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Spinach and Zucchini Lasagna {Dairy Free, Gluten Free}

If you love lasagna, but don’t tolerate gluten or dairy very well, this is the recipe you will want to make asap.

Great tasting homemade lasagna you can feel great about feeding your family.

Spinach and Zucchini Lasagna {Dairy Free, Gluten Free}

Spinach and Zucchini Lasagna {Dairy Free, Gluten Free}

Ingredients

  • 2 T. olive oil
  • 1 t. sea salt
  • 1 t. oregano, dried
  • 16 ounces non-GMO tofu, extra firm (tofu from refrigerated section is best)
  • 2 small cloves garlic, peel and crushed
  • 1 T. nutritional yeast*
  • 10 ounces frozen spinach, thawed and excess liquid drained
  • 1 box No-Boil Lasagna noodles (Gluten-Free, if desired)
  • 1 medium zucchini
  • 1 – 16 oz jar pasta sauce

Instructions

  1. Drain tofu by pressing down onto it with paper towels. Pat dry.
  2. Crumble tofu into bowl of a food processor or high-speed blender along with olive oil, sea salt, oregano, garlic and nutritional yeast. Process on high until smooth and ‘ricotta-like’.
  3. Add thawed and drained spinach to tofu mixture and blend thoroughly. Set aside.
  4. Shred zucchini (about 1 cup) and combine into bowl with pasta sauce.
  5. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Pour ½ cup pasta sauce into the bottom of a 8 x 8 inch glass pan, enough to cover bottom of pan.
  6. Place one layer of lasagna noodles over sauce, do not overlap noodles.
  7. Pour ½ cup sauce over noodles, spread evenly.
  8. Dot ricotta mixture onto sauce covered noodles then spread an even layer.
  9. Repeat layers, starting with noodles, then sauce, and ricotta. Last layer should be noodles covered with sauce.
  10. Cover pan with foil, loosely enough so top layer of sauce does not touch the foil.
  11. Bake for 50 minutes or until noodles are soft.
  12. Remove from oven and let stand 15 minutes before serving.
  13. Save leftovers for lunch and serve with simple green salad. Tastes great the next day too!
  14. Serves: 4
http://www.totalhealthcounseling.com/2014/spinach-and-zucchini-lasagna-dairy-free-gluten-free/

lasagna ready (640x607)

*Nutritional yeast is a great source of B-vitamins, often used by vegans because it contains B-12, a nutrient commonly lacking in their diet. Nutritional yeast also contains fiber, protein, selenium, and zinc. Nutritional yeast does not contain active yeast. It’s often used to boost the nutritional profile of healthy dishes and compliments the flavor of certain foods by adding a cheesy flavor. It can be found in the bulk section at Whole Foods.

Source: http://www.bestnaturalfoods.com/nutritional_yeast.html

Sweet Potato and Black Bean Pot Pie {Vegan, Gluten Free, Dairy Free}

Winter is here and we all want delicious and filling foods to warm our bellies. I am obsessed with sweet potatoes, more specifically garnett yams when I can get my hands on them.

Black beans are great paired with sweet potatoes and a cornmeal crust had to go on top. My first version had a regular pie crust on top, it was good, but I craved a cornmeal crust and there you have this version below.

I made this dish for Vitacost.com, they feature my recipes and wellness articles on their blog spot called Vitablog at http://blog.vitacost.com/.

potpie - picmonkey (480x640)

For the full recipe head to the Vitablog posting:

http://blog.vitacost.com/recipes-2/sweet-potato-black-bean-vegan-pot-pie.html

What is your favorite winter dish? Please share in the comments section below.

XO,

Pam

Grain Free Pumpkin Bars

I’ve been making pumpkin bars for a few years now, the original recipe is loaded with gluten so my husband was the only one in the house enjoying them. I decided to get sneaky and go grain free on this revamped recipe and the results are amazing. My husband even likes them, they don’t taste fake or weird, they are awesome!

