Sunday, January 31, 2010

Creamy Potato Leek Soup

The words creamy and soup usually elicit thoughts of a rich pureed vegetable base with heavy cream stirred in. This simple soup gets its creaminess by pureeing part of the soup after it has cooked. I grew up eating my mom's creamy (and dairy-free) potato soup which very much resembles this recipe. She used the simple combination of potatoes, celery, onions, salt, and pepper. I've added a few more ingredients, such as leeks, carrots, and dill, to make it more exciting.

This soup is a great way to test for a nightshade sensitivity in Phase 3 of the Elimination Diet. I've added a little salmon as a topping to make the soup more nutritious. If you are vegan or don't eat fish you could try stirring in a bit of cooked mung beans. I pressure cooked a large pot of those tender little beans the other day which I've been incorporating into main dish meals, such as casseroles and stews.


Creamy Potato Leek Soup

I like to use creamy Yukon gold potatoes in this recipe though any variety will do. If you use Russets you may want to peel them. For all other varieties it is fine to leave the peel on. Use this recipe to test for a nightshade sensitivity in Phase 3 of the Elimination Diet. Serve this delicious dairy-free soup with Whole Grain Flatbread and a green salad with our Everyday Salad Dressing or Dairy-Free Ranch Dressing.

3 to 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 large leeks, sliced into rounds
4 stalks celery, chopped
4 carrots, peeled and chopped
2 to 3 teaspoons Herbamare or sea salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 to 2 teaspoons dried dill
1 teaspoon dried thyme
2 pounds potatoes, chopped (about 4 medium)
6 cups water

Garnish:
cooked or smoked salmon
chopped fresh parsley

Heat a 6 to 8-quart pot over medium heat. Add the olive oil then the leeks. Saute leeks for about 4 to 5 minutes to soften (being careful not to brown). Add celery, carrots, salt, pepper, and herbs. Saute 5 to 10 minutes more to soften the vegetables and deepen the flavors.

Add potatoes and water, cover pot, and simmer for about 45 minutes.

Use an immersion blender to puree part of the soup in the pot or remove half of the soup and puree in a blender. Return pureed soup to pot and stir together. Taste and add more salt and pepper if necessary.

Garnish each bowl with cooked salmon and chopped parsley. Source: www.NourishingMeals.com


I just love the mild onion flavor of leeks. I usually stick to using them in Potato Soup or a Layered Potato Casserole. Do you have any other ideas for using leeks?

More "Creamy" Soup Recipes:

Halibut and Potato Chowder
Cream of Mushroom Soup
Spiced Pumpkin Soup


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Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Collard Wraps with Raw Sunflower Pate

A few months ago I soaked a bowlful of sunflower seeds overnight with the intention of creating some sort of yummy pate to be wrapped up in a collard green. I wasn't quite sure how it would evolve but I trusted it would be, at the very least, edible. After rinsing and draining the soaked seeds I pulled out nearly every ingredient imaginable from the refrigerator. Now time has taught me to not go overboard and to just stick with a few ingredients when creating recipes. So I chose three (not including salt, pepper, and herbs) and tossed them all into the food processor along with the soaked seeds.

Both Tom and I were more than delighted with the results. Our toddler boys couldn't seem to get enough! A few days later I measured ingredients and whirled the food processor once again to figure out the amounts. We've made these wraps a number of times since then and even demonstrated them at a recent Elimination Diet cooking class. We never seem to get bored with them.

To make the collard greens pliable for wrapping I decided to blanch them. Just sixty seconds in boiling water creates an awesome flourless wrap folks! If you don't decide to use the filling ingredients below I hope you will venture into trying the wraps with whatever fillings you desire.

Turkey and honey mustard? Smoked Salmon with Avocado Mayonnaise? Refried Beans and Brown Rice?

The trick is to find very large greens with out too many slug bites or insect damage (holes)!


