Let's Talk: Healthful Eating, Recipes, New Products, Etc.

lynninnewmexicoFebruary 27, 2014

Although I am really enjoying all of this great inspiring and informative talk about healthful eating over on Kiki's original "Conscious Cleanse", I feel guilty that some of us ~Me~ have taken it off track from exchanging info about this cleanse to talking about more healthful eating ideas, recipes, etc. Sorry Kiki! I'd love to continue our conversations here so that her thread can focus back on her original questions about this cleanse. Can we do that here?

I've gotten so jazzed about it all that when DH took me to go grocery shopping last night (I still can't drive since my hand surgery), we spent an hour and a half looking at new products (for us), comparing ingredients and stats and trying to come up with menu ideas for the things we bought. It was exhausting but a lot of fun as well.

For example,
* Pastas: I'm in the process of switching over from regular pastas to whole grain pastas. I buy them in the types available, but last night found organic Ancient Quinoa Harvest brand pasta. Being able to only use my left hand to eat for at least the next 5 weeks longer, I bought their Rotelle to try, probably this weekend. I also picked up a bag of whole wheat orzo.
I love orzo! Any others you've tried that are good? Awful?

* Bagels: we love bagels, lox with cream cheese but switched a year ago to the whole grain bagel thins instead. To make our weekend breakfast even more healthful I top them with a mashed avocado, diced tomato and slivered Vidalia onion. I just can't give up my weekend bagel breakfast completely!

*Flour: I am not into baking and we try to limit desserts to once a week . I can't even remember the last time I baked a cake or cupcakes. Years! But, I do like to make yummy, healthful muffins for breakfast. Trying to get away from white flour, at least partially, I try to use part whole wheat. Last night I picked up a smallish bag of Red Mill's whole ground flaxseed meal. Am going to try and use some in my yummy, healthful Morning Glory Muffins and hope I don't ruin them (LOL)! Any other ideas?

*Sugar: we are trying to cut back on white sugar. Using honey and organic blue agave instead. I am very allergic to the artificial sweetener Aspertame/Aspartamine, so we don't use anything artificial now. Tried sucrose but thought it tasted awful.

* Green Leafy Vegetables Are My Friends (LOL)! These days I put fresh baby kale in just about everything. Lots of fresh spinach, arugula, Swiss chard, too.

Well, my left arm is killing me from overuse (LOL), so
I'll stop here and let you all chime in. Ideas? New foods to try? Recipes that actually taste good?

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Sounds like you are doing good Lynn! I don't have much to add to your plan. We do much the same. We have eaten whole wheat pasta for some time now.

Do you do the kale chips? Roasted broccoli? I love roasted veggies period. Love chopping up a variety and roasting them. Such a pretty (colorful) dish too. My husband especially likes roasted sweet potatoes.

This week I have been enjoying some oranges my hubby's aunt brought us from Florida.


    Bookmark   February 27, 2014 at 8:31PM
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tishtoshnm Zone 6/NM

One of the biggest things for my family was finding new recipes that tasted great. One book along those lines was Appetite for Reduction. It is vegan but very, very good.

As far as products, one ingredient that I enjoy is coconut flour. Most recipes that use it are heavy on the eggs but the carb count of those goods is very good (my 12-year-old is diabetic). I have made muffins and cupcakes, waffles and pancakes with it and they are quite enjoyed around here. I purchase mine at Vitamin Cottage where they keep it in the freezer.

An interesting tidbit I have read in the past is that sesame is actually loaded with calcium so I frequently sprinkle our salads/foods with either brown or black sesame seeds (again bought in bulk at Vitamin Cottage in the freezer section).

    Bookmark   February 27, 2014 at 8:46PM
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Hey Lynne-

I was beginning to feel guilty too! I kept trying to bring it back to the cleansers, but I selfishly participated in the hijack too. It never occurred to me to start a new thread. Thank you!

As I mentioned in the earlier thread my son is a huge quinoa pasta fan. I think it has the best texture of non wheat noodles. We also like brown rice noodles.

We have no traditional processed wheat products in the house. We occasionally will make wraps or have sandwiches. These are usually on Ezekiel sprouted grain bread or rudis or Ezekiel spelt wraps.

We do keep white whole wheat flour and a mix of other flours: oat,tapioca,almond, coconut, kamut, buckwheat and spelt in the freeZer. In our freezer we also keep nuts, seeds and flax meal to prevent them from spoiling. Flax seed goes rancid pretty quickly if bought in meal form (why it's generally cheaper than the whole seeds)

We keep so many varieties of dried beans on hand. I've stopped buying canned. We make a huge pot on Sunday and freeze. The frozen beans can be used just like canned beans in any recipe. Works great!

On the other thread Annie mentioned competing nutritional studies. I could not agree more. However having read so much we no longer use agave syrup except very very rarely. I tend to sweeten with maple syrup, black strap molasses, medjool dates, bananas, applesauce and stevia. The thing to remember with flax meal is if your muffin or cookies are supposed to be lily white they will be dis colored with flax specks. Not a big deal but since many people eat with their eyes I thought I'd mention. We use a lot of flax eggs instead of eggs in baked goods, but for certain things I use other egg alternatives. I realize you would be using flax as just an added ingredient but the color thing would still apply.

Tish- I love appetite for reduction. I tend to think her recipes are usually off on spices, they are super easy to adjust. And great for inspiration. The baked falafel with added heat and spice are delish!

Lately I've been making homemade energy bars using a mixture of cooked quinoa, hemp protein, apples, cinnamon, nutmeg, dates, and almonds. My husband loves them for race days or long bike rides and our son loves them on the days the guys go hiking or camping.

Something I haven't seen mentioned is nutritional yeast. It's a great source of b vitamins. Taste great sprinkled on popcorn or kale chips. Also works as a nice additive for cashew sauces or certain salad dressings.

Ok enough of a novel for now.

    Bookmark   February 27, 2014 at 9:49PM
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I'm using more almond flour and coconut flakes, following DD2's lead since DGS is dairy-free, gluten-free. Order both via Amazon Subscribe & Save.

DD2 made a really good pizza this week he could eat and something in the crock pot she said was really good. Need to see if she's pinned the recipes. Some are hit and miss.

Here is a link that might be useful: Clean Eating Carrot Coconut (Flakes) Muffins

    Bookmark   February 27, 2014 at 10:11PM
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tishtoshnm Zone 6/NM

IHGS, can you recommend a brand of nutritional yeast. The last one I bought was not very good and took me forever to use it up and I thought what I had purchased prior was better but never bothered to right it down.

I also need to find a source for hemp milk again. Trader Joe's carried it for a short time at a price I could tolerate but I have not seen it there in a long time. I really enjoyed it for making ice cream, more so than other milks (except for coconut milk which is a favorite around here).

    Bookmark   February 27, 2014 at 11:05PM
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I somewhat follow Dr.Fuhrman's guidelines of greens, greens, greens, beans, onions, mushrooms, berries and seeds, almost exclusively organic, with no red meat and very little chicken or fish. We have never eaten fast food or processed foods, everything is always from scratch including whole grain breads etc. I find the almond milk I make (from truly raw, organic almonds) is much better than store bought partly because I can control how dilute it is. I also make hemp milk. As a matter of economy, since organic food is more expensive, I notice that organic almond butter in my local supermarket is over $22 per 1lb jar. My homemade organic almond butter costs me $10 per pound.

I confess that I find Rip Esselstyn's 'Damn Good Cookies' (which I make into balls and roll in cocoa or coconut so they are more like "chocolate truffles") are addictive. Good thing they are so healthy!

    Bookmark   February 28, 2014 at 1:03AM
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Tish- For nutritional yeast, my local health store carries a great tasting one in the BUlk section, so I buy that now. However my favorite brand is probably KAL flakes. I HATED red star. Stuff was awful. Brags is better than bobs red mill but I still prefer KAL.

Sis- we also make our own milks and butter. You aren't exaggerating it is so much healthier and cheaper!!!!

I'm not familiar with the cookies. We make his banana pb oatmeal cookies from my beef with meat. Pretty good.although when I want decadent splurge cookies I turn to isa's (postpunkkitchen) book, vegan cookies invade the cookie jar.