Try these out today – incredible and are relatively healthy too. Yay Smile

gr pbars (480x640)picmonkey

Dry Ingredients:

2 cups Bob’s Red Mill Garbanzo and Fava Bean flour

1 T. pumpkin-pie spice

1 tsp. baking soda

1/2 tsp. sea salt

Wet Ingredients:

2 T. ground flaxseed mixed with 2 T. water, set aside for 5 minutes

1/2 cup organic coconut oil

1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce

3/4 cup sugar (organic cane sugar, sucanat, or turbinado)

1 large organic egg

2 tsp. vanilla extract

1 cup canned pumpkin puree

1 cup mini semi-sweet chocolate chips (I use Enjoy Life dairy free chocolate chips)

Method:

1. Preheat oven to 350.

2. Grease 9 x 13 inch baking pan with coconut oil.

3. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, pie spice, baking soda, salt.

4. In a small bowl, mix together ground flaxseed and water; set aside for 5 minutes to gel.

5. In a separate bowl, mix together whisked egg, coconut oil, applesauce, vanilla, and sugar until smooth.

6. Beat in flax with water until combined.

7. Mix in pumpkin puree.

8. Fold into dry ingredients until just combined.

9. Fold in chocolate chips.

10. Spread batter evenly in prepared pan.

11. Bake until edges begin to pull away from sides of pan and a knife inserted in center comes out clean, 35 – 40 minutes.

12. Let cool completely in pan.

13. Cut into 12 or 16 squares.

These are great to individually wrap and throw in the freezer.

gf pumpkin bars (480x640) picmonkey

Do you have any recipes you made grain free or gluten free that taste awesome?

Please share in the comments below, I’d love to hear from you!

XO,

Pam

The Link Between Dairy Products and Prostate Health

I’m very excited today to share with you a special guest post from a highly reputable website created by Dr. Joseph Mercola. He is board-certified in family medicine and practices traditional and natural medicine. My guest blogger today is Adrienne who write for http://www.mercola.com/.

There is reason to believe that consuming pasteurized dairy products can promote poor prostate health. In an analysis conducted by researchers from the University of Hawaii, they discovered that consumption of low-fat or non-fat milk increased the risk of the formation of tumors. The same results were seen with whole milk.

There are other studies also pinpoint the relation between prostate health and certain dairy products. For example, a 10-year study involving 21,000 male doctors – who consumed at least 2.5 servings of dairy food daily – found that they had a higher risk of contracting prostate-related problems than doctors who ate less than half a serving.

Theories on the Link of Pasteurized Milk to Poor Prostate Health

One theory states that high levels of calcium impairs the enzyme responsible for converting vitamin D to its active form (1,25 dihydroxyvitamin D). Vitamin D contributes to many of your body functions, including your immune function.

Many commercial or pasteurized milk brands contain dangerous synthetic growth hormones. Recombinant bovine growth hormone (rBGH) is one of the largest-selling dairy animal drug in the United States. It mimics natural bovine somatotropin (BST), a hormone produced in the pituitary glands of cows. rBGH is used to stimulate milk production in cows.

RBGH-filled milk contains high levels of insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1). Increased levels of IGF-1 in adults can contribute to chronic diseases.

The Difference Between Pasteurized Milk and Raw Milk

Pasteurization is a heating process that’s used to sterilize dairy products. While it is successful in eliminating harmful bacteria and pathogens, it also neutralizes the beneficial organisms and enzymes in the food.

Pasteurization alters the physical structure of proteins (like casein) in the milk. It changes the shape of amino acids in milk into a foreign protein that your body is not able to break down. The process can also make calcium in the dairy product insoluble.

In 2007, a study cited 25 other studies connecting the increased rates of disease to the consumption of pasteurized milk due to a growth factor called betacellulin found in the whey fraction of milk. This growth factor stimulates the growth of cancerous cells throughout your body.

