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Coconut Chocolate Ice Cream Shell

So I jumped on the coconut oil bandwagon a couple months ago and have been testing it out on various ingredients ever since.  It may seem odd that coconut oil has become a craze, given its particularly high saturated fat content.  That’s the artery-clogging fat they’ve been making us fear for years.  But as Errol Schweizer, Whole Food’s global senior grocery coordinator, told the NY Times, annual sales growth of the product is definitely on the rise, seeing stats well into the double digits at Whole Foods.  So why is this 90% saturated fat-filled item being let off the hook among foodies, and that goes for healthy foodies too?

Well, some recent studies have shown that not all saturated fat is the same.  That which fills coconut oil may not be the deviled fat that fills bacon.  Instead, coconut oil consists primarily of medium chain fatty acids (MCFAs), known as lauric acid.  This kind of saturated fat has actually been shown to increase the levels of good HDL.  Like other forms of saturated fat, it also increased the bad LDL levels, but it doesn’t create a negative imbalance between the two levels.  Recent research has shown that this might be the most important factor in maintaining a heart-healthy diet.  One’s diet shouldn’t necessarily exclude saturated fat but rather maintain a healthy ratio between the various dietary fats. Click here to continue reading…

Sauteed Mustard Greens with Creamy Mustard Sauce

It’s only in the past two years that I’ve grown fond of bitter greens like broccoli rabe, dandelion, and mustard.  My little kid taste buds used to find bitter to be brutal.  But lately I’ve been digging the flavor element, along with other things I used to detest, like red wine and hot sauce. I particularly enjoy stronger flavored, bitter ingredients when utilized as toppings for a heartier main.  Adding greens like mustard is almost like topping off a dish with a sharp cheese, although the addition is much lighter than any creamy dairy product.  Like cheese, they add a whole depth of flavor without nearly any effort needed.

Here, I use olive oil to draw out the natural sweetness of a simple onion, offsetting some of the sharpness of the greens. I then use them to top off a hearty chipotle vegan sausage, pairing the dense, spicy protein with the profusely flavorful, yet light heap of mustard greens.  I then finish it off with a simple and creamy mustard sauce.  Mustard + mustard turns out to be a good combination.

Click here for recipe…