles and instead opt for some mashed sweet potatoes, rice pilaf, lean proteins such as fish, tofu or turkey, vegetables and salad.  Squeeze some fresh lemon juice onto your meal along with a dash of vinegar, and a few slices of avocado for some heart-healthy fats to round out your meal.

Eat Breakfast

Just because the day ahead is going to be filled with lots of food, don’t make the mistake of forgoing your morning meal to save room for the big event.  You’ll simply end up ravenous by the time dinner is served and you’ll devour half the bread basket, cookies n’ biscuits before you can even reach for the healthy fare.

Get Up and Move

Yes, you heard me.  Pop the pie in the oven and go for a walk before your company arrives.  Offer to help wash the dishes after the meal or help the host prepare the food and table settings.  This will keep you busy and engaged in the action without lulling around filling up your belly with appetizers.

Enjoy Your Company and Your Gathering

Remember, this is a holiday. A celebration. A time to gather with loved ones n’ family n’ friends to share fun memories and stories and good times over delicious food.  Be sure to make yourself feel ‘loved’ and give ‘love’ to those who are close to you.  Isn’t it amazing how great it feels to give? It brings about a euphoric feeling…I just love it.  Whether it’s giving my teddy-bear of a daddy a hug or watching him open his Christmas gift from me, I just love giving.  Focus on the Give this year and Give a part of you…. I assure you, you’ll be amazed at how good it makes you feel about yourself… And with those ‘feel good’ vibes, you’ll be all smiles and satisfied with your life and your surroundings without focusing on food.

How do you lighten up your holiday eats?

I’m starting my cookie baking tomorrow… Still debating which recipe to start with…

It’s the Most Wonderful Time Of The Year…

Fa-la-la La-la-la la.

Ho-Ho-Ho!

And here’s a fun lil’ site for you to play with…I’ve just discovered Kitchen PC which let’s you find recipes, plan meals and add recipes to your very own calendar, pantry and cookbook.

Be sure to check out my latest recipe creations for Pizza Packets, which are delicious gluten-free pizza seasoning packets that can be used in any dish from omelets to salad dressings to lasagna.

Lentil, Collard n’ Fig Tapenade

Well, yesterday was quite a stormy one here in Manhattan…

Strong wind gusts, lots of rain and a broken umbrella left me with one choice.

Experimentation in my lil’ kitchen.

I purchased some fresh collard greens on Saturday at the Union Square Market, so I surely had to taste them.  Next step, my lentils, as you’re all aware of my love-affair with lentils.  And why not a touch of natural sweetness from my fresh figs, apple, pear n’ balsamic vinegar.

Mmmmm….

Pure heaven on a rainy, blustery day…

So, guess what I whipped up…

I toasted two pieces of gluten-free bread and topped them each with this delicious tapenade.

Lentil, Collard n’ Fig Tapenade

Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 2 cups collard greens, chopped
  • 4 scallions, chopped
  • 2 cups red lentils, cooked
  • 1 pink lady apple, peeled, cored and chopped
  • 1 red bartlett pear, peeled, cored and chopped
  • 1 Tbsp. dulse flakes
  • 6 fresh figs, chopped
  • 1 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
  • 1 cup button mushrooms, chopped
  • Sea salt and pepper, to taste

Directions

  1. Steam collard greens in a steamer until bright green and soft; approximately 5 minutes.  Transfer to a plate; dab with a paper towel.
  2. Add collard greens and remaining ingredients into a food processor; process until smooth.
  3. Transfer mixture to a serving bowl.
  4. Serve at room temperature as a dip with corn chips, crudites and gluten-free pretzels.
  5. Enjoy!

Also, be sure to check out my tasty Dilmah tea recipes on Gloria’s Tea Cuppe.

I’ve created some delicious tea-infused dishes that I hope you’ll enjoy!

Green Tea Sweet Potato Soup

Grilled Tuna with Green Tea Coconut Sauce

Vanilla Tea Infused Fruit