Monday, June 7, 2010

St RAW berry Pie

I got this recipe from my “Rawvolution” recipe book by Matt Amsden and was so surprised that it tasted sooo good! Even my mom loved it and she is an Italian woman who is used to very traditional foods. She wants the recipe!!! So, I’m sharing it with you. Super easy, Super healthy and Super delicious! The original recipe called for a 5 inch pie plate so I doubled the recipe mainly because I don’t own a 5 inch plate. :).

I will give you the original recipe but just double it for a 9 inch pie plate.

For the crust:

2 cups of raw almonds, finely ground in a food processor

1/2 cup agave nectar

For the filling:

1 1/2 cups strawberries ( I mixed in blueberries)

1/2 cup agave

To make the crust:

In a mixing bowl, combine the ground almonds and agave nectar, and mix well. Press the mixture evenly into the bottom and sides of a 5 inch pie plate.

To make the filling:

in a food processor, slice the strawberies with the slicing disc. ( I just slice with a knife).

Transfer the sliced beries to a mixing bowl, add the agave nectar, and mix well. Spoon the mixture into the pie crust and serve.

I would make and serve on the same day. The fruit makes a liquid which can make the pie a bit soggy. Otherwise, this was delicious.


Sunday, May 2, 2010

Which Fruits and Vegetables Have The Highest and Lowest Levels of Pesticides

When I go shopping I try to remember which fruits and vegetables have the highest and lowest levels of pesticides. I make sure I buy only the organic fruits and vegetables that have the highest levels and feel ok if I can only buy the conventional type of the fruits and veggies on the lowest levels. Here’s the list:

Highest Levels


Bell peppers



Grapes (imported)








Lowest Levels













Things to remember:

  • Organic Standards in the United States differ from those abroad.
  • Foods grown with high levels of pesticides are fed to animals we consume.
  • Foods that did not make the list for high levels but are often grown with high pesticide levels are; winter squash, green beans, apricots,soybeans, tomatoes, carrots, oranges, rice, imported almonds, sunflower seeds, peanuts and wheat.

We don’t have to get crazy about it but information is always good to have and gives us the ability to make educated choices.

Source: Clean Food by Terry Walters, Published 2009, Sterling Publishing Co. Inc.

This is a recommended resource for great clean food recipes!

Here is a recipe from the book:

Banana Coconut Chocolate Chip Cookies


2 bananas, mashed

1/4 cup canola oil

1/4 cup maple syrup

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 cup rolled oats

2/3 cup brown rice flour

1/4 cup teaspoon baking soda

1/2 cup shredded unsweetened dried coconut

pinch of salt

1/4 cup semi-sweet dark chocolate chips (I like Trader Joe's chocolate chips)


Preheat oven to 350 degrees

In medium bowl, combine bananas, oil, syrup and vanilla. In separate medium bowl, combine oats, flour, baking soda, coconut and salt. Add the banana mixture to the dry ingredients and blend until just combined (do not over stir). Fold in choc chips.

Drop batter by the heaping teaspoon onto the cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.

Place in oven and bake 14 min. or until lightly browned. Remove and cool on wire rack.

Makes 1 1/2 dozen.....Yum!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

White Pizza with Broccoli and Mushrooms (and olives)

I’ve been posting a lot of recipes lately and I wouldn’t be able to post them if they weren’t really good and EASY!! If they weren’t easy I wouldn’t have time to post. lol. I’ve been eating raw from breakfast through lunch (just before dinner) but have been trying to eat vegetarian for dinner. It’s been working out great and here is a recipe that I really liked and wanted to share. Enjoy!

In the original recipe they wrote that the key to a crisp crust is preheating the baking pan or pizza stone. I have to say this is the first time I’ve done this and agree with them.


2 tbs butter, divided

2 cups mushrooms (sliced)

1 tbs flour

1 cup low fat milk

2 tsp garlic (minced)

