Betcha’ thought I forgot about you… oh and here’s a nice pasta salad

pasta salad

I know, I know. It’s been a while since I posted. Betcha thought I forgot about you. Or about health. Or being healthy. Not at all, my friends. I’ve been working on walking the walk, as they say, and forgot about talking the talk. The holidays, winter and spring have been a lot of fun, honestly. So fun that I did occasionally lame out on my health. I went a little nutso with coconut ice cream, for instance, and hard cider with a Fireball chaser. I was a little lax about exercising. And I paid the price with a little winter weight gain and a few sugar-induced migraines. But I also skied and did some rock climbing, and dusted off my elliptical machine. So we’ll call it a wash.

But now it’s spring – the time of renewal. Of starting over. Of green shoots bursting from the ground. And of a million vows to start exercising and eating right again. I don’t know why New Year’s Eve is considered resolution time – everyone I know re-starts in the spring.

This lovely pasta salad is a nice spring renewal offering. I was inspired by a recipe in a health magazine. Mine includes organic brown rice and quinoa pasta (gluten-free), grilled salmon, olives, a LOT of spinach, red onions, and a simple dressing of olive oil, lemon, toasted sesame oil, tahini (sesame butter) and tamari (wheat-free soy sauce). Oh and garlic and sesame seeds. Mmm. It was so good it was hard to stop eating it. Give it a try!

Sondra’s Salmon Pasta Salad

What’s in it — add or subtract whatever sounds good to you, it’s your salad 🙂

  • 2 cups uncooked GF pasta
  • 2 cups grilled salmon, cut up
  • 4 cups raw spinach
  • 1/2 cup chopped red onion
  • 1/4 cup chopped, pitted kalamata olives
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 2 tbsp. tamari (wheat free soy sauce)
  • 1 tbsp. toasted sesame oil
  • 1 tbsp. tahini (sesame butter)
  • juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 2 cloves of garlic, grated or crushed
  • 1 tbsp. sesame seeds

How to prepare it

  1. Cook pasta according to package instructions – leave al dente (a little firm, not limpy)
  2. Drain pasta, transfer to large serving bowl
  3. Add spinach, stir and allow to wilt a little
  4. Stir in salmon, onions, red onion
  5. Mix dressing – combine olive oil, tamari, tahini, toasted sesame oil, lemon and garlic, stirring well
  6. Combine dressing into pasta salad, then top with sesame seeds
  7. Stir, serve, and enjoy!

Oatmeal Gluten-Free Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Cookies

oatmeal cookies

Who loves cookies? Me! Me! Me! (Waving my arm around wildly).

Me and the cookie monster are like that (holding up my thumb and index finger with almost no light between them). I was even a little sad when he declared cookies a “sometimes food”. I mean, I agree with his message. But I think he succumbed to industry pressure…

So when I went gluten- and dairy-free, not to mention low sugar, cookies were a hard thing to sacrifice. I poured over GF, healthy cookbooks and websites to find satisfying treats. Some were failures, but some are so good I forget they are “healthy”.

This house favorite was adapted from the delicious Babycakes Covers the Classics cook book, using their Oatmeal Cookies recipe as a base. I switched out some of the flours to ones I keep in the house, left out the xanthan gum because I don’t love it and you don’t really need it in this kind of cookie, switched the sugar for Stevia, and added some good stuff like chocolate chips and peanut butter. I think it’s better for my tinkering.

I use sugar-free, gluten-free chocolate chips. Lily’s has good ones. They are a little expensive, but as Cookie Monster said, these are sometimes food. I used a Lily’s bar in the batch pictured above, chunked up, ’cause I was out of chips. Works just as well!

Can’t have peanuts, or baking for a school with a no-peanuts policy? Use almond butter, it adds similar richness.

Ready to try it? Here you go!

