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Monday, December 24, 2012

Healthy Holiday Treats – Rice Crispy Treats (vegan and gluten free)



Just like everyone else I was in a treat making mode over the last week. I was testing new recipes, making  thank you cheesecakes, creating warm winter meals to show my affection and making healthy gift boxes for the people in my life.

With so many treats I was able to create different versions of Healthy Holiday Treats and a second blog! Lucky you.

This one has: Mini Cheesecake - Raw Red Velvet Cookies - Rice Crispy Treats - Raw Brownies


Rice Crispy Treats

  • 1 cup brown rice syrup
  • 2/3 cup almond butter
  • Dash of vanilla
  • Dash of salt
  • Dash of cinnamon 
  • 3 Cups gluten free brown rice cereal
Directions
  •  Over medium heat warm brown rice syrup, almond butter, vanilla, salt and cinnamon until mixture is smooth and bubbling a little.
  • Remove from heat and combine with brown rice cereal.
  • Pour into an oiled pan (I use coconut oil), flatten and let cool.
 These take literally 5 min to prepare and are stupidly good. They remind me of elementary school when you would bring in treats on your birthday. I made traditional rice crispy treats and accidentally melted a spatula into the marshmallow - o how far I have come. :) 

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Healthy Holiday Meals - Black-eyed Pea Croquettes with Maple Dijon Sauce



The other day I posted a blog with a recipe for Roasted Kabocha Squash with Sage and Rosemary that was part of a very special dinner. As promised here is the recipe for the other side dish!

These are my go to when I want to make something to knock someone’s socks off but might not have all that much time. This dish has it all, warm, crunchy, a little savory and a little sweet plus they are remarkably easy to prepare.

Also, let's not kid ourselves here they just sound fancy!

You will need
·        1 cup black-eye peas (soaked over night)
·        ¼ teaspoon sea salt
·        ½ tbsp tamari
·        ½ teaspoon cumin
·        ½ teaspoon turmeric
·        Oil for frying (coconut, safflower, or toasted sesame seed)
·        Handful chopped fresh parsley 
Directions
·        Combine all the ingredients in a food processor.
·        Blend until you get fine shreds of bean – don’t blend into a pulp.
·        The mixture should be slightly wet and hold together.
·        Make small palm sized croquettes.
·        Heat oil in a pan and fry about 4 minutes on each side. 

Dipping sauce
·        ¼ cup barley malt or maple syrup to make it gluten free
·        ½ - 1 tbsp Dijon mustard

Directions
·        Heat barley or maple syrup and mustard over low heat until it bubbles.
·        Pour over croquettes.
·        Serve hot. 

**The maple syrup is a little thin so I thickened it up using kuzu. To do this take ½ teaspoon kuzu diluted in a little bit of water. Add to bubbling maple – Dijon sauce bring to a low boil string constantly until well mixed and simmer 2 minutes. This will make it think and easier to digest!



 Add a healthy holiday dessert to the end of this meal and everyone will be impressed!

As we are in the holiday season I hope you are still finding ways to make yourself a priority. We can get really caught up in making others happy and gift giving, which is wonderful, but don't forget about yourself!

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Healthy Holiday Treats - Raw Candied Walnuts



The Holidays are quickly approaching. I’m overwhelmingly excited because for the first time in a number of years my entire family will be together. I’m very fortunate to have a family that I like, love, respect, enjoy and have a great time with. It’s going to be amazing!!!

We already know that the holidays are time consuming, can affect our health when we gorge on unhealthy foods and also break the bank. However, I have some ideas that can help with gifting, treating yourself and keeping yourself (and health) a priority.

I give you healthy gift boxes.

If you need a last minute gift, or are looking for a way to wow your loved ones with delicious treats, here are a few ideas.

Raw Red Velvet Cookies - Kale Chips - Raw Candied Walnuts
Raw Candied Walnuts:
  • Soak 3 cups of walnuts for 6 hours
  • In a bowl combine
    • One half cup agave nectar or maple syrup 
    • 2 teaspoons of cinnamon
    • 1 teaspoon sea salt
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • Pour over walnuts and mix very well
  • Dehydrate for 12-24 hours at 115 degrees and enjoy! 
  • No dehydrator? Preheat oven to 350 degrees bake for 5 min. Check to see if they are done, if not put back in for 1-2 minutes at a time until crunchy. (this will make them not raw but still amazing!)
They are insanely delicious and almost idiot proof to make. 

Put in a pretty little box or tin and you have a fancy, healthy, thoughtful gift!




Version two coming at you soon!