1/4 tsp salt

1/2 cup shredded mozzarella, divided

1/4 cup grated Parmesan, divided

1 13.8 oz pkg refrigerated pizza dough

I added some halved Kalmetta olives to my pizza

  1. Place pizza stone or baking sheet in center of oven and heat to 425 degrees.
  2. Melt 1 1/2 tsp butter in skillet over medium high heat. Add mushrooms, and cook 4-7 min or until beginning to brown, stirring frequently. Add broccoli and 1/3 cup water. Cover and steam broccoli in skillet 3-4 min or until tender.
  3. Heat remaining 1 1/2 tbs butter in saucepan over med-high heat. Add flour and cook 2 min, or until pale golden, stirring constantly. Stir in milk, garlic, and salt. Cook 3-4 min or until mixture thickens and begins to boil, stirring constantly. Remove from heat. Stir in 1/4 cup mozzarella and 2 tbs Parmesan until sauce is smooth and cheese melted.
  4. Shape pizza dough according to package directions. Remove pizza stone from oven and place dough on hot stone..... be careful not to burn yourself like I always do. :(
  5. Spread white sauce over dough to within 1/2 inch of edge and top with broccoli mixture. Sprinkle remaining mozzarella and Parmesan over top. Return to oven, bake 18-20 min or what I use as a measure...until edges of pizza are golden and center is hot and bubbly. Cool slightly before slicing and serving. Viola! My smoke detector only went off once during this recipe and it’s not because I burnt anything it’s because it’s so damn sensitive (which I guess I’m grateful for ;))

275 calories per slice

13 g prot

9 g fat

38 g carbs

7 g sugars

3 g fiber

Source: Vegetarian Times April 2010

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Raw Chocolate Pudding


1 medium avocado

1/2 cup water

1/4 cup agave

1/3 cup pitted dates

1/4 cup cacao powder

1 teaspoon pure vanilla

Blend up in a blender til smooth and creamy and enjoy! You’ll be surprised how good it is.

Recipe from Sweetly Raw Check out this site. It’s Amazing!!!!!

This recipe is posted especially for one of my awesome daughters, Coreen! Enjoy, love you.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

30 Day Raw Food Challenge

I’ve been interested in trying out a raw food diet for a while. I’ve read a lot about it and it seems to have really great benefits. I’ve decided to do this now because:

a) I’ve just read the book “Skinny Bitch” and found it very informative and daunting at the same time. Food, especially chicken and meat, just don’t look the same to me anymore. I’ll do a review on it later and

b) Just found a 30 day Raw Food Diet Challenge from Humbaba Raw Food World . Perfect timing! I’m going to start this on Monday after I do some planning, shopping and Easter. Planning is one of the main ingredients of any successful mission.

From what I’ve read the benefits of a raw food diet are:

*It will increase your energy level as early as 5 days after starting a raw food diet.

*A raw food diet feeds your body vitamins, minerals, and enzymes that are lost by cooking food.

*Raw food helps you lose weight effortlessly and you don’t even have to count calories!

*Raw food helps with anti-aging by feeding your body enzymes, help you think clearer which all helps you feel less stressed.

These are just some of the benefits. I am doing more research and will keep you posted on recipes and benefits and how it’s affecting me. I’m starting on Monday April 5th. I need to plan what I’m going to eat and go food shopping.

I will be Raw all day except dinner. I have to feed the family for dinner and will probably try and incorporate some raw foods into dinner. I may even just have a smoothie for dinner for myself. We’ll see. Wish me luck!

Have you ever tried a raw food diet? Let me know how it went for you!

Beautiful photo: Urban Explorer

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Coffee and Vitamin Absorption

My usual quick breakfast routine goes something like this... oatmeal (apple and cinnamon or maybe with blueberries, walnuts and honey) OR maybe an acai shake, then I have my decaf Deans coffee and a multivitamin....then off to work. Well, it used to be that way anyways. I think I need to change that up a bit because according to Mark Moyad, M.D., M.P.H. author of Dr. Moyad's No BS Health Advice

“Coffee is a stimulant so it revs up the gastrointestinal tract and makes things move more quickly through your body" in regards to your multivitamin ...basically, the vitamins are on an express train through your body (digestive tract) and won't make any stops.....So, in order to absorb vitamins from your supplement eat breakfast, have your coffee then wait 10-15 minutes and then have your vitamins with water.

Source: Fitness Magazine, January 2010

Wednesday, November 25, 2009


Plastic is EVERYWHERE! Look around. I’ve know this for a while but this behind the scenes experience made me realize how much it is everywhere even when we don’t see it.

While out the other day I stopped to get my favorite fast food (organic) coffee. While sitting at the drive up window I watched as the employees got ready for the day. As I watched, an employee took out a thick plastic bag, probably the size of a 9x12 bake pan , filled with a thick orange substance. She put it in a big metal dispenser out came the orange substance into a big PLASTIC cup full of a customers nutritious morning orange juice. So, not only is the orange juice stored and transported in a thick plastic bag it is then put in a plastic cup for our consumption. This is just a small view of how plastic is everywhere. Plastic is used because it is lightweight, easily moldable, performs many jobs, to name a few. But plastic is very toxic. I know we need plastics but I believe we should be educated about its affects on us so we can make educated consumer choices.