Collard Wraps with Raw Sunflower Pate

This delicious, nourishing Phase 2 Elimination Diet recipe is very easy to make. The wraps can be prepared and then stored in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. The first few times I made this I used red chili flakes in place of the black pepper I use below. To make this Phase 2 friendly I needed to replace the chili flakes. Go ahead and get creative by using whatever ingredients you would like. I'd love to hear about your variations to this recipe.

1 bunch (large) collard greens

Sunflower Pate:
2 cups raw sunflower seeds, soaked for 6 to 8 hours
1 cup chopped celery
1/4 cup finely diced shallots
2 to 3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 to 1 teaspoon Herbamare or sea salt

Fillings:
grated carrots
sprouts
sliced avocados

Cut the stems off of the bottom of each collard green. Bring a large pot of water to a boil.

While the water in coming to a boil, drain and rinse the sunflower seeds in a fine mesh strainer. Place all pate ingredients into a food processor fitted with the "s" blade and pulse until desired consistency. I like mine processed until the pate is fairly smooth. Set aside.

To blanch the collard greens, dunk each one in the boiling pot of water for approximately 60 seconds. Gently remove with tongs and set on a plate to cool. Continue to do this until all of the greens are blanched.

To assemble the wrap, place a green onto a large plate or cutting board. Place a few scoops of the filling on the bottom (stem-end) of the green. Add your other filling ingredients on top. Fold the long ends in slightly (about an inch on each side) and then tightly roll. Refrigerate right away or cut in half and serve. Source: www.NourishingMeals.com


In other news: The California Strawberry Commission contacted me last summer requesting to use one of my recipes in their new iPhone application. Yes, there is now a strawberry application with strawberry recipes from over 50 great food bloggers! My Strawberry Coconut Ice Cream recipe is one of them. If you have an iPhone then click on the link: Strawberries App to be brought to it.

More Elimination Diet recipes:


Monday, January 25, 2010

Raw Super Green Salad


We're back with fabulous Phase 2 recipes. Oh how I adore the lovely lemon. I can't tell you how excited I was to taste lemon juice once again. This flavorful dark leafy green salad is a staple in our house this time of year. It utilizes hardy and super nutritious greens such as kale and collards. The lemon and salt help to break down the green's tough fibers creating an easy to chew raw salad.

I like to serve this salad along side my Quinoa-Salmon Burger recipe or use it to stuff inside Collard Wraps. Another way to use this salad is to take a large handful of it and process it in a food processor along with a few cups of cooked black beans (well-drained), a little chili powder, and sea salt to make "refried beans." I make quesadillas by placing a few dollops of the bean mixture inside of two brown rice tortillas. Simply cook on both sides in a large, hot skillet with a little olive oil, cut with a pizza cutter, serve with carrot sticks and you have a nutritious lunch for your children!


Raw Super Green Salad

This raw salad is a great way to introduce lemon during Phase 2 of the Elimination Diet. It is packed full of nutrition, being particularly high in vitamins K and C, beta carotene, folic acid, manganese, and calcium. The dark leafy greens in this salad combined with the raw garlic provide a plate of cancer prevention. Did you know that we have attacks against our cells everyday which can cause mutations? It is up to us to provide an environment where these cells do not become cancerous. So eat up and enjoy! :)

8 cups thinly sliced raw greens (kale, collards, chard)
1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 to 2 cloves garlic, crushed

Optional Additions:
grated beets
grated carrots
parsley
pine nuts
sunflower seeds

Place all ingredients except optional additions into a medium-sized bowl. Toss together then massage gently with your hands to begin breaking down the fibers.

Let the salad marinate at room temp for about 30 minutes. Add any additions to the salad now, toss again. Serve or refrigerate. Source:NourishingMeals.com

Our weather has been particularly warm this January and our greens have begun to grow again. Above is a photo I took this morning of one of our collard plants (1/25/2010). Amazing isn't it?

I am working on updating our FAQ Elimination Diet Page on our other site. We have been receiving numerous emails with questions regarding the diet. Please check there to see if your question has been answered, otherwise leave your question in the comment section below. Hope you are all feeling great by now!

