Monday, December 14, 2009
Prepare your cookie dough batter. Make some substitutions. For instance, for oatmeal cookies you can save on saturated fats by substituting "heart healthy" margarine for butter. To increase the nutritional value, use unbleached instead of bleached flour. Add extra cinnamon in place of some brown sugar.
Prepare your cookie sheets. Use parchment paper instead of lightly greasing your cookie sheet. This will save calories while also reducing your fat content. It does not affect the taste, either.
Shape your dough. Shape the dough into canes, bells and stockings. This is done by moistening your hands with water, picking up some dough, and placing it onto the cookie sheet. Now, shape into your preferred item.
Bake. Bake the holiday-themed cookies per your recipe instructions.
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Monday, December 07, 2009
Add to cookie batter. Use hazelnuts instead of walnuts in a variety of cookies. The hazelnuts will be chewier and less porous than the walnuts. Hazelnuts are good in the following cookies: chocolate chip, peanut butter, shortbread and Russian tea cakes. They can also be added to sugar or butter cookies for a delightful surprise. Use a half hazelnut as decoration in a thumbprint cookie.
Use as a snack. If you are not in the mood for baking, simply chop up some shelled hazelnuts and munch on them as a snack. According to the American Heart Association, hazelnuts are considered heart-healthy foods since they contain a variety of antioxidants and unsaturated fats known as Omega-3 fatty acids. They are also protein-rich food sources. Eat them in moderation, however, since they are calorie and fat-laden.
Saturday, November 14, 2009
½ cup raw, unhulled sesame seeds
1 15-ounce can garbanzo beans
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 garlic clove
4 large slices roasted red peppers
salt and pepper to taste
Lightly spritz a frying pan with oil. Cook the sesame seeds in the pan over medium heat. Cook until golden brown, which will be about five minutes.
Place toasted seeds into blender. Add remaining ingredients. Blend until you reach a creamy and smooth consistency. Take a sample and adjust spices and/or oil per your liking. You may want to add some more garlic, some Italian seasoning or sun-dried tomatoes. Or, add freshly chopped parsley or basil.
Serve on your favorite whole grain bread, bagel or cracker. Use as a dip at parties. This is a great potluck dish to share with others.
Store unused portion in airtight container in your refrigerator.
NOTE: If you don't want to cook the sesame seeds, you can simply buy some already made tahini. Tahini is sesame seeds and olive oil blended into a smooth consistency.
Thursday, November 12, 2009
1-2 ripe bananas, peeled
Mash the bananas in a small bowl. Add cinnamon and nutmeg per your taste. Keep mixing with fork until desired consistency is reached.
Store in a glass,covered container. Keep in refrigerator.
Spread onto toast, English muffin, crackers or bagel. You can make a peanut butter and jam sandwich for a taste treat. Dip some pita triangles into the spread.
Thursday, October 29, 2009
Wednesday, October 21, 2009
You need a fresh pie pumpkin for this recipe. Cutting into them may take more work than you'd like, but the taste is well worth it.
2 cups pie pumpkin, cut into chunks
garlic powder taste
1 tablespoon butter
1/4 cup pineapple with juice
3 teaspoons yogurt
Cut the pumpkin. Remove the seeds and set aside. You can clean and roast them for snacks.
Steam the cut pumpkin until tender, about 10 minutes. Cool slightly. Remove the peels and discard.
Place cooked pumpkin into serving bowl or mixing bowl. Add pineapple, butter and plain yogurt. Mash all ingredients together with a fork or potato masher. Add garlic powder to taste. Adjust the pineapple juice and yogurt to your individual taste.
Serve warm as a side dish.
Note: For a taste similar to pumpkin pie, add a mixture of cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger.
Sunday, October 18, 2009
16 ounces water
2 Tablespoons coffee, your choice
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon ginger
Pour the water into your coffee maker. Place a coffee filter into its proper place in the machine. Scoop the coffee in its compartment. Place the spices on top of the coffee.
Brew as directed. This recipe makes two servings of black, flavored coffee.
You can add milk, soy milk and/or sugar per your taste.
