Saturday, December 29, 2012

Fighting Off the Post Holiday Cold: Sweet Potato-Poblano Soup

Hope everyone enjoyed their holidays! I spent mine with family and lots of good food. It seems like this month has flown by, how did we get to the end of December already? All of this fun and not-so-healthy eating has caught up to me though and I can feel my body heading towards a cold. So far I have kept it at bay though with lots of rest, fluids and this healthy recipe here. So if your feeling the way I am, lay down and guilt someone into making this soup for you!

I recently read that onions and garlic are supposed to be some of the best foods for you when you feel you are coming down with a cold due to their anti-inflammatory properties among other benefits. With this most recent cold episode I’m having, there may be some truth to this. This soup has onions, garlic and a ton of other healthy vegetables. Plus it will clear out your sinuses due to the kick the poblano and spices add.  You’ll be feeling better in no time!

Sweet Potato-Poblano Soup

Adapted From: True Food by Andrew Weil

1 large sweet potato, peeled and diced
1 onion, diced
½ corn kernels
1 small carrot, diced
1 small fennel bulb, diced
4 garlic cloves, mashed
1 poblano chile, seeded and diced
2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1 tbsp chili powder
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp oregano
½ tsp ground turmeric
½ tsp cayenne pepper
½ tsp black pepper
½ salt
½ cup white wine
14oz unsweetened coconut milk
¼ cup chopped cilantro
2 scallions, chopped

Heat your broiler and toss potato, onion, corn, carrot, fennel, garlic, poblano and oil on a large baking sheet lined with aluminum foil. Broil for 12 minutes, tossing halfway through. Vegetables should be a bit browned. Add vegetables to a pot and stir in spices & wine with 3 quarts of water. Bring to a simmer on medium-high heat. Reduce heat and let the soup simmer for 45 minutes. Remove the soup from heat and add the coconut milk. Top the soup with cilantro and scallions for a garnish.

On a side note, I recently discovered that when I delete pictures off of my Picasa account, it deletes them on my blog as well. Whoops! I’ve fixed a few but I’ve solved the problem for the future. New Years Resolution #243, become a little more tech savvy. I’ll be posting Tuesday with a few healthy links to get you started on some of your resolutions. Have a wonderful New Years everyone!

Monday, December 10, 2012

Healthy Holiday Treats: Cocoa & Coconut Truffle Cookies, Healthy Oatmeal Cookies, Dark Chocolate Bark & Cinnamon Stevia Almonds

Oh the holidays. It’s such a fun time of year and how can you not get excited for all the delicious food. It’s the time when my weakness for sugar becomes all too apparent and I try to remind myself of all the benefits of chocolate (antioxidants will outweigh the calories, right!?). Well this year I made a few of the sinful treats which were promptly mailed off to my brother before I ate them all but I’ve also prepared some healthy treat boxes for friends and family. I’ve got four recipes to try out today. These treats will hopefully satisfy the sweet tooth with whole ingredients and a few healthy bonuses along the way.

Now back to the chocolate for a moment. Since it is the holidays and we're probably going to eat a lot of this delicious food lets remind ourselves of all the good things it does for us!
  • Chocolate has lots of flavonoids, which help in reducing your risk of heart attacks and strokes. Flavonoids help protect your arteries from clogging.
  • Chocolate makes you happy! Studies have linked chocolate to reduced risks of depression J
  • Spending a few extra dimes on good dark chocolate pays off. You’ll get the heart healthy fats and a little goes a long way.
 Coco & Coconut Truffle Cookies

Adapted from: Sprouted Kitchen

I’ve never been one to seek out coconut but these are just too good and very easy to prepare.

1 1/2 cups dried, unsweetened coconut
1/2 cup good cocoa powder
1/2 cup maple syrup
1/3 cup rolled oats
1/4 cup extra virgin coconut oil
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1/4 tsp. cinnamon

Preheat oven to 220º. Mix all ingredients together and refrigerate for 20 minutes. Roll into 1 inch balls and line on a baking sheet. Bake for 20 minutes and cool for about 10 minutes after. Enjoy!

Cinnamon Stevia Almonds

The stevia makes these almond treats much healthier then the ones you’ll find at the store and just as delicious.

2 cups almonds
2 egg whites
1 ½ tablespoons of stevia
1 tablespoon of cinnamon

Preheat oven to 300 º. Coat a baking pan with non stick cooking spray and set aside. Mix all wet ingredients together. Add almonds and stir until all the almonds are covered in the mixture. Lay almonds out on baking sheet and bake for 30 minutes. Delicious right out of the oven!

Healthy Oatmeal Cookies

Adapted from: Watching What I Eat

These cookies are so delicious! They are definitely not just for the holidays and can even be enjoyed for breakfast because they are sugar and flour free! If you want to make them a little more decadent, feel free to add ½ cup of dark chocolate chips.

1 ½ cups of rolled oats
2 ripe bananas, mashed with a fork
1 cup of unsweetened applesauce
1/3 cup of dried cranberries
¼ cup of chopped walnuts
1 tsp of vanilla extract
1 tsp of cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350 º. Add vanilla and cinnamon to applesauce and stir. Combine all remaining ingredients with applesauce and mix together. Refrigerate for 10 minutes. Drop a spoonful of dough onto baking sheet and flatten into rounds. Bake for 35 minutes. Remove from oven and rest for 5 minutes.

Dark Chocolate Bark

1 bag of good dark chocolate chips (I used Ghirardelli)
1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract
½ cup of shelled pistachios
½ cup of dried apricots, chopped
¼ cup of dried cranberries

Line a baking sheet with wax paper. Prepare a double broiler and pour chocolate chips into top pan (if you’re short on time you can always use a microwave). Stir constantly. Once chips look almost melted add vanilla. Continue stirring until chocolate has become smooth. Poor chocolate onto wax paper lined baking sheet. Sprinkle pistachios, apricots and cranberries onto chocolate. Put in freezer for 15 minutes (be sure pan is stored on an even surface). Remove from freezer and break into bite size pieces. I find these best stored in the refrigerator.

If any of you were wondering how little Bruce is handling the Christmas tree, here is your answer: