Food for the Body. Food for the Mind. Food for the Soul.

Archive for April, 2011

Powerfoods

You should get this book.

I am so in love with this recipe book. I bought it at Barnes & Noble but I think you can actually get it on Amazon for much cheaper (around $16)

Totally worth it.

It has color pictures with every single recipe which, in my mind, is the #1 major qualifier for a good cookbook… PLUS, it’s ‘Earthfood’ heavy. Lot’s of fruits, grains, legumes, and veggies. Lot’s of seafood also, but only one beef recipe in the entire thing so if you are a cow hound… not for you!

I have found myself perusing the pages over and over again. It’s so pretty! and everything looks so delicious!

I had actually thought about cooking my way from cover to cover… but then my boyfriend brought it to my attention that maybe it wouldn’t be so great to eat only appetizers for days, before moving on to only soup for half a month…

Good point sir, good point.

At any rate, I have plans to cook my way through this thing in some fashion or another so if you’re coming along for the Powerfood ride, ya might want to pick this up and follow along.

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What Is The Earthfood Experiment?

Hi Friend! (If you’re not already, I hope you soon will be :) )

I’m thankful, that in your web wanderings, you have happened upon this little virtual space I like to refer to as The Earthfood Experiment.

This spot began as the place where I shared what was happening in my kitchen. I enjoy cooking and eating. More specifically I have found that I am happier in the mind when I eat foods that are good for my body.

To Keep the body in good health is a duty… otherwise we shall not be able to keep our mind strong and clear. -Buddha

(You will find that I also enjoy quoting the thoughts of others)

I quickly realized, however, that I don’t always feel like cooking. Some weeks I prefer to eat out every single day, or look through stacks of cookbooks but not actually make anything, or spend hours sitting in coffee shops around town pondering life, or get lost in inspirational books for days, or start to train for a marathon, or hang out with my friends and drink wine…

With this knowledge I found that unless I were to expand this space to include all of my meanderings… my postings would be scattered in frequency.

The fact that I am consistently inconsistent used to bother me. In fact I considered it a major character flaw, but in my quest to find love for myself I have accepted, and now even embrace this as a lovable quirk that makes me, ME!

So, although my moment to moment interests may be somewhat sporadic, what does remain steadfast is my passion for sharing, laughing, giving, inspiring, and living the fullest expression of life.

I hope you feel at home here as much as I do. Please bring yourself… all of yourself, and know that you are loved consistently no matter what your crazy quirks are. In fact… you are loved more because of them.

Peace & Love,

Chandra Nicole

(come with me to this page and I will tell you a little about the stuff I post)

Colors

I’m watching this perfect little creature I call Miss M engage in her passion at the dance academy as I write this. She is practicing a Lyrical dance set to the tune of True Colors by Cyndi Lauper. I find this to be ironic because I have always thought of this as M and I’s song. The reason for this being that when I was pregnant with her, WAY back when I was a weee 20 year old, a remake of this song (I believe it was by Phil Collins) was in heavy rotation on the radio… And since I was a whirling hormone tornado, I would cry every single time I heard it.

The cause of my tears was this overwhelming, all consuming love that I had for my unborn. I knew, even before meeting her, that no matter what she looked like, or what her personality was, or what she would grow up to be… I would accept her and love her unconditionally. I saw “her true colors shining through” before I had even met her.

She was the most beautiful thing I had never laid eyes on. Never before had I adored anything so much…. 12 years later, I still hold strong the belief that this little girl can do, be, or accomplish anything she so desires.

And so, here I am listening to this song again while witnessing this great love of my life dance her little heart out along with the words…”So don’t be afraid, to let them show. Your true colors, are beautiful like a rainbow”…

And I begin to wonder…

Why it is that we experience no struggle in loving those close to us yet, often times,  do not give ourselves the same level of love we painstakingly give them?

Why do we say things to ourselves that we would never fathom saying to someone we care for?

Why do we think they are capable of having the world, but don’t believe in ourselves enough to follow our own dreams?

Why can’t we accept ourselves with our idiosyncrasies and quirks, but praise the uniqueness of others?

What would happen if we gave ourselves permission to embrace our own true colors?

Here’s what I’m snackin’ on this week…

All I have to say is, Ranch Powder… and Greek Yogurt.

