Lemon Violet Chia Pudding

Lemon Violet Chia Pudding

So easy. So tasty. So healthy. Make this lovely spring breakfast or not-too-sweet dessert right now.
If you have violets in your yard, here’s a whole new way to enjoy them. Violets are filled with antioxidants, so are health promoting in all the ways so many herbs and botanicals are. The lemon and violets both lend a light fragrance to this no-cook pudding.
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I think of the ratio for chia a lot like the ratio for grains – that is, one part seeds to two parts liquid (for a pudding like this). I don’t count the yogurt in liquid – to me, that’s to make a creamy texture.
Make this the night before your breakfast, or a few hours before dinner for dessert. I used yogurt for a big of creaminess – for a vegan version, use a coconut yogurt or just skip the yogurt, perhaps boosting the chia for thickness.
Enjoy!

Ingredients

1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk
juice and zest of 1/2 fresh lemon
2 tsp honey
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 cup chia seed
1/4 cup plain yogurt (good quality any level of fat)
1/2 cup violets – use heads (if you are up for chewing) or just the petals

Directions

In a medium bowl, mix almond milk, lemon juice, zest, honey, and vanilla. Stir in yogurt and chia. Add most of violets, saving a couple to decorate your creation.

Place in refrigerator overnight, or at least for 4 hours before serving.
Makes two – 2/3 cup servings.
For breakfast, if you top with 1/2 cup of blueberries, you’ll have a fiber, protein and nutrient rich start to your day.
Report back!
Annie

Asian Slaw Recipe

Asian Slaw Recipe

Asian Slaw Recipe by Annie B Kay - anniebkay.com
Everyone should have a vegetable-based recipe or two that takes (snap!) that long, that serves as a quick meal or snack. This raw Asian slaw recipe has been a mainstay of my 3pm-give-me-carbs attack for years. It works.
The heart of the recipe is savoy cabbage and rice wine vinegar. You can enjoy (and I often do) just these two ingredients. But why not toss in some carrot, cilantro or Thai basil, and sesame oil? Add a handful of cashews, organic tofu or garbanzo beans to make it a meal.
This is a great springtime detox recipe, because it is nutritionally dense, and contains the antioxidants that support your liver in its biotransformation of cellular gunk into removable trash, which can then be flushed out of your body via the usual exit routes. This recipe also has lots of fiber, secret weapon of the weight-conscious.

Asian Slaw Recipe

Ingredients

  • ½ cup savoy cabbage sliced thin
  • ½ cup red cabbage sliced thin
  • a few fresh snow peas, sliced
  • ¼ cup diced red pepper
  • 1 medium carrot, diced
  • 1 Tbsp fresh cilantro if available
  • 2 tsp rice wine vinegar

optional:

  • 2 Tbsp Asian salad dressing
  • 2 tsp sesame oil
  • 1 slice fresh ginger, diced with skin trimmed
  • a handful of cashews, or 1/2 cup tofu

Directions

Toss everything together and eat.
Just getting started with healthy eating? This article will help.
Asian Slaw Recipe by Annie B Kay - anniebkay.com

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Wild Mustard Asparagus Soup Recipe

Wild Mustard Asparagus Soup Recipe

Wild Mustard Asparagus Soup Recipe by Annie B Kay - anniebkay.com
Please resist the temptation to spray weed-killer on your lawn as it is filled with nutrition free for the taking. Eat your “weeds” instead! Wild garlic mustard, for example, is considered an invasive weed but is also a nutrient-dense green with spicy garlic flavor. This green is filled with antioxidant vitamins and minerals, and eating a little something wild every day connects us more deeply to nature.
I love the fact that just when we need to brush out the sludge from that long cold winter, the very tonics we need to help that happen literally spring up under our feet. Dandelion, ramps, wild strawberry and garlic mustard to name a few are everywhere now, and all we need to do is accept the invitation and support to detoxify deliciously.
Here is a nice light green spring soup recipe that I whipped up with the crew of people coming for Detox at Kripalu in mind. And of course, all my friends who are Kripalu Detox alums. Between the garlic mustard and asparagus (which is bursting with glutathione, the mother of all antioxidant and a detox power food) this recipe is made for spring nutrition. Enjoy!

Wild Mustard Asparagus Soup Recipe

Ingredients

  • 15-20 stalks asparagus, snapped into 2-inch pieces
  • 5 stalks celery, chopped
  • 2 Tbsp good quality olive oil
  • 1 scallion, chopped
  • 15 oz chicken or vegetable stock (I used Pacific Natural Organic Chicken)
  • 2 cups fresh wild garlic mustard leaves
  • 2 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 Tbsp grass-fed butter
  • 4 Tbsp toasted sunflower seeds
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Directions

Saute celery in olive oil in a heavy soup pot until soft. Add scallion and asparagus, and continue to saute until vegetables are soft. Add stock, garlic mustard, and Dijon, and simmer medium-low for 15 minutes.
Go to it with your immersion blender.
Stir in butter until melted and incorporated into the soup. Add salt and pepper to taste, and serve warm, topping each bowl with a Tbsp of toasted sunflower seeds.
Wild Mustard Asparagus Soup Recipe by Annie B Kay - anniebkay.com

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Tahini Dressing Recipe

Tahini Dressing Recipe

Tahini Dressing Recipe by Annie B Kay - anniebkay.com
Most commercial salad dressings, I am sorry to say, are filled with chemicals. Choose them carefully, and consider making your own. It’s easier than you think.
Dressings and sauces are an opportunity to perfect and balance vegetables with nutrient dense oils, vegetable proteins and spices. Here’s a nice tahini dress to serve over cooked or raw greens, sprouts, carrots, peppers, and scallions. I am waiting impatiently for my Thai basil to grow to add to this one.
Quick & easy.

