The Greenest Wrap

One of my favorite ways to eat more greens is to use them in place of bread or crackers.  Nothing against burger buns or sandwich bread but you can skip the processed wheat and grab a bunch of crispy Romaine or collard greens instead.  I use Romaine lettuce like a taco shell- fill it up with whatever you like- sliced avocado, tomato, homemade mayo and bacon for a healthier B.L.T.   Bibb lettuce is soft, flexible and makes for a great little wrap.  Want to eat that salad with your hands?  Wrap it up in the biggest lettuce leaves from the outside of the bunch.  Look at you, doubling down on your veggies!lettuce leaf B.L.T.

Using large collard leaves makes for a sturdier wrap that can hold such awesome summer foods as cheese burgers or the ultimate sunny seed hummus wrap.  You can use the leaves raw or lightly steamed — these are best for hot foods or for bigger wraps.  The folding is easy and unlike regular wraps, these stay sealed. The only prep work you need to do is to carefully trim them rough stems.

Cut the end of the stem off and then lay the collard leaf flat and slice off the rough stem that sticks up, so that the leaf is flat and entirely flexible, like in this photo from MindBodyGreen.com’s tutorial on how to use collards like a wrap!

MindBodyGreen.com collard trimming for wraps

Don’t worry if you tear the collard leaf a bit, you’ll get the hang of the stem trimming and can fold around any small tear.

If you want to steam your collard leaves so that they are more flexible and easier to use and eat, there are a few methods that work well.  This video from Plant Powered Kitchen.com has my favorite technique for when you just want to make up a few wraps.  Get some water boiling in your kettle and open the spout so you’ve got a nice stream of steam coming up.  Hold your raw collard leaf by the stem and wave it over the spout of steam, lightly steaming the whole leaf until it’s bight green and soft enough to fold.  Then trim off the stem as described above.  Repeat until you have enough wraps.

Or, follow the quick blanch method I found on Mind Body Green.com– bring a wide shallow pan of water to a simmer.  Take your de-stemmed collard leaves and give them a 10 second dunk in the pan, one at a time, using tongs to get the collard leaves in and then out and into an ice bath.  Dry in layers using tea towels. Once you’ve got all your wraps ready, fill as desired!

The wrapping part is easy, and there are a number of ways to do it, but this photo tutorial from Honest Fare.com is easy to follow:

HonestFare.com collard wrap- wrap up in 4 photos

Add your filling to the center of one or two overlapping leaves.  Fold the sides in to contain the filling.  Then, starting at one long end, roll the leaf over the filling and keep rolling, making sure the ends stay tucked in. Slice in half and enjoy!

bareburger collard wrap                                                  Above, a collard wrapped Bareburger – it’s as good as it looks!

Coconut Love Bombs

This is my new favorite sweet treat.  It’s just five organic ingredients and is super simple to put together.  This raw, vegan treat is packed with lots of energy from coconut oil and shredded coconut.  Did you know that a tablespoon of coconut oil contains 1050 mg of Candida fighting Caprylic acid?  Yep, these love bombs are a great way to get plenty of nourishment and an anti-fungal treatment!  I added in some other variations at the end.  I’m sure there are even more to try.  Recipe can be halved or doubled.  So get going and make some Coconut Love Bombs to share with the ones you love!

 

coconut love bombs

 

Ingredients for 32:

  • 1 Cup Coconut oil – room temperature works best, it should be a little soft, like cream cheese and easy to blend.  Liquid oil needs to be cooled in order to work well in this recipe.
  • 1 1/2 Cups Unsweetened Coconut flakes
  •  a few drops of Vanilla Stevia
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 teaspoon Vanilla extract (If not using vanilla Stevia)

Method:

  1. Mix everything together well.
  2. Use a 1 Tablespoon scoop to shape the dough into little half moons.
  3. Place on a baking sheet and freeze for about 30 minutes.
  4. Keep in a sealed container in the refrigerator and serve cold.

Variations:

Substitute 1/2 cup of coconut oil for 1/3-1/2 cup peanut butter or coconut manna.  I used Peanut butter and they came out better than Butterfingers!

Add 1 teaspoon Chai spices to the original recipe

After freezing, dip in melted sugar free dark chocolate, freeze again til the chocolate coating is set.

The original recipe sounds good too, I found it on the side of my Nutiva Coconut Oil container:

coconut oil recipe

Pudding? Frosting? Pie filling? Yes!

