Arugula Salad

About the Recipe

This is a very “individual taste” recipe. You have to find the proportions that you like. I used to buy arugula in the prepackaged bags because I am lazy and hate to have to wash and clean greens and I would use ¼ of a bag per person, for a normal sized salad, and ¼ avocado, 8 to 12 cherry tomatoes, ¼ lemon, one good sized garlic clove and about a tablespoon of walnuts; all per person. You will find the proportions that you and your family find yummy. Now I grow all my own arugula aeroponically and I don’t have to wash it and its WAY better than anything store bought!

The tomato, avocado and lemon make the salad really juicy so #1, you don’t need very much oil…just a splash and #2, it can get soggy, so make it right before you’re going to eat it.

The freshness of the ingredients really makes a difference. I like to use super juicy tomatoes; either the little organic cherry or grape ones or the smallish ones, still on the vine. (if you have Trader Joe’s near you, you know what I’m talking about.) I like them cut into quarters for maximum surface area. If you’re using the ones on the vine, of course, you’ll want to think about that size. I cut the avocados in smallish cubes and chop the walnuts…not super fine; sometimes I’ll just crush them with my hands. See what you like. Some people like to toast the nuts.

The Benefits of Arugula

Arugula, also known as rocket and rucola, is a less recognized cruciferous vegetable that provides many of the same benefits as the better-known vegetables of the same family – broccoli, kale, and Brussels sprouts. Arugula leaves are tender and bite-sized with a tangy flavor. Along with other leafy greens, arugula contains very high nitrate levels (more than 250 milligrams/100 grams).

High intakes of dietary nitrate have been shown to lower blood pressure, reduce the amount of oxygen needed during exercise, and enhance athletic performance. Wow! Eat more arugula! I like to put it on pizzas, sandwiches…really most dishes. It’s also great in a morning smoothie. Let me know how YOU like to use it!

Joy Makes a Mocktail

Whether you are someone who enjoys a cocktail or glass of wine, it’s nice to have this “mock tail” in your arsenal when entertaining or just desiring to feel festive without the alcohol.

The soda gives it fizz; the muddled fruits/veggies give it some nice flavors (AND antioxidants) and the apple cider vinegar gives it a little “WOW” factor while adding tremendous health benefits.

Vinegar has been shown to have numerous benefits for insulin function and blood sugar levels:

For these reasons, vinegar can be useful for people with diabetes, pre-diabetes, or those who want to keep their blood sugar levels low to normal for other reasons.

If you’re currently taking blood sugar lowering medications, then check with your doctor before increasing your intake of apple cider vinegar.

Studies suggest that vinegar can increase feelings of fullness and help people eat fewer calories, which can lead to weight loss.

Several animal studies have shown that vinegar can reduce blood triglycerides, cholesterol and blood pressure, but this needs to be confirmed in human studies.

Some studies in test tubes and rats have shown that rice vinegar can slow the growth of cancer cells and shrink tumors.

All this said, this is a delicious alternative to wine or cocktails! Enjoy!

Joy Makes Lemon Drops

Ok, not much is healthy about this recipe except the lemons (benefits of these below)! This IS a holiday recipe collection, however and this has become a Christmas staple for us. We like to use festive little glasses so this recipe can actually serve a few people from this recipe.

benefits-of-lemon

Joy and Janis Make Holiday Gluten Free Pankcakes

Notes:

My sister, Janis, has perfected this recipe. It’ a perfect combination of healthful ingredient and deliciousness! It wouldn’t be a holiday morning without her making batches and batches of these for everyone! Getting all of these grains, nuts and seeds in your diet is so helpful for brain & heart health as well as managing weight. Thanks, Janis!

Joy Makes Veggie Twice Baked Potatoes

Serve immediately and enjoy! Along with Caesar Salad, this is another dish that we ALWAYS have on Christmas Eve. Potatoes and broccoli have so many health benefits that I always feel good about this dish. Keep in mind, however, that as you add the faux cheese, faux sour cream and Earth Balance, you are adding fat calories…. still better for you than the dairy alternatives but fat, nonetheless.

Joy Creates Hotel Cuisine

The holidays! Such a fun time to travel for family get-togethers! It can also be a horrible time for weight gain, lethargy and illness. Much of this has to do with getting out of our normal routine, not exercising like we normally do, more meals than we normally eat, fewer healthful choices that we would normally make.

In addition to the recipes in this little book, I also suggest that you go into each holiday phase with your own “survival kit” of better food choices so that when you go to a holiday function, you’re not starving AND you’ve gotten some good stuff in your body and have set yourself up for better choices.

I call this section “hotel cuisine” but even if you’re not staying at a hotel, consider stocking your kitchen (or the kitchen where you will be staying) with some quick things to grab. If you ARE in a hotel, I always ask for a fridge to be put in my room and sometimes, as in the video that accompanies this, I have to get creative and use the mini-bar or even an ice bucket! Planning ahead makes it work.

If you’re able to get to a grocery store once at your destination, this can be easier but I’ve made do with what I can get in my bag, as well!

Suggestions:

Raw almonds & Cashews mixed with dried cranberries. (Any mixture of nuts and dried fruit will do. I suggest making your own to ensure quality and absence of those chocolate pieces lots of “trail mix” has in them,) remember that if you are watching your weight, a handful or 2 of this is plenty.

Your favorite snack bars (ask me if you want to know what I use!)

Fresh Fruit. If you’re bringing from home, I suggest “sturdy” choices: apples, even grapes and berries in containers. Avoid things like pears and bananas as they can get “smushed” and all over everything. If I bring berries, I like to take them along when having breakfast out to add flavor and nutrition to the meal. I like to do this with avocados at any meal!

