Clean Bean Casserole

Clean Bean Casserole

If it’s not broke, don’t fix it, right? Well. Grandma’s classic isn’t exactly broken, it just needs a little modern-day health booster. This version is just as easy, even tastier (if you can believe it), dairy-free, gluten-free, uses all plant powered, clean, whole foods, and even has a touch screen. Welcome to the millennium, green beans! Give them a spin anytime you’re feeling thankful.


Clean Bean Casserole

Serves 8

Creamy Mushroom Gravy:
1 cup raw cashews, submerged in water and soaked overnight (or at least 4 hours)
1 Tbsp olive oil
20 oz sliced white mushrooms
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 vegetable bouillon cube

“Fried” Onions:
1 large onion, sliced into crescents
¼ cup almond meal
1 Tbsp cornstarch
½ tsp black pepper
½ tsp salt
2 Tbsp olive oil

Green Beans:
2 lbs green beans, ends removed

Preheat oven to 350°

Mushroom gravy: Blend cashews with soaking water. Set aside. Heat oil in sauté pan and sauté mushrooms and garlic until cooked through. Add cashew “cream” and bouillon cube and continue to cook over medium heat until bouillon cube dissolves. Set aside.

Onions: In a medium-sized bowl, combine almond meal, cornstarch, black pepper, and salt. Stir sliced onions until well-coated. In a sauté pan, heat olive oil and “fry” coated onions. Set aside.

Green beans: Place green beans into a 13 X 9-inch baking dish (pre-steam them for softer beans). Pour creamy mushroom mixture over top and stir to coat green beans. Top with onions and bake, uncovered, for 30 minutes.

Nutrition Information Per Serving: 211 calories, 13 g fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 19 g carbohydrates, 6 g fiber, 8.5 g protein, 16% vitamin A, 37% vitamin C, 6.5% calcium, 15% iron, 11% zinc.
Cheers and thanks!

xo

Jen

High & Mighty Brownie Cookies

IMG_1152.JPG

Ever thought to put veggies and beans into brownie mix and then turn them into cookies? Wait, that’s not what you think about as you lie in bed at night? Oh. Well, I’ve taken on the age-old question and attempted an answer: How do we make brownies a complete meal? Announcing the High & Mighty Brownie Cookie. High in nutrients, mighty in taste and energy. And while I still serve them for dessert, they can certainly pass for a side dish or maybe even a main squeeze…

High & Mighty Brownie Cookies
Makes 48

1 (15-ounce) can black beans, drained & rinsed (about 1 1/2 cups cooked beans)
Large handful kale, about 2 cups chopped
1/2 cup pumpkin puree (the canned type)
1 box brownie mix
1/2 cup coconut flour, almond meal, or cashew meal

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

Blend or food process beans, kale, and pumpkin into a smooth, olive green glop (probably not wise to taste-test this…).

Stir glop together with brownie mix and coconut flour (or almond or cashew meal).

With slightly wet hands, form into 1 1/2-inch round balls (slightly smaller than golf balls) and drop onto an ungreased cookie sheet about an inch apart.

Press down gently with a fork in a criss-cross fashion.

Bake for 10-12 minutes. Cool for 5 minutes and chow down!

Nutrition Information Per Cookie: 74 calories, 1 g fat, 36 mg sodium, 0 mg cholesterol, 11 g carbohydrate, 2 g fiber, 6 g sugar, 1 g protein, 21% vitamin A, 3% iron.

Now you (or at least I) can rest soundly. Cheers to chocolate! xo

Skin Glow from Fruits and Veggies Better Than a Sun Tan

Arugula Salad in SKINNY DISH

Arugula Salad in SKINNY DISH

Ever noticed that people who eat lots of fruits and veggies have a magical glow? Wait, you haven’t? It’s the kind where you want to run right up to them and ask if they just ate a salad. Yes, that’s the one I’m talking about. Well, here’s some new science to prove the phenomenon. A study published in The Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology showed that people who ate more carotenoid-rich fruits and veggies (basically all of them, but especially the orange, red, yellow, and dark green ones), had more attractive skin tone. So, not only are these colorful crops good for your insides, but for your outsides, and for your friends’ eyes as well. Great excuse then to chow this simple and fall-friendly arugula salad. Cheers, attractive people!