Thursday, October 15, 2009
Citrus fruits (oranges, grapefruits, lemons and limes) and vegetables like broccoli are high in Vitamin C. Other foods high in Vitamin C include berries such as blueberries, strawberries and blackberries. Or, take a supplement.
Linoleic acid is found in Omega-3 fatty acids. Foods containing high amounts of this acid include nuts and seeds like almonds, flax seeds, pistachios and walnuts. Cold water fish are also high in this. Enjoy salmon, herring, sardines, trout and mackerel.
Saturday, October 10, 2009
1 medium-sized potato, peeled and cubed
1 thin slice red or yellow onion
1 teaspoon butter or Omega-3 enriched margarine
2-3 tablespoons plain yogurt
Place vegetables into steamer. Steam about 8 minutes, until tender. Remove from heat and place into mixing bowl (or...into serving dish). Mash potatoes. Add in butter and yogurt as you reach your desired consistency. Sprinkle garlic powder in to taste.
This recipe can also be made with the potato peels, if you desire. It is great with red potatoes. :)
Friday, September 25, 2009
Berries. Berries are great sources of antioxidants that help prevent free radical damage to brain cells. According to the Mayo Clinic, antioxidants have been shown to help protect against certain neurological conditions such as Alzheimer's and attention deficit disorders. Enhanced memory functioning is a byproduct of antioxidants. Berries include raspberries, blueberries, strawberries and blackberries.
Coffee and tea. Finally, something positive about coffee. Recent studies have shown that those drinking three 8-ounce cups daily experienced less memory loss than those who didn't. Caffeine seems to be the main factor. Those who drank decaffeinated experienced a memory loss decline as compared to caffeinated drinkers.
Green Tea. We have all heard about the benefits of green tea, with its high antioxidant level. Green tea is high in polyphenols which can improve your cognitive dysfunction caused by stress. This helps to keep your brain healthy as you age.
Fish. The American Heart Association and Mayo Clinic have recommended eating two to three servings of fish weekly as part of a heart healthy diet. Fish contains many beneficial nutrients, the most prevalent being Omega-3 fatty acids. These essential fatty acids are found in cold water fish such as herring, mackerel, sardines, trout and albacore tuna. Omega 3 helps improve neurodegenerative conditions such as learning capacity, decrease behavioral problems and diminish dyslexia (reversing letters).
Dark green leafy vegetables. Spinach, collards, mustard greens and other leafy greens are high in Vitamin C and folic acid. These antioxidants are needed for a healthy memory, brain functioning, heightened learning and mood. Frozen spinach is as beneficial as the fresh version.
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The Mayo Clinic
The Better Brain Book, David Perlmutter, MD
101 Foods That Could Save Your Life, David Grotto, RD
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Sunday, September 20, 2009
Reading product labels will give you insight into what ingredients are in the product. If you are allergic to peanuts, the food label will tell you whether or not the food you are considering buying actually contains peanuts. Or, it will state whether the food was processed in a peanut processing manufacturing plant. (This means that the factory produces other products that contain peanuts and bits of the peanuts might have gotten into the food you are considering purchasing).
Food labels will tell you the amount of fat the product contains. It will breakdown the fat into saturated, unsaturated and trans fats. This is important if you are monitoring your fat content.
Other things you can learn from reading a food label: sugar content, calories per serving (take note of what is considered a serving size), cholesterol, sodium (salt), carbohydrates, fiber, protein and ingredients. Ingredients are listed from the most prominent to the least used. (The first ingredient listed will be what the product contains the most of).
Labels will let you know whether those “healthy” energy drinks contain caffeine or other energy-producing ingredients. If you cannot tolerate caffeine, don't buy an energy drink that contains caffeine. This needs to be mentioned since a newsworthy piece lately centered around a lady who was surprised she ended up in the emergency room after drinking an energy drink. The energy drink contained caffeine. She didn't read the label. She thought the drink was “all natural” and “healthy” as the advertising claim stated. Caffeine is all-natural.
It was not that long ago that food labels did not exist on our products. The Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) initiated a grass roots operation to protect us consumers. Food manufacturing are now required to list the ingredients in the products they sell in our marketplace. Be appreciative of the fact that they do. There is a ways to go with the information these labels state. For the time being, however, they have come a long way. USE THEM. You are responsible for your health, no one else.
