Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Vegetarian Values

Going vegetarian is not as hard as it may seem. Here are some of my FAVORITE vegetarian recipes to assist you on your journey toward a healthier lifestyle.



6 ounces of tofu (organic soft or “silken” packed in water, rinse and drain) or ¼ cup nonfat dry milk powder or whey protein powder
6 ounces organic plain low fat yogurt
1 small banana
½ cup strawberries
1 cup frozen blueberries
½ cup fruit of your choice (e.g. frozen peaches, mixed berries, or cherries)
4 cups of organic vanilla soy milk (try “Silk”)
Optional –for added fiber and omega-3 essential fatty acids, stir in a Tablespoon of ground flaxseed (try Organic Bob’s Red Mill whole ground flaxseed meal) to the cup you drink, so it doesn’t get rancid, you need to drink it right away.
Directions: In a blender, put all ingredients together. If you like a thinner shake, add water and use less milk. Put the top on the blender, chop, blend, and whip. You’re all set for an energizing breakfast or snack. Add a piece of whole wheat/grain toast or a small bowl of >5 grams dietary fiber cereal with the shake for even more sustainable energy. Make this shake the night before, keep it in the blender and store it in the refrigerator. The next morning, just press whip, and you’ve got a quick and easy “on-the-go” energizer.

Serving size: 1.5 cups
Total servings: ~4
Nutrition Analysis per serving:
239 Calories, 31 grams Carbohydrates, 16 grams Protein, 6 grams Fat


Olive oil spray
1 package of macaroni (whole wheat), cooked
2 Tablespoons “Earth Balance” margarine (no hydrogenated oils)
1 ½ Tablespoons organic all-purpose flour
2 cups plain, unsweetened soy milk or nonfat milk
Salt - pinch
Freshly ground pepper - pinch
Cayenne pepper – pinch (optional)
½ cup grated mozzarella cheese (made with part-skim milk)
½ cup grated sharp cheddar cheese (made with part-skim milk)

Directions: Preheat the oven to 375ºF. Melt the margarine in a saucepan. Stir in the flour and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until the paste cooks and bubbles a bit (it will be a medium thickness), don’t let it brown-about 2 minutes. Add the soymilk, continuing to stir as the sauce thickens. Bring to a boil. (Trick: If the sauce doesn’t thicken, then in a cup make a mixture of a ½ tablespoon of flour and 2 tablespoons of cold water that is thin liquid, no bumps, then slowly add to your sauce until the sauce is just the thickness you want). Add salt, pepper, cayenne pepper to taste, and stir in grated mozzarella cheese, lower the heat, and cook, stirring, for 2 to 3 minutes more. Remove from the heat, (To cool this sauce for later use, cover it with wax paper). Spray a 9X13 casserole dish with olive oil. Put the cooked macaroni into the casserole, pour the cheese sauce over it, and mix gently with a fork. Sprinkle the grated cheddar cheese evenly over the top and spread the crumbs over the cheese. Bake, uncovered, until the top is golden and the sauce is bubbling, about 30 minutes.
Total servings: ~4
Nutrition Analysis per serving:
231 Calories, 20 grams Carbohydrates, 15 grams Protein, 9 grams Fat



½ cup of organic black beans or pinto beans, rinsed and drained
1 ounce of shredded part-skim milk mozzarella cheese
1 whole-wheat or sprouted-grain or corn tortilla
1/8 avocado cut-up
salsa to taste

Directions: In a toaster oven at 350° F place a tortilla on the oven rack, scoop the beans on top then sprinkle the cheese on top of the beans fold the tortilla over and cook until cheese melts, about 5 minutes. Then place the burrito on a plate, lift up the tortilla, place sliced avocado and salsa inside. Have with a side mixed green salad; you have an optimally balanced quick meal for lunch or dinner. Make another one for your significant other. Serves: 1 to 2

*Another option: Have an egg burrito with some steamed spinach and basil and tomato. In a bowl put an egg and 2 egg whites and sprinkle some seasonings of choice (try 21 seasoning salute from TJ’s or lemon pepper, onion powder, pepper), whip with fork. Then pour into a non-stick sauté pan greased with a drizzle of canola oil and mix in some fresh spinach, fresh basil, and tomatoes. Scramble everything together until the spinach and basil are wilted. It’s delicious put into a whole-wheat tortilla or mixed with some brown rice/barley. Again, optimal quick and easy cooking at it’s finest.

Serving size: 1 burrito
Total servings: 1
Nutrition Analysis per serving:
314 Calories, 44 grams Carbohydrates, 17 grams Protein, 8 grams Fat



1 (15 ounce) can of organic black beans, rinsed and drained
1 (14.5 ounce) can of Mexican-style or Italian-style (your choice) stewed tomatoes
1 ½ cups cooked brown rice or whole-wheat couscous
1 clove garlic, minced
1 medium onion, chopped (1/2 cup)
1 teaspoon canola oil
1 ounce yogurt cheese (Trader Joe’s sliced Yogurt Cheese)

Directions: In a medium saucepan, sauté ½ cup onion and garlic in oil until the onions are translucent and the garlic in tender not brown. Stir in the drained beans and undrained stewed tomatoes. Bring to a boil; reduce heat to simmer. Cover pan and simmer for 5 minutes. Turn off heat and stir in yogurt cheese into mixture to melt. To serve, mound rice on individual plates; make a well in the centers. Spoon black bean mixture into centers. Add steamed vegetables on the side to make an optimally balanced meal.

