Healthy Pasta TASTE TEST + 4 Reasons Why I STILL Avoid Gluten

 

Pasta. What a delectable vehicle for vegetables!  Add your favorite beans, steamed veggies, and tomato sauce and BOOM! An impressive gourmet dinner.  While intact grains are the gold standard (grains in their whole form), whole grains, yes including their bran, germ, and endosperm, are milled into a fine flour to make whole grain pastas, breakfast cereals, and other “whole grain” products.  A few examples of legit whole intact grains would be steel cut oats, brown rice, quinoa, and millet.

wholegrains

How to tell if the product is WHOLE GRAIN?

  1. Whole grain stamp is on the package
  2. “100%” or “Whole” are used to describe it
  3. The first ingredient listed is a whole grain

refinedgrains

Refined grains are not only grains milled into a flour, but their grain was stripped of the nutrient and fiber containing bran and germ! Murder! Refined grains are white / light in color and examples include white bread, cookies, cakes, pretzels, white rice, regular pasta, and anything made with white flour. Darn!

Don’t fret too much! The recommendation is:

Make at least 1/2 of your grains whole grains.

Grains are an important part of a healthy balanced diet for fiber, iron,powerplategraphichirez magnesium, selenium, b vitamins, and lasting energy! Be sure to include them on your plate.

The Taste Test

Well before #1, my personal favorite is ZUCCHINILINI OF COURSE! Which is simply zucchini or summer squash, spirilized to look and feel like spaghetti. I like to mix it with pasta dishes to add bulk, flavor, color, and more veg of course!

#1 Nature’s Promise Whole Wheat Spaghetti: #1 in taste, texture, and nutritional profile. Contains gluten.

#2. Bionaturae Gluten Free Corn and Soy Spaghetti: Fabulous texture and taste and with 5g protein and 6% iron, this product is ok. Low in fiber :-/

#3. Jovial Gluten Free Brown Rice Spaghetti: Quite sticky texture, but great flavor and elasticity.  Would go great with a sauce. However, low in fiber although whole grain. Brown rice is naturally low in fiber.

 

#4. Ancient Harvest Gluten Free Corn and Quinoa Spaghetti: Texture dry and kinda crunchy, but a good source of fiber at 16% daily value and 10% iron!

#5. Andean Dream Quinoa Gluten Free Spaghetti: Texture was definitely a little sandy.  But I must say with 6% calcium, 12% iron, and just barely a good source of fiber at 10% daily value, not bad.

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The Consensus:

The quinoa based gluten free products have a better nutritional profile, but are not as delicious as the lower fiber rice based ones.

Why I personally still avoid Gluten?

Do I go out of my way to avoid gluten?

No.  I still enjoy it in moderation. My mom makes homemade bread and pizza with gluten which I eat occasionally.  My diet is whole foods based, so I rarely purchase packaged products that might contain gluten.

Do I eat gluten every day?

No.  Maybe I eat a gluten containing meal or snack 3-4 times a week.  I am generally healthy and do not currently feel any reason to put more effort into seriously avoiding wheat, barley, rye, and foods containing gluten 100% of the time.

Why I make this personal choice:

  1. My sister has ulcerative colitis, which is similar to celiacs in that they are both autoimmune inflammatory intestinal disorders. With a genetic risk factor in my family, I try to not over load the gluten as a personal preventative measure.
  2. Studies linking gluten and autism spectrum disorders autism-and-nutrition-1. The GFCF (gluten free casein free) diet has been shown to help people with ADHD and autism, what else could it be linked to? I am ever curious and after reading such articles have trouble stomaching gluten (and of course would never recommend drinking milk).
  3. Naturopaths recommend avoiding gluten initially when trying to avoid inflammation with an “elimination diet,” along with dairy and other common inflammatory trigger foods. With this in mind, many people have success reversing adverse symptoms like rashes, IBS, fatigue, etc (SO MANY), once they remove gluten from their diet.  I grew up with canker sores, weird rashes, and eczema so, avoiding inflammation (and gluten) is in my best interest.
  4. Close friends with celiac disease so it is easier for everybody to find a gluten free delicious option!

While as you could see from the video, a gluten free diet is not recommended for the general public because it tends to have less nutrients. Be a savvy shopper and let me know if you have any questions! Enjoy those intact whole grains and plant yums! xx

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Orange Glazed Tempeh | Fat Free, Gluten Free, Vegan

Orange Glazed Tempeh

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What even is “tempeh”???  It is made by cooking and fermenting soybeans and forming them into a condensed patty type thing.  I prefer its texture to its similar tofu brother, however, this is my first time actually experimenting with a soy product, so we’ll see!westsoytempeh  I love how it has a meaty texture and picks of flavors really well.  It has a slight bite of chewiness and is full of protein, calcium, and iron.  I used the WESTSOY Five Grain tempeh (which has gluten), but I’m sure any kind would be superb. Just be sure the version you get is GF if you have a sensitivity.

