Tempeh Fillets with Fennel and “Sausage” Dressing and Pomegranate Glaze

I love the warm and satisfying flavors of this dish. It works perfectly this time of year.

THE TWIST

Just 4 ounces of tempeh provides 41% of the Daily Value (DV) for protein for less than 225 calories and only 3.9 grams of saturated fat. Plus, the soy protein in tempeh tends to lower cholesterol levels. Keeping cholesterol levels low with soy foods may be useful for preventing heart problems, and atherosclerosis. Along with the protein benefits, 4 oz. of tempeh contains riboflavin, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus and copper! The fiber in tempeh is able to bind to toxins and remove them from the body so they can’t do damage. The protein in tempeh is perfect for a diabetic diet as it prevents high blood sugar levels.

Pomegranate Juice helps fight breast cancer, lung cancer and prostate cancer. Studies show that maternal consumption of pomegranate juice protects the brain of unborn children. It prevents cartilage deterioration and prevents plaque from building up in the arteries and may actually reverse previous plaque buildup. It could slow Alzheimer’s disease and helps lower bad cholesterol, blood pressure and offers a natural way to prevent dental plaque.

Fennel reduces inflammation and helps to prevent cancer by shutting down the intercellular signaling system and prevents activation of a potentially strong gene-altering and inflammation-triggering molecule. The volatile oil of fennel protects the liver from chemical injury. Fennel bulb is an excellent source of fiber, vitamin C, folate and potassium.

http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=126
http://www.healthdiaries.com/eatthis/11-health-benefits-of-pomegranate-juice.html
http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=23

TEMPEH FILLETS WITH FENNEL AND “SAUSAGE” DRESSING AND POMEGRANATE GLAZE

For the fillets:
1 1/2 lbs.organic tempeh
1/4 cup soy sauce or tamari
1/4 cup maple syrup
1/4 t garlic powder
3/4 cup  non-dairy milk
1/4 cup ground flaxseed
2 cups whole wheat breadcrumbs
2 T tempeh seasoning (see recipe)
Oil spray

Slice tempeh pieces in half to create large slices ¼ inch thick each. Cut each slice in half to make 12 rectangular pieces. Place soy sauce, maple syrup and garlic powder  in a gallon size ziplock bag with the tempeh slices and marinate at least 30 minutes. Combine the soy milk with the ground flax seed in a pie plate or other flat bottomed bowl. In a second flat bottomed bowl combine the whole wheat breadcrumbs and tempeh seasoning. Dredge each piece of the tempeh in the soy milk and flax mixture and then the breadcrumbs. Place on a rack placed in a baking sheet.  Lightly coat with olive oil spray. Bake at 400° for 10 minutes, turn, coat with olive oil spray and bake an additional 10 minutes. May broil 2 minutes on each side to brown if necessary. Just before serving cut each slice on the diagonal to create triangles. Serve with dressing and pomegranate glaze . Makes 12 slices. Serves 8.

For the fennel and “sausage” dressing:
1 T olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
8 garlic cloves, minced
3 large shallots, chopped
2 fennel bulbs, halved and chopped
12 pre-made herbivore breakfast sausages (see recipe index)
1/2 cup chopped Italian flat leaf parsley, divided
2 cups vegetable broth
1/4 cup ground flaxseed
5 cups whole wheat bread cubes

Heat olive oil in a large skillet on medium-high heat. Sauté onion until beginning to soften. Add the garlic, shallots and fennel sautéing until soft and translucent. Crumble the herbivore sausages and add to the skillet with half of the parsley. Combine the vegetable broth and ground flaxseed. Remove the fennel mixture to a large mixing bowl and add the vegetable broth mixture and whole wheat bread cubes. Toss to combine. Spray an 8″x 8″ casserole dish with oil spray and fill with the dressing and cover with foil. Bake at 400°F for 30 minutes. Serve with tempeh fillets drizzled with pomegranate glaze. Serves 8.

for the pomegranate glaze:
1 T non-hydrogenated margarine (Earth Balance)
3 shallots, finely chopped
3 cups pomegranate juice
1 1/2 cups vegetable broth
1 1/2 T organic cornstarch
3 T agave nectar

Heat non-hydrogenated margarine in a medium saucepan on medium-high heat and add the shallots. Sauté until translucent and beginning to brown. Add the pomegranate juice, vegetable broth and organic cornstarch. Whisk to blend well and bring to a boil to thicken. Reduce until slightly thickened and syrupy. Add the agave nectar and heat through stirring until desired consistency is reached. Drizzle over tempeh fillets with fennel and “sausage” dressing. ©Janice Moreland http://thekitchentwist.com

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Rhubarb Pie

Sometimes people have told me that they don’t like rhubarb because it’s so stringy. I say, slice the rhubarb small enough and it solves the stringy problem. You could end up with a pie that tastes almost creamy! Enjoy.