I wish I had time to make my own breads. We just rarely eat the stuff maybe once every other week so I buy the healthiest bread my family enjoys. Hence the Ezekiel sprouted breads and wraps. We do make our own blue corn tortillas and corn tortillas for taco nights. So I think we could do worse.

I adore this oil free salad dressing from chef AJ:
Chef AJ's Husband's Favorite No-oil Balsamic Vinaigrette

1 cup of Balsamic Vinegar (4% acidity preferred)*
4 Tablespoons of Nutritional Yeast
3 Tablespoons of low-sodium soy sauce, coconut aminos or tamari (Trader Joes brand has only 465 mg of sodium per tablespoons)
3 tablespoons of date syrup (or date equivalent) -could use maple syrup
1 tablespoon of Dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum

Place all ingredients in a blender and blend. Refrigerate any unused portion.

*Using a good balsamic makes all the difference in this recipe.Most balsamic vinegars have at least 6% acidity and they are very strong and sharp. Napa Valley Naturals Grand Reserve, available at Whole Foods or Vita Cost has only 4% acidity and it is naturally sweeter and less sharp.

In a pinch I skip the xantham gum. We use maple syrup most frequently. And I tend to add in more mustard than 1tbsp. Occasionally we add a pinch of thyme and garlic powder. But this must be made with the 4% grand reserve from napa valley. Best balsamic vinegar ever!

And while were on vinegar-- I'm a big fan of unfiltered/mother apple cider vinegar. Filtered apple cider vinegar loses much of the benefits.

Another great salad dressing seasoning is tomato powder from the spur house. It can be used in a vegan healthy French, smoky tomato or Catalina type dressing.

I've included a link to a big list of oil free dressings. We enjoy many of those recipes. Most take no time at all to make.

Here is a link that might be useful: Oil free dressings

    Bookmark   February 28, 2014 at 5:50AM
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Thanks for this post. Lynn.
But, by changing over to wheat products, do you think that you are getting too much gluten?
I like Ina Garten's orzo recipe but I switch the orzo for Quinoa.
I would love some tried and true Quinoa recipes.

    Bookmark   February 28, 2014 at 7:19AM
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Great post indeed Lynn: white or wheat it's gluten so although it's a great step to take, my goal this year is to reduce my wheat intake so I've been looking at wheat alternatives and quinoa pasta has the bite I like best so far.

I've been reading "wheat Brain" and "wheat belly" and I appreciate the info, it's almost scary to read but it's hard to eliminate wheat totally.

This week DS and his family are with us and they are gluten free.

    Bookmark   February 28, 2014 at 7:56AM
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Very timely post. Thanks Lynn for starting it! All I know is how I feel after eating certain foods and am on a quest to eliminate them. Mainly gluten, but trying to eat non- GMO foods, and just trying to consume mostly organic fruits and veggies when necessary and grass fed meats. I can't give up my coffee and cream though. Of course, trying to eat less sugar and processed foods.

Love the Wheat Belly book too.

I don't like to call what I eat "dieting" or put any other labels on how I eat...I find it too limiting and boring...but I do like most of the Paleo way of eating.

Here is a link on my Facebook this morning with good info on breads. No more regular bread buying for me.

I think the optimal way to eat is a lot of fruits and veggies and limit the processed stuff. We all know what is good and what is not. I think it's just too easy to become addicted to the sugars.

Here is a link that might be useful: Bread...good or not

    Bookmark   February 28, 2014 at 8:16AM
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Ellendi- quinoa is so versatile. Love it for breakfast lunch or dinner. To those unfamiliar with quinoa if you have a favorite couscous recipe try subbing in the quinoa for the cous cous. It also is a great substitute for rice in some pilafs.

Check out this link for some good recipes:

Good collection. I prefer my quinoa patties to mix in sweet potato and spinach but most of the others we enjoyed with very little editing other than veganizing those that weren't already vegan.

This isn't a recipe so much as an inspiration quide:

Cook red quinoa according to package instructions (although we always throw in 1cube of frozen homemade veggie broth so you could sub a low sodium vegetable or chicken broth for the water in package directions)

Meanwhile soften 1 chopped onion ft 5-7 minutes. Add in chopped tri colored bell peppers an celery. Cook until tender. Then add 2 1/2 cups chickpeas or black beans. Fold in the cooked quinoa and fresh baby kale arugula or kale. Cook until warmed through and greens have just begun to wilt. (at this time could also add grilled portobello or steamed broccoli or corn)Season with generous amounts of chili powder cumin Mexican oregano and smoked paprika or a favored taco or chili spice mix. Add enough water low sodium broth to disperse the flavors. Taste adjust seasoning. Serve in a bowl with sliced avocados, pepitas or other garnish.

We often throw leftover quinoa on top of spinach or kale salads with pears or apples and cranberries or cherries, champagne vinegar dressing and pecan concoctions

We also love delicata, zucchini and patty pan squash stuffed with different quinoa stuffings: one is savory with white beans mushrooms rosemary quinoa spinach and onions second is sweet yet savory a hint of maple syrup red quinoa celery onions spinach cranberries and chickpeas)

Have you tried baked apples with a maple cinnamon walnut quinoa filling. Sooooo delicious. I just sub quinoa in for oatmeal you find in so many recipes.

Hope this helps! Can't wait to see others' recipes!

Edited to remove my off topic critique of wheat belly.

This post was edited by iheartgiantschnauzer on Fri, Feb 28, 14 at 8:34

    Bookmark   February 28, 2014 at 8:31AM
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Great thread and so interesting! I'm learning some new things.

I want to read Wheat Belly. Tish - also didn't know/think about sesame seeds - calcium. Have not thought to use them on salads.

I need to use quinoa more. The stuffed apples sounds good. We eat cooked apples fairly often.

I didn't realize there were all those different types of flour! Something else to investigate! And never thought of freezing beans. Are they good on their own - not in something - after being frozen? Like freeze meal size portions and then just heat up?

Oh and the nutritional yeast. What is the purpose in that? Is it like taking a probiotic?

I'm linking a good salad dressing recipe.


Here is a link that might be useful: salad dressing

    Bookmark   February 28, 2014 at 9:02AM
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I am so excited to see this thread taking off! Creating delicious meals has long been a passion of mine and this past year or so, creating very healthful-but-still-delicious meals has become a new and very important passion.

Don't expect me to moderate or reply to each post, though.
I want this to be everyone's thread, not mine. Plus, typing with just my left index finger gets tiresome very quickly(LOL!).

I am blown away and so impressed by your efforts to eat so healthfully, Sis and IHGS! Making your own hemp and almond milk. OMG! If you get time, will you tell us how this is done? We've recently switched from vanilla soy milk to almond milk, but I'd never thought before about making my own.

I have several recipes I plan on sharing here, but no time today. My first post-op visit is this early afternoon and it takes me a long time to get ready these days. I do have one quick one DH thought up last night for our dinner.
It was quick, super easy and delicious. As I've mentioned, we always keep a bag of baby kale in our fridge to use with lots of things. Last night DH made us fresh tilapia almandine, fresh asparagus and then this new veggie dish he dreamed up:
Sautéed Baby Kale with Fresh Fennel
Sauté thinly sliced fennel in a small amount of good olive oil. When almost done (we like to eat ours when it's cooked but still has a bite to it), add in several handfuls of the kale. Cook a few minutes longer. Serve with a light sprinkle of freshly shredded Parmesan cheese.

Loved the unique combination of these two veggies!

    Bookmark   February 28, 2014 at 9:47AM
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If you like yams or sweet potatoes, you could also use pumpkin too, these muffins are delicious and healthy...great for those with blood sugar issues, and those who are looking for gluten free muffins.
can be either sweet or savoury.