* Another option is to make a pasta primavera with beans by mixing beans (Italian white kidney beans or small white beans) with Italian Style stewed tomatoes and steamed vegetables of your choice, e.g., zucchini, spinach, yellow squash, red bell peppers, sundried tomatoes, etc. over whole-wheat pasta (rotelle or penne), and sprinkle with parmesan cheese or melt shredded mozzarella on top.

Total servings: 4
Nutrition Analysis per serving:
256 Calories, 48 grams Carbohydrates, 11 grams Protein, 2 grams Fat



1 Tablespoon canola oil
2 large onions, chopped (2 cups)
3 carrots, coarsely grated
¾ teaspoon marjoram, crumbled
¾ teaspoon thyme leaves, crumbled
1 (28 ounce) can tomatoes with their juice, coarsely chopped
7 cups low-sodium vegetable broth (packed in a carton on a shelf at Trader Joes or Whole Foods)
1½ cups dried lentils, rinsed and picked over
¼ to ½ teaspoon ground black pepper, to taste
6 ounces dry white wine
1/3 cup chopped fresh parsley or 2 Tablespoons dried parsley flakes
4 ounces part-skim milk organic cheddar cheese, grated

Directions: Heat the oil in a large sauté pan, sauté the onions, carrots, marjoram, and thyme, stirring the vegetables, for about 5 minutes. Then pour the mixture into a large soup pot, add the tomatoes, broth, and lentils. Bring the soup to a boil, reduce the heat, cover the pot, and simmer the soup for about 1 hour or until the lentils are tender. Add the pepper, wine, and parsley and simmer the soup for a few minutes. Serve with cheese sprinkled on each portion.

Total servings: 8
Nutrition Analysis per serving:
168 Calories, 17 grams Carbohydrates, 9 grams Protein, 5 grams Fat



2 lb. Leeks
3 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
2 small carrots, halved and sliced
2 Tbsp. Uncooked brown rice
1 ½ tsp. raw sugar
½ tsp. salt
Juice from half a lemon
1 ½ cups water

Directions: Trim leeks and remove a few of the outer layers and slice. Wash well several times to get rid of all dirt. Heat olive oil in a heavy skillet. Stir in leeks and carrots. Cover and cook for 30 minutes, shaking the skillet occasionally. Blend in the remaining ingredients one at a time. Cover and simmer again for 30 minutes, checking occasionally. Add more water if necessary. When fully cooked, it shouldn’t be watery, but moist. Serve cold with lemon juice.

Total servings: 4
Nutrition Analysis per serving:
267 Calories, 41 grams Carbohydrates, 4 grams Protein, 11 grams Fat



1 egg and 2 egg whites (2 egg replacement)
6 Tablespoons whole-wheat flour
10 ounces frozen chopped spinach, defrosted and drained well (squeeze water out by pressing down with large serving spoon)
16 ounces (2 cups) low fat cottage cheese
6 ounces Organic Cheddar cheese, grated (2 cups)
¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper or just a sprinkle to taste
Pinch nutmeg (optional)
3 Tablespoons raw wheat germ

Directions: In a large bowl, beat the eggs with the flour until the mixture is smooth. Add the spinach, cottage cheese, Cheddar, pepper, cayenne and nutmeg; mix the ingredients well. Pour the mixture into a well-greased 13X9X2-inch baking pan (grease by drizzling canola oil, wipe with paper towel). Sprinkle the top with wheat germ, and bake the mixture into a preheated 350 degree oven for about 45 minutes. Let the spinach and cheese mixture stand for about 10 minutes, and then cut into 1.5 inch squares for serving.

Total servings: 10
Nutrition Analysis per serving:
166 Calories, 7 grams Carbohydrates, 14 grams Protein, 8 grams Fat



1 lb. Swiss Chard
½ cup Lowfat Milk
¼ cup Parmesan Cheese
1/8 tsp. Pepper
1/8 tsp. Salt
8 oz. Fettucine, cooked according to package directions
1 Tbsp. Olive oil
2 cloves garlic, chopped
¼ cup chopped onion
2 large tomatoes, chopped
½ cup plain yogurt (lowfat)

Directions: Wash swiss chard, cut into small pieces. Heat oil in large 2-quart saucepan over medium-high heat, 1-2 minutes. Add Swiss Chard, garlic and onion; cooking 1-2 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add tomatoes, yogurt, milk, parmesan cheese, cooked fettucine, pepper and salt. Stir well. Serve warm.