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Saturday, September 05, 2009
With the recent popularity of soy foods come many changes within the ingredients. Everywhere you turn it seems there is another soy food choice. And, after reading the ingredients, some are not too healthy.
Plain now comes in varieties. Spare me. There is Plain Unsweetened. This consists of only filtered water and soybeans. Choose organic soybeans, if you can. Many times when I buy this, I simply add a little water to it. For my taste preference, straight from the container is too thick for me. You may be different.
There is soy milk marked 'Plain'. After purchasing this, I forgot to read the ingredients label. (OK, I made a mistake). This plain variety contained water, organic cane sugar and soybeans plus other stuff. In other words, it was sweetened Plain soy milk.
There is Plain Regular and Plain Low Fat. Unless you like drinking sweetened water, forgo the Plain Low fat. I hadn't tasted anything so unpalatable in ages. The Plain Regular was better, but still too sweet for my taste buds.
Personally, I think all this soy foods stuff has totally gotten out of hand. It can be very confusing to someone not used to eating any soy. After going to the marketplace and being bombarded with all the varieties available, it can be very intimidating. That is one of the main reasons people come to my classes, to learn about soy and how to use it.
Hope this helps others going through the same thing.
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Tuesday, September 01, 2009
¼ cantaloupe, cubed and removed from skin
½ cup low fat cottage cheese
1 teaspoon flax seeds
sprinkling of cinnamon
Cut up the cantaloupe and place onto serving plate. Place the cottage cheese on top. Sprinkle with the flax seeds and cinnamon. Adjust the cinnamon per your taste.
Friday, August 21, 2009
1/2 cup whole oats (oatmeal, quick or regular cooking variety)
1 cup water
1/4 small apple, peeled and diced
1-2 Tablespoons raisins or chopped dried prunes
sprinkling of cinnamon
low fat soy milk
Place water into saucepan on stove top. Cook over medium heat until water starts to boil. Add in oats, apple and dried fruit. Stir frequently. Bring to boil. Lower heat and cook until apples are tender.
Add more water as needed.
Pour into serving bowl. Sprinkle on cinnamon. Pour milk over oatmeal.
If you don't have apple, add fresh blueberries.
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Thursday, August 13, 2009
As a way to get more nutrients and less calories, I developed this recipe. This soup is easy to make, quick and nutritious. It can be made in either a crockpot or dutch oven style pan. If cooked on the stovetop, the cooking process is much quicker.
2- 15 ounce cans, tomatoes (one stewed and one plain)
1 cup V-8 juice (low sodium)
2 cups water
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1/2 cup green beans, chopped
1/4 cup onion, chopped
1/2 cup broccoli, chopped
1/2 cup kidney beans, cooked
1/2 cup zucchini, peeled and cubed
1/2 cup cabbage, chopped
3 tablespoons Italian seasoning (or combo of thyme, rosemary and oregano)
1/4 macaroni, uncooked
Place all ingredients, except for macaroni,into dutch oven or crockpot. If in dutch oven, cook over medium heat for about 30 minutes. Stir occasionally.
If using crock pot, cook on high heat for 5 hours. Stir occasionally.
In both uses, add macaroni during last 1/4 of cooking time.
Serve with whole grain crackers or bread. The addition of a green salad with make a complete meal.
Wednesday, August 12, 2009
Tuesday, August 11, 2009
Garlic granules is processed garlic, with no added ingredients.
Garlic powder is garlic granules processed a step further. It
contains nothing but garlic.
Garlic salt is a mixture of garlic powder and salt.
Hope this helps.
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Sunday, August 09, 2009
Fiber is also known for requiring a lot of chewing. Chewing, it is said, causes us to not want to eat as much. Here's my scoop...
This morning I started my day with a bowl full of whole grain cold cereal. Kashi, to be exact. It was very tasty. And, it requiring a lot of chewing. No, wait. It wasn't a lot of chewing. It was so much chewing I almost fell asleep. My jaw hurt. I was pooped from chewing so much. Now, that's too much chewing for my blood.
