Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Tempeh Sloppy Joes

Normally, I'm not a fan of meat-imitation dishes.  I think... if you're going to eat Vegetarian, just eat Vegetarian foods;  Forget about dressing it up like a turkey!  (Sorry, Tofurkey- you do make a nice, nostalgic Thanksgiving meal :)  However, this recipe is DIFFERENT.  It stands out on its own as not just an 'imitation' dish, but a great meal with a unique flavor of its own.  In fact, I would venture to say that this is eons upon eons better than the 'original' sloppy joes.

This recipe is from a gorgeous Vegan recipe book I picked up at our local bookshop recently:

1 package (8 oz.) Tempeh, cubed
1 T. olive oil or water (or Palm or Coconut)
1 onion, finely chopped
1 bell pepper (red, yellow, or orange), finely chopped
1 can (15 ounces) tomato sauce
1 T. chili powder (or to taste)
1/2 tsp. sea or Himalayan salt
1/4 tsp. ground pepper
2 T. vegetarian Worcestershire sauce- I left this out and they still turned out great
1 tsp. hot sauce (optional)
4 buns, toasted- I used gluten free millet-flax buns from www.Samisbakery.com

Directions: Steam tempeh for 10 minutes in a steamer basket placed in a pot filled with 2 to 3 inches water.  Once your kitchen fills with tempeh's nutty aroma, the tempeh is done.  (It really takes only 10 minutes.)  Transfer to a bown, and crumble with your hands (if it's not too hot) or mash with a fork or potato masher.

In a large-size saucepan over medium heat, heat oil and saute onion until translucent.  Add bell pepper and tempeh, and saute for a few minutes more, stirring constantly to prevent sticking.  Add tomato sauce, chili powder, salt, pepper, Worcestershire sauce, and hot sauce (if using).  Cover, reduce heat, and simmer for 10 minutes or longer.  Serve on toasted buns with something light like a salad with plenty of sprouts!  It's pictured above with a mixed greens, grated beet, raw mushroom, sprout, and balsamic-vinaigrette dressing.  A real, raw & cultured pickle served on the side aids digestion and adds a nice flavor contrast. 

Yield:  4 servings

According to the World's Healthiest Foods Website... 

"Tempeh has been a staple in Indonesia for over 2000 years. It is a highly nutritious fermented food traditionally made from soybeans and its high protein content makes it a wonderful substitute for meat. It is typically made by cooking and dehulling soybeans, inoculating them with a culturing agent (like Rhizopus oligosporus), and then incubating the innoculated product overnight until it forms a solid cake.

A food made from fermented soybeans, tempeh provides not only the protein found in soybeans but their many other health benefits as well. The soybean is the most widely grown and utilized legume in the world, with the U.S. being responsible for more than 50% of the world's production of this important food. Soy is one the most widely researched, health-promoting foods around. Soy's key benefits are related to its excellent protein content, its high levels of essential fatty acids, numerous vitamins and minerals, its isoflavones, and its fiber."  For more,visit this link:


Monday, March 14, 2011

Marine Phytoplankton for Increased Energy without Stimulation

Who doesn't want more energy in this day and age?  Unfortunately, many people turn to stimulants, like coffee and sugar, to get it.  But the truth is, energy from caffeine and sugar is borrowed energy and gives no more energy to your body than a whip gives to a horse.  Eventually, it will leave you drained!  Marine phytoplankton is a different kind of energy supplement- a supplement that has many positive 'side effects.'  Marine phytoplankton is a single celled green organism grows in oceans, lakes, rivers, creeks, and waterways and is the basis of the entire food chain.  In fact, it provides up to 90% of the oxygen in the air we breathe.  This micro-algae looks like a green liquid when it is packaged and can be consumed by the dropper-full as a health supplement.

