Sunday, April 28, 2013

Lentil "Meatballs"


I have not made these yummy meatballs in a really long time and I almost forgot how delicious they are!!  Super healthy and great not just as a meatless alternative for spaghetti, but I love them in salad. They are very easy to make, but the actual making of the balls does take a bit of time. Luckily this recipe makes 2 1/2 to 3 dozen "meatballs" and they freeze really well.

I can't remember where I got this recipe from, so full disclosure...I did not create these, but I totally love them so had to share the recipe:

  • 3 cups dry green lentils
  • 5 cloves garlic
  • 1 medium yellow onion
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup breadcrumbs
  • 4T soy sauce
  • 6oz tomato paste
  • 1T fennel seeds
  • 1/2T red pepper flakes
  • 1/2T oregano
  • 1/2T thyme
  • pepper to taste

  1. Cook lentils according to directions on the bag. Drain and mash with a potato masher. Allow to cool slightly.
  2. Mince onion and garlic, beat eggs and preheat oven to 400 degrees
  3. Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and mix well
  4. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and scoop a spoonful into your hands and roll into 1" balls. Place on parchment paper and bake for 15-20 minutes until golden brown.


Sunday, April 14, 2013

Love Pasta? Mangia!


Growing up in an Italian family, pasta was a huge part of our meals. The first time I ever had jarred sauce was in college (that is in between the shipments of homemade sauce shipped from Grandma). There was even a time when I was little, when my great grandma would make the pasta from scratch! Every holiday, with the exception of Thanksgiving, was a pasta based meal and let's not forget Sunday dinner.
I can't imagine living without pasta, but it seems to be on every "no-no" list due to the carb factor and given the many people who have a gluten sensitivity. It is the one thing I struggle with...I don't have a gluten sensitivity, so although I have moved more towards gluten free options when it comes to eating, I need my real pasta! Somehow the "healthier" versions just don't do it for me. I have tried a few different kinds, but the consistency is just not the same or it looks funny...just something about it that just makes it so not "Grandma's!"
I recently discovered a new brand of gluten free pastas called TruRoots. I have only tried the penne, but they also have fusilli, elbow and spaghetti. So far it is the most authentic tasting pasta I have tried - it is even made in Italy! It is organic, non-GMO and gluten free made from quinoa, amaranth and brown rice, so full of protein and healthy whole grains. Best of all it is Mmmmm, Mmmmm GOOD!!!

Monday, April 1, 2013

Healthy Habit Worth Making: Oil Pulling

Oil pulling comes from Ayurvedic medicine and is a simple thing you can add to your daily routine that can provide amazing benefits.
So what is oil pulling? Simply put it is the swooshing around of oil in your mouth (similar to using mouthwash). According to Ayurveda, there are key organ meridians in the tongue and therefore this practice is integral to preventing and treating illness. Additionally there is potential for the veins and mucous membranes in the mouth to absorb nutrients from the oil. I use coconut oil because it has so many natural benefits; i.e. antimicrobial, ant parasitic, etc. The idea is that the oil attracts bacteria and toxins, as well as pulls mucous from your throat and helps to clear your sinuses. It is recommended to do it for about 10-20 minutes daily. I do it while I am blow drying my hair and getting dressed for work, as before I know it time has passed.
A couple of things to note:
  • Do not swallow or gargle with the oil – it is fully of nasty toxins!
  • When done, spit the oil into the trash, NOT the sink, as the oil can clog your drain
  • Follow by drinking a glass of water and/or rinsing your mouth
  • It is recommended that you do this first thing in the morning, but it can be done any time of the day
Oil pulling has been shown to be an effective way to improve oral heath, as it cleans up the bacteria in the mouth. However In addition to improving dental health, people have seen a wide range of health benefits from helping with sinus infections and allergies, skin disorders, digestive issues, reducing joint pain and many more.
Personally I have been doing it for a little over a week and I have already noticed some changes. I have been suffering with seasonal allergies – with all the changes in the weather lately from it snowing one day to it being in the 60s two days later, I finally broke down and started taking an antihistamine a few weeks ago. However, since I started oil pulling I have seen significantly less congestion. Further, I was suffering with some break outs on my face, which just would not seem to go away – within a few days they were well on the way to being completely cleared up! And finally – no idea if this is truly related, but something that has definitely changed is that I have a lot less cravings. I struggle with snacking at night – it is truly a conscious effort to not snack, but I have gotten better at managing it. But for the last week I have literally had NO cravings at night! This has never happened to me before and I really hope it continues! One thing is for sure, oil pulling is one habit I plan to stick with!
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