Noor’s Pumpkin Kale Dill Quinoa

After garnish

After garnish

I’ve talked about quinoa numerous times, and always recommend it to clients who are looking for tasty ways to incorporate whole grains into their diet. Quinoa is a wonderful high protein grain and it tastes great with almost anything.

This recipe is so easy to put together once the initial step of baking the pumpkin and cubing it is over. I made this after my little sister came home from a field trip at the apple orchid.  Pumpkin is very high in Vitamin A, and is a nutrient dense food. It carries anti-cancerous properties, potassium, and yes, Vitamin C too. Don’t hesitate; get pumpkin on your plate.

I usually like this dish with parsley, but I was making the pesto full zucchini noodles that day and had a bunch of fresh dill on hand. It gave it an interesting flavorful kick.

Ingredients:

2 cups organic quinoa*

1 tablespoon organic Virgin Coconut Oil

1 cup fresh mushrooms, washed and sliced

3 cups organic frozen kale (or spinach)

1 small fresh pumpkin (pre baked and cubed)

1 tablespoon ground turmeric

1 tablespoon Himalayan Pink Salt or Unrefined Real Salt

1 teaspoon ground rosemary

½ teaspoon ground black pepper

¼ teaspoon ground cumin

½ cup fresh dill, washed, dried, and chopped

1/8 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Lemon slices, fresh dill, fresh red peppers

 

Directions:

  1. Sautee the coconut oil, mushrooms, and kale in a deep pot for about 5 minutes.
  2. Add about 5 cups water and the quinoa. Add all the spices and stir with a spoon to mix everything in evenly.
  3. Cover and allow it to cook for about 18 minutes; until the quinoa is tender.
  4. Fold in the fresh dill and mix slightly.
  5. Pour into a serving platter.
  6. Garnish with lemon slices, extra virgin olive oil, and red peppers.
Make sure to cut the pumpkin in big cubes so they don't become mush.

Make sure to cut the pumpkin in big cubes so they don’t become mush.

Noor’s Lemon-Dill Pesto Drenched Noodles

Noor’s Lemon-Dill Pesto Drenched Noodles

Gluten-Free. Dairy-Free. Soy-Free. 

Garnished w/ raw pine nuts.

Garnished w/ raw pine nuts.

Pasta is a traditional food for many, but with modern allergies, it’s not friendly for everyone. I’ve come upon Jovial Foods long ago, and until now, it’s one of the top brands of pasta in my opinion. I recommend my clients choose this pasta over others not only because it’s organic, or allergy friendly, but because of the numerous benefits that come with Einkorn wheat.

Their Wheat Pastas are 100% Einkorn, which is the traditional wheat not hybridized like modern wheat. It contains lots of protein, dietary fiber, B Vitamins, minerals, and must say, is wonderful for those with gluten sensitivity.

They also have a line of gluten-free products, one of the few companies to make pasta gluten-free without adding unnecessary preservatives and fillers. 

You can purchase Jovial Pasta Products here or find a local health shop that carries it.

 

I absolutely love pesto, and I make my pesto dressing without the nuts and cheese for a twist. I add other greens and herbs for a tasty spike in taste and health. This pesto is full of super-foods, anti-inflammatory benefits, Vitamin K, A, C, and traces of beneficial minerals from the unrefined pink salt.

 

 

 

Ingredients:

1 box Jovial Organic Egg Noodles

1/3 cup raw pine nuts

Noor’s Super-Food Pesto:

1 tsp Himalayan Pink Salt or Unrefined Real Salt

½ teaspoon organic cumin

½ teaspoon ground onion

½ teaspoon organic ground turmeric

¼ cup fresh dill

¼ cup fresh mint leaves

1 cup organic baby kale

½ cup organic fresh parsley

¼ cup organic fresh cilantro

Juice of 2 fresh lemons

¼ cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil

 

Noor's pesto in the making.

Noor’s pesto in the making.

 

Directions:

  1. Cook the noodles as directed on the package. Don’t overcook them for they will become mushy.
  2. Place the noodles in a serving platter and drizzle with some Extra Virgin Olive Oil. This helps them not stick together as they cool off; learned this from my mother.
  3. In a personal blender add all the pesto ingredients. Blend until smooth.
  4. Pour the pesto over the noodles. Toss to mix it lightly. Garnish with raw pine nuts.
  5. I enjoy serving this with wild-salmon. 🙂 
Served with wild- salmon and veggies.