Our friends Megan (massage therapist extraordinaire) and James (one half of Red Apple Butchers) came up with a snack idea that I thought would make an awesome pie filling or frosting.  Or, yes, you can just mix it up and eat it with a spoon.  Let’s start with the star of the show, the cultured dairy pudding:

Ingredients:

This will make enough to fill a 9 in pie crust, frost a one layer 8 in cake or just mix it up and store it in the fridge for the next time you want a serving or two of pudding!

  • 2 cups creme fraiche or whole milk, unsweetened Greek style yogurt or use a little of each.  The creme fraiche is easy to make yourself and adds a nice tangy flavor.  The cream also whips up nicely for added lightness to this rich food.
  •  1 cup smooth nut butter, any one of these are delicious: almond, hazelnut or peanut butter
  • 3-4 dropperfuls of Whole Foods brand vanilla stevia
  • 2-3 Tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
The nut butter sank to the bottom, all the ingredients ready for blending!

Creme fraiche and cocoa powder are so good together!

Method:

Add all the ingredients to a big bowl and use a mixer to whip them together into a smooth, fluffy bowl of deliciousness.   Taste and add more stevia or cocoa powder to your liking.  The mixture will be like pudding, you can make it thicker by adding more nut butter or thinner by adding plain heavy cream or more creme fraiche.

Now you have a cultured dairy pudding snack.  Which you can eat right now or use to frost a cake or cookies!

But, wait, what about making a cream pie?  Chill your pudding in the fridge while you get to baking.

Set your oven to 350

Chocolate Hazelnut Pudding Pie

Chocolate Hazelnut Pudding Pie

 Pie Crust Ingredients:

  • 2 Cups Blanched Almond Flour- I always use Bob’s Red Mill Brand
  • 2 Tablespoons unsalted pasture butter
  • 1 large organic farm egg
  • a pinch of salt

Method:

Blend all of the ingredients together in a food processor.

Press the dough evenly into a 9 in pie plate and bake at 350 for 10-14 min, until firm and starting to brown.

Cool the crust completely and then add  the above pie filling.

Refrigerate the pie for at least an hour before serving.

When it’s time for pie, whip up 6-8 ounces of fresh cream.

Cover the top of the pie completely with the whipped cream and top with chopped roasted nuts and maybe even some chopped dark chocolate.  Sugar free has never tasted this good!

Yes please!

Yes please!

Arugula Pesto Dinner

Sliced tomatoes, arugula pesto, feta cheese and flax bread for dinner!

Sliced tomatoes, arugula pesto, feta cheese and flax bread for dinner!

With so much fresh produce exploding out of gardens everywhere it’s easy to create interesting, healthy, veggie based meals.  My dad recently harvested a whole bunch of arugula.  He used it as the base for ‘Salad Lyonnaise‘, in place of the traditional frisee, yum!  And I decided to turn the bunch he gave me into a spicy pesto.  Eaten with sliced garden tomatoes, crumbled feta cheese and flax bread, this is a filling meal perfect for al fresco dinning.  I saved all my left over ingredients in glass containers, so it was easy to replicate the next night.

Arugula is full of vitamin A, K, folate, can help guard against cancer and is good for your brain too!  You can use the following ingredients as a guide and enjoy this pesto on flax crackers, flax pizza, as a spread on sandwiches, a dip for crudities, grilled fish…pretty much everything!

Ingredients:

  • arugula
  • garlic cloves
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • fresh lemon juice, optional: zest the lemon first, then add juice to taste
  • salt
  • grated romano or similar hard cheese
  • walnuts

Method:

Pesto is the perfect food for just using what you’ve got and don’t worry about measuring anything.  It’s hard to go wrong, but if you need some numbers to help you out, I go with about 50% greens and 50% nuts, cheese and olive oil with small amounts of lemon, garlic and salt. I use my food processor but I bet you could use a blender as well.

Start with the nuts and the garlic cloves, use as many as you like, and pulse together until you’ve got fine bits.

Then add the arugula, enough olive oil to cover it well, and pulse again to combine.  You can also add parsley or basil, or both, as a compliment to the spicy, bitter arugula.

Add some grated cheese and lemon juice.  Blend well and taste.

Add salt to taste, more cheese or nuts, basically, at this point I start tasting and adding a little more or a lot more of whatever ingredient seems to be lacking.  And I want the consistency to be thick and smooth, so olive oil is key!  You can add lots of oil and lemon juice to make this pesto into more of a thin dressing for a fresh garden salad.  Or keep it thick and use it as a dip or spread.