Total servings: 4
Nutrition Analysis per serving:
206 Calories, 27 grams Carbohydrates, 11 grams Protein, 7 grams Fat



1 small onion, chopped (1/3 cup)
1 clove garlic, minced
1 Tablespoon canola oil
1 (14 ½ ounce) can peeled Italian-style tomatoes, cut up
1 teaspoon dried oregano or basil, crushed
8 ounces soft silken tofu, drained
2 cups cooked brown rice
1 (10 ounce) package frozen chopped spinach thawed and well drained or 10 ounces of fresh spinach or fresh vegetable of choice (e.g., zucchini, yellow squash or chard)
½ cup shredded Swiss Cheese made with part-skim milk (2 ounces)
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon pepper
1 Tablespoon pine nuts or toasted sesame seed

Directions: In a large saucepan with a drizzle of canola oil, sauté the onion until translucent and the garlic until tender not brown. Add undrained tomatoes and oregano or basil. Bring to a boil; reduce heat. Simmer, uncovered for about 3 minutes. Meanwhile, place tofu in a blender, whip until smooth, add a little water if needed. Add blended tofu to tomato mixture. Stir in cooked rice, spinach or vegetable of choice, half of the Swiss cheese, salt, and pepper. Grease one 2 –quart rectangular baking dish with a shine of canola oil. Spoon mixture into dish and spread evenly. Bake, uncovered in a 350 oven for 30 to 40 minutes until heated through. Sprinkle with remaining cheese and pine nuts or sesame seed.

Total servings: 4
Nutrition Analysis per serving:
258 Calories, 35 grams Carbohydrates, 12 grams Protein, 8 grams Fat



4 ounces small curd low fat cottage cheese
8 ounces low fat ricotta cheese
2 cups of shredded part-skim milk mozzarella cheese
1 egg whipped with fork
1 (10 oz.) package frozen chopped spinach thawed and drained
1 package frozen mixed vegetables (broccoli, zucchini and carrots mixture is good)
1 large clove garlic minced
¾ teaspoon ground oregano
¼ teaspoon pepper
¼ teaspoon nutmeg (optional)
¼ teaspoon salt-free seasoning (try 21 seasoning salute from TJ’s)
1 jar Organic Spaghetti Sauce (try Organic Marinara sauce from TJ’s or 365 Organic Spaghetti Sauce from Whole Foods)
1 package (8 ounces) whole-wheat lasagna noodles
Optional: 1 eggplant, thinly sliced

Directions: Put a pot of water on to boil for lasagna. In a steamer, steam the spinach and mixed vegetables (and eggplant) just to defrost. In a large bowl mix the cottage cheese, 1 cup of mozzarella, egg, spinach, mixed vegetables, garlic, and additional seasonings. In a 13X9X2 baking dish, layer 1 cup of sauce, ½ of the noodles and ½ of the cheese and vegetable mixture. Repeat. Top with remaining sauce. Sprinkle with remaining 1 cup of cheese. Cover tightly with foil and bake at 350 for 1 hour until bubbly and for the last 15 minutes cook without foil to get the cheese golden brown. Let stand 15 minutes before serving.

Total servings: 8
Nutrition Analysis per serving:
292 Calories, 17 grams Carbohydrates, 24 grams Protein, 14 grams Fat



1 ¼ pounds thin, skinless fish fillets
2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 or 2 Tablespoons Dijon mustard, to taste
1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 Tablespoons snipped fresh chives
1 lime, cut in wedges

Directions: Preheat the broiler. Arrange the fillets on a greased baking sheet (grease with a shine of canola oil). Then brush them with olive oil and spread the mustard evenly over them. Sprinkle the fillets with pepper. Place the fish in the broiler, about 4 inches from the heat. Broil the fish for 2 or 3 minutes until it’s golden brown. The fish is ready when it turns opaque. Serve the fish sprinkled with chives and with a wedge of lime on each plate.

Total servings: 4
Nutrition Analysis per serving:
222 Calories, 2 grams Carbohydrates, 31 grams Protein, 9 grams Fat



Canola Oil Cooking Spray
2 Skinless Fillets of Fish of Choice (e.g., Orange Roughy, Sole, Wild Alaskan Halibut, Wild Alaskan Salmon, Tilapia, Sea Bass)
1/8 teaspoon Lemon Pepper Blend
1/8 teaspoon seasoning of choice (e.g., minced garlic, onion powder, cayenne pepper)
2 Fresh Lemon Wedges
1 Tablespoon Hummus Dip or Guacamole


Set the oven on broil. Spray broiler pan with canola oil cooking spray. Rinse fillets of fish, shake off excess water, and place on broiler pan. Sprinkle with seasonings. Put in oven, broil for 5 minutes on each side or until slightly golden on edges. Use a spatula to remove fish from broiler pan, place on a dinner plate, squeeze fresh lemon over the fish and dip in a little hummus or guacamole and salsa. For a complete Livit™ balanced meal, eat with some brown rice and steamed veggies.

