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A note to my subscribers

June 15, 2012

Good Morning! This is the last “post” from Healthy Foods by Robinson. Although the blog still exists (in all its glory!), it is now being operated under the name: HFR Living.

To continue receiving blog posts, please check out: http://hfrliving.wordpress.com/ 
and click on the SUBSCRIBE button, as you did with Healthy Foods by Robinson. 

Please leave a comment or contact me at info@hfrliving.com if you have any questions or suggestions for posts.
Thank you for your readership!

Guest Post: Beef 101

June 12, 2012

Beef Infographic

Source: FrugalDad

Power Ball

June 5, 2012

Back in March I published a post on Chocolate-Hemp Protein bars; a recipe adapted from Green Kitchen Stories. I have played around with the recipe over the past few months, perfected it, and made it my own. In fact, everyone who has tried these suckers loves them. They are too deliciously decadent (and power packed with super food ingredients) to keep the recipe a secret. What also motivated me to share this post with you was Sarah Britton’s feature on natural sweeteners, “Sugar, We’re Through”, in this month’s issue of Bon Appétit. In it, she shares a very similar recipe for Cocoa-Date Truffles.

I love having these little truffles in the fridge. I tend to eat a couple as a snack, to hold me over until my next meal, and they also make for a lovely dessert. All you need in terms of kitchen tools are: a Cuisinart or other food processor, a large mixing bowl, a spatula and a small ice-cream scoop. Instead of making small round truffles you can also try, cramming the “dough mixture” into a miniature muffin tin. The ingredients aren’t cheap, but the end result is totally worth it (you can find many of them from Navitas Naturals). Because I love the concept of a pre-made, seed-nut-fruit snack, I decided to experiment with some new flavors, so check out the blonde cousin below too!

Hemp-Hot Chocolate Truffles

Makes 20, 1-inch round truffles

Dry Ingredients:

½ cup pumpkin seeds, toasted

1/2 cup (240 ml) shredded coconut

1/4 cup (120 ml) hemp seeds

1/4 cup (120 ml) hemp protein powder

3 tbsp. rolled oats

2 tbsp. ground chia seeds

2 tbsp. cacao nibs

1/2 tsp. cayenne

1/2 tsp. sea salt (Maldon)

Wet/ Food Processor Ingredients:

10 Medjool dates, pitted

3 tbsp. coconut oil, melted

2 tbsp. coco powder

1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

Procedure: Combine wet ingredients in a food processor until combined and resembles the consistency of Silly Putty. Add dry ingredients and pulse until just combined. Smash and mold into desired mold/ shape. Allow the truffles to “set” in the fridge for 30 minutes before eating. Stored in an airtight container in the fridge, truffles will last for a few months…but I bet they’ll be gone in a few days!

Tropical Island Truffles

Makes 20, 1-inch round truffles

Dry Ingredients:

½ cup cashews, toasted

1/2 cup (240 ml) shredded coconut

1/4 cup (120 ml) sunflower seeds

1/4 cup (120 ml) ground chia seeds

1 tbsp. golden raisins

1 tbsp. goji berries

1/2 tsp. sea salt (Maldon)

Wet/ Food Processor Ingredients:

6 Medjool dates, pitted

¼ cup dried pineapple

3 tbsp. coconut cream

2 tbsp. maca powder

1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

Procedure: Combine wet ingredients in a food processor until combined and resembles the consistency of Silly Putty. Add dry ingredients and pulse until just combined. Smash and mold into desired mold/ shape. Allow the truffles to “set” in the fridge for 30 minutes before eating. Stored in an airtight container in the fridge, truffles will last for a few months…but I bet they’ll be gone in a few days!

Springtime Favorites and Simple Snacks

June 4, 2012

Do you get into food routines where you find yourself eating the same thing for a few weeks straight? Well I do, and right now I am loving: grilled asparagus, tabbouleh and a few other (call them odd…and thank me later) combinations.