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Healthy Holiday Meals – Roasted Kabocha Squash with Sage and Rosemary



December seems to be the month of celebration. With all of the religious holidays, New Years, and my fabulous mother’s birthday there are so many reasons to be excited, thankful and of course to eat gluttonous food.

It is really easy to start snacking and nibbling on foods that aren’t so great for us during this time of year because they seem to be at every turn. But I’ve got your back! I have a few holiday treat and meal ideas that will make the holiday season just as enjoyable and delicious but without feeling like garbage afterwards.

I started to make this dip and stopped after roasting the squash because it was just so amazing! 



You need:
  • 1 Kabocha squash sliced about 1 inch thick (keep skin on)
  • ½ cup coconut oil
  • 1 tbsp chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1 tbsp chopped fresh sage
  • Sea Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:
    1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
    2. Cover the squash in coconut oil and place in a baking dish.
    3. Sprinkle with herbs and salt.
    4. bake for 30-35 min
    5. When finished the fork should go through the squash easily and pull out clean. 

This dish is so warm and perfectly wintery, I was eating by itself.  I realize there are 2 other dishes in this picture; but of course I'm going to milk 3 blogs out of one meal!

Regardless if you are adding a side dish to your family gathering, contributing to a pot luck, or trying to impress someone you have a huge crush on this holiday season, I guarantee this healthy, quick and unbelievable dish will do the trick! Keep making yourself a priority even with sugary and unhealthy foods all over the place. If you are having trouble avoiding these things and want to make yourself a priority I am now taking clients for personal training and/or nutrition counseling. You can email me at plantbasedpaige@gmail.com or hit me up on FB.

More to come this week: black eye pea croquettes, kale super food salad (both pictured) and healthy holiday treat gift boxes! 

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Kombucha Kamp



Many exciting things have been happening lately. Today I have an interview and a new nutrition client reached out to me for a consultation! It just feels like one of those days were there is so much opportunity.

I’ve also been working out more regularly and am seeing the changes in my body I wanted; I’ve had the opportunity to train friends this week which has been very rewarding. I am now also taking training clients so if anyone wants to get in shape for the New Year hit me up!

This week I rediscovered something very near and dear to my health. Kombucha. If you have never had it you are really missing out! When I was touring full time I would drink this as much as I could get my hands on it and I swear it kept me alive and was a very easy way to make myself a priority. 

So what the crap is kombucha? Simply put it is a fermented tea. This drink is so packed full of benefits I am officially adding it to Plant Based Paige’s staples.

There are many great kombucha companies out there; I really like GT’s and another brand that I can’t think of to save my life, but there are many. Unfortunately for me, it isn’t financially responsible to buy it regularly. So I decided to get all DIY about it and found Kombucha Kamp!

The lovely Hannah (Kombucha Mama) leads an informative short class that teaches Los Angeloneans everything they need to know about making komucha and why you should drink it. Her energy, glowing skin, and optimistic attitude are reasons enough to make anyone want to consume this power elixir but on top of it she is informed, well spoken and a wonderful teacher. I had such a blast in her class and immediately purchased my kit to start at home. If you don’t live in Los Angeles you can still learn from her ten years of experience through video and get your kit online. I highly encourage you to check it out.

Benefits I have experienced from regular kombuch consumption: clearer skin, better moods, more energy, regularity, and better digestion. But there is more!

Pulled directly from the Kombucha Kamp website:
*Probiotics – healthy bacteria
*Alkalize the body – balances internal pH
*Detoxify the liver – happy liver = happy mood
*Increase metabolism – rev your internal engine
*Improve digestion – keep your system moving
*Rebuild connective tissue – helps with arthritis, gout, asthma, rheumatism
*Cancer prevention
*Alleviate constipation
*Boost energy – helps with chronic fatigue
*Reduce blood pressure
*Relieve headaches & migraines
*Reduce kidney stones
*High in antioxidants – destroy free-radicals that cause cancer
*High in polyphenols
*Improve eyesight
*Heal excema – can be applied topically to soften the skin
*Prevent artheriosclerosis
*Speed healing of ulcers – kills h.pylori on contact
*Help clear up candida & yeast infections
*Aid healthy cell regeneration
*Reduce gray hair
*Lower glucose levels – prevents spiking from eating 


I’ve also read about kombucha helping in weight loss, and in fighting cancer.

I could go on forever about this but I’m pretty sure most people stopped reading this long ass blog already.

Take the kombucha challenge. Add 2-4oz to your morning routine (on an empty stomach) and let me know how you feel  in the comments below. 

My first batch wont be finished until after the holiday's but you can expect updates!  