As much as I may not like hot oatmeal, I'm returning to it. It doesn't require a lot of chewing and I don't get tired from wasting so much energy chowing down on it.
Friday, August 07, 2009
Walking. The American Heart Association recommends getting 30 minutes of cardiovascular exercise (such as walking) 5 days a week. You can walk at your own pace. Plus, it's convenient. Walking can be done outdoors or indoors. Many malls open their doors for mall walkers. Check your local community directory since there may be groups that get together for this purpose. Walking is cheap, also. The only cost is the money you pay for a good pair of walking shoes (an absolute necessity).
Household activities. Gardening is known to give a good workout. It increases your heart rate plus works your muscles. If you don't have a garden, join a gardening club and volunteer to maintain their gardens. Tasks such as household cleaning can provide a benefit. Vacuuming, washing and/or painting walls, rearranging furniture and cleaning all increase your heart rate.
Outdoor activities. Mow the lawn with a hand pushed mower. Clean the garage. Paint the exteriors. Power wash the deck. Varnish the deck.
Other. Park farther away from the store entrance, forcing you to walk further. Walk instead of taking the cab. If playing golf, walk instead of using a golf cart. Carry your own clubs.
These are just examples of how to increase your physical activity level.
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Monday, August 03, 2009
1/2 cup plain yogurt
1/4 cup pineapple wedges
2-3 T pineapple juice
1/2 t flax seeds
If using canned pineapple, buy the variety in its own juice. Avoid the syrupy variety since this has a high added sugar content.
The flaxseeds provide a crunch texture, while also containing fiber.
You can adjust the amount of both pineapple and juice to suit your taste.
Saturday, August 01, 2009
1 hard boiled egg, shelled
1 whole wheat English muffin, toasted
1 tablespoon low fat cream cheese
Cut the English muffin in half. Toast it.
Spread the cream cheese on each muffin.
Slice the egg white and place onto the muffin. (Set aside, or toss, egg yolk).
Sprinkle with flax seeds.
Sprinkle with garlic powder and a touch of salt.
For variety, you can prepare one half of your English muffin like above. After covering with cream cheese, slice some fresh banana onto it. Sprinkle with cinnamon.
Friday, July 31, 2009
Commercially prepared, fruit yogurt varieties could be sweetened with ingredients such as sugar, dextrose, maltodextrin, corn syrup solids, aspartame, saccharin or fruit juice. The fruit juice may be one fruit or a combination of a variety of fruits with additional sweeteners.
Either way...you can make your own version of fruit yogurt without the added nonsense just mentioned. It is also much cheaper and healthier than the commercially prepared varieties. Here's how...
Buy a container of plain yogurt. (PLAIN without any vanilla or other flavorings). The low fat variety will save you calories and fat content.
Your chosen variety of fruit.
Mix together. It's that easy.
One of my favorites recipes....
½ cup plain yogurt
5-7 bing cherries, chopped
½ teaspoon flaxseeds
3” banana, sliced and quartered
pineapple juice (adjust for taste)
Mix together in serving bowl. It makes a great breakfast.
NOTE: If you want to, blend all these ingredients together for a fruit smoothie. You may want to add more yogurt or juice, you decide on what consistency you want your smoothie.
Thursday, July 30, 2009
Tempeh Sloppy Joes
½ block of tempeh, crumbled
¼ cup onion, chopped
spaghetti sauce, your choice
¼ t garlic powder
¼ t Italian seasoning
whole grain hamburger bun or large roll cut in half
Lightly spritz a frying pan with oil, or use a nonstick pan. Place the tempeh and onions into the pan. Add garlic powder and Italian seasoning.
Cook over medium heat, stirring frequently. Cook until tempeh is brown around the edges and onions are translucent. Add spaghetti sauce. The amount of sauce will depend upon your liking.
Stir and heat thoroughly. Scoop onto the bread of your choice.
NOTE: You can make an open face sandwich out of this recipe by simply scooping the tempeh mixture onto one piece of bread.
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Monday, July 27, 2009
After relishing in the first two sips, however, something troubling began. My heart started racing faster than a locomotive. It was frightening. I sat for about 10 minutes while my heart calmed down. Then, I felt mildly light headed. This was another sign that I needed to return this “healthy” drink.
