Maca Cacao Sprouted Brown Rice Pudding

sprouted brown rice pudding

Yesterday I attended a seminar given by Australian herbalist Lee Carroll on the subject of integrative herbal and whole food nutrition. If you are thinking that I walked away with a recipe for sprouted brown rice pudding, you are oddly correct. At one point, while discussing Dysbiosis  and how to support healthy microbiota, he shared cacao’s benefits, then proceeded to rattle off a rice pudding recipe that he sometimes shares with his patients in Australia. It sounded so intriguing I jotted down the rough concept, and decided to give it or something similar a try. The key ingredients that caught my attention were brown rice, tahini, cacao, and Manuka honey.

This recipe uses a cacao-maca powder blend, but you can use all cacao powder if you want. Manuka honey is considered to have all sorts of nutritional benefits. But getting pure, unadulterated Manuka honey can be a bit pricey. Having said that, a little bit goes a long way. So if you want this pudding to be packed with more nutrition, try to keep it pure. The tahini provides the fat component that gives this pudding a creamier consistency, along with the way the rice is cooked. Altogether, this pudding packs some substantial nutrition for a sweet treat. I can see this as a dessert, evening chocolate craving fix (that is gradiently healthier than many alternatives), or even a quick breakfast.

maca cacao sprouted brown rice pudding

1 cup hot sprouted brown rice, just out of the rice cooker
2 tbsp. cacao-maca powder
1-2 tbsp. Manuka honey (or other organic raw honey)
2 tbsp. 100% sesame tahini paste Read More


Shrimp Cocktail and Nopalitos Are Good Friends

shrimp cocktail

The nopales of Los Angeles are sprouting up everywhere! This may seem completely insignificant unless you have explored the special nutritional benefits of nopal and how much it is enjoyed in Mexican cuisine. This recipe for Shrimp Cocktail with Nopalitos takes the Mexican classic shrimp cocktail and combines it with the classic Mexican Nopalito Salad. Nopal, also known as cactus pad, is very low in saturated sat and cholesterol. It is also a good source of riboflavin, vitamin B6, iron and copper, and a very good source of dietary fiber, vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin K, calcium, magnesium, potassium and manganese. And with an amino acid score of 71 the protein content isn’t bad either– for a vegetable! I must give credit to my partner Ricky who makes the bomb-est shrimp cocktail, and came up with this awesome combination.

shrimp cocktail with nopalitos

2 pounds of shrimp with peel
1 onion, chopped, separated in half
1 lemon, cut in half
10 garlic cloves, peeled and sliced, separated in half
2 quarts water or vegetable broth
2 tsp. each sea salt and pepper (for seasoning shrimp boil water)
8-12 nopales, depending on size (cactus leaves), peeled of thorns and cut into squares (nopalitos)
3 tomatoes, diced with seeds Read More


Stuffed Portobello Mushroom for Veggie Lovers

stuffed portobello mushroom

I like to work a little tofu into my diet here and there. This tofu stuffed portobello mushroom usually hits the spot. If you stick to natural, more traditional, and unprocessed forms of soy you can alleviate most health concerns around soy. The commercialization of soy has managed to turn soy into a “Frankenfood” monster by using GMO soy and creating so many products from refined soy. Therefore, my personal policy about soy is to use a whole food approach and common sense, backed up by this article from Dr. Mark Hyman, MD. Keep your soy products organic, natural, fermented, sprouted if possible, and in a more traditional form.

This recipe uses two such traditional forms of soy: organic tofu and organic miso paste. I love combining miso, mushrooms, any chance I get. These flavors love being together! This makes a great, simple entree. You can enjoy it right away or as a protein-rich salad topper for a lunch or brunch. The stuffing is somewhat similar to a tofu scramble, with a little more depth from the other ingredients.

miso-tofu stuffed portobello mushroom dynamite

10 ounces of organic, sprouted tofu (I use firm so it retains some of it’s chunky texture in the stuffing, but you can use soft as well)
3 tbsp. miso (I love Korean miso, much more pungent with chunks of soybean still intact)
2 tbsp. Emil’s Vegan Mayonnaise or Veganaise (if not going strictly vegan, try this avocado mayo)
1 tsp. granulated garlic or garlic powder, or 2 tsp. minced fresh garlic
1 tbsp. nutritional yeast
2 portobello mushroom caps without the stems
4 cups fresh baby spinach, uncooked Read More


Tuscan Kale Soup Supercharge

Many of my recent clients are following a Paleo-leaning or AIP (Autoimmune Paleo) diet, part of which requires obtaining high nutrient density per calorie. So, I have been delving into meals that fit that profile. I am finding that this style of cooking does not have to be complicated at all. I love it when something really simple comes out delicious and nutritionally complex. Enter this quick, rainy day soup. Not only is it Paleo, but it’s clean, weight management friendly, and can be converted to vegan very easily. If you want to go vegan and are not concerned about avoiding certain plant based foods, you can replace the sausage with cannellini beans, but since the sausage brings some flavor to the soup, you may need to ramp up the herbs and garlic to compensate.

tuscan kale soup with sausage

1 pound of your favorite organic sausage (like organic chicken basil or wild boar), cut up into pieces or made into meatballs
NOTE: For a vegan variation use cannellini beans, hemp tofu, or sprouted organic tofu
2 medium carrots cut into large pieces
2 celery stalks, sliced across the grain
1 medium onion, chopped
1 tbsp. fennel seeds, crushed or partially ground in a coffee grinder
6-8 cups vegetable of chicken broth, warmed
2-3 cloves garlic, minced Read More


Vegan Grilled Gouda- Melted Mastery

I couldn’t decide whether throwing together a list of somewhat obscure plant based stabilizers and coconut milk would appeal to any readers. But if you know how awesome it is to find a vegan cheese that is easy to make, and has a really wonderful MELT, you can understand why I had to finally break down and share this. Factor in the current chilly wet weather we have been having, and well, there you go!