More raw salads:



Friday, January 22, 2010

Moroccan Chickpea and Potato Soup

Welcome to day five of our Gluten-Free Progressive Dinner party. This month's theme is Winter Warmers. Today I offer you an easy, warming soup recipe from our cookbook. This is by far one of my family's favorite recipes. I probably make it about twice a week! My seven-year old loves to pack this soup in her lunch. Of course anything with curry and potatoes is sure to please.

My children adore chickpeas (otherwise known as garbanzo beans). They even eat them plain for breakfast with cooked quinoa and a sprinkling of sea salt.

I forgot, amongst all of the Elimination Diet hype, that I was participating in this wonderful event. I have more Phase 2 recipes to share in a few days. But for now enjoy this very flavorful vegetarian soup recipe (or cook it up for your children).

Moroccan Chickpea and Potato Soup

This recipe is a slightly altered version of one that appears on page 153 of our cookbook, The Whole Life Nutrition Cookbook. I have changed it to use precooked beans instead of incorporating the method of cooking beans into the recipe. It's easier this way for most folks who would like to use canned beans or for those who like to cook up a big pot of chickpeas for various uses, such as for freezing, making hummus, or creating different main dish recipes. I have also added extra tomato paste and curry powder to liven the flavors up a bit more. Serve with a crusty whole grain (GF) baguette and a large green salad for a balanced meal.

2 to 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
pinch or two of sea salt
6 cloves garlic, crushed
2 teaspoons curry powder
1 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
4 to 5 large carrots, chopped (3 to4 cups)
4 to 5 yukon gold potatoes, diced large (4 to 5 cups)
8 cups water or bean cooking liquid
3 to 4 cups cooked chickpeas
1/2 cup tomato paste (one 7-ounce jar)
2 to 3 teaspoons Herbamare or sea salt
1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (optional)
1 cup chopped parsley

Heat a 6 to 8-quart pot over medium heat. Add olive oil then onions and a few pinches of salt and saute for 5 to 10 minutes or until very soft. Add garlic, spices, carrots, and potatoes and saute for a few minutes more.

Then add water (or bean cooking liquid or a combo of both), cooked chickpeas, tomato paste, and salt. Bring to a boil then reduce heat and simmer, partially covered, for 45 to 60 minutes.

Once veggies are very tender, remove from heat and add lemon juice and parsley. Taste and add more salt and pepper if needed. Serve and enjoy the flavors! Source: www.NourishingMeals.com

Notes: Refer to this post for info on cooking beans. Also, this soup recipe doesn't freeze very well because of the potatoes (they absorb water and get mushy).

More Warming Winter Soups and Stews:

For more Warming Winter recipes from other bloggers check out all of the blogs participating this month of January:


Monday, January 18th:
Potato and Leek Soup by Karen from Cook4Seasons
Roasted Cauliflower Soup with Gluten-Free Croutons by Alison from Sure Foods Living

Tuesday, January 19th:
Winter Fire Roasted Tomato Soup with Prosciutto by Diane from The W.H.O.L.E. Gang

Wednesday, January 20th:
Mexican Seafood Soup by Diane from The W.H.O.L.E. Gang
Vegan Un-Chicken Roasted Vegetable Soup by Sea Maiden from Book of Yum

Thursday, January 21st:
Black Bean Chili with Butternut Squash & Swiss Chard by Amy from Simply Sugar & Gluten-Free
Wassail (and a book giveaway) by Shirley from gluten free easily
Chicken Enchilada Chili by Stephanie from A Year of Slow Cooking

Friday, January 22nd: Moroccan Chickpea and Potato Soup by Ali from The Whole Life Nutrition Kitchen

For a complete list of our past Progressive Dinners with links to all of the recipes please visit Diane's page which is continually updated.


Monday, January 18, 2010

Quinoa-Salmon Burgers (Gluten-Free + Egg-free)

Alright, now we're talking.....an Elimination Diet comfort food recipe, complete with parsnip fries and all! These quinoa-salmon burgers are so easy and quick to prepare that you might want to make a double batch and freeze a few for later.

