Kale and Bean NOURISH Soup

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Our Green Mama nourishes and takes care of you just like a good mama should. During these cold months, it’s still important to get your daily intake of raw fruits and veggies, but sometimes your body just craves something hot and comforting. Well give your body what it needs. Take some of the nutritious, healing and delicious ingredients that go into the Green Mama and create a soup that will nourish and warm your body and soul.

Kale and Bean NOURISH Soup


1 cup cannellini beans
1 ½ cup diced onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbsp minced parsley
1 quart vegetable stock
1 tsp Himalayan sea salt
1 cups celery, diced
4 cups chopped kale
3 cups chopped swiss chard


Mix all the ingredients together and let it cook on high heat for 15-20 minutes.

Roasted Beet (aka FUCHSIA) Hummus

 

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Don’t buy hummus. There’s no point. You can make your own in just a few minutes. It’s cheaper, healthier, and much more rewarding than buying the packaged stuff at the grocery store. Hummus is a great source of plant protein and fiber. It’s the ultimate snack. I always make my own and I like experimenting with different flavors. The most beautiful of them all is the roasted beet. The beets turn the typically beige dip to this gorgeous fuchsia color. It’s the perfect little dish to bring to a party. Here’s what you need to make it:
 
2 small beets
2 15 oz cans of cooked organic garbanzo beans
1/4 cup olive oil
2 lemons
sea salt and black pepper to taste
 
Slice and roast your beets at 350 degrees until soft. combine all the ingredients in a blender or food processor until smooth. Chill in the fridge for like 30 minutes. That’s it. You’re welcome.
 
(Feel free to add more or less of everything depending on your own personal palate. I like things super bright tasting so you may wanna add a bit less lemon or oil. I also don’t include tahini in this recipe although traditional hummus does call for it. Feel free to use it if you want to, but it’s not a necessity.)
 
Lee Kalpakis is a New York City based lifestyle blogger. Born and raised in the lush farmland of the Hudson Valley, she learned the basics of growing and preparing the food that came from the earth beneath her. It was then that her love affair with whole foods began. As a self taught cook, Lee specializes in recipes that follow a plant based diet. With a passion for raw and vegan cuisine and family roots deep in traditional Greek and Polish comfort cooking, she works to marry the best ideas of new and old world meals with upstate and urban New York style. When she isn’t playing a show with her band or petting dogs, she’s daydreaming about fruits and vegetables and isn’t afraid to admit it.

Staying Seasonal: Roasted Fennel with Heirloom Tomatoes

I have two rules about grocery shopping:
 

1) Don’t go when you’re hungry and
 

2) always make a list.
 

Going to the grocery store or market for me is like going to a carnival for a kid. It’s a real rush of excitement. But that excitement 100% of the time leads to over spending, and since I’m a kid on a budget I try to avoid that by staying as organized as possible.  I make sure I’m not hungry when I go so I don’t end up with stacks of frozen pizzas (just because the picture on the box looks good) and I make a list so I know I’m leaving with everything I need. But when it comes to produce, I play a wild card game every once in a while. I love going to the farmer’s market without any reconceived notion of what I’m going to make for dinner and I base my purchases solely on what’s gorgeously in season.

 

 

It’s late July, so when it comes to seasonal eating we’re really in the thick of something lovely. I went to my farmers’ market today to play the game.  I came home with fennel and some cute little heirloom tomatoes. It made for a really incredible roast.

 

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One fennel bulb sliced
One cup cherry tomatoes
4 cloves garlic
Drizzle of olive oil
Sprinkle of sea salt

 

That’s it. Broil for about 30 minutes in the oven. Eat as is, on a bed of greens with lemon juice, or on Ezekiel bread or pita with a bit of pesto or mustard. It’s so good. But you can choose anything.  It’s always a surprise and it works for every season.  Yes, I have my staple groceries that are always in my pantry, but sticking with seasonal produce always makes for the most beautiful meal.  Enjoy bending the rules.  

You deserve it.

