Sweet Potato Bisque

This is a smooth and satisfying bisque that will long be remembered. The blend of both sweet and savory flavors is in perfect harmony with one another like a symphony dancing across your tastebuds. Healthy never tasted so warm and wonderful.

Today would have been my mother’s 87th birthday, I’m posting this recipe in her memory and look forward to the time when I will see her and my father again on the other side. I hope she understood how much I cared about her, I love you mom.

THE TWIST

Sweet Potatoes high fiber content helps create a feeling of satiety for hours yet is very low in calories. This makes them excellent for digestion and they are soothing to the stomach and intestines too. Their beta-carotene content is vey high, rivaling that of carrots. This makes sweet potatoes perfect for fighting some chronic diseases such as cancer, heart disease, asthma, rheumatoid arthritis and more. The beta-carotene in sweet potatoes will also help achieve clear skin with a healthy glow. Eating a meal with some oil along with the sweet potatoes helps to unlock the full benefit of the beta-carotene. The coconut oil in the bisque provides the necessary oil to reap the full benefit of the sweet potatoes. Don’t be fooled by the word “sweet” in the name, they are clearly beneficial for diabetics. They have proven themselves to be effective in regulating blood sugar levels by helping maintain proper secretion of insulin.

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SWEET POTATO BISQUE

5 large sweet potatoes
1 large red onion, sliced
1 T coconut oil
4 to 5 garlic cloves, minced
1 chipotle pepper in adobo sauce, minced
1 t Himalayan sea salt
1/2 t freshly ground black pepper
1 1/2 cups chardonnay white wine
2 T red miso
1 can (13.66 oz.) coconut milk
6 cups vegetable broth
1 T freshly squeezed lemon juice

Wrap the sweet potatoes in foil and bake at 375°F for approximately 45 to 50 minutes or until cooked all the way through. Remove from oven, unwrap and allow to cool enough to easily peel the skin away and discard. Slice the sweet potatoes in large chunks and set aside. Combine the sliced onion and coconut oil in a large pot and sauté on medium heat, season with 1/8 teaspoon of Himalayan sea salt. Stir constantly until caramelized and a deep golden brown color. Remove from pot and set aside. Turn the heat to medium-low and add the garlic, chipotle pepper, Himalayan sea salt and black pepper to the pot and stir to lightly toast the garlic for about 1 minute. Add the chardonnay white wine and heat to a simmer. Stir in the red miso and allow the flavors to blend. Add the chopped sweet potatoes, coconut milk and vegetable broth. Blend everything together with a hand held or stick blender right in the pot. Heat through. Remove from heat and stir in the lemon juice. Taste to adjust flavors if necessary. Serve in bowls garnished with the caramelized onions on top.  ©Janice Moreland http://thekitchentwist.com

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Falafels with Cucumber Sauce

The thing about falafels is that they’re so satisfying and even carnivores tend to love them so they’re an easy thing to make that could please everyone you know.

THE TWIST

Garbanzos contain about 12.5 grams of fiber per cup. That’s 50% of the Daily Value (DV)! In addition to this plentiful amount, at least two-thirds of the fiber in garbanzos is insoluble. This fiber promotes a healthier colon and lowers the risk for colon problems. Garbanzo beans are a remarkable food in terms of their antioxidant composition. they contain concentrated supplies of antioxidant phytonutrients. These nutrients along with the fiber and protein in these beans reduce the risk of heart disease, help regulate blood sugar, in satiety and decrease caloric intake.

Recent research suggests that ground flaxseed has a protective effect against cancer and that the lignans in flaxseed provide protection against cancers that are sensitive to hormones such as breast cancer. Exposure to lignans during adolescence helps reduce the risk of breast cancer and increases the survival of breast cancer patients. Flaxseed also is beneficial in protection against cardiovascular disease, diabetes, inflammation, and even hot flashes.

Non-dairy yogurt is a popular snack food as people discover the health benefits of the probiotics found in this “good for you” food. Probiotics are being praised for their ability to improve digestive health and even treat some diseases such as irritable bowel syndrome and traveler’s diarrhea. Probiotics even help to prime the immune system to fight off cold and flu viruses. Make sure the yogurt you choose contains active yogurt cultures with probiotic benefits.