I served it with wild- salmon and veggies.

 

 

Noor’s RAINBOW Mango Salad

Noor’s Rainbow Mango Salad

 Warning: this salad is extremely high in benefits.

They say “eat the rainbow,” and we (Holistic Health Coaches) say “eat THE rainbow,” but mean an incredibly different rainbow. 🙂 

 

Noor's Rainbow Mango Salad

Noor’s Rainbow Mango Salad

 

So, here I introduce my rainbow salad. It’s full of health benefits A to Z.

Mangos are not only a tasty fruit, they have remarkable benefits. Among them are Vitamin C, Vitamin A, folate and B Vitamins. Mangos are great for healthy skin, bone health, has cancer preventative benefits, beta-carotene, and dietary fiber- which aids in digestion and heart health. What more can you want from something that tastes so sweet and luscious?

Mangos are on the clean 15 list, meaning they are low in pesticides. This means you don’t need to worry about buying organic mangos. Just make sure you let them ripen so they can be wholly sweet.

I can go on and on about the benefits of the organic bell peppers, the organic parsley, tomato, organic greens, blueberries (in the homemade dressing I made) cucumbers, avocadoes and mushrooms.

This is like an anti-cancer, high healthy fat, high fiber, Vitamin A, K, C, B and flavonoids super salad. It’s high in photochemical and good for you antioxidants.  The raw walnuts I toss on top not only add flavor and a crunch. They give the salad a boost of omega-3 fatty acids which we all need to get from food.

 

Now you tell me, would you rather eat my rainbow, or the popularly advertised candy “the rainbow”?

Ingredients:

4 cups organic greens

2 cucumbers

1 organic yellow bell pepper

1 organic orange bell pepper

1 medium tomato

1 bunch organic parsley

2 organic avocadoes, ripen

8 small white button mushrooms

Raw walnuts for topping

My homemade clean-eat blueberry dressing

 

Directions:

  1. Place the organic greens in a serving bowl.
  2. Wash and cut the bell peppers into small cubes. Place color coded atop the greens.
  3. Wash and peel the cucumbers. Cut slices and place next to the peppers, atop the greens.
  4. Wash and chop the tomato and place it in the middle of the plate, atop the greens.
  5. Chop the parsley and place it atop the tomatoes.
  6. Pit and cut the avocadoes into cubes and place atop the greens, near the peppers.
  7. Wash and sliced the mushroom and place atop the greens. You get the picture now. 🙂 
  8. Serve with my homemade, clean-eat blueberry dressing. (Recipe to come later!)
  9. Top with raw walnuts for optimum benefits and a mouth-watering crunch.  
    Veggie Party

    Veggie Party

     

    Noor's Mango Rainbow Salad

    Noor’s Mango Rainbow Salad

     

  10. With my clean -eat blueberry dressing and RAW Walnuts.

    With my clean-eat blueberry dressing and RAW Walnuts.

Sweet Facts About Sweet Potatoes & Recipe

Plus, Noor’s Spiced Sweet Potato Fries Recipe

Noor's simply roasted sweet potato.

Noor’s simply roasted sweet potato.

Fun Fact: There are over 400 varieties of sweet potatoes around the globe!

Did you ever hear someone tell you not to eat sweet potatoes because they’re not the best for your health? Well, I’m here to confirm that sweet potatoes are more than just orange potatoes, much sweeter than the famous original potato.

Sweet potatoes have extremely amazing benefits, including a very high amount of Vitamin A, antioxidants, dietary fiber, over four B vitamins, Vitamin C, copper, biotin, potassium, and manganese. Sweet potatoes have anti-inflammatory benefits and wonderful blood sugar regulation. Point being, atto your sweet potatoes! The benefits of this tasty root vegetable amaze me, and I enjoy them even more.

 So how should you eat sweet potatoes? First, I’ll tell you how not to eat them. Buying frozen sweet potato fries in the grocery aisle is not the best choice. Not only are those sweet potatoes highly processed, most of them are pre-“cooked”, meaning pre-flash fried. On top of that, they are full of unnecessary preservatives and chemicals. So in regards to these potatoes, forget about the majority of the benefits I mentioned above.