The proprietor notified me that the tea I ordered contained “naturally occurring caffeine” and it was attempting to rid my body of toxins. That was causing my rapid and irregular heartbeats. That doesn't sound logical to me. Hmm...
I have had jasmine green tea in bulk and brewed it at home. I had no negative health consequences at that time. So, I figured it would be good this time around.
These heart palpitations were worse than any caffeinated beverages I have ever had, including coffee.
Whatever it is, whether the brand or manner of brewing, I am hesitant to order teas not brewed at home anymore.
Just thought I'd throw this out there in case anyone else experiences the same thing.
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Sunday, July 26, 2009
1 medium mango, peeled and sliced
1 cup tofu, silken variety
Cut off a slice of tofu and crumble it into a measuring cup. Or, if you are not concerned about measuring (which I am not), simply crumble the tofu into a blender. Add the sliced mango.
Puree until smooth. You may want to adjust the amount of tofu to arrive at your desired pudding-like consistency.
Spoon pureed mixture into serving bowls. If desired, sprinkle with coconut. Chill prior to serving.
Option: Add a ½ teaspoon of fresh mint leaves when pureeing for a refreshing taste treat.
Recipe taken by my cookbook, Cooking With Soy.
Thursday, July 23, 2009
Found on In Pursuit of Tea, via Dr. Andrew Weil's newsletter....
Steep the tea for 45 seconds in hot water and then pour off the liquid. This removes up to 80 percent of the caffeine.
Add more hot water and steep as you normally would. The aroma and taste should not be affected.
How easy is that?
Wednesday, July 22, 2009
If you have a farmer's market nearby, I recommend buying your fresh produce there. It'll give you a chance to meet the grower and learn new ways to enjoy the foods. Plus, you'll know exactly where your food is coming from. It can't get much better than that, in my opinion. Local farmers deserve all the support we can give them. When you get accustomed to the way food is supposed to taste, fresh from the unadulterated ground, you won't go back to supermarket foods.
Here's the fruit list, in no particular order:
* cherries (have you ever had a Rainier cherry?! OOOHH!)
* wild blueberries
* granny smith apples
* red delicious apples
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Tuesday, July 21, 2009
Substitute salsa or cocktail sauce for butter when ready to eat your seafood. Not only will you be decreasing your fat content, you'll also be consuming more nutrients.
* Choose fresh berries or fruit as a seafood topping.
* Prepare your seafood using low fat cooking methods such as broiling (without heavy oils), poaching, steaming, and grilling.
* Choose fresh seafood salads, not the processed fake crab variety.
* If you choose a seafood salad, make sure there is no high fat mayo in it.
* Buy canned tuna in water instead of oil. You can use the liquid in soup bases.
* Try to avoid or limit eating fried seafood of any kind.
* Instead of heavy sauces, squeeze a fresh orange, lime or lemon over your seafood.
* Use herbs to season your seafood instead of butter and salt.
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Friday, July 17, 2009
Place a teaspoon of green tea leaves into the water. If you don't have the leaves, open up a teabag and pour the contents into the water. Place the steamer basket in your pot. Then, add the fish. Bring to a boil and steam until done. It will only be a few minutes. Poke fish for doneness.
The green tea adds a mild sweetness to white fishes such as halibut and tilapia. Green tea steaming is good even with salmon, though not as noticeable since salmon has such a strong flavor on its own.
I have found a good alternative is to mix some green tea leaves with some chopped fresh basil. Use twice as much basil as green tea leaves. Place the basil and leaves in a flat pan. Lightly spritz the fish with some water or milk. Dip the fish into the herb tea mixture to coat. Place into the steamer and steam until done. This gives a stronger taste than the first method, but is still tasty. (In my opinion, anyways :) )
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Sunday, July 12, 2009
Steaming is the quickest and healthiest way to cook food. There are steamers you can buy for under $10 that fit into a saucepan. Or, you can buy a steamer machine.
Baking, without excess oils, is a healthy cooking alternative. Use extra spices to get the best taste benefits.
Grilling. If you do not have warm weather for an outdoor grilling experience, there are varieties you can buy for using on your stovetop.
