Last week I had the great privilege of presenting for The Living Food Ministry at The Agape International Spiritual Center here in Los Angeles. This ministry was the vision of the awe- inspiring Rev. Arlene Hylton who opens a conversation to discuss and share insights on the benefits of eating Raw and Living Foods.
We had a blast preparing foods and sharing information on everything from the dangers of GMO’s (especially how removal of seeds in fruit is effecting woman’s health.) To what the heck is Nutritional Yeast? We laughed, we got inspired and best of all we ate some amazing food that not only nourishes your body, but your soul.
Even if you are not contemplating a vegan lifestyle you can enjoy these recipes because they just taste good! And if you are in Southern California on the second Sunday of the month at 2:30 p.m.I invite you to check out Rev. Arlene and the Living Foods Ministry! I promise you will be inspired to eat more foods that taste great and make your body feel alive. In the words of Rev. Arlene “Life tastes good!’
Heirloom Tomato Gazpacho
6 large heirloom tomatoes, all varieties and colors, seeded and diced into 1/4-inch cubes
1 medium red onion, cut into 1/4-inch cubes
4 Parisian cucumbers or 1 hothouse cucumber, seeded and diced into1/4 inch cubes
2 purple bell peppers, seeded and cut into 1/4-inch cubes
2 yellow bell peppers, seeded and cut into 1/4-inch cubes
1/4 cup fresh cilantro, roughly chopped
2 tbsp red wine vinegar
1 lemon, juiced
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and finely chopped
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
8 tbsp aged balsamic vinegar
In a blender or food processor combine tomatoes, onion, cucumber, and peppers. Add cilantro, red wine vinegar, lemon juice and jalapeno. Add a few pinches of salt and black pepper. Process vegetables into a juicy soup, leaving it nice and chunky. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour before serving. Ladle soup into bowls and drizzle with balsamic vinegar.
Maple Balsamic Vinaigrette
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2-tablespoon Dijon Mustard
1-tablespoon maple syrup
6-tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1-cup olive oil
Fresh ground pepper
Whisk all ingredients together and let stand for one hour.
From THE LOTUS KITCHEN 2015 Huqua Press
Hydrating Cucumber Mint Salad
4 cup Cucumber Chopped
2 cups fresh Mint
1 Cup Cilantro
1 cup basil
1 Cup of Lime Juice
1/3 of Grape seed oil
1 Cup Yellow Cherry Tomatoes
2 teaspoons fresh ginger
Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and Serve. Serves 2 to 4.
From THE LOTUS KITCHEN 2015 Huqua Press
REV MICHAEL’S AGAPE BROWNIES
These brownies are chock full of chocolaty goodness, but they also have a few health benefits for you! The three biggest health-boosting ingredients are Xylitol, coconut oil and dark chocolate. Xylitol tastes sweet but, unlike sugar, it is not converted in the mouth to acids that cause tooth decay. It reduces levels of decay-causing bacteria in saliva and also acts against some bacteria that cause ear infections. It is said to be friendly to some diabetics because it releases smaller amounts of insulin slower! Dark chocolate is high in antioxidants and can help reduce bad cholesterol and lower blood pressure. It is true that coconut oil can be classified as a “super food.” Its unique combination of fatty acids can have profound positive effects on health. This includes fat loss, better brain function, helps fight infections, reduce bad cholesterol and promote healthy hair, skin and be used as a sunscreen! But mostly they are simple to make and are super tasty!
½ cup coconut oil
2 cups 60% cacao bittersweet chocolate baking chips
1 tablespoon vanilla
1 cup water
1 cup zilatol
1 cup pastry flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup Dutch process cocoa (60% Cacao or higher)
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons ground flax seeds
½ cup hot water
Preheat oven to 350°F and spray a 9×13 san with bakers joy.
In a double boiler or a bowl set atop a pot of gently simmering water, melt the coconut oil, ½ of the chocolate chips and vanilla together. When melted add the xylitol and remove from heat.
In another bowl, whisk together the flours, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
In another bowl, whisk together the flax seeds, cornstarch and ½ cup hot water, allow to sit for 5 minutes.
Combine the chocolate/coconut oil mixture with the flax seed mixture and whisk vigorously. Add to the flour mixture and stir to incorporate. Add the other half of the chocolate chips and mix well. Pour the batter into the greased baking pan and bake for about 50 minutes. Start checking the brownies after the first 30 minutes to ensure it is baking evenly and turn the pan around in the oven. When cooked soft cake like to the touch pull them and let them cool completely before cutting. Makes 20-14 squares
From A VEGAN HOLIDAY Fall 2016 Huqua Press