Raw Coconut & Cacao Nibb Macaroons

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These Macaroons taste decadent, yet they are packed with antioxidants! Thanks to the cacao nibs, you’ll get a dose of polyphenols, magnesium & iron. The coconut oil in these binds all the ingredients together. Coconut oil is also a healthy fat  and  natural energy source.I love the simplicity of this recipe and that there’s no cooking involved. This allows all the nutrients in the ingredients to stay fully intact.

Eat these as a treat or as an on-the-go energy “bar”!

Coconut Macaroons

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Watermelon Radish Salad with Avocado Vinaigrette.

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I had never tried (or seen) a watermelon radish before, but one came in my Greenling local box last week, along with this wonderful salad recipe! It made  for a surprisingly healthy & tasty lunch.

Watermelon Radish Salad 

1 head of lettuce, chopped 

1 bunch arugula, chopped 

1 watermelon radish thinly sliced 

1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro 

Avocado Vinaigrette 

1 Tablespoon diced green onion 

1 1/2 tablespoons fresh orange juice 

1 1/2 tablespoons white wine vinegar

1 avocado, halved lengthwise, pitted and sliced

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil  

pinch of salt 

1. In a small bowl, stir together the diced onion, orange juice, vinegar & salt. Gently stir in the avocado. Let stand for 10 minutes, and then whisk in the olive oil to make it a vinaigrette.

2. In large bowl toss together lettuce, radish slices & cilantro.

Drizzle vinaigrette over the salad & serve immediately.

* I didn’t have lettuce or arugula so I used only spinach & it turned out fantastic.

Enjoy!

Strong: The New Skinny! Reasons to Strength Train.

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A few blogs ago, I mentioned that my current goal is to put on lean muscle mass. I’m not trying to bulk up body builder style or anything. I just want to be more toned and  athletic looking,  not  just skinny. Like the Nike Ads, that so inspire me!!!


Whatever your fitness goal may be, it’s very important to incorporate strength training into your workout  for several reasons.

10 Reasons to Strength Train:

1. To preserve muscle mass. Women around age 30 begin to lose lean muscle mass & both women and men will experience further decline in muscle mass by age 40. Strength training helps prevent this!

2. By increasing muscle mass you will burn more calories at rest. For example: 1 lb of muscle burns 35-50 calories at rest vs. 1 lb of fat  that burns 3-5 calories. You read that right, the more muscle you have the more calories your body will burn!

3. Helps increase flexibility & balance

4. Increasing lean muscle mass helps get rid of visceral fat, which reduces heart disease.

5. Strengthens core, which in return strengthens your entire body including your spine.

6. Helps reduce inches (weight) all over the body.

7. Helps prevent osteoporosis.

8. Helps prevent type 2 diabetes.

9. Increases muscle tone & definition.

10. Helps  reduce injury risk.  Also increases ability to absorb impact forces thus reducing joint stress.

The above is true for both men & women. Women don’t be afraid to strength train! You will not bulk up, unless you intend to do so!

Coconut Water & Mango Smoothie

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I needed something new and exciting for breakfast this morning. Something to save me from the long home stretch of Winter. The coconut water makes this smoothie very hydrating and the cayenne spices things up & revs your metabolism.

This smoothie transcended me to the Tropics, that’s for sure! Join me, won’t you?!

Mango-Coconut Water Smoothie

 2 cups mango fresh or frozen 

2 cups O.N.E coconut water 

4 Tbsp lime juice 

pinch of cayenne pepper 

pinch of chia powder 

Mix all ingredients in a blender & enjoy!

Farmhouse Veggie Burger

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My boyfriend  saw this recipe on the Food Network. It’s from the Farm Cafe in Portland Oregon. It’s pretty amazing!

Farmhouse Veggie Burger

2 whole eggplant, peeled and diced

2 scallions chopped

1 Tbs minced parsley

1 cup shredded medium cheddar * I used feta to stay with the Mediterranean theme.

1 cup bread crumbs

3.4 tsp black pepper

1 tsp minced garlic

1/4 tsp salt

3 Tbs olive oil

1. Saute eggplant on low heat till grey and very soft

2. Mix together eggplant other ingredients, except for the olive oil & let rest for 30 minutes in the refrigerator.

3. Form into 4 equal patties about an inch thick

* I only used 1/2 these ingredients and was able to get 3 generous sized patties. The full recipe should yield 6 patties.

4. In a sauté pan, heat olive oil, cook patties on each side for about 5 minutes. These could also be grilled or baked until golden brown.