Savoury Ingredients:
1 sweet potato
1 tbsp coconut oil
3 eggs or 1 egg w/egg white
3 tbsp coconut flour
1 tsp baking powder
Preheat oven to 375.
Microwave 1 sweet potato. (Tip ��" poke holes in the potato the cook it faster)
Let cool.
Microwave the coconut oil.
Add sweet potato to a bowl and mix well until it’s pretty smooth, then add in the whisked eggs, coconut oil, coconut flour, baking powder and mix well.
Bake for 25 minutes
Sweet Ingredients:
Add 1 tbsp pure maple syrup to mixture
Add 1 tsp cinnamon
Add 3 tbsp of any chopped nut (walnuts, pecans)
Follow directions for savoury muffin and add new ingredients.
Mix well.
Other options to add in:
Turkey sausage
Turkey bacon
Makes about 12 muffins.
Refrigerate and store in sealed container and reheat as needed

    Bookmark   February 28, 2014 at 10:12AM
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These are delicious and so healthy

Protein Power Balls Ingredients:

1 cup nut butter
1/4 cup coconut oil
1/4 cup chia seeds
1/4 cup hemp seeds
2 tbsp raw organic honey
1/4 cup cacao nibs
1 cup mixed dry fruit (ie. dates, apricots, raisins)
2 cups oats
2 scoops Vegan Vanilla protein powder
combine all of the ingredients, blend well
The consistency should be soft with lots of texture. Roll 1-inch balls.
Store in fridge or freezer. .

    Bookmark   February 28, 2014 at 10:18AM
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This is all interesting and helpful. I need a kick in the pants to get back on track again! I was doing so well avoiding all the white stuff this past fall and early winter, and I have strayed a bit over the last several weeks.

What works for me is simply planning ahead. I am used to planning dinners ahead for the family since I am the Chief Cook here, but lunch -- when I am usually home and in between work appts. or errands or whatever -- always sort of catches me off guard and I find myself starving and staring into the fridge. If I have something made ahead of time, it helps a lot. For instance, last night I made a big pot of veggie chili for just two of us (kids were either out or refusing to eat chili) so now I have enough leftover in the fridge for several days of lunch for myself! The chili contains red pepper, green pepper, onion, zucchini, yellow squash, tomatoes, black beans, and cannellini beans, and chili powder and cumin for seasoning. Very simple and healthy.

I have stopped buying regular store breads and only buy bread from a local bakery (which is sold at our grocery store) with no preservatives and few ingredients. I usually have Ezekiel bread in the freezer too, which I like with peanut butter.

In general, I am trying to avoid anything with more than 3g of sugar when it's something that has a label. It has been educational to see how many foods -- especially cereal and breads that, at first glance, appear to be healthy -- have lots of sugar!

I don't think I could ever be as hard-core healthy as some of you are, but I am much more conscientious than I ever was, and trying to incorporate more healthy habits all the time.

    Bookmark   February 28, 2014 at 10:37AM
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Making your own nut milk or hemp milk is so easy and it is delicious!

I soak about 1 to 1 1/2 cups of almonds in water overnight or up to 2 days. If 2 days I change the water after 1 day. Add the nuts to a blender ( I use a Vitamix) with about 3 cups of water. Blend until it looks like milk with only tiny solids in it. It only takes about 1 minute. Strain through cheesecloth or a nut bag (the nut bag makes life so much easier and only costs a few dollars from Amazon). I suspend the nut bag over a large measuring cup from the handle on my upper cabinet until most of the liquid has drained out. I give the bag a quick, gentle squeeze and then dump the residue back into the blender with a cup or two of water. I repeat the blending and straining and that's it! Delicious, inexpensive, totally pure almond milk. After you have made the first batch you can decide whether you like it stronger (less water) or thinner. It lasts about 3 days in the refrigerator so only make as much as you can use in that time.

Some people add sweeteners such as honey, or spices such as cinnamon, vanilla or nutmeg, but I love it just as it is!

Hemp milk is made the same way except it is even easier as it is softer than the almonds and I don't bother with the second blending. Again add water to taste.

Some people dry the left over nut or seed meal and use it in baking. I don't, as for me it has no flavor or nutrient left, so I just sprinkle it on my garden.

    Bookmark   February 28, 2014 at 10:42AM
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Thank you, Lynn, for starting this thread! I can't wait to go shopping. Just let me say, I love kale! We started eating it this winter and I find myself looking for recipes I can use it in all the time. When DH had his knee scoped back in Oct, I made a big pot of chicken soup and threw in handfuls of kale. It's almost our go-to side now.

I too want to incorporate more quinoa. Can someone recommend a favorite brand? I read about the need to rinse many of them but some packages say you don't.

    Bookmark   February 28, 2014 at 10:53AM
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I am so impressed with all of your healthy eating. I keep trying to do better but soon my old habits return. It's so hard for me for some reason.
So I will continue to read and look for inspiration. If I keep trying one of these times it will stick.
I went to see Dr. Furhman last year and was very impressed with his ideas. At the end of the day I try to see if I ate a little of everything on his list. Some days better than others:)
In addition to the recipes, could you post some samples of your daily meals for a few days.
I don't think I have any recipes healthy enough to contribute!

    Bookmark   February 28, 2014 at 11:03AM
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I tried making the almond milk once. I peeled after soaking overnight. Do I have to peel them? A lot of extra work. Also, it separates in the fridge...stupid question maybe, but is that normal? And if so, do I just mix it again or did I do something wrong?

I'm making quinoa as I speak. I like it plain or with added veggies, but I like the recipes iheart shared. I get the organic Ancient Harvest brand...traditional right now but have gotten the red also. I don't rinse.

Kale is a favorite here too...especially kale chips.

An easy healthy go to my DH and I enjoy is weightwatchers cabbage soup, although I play with the recipe each time by adding different veggies each time. Tasty!

    Bookmark   February 28, 2014 at 11:11AM
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Absolutely no need to peel the almonds, Anita. What a tedious job that must have been! The almond milk does tend to 'settle' after a while. I keep mine in a bottle with a stopper so I just give it a quick shake before pouring. You really can't go wrong; soak, rinse, blend, strain, drink! I doubt It takes 2 minutes of my time to make our 3 days supply of almond milk, including all clean up!

    Bookmark   February 28, 2014 at 12:35PM
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Great to know sis3. Thanks.

    Bookmark   February 28, 2014 at 12:37PM
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Am back for a few minutes before DH gets home to take me to my post-op visit.

Thank you Sis, for those recipes. I had no idea they would be so easy!

Question for Everyone: Any good recipes for Green Lentils, Other Lentils or Farro ? I bought them and now need recipes (LOL).

    Bookmark   February 28, 2014 at 1:02PM
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Lego- changing eating habits is hard.

I may not have enough variety for some in my daily meals. I'm also weird and not above eating leftover chickpea kale soup for breakfast? but I'll share some typical days. Not sure how helpful it will be as I don't eat dairy or meat.

Today , I felt well enough to go to do a yoga class and hit the rock gym (climbing walls with my son) I have no idea where the energy came from but we capitalized on it. So today's meals will reflect that. On days i feel well enough to exercise i always add in workout smoothies (pre and post different formulas) If it were an epic workout then I'd consume date gels or homemade protein p bars etc.

Breakfast: leftover Brussel sprout apple hash Pre workout Banana and Date Nut bar and post workout green protein smoothie (posted on other thread) lunch: a HUGE salad with arugula baby kale and baby bok Choy, purple cabbage, celery, cucumber, radish, bell peppers, carrots, garbanzo beans, tomatoes, and topped with grilled mushrooms chia seeds and a few sunflowe sunflower seeds. Oh snd chef AJs dressing. I also am having a handful of organic strawberries and blueberries. My son had some leftover mujadarra and a small salad with orange hummus dressing. It's Friday and my sons friend will be over tonight. I know he will eat either sloppy joes, lentil tacos, spaghetti marinara or lentil loaf. The boys get a kick out of smushing their hands in the bowl and mixing it all up. So we will have glazed walnut apple lentil loaf, mashed caulipots, broccoli and freshly made apple sauce.have made vegan fudgecicles earlier today for the boys as a treat.

Saturday:banana nut steel cut oatmeal with a touch of maple syrup. splash of almond milk (we shop for fruit on Sundays. Usually only apples oranges and frozen fruit are left on Saturday) lunch: huge salad and slice of leftover loaf. red quinoa bowl: raw kale and arugula topped with red quinoa steamed vegetables beluga lentils and a lemon tahini sauce drizzled ontop
Sunday: breakfast: bean patties, sweet potato hash and no oil sautéed greens. orange slices Lunch: grilled vegetable hummus stacks dinner: curried red lentil soup and huge salad. Fruit.
Monday: quinoa porridge with berries and cinnamon, lunch : huge vegetable salad and fruit dinner: baked falafel on top of greens with a tahini drizzle steamed and raw vegetables with oil free roasted red pepper hummus and oil free babaganoush for dipping. Husband and son will probably also insist on fresh warm whole wheat pita for dipping

That should give you the gist of our meals.

Sis3 covered the nutmilks. I agree with her time assessment. Very simple.

Lentil recipes: I have a bunch I'll try to post some later. In the meantime check out herbivoracious.com for his mujadarrah recipe or smittenkitchen.com for her lentil stuck pot or ohsheglows.com for the lentil loaf and 101cookbooks.com has some great lentil recipes in her archive as well as a farro chili

    Bookmark   February 28, 2014 at 2:13PM
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What a totally interesting thread! Lynn, thank you for the subject matter!! I discovered Quinoa pasta, and used the shells in my homemade chicken soup the other day.They're a bit on the firm side, or maybe I didn't cook them long enough. I've also used the regular Quinoa(in the soup)and like it better. I use a whole chicken(cut up)to take advantage of the bone marrow, the *real* benefit of home made chicken soup.

Also made Cabbage/turkey rolls. using 1/2 white, 1/2 brown rice, but cooked the brown rice for 15 minutes first. Since I didn't use all the cabbage for the roll up, I cut the extra in large pieces, and added it to the tomato sauce. Served with fresh green beans, and DD and I shared a baked potato. She's a health nut, so helps to keep me in line!

Tonight i'm making stir fry veggies using the extra brown rice from the roll ups. Yellow/green squash, onion, red pepper/yellow pepper, and mushrooms. I make this a lot and can never eat too much~stir fry in EVOO(thank you RR!)w/a little sea salt/pepper. If I have leftover salmon from the day before, i'll add that also. YUM!

Love some of the recipes posted!! keep 'em comin'!

    Bookmark   February 28, 2014 at 4:08PM
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Iheart, thanks for the 101 cookbook site. I am having fun viewing all the recipes!

    Bookmark   February 28, 2014 at 6:29PM
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I absolutely enjoyed and appreciated all the discussion about healthful eating on my original cleanse thread, so I'll just hang out here instead : )
I'm on day 11 of my 14 day cleanse.. Feeling great, have lost a conservative amount of weight (6 lbs) but have noticed a Huuuuge difference in my skin. Will post before and after pix this weekend. My energy level is way up, i feel fairly food content.. I had a plum today, and it was the plummiest plummy plum ever. I enjoyed it sooo much. And i always liked the promise of the flavor of a plum, but was disappointed in the reality. Took my plum into my husband and said have a bite, and he said.. Ehh. Average plum. So my tastes preferences are definitely modified.

    Bookmark   February 28, 2014 at 7:37PM
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Oh Kiki, I'm so glad you weren't upset with us for hijacking your post! Hope we can get lots of new recipes and ideas here.

I have a wonderful, delicious and very healthful breakfast muffin to share with you all, but I got my stitches out this afternoon and then a new cast put on so I'm hurting a bit and will wait until tomorrow to type it out here. In the meantime, I'm off to go check out the sites that IHGS listed.

    Bookmark   February 28, 2014 at 8:59PM
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****am just deleting my accidental double post.

This post was edited by lynninnewmexico on Sun, Mar 2, 14 at 19:59

    Bookmark   February 28, 2014 at 9:00PM
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I really like this stuffed pepper receipe.

Stuffed Peppers
4 medium red, yellow or orange bell peppers, 1/2 inch trimmed off tops, cores and seeds discarded
1/2 cup long grain brown rice or wild rice
2 teaspoons olive oil
2 carrots, peeled and chopped fine
1 medium onion, minced
2 teaspoons tomato paste
6 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon chili powder
8 ounces ground beef or turkey
2 tomatoes (about 12 oz.), cored, seeded, and chopped medium
1/4 cup chicken stock
1 cup shredded Cheddar (I go easy on the cheese)
2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
1 Tablespoon fresh lemon juice

1. Bring 4 quarts water to a boil in a large stockpot or Dutch oven over high heat.
2. Add 1 tablespoon salt and bell peppers.
3. Cook until peppers just begin to soften, about 5 minutes.
4. Using slotted spoon, remove peppers from pot, drain off excess water and place peppers cut side up on paper towels.
5. Return water to boil; add rice and boil until tender, about 25-30 minutes.
6. Drain rice and transfer to large bowl; set aside.
7. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 350°F.
8. Meanwhile, heat 12 inch heavy bottomed skillet over medium high heat until hot, about 1 1/2 minutes; add oil and swirl to coat.
9. Add carrots and onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 5-7 minutes. Stir in the garlic, tomato paste, and chili powder and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
10. Add ground beef and cook, breaking beef into small pieces with spoon, until no longer pink, about 5 minutes.
11. Stir in the tomatoes and chicken broth and cook until the tomatoes begin to break down, 1 to 2 minutes.
12. Stir the warm beef mixture, 3/4 cup of the cheddar, parsley , and lemon juice into the rice and season with salt and pepper to taste. Adjust an oven rack to the middle position and heat the oven to 350 degrees.
13. Pat the inside of the peppers dry with paper towels, then place the peppers in an 8″ square baking dish. Divide the filling evenly among the peppers and top with the remaining 1/4 cup cheese. Bake until the cheese is browned and the filling is heated through, about 30 minutes. Serve.
*If you make ahead, stuffed peppers can be covered with plastic wrap and refrigerated for up to 1 day. Let the peppers sit at room temperature for 1 hour, then bake as directed.

Back in Sept. I cut out all sugar, dairy, and grain for 6 weeks. I slowly added items in one by one to see if I had any type of hidden food allergy or sensitivity. For 3-4 weeks I walked around looking for food. I wasn’t hungry; it was a habit. Finally, the desire to pick randomly at food left.

I didn’t eat a diet of ding dongs before, but I knew it was time for a permanent change for a list of reasons. I now stick with mainly meat, veggies, fruits, nuts, seeds, healthy oils and fats. I eat small amounts of brown rice, millet, etc. a few times a week. I do eat Ezekiel bread at times. I stay away from pasta because I can hork down a plate like nobody’s business. Give me noodles over a cupcake any day.

They say moderation is the way to go and the 80/20 rule is often suggested. I find I feel and do better if I keep the lifestyle change most of the time. If I really want a piece of pizza I’ll eat it, but make sure I’m actually hungry for it and that it tastes good. I’m surprised to find that a lot of foods that I used to like no longer taste good, and sometimes when I eat something junky it doesn’t agree with me and I feel horrible afterwards.

I now actually plan my meals daily and count calories; sometimes I always said I’d never do because I figured it would be too hard and/or drive me bonkers. I very much enjoy it and it’s made my life so much easier. I'm not kidding. Since I never did it before I had no idea what x calories looked like. I discovered there were times of ‘healthy eating’ when I was actually crash dieting by accident because I wasn’t consuming enough calories. I eat small meals six times a day and start by writing what I’d like to eat and make sure my protein, fat, and carb intake are balanced. This still sounds quite scary, but it’s become second nature.

The way I did it (and continue) may not work for everyone, but find what works for you. Through this journey I learned to take it one day at a time and that helped tremendously. When your body is detoxing it can become an overwhelming situation fast when you start thinking about long term food choices. Sugar and chemicals are addicting and it takes time to overcome.

I’d like to try and make almond milk and I have yet to try quinoa. I like using organic coconut palm sugar in baking. It has a lower glycemic index and tastes good.

I’m very much into baked sweet potato fries right now with olive oil and garlic.

How long do you guys keep homemade salad dressing? Three days? Depends? I never know how long is ok!

This post was edited by sheesharee on Sat, Mar 1, 14 at 1:47

    Bookmark   March 1, 2014 at 1:45AM
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Shee- how long I keep a salad dressing depends on the type. We will make up a double batch of some dressings and keep 7-10 days. These are usually vinegar or mustard base. On the other hand a cashew based dressing or a silken tofu dressing is usually 2 days before it disappears in our house. I know they will not keep long so I only make what we will consume in a short time.

Kiki- we experienced the same plummiest plum or sweetest most "apple-y" apple, when we switched to organic fruit and veggies and started primarily using dates, date syrup, maple syrup and occasionally honey for sweetening. Great news about your skin looking healthier. It's always a nice benefit of a cleanse.

