Southwest Spaghetti Squash

Thought spaghetti squash was just another boring recipe to add to Thanksgiving dinner? Well, think again! Spaghetti squash can make a perfect and filling meal for everyday occasions. More than simply a gluten-free replacement for spaghetti, the squash can be used in place of staple favorites like rice or potatoes.
This meal takes a taste of the southwest with a spaghetti squash stuffed with fried tofu, black beans, corn, tomato and bell pepper; all topped with fresh Daiya cheese!
Check out the recipe below for details:

Stuff:

  • 1 medium spaghetti squash
  • 1 block of tofu, pressed and chopped into 1-inch cubes
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 red onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • ½ tablespoon ground cumin
  • ½ tablespoon smoked paprika
  • ½ tablespoon turmeric
  • Pink Himalayan salt
  • 1 (15 oz.) can black beans, drained
  • 1 cup frozen corn
  • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro
  • 1 cup Daiya cheese

Steps:

  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
  • Place whole squash on a baking sheet and roast for 50 minutes.
  • While the squash is cooking. Heat a skillet with oil and fry tofu on medium-high heat. Tofu is done when all sides are golden brown. Remove tofu from pan and toss in salt and pepper, if desired. Set aside.
  • Remove squash from oven and let cool another 30 minutes, then cut in half with a serrated knife. Spoon out and toss seeds, and then, using a fork, scrape up the spaghetti squash flesh with a fork, creating spaghetti-like strands.
  • Use the same skillet you used for the tofu. Add more oil if desired, and heat over medium-high heat. Add onion, garlic and red bell pepper. Heat and stir for 2 minutes.
  • Add in cumin, paprika, turmeric and a good pinch of salt and pepper. Sauté 1 more minute. Stir in beans, corn and half of the cilantro until well combined. Add the “spaghetti” and tofu to the vegetable mixture and stir to combine. Taste and season accordingly.
  • Set oven to broil. Stuff each squash half with the squash-vegetable mixture and top with Daiya cheese. Broil until cheese melts and gets brown and bubbly, or about 1-2 minutes.
  • Top with remaining cilantro and serve immediately.

Good Health is More Than What You Eat

(NewsUSA) – Behavioral health issues are more common today. According to a study by the American Psychological Association, about 25 percent of all adults in the United States have a mental illness and 50 percent will develop one in their lifetime. Mental health diseases affect not only the mind, but the body too. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that “[mental illness] is associated with chronic medical diseases such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and obesity.”Public health surveillance, the continuous collection and analysis of health-related data, can help ensure high-quality health care. Monitoring mental health illnesses via population-based surveys and other methods can provide valuable information on how to run effective treatment programs. If behavioral health problems are managed successfully, the effects of mental illness and chronic diseases can be minimized, leading to improved general health.Currently, companies and institutions around the country are working to provide better access to mental health treatment services. Humana, a leading health and well-being company, has pilot programs and initiatives as part of its Bold Goal aimed at making communities 20 percent healthier by 2020. To do this, they tackle barriers that prevent good mental health, as well as food insecurity and social isolation. Program objectives of the Bold Goal include: providing remote access to behavioral health within a primary care setting, teaching educational classes that discuss nutrition and health literacy, and addressing suicide prevention.Try these ideas, from Humana’s Dr. Lawrence Weinstein, Chief Medical Officer for Humana Behavioral Health, to enhance your own mental health:

Exercise: There is overwhelming evidence that indicates physical exercise helps to lessen the effects of depression. This is due to the release of endorphins, or “feel-good” hormones, in the brain.

Eat a Healthy Diet: A diet high in sugar consumption is strongly correlated with mental health problems. Eating whole foods and limiting intake of processed foods are important habits to maintain.

Go Outside: Get enough exposure to sunlight to maintain healthy vitamin D levels. Low levels of vitamin D are associated with psychiatric and neurological disorders.

Eliminate Bad Habits: Both smoking cigarettes and drinking alcohol can cause increased levels of stress and tension. Over time, this can lead to mental illnesses, such as depression.

Get Help When Needed: Getting help from a friend, family member, or professional is highly likely to improve behavioral health. Actively seeking guidance can lead to a quicker recovery from mental illnesses and mental disorders. And this will ultimately allow you to live a healthier, fuller life.For more information, visit www.humana.com

Better Days – A Mental Health Recovery Workbook

Women: Don’t Let Migraines Take Over Your Life

According to the National Headache Foundation, many women report that migraine headaches make them feel like they’re losing control of their own lives. But women can take steps to keep migraines from interfering with day-to-day activities.

Migraine is the most common form of disabling headache, affecting about 50 million Americans. About 75 percent of the Americans suffering migraines are women. Doctors believe that fluctuations in hormone levels, which women undergo until menopause, may be responsible.

Migraines cause such severe pain that most sufferers find themselves debilitated, and women juggling professional and domestic responsibilities can ill afford to put their lives on hold. Luckily, faster and more effective treatments are becoming available. The makers of LipiGesic-M, a non-prescription migraine medication, offer the following tips:

•    Start a migraine journal. Most migraines are caused by specific triggers. Learn what triggers cause your migraines, and you learn how to prevent them. Start a journal in which you record waking time, bedtime, temperature, meals eaten and whether or not you are having a period. When you do have migraines, you can look into your journal for trends. Common triggers include lack of or too much sleep, skipped meals, loud noises, wine, caffeine, stress, weather changes and foods containing aspartame, MSG or nitrates.

