Posts Tagged ‘Cashew Cream’

Exciting things are happening for What I Ate Wednesday!

Yesterday, I tested garbanzo beans in a quinoa salad and they passed the test. They were the final key ingredient to making my own hummus! So, what did I do last night? Made hummus, of course! I have made hummus before, but have not been successful in achieving the amazingly creamy texture of my favorite Banzo’s hummus. My guess is that skimping on the oil and tahini in effort to make it “lower in fat” was not helping. But who gives, extra virgin olive oil and tahini provide healthy mono and poly unsaturated healthy fats. This time I decided to go back to a trusty source instead of experimenting. I followed this recipe adding about 1/2 cup of reserved garbanzo bean liquid (from the can), 1 tablespoon of cumin and 1/2 teaspoon sea salt. The result was creamy and delicious.

Today marks the first day of Phase 4 of my immune system calming elimination diet. This means that I have another list of allowable foods to begin adding back in to my diet.

  • Proteins: salmon, egg, lentil, beef
  • Starches: white potato, amaranth
  • Vegetables: mushroom, lettuce, onion, tomato
  • Fruits: apple, avocado, honeydew melon
  • Miscellaneous: tea
  • Nuts/Seeds/Oils: hazelnut sesame
  • Flavor Enhancers: parsley, vanilla, basil, cane sugar

I have been looking forward to adding in eggs in since starting the program. Eggs provide cheap, high quality and tasty protein. And I was so excited to have them this morning. I decided to serve them up over-easy style over some polenta cooked up with 3 ounces of homemade cashew milk, 3 ounces of water and a pinch of sea salt and some re-fried beans. Oh yes–I was able to find re-fried with only organic pinto beans, water and salt as the ingredients. No mystery spices, oils, preservatives or additives. I love the texture of re-fried beans, so this was definitely an exciting find.

Okay, back to the eggs. The runny yolk combined with a little polenta and a little re-fried pintos was heaven in my mouth. This combo would have been even better with a little salsa–but that day will come.

Since eggs passed the test this morning I plan on hard boiling them for snacks, scrambling them for breakfast, making variations of protein pancakes, trying Ashley’s quinoa and eggs and possibly even doing some baking with them. I always eat the whole egg unless a particular recipe calls for only the white. The yolk contains most of the nutrients of the egg and can actually lower your cholesterol. When possible I buy free range organic eggs from a local farm. Trust me, you will notice a difference.

After breakfast I went off to help teach the nutrition class for the Growe Foundation health and wellness program at a local elementary school. I did this last year and I am excited to be participating in the program again this year. It was so exciting to see so many new and old faces this year. We went around the room introducing ourselves and naming our favorite fruit or vegetable and it was so incredible to hear some of the kids say “broccoli” and “brussel sprouts”. I am so honored to be helping bring nutrition education in to these kids lives at such a young age! We even got to tour the garden they have at the school!

How cool is that?! These kids have their own garden where they can learn how to grow fruits and vegetables and even taste them straight from the vine. They even teach them how to use the fruits and vegetables from the garden in recipes in cooking class. Look at the size of this pumpkin!

And swiss chard…

I snacked on some of that deliciously creamy hummus with some baby carrots mid-morning.

Then ventured outside to eat my lunch al fresco style; quinoa salad and sliced Applegate Smoked Chicken (ingredients: chicken breast, water, honey, salt) for extra protein.

Quinoa Salad (Serves 2):

  • 2 cups cooked quiona
  • 1/3 english cucumber, diced
  • 10 black olives, sliced
  • 2 tablespoons unsweetened raisins or currants
  • 2 tablespoons sunflower seeds
  • 1/2 – 1 cup garbanzo beans (more if you are not having another protein with it)
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt

Combine, marinate in fridge overnight and enjoy for lunch the next day. I thoroughly enjoyed the salty/sweet/crunchy combo of the olives/raisins/cucumber.

Capped off the afternoon with some fresh organic raspberries topped with a dollop of cashew cream and a swirl of honey.

Came home from work, snacked on some of nature’s Shot Blocks: unsweetened dried apricots,

threw on my AWESOME new Justin’s Nut Butter kit and went out for a 25 mile bike ride. Check it out!

Yeah, it says “knead and squeeze” on the bottom–in case you were wondering.

Love it! After my ride I re-fueled with some Lauren-Izze: homemade sparking water with a splash of unsweetened 100% pure cranberry juice.

And some good ‘ole gluten/dairy free comfort food: turkey tenderloin, brown rice pasta, peas and cashew cream. Hers:

And His:

Whew. What a WIAWednesday.

Do you have a garden? If you do, what are some of your favorite fruits/vegetables to grow? How did you learn how to garden? If you don’t, what would you have in your garden if you could?