I have realized that my, currently carbohydrate heavy, diet is doing nothing for getting me into my 2 sizes too small summer clothes, which leaves me with only three options as far as I can tell…

  1. Muffin Top It.
  2. Buy a new summer wardrobe.
  3. Ditch some belly fat.

It’s obvious to me that #3 is probably not only the best option for my health, but for my wallet and social life as well.

Tortillas, pasta, and sugary sweets… I bid you adieu. I promise I will be back for you.

 That being said, I’m not much of a meat lover… other than seafood (LOVE) and some chicken every once and awhile. So, I am seeking out non-meat sources of lean protein. This search has lead me to the wonder that is Greek Yogurt.

It’s so creamy and delicious and kind of reminds me of sour cream in flavor, only tangier. You can use it for virtually anything. I put a dollop on top of my spicy scrambled eggs yesterday for breakfast, Miss M had hers with blueberries and a drizzle of honey, and my new fave is making individual sized veggie dip with powdered Ranch dressing.

I just take my little container of yogurt (which by the way has 15 grams of protein for only 80 cals), sprinkle in some ranch and mix it up. It’s so yummy! I love fresh raw veggies, but I also am a lover of the not-so-healthy dips that typically go along with them.

So, I think this is pure genius… try it.

Okay, so maybe I'm easily excitable and not a rocket scientist... but come on now. This is good stuff here.

Another delicious and healthy snack idea using the powdered ranch:

Pop some corn on the stove with some olive oil. Sprinkle with sea salt and powdered ranch. De-lish.

(This was Miss M’s idea… also a genius)

Hummus again?!

Heavenly Sweet Potato Hummus

So sorry if you get tired of my love affair with hummus… but I heart it. I can’t help it.

As of lately, I have been intrigued by all the different wacky flavors of hummus I have been finding including; Horseradish hummus?! and Edamame hummus?! I know, nutty right? So, when I ran across a recipe for Sweet potato hummus in my Power Foods cookbook… I just HAD to try it.Because not only do I heart hummus. I heart sweet potatoes as well. What’s not to love?! They’re pretty and sweet and heavenly. It’s really a mystery to me how something so sinfully delicious could be so insanely good for me.

Check out the spud’s creds:
* good for vision & boosts immunity.  Thank you Vitamin A! You rock.
*Low in cals & high in fiber, which is great for weight loss
*Contain a boatload of other important vitamins ( B6, C, E, folate)

YAY SWEET POTATOES!!

Combine this with some protein rich chickpeas and heart healthy olive oil… how can you go wrong?

Heavenly Sweet Potato Hummus

If you do not own food processor, I highly recommend you invest if only for the purpose of making hummus. If you love hummus even a fraction of the amount I do it will pay for itself in no time. That store hummus is expensive and not all that flavorful, if you ask me.

So, to make sweet potato hummus you will need to put into your food processor 2 large sweet potatoes that have been peeled and cooked. I cooked mine in a microwave steamer with some water for about 10 minutes.

Also add 1 can of chickpeas (drained and rinsed), 1/4 lemon juice, 1/4 C. tahini, 2 T. olive oil, 2 tsp. cumin, 1 clove of minced garlic, Salt & Pepper to taste.

Give it a whirl, adding up to 2 T. of water to reach your preferred hummus consistency. I like mine kind of thick and a little bit gritty, so I added only 1 T.

Sprinkle with some paprika before serving, and…

That’s it.

Easy, Peasy lemon squeazy (literally)

EAT UP & ENJOY!

(Sweet’s claims he can’t tell a difference between this and the Roasted Red Pepper Hummus… but I think he’s crazy.)

For some more interesting variations of Hummus, check out the following recipes:

Japamediterexican… aka Kitchen experiment # 3

So…I made this meal the other night that was quite de-lish in taste and had healthy elements, but in hindsight I suppose that fish marinated in a mayo based sauce and then fried is not really all that healthy… and which sort of eating establishment would you have to go to in order to get a meal of fish tacos with a side of hummus and edamame? A Japamediterexican restaurant?

