Monday, May 10, 2010

Great Websites

Here are some great websites that I have found that have some fantastic ideas and recipes:

www.greenereating.com

http://blog.fatfreevegan.com

http://section89.blogspot.com

Friday, April 30, 2010

Spinach Artichoke Spread

2 cups almondaise
1 pkg. frozen chopped spinach, thawed and well drained
1 can artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
2 tsp lemon juice
1/2 tsp Tony Chaucers seasoning
1/2 tsp pepper

Mix everything in a bowl. Place in a pie plate and bake at 350 for 20 minutes. Serve warm with vegetables, crackers or bread.

Lentil Chili

3 cups soaked and low heated brown lentils
2 TB olive oil
1 diced onion
2 garlic cloves, pressed
2 stalks diced celery
1/2 cup diced carrots
1 diced zucchini
1 (6 oz) can tomato paste
1 (14 oz) can tomato sauce
3 fresh tomatoes, diced
1/2 - 1 cup water (to make desired thickness)
3 TB nutritional yeast
1-2 TB chili powder
1 TB paprika
1/2 tsp. smoked paprika, optional
1/2 tsp chipolte powder, optional
1/2 - 1 TB cumin
1 TB honey
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp basil
sea salt to taste

Prepare lentils and set aside. In a large pan saute garlic, onions, celery, carrots, zucchini. Add tomato paste, tomato sauce and fresh tomatoes and seasonings. Add desired amount of water. Stir until well combined and fairly hot. Stir in lentils, take off heat and let sit to improve flavor.

Gnocchi Soup

My kids love this one and they always call it "Pinocchio Soup." This recipe is not gluten free - gnocchi contains wheat. Gnocchi is an Italian pasta made with potatoes inside. You can find them at most groceries stores in the Italian or pasta section.

1 small finely diced onion
1 tsp garlic
1/3 cup earth balance
1 TB brown rice or wheat flour
2 cups vegetable broth
2 TB nutritional yeast
1 tsp dried parsley flakes
fresh ground pepper
sea salt
1-2 cups gnocchi
2 cups almond milk
2 cups fresh spinach - or 1 pkg frozen spinach
fresh or dried basil

In a large pot saute onion and garlic in earth balance, stir in flour until paste is formed. Stir in vegetable broth and nutritional yeast. Add gnocchi and parsley and let simmer for a few minutes to cook gnocchi through. Add almond milk, salt, pepper, parsley flakes, spinach and basil.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Pumpkin Muffins

1 cup evaporated cane juice crystals
1/4 cup oil or applesauce
4 TB flax egg
3/4 cup canned pumpkin
1-1/2 cups brown rice flour
1 TB baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 ground cloves
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp salt

Cinnamon Butter:

1/2 cup earth balance
1 cup powdered sugar
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp almond milk
Cream earth balance and sugar. Add cinnamon and almond milk. Mix well.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Grease a 12-cup muffin tin (I like to make mini muffins) Mix evaporated cane juice, oil or applesauce, flax and pumpkin. Mix dry ingredients and add to pumpkin mixture. Fill cups two-thirds full and bake 18-20 minutes until golden brown. Let cool before serving. Serve with cinnamon butter.

I'm Back

Well, I've taken a bit of a break from my Healthy Living blog (I know, it's been a year). This past year has been wonderful, busy, exciting, stressful, blessed and flown by faster than I can believe. My lack of posting has not been due to lack of healthy living, in fact I have implemented many new things to my lifestyle. Running has always been one of those things I could never do, however, in the last year and a half I have become a runner and am enjoying it very much. There is nothing like going out for a long in the mornings to start out your day. I have also discovered ZUMBA which has added a lot of "funness" in my life. If you haven't tried it you should. One other big difference I have made is that I have been eating gluten free for the past six months. I decided to make the change after researching the subject and believing it is the best option for me. I do not recommend eating completely gluten free for everyone unless there is obvious reason to do so, however, I do believe that in general we eat much to much gluten. Gluten is everywhere, tucked away in foods that you probably don't realize. Gluten can be difficult for your body to digest and more and more people are finding out that they have an intolerance to gluten. I do highly recommend cutting back on gluten and being more aware of how much you are eating. The majority of my recipes will be gluten free as well as vegan, however, feel free to adjust the recipes in anyway including using wheat flour where I will call for an alternative. I have found brown rice flour to be very interchangeable with wheat flour and my mill has been invaluable when it comes to milling my own flours from the grain of choice. I again apologize for my lack of posting and hope that this blog will continue to inspire and help you on your journey to healthy living.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Honey Whole Wheat Dinner Rolls

1 (1/4 oz) pkg active dry yeast
1 cup warm almond milk
6 TB honey
4 TB melted earth balance
3 1/2-4 cups white whole wheat four
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/4 tsp baking soda

Dissolve the yeast in the warm almond milk in a large bowl. Whisk the honey and 3 TB melted earth balance in a Small bowl; stir into the milk mixture. Add 2 cups of the flour, salt, and baking soda; stir until combined. Knead in enough of the remaining four, 1/2 cup at a time, to form a soft dough. Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface; knead for 5 minutes or until the dough is smooth and elastic. Shape the dough into a ball and place in a large greased bowl, turning once to grease the entire surface. Cover; let rise in a warm place for 1 hour or until doubles in size. Punch dough down.