Let’s start off with tabbouleh, a simple grain salad made of bulgar wheat, tomato, parsley and mint, often including onion and garlic, seasoned with olive oil and lemon juice. For some reason I found myself making quinoa tabbouleh, but after buying bulgar wheat, there is no more reason for substitutions. Bulgur is delicious. It has a mild, nutty flavor, is low in fat and is a cinch to prepare. Bulgur is made from whole grain red wheat that has been parboiled, dried, and ground. It cooks quickly and may be used in a wide variety of dishes. In fact, all you have to do is add equal parts boiling water to the grain and let it sit, covered, for approximately 20 minutes: super easy. I like Bob’s Red Mill brand.

Tabbouleh Salad

Yields approximately 2 quarts

Ingredients:

2 cups bulgar wheat (soaked for 20 minutes to 40 minutes in hot water)

1 container cherry tomatoes, halved

½ cup (packed) parsley, chopped

½ cup (packed) mint, chopped

*At this point in the season, I like to use cherry tomatoes, because their flavor is most concentrated compared to larger varieties.

Dressing:

1/3 cup olive oil

¼ cup fresh lemon juice

1 small shallot, minced

1 tsp. Dijon mustard

Salt and pepper to taste

Procedure: In a small to medium sized saucepan, bring 2 cups water, plus a pinch of salt, to a boil. Once boiling, turn off the heat; pour in the 2 cups of bulgar and cover. Let sit for 20 to 40 minutes, until all water is absorbed.

Remove lid and fluff bulgar with a fork. Add the tomatoes, fresh herbs and dressing and toss to combine.

Tabbouleh will keep in the fridge for 3 to 5 days.

Eat over greens and top with chickpeas and crumbled feta for a vegetarian meal. Or pair with grilled vegetables and skirt steak for a perfect early summer dinner.

Next on the list is asparagus, which is in peak season right now. Don’t be fooled by the width of the stalks, whether they are teeny tiny or fat and round, they all taste great. Bend the asparagus about half to three quarters of the way down the stalk until it snaps. Discard the woody ends. I like to eat asparagus raw, blanched and shocked and sautéed, but my favorite preparation method is grilling. If you don’t have access to an outside grill, have no fear, you can achieve the same effect indoors by using a grill pan. I have one from Le Creuset.

Cooking Instructions: Toss asparagus in approximately 1 tablespoon of olive oil and a generous pinch of salt and freshly ground black pepper. Get your grill pan piping hot over high heat (no need to add fat, the oil on the asparagus will suffice). Place asparagus in the pan, perpendicular to the grill lines in one even layer. Let it cook, without touching for 2 to 3 minutes. Once grill marks are apparent, rotate and allow the fresh side to cook and char for another 2 to 3 minutes. Toss and cook for maybe another minute, and then remove from heat. Asparagus should still be brilliant green and lightly charred.

Okay now I’m going to let you in on some of my favorite food duos. Call me crazy, but theses simple, two ingredient combinations make for delicious and healthy snacks.

  • Strawberries & Tahini
  • Strawberries & Chevre
  • Chevre & Baked Sweet Potato (Once your potato is toasty and warm, slice in half and use chevré as you would sour cream. I allow the cheese to soften from the heat of the potato, then mash with a fork to combine. Delish! If you can find it, try varieties from Cypress Grove. I like this one best).

And last but not least, a combination that I crave for breakfast, as a snack and even for dessert: Peanut Butter-Banana-Maca Mash. Allow me to explain. Last summer I shared with you my secret of freezing overly ripe bananas to make ice cream. Here is yet another way to enjoy those bananas that are a bit too sweet and ripe to eat solo.

In a bowl combine 1 banana, 2 tablespoons of natural peanut butter, 2 tablespoons of ground flax seeds and 2 teaspoons of ground maca root. Mash with a fork until all ingredients are incorporated. Eat this pudding-like combo as is, right out of the bowl or spread on a sprouted/ whole-grain piece of bread or English muffin. If you don’t like the flavor of maca or the consistency of flax, leave them out. I know a few of you are thinking that I’m totally nuts, but if you like peanut butter and banana, give it a whirl.