Oatmeal Gluten-Free Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter cookies recipe

Ingredients:

  • 1 ¾ cups Bob’s Red Mill All-Purpose Gluten-Free Baking Flour
  • 1 cup Stevia
  • 1/2 cup Bob’s Red Mill Gluten-Free Oats
  • ¼ cup almond meal
  • 2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup melted refined coconut oil
  • ½ cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 2 tablespoons vanilla abstract
  • ½ cup peanut butter (or almond butter, or whatever you like)
  • ½ cup sugar-free, gluten-free chocolate chips

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Line 2 cookie sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
  2. Whisk together the dry ingredients in a medium bowl – flour, Stevia, oats, almond meal, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt.
  3. Melt the coconut oil on the stove or in the microwave
  4. Add the coconut oil, applesauce, and vanilla and stir in well until a thick dough forms. Add the peanut or almond butter and stir until well mixed, then add the chocolate chips and stir again.
  5. Drop the dough by the tablespoon onto the prepared cookie sheets, about 1 inch apart. Bake for 8 minutes, rotate the cookie sheets, and bake for 7 minutes more, or until golden.
  6. Let stand on baking sheets for 15 minutes before serving or you’ll burn your fingers off! 🙂

Makes 36 if you’re accurate with the tablespoon – I throw down bigger blobs, I get 24 from the recipe.

I hope you like them! Give them a try and send me a comment. I’d love to hear about it!

xoxo,
Sondra

Chocolate Cinnamon Coconut Chia Pudding

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Last summer I got into chia pudding in a big way. I’d just discovered that chia seeds are food, not just pets, and started adding them into smoothies and sprinkling them on salads. Chia seeds are high in protein, fiber, and Omega 3’s, and don’t need to be ground before using. What’s not to love?

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My obsession started with a pumpkin chia pudding recipe on The Naked Avocado and snowballed from there. Her pudding is super easy–no cooking!–and delicious. I made it every week through the fall, until pumpkin season was over. Leaving me with a hole in my repertoire. And perhaps my heart. After using up all of my canned pumpkin, I moved on to other squashes and even tried using sweet potatoes. I tried fruit, and applesauce, and cinnamon. It just wasn’t the same. But then it hit me – chocolate!

Two great tastes that taste great together. Well, ok, one great taste, and another that'll soak it up.

Two great tastes that taste great together. Well, ok, one great taste, and another that’ll soak it up.

I’ve been on a no-sugar kick, which makes desserts a bit of a no-no. Anything I can make that’s chocolaty and sugar-free is a big win. And I had scaled back on my Chocolate Coconut Tahini Balls because of all the fat, so this was an even bigger win.

If you haven’t tried it, chia pudding is a little like tapioca in consistency. Which isn’t a great comparison, because I hate tapioca. I promise this is better. Chia seeds are small and black, smaller than sesame seeds. When you soak them in coconut milk, or any other liquid, they swell into fat black drops. Cool! Science! Then just add any sweet flavors that strike your fancy. The chia is neutral, it’ll pick up the coconut and other flavors. In fact, Chia Pod has productized chia pudding, so look for Chia Pods in natural markets near you. But my recipe is better. 😉

Chocolate Cinnamon Coconut Chia Pudding (gluten/diary/sugar free + vegan)

Ingredients:

  • 1 + ¼ cup light coconut milk, divided*
  • 1/3 cup chia seeds
  • 2 Tbsp raw cacao
  • ½ Tsp cinnamon
  • ¼ Tsp Stevia

Instructions:

  1. Stir chia seeds into 1 cup coconut milk in a bowl or sealable container.
  2. Cover and store in refrigerator overnight or at least 4 hours.
  3. Open container and stir – consistency should be pudding-like. If too thick, stir in additional ¼ cup coconut milk.
  4. Stir in raw cacao, cinnamon, and stevia. Taste, and adjust to your liking.
  5. Enjoy!

xoxo,
Sondra

*”Divided” means you’ll use the 1 cup and ¼ cup coconut milk at separate points in the recipe

Where do vegans get their protein?

pondering

During the course of my health coach training I’ve experimented with what feels like a million different dietary theories – Raw, Atkins, Hunter-Gatherer, Vegan, Blood Type, Mediterranean, South Beach, Zone, Macrobiotic, and Slow Food, to name a few.

By far the one I was most nervous about, in a “will I have enough to eat?” sort of way, was going vegan.

I was concerned about more than feeling full – I also had no idea where I was going to get my protein without partaking of our planet’s adorably delicious fish and animals.

My school’s blog provided some useful guidance, vegan classmates were generous with recommendations, and the internets provided the rest. Did you know there are a plethora of vegan foodie blogs? Though a startling number of the recipes are for desserts. We all know what happened to the last gal who suggested that we subsist on cake! Luckily there are real-food recipes as well. Thug Kitchen, Bunny Kitchen, The Sweet Life, Kris Carr, and This Rawsome Vegan Life are some of my favorites.

