Recipe: Brown Rice Pilaf

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This organic brown rice pilaf is simple and healthy.  It’s filled with healthy organic vegetables and fresh herbs for great flavoring. 

Serves 6

 Ingredients: 

  • 1 1/2 Cups cooked brown rice
  • 1/2 medium cabbage
  • 2 Carrots peeled and shredded 
  • 1 Can organic chick pea – drained
  • 1 Medium onion – diced
  • 2 Green onions (scallion) 
  • 1 Red bell pepper – diced
  • ¾ cup of fresh chopped parsley 
  • 3 Garlic cloves – finely diced
  • 1 Table spoon of coconut oil  
  • Salt & freshly cracked black pepper to taste

Method

  1. Cook the rice, following the direction on the back of the packet, until tender. Set aside once cooked.
  2. Chop cabbage in small pieces. In the meantime sauté onions and the garlic in the coconut oil for 10 minutes.
  3. Add the carrots, bell peppers, chickpeas then sauté for another 10 minutes.
  4. Stir in the brown rice along with the parsley, green onions, salt and pepper – mix well. 

Optional additions: To jazz this up a bit you coul also add dried fruits like cranberries or diced apricots, and chopped raw nuts.  Sometimes I’ll drizzle about 2 tablespoons of organic sesame oil at the end to add more moisture if needed. 

Enjoy! 

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U.S. Citizens Should Switch to Brazil’s Dietary Guidelines

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Brazil’s nutritional guidelines focuses on cooking healthy whole food meals at home. It also encourages their citizens to eat more natural and minimally processed foods. I love Brazil! They also urge their citizens to be critical of the misleading marketing practices of Big Food industries. On the other hand, the United States allow Big Food industries to dictate what the American citizen should be eating.  It’s also shocking to learn precisely how food companies lobby officials, co-opt experts, and expand sales by marketing to children, members of minority groups, and people in developing countries.  All the misleading scientific research on genetically modified foods, commercials, food pyramids, and those “Got Milk” ads by famous celebrities are all a BIG joke; which ultimately sends the wrong message.

I say we all should switch to the Brazilian food guideline and get healthy. Could you imagine the U. S. promoting eating home cooked whole foods at home? Unfortunately, I can’t!  Nonetheless, It has been proven that eating meals as a family is linked with increased child and adolescent intake of fruit and vegetables and other healthy foods.  Teaching children at a young impressionable age the importance of eating whole foods is vital for their future and generations to follow.

It starts at home.  Childhood obesity has more than doubled in children and quadrupled in adolescents in the past 30 years.  As parents we are responsible for teaching our children about healthy whole foods.  A major part of the fast food education has always been in written form on advertisements, banners, brochures, and articles.  Cutting back on television watching also will have a huge effect on their exposure. These misleading outlets have a major influence on children’s diet.  Fast Food Nation: The Dark Side of the All-American Meal is a book that examines the local and global influence of the United States fast food industry.  I highly recommend reading it and the official nutritional guideline by the Brazilian government.  I say, AWESOME JOB Brazil!

Suggested Readings/Credits

Brazil has the best nutritional guidelines in the world

Brazil Nutritional Guidelines

The Extraordinary Science of Addictive Junk Food

Photo by: Yasuyoshi Chiba

Papaya: My New Obsession

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Papaya’s are my new obsession at the moment. I go through these fazes with fruits and vegetables all the time. Right now it’s papaya. It is extremely healthy for you. Just one whole papaya has 168.08 mg of vitamin C, and a whopping 2622.00 International Units of vitamin A.

According to whfoods website, papayas may prevent a number of health conditions such as cardiovascular diseases, aging and cancer. To read more about these health benefits click here.

Papaya alone will not prevent those diseases. It’s the other foods along with papayas that will determine your faith. I’m all about eating foods that will nourish my body. Especially, the ones that has anti-aging benefits…lol! I want to age gracefully and healthy. Who doesn’t? Those kinds of foods are whole foods and plant-based.

I quote from the book Whole: Rethinking the Science of Nutrition by, T. Colin Campbell, PhD:

“The foods you consume can heal you faster and more profoundly than the most expensive prescription drugs, and more dramatically than the most extreme surgical interventions, with only positive side effects.”

This book is phenomenal. The only diet now that can promise you and me that, is a whole food plant-based diet. I highly recommend reading it, and Healthy Eating Healthy World by, J. Morris Hicks, and The China Study by, Dr. Campbell again.

These three books will transform your outlook on food, nutrition and your life forever. There is much to be gained from reading these books. They are clearly written and powerfully true with scientific researches to support each claim. You will be able to comprehend and implement the changes into your life, and benefit from them.

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Some photos of how I incorporate papayas in my diet. It’s all plant-based foods.

EAT A VEGAN MEAL

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Each year, the average American consumes 175 pounds of meat and poultry, almost double the global average. Eating less red meat may do you a favor: It can lower your risk of cancer and heart disease. “Learn to love big heaps of vegetables,” says Mark Bittman New York Times food columnist and author of VB6.

To achieve that feeling, Bittman says to try meatless proteins, such as lentils, edamame, garbanzo beans and tofu. He also recommends roasting six sweet potatoes. “The more you cook and have stuff around, the less you’ll depend on junk.”

He’s right! Once you prepare your meals ahead of time, the less likely you will make bad food choices. I think salads are super easy. Every weekend I spend over $70 dollars on organic vegetables and fruits. Apples alone I spend about $10 dollars. Between me and my three children, we go through apples quickly. Salads are great for lunch and dinner. They’re easy to make and can be very filling. Just pile on the fruits and vegetables and don’t forget your plant-based protein. You can’t go wrong!

Here’s one of my favorite recipes with garbanzo beans:

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Ingredients:
1 bunch of kale
1 Tbsp of olive oil
3 chopped garlics
1 chopped onion
1 cup chopped cranberries
2 cups garbanzo beans
1 red bell pepper
1/2 cup sliced almonds

Directions:
Heat olive oil in large sauté pan over medium heat. Add chopped onions, garlic and red peppers. Cook until onions are slightly translucent. Add kale, garbanzo beans and cranberries then, sauté for 5 minutes. Season to taste with salt and peppers. Toss in almonds.

Yield 4 servings

The idea here is to eat more plants, especially leaves. Plants are a great source of vital nutrients, enzymes, antioxidants, and minerals. And eat as many different kinds of plants as possible. They all have different antioxidants and so help the body eliminate different kinds of toxins.

Sources:
January 2014 issue of O, The Oprah Magazine
Kale food facts: High Vitamin K and Anti-Cancer properties
Plant-Based Research