Tina- Nutritional yeast is chock full of b vitamins, including b12. It contains iron, protein, folic acid etc. It will vary by brand. But in general according to wiki and livestrong:

"Nutritional values for nutritional yeast vary from one manufacturer to another. On average, two tablespoons provides 60 calories with 5 g of carbohydrates (of which 4 g is fiber). also provides 9 g of protein and is a complete protein, providing all nine amino acids the human body cannot produce. It is also a source of selenium and potassium. While fortified and unfortified nutritional yeast both provide iron, the fortified yeast provides 20 percent of the recommended daily value, while unfortified yeast provides only 5 percent. Unfortified nutritional yeast provides from 35 to 100 percent of all of the B vitamins, except for B12. Fortified nutritional yeast adds 150 percent of vitamin B12 and 720 percent of riboflavin."

I do not usually eat 2 tbsp at a time unless making some dressing or sauces, but 1 tbsp still gives a benefit! I also do not rely on this as my primary source of b12. For that I take a sublingual supplement.

Glad you enjoyed the websites ell and Lynn.

Hope you are not in as much pain this morning lynn

This post was edited by iheartgiantschnauzer on Sat, Mar 1, 14 at 7:43

    Bookmark   March 1, 2014 at 7:39AM
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Just popping in to give a shout out to ihgs for having a great, feel-good day, and to Lynn for getting her stitches out and hope you are feeling better today. And to Kiki for hanging in there with your plan!

Thanks to all who have posted websites, recipes and tips. I just went for a 3 mile run and have made my shopping list. We don't have a whole foods but do have Fresh Market and several organic markets and health food stores and grocery stores with organic sections. Hope I don't run all over town finding things. Whole Foods is coming though!

    Bookmark   March 1, 2014 at 11:59AM
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Legomom I hope you can find the inspiration to switch to healthier eating. There seems to be a tipping point where the desire/need to eat healthily outweighs the old habits. Some people flip flop for a while but then reach the point of no return where there is just no attraction to unhealthy foods. Perhaps, since you found Dr.Fuhrman inspiring, if you haven't already, you could treat yourself to one of his books, 'Super Immunity' is a good one if being disease free and healthy is your primary goal.

Iheart, sublingual B12 is the only supplement I ever take. Living in Florida I figure my D vitamins should be OK and all the rest Is amply provided by my diet.

I am finding Costco to be an increasingly reliable source of a variety of organic foods. Each time I go there seem to be new organic products on the shelves. The quality is usually very good and the prices certainly are! I buy organic eggs from free roaming birds there for a fraction of the cost in the supermarket. They have organic greens, vegetables, dried fruits, frozen fruits and vegetables, chicken, hummus, raw sugar, spices, almond butter (half the price of the s/market) canned foods like diced tomatoes and tomato paste, and wild caught fish, as a few examples. I talked with them about whether they are responding to demand in stocking organics and they gave a hearty "Yes!". They said that the organic eggs, for example, fly off the shelves! I hope that demand continues to increase so that they will go 'all in' with organics. It would make organic food much affordable for many and would send a message to all the other retailers and producers that poisoned, gmo'd, heavily processed products are not the way of the future.

    Bookmark   March 1, 2014 at 12:48PM
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I'm currently doing my second "Whole 30," and am thoroughly enjoying a host of positive outcomes. These include: even moods throughout the day, improved energy, better skin, hair & sleep, happy gut (and digestion in general), overall inflammation is significantly decreased (arthritic joints in my not so old fingers) and my clothes are getting looser.

When I first heard about the paleo/primal, etc.... lifestyle it seemed drastic, foreign and intriguing at the same time. I spent two years reading Mark's Daily Apple (often while snacking on chocolate), especially the success stories. I also read "It Starts With Food" (the whole 30 is based on this book by Dallas and Melissa Hartwig & the info is also on their website), "Grain Brain" and "Wheat Belly" and decided that the "template" suggested with Whole 30 was a good framework to guide (force?) me to examine how I use food to manage emotions, help me to listen to my body's signals (surely I need to eat that cookie... Since it's right there!), and to be more healthy.

I have always eaten fairly well (no soda, processed foods, etc...), however, the sugar dragon has always been lurking over my shoulder. When I'm eating "cleanly," I am not even tempted. When I'm done with the thirty days this time around, I will introduce foods slowly and thoughtfully to learn more about what triggers the inflammation and digestion challenges.

That kale and fennel dish sounds tasty!

    Bookmark   March 1, 2014 at 9:12PM
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Here I am, one of the disrupters of the cleanse thread, and I haven't added any healthy talk to this thread.

As for new products, I buy The Good Bean brand roasted chick peas, particularly for travel days. A 1/4 cup serving has 150 calories, 6 g fiber, and 6 g protein. I snack on those to fend off hunger. My only complaint is the little bag isn't resealable.

    Bookmark   March 2, 2014 at 7:29AM
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tishtoshnm Zone 6/NM

Lynn, for red lentils, my favorite recipes are red lentil kofte and red lentil and rice soup, both are Turkish, healthy and wonderful.

A lot of times I just incorporate green or brown lentils into something else, like pasta sauce to kind of sneak them into the kids. I have also used them to make rather decent sloppy joe's or barbecue lentils. I have lentil tacos on the menu or March but have not made those yet.

I am glad this thread was started. Last time I had hemp milk, you could not purchase the seeds and now I know it is possible so that will be in my next order at Vitacost.

    Bookmark   March 2, 2014 at 6:23PM
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Here is the recipe I was telling you all about. You can substitute other ingredients as you choose. I've been making these for years and my family and friends love them. They're healthful, moist and delicious.

Morning Glory Muffins

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup sugar (looking for a good substitute for this)
1 TBS cinnamon
2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
3 eggs, beaten lightly (or substitute part egg whites, etc)
1 1/4 cp applesauce
1 tsp vanilla
1 8-oz can crushed pineapple, drained
2 cps freshly chopped or grated carrots (I use my food processor for this and all of the following)
1 Granny Smith apple, chopped finely
1 cup chopped walnuts or pecans
3/4 cp flaked or shredded coconut
1/2 cup raisins (I prefer golden; dried blueberries also work)

1) In a large bowl, combine the first 5 ingredients. Set aside.
2) In a small bowl, mix together eggs, applesauce and vanilla; pour into dry ingredients and mix until just combined.
3) Add all of the remaining ingredients to bowl and then stir gently to combine. Batter will be quite thick.
4) Spoon into 24 muffin cups, greased or with paper cups.
5) Bake in a preheated 350-degree oven for approx. 20-24 minutes. (***I am at an altitude of 6,000 ft above sea level, so be aware that timing may vary for you). Toothpick in middle of a muffin will come out clean when done.
6) Allow muffins to sit in pan 5 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool.

Makes 24 good size muffins. They freeze well.

    Bookmark   March 3, 2014 at 1:40PM
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This is another delicious recipe. It uses 3 of my favorite ingredients: arugula, cherries and quinoa.

5 tsp extra virgin olive oil, divided
2 tsp white wine vinegar
2 tsp pure maple syrup
1 tsp coarse ground mustard
Kosher salt and pepper to taste
1 cup cooked quinoa, cooled
1 cup sweet red cherries, pitted and halved
2 TBS soft crumbled goat cheese
4 TBS sliced almonds
2 cups packed, fresh arugula

1) In a small mixing bowl, add 2 tsp of the olive oil, the vinegar, maple syrup and ground mustard. Wisk until emulsified. Season to taste with Kosher salt and pepper.

2) Add quinoa and cherries to dressing. Toss to coat. Fold in goat cheese and almonds.

3) Separately, toss arugula with remaining 1 teaspoon of olive oil and a pinch of salt.

4) Plate the dressed arugula. Top with quinoa- cherry mixture.

5) Serve immediately.

*Serves 2

    Bookmark   March 4, 2014 at 10:21AM
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Lynn, I just copied that recipe!
It reminded me of my favorite. I use Quinoa instead of orzo. Mediterranean Salad:
2 c quinoa (or orzo)
1/4 c lemon juice
1/4 c olive oil
1 tsp honey (or agave)
1/2 tsp salt 1/2 tsp pepper
pinch of oregano
1 sweet red pepper,diced
3/4 c cow's milk feta
1/4 c parsley, chopped
1//4 cup diced red onion
1/3 c pitted Kalamata olives
1 English cucumber, diced
1/3 drained oil packed sun dried tomatoes

Cook the quinoa (or orzo)

Combine lemon juice, oil, honey salt, pepper and oregano. Add quinoa and remaining ingredients.
Put in fridge to chill.

