Monday, February 28, 2011

February 27, 2011

Iron Rich Smoothie 
serves 1 ~ $2.20 per serving

a few handfuls spinach ($.80)
1 banana ($.30)
4 tablespoons nutiva hemp protein powder ($.60)
1 orange, peeled and sectioned ($.50)
1 tablespoon ground flax seeds
1 cup water for blending
1 dropper stevia (optional)

I have reason to believe my iron intake may have been a bit low lately, so I've been having this smoothie several times a week. It's not only full of iron, but also contains the amino acid Lysine as well as Vitamin C which helps increase iron absorption. The vitamin C comes from the orange, Lysine from the hemp protein, and both the hemp protein and spinach contain iron.

It's super simple, just combine all ingredients in a blender and puree until smooth.

calories: 335
fat: 9 gr
carbs: 49 gr
protein: 19 gr

Beet and Carrot Salad
serves 2 ~ $2.85 per serving

2 beets, sliced ($1.20)
3 carrots, sliced ($.40)
1 medium onion, sliced
2 tablespoons olive oil ($.20)
2 tablespoons lemon juice ($.40)
2 tablespoons agave ($.20)
1 clove garlic, pressed
5 ounces spinach ($2.29)
1/4 cup walnuts ($1.00)
salt and pepper

I had a downright aversion to beets until I tried Jenny Cornbleet's shaved beet salad. Now, I really like them. Not love, but like. And that's quite a change. By the way, if you experience beeturia, don't worry, it's harmless ... although it can indicate iron deficiency.

This salad is also really convenient. I sliced and marinated the veggies the night before and let them sit in the fridge until lunch the next day and just tossed them in with the spinach.

Slice the beets, carrots, and onions thinly into a lidded container, I use a zip lock box. Whisk together the olive oil, lemon juice, agave, and garlic and pour over the veggies. Put the lid on and shake to distribute the dressing well. Put in the fridge for a few hours or up to two days. Toss with a generous helping of spinach, some chopped or whole walnuts, salt and pepper, and a bit of the marinade.

calories: 378
fat: 24 gr
carbs: 40 gr
protein: 6 gr

Mushroom Alfredo
serves 2 ~ $2.25 per serving

8 oz mushrooms ($2.20)
1 medium onion, quartered and sliced ($.10)
1 tablespoon olive oil ($.10)
1 tablespoon agave ($.10)
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar ($.20)
1 clove garlic
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup walnuts ($.50)

2 zucchini, sliced into noodles ($1.29)

This really satisfied a desire for something heavier and substantial.

Put the mushrooms and onions in a bowl or lidded tub. Whisk together the olive oil, agave, balsamic vinegar, and salt. Pour over the mushrooms and onions. Let sit for about an hour. Pour onto a lined dehydrator tray and dehydrate for about an hour or so. It's not intended to dry, just to intensify the flavor and color a bit.

When the mushrooms and onions are dehydrated, take half of them and put in a blender with the walnuts and about 3/4 cups water. I use a bullet type blender for this because it's such a small amount. Puree until very smooth, which may take a few minutes.

Noodle the zucchini and top with the sauce and the mushrooms that were set aside. Salt and pepper to taste.


calories: 361
fat: 26 gr
carbs: 25 gr
protein: 12 gr

Baked Apples
serves 2 ~ $2.00 per serving

4 apples ($2.00)
1/4 cup walnuts ($1.00)
1 tablespoon raisins ($.20)
4 tablespoons agave ($.20)
1 tablespoon lemon juice ($.40)
 1 tablespoon olive oil ($.10)
1 teaspoon cinnamon

This makes the whole house smell wonderful while it's dehydrating.
Peel and slice each apple. Carve out the center of each slice, except for the slice that will be on the bottom, this will keep the filling from falling out. Stack up the slices and fill the center cavity with the chopped walnuts and raisins. Whisk together the agave, lemon juice, olive oil, and cinnamon and spoon into the center. Dehydrate for about three hours, until the apple is soften and warm.

calories: 307
fat: 14 gr
carbs: 47 gr
protein: 1 gr

Total cost for the day: $9.30
total calories:  1,381
total fat: 73 gr
total carb: 161 gr
total protein: 38 gr

I love gardening, and this year I'm confident we'll grow the best garden yet. 

This year, I'll be keeping track of all garden input ... such as seeds or plants, fertilizers and amendments, time, etc. I'll also be keeping track of how much produce we get out. I really want to know the ROI (return on investment) for our gardening efforts and compare that to the cost of store or even farm market produce.

So, in addition to the recipes, I'll have a garden update at the end of my blog posts each week. I'll show you what I'm doing, starting with seed starting ... all the way through planting, growing, harvest, and preserving. I've gotten more adept at preserving for raw and high raw use, and am really excited to see what all can be done. Edible flowers are intriguing me this year, and I'm determined to have fresh tomatoes on my June birthday.

