Tag Archives: Health

Sprouted Kidney Bean Burgers with Warm Salsa

I realized the other day that I’m doing a sort of vegan slash paleo diet.  So, I’m coining the phrase “Pagan Diet.”  You heard it here first, folks.  It’s kind of funny.  Okay, so maybe I amuse myself a little too much.  I guess I could call it a Valeo diet, but that’s just not as funny unless you’re into foreign car parts.  On the menu for lunch yesterday was some sprouted bean burgers.  I have to admit, I didn’t know if eating sprouted beans would really make a difference, but it has.  Eating regular beans never really made me overly gassy, but there was always a certain uncomfortable fullness that I would get from eating them.  I always figured it was the fiber.  But, I don’t get that feeling now at all.  When I soak the beans, you see the foam that comes off of them.  It seems like the gas that’s forming that foam is what’s given off in your stomach when you eat beans.  Today I have chickpeas, black beans, almonds, and brown rice sprouting.

These burgers turned out nice.  I’ve noticed that the beans that have been sprouted have a less starchy taste to them then regular beans.  I like beans, but I like the sprouted beans much more.  We’ll see how this helps health-wise.  I imagine it must be helping with my health.  On one hand, regular beans are more acidic than sprouted beans and I do try to eat more alkaline foods than acidic ones.  Basically, sprouting a bean turns it into more of a plant than a bean, so you’re making it alkaline.  Also, sprouting increases the amount of vitamin C and B vitamins in the legume, both of which are very good for your adrenals.  Plus, your body will have a lot more vitamins and minerals to absorb.  I’m not going to go around carrying a flag that says “Soak Your Beans” but I’ve definitely become an advocate for sprouting.  The only drawback to it is that it takes time and planning.  But, I just keep sprouting and once they’re sprouted, I’ll rinse them and put them in a jar in the fridge so I always have some to use.  I hope you give it a try.

Sprouted Kidney Bean Burgers

Sprouted Kidney Bean Burgers w/ Warm Salsa

 

Ingredients:

2 Cups Sprouted Kidney Beans

½ Sweet Onion, chopped

1 Tbsp. Coconut Oil

½ Cup Sprouted Brown Rice

½ Cup Oats that have been soaked overnight

½ Cup Soaked Raw Cashews

10 Oz. Mushrooms

3 Tbsp. Coconut Flour

2 Tsp. Smoked Paprika

1 ½ Tsp. Salt

1 ½ Tsp. Ground Cumin

1 ½ Tsp. Chili Powder

 

Warm Salsa Ingredients:

14.5 Oz. Can Chopped Roasted Tomatoes

1 Jalapeno Pepper, chopped finely

½ Sweet Onion, chopped finely

½ Red Bell Pepper, chopped finely

Juice of ½ Lemon

Zest of 1 Lemon

½ Tsp. Dried Minced Onion

½ Tsp. Mexican Oregano

Salt, to taste

Directions:

Preheat oven to 375◦. Oil a cookie sheet.

In a large skillet, melt the coconut oil and add the chopped onion to it. Sauté over medium high heat until slightly golden brown. Remove from heat and set aside.

In a food processor, combine all of the remaining ingredients and process until thoroughly combined. Add processed ingredients to the skillet with the onions and mix together.

Using an ice cream scoop, scoop the bean mixture onto the prepared cookie sheet. Flatten out with the back of the ice cream scoop (or use wet fingers). Bake in preheated oven for 20 minutes and allow to cool for 10 minutes before serving.

While burgers are baking, heat all ingredients for the salsa in a skillet until the liquid from the tomatoes has thickened slightly. Keep warm until ready to serve.

Makes 14 burgers (a serving size is about 2 burgers each).