Total servings: 2
Nutrition Analysis per serving:
163 Calories, 3 grams Carbohydrates, 20 grams Protein, 7 grams Fat



Drizzle of canola oil
1/3 cup coarse, fresh whole wheat bread crumbs
½ tablespoon grated Parmesan cheese, made with skim milk
1/8 teaspoon dried dill weed
1/8 teaspoon lemon pepper
3 Tablespoons egg whites or egg substitute
½ pound white fish (e.g., orange roughy, sole, halibut, cod)
2 teaspoons earth balance, melted
2 thin slices fresh lemon
2 small sprigs fresh parsley (optional)


Preheat oven to 400°. Lightly drizzle a small, shallow baking pan with canola oil, use paper towel to spread. In a small, shallow dish, combine bread crumbs, cheese, dill, and lemon pepper. Put egg in another shallow dish; beat lightly. Dip fish in egg, then in crumbs, repeat until all crumbs are used. Place fish in the prepared baking pan; pour margarine over fish. Bake in a 400-degree oven for about 15 minutes or until fish flakes when tested with a fork. Garnish with fresh lemon wedges and parsley.

Total servings: 2
Nutrition Analysis per serving:
268 Calories, 13 grams Carbohydrates, 29 grams Protein, 9 grams Fat


1 package (12 ounces) organic extra-firm tofu
1 teaspoon canola oil
6 ounces “Bone Suckin’ Sauce” BBQ sauce
¼ cup water
¼ teaspoon garlic powder
¼ teaspoon onion powder
¼ teaspoon ground black pepper

Directions: Rinse tofu well with filtered water. Cut into 1 inch cubes. Pour oil into nonstick pan and distribute evenly with paper towel. Heat oil on medium heat. Add tofu and stir-fry until golden brown (about 5 minutes on each side). Pour BBQ sauce into pan and continue cooking. Add garlic powder, onion powder, and ground black pepper and simmer for 5 minutes to soak up liquid.

Another option: Use 6 ounces Robbie’s Hawaiian Style Sweet & Sour sauce instead of BBQ sauce.

Serving suggestions:
•Pour over 1/3 cup whole wheat cous cous or rice and serve with 1 ½ cups steamed vegetables.
•Serve tofu (sans the BBQ or Sweet & Sour sauce) with ½ cup whole wheat pasta with marinara sauce and 1 ½ cups steamed vegetables.
•Make a tofu burrito by throwing 3 ounces tofu, 1 ounce shredded Mozzarella cheese, and teriyaki sauce in a whole wheat tortilla. Melt in toaster oven for 5 minutes and serve with 3 cups fresh salad.

Total servings: 4
Nutrition Analysis per serving:
90 Calories, 7 grams Carbohydrates, 7 grams Protein, 3 grams Fat


1 Tablespoon canola oil
1 cup minced onion
1 10-ounce package frozen spinach or frozen vegetable of choice (e.g. zucchini; tomatoes)
1 pound firm tofu, drained
1 teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon pepper
Pinch ground nutmeg
½ cup soy milk
3 cups cooked pasta shells or other small, shaped pasta
½ cup shredded mozzarella cheese

Directions: Preheat oven to 350°F. Heat canola oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion and cook for 5 minutes, until soft. Squeeze the liquid from the spinach, chop, add to the onion, and set aside. In a Vitamix, combine tofu, salt, pepper, and nutmeg. Blend in the soy milk. Combine the tofu mixture with the spinach mixture. Combine with the cooked pasta and transfer to a lightly greased casserole dish. Top with mozzarella. Bake for 40 minutes or until bubbly.

Total servings: 6
Nutrition Analysis per serving:
239 Calories, 26 grams Carbohydrates, 16 grams Protein, 10 grams Fat



12 whole wheat tortillas
1 ½ pounds tempeh, cut into 1/4-inch-wide strips
1 small white onion, cut into strips
1 small red onion, cut into strips
1 large red bell pepper, cut into strips
1 large green bell pepper, cut into strips
2 Tablespoons vegetable oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
¼ cup chopped cilantro, if a fan
2 Tablespoons chili powder
1 Tablespoon ground cumin
Salt and pepper to taste

Directions: Preheat oven to 250°F. Stack tortillas, wrap in foil, and place in oven to warm. In a steamer basket set over boiling water, steam the tempeh strips for 5 minutes and set aside in a bowl. Add onion and bell pepper strips to the tempeh. Heat oil in large skillet over high heat and sauté the tempe, onions, and bell peppers until onions are translucent, about 5 minutes. Lower the heat to medium and add the garlic, cilantro, chili powder, cumin, salt, and pepper. Saute for 3 more minutes. Serve immediately with warm tortillas.

Total servings: 6
Nutrition Analysis per serving:
443 Calories, 58 grams Carbohydrates, 28 grams Protein, 19 grams Fat



1 can (15 ounces) black beans
1 can (15 ounces) pinto beans
1 can (4 ounces) organic tomato paste
¼ teaspoon garlic powder
¼ teaspoon onion powder
¼ teaspoon chili powder
Dash of cayenne pepper
1 whole wheat or 2 corn tortillas
1 ounce shredded mozzarella cheese
1 Tablespoon guacamole or 1/8 of an avocado
1 Tablespoon salsa

Directions: Rinse beans in strainer until foam is gone. Place beans, tomato paste, garlic powder, onion powder, chili powder, and cayenne pepper in a nonstick pot. Heat over medium heat until just starting to bubble. Mash with potato masher. Distribute cheese on tortilla and heat in toaster oven until cheese is melted. Put tortilla with melted cheese on a plate. Add ½ cup bean mixture, guacamole or avocado, and salsa. Fold in half and cut into 3 triangles. Serve with 3 cups salad.

