Monthly Archives: September 2015

Tomato Basil Jam

I love the intense flavor of jams. No matter if they are sweet or savory, the flavors are intensified due to the reduction. This Tomato Basil Jam is no exception. It is thick and full of tomato flavor and only 4 ingredients! The secret is the oven roasting. Slather it on cooked meat, vegetables, or crackers to bump up the flavor of anything!

Tomato Basil Jam (4 Ingredients)

4 Ingredient Tomato Basil Jam

 

Tomato Basil Jam

Ingredients:

3 Large Organic Tomatoes

1/3 Cup Garlic Infused Olive Oil

1 Teaspoon Himalayan Pink Salt or Sea Salt

2 Tablespoons Chopped Fresh Basil

Preheat your oven to 375º degrees. Slice the tomatoes about a half inch thick. Toss with 1 Tablespoon of Garlic Olive Oil and sprinkle with salt. Place them in a single layer on two parchment lined baking sheets. Roast in the oven for 50 minutes until the tomatoes are starting to brown and caramelize.

Remove the pans from the oven and cool ten minutes. Place the tomatoes and the remaining 1/4 cup of garlic olive oil into a food processor. Add the fresh basil. Pulse until you get a smooth consistency.

This flavorful savory jam is full of healthy fat, lycopene from the tomatoes and delicious fresh basil. What’s not to love about this healthy spread!

Eat Your Nutrients!

Eat Your Nutrients!

 

Ming in the Moon (The Autumn Moon Festival)

This weekend is the Chinese Autumn Moon Festival also known as the Mid-Autumn Festival. It is based on the lunar calendar and is celebrated on month 8 day 15. This year it falls on Sunday, September 27th. The moon is said to be the brightest and fullest it will be all year at this time.

It has been tradition for our family to have an Autumn Moon Festival dinner party every year since my daughters were adopted as babies from China. Ming’s roots are in China as well, as all pugs are. Pugs were companions to Chinese Emperors and are one of the oldest breeds of dogs. So, I thought, how fun to have a picture taken of Ming in the Moon!

Ming in the Moon

As part of the celebration we eat Moon Cakes. These are sweet pastries filled with different fillings like red bean paste, lotus seed paste, or a nut filling.  They often also contain a hard boiled salted egg yolk that symbolizes the moon. I prefer them without the yolks, as they are an acquired taste. The moon cakes are round like the moon and symbolize togetherness. We used to order our delicious moon cakes from a bakery every year in New York City’s Chinatown. Moon Cakes are beautiful! Read more about them here. Since becoming gluten intolerant a few years ago, I have made a gluten free version at home instead. The recipe I make can be found on Kirbie’s Cravings.

Gluten Free Moon Cakes

Gluten Free Moon Cakes

 

My older daughter, who is a nurse, came over today and spent the day with me in the kitchen prepping the dishes for the party. It will be a gluten free dinner using some of my favorite Paleo and Gluten Free Chinese Recipes, including the Chinese Five Spice Chicken Bites from my blog. Have you tried them yet? They are so easy and delicious.

Chinese Five Spice Chicken Bites

Chinese Five Spice Chicken Bites

 

As part of the decorations, I made Crepe Paper Party Balls as a party favor for each guest. I found the idea on Martha Stewart’s website under Erin Furey’s craft videos. If you enjoy crafting, there are some great ideas there! I hope they are as fun to open as they were to make! After dinner we will go outside and see the full moon and release colorful Sky Lanterns. It should be a fun time, and Ming Ming will be right there also. She loves a good celebration!

 

How to Make a Healthy Matcha Green Tea Spiced Latte

Fall is almost officially here! Who is excited? It is my favorite season!

Here is a three minute video I created demonstrating a Healthy Matcha Green Tea Spiced Latte to enjoy this Fall!

Healthy Matcha Green Tea Spiced Latte

Ingredients:

2 Cups of Hot Filtered Water

1 Teaspoon Matcha Green Tea Powder

1/4 Cup of Full Fat Coconut Milk (No Additives)

1 Tablespoon of Grass Fed Gelatin (Collagen)

1 Teaspoon of Coconut Oil

1 Teaspoon of Pure Vanilla Extract

1/8 Teaspoon Nutmeg

1/8 Teaspoon Cardamom

Place in a BPA Free Shaker with a whisk inside. Shake 30 to 40 shakes. Add to your mug and it’s ready!

Matcha in Flips

Matcha Green Tea Latte

Healthy Matcha Green Tea Spiced Latte

 

Enjoy your day!

Eat Your Nutrients!

Eat Your Nutrients!

 

 

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Mug Muffin

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Mug Muffin

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Mug Muffin

Mug muffins are scrumptious, convenient, individual and fast! Just mix and microwave for 1 minute 30 seconds and you have a warm muffin in a mug!