On the other hand, the nutrients of raw milk are intact. Raw milk also has the beneficial nutrient conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), which helps suppress betacellulin.

How to Support a Healthy Prostate

Regardless of what your age is, it is important to prioritize your prostate health. Certain lifestyle choices can contribute to an unhealthy prostate and raise your risk of health conditions.

There are simple and natural ways to protect your prostate and keep your risk for disease low. These are:

  • Increasing your consumption of high-quality, animal-based omega-3 fats
  • Exercising regularly
  • Modifying your diet by removing processed foods
  • Avoiding pasteurized dairy products and switching to organic raw dairy products
  • Eating more organic whole foods
  • Getting enough sleep

Research also shows that stress can affect your prostate and tumor growth. Being exposed to a trauma or conflict can make you prone to prostate-related problems. The more intense the conflict is or the longer it lasts, the faster a tumor develops.

If you have any emotional baggage, it is best to address it right away. Try using meditation, yoga, or journaling – to help you release tension.

About the Author

Adrienne is a writer for Mercola.com. She recently completed a series of articles on prostate health supplements like saw palmetto and vitamin D. At present, she is researching how multivitamin benefits one’s overall health.

Thanks again Adrienne for this informative article!

Now I want to hear from you. Do you consume dairy regularly or limit it for health purposes?

Mulligatawny Soup – Warm up with Veggies of the Season

When Fall season comes around, all I can think of is soup oh and apples, pumpkin, and Halloween too! This week I planned out a few soups and took out the a very cool soup cookbook.

We tried Mulligatawny soup quite a while ago and it was time to bring it back. Reminds me of that well known Seinfeld episode with the Soup Nazi. Mulligatawny soup is one of the recipes that Elaine got the from armoire and was ready off at the end of the episode. I was excited to try this soup for the first time a few years ago, and now I’ve got my own version to share with you!

But first, a snipet from that infamous show:

Ingredients:
1 + 1/2 cups each chopped onion (1 medium) and tart apples (2 small-medium)

1/2 cup each chopped celery (2 stalks), red bell pepper (4 baby sweet bell peppers)

1 cup chopped carrots (15 baby carrots or 2 whole carrots)

1 clove garlic, crushed or minced

1 Tablespoon Organic olive oil

Spices: 1 Tablespoon curry powder

1 teaspoon chili powder

1/2 teaspoon each: ground allspice, dried thyme

1/2 teaspoon sea salt + 1/4 teaspoon black pepper

2 cups chicken stock

1 cup water

28 ounces chopped or diced tomatoes ( I used Pomi brand)

1 pound chicken breast, boneless

Garnish with fresh chopped parsley or unsweetened shredded coconut flakes

Serve with cooked brown rice or millet

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Method:

1. Chop veggies (you can do this the night before to save time)

2. Heat soup pot or French oven on stove top, I own a 5-Quart Fontignac French oven soup pot. Add olive oil then add veggies (stir to coat veggies in oil), sauté at medium to medium-high heat for about 10 minutes until veggies soften.

3. Add spices: curry powder, chili powder, allspice, thyme, sea salt, black pepper. Stir and coat veggies with spices.

4. Add remaining ingredients: pour in chicken stock, water, chopped tomatoes, and chicken breast.

5. Bring to a boil, then turn down to simmer covered for about 20 minutes to allow chicken to cook thru.

6. Remove chicken from soup pot, place on a cutting board and shred, then add back to soup pot.

7. Taste soup broth (carefully since it’s really hot) and adjust seasonings to taste before serving.

8. Sprinkle with either fresh chopped parsley (my preference) or shredded unsweetened coconut (Heman’s favorite).

9. Enjoy!!

For 30 healthy recipes plus my 3 favorite desserts:

http://www.totalhealthcounseling.com/work-with-me/

I created this e-cookbook with yummy and healthy recipes you can make quickly on weeknights, have snacks for on the go and serve up at parties! Please check it out, I know you will enjoy them too! XOXO