As for getting the maximum benefits from this super food, I enjoy making it in numerous ways.

The easiest and fastest way is to simply wash the potatoes real well, cut through all around it with a knife, and bake in the oven. About 45 minutes later, you have a steamed delicious and sweet side dish, or even dessert. That’s seen in the image above. 

 

These are my spiced sweet potato fries (baked). I use organic virgin coconut oil not only because it’s full of numerous health benefits, but it’s also one of the best oils to cook with in terms of the smoke point. Many oils are extremely sensitive and lose the majority of their benefits when you cook or bake with them. That includes Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Sesame-Seed Oil, nut oils, etc.  I buy my organic virgin coconut oil online. 

 

Spiced sweet potato fries.

Spiced sweet potato fries.

As for my scrumptious sweet potato fries, here is my recipe.

 

Ingredients: 

6 medium sweet potatoes, washed well
1/3 cup organic coconut oil
1 teaspoon rosemary ground
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
½ teaspoon ground mustard seeds
1 teaspoon dill
1 teaspoon cilantro
½ teaspoon Himalayan Pink Salt
1 teaspoon ground turmeric

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Wash the potatoes well. Cut them length-wise into thin fries-like strips or circles (I tried both).
  3. In a small mixing bowl, mix melted coconut oil and all spices.
  4. Toss the potatoes with the oil mixture.
  5. Place single layered on a tray and bake for about 35 minutes or until crispy.
  6. Serve, garnish with fresh herbs, and enjoy! 

Noor’s Pure Zucchini Noodles w/ Super-Food Pesto Sauce

After a long break away, I’m back. I was in an intense program getting certified as an Integrative Nutrition Health Coach.

A few people asked how I made the noodles on my website’s homepage (www.holisticnoortrition.com). It’s extremely delicious, and worth every bite. You don’t have to garnish it and fancy it up- just eat the noodles.

Garnish with lemons, fresh dill, parsley, and red peppers.

Garnish with lemons, fresh dill, parsley, and red peppers.

No, this is not squash spaghetti, although that is good too. These noodles are made of zucchini, yes, I know it’s a surprise to some. I used a Spiralizer tool, which is real cheap, easy to use, and has amazing results.  

The recipe happens to be gluten free, dairy free, sugar free, soy free, chemicals and preservative free. I toss in a bunch of super foods into my ninja single, and get an amazing, creamy pesto sauce (without cheese).  

This pesto is full of super-foods, anti-inflammatory benefits, Vitamin K, A, C, and traces of beneficial minerals from the unrefined salt.

The only salt I use in my kitchen is Himalayan Pink Salt or unrefined real salt. Why? Well, not only are they pure forms of salt, but that pink hue is the indication of the minerals and iron content! So when I include salt in food, I’m not talking about sodium you’d find on the back of your chips package, or the white shiny salt you buy for less than a dollar, which happen to be stripped of all the nutrients and minerals. Did you know that unrefined salt, pink or grayish in color, contain over 60 traces of essential mineral? Well, now you know. While the Himalayan Pink Salt has over 80 trace minerals, and is the purest form of salt, the unrefined celtic salt (like RealSalt) is just as great and gives your meals the same taste, but with added benefits.  

Extra Virgin Olive Oil tops it off with good for your fats, anti-cancer benefits, and key polyphenols for optimum health. Just make sure your Extra Virgin Olive Oil is actually cold pressed, for this stage is very essential in preserving all the wonderful benefits.

You can even make the zucchini noodles without my pesto sauce. Try a tomato base sauce or simply drizzle it with Extra Virgin Olive Oil, lemon, and seasoning.