THE TWIST

The amazing thing about this version of a rhubarb pie is that it won’t cause a blood sugar spike like a traditional version while being healthy and delicious. Rhubarb, naturally high in fiber, reduces the absorption of sugar into the bloodstream.  Truly rhubarb is a wonderful food to include in your diet as it is anti-inflammatory, helps control blood sugar levels, boosts the immune system, protects  against infections, helps build strong bones, assists in lowering cholesterol and is an excellent source of vitamin C and vitamin K. Rhubarb inhibits the growth of cancer cells, improves circulation, has antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and anti-allergy properties.

RHUBARB PIE

6 cups 1/4 inch pieces of sliced rhubarb
2/3 cup xylitol*
1/3 cup coconut palm sugar*
⅓ cup minute tapioca
1 1/2 T tapioca starch*
1 double crust pie shell (recipe follows)

Toss rhubarb with xylitol, coconut sugar, minute tapioca and tapioca starch. Let stand 30 minutes. Heat the oven to 400 degrees. Pour into pie crust and position second crust on top and seal edges. Cut 5 slits in crust. If desired, paint almond milk on top and sprinkle with xylitol for a more golden crust. Place on a foil lined baking sheet, bake 25 minutes, reduce heat to 350°F degrees and continue to bake until juices bubble and crust is golden brown, 30 to 40 minutes longer. ©Janice Moreland http://thekitchentwist.com

PIE CRUST

2 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1 T coconut palm sugar*
1/2 t Himalayan sea salt*
1/2 cup cold non-hydrogenated shortening
1/4 cup cold Earth Balance buttery spread
2 t fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup + 2 T very cold water (may need more)

In a food processor pulse together the dry ingredients. Add shortening and buttery spread and pulse just until coarse crumbs form, about 30 seconds. Add the lemon juice and water. Pulse just until moist crumbs form that will hold when pressed together and rolled. Turn out onto work surface and shape into two equal disks about 4 to 5 inches in diameter. Wrap in plastic and chill at least 1 hour or up to 1 day. Roll each into 14 inch diameter round. Use for 1 double crust or 2 single crust pies. ©Janice Moreland http://thekitchentwist.com

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Zucchini Muffins

Our garden zucchini was so prolific this year! I harvested more zucchini this year than all the years in the previous two decades combined. We’ve eaten a lot of zucchini muffins among other delectable zucchini creations. It’s these muffins that everyone seems to enjoy.

THE TWIST

Fiber-rich foods such as zucchini help to alleviate cancer conditions by washing away the cancer-causing toxins from cells in the colon. The vitamin C, folate and beta-carotene content in zucchini helps to protect these cells from the harmful chemicals leading to colon cancer. Beta-carotene and vitamin C also have anti-inflammatory properties, thereby naturally curing ailments like osteoarthritis, asthma, and rheumatoid arthritis, where swelling is immensely painful. The copper in zucchini also helps in reducing the aching symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis.

Zucchini has certain properties that effectively treats an ailment in men called BPH or benign prostatic hypertrophy. When the prostate gland becomes enlarged, which can cause trouble with sexual and urinary function, it is known as prostatic hypertrophy. Zucchini is extremely useful in decreasing BPH symptoms.

Zucchini contains vitamin A, magnesium, folate, potassium, copper, and phosphorus. This squash  has a  high content of omega-3 fatty acids, zinc, niacin, and protein. Moreover, several B vitamins and calcium in zucchini assure optimal health. Zucchini has such a broad array of nutrients, including carbohydrates, soluble and insoluble fiber, minerals, protein and more.

Consuming cinnamon in these muffins improves the body’s ability to utilize blood sugar. In fact, just smelling the wonderful odor of cinnamon boosts brain activity! Cinnamon is high in fiber, iron, calcium and manganese. Manganese is important for proper thyroid function. It is essential for the proper digestion and utilization of food. It is essential for the nervous system, blood clotting, milk production in nursing mothers and memory.

http://www.organicfacts.net/health-benefits/vegetable/health-benefits-of-zucchini.html
http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/vegetables-and-vegetable-products/2639/0
http://www.vegetarian-nutrition.info/herbs/cinnamon.php
http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=68

ZUCCHINI MUFFINS

2 cups whole wheat flour
1/2 cup flaxseed meal
1 T ground ginger
2 t ground cinnamon
2 t baking powder
1 1/2 t baking soda
1 t Himalayan sea salt*
1/2 cup xylitol*
1/4 cup maple syrup
1 1/4 cups almond milk
2 T coconut oil
1 T vanilla
2 cups shredded zucchini

Preheat oven to 325°F. Combine the dry ingredients add the wet ingredients and stir just until blended. Fold in the zucchini. Scoop 1/3 cup batter into each cup of a lightly oiled muffin pan or lightly oiled paper liners in a muffin pan. Bake 22 minutes, rotate the pan and bake an additional 15 minutes. Cool on a wire rack. Makes 12 regular muffins or 24 mini muffins. ©Janice Moreland http://thekitchentwist.com

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Sweet Potato Chocolate Chip Cookies

One of the best things about sweet potatoes is their versatility. My friend Penny created a tasty cookie using sweet potatoes and it was so delicious I wanted to share my version right here!

