Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Cauliflower Rice and Tofu Bowl with Sriracha-Lime Sauce

If you read my in depth post on the paleo diet, then you already know it isn't exactly my cup of tea. Long story short, a.) it overemphasizes animal foods b.) whole grains and legumes are perfectly nutritious, and they were consumed by paleolithic man and c.) it ignores this little thing called evolution.

Still, I think a plant-based version of the paleo diet can be quite healthy. Although I find the whole craze a bit annoying at times, there are a few things I appreciate about it. Paleo has enlightened many people to the dangers of processed food and the nutritional benefits of following a diet rooted in whole foods. More people are thinking of quality in choosing animal foods, looking grassfed, local and organic options. Personally, I've quite enjoyed reading paleo food blogs and learning all sorts of creative, tasty and nutritious substitutions for non-paleo ingredients, especially grains.

At supper club on Sunday, someone who was reading Grain Brain asked me my thoughts on the great grain debate. Glance at my recipe index and you'll quickly see I'm not anti-grain. Whole grains are high in fiber, rich in antioxidants, vitamins and minerals and there is a wealth of scientific evidence showing their health benefits. Refined grains on the other hand, like white rice and foods made with white flour, ought to be put in the same category of danger as added sugar.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Toasted Nori Snacks with Smoked Trout and Avocado

Everyone has been told to "eat your greens," but today, I'm going to go one step beyond and tell you to eat your sea greens.

Yup, sea greens, better known as sea vegetables or seaweed. Tasty, right?

If you're cringing right now, I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but you more than likely eat it already. If you've eaten sushi, enjoyed Asian soup, or eat any processed food, where processed forms of seaweed are often used as a thickener or stabilizer, then you've eaten seaweed.

So, why not just eat kale or maybe a tomato or something? Because sea vegetables grown in a completely different environment, the array of nutrients found within is completely different from what's found in vegetables grown on land. Of special note, seaweed contains all the minerals humans need in much higher concentrations then what's found in land vegetables. In the case of land vegetables, if you don't like one, for the most part, you can replace it by eating something similar or simply a wide variety of other plants. But there's nothing else on earth that contains the unique nutrition of sea vegetables.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Banana Oat Bites with Peanut Butter and Chocolate {The Recipe Redux}

If I had to guess, I probably spend about 75% of my waking hours thinking about, talking about, preparing and/or eating food, often times simultaneously. A big part of that is brainstorming ideas for new dishes. I find inspiration everywhere - magazines, pinterest, movies...the guy at the grocery store who kinda looked like Guy Fieri which then reminded me of his horrible frozen s'mores pizza that went viral which then inspired me to create a healthy version of s'mores.

Like I said, inspiration is everywhere.

The problem is, I never write my ideas down. You'd think I would have learned to bring a notepad with me by now. It makes me a little sad to think how many delicious dishes I've missed out on simply because I forgot about them.

I was first inspired to make these bites last November when I recreated po'e, a dense banana bread the hubs and I fell in love with on our honeymoon to Easter Island. When you say banana, I say let's add peanut butter and chocolate. Sadly, this amazing idea fell victim to my short term memory.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Quinoa Crusted Eggplant and Zucchini with Mozzarella (plus a bonus dessert recipe!)

It may not be holiday season, but special occasion eating is always a struggle. Birthdays, showers and anniversaries happen year round and these can be challenging and stressful situations for anyone trying to lose weight or stick to a healthy diet.

I could give you plenty of tips for how to navigate these situations (and I will soon!), but today I want to focus on the host. Cooking for a party is stressful. One has to consider timing, plating, and navigating any special dietary needs or preferences and create a menu everyone will love. There's a lot of pressure on the host. Thanks to pinterest, we've been inspired to create ridiculous concoctions like six layered rainbow cakes, deep fried tequila shots and to put bacon in, well, everything.