Kale Salad

This is an easy go-to salad that everyone loves. The other night when my son, Ben, saw that I’d made this salad he informed some of his friends. His phone was lighting up with texts asking him to share the salad! Be prepared for a surprising new favorite in your kitchen as well!

THE TWIST

The Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI), a non-profit consumer advocacy group, set out to find the most nutritious vegetable. And the winner was…..drum roll please… Kale! This powerhouse is not only a complete protein but is packed with cancer fighting phyto-chemicals and antioxidants.  It is one of natures most abundant sources of vitamin K which is important for the blood. A sign of vitamin K deficiency is bruising easily and heavy bleeding. Kale is chock-full of other nutrients as well such as vitamins A and C as well as several from the B-complex group. Kale has a nice balance of several minerals including calcium, iron, potassium, zinc, manganese, phosphorus and copper.  Whats more, it contains omega-3 fatty acids which are important for neurological function, reducing the symptoms of depression and ADHD among many other things. The combination of nutrients in kale are perfect for maintaining strong bones and connective tissue, healthy blood, clear skin, muscular coordination, healthy immune function, maintaining proper vision, brain health and the prevention of degenerative diseases, regulate metabolism, control blood pressure and promote youthfulness.

The purple in the cauliflower indicates that this vegetable is a forceful cancer fighter. It is also far more tender than other varieties of cauliflower. Since it is very low in calories and high in fiber is a perfect food for anyone watching their waistline. It contains folate, necessary for proper development of an unborn child’s brain and spinal cord, warding off depression and dementia, and supports a healthy cardiovascular system.

A little ginger goes a long way! Just a tiny bit of ginger in the salad dressing adds a bunch of flavor and health benefits as well. It is known for reducing nausea associated with pregnancy and motion. It helps the digestive system by reducing the effects of heartburn and gas and increases the production of saliva and digestive enzymes.

Another flavor booster in the salad dressing is the sesame oil. It is a natural source of COQ10, a highly revered nutrient to help maintain the qualities of youth. It is an excellent source of vitamin E and antioxidants and research has shown that sesame oil may have a positive effect on blood pressure.

http://www.nutrition-and-you.com/kale.html
http://alternativemedicinenow.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/03/ratings.pdf
http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/vegetables-and-vegetable-products/2461/2
http://www.umm.edu/ency/article/002399.htm
http://www.newsmax.com/FastFeatures/folate-health-benefits-foods/2011/01/13/id/369432
http://www.buzzle.com/articles/ginger-root-benefits-of-ginger.html
http://www.ehow.com/how-does_4610945_what-benefits-sesame-seed-oil.html

KALE  SALAD

1 bunch kale, stemmed (any variety)
1/2 head purple cauliflower, florets chopped small
2 large carrots, shredded
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 finely diced shallot
1 (8 oz.) pkg. seitan, chopped (optional)
2/3 cup sliced almonds
1/4 cup raw sunflower seeds

For the dressing:
1/2 cup vegetable based mayonnaise (Vegenaise)
1/4 cup almond butter
1/4 cup water
2 T Braggs amino acids
1 T rice vinegar
2 t minced fresh ginger root
1 t sesame oil

Chop the kale into small pieces using a sharp knife. Place in a large bowl and add the remaining ingredients. Combine the ingredients for the dressing and either whisk or blend with a hand blender until smooth. Add additional water to the dressing if it seems too thick. Toss the dressing into the salad to evenly coat all the kale. Serve immediately. Serves 8. ©Janice Moreland http://thekitchentwist.com

Variations:
Use purple cabbage in place of the cauliflower.
Yellow or orange bell peppers work just as well as the red.
Replace the seitan with 1 can cannellini or other beans.
Instead of almonds, use pumpkin seeds, walnuts or other nuts
The kale can easily be swapped with Swiss chard.
Add a touch of sweetness with a 1/2 cup of raisins or dried cranberries.
©Janice Moreland http://thekitchentwist.com

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Macadamia Nut Waffles with Coconut Cream Sauce and Mangos

The BYU-I Dance Alliance Team came to town and we took the opportunity to host 4 of the dancers for one night. Our home became their Bed and Breakfast! I took on the challenge to develop a recipe for the occasion. My guests became instant recipe testers and here is the result!

