Rethink.

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Kale & Beans Crockpot Recipe February 6, 2011

Dwight and I have a little bit of a Saturday night dinner tradition.  This week we kept it pretty simple and very healthy.  Vegetables and beans are the best way to get your nutrients on a vegan or vegetarian diet.  They are low in fat and high in protein, minerals and vitamins.

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups of water
  • 1 head of kale chopped (not 1 leaf, this should be about 4 or 5 packed cups)
  • 2 cans of navy beans
  • 1 large celery stalk chopped
  • 1 carrot chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 3 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 can tomato paste
  • 2 tsp. rosemary
  • 1 tsp. oregano
  • 1 tsp. black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp. thyme

Throw the ingredients in a crockpot, stir, let it cook for at least an hour.  Then you’ll have yourself a healthy stew!

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Butternut Squash Soup & Some Important Cooking Tips January 24, 2011

This will warm you up nicely since it’s been so cold out lately.  The recipe is a bit lengthy so I would recommend doing this on a Sunday.

Ingredients:

  • one medium sized butternut squash
  • one can of coconut milk (unsweetened)
  • 1 tbsp of curry powder
  • 1 tbsp of fresh chopped ginger root
  • 1 bag of frozen peas

Directions: (about an hour and a half)

  1. Cut the butternut squash lengthwise and scoop out the seeds.
  2. Place it face down on a baking pan in  1/2 an inch of water.  Bake at 375 for 45min-1hour.
  3. When the squash is done you should be able to pierce through the skin with a fork or knife.
  4. Scoop out the meat from the squash and put it into a blender or food processor.
  5. Also add the coconut water, curry powder and ginger root and blend.
  6. Place the mixture in a pot on the stove on a low heat (3) and add the frozen peas (or any other veggies you’d like)
  7. In about 10 minutes you should have some yummy soup!

Baking the butternut squash face down prevents it from burning.  When food is dry baked acrylamides are formed.  Acrylamides have been shown to cause cancer.  So you may be thinking to yourself…everything causes cancer these days!  Well, let me put it this way, cigarettes contain large amounts of acrylamides and we KNOW those cause cancer.

Healthy cooking tips at home:

Cook at home often because that is where you have the most control over your food.  Also it is extremely important to cook your food at a medium to low temperature.  There is no need to have the burner higher than a medium heat.  Heating food too much not only destroys the nutrients, but also causes the fats in foods restructure into transfats.

You should also only cook with coconut oil because it can withstand temperatures of up to 350 degrees without restructuring into harmful heart disease causing transfats.  Also, the medium chain fatty acids found in coconut oil will actually double the rate at which omega 3 fatty acids are transferred into DHA.  DHA is a fat that is essential for healthy brain functioning.

So we all hear about how benefits of Omega 3’s.  However, we don’t hear that in order to use Omega 3 fatty acids our bodies need to convert them to DHA.  Everyone’s conversion rate differs, which is why eating small amounts of coconut can be a very beneficial addition to your diet.

However you don’t want to over do it with fat.  If you’re doing a stir-fry I would suggest adding 1 tsp per person.  If you are more active you can be a little more liberal with this suggestion.

Steaming or boiling food is the best way to cook veggies because you lose the least amount of nutrients.  However, we all like a little variety.  If you do plan on doing a stir-fry add a teaspoon or two of water and keep the heat no higher than a medium heat.  Keeping a low heat will prevent the occurrence of acrylamides and retain nutrients.  It may take a little longer, but your body will thank you for it!

 

Mung Dhal Soup April 12, 2010

So we’ve had a bit of a cold streak, today I decided to make some soup to warm up with!

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups water
  • 2 cups fresh peas
  • 2 cups chopped and peeled sweet potato
  • 1 cup mung dhal
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil
  • 2 tsp curry powder
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 3 tbs miso

Directions combine ingredients into a large pot bring it to a boil for a few minutes.  Then let the soup simmer for 30-45 minutes.  This soup turns out pretty thick and creamy, if you’d like it to be a little soupier add more water.

Mung Dhal is a great source of vitamins, protein and minerals they are also very easy to digest.