    Bookmark   March 4, 2014 at 10:52AM
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Whoa, those last two sound delicious!

    Bookmark   March 5, 2014 at 1:21AM
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Hi, I was sent a link to this interesting thread. I read through it last night, but didn't have a chance to join the conversation until now. I have to check out those roasted chickpeas! Sound like a perfect road snack.

I hope this isn't out of bounds, but I want to discuss the last two recipes. (good grief that just sounded like the southern "bless her heart" sequitur. I hope this doesn't come off as that)

There are approximately 600 calories in 5 TBSP of olive oil with 70 grams of fat! So if the recipe only serves 2, a serving would have at least 300 calories plus 35 grams of fat, 5 saturated! If you eat a 1200 calorie diet that's over 87% of your recommended fat. Even at a 2100 calorie diet that is over half of the days recommended fat! You still need to calculate the fat in the almonds and cheese.

Or in the other recipe you have 480 calories in 1/4 cup oil with 56 g fat plus the fat & sodium in cheese, olives and the residual fat on the sun dried tomatoes.

Tasty recipes, absolutely! But I don't think i would consider them all that healthy. For comparison sake: 2 slices of vegetable pizza from my local pizzeria has only have 13 g fat, 6 saturated plus the sodium (off the charts at 1030 and processed carbs 48g) Yet, orzo is a processed carb too! Now quinoa is a much healthier seed. I find it hard to ignore that each of these salads has a ton of fat!

Have you tried making the orzo or quinoa with 1/2 to 2/3 less olive oil? I think you could use less oil: maybe only 1 or 2 tbsp and substitute in fat free, salt free or low salt chicken broth or vegetable broth in the dishes.

Too often I see people think the amount of fat in olive oil doesn't matter because it is a so-called "heart healthy" fat. I hope my pointing out suggestions to make these dishes even more nutritious is not out of bounds.

Greatly enjoying this thread.

    Bookmark   March 5, 2014 at 8:15AM
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Annie Deighnaugh

Question....I want to fry some fish for dinner tonight in coconut oil. I usually dust my fish with flour and seasonings first, but I'm on this cleanse and don't want to add wheat yet. I have chick pea flour and flax seed meal in my fridge... can I use either of them as a replacement?

    Bookmark   March 5, 2014 at 8:21AM
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I would dredge in rice flour. Chickpea flour has a distinctive taste. I wouldn't want it on fish. Garbanzo bean flour is also heavy. Rice flour would be lighter and crispier. I dredge fish in seasoned rice flour then dip in a batter that is a mix of carbonated water or beer, egg and rice flour with seasoning. It fries up crispy and flaky. Bob's red mill has an all purpose gluten free flour that could be used or even potato flakes can make a crispy outer coating on chicken or fish.

IIRC Flax seed meal would be used by vegans to replace an egg- not as a substitute for flour.

    Bookmark   March 5, 2014 at 8:51AM
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Finished my cleanse...
I am very very pleased with the program.
I felt it was very easy to follow, i was content with the food i ate, although i did cheat twice, once with a burger, and once with a plate of spaghetti. Im definitely sensitive to something because on both ocasions i bloated right up, and my stomach actually hurt!
I was shocked, i think i had gotten used to the bloat and the discomfort and equated them with feeling "full" but i am full on the cleanse diet with none of that unpleasant stuff..
I wont know for sure what causes the problem until i start selectively adding food back in. I suspect it is gluten.

Im hesitant to post photos on the internet, particularly such attractive ones, lol, but i took a photo before and 8 days in to the cleanse. I have skin troubles.. Am very prone to redness and rashes.. Also i didnt realize how puffy my face was until the puffiness was gone.

So here's the before photo, no makeup except where i had incompletely washed off my eye makeup..

This post was edited by kiki_thinking on Thu, Mar 6, 14 at 21:23

    Bookmark   March 5, 2014 at 9:33AM
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Here's after.... Eye makeup only....

Yikes! I dont know why these photos are so big!

Anyway, since lent is conveniently starting today.. Im continuing the cleanse as part of my Lenten Discipline.

This post was edited by kiki_thinking on Thu, Mar 6, 14 at 21:24

    Bookmark   March 5, 2014 at 9:35AM
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Nash, thanks for the breakdown. In my case, I consider this salad dinner, not a side dish.
Also, it is for more than two people. (Usually at least four)
Sometimes, I leave out the cheese.

    Bookmark   March 5, 2014 at 11:38AM
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Ellendi- I thought yours would feed four based on quinoa amount. I didn't break yours down into portions. And I think for an occasional meal they are great and certainly more healthy than many other options. Just thought the fat should be pointed out for some who may not know much about nutrition and decide that they should munch on either salad every day for lunch in an attempt to get healthy.

I was not kidding. I think they look delicious.

In fact, thank you for your recipe. I've decided to make a few changes and serve it tonight for dinner. I'm making a version of your salad tonight. I only have goat feta so ill use that. I will sub a few tbsp of fat free low sodium vegetable broth instead of the olive oil and I will add in a can of low sodium chickpea, rinsed, and the sundried tomatoes, rinsed. And I love a dish with good olives and cucumbers! I think I'll add a minted fruit salad and some Mediterranean spiced grilled vegetable kabobs to round out the meal.

Kiki- your skin did improve!

    Bookmark   March 5, 2014 at 12:48PM
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tishtoshnm Zone 6/NM

I always thought chickpea and garbanzo flour were the same? Depending on herbs, it could give a wonderful flavor to the fish, it can be nice and crispy. But, I would probably use it to make socca instead. It is a flat bread that is naturally gluten free and quite yummy.

Here is a link that might be useful: Socca recipe, naturally gluten free.

    Bookmark   March 5, 2014 at 1:01PM
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Like Ellendi, my above recipe is also used as a main dish for us and not a side. In fact, it's what I'm making for dinner tonight. We try to follow a Mediterranean style of eating, therefore don't steer away from EVOO, although in moderation. But, as Nash suggested, I'll try to substitute part of it with vegetable broth this evening and see how we like it.

And, thank you very much, Nash, for the clarification on the use for flaxseed meal. I am so glad you joined in and mentioned that before I attempted to use it as a flour substitute (LOL)!!! Please continue to join in here with more ideas and recipes.

    Bookmark   March 5, 2014 at 1:02PM
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Tish they are! I mistakenly interchanged it when describing it as heavy and distinctive in flavor.I thought I had called it garbanzo bean flour all the way through the post when in fact I started with chickpea flour! Whoops! Sorry for the confusion.

Lynn- I could be wrong but thanks to IHGS I am dabbling in more vegan cooking. She told me flax is a great egg replacer, but only in certain instances. For things like oatmeal cookies or spiced muffins or banana bread or a chocolate cake it works great. It has a nutty flavor and causes black flecking. She told me to use a chia seeds in things like white cake or puddings. I know she also uses just a banana in some recipes like her oatmeal pancakes. Oh and the key to a flax egg, according to my SIL, is to put the flax in the ramekins first then add lukewarm water to the flax. Whisk then let sit for 10 minutes until it becomes gooey. Then add it to your recipe.

I'm so glad I didn't offend anyone. I know we all have different ways of eating. Just wanted to make people aware. Thanks for being so kind and welcoming me to the thread.

    Bookmark   March 5, 2014 at 1:22PM
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Kiki, your skin does look lovely, post-cleanse. Wow!

Nash, I've been chuckling to myself all morning, thinking about what might have been if I'd used my flaxseed meal as a substitute for flour. Too funny! Thanks for the info on how to get it ready to use as an egg-substitute. I'm anxious to try using it in my Morning Glory Muffin recipe and in other muffin recipes. I'm glad you're going to stick around here with us on this forum. Such nice folks here and now we have one more!

New Recipe I'm going to try tonight along with my main dish of the Quinoa, Cherry and Arugula Salad. From, of all people, my 29 y/o son! He and his girlfriend have decided to starting to eat more healthfully and he actually dreamed up with this recipe. himself. They love it.