What made me write about plastics and why is it such a big deal to me you ask?? It is this. Endocrine disruptors. The basics of what they are, what they do to us and the environment is as follows:

What is an endocrine disruptor?

An endocrine disruptor is a manmade chemical that when absorbed into the body mimics or blocks hormones. This reaction disrupts the body’s normal functions.

Chemicals that are known human endocrine disruptors :

  • Bisphenol-A: A synthetic substance used to make polycarbonated plastics found in food and drink containers, the lining of tin cans, toys, baby bottles, plastic wraps only to name a few. This Chemical leaches out into food and water.

  • Phthalates: Synthetic substance added to plastics to make them softer, more flexible and resiliant. This substance is found in IV tubing, vinyl flooring, glues, inks, detergents, plastic bags, children’s toys, shower curtains, soaps, shampoos, perfumes, hair spray, nail polish.

  • Parabens: Compounds used as preservatives in many, many cosmetic, food and pharmaceutical products.

  • PBDE’s (polybrominated diphenyl ethers): Found in flame retardent furniture, mattresses, carpets, curtains, just to name a few. This substance is stored in animal fats and thus found in dairy products, meat, fish and human breast milk. It has been banned in several countries. It has also been found in house dust.

  • PCB’s (polychlorinated biphenyls): A highly toxic synthetic chemical compound found in lubricating oils in pipelines, mixed with adhesives, paper, inks, paints and dyes. PCB’s have been banned since 1976 in new products but they are highly stable compounds and degrade very slowly so these chemicals still exist.

  • Dioxin: Dioxin is a general name applied to a group of hundreds of chemicals that are highly persistent in the environment. The most toxic Dioxin compound is TCDD. Dioxin is formed as a by-product of many industrial processes involving clorine, such as pulp and paper bleaching, pesticide manufacturing and wast incineration. Small molecules are diffused into the air and land in soil, where they are eaten by soil microbes. From there they pass into the food chain of meat, fish, dairy products and breast milk. We absorb 90% of the dioxin in our bodies through food sources... I don’t think I’ve ever seen this on a food label, have you???? UGGHH!!

The good news is that levels have been decreasing since the 1990’s with environmental measures but it is still the most prevalent toxic chemical in our environment.

Heavy metals: Mercury and lead, cadmium and arsenic are used widely.

  • Diethylstilbesterol (DES drug): A drug used in the 60’s and 70’s given to women to help avoid miscarriages.

  • DDT and some other pesticides: toxic to the nervous system and reproductive system.

Exposure to endocrine disruptors happens often through direct contact with the chemicals or through ingestion of contaminated water, food or air.

Endocrine disruptors can leach out of plastics. These disruptors accumulate in fat.

Many plant and animal species are showing signs of ill health due to exposure to these chemicals. For example, fish in the Great Lakes, which are contaminated with PCBs have reproductive problems as well as swollen thyroid glands. Fish eating birds are showing similar dysfunctions.

Scientists think that the declining alligator population in Lake Apopka, Florida is connected to a large pesticide spill several years earlier and the alligators have been found to have these endocrine disruptors in their bodies and eggs.

So you say “So, fish and birds aren’t the same as humans, right?”

Wrong. All vertebrates (fish, amphibians, reptiles, birds, and mammals, including humans) similar during the embryonic development. Scientists can therefore use evidence acquired on other species regarding endocrine disruptors on humans.

There is also direct endocrine disruption evidence in humans. DES, a synthetic estrogen from the 1960’s and 70’s used to prevent miscarriages has been known to create high rates of vaginal cancers as well as birth defects of the uterus and ovaries and immune system suppression in teenage daughters of women who used this drug.

Children are of greater risk from affects of these disruptors because of the development of vital organs during childhood years. They are more vulnerable to this exposure.

The majority of chemicals on the market do not even go through the simplest testing for toxicity before allowed for sale and use. So you can’t trust the higher ups to help us on this one. And we all know plastics are made from petrochemicals (crude oil). But that’s a whole other story for another time.

This information is to say the least daunting. As I researched and wrote I cringed and wanted to throw everything in my house away and go live in a cave and grow my own food. But that is just not realistic or fun. So what can we realistically do about all of this?