My favorite gluten-free bakery and café, Flying Apron, is also vegan, and their lovely menu was a nice start. Salads, soups, and gluten-free vegan pizzas, pot pies, and lasagna were all filling and made this seem doable.

So that took care of “will I have enough to eat?” Those recipes would more than cover three meals a meal, and snacks are easy – almonds, green juice, cut up veggies with hummus, a piece of fruit.

Which freed me up for my next anxiety. What about my daily nutritional requirements? Where is my protein supposed to come from?

Beans, seeds and grains provide a ton of protein!

It turns out the whole-food vegan world is chock full of protein, mainly in the form of beans, nuts, seeds, and grains. These little powerhouses contain all of the protein, fiber, and fat you need, and when combined with a rotating selection of fresh vegetables and fruit, ensure a full spectrum of vitamins and minerals in your diet.

Notice I say “whole-food vegan world.” Many vegans get a portion of their protein from soy products including tofu, soy milk, tempeh, soy yogurt, and soy-based faux meats. I’ve worked hard to reduce the amount of processed foods in my diet, so that seemed like backwards progress. It’s a personal choice. Manufactured foods usually have more sugar, sodium, and unexpected chemicals than you’d think, and the processing removes nutrients, so you can end up just as unhealthy on a vegan diet as your average American. Which kinda defeats the purpose, at least for me.

Ok, so I figured out where to find protein on a vegan diet – but how much did I need? The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has recommended dietary allowances for protein intake by age group. According to the CDC, adults need between 46- 56 grams of protein a day, small children from 12-19 grams, tweens around 24 grams, and teenagers from 46-52 grams of protein a day.** As an adult female who’s neither an athlete nor pregnant, my target is 46 grams.

Which is great, but how does an adult woman get 46 grams of protein a day from beans, nuts, seeds, and grains? After reviewing the nutritional information for everything vegan in my pantry, here’s a roundup:

  • ½ cup of cooked black beans:    7 grams*
  • ½ cup cooked lentils has:           9 grams*
  • 2 Tbsp chia seeds:                     6 grams*
  • ¼ cup of almonds:                      6 grams*
  • 2 Tbsp flax seeds:                      3 grams*
  • ½ cup of uncooked quinoa:        12 grams*
  • 2 cups vegetable broth:              2 grams*

(* Estimates based on the packages at hand.)

Add these up and you’re more or less covered.

What can you do with these goodies? Make black bean patties from the beans, quinoa, and flax seeds (play around with this recipe); sprinkle the chia seeds into your daily smoothie; make a quickie warming soup with the veggie broth and lentils; and enjoy the almonds as a mid-day snack.

And there you go – your vegan protein needs are met! Deliciously!

xoxo,
Sondra

** You can find a lot more information about the recommended daily allowances of protein, and a handy chart, on the CDC web site.

Misadventures in Vegan Cooking: Cauliflower Pizza Crust

cauliflower

I have gotten used to some pretty weird things during the course of my health journey. Or things I would have once called weird. Lentils for breakfast. Maca root in my smoothies. Honey and cinnamon facials. Most turn out pretty well, or at least tolerable. Some are unexpectedly awesome. But despite their trendiness in vegan circles, I cannot get used to cauliflower. Or brussel sprouts. Or cabbage.

I am a good sport and keep trying them. At Thanksgiving a friend made a widely praised brussel sprout and bacon side dish with horseradish. I took a serving and ate all the bacon, and went back for seconds–of the bacon. After trying a few, the rest of my sprouts were hidden under my turkey.

Likewise, I just can’t get into the taste of cauliflower. Vegan food bloggers are in love with the stuff, posting recipes featuring it roasted, mashed, even in faux mac and cheese. But the most intriguing recipes are for cauliflower crust pizza. They promised sturdy crusts with no cauliflower taste. The photos are beautiful. Thin and crisp. Beautifully browned.

“We shall see,” I thought, and invested in a few $7 heads of organic cauliflower.

