Friday, March 29, 2013

DIY Vegetable Fruit Dyes

1/2 cup pure beet juice
1 cup warm water

1 cup warm water
1/2 cup pure spinach juice

1 cup warm water
1/2 cup pure carrot juice

1 cup warm water
1/2 cup blackberry juice

1 cup warm water
4 tablespoons instant coffee

1 cup warm water
1/2 cup strawberry juice

Be sure to use white eggs.

Happy Easter!

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Easter Bunny Explained: How A Rabbit Got Associated With Easter - March 28th, 2013

The Easter Bunny is perhaps the biggest commercial symbol of Easter.

But how did a rabbit and eggs become associated with the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ?

Well there clearly seems to be no correlation between the secular symbols and the Christian holiday. While the first known mentions of the bunny tradition appear in 15th century German literature according to Discovery, the bunny has its roots in pre-13th century pagan traditions.

Bunnies, eggs, Easter gifts and fluffy, yellow chicks in gardening hats all stem from pagan roots. They were incorporated into the celebration of Easter separately from the Christian tradition of honoring the day Jesus Christ rose from the dead.

Some believe, rabbits were associated with the Teutonic deity Eostra, the goddess of spring and fertility, for their especially high reproduction rate. Eggs, and especially their hatching, are another symbol of spring with roots in pagan tradition, according to

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Gluten Free Coconut Orange Bundt Cake

Bundt Cake:
4 cups gluten free all purpose almond flour blend 
4 teaspoons gluten free baking powder 
2 teaspoons guar gum 
2 cups dry coconut flakes
2 oranges (zest only) 
1 cup plain Greek yogurt 
1 cup raw honey 
3 large room temperature eggs 
1 cup melted butter 
1 cup milk

Preheat oven to 350 F

Butter a large bundt cake pan and sprinkle a little flour over the top. Combine all the dry ingredients including orange zest. Whisk all the wet ingredients and add to the dry. Mix until smooth. Pour into the bundt pan. Bake for 60 minutes or until a stick inserted into the middle comes out clean. Remove f rom the oven to cool completely in the pan before turning out.

1/2 plain yogurt 
2 cups powdered sugar 
1 large orange, juice only

Combine yogurt and orange juice. Beat until smooth. Pour on top of the cake followed by orange zest (refer to the picture).

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Pear Fennel Salad with Lemon Maple Vinaigrette

1 tablespoon French mustard 
1 large lemon, juiced 
2 tablespoons pure maple syrup 
1 cup extra virgin olive oil 
1 tablespoon chopped fennel fronds 
Sea salt and black pepper to taste

Blend all the ingredients until smooth and creamy. Keep refrigerated.

1 fresh fennel bulb, slice into thin strips 
2 large ripe Anjou pears, slice into thin strips 
1 large shallot, slice into strips 
2 fennel stalks with fronds, slice into thin strips

Toss pears, shallot, and fennel to combine. Arrange in a large serving platter with fresh slices of sourdough baguette around the edges.Drizzle a generous amount of vinaigrette over the top and serve immediately.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Gluten Free Hot Cross Buns

3 1/2 cups gluten free Almond Blend All Purpose Flour
 2 teaspoons guar gum
 1/2 cup coconut sugar 
1 1/2 cups raisins
 1/2 cup dried mixed fruit (optional) 
1 tablespoon instant yeast 
1 tablespoon cinnamon 
1 tablespoon nutmeg 
1 teaspoon all spice 
2 large oranges (zest only) 
1 1/2 cups full cream milk 
2 large room temperature eggs 
1 cup melted salted grass fed butter 
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract

Add yeast to warm milk. Set aside for 5 minutes or until it's frothy. Combine all the dry ingredients, including raisins, dried mixed fruit (optional) and orange zest. Set aside. Whisk eggs, melted butter, and vanilla until creamy and add yeast and milk mixture. Add wet ingredients to the dry (add more flour if mixture is too wet or add more milk is mixture is too dry).
Add large scoopfuls of the dough to a greased square or round pan (enough for 18 large rolls). Dip a spatula in cold water to smooth the top of the buns. Brush with egg wash.

Egg Wash: 
1 large room temperature egg 
1 tablespoon cold water

Preheat oven to 350 F

Cross Paste: 
1/2 cup flour 
1 tablespoon unsalted butter 
1/4 tsp GF baking powder 
1/4 cup milk

Combine flour and baking powder. Rub in butter. Stir in enough milk to make a thick batter that can be piped. Add to piping bag. Pipe thin crosses onto the buns (refer to picture). Set buns in a warm, draft free place to double in size (about 1 1/2 hours or more depending on where you live).