 

 

Lee Kalpakis is a New York City based lifestyle blogger. Born and raised in the lush farmland of the Hudson Valley, she learned the basics of growing and preparing the food that came from the earth beneath her. It was then that her love affair with whole foods began. As a self taught cook, Lee specializes in recipes that follow a plant based diet. With a passion for raw and vegan cuisine and family roots deep in traditional Greek and Polish comfort cooking, she works to marry the best ideas of new and old world meals with upstate and urban New York style. When she isn’t playing a show with her band or petting dogs, she’s daydreaming about fruits and vegetables and isn’t afraid to admit it.

Beach Break

At MJF we don’t have work breaks, we have beach breaks- and we aren’t just referring to our delicious and refreshing watermelon, mint, and hibiscus juice (although that is a fan favorite). When we need some time to unwind, we take to the beach. Not only is a walk along the beach awesome for clearing the mind and relaxing but it also has added health benefits!

 

Walking in the sand requires about 2.5 times more energy than walking on hard surfaces. This causes you to burn 20- 50% more calories, without being too hard on your joints and feet due to the natural cushion the sand provides for you.

 

Not only does the sand feel amazing as it massages your soles but it also activates venous and lymphatic circulation. Sand also serves as mother nature’s exfoliant, peeling away dead skin cells, leaving your skin smoother and rejuvenated.

 

If you let the waves come up and splash your legs while you’re strolling along the coast, you will be getting the added benefit of soaking up all the minerals that are in salt water that cleanse and  heal the skin.

 

Walking barefoot is thought to ground us and reconnect us with nature, allowing us to de-stress and fill us with good vibes.

 

By Colleen Kelly

 

 

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 Photo Cred: @laurenrmarks

 

 

 

 

Sleepyhead Breakfast

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Sleepyhead Breakfast

 

Breakfast is good. It’s 90% of the reason I get out of bed in the morning. Don’t get me wrong, my daily grind rules, I just like sleep more than most living things probably should and the promise of putting something in my belly that makes me feel awesome and is totally delicious is what stops me from hitting the snooze button that 18th time. While breakfast should be delicious, I believe it should also be easy. It’s the first meal of the day… we’re too groggy to show off any serious culinary skills. Family’s in town and coming over for an AM gathering at your place?  Someone spent the night whom you want to impress with your domestic side?  Fine, but in my book that’s brunch. Brunch is special and is done after a weekend’s night sleep which is significantly longer than a weekday one. When I have to wake up early with a full day ahead of me I need something nourishing and satisfying and I need it on the go. But just because it happens quickly doesn’t mean it can’t be fantastic. Here are a couple of my favorites:

 

Vanilla Spice Chia Pudding

 

Oh man.  This one’s serious. Honestly, it’s like Cinnamon Toast Crunch.. without the crunch.  Great for breakfast.  Also great for dessert.

In a blender combine
one cup coconut milk
half a vanilla bean*
a few dashes of pumpkin pie or apple pie spice blend
(which is mostly made up of cinnamon and nutmeg)
a pinch of sea salt
1/4 cup maple syrup

blend for a few seconds and pour the mixture into a bowl with 1/4 cup chia seeds.  mix, cover, and refrigerate overnight.  It will be perfect and ready for consumption by morning.

*I know real vanilla bean is expensive but it’s really worth it. You can use extract if you’re on a seriously tight budget… but slicing that bean open and scraping out the good stuff… oh man, there’s nothing quite like it.

 

Savory Oatmeal

 

Yeah I said it.  Everyone loves oatmeal.  It’s good for you and it fills you up real fast. perfect breakfast food.  Cool.  But I’ve always preferred savory over sweet, so here’s my alternative to the traditional oatmeal bowl.
After you’ve made your oats (stove top, slow cooker, instant, overnight, whatever) mix in some nutritional yeast, put it in a bowl, and make a little nest out of it.  Then, fill that nest with whatever your crazy little heart desires.  Think omelete ingredients:  peppers, onions, tomatoes, squash, broccoli, spinach, garlic, tofu.  Here’s a good one to start out with:

 

1 cup of:
Shiitake mushrooms, baby portabello mushrooms, crimini mushrooms
2 sprigs of thyme
2 chopped shallots
olive oil
sea salt and pepper to taste

 

Sautee and serve inside adorable little oatmeal nest.

