Thursday, March 15, 2018

Roasted Turnips - A Lower Calorie Alternative To Potatoes

An easy and delicious way to prepare turnips!

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Here's a simple way to prepare turnips if you are avoiding French fries and watching your weight.

I bought turnips this week to make soup. I've been a bit under the weather with allergies so I've been living on soup. But since the rain cleared the pollen out of the air and I needed something different to eat, I thought I'd try doing something else with the turnips. So I fixed them like I would a roasted potato and was delighted at how absolutely delicious they were. The best news is that they are lower calories and more nutritionally dense than potatoes. 

Ounce per ounce, turnips are 1/3 the calories of potatoes yet they have 4 times the omega-3 and 2 1/2 times the calcium. But they are higher in natural sugars which is why they caramelize so nicely when roasted.

Turnips are virtually fat free and are a good source of vitamin B6, folate, potassium, calcium and copper and an excellent source of dietary fiber, vitamin C and manganese. 

A medium turnip has 34 calories
0.1 g total fat, 0 g saturated fat, 0 mg cholesterol
7.8 g carbohydrates, 4.6 g sugar
2.2 g dietary fiber
1.1 g protein
43 % DV vitamin C
5% DV vitamin B6 and folate
8% DV manganese
7% DB potassium
5% DV copper
4% DV calcium

Here's a quick and easy way to prepare them.

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Roasted Turnips
Vegan, Gluten and Dairy Free
[makes 4 servings]

6 medium turnips
1 to 2 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste
1/4 teaspoon black pepper, or to taste
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary 

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees

Peel the turnips and cut each one vertically into 8 to 10 slices.

Place them in a bowl with enough of the olive oil to coat. Add the rest of the ingredients and toss until well combined.

Place the coated turnip slices on a cookie sheet lined with a silicon mat or a parchment sheet. Spread them out on the sheet.

Roast for 30 to 40 minutes until they are cooked and brown on the edges. Remove from the oven and serve.

Wednesday, March 07, 2018

Meyer Lemon Limoncello Or Lemon Extract

Meyer lemons make a delicious liquor and extract.

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Meyer Lemons - Delicious and Prolific

If you live in California, chances are you have a lemon tree, or a neighbor that has one. And if it’s a prolific Meyer Lemon, right now you are probably wondering what to do with all that beautiful fruit. Especially if you have just picked the entire tree before the freezing weather we've been having in Sonoma county. One easy way to use the lemons is to make this delicious Meyer lemon liqueur, popular in Southern Italy where my family is from. You can also use this recipe, before you add the simple syrup, as a lemon extract. A little extract and liquor goes a long way, so here’s a recipe for a small batch. Feel free to double it and bottle the extra for gifts. 

When I make this recipe, I use a combination of 89% biodynamic grape alcohol, that I normally use to make my medicinal tinctures, together with Kettle One vodka. But in the recipe below, I just list Everclear and Vodka. If you don't have access to a high percentage alcohol like Everclear or tincture alcohol, you can just use all vodka. 

Beautiful Meyer lemons from our tree in Sebastopol

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Meyer Lemon Limoncello
[makes six cups]

Potato peeler
2 1-quart jars with lids
Nylon nut bag or fine sieve
Coffee filter and funnel (optional)

10 organic Meyer lemons
1½ cups Everclear
1½ cups Vodka
2 cups white sugar
2 cups filtered or distilled water

Wash the lemons thoroughly and dry completely. Remove the lemon rinds with a potato peeler, avoiding the white pith. Place the peelings into a 1-quart jar and cover with Everclear and vodka. Cover tightly with a lid, place in a cool and dark cabinet, and let sit for a month. Stir the mixture once a week. 

After a month, strain the mixture through a nylon nut bag or fine sieve, into a large pitcher. Divide the strained alcohol evenly into two, 1-quart jars. (If you want to use some of it for lemon extract, pour a small amount of it in a jar and save.)

Make simple syrup. Combine the sugar and water in a small saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat. Simmer, stirring frequently, until the sugar has completely dissolved, about 3 minutes. Allow the syrup to cool completely, to room temperature, before proceeding with the recipe.

