Thursday, May 31, 2012

Methi - Fenugreek sauce - using fenugreek as a vegetable

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Fenugreek can be used an herb, spice or green. Many women will hear of fenugreek seeds for assisting in milk production, but it can also be used as a vegetable. Fenugreek is known as methi in many parts of India and is also found in Eritrean cuisine as well. It is also found in Persian and some jewish cuisine and some traditional medicines.

Taking fenugreek pills or in a tea for milk production can be laborious, but necessary for some women. However, as a vegetable, it is incredibly versatile.

You can use fenugreek, destemmed, in your vegetable green salad.



Here is a basic recipe to use as a pasta sauce.


Ingredients:

1 bunch fenugreek, destemmed and shopped
4 cloves garlic
oil of your choice
1 tsp+ salt
1 tomato, diced
1 white onion
1 tsp Ground Turmeric
1 tsp Ground Chili Pepper


Instructions:


Blend the garlic and onion, or chop finely.

In oil, add the garlic and onion, fry to almost translucent.
Add chili powder. Stir to combine.
Add tomato and stir well.
Add salt and stir. Add turmeric.
Add turmeric and stir. Cover and leave on medium heat until wilted, around 5 minutes. Add water if you require a more liquidy sauce.

Serve on potatoes, over pasta or with fried/grilled tofu.

NIH on Fenugreek:

What Fenugreek Is Used For

  • Historically, fenugreek was used for a variety of health conditions, including menopausal symptoms and digestive problems. It was also used for inducing childbirth.
  • Today, it is used for diabetes and loss of appetite, and to stimulate milk production in breastfeeding women. It is also applied to the skin to treat inflammation.

Gluten alternatives

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More families are attempting to remove gluten from their diet for a variety of reasons. Some have allergies, others intolerances and others to vary their diet more. Heading to health food stores to buy alternatives can be pricey. I recommend checking out a locally-run "international" store. Often you can find variety for a lower price than the health food stores!

If you are unsure of the quality, do a quick scan and online search of the brand to make sure they meet the quality you are expecting.

Rice flour can be used for everything from baking (texture does change) to a gluten-free breading.

A sweet potato powder can be used to bind ingredients, added to baking to increase vegetables (root, but still!), and even for sweet potato pancakes!

What are some ways you use non-gluten based flours?

 
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Thursday, May 24, 2012

Grilled veggies with home-made marinade - Marinade Recipe

Memorial Day Grilling can take a multitude of directions. For some it is picnic but for many Memorial Day officially kicks off summer and grilling season.

Marinade really makes the difference and pricy bottles from the store full of preservatives or genetically modified ingredients just are not my forte - thus, my own marinade has come alive. This marinade goes well with vegetables.

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Ingredients


2012-05-24_1813183/4 c olive oil
1/4 c non-GMO soy sauce
1 large tomato
1/4 c apple cider vinegar
4 cloves garlic
1 tsp turmeric
1 tbsp paprika
dash celery seed
dash rosemary
(I added grape tomatoes that were set to be "expired" for use as well)
Puree (this is after around 5 seconds in the Magic Bullet.
Spoon or brush onto sliced veggies... and YUM. 2012-05-24_175405 

Mushroom is a great source of Vitamin D!


2012-05-24_184114Note: Eggplant takes the longest to grill, so be sure you have thin slices and put those on first. In this case, I took the yellow squash off and added the marinaded mushrooms.

Another nice hint is to add use some of your marinade to spoon over rinsed mushrooms. You can also use this marinade with extra firm tofu.

Kids love to eat with "sticks" so hand a few chopsticks over or even a tooth pick. Make eating fun!


Vote for Creative Family Cooking on Circle of Moms!



Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Coconut Curry Cabbage Fry



Ingredients


Organic Extra Virgin Coconut Oil for frying (do not preheat)
1 small white onion sliced
6 oz (small can) of coconut milk
6-8 grape tomatoes or 1 diced large tomato
Mustard Seeds
Dash of Hing (asafetida)
1 tsp Turmeric
1 small head cabbage
 1 tbsp chili powder
2 tbsp ginger garlic paste (you can make your own in a food processor/bullet)

Instructions

In a pan, add oil, followed by mustard seeds. When the mustard seeds pop, sprinkle hing and stir.

Add chili powder and stir.
Add ginger-garlic paste. Stir.

Add onion. Stir well.  When you have a consistent paste and onion is becoming translucent, add coconut milk. The coconut milk should be stirred well to prevent burning. It will thicken with the heat. Add diced cabbage. Stir to combine And cover. Stir every few minutes and add a dash of water if necessary (I use the coconut milk can to get the excess coconut milk there).

Bring to a boil and turn to low. Cook for 10 minutes. Salt if necessary.