I tried two different recipes. The first attempt was a total mushy disaster. What we like to call “a learning experience.” The second try went a little better. I cooked and drained the cauliflower “rice” in advance, and seasoned the dough with oregano, garlic, and rosemary. It tasted a lot better and looked a bit like a Sicilian pizza (the square kind you make in a baking pan). But it still required a knife and fork, was not what I’d call crispy, and the leftovers were a mushy disappointment. Most importantly, I could still taste the cauliflower.

The third attempt…. Oh, who am I kidding? There was no third attempt. I am not that much of a masochist. I gave it a good college try and am willing to admit that it’s just not for me. The beauty of cooking – and of living well in general – is that not everything works for everyone, and that’s ok.

I’ll pass on this one. There are plenty of other vegetables for me to eat. The important thing is to experiment and find out what you like.

But if the idea of cauliflower pizza crust entices you, here are a few recipes to try:

Most importantly — keep having fun playing with your food!

xoxo,
Sondra

Stone Soup

stones

When I was little I was entranced by the tale of Stone Soup. The story, if you’ve never heard it, goes something like this…

A dusty, road-weary man reaches a small village where he knows no one. He has few belongings, just the clothes on his back and the shoes on his feet and a large cooking pot. He goes to the town pump and fills his cooking pot, then plops down in the village square announcing “I think I’ll make my world famous stone soup. Oh boy is it good. I am so excited to eat it. All I need is water and a nice big stone, and I’ll heat me up some delicious soup.”

The locals are wary but interested. Times are hard in this village. No one wants to feed a vagrant, but if he can teach them how to make a satisfying meal out of rocks, they’re willing to learn. So they start to listen in, keeping their distance and trying to look busy.

The wanderer sees them starting to gather around the edges of the square.  “Gotcha!” he thinks.

He finds a nice sized stone, about as big as his hand, rinses it off, and plops it in the pot. He makes a little fire, puts the pot over it, and as the water starts to heat he rhapsodizes about this soup.

“I once entertained a King,” he says, “with only this stone soup. Oh and an onion – this soup is even better with an onion.”

“An onion,” one of the eavesdroppers thinks. “I can spare that. If it’ll teach me how to make something from nothing.” So he brings the wanderer an onion, which makes its way into the pot.

“Fantastic,” says the wanderer. “This will be even better than the stone soup I prepared for the Maharaja. Oh now that was a soup, I tell ya. A soup anyone would love. Oh though I do believe that soup had a little bacon grease in it.”

“Bacon grease,” thinks another villager, “I can spare a little of that.” So she brings a small scoop of bacon grease to the pot and adds it in.

I’ll spare you the blow by blow account from here, we’re on internet time after all, but suffice it to say that before the soup was done, every villager had contributed some small thing – an egg, some greens, a little meat, some herbs – until it was soup that a king could, in fact, love.

This story has stayed with me my entire life. Like the soup itself, everyone brings something different to this tale. If you’re a socialist, it’s a heartwarming example of the many creating something better than the few. If you’re thrifty, it’s the dawn of pot luck dinners. If you’re a schemer, this is the playbook for getting others to do your work for you.

As an eater, my take-away is different. Soup Is Good! Eat more soup!

I was thinking of this the other day as the weather turned cold. Soup *is* good. I wanted soup. So I looked through my cupboards and threw together an ad-hoc Thai-inspired soup that would satisfy a Maharaja, I am sure. I didn’t measure; I just threw in some of this and some of that. Measurements were approximated after the fact. Use whatever you’ve got. Leave out stuff if you hate it. Throw in other stuff if you love it. I’m sure it’ll be good!

Sondra’s Stone Soup

No stones were hurt in the making of this soup

No stones were hurt in the making of this soup

What to use:

  • ½ can Coconut milk
  • 1 package of low-sodium Vegetable broth
  • 3 Tbsp Fish sauce
  • 2 Tbsp Lime juice from the little green plastic lime or the juice from ½ fresh lime or a few drops food-grade Lime essential oil
  • 1 packet Stevia (replaces the brown sugar found in most Thai soups)
  • 2 slivers of fresh ginger (I always have ginger!) or a few drops food-grade Ginger essential oil
  • A chunk of frozen spinach (about 1 cup)
  • ½ package of pre-prepared Trader Joe lentils (about 1 ½ cups)
  • Optional – 4-5 pieces of dried Lemongrass (I had some dried on hand – fresh is better) or a few drops food-grade Lemongrass essential oil

If you decide to use essential oils, I recommend doTERRA.

