Vibrant Spinach Hummus

Noor's Vibrant Green Hummus.

Noor’s Vibrant Green Hummus.

Say that again? That’s right, spinach hummus. For those who already tried my kale hummus recipe, this is just slightly different in taste. 

In my group coaching class a few weeks ago, I made this as the food demo. Usually “green” looking food isn’t everyone-friendly, but every single client gave this recipe a thumbs up.

Since one person could not have garlic, I replaced that with raw white onions from my original recipe. The onion gives a boost of health benefits, and natural antibiotic properties.

The chickpeas, extra virgin olive oil, Himalayan Pink Salt, and spinach put together make a health boosting dip!

Ingredients:    

2 tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil

1/3 cup lemon juice (fresh squeezed is best)

1/3 cup water

1 ½ cups raw organic spinach

1-2 teaspoon Celtic Sea Salt or Himalayan Pink Salt 

½ teaspoon organic dried ground rosemary

½ teaspoon organic dried ground cumin

 1 teaspoon dried dill

1 medium onion (or 2-3 garlic cloves)

2 cans chickpeas (rinse, soak overnight, and wash again)

1/3 cup tahini paste (ground sesame paste)

          Extra Virgin Olive Oil & fresh chopped parsley (for garnish)

 

Directions:

  1. Wash and soak the chickpeas over night. Rinse again.
  2. Place onion, oil, lemon, spices, spinach, and water in the food processor. Pulse until liquefied.
  3. Add chickpeas and tahini sauce. Blend until very smooth.
  4. Place in a serving dish. Drizzle with Extra Virgin Olive Oil and freshly chopped cilantro.
Tri-Hummus Brunch. This is the version with garlic, not onions. Same great taste, same great benefit. :)

Made a tri-hummus brunch. This is my old version with garlic, not onions. Same great taste, same great benefit. 🙂

My version with spinach and kale mixed.

My version with spinach, mint leaves, and kale mixed.

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Noor’s Hide-Your-Greens Pain Relief Smoothie

Noor’s Hide Your Greens Pain Relief Smoothie

(Thick enough to call Ice Cream)

 

Topped w/ raw walnuts.

Topped w/ raw walnuts.

Move over Tylenol, here comes Holistic Noor and her smoothie.

This smoothie contains pain relief benefits, without the negative side-effects.

Did you ever imagine kale or spinach in your dessert? Well, I’m here to make it happen without making you plug your nose drinking it.

When you’re craving that sweet treat or need some energy early in the morning, this recipe is the perfect drink.

You can put less liquid and call it ice cream, or you can add a bit of liquid to make it a drinkable smoothie. That’s up to you my friend.

Now, let’s get to it.

I developed this new habit of becoming extremely sneaky with greens, pumpkin, sweet potatoes, and other health foods. I throw them in drinks, desserts, and dinner entrees without others knowing. 😛

As for this smoothie, it’s full of super-foods, and therefore is high in Vitamin K, Vitamin C, potassium, dietary fiber, antioxidants, omega-3 fatty acids, anti-inflammatory benefits, flavonoids, muscle recovering anthocyanins, and more.

What am I talking about? Well, one of the secrets here is the Organic Tart Cherry Concentrate, considered a super-food. It’s full anti-cancer mechanisms, has anti-inflammatory benefits, cardiovascular benefits, joint pain relief, and the potent flavonoid, anthocyanins, which are known to not only reduce stress and inflammation, but also do a lot with aiding your muscles in repairing. So this smoothie/treat would be perfect after a workout. Get on it.

The banana is not only there to cover up the vegetables, it also aids in muscle recovery, aids in constipation, lightens your mood, and actually stimulates growth of bacteria (the good kind!) in your gut.

The flaxseed? Where do I begin? If I were to recommend one new habit everyday it would be to add flaxseed to your routine. 1-2 tablespoons a day is great. They are high in insoluble and soluble fiber, omega-3 fatty acids, and have anti-inflammatory benefits. Make sure to buy whole flaxseeds (unless your pre-ground is cold-milled) so you don’t eat them without the benefits. Grind them in a spice grinder and top them on your smoothies, avocadoes, soups, or salads.

 

At this point you’re convinced enough, that you’re reading this while blending up this recipe. 😛

Enjoy every sip!

 

Hey, where'd my greens go?

Hey, where’d my greens go?

 

 

Ingredients:
½ cup liquid (water, fresh squeezed OJ, or milk of your desire) Add more or less depending on desired consistency

1 cup organic greens (spinach, kale, swiss chard, collard, etc of your choice)

1 tablespoon Organic Tart Cherry Concentrate

1 small banana, ripen

½ cup organic frozen mixed berries

1 tablespoon freshly ground flaxseed

Optional: top with chopped raw walnuts

 

Directions:

  1. In your single serve blender, blend the liquid, organic tart cherry concentrate, and the organic fresh greens until it becomes a pure green liquid.
  2. Add the banana, berries, and flaxseed. Blend will.
  3. Top with the walnuts if desired. Drink or spoon up immediately!

 

Feel the energy? I’m sure you do.

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 ;))

To Drink or Not to Drink?