Stuffed Avocados
*serves 2
Leaving the peel on, cut an avocado in half and gently pull out seed. Mix approximately 1/2 - 1 cup of the hummus of your choice with any of the following: lightly sautéed chopped onions and or mushrooms, or bell peppers; chopped pecans, pistachios, pine nuts, etc ; chopped or minced fresh baby kale, chard, arugula or spinach . . . all in quantities that look and sound good to you. Spoon into avocado halves. Serve. (I'm assuming you eat this with a spoon)

    Bookmark   March 5, 2014 at 4:48PM
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I have a couple things to share, one is sort of a recipe and one is a snack.

One of my easy lunch recipes isn't really a recipe per se, but I buy a box of quinoa/brown rice blend and cook it according to directions, add in whatever veggies I have (cut up and cooked) -- I like a combination of red peppers, zucchini, yellow squash, and onion -- and then add some crumbled feta cheese. I don't add any other fats or even seasonings because for me, the feta adds enough taste, but you could add other spices. I'll make a batch of this and heat it up for a few lunches during the week (I add the feta after heating).

This week, I made a batch of veggie chili (zucchini, yellow squash, onions, peppers, roasted corn, and black beans) and I've been eating that for lunch.

One way I've gotten my family to snack on things like nuts instead of cookies -- I have a large clear glass "cookie jar" on my kitchen counter and in it, I mix together a homemade sort of trail mix. Usually it's a mix of cashews, almonds, walnuts, pistachios, and dark chocolate chips.

I have also started putting fruit on the eye-level shelves in the fridge instead of "hiding" them in the produce drawer. It works!

    Bookmark   March 5, 2014 at 8:33PM
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Have you all tried bell plantation PB2? It's a peanut butter powder. So much less fat. The stuff is amazing in a pad thai sauce or satay sauce. We also throw it in protein shakes, pancakes or oatmeal.

Sueb- cookie jar of trail mix! I'm stealing that.

    Bookmark   March 6, 2014 at 8:04AM
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Love that idea of putting fruit at eye level in the fridge, Sue!

I make my own trailmix and keep it in a glass jar, too! Great minds, eh (LOL)? I use raw pecans, walnuts, pistachio meats, shelled sunflower seeds, pine nuts (called pinons out here), dark chocolate M&Ms, and dried blueberries, cherries and cranberries. DH golfs every Wednesday afternoon and I always pack a bag of it for him to take along. (I use the M&Ms and not chocolate chips so that they don't melt in DH's golf bag out on the course. We learned that lesson the hard way!). We love this healthful snack.

Nash: can we buy that at Whole Foods or Trader Joes or only online someplace? I've never heard of it but would love to try it. Is Bell Plantation the manufacturer?

BTW, we made DS's Hummus Stuffed Avocados last night to go with our Quinoa and arugula salad and they were very good. DH finely diced a bit of Vidalia onion and a couple mushrooms and sautéed them for just a minute or so. No other veggies this try . He mixed them with some plain hummus and spooned it into the avocado halves. We liked the crunchiness and flavors they added. Next time I'm going to skip the mushrooms and try onions, sun dried tomatoes and pine nuts.

    Bookmark   March 6, 2014 at 10:49AM
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This is a new favorite lunch I came up with about two months ago. I was looking for a meatless dish, but one that would have enough protein to keep us from getting hungry again in 2 hours, include no bread or tortillas (hey, this is New Mexico after all -LOL!) , be very low in fat . . . and taste great.

Lynn's Healthful Huevos Rancheros (Ranch Eggs)
Heat black beans. Spoon onto (preferably warmed) plates. Top with 1-2 eggs, cooked over easy (using PAM or something similar), being careful not to break the yolks. Top with a couple tablespoons of your favorite salsa; next, a spoonful of plain Greek yogurt . Sprinkle sliced green onions and fresh chopped cilantro over all ( never, never use anything but fresh cilantro).
This is such a pretty dish with the contrasting colors of black, yellow, white, red and green. And delicious, too! Lynn

    Bookmark   March 6, 2014 at 11:11AM
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whole foods, vitacost & amazon carry it. I've also found it in the organic section of my kroger and someone at my gym mentioned she found it at walmart.

I know some will reconstitute it with water and use as normal pb, but I much prefer it added to sauces or smoothies or baked goods.

Here is a link that might be useful: Pb2

    Bookmark   March 6, 2014 at 12:17PM
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Kiki, your skin looks so much better. The puffiness and redness really improved.

I've really been conscious-eating since last weekend. It was both fun and hard shopping on Saturday. Hard in that it took twice as long because I was searching for unfamiliar items and constantly reading labels more closely than usual, but fun to imagine trying the new stuff. DH still isn't totally on-board. He's a meat-and-potatoes guy but is trying to watch what he eats. I love the Ezekiel bread, and I found fresh-ground almond butter (grind it yourself in the quantity desired), so that's wonderful on toast. I'm always eating fresh fruit so not a problem there, and I paid particular attention to buying more fresh veg and GF grains and we've eaten a lot of that already this week. So far so good. I've pretty much eliminated almost all of the sugars already, but I did sneak a couple of leftover Girl Scout thin mints the other day and a piece of dark chocolate last night. I made a favorite Taco Soup using ground turkey and made homemade corn bread to go with it. DD and her SO and DGD came over for dinner. We have not given up chicken and fish and don't plan to do so. But we don't eat meat every night either. Sometimes it's just a big salad. Lynn, I will definitely try your Healthy Heuvos Rancheros and also the muffins, but DH won't eat coconut in any form so I'll have to omit that and add something else or more fruit. Tonight may be a homemade pizza (GF crust) with homemade pesto, fresh veggies and mozzarella.

    Bookmark   March 6, 2014 at 1:59PM
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Shamelessly bumping this up in hopes of getting more delicious, healthful recipes and ideas (LOL)!

    Bookmark   April 8, 2014 at 7:39PM
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I can't remember where I found this recipe. Possibly svelte gourmet website?great alternative to the high fat high calorie eggplant Parmesan. The baked eggplant is good enough to eat plain just dipped in the marinara, but we also make sandwiches with it or even serve it atop pasta or in a eggplant parm casserole with a sprinkling of mozzarella and parm. cheese on top. The recipe easily doubles. The sauce is easy to adapt crushed tomatoes work. If you prefer more basil like us, throw in more or top with fresh minced basil or if you like it spicy add more pepper flake. I have served to dinner guests and everyone enjoyed. I'm not sure if pure Italians would like this (might be too much tinkering from the "real thing") but my southern blended family sure enjoys it!

Crispy baked eggplant:

1 medium eggplant, sliced crosswise into 1/8 inch slices (I used a mandolin slicer)
1 egg, beaten
1/2 cup panko bread crumbs
3/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp dried oregano
olive oil for misting

Line a large colander with the eggplant slices and sprinkle with salt. Let them sit for about an hour. The salt will help to drain excess water from the slices. Pat them dry.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Mist 2 baking sheets with olive oil. Mix the Parmesan, panko, garlic powder and oregano in a shallow dish. Dip each slice into the beaten egg, then dip into the cheese mixture, pressing to coat. Place the slices in a single layer on the baking sheets. Mist the tops with olive oil and bake for about 40 minutes or until golden brown. Rotate the sheets halfway through baking if one is browning more quickly than the other.

For the sauce:
1/2 tsp olive oil
1 tsp minced garlic
1 28-ounce can petite diced tomatoes (undrained)
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
1/4 tsp salt
6 fresh basil leaves, roughly chopped or torn

In a medium saucepan, heat oil. Reduce heat to medium and saute garlic for two minutes, or until it starts to be fragrant. Add diced tomatoes with juice, oregano, crushed red pepper and salt. Simmer, stirring, for about 5 minutes. Remove from heat. Just before assembly, stir in chopped basil leaves.

    Bookmark   April 9, 2014 at 8:44AM
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We are spending the weekend with vegetarian and vegan family. So I've been perusing recipes I've made that would be suitable for the crowd. Came across these tacos. Whenever we try a new recipe in this house we always rate it and will make notes in the margins on any additions or ideas for next time. This got a great review from everyone. We omitted the cilantro as our daughter hates the stuff unless it is blended in a salsa. ETA: we also skipped the liquid smoke in the marinade. Instead I used a pinch of smoked paprika.

