It’s Tomatoes Galore at my house: RECIPES for you

Juan, my handyman-garden-guy, said, very proud: “We didn’t plant a variety of big tomatoes– they were supposed to be small, according to the seed packet. But look at these!” He brought the first 12 in to show me, rivaling the Texas grapefruit in size.

The tomatoes benefited from our rich compost pile. At the moment the compost pile is the home of an enormous watermelon plant. The kids have been eating a watermelon a day all summer long, and one or two of the seeds decided to take root.

We made them into vegan tomato soup (see recipe below). We chopped them with cucumbers and fresh basil and tossed in some balsamic vinegar, one of Libby’s favorite foods.

We dehydrated them to make catsup later (no high-fructose corn syrup, see recipe below), into which we dipped oven-baked, unpeeled oven fries.

Okay, actually Tennyson ate them ALL after a long day of baseball. I never got any. I heard they were good.

That’s organic tomato farming for you. It’s EASY. I hate the fact that 100 yards from me are several pesticide-sprayed acres of tomatoes. (Every time I drive past it, I want to cry. It’s in our groundwater and the air.) My tomatoes are unsprayed and delicious.

See the photo? Proof positive! Organic produce is easy. So we share a little with birds and bugs. Big deal. I’d rather share, than destroy the environment.

Healthy Garden Fresh Tomato Catsup

  • ·         5 cups Garden Fresh Tomatoes cut into large chunks
  • ·         1 cup balsamic or apple cider vinegar
  • ·         3 cups dehydrated tomatoes
  • ·         1/4 cup dates
  • ·         1 teaspoon sea salt
  • ·         1 clove garlic
  • ·         1/2 teaspoon black pepper

Blend ingredients in a high speed blender until smooth.  Serve or refrigerate. This catsup is great on “healthy fries.”

Healthy Fries

Cut potatoes (sweet or white but leave skins on) into potato slices. Place on lightly oiled baking sheet. Sprinkle lightly with sea salt. Bake at 400 degrees for 15 to 20 minutes, flipping them over when they are half cooked.

Garden Fresh Vegan Cream of Tomato Soup

  • ·         8 cups Garden Fresh Tomatoes cut into large chunks
  • ·         3 cups dehydrated tomatoes
  • ·         1 cup rice milk
  • ·         1 cup soaked raw cashews
  • ·         1 cup nutritional yeast
  • ·         2 dates
  • ·         3 cloves garlic
  • ·         1 teaspoon sea salt
  • ·         1 teaspoon black pepper

In a high-speed blender, blend everything until smooth except four cups of chopped tomatoes. Pour into a sauce pan. Add remaining four cups of tomatoes. Cook on a medium heat until soup starts to boil slightly. Turn to a low heat and let it simmer for 30 minutes. Serve with your favorite healthy crackers and enjoy.

Jeanette makes a healthy “black licorice”

My kids asked me, “What is that kid eating?” I told them it was licorice, and then I went home and created it for them.  This is what I came up with and it is SO GOOD! You’ll never want that other stuff that we all grew up eating.

Jeanette’s Licorice

10 very ripe persimmons

10 to 20 anise seeds or several inches of fresh leaves cut

Blend in BlendTec or Vitamix until smooth. Pour a thick layer onto dehydrator teflex sheet and dry overnight or until done at 105 degrees.

Cut in 1-inch thick slices and enjoy like licorice.

Thanks Jeanette!

 

BlenderBottle winners….and a yummy quinoa recipe for you!

Congrats to

Melanie Wright of Katy, TX

Afton Blakely of Ankeny, IA

Ian Regis of Farmington, UT

who won a BlenderBottle by being the first to write us yesterday. Get on an RSS feed because I have a goal to do a lot more giveaways on my blog, and you have to act fast when you read we’re doing a giveaway. A company with a cool, healthy product I like can send us a sample for evaluation, and then just for giving at least three of my readers a free one, they get a link from our high-traffic site pointing to theirs. (Blendtec putting GreenSmoothieGirl.com on its site when we were new vaulted us into the Google stratosphere.)

Today I’m sharing a fabulous recipe from 12 Steps to Whole Foods that is a light meal we love in the summertime, with one of my favorite foods, quinoa. Quinoa is an ancient grain—only it’s not really a grain, it’s a seedfruit, but you can use it hot or cold as a bed for raw veggies and a great dressing.

People gobble this salad up at a party and then ask you what it was. You get to teach them about how yummy a plant-based dish can be, with a new grain they’ve never tried, and they LOVE you for teaching them something new that’s both healthy and yummy.

