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.

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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! 

Did Someone Say Kale Chips?

This country lives on potato chips. Not only are they deep fried in hydrogenated oils, they are coated in sodium, unfriendly chemicals, and tons of preservatives. Basically we begin with a potato, and end with a potato stripped of its nutrients. Now potatoes are not bad for you at all, but it’s the way it’s cooked and prepared nowadays that makes it bad for you. Potatoes are high in potassium, Vitamin C, Vitamin B6, and plays role in cell building. 

Either way, why not boost the typical crunchy salty snack and create an astonishing scrumptious chip? Yes, I mean it, kale chips.

Kale is a super green. It’s full of Vitamin K, Vitamin A, manganese, fiber, yes Vitamin C, and over a dozen other nutrients. What’s not to like about this chip? I top it with nutritious spices and organic coconut oil, one of the best oils to cook with.

This recipe is so quick you could make it faster than running out to the supermarket at midnight when you’re craving a crunchy and salty snack. =)

This recipe is gluten, dairy, soy, wheat, egg,, and chemical free. What’s not to like about this chip?

Ingredients:

A bunch of fresh organic kale (fresh from the Farmer’s Market is best :))

1/3- 1/2 cup Organic Extra Virgin Coconut Oil (you can use EVOO)

1 teaspoon Himalayan Pink Salt or Celtic Sea Salt

To your desired amounts: dill, ground mustard, black pepper, paprika, rosemary

Cayenne pepper (optional and yummy)

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Wash the Kale well after removing the stems. Allow them to dry.

    IMAG6774

    Washed and dried fresh kale.

  3. In a separate bowl melt the Organic Coconut Oil. If you’re using different oil that’s liquid at room temperature, simply measure the required amount and place it in a bowl.

    Bowl of oil and spices.

    Bowl of oil and spices.

  4. Add the salt and spices to the bowl and mix well.
  5. Toss the kale with the oil mixture well and place on a flat baking sheet.

    Kale tossed in oil and ready to bake.

    Kale tossed in oil and ready to bake.

  6. Bake in the oven for 8-9 minutes until toasted from the edges and darker in color. 

    Baked kale.

    Baked kale.

  7. Serve with fresh pita, hummus, kale hummus, or eat them all by themselves. ;)

    Serve with fresh pita, hummus, kale hummus, or eat them all by themselves. 😉

    Allow to cool, remove from the baking sheet, and enjoy. =) 

Chockfull of Ingredients in Your Chocolate Ice Cream

Children scream for ice cream, and adults simply reach for it without sound. As a child I loved ice cream, until I realized what I was being fed. Turning over the container merely scares me, especially with the paragraph comprised of ingredients I can’t pronounce. So what’s in ice cream that’s a hazard to our health? Simply, too many things for me to cover, but I’ll give you a taste of it.

Carrageenan is found in almost every ice cream or frozen yogurt brand out there. It’s used as a thickening agent to make your treat nice and thick, but can also cause harmful effects on your body including cancer.  Is it worth it? Not when you can make an alternative, which I will share below.

Many frozen treats have coloring, including red 40, blue lake 1, yellow lake 5. As I’ve stated numerously, this sounds like I’m in an art classroom, not in the kitchen eating dessert. Food colorings are proven to be harmful by the FDA and have proven to cause ADHD in children.  According to labelwatch.com the CSPI, Center for Science in the Public Interest, recommends avoiding all artificial food coloring.

Watch out for the famous high fructose corn syrup, I don’t even want to get into this. I don’t believe that all sugar is created equally, and if you believe so, well read on. In no way, shape, or form do I consider that Organic Raw Honey or even dates can be on the same scale as high fructose corn syrup. While honey and dates are natural, and have plenty of health benefits, high fructose corn syrup comes from GMO ingredients. What’s to compare?

So as a treat I’ve transformed my regular frozen banana ice cream into “chocolate” banana ice cream using carob powder instead of cocoa powder for a few added health benefits. The texture is merely the same as the store bought chocolate ice cream, but the after-feeling is incomparable. This is dairy free, gluten free, soy free, additive free, added-sugar free, and most importantly guilt free. Oh and don’t forget, this has only 3 ingredients, while the majority of store-bought ice cream has a minimum of  15.

Top with organic berries, raw walnuts, carob chips, etc.

Top with organic berries, raw walnuts, carob chips, etc.

Ingredients:

4-5 frozen bananas peeled and pre-sliced *

½ cup milk (I used unsweetened almond milk, the fat adds to the creaminess)

1/3-1/2 cup carob powder (you can use this amazing raw cocoa powder)

Directions: (can’t get easier than this!)

STEP 1:

Place your frozen bananas, carob powder and almond milk in the food processor and pulse until creamy.

You may need to stop and scrap the sides a few times with a spatula (please, unplug the machine while doing so, you don’t want to accidently turn it on).

Unsweetened almond milk, frozen bananas, and carob powder.

Unsweetened almond milk, frozen bananas, and carob powder.

Place frozen bananas,  milk, and carob powder in food processor. 

Place frozen bananas, milk, and carob powder in food processor.

Yes, it's nice and creamy.

Yes, it’s nice and creamy.

Thick and creamy texture.

Thick and creamy texture.

STEP 2:

Serve in desired bowls. Top with fresh berries, mango, or other fruit, and if you’re a nut-a-holic like me, pile on raw walnuts, pistachios, or cashews. Toppings are unlimited, there are no rules. 😉

:) Yummy taste, and no damage to your health.

