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Whole Foods Market Darien Cooking Class Challenge - Vegan Buckwheat Beauty Crepes


Whole Foods Market Darien Cooking Class Challenge - Vegan Buckwheat Beauty Crepes

March is beauty month at Whole Foods Markets. In honor of the theme, I was asked if my vegan cooking class in Darien and tours this month could be tied into the events. I was also asked if it could also be a brunch item.  An overwhelming yes came out of my mouth. I love to think about at the benefits of food before I decide what to eat each morning. Challenge accepted!

Whole Foods Market Cooking Class with Holly Skodis

Now that the class is about beauty that meant that the food choices have to contribute to glowing skin and get you on your way to a gorgeous healthy self.  I'm very strict with what I eat so I decided to formulate a crepe that was 100% whole foods plant-based with no oil, added sugars or refined grains and no guilt. AKA something I would eat. If I'm serving it to others it also has to be tasty. 

I absolutely love crepes. They are so versatile because they can be both savory and sweet. While traditional crepes are quite yummy, they aren't particularly good for you. I spent the next few days formulating my perfect crepe, savory and sweet.  

I decided to use buckwheat because it is one of the healthiest foods you can eat. It's name is a little misleading as it isn't a grain It's a seed. It's beauty benefits include; glowing skin from relaxed blood vessels, essential nutrients to help hair growth,  protection from premature aging and weight loss. This powerhouse also is protective against breast cancer, lowers blood pressure and cholesterol, and is a mood enhancer that aids in depression.  

I then played around with adding some of my favorite nutrient packed ingredients; shiitake mushrooms, garlic, spinach, and garlic for the savory version and bananas and blackberries for the sweet. Both crepes would taste lovely with a cashew creme which makes a great substitute for dairy. It would also be a helpful demonstration for people new to exploring vegan foods.

The Savory Vegan Buckwheat Beauty Mushroom Crepes with Spinach and Creme provide a whopping 10g of protein and 4g of fiber per crepe. They are high in many of the B vitamins. They provide 100% RDA of Vitamin K, copper, 50% magnesium, 60% manganese, 45% phosphorus, 33% selenium and 35% of zinc for those eating 2000 calories per day. They are also loaded with antioxidants. 

The Blackberry Banana Beauty Crepe provide 6g of protein and 5 grams of fiber. They provide 60% daily copper, 50% Manganese, 32% Magnesium, 24% Phosphorus and 20% of your vitamin E. High it antioxidants as well these are a zero guilt sweet treat.

The recipes follow. I hope you enjoy them as much as I do. 

Vegan Buckwheat Beauty Crepes
Makes 4 crepes

1/4 cup Bobs Red Mill Organic Buckwheat Flour
1/8 cup Bobs Red Mill Oat Flour
1/8 cup Bobs Red Mill ‘Sweet’ White Sorghum Flour
1/2 cup 365 Unsweetened Almond Milk
1/2 cup water
2 tbsp arrowroot powder

Combine the dry ingredients. Mix well. Add the almond milk and water to the dry ingredients. Whisk ingredients until combined and smooth. 

Heat a nonstick crepe maker or a cast iron skillet on medium high heat. If using the cast iron skillet lightly coat with olive oil removing excess oil with a paper towel. Add between 1/4 and 1/2 cup of batter depending on the size of crepe desired to the center of the crepe maker or pan. Using a large nonstick basting spoon gently spread the batter in a circular motion starting from the center towards the outer edges to thin and expand the crepe. Wait approximately 30 seconds to a minute before flipping your crepe. The crepe is ready to flip when it loosens on the edges with a spatula and looks drier throughout. Go slow to not tear the crepe. Once you flip the crepe cook for an additional 30 seconds to 1 minute. If you crepe still looks a little too moist you can flip it once again and let it cook for around 10 seconds more. 