Since Fall is in the air, I have been craving pumpkin. I was in the kitchen this weekend creating a pumpkin flavored mug muffin with a touch of chocolate that really evokes thoughts of cooler weather, sweaters, autumn crafts and warm hugs. My youngest daughters are 12 and 14 now and like to choose and make their own breakfasts. They love mug muffins and can whip them up quickly on a school morning!

Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Mug Muffin Recipe

Have a yummy day!

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Mug Muffin

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Mug Muffin

 

Eat Your Nutrients!

Eat Your Nutrients!

How To Make a Good Morning Gorgeous Smoothie Bowl Video Demonstration by Me

Hi everyone! I am sharing with you today this quick three minute video where I demonstrate how to make a Good Morning Gorgeous Smoothie Bowl. You can find the full recipe here.

Good Morning Gorgeous Smoothie Bowl!

Good Morning Gorgeous Smoothie Bowl!

 

Enjoy your day!

Sandra

Sour Cherry and Honey Shortbread Cookies

Warning! It is hard not to eat the whole batch of these! The good news is they are delicious, and it is a small batch.

These cookies are an absolutely delicious shortbread cookie treat recipe with the chewy tart bite of cherries!

They are delicate little bites with simple, whole food ingredients that come together in ten minutes.

Sour Cherry & Honey Cookies 5

The recipe makes a small batch of eleven cookies. Just short of a dozen. I have made the recipe several times to perfect it, and eleven is the perfect number.

I have this Moon Cake Mold Press that I used to imprint the tops of the cookies with a rose, but it isn’t necessary to make these cookies. I use it to make gluten free mooncakes during the Autumn Moon Celebration and have had great success with it for cookies. It just makes them fancier, and I am a gadget junkie.

Sour Cherry and Honey Tea Cookies

Sour Cherry and Honey Tea Cookies

The benefits touted in regards to cherries are they are anti-inflammatory, enhance sleep, help with post-workout soreness, reduce stroke risk and more. See this article on cherries if you want to learn more. I love all these benefits, but I especially love the taste of them, and all the benefits are a bonus!

Sour Cherry & Honey Cookies 7

Honey has trace minerals in it and is one of my favorite natural sweeteners. My father was a beekeeper, and I used to help him in the bee hives when I was a child. Honey is truly miraculous.  It is still a form of sugar to our bodies, but a little goes a long way! To make sure I know I am  getting a high quality, pure honey, I buy it from a local beekeeper or farm market where a beekeeper is selling their honey. Local food co-ops are another great place to find a reputable honey source.

Sour Cherry & Honey Cookies 8

This cookie recipe only has seven ingredients, and each one adds flavor.

Sour Cherry & Honey Cookies

Sour Cherry and Honey Tea Cookies

Preheat your oven to 325º degrees F.

Ingredients:

1 1/4 Cups Superfine Almond Flour

1/4 Cup Coconut Oil

1/4 Cup Sour (Tart) Dried Cherries (I used an organic cherry with no added ingredients, just cherries)

2 Tablespoons of Local Honey

1 Teaspoon of Fresh Squeezed Lime Juice

1/2 Teaspoon of Pure Vanilla Extract

1/4 Teaspoon of Himalayan Pink or Sea Salt

Directions: Place all the ingredients into a food processor. Pulse until all the ingredients are incorporated and holding together with the cherries in small bits, but not completely pureed into the dough. You should still see bits of nice sized, but not whole, cherries.

Scoop the dough with a tablespoon cookie scoop onto a parchment lined baking sheet, spacing the cookies two inches apart. Press the cookie with a round of the moon cake press or use fork tines to flatten the cookie to an inch thickness.

Bake in the preheated oven for just 9 minutes until the cookies are starting to brown on the edges. Cool completely.

Sour Cherry and Honey Tea Cookies

Sour Cherry and Honey Tea Cookies

 

Enjoy!

Eat Your Nutrients!

Eat Your Nutrients!

Ming Ming Looks Out…..

Ming Ming Looks Over the Horizon

Ming Ming Looks Out

Ming adores cool weather. She was with us in Northern Michigan this Summer enjoying all of nature’s pure beauty and the fresh, crisp air.  She likes to take a dip in the lake, and this year especially she drank an abundance of clean, clear water from the lakes and rivers. I often wonder what she is thinking as she gazes off into the distance like this. Here she is looking over Lake Charlevoix on a beautiful evening after a swim.

I imagine she is thinking, “Summer is coming to an end, and we will soon be going home. I will really miss being outdoors so much during the day. The ducks, loons, geese, swans and little minks are wonderful to watch, even though I cannot catch them.  The fresh smell of water and an abundance of extra oxygen in my nose gives me so much energy”.

Enjoy your Labor Day Weekend!

Sandra

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