 I debated on whether or not to write about this absurd meal for fear of coming across a fool, but then remembered I AM often foolish, so it’s really actually imperfectly perfect. We can’t put together perfect meals all the time and being healthy doesn’t need to be so serious. It’s impossible to follow the “latest” in healthy eating anyways… one day coffee is sent from the heavens, the next it’s the devil; on Monday carbs ruin your life but by humpday they make you a rock star.  I think that instinctively we know what is good for our bodies and what is not, just like all creatures in the animal kingdom… seriously, you don’t see polar bears munching cheese doodles, and when’s the last time you saw an obese Tiger?

So, maybe we eat some fried stuff… or smash an entire row of Oreos for breakfast. It’s really all about balance, enjoying life, and listening to our bodies… and let’s face it, unhealthy stuff tastes good sometimes. So, as long as we are aiming to make healthy decisions most of the time… we shouldn’t feel bad about the super-duper-snickerdoodle-frappuccino with whipped cream on top that we had for lunch.

(I thought that maybe if I typed this post in Rainbow, you might not grow weary of my long windedness)

That Being Said… I give you Fish Tacos with Spicy Lime Slaw

(This was adapted from a recipe I found while perusing magazines in a waiting room one day, and consequently ripped out… sorry eye doctor guy)

   This is super easy and very delicious. The main tasks of this meal are making the lime sauce and then frying the fish of course. The sauce is simply made out of 1/2 C. Mayo (I used reduced fat with Olive Oil), the juice of 2 limes, 2 tsp. chili powder, and a pinch of cayenne.

You will use 1/4 C. of this mixture to marinate about a pound of tilapia (cut into bite size pieces), and toss the remainder of the lime sauce in with some prepackaged coleslaw mix.

Looks kinda gross, but I assure you it's delicious when it's done!

Put a couple Tablespoons of oil in a skillet over medium heat (I recommend olive oil for the most ❤ health) While that’s heating,  mix together 1/4 C. whole wheat flour, 1/4 C. cornmeal, and 1 tsp. salt. You will dredge your fish in this mixture before cooking in the oil for just a couple minutes on each side.

Spicy Lime Slaw

In a skillet set on low, heat through some whole grain or, my personal preference, corn tortillas (Little tip from me to you… don’t attempt to multi-task during this step, unless you feel like burning through a few tortillas)

Top with fish, slaw, and some jalapenos… and, if you want to follow in my footsteps serve with steamed edamame and sweet potato hummus for a perfectly imperfect Japamediterexican meal.

(more on sweet potato hummus and edamame later)

If you would like to try some healthier versions of fish tacos try looking here:

Look!… I made you breakfast.

Homemade Granola

This was my first ever attempt at making my own granola… and it’s pretty good, if I do say so myself.

The thing that is so great about making granola is that you can really put just about anything you have on hand in it. There are no hard fast rules and it’s kind of fun to experiment with different combos of fruit and nuts.

pistachios, sunflower seeds, flaxseed, wheat germ, cinnamon

I started with 1 1/4 C. pistachios, 1/4 C. sunflowers seeds, 1/4 C. ground flaxseed, 1/4 C. toasted wheat germ, and 1 tsp. cinnamon… then tossed it together with 6 C. of old fashioned rolled oats

Then in a separate bowl, I whisked together the whites of 3 eggs and 3/4 tsp. salt until frothy. Then added in 1/3 C. oil and 3/4 C. sweetener… I chose to use Safflower oil and a combination of raw honey and real maple syrup for my sweetener.


Toss the egg mixture in with the oat mixture, spread in layer on baking sheet (you will probably have to use 2 seeing as how this is a boatload of grains & nuts!)

Bake in 350 degree oven for 15 minutes, stir and bake for another 5-10 depending on how toasty you want it.

Dried cherries and toasted coconut

Toss in some dried fruit (i used dried cherries, apricots, and toasted coconut… about 2 Cups total)  and you got yourself a nutritious breakfast with much less sugar than the granola you buy at the store… and significantly cheaper to boot.

(This makes quite a bit of granola but you can keep it in the freezer for several months.)

My Granola

P.S. You can easily toast your own coconut in a skillet on med-low heat, stirring until golden brown. It makes your kitchen smell Sooooo yummy.

(This recipe was adapted from the Power Foods Cookbook)

Enjoy!

Granola… why we need it.

Check out this article from the Mayo Clinic on 5 foods that lower your cholesterol…. this granola recipe contains all 5 (fiber in oats, omega 3’s in flaxseed, healthy fats in nuts and olive oil, and plant sterols in wheat germ!!)

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