Tuesday, March 26, 2013

{clean} Ginger Glazed Mahi Mahi

Oh my word! If you say you don't like "fish", then you haven't tried enough types of fish. This fish is Ah-mazing! Mahi Mahi means "very strong" in Hawaii. I loved Hawaii and I love Mahi Mahi. Mahi Mahi has a delicate flavor that is almost sweet. WAY better than any chicken you will eat.  (And that's from the  mouth of my 8 year old)

This recipe pairs the Mahi Mahi with a sweet ginger glaze that makes it a huge hit in my family.  I found frozen, individually wrapped, WILD caught Mahi Mahi at Costco.  This type of fish is not cheap, but it is worth the cost (and it's wild caught). A bag will feed my family of four twice.

{clean} Ginger Glazed Mahi Mahi

  • 3 Tbps honey 
  • 3 Tbps soy sauce (I used Organic Tamari Gluten Free soy sauce)
  • 2 Tbps balsamic vinegar
  • 1 1/2 tsp ground ginger (or 1 Tbps fresh grated ginger)
  • 1/2 tsp lemon juice
  • 2 cloves minced garlic
  • 2 tsp {organic} Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 4 Mahi Mahi filets (4-6 ounces each)

1) In a shallow glass dish, whisk together the honey, soy sauce, balsamic vinegar, ginger, lemon juice, garlic and olive oil. Season fish fillets with salt and pepper, and place them into the dish (flip to cover both sides). If the fillets have skin on them, place them skin side down. Cover, and refrigerate for 20-30 minutes to marinate.
2) Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Remove fish from refrigerator and pour off most of the marinade into a small sauce pan.
3) Bake fish for 20 minutes (or until fish is white and flaky with fork)
4) Meanwhile, over medium heat, simmer marinade until reduced to a glaze. 
5) Once fish is cooked, drizzle glaze over fish. Serve.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Clean Cuisine Chia Seed and Chocolate Cookies

This recipe comes from the new book, Clean Cuisine: An 8-Week Anti-Inflammatory Nutrition Program that Will Change the Way You Age, Look & Feel by Ivy Larson and Andy Larson, M.D.  I'm sure that they could look better, but these were made basically by my 4 year old. Creating memories, that's more important than cookies being picture perfect. Right?

These are really simple to make. They can be gluten free if you use a gluten free flour. They have no processed sugar which is awesome. In my opinion, they are very sweet cookies. Since I used vegan chocolate chips they are dairy free as well.

Clean Cuisine 
Chia Seed and Chocolate Cookies

  • 1½ cups raw almonds
  • 8 pitted dates
  • 2 cups barley flour
  • ¼ cup Barlean's Organic Chia Seeds
  • ½ cup Barlean's Organic Extra Virgin Coconut Oil, softened
  • ½ cup real maple syrup
  • ½ teaspoon unrefined sea salt
  • ½ cup vegan mini chocolate chips


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Put the almonds in a food processor and process into crumbs. Transfer almond crumbs to a large mixing bowl.

Put the dates in the food processor and pulse 6 to 7 times, or until dates are well ground. Add the dates to the almonds.

To the mixing bowl, add the barley flour, chia seeds, coconut oil, maple syrup and salt. Combine all ingredients with a wooden spoon. Form the mixture into tablespoonful balls and space them evenly on a large cookie sheet. Using your index finger, make an indent in each cookie. Fill each cookie with 4 or 5 mini chocolate chips.

Bake cookies for 18 minutes. The cookies should be done at this point, but the chocolate will not be totally melted. As soon as you remove the cookies from the oven, take the back of a spoon and gently press down on the chocolate so that it melts. Set the cookies aside to cool and harden before eating.

Clean Freak Notes: I have tried this recipe with both Maple Syrup and honey. Honey gave it a very strong honey flavor. I think I prefer the Maple Syrup.  I have also made this with Barley and Oat Flour. I like both equally.  I suggest cooking this less time than recommended because mine got rather brown around the 15 min mark. Next time I may try baking at 325 degrees and see if that helps.  The chia seeds will get stuck in your teeth so this isn't the best on-the-go cookie. We do love them though. 

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Clean Freak on Facebook

Just a reminder: If you are on Facebook, 
please "like" my page. I share many helpful links on my page that don't make it to the actual blog.

Here's the link:

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

{Gluten-free} Monkey Muffins-Cinnamon Banana Chia Muffins

We love bananas. Monkeys love bananas. With the help of my 4 year old we named these muffins "Monkey Muffins". Would you like another Monkey Muffin? 

These muffins are gluten free and dairy free. They are packed with nutrients. They taste like banana nut bread and are extra delicious right out of the oven, all warm and heavenly.  They are super awesome because you can grab one in a rush out the door.

Don't be alarmed, these muffins will get darker in color the longer they sit and cool.  The color doesn't change how yummy they are. My kids LOVE these muffins. They don't even turn their nose up to chia seeds anymore. Their mind is very open for their age regarding trying new things.

 I truly believe if you teach them about food young and what is really acceptable as food they won't think it's so strange to eat a chia muffin, chia smoothie, or a chia cookie.  Now, as for the adults that grew up on processed food, it takes a day or two (ok, maybe a week) to move past the fact chia seeds were used to grow hair on pottery pets! 