Better Than Butterfingers

Here is a little update to the Raw Bars  recipe I put up almost 2 years ago.  I can’t believe how long it’s been since I started this blog.  I have collected so many recipes and am really looking forward to finishing my cookbook called, of course, The Candida Diaries- A Holistic Cookbook.  I have made it to the final editing stages after I put my foot down, no more new recipes!  Those are going into a separate, as yet unnamed, cookbook file.  Along with this one, which I think will become one of your favorites.  My friend Bobbie taste tested these for me, she says they are just like the Butterfingers candy but better, and healthier too!

Ingredients:

1 cup roasted, salted peanuts

1/2 cup ground flax seeds

1/2 cup unsweetened coconut flakes

1/2 cup peanut butter- I used chunky

1/4 cup coconut oil- very soft to liquid

1 and 1/2 dropperfuls of vanilla stevia- I used Whole Foods brand liquid Stevia with vanilla

Method:

Add all the ingredients to a food processor fitted with a steel blade and pulse to combine.

Taste and adjust the sweetness and vanilla.

Press into an 8×8 glass pan.  Cover and refrigerate for at least an hour.

When the bars are set you can cut them up into squares.

Eat them cold, they get very soft at room temperature!

Alternatively, crumble cold bars over thick, tart yogurt for breakfast or dessert.

Cha Cha Cha Chia Seed Pudding!

I love pudding but my days of instant Jello mixes are far behind me.  So, obviously, I was stoked to find these two variations on Chia seed based pudding from the site Deliciously Organic.  Chia seeds are high in omega-3 fatty acids and contain alpha-linoleic acid (ALA) and linoleic acid (LA), ladies, these all come in really handy if you experience PMS.  Yes, this chia based chocolate pudding is medicinal! Chia seeds also contain protein, fiber and some antioxidants. Chia seeds don’t need to be ground up like flax seeds in order for the body to absorb their nutrients.

Some really good lookin' nutrition information!

Some really good lookin’ nutrition information!

Ingredients:

  • 1  3/4 cups or one can coconut milk (Deliciously Organic recommends organic canned coconut milk from Native Forest. The can isn’t lined with BPA and it’s a nice thick milk)
  • 1  3/4 cups almond milk (just refill the empty coconut milk can no need to use a measuring cup!)
  • a few drops of stevia (or for non Candida diets: 4 tablespoons maple syrup or honey)
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract (optional but recommended!)
  • 1/3 cup chia seeds

Procedure:

In a wide mouth quart mason jar add the coconut milk and almond milk, extracts and stevia.  If the coconut milk is cold you will need to use a whisk to work out any lumps.  Or, put the lid on and shake vigorously!  Then add the chia seeds, put the lid on and shake well to combine.  Let it sit at room temperature for a few hours until the chia seeds are fully expanded.

If you’d like to make the pudding ahead of time, shake well and then keep it in the refrigerator until you want a health snack or dessert.

This recipe makes an excellent take along snack or addition to your picnic.  You can easily make 1/2 a recipe in a smaller mason jar if you prefer.  For a thicker pudding, add another tablespoon or two of chia seeds, for a thinner drink, similar to tapioca bubble tea, use a tablespoon or 2 fewer chia seeds.

Chocolate Chia Seed Pudding

As above, just whisk 2 tablespoons of cocoa powder in with the coconut milk.

Top with a sprinkling of cacao nibs if you like.

Serving Suggestion: Broccoli Slaw with Cilantro

Broccoli stems, peeled and shredded, are the base of this easy, raw whole meal.

Broccoli stems, peeled and shredded, are the base of this easy, raw whole meal.

Here’s an excellent way to use up those broccoli stems!

Save the stems from several bunches of broccoli.  Trim the ends and then peel the tough outer skin off with a veggie peeler.

Then either use the shredder attachment on your Cuisinart (quickest and easiest method) or shred them by hand with a box grater.

Then make up a peanut sauce like this one:

Whisk together approximately:

  • 1/2 cup peanut butter
  • a shy Tablespoon of sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon tamari plus salt to taste
  • 2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar or 1 teaspoon each: mirin and brown rice vinegar
  • 4 drops of liquid stevia
  • pinch of five spice powder
  • 1 teaspoon of powdered or juiced ginger
  • srirracha and/or ground hot pepper to taste
  • juice of one lime
  • Add water to desired consistency at the end, taste and adjust flavors.
  • You can save any left over sauce in the fridge.  Just thin it out with a little water when you want to use it again.

Mix the sauce with the shredded stems, top with salted, toasted peanuts, chopped cilantro and hot pepper sauce, just skip the honey in the hot sauce recipe or use stevia instead.  Yum!

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