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May 31, 2011

Almond Carob Cookies- gluten free, agave sweetened



Almond- Carob Cookies
2.5 cups almond meal (finely ground raw almonds)
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 tsp soda
1/4 cup olive oil
1/3 cup applesauce, unsweetened
1/4 cup agave
1.5 tsp nutmeg
1/2 cup coconut flakes, unsweetened
3/4 cup carob chips, unsweetened

1. Preheat oven to 375F
2. Combine all ingredients together and mix till well incorporated
3. Grease a baking pan
4. Drop a small spoonful, leaving a few inches in between each cookie
5. Bake for 18 minutes

Allow these cookies to cool after baking as they will harden up a bit and hold their form better. Also, these cookies became more delicious as the week progressed. We are on our last few and I made them one week ago. I will definitely make these again!


May 30, 2011

Cream of Buckwheat

Buckwheat is a perfect alternative to wheat, is gluten-free, and come from the rhubarb family. Buckwheat is also high in fiber and protein, which is an extra added bonus. This morning I made cream of buckwheat and topped with hemp seeds and fresh fruit, which added extra protein, omegas, potassium and Vitamin C. Deeelish!!

Cream of Buckwheat
2 cups water
1/2 cup ground buckwheat (cream of buckwheat)
2 tsp hemp seeds
strawberries and bananas
salt/agave (optional)

1. Heat water and buckwheat in a saucepan till boiling. Reduce to simmer and cook for 8-10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
2. Top with hemp seeds, fresh fruit and salt or sweetener to taste.

May 29, 2011

Lean bean salad



This can be a great salad to make when you are short on time (if you use canned beans.)
You can use any beans you prefer. I planned on adding garbanzo beans as well but decided to save them for a hummus recipe I am experimenting on :) I prefer to eat this salad cold, but you can serve warm if you wish.

Lean Bean Salad
1 cup pinto beans (canned or raw)
1 cup kidney beans
1 cup black beans
3 cloves garlic, minced
1.5 TBSP olive oil
handful chives, diced
handful parsley, diced
Juice of one large juicy lemon
dash of sea salt and cayenne pepper to taste


1.If beans are canned, just open cans and combine all ingredients together. If you are on a raw diet, soak raw beans in filtered water for 24 hours, rinsing a few times, and then combine with remaining ingredients and serve. You can also cook the raw beans till soft, allow to cool and then combine with remaining ingredients.

Full of flavor and oh so easy!!

May 28, 2011

Sea Salt Amaranth


I was so in love with my breakfast the other morning that I made amaranth again, only this time I used seeds, almond milk, cayenne pepper and sea salt. Very delicious and without a single drop of sugar.

Sea Salt Amaranth (makes 2 servings)
1 cup amaranth
3 cups water
1/4 cup sliced almonds
2 TBSP seed mix
cayenne pepper
sea salt
almond milk

1. Boil water and amaranth for 1 minute, set to low and simmer for 10 minutes or so.
2. Place amaranth in serving bowls and top with almonds, seeds, spices and almond milk.


May 27, 2011

Berries and Kefir- Gotta have my probiotics!


It is important to get our daily serving of good bacterias. My favorite way to ensure I get probiotics into my body is by eating whole organic goat kefir. Today I had kefir with berries, nuts and seeds. Delicious!

Berries and Kefir
3/4 cup kefir
3 strawberries, diced
5 blackberries
1 TBSP almonds, diced
1 TBSP seed mix

1. Combine all ingredients together and devour!!!

May 26, 2011

Apple Cinnamon Amaranth


A twist on your morning oatmeal. Instead of oats, wheat or rice, I made a gluten-free alternative for breakfast this morning- amaranth. Very moist and chewy.

Apple Cinnamon Amaranth
1 cup amaranth
3 cups water
1 apple, diced
1/4 cup diced almonds
cinnamon
almond milk
agave/honey (optional)

1. Combine the water and amaranth in a pan and bring to boil for 1 one minute. Reduce to simmer for 10 minutes.
2. Place amaranth in a bowl and top with apple, cinnamon, almonds and sweetener.
3. Serve with almond milk.