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Another thought: I think juice is vital for the morning.  Especially a green one.  It’s not that I never drink coffee… It’s just that, I don’t know… maybe I’m a wuss, but a caffeine buzz sometimes gets me too anxious for my liking.  Juice on the other hand gives you a real energy burst instead of an artificial one, and it fills you with the essentials you need to wake up and stay focused.  I recommend experimenting with kale, bok choy, spinach, apple, pear, ginger, and absolutely any citrus fruit for a perfect morning juice.  I also recommend making it the night before so it’s ready to go when you wake up.  And first and foremost, before you ingest anything in the morning, start with a giant glass of water.  I’ve found that hydration wakes me up more than anything.  I hope these ideas help to better your morning ritual.

 

Sincerely,

 

The girl who would prefer to stay in bed till noon

 

 

Lee Kalpakis is a New York City based lifestyle blogger. Born and raised in the lush farmland of the Hudson Valley, she learned the basics of growing and preparing the food that came from the earth beneath her. It was then that her love affair with whole foods began. As a self taught cook, Lee specializes in recipes that follow a plant based diet. With a passion for raw and vegan cuisine and family roots deep in traditional Greek and Polish comfort cooking, she works to marry the best ideas of new and old world meals with upstate and urban New York style. When she isn’t playing a show with her band or petting dogs, she’s daydreaming about fruits and vegetables and isn’t afraid to admit it.

Delicious Raw Zucchini Noodles

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Raw Noodles

I just bought a spiralizer and holy hell is it awesome.  It’s so fun to use that all I want to do lately is crank out veggie noodles all day every day.  I think it may be turning into an issue.  I just keep making noodles out of zucchini and carrots and cucumber instead of doing important things like calling my mom and socializing and paying my bills. But I mean, c’mon… raw pasta is a really cool way to switch up how you consume your vegetables.  Like Homer Simpson said, “you don’t win friends with salad,” and let me tell you, all my friends who have tried these raw noodles think they’re way cool and super delicious.  So if you wanna eat well and you want all your friends to think you’re totally hip you gotta make these.  And you know what?  If you don’t want to dish out the $25-$45 on a spiralizer that’s okay!  You can always slice your vegetables with a very sharp knife or peeler instead.  I’ve been playing around with zucchini noodles in particular this week so here are two stellar recipes you should try out.

 

Zucchini Puttanesca

For those of you who don’t know, “spaghetti alla puttanesca” actually means, “spaghetti a la whore”… so there’s that… Basically it’s a traditional Italian pasta dish that’s pretty salty and bold and I’m totally in love with it, so here’s my raw spin on it:
 

One large zucchini
Two medium sized tomatoes
A handful of basil
1/4 cup of olive oil
one clove of garlic
1/2 cup yellow cherry tomatoes
A handful of kalamata olives
1/2 a handful capers
Black pepper to taste
 

Send your zucchini through the spiralizer or carefully cut it into thin strips and set aside in a large bowl.  Combine medium tomatoes, basil, olive oil, garlic and pepper in the food processor and pulse until it’s at marinara sauce consistency.  Pour into a mixing bowl and stir in olives and capers.
 

Assembly
I know my measurements are far from exact but this recipe makes enough Puttanesca for about two (whoa super romantic!) so divide noodles into two portions and pour sauce onto both.  slice cherry tomatoes and throw them on top for garnish. That’s it.
 

Creamy Artichoke Walnut Noodles

Calm down, there’s no dairy.  But the walnuts in this one make it lovely and rich like a cream sauce.
You’ll need:
 

One large zucchini
A half cup artichoke hearts in oil
A half cup walnuts
The juice of one lemon
Sea salt and black pepper to taste
 

Make your zucchini noodles and set them aside.
 

Throw the rest of the ingredients in your food processor or blender until smooth.  Pour onto and mix with noodles until they are coated, plate, and serve.
 

Zucchini is a great vegetable to use for raw noodles because it easily absorbed whatever you dress it in, but I’ve been toying around with some others and I’m really excited to share more of my raw noodle experiment.  I’ll keep you all posted for sure.
 