Savory Vegan Buckwheat Beauty Mushroom Crepes with Spinach and Creme
Serves 4

4 Buckwheat Beauty Crepes (recipe above)

3 cups organic shiitake mushrooms sliced thinly stems removed

1.5 cups organic portobello mushrooms sliced into 1” pieces stems removed

2 cups organic baby spinach 

2 cloves garlic chopped

3/4 tsp dried thyme
1 tbsp nutritional yeast

1/4 tsp celtic sea salt (optional)
2 tbsps chopped fresh chives
ground pepper to taste
3/4 cups cashew creme (recipe follows)

Head a cast iron skillet on medium heat. Sauté the mushrooms in water by adding 1 tbsp of water at a time to keep the pan moist and the mushrooms from sticking. Cook for approximately 5 minutes until the mushrooms soften completely. Add the garlic and thyme and cook for 1 additional minute. Meanwhile in a separate bowl add 1 tbsp nutritional yeast and salt if you are using it to the 3/4 cups of cashew creme. Add 1/4 cup of water and stir. Add the sauce to the mushrooms in the pan and cook for 1 minute. Add the spinach, stir and continue to cook until the spinach just wilts. If the sauce begins to thicken too much add 1 tbsp of water at a time to thin it a bit. Add pepper to taste. 

To assemble the crepes place 1/4 of the mushroom mixture in the center lengthwise of the  crepe. Sprinkle 1 tsp of chives. Fold the left side of the crepe at an angle over the mixture. Do the same with the right side. The finished crepe will be more open at the top and sealed at the bottom. Garnish with chopped chives. Serve promptly. 


Blackberry and Banana Beauty Buckwheat Crepes
4 Buckwheat Crepes
3/4 cups organic blackberries
1/4 cup water
1 tsp fresh lemon juice
2 ripe bananas thinly sliced
3/4 cups cashew creme- recipe follows

Make the blackberry sauce. Add the water, lemon juice, 1 tbsp cashew creme and blackberries to a high speed blender. Blend on medium for approximately 30 seconds. Turn off the blender and scrape down the edges with a spatula. Blend again until smooth. Set aside

Assemble the crepes. Take 1/4 of the sliced bananas and place into the center lengthwise of the crepe. Drizzle 1 to 2 tbsps of of the blackberry sauce over the bananas. Repeat with the creme sauce. Fold the edges of crepe closed at a slight angle leaving the top more open. Drizzle the top of the crepe with a little more blackberry sauce and creme for presentation. 

Cashew Creme Sauce (Yields about 1 1/2 cups or a little less depending on soaking time)
1 cup organic raw cashews
3/4 cup purified water
1 tsp fresh lemon juice 

Soak the cashews in purified water for 1-2 hours. Drain the cashews and add to a high speed blender like a Vitamix. Add 3/4 cup purified water and 1 tsp fresh lemon juice. Pulse on medium high for approximately 15 seconds. Turn off the blender. Using a spatula, push down the cashew pieces from the sides and top of the blender. Blend until smooth. You may add extra water 1 tbsp at a time if needed. Set aside


Snacking Pancakes


Snacking Pancakes


I'm kinda obsessed with buckwheat right now. It's one of those foods that have no guilt attached to it. It's high in protein and fiber, niacin (b3), magnesium phosphorus selenium, b6 and iron. If you want amazing skin, improved digestion, and lower blood pressure this high antioxidant and diabetes fighter is your seed. 

I love treating myself with the dark high mountain buckwheat tea  from Arogya and have recently become a fan of buckwheat pancakes. After a bit of experimenting I've come up with what has become my snacking pancake. They are great for breakfast but dense enough to grab from the refrigerator and snack on during the day.

Vegan Banana Blueberry Buckwheat Snacking Pancakes. 
Makes 8 pancakes

1 1/2 cups buckwheat flour
1 1/2 sliced banana
1/2 organic blueberries fresh or frozen
1/4 cup applesauce
1 cup organic soy milk or other nut milk unsweetened
3/4 cup water
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt

Combine wet ingredients, stir and set aside. Combine dry ingredients except for the bananas and blueberries in a large mixing bowl and mix. Add the wet ingredients and combine until the dry mix is incorporated into the wet. Heat a cast iron skillet on low/medium heat. Lightly grease with avocado or olive oil. Add 1/8th of the pancake batter onto the skillet. After 1 minute add 4-5 slices of banana and some blueberries to the batter. Cook for 1 or 2 more minutes until the pancake is firm enough to flip over. Flip the pancake and cook for 1 or 2 minutes until thoroughly cooked. Repeat until all 8 pancakes are completed. Either serve warm or set aside in the refrigerator for snacking pancakes. 





Orange Radiance Smoothie


Orange Radiance Smoothie

It's important to make sure we eat a variety of fruits and vegetables everyday. I make it a daily goal is to try to eat at least 10 different kinds because they all contain different healing powers for optimum health.