Bake for 20 to 30 minutes or until it sounds hollow when tapped.

1 cup orange marmalade

Glaze hot buns with orange marmalade.

Friday, March 22, 2013

"Story Of An Egg": Difference Between 'Cage-Free', 'Free-Range', and 'Pastured' Eggs - March 22nd, 2013

Cage-free eggs are pretty commonplace on supermarket shelves. But if you imagine they must come from a bunch of chickens roaming around the farmyard politely clucking, you're sadly mistaken.

The definition for "cage-free" is quite literal: All it means is that the hens aren't kept in cages. It doesn't mean they're treated well. They can still be cooped up in large industrial chicken houses with no room to walk around.

Think "free-range" is any better? In order for chicken to be labeled as "free-range," they must have access to the outdoors. But that outside space doesn't need to be very big.

Not all cage-free eggs come from hens confined to small quarters, however, nor are all free-range chickens cooped up. 

"The Story of an Egg," one of 25 short films nominated in the PBS Online Film Festival, speaks to several farmers who raise chickens with plenty of space to roam free. And they don't have particularly kind things to say about farmers who do otherwise.

Which isn't surprising given the conditions caged chickens can suffer: Some are even debeaked so they don't peck each other.

Take a look at "The Story of an Egg" :

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Whole Foods, Trader Joe's And Others Vow Not To Sell GMO Fish - March 21st, 2013
Whole Foods Market Inc, Trader Joe's and other food retailers representing more than 2,000 U.S. stores have vowed not to sell genetically engineered seafood if it is approved in the United States, a new advocacy group said on Wednesday.

The announcement from the Campaign for Genetically Engineered-Free Seafood comes as the U.S. Food and Drug Administration appears close to approving genetically engineered salmon from Massachusetts-based AquaBounty Technologies.

If it gets final approval from the Food and Drug Administration, the salmon would be the first genetically engineered animal to enter this country's human food supply. The United States already is the world's largest market for foods made with genetically altered plant ingredients.AquaBounty says its "AquAdvantage Salmon" can grow to market size in half the time of conventional salmon, saving time and resources. The fish is essentially Atlantic salmon with a Pacific salmon gene for faster growth and a gene from the eel-like ocean pout that promotes year-round growth.

Critics say such genetically modified products are not sufficiently tested for safety, carry allergy risks and should be labeled. Proponents disagree and say the products are safe.Discount grocer Aldi, regional chains such as Marsh Supermarkets, PCC Natural Markets and co-ops in Minnesota, New York, California and Kansas also signed the commitment to avoid selling genetically-engineered fish.

"We won't sell genetically engineered fish because we don't believe it is sustainable or healthy," said Trudy Bialic from PCC Natural Markets in Washington State.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Wild Cod in White Wine Butter Sauce

Serve: 4

8 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into small cubes
2 large lemons, juice and zest
1 large garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup extra dry Chardonnay 

Combine lemon juice, zest, and wine. Cook over high heat until reduced to half. Remove from the heat to cool slightly (about 10 minutes). Add butter cubes and blend until smooth. Season with sea salt and black pepper. Keep warm. 

4 6oz wild cod or similar firm white fish
3 fresh large garlic cloves, minced
3 tablespoons virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon fresh chopped dill
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
Sea salt and black pepper to taste

Combine garlic, olive oil, lemon juice, and chopped dill. Marinade cod in room temperature for 30 minutes. Season to your preference with sea salt and black pepper.  

Drizzle olive oil to cover the bottom of a large skillet on medium to high heat. When hot pan fry cod for 4 minutes, turning over halfway.

Serve immediately with a generous amount of the sauce over the top.

The Truth About Kale - March 20th, 2013

Move over Popeye and make room for the "queen of greens," kale. Gaining in popularity, kale is an amazing vegetable being recognized for its exceptional nutrient richness, health benefits, and delicious flavor.

Eating a variety of natural, unprocessed vegetables can do wonders for your health, but choosing super-nutritious kale on a regular basis may provide significant health benefits, including cancer protection and lowered cholesterol.

Kale, also known as borecole, is one of the healthiest vegetables on the planet. A leafy green, kale is available in curly, ornamental, or dinosaur varieties. It belongs to the Brassica family that includes cruciferous vegetables such as cabbage, collards, broccoli, and Brussels sprouts.