Divide the syrup evenly between the two jars filled with alcohol. Cover the jars tightly and place in a cool and dark cabinet for two to four weeks to allow the ingredients to marry.

After the month, strain the liquor one more time. For a really pure solution, use a coffee filter instead of the nylon nut bag. It's a more tedious process but if you want a cleaner product, you can do it.

Using a coffee filter for the final straining produces a cleaner product but it's optional.

Pour into pretty bottles, seal tightly, and enjoy. Store in the freezer as it’s best when served cold.

Serve frozen limoncello in small shot glasses or use to make Limoncello Cocktails

In case you are wondering what to do with 10 peeled lemons, you can juice them, pour the juice into an ice cube tray, and freeze. Once frozen, remove the lemon cubes, place them in a freezer bag, and freeze. Use a cube whenever you need fresh lemon juice. 

Monday, February 12, 2018

What You Should Know About Chocolate
A Healthy Treat For Your Valentine

Raw chocolate treats have maximum benefits.

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Our Love Affair with Chocolate
Chocolate is practically synonymous with Valentines Day. About 58 million pounds of chocolate candy are purchased in the U.S. during the week of Valentines Day, racking up sales of more than $345 million.  And though sales of candy have declined because of growing concerns over obesity and sugar consumption, the sale of chocolate in the U.S. grew 33%, from $14.2 billion in 2007 to $18.9 billion in 2017.

The good news is that this delicious treat can be good for us, but not all chocolate candy has benefits. Before we discuss it's benefits, here's what you need to know about selecting chocolate.

The Anatomy of Chocolate
Chocolate comes from the cacao beans of the tropical tree Theobroma cacao. Theobroma means "Food of the Gods". After the beans are harvested, they are fermented and dried. 
They are then processed to create the three components of chocolate:

(1) Ground up, whole cacao beans are called Cacao Liquor, Cacao Paste, or Cocoa Mass. This liquor is then pressed into:
(2) Cacao Butter or Cocoa Butter, or the "fat" of the cacao bean and:
(3) Cocao or Cocoa, the solid parts of the pressed liquor that are ground into a powder.

The Good Stuff
I know you've already heard that the healthiest chocolate is "dark" chocolate. That's because it is made from 70% to 99% pure cacao fat (cocoa butter) and cacao solids. My taste threshold is around 72% so that's what I usually buy. But 80%+ plus is even better for you if you enjoy it. 

White chocolate shouldn't even be called "chocolate" because it doesn't contain any cacao powder. It's basically a blend of cocoa butter, milk solids, milk fat, sugar, and lecithin. There are no health benefits to eating white chocolate - it's basically candy.

Milk chocolate can also be considered candy, depending on what you buy. The FDA minimum percentage of real cacao is only 10% to be labeled "chocolate." For example, a Hershey's milk chocolate bar only contains about 11% cacao. This low level has few, if any, health benefits, especially because these bars are generally high in sugar. In addition to having very little cacao content, the milk protein in milk chocolate can reduce the ability to absorb the antioxidants from the cacao because they bind to the flavonoids.

Bottom line, if you want health benefits, always select dark chocolate. Don't grab a Twix bar and think you are doing something good for yourself.

There is a surprising amount of vitamins and minerals in an ounce of dark chocolate. One ounce of chocolate provides:
168 calories
12 g fat, 6.9 g saturated fat
9.5 mg omega-3 and 341 mg omega-6
12.8 g carbohydrates, 6.7 g sugar
2.2 g protein
3.1 g dietary fiber
27% DV (daily value) manganese
25% DV copper
19% DV iron
16% DV magnesium
9% DV phosphorus
6% DV potassium
6% DV zinc
3% DV selenium
3% DV vitamin K
2% DV calcium

Now, the Benefits
Chocolate contains healthful polyphenols, which are powerful antioxidants. Antioxidants can protect our cells from free radicals. Free radicals can damage DNA inside our cells. This damage can lead to Alzheimer's disease, cancer, heart disease, and more. Flavonoids are one of the most studied of the polyphenols and are found in chocolate, as well as many fruits and vegetables.