THE TWIST

The lovable little sweet potato happens to pack a punch of nutritional benefits! They contain Vitamin B6 which helps prevent cardiovascular disease. The vitamin C in sweet potatoes helps ward off colds and flu but it also plays an important role in bone and tooth formation, digestion and blood cell formation as well as helps maintain skin’s youthful elasticity. The vitamin D in sweet potatoes is crucial for immune system function and affects our energy level and mood. They contain iron which helps red and white blood cell production. They’re a great source of potassium, an important electrolyte that help regulate heartbeat and nerve signals. They’re high in carotenoids like beta carotene which help strengthen our eyesight and boost our immunity to disease such as cancer and protect against the effects of aging.

The old fashioned rolled oats in these cookies contain a specific fiber that can significantly help to lower cholesterol levels and antioxidants that reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease. Oats, which are a very good source of selenium have antioxidant benefits that are helpful in decreasing asthma symptoms. They are a rich source of magnesium, a mineral that acts as a co-factor for more than 300 enzymes some of which involve the body’s use of glucose and insulin secretion which translates to a reduced risk of type 2 diabetes.

http://www.care2.com/greenliving/9-reasons-to-love-sweet-potatoes.html?page=1
http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=54

SWEET POTATO CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES

3/4 cup cooked, mashed sweet potato
1/4 cup coconut oil*
1/3 cup xylitol*
1 t vanilla
1 cup old fashioned rolled oats
3/4 cup whole wheat flour
1/4 t Himalayan sea salt*
1/2 t baking soda
1/3 cup non-dairy milk (almond or coconut)
1/2 cup bittersweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350°F. cram the first four ingredients in the bowl of a mixer. Mix in the remaining ingredients except the chocolate chips. Stir in the chocolate chips. Lightly oil a cookie sheet and drop by spoonfuls on it to make 18 to 24 cookies. Bake for 16 to 18 minutes. Cool on a wire rack. ©Janice Moreland http://thekitchentwist.com

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Pecan and Apricot Dressing

The thoughts of this dressing transport me to the happiest times with family. Everyone loves the flavor combinations of savory and sweet with a rustic texture of this dressing.

THE TWIST

I get asked on a regular basis why I use Himalayan sea salt. Here is a brief explanation. For more information click on the coordinating link below. Known in the Himalayas as “white gold,” Himalayan sea salt contains the same 84 natural minerals and elements found in the human body. This crystal form of salt has also been maturing over the past 250 million years under intense tectonic pressure, creating an environment of zero exposure to toxins and impurities. What is more, this salt’s unique cellular structure allows it to store vibrational energy. Its minerals exist in a colloidal form, meaning that they are tiny enough for our cells to easily absorb them.

Marjoram is an herb I ought to use more often. It has been used to loosen phlegm and act as a decongestant. It promotes healthy digestion and soothes digestive upsets and colic. It also eases severe stomach cramps and painful menstruation. It promotes a healthy heart by preventing cholesterol buildup and improves blood circulation. It may also help individuals with Alzheimer’s disease.

The volatile oil components of thyme have been shown to have antimicrobial activity against a host of different bacteria and fungi. Research shows that thyme contains constituents that can both prevent contamination and decontaminate previously contaminated foods. Thyme also contains iron, manganese and calcium as well as fiber.

Celery is full of vitamin K and contains several other vitamins and minerals. Celery has long been thought to reduce high blood pressure by Chinese medicine practitioners. Celery will help lower cholesterol, has a diuretic effect, prevents free radicals from damaging cells, and may help stop the growth of tumor cells.

http://www.globalhealingcenter.com/natural-health/himalayan-crystal-salt-benefits/
http://www.alternatively-healthier.com/health-benefits-marjoram.html
http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=77#
http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=14#

PECAN AND APRICOT DRESSING

2 cups chopped pecans
Herbivore breakfast “sausages” (about ⅔ of the recipe)
1 large onion, chopped
4 celery stalks, chopped
½ t each of dried sage, thyme, and marjoram
½ cup minced fresh parsley leaves
1 t Himalayan sea salt*
½ t freshly ground black pepper
¼ cup ground flaxseed
¾ cup almond milk
12 cups dried whole wheat bread cubes
1 cup sliced, dried apricots
2 to 4 cups vegetable broth

Lightly toast the pecans in dry, heated skillet for a few minutes. Remove from skillet to a large mixing bowl, cool. Chop or crumble the herbivore breakfast sausages and add to bowl. Sauté onion and celery in a little coconut oil in hot skillet until translucent, about 8 minutes. Stir in dried herbs, parsley and seasonings. Add the vegetable mixture to the vegan sausage mixture. Combine the flaxseed with the almond milk and stir until thickened, combine with the vegetable mixture. Fold in the bread cubes and apricots. Add vegetable broth, tossing to combine. Use enough broth until it is the correct texture. Place the dressing in a large, greased baking dish and bake, covered with foil, for 25 minutes at 400°F. ©Janice Moreland http://thekitchentwist.com

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