29 August 2017

Simple Pineapple Slushee

The days of summer may be drifting off, but I'm determined to hold onto them and make them last. My kitchen counters proudly display a bountiful harvest from local farms and markets and I can't wait to come up with something creative and filling for the whole family. Peach cobbler, apple crisp, carrot muffins, gazpacho, eggplant and zucchini stacks. The options are always endless when fresh produce is so abundant.

The other day I had some freshly frozen pineapple that I wanted to use up because I am attempting to clean out the freezer before stocking it for fall. I decided to surprise the kids with an after school treat; pineapple slushees. Before we changed our lifestyle and cut out processed foods, sugars, preservatives and starches, my son used to love slurping slushees by the pool. Of course I knew these were full of sugar and dyes and I strongly encouraged my kids to make better choices, but every once in awhile I turned an eye and allowed them as a treat. Fast forward almost three years later and that treat is no longer an option. But to be honest, my other children have no desire for such a treat either. Our tastebuds have changed and it is most definitely for the better.

So what do we treat ourselves to these days? Pineapple slushees of course! Did you know this sweet tropical fruit is a great source of fiber and bromelain, an enzyme that can aid in digestion and even reduce bloating and indigestion. Pineapples are also a wonderful source of vitamin C and can help reduce inflammation in the body. And guess what moms? Pineapple is rich in manganese, a mineral required for building collagen, which is a structural component of skin that prevents loss of elasticity and wrinkles. It looks like these pineapple treats benefit both parents and kids!

Pineapple Slushie
yield:6 servings
SCD, Gluten-free, Sugar-free

16 ounces frozen pineapple
1/4 cup honey
1/2 cup homemade yogurt (or plain yogurt)
2 Tbs. water

Place all ingredients in a blender or Vitamix and combine until thick and creamy. Pour into individual glasses, serve and enjoy.

10 August 2017

Hearty Vegetarian Rainbow Bowl + Phytonutrients

Vegan original
"The food you eat can be either the safest and most powerful form of medicine or the slowest form of poison." -Ann Wigmore

This bountiful, hearty bowl is packed with vibrant colors and rich flavors that are bound to be filling, even for the carnivore at heart! My family may not be vegetarians, but you can always find a wide range of plant based foods served at every meal. In fact, veggies usually make up the majority of our plates and servings.

One thing I have learned through my son’s journey with Crohn’s Disease is the importance of eating the rainbow. When you incorporate more fruits and veggies into your diet you reap the benefits of phytonutrients. Phytonutrients are compounds found in plants that act as powerful defenders of health, both for the plant and the person consuming the plant. Studies have shown that people who eat more plant-based foods have reduced risks of chronic disease, heart disease and cancer. And, these phytonutrients can even help rid the body of toxins, fight inflammation, boost the immune system, reduce blood pressure and help fight disease.

So who’s ready to eat the rainbow and pack their plates with veggies?

This hearty vegetarian bowl is loaded with raw veggies and the sautéed shitake mushrooms add the perfect texture for a rich flavorful finish. You’ll find this combination of cooked and raw vegetables extremely filling, and once you drizzle the dressing on top you’ll find it is irresistible.

*Please note: in order to make this meal SCD friendly omit the corn, garbanzo beans and purple potatoes. You can easily sub black beans or navy beans (soaked for 10-12 hours), butternut squash or diced tomatoes. Because garbanzo beans and potatoes are long-chain carbohydrates they are not compatible with the SCD diet. In order to avoid feeding the bad bacteria in the gut steer clear of long-chain carbohydrates.

Hearty Vegetarian Rainbow Bowl
Yield: 4 servings
Gluten-Free, Sugar-Free, Dairy-free, SCD*, Paleo*

6 ounces shitake mushrooms
1 Tbs. olive oil
1 orange bell pepper, thinly sliced
1 pound boiled baby purple potatoes
1 cup cooked corn
2 avocados, thinly sliced
15 ounces chickpeas, drained and rinsed
10 ounces broccoli cole slaw (one bag)
10 ounces shredded carrots (one bag)
2 ounces micro greens (one container)

Creamy Honey Mustard Vinaigrette
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
¼ cup coconut milk
4 Tbs. white wine vinegar
2 Tbs dijon mustard
3 Tbs honey
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp fresh black pepper

1. Heat olive oil in a small sauté pan over medium heat. Add mushrooms and sauté until soft. Set aside.
2. On a large platter (or in individual bowls) organize the pepper slices, cooked potatoes, corn, avocado, chickpeas, broccoli slaw and carrots.
3. Top the veggies with the micro greens and sautéed shitake mushrooms.
4. In a large glass jar combine all the dressing ingredients and blend well with an immersion blender.
5. Drizzle the dressing over the vegetable tray or individual bowls.
6. Serve and enjoy.