Total servings: 6
Nutrition Analysis per serving:
242 Calories, 43 grams Carbohydrates, 15 grams Protein, 2 grams Fat



1 package (6 ounces) organic mixed greens or baby romaine
½ cup organic grape tomatoes
1 small organic avocado, diced
6 organic strawberries, sliced
½ English (unwaxed) cucumber, cubed
¼ cup organic dried cranberries
1 Tablespoon slivered raw almonds
Fresh lemon wedge
Optional Caloric Free Ingredients: Apple cider vinegar or balsamic vinegar and lemon pepper or Trader Joe’s “21 Seasoning Salute” or herbal seasoning of choice

Directions: Rinse all ingredients well and place in large bowl. Squeeze fresh lemon, mix vinegar and seasonings over salad, and toss. For a salad dressing, please refer below.

Serving size: 2 cups salad
Total servings: ~3
Nutrition Analysis per serving:
73 Calories, 15 grams Carbohydrates, 3 grams Protein, 2 grams Fat

NOTE: This is a side dish. To make the salad a complete meal add additional carbohydrate and protein with e.g. ½ cup rinsed, organic black beans and ½ cup organic frozen corn, defrosted and I ounce fresh sliced mozzarella, or 3 ounces canned, rinsed Wild Alaskan salmon or tuna with ½ cup mandarin oranges.



1 Tablespoon Extra virgin olive oil
2 Tablespoons Apple cider vinegar
½ teaspoon agave nectar
Juice of ¼ lemon
¼ teaspoon lemon pepper
Optional: for honey-mustard dressing, add 1 teaspoon organic Dijon mustard;
For creamier dressing, add 1 Tbsp. low fat plain yogurt or plain soy yogurt.

Directions: Mix all ingredients in a small bowl or jar and toss together with salad.

Total servings: 3
Nutrition Analysis per serving:
52 Calories, 2 grams Carbohydrates, <1 gram Protein, 4 grams Fat



2 large organic tomatoes
1 bag organic pre-washed spinach, rinsed well
2 medium organic zucchini squash
½ bag (8 ounces) frozen organic corn
1 cup organic fresh green beans, ends removed
2 large organic carrots
½ cup frozen organic peas
2 cloves organic garlic, minced
Seasoning to taste (e.g. salt, pepper, onion powder)

Directions: Place all ingredients into large steamer. Steam for 10 minutes. Blend half the steamed vegetables in a Vitamix and repeat since it fills the Vitamix twice. Season to taste. Makes 16 cups. Keep in the refrigerator for up to three days, then freeze remainder.

Serving size: 1½ cups
Total servings: About 10
Nutrition Analysis per serving:
67 Calories, 14 grams Carbohydrates, 4 grams Protein, 1 gram Fat



1 organic medium onion, chopped (1/2 cup)
2 cloves organic garlic, minced
1 Tablespoon organic canola oil
1-2 teaspoons chili powder, per preference
1 teaspoon ground cumin
¼ teaspoon salt
1 15-ounce can organic red kidney beans or chili beans, rinsed and drained
1½ cups cooked organic brown rice
1 cup shredded organic cheddar cheese (4 ounces)
¾ cup nonfat milk (lactose-free if needed)
2 organic omega-3 eggs, beaten
Small amount of Earth Balance, enough to coat casserole pan
Optional: Low-sodium salsa

Directions: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Add canola oil to a small nonstick sauté pan over medium heat. Spread with paper towel to coat the pan, no puddles, just shine. Stir-fry onion and garlic until onion is translucent and garlic is tender but not brown, about 2 minutes. Transfer into medium pot. Stir in chili powder, cumin, and salt. Cook for 1 minute more. Stir in beans, cooked rice, cheese, milk, and eggs. Grease a square baking dish, pour in mixture. Spread evenly. Bake uncovered about 25 minutes or until the center is firm. Remove from oven, let stand 10 minutes. Serve with salsa if desired. For a complete balanced meal, serve with a mixed green salad.

Total servings: 6
Nutrition Analysis per serving:
237 Calories, 22 grams Carbohydrates, 13 grams Protein, 11 grams Fat


Note: Don’t be alarmed by the long ingredient list! Most ingredients are seasonings. This is still a quick and easy recipe.