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Italian Lentil Sprouts – Sprouting 102 and Chronic Epstein Barr

I have chronic Epstein barr virus.  It used to be a real inconvenience, but, it’s not so much anymore, usually.  I’ve been able to keep it under control through diet and supplements, usually.  For some reason, it tends to hit me hard in the spring:  ridiculously swollen glands, extremely tired, very sore joints, slow recovery if I do anything slightly active.  Going vegan seemed to help me, but that was before I had an active phase of the virus.  So, back to the drawing board.  I started to do some more research.  I don’t know all of the ins and outs of how the Epstein barr virus works.  Actually, doctors don’t even know a ton about it, except that sometimes anti-virals will help a bit with the symptoms, but there’s really no ‘cure’ for it.  The only thing you can hope and pray for is that you can have longer times when you’re in remission and the active times don’t last too long.  When I was diagnosed with it (about 7 years ago), my titers were 300 times higher than someone with the active virus (someone with mono), which indicated that I had a chronic version of it.  I’ve read a lot about the virus over the years and there seems to be a connection between CEBV and thyroid conditions and digestive issues and vitamin and mineral absorption.

Legal disclaimer:  I’m not a doctor.  I have no idea what I’m talking about.  Anything I say here is from my personal experience and from what I’ve read from real doctors.

Here’s where I start talking about supplements and trying to heal from a chronic condition.  I’ve been taking sublingual B-12 because of my pernicious anemia.  I believe that my gluten sensitivity and other allergies and absorption issues have occurred because the CEBV has ruined my digestive system.  So, I’ve been working on healing my gut for a couple of years now.  It has been somewhat working because my immune system has greatly improved in the last year.  I’ve been supplementing with a very good probiotic and lugol’s iodine every morning along with selenium, and magnesium at night.  I’m also supplementing with vitamin C to add a little help to my tired adrenals.  That’s just the direction I’m taking right now.

That brings me to sprouting.  When I first started sprouting, I did it because I liked the taste of sprouts and I also was making Sprouting Jarmy own sprouted brown rice flour to make halvah bars.  It turns out that there’s a better reason to sprout:  phytic acid.  Phytic acid is a glommer.  It gloms onto the minerals and vitamins that your body could use and takes them right out of your system. Now, if you have a healthy digestive system, a little phytic acid doesn’t really hurt.  If your system is compromised, like mine, it can really wreak havoc on your system. With the Fuhrman diet, I’ve been eating a ton of beans and nuts, all which are loaded with phytic acid.  This could be why I’m having a down time right now.  The good news, though, is that sprouting or fermenting will greatly reduce the phytic acid in them.  In the right conditions, it’s the phytic acid in a seed or bean or nut that makes it start to sprout.  Once it starts to sprout, the phytic acid is neutralized and is either eliminated or greatly reduced.  Cooking without soaking will diminish phytic acid a bit, but not as much as sprouting or fermenting.  Another option is to soak the offender in an acidic solution (I use filtered water with apple cider vinegar, but whey could also be used).  You’ll know when it’s ready after soaking because the water will get foamy and the water will get a slimy texture.  Right now I have kidney beans, chick peas, cashews, and brown rice sprouting.  Today I used the sprouted lentils to make this little Italian stir fry for lunch.  It was very tasty and quick to make.  I’m trying to keep a rotation of sprouted rice and legumes so I always have something easy to make.  I hope you give sprouting a try.  You’ll like it and so will your digestive system.Italian Lentil Sprouts

Italian Lentil Sprouts

Ingredients:

1 Tablespoon Coconut Oil

2 Cups Sprouted Lentils

1 14.5 oz. Can Chopped Tomatoes

1 Cup Chopped Kale

¼ Cup Chopped Dried Tomatoes

½ Red Bell Pepper, chopped

½ Sweet Onion, chopped

1 Medium Zucchini, Chopped

2 Teaspoons Dry Basil

1 Teaspoon Dry Oregano

4 Cloves Garlic, minced

Salt, to taste

Directions:

In a medium sized skillet, melt the coconut oil. Add the lentils, kale, dried tomatoes, pepper, onion, and zucchini. Sauté until kale wilts. Add the lentils and tomatoes. Cook for about 10 minutes over medium high heat, until zucchini is cooked to your liking. Makes 2-3 servings.