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Serves one. About 230 calories and 14g protein per serving.

Ingredients:

  • 1/3 block of organic “west soy” tempeh
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • juice of 1 key lime or about 1/2 regular lime
  • 1/2 – 1 tablespoon grated ginger
  • juice of 1 orange or about 1/3 cup orange juice

Steps:

  1. Using a knife and a cutting board, cut off 1/3 of the block of tempeh.  Turn this on its side and slice it in half so that you have 2 skinnier third pieces. Cut these two third pieces into triangles.
  2. Heat a skillet over medium heat and add the orange juice, lime juice, maple syrup, and ginger, and mix with a spatula to combine
  3. Put the tempeh triangles in the pan and allow them to sizzle on one side, moving around while sizzling.
  4. Flip the tempeh when ready, and allow it to sizzle on the other side. Be sure to keep it moving so it doesn’t burn and add a little more oj (or whatever you’d like to add to make it even better!) if needed.
  5. When the tempeh has soaked it up, time to eat! I had a little orange glaze left over in the pan so I stir fried some rice in there, delish! Serve with kale, rice, scallion, avocado, sunflower seeds – whatever you got! 🙂 xx

Raw Vegan Blueberry Ice Cream | Thickest, Creamiest, Smoothest Ice Cream EVER!

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Click here to watch video

Raw Vegan Blueberry Ice Cream | VIDEO

Does anyone out there love ice cream as much as I do?? I used to work at an ice cream shop, and boy was a feeling like CRAP. This is ice cream that makes me feel AMAZING and it does not compromise taste for health.  It is sweet, smooth, thick and creamy and can be made the way you like with whatever animal free ingredients you have. Feel high on life all day eating ice cream for breakfast, and reap the benefits of all the cell and DNA protecting antioxidants, phytochemicals, and anti-inflammatory properties.

Serves 1:  ~336 Calories

  • Uses food processor or high speed blender.
  • Easy, takes about 5 minutes.
  • Prep: Freeze 2 ripe bananas for 6 hours or overnight

Ingredients:

  • 2 frozen ripe bananas (peeled before freezing)
  • 1 ripe banana
  • 1/4 cup fresh or frozen blueberries

Steps: Click here to watch my video~

  1. Blend ingredients until smooth- yup it’s that easy!

Enjoy!!

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Fat Free Vegan Blueberry Kale Bliss-Cream

Here, healthy + ice cream + so good goes in the same sentence.

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You will need: high speed blender or food processor

Time: 5 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 2 leaves of kale, stemmed and rinsed
  • 2 ripe bananas, peeled and frozen for at least 6 hours
  • 1 fresh ripe banana
  • 1 soft medjool date, pitted
  • 1/2 tsp of vanilla
  • 2 dashes of cinnamon
  • 1/3 cup of frozen blueberries

Steps:

  1. Put the kale in first so it is closest to the blade
  2. Add in frozen bananas, date, banana, vanilla, and cinnamon
  3. Blend until creamy
  4. serve with blueberries and a dash of cinnamon
  5. Run around like you were just blessed with those beautiful legs. xo

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Black Bean Brownies (Not Gross)

Want a dessert that truly loves you back?  These are delectably decadent and as moist as brownies can be.  Seriously delicious, and a great source of potassium, fiber, folate and natural sugars for sustainable energy- all of these ingredients provide beautiful benefits.  Save money, stuff your face, feel amazing, change the world, repeat. black bean brownies Adapted From Chef AJ’s Brownies Ingredients:

  • 1 can black beans (drained and rinsed)
  • 3/4 cup quick oats
  • 1 1/2 cup dates, pitted (maybe soak about 20 mins in warm water to soften)
  • 1/2 cup cacao or carob powder
  • 2 Tbs flax ground + 6 Tbsp water
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 Tbs vanilla
  • topping: 1/4 cup vegan chocolate chips and/or chopped nuts

Steps:

  1. Line 8×8 inch pan with parchment paper and preheat oven to 350 degrees F
  2. Add ingredients (except topping) to a food processor (S blade) and blend until completely smooth
  3. Spread batter evenly over parchment paper in the pan and sprinkle with topping evenly
  4. Bake at 350 degrees F for about 18-20 minutes, until desired ooeyness. Allow to cool for about 5 minutes.