Keepinitkind.com mushroom taco:

3 portobello mushrooms, stems removed and chopped
2 tablespoon Bragg Liquid Aminos
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon liquid smoke
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon dried marjoram
½ teaspoon dried onion granules
¼ teaspoon garlic powder
1 cup corn kernels (I used an organic frozen variety)
½ onion, diced
1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
2-3 large leaves of collard greens, stems removed and roughly chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 teaspoon cumin
½ teaspoon smoked paprika
½ teaspoon ancho chile pepper
salt and pepper to taste
¼ cup cilantro
½ avocado, diced
6 corn tortillas (or small flour torillas)
Preheat oven to 400. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Arrange the Portobello mushrooms, bottoms up, on the sheet.
In a small bowl, mix together the Bragg Liquid Aminos, balsamic vinegar, liquid smoke, thyme and marjoram. Drizzle over the mushrooms. Bake in the oven for 10-15 minutes (depending on how firm you want them). Remove and let cool until they are cool enough to handle.
While the mushrooms are in the oven, you can cook the veggies. Heat the olive oil in a large pan over medium heat. Add the onions and saute until translucent. Add the garlic and sauté for one more minute. Add the bell peppers, corn, mushroom stems, cumin, smoked paprika, and ancho chile pepper, and mix to combine. Saute until bell peppers start to get a little soft, about 5-7 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste, then add the collard greens. Saute until the collards just start to wilt (you don’t want them to get completely wilted). Toss in the cilantro, mix to combine and remove from heat.
Once the mushrooms are cool enough to handle, slice them, on a diagonal, into wide strips.
Take a clean kitchen towel and lightly wet it. Wrap the corn tortillas up in the damp kitchen towel and place the kitchen towel, with corn tortillas wrapped inside, on a baking sheet and place in the oven for 5-6 minutes.
Split between 6-8 tortillas. Serve and top however you like.

This post was edited by NashvilleBuild42 on Wed, Apr 9, 14 at 16:02

    Bookmark   April 9, 2014 at 9:19AM
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What a great recipes, Nash . . . thanks!
I love crispy eggplant and am excited to try this healthful version. I don't fry anything and usually buy Trader Joe's baked crispy eggplant for a dish I make for my family. I can't wait to try your version instead.

As for the taco recipe, yumm! I love mushrooms and will definitely make this recipe soon. Like you, I'll substitute smoked paprika for the Liquid Smoke.

    Bookmark   April 10, 2014 at 10:13AM
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I can't wait to make Nash's healthful crispy baked eggplant which made me want to share this recipe that I make for my own family using crispy baked eggplant. No specific amounts, just use what sounds best to you.

Lynn's Eggplant Stackers:
Cut your fresh eggplant into 4-6" squares or rectangles and bake according to Nash's recipe (above). While your crispy eggplant is baking, cut avocado and tomatoes into kind of thick slices and set aside. Chop fresh basil and set aside. Thinly slice fresh lowfat mozzarella. Warm your favorite pasta/spaghetti sauce, set aside and keep warm. If desired, sauté some chopped fresh kale or spinach in a bit of olive oil and chopped garlic.

When eggplant is done, keep oven on while you assemble your stackers on a parchment lined baking sheet . Top each crispy eggplant slice with (if using) sautéed kale, then sliced tomato, then avocado and mozzarella. Use 2-3 toothpicks to hold in place. Top with a spoonful or so of the pasta sauce. Sprinkle with fresh basil. Pop baking sheet back into hot oven . Bake just until warmed through and mozzarella is slightly melted. Serve immediately.

This post was edited by lynninnewmexico on Thu, Apr 10, 14 at 10:38

    Bookmark   April 10, 2014 at 10:35AM
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I made this today and loved it! I'm not sure it still qualifies as "healthy" when you return to the pan for multiple servings though:). Recipe found on "Damn Declicious" blog.

PS...I only had about 1/2 cup of quinoa on hand so used orzo for the other half and it was still delish.

Prep Time
10 minutes
Cook Time
25 minutes
Total Time
35 minutes
4 servings
Wonderfully light, healthy and nutritious. And it's so easy to make - even the quinoa is cooked right in the pan!


1 tablespoon olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 jalapenos, minced
1 cup quinoa
1 cup vegetable broth
1 (15-ounce) can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 (14.5 oz) can fire-roasted diced tomatoes
1 cup corn kernels
1 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon cumin
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 avocado, halved, seeded, peeled and diced
Juice of 1 lime
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro leaves

Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add garlic and jalapeno, and cook, stirring frequently, until fragrant, about 1 minute.
Stir in quinoa, vegetable broth, beans, tomatoes, corn, chili powder and cumin; season with salt and pepper, to taste. Bring to a boil; cover, reduce heat and simmer until quinoa is cooked through, about 20 minutes. Stir in avocado, lime juice and cilantro.
Serve immediately.

This post was edited by funnygirl on Fri, Apr 11, 14 at 16:24

    Bookmark   April 11, 2014 at 4:16PM
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That sounds yummy, Funnygirl! And, yes, it's definitely a healthful dish, too. I can see using it as a side dish for a grilled chicken breast or pork chop. I'm going to make this sometime in the next few days. Thanks!

    Bookmark   April 13, 2014 at 4:00PM
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This may sound pathetic, but I'm always on the lookout for "treats" that are still relatively healthy but satisfy my sweet tooth. Yes, fruit is sweet, but sometimes you want/need something that satisfies a certain craving. One that works for me -- I have fresh-ground peanut better from the health food store. Ingredient list: "organic unsalted dry roasted peanuts." I grab my little tub of PB and I pour about 10-15 dark chocolate chips in a tiny bowl. I take a spoonful of PB and "dip" it into the chocolate chips. Two spoonfuls and I feel like I've had a candy bar!

I like a banana or an apple with peanut butter too.

Any other sweet treats that feel like cheating but aren't?

    Bookmark   April 15, 2014 at 5:43PM
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Annie Deighnaugh

I've found a small bit of sweetened cacao bits satisfies my chocolate needs...but it's not so attractive that I have no resistance, but intense flavor so it's satisfying.

I also have been having fun with teas that have so many wonderful flavors...vanilla caramel...baked apple cinnamon...mint tea...all kinds of wonderful, strong flavors that satisfy my need for "dessert".

    Bookmark   April 15, 2014 at 9:49PM
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Hi. This is going to sound so odd and slightly off putting, but don't knock it until you have tried it. IHGS made these on some holiday trip from a vegan bean cookbook. I told her there would be no way my daughter would eat them. She said you never know. I was wrong. My husband and daughter raved about them and now ask for them frequently. Great cool treat when you are craving something fudgy. They taste like fudgesicles.

1 ½ cups (258 g) cooked black beans or 1 can (15 ounces, or 425 g), rinsed and drained
1 can (14 ounces, or 400 ml) light coconut milk
¼ cup (20 g) unsweetened cocoa powder
3 tablespoons (60 g) agave nectar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
A few drops liquid vanilla stevia, to taste
A few drops peppermint extract

Puree all the ingredients in a food processor until smooth. There will be some black flecks from the black bean skins. I think they look like chocolate flecks, but you can strain the mixture through a cheesecloth if you like. Fill your frozen pop molds about seven eighths full of the mixture. Freeze for several hours or overnight before serving.

    Bookmark   April 15, 2014 at 11:23PM
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Also there is a website my SIL introduced me to : http://chocolatecoveredkatie.com

The site has more healthy desert recipes and treats. Often sugar free or gluten free. We've only tried a few recipes but all have been delicious.

    Bookmark   April 15, 2014 at 11:29PM
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Annie Deighnaugh

Thanks, Nashville....that site looks very intriguing! Choc chip cookies for 2 indeed!

    Bookmark   April 16, 2014 at 6:59AM
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OMG, Nash, who would have thought?!? I'm going to have to try that on DH & DD. I'm off to check out that website. Thanks!

    Bookmark   April 17, 2014 at 11:37AM
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Welcome. Annie, never tried the cookies. We made the homemade Lara bars and a delicious chocolate pie made with tofu.

Lynne, just adjust the stevia to your families sugar tooth. M SIL uses less than I do. The mint can be added or not. My family prefers it.

    Bookmark   April 17, 2014 at 2:33PM
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