Play with Your Food – Vegan Tofu Peanut Wraps

Well, I subtitled this blog ‘adventures in eating to live,’ so I guess I’ll go with that theme and make my food an adventure.  Okay, so I’m not travelling the world to get this recipe: I’m just bringing the world into my home.  One thing I’ve learned about the Americanized recipes, especially Asian type recipes, have all been, well, Americanized:  you probably know what I’m talking about. Extra sugar and fat and even fake things have been added to cater to the American tastes.  Of course, eating nutritarian style, one tries to not add the extra sugars and fat.  I’ve only travelled to northern European countries, where they do try to add the extra sugar and fat, so I’m not an expert on authentic Asian cuisine.  I do know what I like to taste and I know the flavor profile I’m going for, so this is my version of southeast Asian cuisine.

I learned a trick for putting a crisp on tofu.  I can’t believe I never tried this before.  I just baked it.  Seriously, I’ve been cooking tofu for about 30 years and I’ve tried cooking it many different ways, but I’ve never baked it.  I love the texture of it baked.  It gets a little crispy and still is soft on the inside.  It’s very yummy.  I even have the non-tofu eaters in the family coming over to the dark side.  The baked tofu gives a nice mouth feel to the sandwich.

This sandwich makes a good dinner.  You could even serve it with a side of brown rice or quinoa.  It was satisfying enough to eat just on its own, though.  I had leftovers for lunch today, but I just put the tofu on the sandwich cold and then topped it with shredded raw cabbage and raw carrots.  I liked it as much as the cooked version.  There are a few steps to the recipe, but it’s a nice adventure away from the regular ‘beans and whatever’ meal I’ve been eating lately.  Hope you’ll give it a try.

Vegan Peanut Tofu Wraps

Vegan Peanut Tofu Wraps

Ingredients:

1 Pkg. Extra Firm Tofu, drained

½ Cup Vegetable Broth

3 Cups Shredded Napa Cabbage

4 Carrots, peeled and julienned

1 Tablespoon Liquid Aminos, plus extra for tofu

1 ½ Teaspoons Ground Ginger

1 Teaspoon Granulated Garlic

4 Vegan Sandwich Wraps

Peanut Sauce:

Juice of 1 Lime

Zest of 1 Lime

½ Cup Natural Peanut Butter

¼ Cup Water

2 Medjool Dates

2 Tablespoons Liquid Aminos

¼ Teaspoon Ground Ginger

Grated Carrot, Chopped Peanuts, and Sliced Green Onion for garnish

Directions:

Preheat oven to 400◦. Slice the tofu into long, thin strips. Grease and cookie sheet. Place the tofu on prepared cookie sheet and drizzle with liquid aminos. Bake in preheated oven for 20 minutes, until it is slightly browned.

Prepare the sauce: in a small food processor, add all ingredients and whir until smooth. Set aside.

In a hot skillet, add in the vegetable broth, liquid aminos, and ground ginger. Add in the cabbage and carrots and cook over medium high heat until carrots are slightly tender.

When tofu is done, layer some tofu, cabbage mixture and sauce on a sandwich wrap and roll up. Top with some extra sauce, chopped peanuts, grated carrots and sliced green onion. Makes 4 servings.

Pantry Stew – Eating Healthy Economics 101

My husband’s a golf pro.  This means that we live kind of lean in the winter.  I spend the summer stocking up on pantry food, like beans, quinoa, brown rice and gluten free pasta:  stuff that can make cheap dinners to live off of in the leaner times.  I haven’t quite reached prepper status yet, but some people may think I’m a bit excessive.  Hey, ya gotta do what ya gotta do.  Well, we still have a couple of weeks left until he goes back to work so right now I’m kind of scraping the bottom of the barrel for creative things to make that are still healthy and tasty.  Beans are definitely the way to go.  Come summer, we have our garden to eat from and, living out in the boonies, we have a lot of farm markets to go to as well for the things I don’t grow.  We have a large freezer that is still full of frozen veggies.

Here’s the economy of eating healthy:  you have to pick and choose what you can afford.  Thankfully, we have a ‘budget’ type of store around here, called Aldi’s.  They’re all along the east coast of the US, and I don’t know where else they are.  But, they just started selling a line of organic things:  canned goods like beans and tomatoes and broths (except they don’t have veggie broth), plus they have a limited amount of organic veggies.  If you’re one of those “I will only eat orgaclean-15-dirty-dozen-287x300nic vegetables and find extreme disdain with someone who doesn’t,”  you can stop reading here.  I buy organic when I can.  I try to buy the ‘dirty dozen’ organic only.  Other veggies, I stick to washing them really well and peeling them.  Once again, ya gotta do what ya gotta do.  The way I figure it, if you’re eating healthy things, I think your body should be able to detox from the pesticides and junk that you’re getting from the non-organic stuff.  I try to eat non-GMO as much as possible, but really can’t afford to shop at the local co-op exclusively.  I just can’t with a family of 5 to feed on a limited budget.  And I won’t even go into my “shouldn’t ‘they’ make the good food cheap to eat so everyone will be healthy” spiel.

