Prov 17:22

A merry heart doeth good like a medicine... - Proverbs 17:22

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Food, Glorious Food

My penance for the mean Halloween trick I played on Dr. Lisa in last week’s column was a day on the food-free plan. But that’s okay. Fasting all day Sunday is a sure-fire cure for dreading Monday. I was like a little kid the night before Christmas, waiting for morning to come.

Although this was never intended to be a food column, I’ve had enough requests for recipes that I decided to share just a few. I’m finding so many interesting vegan, gluten-free recipes on-line and in my new cookbook, Forks Over Knives, there aren’t enough meals in a day to try them all. If you want to start eating healthier but you’re not ready to take the whole plunge, there are little things you can do to provide nutrition-packed treats for yourself and your family.

Here are a few things for awesome snacking. I didn’t invent any of these, but I have modified them all slightly.

Banana Oat Bars
2 cups quick-cooking rolled oats (not instant)
1/2 cup shredded coconut
1/2 cup raisins or chopped dates
1/4 cup chopped walnuts
2 large ripe bananas, mashed
3/4 cup finely chopped apple (or unsweetened applesauce)
1 tsp. cinnamon
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix all the ingredients in a large bowl until well combined. Press into a 9-by-9-inch baking pan and bake for 30 minutes. Cool on a wire rack. When cool, cut into squares or bars. Store in fridge. These freeze well.

Hummus Dip
1 ½ cups canned garbanzo beans (chick peas), drained and rinsed
1/3 cup sesame paste (also called tahini, it’s by the peanut butter in the store)
1 tsp. cumin
1 Tbsp. minced garlic (2-3 cloves)
Juice of one fresh lime (1/3 cup)
2 Tbsp. water
Mix all in a food processor or blender until smooth. I use a little Star Frit chopper, which works great if you like yours on the chunky side. Use for dipping fresh veggies or unsalted tortilla chips, or as an on-the-side salad dressing.

Golden Granola
5 cups large-flake oatmeal
½ cup raw cashews, halved
½ cup whole almonds
½ cup sliced dried apricots
½ cup banana chips
1/3 cup shredded, unsweetened coconut
¼ cup unsalted sunflower seeds
¼ cup unsalted pumpkin seeds
½ cup raisins
1/3 cup liquid honey
½ cup unsweetened applesauce
Toss together first 8 ingredients in large bowl. Stir together honey and applesauce; pour over oat mixture and toss. Spread on two baking sheets. Bake at 325 for 15 minutes. Stir in raisins, bake another 15 minutes. Cool. Store in airtight container.

Spinach/Grape Salad
Cut about 10 seedless grapes in half. Mix together with two generous tablespoons of unsweetened applesauce. Spread over a bed of fresh spinach. Sprinkle with sliced almonds. Delish!

Green Smoothies
Green Smoothies: 1000 times better than they look!
Your basic smoothie is to throw two handfuls of fresh spinach, a cup of cold water, and one frozen banana into the blender. Blend on high until smooth. It’s like getting an extra salad into your body while enjoying a nice drink (you only taste the banana). Once you’ve mastered the basic smoothie, experiment with different fruits. So good.

Taco Seasoning
1 tablespoon chili powder
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon black pepper
Mix all and store in an airtight container.

Hot Bean Dip
1 can refried beans (check the label. Co-op brand lists only beans, water, and salt under ingredients. You don’t want all that other stuff.)
2 Tbsp. taco seasoning (above)
Mix together and heat in microwave for 2-3 minutes. Lovely with unsalted tortilla chips.

Peel one avocado and mash it with a fork. Add one minced garlic clove and a squeeze of lime juice. Eat with unsalted tortilla chips. Serves one. Best. Snack. Ever!


  1. Watch out for sulphites in the dried fruits ... highly allergenic for some folks ....... (such as I!)

    Other wise - have tried most everything you've put on here Terrie. Except for the green (stuff) ...

  2. If you can find "unsulphured" dried fruit, you should be fine. From what I've read.