Arugula Salad with Pan-Seared Butternut Squash

Makes 2 servings
Prep and cooking time: 15 minutes

Searing is a great way to bring out the flavors in veggies, and it’s done by cooking them in a skillet with high heat and very little oil, a good way to keep the fat content down. Enjoy this colorful salad in the fall when squash is aplenty.

1 tsp olive oil
2 cups very small butternut squash cubes (about the top portion of a butternut squash, peeled and finely cubed)
¼ tsp salt
¼ tsp garlic powder
1 (7-oz) bag TJ’s Wild Arugula Wild Rocket Salad, or other bag of prewashed arugula
2 Tbsp white balsamic vinegar, divided
Dash of sesame seeds for garnish (optional)

1. In a medium-sized skillet, heat oil. Add butternut squash chunks, salt, and garlic powder. Pan-sear the squash for 6 minutes stirring it every minute or so and removing it from the heat for 10 seconds at a time if the pan gets too smoky. Remove from heat and place on a plate in the fridge for 5 minutes to cool.

2. Divide bag of arugula onto 2 plates. Top each plate with the butternut squash cubes and 1 Tbsp of white balsamic vinegar. Garnish each one with sesame seeds if desired.

3. Dressed salad will not last past the current meal, so eat up! Butternut squash cubes make perfect finger foods for toddlers or toothpick veggie kebabs for young children.

NUTRITION SNAPSHOT
Per serving: 143 calories, 3 g total fat, 0.5 g saturated fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 325 mg sodium, 30 g carbohydrates, 7 g fiber, 6 g sugar, 4 g protein, 327% vitamin A, 71.5% vitamin C, 23.5% calcium, 13% iron

Detox Day 7: Top 13 Detox Foods

Can you believe it’s the last day? What a super journey this has been! Now that you’re accustomed to inhaling so many of nature’s powerfoods (raw nuts, berries, quinoa, broccoli, kale, spinach, beans, lentils…), I thought a quick list of my top favorite 13 detoxing foods along with their top reasons why they’re so awesome would be a cool graduation gift. Try to incorporate at least FIVE of these every day from now on, and you’ll continue to feel like you have wings.

Wheatgrass Juice from mekonfarm.com

Wheatgrass Juice from mekonfarm.com

1. ALMONDS: Help remove impurities from your intestinal tract. Almond milk is a great dairy alternative to cow’s milk.

2. APPLES: Contain glucaric acid which helps your body get rid of estrogen-like chemicals and heavy metals.

3. AVOCADOS: Rich in healthy monounsaturated fat which doesn’t upset the proper balance of Omega-3’s to Omega-6’s. Contain glutathione which blocks 30 different carcinogens and helps the liver detoxify synthetic chemicals.

4. BEETS: Contain the compound betaine which lowers levels of several inflammatory markers and protects against liver damage. Also contain antioxidant betacyanin, which helps liver detoxify chemicals.

5. BLUEBERRIES: Super-rich in antioxidants including anthocyanins which stop free radical damage (free radical damage can lead to wrinkles and cancer tumor growth). Enhance glutathione production (see AVOCADOS).

6. CABBAGE:  Cleanses the digestive tract and contains powerful cancer-purging isothiocyanates. Eat raw in juices or salads as heat destroys isothiocyanates. Fermented cabbage (kim chi) is rich in natural probiotics.

7. GARLIC: Contains allicin which fights off harmful bacteria. Increases production of glutathione (see AVOCADOS). Garlic also cleanses the arteries, lowers high blood pressure, and cleanses mucous buildup in the lungs and sinuses.

8. GINGER: Eases nausea and digestion, but also promotes detoxification by speeding the movement of food through the intestines.

9. KALE: Rich in tons of anti-cancer compounds and flavonoids which reduce chronic inflammation and oxidative stress, but also contains a compound that jumpstarts the liver’s production of cleansing enzymes.

10. LEMONS: Super liver detoxifier and very alkalinizing: help restore the alkaline-acid balance of the body. Add 1/4 lemon to a glass of water every morning.

11. PARSLEY: Rich source of chlorophyll, a natural detoxifier. Raises glutathione levels (see AVOCADOS). Contains the volatile oil eugenol which is a strong anti-inflammatory and anti-arthritic agent.

12. SEAWEED: Binds to heavy metals and radioactive waste (from medical tests and food grown in contaminated soil) for elimination. Rich source of iodine which is essential for thyroid hormone production and your body’s metabolism.

