Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Quinoa Stuffed Artichoke Hearts

These stuffed artichokes take a little bit of work but the end result is not only nutritionally well-balanced but a feast for the eyes and taste buds. Serve as the main entree with a fresh green salad or share one as a protein-packed side dish. Either way they make for a special addition to any celebratory dinner. 

Most of the your time will be spent removing the fuzzy center of the artichoke to make way for the quinoa stuffing. You won't need any snazzy kitchen gadgets; a melon baller or grapefruit spoon will get the job done. Once you've accomplished the choke removal, the rest comes together quickly.

  • 2 artichokes
  • 1.5 cups cooked quinoa
  • 1/3 cup good quality vegetable broth
  • 2 tsps red wine vinegar
  • 1 small tomato, diced
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts, lightly toasted
  • Small handful of parsley, chopped
  • 5-6 fresh mint leaves, chopped
  • Himalayan salt and pepper to taste

  • 2-3 TB crumbled Feta 
  • 2-3 TB scallions, chopped
  • Handful of spinach, chopped
  • Lightly topped with parmesan cheese right before serving

For fabulous photographed and detailed instructions on preparing the artichokes for stuffing visit Chef Kelly Meyer's website For presentation purposes you may wish to apply a bit of lemon juice on the cut leaves of the artichoke to prevent browning although it's not necessary. While you're working on the artichokes, cook the quinoa according to package instructions.

Place the prepared artichokes into a saucepan, fill with 1-2 inches of water. Cover and steam for 20 minutes or until tender crisp. Remove and invert the artichokes on a kitchen towel to drain.

While the artichokes are cooling, mix the vegetable broth, red wine vinegar, tomato, garlic, pine nuts, parsley, mint leaves into the quinoa while still warm. Salt and pepper to taste. Mix thoroughly and fill the artichokes with the quinoa mixture. Depending on the size of the artichokes you may have some leftover stuffing - that's fine, it's tasty on it's own!

Return the artichokes to the saucepan, replenish the water and steam for another 40-45 minutes. 

Serve warm or cold. Pull the outer leaves away to use as a scoop for the filling or dip in your favorite oil with cracked pepper and balsamic vinegar. As you near the center, a knife will come in handy to eat the best part of the artichoke  - the heart!  

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Meet the Hoisingtons: A Couple Transformed Together!

CLIENTS: Karen & David Hoisington

Weight 121 - 115 = 6 lb loss
Elimination of chronic headaches

Intolerances discovered:
  • OATS: Impact headaches, digestion and irritability 
  • NUTS: Increase headaches


Weight 187 to 169 = 18 lb loss
LDL Cholesterol = 40 point decrease

Intolerances discovered:
  • GLUTEN: Impacts weight, digestion, inflammation
  • TOMATOES: Impact weight, digestion, inflammation and energy
  • CITRUS: Impacts weight, digestion, inflammation

"My husband and I started the Love Cleanse because some friends asked us if we were up for the challenge with them.  How fun, a cleanse together, right?!  Well, actually it was exactly that! I had no idea how this process would change the way we looked at foods and how much better we would feel. 

I think we considered ourselves to be very healthy and very active, and we were. But there were always lingering issues that had no answers. For example:  I have struggled with headaches for years and looked into several treatment options.  Homeopathies, acupuncture, allergy shots etc...what I learned from my Love Cleanse was that nuts were the culprit! As a healthy individual and an athlete I consumed many nuts with no prior challenges. Never been diagnosed with a sensitivity at all. This alone changed my life!!  

There have been many, many other benefits, and as far as recommending this cleanse....I would. Especially to those that think they are doing the best they can do for themselves. You would be amazed."   - Karen

"I think the best benefit of this program for me was that it was healing. In other words, it seemed like at first I reacted to everything. But the longer I stayed at base line the more foods that slowly passed to a point where I really didn't react to anything by the end. 

The foods I still try to avoid are tomatoes, gluten, and citrus. I don't have major reactions to any of these but I stay away. I also discovered sugar is a killer for my blood work.

The Love Cleanse is one of a kind. Understanding my food sensitivities makes a huge difference in my overall health and my ability to manage it. Experiencing the detrimental effects of gluten and a few other foods in by far enough incentive to avoid them. Watching the results of my blood-work throughout the program was pretty amazing. My LDL cholesterol dropped 40 points which I can tell from anyone I have told is hard to believe but I have the paper work. A great program that everyone would benefit from. Also a great idea to do the program with your spouse. We had a great time and were able to support each other. Thanks for all your help."  - David

Hail Merry, Chimayo Chili Pecans

As this medley of - spicy with a hint of natural sweetness - passes your lips, it might conjure up a uniquely spiritual moment with a cry of “Hail Merry!”  

What makes this humble pecan so transcendent?  Is it because they’ve been soaked in order to make them highly digestible?  Is it because they're loaded with living enzymes? Or could it be that the Saint herself descended upon them to sprinkle a little magic? We’re just saying…..the name of the company is a fitting one and words defy the exquisiteness of these tasty little pecans.

$3.99 for 1.75 oz. Available at Daily Juice in Austin, Whole Foods or online at

Banana Ice Dream

Can it really be this simple? Oh yes! Frozen bananas tossed into a blender with three other ingredients results in a light and fluffy 'ice cream' that feels satisfyingly indulgent. If that isn't enough, the protein content in the almond butter cuts the glycemic load of the bananas and lends a creamy sweetness.

This recipe makes two perfectly sized servings for you and your sweetie or one large serving, ahem, like we may or may not have eaten while whipping this up in our test kitchen. 

  • 3 bananas, sliced and frozen
  • 2 TB almond butter
  • 1 TB coconut milk or water
  • 1/8 tspn cardamom or 1 tspn cinnamon (not both)


Place all ingredients in blender and blend until smooth. Either eat immediately in it's 'soft serve' state or return to the freezer for 15-30 minutes for a firmer ice cream texture. 

Topping Suggestions:
  • Shredded coconut
  • Chopped almonds, hazelnuts, or walnuts
  • Freshly sliced bananans
  • Black sesame seeds