Whether you are following the Elimination Diet or not I bet you'll really enjoy this recipe. My toddler boys just love these burgers. I think they ate about three of them today! I served them with a raw Super Green Salad, Oven-Roasted Parsnip Fries and Soothing Tummy Tea. True comfort food in my book!

If you are vegan, then check out my Sunny Sunflower Burger recipe in our cookbook. This recipe is a perfect Phase 1 food!

Using part quinoa in this recipe keeps the cost per burger reasonable and also boosts the fiber, which is key while following the elimination diet. For more info about adding salmon into the Elimination Diet you can read my Grated Beet and Carrot Salad post.


Quinoa-Salmon Burgers

I have found that using wild King salmon instead of, say, sockeye is easiest for removing the bones. The bones are larger and there seems to be less of them in the King. Use your hands or tweezers to pull the bones out. If you don't want to bother removing the skin, have it done when you purchase the fish. It is so much easier this way!!! Once you have the patties formed you can refrigerate them in between pieces of waxed paper (only for a few days) or freeze them the same way. I think there are a number of flavor variations you could go with here. Try fresh dill and parsley in place of the cilantro. For those of you not on the E-diet, try adding about 1/2 teaspoon chipotle chili powder and use lime zest in place of the lemon zest.

yield: 6 patties
prep time: 15 minutes

3 to 4 green onions, ends trimmed
1 large handful fresh cilantro
1 to 2 teaspoons lemon zest (optional)
1 teaspoon Herbamare
freshly ground black pepper
1 to 1 1/2 pounds raw wild salmon, skinned and deboned



Using a food processor fitted with the "s" blade process the green onions, cilantro, lemon zest, Herbamare, and black pepper until it is finely minced.

Add the salmon and quinoa and process again until desired consistency. I like to have a few little chunks of salmon still left. You might want to pulse it until you get the consistency you want.

Form into patties and place onto a plate. Heat a large skillet over medium to medium-high heat. Add a tablespoon or so of olive oil and place a few patties in the skillet. I cook only three at a time in a 10-inch skillet. If your pan is hot it should only take 2 to 3 minutes per side to cook. If your pan is not quite heated it will take about 5 minutes per side and they may stick a little. Source: www.NourishingMeals.com

If you haven't already noticed, I added a "Printer-Friendly" function to the blog. After you click on it you can decide which parts of my post you would like to save. You can delete as much as you would like, including some of the white spaces in between. It is so simple to use. Hope you enjoy! Look for the little green button at the bottom of each blog post.

More salmon recipes:

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Gluten-Free Quinoa Seed Crackers (Vegan)


I wanted to take a moment away from the Elimination Diet frenzy and post a gluten-free cracker recipe. I have been very excited to share this awesome recipe and now is my chance. Before I move on to phase 2 recipes I thought I would offer this to those of you not following the Elimination Diet.

This is a crispy cracker made from cooked quinoa, sorghum flour, extra virgin olive oil, seeds, and NO xanthan gum! It is very easy to make if you own a food processor. Plus, there are so many ways to tweak it.

Say, Cracked Black Pepper and Coarse Sea Salt?

Or, Olive-Rosemary Quinoa Crackers?

I imagine that the variations are endless, so please dig in and get creative!

These gluten-free crackers are super kid-friendly! I mean, hey, what's not to love in a slightly salty, crunchy snack served with Hummus and apple slices? My children are smitten for sure!

This recipe has a little story behind it. Over Christmas we were visiting Tom's family. My sister-in-law made a variation of these using brown rice flour and cooked brown rice, no seeds, for a birthday party to celebrate all of the January birthdays. (Hint hint - both Tom and I have birthdays in January, in fact, today is Tom's birthday!) She got the recipe from a friend who had adapted a recipe from vegweb.com. I tweaked the brown rice version into a quinoa-sorghum version because I am a curious cook. I like to see what happens with different ingredients. Kitchen alchemy never gets boring!

