Monday, May 30, 2011

A Sweet Treat to Eat - Crispy Quinoa Flake Cookies

Since I have given up refined sugar, I am always on the lookout for sweet treats to quell my desire for something sweet and comforting. My newest concoction is a more organic take on a recipe I saw on the back of a box of Quinoa Flakes.  I can't take full credit for the recipe, I must say - but I did tweak it to make it completely gluten-free and free of all refined sugars.

Now, for all of you sugar-free die-hards, this recipe does include honey, but I used RAW honey instead.  Raw honey is uncooked, unpasteurized, unprocessed honey that is actually an alkaline-forming food which is much better for your digestive system.  I also substituted Stevia-in-the-Raw where it called for brown sugar. If you are craving nuts or chocolate, you can throw in some dark or semi-sweet chocolate chips (or even better, cacao nibs) or your favorite chopped nuts. These cookies are the crispiest, sweetest things I have tasted in a while.  They are not devoid of calories, as they still contain some rich ingredients, but they are intended to be a treat.  A treat that is free from processed white flour as well as the brown and white sugars typically found in cookie recipes. Even Michael Pollan would approve of these tasty homemade goodies!

Crispy Quinoa Flake Cookies
(gluten-free and refined sugar-free)

1/2 cup raw honey
1 cup Stevia-in-the-Raw
1 stick of organic butter or Earth Balance
1/2 cup organic peanut butter
1/2 teaspoon real vanilla extract
1 cup rice flour
3/4 cup quinoa flakes
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup chopped nuts, dark or semi-sweet chocolate chips, or cacao nibs (optional)

Heat oven to 350 degrees.  Beat honey, stevia, butter/Earth Balance, peanut butter, and vanilla in a large bowl.  In a smaller bowl, using a wisk or spoon, combine the rice flour, quinoa flakes, baking soda, and salt. Slowly pour the rice flour mixture into the wet mixture. Mix it all together by hand or beater.  Add nuts or dark chocolate chips, if you wish. Drop by rounded teaspoon onto ungreased cookie sheet.  Bake for 10-13 minutes or until light golden brown.  Cool for 1 minute before removing from cookie sheet so the cookies can harden.  Yields approximately 2 1/2 dozen.  Enjoy!

Sunday, May 29, 2011

My Latest Adventure...The Institute for Integrative Nutrition

The past few months I have been immersed in my latest adventure: the Institute for Integrative Nutrition (IIN).  IIN is a top-notch holistic nutrition school that provides training around how to become a Health Coach.

Earlier this spring, I created a new holistic wellness company called Maine Healthy Life Coach that will bring together my training as a Holistic Nutrition Consultant, ACE Certified Fitness Instructor, Certified Life Coach, and soon to become Holistic Health Coach. 

My goal is to support busy people in reaching their health and life goals by providing pure and simple ways to improve their food and lifestyle, at a pace that is comfortable to them. 

Stay tuned for more info about the official launch of Maine Healthy Life Coach!

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Sweet Summertime Salsa & Black Bean and Rice Non-Taco Salad

This week we celebrated Cinqo de Mayo, but with a healthy twist!  I love Mexican food, but I wanted to lighten it up - both in heat and in calories - so we made two recipes that were just delish.  My husband likes spicy food, but I prefer it milder. Since I was the one cooking, you can guess how the recipes ended up! You can adjust the heat to suit your personal taste. Enjoy these recipes made with fresh and healthy ingredients all throughtout the spring and summer!

Sweet Summertime Salsa
2 nectarines or peaches, diced
1 medium tomato, diced
2 tablespoons red onion, minced
2 tablespoons cilantro, finely chopped
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1 teaspoon stevia
1 jalapeno, seeded and minced (optional)

In a medium bowl, gently mix together ingredients.  Let stand at least 30 minutes before serving to let the flavors combine.  Serve this sweet and crunchy salsa with organic blue or yellow corn tortilla chips.

Black Bean and Rice Non-Taco Salad
1 cup canned organic black beans, rinsed
1 cup brown rice
20 organic blue or yellow corn tortilla chips
1/4 cup organic cheddar, shredded
Handful of cherry tomatoes, chopped
A few romaine leaves, chopped
Dollup of organic sour cream or Wholly Guacamole (optional)

Heat black beans and rice. Crunch up tortilla chips on plate or large flat-bottomed bowl. Spoon beans and rice onto chip pieces.  Add cheddar so it melts a little.  Add tomatoes, romaine, and a bit of sour cream or guacamole, if desired, on top. This salad is fresh and clean, and extremely mild.  Add spices or jalapeno for kick.  Serves 2. Enjoy!