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Lee Kalpakis is a New York City based lifestyle blogger. Born and raised in the lush farmland of the Hudson Valley, she learned the basics of growing and preparing the food that came from the earth beneath her. It was then that her love affair with whole foods began. As a self taught cook, Lee specializes in recipes that follow a plant based diet. With a passion for raw and vegan cuisine and family roots deep in traditional Greek and Polish comfort cooking, she works to marry the best ideas of new and old world meals with upstate and urban New York style. When she isn’t playing a show with her band or petting dogs, she’s daydreaming about fruits and vegetables and isn’t afraid to admit it.

3 Ingredient Easy Peasy Vegan Fudge Pop

 

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It’s rare you meet a person who isn’t a fan of the Fudgsicle – especially during the summertime. Hopefully you’re part of the majority… because these vegan fudge pops taste just like the real deal. No joke. And they’re good for you.

 

imageVegan poppps

 

Ingredients:

5 bananas

1 cup raw cacao powder

2 cups unsweetened almond milk or coconut milk

Coconut flakes (optional)

Almond slivers (optional)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Directions:

Combine your bananas, cacao powder, and almond or coconut milk in a blender and mix until smooth. If you want to add in coconut flakes, almond slivers, or any other extras, do so after blending, then mix with a spoon. You can also sprinkle some of these into your empty ice pop mold – when the pops are done, the add-ons will show up right on top! Pour your mixture into ice pop molds and freeze a few hours or overnight. This will make about 10-15 pops, depending on the size of your mold.

Enjoy!

 

 

Follow Brigitte Muller on @hummusbirrrrrrd to follow more of her amazing adventures. She’s a thrifter, decorater, photo-taker, food eater, nature lover, hysterical laugher. just trying to find dat beauty wherever she goes.

http://hummusbird.blogspot.com/

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Superfood Supastars: Algae Whiz

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My mom has this story she tells about my grandfather working as a boy on his family’s farm in the old country.  One day he had to carry a big bucket of hot oil across a field to a neighboring barn (no, I don’t know what for but just go with it).  He spilled it on his shoulder and all over his entire arm.  When he was carried into the house and my great grandmother saw how serious the burns were she ran to the pond on their property.  She waded into the water and collected the algae the frogs and snakes were living in.  When she returned to the house she spread the substance all over my grandfather’s burns.  Immediately it cooled and soothed the sting.  She continued to treat the burns with the algae for about a week after the incident.  The burns healed in rapid time and left absolutely no scars.

 

This story used to really gross me out.  Actually, it’s still pretty gross to me.  But as I grew up and grew more fascinated by disease prevention and homeopathic remedy I realized that what that algae was doing was working as an anti-inflammatory, and if it can work like that on an external wound, imagine what it’s doing for our bodies when we ingest it.  So I started to explore different ways to get that good green stuff into my system and I found that Spirulina is my prefered method.  It’s a funky powder you can find at any hippy dippy health food store near you.  And I mean, yeah, it smells weird when you open the container and take a whiff but it boosts your energy level, your immune system, and it’s packed with amino acids.  So here are some pretty incredible ways to consume it and fall in love with it:

 

 

 

Green Breakfast Smoothie

 

in a blender combine:

one large scoop of Spirulina

a handful of spinach

one frozen banana

a splash of coconut water

one teaspoon coconut oil

a sprinkle of flax seed

a half a cup frozen mixed berries

a splash of freshly squeezed orange juice

one date

 

This makes a rough 16 ounces of smoothie.  It’s really great for the morning because it’s filling.  Also the flavor has some serious depth to it.  When it comes to using fresh juice (in this case orange) in a smoothie, it can be a hassle to juice just one or two pieces of fruit for a single beverage.  So if you make smoothies often but don’t feel like getting your juicer involved every time, make a large batch of the juice at the beginning of the week.  I make this particular smoothie a lot so I always keep a large container of freshly squeezed orange juice in my fridge for whenever I need a splash here or there.  Also, If you’re tempted to take the easy route and use regular pasteurized orange juice I strongly advise against it.  That stuff’s alright but the fresh squeezed is a totally different animal and you know it.

 

Leanne- Spirulina

 

Creamy Avocado Dressing

 

This stuff is wild.  Dip raw vegetables in it, toss mixed greens with it, spread it on your sandwich or eat it with a spoon even, I don’t care.  Just eat it.  It’s rich and creamy and tastes like spring time.