1 Tablespoon organic canola oil
2 medium organic onions, chopped
3 large cloves garlic, minced
1 organic green bell pepper, chopped
1 fresh jalapeno pepper, finely chopped (wear latex-free disposable gloves)
1 28-ounce can chopped tomatoes, drained
1 15-ounce can organic tomato sauce
½ teaspoon ground coriander
Pinch of ground cloves
Pinch of ground Allspice
2 teaspoons ground oregano
2 Tablespoons brown sugar
2 Tablespoons chili powder
2 Tablespoons ground cumin
1 15-ounce can kidney beans, rinsed and drained
1 15-ounce can pinto beans, rinsed and drained
4 cups cooked brown rice (or cook while chili is cooking)

Directions: In a large pot, heat oil and sauté onions, garlic, green pepper, and jalapeno pepper until tender, about 3 minutes. Add tomatoes and puree, coriander, cloves, allspice, oregano, brown sugar, chili powder, cumin, and beans. Bring chili to a boil, reduce heat, cover pot, and simmer for 30 minutes. Serve chili over rice.

Total servings: 8
Nutrition Analysis per serving:
251 Calories, 48 grams Carbohydrates, 10 grams Protein, 4 grams Fat



1 cup Earth Balance Margarine
1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
½ cup granulated sugar (try Organic Sucanat (sugar cane natural)
1 egg and 3 Tbsp. egg substitute
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon salt (optional)
3 cups uncooked oats
1 cup raisins

Directions: Heat oven to 350° F. Beat together margarine and sugars until creamy. Add eggs and vanilla; beat well. In another bowl, combine flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt; stir together, then add to the sugar mixture stirring thoroughly. Stir in oats and raisins; mix well. Drop by rounded tablespoonfuls onto an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes or until golden. Cool for 1 minute on cookie sheet; remove to serving plate. Makes 5 dozen cookies.

For Bar Cookies: Bake 30 to 35 minutes in an ungreased 13 X 9-inch metal baking pan.

Serving size: 2 cookies
Total servings: 30
Nutrition Analysis per serving:
167 Calories, 24 grams Carbohydrates, 2 grams Protein, 6 grams Fat



1 cup Earth Balance Margarine
1 cup sugar (“Sucanat”)
½ cup brown sugar
1 egg and 3 Tbsp. egg substitute
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 1/3 cups unsifted flour (Try half the quantity with whole-wheat pastry flour)
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 package of semi-sweet chocolate chips (2 cups)
drizzle of canola oil

Directions: Preheat oven to 375° F. Cream together margarine, sugars, eggs and vanilla until fluffy. Combine flour, salt and baking soda; stir into creamed mixture. Stir in one package of chocolate chips. Drop from teaspoon 2 inches apart onto greased cookie sheets (grease with a shine of canola oil, wiping with paper towel). Bake for 10 minutes. Makes 5 dozen cookies.

Serving size: 2 cookies
Total servings: 30
Nutrition Analysis per serving:
190 Calories, 25 grams Carbohydrates, 2 grams Protein, 10 grams Fat



2/3 cup Earth Balance Margarine
1 cup sugar (“Sucanat”)
¼ cup water
2 cups (12 oz.) Semi-sweet Chocolate Chips (try Trader Joe’s chocolate chips)
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 egg and 9 Tbsp. egg substitute
1 ½ cups flour (try mixing half with whole-wheat pastry flour for more fiber and nutrients)
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon baking soda
drizzle of canola oil

Directions: Preheat oven to 325° F. Combine 2/3 cup margarine, 1 ½ cups sugar, ¼ cup water in small saucepan and bring just to boil. Remove from heat. Add 2 cups (one 12 oz. package) of chocolate chips with 2 tsp. vanilla extract and stir constantly until chocolate melts. Place chocolate mixture into a large bowl. Beat in egg and egg whites slowly pouring eggs in. In a small bowl, combine 1 ½ cups flour, ½ tsp. salt, and ½ tsp. baking soda. Gradually add the dry mixture to the chocolate batter. Spread batter into greased 13”X9”X2” baking pan (grease with a little canola oil, wipe with a paper towel, have shine on the pan rather than puddles). Bake 50 minutes. Cool and cut into squares. Serves: 24

Total servings: 24
Nutrition Analysis per serving:
184 Calories, 23 grams Carbohydrates, 2 grams Protein, 10 grams Fat


Canola oil vegetable spray (put canola oil in a spray bottle so you don’t have that propellant smell from store bought sprays)
¾ cup unbleached organic all-purpose flour
1/8 cup whole wheat pastry flour
½ cup oat bran
¼ cup sugar (“Sucanat”)
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 egg whites, slightly beaten
¼ cup mashed, very ripe banana
½ cup Organic nonfat milk
1 Tablespoon canola oil

Directions: Preheat oven to 400° F. Spray muffin tin with canola spray. In a medium mixing bowl, combine flour, bran, sugar and baking soda. In a small bowl, combine egg whites, banana, milk and oil; add liquids to the dry ingredients; stir just until well blended. Spoon into muffin cups, filling about 2/3 full or more. Bake in a 400 oven for 18 minutes.

Another option: Add ½ cup blueberries or chopped fresh apricots.