Baby carrots, cut up celery, red peppers, cucumbers, etc.

Hummus and/or nut butter. Keep in mind that you won’t be able to take these through security so either check in a bag (well sealed) or buy at your destination.

Gluten free crackers or baked chips (lentil, corn, etc.)

I’ve even brought left-over healthy dishes with me!

My number one tip and strategy, however, is to start each day with a whole food shake. Not just a protein shake but one that is dairy free, high in fiber and contains really quality ingredients. I usually just bring a shaker and use water or I pack a tetra pack of plant milk, if I’m checking a bag or buy a container of it at my destination. I also know that you can freeze any of these liquids and they will pass through security as long as it is still frozen. (U.S. rules…did not work last time I went to Canada!) I have gone so far as to pack my nutri-bullet when I want to entice my husband to join me in this healthy way to start the day!
(Ask me, if you want to know what smoothie mix I like best!)

Cheers!

Joy Makes The Ultimate Vegan Nog

*adapted from…really stolen from: The Artful Vegan: Fresh Flavors from the Millennium Restaurant one of our favorite restaurants AND cookbooks…you should get it!

When I was learning about vegetarian eating, back in college, The Vegetarian Epicure was one of my favorite cookbooks and I used many of their holiday recipes including one for FABULOUS eggnog. Alas, it relies on eggs and heavy cream for it’s brilliant flavor and that just can’t make the cut on “Cook With Joy”.

Several years ago, after doing a cooking demo for over 100 people, complete with samples for all, the organizers gave me the Artful Vegan cookbook and I have loved, loved, and loved trying the recipes. Some are pretty involved but others, like this one, are fairly straightforward. I share it with you today!

Just like the Lemon Drops, eggnog is not a “health food” BUT, this recipe does replace the higher fat, dairy-based options out there and can help you stay more aware of what you’re up to, with regard to eating a more plant-based diet.

Cheers!

Arugula Salad

About the Recipe

This is a very “individual taste” recipe. You have to find the proportions that you like. I used to buy arugula in the prepackaged bags because I am lazy and hate to have to wash and clean greens and I would use ¼ of a bag per person, for a normal sized salad, and ¼ avocado, 8 to 12 cherry tomatoes, ¼ lemon, one good sized garlic clove and about a tablespoon of walnuts; all per person. You will find the proportions that you and your family find yummy. Now I grow all my own arugula aeroponically and I don’t have to wash it and its WAY better than anything store bought!

The tomato, avocado and lemon make the salad really juicy so #1, you don’t need very much oil…just a splash and #2, it can get soggy, so make it right before you’re going to eat it.

The freshness of the ingredients really makes a difference. I like to use super juicy tomatoes; either the little organic cherry or grape ones or the smallish ones, still on the vine. (if you have Trader Joe’s near you, you know what I’m talking about.) I like them cut into quarters for maximum surface area. If you’re using the ones on the vine, of course, you’ll want to think about that size. I cut the avocados in smallish cubes and chop the walnuts…not super fine; sometimes I’ll just crush them with my hands. See what you like. Some people like to toast the nuts.

The Benefits of Arugula

Arugula, also known as rocket and rucola, is a less recognized cruciferous vegetable that provides many of the same benefits as the better-known vegetables of the same family – broccoli, kale, and Brussels sprouts. Arugula leaves are tender and bite-sized with a tangy flavor. Along with other leafy greens, arugula contains very high nitrate levels (more than 250 milligrams/100 grams).

High intakes of dietary nitrate have been shown to lower blood pressure, reduce the amount of oxygen needed during exercise, and enhance athletic performance. Wow! Eat more arugula! I like to put it on pizzas, sandwiches…really most dishes. It’s also great in a morning smoothie. Let me know how YOU like to use it!

Read More

Joy Makes Veggie Broth

Benefits

Vegetable broth serves as a base for many soups, stews, casseroles, etc. but it can also stand alone as a beverage. I’ve substituted it for coffee.

People are largely ignorant about vegetable broth health benefits. Some of the pronounced vegetable broth health benefits include:

Low in Calories: Veggies, by their very nature, are low in calories. Not adding any oil, assures this low-calorie property. Stress Busters:. The vitamin C content of vegetables is known to work effectively in curbing the activities of stress producing molecules. Vitamin C and other important antioxidants halts the flow of free radicals through the body. The high vitamin content of vegetables also protects the body from oxidative stress.

Weight Management: The vegetable broth aids in weight management by serving low calories with high nutrient content. When used as a base in the preparation of soups, stews, etc., it can actually boost the dish’s nutritive and flavor value, while not adding extra calories. Having broth as a snack between meals can help to curb the appetite without consuming extra calories.

Added Benefits: Many health professionals feel that all broths can enhance gut health. With anti-inflammatory and anti-allergic properties, the quercetin content of onions makes it an important ingredient in this stock as it decreases intestinal permeability through a ‘sealing’ effect. Garlic is anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial across body systems and has anti-candida and anti-cancer properties. By using mushrooms in your stock you get a wonderful dose of intestinal membrane-healing zinc; they also contain immune-boosting polysaccharides. All three vegetables are also naturally rich in prebiotics that promote the growth of healthy bacteria in the large intestine.

Sausage and Kale Stuffing

Benefits

First, read the info on benefits of avoiding gluten in my episode with Gluten Free Bagels and Faux Lox. Second, watch “Forks Over Knives” for reasons to avoid animal products and a good movie to watch with family for the holidays. Next, understand that kale is one of THE MOST nutritious foods on the planet; we should all strive to get some kale in our diet every day! Anti-oxidants, anti-inflammatories, anti-cancer, detoxification…. need we say more? Eat More Kale!! Here’s an easy way!