Monday, October 19, 2009

Perfect Hot Cocoa

3/4 cup whole milk
1 TBS cocoa powder
1 tsp sugar
2 TBS coconut oil

  1. Warm milk on stove. Meanwhile add cocoa, sugar and oil to a mug. Mix together to make a chocolate paste.
  2. Add milk to chocolate paste and stir well. Sip slowly and savor!
P.S. Coconut oil is one of the best foods in existence. It contains a type of fat (medium chain fatty acids) that is burned almost immediately. This cocoa is sort of a Red Bull for health nuts. You feel energized and satiated when you drink it.

Read more about coconut oil and it's benefits here.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Chicken, Spinach and Cashew Salad with Honey Mustard Dressing

Makes 4 servings

* 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
* 2 tablespoons dijon mustard
* 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
* 2 tablespoons mild-flavored honey (such as clover, wild thistle, or lavender)
* 5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
* Salt and freshly ground pepper
* 2 chicken breasts, cut into bite-size pieces--can also use leftover shredded rotisserie chicken
* 6 cups baby spinach (about 1 bag)
* 1 cup halved cherry or grape tomatoes
* 1/2 cup roasted salted cashews

To make the dressing, combine lemon juice, mustard, cumin, and honey in a medium bowl. Slowly whisk in olive oil in a steady stream. Season with 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Set aside.

Pan fry chicken. Let cool 15 minutes and toss with 2 TBS dressing. If using leftover cooked chicken just toss it with dressing.

In a large bowl, toss spinach, tomatoes, and cashews with remaining dressing and season with 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Transfer to a platter or divide among 4 plates, and top with chicken.

P.S. We always double the dressing because it's so delish and becasue we like lots of dressing on our salads.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

A Wonderful Thing Called Milk

Last week I woke up with nasty goopy, itchy, red and swollen eyes. Classic case of pink eye.

Lucky for me my brain was on straight and I recalled reading about the one sure cure for pink eye...breastmilk.

I grabbed everything I needed: freshly pumped milk, syringe and my hubby. Shane performed the procedure on the living room floor... a squirt of milk in each eye and just a few hours later the eyes were looking clear again. We did it again the next morning just for good measure.

Yay for breastmilk! The perfect food and the perfect cure.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Chicken Enchiladas

*These are amazing!

{chicken enchiladas with red chile sauce}
makes 10 enchiladas

sauce and filling

1 1/2 tablespoons coconut oil
1 medium onion, chopped fine (about 1 cup)
3 medium cloves garlic , minced or pressed through garlic press (about 1 tablespoon)
3 tablespoons chili powder
2 teaspoons ground coriander
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons sugar
12 ounces boneless, skinless chicken thighs (about 4 thighs), trimmed of excess fat and cut into 1/4-inch-wide strips
2 cans tomato sauce (8 ounces each)
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves
1 can (4 ounces) pickled jalapeƱos , drained and chopped (about 1/4 cup)-optional
4 ounces sharp cheddar cheese , grated (1 c.)

tortillas and toppings

10 corn tortillas (6-inch)
coconut oil
3 ounces grated sharp cheddar cheese (3/4 cup)
3/4 cup sour cream
1 avocado , diced medium
5 leaves romaine lettuce washed, dried, and shredded


  1. Heat oil in medium saucepan over medium-high heat until hot and shimmering but not smoking, about 2 minutes; add onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened and beginning to brown, about 5 minutes. Add garlic, chili powder, coriander, cumin, salt, and sugar; cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add chicken and cook, stirring constantly, until coated with spices, about 30 seconds. Add tomato sauce and 1/4 cup water; stir to separate chicken pieces. Bring to simmer, then reduce heat to medium-low; simmer uncovered, stirring occasionally, until chicken is cooked through and flavors have melded, about 8 minutes. Pour mixture through medium-mesh strainer into medium bowl, pressing on chicken and onions to extract as much sauce as possible; set sauce aside. Transfer chicken mixture to large plate; freeze for 10 minutes to cool, then combine with cilantro, jalapenos, and cheese in medium bowl and set aside.