While I have no problem meeting my daily ten, for whatever reason, I have a harder time incorporating orange colored fruits and vegetables into my daily diet. I usually have turmeric at least in tea form and carrots reasonably often but that's usually about it. 


In the last couple of months, I've had two gorgeous and vibrant friends who are both near 70 years old tell me to look into the Medical Medium, Anthony William. On both accounts, they uttered the disclaimer, he's way out there as he gets his information from "spirit" but they both believe his information is right on. When I say these women are gorgeous, I mean it. Both of them look decades younger than they really are and it's not because of plastic surgery, botox and fillers. Their vibrance is a direct result of their self care and lifestyle. 

I listened to his podcast on heart health because heart disease runs on my father's side of the family.  I decided to try to take the advice that he gave to one of his friends who had not eaten an orange in over a year! He told him to eat 3 oranges a day until further notice. According to Anthony William the calcium in oranges protects the nervous system as well as the heart. The bioflavonoids and vitamin c in oranges also protect the heart. I'm all for eating lots of fruits and veggies so it made perfect sense that I should give it a try. 

I don't particularly like to eat oranges. I find them annoying to peel and the texture's a little ho hum. I decided to craft a smoothie that incorporates oranges instead. I also wanted to see if I could get turmeric root in there too. It's a more powerful boost if you can use fresh turmeric in one form or another. Through my experimenting I realized the only way to incorporate the turmeric into the smoothie without it tasting like a curry was to juice it first. So if you decide to make the smoothie and do not have a juicer, my advice is to omit the turmeric juice, black pepper and ginger juice from the smoothie. It's delicious without it as well.

Orange Radiance Smoothie Recipe:
2 oranges peeled
1/2 banana
1 cup liquid- I like organic unsweetened soy milk for a creamy texture and added protein but almond milk with a  tablespoon of hemp or chia seeds is a nice substitution if you don't like soy. You could also use water.
1 cup organic spinach leaves
1.5 inch sized piece or turmeric root peeled and juiced
1/2 inch piece of ginger root juiced
1 small pinch of black pepper to increase the turmeric's bioavailability

Blend on high under smooth. During the winter months I make my smoothies a little warmer and blend them a little more.  In summer months I freeze my bananas for a cold creamy consistency. 





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Easy Asian Bowl

Easy Asian Bowl

A healthy but tasty dinner when you're short on time. 

My family and I spent the last week vacationing with dear friends in Cape Cod. We got home around 5:30pm and I was starving. I snacked on a small handful of cashews to tie me over for a bit and thought about what I could make using the remaining groceries that we brought back home from our trip.  I knew I had to run to the market for some basics to get us by and I didn't want to spend a lot of time on dinner or cleanup. 

I had a new bottle of Cindy's Kitchen Creamy Miso Dressing, a box of mixed greens and an avocado that I wanted to use tonight. I also had a package of The Bridge Kettle Style Tofu and brown rice on hand. I put 2 cups of brown rice in my pressure cooker set it to cook and left for a quick trip to the grocery store. Since it only takes 23 minutes to cook the rice, I knew I could get to the store, prep the food and sit down to eat within an hour. 

I picked up a red pepper at the store for added vitamin c which aids iron absorption and some bean sprouts to add a live element to the bowls. I also crumbled some raw walnut pieces for omega 3s.

Dinner was fantastic! 


2 cups organic brown rice

1 package organic mixed greens

1 bottle Cindy's Kitchen Creamy Miso Dressing or any miso non dairy dressing

1 avocado

1 package mung bean sprouts

1/2 organic red bell pepper

1 package The Bridge Kettle Style Tofu

1/4 cup chopped raw walnuts

Cook brown rice according to package. I prefer a pressure cooker because the results are moist like sushi rice and take 1/2 the time to cook. Alternatively you can purchase organic frozen brown rice at Wholefoods or Trader Joes. 

Heat a cast iron pan. Add a small amount of avocado oil to thinly cover the pan. Pan fry the tofu for 2-3 minutes each side. For a healthier version, steam the tofu until heated through. 

Chop the red pepper and avocado into bite size pieces. 

Place all the ingredients out on a table and let everyone choose the amount of ingredients they want in their bowls. Add dressing to taste. 



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