Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Gluten Free, Vegan Pasta with Jalapeno Pesto, Criminis, and Carmelized Onions

Have you ever heard of Jalapeno pesto?  Neither had I!...  until I tuned into the Rachel Ray show one  morning and saw Mario Batali demonstrating how to make it.  Amazingly, considering its source, this recipe is very healthy- even healing.  I have altered it only slightly and added mushrooms and carmelized onions to it, which I believe was a flavor match made in heaven!  I hope you enjoy it too :) 


For the Pasta: 

1 pckg. gluten free whole grain brown rice noodles
1 16 ounce package of Crimini mushrooms
1-2 white onions 

For the Jalapeño Pesto:
  • 6 fresh jalapeño peppers, cored and seeded
  • 5 fresh Serrano chiles, cored and seeded
  • 1/2 medium red onion, chopped into 1/4-inch dice
  • 1/2 cup raw almonds
  • 1 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp. sea salt
  • the juice of one lemon

1.  To prepare the pesto, place all ingredients in a food processor and then process into a smooth paste.
2.  Prepare the pasta according to the package instructions.
3.  Saute the onions slowly over medium heat until carmelized (about 10 minutes).
4.  About halfway through the onion cooking process, add the mushrooms.  Cook until both are very soft and flavorful. 
5.  To serve, combine the onion/mushroom mixture with the pasta.  Add some jalapeno pesto and toss until the pasta and vegetables are well-coated.  Add more or less pesto depending upon how concentrated you desire the flavor of your finished pesto to be.

Jalapenos offer a wide array of health benefits, including:
  • Providing pain relief, due to the capsaicin content.
  • Relieving congestion and preventing sinusitus, due to their mucus-clearing and anti-bacterial properties.
  • Heart protection, due to their ability to prevent blood clots, reduce cholesterol and triglycerides, and richness in vitamins A and C (both blood vessel strengtheners).
  • Prevention of cancer, as a result of their flavanoids, vitamins, and high antioxidant content.
  • Fighting inflammation, also as a result of their capsaicin content.
  • Promoting weight loss, due to their thermogenic effect.  (Thermogenic foods burn calories and fat.)
  • Creating a natural high by releasing endorphins and increasing seratonin levels
Jalapenos are a wonderful food to eat in the Spring and Summer seasons as this is the time that we naturally detox from a winter's diet of more warming foods that can accumulate and congest if we do not eat a seasonally lighter and more detoxifying diet during the warmer months.  They can literally "clear out the cobwebs," helping you to feel lighter and more energized.

"6 Health Benefits of Jalapenos,"  Eat This!:

"Natural Ways to Increase Seratonin," by Kimberly Heit:

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Raw Divine Coconut Smoothie

I will cut to the chase.  This is how you make this divine drink!...


1 1/2 T. Artisana Raw Coconut Butter (this is a concentrate of coconut milk basically)
1 c. Spring Water
1/4 tsp. vanilla bean powder
1 tsp. raw honey
1/4-1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1 or 1 1/2 c. frozen bananas, depending on how thick you would like your drink.  (Non-frozen bananas could also be used for a room-temp. shake.)

Step 1-  In a high powered blender, blend the water with the coconut butter.  This creates a raw coconut milk for the base of the drink. 

Step 2- Add the remaining ingredients to the blender and blend to your desired thickness.  Particularly if you have a Vitamix, it is possible to make this a thick, ice-cream like drink with the help of the plunger tool. 

This drink is particularly good on a hot day.  And, it's a great substitute if you are transitioning away from fast food desserts of any kind.  Or, it can serve as a fantastic breakfast.  When I made this this morning, both my husband and my 12 month old baby loved it! 

Healing honey, top notch cinnamon, and Artisana coconut butter can all be purchased on-line from:

It's no secret that the coconut is a food/medicine of the highest order.  Glance over the following excerpt from the Coconut Research Center website to learn a little bit about this truly amazing food:

Coconut In Modern Medicine
Modern medical science is now confirming the use of coconut in treating many of the above conditions. Published studies in medical journals show that coconut, in one form or another, may provide a wide range of health benefits. Some of these are summarized below:

  1. Kills viruses that cause influenza, herpes, measles, hepatitis C, SARS, AIDS, and other illnesses.
  2. Kills bacteria that cause ulcers, throat infections, urinary tract infections, gum disease and cavities, pneumonia, and gonorrhea, and other diseases.
  3. Kills fungi and yeasts that cause candidiasis, ringworm, athlete's foot, thrush, diaper rash, and other infections.
  4. Expels or kills tapeworms, lice, giardia, and other parasites.
  5. Provides a nutritional source of quick energy.
  6. Boosts energy and endurance, enhancing physical and athletic performance.
  7. Improves digestion and absorption of other nutrients including vitamins, minerals, and amino acids.
  8. Improves insulin secretion and utilization of blood glucose.
  9. Relieves stress on pancreas and enzyme systems of the body.
  10. Reduces symptoms associated with pancreatitis.
  11. Helps relieve symptoms and reduce health risks associated with diabetes.
  12. Reduces problems associated with malabsorption syndrome and cystic fibrosis.
  13. Improves calcium and magnesium absorption and supports the development of strong bones and teeth.
  14. Helps protect against osteoporosis.
  15. Helps relieve symptoms associated with gallbladder disease.
  16. Relieves symptoms associated with Crohn's disease, ulcerative colitis, and stomach ulcers.
  17. Improves digestion and bowel function.
  18. Relieves pain and irritation caused by hemorrhoids.
  19. Reduces inflammation.
  20. Supports tissue healing and repair.
  21. Supports and aids immune system function.
  22. Helps protect the body from breast, colon, and other cancers.
  23. Is heart healthy; improves cholesterol ratio reducing risk of heart disease.
  24. Protects arteries from injury that causes atherosclerosis and thus protects against heart disease.
  25. Helps prevent periodontal disease and tooth decay.
  26. Functions as a protective antioxidant.
  27. Helps to protect the body from harmful free radicals that promote premature aging and degenerative disease.
  28. Does not deplete the body's antioxidant reserves like other oils do.
  29. Improves utilization of essential fatty acids and protects them from oxidation.
  30. Helps relieve symptoms associated with chronic fatigue syndrome.
  31. Relieves symptoms associated with benign prostatic hyperplasia (prostate enlargement).
  32. Reduces epileptic seizures.
  33. Helps protect against kidney disease and bladder infections.
  34. Dissolves kidney stones.
  35. Helps prevent liver disease.
  36. Is lower in calories than all other fats.
  37. Supports thyroid function.
  38. Promotes loss of excess weight by increasing metabolic rate.
  39. Is utilized by the body to produce energy in preference to being stored as body fat like other dietary fats.
  40. Helps prevent obesity and overweight problems.
  41. Applied topically helps to form a chemical barrier on the skin to ward of infection.
  42. Reduces symptoms associated the psoriasis, eczema, and dermatitis.
  43. Supports the natural chemical balance of the skin.
  44. Softens skin and helps relieve dryness and flaking.
  45. Prevents wrinkles, sagging skin, and age spots.
  46. Promotes healthy looking hair and complexion.
  47. Provides protection from damaging effects of ultraviolet radiation from the sun.
  48. Helps control dandruff.
  49. Does not form harmful by-products when heated to normal cooking temperature like other vegetabl oils do.
  50. Has no harmful or discomforting side effects.
  51. Is completely non-toxic to humans.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

The Sweet Benefits of Raw Honey

Honey is a divine tasting sweetener that has been used as medicine since ancient times.  In fact, honey has been found (intact) in 2000 year old Egyptian tombs.


Is antiseptic, antibiotic, antifungal, and antibacterial

Is a natural preservative and can be mixed with fresh juices to preserve their nutrition content longer

Assists in alleviating allergies, bladder infections, bad breath, sore throats, and arthritis

Has been reported to help slow their hair loss

Is one of the highest natural sources of enzymes, used by our bodies internally for repair and rejuvenation of all tissues and organs

Aids in digestion

Assists in healing ulcers

Has anti-tumor and pronounced anti-metastatic effects

Is associated with longevity according to Russian research

Consumed daily, raises blood levels of protective antioxidant compounds

Is a healthy source of quickly metabolized energy. Its easily digested carbohydrates supply us with energy and strength, while boosting endurance and reducing muscle fatigue.

Mixed with lemon, works to shift your body into using excess fat stores, thus making it usable energy for regular body functions

Can be mixed with apple cider vinegar for therapeutic benefit in cases of stomach aches, constipation, migraines, and more