whole foods and beyond....nourishing the body, spirit and soul

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

whole30: chocolate cereal

what's better than whole30 cereal? almost nothing. cue on the scene whole30 chocolate cereal....



saturday mornings deserve a treat! lazily pour yourself a bowl of chocolately dreams and feel like a kids again, but this time a kid who is healthy and eats real food ;)

i created this chocolate crumble topping to go with my delicious whole30 chocolate pudding and saved the extra in a jar, stored in the fridge for just such occasions of creativity and sweet tooth surrender.

whole 30 chocolate cereal

1 cereal bowl filled with whole30 cereal  
3 tbs "crumble topping" from whole30 chocolate pudding 
 enough whole30 coconut milk to cover

*combine chocolate crumble topping with cereal. pour in milk. enjoy!!


whole30: cereal

cereal = life saver

with all the prep i was up against each day to keep us on track, i knew i would need something yummy/exciting/convenient to throw at my kids serve the kids when they needed something to hold them over till meals were ready. 
this cereal is so freakin tastey, it saved me, from having  a melt down quite a few times too....

 for the perfect bowl of magic to wake you up in the morning, first fill your bowl with one diced apple and a handful of raisins. then top with about 1/3 c cereal. pour whole30 coconut milk over top, and your taste buds will bask in the crunchy, crispy, sweet, chewy, cinnamonny etc party that's happening in your mouth!

whole30 cereal

2 c plain coconut shreds
1 c almonds
1 c walnuts
1/2 c ground flax
juice of 2 oranges
2 egg whites, whipped to medium peaks
1/4 c prunes, chopped
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp vanilla  

*process nuts in food processor until crumbly.
*toss in a bowl with all other ingredients.
*spread flat on a greased cookie sheet. dry out on 300 degrees, stirring every 15 minutes until a golden color is achieved, for about 45 minutes.
 *let cool completely, break into chunks and store in an air tight container.


life. changed. forever. 

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

whole30: date paste

 i rely on honey alot. like alot. i kicked refined white sugar out of my life a decade ago, so just about every baked good i make around here is sweetened with honey. duh.

ok, so no baked goods for a month while on whole30? we can do that! 
no honey in our smoothies? 
no honey in chia pudding? 
no honey for homemade granola?
(breaking out in nervous hives)

<< exactly why i avoided doing whole30 for so long>>

this aspect of the detox was what worried me the most. but i found this handy little jar of date paste to be the perfect sweetener in time of need for multiple dishes. and i have to admit, i liked the full bodied flavor so much, im gonna make this a regular at our house!

date paste

1 c dates

*place the dates in a bowl and pour in enough water to cover them. let them soak and soften for one hour.

*drain dates and place in blender.

*blend on high, adding just enough water to keep the mixture moving.

*store in fridge.  

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

whole30: chia pudding

chia pudding

1/3 c chia seeds 

*pour milk into jar. add chia seeds.

*stir well with  a fork. shake and stir every 20 minutes for the first hour to ensure each seed gets to expand.

*the seeds will expand and create a thick gel-like pudding in about two hours.

*store in the fridge.

whole30: coconut milk

 assuming you started your whole30 journey at my first weekly meal plan....

welcome to whole30!!!

you got this!

so, lets start out with the easiest recipe. we drink coconut milk at our house on a regular basis. to by pass all the chemicals, thickeners, sugars and strange additives, we avoid the coconut milk sold in the cold case near the dairy milk. that stuff scares me! its a little extra work to make your coconut milk this way, but it actually tastes much better too, making the extra step completely worth it! you could always use it directly out of the can, but its so thick it would be a little strange poured over cereal.

youll use this recipe in multiple ways over the next 30 days. it adds the perfect cream factor to whole30 chia pudding. its the base for nourishing hot cocoa and smoothies. (yes i know we "cheated" on that one.) and its life changing in a bowl of whole30 cereal...

to make it whole30 approved, instead of sweetening it with honey like i normally do, i used dates. i liked the flavor so much, its how ive been making our coconut milk ever since!  

coconut milk

1 can organic coconut milk 
filtered water
4 dates
pinch sea salt

*pour can of coconut milk in the blender. fill can with filtered water one and a half times, (i stir it in the can to help get all the coconut cream out.) and pour this into blender.

*add other ingredients. blend on high.

*pour in a jar and store in the fridge. this keeps for a few weeks. it will separate the longer it sits, so be sure to shake before each use.

Friday, January 22, 2016

whole30: chocolate pudding

Happy New Year!

I'm so excited to be sharing my first recipe of 2016 with you! and boy is it goooood.....

We had a wonderful holiday season, ending 2015 on a relaxing note with our family in Florida. Sometimes I do crazy things, and my husband has a full time job of reeling me back into normalcy. So when I had the craziest idea of all, I was surprised that he said "Yes, let's do that!" with out hesitation. On our drive back to North Carolina, I had this crazy, crazy, really crazy thought. Seemingly out of nowhere I had the desire to start 2016 adhering to the Whole30 detox plan. And not just me....the entire deer pack!! So, here we are three weeks in and I can't believe I have even kept the kids on it too! One week to go and we'll celebrate crossing the finish line! I can see an elegant cheese platter just on the horizon.....

In the weeks to come I will be able to summarize our whole experience and talk a little bit more about our decision to do it. Yes, it's challenging, but every bit rewarding and I can't wait to get my menu plan and recipes into your hands so you can be prepared to join the Whole30 gang too!