Ingredients:
Noodles:

8-10 small zucchinis

1/3 cup water

Spiralizer

Noor’s Super-Food Pesto:

1 tsp Himalayan Pink Salt or Unrefined Real Salt

½ teaspoon organic cumin

½ teaspoon ground onion

½ teaspoon organic ground turmeric

¼ cup fresh dill

¼ cup fresh mint leaves

1 cup organic baby kale

½ cup organic fresh parsley

Juice of 2 fresh lemons

¼ cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil

 

Directions:

  • Wash and dry your zucchini. Cut off the ends. Use the Spiralizer to make your noodles, and follow the instructions.
All spiralized and ready

All spiralized and ready

  • Cook the zucchini noodles a stainless steel pot with 1/3 cup water on medium-low heat, covered so the steam can help them cook well.
  • In your ninja single blender, or any single blender, place all the pesto ingredients and pulse until smooth.
Pesto

Pesto

  • Place cooked noodles in a serving dish. Pour the pesto over it and toss lightly.
  • Garnish with lemon, fresh dill, and mint.
Pre-Pesto Pour down.

Pre-Pesto Pour down.

 

Garnish with lemons, fresh dill, parsley, and red peppers.

Garnish with lemons, fresh dill, parsley, and red peppers.

A Super Delicious Super Food: Quinoa

For my health advice column in the newspaper this week, the question was referring to Quinoa as a gluten free food. Along with the request from a friend for my quinoa recipe, I thought I’d put up the recipe (I know I put this before but I altered it a bit, and added the advice). So I’ll share the advice response here too, followed by the recipe, which is dedicated to a special friend.  😉 

This recipe is gluten free, dairy free (don’t top with Organic Greek Yogurt/ Organic sour cream), and vegetarian, yet high in protein.

I have to say, although this is yummy, this is not my favorite recipe for quinoa. My favorite is cooked without tomato paste or corn, and topped with a bunch of avocados.  I’ll have that step by step recipe soon .:)

My response to the question in my weekly health advice column:

Today almost everyone is struggling with a food allergy or intolerance. While one person is lactose intolerant, another is allergic to nuts, and a third is struggling with celiac disease. Knowing what to eat and what to avoid could really help one cure their body.

Quinoa is growing in popularity, and when you take a deep look at its health benefits you’ll know exactly why. For those unfamiliar with this seed, quinoa is a grain like crop. Quinoa sure is gluten free, so those with celiac disease or wheat intolerance should feel comfortable enjoying this grain.

Quinoa contains many essential protein amino acids, and is high in many essential vitamins and minerals including manganese, iron, and calcium. For those with arthritis, do add quinoa in your diet for it helps lower inflammation in the body. Plus, while quinoa is high in protein and fiber, it’s very low in fat and is quite filling. So what’s not to like about this super-seed?

Quinoa is prepared very similar to rice. Usually one cup of the grain takes two cups of water for it to be tender.

I love using quinoa in desserts as well as main dishes. I even occasionally replace burghul (cracked wheat) in my homemade taboulli salad with quinoa. You can replace your usual bowl of oatmeal with cooked quinoa topped with cinnamon, nutmeg, raw walnuts, raisins, and Organic Raw honey.

As a main dish I cook Quinoa and allow it to cool. I add a variety of vegetables, Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Organic Flaxseed Oil, and of course top it with lots of fresh ripe avocadoes. Or as a variation I do a “Mexican quinoa” salad with black beans, tomato paste, and delicious spices. It’s easy to play around with this seed, and I assure you once you add it to your diet you wouldn’t be able to go on without it. 

Quinoa on the left. Barley spinach (recipe to come later) on the right.

Quinoa on the left. Barley spinach (recipe to come later) on the right.

 

Noory’s Gone Mexican Quinoa

Ingredients:

1 cup Organic Quinoa rinsed

2 cans black beans, rinsed and soaked

1 bag frozen Organic, non-GMO corn

1 bag Organic Chopped Spinach

1 can Organic tomato paste

1 can Organic diced tomatoes (spicy if desired!)

Himalayan Pink Salt or Real Salt, mustard, black pepper, rosemary, cayenne pepper, and cajun

Water for cooking (approximately 4-5 cups)

Organic Sour Cream or Organic Grass-Fed Greek Yogurt (optional)

Fresh cilantro, chopped for garnish

 

Directions:

  1. In a large skillet (with lid) place corn, spinach, and washed black beans with 2 cups water. Simmer on medium heat.
  2. Add tomatoes, tomato paste, spices as desired, and rinsed Quinoa. Mix well. Add enough water (2 inches above) Cover and allow to cook 15 minutes, stirring occasionally if necessary. Once Quinoa is tenderly cooked it will be transparent in color.
  3. Fluff with a fork and serve warm. My suggested serving, a dollop of certified Organic sour cream/Greek Yogurt and the fresh chopped cilantro!
  4. Enjoy!