If you'd like to garden along with me, that would be great! I'd love to hear how your garden is growing!

I get my seeds and plants from several different sources, but will be partnering with a couple seed companies for some things, as well. Here are two ...

Generic Seeds has seed pack starting at $1.39 and free shipping on orders over $20.

The name says it all. They have a smallish selection, but all their seeds are under a dollar, with many as low as 90 cents.

Check them out! And if you ever order, tell them you heard about them here!

Monday, February 21, 2011

February 20, 2011

If You Like Pina Coladas Smoothie
serves 2 ~ $2.87 per serving

2 bananas ($.30)
1/2 cup pineapple ($.95)
1 young coconut, meat and water ($3.99)
1/2 cup coconut flakes ($.50)
10 ice cubes

I'm doing a couple recipes today from Bette Shaw. I've known Bette for a while online from Raw Fu and Raw Food Rehab. She recently released a superfoods app for iPhone, which has become one of the top five (sometimes the top one) health and fitness apps at iTunes. Her app features all sorts of different superfoods with related information and recipes. Good job, Bette!

I've cheated here and not used young coconut in what I made and photographed (it was still awesome). I have yet to find a reliable and reasonably priced source for young coconuts and so rarely use them. But I wanted to show you all this recipe anyway. So, I've used the price Bette pays for coconuts in CT.

Put all ingredients in a blender and puree until smooth.

calories: 297
fat: 11 gr
carbs: 50 gr
protein: 4 gr
Wilted Greens
serves 2 ~ $2.29 per serving

 1 large zucchini, thinly sliced ($.89)
1 large onion, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons olive oil ($.20)
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar ($.20)
2 tablespoons agave ($.20)
1/2 teaspoon salt
large pinch cayenne
10 drops liquid smoke 

1 bunch kale ($1.89)
1 small bunch assorted greens ($.69)
2 tablespoons olive oil ($.20)
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar ($.20)
1 tablespoons agave ($.10)
2 cloves garlic, pressed
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper

Wilted greens seem to be traditional in just about every culinary history. It's sometimes thought of as a German or southern specialty. I like how the wilting process softens the greens just a little. The dish is usually made with greens that are wilted by pouring hot bacon and bacon fat over them.This recipe achieves the same goal in a healthier and kinder version.

To make the "bacon," put the sliced zucchini and onions in a lidded container. Whisk together the olive oil, balsamic vinegar, agave, salt, cayenne, and liquid smoke and pour over them, coating well. Put the lid on a shake a few times, for good measure. Pour onto a lined dehydrator sheet and dehydrate for about two hours at 110 degrees.

Put the kale in a lidded container. Whisk together the olive oil, balsamic vinegar, agave, garlic, salt, and pepper and pour over the kale. Massage for a minute or two to evenly coat. Put the lid on and shake container every so often to recoat the kale. Let this marinate and "wilt" while the zucchini is dehydrating. Add the other greens for the last half hour, since they're far more delicate than the kale.

Put the wilted greens on a plate and spoon on the zucchini "bacon" and any drippings.

calories: 371
fat: 28 gr
carbs: 29 gr
protein: 5 gr
Cream of Broccoli Mushroom Soup
serves 2 ~ $2.61 per serving

1 head broccoli, chopped ($.89)
10 ounces mushrooms, sliced ($2.49)
1 medium onion, chopped ($.05)
1 tablespoon olive oil ($.10)
1 tablespoon agave ($.10)
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar ($.10)
1 clove garlic
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
pinch of basil

1 avocado ($1.49)
1 1/2 cups water
red pepper flakes
salt and pepper

To make this creamy and hearty, the veggies are marinated and dehydrated just a bit before making the soup. Chop the broccoli and onions and add it, along with the sliced mushrooms, to a container. Whisk together the olive oil, agave, balsamic vinegar, garlic, salt, and a touch of basil. Pour over the vegetables and shake or toss to coat. Let marinate for about a half hour. Then pour into solid dehydrator sheets and dehydrate for about another hour.

To make the soup, set aside about a quarter of the marinated vegetables. Take the rest and put in the blender with the avocado and water. Puree until very smooth. Salt and pepper to taste if need, and top with the reserved marinated vegetables and a bit of red pepper flakes.


calories: 320
fat: 22 gr
carbs: 30 gr
protein: 9 gr
Caramel Apple Pie
serves 6 ~ $1.60 per serving
1 cup walnuts ($3.00)
1 cup raisins ($1.00)

5 apples ($3.00)
1/2 cup raisins ($.50)
4 tablespoons agave ($.40)
4 tablespoons lemon juice ($.40)
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice ($.10)

4 tablespoons almond butter ($.80)
2 tablespoons agave ($.40)
2 tablespoons olive oil ($.20)
4 tablespoons water

This may possibly be the best apple pie I've ever had. 