Served with mango/apricot rice .
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Tropical Rice - Apricots and Mango

This recipe screams SUMMER and is a great way to use up some excess tropical fruit. I had ordered a case of apricots from Bountiful  Baskets and I was able to use up a few apricots in this filling recipe.

Ingredients:

3 cups brown rice, washed, uncooked.
Organic Extra Virgin Coconut Oil for frying (do not preheat)
1 small white onion sliced
2 Cinnamon Sticks(or powder)
6 (crushed pods, remove casing) Cardamom
5 cups water (and salt to taste) OR vegetable broth
1 diced mango 4-6 diced and pitted apricots
1 tsp Turmeric
Sliced Almonds
1 cup sliced mushroom, if desired Shaved coconut, if desired

Instructions

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 In a wok or thick pot, add oil and quickly add cinnamon and cardamom.

When aromatic, add onion and stir well. When onion is mostly tranclucent, add rice and vegetable broth.

Bring to a boil. When boiling, reduce to medium/low heat to keep a strong simmer.

Add turmeric (and salt if you used water).

Simmer for 20 minutes, ensuring you have enough liquid at all times.

When liquid is mostly absorbed, add fruit and mushroom (Most mushroom is a GREAT vitamin D!). Stir well.

Cover with roasted or raw sliced almonds. If you need to, you can toast/roast your almonds either in a dry heavy pan for 2-3 minutes or in your oven at 425 for 4 minutes.



Served with Coconut Curried Cabbage (Triple C!)

Friday, May 18, 2012

Coconut oil for cooking - Gold Label Virgin Tropical Oil by Tropical Traditions

I use coconut oil for some of my cooking, a lot of my baking and sometimes just on bread as an alternative to dairy butter. To be honest, it wasn't until the past year that I used coconut for anything but flaked for baking!

I used the recipe on the Tropical Traditions website to make some awesome fudge! I modified it by using a variety of chocolate chips but otherwise, it was truly delectable! 

The Gold Label Virgin Coconut Oil that I received to review was of a good texture. One thing that often surprises people is how coconut oil is solid when stored on your counter if you keep your home below around 76 degrees Fahrenheit.

Virgin Coconut Oil, Gold Label - 1 pint
Coconut oil creates a rich taste in cooking. I don't recommend it for say deep frying since it smokes, but it is great for sauteing vegetables. I highly recommend it with asparagus and a dash of salt and chili pepper! A perfect tropical taste for summer vegetables!








Thank you to Tropical Traditions  for sponsoring this giveaway.


Giveaway open to residents of the US and Canada ONLY. Thank you for sharing!

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Disclaimer: Tropical Traditions provided me with a free sample of this product to review, and I was under no obligation to review it if I so chose.  Nor was I under any obligation to write a positive review or sponsor a product giveaway in return for the free product.
Disclosures:
If you order by clicking on any of my links and have never ordered from Tropical Traditions in the past, you will receive a free book on Virgin Coconut Oil, and I will receive a discount coupon for referring you.
Special Price! - 1 Organic Coconut Flour - 2.2 lbs.
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Tropical Traditions is America’s source for coconut oil. Their Gold Label Virgin Coconut Oil is hand crafted in small batches by family producers, and it is the highest quality coconut oil they offer. You can read more about how virgin coconut oil is different from other coconut oils on their website: What is Virgin Coconut Oil?

Tropical Traditions also carries other varieties of affordable high quality coconut oil. Visit their website to check on current sales, to learn about the many uses of coconut oil, and to read about all the advantages of buying coconut oil online. Since the FDA does not want us to discuss the health benefits of coconut oil on a page where it is being sold or given away, here is the best website to read about the health benefits of coconut oil.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

$200 Amazon Gift Card Giveaway! Thanks new followers!

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To celebrate, CookieCoo Dancing Star will be giving away a $200 Amazon Gift Card to one lucky reader! Giveaway is open worldwide and ends May 31st at 11:59 PM EST.
CookieCoo is also giving away an additional $100 on their Facebook Fanpage. Visit for more information!



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Almost Thai Vegetable Prawn Curry

First, I'll admit it... I love eggplant. For non-eggplant lovers, you can omit the eggplant and add squash or zucchini to fill out this meal.

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Make this vegan by omitting prawns.


5-8 cloves of garlic

bunch of basil leaves
sprinkle of sugar (brown sugar works best)
Vegetables of your choice, chopped into cubes
- I used eggplant, tofu and bell peppers
1/2 lb peeled prawns
1 tsp Turmeric
4 tsp Naturally Brewed Less Sodium Soy Sauce
Virgin Coconut Oil, Gold Label(for frying)



In a wok, fry the crushed garlic in oil. Add in basil leaves and eggplant. When the eggplant begins to soften, add in the soy sauce. Mix well and add other vegetables. Stir well and cover.