What do phytoplankton do for your health?
It contains every nutrient needed for the creation and maintenance of healthy, new cells.
It provides energy without stimulation by delivering vital life force at the mitochondrial level of cellular energy production. 
It provides you with a natural source of wide-spectrum, plant-based vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and proteins.
It has been shown to improve immune system function and has antiviral, antifungal, and antibacterial properties.
It decreases aches and pains as a result of its anti-inflammatory effects. 
It aids in weight loss.
It increases feelings of calm and
It improves digestion, circulation, and eyesight.
It normalizes blood sugar imbalances and reduces cravings.
It improves your body's ability to detoxify itself and helps protect against radiation poisoning.
It aids in nervous system repair due its content of phospholipids, DHA, and EPA- all of which are crucial to nourishing damaged myelin sheathing (the protective layer around each nerve fiber).
It improves sleep quality.
It helps you feel younger as a result of its rich content of zinc, sulfur, and silicon.  (These minerals act as internal cosmetics, naturally renewing skin cells.)
It improves memory and brain power.  The phospholipids and omega-3 fatty acids it contains have a unique ability to cross the blood-brain barrier, feeding the brain and master glands located deep within the brain.  This stimulates significant neurotransmitter production and increases mental clarity. 
It boosts your athletic performance and endurance levels by increasing oxygen uptake in your tissues, including your muscles.    It also provides bioavailable, living protein to your cells that is absorbed twice as well as any type of cooked protein source.
It promotes faster recovery from illnesses and injury due to its cumulative effect of properties that results in improved cellular repair.

Source:  Superfoods:  The Food and Medicine of the Future by David Wolfe.


Thursday, March 10, 2011

Rockin' Raw Coconut Flour Chocolate Cupcakes Coated with Cashew Frosting

Have you ever read a recipe with so much alliteration in its title?

This cupcake recipe is very versatile, is a great snack, and is loved by children and adults alike!


1/2 c. coconut flour
1/2 c. raw cacao powder
3/4 c. raw honey or truly, clear raw agave
1/4 c. extra virgin coconut oil
1/2 tsp. sea salt

1.  Place all ingredients into a bowl and stir until they form a dough.
2.  Place into a muffin pan (silicone is easiest for removal purposes)
3.  Place in the fridge for an hour or more to firm them up.
4.  Store in the fridge

Optional:  Add goji berries!


1 1/2 Cups Cashews
1/3 cup water
1/4 to 1/2 Cup of Agave depending on sweetness desired
1/2 vanilla bean or 1 tsp. vanilla extract
1.  Blend all in blender until smooth and thick
2.  Spread onto your raw chocolate cupcakes!

Note:  As natural sweeteners and raw chocolate have come into the mainstream, many companies have jumped on the bandwagon and started selling them.  So- quality varies!  I've done my homework and chosen to trust Ultimate Superfood's brand cacao and agave.  Their agave is unheated and high in inulin (a beneficial fiber that slows absorption and feeds the friendly bacteria in your gut) AND it is packaged in non-leaching plastic... so you aren't getting hormone disrupting chemicals with your agave.  Heated agave, according to emerging research, is actually quite harmful to the body/liver and there are brands selling heated agave nectar as raw, so there is reason to be careful in this area.   Ultimate Superfood's Cacoa powder is also in non-leaching plastic.  Plus, it's an heirloom variety of cacao and clean (many on the market contain mold/microbes.  Test yours by spraying hydrogen peroxide on it and seeing if it foams.


Friday, March 4, 2011

How Zen Wisdom can Boost Your Health

"...For there is nothing that is good or bad.  Thinking makes it so."
- Shakespeare

Every thought that you have produces a hormonal response in your body.  To put it simply, happy thoughts produce a happy physiology with high levels of immunity while stressful thoughts produce a stressed physiology vulnerable to disease conditions.  Candace Pert has written an excellent book on the subject- 

In every circumstance, we can choose to see its positive aspect or its negative aspect... and both aspects- the dark and the light- are always in everything.  Zen wisdom says that it is not what happens to us that causes stress.  It is our interpretation of events.... it is as a result of our thoughts about it.  In fact, it is also our interpretation that leads to either soul growth or stagnation.

For example; 
You've just lost a job that you hated doing but you made a substantial income from.  At that moment, you could be celebrating your freedom and seeing it as an opportunity to embrace your new purpose.  You could be lost in mourning the job's and worrying about the future.  Or, you could be doing a little bit of both.  And depending on which you chose, your physiology would respond in different ways.  But if you remember that it is "your thinking that makes it so..." you can redirect your thoughts toward the positive aspects or opportunities in the situation, which will better supports your mental and physical health.

For more information, check out this interview with Andreas Moritz, author of an eye-opening book on this subject called Lifting the Veil of Duality:

Lifting the Veil of Duality with Andreas Moritz
December 6, 2010
Listen to Interview

Get the Book: