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.

 

 

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 ;))

Learning to Improvise, When Green Vegetables Saved My Day

I woke up yesterday intending to make chick pea vegetable patties and grill them up in coconut oil with a side of hummus (chick pea, tahini and lemon juice dip). Things didn’t go as planned.

I planned to begin with the hummus dip (since the patties consist of hummus I won’t have to wash the food processor: D) so I dumped all the ingredients and, BAM, it doesn’t work! I tried to make sure it wasn’t the interlock safety mode but it wasn’t so…

I took out the blender. I made the hummus dip as usual and scooped it into the serving platter. I started at an extra cup and a half of chick peas and green vegetables and then, a light bulb lit. I tossed in the chick peas, greens, some spices, a drop of tahini to thicken it, and pulsed away! The results: amazing!

So I present  what I’d like to call “Green Hummus to the Max” since the maximum amount of  Vitamin K, Vitamin A, and a bunch of other nutrients are sky rocketing high (thanks to the kale and mustard greens) and no one can tell.

*Props to my brother for the awesome photography skills using his DSLR camera, thanks Sully! 😉

For the regular Old-School Hummus:

Ingredients:

1 can chick peas washed real well and drained (or pre-soaked dried chick peas)

About 1/3 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice

¼ cup organic tahini paste (ground sesame seed paste)

Pinch of Himalayan Pink Salt (Layan likes this salt b/c her name happens to be in it :P)

Pinch of ground cumin

½ teaspoon granulated garlic powder (if using my food processor I use fresh cloves)

*cold water if it’s too thick

*Cold-Pressed Extra virgin olive oil for garnish, fresh mint or spring mix veggies

Directions:

Toss all ingredients in the blender (use a food processor if you have one!) and pulse until smooth to the desired thickness you prefer. Place on serving platter and drizzle with extra virgin olive oil and garnish with fresh mint or spring mix leaves. Serve with pita bread or vegetables as a dip.

 

Hummus

Hummus

Now for the star of the show, the Green Hummus to the Max recipe:

Ingredients:

1 can chick peas washed real well and drained (or pre-soaked dried chick peas)

2 cups organic kale, mustard greens, or even spinach!

About 1/3 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice

1-2 tablespoons organic tahini paste (ground sesame seed paste)

Pinch of Himalayan Pink salt

Pinch of ground organic cumin

½ teaspoon granulated garlic powder (if using my food processor I use fresh cloves)

*cold water if it’s too thick

*Cold-Pressed Extra Virgin Olive Oil for garnish, fresh mint or spring mix veggies

 

Directions:

Toss all ingredients in the blender (use a food processor if you have one!) and pulse until smooth to the desired thickness you prefer. Place on serving platter and drizzle with extra virgin olive oil and garnish with fresh mint or spring mix leaves. Serve with pita bread or vegetables as a dip.

The Green stuff...the taste was family approved!

The Green stuff…the taste was family approved!

Tri-Hummus Brunch.

Tri-Hummus Brunch.

Brunch.

Brunch.

***I served fresh vegetables as well as these oregano baked breads as dippers:

Dippp Away

Dippp Away

Oregano, EVOO, and Organic Cheese

Oregano, EVOO, and Organic Cheese

Round  whole wheat buns, oregano and extra virgin olive oil as well.

Round whole wheat buns, oregano and extra virgin olive oil as well.

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Disclaimer

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