Some of my favorite reasons to love quinoa? It’s gluten free. It’s light and easy to eat, mild flavor, low calories, high in PROTEIN. Cooks in just ten minutes. Quinoa is so versatile (we have lots of quinoa recipes in 12 Steps). Cheap and filling. Cook up a bunch and freeze it in baggies to thaw and add fruit and almond milk for breakfast—or veggies and beans and dressing for lunch or dinner.

SOUTHWEST QUINOA SALAD

2 cups quinoa, rinsed well (soak for a few minutes, then drain in a fine strainer)

4 cups water

2 cans black beans, rinsed well

4 medium tomatoes, diced

8 green onions, chopped (including most of the green part)

1 cup chopped fresh cilantro

DRESSING:

1 heaping Tbsp. grated lime zest

1/4 cup fresh lime juice

6 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil

1 Tbsp. maple syrup

1 tsp. sea salt (best: Original Crystal Himalayan Salt)

1/2 tsp. freshly ground pepper

Whisk together the lime zest and juice, olive oil, maple syrup, salt, and pepper in a serving bowl. Simmer the quinoa in water uncovered for about 10 min. Turn off the heat, cover, and let stand 10 min. Strain any excess water. Add quinoa to dressing and toss well, then stir in remaining ingredients (beans, tomatoes, scallions, cilantro).

Coconut Oil Giveaway and Recipes!

I’ve sent people to Mountain Rose Herbs for their extra virgin, cold-pressed coconut oil, for years. I’ve never had a complaint, because their product is fabulous, and we’ve gotten tons of testimonials about skin conditions clearing and other exciting benefits of beginning to use this lauric acid-rich, medium chain fatty acid (missing in most people’s diet). When I began using coconut oil years ago, my winter-time cold hands and feet disappeared, and I now enjoy good circulation.

I use coconut oil generously on my skin every day. I run 1/3 cup through my hair (it’s long and thick—you may need less) sometimes before I shower, to help deal with the fact that I color it, and blonde out of a bottle is brutal on hair.

I also use coconut oil exclusively in baking, and sometimes in sauteeing. Lots of recipes in Ch. 4 of 12 Steps to Whole Foods, and other places like Ch. 11.

I’ve blogged about it in the past, and you can search on that topic on this blog.

I asked Mountain Rose Herbs for their favorite recipes, and here they are, enjoy!

Julie’s Amazing Maca Bars (modified by Robyn)

Maca, the ancient Peruvian herb, is a member of the Brassicaceae family, which includes turnips and radishes. It grows at high elevations of 12,000 feet and higher! Used as early as 1600 BC in Peru, the traditional use is for mental acuity, physical vitality, endurance, and stamina.

Another well-known use is as an aphrodisiac tonic that enhances sexual desire, performance, and fertility in men, women, and animals. It’s a highly nutritious food too. It contains: carbohydrates, proteins, calcium, fiber, lipids, iodine and anticancer compounds (similar to broccoli and cabbage). The nutrition alone can have a positive effect on people who are overworked, overstressed, and nutritionally unfulfilled.

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup raw local honey (great for preventing seasonal allergies)
  • ½ cup organic unrefined coconut oil
  • 1 teaspoon organic vanilla extract
  • 2 Tbsp. chia seed soaked 20+ minutes in 6 Tbsp. water
  • ½ cup to 1 cup wheat-free flour or arrowroot powder
  • 1 pinch Himalayan Pink Salt
  • ½ cup organic maca Powder
  • 1 cup organic oats
  • 1 cup organic nuts (your choice)

Directions:

Mix all ingredients together. Bake at 325 to 350 degrees for 30-40 minutes in a greased  9×12 glass pan. Allow to cool, cut into squares, and enjoy!

Julie DeBord’s Bio:

Julie DeBord oversees the extraordinarily difficult task of managing the production and packaging of nearly all the products Mountain Rose Herbs has to offer! In addition to this, she oversees our tea and spice formulating and created many of our favorites including Herbal Coffee and Firefly Chai.

Erin’s Coconut Kettle Corn (modified by Robyn)

This healthier version of the classic kettle corn recipe will delight any sweet or salty craving. Virgin coconut oil adds a satisfying richness while a touch of sugar coats each kernel with a caramelized glaze. So good, you won’t miss the butter! Fun to make around the campfire after a day by the river or on the stovetop at home, this popcorn is an absolute crowd-pleaser.