So, this was my pantry meal of the day:  a bunch of beans and chopped veggies.  Also, I need some good carbs in me.  Now that I’ve been feeling better for the first time in a long time, I started exercising.  I’ve been weight lifting (arms and upper body 3 days a week a legs twice a week) and walking every day (about 2-4 miles, depending on the route).  On the weekend,  do some sort of cardio.  Today, I did 55 minutes of Zumba (that I took out of the library).  This stew was very filling and fulfilling without feeling heavy on my stomach.  And it gave me some energy post workout.  Plus, it made a really big pot, so I’ll have some quick lunches this week.  Enjoy!

Pantry Stew

Pantry Stew

Ingredients:

28 oz. Can Chopped Tomatoes

15 oz. Can White Beans, drained and rinsed

15 oz. Can Black Beans, drained and rinsed

15 oz. Can Kidney Beans, not drained

2 Cups Vegetable Broth

1 Cup Lentils

1 Cup Cauliflower Florets

⅓ Cup Almond Butter

2 Carrots, peeled and chopped

1 Zucchini, chopped

1 Medium Sweet Onion, chopped

2 Teaspoons Cumin

Directions:

Combine all ingredients in a stock pot. Bring to a boil. Turn heat down and simmer on medium low heat for 30 minutes. Add more vegetable broth if it seems too thick.

The Vegannaise Experiment

I’m the type of person that does things my own way. Plus, I tend to be cheap. If I can make something cheaper than buying it, I always take the cheapest option. I figure I can do it better myself anyway. Paying 5 bucks for a little jar of Vegannaise? Um, no thanks. Besides, there’s a ton of oil and other ingredients, that I don’t want, in Vegannaise.
Spring is springing. It hasn’t sprung yet, but it’s springing. It only got down to 36 last night. Yesterday was pretty nice here so we shoveled off the deck Snow on Deck
and made room for the grill. Nothing says ‘spring’ like the smell of grilling in the air. My favorite is grilled portabellos.
To get ready for grill season, I decided to take a crack at making vegannaise, without the oil. I tried a couple of variations. The one with oil in it tasted quite close to real mayonnaise, but it was quite runny. This one, using cashews, turned out with a great texture, but it definitely does taste like cashews. I don’t mind it though. It does have the ‘taste’ of mayo, kind of, but with a nutty aftertaste. I’ll keep working on it to perfect it, but in the meantime, this is still a tasty alternative. Served on a grilled portabello and bun, it’s like springtime on a plate. Hope you like it.
Vegan No Oil Mayonnaise

Ingredients:
¾ Cup Raw Cashews
6 oz. Silken Tofu
1 Tablespoon Almond Milk
2 Teaspoons Dijon Mustard
2 Teaspoons Lemon Juice

Directions:
Place all ingredients in a high speed blender. Process until completely smooth and thick.

Chickpea Burgers with Curry Peanut Sauce

After a couple of months of travelling, and working on the house, I just needed to try something new. Since I was always busy, I was resorting to whatever was quick and easy: soup, chili – whatever I could toss together into a pot and make a lot of so I would have leftovers. The weather’s getting a little nicer around here. It seems like the arctic death grip that has had its hold on our area is starting to lift a bit. So, now I’m starting to think more along the lines of fun food, picnic food, grilling, etc. Today I threw together some chickpea burgers, of course, with some mushrooms and onions in them to raise the nutrient levels. It was a typical burger template: some sort of wet veggie (the mushrooms), with some sort of beans (chickpeas), some spices, and then a binder (the oatmeal). Using that template, you can really adjust your burger to your mood. hmmm…I feel kind of South Pacific today. Okay, so curry it is. I wouldn’t necessarily call this Thai or Indian. The sauce is sort of Thai and the burgers are sort of Indian, but with my own flare (and considering what I had in the pantry). I didn’t have limes, so I adjusted the sauce to taste kind of Thai. I don’t have a lot right now in the pantry, so I just went with what I have.
My daughter ate one burger on bread and the other one she ate off the pan, dipping it in the sauce. I had mine on romaine and red onion with some roasted pepitas on top (I roasted them the last 5 minutes that the burgers were baking). These aren’t that hard to make; it just takes time. So, I worked on other things while they were baking.
Hope you enjoy them.
Chickpea Burgers