  2. Adjust oven racks to upper and lower-middle positions and heat oven to 300 degrees.


  1. Smear bottom of 13x9-inch baking dish with ¾ cup of sauce. Using a pastry brush, paint both sides of each tortilla with coconut oil. Place tortillas on 2 baking sheets and bake until soft, about 4 minutes. Place warm tortillas on countertop. Increase oven temperature to 400 degrees. Place ¼ cup filling down center of each tortilla. Roll each tortilla tightly by hand and place in baking dish, side by side, seam-side down. Pour remaining sauce over enchilada. Use back of spoon to coat each tortilla. Sprinkle ¾ cup of cheese down center of enchilada. Cover baking dish with foil. Bake enchiladas on lower-middle rack until heated through and cheese is melted, 20 to 25 minutes. Uncover and serve immediately, passing sour cream, avocado and lettuce.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Sprouted Bread

Whole wheat bread. We all know that we're supposed to be eating it. So we faithfully pick out whatever's cheapest at the local grocery store. So long as it's brown it must be good for us, right?


Most so called whole wheat breads (I talking about you Oro-Wheat!) contain nasty things like coloring (to make them look browner), and preservatives. Here's a hint, f you don't know what an ingredient is chances are you shouldn't be eating it. AND sometimes a label can be tricky; for instance it mightsay wheat flour which really means white flour. It has to say whole wheat flour.

Ezekiel Sprouted Bread (pictured above) is as good as they come.

Check this out:

INGREDIENTS: Organic Sprouted Whole Wheat, Filtered Water, Organic Malted Barley, Organic Sprouted Whole Millet, Organic Sprouted Whole Barley, Organic Sprouted Whole Lentils, Organic Sprouted Whole Soybeans, Organic Sprouted Whole Spelt, Fresh Yeast, Sea Salt.

What the heck does sprouted mean? It means that the baker takes a grain, places it in water and allows it to germinate (sprout). They take the sprouts, grind them up, add some yeast and salt and bake. It makes a hearty, delicious and incredibly good for you bread.

Peter Reinhart is considered the foremost bread expert in our country. He explains why sprouted breads are good for you.

"When grains begin to germinate, three main chemical changes occur. The seeds begin to break down due to increased enzyme activity, elements of the seed begin to move around between the endosperm and the germ, and new molecules are formed. In the process, vitamin content and accessibility is increased, especially vitamins A, B-complex, and C, minerals like calcium, potassium and iron are released, and the carbohydrates become more easily digested."

P.S. All of Food For Life's products are amazing...english muffins, hot dog and hamburger buns, tortillas and bagels.

P.P.S. The best price on Ezekiel sprouted bread is at Trader Joes's: $3.29

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Chocolate Chip Pie

Sage with my "birth-day" pie

OK, OK I know that this a health blog but part of a balanced, healthy life includes enjoying treats (in moderation of course).

My sister made one of my favorite indulgences for after Micah's birth.

{chocolate chip pie}

2 c. chocolate chip cookies, smashed
1/4 c. butter, softened
2 TBS sugar

2 eggs
2 TBS sugar
2 c. chocolate chips
1/4 tsp. salt
2 tsp. vanilla
1 1/2 c. cream
  1. For crust: Blend cookies, butter and sugar on LOW speed in blender and press into 9-inch pie pan
  2. For filling: Blend eggs, sugar, chocolate chips, salt and vanilla in a blender on LOW. Heat the cream until it just begins to bubble. Add to blender and blend for 1 minute on HIGH.
  3. Pour filling into crust. Chill overnight. This pie is so rich that a little slice goes a long way.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

How to Buy a Loaf of Bread

We all know that whole grain bread is what we should be eating. But bread buying is not as simple as it seems. Let's take a look at a typical bread label. This one is Orowheat Whole Grain and Flax Bread:

Blech...multiple kinds of sugar and mystery ingredients. Let's establish a few rules and see where Orowheat bread went wrong:
  1. Check the flour. If a label says "wheat flour" that means white flour. You need whole wheat flour.
  2. Check the sweeteners. Anything with high fructose corn syrup, corn syrup, fructose or sugar is a no-no. If it contains honey that's fine.
  3. Check the oils. Many bread contain partially hydrogenated oils, none of that for you! And no canola or soybean oil either. Ideally a bread shouldn't have any oil.
  4. Check for crazy, weird ingredients. I'm talking about stuff like azodicarbonamide (the last ingredient in the label above). If you don't know what it is (or can't pronounce it) you probably shouldn't be eating it.
Can you see where that Orowheat bread failed? It violated rules, 2,3 and 4. You want to be eating bread that contains only whole grains, no sweeteners (maybe a little honey), no oil and no strange ingredients that you can't pronounce.

Next week I'll introduce you to our favorite bread. It's one of the best I've found.