Here are 10 things to start:

1. Get educated and then educate your family and friends. Even if they don’t want to hear it it may be in the back of their minds and eventually may think about it.

2. Buy organic when possible.

3. Baits and traps are good for pests. Also, keep your home clean to prevent roach infestations.

4. Campaign for non toxic alternatives when you can.

5. Eat fish from lakes rivers or bays and check with your state to see if they are contaminated.

6. Avoid plastic containers, ESPECIALLY heating food in them.

7. Avoid storing fatty foods in plastic containers or plastic wrap. Use glass instead.

8. Do not give young children soft plastic teethers or toys, since both leach potential endocrine disrupting chemicals.

9. Read the labels on soaps, shampoos, nail polish, hairspray especially using it on children.

10. Use reusable cloth bags for the supermarket. I like these anyways....easier to carry, they don’t cut into my hands and I can fit more into them.

This may all be daunting to you. I know it is to me. Plastics can’t be avoided completely but I think we can limit our use by making better choices. These choices aren’t always convenient but aren’t we and our families worth the trouble?

By the way, my organic coffee came to me in a styrofoam cup. I poured it to a ceramic coffee cup when I got home.


Natural Resources Defense Council,, retrieved 11/23/09, retrieved 11/24/09, retrieved 11/24/09

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

The Breakfast Club

Ok, when your parents say that breakfast is the most important meal of the day we really should listen to them. A recent study of 93 Latino children with a family history of type 2 diabetes revealed that skipping breakfast added more abdominal fat to those children who skipped eating breakfast regardless of what the total body fat or the daily calorie intake of the children was. As a note deep abdominal fat is a risk factor for insulin resistance and diabetes..... Breakfast doesn’t have to be difficult or too involved. We all know how hard it is to get out of the house in the morning. Yogurt topped with fruit or whole wheat toast with peanut butter would be a good start. Also, smoothies are fun...try this one

Pretty in Pink Smoothie

2 bananas

around 3/4 cup of raspberries

2/3 cup cranberry juice

add in some ground flax seed if you like

Nutrients in this smoothie (without the flaxseed) are beta-carotene, biotin, folic acid, vitamins b1, b3, b6 and c; calcium, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, potassium, sodium, and sulphur.

Who knew you could get all that in one quick whip of a blender!

Source: Diabetes Forecast, November 2009

Sunday, October 18, 2009

  • Oatmeal/Chocolate Chip/Coconut Cookies

  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup Sucanet sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 3/4 cups white/whole wheat flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt (optional)
  • 3 cups rolled oats
  • 2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1 cup shredded coconut
  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees cream together the butter, brown sugar and white sugar until smooth. Beat in the eggs one at a time, add the milk and vanilla.
  • Combine the flour, baking soda and salt; stir into the sugar mixture until well blended.
  • Stir in the oats, chocolate chips. walnuts and coconut until evenly distributed.
  • Drop by rounded tablespoons onto ungreased cookie sheet.Bake 10 to 12 minutes in the preheated oven.
  • Enjoy!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Chicken BB Q Sandwiches (adapted from Rachel Ray


  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 1 bottle Mexican beer (Corona)
  • 4 pieces, 6 ounces each boneless, skinless chicken breast
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil for pan
  • 1 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 medium onion, peeled and finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 tablespoon hot sauce
  • 2 tablespoons grill seasoning blend (recommended: Montreal Steak Seasoning, by McCormick)
  • 3 tablespoons dark brown paste
  • 4 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 6 soft bulkie rolls


    Bring liquids to a simmer in a small to medium skillet and slide in the chicken breast meat. Gently poach the chicken 10 minutes, turning once about after 5 minutes.

    While chicken poaches, heat a second medium skillet over medium low heat. To hot skillet, add extra-virgin olive oil and garlic and onion and gently saute until chicken is ready to come out of poaching liquids. Combine the next 5 ingredients in a medium bowl and reserve.

    When the chicken has cooked through, add 2 ladles of the cooking liquid to the bowl, combining with the sauces, spices, brown sugar and tomato paste. Once the liquids and seasonings are combined, remove chicken, slice it, and transfer to the medium bowl. Using 2 forks, shred the chicken and combine with the liquids. Add the shredded chicken to the onions and garlic and combine well. Simmer together 5 to 10 minutes, using extra cooking liquids to make your chicken as saucy as you like.

    Fill bulkie roll and enjoy.