May 24, 2011

Sun Cups- A delicious raw snack


Today I made sun cups, a delicious combination of protein and carbs. The sunflower seeds give this tasty nibble an extra kick of omegas (healthy fats to keep you free of heart disease and looking gorgeous) while both the sunflower seeds and parsley provide your body with Vitamin E (which attack free-radicals in your body and keeps your immune system healthy.) Sun cups are a perfect mid-day or pre-workout snack.

Sun Cups
1/2 cup hummus
1-2 bell peppers (I used yellow, as they tend to be sweeter)
2 TBSP of sunflower seeds
parsley for garnish

1. Cut bell pepper(s)
2. Spoon hummus into pepper pieces
3. Top with sunflower seeds and parsley

Also a great idea to serve at parties.


May 23, 2011

People's Market, Ocean Beach












This is one of my all time favorite places in the whole world. It is a food market in San Diego, called Peoples, and it is PACKED with healthy, organic goodness. Upstairs there is a cafe that serves fresh foods, salads, soups and desserts.
Downstairs there is a market with fresh produce and an aisle full of bins that contain nuts, grains, seeds, and SWEETS. This place always has the latest in organic foods and trends, and for reasonable prices. I always buy the trail mix with the raw dark chocolate covered bananas-heaven on earth!

My favorite aspect about this place is the way I feel when I leave. Shoppers are there for one common purpose, their health, and as a general rule they all really care about making the earth a better place. I know that I am always invigorated after a trip to Peoples. I only wish I could move in....

May 22, 2011

GREAT mobile marketing!



I was on my way home from the airport and saw the greatest example of mobile advertising. It really made me smile :) I LOVE CALIFORNIA!!

May 21, 2011

Honey Mustard Wild Asparagus Salad with Hemp Seeds


Honey Mustard Wild Asparagus Salad with Hemp Seeds
Bunch of Romaine salad
1 red bell pepper, diced
one bunch asparagus, diced
one handful parsley, chopped

1. Chop and grill asparagus with parsley and dressing for about 3 minutes on medium.
2. Assemble salad ingredients on plate and top with grilled asparagus.
3. Top with hemp seeds.

May 20, 2011

Avocado Cafe, NEW BIO CAFE in Athens!!!







There is a new vegetarian cafe in Athens called Avocado Cafe. We really liked the owners and waitstaff, they were friendly and eager to make sure we were well attended to. I was not so hungry so I ordered a juice and Nikos got a veggie burger with secret avocado sauce. I am not a fan of fried food so I was not as eager to eat the burger but I really liked the bread and the sauce was yummy (it was homemade!)

Next time I will try one of the salads or the raw avocado soup. We definitely recommend trying this place out and supporting the movement towards natural, whole foods.

On our menu for today was:
Ginger, Beet, Apple, Carrot juice (sorry to say, not with organic products)
Fried Veggie burger on homemade fluffy gooey white pita bread
Filtered water





May 19, 2011

Pasta for the FLU


Nikos has had the flu for the past week and I have, luckily, caught a bit of what he has as well. Therefore I decided it was time to nip this in the BUTT and make some flu attack pasta! Garlic, ginger and onion are known as holistic remedies for colds as they boost the immune system. Asparagus is known as a detox vegetable and a great antioxidant for the body. With these goodies on hand, I think Nikos and I will win this fight :)

Pasta for the FLU
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 onions, diced
2 TSP ginger (fresh ginger is best)
handful parsley
2 large tomatoes, diced
handful wild asparagus
300g pasta (we used organic linguini)
1/2 cup tomato sauce\olive oil
salt, pepper
goat cheese (optional)

1. Saute the garlic, onion and olive oil in a pan on medium-high for about five minutes. Add tomatoes, saute for another five minutes on medium. Add asparagus, saute for three minutes.
2. Add olive oil and tomato sauce (as much of each as you like to equal about 1/2 cup). I used more tomato sauce. Reduce heat to low-medium, and allow sauce to reduce for about 10 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste.
3. Boil pasta for 8-12 minutes (we like al dente so we boiled for about 8).
4. Drain pasta, top with sauce and cheese.

PS- Nikos and I slept EXTREMELY well after this meal and woke up feeling much better!

May 18, 2011

Deodorant- what are we REALLY putting on our body?


I read the label on my deodorant today. I really do not sweat and I rarely use deodorant. At home I use natural deodorant, but since I have been in Greece, I have used more conventional products. I am now getting back to basics, to the natural stuff, and I wanted to share with you what I found was in this Dove, Go Fresh spray.

For starters, the first three ingredients are:
Butane- A Neurotoxicant, exposure can cause adverse effects on the nervous system. A sued and bottled form of a fuel, a flammable hydrocarbon gas.
Propane- liquified petroleum, A flammable hydrocarbon gas.
Aluminum Chlorohydrate- Disrupts the endocrine and nervous system. Linked to Altzeimer's Disease and Cancer.

Not all deodorant is flammable, so you can possibly avoid the first two ingredients, but what it is the aluminum that you must be very cautious about!

Please be aware of what you are putting on your underarms. This area easily absorbs toxins and sends them right into your bloodstream. There are natural alternatives and I hope you will give them a try. Look for deodorant, and avoid antiperspirant. It could be worth your life.


More information can be found at this link.


May 17, 2011

Thermopylae, Greece: MUST visit Hot Springs



If you live in Greece and have not been to Thermopylae you are missing out on an incredible free health advantage. This natural spring water is full of healing components and it feels like being in a hot-tub. There are ropes to help you get in the water and the area smells rich in sulfur dioxide.

I visited this incredible area with my friend Simone and her family (there was only one other gentleman there, so we had the whole area to ourselves). We stayed in the water for about 20 minutes and for the next five hours felt like we were intoxicated with life and warmth. It was pretty incredible because my body was actually radiating. There is something to be said about natural healing properties, I do believe they offer miracles for us.
Simone's mother could not turn her neck before she got in the water, but was able to after her swim.



May 16, 2011

Homemade Myconian Cheese, by Alekos






Alekos was kind enough to teach me how to make goat cheese from scratch! We started with whole, raw, fresh Myconian goat milk. Yum.

1. Warm goat milk till lukewarm over low heat
2. Remove from heat, add a dash of yeast (10L of milk needs 1/2 tsp) and 1/2 cup buttermilk
3. Mix and let sit covered for 24 hours
4. Pour milk into a cheesecloth (outside) and let drain for 24 hours. We hung ours on the deck awning and put a bowl below for the water to drain into.
4. On the second day, remove cheese from cloth, add salt, and push into a cheese mold. We used bird beds from the pet store. (We nibbled on some at this point and it was YUMMY!!)
5. Put outside and cover with a mesh cloth. Place a large stone on top to push out any additional moisture.
6. Wait 5 days and then enjoy!! If you are lucky maybe Anna will make some of her Myconian pie for you :)

This cheese is absolutely fantastic :) Thank you Alekos!!!

May 15, 2011

Seeds of life!



These are my four favorite seeds and I eat a spoonful of this mixture everyday! Not only do I feel better I also have a sharper memory and glow from within. We are what we eat! My advice to you, get a huge jar from IKEA, and mix these four seeds together (pumpkin and chia seeds are fantastic as well) and then sprinkle on your cereal, oatmeal, put in smoothies, on salads, sandwiches, or you can make crackers with them using a dehydrator.


Hemp Seeds: Hemp seeds have 3 unique nutritional factors: an ideal balance of Omega 3 and 6 for sustainable human health, a full amino acid spectrum meaning it provides complete protein (63% of this seed is protein), and it has a massive trace mineral content. Hemp seeds are the richest source of polyunsaturated fatty acids, phytonutrients, offers 9 of the 20 essential amino acids our bodies cannot produce on its own, and greatly strengthen the immune system.

Flax Seeds: Flax seeds have a huge nutrient payload. Flax seeds are extremely high in fiber, omega 3s, B-vitamins, magnesium, manganese and antioxidants, which stabilizes blood sugar, lowers cholesterol, aids, weight loss, and is great for your skin, nails and hair Also high in lignans which have been used to balance hormones, promote fertility, reduce menopausal symptoms, and prevent against breast cancer and Type 2 diabetes.

Sunflower Seeds: These seeds provide healthy fats, proteins, fibers, minerals, vitamin E, and phytochemicals, (antioxidants), including: choline, betaine, and phenolic acids. A great source of Vitamin E, and a safer way to consume this vitamin die to uncertainty of toxicity found in fish liver oils. Vitamin E may protect against cardiovascular disease, lignans may protect against some cancers, and choline has been shown to play a role in memory and cognitive functions. They are also among the best foods you can eat to get cholesterol-lowering phytosterols.