THE TWIST

The benefits of including 100% whole wheat in the diet are impressive. Whole wheat is an excellent source of fiber and an array of water-soluble, fat soluble and insoluble nutrients. Including whole wheat in your diet can help lower the risk of type 2 diabetes. This indicates that whole wheat offers benefits in promoting healthy blood sugar control. Eating whole wheat can help prevent gallstones by speeding intestinal transit time, reducing the secretion of bile acids and lowering triglycerides. Many studies have shown that eating whole wheat lowers the risk of colon cancer, and that the key to it’s powerful cancer-fighting potential is precisely in the wholeness of the grain, not simply just the fiber content. And whole wheat consistently is shown to protect against cardiovascular disease, stroke, obesity and premature death.

There is evidence that consuming nuts may have a cholesterol lowering effect. Studies suggest that a mere 1 to 2 ounces of nuts daily is all that is needed to reap the benefits. Macadamia nuts in particular contain selenium which may reduce the risk of certain types of cancer. They also contain calcium, iron and potassium, important minerals for bone, blood and brain health.

Mangos can help improve digestion, lower cholesterol, improve concentration and memory. Since mangos are high in iron they can help those with iron deficiency and fight anemia. The high level of antioxidants in mangos help protect against several diseases including cancer.

Coconut milk is converted to energy very quickly by the body making it perfect for that burst of energy so often needed in the morning. It has anti-viral, anti-fungal and anti-bacterial properties that boosts the immune system. It is also provides protein, iron, magnesium and manganese as well as other nutrients to the body.

Yacon root is used in this recipe primarily as a sweetener. It is does not spike blood sugar levels and is low in calories making it useful for those trying to prevent diabetes. It is considered a prebiotic. A prebiotic is a food that is not digested by the stomach but reaches the colon and ferments causing the growth of beneficial bacteria aiding proper digestion. It also helps slow aging and disease and therefore promotes vitality.

http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=66
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11368503?dopt=Abstract
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10789609?dopt=Abstract
http://www.ehow.com/facts_4970270_what-health-benefits-macadamia-nuts.html
http://www.lifemojo.com/lifestyle/top-10-health-benefits-of-mangoes-23759891
http://diet.ygoy.com/2010/07/27/6-great-health-benefits-of-coconut-milk/
http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/nut-and-seed-products/3114/2
http://www.livestrong.com/article/411828-yacon-root-health-benefits-side-effects/

MACADAMIA NUT WAFFLES WITH COCONUT CREAM SAUCE AND MANGOS

1 recipe for waffles
1 recipe for coconut cream sauce
3 mangos, peeled, seeded and cubed

Top waffles with coconut cream sauce and mango cubes. Garnish with additional chopped macadamia nuts if desired. Serves4.

for the waffles:
2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
1/2 cup chopped macadamia nuts (reserve 1 T for garnish)
1/2 cup almond meal (Bob’s Red Mill)
2 T flaxseed meal
2 T yacon root powder*
1 T baking powder
1 t baking soda
1/2 t Himalayan sea salt*
1 container (6 oz.) plain soy yogurt
1/4 cup grapeseed oil
2 T apple cider vinegar
1 t vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups unflavored seltzer water

Preheat a Belgian waffle iron. Combine the dry ingredients, set aside.  Separately, combine the wet ingredients except the seltzer water. Combine the two mixtures together and fold in the seltzer water. Lightly coat the hot waffle iron with oil and pour about 1/2 batter onto it. Be sure to bake until completely deep golden brown, between 4 1/2 to 5 minutes. Repeat with remaining batter.  Makes 4 waffles. ©Janice Moreland http://thekitchentwist.com

*Note: To keep waffles warm and crisp after baking and before serving, hold in a 180° oven on a wire rack set on a baking sheet with a towel over them.