Sriracha-Herb Egg Salad

May 25, 2012

Here we go with another one of my easy, throw it together lunches; focused on greens and eggs. Today, I made egg salad with a few different fresh herbs, Sriracha for spice, lime juice for tang and a dollop of mayo to hold it all together. For crunch, I diced up seedless cucumber, scallion and jalapeno. With a sprinkle of salt and pepper, you’ve got yourself a unique and delicious egg salad. Enjoy over greens, spread on crackers or on a piece of whole-grain toast. You can absolutely play around with herbs; I used what I had in my fridge, but a bit of cilantro would have perfected this recipe.

Sriracha-Herb Egg Salad Recipe

Serves 1 (hungry girl) to 2

Ingredients:

1 TBS mayonnaise (I like Hellmann’s best)

1 TBS Sriracha sauce

Juice of 1 lime

4 eggs, hardboiled and pealed

*If you can find pastured eggs, buy them. The yolks are bright orange, because of the high levels of Omega 3

1 TBS basil, chopped

1 TBS dill, chopped

1 TBS mint, chopped

1 jalapeno, seeded and chopped

1 small seedless cucumber, chopped

Procedure:

Add first three ingredients to a medium sized bowl and stir to combine

Add eggs and mash with a fork

Fold in herbs, jalapeno and cucumber

Spoon over greens, drizzle a bit of olive oil, more Sriracha and squeeze out whatever juice is left from the previously used lime

Extra! Extra! Read all about it!

April 25, 2012

NYPost_Dinner Is Served copy

Spring Fava Falafel

April 18, 2012

Nothing says spring like fava beans. But given the time and labor it takes to extract them from their pods and shells, thank goodness they only come once a year. If you want a weekend project and a fabulous meal to enjoy with friends, make your own fava bean falafel. For falafel, you want to use dried fava beans and soak them overnight. The only cooking they require is when you fry or bake the actual falafel balls. Although the dried variety aren’t the same spring green color as fresh ones, the parsley and cilantro add an incredible vibrancy, both in color and flavor to this recipe (adapted from Mark Bittman’s, How To Cook Everything).

A note on deep-frying: I know it sounds daunting and dangerous, but when done right, it is one of the most rewarding cooking techniques. When you pull out the browned falafel balls and let them rest for a minute on a paper towel, they are essentially dry to the touch, leaving no oily reside on your fingers. If you are going to attempt deep-frying, invite some friends over. You need at least one bottle of oil (32 ounces) to fry and I pitch the used oil when I’m through. This size bottle of safflower oil runs around $10.00, but if you make a couple dozen, it’s worth it. Above all else, the delicate texture and flavor of the inside, the crispy crunch of the shell…these babies are delicious!

Fava Falafel Recipe

Makes 8 Servings, approximately 20 balls

At least 2 hours, largely unattended

Ingredients

4 cups peeled, split fava beans (soaked, covered in water for 12 to 24 hours)

16 to 20 cloves garlic

1 medium onion, quartered

2 teaspoons coriander

2 teaspoons cumin

½ teaspoon cayenne

1 cup fresh cilantro, chopped (some stems are okay)

1 cup fresh parsley, chopped (some stems are okay)

Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Safflower oil, as needed

Procedure

In a food processor, combine the drained beans plus all other ingredients (excluding oil) and puree until quite smooth. Scrape the sides with a spatula, taste and add salt and pepper to your liking. Pulse a few more times to incorporate any additional seasoning.

Cover and let rest, refrigerated for at least 30 minutes and up to a full day. When you are ready to fry (or bake) use an ice cream scoop to shape the fava filling into uniform balls.

Pour oil in a deep saucepan or wok to the depth of at least 3” and heat over medium-high heat. When the oil reaches 350 to 365 degrees, carefully drop a few balls at a time into the oil, without overcrowding, and fry until they are quite brown. Remove from the oil and place on a plate, covered with a paper towel, to cool slightly and absorb any excess oil. Eat falafel stuffed into a whole grain pita with your favorite vegetables or on top of a salad with tahini or dressing of your choice. I ate mine with a fiercely spicy buttermilk and herb “ranch” dressing from the Sriracha Cookbook.

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