Add prawns just before cooking is complete.

Served with quinoa

Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookies

Vegan chocolate is actually a lot easier to find if you aren't looking at storebrand. I came across the need for vegan chocolate since many of my daughter's friends are dairy-free. An alternative is carob, but I like the taste of pure chocolate much better!


1/2 cup apple sauce (verify it is real apple sauce, it should not contain high fructose corn syrup!)
1 1/4 cup margarine
1/4 cup molasses (if you're not vegan, you can use honey)
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 cup Unsweetened Coconut
1/4 cup ground flax
1/2 tsp Cinnamon
1 cup Natural Cane Sugar 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
2.5 cups unbleached all-purpose flour

Preheat oven to 375

Cream margarine with applesauce and molasses. Slowly add vanilla. Add in dry ingredients slowly. Mix until combined

Place on a baking sheet or in tins and baking for 12 minutes. 
Certified Organic Kosher Raw Vegan Healthy Navitas Naturals Cacao Chocolate Nibs - 1 Pound Bag! Natures Chocolate Chips!

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Why we need genetic modified labeling - food, health, safety

If Monsanto is proud of their GMOs, why do they keep finding "grassroot" efforts to avoid labeling? If Monsanto loves their hormones that induce over supply in cows (rGBH and rBST), why did they lobby for labeling that "there isn't a difference?"

Because Monsanto KNOWS how bad their products are for human consumption.  Check out this listing of issues with how rGBH was approved.

What do we know about GMOs?

- mice fed GMO corn developed infertility, immune problems, accelerated aging, faulty insulin regulation, and changes in major organs and the gastrointestinal system.
- FDA scientists had repeatedly warned that GM foods can create unpredictable, hard-to-detect side effects, including allergies, toxins, new diseases, and nutritional problems.
- Unlike safety evaluations for drugs, there are no human clinical trials of GM foods.

Further, according to the Institute for Responsible Technology says, 
  • More than half the babies of mother rats fed GM soy died within three weeks, and were smaller
  • Testicle cells of mice and rats on a GM soy change significantly
  • By the third generation, most GM soy-fed hamsters lost the ability to have babies
  • Rodents fed GM corn and soy showed immune system responses and signs of toxicity
  • Cooked GM soy contains as much as 7-times the amount of a known soy allergen
  • Soy allergies skyrocketed by 50% in the UK, soon after GM soy was introduced
  • The stomach lining of rats fed GM potatoes showed excessive cell growth, a condition that may lead to cancer.
  • Studies showed organ lesions, altered liver and pancreas cells, changed enzyme levels, etc.

What can you do to fight GMOs?

- encourage others to be aware of what is in their food
- buy organic when ever possible
- grow your own food with ethically sourced, non-GMO seeds, using traditional processes
- SPREAD THE WORD
- donate to Organic Consumers Association or like organizations.

Follow Organic Consumers Organization and HELP pass the bill to require labeling GMOs in California, when California has to label, as the largest producer of food in the US, the rest will follow AND when we get our food from California, we'll know what we're getting. Don't let Monsanto fool you, this WILL NOT harm small farmers!


Monsanto has clout. Assist in raising $1,000,000 to fight Monsanto... if $1,000,000 is raised by May 26, it will be matched. Money is needed to fight off the grips of Monsanto on our food supply.

GMO dangers taken from http://www.responsibletechnology.org/gmo-dangers

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Green curry vegetable cabbage wraps

Okay real diet time here! Healthy, energizing and not high carb.


veggiecurry_wraps_ingredients

 Tons of yummy here.
Cabbage (half a head)
Bell pepper
Can of Pure Coconut Milk
Potato (I used purple and fingerling)
Curry leaves
5 cloves garlic (to taste)
Thai Kitchen Curry Paste
Squash
Mushroom
Eggplant (I used chinese)
Two tomatoes
Tofu, sprouted (if possible)
Tsp Naturally Brewed Less Sodium Soy Sauce
Virgin Coconut Oil, Gold Label(for frying)
Tsp Wholesome Sweeteners Fair Trade Organic Molasses
Tsp Turmeric






In a wok, fry crushed garlic with curry leaves. Do not "preheat" the coconut oil.
Add sliced potato and stir.
Add curry paste, soy sauce and molasses.
After a few minutes add bell pepper, squash and eggplant.
Stir well.
Drain the water off of tofu into the wok. Fry.
Add tofu, fry for 3-4 minutes.
Add mushroom and tomato.
Add coconut milk. Bring to a boil.
Add turmeric.

Serve with rice or the cabbage wraps.


 Served (with peanut chutney)! For my family they ate it with brown rice.

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