for the coconut cream sauce:
1 can (13.5 oz.) unsweetened coconut milk (not “lite”)
1 T tapioca starch
1 t stevia (Sweetleaf)
1/8 t Himalayan sea salt*
1/4 t vanilla extract

Combine all the ingredients in a small saucepan except the vanilla extract. Gently bring to a boil and stir until slightly thickened. Remove from heat, cool slightly and stir in the vanilla extract. Serve over waffles. Serves 4. ©Janice Moreland http://thekitchentwist.com

*Note: Tapioca starch can typically be found in Asian markets. Cornstarch can be substituted for the tapioca starch if an organic, non-gmo brand can be found.

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Tomato Basil Soup

This is for Daniel and Michelle. Daniel, you now can have your favorite soup but without all the cream and butter. Michelle, this is a great dish that makes up quickly, packed full of nutrition without any loss of flavor!

THE TWIST

No other fruit or vegetable has the high concentration of Lycopene like the tomato. Cancers such as prostate cancer, cervical cancer, colon cancer, rectal cancer, and cancers of the stomach, mouth, pharynx, and esophagus have all been proven to be staved off by tomatoes. When tomato products are heat processed the bio-availability of the Lycopene increases making this soup even more nutritious than if the tomatoes were left uncooked. Research indicates that there is a high likelihood that the consumption of tomatoes and tomato based products will strengthen bones and may prevent macular degeneration, a disease that causes blindness. Tomatoes work to neutralize dangerous free radicals in the blood stream, help diabetics keep their blood sugar level down, lessen the likelihood of gallstones and kidney stones, and help to lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels.

Research indicates that basil protects cells as well as chromosomes from radiation and oxidation. The anti-bacterial properties of basil are effective in restricting growth of numerous undesirable bacteria. The essential oil of basil has demonstrated the ability to inhibit several species of pathogenic bacteria that have become resistant to commonly used antibiotic drugs. Also, basil is a good source of magnesium, which promotes cardiovascular health by prompting muscles and blood vessels to relax, thus improving blood flow and lessening the risk of irregular heart rhythms. Basil is also a very good source of iron, calcium, potassium and vitamin C.

 http://www.whole-food-supplements-guide.com/health-benefits-of-tomatoes.html
 http://healthmad.com/nutrition/10-health-benefits-of-tomatoes/
 http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=85

TOMATO BASIL SOUP

8 cups seeded, diced Roma tomatoes
2 cans (15 oz.) tomato sauce
1 can (6 oz.) tomato paste
2 t Better Than Bullion vegetable or no chicken base
1 t Himalayan sea salt*
1/2 t freshly ground pepper
3 cups vegetable broth
1 1/2 cups cashews
30 large basil leaves, chiffonade or finely chopped

In a 6 quart saucepan combine the tomatoes, tomato sauce, tomato paste, bullion base, salt and pepper.  Heat through and stir to blend ingredients. Pour the vegetable broth in the blendtec* blender and add cashews to bring the water level up to four cups (use about 1 1/2 cups cashews). Blend on the whole juice setting until smooth and creamy. Add cashew mixture to the tomato mixture in the saucepan. Stir in the basil. Gently heat to blend flavors and reduce slightly. Serves 8. ©Janice Moreland http://thekitchentwist.com

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Coconut Curry with Vegetables

This is a favorite dish that my family loves.  Enjoy!

THE TWIST

Brown rice is the best rice to eat. It is rich in essential nutrients, fatty acids and fiber. The fiber content in brown rice is valuable as it helps regulate blood sugar levels, aids elimination, helps maintain a healthy weight, helps to keep blood pressure in check and cholesterol levels down. With its insoluble fiber it also can help prevent the development of gallstones and protect against cardiovascular disease. Brown rice contains high levels of manganese which supports a healthy nervous system and protects the body from destructive free radicals.