13. WHEATGRASS: Potent detoxifier, and richest edible source of chlorophyll which rebuilds bloodstream, nourishes tissues, and purifies the liver. High in oxygen which helps brain and body function at optimal levels (a pregnancy must!). Grow and grind your own, or buy as frozen cubes or powder, and add to juices or smoothies.

Good thing you’re going grocery shopping today! Thank you thank you for joining all of us on this better-you health trip. You are all shining green stars! xoxo

Detox Day 6: What Happens on Day 8?

Quick Breakfast Staples

Quick Breakfast Staples

What’s your pie in the sky for Day 8? Is it pie? A piece of bread? Elbow macaroni? 13 shots of espresso? For me, it’ll be pretzel rods dipped in mustard. Washed down a green juice of course. Don’t laugh people, I’m pregnant!

Now that you’re a Detox pro on Day 6, it’s a perfect time to start thinking about what happens the day after tomorrow. Will you go back to your pre-Detox eating? A modified version? Take today and tomorrow and make a plan for what you’d like to do long-term. Here are some popular, healthy, and realistic post-Detox modifications to consider:

1. Go back to drinking the morning cup of coffee you missed, but with vanilla almond milk instead of cream and sugar. Try this creamy, dairy-free concoction. Or, enjoy green, white, or black tea as your morning caffeinated beverage. Check out this amazing version of Starbuck’s green tea latte. Oopsies, guess I should’ve told you coffee lovers that one of those this week was *ok* if you were really jonesin’ for some jo!

2. Continue eating the level of fruits and veggies with a giant heaping of cooked veggies at either lunch or dinner, and a giant serving of raw veggies at the other meal. Shoot for HALF your plate being veggies (either raw or cooked) at mealtime.

3. Continue with shakes or smoothies in the morning, but add a protein powder such as this hemp seed one from Trader Joe’s. High in protein, fiber, and essential amino acids, and makes your morning drink more filling. Another fave powder was created by superstar triathlete Brendan Brazier: Vega One French Vanilla. It’s got 10 grams protein per scoop, is fortified with lots of different vites and mins (including calcium), and is sweetened with stevia. My morning power smoothie is Vega + Frozen Banana + Handful of Kale + Water. Filling and sweet! Try these two too.

4. Add a more substantial morning meal such as gluten-free oatmeal (Trader Joe’s has amazing gluten-free oats that seem exactly like traditional rolled oats) with a handful of dried cranberries for sweetness, raw cashews, cinnamon, and cooled down with a dash of unsweetened non-dairy milk. And here’s a Baked Oatmeal version you can make ahead of time for oatmeal-on-the-go. Or heat up a cup of cooked quinoa from the previous night’s dinner with dried fruit, nuts, cinnamon, and non-dairy milk.

5. Enjoy a raw food bar in the afternoon to satisfy your sweet tooth–they’re easy to keep on hand, easily survive life in the bottom of bags, and can be stepped on without changing shape. Examples: Larabar, Pure Energy, and KIND. These can all be found in any old grocery store, TJ’s, Whole Foods, or natural health food store.

6. Continue with the Detox as your constant (developing your own menus using the guidelines), and veer from the Detox for special weekend days, when you go out to eat (trying your best to keep with the guidelines, but allowing yourself those treats you may have been missing), have potlucks, or attend parties.

7. Do the Detox 1-2 days per week or 7 days a month, and a modified version on the other days.

What else will you do to carry on the healthy changes you made once the Detox is done? If it’s only more water and more veggies, you still won! xoxo

Sweet Potato Mashup: A Thanksgiving Must

Sweet Potato Mash

Sweet Potato Mashup

Hate to admit it, but sweet potato mush is the one thing I continue to pass at the Thanksgiving feast. Even with its beta-carotene-rich orange goodness, it just doesn’t tickle my tofu.

Until now.

Determined to one day fall in love with denture-friendly sweet potatoes (of course sweet potato fries have always been a favorite), and inspired by Kathy’s Famous Sweet Potato Mash, it has happened. I am in love with this sweet potato mush!