Sesame Seeds: These seeds contain large amounts of manganese, tryptophan and copper. Also contains calcium, magnesium, iron, phosphorus, vitamin B1, zinc and dietary fiber. Sesame seeds contain lignans, which fight cholesterol, lower blood pressure and reduce oxidative damage (keeps you younger, more radiant and a better chance at remaining cancer free).

Eat The BEST you seed mix every day- it gives you antioxidants and omegas which will keep your immunity strong and your body glowing J

May 14, 2011

Low on iron (anemic)? Read on...


If you are low on iron, and have a low count of red cells in your blood there are some small adjustments you can make that can possibly change your life. I had problems with anemia while vegan and following these guidelines helped me to get my health back in order. I enjoy the those items in RED the best :) This is a picture of Magnus's homemade liverpasej.

1. To lower anemic conditions:

· Do not drink tea or coffee with your meals, as the tannins in tea block iron absorption (due to a swelling of the intestines), which leads to anemia.

· Increase Iron intake, which includes organic meat, poultry, liver, fish, seeds, nuts, egg yolks, artichokes, dried fruits, dark leafy vegetables, prunes, dried beans (beans, lentils, chickpeas), cereals and breads fortified with iron.

· Pair Iron with Vitamin C; which includes: Oranges, strawberries, pineapples, kiwis, guava, tomatoes, broccoli and many other fruits and vegetables

· Increase B12, which includes: shell fish, liver, caviar, octopus, crab/lobster, fish, cheese, eggs, meat, kidney, fortified cereals, breads and pastas. Other excellent food choices for vitamin B-12 are fruits, dried beans and peas.

· Increase folate, which includes: brewers yeast, lentils, edamame, romaine, pinto beans, okra, black beans, black eyed peas, spinach, kidney beans, broccoli, brussel spouts, collard greens, garbanzo beans, asparagus, OJ, beets, whole wheat bread, oranges, papaya, tofu.

· Increase pantholenic acid: liver and kidney, yeast, egg yolk, and broccoli. Fish, shellfish, chicken, legumes, mushrooms, avocado, and sweet potatoes are also good sources. Whole grains are good sources of pantothenic acid, but processing and refining grains may result in a 35% to 75% loss. Freezing and canning of foods result in similar losses.

May 13, 2011

Baked Banana Walnut French Toast, Diary Free

In the states we place a big emphasis on breakfast, and considering it is my favorite meal, I decided it was time to place more emphasis on morning recipes over the weekend. I will make two versions onfrench toast- the first, one with banana and coconut- two of Nikos favorite tastes.
This french toast was made last night and set to soak overnight in the fridge. This morning when I got up I took it out of the fridge for 20 minutes before putting it in the oven to bake, and then when done, drizzled with honey and another fresh banana. Turned out delicious!!

Baked Banana Walnut French Toast, Dairy Free
4 slices whole grain bread, high fiber
1 tsp non-dairy butter
2/3 cup almond milk
2 eggs (or 4 egg whites)
1/2 tsp vanilla
2 bananas
1/8 cup agave or honey
1/8 cup coconut, shredded
1/2 tsp cinnamon
dash of salt, nutmeg and allspice
(honey and banana for topping)

1. Combine almond milk, vanilla, and eggs and mix till creamy.
2. Arrange bread flat in a pan, spread a thin layer of sunflower spread (non-diary butter) and pour egg mixture over bread. Place in fridge overnight.
3. In morning mix last ingredients together and drizzle over bread.
4. Cover with foil and bake for 20 minutes at 180C. Take off foil and bake for 10 more minutes.
5. Drizzle with honey and fresh banana or coconut.

If serving for brunch, you could add dark chocolate chips, before you bake, to make the dish a bit naughty!

May 11, 2011

Hemp Omelet with homemade Ketchup


I have been feeling quite tired these days and I know this is a sign of two things: one, that I am not getting enough sleep, and two, that I need to incorporate more "whole" foods into my diet. Sometimes over the weekends Nikos and I tend to forage amongst sweets,
and my body can feel the difference. Today I made a point to start my week off right- with a nutritious meal.