The vegetables in this dish contain powerful antioxidants which contribute to healthy eyes and calcium which contributes to healthy bones. They contain high levels of vitamin K which help the bones retain calcium. Collectively they improve the immune system with their high levels of vitamin C, beta-carotene, zinc and selenium, which are trace minerals that act as cofactors in immune defensive actions.  They supply significant amounts of folate which is essential for pregnant women. Without folate, the unborn child’s nervous system cells do not divide properly and is linked to several birth defects, especially spina bifida. Despite folate’s wide occurence in green and leafy vegetables, it’s the most common vitamin deficiency in the world.

http://www.worldofdiets.com/brown-rice-nutrition-and-benefits/
http://nutritiondata.self.com/
http://organicjar.com/2009/2001/
http://www.livestrong.com/article/112589-benefits-sugar-snap-peas
http://www.ionehealth.com/nutrition-health/bell-peppers-health-benefits.htm

COCONUT CURRY WITH VEGETABLES

2 lbs. extra-firm tofu (drained & pressed) cut into ¾ inch cubes
Coconut oil* for stir-frying
6 cups broccoli
2 cups thinly sliced carrots
2 cups sugar snap peas
1 T coconut oil*
1 large onion, cut into ¾ inch cubes
2 red bell peppers, cubed
1 yellow bell pepper, cubed
16 oz. mushrooms, halved
1/2 cup chopped cashews
Sesame oil (for garnish)
5 cups cooked brown rice

Coconut Curry Sauce:
3 cups canned coconut milk (about 1 ½ cans)
3 T muscavado sugar
1 1/2 T reduced sodium tamari, or soy sauce
1 1/2 T rice vinegar
1 1/2 t curry powder
1 t Himalayan sea salt*
3 T organic cornstarch
2 T water

Prepare tofu by frying cubes in about 1/2 inch of coconut oil in a hot skillet. Drain on paper towels, set aside. Steam broccoli and carrots until bright and crisp-tender, plunge in an ice-water bath, drain and set aside. Prepare coconut curry sauce by combining the first 6 of the sauce ingredients, taste and adjust flavors. Combine the cornstarch with the water, set aside.

Heat oil in a very large wok (may need to stir-fry in batches). Add the onions and bell peppers, stir-fry 3 to 4 minutes until crisp-tender. Remove to a large dish. Add the mushrooms and sugar snap peas to the wok, stir until heated through and the color is bright, then add the blanched vegetables and the onion mixture. Add the tofu, toss all together. Pour in the sauce, add the cornstarch mixture and stir to combine while it heats and thickens, about 2 minutes. Sprinkle with the cashews. Just before serving drizzle a little sesame oil on top and fold through to add a subtle layer of flavor to the coconut curry.  Taste to adjust seasonings. Serve over cooked brown rice. Makes 8 servings. ©Janice Moreland http://thekitchentwist.com

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Spinach and Mushroom Crepes

Katie’s request for a recipe with spinach as the main ingredient was the inspiration for these crepes. Plan on making the crepes in advance and the rest of the dish will come together quickly. My taste testers said these were delicious and wanted the recipe right away! Note that any filling would work in crepes.

THE TWIST

The spinach in these crepes contains anti-oxidants that help strengthen muscles including the heart and also help prevent hardening of the arteries. Spinach also contains folate which helps developing nervous systems in unborn children, vitamin K which helps in retaining calcium and ultimately may help to prevent osteoporosis, and is an excellent source of protein which is indispensable to every cell of the body. Spinach has been shown to help protect against various types of cancer including bladder, prostate, liver, lung and skin cancer. Spinach also contains glutathione. Glutathione is an amino acid and is essential for handling environmental toxins as it detoxifies carcinogens and helps the body to remove heavy metals such as cadmium, iron and mercury. This helps the metabolism and immune system by removing dead weight.

The mushrooms provide protection to the cardiovascular system, aid in the destruction of cancerous cells and support to the immune system. White button and crimini mushrooms are a source of many minerals, including selenium, copper, potassium, and zinc, and they are also an excellent source of many vitamins from the B-complex group, including the hard to find vitamin B12. This is important information for those eating a whole foods plant-based diet.