🙂 Yummy taste, and no damage to your health.

*The best way to have your frozen bananas is this: every time you have over-ripe bananas in your fruit plate peel them, slice them, and place them single layered in a tuber ware. Freeze them and whenever you’re in the mood for ice cream take them out and use them for such recipe.

Now, that’s ice cream to scream for. 😉

Noor’s Crust-less Clean Pumpkin Treat

I just love pumpkin, in everything. I make pumpkin cookies, cakes, breads, pies, and well this sort of treat that falls between a fudgy brownie and a pie, without a crust. Pumpkin is very high in Vitamin A, beta-carotene, and fiber. It’s very easy and best of all requires no flour, refined sugar, evaporated milk, or even a crust!  

Ingredients:
16 oz 100% Organic Pure Pumpkin or this Organic Pumpkin Puree I like to use too

2 Organic/pasture-raised eggs

1 medium banana

½ cup raw walnuts, ground* and some chunks

½ cup raw almonds ground or almond meal*

1 tablespoon ground organic cinnamon

1 teaspoon baking powder (I only buy aluminum free)

1 teaspoon baking soda

*Use a food processor or a small coffee grinder to grind the nuts. If you dislike the feeling of chunky walnuts in your usual brownies or desserts, grind them completely as you would with the almonds. 

Directions:

STEP 1 
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Grease a spring form or 9inch pan.Ground raw walnuts and almonds using your food processor or grinder.

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Raw walnuts and almonds

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Place in the grinder, and make almonds fine as powder. Feel free to completely grind your walnuts as well (I kept big walnut chunks for a crunch).

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Just like that…

STEP 2

Mix all the (dry) last five ingredients (ground nuts and spices) in a large mixing bowl.

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Mix ground walnuts, ground almonds, cinnamon, baking powder, and baking soda in a large bowl.

STEP 3
Stir in pumpkin and eggs.

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1 ingredient: 100% Organic Pumpkin Puree 😉

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Add pumpkin and 2 eggs.

STEP 4
Mash the banana in a separate bowl, add and mix.

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Mash the banana with a fork.

STEP 5
Place in the baking pan for 25 minutes.
Allow to cool and serve. 

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I used a spring-form pan, you can use any kind.

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Baked…

This is what I like about spring-form pans.

This is what I like about spring-form pans.

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Slice and eat.

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Enjoy with a cup of tea! 🙂

Easiest Luscious Garlic

The benefits of garlic are vast, and the more I research and learn about them, the more I eat them! I now put fresh garlic in almost every dish I make, soups, salads, dressings, and main dishes. The best way to eat garlic is fresh of course, much better than ground or granulated. So this recipe is from my mom, and we enjoy altering it every now and then. The spices you can throw on these are unlimited! You want them spicy then throw on some red pepper, and if you prefer simplicity then salt and pepper do the job. I enjoy adding cayenne pepper, Layan doesn’t eat from it anyway. 😉

*A special fresh garlic salad and dressing coming soon! 😉

Ingredients:

8-10 fresh garlic heads

Extra virgin olive oil (amount as desired, usually a teaspoon per garlic head is sufficient)

Himalayan Pink Salt/Celtic Sea Salt

Black Pepper

Rosemary ground (I grind this fresh)

Red Pepper, ground mustard seed, crushed pepper* optional

Directions:
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Cut the top of the garlic straight with a knife allowing the cloves to peek through. Top with extra virgin olive oil followed by the seasonings (Putting the spices first will cause them to not stick).

Place a wax paper on top of a piece of foil and wrap well, making sure the wax paper won’t stick out. Close it tightly at the top. Do each garlic individually wrapped using the same method. Bake for about 20-25 minutes. Enjoy!

Props to my bro again for letting me use his amazing DSLR mashaAllah :-)

Props to my bro again for letting me use his amazing DSLR mashaAllah 🙂

Examine the wax topped with foil, wrapped tightly at the top.

Examine the wax topped with foil, wrapped tightly at the top.

:)

🙂

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!

Quick & Easy Steamed Beets

I was not planning to put the beets recipe up now but since I was asked to I will. Beets are a very healthy vegetable which unfortunately many people don’t eat. You may have tried them canned or fresh, either way they are packed with over a dozen nutrients (the canning process does kill a good amount of phytonutrients though).  The red betalain pigment scares many away, but hey, that’s where all the benefit is! So this recipe is fairly easy, the hardest part is peeling the beets without looking like you just walked out of an art classroom. Other than that, it’s a quick and trouble-free method.

Ingredients:
5-6 medium fresh beets

3 fresh lemons squeezed

2 tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil

1/2 teaspoon Himalayan Pink Salt (this is real salt you should use, full of numerous nutrients!)

1 teaspoon onion powder

1 teaspoon garlic powder

Fresh mint leaves

Iceberg lettuce (for décor, and eating 😉 )

Directions:

STEP 1

Wash and peel the beets and dice them into cubes. Place them in your steamer and if you don’t have one then in a small pot filled with VERY little water (that  you shouldn’t toss out afterwards, since a good majority your vitamins will be in the water). Cover and allow steaming for about 15 minutes.

STEP 2

Mix the lemon juice, extra virgin olive oil, and seasonings together in a small mixing bowl.

STEP 3

Lay out the lettuce on the serving platter. Top with the beets, and then drizzle the dressing. Garnish with fresh lemon and mint leaves.

Awesome top view. I absolutely love fresh mint leaves.

Awesome top view. I absolutely love fresh mint leaves.

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

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

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.

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