Until then, I leave you with this beautiful chocolate masterpiece....for when your cravings are shouting in your ear a little too loud ;)  

chocolate pudding with dark chocolate crumble

2 avocadoes
1/2 c cocoa powder
1/2 c dates
2 tbs coconut oil
dash sea salt

crumble topping:
3/4 c almond meal
3/4 c walnuts
1 1/4 c dates
3/4 c cocoa powder
2 tbs cacao nibs
dash sea salt

*put all pudding ingredients in the blender and blend on high, streaming in just enough water to keep the mixture moving. when completely smooth, pour into bowl and chill in fridge.

*pulse the almond meal and walnuts together in the food processor until the pieces are fine and crumbly. 

*add in the dates, cocoa powder and sea salt and blend until the mixture begins to hold together. 

*sprinkle in the cacao nibs and pulse once or twice to break up any big pieces. 

*spoon into serving bowls and sprinkle the crumbles on top of the pudding, then dig in! or ya know, if you have the self control you can wait an hour until it's fully chilled and set....

**for a variation on this you can make more of a pie. the crumble topping is sticky yet firm like a dough. pressing it into a pie plate or ramekin it holds its structure very well. freeze and then pour the pudding on top of the crust. return to freezer until firm**

now, what to do with *all* that left over crumb topping....
check back for the full Whole30 meal plan and I'll show you another dessert to get you through the chocolate cravings! 

One of my favorite photos around our house, each of our children have eaten a version of chocolate avocado pudding on their first birthday <3 Dimitri and Chaz really had a special moment....

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

old world lentil soup

though my feet walk in the modern world, my heart beats in the old world. oh those two words are just so magical to me! day dreaming of ancient traditions and wisdom being passed down the generations, living by the seasons, breathing air not polluted by toxins, collecting clean water from a fresh flowing spring….

back in the modern world (sigh)….. but lucky me, growing up of greek heritage, i was mesmerized listening to my grandparents and their friends tell many stories of the old world era they grew up in. their words melded together to paint the magic of the simpler life, residing in the beauty of the greek countryside. most stories were complete with detailed recollections of ocean breezes, village donkeys, and of course, the best food the world has to offer!

our family vacation to greece in  2014 transported us back in time, to the original settings of my grandparent's stories!

overlooking my grandfather's village, kardymila

walking the streets of my grandmother's village, nehori

unfortunately, by the time i took an interest in cooking, my grandmother was not well enough to be in the kitchen passing along her secrets of the old world. i was beyond thrilled when i got an opportunity in my early twenties to cook side by side with my sister's mother in law, a greek immigrant who grew up in a very small rural village on the island of rhodes. the traditions, wisdom and secrets i had been looking for were passed along so generously from her to me, as we spent an entire day cooking through  multiple traditional greek recipes. this memory guides me through many cooking ventures in my kitchen today and is evident in this recipe. for instance, in my teenage years, food network always taught me to add fresh herbs at the *end* of cooking, yet you will notice the fresh herbs in this recipe are cooked in the soup from the very beginning- a trick i learned that day that adds a rich depth flavor.

my husband picking grapes from the vine in rhodes at my brother-in-law's parent's house

though convenience is the anthem of our modern culture, i learned to slow things down and enjoy the process as we did everything from scratch that day in the kitchen. not only was the food phenomenal from slowly coaxing the flavors out, but it was nutrient dense as all the ingredients were local and our grains were given time to soak, as the lentils are in this soup as well. soaking and sprouting grains (legumes, nuts and seeds etc) is a lost tradition, that is not only necessary to obtain the nutrients, but so easy, you'll question why our society has ditched it! to learn more, find my article on sprouting at postmodernhood blog. 

slow your pace a little, and connect to ancient traditions as you prepare this nourishing soup. your reward for the wait will be so worth it…intense flavor and robust health!

old world lentil soup

*part 1*
1 bag dry lentils
filtered water
2 tbs apple cider vinegar (or sea salt, whey, lemon juice etc to break down enzyme inhibitors)

*part 2*
3 tbs olive oil
4 carrots
4 stalks celery
1 yellow pepper
1 onion
1 bunch fresh parsley 
5 cloves garlic
1 c dry red wine
1 can organic diced tomatoes
1 bay leaf
1 tbs sea salt
1/8 tsp red pepper flakes 
filtered water (use homemade bone broth if you've got it, for added flavor and nutrients!)
4 c fresh kale, de-stemmed and chopped

**part 1**
*pour lentils in a glass bowl and pour enough filtered water to cover two inches above them. stir in apple cider vinegar, cover and let sit at room temperature for 12-24 hours.

**part 2**
*drain and rinse the soaked lentils. set aside.
*in a large pot heat the olive oil over medium to medium-high heat. dice the celery, carrots, pepper and onion.
*when oil is heated, add the diced vegetables and sautée for about ten minutes, stirring occasionally.
*when vegetables have softened, rough chop the parsley and add it to the pot. using a small cheese grater, grate in the garlic. stir well, and cook for two minutes.
*add the red wine. stir well to deglaze the bottom of the pot.
*stir in the can of tomatoes, bay leaf, salt and red pepper flakes. add enough filtered water to cover everything by an inch and bring to a boil.
*cover and reduce heat to low. simmer for 1 1/2 hours.
*15 minutes before serving, de-stem and chop the kale. stir into the soup, and cover.
*pour in bowls and drizzle with extra virgin olive oil to serve.
*this keeps well in the fridge and you'll notice that the flavors even enhance as they get a chance to marry.

nourish yourself…old world style!