 

one scoop of Spirulina

One avocado

half a zucchini (chopped)

a drizzle of olive oil

a drizzle of coconut oil

one large handful of fresh dill (you can use dried if that’s all you’ve got)

the juice of one large lemon

a pinch of sea salt

a splash of pickle juice (sour or dill… or whatever’s sitting in your fridge)

one small clove of garlic

 

Put it in the blender on high until it’s fluffy and you’re done.

 

Algae Pesto

 

I should come up with a better name for this one because again, I know the whole algae thing can be a turn off… but whatever, this recipe is absolutely amazing and really versatile.  You can put it on anything.  It’s great with roasted vegetables, pizza, or in pasta dishes.  It works really well with anything involving tomatoes.  I’m currently eating it drizzled over a salad of arugula, chopped almonds, and balsamic vinaigarette and it rules.  It’s pesto, you’ll figure it out.

 

In a blender combine:

 

A large bunch of fresh basil leaves (no stems!)

a handful of spinach

a half cup of olive oil

1/4 cup pine nuts (or cashews if you’re too broke for pine nuts)

the juice of one large lemon

2 large garlic cloves

sea salt and black pepper to taste

one scoop of Spirulina

 

All of these recipes are flavorful, raw, and extremely beneficial to your health.  Also they’re ridiculously easy.  Did you notice that all three pretty much just involve the act of throwing stuff into a blender?  You totally got this.  So go ahead and enjoy incorporating algae into your everyday cooking, because now you know how to… you hippy.

 

Written by the awesome Leanne Kalpakis, a member of the MJF family and a bonafide mermaid rock star. Continue to check back to MJF Life for more awesomeness from her.

 

Lee Kalpakis is a New York City based lifestyle blogger.  Born and raised in the lush farmland of the Hudson Valley, she learned the basics of growing and preparing the food that came from the earth beneath her.  It was then that her love affair with whole foods began.  As a self taught cook, Lee specializes in recipes that follow a plant based diet.  With a passion for raw and vegan cuisine and family roots deep in traditional Greek and Polish comfort cooking, she works to marry the best ideas of new and old world meals with upstate and urban New York style.  When she isn’t playing a show with her band or petting dogs, she’s daydreaming about fruits and vegetables and isn’t afraid to admit it.

 

For the Love of Kale

Kale.  America’s favorite superfood.  The Ryan Gosling of leafy greens.  This weird rough vegetable has reached super star status in the US in the past few years because of its glorious nutritional benefits and versatility.  But that’s old news.  We all know it’s super healthy and we should eat it all the time. But how, you ask?  Those big bushels of kale you spot at the farmers market sometimes seem more like house plants rather than ingredients.  But don’t be intimidated.  Here are three creative, easy, and delicious ways to incorporate more kale into your diet.

 

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Kale Chips

Don’t have a dehydrator? Who cares.  set your oven to 275 degrees F and remove kale stems from the leaves.  wash and dry thoroughly.  Toss the leaves in olive oil and sea salt and place them on baking sheets.  Bake for about 20 minutes, flip the leaves, and bake for another 20, or until the leaves are crispy.  Enjoy them naked or hit it with nutritional yeast to taste and you’re done.  Kale chips are usually eaten as a hand held snack but throwing them in a soup or salad is also all kinds of wonderful.

 

Kale Lemonade

Go MJF style and use kale in your cold press juice.  Because it’s packed with vitamins but doesn’t contain a ton of water, use other fruits and vegetables that do along with it such as cucumber, apples, and citrus.  This lemonade is perfect for a morning buzz.

a large handful of kale

a handful of spinach

one small cucumber

2 stalks of celery

half a lemon

one large green apple

and one small chunk of ginger

 

 

Japanese Kale Salad

Massage your kale. This is the magical secret.  This little trick will make you want to eat raw kale at every meal.  Never make a kale salad without massaging it first.  It transforms the leaves from little rough pieces of green to soft luscious receptors for whatever marinade concoction you can dream up.  I keep a large container of raw kale massaged in lemon juice, olive oil, and herbamare in my refrigerator at all times and use it as a base for any salad I want.

