Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Savor the Flavor of Quinoa this holiday season!

Quinoa-- pronounced Keen-wah....
is an ancient grain that does everything rice does but WAY better!
Plus, its gluten-free! Below is a great recipe that I've whipped up plenty of times in my workshops and is a staple in my diet at least a few times a week. The beauty of quinoa is that it can be used sooo many different ways, however don't get carried away and create the garbage quinoa salad as a little spicin' up goes a long way. Many have asked for a healthy dish that can be shared during the holiday season thats light, tasty and perhaps everyone may end up loving! (if you can get them to at least try it) So here's my top pick of the season.
Also, check out below for the nutritional make-up of quinoa.You may not want to share that with the family as there's some weird thing that when its good for you people are less apt to try it! Why is that? So as a suggestion, for sure, keep 'em fooled with this fabulous taste sensation!
P.S. DISCLAIMER--some think my recipes appear complex in writing, however, I am really spelling it out for you with the exact steps, plus things I've learned, tips I've got. Don't be hung up on the amount of words, its only to really give you the full picture, which most recipes do not!Try it and see just how easy it is!

1) Steam quinoa in rice cooker or in pan on stove( like rice)
2 to 1 ratio as in 2 cups water for every 1 cup quinoa*
(* this is approximate as every pan , steamer is a little different plus dependent on your desired consistency of the cooked quinoa. I prefer it not "sticky and mushy" which can happen if too much water is used)

2) BASIC recipe( for quinoa to actual taste good)
Begin with 2 cups steamed quinoa
once cooled down from steamer( like warm to touch)
FOLD in:
1/4 cup extra virgin oil( or split with other culinary cold pressed oil-I love it with walnut oil)
1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 teaspoon high end pristine sun dried salt( my preference-sun fire salt)
pinch of freshly ground black pepper
Mix all together.

3)VARIETY options-
from here you can build... select different spices, seasonings, herbs, nuts veggies etc...
Here's a sure bet below for additions that compliment each other and create an amazing dish
(as with anything, overload of too much stuff ends up tasting icky!)

Begin with the Basics recipe above, fold in:
1/4 cup pine nuts( or other nut such as walnuts)
1/4 cup currents
a few basil leaves, chopped
1/4 cup finely chopped flat parsley
1 TBSP finely shredded mint
1/2 cup chopped cherry tomatoes
*optional crumbled feta or raw goat cheese
Blend all together.
Serve warm or cold

Here's the stats!
Complete protein- Quinoa contains alll 9 essential amino acids that are required by the body as building blocks for muscles
Magnesium--Quinoa contains high levels of this vital nutrient which helps relax your muscles and blood vessels plus sooo much more.
Fiber-Quinoa is a great fiber source that helps ease elimination and tones you colon.

Enjoy! And be sure to let me know how it goes!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Healthy Holiday Entertaining: Fiesta Mole Dip

I know firsthand how hard it can be to eat healthy around the holidays. My mom is a phenomenal chef, but very old school, the idea of making something without butter or cream cheese is just completely off the wall to her. My brother and sister even jokingly refer to her holiday cuisine as the “butter-bration!”

When I first shifted my consciousness towards food, I struggled with what to do during the holidays, at parties and social gathers. Now I come prepared with a dish that I can enjoy, feel good about sharing and will please even the pickiest eaters. I wanted to share one of these knockout dishes with you, my Fiesta Mole Dip. It’s creamy, flavorful, packed with superfoods and perfect with crackers, veggies or as a creamy salad dressing.

Fiesta Mole Dip:

In blender, add:

½ cup pine nuts

1 garlic clove

Juice of 1 lime

Blend and slowly fold in appr. ½ cup water (may need to add in a little more water to create desired consistency)

Stop blender and add:

1 fresno pepper for a kick(optional)

4 tb Fiesta Mole superfood mix( a powerful mix of heirloom tomato concentrate, flax seeds, maca, hemp seeds, chiles, peppers and an exotic array of spices-has loads of minerals and nutrients that beef up flavor and nutrition of any dish)

Blend again until mole is mixed well into pine nut cream

Makes 1 cup and will last in fridge 3-4 days. In the photo above, dip is sandwiched between raw flax crackers, sprouts and garnished with a tomato.

The Top 6 Superfoods for the Season

With the chill of winter, stress of the holidays and unhealthy food at social gatherings, it's easy to see why weight gain goes up and energy levels go down this time of year. So, we've put together a list of the six essential products to keep you energetic, slim and glowing into 2010 and beyond.

Chocolate Bliss- The Supercharger
Keep mineralized this season and fuel the body with a powerful combination of 22 superfoods.
Chocolate Bliss will keep you energized through shopping sprees, turn you into the life of the party and minimize cravings. Kiss those holiday cookie binges goodbye!

Phytoplankton- The De-Stresser
Stressed? Anxious? Got a bad case of the holiday blues? Keep this little gem on hand for daily drops of de-stressing. Marine phytoplankton helps enhance mood by getting the seratonin levels up and gives you the focus needed to accomplish all the tasks on your to-do list.

Enzymes- The Quick Fix
Okay, so we're not a fan of quick fixes, but we just can't deny the miraculous ability of enzymes to supercharge your digestion in minutes. Keep these in your purse at all times and simply pop a few before that cocktail party, big feast with the family and any other time you get ready to eat. Never use the lame excuse, "but it's the holidays" again.

Vitamin C- Get the Glow
Want to truly sparkle and shine? Get the glow from the inside out with naturally occuring Vitamin C. This beauty mineral, derived from a selection of super powerful exotic fruits, helps produce collagen to keep your skin naturally soft and supple. Plus, you'll get an extra boost of protection from nasty winter cold bugs and the flu.

Vanilla Agave- The Sweet Deal
Got a sweet tooth? Use this top of the line sweetener as your saving grace. Add in coffee, teas, elixirs and use in desserts as a replacement for sugar. Heard agave was bad for you? Read this article on the difference truly raw, pristine agave nectar makes.

Fiesta Mole- The Flavor Saver
More than a spice or a seasoning, Fiesta Mole is like the spice of life! Considered the savory sister of Chocolate Bliss, Fiesta Mole is a must to have in any kitchen for quickly adding intense flavor, mineralization and sensation to any dish this season. Use in salads, dressings, dips, soups and more.

For ordering any of the above, or for more information
call 312-543-3735 or email info@ecoluxelifestyles.com
you can also check out our past blog post that features our SALE info,
product description & ordering info.