Coconut Curry Tofu Salad and Spa Giveaway

 


This is a wonderful salad to enjoy for tasty lunch, dinner or a mid-afternoon snack scooped into hollowed-bell peppers, zucchini boats and tomatoes.

Ingredients

  • 1 pkg. firm tofu, drained and rinsed
  • 2 tbsp. curry powder
  • 1/4 cup dried cranberries
  • 4 cups fresh baby spinach
  • 1 (6 oz.) container Greek plain yogurt
  • 1/4 cup shredded purple cabbage
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
  • 1/4 cup cooked brown rice
  • 1/2 cup red grapes, halved
  • 2 tbsp. white balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tbsp. organic salsa
  • 1/4 cup sunflower seeds
  • Dash of Sea Salt and freshly ground white pepper, to taste

Directions

  1. Press firmly on tofu to remove all excess water.  Place a heavy object such as a book or a brick atop a clean paper towel and the block of tofu.  Allow to sit for 30 minutes.  Remove tofu and slice into 1 inch cubes.
  2. In a large bowl, combine all ingredients.  Gently toss to combine.
  3. Serve chilled.
  4. Enjoy!

 

And Now…For my Spa Giveaway

The contest, “Social InSPAration,” is running from  today, August 2nd thru August 6th. This is a fun and easy way for your chance to win a 90 minute spa treatment at The Spa  at The Surrey, which is the only Upper East Side Manhattan location to  receive the highly regarded Darphin scrub.

It just takes three easy  steps to be entered to win:

1. Follow The Surrey on Twitter @SurreyHotelNYC
2. Become a fan of the Spa at The Surrey on Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/pages/New-York-NY/Spa-At-The-Surrey/141275545883553?ref=ts)
3.  And lastly, post on the Spa at The Surrey’s Facebook wall which  treatment on their spa menu you want to experience most and why.

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The Great Gluten Free Recipe Contest

I was recently contacted by Amy’s Organic and Lundberg Farms, who are hosting a unique recipe contest.  Both Amy’s and Lundberg are dedicated to serving the gluten free community and invited me to share how I use their tasty products.  Here is my delicious Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free, Soy-Free, Nut-Free and Vegetarian Recipe.

I hope you’re hungry, because it’s delish!


Sweet Potato, Rainbow Chard and White Bean Pasta

Serves 4

Total Time: 25 minutes

Ingredients

  • 12 ounces Lundberg Brown Rice Penne Pasta
  • Amy’s Organic Tomato Basil Pasta Sauce
  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 3 leeks, sliced
  • ½ sweet onion, sliced
  • 4 cloves garlic, sliced
  • 1/3 cup fresh sage, chopped
  • 2 bunches rainbow Swiss chard, stems and leaves separated; cut crosswise into 1 inch slices
  • 1 (15.5 ounce) can Great Northern Beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 large sweet potato, peeled and cut into ½ inch pieces
  • 1 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
  • ¼ tsp. of chili powder
  • ¼ tsp. of nutmeg
  • ¼ cup fresh basil leaves, finely chopped
  • ¼ tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
  • ¼ cup golden raisins
  • Sea salt and black pepper, to taste

Directions

    1. Cook pasta according to directions on package. Drain, reserve ½ cup of the cooking water.
    2. Meanwhile, heat 2 cups of Amy’s Organic Tomato Basil Pasta Sauce in a small pot over medium-low heat; stir frequently.
    3. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat.  Add leeks and onion; cook until they begin to soften, approximately 5 minutes.  Add garlic and sage; stir for 3 minutes.
    4. Add Swiss chard, beans and sweet potato; cook covered until potatoes are tender, approximately 10 minutes.
    5. Add the reserved cooking water; simmer and stir until potatoes are tender, approximately 5 minutes.
    6. Add cooked pasta, balsamic vinegar, chili powder and nutmeg.  Gently toss to combine.  Sprinkle with fresh basil, crushed red pepper, golden raisins, sea salt and black pepper.
    7. Divide the cooked pasta among individual bowls.  Top with Swiss chard mixture and Amy’s Organic Tomato Basil Pasta Sauce.
    8. Serve warm or cold.
    9. Enjoy!