Poaching. Adding a little water to the bottom of your cooking pan will result in a healthy way to cook your food. Add more water as necessary.
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Wednesday, July 08, 2009
Whole grains. This family includes oats, barley, millet, kamut, quinoa and whole wheat.
Legumes. Included in legumes are bean varieties (kidney, navy, garbanzo, etc.)lentils.
Fresh produce. Fruits and vegetables contain beneficial fiber.
Seeds and nuts. Almonds, walnuts, sunflower seeds and flaxseeds are in this category.
Thursday, June 25, 2009
Obtaining true taste of foods. Pesticides cover up the actual taste benefits of food. By eating organic foods, individuals can know for sure how a certain food was intended to taste.
Help farmers. Eating organic foods aids local farmers, since a variety of the organic producers operate local farms.
Support local community. Buying from your local farmer keeps your hard earned dollars in the economy.
Know your source. By communicating with the person who grew your food, you're not supporting a faceless corporation (or commercial “organic” farm). It gives a sense of personalization in this rather impersonal world.
Sense of helping. When you purchase from your local farmer, you can feel better about helping another individual in their business.
Learn more about the food. When you buy from the party who grows your food, you can learn about “insider secrets” such as how to cook it, store it, how it was grown, and share in the passion of what it is like to know your source of food.
Eliminate middle person. By buying directly from the local organic farmer, you eliminate others shipping and handling your food. This is a great way to reduce your chances of obtaining any unwanted contaminants.
Hope this helps you choose organically grown food as part of your daily meal plan.
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Thursday, June 11, 2009
My local organic market is having a sale on red raspberries...so I treated myself. Mmm...
In addition to their wonderful taste...red raspberries carry with them a variety of nutritional benefits. For instance....
Red raspberries are very high in Vitamin C, fiber, vitamins B2 and B3, magnesium, plus folate. They also are high in antioxidants. There is talk about them containing strong anti-cancer agents, but I haven't read enough information to convince me of this yet. I'll keep looking.
It's great knowing that not only am I giving my taste buds a treat, but my body is enjoying these nutritional delights also. :)
Red raspberries are great eaten as is, or with some lowfat milk, or added to plain yogurt.
8 large eggs
2 T fat free mayo
1 T mustard
1/3 C nonfat cottage cheese
1 T lemon juice
1 t dill weed
Hard boil the eggs. Peel and cut in half. Place half of the yellow portions into a bowl with the remaining ingredients. Discard other half of yellows. Scoop mixture into egg halves and place on serving platter.
Place into refrigerator to chill prior to serving.
Sunday, June 07, 2009
To lower blood cholesterol, limit consumption of these foods:
two percent milk
oils and margarine
avocados, olives, and coconuts
high fat creams and ice creams
high fat cottage cheese
high fat sour cream
anything with saturated fat in it
sugar laden foods
fatty cuts of meat and refried pork
sausages, hot dogs, bologna
liver, kidneys, and other organ meats
lard, coconut, palm, or palm kernel oil
Eat plenty of fresh vegetables and fruits.
Eat low fat protein such as chicken, tofu, fish and seafood.
Drink plenty of water.
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Wednesday, June 03, 2009
Once you've tried this I'm sure it'll become your basic everyday staple for salad. And you can never eat too much salad!
1/4 cup apple juice
1/4 cup cider vinegar
2 tablespoons chopped onion
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1/2 teaspoon dried whole oregano
Pinches of rosemary and thyme
1/2 teaspoon dry mustard powder
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/2 of a roasted red bell pepper
0 g total fat (0 g sat)
0 mg cholesterol
2 g carbohydrate
0 g protein
0 g fiber
50 mg sodium
Reprinted from Dr. Weil's website at:
Sunday, May 17, 2009
1 large mango, peeled
1/2 cup lowfat tofu
Slice mango and let drop into small bowl.
Crumble the tofu into a 1/2 cup, to measure it.
Mash together the mango and tofu.
Stir vigorously until you reach a pudding-like consistency.
Scoop into serving bowls. Place in refrigerator and chill for about an hour.
This is great with fresh chopped mint leaves on top, if desired.