Monday, December 26, 2011

Gluten Free, Friend or Fad?

Avocado and soy cheese
on spelt bread (not gluten free)
Not long ago I posted a great article for folks who have embraced a Gluten Free diet.  Now before I go any further I will let you know, I knew about Celiac Disease and the dangers of gluten 15 years ago before they were both popular catch phrases.  I remember my grad school classmate sharing the stories of her long hospital stays and her constant battle with the disease.  When I once visited Atlanta, a very knowledgeable elder told me about gluten using the analogy of how water and flour are used to make the "glue" for paper mache'.  Needless to say, I do have some understanding about the gluten free label.  Today, I am writing about the issue because while reading my daily food news, "gluten free" was announced as being one of the food trends of 2012.  It sparks a hot debate in the comments section and many are offended that it is considered a fad.  Well here is my two cents.  Like the low-carb diet and various others before, the gluten free craze could be considered a fad.  When people jump on the bandwagon looking for a magic bullet for weight loss or are followers of the newest diet trends of celebrities then fads emerge.  But for those who have serious allergies and reactions to food, it's a lifestyle.   It's a way a living that affects the health and well being of at least 10% of the population.  Though not totally gluten free, I am mindful of the products I choose.  My body is not a big corn fan so I steer clear of gluten free products that contain corn.  But I can have nuts so I use almond flour in my recipes.  It's all about personal choice and what works for us as individuals.  I can't say being a vegan, vegetarian or gluten free is for everyone.  Everyone's body is different.  I think once we understand that without judgement what works for one person doesn't work for the other the argument over fad or lifestyle will no longer be an issue.  So choose a food lifestyle that makes you feel great, for a healthy body and life is not in any way a fad.
Check out my blog post from October on gluten free living.

Gluten Free? No Problem!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Food News: Agave!!!

(Kim Raff- The Salt Lake Tribune)
Just thought I would share this article about a natural sweetener called Agave.  It registers low on the glycemic index and it's sweeter than sugar with half with calories.   So, for every cup of sugar, you would need about 1/2 cup of agave.  I've been using it for years in my smoothies but like any sweetener, it should be used in moderation.  Take a look at the article below and Enjoy!
 Agave growing in popularity

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Something New and Healthy for the Holidays!!!

I don't know about you all,  but I love cooking around the Holidays!  This year I've decided to shake it up a bit and look for different recipes with ingredients I love to work with.  Some of these recipes are vegan and some are vegetarian but can easily be made vegan.  All of them look great and I will be sure to take pictures after I make them.  Enjoy!!!

Kale and Tomatoes

Spiced Pumpkin Lentil and Goat Cheese Salad

Tofu Vegetable Loaf 

Collard Rolls

Raw Apple Crisp

Friday, December 16, 2011

A South Louisiana Fall~ Oranges and Strawberries!!!

A few things I love about fall in South Louisiana is the weather and the harvest, especially the greens, strawberries, and oranges.  Yesterday I visited the Farmer's Market and bought some great berries and the sweetest navels.  As you see in the pic, my children ate the first small basket of berries in the car and by the time we got home my youngest was covered in strawberry and orange juice. 
While we were in the car, my son came up with the idea of a strawberry and orange pastry tart.  Interesting flavors and cool idea so here is the recipe: 

Louisiana Strawberry and Orange Tart
(makes about 6)

One package of individual pie crust dough or you can make your own
Strawberry jam
6 to 8 Fresh strawberries
1 tbsp Fresh Orange juice
1 tsp Orange zest
1 tbsp Sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees
Chop strawberries, add orange zest, a tablespoon full of sugar, and 1 tablespoon full of orange juice.  Set aside.  You can play around with spices if you choose.
1.  Roll out the dough and cut it into squares
2.  Add 1 heaping tsp full of jam in the center of every other square.
3.  Add a few strawberries without liquid on top of jam in center.
4.  Cover with plain dough square and press together with fork (we used a pastry edger).
5.  Bake for 15 minutes until golden.
6.  Let cool a bit and Enjoy!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011


Martha Stewart Living
This is my favorite brownie recipe!  I love to veganize it with egg replacer and Earth Balance Coconut Spread.

Click here for Healthy Fudge Brownies.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Never Apologize for Who You Are, Just Keep Cooking!!!

So today I posted a video of me talking outside of the kitchen.  Actually I am in the laundry room so I could get a little peace and quiet from the kids!  I've been having a recurring dream with Oprah Winfrey, Iyanla Vanzant, and Whoopi Goldberg. It's a great message and I hope you Enjoy!  Have a great weekend!!!!

Friday, December 2, 2011

Southern Vegetarian Love~Atlanta!

It's Friday!  Hope you all are gearing up for a wonderful weekend!  Just wanted to pass along this information on a great vegetarian/vegan friendly city, Atlanta!  It was the only city in the South voted most veg-friendly by PETA.  In the future, I would love to see other Southern cities featured not only for their healthy restaurant choices but mindful and healthy places to shop.  Atlanta has great local health food stores like Sevananda , Return to Eden, and Rainbow Grocery and my last visit I got my yoga fix at Kashi Ashram-Atlanta.  So, check out the link below and enjoy!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

We need a Revolution!

I often state on Twitter we need a Southern Vegetarian Revolution!  Fortunately, there are a lot of folks waking up to the fact that we need a change in the foods we eat and how we feed ourselves.  Next weekend I will be attending a training on food justice, and can't wait to gather more information and meet other people on the forefront of the food revolution.  I've jumped in and made it my mission to educate people young and old on the fundamentals of a great food lifestyle and healthy cooking.  Care to join me?  Below is Chef Jamie Oliver speaking on the need for change.