What makes kale so exceptional? Here is why it's a superstar vegetable -- and ways to work it into your diet.
Kale is a Nutritional Powerhouse

One cup of kale contains 36 calories, 5 grams of fiber, and 15% of the daily requirement of calcium and vitamin B6 (pyridoxine), 40% of magnesium, 180% of vitamin A, 200% of vitamin C, and 1,020% of vitamin K. It is also a good source of minerals copper, potassium, iron, manganese, and phosphorus.

Kale’s health benefits are primarily linked to the high concentration and excellent source of antioxidant vitamins A, C, and K -- and sulphur-containing phytonutrients.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

What's really behind the ingredient 'Natural Flavors?' -- March 5th, 2013

What does the term "natural flavors" really mean? Could it be that the term "natural flavors" includes genetically modified, pesticide-laden food? There are also plenty of "food products" on the shelves that read "all natural" on the label, but they still contain large amounts of synthetic, laboratory-concocted food agents, many of which cause diseases and disorders. So how much more confusing can it get to simply shop for food that doesn't kill you slowly?

Exactly who makes the rules about terms put on labels? You better hope it doesn't all fall in the hands of the FDA, the same organization responsible for allowing genetically modified food to exist and be sold completely undercover ever since its inception. And does natural flavoring include the migraine headache monster monosodium glutamate? Also, can "natural flavoring" include bugs that are ground up to turn your food into some "happy" colors that help you celebrate some birthday or big event? One final question: could "natural flavoring" mean the food contains meat, even though it's a vegetarian or vegan product?Maybe "natural flavoring" means it's not natural at all, instead, some food scientists were paid millions to create un-natural, immune system "crippling" foods, drinks, candies and medicine, just to make some extra money off of your sickness. There's a point where conspiracy theory bleeds over into the real world of unnatural food and medicine, where paranoia of cancer scams and epidemics spill over into actual statistics (United States), the ones which include every other man and every third women in the most "powerful country in the world."

MSG, Aspartame and bugs in your food are all considered "natural flavors" and "natural colors. 

Do you know what autolyzed yeast extract really is? It's MSG. Do you know what hydrolyzed soy protein (also MSG) does to your body? Have you thought about eating some beetles lately, or do you only do that when you have cupcakes, popsicles, birthday cake and cough medicine? Has your doctor discussed with you the fact that your ingestion of artificial sweeteners may be the main cause of your muscle aches, headaches, irritable bowels and even fibromyalgia? Do allopathic doctors, surgeons and oncologists in America have to take even one single class in college on nutrition? No, they don't. What about continuing education to keep up with the latest food toxins? Nope!

Friday, March 1, 2013

Gluten Free Chestnut Crepes Stuffed with Shrimp and Creamy Blue Cheese

I was introduced to Lauren Kelly's gluten-free cookbook - The Everything Wheat-Free Diet Cookbook a few weeks ago. This book will show you how to substitute common foods (and uncommon foods) with those that are wheat-free. Lauren shares thrilling recipes from around the world that prove you can give up the gluten without giving up the flavor. For sufferers of celiac disease, the necessary diet limitations can seem like a culinary curse. With the right information and a great cookbook, you can still eat most of the foods you love while maintaining a healthy, well-balanced diet. This recipe book will inspire you, but it also has pages full of invaluable information for those on a gluten-free journey. I highly recommend this book.

I was inspired immediately after I read Lauren's book to make her Chestnut Crepes with a savory twist. 

Yield: 6

Chestnut Crepes:
2 large room temperature eggs 
1 cup milk
 1/2 cup chestnut flour 
1/2 cup rice flour
2 tablespoons salted melted butter

Whisk all the ingredients until smooth. Heat a well buttered 11" by 11" round skillet on medium heat. When hot, pour in half a cup of the batter and tilt the skillet with a circular motion so that the batter coats the surface evenly. Cook the crepe for about 2 minutes. Loosen with a spatula, turn and cook the other side. Repeat until all the batter is gone. Keep crepes warm while you prepare the filling.

1 lb medium shrimp, peeled and deveined 
2 tablespoons butter 
4 large fresh garlic cloves, crushed 
1/2 cup chopped fresh basil leaves
1/2 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley 
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes 
1/4 cup dry white wine 
3/4 cup heavy whipping cream
1/2 cup blue cheese 
Black pepper to taste

Heat a large skillet and add butter. When hot, add garlic, pepper f lakes, fresh herbs f or a minute to combine. Add wine, cream, and cheese to melt, followed by shrimp. Cook for 3 to 5 minutes or until it's done. Season to taste with black pepper. Fold empty crepe over to form a half circle. Spoon a tablespoon of the stuffing into one half . Fold it over, this time to form a triangular shape (refer to picture). Drizzle some of the sauce over the top. 

Serve warm.

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