Cucumbers are about 95% water, keeping the body hydrated while helping eliminate toxins. Cucumbers contain phytochemicals which kill the bacteria in your mouth responsible for causing bad breath. Due to the low calorie and high water content, cucumber is an ideal diet food for people who are looking for weight loss. They help cure diabetes, reduce cholesterol and control blood pressure. They are also good for promoting joint health and relieving gout and arthritis pain.

http://www.webmd.com/diet/features/benefits-of-flaxseed
http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=58
http://healthmad.com/nutrition/does-non-dairy-yogurt-have-probiotics/
http://www.naturalnews.com/036769_cucumbers_health_benefits_rehydration.html

FALAFELS WITH CUCUMBER SAUCE

1 can (15 oz.) garbanzo beans, drained
2/3 cup ground flaxseed
1/2 large onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 T apple cider vinegar
2 t ground cumin
1 t ground coriander
1 t Himalayan sea salt
1 t baking powder
1 t turmeric
1 t lemon juice
1/2 t kelp
1/2 t freshly ground black pepper
1/2 t red pepper flakes
1/4 cup olive oil
1 bunch cilantro, chopped

Falafel Sauce

1 container (6 oz.) non-dairy yogurt or non-dairy sour cream
1 T tahini
1/2 English cucumber, shredded
2 t fresh lemon juice
1 1/2 t fresh dill weed

Pulse garbanzo beans in a food processor until thick and crumbly. Add all the remaining ingredients except the cilantro and pulse until barely blended. Carefully stir in chopped cilantro. Preheat a large skillet on medium heat and coat with a tablespoon of olive oil. Scoop about 3 tablespoons of falafel mix into the pan and shape into a flattened round repeat with as many rounds as will fit in the skillet. When golden brown, flip to brown other side. Repeat with remaining falafel mix adding a little oil to the skillet as needed. Meanwhile, make the falafel sauce by combining all the ingredients and chill. Serve falafels with sauce. Serves 6. ©Janice Moreland http://thekitchentwist.com

To make falafel wraps serve in whole grain tortillas with hummus and vegetables such as shredded lettuce, red onion slices, carrot shreds, and cucumber or zucchini sticks. Serves 8 to 10.

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Confetti Rice

This is such a great way to use those summer vegetables from the garden! Grains and vegetables together is a classic combination that is not only very satisfying but is also pleasing to the eye.

THE TWIST

Just one cup of brown rice will provide you with 88% of the daily value for manganese. This trace mineral is involved in the synthesis of fatty acids, which are important for a healthy nervous system. Brown rice also is a rich source of magnesium. Magnesium, as well as calcium, is necessary for healthy bones. It helps give bones their physical structure and is also found on the surface of the bone where it is stored for the body to draw upon as needed. Brown rice can help you keep those storage sites replenished and ready to meet your body’s needs.

For people worried about colon cancer risk, brown rice packs a double punch by being a concentrated source of the fiber needed to minimize the amount of time cancer-causing substances spend in contact with colon cells, and being a very good source of selenium, a trace mineral that has been shown to substantially reduce the risk of colon cancer. The real key to its powerful cancer-fighting potential is precisely its wholeness. All the nutrients combine to ward off cancer and many other possible malfunctions of the human frame.

Red onions are full of flavonoids, but they tend to concentrate in the outer layers of the flesh. To maximize your health benefits, peel off as little of the fleshy, edible portion as possible when removing the onion’s outermost paper layer. Even a small amount of over-peeling can result in unwanted loss of flavonoids. For example, a red onion can lose almost 75% of its cancer fighting power if it is over-peeled.

http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=45
http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=128

CONFETTI RICE

1 cup brown rice, rinsed
2 cups water
2 cups frozen corn
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 yellow bell pepper, diced
1 zucchini, diced
1/2 red onion, diced
1/2 bunch cilantro, chopped
1/2 t Himalayan sea salt*
Freshly ground pepper to taste
1 avocado, peeled and sliced (for garnish)

In a medium saucepan set on low heat, cook the rice in the water  for about 40 minutes. Meanwhile, saute the corn, peppers, zucchini and red onion in a large skillet until barely tenter, about 4 to 5 minutes. Transfer to a serving bowl, add the brown rice and cilantro. Season with the salt and pepper and toss together. Garnish with avocado slices. Makes 8 servings. ©Janice Moreland http://thekitchentwist.com

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Twisted Nachos

Nachos are a perfect snack food for football season and if you’re like me they’re your favorite snack food of all time. Pair them up with healthy and delicious toppings and you’ve really got something to rave about! Shown here with organic tortilla chips you could easily add it blue corn tortilla chips for a fun color combination.

THE TWIST

The tortilla chips, although not a perfect food, contains fiber, some B vitamins, trace amounts of calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, zinc, copper and potassium.

The high fiber content of kidney beans is responsible for their cholesterol-lowering power. The folate they contain helps in lowering levels of homocysteine, which is associated with an increased risk of stroke, heart attack, and peripheral vascular disease. The high content of magnesium found in kidney beans contributes to a healthy cardiovascular system. Other beans may have some similar benefits.