Sweet Potato Mashup
Makes 5-6 cups (about 10 ½-cup servings)

2 large sweet potatoes, baked or boiled
1 cup vidalia onion, chopped

1/3 cup garlic hummus
3-5 cloves garlic, chopped
1 Tbsp olive oil
1/4 cup fresh tangerine or orange juice
1 tsp lemon juice
1 1/4 cup parsley, chopped
salt/pepper to taste


1. In a large bowl, combine all ingredients.

2. Mash well, but leaving some chunks.



3. Heat/reheat over the stovetop, stirring constantly, about 4 minutes. 

Nutrition info per serving: 68 calories, 2 g fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 80 mg sodium, 11 g carbohydrate, 2 g fiber, 3.5 g sugar, 2 g protein, 43% vitamin A, 3% iron

My version has fewer ingredients than Kathy’s, but please check hers out. Her photos are profesh and her ingredient combos (in this recipe and others) are uniquely gut-pleasing. I don’t know if it’s the garlic hummus, the fresh garlic, the raw onion, or the parsley, but this is definitely a must-try. Hello, Thanksgiving, and hello, orange taters!

Happy healthy holidays!

Thyroid Demystified

Hd-butterfly-pictureWondering about soy, cruciferous veggies, all the different types of thyroid hypers and hypos, why there’s a picture of a butterfly here, or just want some new cocktail party convo material? Check out this new post on KrisCarr.com. Thyroid Demystified!

2 Must-Drink Summer Power Smoothies

I’m on a new kick this summer — I’ve dropped the breakfast oatmeal and bran flakes and have become a blending maniac! EVERY morning, I throw a bunch of colorful plant matter plus some seeds and perhaps a yummy powder into my Vitamix, blend it, and go. If there are leftovers, I pour them into sealed glass jars and guzzle later in the morning. Here are my 2 favorite blendcoctions:

Daiquiri Power Tower

Daiquiri Power Tower

Chia Daiquiri
Makes 3 12-ounce portions

2 cups frozen organic strawberries
1 banana
Handful organic kale leaves (lacinato or dinosaur kale are my fave), spinach if the kale is too kale-ey
1/4 cup chia seeds (get them at Costco: $10 for a 2-lb. bag): Awesome source of LDL cholesterol-lowering soluble fiber and heart-healthy Omega-3’s
3 cups fortified non-dairy milk such as unsweetened coconut milk: Great source of calcium and vitamin D
1 scoop Vanilla Almondilla Vega One Energizing Smoothie powder: Superstar for protein, fiber, and sweetened with stevia so low-sugar too!

Blend, pour, and go!

Nutrition Info per 12-ounce serving: 246 calories, 12 g fat, 6 g saturated fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 22 g carbohydrate, 14 g fiber, 10 g sugar, 11 g protein, 90% vitamin A, 141% vitamin C, 30% vitamin D, 25% calcium, 14% iron.


Brown Hippie
Makes 3 12-ounce portions

Not pictured, because you might not try it! It’s brown, people. Close your eyes and enjoy!

1 cup frozen organic blueberries
1 cup frozen mango chunks
banana
Handful organic spinach leaves
3 cups fortified non-dairy milk such as unsweetened soymilk: Great source of calcium and vitamin D
1 scoop vanilla hemp protein powder (such as the one from Trader Joe’): Super rich in protein, Omega-3’s, and insoluble fiber
1 frozen cube wheatgrass juice (optional): adds nature’s richest edible source of chlorophyll – a natural detoxifier and blood pressure reducer

Blend, pour, and go!

Nutrition Info per 12-ounce serving: 220 calories, 5 g fat, <1 g saturated fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 33 g carbohydrate, 8 g fiber, 19 g sugar, 12 g protein, 31% vitamin A, 37% vitamin C, 30% vitamin D, 32% calcium, 25% iron.

Ta da! :)

Raw Food 3-Day Recap

nutsWell, I *just about* survived 3 days of raw. I had one minor, and very conscious slip-up on Day 2: a handful of multigrain pita chips.

All in all, it went well and I felt very light and energized. I get such a rise out of trying new things and challenging myself to leave my cozy zone. To be honest, my biggest worry with 3 days of raw, was how I was going to curtail my nightly PB & banana open-face sandwich habit. During Detox days, I have natural PB on a rice cake with banana slices, which is completely easy. Turns out, a sliced green apple with cinnamon and a cup of tea is a delicious substitute. But also turns out that a return to my PB & banana open-face sandwich on Day 4 was complete and total heaven. Sorry raw!