Ingredients:
Chickpea Burgers:
8 oz. Mushrooms
1 Small Onion
½ Cup Vegetable Broth
2, 15 oz. Cans Chickpeas, drained and rinsed
3 Teaspoons Curry Powder
½ Teaspoon Salt
¼ Teaspoon Onion Powder
¼ Teaspoon Garlic Powder
¼ Teaspoon Ginger Powder
3 Tablespoons Whole Oats
Lightly Toasted Pepitas for garnish

Curry Peanut Sauce:
½ Cup Canned Coconut Milk
¼ Cup Raw Cashews
3 Tablespoons Natural Peanut Butter
2 Tablespoons Liquid Aminos
1 Tablespoon Rice Vinegar
1 Teaspoon Smoked Paprika
Directions:
For the burgers: Preheat oven to 375◦. In a food processor, combine the mushrooms and onion. Process until finely chopped. To a hot skillet, add the vegetable broth. When broth is heated, add in the mushroom/onion mixture. Sauté until broth evaporates and onions are translucent.
Process the chickpeas in food processor until finely chopped. Add chickpeas to the mushroom mixture. Add remaining ingredients and thoroughly combine. Using a large ice cream scoop, scoop mixture onto greased cookie sheet. Flatten out and lightly oil the tops of the burgers. Bake in preheated oven for 30 minutes.

For the sauce: Combine all ingredients in food processor and process until smooth and thick.

Serve burgers on lettuce, topped with the peanut sauce and pepitas. Makes 10 burgers.

Vegan Taco Salad

Why does everything have to be so hard? I just had to say that. Actually, everything isn’t so hard. This was easy. Yes, taco salad: that’s easy. We’re still working on fixing up our house. My husband goes back to work at the end of this month, so it’s crunch time now. Today I spent the day refinishing our kitchen island. I was tired and sore and annoyed that I didn’t get as far along as I thought I would and then the kids ask the age old question: What’s for dinner. argh Okay, just breathe. Don’t dump the stain on the floor and walk out on strike. Breathe. Yes, left overs it is. Actually, it was kind of ‘clean the refrigerator out’ night. We had a dinner at church yesterday, so I had a large pot of chicken soup with gluten free noodles leftover. There was left over taco meat from last week (no mold: check – smells okay: check. Come on – admit it: you’ve done that too). But, I had no left overs for me. I liked the idea of a taco salad. I had the taco sauce and vegan crema fresca that I made last week for the flautas. I had some black beans in the pantry and some green pepper and red onion that I had already chopped up for a salad this weekend. So, taco salad it was. Easy peasy. If you want a quick, satisfying meal, this will fit the bill:
Vegan Taco Salad

Vegan Taco Salad

Ingredients:
Taco ‘Meat’:
1 Cup Black Beans
2 Tablespoons Chopped Green Bell Pepper
2 Tablespoons Chopped Red Onion
1/2 Teaspoon Chili Powder
1/2 Teaspoon Paprika
1/2 Teaspoon Dried Minced Onion
1/4 Teaspoon Ground Cumin
Vegetable Broth, as needed

Romaine Lettuce
Chopped Tomato
Chopped Fresh Onion
Crumbled Corn Tortillas
Taco Sauce
Vegan Crema Fresca

Directions:
In a small saucepan, combine the black beans, bell pepper, onion, and spices. Saute until beans are heated through and onion is translucent. Add some vegetable broth, as needed, to prevent the mixture from sticking to the pan.
Top your salad with the bean mixture and top with taco sauce and crema fresca.