Tahini Dressing Recipe

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup Tahini
  • 1 cup sesame oil
  • 1/2 cup rice wine vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp honey
  • 2 tsp fresh ginger, peeled and grated

Directions

It all goes in the blender until smooth.
You can make a base of this dressing, and change it up by adding one or more of the following to small batches of it:

  • Cilantro
  • Lots of garlic
  • Thai chili
  • Peanuts
  • Lime

Tahini Dressing Recipe by Annie B Kay - anniebkay.com

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Roasted Vegetables – Healthy or Not Healthy?

Roasted Vegetables – Healthy or Not Healthy?

Roasted Vegetables -Healthy or Not Healthy -by Annie B Kay -anniebkay.com
Roasting vegetables – baking them with a drizzle of olive oil until they have a toasty color and flavor – is a mainstay of my fall and winter kitchen. I give my tomatoes and onions a light roast before pureeing them into soups and sauces and love the sweet roast flavor.
Is roasting vegetables a healthy way to eat them? There has been some attention to the downsides of charring meats and vegetables on the grill – is roasting in that category?
It depends. My favorite nutrition answer!
If you roast your vegetables to a deep crispy crunch, then well yes, you’re roasting the nutrients out and possibly creating some less-than-healthful new things that your liver will need to contend with. Too, if you are roasting over high heat – at 425F, for example, you will want to be aware of the type of oil you use. Unrefined oils, like some olive oils and certainly things like flax oil, have low smoke points, meaning that the oil begins to break down quickly at a fairly low temperature.
Here are a few tips for nutritious roasting:

  1. Choose a higher smoke point oil. Oils like grapeseed, lighter olive oils and refined oils have higher smoke points and won’t burn as easily. Coconut oil and ghee tend to be on the higher smoke-point end too.
  2. Consider lower-temp roasting. I find that roasting vegetables at 325F for 25-40 minutes gives as much roasting flavor as I ever desire. Then I can use my flavorful olive oils, there isn’t oil breakdown (you can sometimes tell by the smokiness – if you are using a low smoke point oil and use a higher roasting temp, that billow of smoke tells you that you are learning this lesson).
  3. Use your nose and common sense. Burned oils lose their nutritional benefits. If you enjoy roasting, go for it, but wean yourself off crispy charred vegetables, and enjoy the light toasting instead. Heat does destroy some nutrients. Some nutrients, however, are actually more available once they’ve been heated.
  4. Eat your vegetables prepared a variety of ways – steamed (greens), sautéed (onions and greens), roasted (tomatoes, root vegetables) and not cooked at all (avocados, carrots). That way you’ll enjoy a full range of flavor and the nutrition advantages of each method.

In the end, chef knows thyself. If you (like I) am one who knows two stovetop burner settings – high and off – then get to know this idea of the smoke point. If you put the pan on the stove, turn it to high, pour in the oil and wait until it smokes – get yourself a bottle of high-temp grapeseed oil.
Spectrum oil used to have a great chart of smoke points, but I see they no longer have it on their site. Here is one to take a look at, and here is another.

For my roasted tomato sauce, I roasted piles of tomatoes (rinsed, sliced and cored when woody), an onion and a head of garlic, all drizzled with olive oil, at 325F for 25 minutes. Then I squeezed the garlic cloves out of their husks and blended everything. I had the most delicious soupy sauce – with seeds! – that we will enjoy all winter.
Roasted Vegetables -Healthy or Not Healthy -by Annie B Kay -anniebkay.com

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Deliciously Easy Lentils Recipe

Deliciously Easy Lentils Recipe

Deliciously Easy Lentils Recipe by Annie B Kay - anniebkay.com
If you have high cholesterol and don’t want to go on medication, beans are your friends. Studies have shown that eating beans a few times weekly can help lower LDL (the blood cholesterol most closely associated with heart disease). Actually, if you want to control your weight and not eat a lot of meat, beans are your friends.
I’ve been experimenting with spice blends over the last few seasons and if you are a fan of flavor but don’t want to purchase lots of expensive spices to mix and experiment with, this might be your flavor hack (shortcut). If you want to try lentils for their health benefits but haven’t liked them so far, this might be your recipe. It’s a snap. Tasty.
I’ve been using Mountain Rose Herb’s spice blends – I particularly like 5 Spice (which gives a Chinese flavor) and West Indies blends. They have nice clean fresh spices (not to mention lots of other goodies if you are herbal-inclined). Warning – their website is an herbal and culinary wonder-emporium…you may spend more time there than you intend.

Deliciously Easy Lentils Recipe

Ingredients

  • 1 cup lentils (I used some lovely black lentils)
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2-3 Tbsp spice blend of your choice
  • 2-3 cups water

Directions


Pour oil into a medium saucepan over medium heat, and add 1 Tbsp spice and onion. Sauté for 5-6 minutes until onions are translucent. Add lentils, water and remainder of spice.
Cover and simmer for 25-35 minutes, until lentils are desired softness.
Enjoy.
Deliciously Easy Lentils Recipe by Annie B Kay - anniebkay.com

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