Total servings: 6
Nutrition Analysis per serving:
175 Calories, 32 grams Carbohydrates, 5 grams Protein, 3 grams Fat



¼ teaspoon organic Earth Balance
¼ cup organic unsweetened applesauce
½ cup honey
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 ½ cups mashed organic bananas (~3 large bananas), mash w/ fork
1 cup organic whole grain pastry flour
1 cup organic unbleached flour
¼ cup wheat germ
¾ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda

Directions: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 9 X 5 inch loaf pan with organic Earth Balance with a paper towel. Combine applesauce, honey, eggs, vanilla, and mashed bananas in a medium sized bowl. Stir and whip with a fork. In a large bowl, mix flour, wheat germ, salt, and baking soda. Make a well in the dry ingredients and add the banana mixture. Mix together until dry ingredients are moistened. Pour batter into greased loaf pan. Bake for 40-45 minutes in preheated oven. Ready when golden brown. Remove from loaf pan with rubber spatula and cool on wire rack. Slice, serve, and enjoy the bliss!

Total servings: 12
Nutrition Analysis per serving:
169 Calories, 36 grams Carbohydrates, 4 grams Protein, 2 grams Fat

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Happy Valentine's Day! Now, Go for the Chocolate

In the midst of searching for the perfect bouquet of flowers, the perfect teddy bear or even the perfect diamond for your significant other, don't forget the chocolate! If you're looking for the perfect sweet for your sweetheart, The Livitician Network recommends dark chocolate. Dark chocolate not only tastes great, it can improve your health. According to research conducted by the University of California, eating a small 1.6 ounce bar of dark chocolate every day is good for you. Dark chocolate is said to help increase your immunity and improve cardiovascular health. When looking for the perfect dark chocolate be sure it's at least 65% cocoa and that it has no artificial vanillin. Whole Foods or Trader Joes have a great selection of dark chocolates. You can also offer that special someone cocoa. The best way to get the catechins (substance in cocoa that provides antioxidants and increases your HDL (good cholesterol level) is to have unsweetened cocoa that is non-alkaline so you don't get that excess fat that is in cocoa butter (in chocolate bars). The alkalinization processing removes the good catechins thus diminishing the benefits of cocoa. A great brand of unsweetened cocoa is available at Whole Foods (Ah!Laska Unsweetened Baker's Cocoa Non-dairy, organic). Cocoa is high in flavonols that improves blood flow and lowers blood pressure. Here's a great way to make the perfect cup of cocoa and is considered a free food dietarily, thus does not contribute to your caloric intake:

Unsweetened cocoa (non-alkaline) with hot water and 1 tsp. cinnamon and 1 tsp. agave nectar (if you want it to be a snack, make it with boiled soy milk).

Happy Valentine's Day and "Livit" up by going for the chocolate!

Your Livitician, Deborah A. Klein, MS, RD

Are probiotics important to keep you healthy?

Some researchers believe so. Probiotics have been defined as "live microorganisms, which, when administered in adequate amounts, confer a health benefit on the host."
Microorganisms are all around us and our bodies are loaded with both good and bad bacteria. What we call “good” bacteria seems to be absolutely necessary to our immune system and its fight against microorganisms that cause disease. They are also a vital part of our digestion and absorption of food and nutrients. Research has shown that our digestive track has cells that have been linked to our immune system and because of this research some theorize that if you introduce probiotics to the intestinal tract, you may be able to increase the immune systems defenses.

The National Center for Complimentary and Alternative Medicine co-funded a conference on the subject of probiotics and according to the conference report, there is evidence supporting the use of probiotics for the following:

1. To treat diarrhea (this is the strongest area of evidence, especially for diarrhea from rotavirus)
2. To prevent and treat infections of the urinary tract or female genital tract
3. To treat irritable bowel syndrome
4. To reduce recurrence of bladder cancer
5. To shorten how long an intestinal infection lasts that is caused by a bacterium called Clostridium difficile
6. To prevent and treat pouchitis (a condition that can follow surgery to remove the colon)
7. To prevent and manage atopic dermatitis (eczema) in children

On a personal note, I had a horrible sinus infection that was very painful and got rid of it without antibiotics in a week and a half, by using probiotics and pre-biotics, the food that the good bacteria eats, thus promoting the natural formation of good bacteria (FOS-fructoligosaccharides and inulin-found in Kefir (Lifeway organic lowfat kefir is my favorite) and Stonyfield Farms low fat yogurt has inulin). I also included powdered vitamin C in my 1/4 cup pomegranate juice (not from concentrate) mixed with water. Many of my patients who have sinus infections get on antibiotics prescribed from their doctor and express complaints about how they can't tolerate lactose anymore and sometimes have various intolerances to wheat and gluten. Antibiotics deplete the natural friendly bacteria present in your GI (gastrointestinal) tract. We need friendly bacteria to help reduce inflammation in our body, keep our immunity up, and have optimal nutrient absorption from food. Of course, if you need to take antibiotics, please do, but make sure you take a probiotic while you're on them, to help sustain your natural microflora. The best one out there that I have discovered is by Metagenics: Proboulardi -to order go to Livitician.com/Products.htm, click on the metaehealth.com link to sign up and purchase. Proboulardi can be taken while on antibiotics and it prevents diarrhea. The two probiotics that I recommend on a daily basis is either Proboulardi (if you have diarrhea) and Ultra Flora Plus (for overall general health-can also be purchased on the products page of Livitician.com, metaehealth link). Just take one capsule a day and keep probiotics refrigerated. Please consult with your MD and a Registered Dietitian to assure you are making the optimal choice for you.