Power Omelete
2 eggs
1/4 cup unsweetened almond milk (or water)
1/4 cup chopped spring onions
handful parsley
corriander and cumin (my favorite spices and SO healthy for you!)
one large Myconian tomato
one medium organic bell pepper, diced
hemp seeds

Homemade Ketchup
1/3 cup tomato puree (fresh is best, but whatever you have will do!)
1 TBSP agave
dash of salt

I didn't use any oil in the pan, instead I allowed the juice from the tomato to wet the pan. I simmered all the ingredients together for about 5 minutes and then served with homemade ketchup and sprinkled with hemp seeds.


May 10, 2011

Irene's Chocolateria and Patisserie, Ekali, Greece















Nikos took me to one of his favorite dessert destinations in Northern Athens- Irene's. I was excited to check this place out, 1- because I LIVE for new adventures, especially food-related, and 2- my mom's name is Irene :)

We got a box full of nuts that were tossed in black sesames, tahini and black pepper, very interesting and unique. We also tried homemade truffles (dark, milk, praline)- the exterior was rather hard and the inside was a gooey chocolate ganache; simply divine. The praline flavor was my favorite- of course, I am always about the pralines :)
Nikos loves the profiteroles here- so that is a recommendation if you are able to make it to Irene's. Also, the gingerbread men looked delicious!

Most of all I loved the concept and feeling of the store, both fresh and serene. We will definitely be back for round two!


May 09, 2011

My first Greek Easter- Mykonos with the Family :)












EASTER, 2011

I had the full experience of the Greek Easter this year and it was FANTASTIC! We were in Mykonos with Nikos' family and spent most of our time, eating and relaxing. It was nice to see everyone
and to enjoy the festivities together. My favorite part of the weekend was the night we went to the church and lit the candles at midnight- it reminded me of a combination of July 4th (our independence day) and Christmas Eve. There were fireworks and the priests were singing, it was really beautiful.
The only part that was difficult was the strong wind, mainly beacuse Nikos and I have not been feeling 100% these days due to the fluctuations in weather.
Easter dinner (1AM on Easter)- The highlight was mageiritsa soup (intestine soup from the goat) and different kinds of meats, and salads. Also, there
were red eggs everywhere (the red signifies the blood of Christ and the egg, the rebirth as well as many other meanings). We played a game with the eggs, we all held one and tried to crack someone else's egg- the person with the last uncracked egg wins- although I am unaware what you win (obviously I lost!) There was also a lot of sweet bread, similar to challah bread, that had an egg baked in it (usually a red one). All the kids got new shoes, chocolates and a candle as a gift.
Easter Lunch (2PM on Easter)- There were three goats on the menu. One was put on a pit (this was difficult for me to see- as I used to be an avid vegan) and the others, well I am not sure what happened to the others. I suppose they were used for the soup and kokoretsi (meat wrapped in intestines and barbecued).

I loved Anna's Myconian pie the very best- it was made with homemade Myconian goat cheese and local greens. DELICIOUS. Thank you so much for making me feel like a part of the family :)
video

May 08, 2011

Vegan Seitan Salad- with savory sauce






While I am not a huge supporter of "fake" meat I do enjoy the taste of seitan from time to time. I used to eat a large amount of meat substitutes as a vegan and the high level of soy and gluten did not sit well with my body. Now that I have returned to a whole foods diet, consisting mainly of raw foods and some proteins and grains, I am able to eat some of these meat substitutes, but only on occasion. Seitan is made from wheat and is highly glutinous- so if you have any sensitivity to gluten this would be one of the worst dishes for you to eat. You can swap out the seitan for some organic meat or organic chicken if you wish.

Seitan Salad
One head romaine lettuce
4 carrots, shredded
handful of tomatoes
two onions, diced
300g seitan (or organic meat/chicken)
1 TBSP olive or sunflower oil
1/3 cup savory sauce, for topping

1. Chop seitan into quarter sized pieces and sauté with olive oil and onions for about 5 minutes.
2. Arrange romaine, carrots, tomatoes on a plate and top with seitan mixture.
3. Top with savory sauce, or dressing of your choice.


This is another version of the hot-cold salad that I enjoy so much. The hot food dampens the lettuce just a tad, which makes it easier to chew and yummier in my opinion. I allow my hot food to cool down just a bit so the salad I am eating still contains all the good for you nutrients.