Here's the list of good things chocolate can do for you:
* Protects from free radical damage with potential to prevent cancer and other diseases caused by free radicals

* Makes blood platelets less sticky and able to clot, reducing the risk of blood clots and stroke

* Lowers the risk of heart disease 

* Reduces hypertension

* Improves blood flow to the brain and may improve cognitive function and potentially slow cognitive decline

 * Improves cholesterol profile, lowering "bad" LDL cholesterol

* Helps hard-to-shake coughs. The theobromine in chocolate can reduce vagus nerve activity which triggers those lingering coughs.

* Improves your mood (that one's obvious!)

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Here are a few healthy chocolate recipes to make for Valentine's Day:

2-Ingredient Flourless Chocolate Cake 
Make sure you make this with at least 70% dark chocolate bars or chocolate chips.

These delicious raw truffles have no added sugar and are sweetened by dates and dried mango. They also contain omega-3 rich walnuts.

This yummy cake has 1/4 cup of pure cocoa. Great with non-dairy ice cream and fresh berries.

Happy Valentines Day!!

Monday, February 05, 2018

Make Soy-Free Tofu From Garbanzo Flour
Better Than Soy For Hyperthyroidism

Garbanzo tofu is low in calories, high in protein and fiber.
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Sluggish Thyroid?
My naturopath told me to give up soy products and raw cruciferous vegetables. But why when they both seem so healthy? Well, it turns out they are very healthy but not for people who have hypothyrodism. 

Raw cruciferous vegetables, such as broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, etc., and soy are high in substances called goitrogens, which can wreak havoc on your thyroid gland. These cruciferous vegetables are fine, however, if they are steamed. And soy is ok if it's fermented. Soy also produces estrogenic isoflavones, which can also negatively effect the thyroid, especially if you are iodine deficient. 

Hypothyroidism is where your thyroid doesn't produce enough thyroid hormone and it's pretty common for women over 60, like me. I only had a few symptoms, but my TSH was an itsy, bitsy above 4.0 - not nearly enough to need medication, but high enough to do everything I can not to let it get worse. So, no more soy (except fermented) or raw cruciferous veggies. Gluten sensitivity also can contribute to hypothyroidism so she tested me for that too. Bingo - I had to give up gluten!  

If you have any of these symptoms, you might want to check your levels of TSH. (Normal levels are from 0.4 to 4.0 milli-international units per liter.)

* Fatigue
* Increased sensitivity to cold
* Dry skin
* Constipation
* Weight gain
* Puffy face
* Hoarseness
* Muscle weakness
* Elevated cholesterol levels
* Muscle aches, tenderness and stiffness
* Joint pain
* Thinning hair
* Depression
* Impaired memory
* Slowed heart rate
* Changes in menstrual cycle

But I Love Tofu!
I used to eat a lot of tofu so giving it up was really hard. But last week my daughter turned me on to making tofu out of garbanzo flour. I couldn't wait to try it. It literally took 15 minutes to make and it came out great, so today I want to share this miracle with you!

1/4 cup garbanzo flour provides:
110 calories
2 g saturated and 0 g unsaturated fat
18 g carbohydrates, 3 g sugars
6 g protein
5 g dietary fiber
5 mg sodium

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Garbanzo Tofu
Vegan, Gluten and Dairy Free
[makes 4 servings]

A small square pan (6x6) or small rectangle pan
Best with a blender

Oil for greasing the pan
1 cup stone ground garbanzo bean flour
2 cups water
1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste 

Grease the pan with oil.

Blend the flour, water, and salt in a blender until smooth.

Cook in a saute pan on low-medium heat, stirring continually, until smooth. It will first get lumpy and then will smooth out in about 4 minutes. 

This is the hard part. As soon as it smooths out, quickly scoop it into the greased pan and smooth it out before it hardens. It may look uneven and ugly, but it will still be great since you will be slicing it.

