Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Dirt Balls

Decadent Dirt Balls
This treat is chock full of flavor, fiber, good fats and will satisfy your sweet tooth while keeping your blood sugar level and happy.  It's gluten and dairy free and I hope you will love it! 
Prep Time:15 Minutes                                                                         
Chill Time: 30 minutes

1 cup raw cashews
1 cup rolled oats                                                          
1/4 cup chia seeds

1 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 cup pitted dates
1/4 cup cacao powder

1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tablespoon coconut oil, melted
2 tablespoons water

1 Tablespoon Pure Maple syrup
1/4 cup unsweetened coconut flakes-chopped fine

1. Combine the cashews and oats in the work bowl of a food processor and pulse until as fine as breadcrumbs.

2. Add all remaining ingredients, and process until it forms a large ball.
3. Roll out 12 equal balls and pour the coconut flakes out onto a large plate
4. Roll each ball in the coconut until completely covered. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes. Store leftover dirt balls in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.

Nutritional Analysis:
Serving Size (1 Dirt Ball): Calories 200, Fat 9 g, Sat 2 g, Cholesterol 0 mg, Fiber 7 g, Protein 6 g, Carbohydrates 29 g, Sodium 4 mg.

this recipe is from Dr. Mark Hyman's new cook book, The Blood Sugar Solution Cookbook
Why cooking can save your life... (this is an excerpt taken from a post on Dr. Mark Hyman's blog)The cure for what ails us, both in our bodies and in our nation can be found in the kitchen. It is a place to rebuild community and connection,  strengthen bonds with family and friends, teach life-giving skills to our children, enrich and nourish our bodies and our souls. Yet, in the twenty first century, our kitchens and our taste buds have been hijacked by the food industry. In the 1900's only 2% of meals were eaten outside of the home, today that number is over 50%.

The "food Like" substances, full of fat, salt and sugar offered by the industrial food system tricks our taste buds into momentary pleasure. But our biology rejects the junk forced on our genes and on our hormonal and biochemical pathways and the results is the disaster that we have in America today. 70% of us are overweight and in less that a decade the rate of pre-diabetic or diabetic teenagers has quadrupled. Increasing from 9% to 23%. 
 My editorial...Another way to look at it is that almost 1/4 of our teenagers have blood sugar issues. That's a very scary thought and sad as well. The cost to the health care system will be staggering unless this is turned around and turned around soon and more importantly, the quality of life for these young people as they become adults will be severely compromised.

I hope you will consider cooking at least 5 meals a week at home and involve your kids, young and old as well. It brings benefit on so many levels.  Bon Apetite!

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Chili in the "Raw"

Well, it's too bad that I did not remember this recipe in time for Super Bowl Sunday as it would have been a wonderful, tasty, feel good dish to have had amongst the chips and guacamole, chicken wings and pizza. And it goes really well with beer too.  But here it is now and I hope that you will still try it out!  What makes this dish so yummy are all of the spices.  You will need a good blender along with either a food processor or a really good sharp knife and cutting board.

Chili in the "Raw"
Serves 2-4
1 Portobello Mushroom, chopped                
1/2 cup minced celery                               
1/2 cup chopped red onion                          
1 red bell pepper                                           
1 cups almonds, soaked 4-6 hours                
1 cup chopped carrots                                  
1 1/2 cups sun dried tomatoes, soaked        
2 cups water, fresh or from the sundried     
  tomato liquid  
1 T. apple cider vinegar
1 T. Organic maple syrup or molasses
1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
1/4 Cup Braggs Amino
1 clove garlic
2 T. Fresh oregano
1 T. dried oregano
1 T. chili powder
1 Tablespoon cumin
1 tsp ground cinnamon 
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper                   

Optional ingredients for garnish, more taste and nutrition:
1 Avocado, chunked -great source of good fat and folic acid
4 T. cilantro chopped-helps to detox the liver and source of Vit C
1/2 cup plain yogurt (if you are dairy free, use goat's yogurt or goat cheese)

Place mushrooms, celery, onion, and bell pepper in a large bowl.  Pulse almonds and carrots in food processor until a chunky consistency is achieved, add to bowl.  blend remaining ingredients in a really good blender, like a Vita-Mix or a Magic bullet which is much less but, I think does a bang up job!  Blend these ingredients until smooth.  Add to bowl and mix all ingredients until well combined.  Store in refrigerator and warm, if needed to a tepid temperature.  Serve and top with any of the garnishes above and enjoy! 
Some tidbits....The Portobello mushrooms give a meat like texture, so is pleasing to the meat eater and may even confuse them a bit.  Use the Braggs instead of soy sauce because it does not contain wheat or gluten,  soy sauce does.  Try to use as many organic ingredients as possible, even your spices.