Serve with roasted red bell peppers, fresh spinach & spicy mustard!

Beets Cafe: A Raw Food Experience.

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After talking about going for almost a year, I finally got to dine at Beets Cafe!  Beets is located on West 5th street in down town Austin. This café is unique in their cuisine because it’s 100% raw.

Beets touts the benefits of raw eating on their menu.

About Raw Foods

(source http://www.beetscafe.com)

A foodie friend and I went this past Tuesday, a fitting day because it was pouring rain and there was not much else to do. My friend and I  were open to the experience before we arrived, but neither one of us expected the food to be so amazingly delicious!

Beets offers a full menu with anything from appetizers to desserts. Some interesting menu items include The Rainbow salad with a creamy Spirulina (blue algae) dressing & the Salsa y Spicy Nacho Quezo appetizer which is made from a blend of cashews, carrots, miso and spices.

Here’s what we ordered…

Goji Lemonade

Being a fan of Goji berries, my friend Traci & I both decided to try the Goji Lemonade. Refreshing! I’m going to try to make this at home sometime soon!

Guacamole Spinach Dip

We ordered the Guacamole Spinach dip as an appetizer. It came served with crispy corn chips that were strangely addicting.

E.L.T

It was hard choosing an entrée. It was a difficult choice  deciding between the Pizza Rustica or the E..L.T but finally I decided on the E.L.T! Which  by the way stands for eggplant, lettuce , tomato.

a delicious sprouted almond sunflower flatbread, spread with a creamy cashew dijonaise, layered with crispy spiced eggplant “bacon”, lettuce, tomato, avocado, and high-vibe sprouts, served with crispy veggie chips and kraut.- Beets Cafe

I don’t know how Beets does it, but the eggplant oddly enough had the texture and almost taste of real bacon! This sandwich was delightful!!!

Cha-lu-pas

My friend, Traci, ordered the Cha-lu-pas.

crunchy corn tostadas with a spread of “sunflower seed beanz”, topped with shredded lettuce, salsa, guacamole, and olives, finished with a cashew sour cream drizzle (served with a choice of side salad)- Beets Cafe.

Her dish looked so good, I was almost jealous! Next time I’m definitely going to order the Cha-lu-pas… or the pizza… or both? Ha!

So, if you find yourself in Austin, dining at Beets is a must!

My experience at Beets definitely sparked a further interest in raw foods. Hopefully I can get in the kitchen soon & whip up some on my own. Do you have any favorite raw food recipes to share?

Signing off,

– Sam

Pesto & Roasted Red Pepper Panini

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This sandwich is what’s for dinner! Or lunch… depending on how you make it. Add grilled chicken for dinner, or slices of organic turkey deli- meat for lunch. Vegetarian? No problem, add extra bell peppers slices and some button mushrooms. One word, delicious! 

Chicken, spinach, bell pepper & cheese.

 Ingredients: 

2 organic red bell peppers roasted

1 loaf sourdough bread

olive oil based mayonnaise

2 organic chicken breasts (or Organic turkey deli- meat with no added nitrates, such as Organic Prairie)

button mushrooms *optional

I love pesto, but fresh basil can get awfully expensive! A few years ago, my boyfriend’s mom told me she used spinach instead of basil.  I have made it this way ever since. If I have fresh basil around I will add it. Sometimes I even use a Tbsp of dried basil, just to give it that zip it needs.

Spinach & Walnut Pesto Ingredients:

3 cups organic baby spinach

2 cloves garlic

1/2 cup olive oil

2 tbsp walnuts

1/4 cup organic parmesan cheese

salt & pepper to taste

*optional – dried basil

Directions: 

1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Coat chicken breasts with olive oil & a pinch of salt and pepper. Bake for 40 minutes. Remove from oven & slice.

2. Roast the bell pepper until it’s skin bubbles. Approximately 10 minutes. Remove from oven and place in an air tight container or baggie for 5 minutes. Remove from container and remove skin. Slice bell pepper into strips and set aside.

Spinach
Spinach Pesto

3. Combine pesto ingredients in food processor and process until almost smooth.

4. Take two slices of sourdough bread -on one side smear about a tablespoon of spinach pesto on the other slice of bread spread a very thin layer of mayo. Add slices of bell peppers, chicken & mozzarella cheese and sandwich!

5. Place sandwich on a baking sheet & in the oven for about 10 or until the cheese has melted & the bread is golden brown. To make this true Panini style place a heavier pan or pot on top of the sandwiches to “smooth” it into Panini perfection!

Roasted Bell Pepper & Pesto Panini.
Yum!