Peel and slice the apples into pieces about 1/8 in thick. In a lidded container (I used a zip lock box), toss the apples and 1/2 cup raisins with the agave, lemon juice, cinnamon, and pumpkin pie spice until well coated. Spread out on a lined dehydrator sheet and dry for about 2 hours, stirring once or twice. This isn't meant to dry the apples, but to soften them and let the flavor intensify.

In a food processor fitted with the "S" blade, process the walnuts and 1 cup raisins until the mix starts to stick together. This takes a couple minutes. Press the mix into the bottom and 2 inches up the sides of an 8 inch spring form pan. Put in the freezer for a half hour to firm. 

In a bullet type blender, puree the almond butter, agave, olive oil, and water until very smooth.

Spoon the apple mixture from the dehydrator into the chilled pie crust and pour the caramel evenly on top. Chill for another half hour, if desired. For extra creamy goodness, serve with a scoop of vanilla banana ice cream.

calories: 462
fat: 24 gr
carbs: 64 gr
protein: 6 gr
Total cost for the day: $9.37
total calories: 1,450
total fat: 85 gr
total carb: 173 gr
total protein: 24 gr

Monday, February 14, 2011

February 13, 2011

Avocado with Strawberries
serves 2

10 stawberries
2 tablespoon agave
pinch salt
2 avocados
1 small onion
1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar 

"Love is the only gold." 
~ Alfred, Lord Tennyson 

There is no nutritional information or prices today. Who wants to think about money and calories on Valentine's Day?

This goes together really fast, so make the strawberry sauce first and set aside. In a bullet type blender, puree four strawberries and the agave until very smooth.

Use a large spoon and scoop out the insides of the avocado. Place cut side down and slice thinly. Arrange on plate. Thinly slice the remaining strawberries and place on top of the avocado. Sprinkle on a bit of minced onion as well.

Spoon on some strawberry sauce and a drizzle of balsamic vinegar.

Beet Ravioli
serves 2

2 beets
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon agave
1/2 cup cashews
1/4 cup water, for blending (add more if needed)
1 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 clove garlic

"Love is All You Need" 
~ Paul McCartney

Slice the beets very thinly. They can used as is, or stacked a few at a time and cut into heart shapes with kitchen scissors. Then, in a medium bowl, whisk together the lemon juice, olive oil, and agave, until emulsified. Add the beets and toss to coat. Cover and let marinate for a few hours or even overnight in the fridge.

When the beets are softened and ready to use. blend the remaining ingredients in a bullet type blender for several minutes until creamy.

To assemble, lay one slice of beet down and place about a teaspoon of the cashew cream in the center. Top with another slice of beet and lightly press. 

Finally, add a small drizzle of olive oil (optional).

 Stuffed Bell Peppers
serves 2

8 oz sliced mushrooms
1 medium onion, sliced
1 carrot, grated
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon agave
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 red bell peppers
2 cups cooked wild rice (or 1 cup cauliflower "rice")
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon agave
pinch cayenne

"Who, being loved, is poor?" 
~ Oscar Wilde

In a medium bowl, whisk together the olive oil, vinegar, and agave. Add the mushrooms, onion, and carrot and toss to coat. Spread out on a lined dehydrator sheet and dehydrate at 115 degrees for about two hours, or until softened and a bit darker in color.

 Mix the dehydrated mushroom mix with cooked wild rice or raw cauliflower rice. (Make cauliflower rice by processing cauliflower in a food processor fitted with an "S" blade ... process until the cauliflower is chopped into tiny, rice sized pieces.) Then, add the olive oil, agave, and a pinch of cayenne, and stir to combine. 

Cut the tops off the bell peppers, and clean out the inside. Spoon in the rice and mushroom mix. Serve as is, or dehydrate further until the pepper softens. This can be done in an oven set on low with the door left ajar.

Chocolate Cashew Tarts

serves 2
1/2 cup almonds
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 cup cashews
1/4 cup water for blending 
2 tablespoons agave
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 heaping tablespoons cocoa powder (substitute with carob powder, if desired)
"All I really need is love, but a little chocolate now and then doesn't hurt!" 
~ Lucy Van Pelt
In a food processor fitted with the "S" blade, process the almonds and raisins until the mix starts to clump together. This takes a few minutes.
Press this crust mixture into the bottom and sides of two small tart pans, or use two cupcake pans lined with plastic wrap.
In a bullet type blender, puree the remaining ingredients until very smooth. This will take several minutes. Divide between the two crusts and fill to the top. Top with a small bit of chopped almonds, and pop into the fridge for an hour to firm before serving.

Happy Valentine's Day


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