Quinoa-Seed Crackers

The trick to making crispy crackers is to roll the dough extra thin, as thin as you can get it. If need be, divide the dough into two balls to work with. Use two cookie sheets instead of one large one. To make the whole process easy, roll out the dough in between two pieces of parchment paper and then slide the one holding the crackers onto a cookie sheet. Once cooled, store crackers in an airtight container at room temp. I don't yet know how long these keep as they don't last more than a day here!

Crackers:
1 cup sorghum flour
1/2 cup sweet rice flour
2 tablespoons arrowroot powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
3/4 cup cooked quinoa
6 to 7 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1/3 to 1/2 cup water

Topping:
1 to 2 tablespoons sesame seeds
1 to 2 tablespoons flax seeds
1 to 2 teaspoons poppy seeds
sea salt and cracked black pepper

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Place the sorghum flour, sweet rice flour, arrowroot, baking soda, and salt in a food processor. Give it a whirl or two then add the quinoa and olive oil. Process until combined. Slowly add the water, while processing, just until the dough forms a ball. Stop at this point and don't add anymore water.

Place the dough ball on a sheet of parchment paper. Place another piece on top, flatten the dough with your hands and then begin rolling into a large, thin circle. To make it easier, divide the dough into two and roll separately. Just be sure to keep rolling to get the dough ultra-thin.

Remove the top layer of parchment and sprinkle with seeds. Gently roll them into the dough (gently).

Slide the rolled-out dough onto a large cookie sheet. Use a pizza cutter to slice the dough into small squares.

Bake for 30 to 35 minutes. Watch baking time carefully as it will totally depend on the thickness of your crackers! Crackers will crisp up as they cool. Store in an airtight jar. Source: www.NourishingMeals.com

I am reading a book right now called The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin. Anyone heard of it? It is a new book that I came across on amazon.com while buying some reading workbooks for my daughter. Getting through all the day to day stuff with four young children can sometimes feel like drudgery. But I don't want it too.

Don't get me wrong we have many, many joyous moments each day, but I would like to broaden my view of life and enjoy the unpleasant things more...like the poo diapers that need changing just when you are ready walk out the door. This book is witty and fun. It offers perspective on the little things in life and reminds us to live in the present. I quickly became absorbed in this book and think it may bring joy to those who read it. It is written by a mom with two young daughters which is probably why I resonate so much with her writing and stories. Currently it is one of Amazon's bestsellers!

Happy Cooking! Ali :)

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Grated Beet & Carrot Salad with Radish-Miso Dressing

This Asian inspired salad dressing is vinegar-free and citrus-free; two ingredients that are often hard to omit from salad dressings. I received and email from a reader asking for Elimination diet recipes that don't contain any fruit and what might she substitute for the green apple in my Green Apple Salad Dressing.

Finally, I had the idea to use radishes! This fabulous salad dressing also contains Adzuki Bean Miso, a soy-free and gluten-free miso available from the South River Miso Company. I demonstrated this dressing and salad yesterday evening for an Elimination Diet Class I taught at one of our local co-ops. It was a hit and I am sure you will enjoy it too.

For those of you on the Elimination Diet, how are you feeling? We have received so many emails in the last week regarding this diet I am finding it hard to keep up with! Instead of replying to you individually (since there are many similar questions) I thought I would answer one in each of my next few posts.

A few of you have asked us about protein, specifically animal protein. Some of you have asked if it is possible to up the animal protein content during phase 1. We suggest you try wild caught salmon. This poses the least possible reaction and contains anti-inflammatory EFA's. After a long discussion with Tom, I added in salmon on day 7 because my energy was too low. If you would like to add even more protein to the diet then begin by testing the tree nuts and poultry in Phase 3 before nightshades. I hope this will help some of you who may be experiencing a similar issue.


Grated Beet and Carrot Salad with Radish-Miso Dressing

This is a Phase 1 elimination diet recipe. After making this salad a few times I thought it would be delicious with the addition of about one cup of cooked arame or hijiki. These two sea vegetables are rich in minerals, specifically iodine. I added leftover cooked salmon to my salad today for lunch and it was fantastic. Enjoy this dressing recipe with my salad idea below or create your own!