New to chia seeds? Read more about them here: Chia Seeds {Nature's Tiny Powerhouse}

{Gluten-free} Monkey Muffins
Cinnamon Banana Chia Muffins

  • 1/4 cup chia seeds
  • 1 c water
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 12 dates, pitted
  • 1 tsp fresh lemon juice
  • 4 ripe bananas
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup Barlean's Extra Virgin Coconut Oil, melted
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 Tbps cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 cups almond flour
  • 1 1/2 cups oat flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt

1) Add chia seeds, water, vanilla, dates, lemon juice, bananas, honey, and coconut oil to high speed blender, like the Vitamix, and blend on high until dates are chopped very well.
2) Add eggs to blender and run on low for a minute until eggs are incorporated.
3) Add dry ingredients to a bowl and mix.
4) Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and mix well.
5) Scoop mixture into greased cupcake tins (I use EVOO or EV Coconut Oil) and bake at 350 for 15-20 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.

Optional add-ins:
Vegan chocolate chips
Dark chocolate chips

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Fruit {Nature's Candy}

It is very important to get the proper amount of fruit in your diet to remain healthy and ward off disease. The American Heart Association and the United States Department of Agriculture both recommend adults eat at least 7 to 13 servings of fruits and vegetables every day.  

Regarding fruit, an adult should aim for 3-5 fresh or frozen servings a day. A child's serving will depend on their age, but aim for 2-4 servings a day.  Also, variety matters, so try a wide range of fruits! It doesn't have to be boring either, this picture below is the Wild Blueberry Freeze my 4 year old loves!

There are many reasons to make sure you are getting the proper amount of fruit in your diet. Below are a list of many.

Fruits Lower Risk of Illness and Disease:

Fruits contain many vitamins and nutrients that may reduce risk for many illnesses including:

Stroke, heart disease and other heart-related illnesses
Type 2 diabetes
Certain cancers, such as mouth, stomach, and colon-rectum cancer.
Kidney stones
Bone loss

Fruits Hydrate the Body: 

Fruits are made up of 90 percent 95 percent water. Water is an important nutrient. It is responsible for transporting nutrients around the body, regulating body temperature, keeping joints moist, and getting rid of waste products in the body.

Fruits Keep the Body Regular:

Fruits are rich in fiber, which is essential for the smooth movement of food in the body’s digestive system. Fruits help maintain easy bowel action and eating fruits every day will prevent constipation.

Fruits Give the Body Energy:

All fruits contain carbohydrates, which are the body’s main source of energy. Carbohydrates in fruits are mainly sugar, which break down easily and make a quick source of energy.

Wanna read more about the benefits of eating fruit and vegetables? Read this article, Clean Cuisine and More 

Make eating fruit easy and fun! (2011)

Serving chart for ONE serving:
1 cup mixed berries or single berry
1 med grapefruit
1 cup chopped melon
1 kiwi
2 cuties
1 medium banana
1 medium apple
1 medium pear
Approx 15 grapes
Approx 6 strawberries

I know my family has come a really LONG way from eating canned fruits, processed fruits, and very little fresh fruits just 2.5 years ago, but I wanted to see how much fresh fruit we were really eating now. We decided to do a fruit log. We no longer eat canned fruit or packaged fruit.  We only eat fresh or frozen fruit, except an occasion the kids will have apple sauce in one of those squeeze tubes at lunch.

Many people think they are consuming enough fruit daily when in reality that isn't the case. Unless they are having fruit at least 3 times a day they are really missing the mark.  For two weeks my family charted how much fruit we consumed. 

My Family: Myself, husband and children (age 4 and 8)

During a 2 week period we consumed for the following:

Lemons: 10
Limes: 4
Apples (large and small): 17
Pears: 14
Bananas (fresh and frozen): 52
Navel Oranges: 18
Cuties: 39
Grapes: 3lbs +-
Strawberries: 3lbs+-
Blueberries: 2lbs
Pineapple (frozen): 6lbs+-
Wild Blueberries (frozen): 4lbs
Raspberries (frozen) 18oz

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Chia Seeds {Nature's Tiny Powerhouse}

If someone says "Chia seeds" I bet you immediately think of the Ch-ch-ch-chia  pet commercials (at least if you are over the age of 25 you should).  They did a great job of getting that little jingle stuck in our heads over the past 30 years. 

It's time to stop thinking of chia seeds as hair for your pottery pet! Instead, it's time to give chia seeds the love they deserve. They may be a super teeny tiny seed, but they are considered a super food that packs a lot of nutrients in it's tiny package. Chia seeds date back to the Aztecs. Chia seeds are a member of the mint family.

Make sure you never consume chia seeds that are sold with the Chia Pets as they are not food grade seeds. Chia seeds provide calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, manganese, copper, iron, molybdenum, niacin, and zinc.