So, what I actually really learned is that I wasn’t properly prepared for 3 days of raw. I figured I could handle 3 days of raw fruits, veggies, dried fruit, raw nuts and seeds, and smoothies without doing any extra grocery shopping or fancy new food prep. But, by Day 2, I got tired of the limited raw fruits and veggies I had on hand, felt unsettled, and grabbed pita chips. I also found that I was eating a ton of extra calories by snacking on nuts, seeds, and dried fruit all the time. As a dietitian, you acquire an inner calorimeter, with alarms. Those alarms kept going off!

In retrospect, I probably picked the 3 toughest days to try anything new–they were super busy and full of deadlines and extra tasks. I made green smoothies in my son’s preschool class (which were raw, and fun!, but I had less time to focus on my rawness). I didn’t even have time to juice, let alone make my scrumptious Pulp Crax. My breakfasts were fruit and a Larabar every day, and that felt like cheating, especially all 3 days!

I *did* try a raw soup recipe the first day: blended raw hemp milk, mushrooms, kale, raw cashews, hemp milk, smoke seasoning, and water. It was AMAZING on Day 1, but simply did not last in flavor for Day 2. I trashed the rest and had trail mix and salad that day. Followed by the aforementioned pita chips — my excuse is that I was at work and didn’t have enough other raw gear on hand.

I also tried (but haven’t yet perfected) raw kale chips in my oven, although I learned that my oven only goes as low at 170 degrees, which is technically too hot. Why did I garage sell that food dehydrator that I insisted upon as a high school graduation present!?

On the complete upside, I discovered my new favorite non-chocolate dessert: Medjool dates, pit removed, and stuffed with raw almond butter. OH. MY!!!!

So, next time, I will plan better, and take more advice from this Raw Pantry Essentials list. I didn’t realize I could’ve eaten Nori sheets. I have a 25-pack in my pantry and could’ve totally gone to town on those!!

Raw Diet: I am not done with you!

Anyone else try/ succeed/ learn?

Detox Day 6: Thinking About Days 8, 9, & 10….

Mmm! A half-plate of veggies

Happy Day 6! What’s the latest? Still feeling good? Sleeping well and feeling energized? Now is a perfect time to start thinking about what happens the day after tomorrow. Will you go back to your pre-Detox eating? A modified version? Take today and tomorrow and make a plan for what you’d like to do long-term. Here are some popular, healthy, and realistic post-Detox modifications to consider:

1. Go back to drinking the morning cup of coffee you missed, but with vanilla almond milk instead of cream and sugar. Try this creamy, dairy-free concoction. Or, enjoy green, white, or black tea as your morning caffeinated beverage.

2. Continue eating the level of fruits and veggies with a giant heaping of cooked veggies at either lunch or dinner, and a giant serving of raw veggies at the other meal. Shoot for HALF your plate being veggies (either raw or cooked) at mealtime.

3. Continue with shakes or smoothies in the morning, but add a protein powder such as this hemp seed one from Trader Joe’s or Planet Fusion’s Vanilla Plant Fusion. High in protein, fiber, and essential amino acids, and makes your morning drink more filling.

4. Add a more substantial morning meal such as gluten-free oatmeal (Trader Joe’s has amazing gluten-free oats that seem exactly like traditional rolled oats) with a handful of dried cranberries for sweetness, raw cashews, cinnamon, and cooled down with a dash of unsweetened non-dairy milk. Or heat up a cup of cooked quinoa from the previous night’s dinner with dried fruit, nuts, cinnamon, and non-dairy milk.

5. Enjoy a raw food bar in the afternoon to satisfy your sweet tooth–they’re easy to keep on hand, easily survive life in the bottom of bags, and can be stepped on without changing shape. Examples: Larabar, Pure Energy, and KIND. These can all be found in any old grocery store, TJ’s, or Whole Foods.

6. Continue with the Detox as your constant (developing your own menus using the guidelines), and veer from the Detox for special weekend days, when you go out to eat (trying your best to keep with the guidelines, but allowing yourself those treats you may have been missing), have potlucks, or attend parties.

7. Do the Detox 1-2 days per week or 7 days a month, and a modified version on the other days.

What else will you do to carry on the healthy changes you made once the Detox is done? Hopefully you’ll all continue drinking all those energizing fluids!

Enjoy this day and the new, healthy you! XOXO

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