Let it cool completely. If it's not hard enough, after cooling you can refrigerate it but mine was good to go after a short while. Turn upside down and release it from the pan onto a cutting board. Slice and use the way you would use tofu.

Saute in a pan
Once browned, use in a stir fry, on top of a salad, in a burrito, etc.

I cooked up a stir fry with it and it was absolutely delish! Thanks to my daughter, Linda, for introducing me to this new soy-free form of tofu!

Per serving of tofu only: 110 calories, 2 g total fat, 0 g saturated fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 6 g protein, 18 g carbohydrates, 5 g dietary fiber, and 295 mg sodium.

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Instant Pot Garlicky Mashed Cauliflower
Vegan And Paleo Friendly
Super Low Calorie!

Use mashed cauliflower as a tasty side or a bed for a stew.

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Mashed Potato Substitute
I adore mashed potatoes but nutritionally they can't compare to cauliflower. When you properly prepare and mash cauliflower, you really can't tell the difference. And with cauliflower, you get a lower calorie and carb substitute with the cancer-fighting benefits of a cruciferous vegetable. Cauliflower is also super rich in antioxidants, and a great source of dietary fiber, vitamin C, K, B6, folate, pantothenic acid, potassium, and manganese. 

Today's recipe also replaces the typical butter and cream in mashed potatoes with the heart-healthy, mono-saturated fat of an avocado. OK, it turns the mash a tiny bit green, but it makes them super creamy, and adds more dietary fiber, vitamin K and folate. For an added burst of goodness, this recipe flavors the mash with fresh garlic!

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Garlicky Mashed Cauliflower
Vegan, Paleo, Dairy and Gluten Free
[makes 4 to 6 servings]

Instant Pot 
Food Processor 

1 tablespoon olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 large head cauliflower, cut into florets
1/2 cup water 
1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste
1/4 teaspoon pepper, or to taste
1/3 avocado, room temperature

Heat the oil in the Instant Pot using the SAUTE function. Add the garlic and cook until slightly brown. 

Press the OFF button and immediately add the cauliflower florets, then the water, salt, and pepper. 

Secure the lid, press the MANUAL button and set for 4 minutes. When done, press the OFF button and quickly release the pressure. Carefully remove the lid.

Drain and reserve any remaining liquid from the pot. 

Place the drained cauliflower into the food processor. Add the avocado and process until smooth. If it is too dry, add a tiny bit of the reserved liquid at a time. Do not add too much liquid or it will be too soft. 

Serve as a side vegetable or as a bed for stew, peas, tomato sauce, etc..

Serve as a side dish

Or serve as a bed for stews and sauces.

Per serving (4): 104 calories, 5 g total fat, 1 g saturated fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 116 mg omega-3 and 548 mg omega-6 fatty acids, 4 g protein, 13 g carbohydrates, 6 g dietary fiber, and 355 mg sodium.

Per serving (6): 69 calories, 4 g total fat, 0.5 g saturated fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 78 mg omega-3 and 365 mg omega-6 fatty acids, 3 g protein, 8 g carbohydrates, 4 g dietary fiber, and 237 mg sodium.

Tuesday, January 09, 2018

10 Tips To Reduce Your Sugar Intake

Americans eat 76 times the sugar than their ancestors did!

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Make This Year the Healthiest Ever!
With the holidays are behind us, and like we do most Januaries, we want to get healthy, shed some pounds, feel better, and commit to doing something good for ourselves. Perhaps lowering our sugar intake would be an excellent start.

Lowering our Sugar Consumption is a Great Way to Start the New Year!
Today, the average American consumes an average of 152 pounds of sugar per year. That’s 6 cups of sugar a week or 14 tablespoons per day! At 48 calories per tablespoon, 14 tablespoons chews up 672 calories. These are calories that are displacing those that would contribute minerals, vitamins, and other important nutrients that would benefit, not detract, from your health. Or, they would be added calories that would lead to obesity, overall inflammation, cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, cancer, and more. It would take you more than two hours of brisk walking to burn up 14 tablespoons of sugar. Not many of us have the time or commitment to do that.