•    Try all-natural solutions. Certain herbs, such as peppermint and ginger, may help ease headaches. Feverfew, a plant related to daisies, may be especially effective in treating migraines. LipiGesic-M uses a revolutionary sublingual delivery method to speed its migraine-fighting ingredients into the bloodstream, resulting in quick pain relief. You can get on with your life within minutes.

•    Reduce stress. Everyday stresses, such as an upcoming deadline or worries about a child’s grades, cause most headaches. Help eliminate stress by exercising, eating healthily, getting enough rest and practicing relaxation techniques, like meditation.

For more information, visit http://www.lipigesic.com.

Migraine Stop | Natural Migraine Relief Supplement | Gluten Free, GMO Free, Lactose Free | 90 Vegan Capsules

Moo-free Vegan Ice cream

Who said you need cow’s milk to make delicious and creamy ice-cream? If you’re a vegan craving ice-cream, or lactose intolerant and looking for an ice-cream alternative, this recipe is for you.

This recipe uses almond milk, but it can be substituted with coconut milk or any other non-dairy milk product.

Ingredients:

4 frozen bananas (Tip: I recommend chopping the bananas before freezing for easy blending)

1/4 cup of peanut butter

1 tsp of vanilla extract

2 tablespoons of pure cocoa powder

2 tablespoons almond milk

Nut topping of your choice

Directions:

In a blender, process all the ingredients (except the milk) until smooth. Add the almond milk and continue to blend until smooth. Scoop into bowls, with optional topping of your choice, and serve immediately.

Fried Tempeh

I have to be honest. The first time I tried tempeh I wasn’t the biggest fan of the fermented tofu product. For one thing, it was way too bitter and the texture was too crumbly for me.

I was recently reintroduced to the product when a pescatarian co-worker raved about the food item over lunch. I was a bit skeptical, given my previous experience with the food, but decided to give it another shot.

I made Tempeh Mendoan, a traditional Indonesian dish.

Tempeh is a Indonesian dish that contain probiotics and vitamins B5, B6, B3 and B2. It’s protein content is comparable to meat. Since the product is fermented, it helps control harmful bacteria in the gut and reduces inflammation!

Check out the recipe below:

Ingredients

Tempeh (8 oz pack)
3 (or more) tbsp oil

Batter:
3/4 cup flour
1/2 Tbsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar
1 clove minced garlic
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp coriander powder
1 stalk scallion finely chopped
3/4 cup water

Directions:

Heat oil in a pan for frying.
Combine all batter ingredients in a mixing bowl and mix items until smooth
Dip each slice of tempeh in the batter and deep fry until crispy.

How to eat Tempeh?

You can put this in sandwiches, eat alone as a side, or use as kebobs.
I put my fried tempeh into sandwich wraps to bring to work. I combined cucumbers, lettuce, carrots, veganaise and my red bell pepper dressing in a flour wrap with tempeh. Great for lunch on the go!

 

Ganache Brownies

This dessert recipe is brought to you by Chef Mani Mania; this week’s Meet a Vegan feature. Chef Mani Mania is an award-winning vegan pastry chef and author of the blog chefmanimania.com. These mouth-watering ganache brownies are sure to please. Check out her recipe below:

Yield: 8 by 8 glass baking pan (Approximately 20 bite size brownies)

Ingredients:

  • Ganache:
    • 3 oz coconut milk
    • ¾ cup raw dark chocolate chips
    • ½ oz coconut nectar
  • Brownies:
    • 2 cups dates
    • ⅓ cup cacao powder
    • 1 cup almond flour
    • Pinch of sea salt
    • *2 tablespoons of coconut milk
  • Toppings (Optional):
    • ¼ cup walnuts, coarsely chopped
    • ⅛ cup raw cacao nibs
    • Pinches of sea salt

Procedure:

  • Ganache:

Heat coconut milk until it comes to a steam (between 90-100 degrees Fahrenheit).

Pour coconut milk and coconut nectar over chocolate and stir until smooth.

Set aside at room temperature.

  • Brownies:

Line a glass baking pan with parchment paper, plastic wrap, or wax paper.

In a food processor, blend dates until broken down and smooth.

Add almond flour, cacao powder, and sea salt and blend.

*If the brownie mixture is dry (not forming in a ball), add coconut milk one tablespoon at a time

Firmly pack in prepared pan.

  • Assembly:

Pour ganache over and smooth.

Optional: Sprinkle with chopped walnuts, cacao nibs, and sea salt

Freeze for an hour, or until ganache is firm. 

Notes:

  • Any plant based milk can be substituted for the coconut milk (example: almond milk).
  • Steam temperature is about 100 degrees Fahrenheit; do not surpass this temperature to keep the recipe raw. The purpose is to bring the temperature up slightly to melt the chocolate.