1 head leaf lettuce, rinsed, spun, and torn into pieces
1 large beet, peeled and grated
3 to 4 large carrots, grated
1/2 to 1 cup chopped cilantro

Dressing:
5 small radishes
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup Adzuki Bean Miso
1/4 cup water
1 clove garlic
1/2-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled

Place the lettuce into a large salad bowl and top with the grated beets, carrots, and cilantro.

To make the dressing add all ingredients to your blender and blend until smooth and creamy. the dressing will be a slight pink color. Dressing can be kept in a glass jar in the fridge for up to a week. Source: www.NourishingMeals.com


More healing Elimination Diet recipes:

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Adzuki Bean & Yam Hash


Alright, an elimination diet breakfast recipe seems to be in order. We've been enjoying this (Phase 1) recipe all week. If you are not following the Elimination Diet then try replacing the adzuki beans with black beans. I bet it would also be tasty with the addition of a few pinches of chipotle chili powder. I just don't think it gets any better than yams, beans, and collard greens! What a nutritious way to start your day!

Tom couldn't get enough of this recipe and kept going back for more each time I made it. In fact, I keep finding his empty bowls in the office! We have been serving this over cooked quinoa with sliced avocado on top. I bet it would also be great wrapped in Napa cabbage leaves as a "burrito."


Adzuki Bean & Yam Hash

As long as you have your adzuki beans cooked and a pot of quinoa on the stove you'll be able to whip this recipe up in no time. The key is to dice the yams very small, this way they cook quickly without burning.

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, diced
2 medium yams, peeled and diced small
2 teaspoons dried thyme
1/2 to 1 teaspoon ground cumin
2 cups cooked adzuki beans
4 to 5 collard greens, finely chopped*
Herbamare and black pepper to taste

Heat a large skillet over medium heat. I use an 11-inch stainless steel skillet. Add olive oil, onions and a few dashes of salt. Saute for a few minutes.

Then add yams, thyme, and cumin. Saute for a few minutes uncovered then cover your pan and cook for about 15 to 20 minutes, stirring occasionally, until yams are tender. Watch carefully so they don't burn.

Add adzuki beans and collard greens. Saute a few minutes more, or until collards are tender. Add Herbamare and pepper to taste. Source: www.NourishingMeals.com

*Notes: To finely chop collard greens, first stack the leaves on top of each other. Then tightly roll. Use a sharp knife to thinly slice the collards, then cut those slices crosswise into small pieces.


I will be teaching an Elimination Diet cooking class this coming Monday, January 11th at our local co-op. I think there are still a few spaces left. If you are interested you can call the co-op or view our website for more info. I'll be sharing a bunch of new recipes not featured here. Hope to see some of you there!

More Bean Recipes:


Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Cinnamon-Sunflower Truffles

If you are following the elimination diet then you're in for a real treat today! I created this raw truffle recipe a few days ago in order to have a quick and nutritious snack ready in the fridge. Just one or two and I am good to go for a few more hours. I have also found that they are a perfect after school snack for my children!

For those of you following me on the Elimination Diet, how are you feeling? Energetic, sick, tired, achy, wonderful? Many people feel very sick during phase 1. Don't worry, your body is going through many changes. For one, you are detoxing and you may be experiencing a die-off of unfriendly bacteria in the gut. This is a great time to be consuming plenty of raw sauerkraut. This will help to replenish healthy bacteria in the gut. I have a recipe in our cookbook for this or you can purchase it at your local health food store. The truly raw sauerkraut will be found in the refrigerated section. All of the green smoothies, whole grains, beans, vegetables, and fruits are assisting with balancing the flora in the gut as well.


Raw Cinnamon-Sunflower Truffles

You'll need a food processor to make these. If you are not following the elimination diet then try using different nuts or seeds. I bet pecans, almonds, or cashews would be delicious. I found that these truffles are even better on the second day; if they last that long!