P.S: This tastes delicious alone or as a dip with clean ingredient tortilla chips! (Pick Organic when possible ;))

A Twist on Mujaddarah: Lentils Gone Right

A Vegetarian Nutritionally Dense Meal

Side view.

Side view.

 

Mujaddarah is a popular Middle Eastern dish made of brown lentils and rice. Some variations serve it with tomato sauce while others prefer plain yogurt. In the past I used to make Mujaddarah with brown lentils and rice topped with browned onions, aside organic plain yogurt and a diced salad. Today I took the recipe on a twist.

My father purchased Certified Organic Basmati Brown Rice and I wanted to give it a try with this dish. I know that it takes longer to cook so I soaked it for 1 hour in water. Instead of just onions on top I threw in red, orange, yellow and green bell peppers as well as fresh chopped parsley. I have to say my entire family was pleased with this dish.

Lentils are very beneficial, high in both protein and fiber and known for heart benefits. Throwing in brown rice adds fiber and whole grains too. Aside I made a salad with avocados (my favorite!), fresh parsley, lettuce, tomatoes, and bell peppers. I topped it with some hot sauce and had a delicious yet nutritious meal!  

 If you’re a person who gets bloated or GI issues from eating lentils and beans, I highly recommend that instead of running away from them, try soaking them or buying pre-sproated lentils. 

Ingredients:
2 cups brown lentils, soaked and washed

2 cups Certified Organic Brown Basmati Rice, soaked

Himalayan Pink Salt, Ground Cumin, other spices of your choice for taste

5 medium onions sliced intro long strips

1 red, yellow, green, and orange bell pepper sliced into strips, organic 

Extra Virgin Olive Oil or Organic Virgin Coconut Oil

 

Directions:

  1. Soak the brown rice and lentils in separate bowls for 1 hour.
  2. In a pot put about 6 cups water and add brown lentils. Boil on high heat for 15 minutes. Add the brown rice and spices and allow to boil for about 10 more minutes (until tender).
  3. When the water goes down cover and lower the heat for 5-7 minutes

    IMAG6498

    Brown lentils & Organic Brown Rice cooking until tender

  4. Put the oil, onions and peppers  in a skillet and stir fry on high heat until the onions brown well
Skillet w/ oil, bell peppers, onions, and chopped parsley.

Skillet w/ oil, bell peppers, onions, and chopped parsley.

       5. Place the Mujaddarah in a serving platter. Top with onion mixture.

 

Mujadarah gone right.

Mujadarah gone right. Top it w/ the onion & pepper mix.

 

             6. Serve with salad, grass-fed yogurt, and hot sauce if desired.

I served it with avocado, parsley, pepper, lettuce, tomato salad.

I served it with avocado, parsley, pepper, lettuce, tomato salad.

Noor’s Lemony Veggie Grape Leaves

Grape Leaves are a very popular dish in my culture. I made these two shown below a year ago while down South visiting my favorite uncle, and this is one of his favorite dishes so my sister and I got down to business. They are usually made with rice, ground beef, tomatoes, and parsley, but being a cook, I enjoy playing around with different ingredients (usually to make dishes healthier). This recipe is vegetarian and very tasty! Feel free to use any veggies or meat for the filling that you feel suit. (I’ll definitely make a step by step post for these in the near future, since many people question the rolling process). 😉

Homemade, veggie full, lemon topped grapeleaves.

Homemade, veggie full, lemon topped grapeleaves.

Ingredients:

2 jars grape leaves, washed

2 cups washed rice, brown rice, or burghul (cracked wheat)

1 cup lemon juice fresh squeezed

½- ¾ cup extra virgin olive oil

2 large tomatoes

1 bunch fresh parsley

2 bunches green onions

5 cloves fresh garlic pounded

1-2 red, yellow, green bell peppers (optional, and organic preferred)

1 tablespoon fresh or dried mint

1 teaspoon Himalayan Pink Salt

¼ tsp cumin, ground

1 teaspoon all spice (7 spice) My mom makes this fresh at home. 