Grease two 15 x 10 x 1 inch baking sheets. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface; knead 5 to 6 times. Divide the dough into 18 equal pieces; shape each piece into a ball. Place 2 inches apart on the prepared baking sheets. Cover; let rise in a warm place for 20 minutes or until doubles in size.

Preheat oven to 400. Brush the rolls with the remaining 1 TB earth balance. Bake for 12 to 14 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool on a wire rack. Serve warm or at room temperature. Store in a covered container.

Adapted from a recipe from "Delicious Salad Meals" by Dot Vartan

Banana, Raspberry and Chocolate Cakes

6 oz. semisweet (non dairy) baking chocolate, or chocolate chips
2 TB earth balance
1 (12 oz) pkg frozen raspberries, thawed
1/2 cup earth balance, softened
3/4 cup evaporated can juice crystals or organic sugar
1/4 cup almond milk
4 TB flax egg
1 very ripe banana, mashed
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup white wheat flour
1/4 tsp sea salt
1 TB organic sugar

Preheat oven to 350. Grease 10 muffin cups.

Melt chocolate and 2 TB earth balance in a small heatproof bowl set over a saucepan of simmering water, stirring constantly until smooth. Remove the bowl from the pan; set aside to cool. Drain the raspberries, reserving the juice; set aside.

Beat 1/2 cup earth balance and 3/4 cup organic sugar in a large bowl with an electric mixer at high speed until well blended. Add the flax egg, almond milk, banana, and vanilla; mix well. Stir in the four and sea salt by hand. Gently fold in 3/4 cup of the drained raspberries. Spoon 1 heaping tsp of the batter into each muffin cup. Top with 1 tsp of the melted chocolate and another heaping tsp of the batter.

Bake for 20 minutes or until lightly browned around the edges. Cool in the muffin cups for 10 minutes. Run a small knife between the cakes and the sides of the cups. Remove from the cups to wire racks; cool slightly.

Process the remaining raspberries in a blender until pureed. Pour through a fine strainer set over a bowl to remove the seeds, pressing the puree through the strainer. Discard the seeds in the strainer. Add the reserved raspberry juice and 1 TB organic sugar to the puree; stir to dissolve the sugar.

Place each warm cake on an individual plate. Pour the raspberry sauce around the cakes.
Serve warm.

*Strawberries can be substitued for raspberries

Adapted from a recipe from "Delicious Salad Meals" by Dot Vartan

Vegetable and Rice Salad

6 TB extra-virgin olive oil
2 TB balsamic vinegar
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp Dijon mustard
1/4 tsp black pepper
3 cups cooked brown rice
1 1/2 cups cooked wild rice
2 cups seedless red grapes
1 cup frozen peas, thawed
1 red pepper, chopped
1 cup chopped pecans
2 stalks celery, sliced
1 Granny Smith apple, peeled, cored, and chopped
1/4 cup chopped red onion

Whisk together the oil, vinegar, salt, mustard, and black pepper in a small bowl. Combine the brown rice, wild rice, grapes, peas, red pepper, pecans, celery, apple, and onion in a large bowl. Pour the dressing over the salad; toss to coat. Cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours before serving.

Taken from "Delicious Salad Meals" by Dot Vartan

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Miracle Food: Nuts



Many nuts, notably almonds, walnuts, hazelnuts and coconuts, have high levels of vitamin E, which protects against heart disease. Although most nuts are high in fat, this is mainly, except in the case of coconuts, monounsaturated fat, so most nuts do contribute to lowering cholesterol, if eaten in moderation. Walnuts contain linoleic acid, which not only lowers cholesterol, it also reduces blood pressure and helps prevent blood clotting. Some nuts also help to build red blood cells and prevent anemia.

Besides the antioxidant vitamin E, many nuts contain vitamin C - in particular, Brazil nuts, chestnuts, hazelnuts and coconuts - while hazelnuts, chestnuts and cashews contain beta-carotene, which the body turns into vitamin A. These antioxidant vitamins are, of course, essential to immune health and build up resistance to disease. Of the antioxidant minerals, Brazil nuts and walnuts contain selenium, while almonds, pine nuts and hazelnuts have zinc. Many nuts also contain a wide range of B vitamins, responsible for metabolizing food into energy and strengthening the nervous system.

High in both protein and carbohydrates, nuts are an energizing food, useful for anyone who is underweight or convalescing. They are a good source of protein for strict vegetarians and people with small appetites. The high levels of calcium in walnuts, almonds and cashew nuts strengthen bones, hair and teeth. Many nuts are anti-inflammatory, too. This helps to reduce the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis and inflammatory skin conditions, such as rashes. Coconuts have high levels of folic acid, which protects against spina bifida in the unborn child, and phytoestrogens, which are helpful for women who suffer from PMS or menopausal side effects.

*Buy nuts in their raw form and as unprocessed as possible.