2 cups raw sunflower seeds
2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon sea salt
1 cup pitted medjool dates
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons dark agave nectar or maple syrup*

unsweetened shredded coconut

Place the sunflower seeds, cinnamon, and sea salt into a food processor fitted with the "s" blade. Process until seeds are very finely ground. It only takes a minute or so.

Then add the pitted dates and olive oil. Process again until combined and sticky. Only add the agave or maple syrup if need be. Your dates may be moist enough and you might not need extra sweetener. Check to see if you can form a truffle by rolling some of the mixture in your hands. If it falls apart then add the sweetener and process again.

Scoop out the sunflower mixture by the large spoonful and roll into balls. Then roll in shredded coconut. Store in the fridge for up to 10 days. Source: www.NourishingMeals.com


If you have any other elimination snack ideas please share. I would love to hear your ideas and recipes. Thanks! :)

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Spiced Pumpkin Soup


This warming, nourishing pumpkin soup is the perfect thing to warm you up on a chilly day. This soup recipe is also an elimination diet recipe for phase 1. It is free of nuts, citrus, tomatoes, dairy, and peppers ~ all ingredients commonly found in creamed soups.

This soup is light and cleansing; great for coming off of the first two days of green smoothies. I like to add a swirl of coconut milk to each bowl and maybe a drizzle of maple syrup or dark agave nectar. Each batch of soup will be different and vary in sweetness depending on your pumpkin. I use sugar pie pumpkins which actually are not as sweet as many other winter squashes. We harvested over 100 pounds of winter squash this past fall and have them in boxes in our garage. If you can not find a sugar pie pumpkin at this time of year, try butternut squash.


To bake a pumpkin, first cut it in half with a large, sharp knife. Scoop out the seeds (save them to roast) and place pumpkin halves flesh-side down into a 9 x 13-inch baking dish. Add about 1/4 inch of water to the pan and bake uncovered in a 350 to 400 degree oven for 45 to 90 minutes depending on the size of your pumpkin. Test for doneness by pricking it with a fork. If the fork easily slides in it is done. Scoop out the cooked flesh to use for this soup. I used two pie pumpkins to get 8 cups cooked flesh. My photo below depicts half of an uncooked sugar pie pumpkin and a 4-cup measure full of cooked pumpkin flesh.


Spiced Pumpkin Soup

This recipe was inspired from something my sister-in-law made while we were visiting over Christmas. I didn't have her original recipe so improvised based on memory. She added cooked white beans to the finished soup which gave it a delicious heartiness. If you are not following the Elimination Diet then you could add any type of cooked beans to the soup. This recipe makes a large batch of soup. You could easily cut the recipe in half or make the whole batch and freeze part in small containers for a ready-to-go meal. Enjoy!

2 to 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
1 to 2 tablespoons finely chopped ginger
4 to 5 large carrots, peeled and chopped
4 to 5 celery stalks, chopped
2 Granny Smith Apples, cored and chopped
10 cups water or stock*
8 cups cooked sugar pie pumpkin flesh
1/4 cup maple syrup or dark agave nectar*
2 to 3 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
3 to 4 teaspoons Herbamare or sea salt
1/2 to 1 teaspoon ground black pepper

coconut milk and cilantro, for garnish

Heat the olive oil over medium heat in an 8-quart stockpot. Add onion and saute for about 5 minutes. Then add ginger, carrots, celery, and apples; saute 5 to 10 minutes more.

Add the water, cooked pumpkin, pumpkin pie spice, salt, and pepper. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer and cook for about 20 minutes, covered.

Puree soup in batches. I like to have another 8-quart pot ready to go that I can pour the pureed soup into as I go. Serve with a swirl of coconut milk.

*Notes: Using a homemade vegetable stock will make this soup richer. If you are on phase 3 of the diet you can use homemade chicken stock. Avoid using prepackaged vegetable broth while you are on the elimination diet. These often contain "natural flavors" and we don't know where those come from.