Be Sure To Check Out My Eggland’s Best eggs recipe on the Eggland’s Best website!

Dairy Free Brown Rice n’ Cranberry Pudding

I love creating recipes on Sunday evenings, especially in the wintertime…there’s something about Sunday nights that is so cozy and warm…it makes me want to relax and unwind in my kitchen while creating a new recipe.  Last night, I opted for a naturally sweetened dairy-free, gluten-free brown rice pudding with dried cranberries…the end result was fabulous and it was the perfect way to end my extra ‘sweet’ birthday week…

Ingredients

  • 4 cups brown rice, cooked
  • 2 cups rice milk
  • 1/2 cup stevia
  • 3 tsp. orange zest
  • 3 Tbsp. freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 2 Tbsp. macadamia nuts, mashed
  • 1 Tbsp. dark chocolate shavings
  • 1/8 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp. chili powder

Directions

  • In a medium size saucepan over medium heat, combine cooked brown rice and rice milk.  Slowly add stevia; mix well until rice forms a creamy texture.
  • Add orange zest, juice and dried cherries; continue to stir for 10-15 minutes or until cranberries plump.
  • Transfer pudding to serving dishes.
  • Serve warm with a sprinkle of mashed macadamia nuts, dark chocolate shavings, cinnamon and chili powder.
  • Enjoy!

Get Those Kids Cookin’…

Ever wonder how to get your kids involved in the kitchen? Here are a few tips that I offer to my clients…whether you have young children, nieces, nephews, neighbors, family or friends…these tips are sure to get your little ones active and entertained in the kitchen.


  • Cucumber Caterpillar: Slices of cucumber held together with natural peanut butter. Place the Caterpillar on ‘greens’ to look like grass.
  • Taco or Burrito Bar: Serve brown rice, black beans, onions, hot peppers, sprouted grain or gluten free tortillas, broccoli, arugula, cauliflower, guacamole and  salsa.  Add nuts, seeds and spices in tiny serving dishes to jazz up the flavors!
  • Salad Bar: Spin your greens in a salad spinner, then dress dry greens with a lime dressings made by combining sesame oil, fresh lime juice, low-sodium tamari, cayenne pepper, agave nectar, balsamic vinegar and water.
  • Mashed Potato Parfaits- Sweet Potatoes, Parsnips and carrots mixed together…topped with raisins, cinnamon, shredded coconut and agave nectar
  • Individual Pizzas: Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees.  Choose gluten free or sprouted whole grain tortillas, caramelized onions, spinach, red onion, mushrooms, kalamata olives, artichokes, fresh basil, olive oil and balsamic vinegar.  Add each ingredient atop each tortilla and bake for 20 minutes.
  • Panini Party: Gluten Free or sprouted whole grain bread, SoyaKaas Gluten Free/Dairy Free cheese, tomato slices, eggplant slices, fresh basil leaves, balsamic vinegar, avocado, zucchini and squash slices.  Add all ingredients to 2 slices of bread.  Place onto a panini maker (sprayed with cooking spray); cook until cheese is melted and veggies are warm and cooked.  Dip into marinara (red) sauce.
  • Stir-Fry: Switch up your usual recipe with unique grains such as millet, quinoa or buckwheat.
  • Fruit Salad: Add exotic fruits to spice up the flavors.  Use a melon baller and serve in a wine glass to add to the allure of this meal.  Add a dollop of plain Greek yogurt atop each fruit salad serving and sprinkle with cinnamon and stevia.
  • Slaw Wraps: Cabbage, celery, carrots, bok choy, mushrooms, peppers, snap peas, bean sprouts, snow peas, green beans and Napa Slaw can easily be combined and wrapped in rice paper.  Liven up this dish by pairing it with a special sauce of grapefruit juice, ginger, balsamic vinegar, lemonade and seeds such as pumpkin and sunflower.  Toss with fresh apples or cumin roasted chick peas.  Adding berries such as blackberries, raspberries and cherries add a nice antioxidant punch to these wraps.
  • Peanut Butter Chicken Fajitas: The best way to make a good peanut sauce is by combining organic peanut butter, fresh ginger, cayenne pepper, agave nectar and low-sodium tamari/soy sauce.
  • Frozen Basil and Banana Pops: Blend together 2 cups ice, 2 cups fresh basil leaves, 1 ripe banana, 1 cup fresh mint leaves, 1 1/2 cups water, 1/2 cup agave nectar in a blender.  Blend well and pour into glasses! This is a wonderful treat for a healthy dessert!