Red bell peppers are high in vitamins C and A, as well as several from the B complex group of vitamins and vitamin E among others. This combination of nutrients can help wound healing, improve dental health, boost the immune system, fight free radical damage that causes aging, protects against cataracts, reduces the risk of heart attacks and strokes, improve iron absorption, prevent colds and infection, moisturizes skin, supports brain function, reduces fatigue, supports healthy skin, reduces insomnia, supports brain health and reduces birth defects.

Onions contain powerful antioxidants and are anti-inflammatory, antibiotic and antiviral. They also have anti-allergic properties and are useful for treating allergy related diseases such as asthma and hay fever by blocking some of the inflammatory responses in the airways. Onions, like garlic, help lower cholesterol and blood pressure.

http://www.livestrong.com/article/418019-the-nutritional-benefits-of-corn-tortillas/
http://suite101.com/article/top-healthy-foods-onions-garlic-a71851
http://www.everynutrient.com/healthbenefitsofbellpeppers.html

TWISTED NACHOS

Organic tortilla chips
1 can (15 oz.) kidney beans
1 can (6 oz.) olives, sliced
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 yellow bell pepper, diced
1 orange bell pepper, diced
2 jalapeños, sliced
1 red onion, finely chopped
2 avocados, finely diced
2 Roma tomatoes, finely diced
1 bunch cilantro, chopped
Cashew cheese spread (recipe follows)
Chipotle tabasco or other hot sauce
1 lime, sliced in wedges (for garnish)

Layer all the ingredients in the amounts desired and top with cashew cheese spread,  and hot sauce and garnish with lime wedges.

CASHEW CHEESE SPREAD

2 cups raw cashews, soaked
3/4 cup water
1/4 cup tahini
1/4 cup nutritional yeast*
2 T freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 t Himalayan sea salt*
1/4 t kelp powder* (optional)

Place the cashews in a small bowl and cover completely with water and allow to soak for 3 to 4 hours. Drain, reserving 3/4 cup of the water. Add the cashews, reserved 3/4 cup of water, tahini, nutritional yeast, freshly squeezed lemon juice, Himalayan sea salt and kelp powder to a food processor fitted with the S shaped chopping blade. Process for about a minute until nearly smooth. Chill. Makes about 2 cups. ©Janice Moreland http://thekitchentwist.com

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SHISH KABOBS WITH PINEAPPLE SAUCE

I love the flavor of vegetables fresh off the grill. Here they are with a great pineapple sauce and brown rice to complement them in every way. Enjoy!

THE TWIST

Tofu is filled with a host of nutritional benefits. It’s easily digestible proteins promote the development of strong, healthy muscles, tissues and cells. The high calcium content of tofu helps promote healthy bones and teeth and prevent osteoporosis. Tofu is rich in minerals such as iron and selenium which helps the body to maintain high energy levels. It can help you maintain healthy cholesterol levels which reduces the risk of heart attack or stroke.

Red bell peppers are high in vitamins C and A, as well as several from the B complex group of vitamins and vitamin E among others. This combination of nutrients can help wound healing, improve dental health, boost the immune system, fight free radical damage that causes aging, protects against cataracts, reduces the risk of heart attacks and strokes, improve iron absorption, prevent colds and infection, moisturizes skin, supports brain function, reduces fatigue, supports healthy skin, reduces insomnia, supports brain health and reduces birth defects.

Onions contain powerful antioxidants and are anti-inflammatory, antibiotic and antiviral. They also have anti-allergic properties and are useful for treating allergy related diseases such as asthma and hay fever by blocking some of the inflammatory responses in the airways. Onions, like garlic, help lower cholesterol and blood pressure.

http://www.fitday.com/fitness-articles/nutrition/healthy-eating/the-nutrition-of-tofu.html
http://www.everynutrient.com/healthbenefitsofbellpeppers.html
http://suite101.com/article/top-healthy-foods-onions-garlic-a71851

SHISH KABOBS WITH PINEAPPLE SAUCE

1 lb. extra firm tofu, pressed, drained and cubed
1 red bell pepper cut into big pieces
1 yellow bell pepper cut into big pieces
1 large red onion cut into big pieces
12 oz. mushrooms
1 pint large cherry tomatoes
1 zucchini squash, cubed
1 yellow squash, cubed

For the Sauce:

1 (20 oz.) can crushed pineapple
½ cup xylitol*
¼ cup apple cider vinegar
1 t soy sauce or tamari
2 T organic cornstarch

Skewer the vegetables and tofu as desired. Grill on the barbeque or in the oven at 350° F for about 20 minutes. Mix all the ingredients for the sauce in a small saucepan and bring to a boil to thickened. Serve with brown rice. ©Janice Moreland http://thekitchentwist.com

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