Please share any Phase 1 recipes or meal ideas you have in the comments section below. Let's help each other out! :)

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Winter Green Smoothie


This is one of the green smoothies we make in the winter. It is chock full of healing dark leafy greens, cabbage, fruit, and cranberries! Adding the tart green apples and tart cranberries make it palatable without lemon juice.

This smoothie is ideal if you are following our 28-day Elimination and Detoxification Diet. I've been enjoying it all day today! I think my toddler boys each drank 2 cups this morning. I couldn't pour it fast enough!

We own and use a Vitamix 5000 series for making our smoothies. If you don't have a high-powered blender then you'll want to make sure your blade is very sharp. You'll also want to half the recipe below.

Friday, January 1, 2010

The Elimination and Detoxification Diet ~ It's about Feeling Good!


What is the Elimination Diet? It is a program of eating designed to calm inflammation and balance the body. Once the body is calm, and the disease symptoms diminish, it becomes noticeable to a person when a “trouble” food is eaten and the symptoms come back.

If you have felt sluggish, had chronic health complaints, or just not felt quite right then an elimination diet is a useful tool that may help bring you to that optimal state of health you desire. Yes the elimination diet usually results in, on average, a 10 to 15 pound weight loss, but more importantly it promotes healing at the cellular level by identifying foods that are causing an immune reaction.

UPDATE: The Elimination Diet can now be found as an ONLINE PROGRAM with instant access to:

  • 24 cooking videos
  • 6 informational videos
  • a 130-page downloadable full color book with over 80 recipes
  • an elimination diet shopping guide
  • an elimination diet journal! 

Go to our website: www.WholeLifeNutrition.net and get started today!  

The main focus of the Elimination Diet is on getting the gluten, dairy, eggs, yeast, and soy out of your diet. Doing this, along with eating a diet high in plant foods, calms inflammation and gives your body a break. Other foods that might be problematic for some are citrus, nightshade vegetables, and certain nuts. These foods are removed in the first two phases and then are slowly added back during phase 3 to note any negative reaction. 

An Elimination Diet is useful in treating the following health conditions:
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Chronic fatigue syndrome
  • Psoriasis
  • Arthritis
  • Asthma
  • Eczema
  • IBS
  • Chronic Migraines
  • GERD
  • Anxiety
  • Constipation / Diarrhea
  • Sinus problems
  • Weight loss / Weight gain
  • Infertility

We know the first 2 weeks of this diet are very difficult and we want you to succeed, which is why we are sharing this series of posts on our blog. If you have already tried this diet and not succeeded we urge you to try again, with our support and hopefully with the support of other readers. Please leave comments with tips and easy recipes that you have found to be useful as often as you like this month.


Items to stock in your pantry and fridge:
please make sure you always use "organic"
  • dark leafy greens (dandelion greens, kale, collards, chard, bok choy, mustard greens...)
  • cabbage (all varieties)
  • lettuce
  • cucumbers
  • ginger
  • garlic
  • onions
  • yams
  • winter squash
  • broccoli
  • cauliflower
  • Brussels sprouts
  • carrots
  • celery
  • avocados
  • cranberries (fresh or frozen)
  • blueberries
  • cherries
  • raspberries
  • pears
  • apples
  • brown rice
  • quinoa
  • wild rice
  • adzuki beans
  • mung beans
  • sunflower seeds
  • pumpkin seeds
  • chia seeds
  • hemp seeds
  • pumpkin seed butter
  • sunflower seed butter
  • wakame and nori seaweeds
  • wild salmon
  • organic chicken
  • organic ground turkey
  • organic lamb
  • wild game
  • organic virgin coconut oil
  • organic extra virgin olive oil

Visit the Elimination Diet page on our website to get started today!

If you would like specific, one-on-one assistance with your diet and health then you can contact Tom Malterre, MS, CN to set up a phone consultation.

Phase 1:
Winter Green Smoothie
Spring Green Smoothie
Super Antioxidant Smoothie