Supercharge your Morning with Deliciousness!

Here is a fabulously healthy way to start the day when you really need some nourishment! This recipe is from my first book, Radiant Health, Inner Wealth. It's flat-out perfect for supercharging your day, and will also make your kitchen smell divine!

(photo by Michelle McCluggage)

Indian Spiced Supergrain Cereal

¼ cup each: dry amaranth and dry quinoa, washed well and drained
1 cup water
5 whole cardamom pods (preferably green)
⅛ teaspoon ground ginger
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
¼ cup nondairy milk
1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
Optional: 2 tablespoons raisins (or pitted, chopped dried dates)

1. In a small pan, bring the amaranth, quinoa, water, cardamom, ginger, cinnamon, and vanilla to a boil over high heat, stirring well.
2. Reduce heat to low and simmer for about 10 minutes, or until the grains are tender and the liquid is absorbed.
3. Remove the cardamom pods and add the remaining ingredients. Stir well and serve. Feel the power. Be it. Love it.

Serves 1-2; 30 minutes or under! GF/SF/Green (according to the nutritional guidelines in my books)

I Need a Drink

Hey friends! How's autumn treating you? Fantabulous is my hope.

Today, I'd like to talk a bit about my newfound love for fun, healthy drinks. For the longest time, all I drank was water and hot herbal tea. As someone who used to be obese, I am well aware that I cannot "drink my calories" too often without consequences. But, hello! Have you checked out all the smashtastic new and healthy drinks out there lately? Tis very exciting. Plus, with the discovery of stevia's awesomeness, I can also make my own.

So, here are a few of my favorite drinks, as well as a quick n easy recipe for stevia limeade....

Beverages I adore these days:

* Steaz blueberry-pomegranate spritzer (it even has a green tea base and is stevia sweetened...hence no calories or guilt. Just pure, delicious yumminess. I hide these from my daughter. Don't judge me.)

* Olade stevia-sweetened electrolyte drinks have a few calories, but not many. They are the opposite of cruddy gatorade's artificial bizness but with all the benefits. I like to take one of these to the gym each time I go. It just makes me happy.

* Zevia natural sodas (sweetened with, yes, stevia...again) are great for those (like me) who spent their early years as diet cokeheads. I like the root beer, cherry, and cola flavors. And no offense, but I could pretty much leave the rest.

* Kombucha can be made at home or purchased (fingers crossed that Synergy will return soon!). For tips on how to make your own, visit this part of my blog. If you dare.

* I'm way into Stevia Limeade. I just bought like a motherload of limes yesterday, so now the pressure's on. To make this easy, delightful concocotion, simply do this:

Add the juice of one whole, fresh lime to 1 & 1/4 cups of pure water (or sparkling water!). Stir in about 10 drops of liquid stevia (available in health food stores in what appears to be tincture form). Drink and enjoy the guiltless pleasure.

And of course, I do like me a good smoothie or power shake. Those kinds of calories are fine to drink since they pack in so much fiber and nutrition. But in general, I do avoid even the natural sodas that contain high levels of calories and little else. I like to save my splurges for, oh, things like chocolate.

And please do share, friends. What's YOUR favorite healthy beverage these days?

Perfect Dolmadas

Photo by Janet Malowany

Here is a little goody from my first book that is much easier to make than you might think. Unfortunately, these are often served dripping with oil in many restaurants, which I find to be rather unnecessary. Alternatively, this version is flavorful, light, and nutritious. This makes quite a few dolmadas, but they are so easy to nibble on as leftovers that you may end up wishing you had made more!

Perfect Dolmadas (from Radiant Health, Inner Wealth)

  • 1 cup dry long grain brown rice
  • 2 cups water
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • ½ cup cooked chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 2 tablespoons (packed) minced parsley
  • 2 roma tomatoes, finely chopped
  • ¼ cup each: fresh lemon juice and finely minced onion
  • 2 teaspoons dried dill
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt (or to taste)*
  • 56 grape leaves (these can be found preserved in a jar in most supermarkets)
  • Place the rice and water in a covered pot. Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to low and simmer until the rice is tender and all of the water is absorbed. Don’t lift the lid or stir the rice while it is cooking. When the rice is done, set it aside and allow it to cool slightly.
  • Add the oil, chickpeas, parsley, tomatoes, lemon juice, onion, and dill to the rice and stir until well combined. Add the sea salt and mix well. *Since the salt content in grape leaves will vary, it is best to make the rice mixture less salty than you’d normally prefer. The grape leaves will add a fair bit of salty flavor to the dolmadas, so it is crucial not to over-salt the rice. At this point, you can proceed to step 3, or allow the rice mixture to marinate for up to 6 hours.
  • Place a vegetable steamer insert into a large pot that has a tight fitting lid. Add a little water to the pot, being careful not to bring the water level above the bottom of the insert. Set aside.
  • Gently remove a cluster of leaves from the jar. Don’t be intimidated, you can do this!
  • Place one grape leaf on the counter, smoothest side down, with the stem base closest to you. Place one tablespoon of the filling in the center of the leaf. Fold the bottom of the grape leaf up and over the filling. Next, fold the sides in. Finally, roll up from the bottom to form a nice little package. Place your cigar-shaped dolmada inside the vegetable steamer.
  • Do this 55 more times.
  • Cover the pan with the lid and allow your dolmadas to steam over medium heat for about 20 minutes, or until the grape leaves become tender. You may want to check midway through to make sure you still have enough steaming water—it’s crucial your pan doesn’t become dry.
  • Congratulations! Enjoy your little newborn creations.
  • Makes 56 Dolmadas (serves about 10-15 people as a starter)
  • GF/SF/Green (according to the recipe guidelines in my books)