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Black Bean Brownies Portions: 20
Total Calories 92 Calories
Nutrients Amount Per Portion
Protein 3 g
Carbohydrate 17 g
Dietary Fiber 4 g
Total Sugars 8 g
Added Sugars 1 g
Total Fat 3 g
Saturated Fat 1 g
Monounsaturated Fat 1 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 1 g
Linoleic Acid 1 g
α-Linolenic Acid 0.4 g
Omega 3 – EPA 0 mg
Omega 3 – DHA 0 mg
Cholesterol 0 mg
Minerals Amount Per Portion
Calcium 34 mg
Potassium 203 mg
Sodium 87 mg
Copper 206 µg
Iron 1 mg
Magnesium 36 mg
Phosphorus 77 mg
Selenium 2 µg
Zinc 1 mg
Vitamins Amount Per Portion
Vitamin A 0 µg RAE
Vitamin B6 0.0 mg
Vitamin B12 0.0 µg
Vitamin C 1 mg
Vitamin D 0 µg
Vitamin E 0 mg AT
Vitamin K 1 µg
Folate 19 µg DFE
Thiamin 0.1 mg
Riboflavin 0.0 mg
Niacin 0 mg
Choline 9 mg
www.SuperTracker.usda.gov

Raw Thanksgiving Recipes

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Thanksgiving can be a scary situation for vegans and vegetarians.  These recipes are easy and delicious, I am certain everyone at your feast will love them!

Festive Holiday Kale Salad:

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You will need: a large bowl, a serving bowl, a blender, a cutting board, a knife, and people you really love to share this amazing dish with.

  • 1-2 bunches of kale
  • 2 pomegranates
  • 1 bunch green onion (half chopped half blended)
  • 1 large bunch dill (half chopped half blended)
  • 1 bunch mint (half chopped half blended)
  • 2 Tbs tahini (I used 2 Tbs hemp seeds)
  • 2 cups currents or raisins (I didn’t use raisins at the demo)
  • ½ cup pure lime juice
  • ½ cup orange juice
  • 4 dates
  • 2 cups walnuts

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  1. Wash, de-stem, and schiffinade kale
  2. Chop using either a food processor S blade, or a knife and cutting board, half of the bunches of scallion, dill, and mint
  3. Deseed pomegranates (with a large spoon, banging on the outside of 1/2 of the fruit so the seeds just fall into your palm)
  4. chop walnuts
  5. Blend juice, dates, and the other half of the bunches of green onion, dill, and mint
  6. Massage dressing into kale thoroughly with gloved or very very clean hands
  7. Using tongs, mix in nuts and pomegranate seeds
  8. Serve chilled ❤

Fully Raw Pumpkin Pie:

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You will need: food processor S blade, pie plate, rubber spatula, and pumpkin lovers!

Ingredients

Crust

  • ~1 lb dates
  • 1.5-2 cups pecans
  • 1-2 tsp Cinnamon
  • 1 tsp vanilla

Pie Filling

  • 2-3 cups pie pumpkin
  • ~2 lbs dates
  • Ginger, thimble sized piece
  • ~168grams persimmon pulp
  • 1-2 tsp pumpkin pie spice

Crust

  1. Using food processor S blade, put pecans in first, then dates and cinnamon, and pulse and blend until desired crust texture
  2. Take out the blade
  3. Press all around pie crust

Pie Filling

  1. Put pumpkin chunks and then dates, persimmon, cinnamon, ginger, and spice in vitamix, or food processor S blade
  2. Blend until completely smooth
  3. Rubber spatula into pie crust
  4. Freeze to set (about 2 hours)

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Cranberry Relish:

Ingredients

  • 12 oz bag cranberries (1lb)
  • 1-2 oranges, peeled and deseeded
  • 5 dates

Steps:

  1. Pit dates
  2. Peel and deseed oranges
  3. Put all ingredients into food processor
  4. Process until desired smoothness
  5. Rubber spatula into bowl, let chill

Watch Chef AJ!

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Thank you to everybody who came!  What a wonderful crowd!  Hope to see you all and more at the Raw Desserts Demo: February 19, 2015!

Fat Free BBQ Wings

Making these, Sweet Potato Quinoa Burgers, and Mom’s Vegan Blueberry Cornbread at the

Vegan Americanna Demo

CoRec Demo Kitch, Purdue University!

September 8th 7-8pm!

Sign up asap!!!

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If your mouth isn’t watering… you’re an alien.bbqwings

Check out this recipe on video here!!

