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Monday, February 24, 2014

Quinoa Salad

Quinoa is one of our favorite Super Foods!!  Full of everything your body needs in a day, fiber, vitamins, minerals, healthy fat, carbohydrates and protein and more!  AND...it's Gluten Free!!

This salad is a wonderful way to introduce people to quinoa.  Once you make it once, you may find doing like us and making double batches to have as side dishes through the week, serve on top of salads for lunch or just to have to snack on throughout the day!

The best part about this recipe is you can mix up the ingredients to your liking.  Add or omit ingredients to this recipe to make it your own!  This also makes a perfect side dish to take to work or family get togethers!  But be prepared to be asked for the recipe!

Quinoa Salad

4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
3 tsp ground cumin
6 tbsp fresh lemon juice
2 tsp sea salt
3 cups cooked quinoa
1 cup cooked peas
1 cup cooked black beans
6 green onions, chopped fine
1 large organic yellow or green bell pepper, stemmed and diced
1 large organic red bell pepper, stemmed and diced
1 1/2 cup fresh parsley, coarsely chopped
3-5 oz organic feta cheese, crumbled (add as desired)

1. In a large bowl, add quinoa, peas and black beans. 
2. Cut off about 3 inches from green tops of onions.  Chop finely.  Put into bowl along with bell peppers, parsley and feta cheese.  Mix all ingredients together.
3. In a separate bowl, combine olive oil, cumin, salt and lemon juice. Whisk ingredients together thoroughly before pouring over salad mixture. Mix ingredients one last time before serving.

For best results, cover and refrigerate the mixture for at least one hour before serving to enhance the flavors of this dish.
If you are going to serve this salad later, reserve the cumin/lemon dressing mixture in a separate container.  Just before serving, pour over the salad and mix well.
When preparing quinoa, be sure to wash the small seeds thoroughly before cooking to remove the bitter coating called saponin

Hope you enjoy!!

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Gluten Free Chocolate Treats

This year we welcome you try something different to surprise your loved ones with.  Instead of the boxed chocolates, candy kisses and candy hearts with "Be Mine" on them, try a home made card and these delicious chocolate treats!  The best way to show someone you love them is to put thought and time into what you give.  Show the special people in your life how much you love them with homemade Valentines this year!  

These Chocolate Treats also make wonderful birthday cake substitutes that are Gluten Free!!


1/2 cup raw, unsalted almonds, soaked and skins removed
2 Tbsp unsweetened shredded coconut
2 Tbsp whole flaxseeds, soaked
1 cup whole rolled dry oats
1/2 cup packed Medjool dates, pitted
1/2 cup organic raisins
4 Tbsp unsweetened cacao or cocoa powder
1 tsp cinnamon
2 tsp honey
Dash of sea salt


1. Combine almonds, flaxseeds, coconut and oats in a food processor.  Process until well combined.

2. Add dates, raisins, cacao or cocoa powder, honey, cinnamon and sea salt.  Continue to process until all ingredients are thoroughly blended.

3. Transfer mixture to a medium size bowl.  Using clean, bare hands, mold mixture into a ball approximately 1 1/2 inch in diameter. Continue molding ball into the shape of a heart.  Repeat process until entire mixture is utilized.

4. Lightly dust each treat with cacao or cocoa powder before serving.


To improve their ability to be digested, soak flaxseeds and raw unsalted almonds separately in clean, pure water for at least 6 hours or overnight.  Specifically, place seeds and nuts in glass jars.  Cover nuts and seeds with 2:3 ratio of water.  Cover jars with lids while soaking.  Drain the water after soaking and the nuts are ready to use.  You will not need to drain the water from the flaxseeds.  Soaked almonds can easily be peeled with the fingers.

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Black Beans in a Crock Pot

Black beans are very high in fiber, folate protein and antioxidants, along with numerous other vitamins and minerals.  Black beans can be used in a variety of ways as part of a Healthy lifestyle

Black Bean Salad

  •  Add to omelets.
  •   Add to salads. (Salad pictured can be found in  The Healthy Edge Cookbook)
  • Serve as a side dish to any meal topped with feta cheese.
  •  Add to soups.
  • Add to wraps or burritos.
  • Mix with tomatoes, avocado, greek style yogurt and brown rice for a delicious side dish.
  • A variety of recipes call for black beans.

Canned black beans can be convenient, BUT if you want to save a ton of money and sodium, using dried black beans is a great option!  

Let’s look a bit more closely at the cost savings of dried black beans versus canned black beans.   Who doesn’t want to save a buck or two at the store?  At our local grocer in the Midwest, a can of black beans (non-organic) (15 oz.) costs an average of about $0.74 (prices are much higher if you are buying organic) and a bag of dried black (16.5oz) beans costs about $1.47.  Now if you are thinking, wait a minute, the canned beans are cheaper!  Check this out: After cooked, a bag of dried beans equals about 3 cans of black beans.  So in this example, you're saving approximately 50% on your beans, and making a healthier choice!  

If you were comparing the prices for organic beans you are looking at a savings of around 75%!

If you are going to be using your beans right away, and you just want to prepare enough for one use, then check out How and Why to Soak Beans, Nuts and Seeds.  But if you REALLY want to maximize your time, then a slow cooker is the way to go. You can prepare enough beans to last you weeks or even months. 

By slow cooking your dried beans, they can conveniently be stored in serving size amounts in plastic freezer bags. Try storing 2-3 cups per bag.  Then, when you need them, you simply take them out of the freezer, transport them to a strainer and gently rinse them in warm water to de-thaw. You can also take a bag with frozen beans from the freezer and transport them to the refrigerator and let them thaw on their own. 

How To...
Slow Cook Black Beans
  1. Rinse the dried black beans in a strainer and pick out any debris. 
  2.  Place dried black beans in a crock pot. You can use anywhere from 5 or more cups of dried beans. There is no need to measure, just make sure black beans do not take more than ½ of the crockpot, since they will expand as they cook.
  3. Cover the black beans with water and add additional water until you have about 2 inches of water above the dried black beans. If you have the time, allow the beans to soak from 1 – 4 hours. 
  4. If you are cooking overnight, turn the beans on low and set time for 8 hours. If you are cooking during the day, you can turn the beans on high for 4 hours. If during the process, the beans look “dry” you can add more water.  
  5. Once the beans are cooked, turn off the crockpot and allow to cool.  Avoid stirring too much, so the beans do not break open and become mushy. 
  6. Transport the beans to a strainer to remove excess water. You can then place them in a container to store in the refrigerator or put in plastic bags and put in freezer for up to a month.
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