Have fun and experiment with some of my ideas above…Getting the kids active in the kitchen is fun…and who knows, your kids may just start to ‘enjoy’ their veggies!!!

Sunflower Seed Oat Balls

MMMM

Plant some new seeds into your diet and reap the health benefits.  If you are looking for an alternative to your ordinary bean and nut balls or perhaps looking for a way to get more nutrients in your diet, take a glance down the ‘seed’ aisle of your local market.  Unlike nuts, seeds are not common allergens- which is great news for those of you who suffer from food sensitivities.   Furthermore, seeds are packed with nutrients such as Omega 3 Fatty Acids.

Last week, I was venturing through the aisles of Whole Foods Market when I stumbled upon the ‘seed’ section…suddenly, a tiny light bulb went off in my head and I began brainstorming seed recipe ideas…(yes, these are the crazy things that I do in the food store..and the reason that it takes me hours to get through one trip).  I whipped out my handy-dandy tiny note pad and started jotting down seed recipe ideas…Let’s just say you’ve gotta lotta seed recipes coming your way because I literally bought five different types of seeds because I simply couldn’t decide on one.  Plus, it’s more fun when you have five fun seeds to choose from in the pantry instead of one lousy option, right? Well, that was my thought…I had created eleven recipes right there in the seed aisle of Whole Foods Market…I finally had to move out of the way since I was ‘hogging’ the aisle amongst many rushed Manhattan folks.  Eleven recipes was enough, I thought, so I tossed the five different seeds into my cart and went on my way…Can you take a guess as to what the other four seeds are?  Well, you’ll see them soon enough…they’ll be popping up in my recipes within the next few weeks because I have ten more exciting seed recipes to share with you.  I hope you enjoy baking these delicious balls; let your imagination run wild and toss in a new grain or seed of your choice…let me know how your balls turn out!

This recipe can easily be made with sunflower, pumpkin, sesame and flax seeds.  I enjoy using sunflower seeds with these balls, however, your seed opportunities are endless- get creative and have fun. Many of us are familiar with the mild nutty taste of sunflower seeds, which make a great snack and can easily be tossed into salads, stir fries and baking recipes.  A handful of sunflower seeds will curb your hunger while supplying you with a healthy dose of vitamin E, selenium and magnesium. So, go ahead…have a ball in your kitchen and create these tasty balls for your dinner tonight!

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2  cup rolled dry oats
  • 2 cups water (to cook oats)
  • 1 Tbsp. sea salt
  • 1 cup brown rice, cooked
  • 1 cup crispy whole grain cereal
  • 1 cup bran crumbs
  • 1 Tbsp. oregano
  • 2 cups finely ground sunflower seeds
  • 2 Tbsp. wheat-free tamari
  • 1 tsp. spicy mustard
  • Dash of cumin
  • Dash of pepper

Directions

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • Combine all ingredients in a large bowl; mix well until texture resembles cookie dough.
  • Roll mixture into golf-ball sized balls and place on baking sheet.
  • Bake for 30 minutes.
  • Serve with tomato sauce and vegan Parmesan cheese topping.
  • Enjoy!

Boost Your Immune System

Whether it’s an office cubicle buddy coughing over your shoulder or the changing of seasons, we all need to keep our immune systems healthy.  Here are a few ways for you to be sure to keep you out of the doctors office and feeling great!

immune

Eat Healthy Fats and Healthy Foods

  • Eat foods that boost your immune system such as mushrooms, cantaloupe, brown rice, olive oil, broccoli, leafy greens, oranges and apples.
  • To build your body’s ability to protect itself from becoming sick, be sure to eat whole grains, fish, poultry, vegetables, beans, fruits, leafy greens and roots.
  • Don’t be scared of Fat-you need a healthy dose each and everyday.  Include healthy fats such as nuts, avocado and olive oil.
  • Reach for foods that are high in Vitamin D such as salmon and tuna.

Incorporate Cancer-Fighting Foods, Spices and Herbs

  • Garlic is a powerful health enhancer; it’s strong properties protect our immune system.
  • Drink black tea and green tea for their antioxidants, tannis, indoles and bioflavonoids, which have all been proven to fight cancer.
  • Take time to consider the use of medicinal plants, which have been a natural resource for curing and easing body ailments for centuries.

Be Active

  • Get walking.  Be sure to exercise for 30 minutes on most days.  Even a walk after dinner can help you digest your food and make you feel energized.

Drink Water

  • Try to drink 6-8 glasses a water each day to flush out the toxins in your  body.

Wash Your Hands

  • Be sure to wash up as often as possible to keep germs from spreading and getting into your mouth and eyes.

Clean Your Cubicle as You Would Your Home

  • Many of us spend more time at our desks than we do in our own homes, therefore be sure to keep your cubicle and desk clean with disinfectants.
  • Many of us eat meals at our desks, which leads to a whole slew of festering bacteria-Yuck.  Be sure to wipe your desk before and after each meal or opt for a chance of scenery and enjoy your lunch in the cafe or outside.

How do you stay healthy? Do you have any tips for boosting your immune system?

Healthy Coconut ‘Fried’ Rice

Here is a delicious gluten and dairy free recipe that I cooked up last night for myself.  The powerful flavors of the saffron and coconut make this a tasty meal for any season.

rice

Ingredients

  • 2 eggs
  • 1 egg white
  • 1/4 cup Greek plain yogurt
  • 1 Tbsp. oil
  • 1 sweet onion, finely chopped
  • 1 Tbsp. minced garlic
  • 1/4 cup dairy-free milk (soy, hemp, rice, nut)
  • 1 large tomato, finely diced
  • Dash of Nu-Salt and pepper
  • 1 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar
  • Dash of saffron
  • Dash of curry powder
  • 1 tsp. agave nectar
  • 4 cups brown rice, cooked
  • 5 scallions, finely chopped
  • Handful of fresh cilantro leaves
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
  • 1/4 tsp. coconut extract
  • 1 tsp. nutritional yeast
  • Dash of cinnamon
  • 1 block extra firm tofu, pressed and drained

Directions

  • In a medium bowl, combine eggs and egg white; beat with a fork until blended.
  • Coat a large pan with cooking spray and heat over medium-high heat.
  • Pour in egg mixture and scramble.  Remove eggs and set aside.
  • To the same pan, add oil and heat over medium-high heat.  Add garlic and onions; stir fry until golden brown.  Add Nu-Salt, pepper, vinegar and diced tomato; continue to stir fry for 2 minutes.  Slowly add the non-dairy milk, cinnamon, agave nectar, nutritional yeast, saffron, curry, coconut flakes, coconut extract.
  • Add brown rice, tofu and continue to stir fry for another few minutes.
  • Add in the cooked eggs.  Stir fry for another minute to ensure even cooking.
  • Remove from heat and serve.  Top with scallions, a dollop of Greek yogurt and cilantro.
  • Enjoy!