Ingredients:

  • 1 head of cauliflower (mine was small-medium-ish size)

Recipe: BBQ Cauliflower Wings 

Prep Time:   10 minutes     Cook Time:   25 minutes         Total time: 35 minutes

Makes 4 servings

Serve with Ranch Dressing.

You will need…

  • Baking pan
  • Parchment paper
  • Spatula
  • Spoon
  • Wisk
  • Large fork
  • Rubber spatula
  • Mixing bowl
  • Cutting board
  • Paring knife

Ingredients

  • 1 cup water or non-dairy milk
  • 1 cup flour (any kind will work, even gluten free!)
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 head cauliflower, chopped into pieces
  • 1 cup BBQ sauce (or buffalo or any hot sauce)

Prep

  • Measure out ingredients
  • Set up cutting board with cauliflower and paring knife
  • Set up baking pan with parchment paper
  • Preheat oven to 450 degrees F

Steps

  1. Combine the water or non-dairy milk, flour, and garlic powder in a bowl and stir until well combined
  2. Coat the cauliflower pieces with the slower mixture and place on the parchment paper lined baking sheet. Bake for 18-20 minutes (until cauliflower is cooked and breading looks crispy)
  3. Let cauliflower cool about 5 minutes and then fold them in a bowl with BBQ sauce
  4. Bake another 5-8 minutes on parchment paper.
  5. Serve with vegan ranch dressing and celery sticks.

Recipe adapted from http://www.peta.org/living/food/spicy-buffalo-cauliflower-wings/ 

Homemade BBQ Sauce (FREE OF ADDED COLOR, FLAVOR, THICKENERS AND PRESERVATIVES!) any sauce you want works though, try your favorite vegan buffalo sauce for buffalo wings.

  • 3/4 cup coconut nectar
  • 2 1/2 cup dates (soaked if not soft)
  • 2 cups sundried tomato (s0aked)
  • 1 cup fresh tomato
  • 2 1/2 cup water (sundried tomato water)
  • 1/2 Tbs garlic
  • 1/2 tsp mustard powder
  • 1/2 tsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/8 cup onion powder
  • 1 Tbs salt
  • 1 Tbs chipotle powder

Blend in a high speed blender until smooth.

cauliwingzNOM

 

Baked Sweet Apple Spicy Eggplant (Vegan, Fat-Free, Gluten-Free)

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This is my attempt at improving the Cauliwings– it is a little less harsh when it comes to firey-ness, a little more sweetness to the fire, reminiscent of an Indian chicken dish I used to love, …and oh lord is cooked eggplant the most delicious thing!!

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ngredients:

  • 1 large eggplant

Batter:

  • 1 cup water
  • 3/4 cup + 2 Tbsp ground rolled oat flour (or whatever gluten free flour you like)
  • 3/4-1 tsp salt or to taste
  • 1 tsp each of garlic powder, onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp each of smoked paprika, chili powder/cayenne
  • a very generous dash of black pepper

Apple Sriracha Glaze: (Next time I will use my own blend of spices instead of the processed sriracha and tabasco jargin- I recommend you do too!)

  • 1/2 cup applesauce
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 1/2 of a large apple, chopped well
  • 3 Tbs Sriracha sauce or to taste 🙂
  • 1 tsp or more hot sauce or to taste (I used tabasco sauce)
  • 3/4 cup Orange juice or apple juice (more juice if you like a thinner glaze)
  • a generous pinch of garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp ginger powder

Steps:

  1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.
  2. Chop the eggplant into small 1-1.5 inch pieces.
  3. Mix everything under batter in a bowl until smooth and thick enough batter that can coat the pieces well.
  4. Mix the eggplant in the batter so each piece is covered and place on parchment lined baking sheet.  Any extra, pour on top! Bake for 15 minutes. 

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Glaze:

  1. In a pan, mix all the ingredients under glaze and heat on medium. Taste and adjust spice, sweet and tang if needed(add oj / jam or lemon juice for extra sweet or tang). You can also use fresh or frozen ripe mango or orange puree + maple/sugar.
  2. Once the glaze is hot, add the baked eggplant to it. Toss well to coat carefully and let the glaze come to a boil and thicken. 2-3 minutes. You can use a large pan that can fit all the pieces or do 2 batches.
  3. Serve hot as is, with rice/grains or with any creamy cool dips like ranch. Alternatively, bring the sauce ingredients to a boil and pour over the baked eggplant, toss to coat and serve.