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I had one adventurous bike ride this morning. I went out for 1 hour; warming up for 10 minutes, then doing 4 sets of alternating between 5 minutes of effort with 5 minutes of easy spinning in between, followed by a 10 minute cool down. I love riding in the morning because sometimes you see a few hot air balloons,

Hot Air Baloons

beautiful views of the flatirons,


and almost run in to a few deer.

Deer Behinds

I’d call it a productive morning, wouldn’t you?

Saturday, marks the seventh day of my Immune System Calming Diet where I have been eating only the least reactive foods from my LEAP test results. Which means that on Sunday, according to the plan presented by LEAP, I can begin adding other low-reactive foods to my diet. The idea is that as you begin to add foods back in to your diet, one each day, you can take note of how your body reacts to them. This is great, because I have been eating a lot of combinations of:

Cranberry Juice Cocktail and Chicken

Chicken, Green Pepper and Quinoa Stir Fry

Chicken, Peas and Quinoa "Fried Rice"

Starting on Sunday, I can begin to add foods from the following list:

  • Proteins: lamb, garbanzo bean, pork, tuna
  • Starch: millet
  • Vegetables: cabbage, carrot, broccoli, eggplant
  • Fruits: cantaloupe, grape, olive
  • Nuts/Seeds/Oils: corn, olive
  • Flavor Enhancers: maple, carob, garlic, sesame

These foods were chosen based on the next level of least reactive foods in the test results beyond the ones I have been eating for the past week. On my bike ride I could not help but to think about what I am excited to add in first. And I think I have decided on carrots, because The fiance and I are heading out of town this weekend and they would be an excellent portable snack for me to bring along. I am also excited to see the combination of garbanzo bean, olive oil, and sesame because that combination just screams HUMMUS! I have been missing my beloved vegetable dip.

I have definitely noticed a difference in my digestion since consuming only non-reactive foods, however I had some sort of reaction to something in my lunch today.

Sunflower Seed Crusted Cod, Polenta and Grean Beans

The only thing that was different about this meal compared to what I have been eating all week is the polenta (corn grits). I am going to experiment again, but it could be the difference between corn as a vegetable (on the cob) and corn as a grain. Either way, I noticed a reaction almost instantly. Another thing I have noticed is that I have little to no food cravings. I used to have wild cravings for desert breads like pumpkin, zucchini, banana, etc., chai tea lattes, chocolate, and random who knows whats. I typically cannot shake the craving without giving in, but sometimes I cannot even work effectively until I satisfy it. This feels really great, because I am completely satisfied after every meal and I am not looking for more. This has also resulted in me thinking about food less, which is just liberating!

For dinner tonight, I mixed up a new combination that I have been looking forward to all week.

Cashew Cream Brown Rice Pasta

Cashew Cream Brown Rice Pasta (Serves 2)

  • 1/2 tablespoon sunflower oil (or other neutral oil, like olive oil)
  • 8 ounces turkey tenderloin, sliced in to strips
  • sea salt, to taste
  • 4 ounces brown rice pasta
  • 2/3 cup frozen peas
  • 1/2 cup cashew cream (recipe follows)
  • more sea salt, to taste
  1. Start cooking pasta according to package directions. Reserving some cooking water.
  2. Meanwhile, warm oil in a skillet over medium heat. Season the turkey with sea salt and cook until golden brown on each side, about 3-4 minutes a side. Remove from skillet and set aside.
  3. When pasta is almost done, add frozen green peas to the same skillet you cooked the turkey in on medium heat, and saute until defrosted. Add 1/2 cup of cashew cream, cooked turkey tenderloin and warm through.
  4. Drain pasta and add to sauce. Stir gently to combine and add reserved pasta water to thin if necessary.
  5. Serve with a sprinkling of sea salt on top if you did not use broth or salt in the cashew cream.

Cashew Cream

  • 2 cups raw cashews
  • Water or vegetable/chicken broth
  • 1/4 – 1/2 teaspoon sea salt (optional)
  1. Soak cashews in enough water to cover them by 1 inch for 6-8 hours or overnight.
  2. Drain and rinse.
  3. Add cashews, enough water or broth to just cover and sea salt to blender (preferably a VitaMix).
  4. Blend on high until desired consistency is reached, adding more water or broth if necessary.

This was absolutely delicious! And it is gluten and dairy free. It definitely brought me back to my days of Amy’s shells and cheddar and green peas in college.

We are headed out of town for the weekend and I am planning on bringing all my meals with me to eliminate any fear of eating something that is not on the “good” list. So I am off to do some food prep! Also planning on getting an 8 mile run in before we depart.

Do you have food cravings? What for?

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