I was driving home from my personal training session (gaining weight :)) at the gym after realizing I forgot my protein shake at home and was heading to University afterwards. I recalled a friend mentioning drinking a protein smoothie at Starbucks, and kept debating in my head whether to grab one or not. I passed by Starbucks and decided I’d give it a shot. They had two flavors, strawberry and orange mango. I’m a fan of anything that has to do with mango, and decided I’d give it a shot. I grabbed my usual dry roasted almonds for an extra protein punch. She handed over my drink as she finished writing my name on it. “What’s inside the cup is not so personalized“, I thought.

I took a sip of the drink and found it to be very, very sweet. Is this really a protein drink? Yikes. I knew they didn’t stick in real fresh mangoes, except the half banana she peeled and tossed in at the end. It tasted like sugary melted ice cream to me. I ended up sticking with the almonds and thought I’ll rather lack my protein shake than drink this stuff.

Starbucks "protein" smoothie

Starbucks “protein” smoothie

I was very thankful later that day after doing research and learning that this protein smoothie was nothing but a chemical based powder they use, with milk, half a banana and deception.

So I usually have regular protein powder with organic grass-fed milk or unsweetened almond milk. At times I spice things up and make a specialty.

Here I had organic frozen raspberries, RAW protein powder, a dash of chia seeds, flax seeds, and yes, raw walnuts for omega-3 , fiber, and protein boost. Of course, I had to add frozen organic mango chunks. I love mangoes!

Mangos <3

Mangos ❤

Here I had frozen organic berries, flaxseeds, and milk along with the RAW protein powder.

Organic frozen berries & RAW protein

Organic frozen berries & RAW protein

What’s up with my RAW Meal protein powder you may ask? Well, let’s begin with saying not everyone will like the taste. One friend told me it smells like cattle food grass and wouldn’t bother tasting it. More for me. Well, check out the label and you’ll see exactly why.

=) My friend calls this "cattle food" because of it's grassy color, smell, etc. Yeah, it's organic!

=) My friend calls this “cattle food” because of it’s grassy color, smell, etc. Yeah, it’s organic!

Now you know why she calls it cattle food? RAW sprouts...

Now you know why she calls it cattle food? RAW sprouts…

My Specialty Protein Drinks 

3/4-1 cup Organic/grass-fed milk or unsweetened almond milk (or coconut)*

1 cup frozen organic berries

1/4 cup frozen organic mango chunks

2 scoops RAW MEAL (Or any protein powder if you can’t handle RAW)

1 tablespoon freshly ground organic whole flaxseeds

1 teaspoon raw chia seeds

1 teaspooon organic hemp seeds

Optional: top with chunks of raw walnuts/seeds/ or chunks of fruit (organic mango, organic raspberries, etc)

Place all your ingredients in the hand blender cup (or a blender if you don’t have a hand blender and cup) and blend until smooth and well mixed. Enjoy! I like mine thick and try putting less milk* so it’s not too watery. It tastes better than ice cream!!

Raw meal w/ organic berries blend and raw walnuts...My specialty.

Raw meal w/ organic berries blend, mango chunks, and raw walnuts…My specialty.

Yeah I was using super mass :)

Yeah I was using super mass to gain weight. I bought the RAW as an alternative though.

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.

Removing the Bad Rep of a Cookie

Almost everyone loves cookies, and I was one of those people, until I’ve learned what’s put in those things. While pre-packaged cookies are full of multi-syllabic ingredients I can’t pronounce, and have an ingredient list bigger than the actual cookies, homemade cookies can be bad too. Eating a cookie others make means most likely bleached flour, nasty oils, and a ton of refined sugar. These are reasons why cookies have a bad reputation. 

Well for someone who once loved cookies, and still does (only when I make them, and see what goes in them), I came up with what I call not so bad rep cookie bars. Since I was careful about buying gluten free oats, my entire recipe is gluten free. Oats are usually gluten free but contaminated in factories, so watch your labels if you are tolerant. 

 These are high in protein (thanks to the Quinoa), very low natural sugar (raisins), and taste great! The coconut oil is a “good for you oil”, so you could enjoy your cookie and not have to worry about what you just put in your body.  

Ingredients:
2  Organic/pasture-raised eggs

½ cup Organic Virgin Coconut Oil

¾ cup Organic coconut palm sugar or organic raw honey

1 ½ cups Organic Quinoa flour (grind whole raw quinoa  like I did, or buy it ready)

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 cup un-sulphured raisins (or dried blueberries/cranberries)

1 cup raw walnuts (or any nut, chopped or whole)

¾ cup old fashion oats, gluten-free if necessary

Directions:

STEP 1

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Beat the eggs and melted coconut oil. Mix well with the palm sugar/honey. Add the dry ingredients and mix with a spatula.

Image

Add dry ingredients.

STEP 2

 Fold in the raisins, walnuts, and oats if you like. Use a spatula or your palms to fold the dough. The dough will be nice and thick.

Image

Add walnuts and raisins (you can alternate)

                                                                   

                                       

STEP 3

Place in a baking dish and bake for about 35-40 minutes or until browned on the edges.

Image

Bake 35-40 mins.

STEP 4

Cut and serve as desired.

Clean and delicious.

Clean and delicious. Serve on a platter.

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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