To put this in prospective, two hundred years ago the average American only ate 2 pounds of sugar per year. When we wonder why diseases like cancer, heart attacks, Alzheimer’s, autism, various autoimmune conditions, and other degenerative disorders have skyrocketed over the past hundred or so years, it may very well be attributed, at least in part, to our drastic increase in sugar consumption. How did all that sugar end up in our diets and what can we do about it?  

Where is this Sugar Coming From?
Sugar finds its way into our food supply in many forms and with many names. It’s in jams and jellies, cakes, cookies, crackers, soft drinks, energy drinks, fruit drinks, specialty coffee drinks like lattes, specialty tea drinks, like chai, candy, breakfast cereals, ice cream, fruit yogurts, canned vegetables, prepared foods like canned soups, condiments, and more. 

It also has many names such as glucose, dextrose, fructose, maltose, sucrose, lactose, honey, sorghum syrup, corn syrup, high-fructose corn syrup, brown rice syrup, fruit juice concentrate, brown sugar, corn sweetener, sorbitol, evaporated cane juice, sucanat, barley malt, agave nectar, beet sugar, date sugar, molasses and more. 

Tips to Reduce our Sugar Consumption
Here are some easy and painless tips on how to reduce our sugar consumption:
#1: Read labels
Look for all the different names for sugar on the labels. New labels will now have “added sugars” in grams. Dietary guidelines suggest that no more than 10% of your daily calories come from added sugar. I personally think that’s too much as it’s still over 4 tablespoons of sugar per day given a 2,000 calorie diet.  
(Note: 1 tablespoon sugar = 12.5 grams = 48 calories.)

The new label has "added sugar"

#2: Eat PB&F instead of PB&J
Instead of smearing sugary jelly or jam on your peanut or almond butter sandwich, place slices of fresh fruit or berries on your sandwich. Sliced strawberries, apples, pears, persimmons, and bananas are some of my favorite additions to my nut butter sandwiches. One tablespoon of jelly contains 56 calories, almost no fiber, and 11 g of sugar (almost a tablespoon of sugar).  A third of a cup of sliced strawberries, on the other hand, would only have 18 calories, less than 3 grams of sugar, provide over a gram of dietary fiber, and important vitamins and minerals such as folate and manganese. 

Almond butter sandwich with fresh strawberries 

#3: Replace Soda
Instead of drinking soda, energy or other sugary drinks, have a cold glass of bubbly water with a splash of juice. My favorite is a glass of Pellegrino with a splash of unsweetened cranberry juice and a twist of lime. Or just add a slice of cucumber or strawberry to a cold glass of water. A 12-ounce cola beverage has 136 calories and contains 33 grams of sugar (over 2 ½ tablespoons of sugar), zero fiber and no significant nutrients. Just giving up one soda a day would be avoiding 60 cups of sugar per year and allow you to lose 14 pounds! Although drinking diet soda may avoid added sugar, the sugar substitute aspartame, used in most diet sodas, has been associated with a number of reported complaints such as headaches, dizziness, eye issues, mood changes, digestive issues, and more. 

#4: Reduce Sugar in Recipes
I find that I can easily reduce sugar in recipes without adversely affecting its taste. For example, in baking I replace a cup of sugar with ¼ to ½ cup of sugar plus some stevia to make up for the loss of sweetness. No one has ever noticed!

#5: Don’t buy Fruit Yogurt
Fruit yogurt sounds healthy but it’s loaded with sugar. For example, a container of Kite Hill Peach dairy-free yogurt has 180 calories and 15 grams of sugar, much of which comes from cane sugar. That same container of the plain, unsweetened yogurt has 140 calories with zero sugar. So it’s always best to find unsweetened yogurt and add your own chopped fresh fruit. 

Select unsweetened yogurt and add your own fresh fruit

#6: Ditch the Donuts
An Original Glazed Krispy Kreme donut has 190 calories and 10 grams of sugar. Or if you are opting for a Dunkin Frosted Sugar Cookie Donut, you are signing up for 420 calories and a whopping 30 grams of sugar. Although bagels contain far less sugar (zero to 6 grams), they can be high in calories, especially if they are covered with full fat cream cheese. In any case, swapping out one or two donuts with a single bagel, smeared with slices of avocado, would be a better choice.