What to do:

  1. Warm the coconut milk and veggie broth over Medium-High heat until boiling
  2. Reduce heat to Medium
  3. Add the fish sauce, lime juice, stevia, ginger, and lemongrass. Stir and let simmer for about 5 minutes for the flavors to develop
  4. Add the spinach and lentils. Raise the heat back to Medium-High. Let bubble on the stove for about 10 minutes. House smells good, right? If it’s bubbling too much, reduce heat to Medium.
  5. Serve and enjoy!

Hope you like your first stone soup. Oh and don’t forget to take the stone out before you eat it. 😉

Xoxo,
Sondra

Get your free Gluten-free Holiday Recipe Guide!

It seems like the holidays start earlier every year. As a nation we’ve just recovered from our collective Halloween candy coma and are already preparing for Thanksgiving and Christmas.

If you’re one of the many people going gluten-free for the first time this year, don’t stress out about the holidays. My school, the Institute for Integrative Nutrition, is offering a free gluten-free holiday recipe guide that’s a great place to start.

 

Here’s a sneak peek of what’s inside Integrative Nutrition’s Gluten-Free Holiday recipe guide:

  • 24 delicious recipes for any time of day and every craving.
  • Seasonal ingredients to make the most of the fall harvest.
  • Healthy alternatives to conventional dishes that your family and friends will love.

Download your free gluten-free holiday recipe guide today.

If gluten-free cooking is new to you, you may want to practice before the big event. You know where to find me if you need a taste-tester!

And here are some of my other favorite gluten-free recipe resources — Gluten-Free Girl, Flying Apron’s Gluten-Free & Vegan Baking Book , This Rawsome Vegan Life (it has some great desert recipes) and Babycakes Recipes.

Happy eating.

xoxo,
Sondra

Food (Processor) Love IV: Chocolate Coconut Tahini Balls

Chocolate Tahini Balls

Lest you think I had forgotten about my shiny new Cuisinart in all of the excitement about my shiny new health coaching career, I have yet another gem to share with you. These amazing Chocolate Coconut Tahini Balls come from our friends at Addicted to Raw.

I love this recipe. It’s a sugar free frozen desert with a satisfying dark chocolate peanut butter cup taste. It kind of reminds me of the Halva candy I ate growing up–the neighborhood delis in Philly sold it by the pound, and my mom could always be counted on to buy a chunk.

Like the last three food processor recipes, this is easy to make. Fun, even. As you may have guessed, this dessert contains nuts–it can’t really be made without them, sorry. I usually double the recipe and leave them in the freezer until the snacking urge hits. This is basically a frozen treat – they get all gooey and melty if left out too long. If that happens, just refreeze.

Chocolate Coconut Tahini Balls
Gluten free, dairy free, sugar free.  *Not* nut free.
Yield: Makes about 6 balls.

Ingredients:

  • 2 heaped Tbs of almond butter
  • 2 heaped Tbs of tahini
  • 4 Tsp of raw cacao
  • Pinch of good quality salt
  • 4 Tsp of ground chia seeds
  • Stevia, honey or agave to sweeten to your liking
  • 1/2 cup of unsweetened dried coconut
  • 2 Tbs of hemp seeds or flax seeds
  • 1/2 – 1 Tsp of spirulina (optional but why not get some green in there when you can)
  1. Grind your chia seeds fresh.
  2. Add all ingredients into a food processor and mix well. You can also use a bowl, but I’ve found the food processor works better. When the ingredients turn into a nice ball that looks like dough, it’s done.
  3. Scoop out a tablespoonful, roll it into a ball (I use my hands), and then roll in coconut, sesame seeds or hemp seeds. This is the fun part!
  4. Freeze for about 20 minutes, till they firm up.
  5. Store in freezer and eat straight from there.  Well, this part is fun too 😉

That’s it!  I hope you enjoy them as much as I have. And don’t forget to check out Addicted to Raw – lots more good stuff there!

xoxo,
Sondra

Hand Rolls: Another Way to Play with Your Food

Wondering what to do with all that wonderful pesto, hummus pesto hybrid, and roasted red pepper tapenade? After you’ve exhausted using them as dips, spreading them on sandwiches, and topping roasted veggies, grains and pasta with them, how about wrapping them into hand rolls?

handroll1

If you’re not familiar with hand rolls, they’re one of the healthiest ways to eat sushi. No rice, just fish and veggies rolled in a seaweed wrap. They’re the original* wrap sandwich. But you don’t have to fill them with fish – you can use anything. They’re fun to eat, easy to make, and packed full of minerals. Seaweed is super healthy, in fact many natural health books suggest adding seafood to your diet to aid in detoxification, improving moods, and gaining strength. But the fact that it’s fun and yummy is reason enough!