The cheese recipe is a slight adaptation from a quick cheese recipe found on one of my favorite plant- based living blogs. The obscure ingredients can be found at a mom and pop health market, Sprouts, or Whole Foods.

vegan grilled gouda & portobello sandwich

Cheese, Wet Ingredients:
1 can coconut milk
1 tbsp. lemon juice
1 tbsp. liquid smoke
¼ cup water
½ tsp. liquid aminos
2 tbsp. nutritional yeast Read More


Watermelon & Avocado Salad

I love it when something is so ridiculously simple it almost doesn’t make sense. I have been extremely busy developing some new flex foods to compliment a new cleanse product that I have been offering on my Whole, Clean & Green Challenge. The cleanse protocol specifies a very short list of flex foods, so I was limited to basically just citrus juice and sea salt for any kind of dressing. I was delighted to discover how flawless and wonderful just watermelon, avocado, lime, and sea salt taste when combined together. And therefore I had to share it on the blog! You can make this in about three minutes. Drizzle some avocado oil on top if you must, but it really isn’t necessary.

Lime & Sea Salted Watermelon & Avocado Salad

About 2 heaping cups of watermelon, cut into cubes
2 avocados, cut into half with pit removed
2 tbsp. fresh lime juice
2 pinches sea salt
A couple generous sprigs of watercress
Optional avocado oil for drizzling Read More


Avocado & Pear, What a Pair!

I love it when a random “grab two things and see what happens” move in the kitchen turns out to be so yummy. Here is an extremely easy recipe that mixes pears with avocados, and finishes it off with some fresh lime and basil. Add this to your list of simple raw fruit and vegetable go-to’s. It’s perfectly refreshing for hot summer days. Enjoy!

avocado & pear salad with basil lime dressing

1 fresh pear
1 avocado
1 lime, juiced
1 garlic clove, minced
1 tsp. raw honey, agave nectar, or maple syrup
1/2 tsp. sea salt
2 tbsp. avocado oil (or extra virgin olive oil)
2 tbsp. julienned fresh basil Read More


Vegan Caprese Happiness

A couple weeks ago I picked up a gorgeous pine nut cheese from Blode Kuh, one of my favorite vendors at the Farmers Market. This cheese was screaming to be made into some version of a caprese salad. Voila! Most times, the simplest stuff using ingredients made with love, make the brightest and most tasty dishes.

vegan caprese with pine nut cheese & roasted pepper dressing

2 vine ripened tomatoes, sliced into fairly thick slices
1 small wheel of pine nut or other aged nut cheese
8-10 fresh basil leaves
1 red bell pepper
1 tbsp. (or more) extra virgin olive oil
1/2 clove garlic, chopped
Juice of 1 small lime
Splash of balsamic vinegar Read More


Simple Brussels Sprout Brilliance

Brussels sprouts, you either love them, or you hate them. I have both prepared, and eaten Brussels sprouts many different ways: steamed, sautéed, braised in oatmeal stout, grated raw in salads; some preparations good, some not so good. So who knew that the quick and easy, clean and vegan preparation would turn out to be so delightful? Well, not me, but now I am sold. This dish provides the devout vegan with essential B12 from the nooch, essential fats, and a complete amino acid protein profile from the hempseed. But don’t let the word “vegan” put you off. This is absolutely delicious, light, and satiating and can be enjoyed on just about any diet or lack thereof.

brussels sprouts with hempseed & lemon zest

10-15 oz. Brussels sprouts, whole, or cut in half or quarters, depending on size
1-2 tbsp. vegan butter from healthy oils, like avocado, olive, etc. or coconut oil (suit amount to your taste and oil consumption needs)
2 tbsp. hulled hempseed
2 tbsp. nutritional yeast Read More


Socca- Niçoise Chickpea Crepes

Socca, in my opinion, is one of the best kept little secret gems in the world of gluten free cooking and healthier options. Socca is a street food from the South of France, that is so simple to make it is almost mind blowing, consisting of just chickpea flour, olive oil, water, and seasoning. It makes a healthy crepe for breakfast, lunch, or a light dinner, or it can be made a little thicker, and cooked longer for a pizza crust or flatbread effect. The trick is in not trying to flip it over, but instead, letting it cook through from one side.

socca with dijon & fresh vegetables

1 cup chickpea (garbanzo bean) flour
1 cup water
1 1/2 tbsp. olive oil, plus extra for cooking
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. herbes de provence

Suggested Toppings: Dijon mustard, baby spinach, sautéed mushroom, fresh tomato, sautéed zucchini, garlic, steamed snow peas, sprouts, artichoke hearts, roasted eggplant, caramelized onion, roasted fennel, fresh herbs, truffle oil, olive oil, nutritional yeast Read More