Eat an avocado bagel with seeds instead of a donut

#7: Sugary Cereals, Oh My!
There is so much sugar in some breakfast cereals, that they should be carried in the candy isle. Kellogg’s Honey Smacks are 56% sugar, weighing in at 15 grams per serving. Kellogg’s Froot Loops, Marshmallow are 48% sugar and also contain 15 grams of sugar per serving. No need to go on – there are far too many examples of bad cereals that are heavily marketed to young children.  

Always read the labels on boxes of cereal

There are, however, some better choices, like Ezekiel 4:9 Almond Sprouted Whole Grain Cereal that has nutrient-rich ingredients and less than a single gram of sugar. 
A much better choice of cereal

But my favorite cereal alternative is homemade oatmeal sprinkled with omega-3 walnuts and a dollop of dairy-free, unsweetened yogurt.

#8: Reduce Sugar in Coffee and Tea
Coffee and tea are healthy beverages. But somehow Starbucks has turned them into high calorie, high fat, and high sugar drinks. A grande Coffee Frappuccion has 240 calories and 50 grams (4 tablespoons) of sugar. And a grande Green Tea Crème Frappuccino has 430 calories with 65 grams (5 tablespoons) of sugar. So stick to your regular coffee or tea with a touch of stevia and enjoy the many benefits of these drinks. 

If you want to enjoy a fancy latte, get a frother and make a green tea latte with unsweetened non-dairy milk and a bit of stevia. 

Homemade latte with no sugar

#9: Afternoon Pick-Me-Up
When I was a CEO, I had a continual battle with the vending machine company trying to get them to offer healthy snacks to my employees. Other than a few offerings of nuts and trail mixes, the rest consisted of sugar-filled candy bars or salty chips. When you work in an office and start to get hungry around 4:00, your food choices may not be great. One Snickers bar has 30 grams of sugar, a bag of Skittles has 47 grams, a Hershey’s milk chocolate bar has 31 grams, a York Peppermint Pattie has 25 grams, and a Milky Way has 35 grams. So make sure you bring a piece of fruit to work or keep a little fruit bowl on your desk with tangerines, apples, and bananas. And take an ounce of raw nuts along with you too, like almonds, walnuts, pistachios, and pecans. 
Fresh fruit is a great pick-me-up

#10: Canned Vegetables
Canned vegetables often contain added sugar. You will find sugar listed in the ingredients of many popular brands of canned vegetables. Whether they do this for preservation or just to cater to the American palate, is a mystery. So if you are not able to buy fresh vegetables, always buy them frozen as they generally do not contain added sugar. 

Ingredients: Peas, Water, Sugar, Salt
Ingredients: Garden Peas

If you make these simple changes to reduce the sugar in your diet, you can significantly improve your health. You may miss sugar at first as our taste buds get attuned to too much fat, salt, and sugar - manufacturers count on this. But as we transition to a healthier lifestyle by reducing these ingredients in our diet, we lose our cravings for them and once again appreciate the natural delicious flavors of undoctored foods. 

Monday, January 01, 2018

Lucky Black-Eyed Pea Macro Bowl
Start The New Year Off Right
How To Construct A Macro Bowl

Eat Black Eyed Peas on New Year's Day for good luck!

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My Annual Black-Eyed Pea Recipe
I learned, when living in Texas, that eating black-eyed peas on New Year's day brings good luck. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't - but I don't dare start the year without them, just in case. To make sure I didn't mess with tradition, my daughter even sent me a pound of these lucky charms from Minneapolis for Christmas. 

I must admit, black-eyed peas aren't my favorite food so it's even more challenging to come up with a yummy recipe every year. But this year, I'm very excited about this macro bowl - especially because it's complemented with a tasty tahini sauce.

This recipe is a bit complicated as I use my Instant Pot for the kale and black-eyed peas, the oven to roast the potatoes, and my rice cooker to prepare the GABA rice. But it's all worth it in the end and, after all, it's New Year's day!