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

My Love Affair with Cilantro - Dip Recipe



I feel like cilantro is a love it or hate it kind of herb. I’ve never met anyone that was in the middle about it. Oddly enough I used to HATE cilantro I wanted nothing to do with it. Then out of nowhere I freaking love it! It is in fact now one of those staples I’ve been talking about always having on hand.

As it turns out cilantro is absolutely amazing for your health and here is why:

  •  Is rich in anti-oxidants and dietary fiber which help reduce LDL or "bad cholesterol" while increasing HDL or "good cholesterol" levels.
  • The leaves and seeds contain many essential volatile oils.
  • The leaves and stem tips are also rich in numerous anti-oxidants. 
  •  The herb is a good source of minerals like potassium, calcium, manganese, iron, and magnesium. 
  • Cilantro leaves provides 30% of daily recommended levels of vitamin-C.
  • High in vitamin A and K.
  •  Is considered anti-diabetic in Europe and may encourage insulin secretion. 
  •  Used in India for anti-inflammatory effects.
  • Consuming cilantro might help improve your memory; researchers theorize it might be useful for Alzheimer's patients. 
  • Cilantro improves digestion by relieving gas and bloating and calming the heat of an acid stomach.


So many good reasons to eat cilantro! It is easy to include in your diet, I use it in smoothies, juice, guacamole, on top of stir fry and in salad dressing. If you don't like the taste you can use little bits at a time or hid it in juice and smoothies.

The other day I made a cilantro dressing for a super food salad and it was out of this world. There was so much flavor and mixed with the different textures of the salad ingredients it was a flavor party. I was actually getting  little bored with salads - I eat them about twice a day but this really made all the difference. What I didn’t use on the salad I ate as a dip.


This would be really great on the side of a heartier dinner. Sometimes I eat this alone in big portions and feel like a million bucks after.


Dressing
·         1 avocado (if you don't like avo leave it out and add more tahini)
·         2 tbsp tahini
·         1 tbsp white miso
·         1 clove garlic
·         ¼ - ½ cup cilantro (include stems)
·         Water (as much or little as you want)
·         ½ lemon juiced

I put this on top of
·         Mixed greens
·         Gogi berries
·         Flax seeds (ground)
·         Hemp seed
·         Carrots
·         Beets
·         Parsley

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Warm Winter Squash "Mac and Cheese" with Juicer Pulp!



I need to take a quick beat from talking about Plant Based Paige Pantry Staples and share this discovery with you. I was supposed to go to the store today but didn’t. I wish I could say there was a really good reason for it.

Moving on…

Things that are in my frige right now: cilantro, two carrots, 3 table spoons of green curry, juice pulp, and a bag of greens. That is pretty much it. But I wasn’t about to go hungry! Out of my procrastination came a beautiful discovery. Soy, dairy, nut and gluten free mac and cheese and a way to use juicer pulp!

Here we go:
1 acorn squash (I’m sure other kinds would work as well)
2 tbsp coconut oil
Pinch of sea salt
½ tsp turmeric (mainly for good measure)
1 tsp onion powder
1 garlic clove
¼ cup nutritional yeast
¼ cup seed milk or water
Juicer pulp
Gluten free pasta
Pepper to taste

1.      Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2.      Cut up squash in rings and remove seeds. You can leave the skin on.
3.      Cover squash in coconut oil so that both sides are greased and sprinkle on sea salt.
4.      Cook in oven for 30 min.
5.      Meanwhile cook pasta according to directions.
6.      Remove squash from oven. Place in a blender or food processor (you can still leave the skin on) along with turmeric, onion powder, garlic, nutritional yeast, pepper and seed milk. Process until creamy.
7.      Combine pasta and squash sauce then top with juicer pulp.



This is so sweet and warm. I couldn’t be more pleased with the way it turned out or satisfied with my dinner. I honestly wish I had a reason to make this for other people or pot luck to go to. It was just outstanding!

Even though I didn’t make going to the store a priority today, I made creating a healthy meal for myself one.

Other ingredients I considered using (but got too hungry):
Miso
Crushed red pepper
Broccoli (if I had any)
Sage

Also if you are looking for a vegetable side dish you can just cook the squash as explained above and put it on the side of some burgers, zucchini pasta, or any other main dish.

Friday, December 7, 2012

What you didn't know about lemons



Let's continue on with staples I keep around my place at all times.

I completely fell in love with lemons this year. I had no idea how wonderful they are for our health until they kept popping up in the blogs and news letters of nutritionists and health gurus I follow.

Here are a few reasons why lemons are great and you should get them in your body everyday.