Research indicates that thyme exhibits qualities consistent with anti-oxidant activity, anti-fungal and anti-bacterial activity as well as being anti-inflammatory. These tiny leaves pack a powerful punch to benefit ones health!

http://www.NaturalNews.com
http://www.sharecare.com/question/nutritional-value-button-mushrooms?partner=droz
http://www.elements4health.com/thyme.html

SPINACH AND MUSHROOM CREPES

For the crepes:
3 cups almond milk
3/4 cup water
1 1/2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
1/4 cup flaxseed meal
2 T coconut oil*
1/2 t Himalayan sea salt*
1/8 t turmeric

Add all ingredients in a blendtec* blender and whirl on smoothie setting (about 25 seconds) Heat a 10 to 12 inch omelet pan or skillet with rounded sides on medium-low heat for 10 minutes. Spray lightly with cooking spray. Pour 1/3 cup of the batter in pan and swirl to evenly cover bottom. Cook crepe until surface is dry and edges begin to brown and curl. Gently slip a spatula under crepe and flip. Cook until lightly browned. Transfer to a plate. Reheat the pan for a few seconds then repeat the steps with the remaining batter. Hold at room temperature until ready to assemble crepes. Makes 14 crepes.

For the sauce:
2 shallots, finely chopped (about 3/4 cup)
3/4 cup white wine, preferably Chardonnay (1 mini bottle)
1 t Himalayan sea salt*
1/4 t freshly ground pepper
3/4 cup water
2 T arrowroot powder
1 container (12 oz.) soy sour cream (Tofutti brand)

In a medium skillet, saute the shallots until just beginning to brown on the edges. Add the wine and the salt and pepper. Bring to a boil and cook briefly. Make a mixture of  the water and arrowroot powder and stir into the shallot mixture until thickened. Add the soy sour cream and stir to combine. Remove from heat and set aside.

For the filling:

2 lbs. mushrooms, sliced (I use a blend of crimini and white button varieties)
3 large cloves garlic, minced
2 T fresh thyme leaves, minced
1/2 t Himalayan sea salt*
1 lb. baby spinach leaves
2 T chopped parsley

In a wok or very large skillet saute the mushrooms on high heat, stirring constantly. Drain the mushrooms when they have released some of their juices. Turn the heat to low and add the garlic, thyme and himalayan sea salt. Separately, steam the spinach until slightly wilted and bright in color. Combine the spinach with the mushroom mixture, draining away any extra liquid. Add 1/2 of the sauce to the filling and fold together. And remove from heat. Use the mixture to fill the crepes by laying some of the filling (about 1/4 cup or so) along 1/2 of  a crepe and fold the other half over the filling. It should look like a half moon at this point. Then fold the crepe in half again to make a triangle with a rounded edge. Repeat with all remaining crepes and filling. Drizzle with remaining sauce. Garnish with chopped parsley. Keep warm in a 180°F oven until serving if necessary. Makes 14 crepes, serves 6 to 7. ©Janice Moreland http://thekitchentwist.com

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Raspberry Rose Vinaigrette

This vinaigrette is the second in a series of dessert inspired salad dressings. Eating a big green salad every single day contributes to good health…so does skipping dessert! Hopefully Raspberry Rose Vinaigrette will help in both ways.

THE TWIST

The combination of rose with raspberry creates such a heady scent. This vinaigrette is pure aromatherapy. Both the walnut oil and the flax oil are rich in omega-3 fatty acids and both are good for cardiovascular health among other things.

RASPBERRY ROSE VINAIGRETTE

2 T raspberry vinegar
1 T rose water
zest of 1 lemon
1/8 t stevia (Sweetleaf)
1/16 t xanthan gum (Bob’s Red Mill)
2 T walnut oil
2 T flax oil

In a small bowl combine the first 5 ingredients. Whisk in the oils and pour the Vinaigrette in a small serving container. Serve over a salad of greens with raspberries and walnuts. Serves 8. ©Janice Moreland http://thekitchentwist.com

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