Constructing a Macro Bowl     
Macro bowls are very versatile and extremely healthy as they include a nice variety of foods. Here's how I construct mine:

#1 Protein  
For your protein, you can use any bean, tofu, tempeh, even shrimp or salmon.

#2 Greens
Steam kale, chard, spinach, mustard or other greens.

#3 Root Vegetables
Roast carrots, parsnips, sweet potatoes, new potatoes, turnips, or any other root vegetable. Just dice, toss with a little oil, sprinkle with salt, pepper, and granulated garlic, and bake for 30 to 40 minutes until cooked and brown.

#4 Grain
Use white, black, brown, or GABA rice, millet, quinoa, farro (not gluten free), or any of your favorite grains. 

#5 Avocado
Avocados make everything taste better. 

#6 Seaweed or a Fermented Vegetable
I usually put some raw sauerkraut or seaweed salad on my macro bowls, whichever I happen to have in the house. It's always good to have a fermented food as part of your meal. Your microbiome will thank you.

#7 A Yummy Sauce
Top your macro bowl with your favorite sauce. Today I made a tahini sauce but any of your favorite sauces will do.

#8 Seeds
Sprinkle your macro bowl with hemp, black or white sesame, pumpkin, or sunflower seeds for added nutrients.

When plating your macro bowl, be aware of the colors of the ingredients and place them to optimize the contrast. 

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Black-Eyed Pea Macro Bowl
Vegan, Gluten and Dairy Free

Ingredients PER PERSON
1/2 cup cooked black-eyed peas
1 cup steamed kale
1/2 sweet potato, diced and roasted
1/3 - 1/2 cup cooked rice or other grain
1/4 avocado, sliced
Small serving of raw sauerkraut or seaweed salad
Teaspoon of black sesame seeds

For the sauce (4 servings, ~ 1/2 cup)
2 tablespoons raw tahini
1 tablespoon cold-pressed hemp oil
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon agave or honey
1 tablespoon fresh lime or lemon juice
1 large garlic clove, pressed
1 inch fresh ginger, peeled and grated
Pinch cayenne
1 tablespoon water

Cook the black-eyed peas on the stovetop according to package directions. Or use canned black-eyed peas.
To cook in your Instant Pot, place unsoaked dry peas in the instant pot with a bay leaf, some onion and celery, and cover with at least two inches of water. Set Manual to 6 minutes. When done, let pressure come down naturally. Move them to a covered dish to keep warm. If using your Instant Pot to make the greens, rinse out the Instant Pot.

Black-eyed peas take 6 to 7 minutes in the Instant Pot. Cover with enough water as they will swell.

Clean kale, remove stems, and thinly slice. Steam kale on stovetop until tender. To cook in your Instant Pot, place in the pot with 1/4 cup of water, a touch of salt, and 1 teaspoon of extra virgin olive oil. Set Manual to 3 minutes. When done, release pressure and remove.

To roast the sweet potatoes, preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Place small diced potatoes in a shallow roasting pan (I like to line the pan with a silicon baking sheet). Drizzle with a tablespoon or two of olive oil, sprinkle with salt, pepper, and granulated garlic to taste and mix well. Roast for 30 to 40 minutes, stirring half way through.

Cook rice in your rice cooker, or on the stovetop, according to directions. I used GABA rice because my daughter gave me a beautiful GABA rice cooker a few years ago and it cooks any kind of rice to perfection, but any type of rice or grain will do.

Make the sauce: Place the tahini in a small bowl and slowly stir in the remaining ingredients until well combined. 

Use fresh limes or lemons

Build the bowl: Get a good size shallow bowl. Place the cooked greens in the bowl. Next, the rice, then the roasted sweet potatoes, then the seaweed salad, avocado, and black eyed peas. Sprinkle with black sesame seeds and serve with the tahini dressing.

If you use sauerkraut instead of the seaweed salad, place that near the peas.

Happy New Year!
May you enjoy outrageous health and happiness in 2018!