  • Support immune function
  • Alalize the body
  • Aid digestion
  • Clear skin (internally and externally taken)
  • Promotes healing
  • Associated with boosting liver’s function and tissue regeneration
  • Have strong antibacterial, antiviral, and immune-boosting powers
  • Can be used as a weight loss aid
  • Contain many substances--notably citric acid, calcium, magnesium, vitamin C, bioflavonoids, pectin, and limonene--that promote immunity and fight infection

It doesn’t sound like much but starting your day with a warm cup of water with lemon juice in it changes everything! It starts the detoxifying process so that your system is ready to go when you consume your first meal. 



In addition to lemon water in the morning I put lemon in salads, juices, dressings and so much more. When I’m in a rush I’ll make this salad; it is splendidly simple and shockingly satisfying.        

  • Mixed greens
  • Avocado
  • Pumpkin seeds (or hemp, sunflower - whatever you have)
  • Lemon juice
  • Pinch of Himalayan pink salt

Applied topically lemon juice is a great natural toner, can help with acne, and reduce the appearance of scars.

This is one simple way to make yourself a priority daily!

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Healing Spices - Rosemary Pancakes



I haven’t written in a while - so sorry! I’ve had some personal matters to attend to but I’m back.

It was suggested to me to make a list of things that I keep in the house so that when you make it for yourself  the ingredients are already there. I’m going to do a version of that. Over a few blogs I’m going to list some great ingredients that I keep on hand ALWAYS and why.

To start let’s cover healing spices. I feel like it’s “that time of year” where people get sick - and since we've learned that you are in control of your health it seems appropriate to give you some ways to prevent winter illness!

Here are 2 of my favorite spice rack staples that are delicious additions to many recipes and great for the body.

Rosemary
May help prevent and/or treat
  • Anxiety
  • Arthritis, osteo and rheumatoid
  • Blood clots
  • Cancer
  • Depression
  • Dermatitis
  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Gout
  • Heart disease
  • Liver disease
  • Memory loss (age related, mild cognitive decline)
  • Stress
  • Stroke
  • Ulcer
  • Urinary tract infection
  • Wrinkles

Studies have shown
  • It kills carcinogens due to a special blend of antioxidants.
  • In fact it is one of the most powerful antioxidants on earth.
  • Breathing rosemary oil has shown to reduce the stress hormone cortisol.
  • Reduces the misery of radiation sickness.
  • Prevents neurological damages from the toxic pesticide dieldrin.
  • Significantly reduce the growth of two different types of melanoma.
  • Has been used to treat diabetes, respiratory illness, arthritis, and dizziness.
 Rosemary is so delightfully winter. At least in my mind. It makes me feel very cozy and comfortable maybe that's because it's reducing my stress hormones but either way I'll take it! I love it in stuffing, gravy, raw breads and crackers, hummus and so much more! 

Turmeric
May help prevent and/or treat:
  • Acne
  • Allergies
  • Alzheimer’s
  • Arthritis
  • Asthma
  • Blemishes
  • Cancer
  • Cholesterol problems
  • Colitis
  • Cystic fibrosis
  • Depression
  • Dermatitis
  • Diabetes (type 2)
  • Eczema
  • Eye infections
  • Flatulence
  • Gallbladder disease
  • Gout
  • Gum disease
  • Heart disease
  • High blood pressure
  • Itching
  • Liver disease
  • Macular degeneration (age related)
  • Overweight
  • Pain
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Pollution side-effects
  • Psoriasis
  • Rash
  • Scleroderma
  • Stroke
  • Wounds
 Turmeric vs Cancer
Over 1,000 studies have shown that it can:
  • Inhibit the activation of genes that trigger cancer.
  • Inhibit the spread of tumor cells.
  • Inhibit the transformation of a normal cell into a cancer cell.
  • Kill cells that mutate into cancer cells.
  • Shrink tumor cells.
  • Prevent tumors from spreading to other organs.
  • Prevent the development of the blood supply necessary for cancer cells to form and spread.
Turmeric is wonderfully mild tasting. I've used it in face masks, tofu scramble, stir fry, smoothies (you can't even taste it!) pretty much in anything. It's in my workout recovery drink too since it reduces inflammation.

I use both of these almost daily! In fact I tossed rosemary into my pancakes this morning. Try to use fresh whenever you can.

Just follow your favorite pancake recipe and sprinkle a little big of ground rosemary on top before you flip them over. It is a very warm wintery holiday breakfast! I bet it would be delicious with apples but I didn’t have any.  
 


During the holidays we are so consumed with making sure everyone else is taken care of, be sure to make yourself a priority and get some healthy herbs and spices in your day!