Easy Hand Rolls
Gluten and dairy free, unless there’s gluten or dairy in your spread. Makes 4 hand rolls.

Ingredients

  • 2 sheets roasted Nori seaweed, the kind they use for sushi
  • 1 cup spread, whatever you feel like eating
  • 1/4 cup lightly packed greens – kale, spinach, basil leaves – whatever you have on hand
  • 1/4 cup matchstick vegetables – carrots, zucchini, cucumber, anything crunchy
  • Sesame seeds

I used SUSHIHANE brand Yaki Nori Sushi Roasted Seaweed sheets
nori seaweed   

 

Instructions

  1. Place one sheet of seaweed on a cutting board or plate and fold it in half on the diagonal, and tear it in half along the fold. Don’t worry if it’s not a clean tear.  I figured this out after I took the pictures, so just imagine the sheets are torn in half along the diagonal 😉
  2. Spoon ¼ cup of spread in the center of one of the triangular pieces, making it into a little log. Don’t put it too close to the pointy tip, or it will fall out when you roll it.
  3. Sprinkle sesame seeds over the spread.
  4. Arrange a few spears of your  crunchy vegetable around the log of spread
  5. Cover it with a few pieces of your leafy green
  6. Roll ’em up – fold one end of the seaweed over the log of spread, then start rolling from the log until you’ve incorporated the rest of the sheet of seaweed

handroll making2  handroll making1

handroll1

And that’s it! They make an adorable presentation for parties or just for yourself. Why not make eating fun? I’d love to hear what you think of them, feel free to comment.

Happy eating!

 

*Okay I may be making this up, but they’re pretty ancient!

Food (Processor) Love III: Hummus Pesto Hybridy Goodness

While working on the third installment of my spread series I started out focusing on hummus, an oldie but a goodie. But after the excitement of the Roasted Red Pepper Tapenade and the Mint-Basil Dairy Free Pesto, everything I tried seemed a little bland. Until I realized I was missing exciting flavors I was doomed to failure. Doomed I tell you. But once I started adding in delicious elements from the pesto it all came together. This exiting combination provides the substantial-ness of a hummus with the brightness of a pesto. I am extremely happy with how it came out.

hummus pesto hybrid 2
As pretty as it is delicious

Unlike the last two, this one is all mine, I have no reference recipe to share. But just like the last two, this one is super delicious and so easy to make that you’re going to want to make it a lot. I promise.

Hummus Pesto Hybridy Goodness
Gluten and dairy free. Contains nuts, but you can leave them out and it’ll still be yummy.
Yield: Makes about 2 cups

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup garbanzo beans (chick peas)
  • 1/4 cup lightly packed fresh basil leaves
  • 1/4 cup lightly packed fresh mint leaves
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 1” chunk of fresh ginger
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice (approx ½ a medium lime)
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup unsalted sunflower seeds, walnuts, or pine nuts
  • Sesame seeds, raw or toasted
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

Instructions

  1. Rinse and dry the fresh basil and mint, put into food processor, and give it a whirl until they’re rough chopped.
  2. Add the garlic and ginger and chop.
  3. If using canned garbanzo beans/chick peas, pour them into a strainer and rinse well before using. They put a bunch of additives and preservatives in canned foods, you want to get rid of what you can. Add them into the machine and chop well.
  4. Add the sunflower seeds or other nuts, and a few shakes of sesame seeds. Pulse until well mixed.
  5. Add the lime juice, olive oil, and pepper and continue pulsing to mix. You should see the mixture emulsify and deepen in color.

And that’s it! Give it a taste and tinker as you like, adding more of any of the spices or seeds/nuts until it’s perfect for your palate. I didn’t include salt because the lime is salty enough for me, but feel free to add some if you like.

Happy pureeing!