Chia Seeds {Nature's Tiny Powerhouse}

Chia seeds, to me, have no flavor at all, but some say they have a mild, nutty flavor. Chia seeds are great to add to your smoothies. The Vitamix blends them so well you can't even see them in the smoothie. If you do not have a high speed blender you may want to try soaking your seeds first in water to form a gel.
(Smoothie: Add 1-2 tsp for kids, 1-2 Tbps for adults)

Add Chia seeds to soups, salads, dressings, muffins, and much much more. 

So, why should you start consuming chia seeds?  

10 Health Benefits of Chia Seeds

Supports Heart Health
Chia seeds can help reduce blood pressure. The seeds contain one of the highest known plant sources of essential fatty acids (omega-3 and omega-6). EFAs cannot be synthesized by our bodies however, it is very important that we get enough to support our immune, cardiovascular, nervous and reproductive systems. EFA deficiency is quite common in North America.

Stabilizes Blood Sugar
Chia seeds slow down the rate at which complex carbohydrates are digested and then assimilated into the body. The soluble fiber helps to stabilize blood glucose levels resulting in steady, sustained energy. In one study on diabetic patients, Dr. Vladamir Vuksan of St. Michael's Hospital in Toronto, found that blood was thinner and less prone to clotting and blood pressure of participants dropped significantly, after three months of taking Chia seeds daily. 

The word “Chia” comes from the Mayan language and means strength. Chia seeds are a balanced blend of protein, carbohydrates, fats and fiber. It is said that 1 tablespoon of Chia can sustain a person for 24 hours. Athletes have reported that Chia seeds help them perform at optimal levels for much longer periods of time. 

Anti-Inflammatory Properties 
A number of arthritis sufferers have reported reduced pain and inflammation after a few weeks of taking Chia seeds. The high concentration of omega-3 helps to lubricate joints and keep them supple. Additionally, Omega-3s are converted into prostaglandins which are known to have both pain relieving and anti-inflammatory effects.

Weight Loss
The essential fatty acids contained in Chia seeds helps to boost metabolism and promote lean muscle mass. The seeds are sometimes added to food to provide bulk and nutrients while adding very few calories. For these reasons, many people have found Chia quite useful in weight loss and weight maintenance.

Detoxification and Elimination
Similar to psyllium, the swelling action of Chia in the body helps to cleanse and soothe the colon, and absorb toxins while lubricating and strengthening peristaltic action.

High Quality Protein
Chia seeds contain about 20% protein, a higher percentage than found in many other grains such as wheat and rice. Chia seeds contain strontium which helps to assimilate protein and produce high energy.

Chia seeds are an excellent source of antioxidants containing even more antioxidants than fresh blueberries. The high amounts of antioxidants in Chia seeds also keeps the oils from going rancid - contributing to a long shelf life. 

Provides Fiber and Other Nutrients
Besides EFAs, Chia seeds also provide fiber, iron, calcium, niacin, magnesium, zinc and phosphorus. 
2 tablespoons of Chia = 7 grams of fiber, 2 grams of protein, 205 milligrams of calcium, 5 grams omega-3

Brain Power
EFAs are known to make cell membranes more flexible and efficient making nutrients more readily available and nerve transmission more efficient. This helps to improve brain function (including memory and concentration).

But wait, there's even more you need 
to know about chia seeds...

Chia seeds contain no gluten or grains. Therefore, all of the nutritional benefits of chia seeds can be obtained on a gluten-free diet. These are great to incorporate into a gluten-free diet.

Egg Replacer
The outer layer of chia seeds swells when mixed with liquids to form a gel. This can used in place of eggs to lower cholesterol and increase the nutrient content of foods and baked goods. To make the egg replacement, mix 1 tablespoon of chia seeds with 3 tablespoons of water and let sit for 15 minutes.

Though Chia seeds are considered a healthy food, take caution when eating them. Some people experience an allergic reaction to Chia seeds, especially if they're already allergic to sesame or mustard seeds. Chia seeds can also interfere with high blood pressure medication and blood thinners. There has not been enough research to determine if ingesting Chia seeds for more than 12 weeks is safe. Pregnant and breast-feeding women should avoid eating chia seeds simply because no one knows how Chia seeds affect unborn or newborn babies. Chia seeds consists of a high amount of alpha linolenic acid. Some studies show a link between high amounts of this acid and prostate cancer, so don't eat Chia seeds if you suffer from prostate cancer or are at a high risk for the disease.

I purchase a 32 ounce bag of chia seeds at Costco. I will get back to you on the price of the bag.

Monday, March 4, 2013

{clean} Taco Seasoning Mix

I love all things Mexican food. This is an easy universal mix to make and you can double or triple it and have on hand for the next recipe. I tend to just make as I need it. 

{clean} Taco Seasoning Mix

  • 1 Tbps chili powder
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 2 Tbps cumin
  • 1/2 tsp oregano
  • 1 tsp paprika (I use smoked paprika often)
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
NOTE: If you want this mix hotter, add another 1 Tbps chili powder. I made it more mild because I have young kids. And/or add some cayenne pepper to heat things up. As another option, you can add hot sauce to whatever prepared meal you made to customize everyone's heat levels.

I add this complete recipe to about 1 lb of meat (usually chicken). You can add all or half, it's up to you.