Ingredients:

  • ¼ cup organic virgin coconut oil
  • ½ cup organic popping corn kernels
  • 1 tbsp organic, raw coconut sugar
  • fine sea salt to taste

Directions:

Melt the coconut oil over medium-high heat in a large stock pot. Add the kernels and cover the pot with a lid. Be sure to shake the pot continuously over the flame to avoid burning. When the first kernel pops, add the sugar and cover the pot. Continue to shake the covered pot vigorously over the flame while the kernels pop. This will happen quickly! Once the popping slows down, remove from heat and keep covered until you no longer hear popping. Transfer your popcorn to a serving bowl and sprinkle with salt to your liking. Munch and enjoy!

Erin McIntosh’s Bio:

Erin McIntosh is the Communications Manager at Mountain Rose Herbs and a graduate of the Columbines School of Botanical Studies. She spends her days photographing flowers, concocting herbal treats, and wildcrafting plants in the magnificent Oregon Cascades. www.mountainroseblog.com

recipe for you! my favorite salad and dressing

NOTE: If you read this when I first posted it—I typed in the wrong dressing recipe, oops! Please see changes below.

We could use a breather from the heavy topic of toxic dental practices! Here’s my favorite salad recipe, always a hit whenever I make it for my family or others. A big helping is a meal in itself, with the pasta in it. I took the idea from a recipe that used to be on Macaroni Grill’s menu, now discontinued—though I’ve made it healthier, of course! These are Ch. 2 and 3 recipes in 12 Steps to Whole Foods. Enjoy!

Spinach-Orzo Ensalata

1 cup uncooked whole-wheat orzo pasta (boil in 3+ cups water, approx. 6-7 min., and rinse well to keep grains separate, then cool)

10+ cups spinach (about two 10-oz. bags), chopped

1 pkg. fresh basil, cut in ribbons

2 tomatoes, diced small

1 can black olives, sliced

2 oz. capers (half a 4 oz jar), drained

½ cup raw pine nuts (or toast them under the broiler—yum!)

Optional: shaved Parmesan to taste

Toss all ingredients except optional Parmesan. Add dressing to taste and toss. Top each plate with shaved Parmesan if desired. Serves 4 as a complete meal.

Tangy Dill Dressing

1/4 cup fresh lemon juice

1/4 cup fresh orange juice

1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

2 Tbsp. Bragg Liquid Aminos

1/4 cup raw apple cider vinegar

2 Tbsp. honey (raw)

2 garlic cloves

1 Tbsp. dried (or 1/4 cup fresh) dill weed

Blend all ingredients well in a high-powered blender.

Giveaway, Chia Pudding Recipe—and why you need Omega 3’s

At our VIP class a few weeks ago, I taught 6 nutrition habits, each of which can have a dramatic effect on your health. One is using chia seed (I gave my favorite ways to use it) for Omega fatty acids.

One thing I feel passionate about is getting people to understand how critical a good Omega 3 fatty acid source is. More than 80 percent of Americans are deficient in it, and you need it to avoid anxiety and depression, plus a host of other health problems.

Flax seed, hemp seed, and chia seed are the best plant sources. Fish oil is rancid long before you ingest it, and meta studies of its long-touted effects on heart disease reveal that it isn’t solving any problems. Read my recent blog entry about fish oil HERE.

So get your Omega 3 from good plant foods! I sometimes stir a spoonful of chia seed into my Hot Pink Breakfast Smoothie (Ch. 10 of 12 Steps to Whole Foods), or any other drink. Kristin adds it to her green tea, which is how she’s surviving breaking a 30-year Diet Pepsi addiction.

Put 1 Tbsp. of chia in 3 Tbsp. of water and let it soak 20 mins. It’s now a replacement for a large egg in baking recipes.

Here’s a recipe I developed recently that is so easy. You may enjoy it for a treat after dinner, or for breakfast. It also features goji berries, eaten by the longest-living people on the planet, high in protein and a wide array of nutrients.

The first three readers to write support123@greensmoothiegirl.com gets a FREE COCOA MOJO AND COCONUT MILK POWDER! (You can learn about those items clicking on that link. In addition to using them in chia pudding, I get through the winter without sugar, thanks to these fabulous products making us healthy hot cocoa.)

CHOCOLATE GOJI CHIA PUDDING

1 ½ cups filtered water

¼ cup chia seed

¼ cup goji berries

3 Tbsp. coconut milk powder

3 Tbsp. Cocoa Mojo

In your blender, blend water, coconut milk powder, and Cocoa Mojo for 30 seconds. Pour mixture into a container and stir in chia and goji. Allow to sit for 4-12 hours. May be kept in the refrigerator several days.  Add hot water to pudding coming out of the fridge, if desired.