2 teaspoons onion powder

Directions:

  1. Wash brown rice/burghul well in a large mixing bowl.
  2. Wash and chop tomatoes, parsley, green onions, fresh garlic ground, and optional bell peppers. Add to mixing bowl.
  3. Add lemon juice, EVOO, and spices. Mix well.
  4. Roll into the grape leaves by placing a small line of filling the middle, folding the edges, and rolling tightly. Stack and cook in a pressure cooker about 45-60 minutes.
  5. Enjoy it with cucumber yogurt salad!

Noor’s Gone Vegetable Quinoa

For those who love the taste of Mexican, this is a healthier version of the good flavor, without the greasy meat and fatty cheese on top.

Quinoa is  a very healthy grain and an excellent replacement for rice. You can use it in main meals, snacks or desserts.

I had friends try many of my quinoa recipes and this was one of their favorite (excluding Layan). You can play around with this recipe by adding or omitting things you like. I’ve made it without the tomato base before and it was great.

Ingredients:

1 cup Organic Quinoa rinsed

2 cans black beans, soaked and rinsed

2 cups frozen organic and non-GMO corn

2 cups organic spinach chopped, frozen or fresh

2 large fresh tomatoes chopped

1-2 fresh jalapenos, optional

1 6 oz can Organic tomato paste

Seasoning of your choice: : Himalayan Pink Salt, Black Pepper, White Pepper, Curry, Rosemary, Garlic, Onion, Cayenne, etc

Water for cooking (approximately 4-5 cups)

 

Directions:

STEP 1

In a large skillet (with lid) place corn, spinach, and washed black beans with 2 cups water. Simmer on medium heat.

STEP 2

Add tomatoes, tomato paste, seasoning, and rinsed Quinoa. Add jalapeno here if adding. Mix well. Add enough water (2 inches above). Cover and allow to cook 15 minutes, stirring occasionally if necessary. Once Quinoa is tender cooked it will be transparent in color.

STEP 3

Fluff and serve warm. Suggested serving, fresh mint leaves and a scoop of certified organic sour cream!

Before garnish

Before garnish

Quinoa on the left. Barley spinach (recipe to come later) on the right.

Quinoa on the left. Barley spinach (recipe to come later) on the right.

Noor's quinoa, beets, and lemon-full barley.

Noor’s quinoa, beets, and lemon-full barley.

Gone Vegetables Salmon

It’s hard to get omega-3 fatty acids from food, but enjoying wild caught Alaskan salmon is a great way to boost protein and fatty-acids. Fish is a quick and easy protein to cook, and very nutritious (when not farm raised!). Even little Layan won’t mind finding this on her dinner plate. 

 This is a 3-step dinner recipe, it really can’t get easier than this! I don’t think it’ll take you more than 30 minutes maximum. 🙂

Ingredients:
1 or 2 Wild Caught Alaskan Salmon fillets (pre-marinated)

3 large carrots

1 broccoli head

4 zucchinis

5-6 mushrooms

Fresh garlic cloves

2 tablespoons Organic Virgin Coconut Oil (or any oil you prefer)

 

Directions:

STEP 1

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees and bake the salmon covered for about 15 minutes. Remove the skin and place in a glass, oven-safe Pyrex. 

Remove the skin of the salmon and place in a glass Pyrex.

Remove the skin of the salmon and place in a glass Pyrex.

STEP 2

Wash and cut your vegetables in medium/large chunks. Place in a large skillet with the 2 tablespoons of oil. Cook on medium/high heat, but don’t overcook.

Chunky fresh vegetables in skillet with 2 tbsp coconut oil

Chunky fresh vegetables in skillet with 2 tbsp coconut oil

STEP 3

Top the salmon with the fresh vegetables uncovered for about 5-7 minutes. Remove and serve with a side of grain (Quinoa, rice, pasta, barley, etc).

Top salmon with the vegetables. Bake 5-7 mins.

Top salmon with the vegetables. Bake 5-7 mins.

Enjoy!

Enjoy! Serve with steamed rice, quinoa, or clean ingredient pasta.

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