I swear I could write a book on kale salads alone, but here is one of my absolute favorite recipes to get you in the groove:

in a large mixing bowl with a pair of CLEAN bare hands, massage kale leaves with

 

the juice of one large lemon
a table spoon of tamari
2 table spoons of balsamic vinegar
2 cloves of garlic (minced)
a teaspoon of freshly grated ginger

Drizzle kale with sesame oil.  Add fresh scallions and shredded nori to taste.
garnish with toasted sesame or pumpkin seeds and shredded carrot.

Trust me, this will be your new favorite meal.

 

Massage me.

 

Anyone can prepare a stellar kale dish.  Start here and go wherever your little vegetable loving heart will take you.  Once you start the possibilities are endless.  I promise.

 

 

Written by the awesome Leanne Kalpakis, a member of the MJF family and a bonafide mermaid rock star. Continue to check back to MJF Life for more inspiration from her.

 

Lee Kalpakis is a New York City based lifestyle blogger.  Born and raised in the lush farmland of the Hudson Valley, she learned the basics of growing and preparing the food that came from the earth beneath her.  It was then that her love affair with whole foods began.  As a self taught cook, Lee specializes in recipes that follow a plant based diet.  With a passion for raw and vegan cuisine and family roots deep in traditional Greek and Polish comfort cooking, she works to marry the best ideas of new and old world meals with upstate and urban New York style.  When she isn’t playing a show with her band or petting dogs, she’s daydreaming about fruits and vegetables and isn’t afraid to admit it.

 

 

Superfood Supastars: AVO LOVE

avocado chopped

Avocados are also known as alligator pears. Awesome.

At MJF, avocados are an obsession. Breakfast smoothies, mid-day snacks, chopped salads, dinner sides and late night sandwiches: according to us, there is no bad time of day or wrong way to eat an avocado.

 

FUN FACTS ABOUT AVOS

Avocados are a fruit. What!

They help increase nutrient absorption.

They contain loads of Vitamin E

They are rich in Omega-3 fatty acids

The prevents growth of free radicals

They nourish your skin.

They help regulate blood sugar levels.

They are rrrrich in fiber!

They aid in cleansing the intestines.

They provides those wonderful natural fats.

They are known to have anti-aging properties.

They fight inflammation.

They are considered “nature’s butter”- use as a spread or to make anything creamier while still taking advantage of all of these health benefits.

 

HOW TO PICK OUT THE PERFECTLY RIPE AVOCADO

If it it’s as hard as a rock, it’s not ripe yet. ripe avocado stemIf the avocado is mushy, it is too ripe.

We also found another good way to tell if an avocado is ripe. Look under the stem- the color should be the same as in this picture!

 

 

Superfood Supastars: The Beauty of Coconut Oil

 

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Coconut oil is a superfood and does wonders for your health. But it is also a serious weapon in your beauty department arsenal. The list of benefits is abundant but here are the ways you can use coconut oil to stay looking GOOOOD. Naturally.

 

It increases energy and helps burn fat. The medium chain triglycerides in coconut oil have been shown to increase 24 hour energy expenditure by as much as 5%, potentially leading to significant weight loss over the long term.
Wait, not just any fat but belly fat… A study in 40 women with abdominal obesity, supplementing with 1 ounce of coconut oil per day lead to a significant reduction in both BMI and waist circumference in a period of 12 weeks. No change in diet or exercise: just adding coconut oil.
Reduce cravings. The fatty acids in coconut oil can significantly reduce appetite, which may positively affect body weight over the long term. Feel fuller, faster.
Healthy skin, hair, and pearly whites. Coconut oil can be applied topically as well, studies showing it to be effective as a skin moisturizer and protecting against hair damage. It can also be used as a mild form of sunscreen and as mouthwash.
And, last but not least, it helps reduce scars and stretch marks. The medium chain fatty acids in coconut oil act like a antioxidant- fighting free radicals and reversing damage. Free radicals attack the skin’s connective tissue and reduce their ability to regenerate. Coconut oil combats this while softening the skin.

 

Coconut also does loads more- this is just the beginning. Grab a scoop and see for yourself!