Optimal health to you!
Your Livitician, Deborah A. Klein, MS, RD

Monday, February 11, 2008

Recent News

Study: Artificial Sweeteners May Make Weight Gain Easier

Artificial sweeteners may contribute more to weight gain than food rich in sugar. A study published in the Behavioral Neuroscience Journal has sparked a scientific debate on the role of calorie-free saccharine in obesity.

The study, made by a team from the Purdue University in Indiana, suggested artificial sweeteners, which have zero or very low calories, seem to have destroyed the physiological link between sweet tastes and calories, resulting to rats fed with sweeteners overeating.

In the study, nine rats were given saccharin-sweetened yogurt and eight rats fed yogurt with glucose. After their yogurt, the 17 rats had their regular food. After five weeks the nine gained 80 grams on the average, while the eight added only 72 grams.

Lyn Steffen, an epidemiology associate professor at the University of the Minnesota agreed with the study, although she was not part of it. She said the research provided a possible explanation for apparent links between obesity and sugar-free sodas discovered in some studies on human beings.

Steffen had similar findings published on January at the Circulation medical journal of the American Heart Association. Her study said diet soda drinkers are at higher risk to develop metabolic syndrome compared to those who drink regular soda.

But the Calorie Control Council debunks the two studies. Beth Hubrich, in a statement, said obesity is not caused by one single factor, but dependent on many including larger portions of food, lesser physical activities and higher intake of calories.

In the U.S., the volume of sugar-free products since 2000 had double to 160 million items from less than 70 million in 1987. For the same time frame, obesity among adult Americans climbed up by 30 percent from only 15 percent.

Because of the potential confusion the different findings may indicate about the connection between artificial sweeteners and weight gain, Adam Drewnowski, director of the Nutrition Sciences program of the University of Washington, cautioned against a broad interpretation of the findings.

"It is unreasonable to claim that results obtained studying saccharin in rats translate t every sweetener in humans... We now have studies showing that sugar calories are associated with obesity and the absence of sugar is associated with obesity. Pity those people trying to do something about obesity," Drewnowski said.

allheadlinenews.com Vittorio Hernandez (AHN)

Monday, February 4, 2008

Are you over supplementing?

In a recent interview with W magazine, Hilary Swank informed that she was ingesting over 40 supplements daily (from Aloe, vitamin C, to Flax oil, you name it), which were recommended by her nutritionist. Hilary thinks she is doing good for her body, but in reality she may be overworking her kidneys and liver, increasing her risk for elevated liver enzymes (indicating liver disease/failure) and elevated BUN (blood urea nitrogen)and Creatinine (indicating kidney disease/failure) and dehydration, it takes a lot of water to detoxify all those supplements. Dehydration can contribute to muscle fatigue and prevent the kidney and liver from working effectively. Now, most of us may not take as many as 45 supplements daily but we should still ask ourselves, "Am I taking too many and are these the right supplements for me?" There are a number of supplements that help reduce high cholesterol, increased immunity and others that curb your appetite. All of them may sound appealing, but are they essential for your health and well being. The Livitician recommends that you speak to a Registered Dietitian (make sure it's an RD, anyone can call themselves a nutritionist) and your primary care physician to discuss the supplements that you want to take and your medications to relay drug/nutrient interactions. Please only take the minimum number of supplements necessary to befriend your liver and kidney, let's not stress out those little organs that have to do a lot as it is without supplements to clean the body. Several factors need to be taken into consideration before you start to take any supplement. Your family history for instance, if you have a genetic propensity for conditions such as, diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, breast cancer, please consult with your doctor and Registered Dietitian to see what supplements are RIGHT for you. Your current diet is also a factor. Plenty of what we eat is already sufficient enough with e.g., calcium or vitamin C depending on your dietary intake, you may not need those supplements if you're already ingesting the right amount for your body. Here at The Livitician Network, we offer a number of supplement options that are recommended based on your blood work, medical and family history, and food frequency questionnaire and 24 hour dietary recall. Please schedule your nutrition consultation at (310) 247-0018 or deborah@livitician.com. and check out the products tab on http://www.livitician.com/. - Juice Plus, which offers 17 servings of fruits and vegetables and grains per day (order at: http://www.livitjp.com/). Whole food supplements are best for not overworking the kidney and liver, multivitamins are isolated, fragmented vitamins and minerals that are not all utilized, hence the reason why your urine is neon after taking those supplements. Order Juice plus as a great overall heathful supplement to keep your immunity up with some extra real food in a capsule. In moderation is key when it comes to taking supplements and talk to your MD about the medications you are taking, make sure that they are indeed at the lowest level necessary and that each one is essential, if not discuss with him about weaning down or finding a nutraceutical alternative (e.g., Bioslife 2 from Unicity as a replacement or adjunct to a statin-Lipitor, order at (800)864-2489-
IBO: 45387601). Know your family history and focus on alla naturale when it comes to meeting your nutritional needs.