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Fat-Free Firey Cauliwings and Creamy Raw Ranch Dressing

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This special treat for my family was BOMB. I feel totally confident having my picky manly meat eaters try, and love, these.  They will DEFINITELY put hair on your chest ;).  Vegan. Epic. Satisfying.  They are spicy, but a sweet tang too.  Like orange chicken at the chinese place!  And this raw vegan ranch- creamy and cooling.  I so recommend having this over rice.  If I had tortillas it would have been bomb to make a rice cauliwing ranch burrito!  Next time :).

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Firey Cauliwings

Adapted from the amazing Vegan Richa

Ingredients:

  • 1 head of cauliflower (mine was small-medium-ish size)

Batter:

  • 1 cup water
  • 3/4 cup + 2 Tbsp flour (try oat or brown rice flour for gluten free, I used half whole wheat + half white) 
  • 3/4-1 tsp salt or to taste
  • 1 tsp each of garlic powder, onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp each of smoked paprika, chili powder/cayenne
  • a very generous dash of black pepper
  • 2 tsp oil (optional)


Sweet Sriracha Glaze:

  • 1 cup mango jam (I used apricot) or preserves (or use orange marmalade or grape jelly for variations)
  • 1/4 cup Sriracha sauce or to taste 🙂
  • 1 Tbsp or more hot sauce or to taste (I used tabasco sauce)
  • 1/4 cup Orange juice or apple juice (more juice if you like a thinner glaze)
  • a generous pinch of garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp ginger powder


Steps:

  1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.
  2. Chop the cauliflower into 1.5-2 inch pieces.
  3. Mix everything under batter in a bowl until smooth and thick enough batter that can coat the cauliflower pieces well.(add more flour if needed). 
  4. Dip the cauliflower in the batter so each floret it covered and place on parchment lined baking sheet.  Any extra, pour on top! Bake for 20 minutes. 

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Glaze:

  1. In a pan, mix all the ingredients under glaze and heat on medium. Taste and adjust spice, sweet and tang if needed(add oj / jam or lemon juice for extra sweet or tang). You can also use fresh or frozen ripe mango or orange puree + maple/sugar instead of preserves.
  2. Once the glaze is hot, add the baked cauliflower to it. Toss well to coat carefully and let the glaze come to a boil and thicken. 2-3 minutes. You can use a large pan that can fit all the florets or do 2 batches. do not toss/move the florets too much.
  3. Serve hot as is, with rice/grains or with any creamy cool dips like ranch. Alternatively, bring the sauce ingredients to a boil and pour over the baked cauliflower, toss to coat and serve.

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Variations: Use grape jelly or Orange preserves. Add a 1/4 cup ketchup to the glaze.
Use Barbecue sauce or sweet and sour sauce.
To make buffalo wings, mix in enough hot sauce with melted vegan butter or oil (2:1 ratio) and toss the baked cauliflower in it, bake for a few minutes and serve.

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Raw Vegan Ranch

Too easy- all you need is a blender, and blend blend blend!

  • 1 1/4 cup whole raw cashews
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • a little less than 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons liquid sweetener of choice (I used maple syrup)
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 3 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp dried dill
  • less than 1 tsp salt

Let it chill in the fridge for a few hours for it to turn super thick and creamy like legit ranch!  I didn’t wait for it to chill in the pics above, it was still runny, but this stuff gets thick and delish!!  Enjoy over your salad, with celery and carrots, or drizzled over your cauliwings! Yumyum!  Gotta love health food 😉

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Cherry Garcia Banana Pancakes (with carob instead of chocolate :) Fat Free, Dairy Free, Gluten Free, High Carb Vegan

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Cherry Garcia Banana Pancakes?!  MMMMMMMMMMmmmmm HMMMmmmm !!!!! 😛

I made these with my friend James Wallace (meat loving runner 😉 ) and he thought they were pretty impressive!  We are both so lazy and cheap (as are all college students, honestly) and it was awesome that we could make something so yummy for dinner with cooking and clean up taking less than like, what 10-15 minutes?

Here’s what I used:

  • 2 ripe bananas
  • 2 cups Namaste gluten free waffle/pancake mix
  • about 3/4 +ish cups of water
  • one 10 oz bag of frozen cherries
  • about 1/4 cup carob powder (add more to taste)

Steps:

  1. Let cherries thaw out and mash bananas in a large bowl until smooth and combine and mash cherries to desired chunky consistency.
  2. Stir in water, pancake mix, and carob
  3. Set flat top skillet to about 300 and using a 1/4 cup measure, make them pancakes sizzle!  No oil necessary!  Feel free to eat slightly undercooked if you want, no eggs to worry about!
  4. Savor in good health 🙂

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