Taken from "Miracle Foods" by Anna Selby

Pot Pie

1/3 cup earth balance
1/3 cup flour
2 TB dried minced onion
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1 TB vegetable broth powder
1/4 cup almonds blended with 2 1/4 cup water to make about 2 1/2 cups almond milk
4 cups steamed vegetables (onion, celery, carrots, potatoes and peas)

Heat butter over low heat until melted. Stir in flour, onion, vegetable broth powder, salt and pepper until smooth. Add almond milk, stirring constantly. Heat to boiling and boil 30 seconds while stirring. Stir in steamed vegetables. Set aside. Prepare pastry.

Pastry

2/3 cup earth balance
1 tsp sea salt
2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
4-5 TB cold water

Cut earth balance into flour and salt until crumbly. Add water, a little at a time, tossing with a fork until moistened. Gather pastry into ball, roll out 2/3 of the dough to fit pie plate. Line plate with the pastry and pour in the filling. Roll out remaining dough and place on top of filling. Pinch edges. Cut slits in top and bake at 425 for 30 minutes or until browned.

Adapted from Polly Edwards Chicken Pot Pie recipe in the Bedford Relief Society Cookbook.

Pie

Single 9-in pie crust

1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp orange juice
1/2 cup earth balance
1 tsp vanilla
2 TB cold water

Combine flour and baking powder. Add liquid ingredients, earth balance, salt and vanilla. Mix thoroughly, work dough in hands to form a soft ball. Roll on floured wax paper to desired size. Press dough into pie pan. For baked shell prick sides and bottom with fork and bake at 350 for 20 minutes.

Blueberry or Strawberry Pie

1 unbaked pie crust (see above)
1 qt fresh blueberries or strawberries
4 TB whole wheat flour
3/4 cup evaporated cane juice crystals, organic sugar or date sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon
3 TB coconut flakes (optional)

Set coconut flakes aside. Mix well all other ingredients in large bowl. Pour into unbaked pie shell and bake at 350 for 40-45 minutes. Garnish with coconut.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Miracle Food: Mangoes and Papayas


Like all orange and yellow fruits and vegetables, mangoes and papayas contain beta-carotene. The darker the color of a fruit, the more beta-carotene it contains so papayas have particularly high levels. The body converts the beta-carotene into vitamin A and, as these fruits have plenty of vitamin C as well, this makes them powerful antioxidants. Mangoes also contain vitamin E - the third antioxidant vitamin - and both fruits contain iron and zinc. This high level of antioxidants puts them at the forefront of immune health protection, safeguarding against all kinds of risks, from passing infections to cancer.
Mangoes and papayas have a deeply detoxifying effect on the body, which shows visibly by improving skin texture, fighting off wrinkles and giving the complexion a bloom. They also strengthen the nails. They are energizing fruits, too, and make a nutritious snack whenever your energy level dips.
Papayas are renowned as an aid to digestion. They contain the enzyme papain, which digests protein, and they cleanse and soothe the digestive tract, reducing inflammation and intestinal infection and problems such as constipation and flatulence. They also get rid of intestinal parasites. Mangoes are also soothing to the digestive system and especially beneficial for problems like indigestion. They are particularly powerful cleansers of the blood and the kidneys, which further detoxifies the body.
Taken from "Miracle Foods" by Anna Selby

Pasta Salad

1 pkg. Macaroni spirals
4 green onions, chopped
2 tomatoes, chopped
1 cucumber, chopped
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1 cup almonaise
1 TB salad mustard
1 TB tamari (or Nama Shoyu, or soy sauce)
1/8 cup rice vinegar
1/4 cup brown rice vinegar
1 tsp celery seed
1 TB parsley

Cook pasta and mix in a salad bowl with other vegetables. Combine other ingredients to create dressing and pour over pasta and vegetables. Stir well, chill and serve.

Taken from "Veggie Lovers Cookbook" by Chef Morty Star

Almonaise

Put ½ cup raw soaked almonds and ½ cup water in blender. Blend until smooth. While blender is still blending, slowly drizzle 1 to ¼ cups light olive oil into blender. Watch the mixture as the “well” in the center slowly closes and then the oil starts to bead on top before it goes down. This means it’s done. Add about 3 TB lemon juice into mixture and blend until combined, at this point it will be very think and might need to be stirred by hand.

Pasta Primavera

1/2 lb spinach
1 cup broccoli florets
1/2 cup carrots, sliced
3/4 cup peas
1 cup cauliflower
1/2 cup vegetable broth
1 cup almond milk
1/8 cup nutritional yeast
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
3 TB earth balance
dash nutmeg
pasta of choice (I used brown rice fettuccine)

Prepare pasta according to pkg directions and drain. Steam vegetables in broth in a large saucepan until vegetables are tender, drain and set aside. Combine remaining ingredients in saucepan over medium heat, stirring for about 5 minutes. Add pasta and steamed vegetables to sauce, mixing well.

Taken from "Veggie Lovers Cookbook" by Morty Star

Friday, March 20, 2009

Miracle Food: Honey



As an antiseptic, honey is renowned for calming coughs and fevers. One of the most common surviving folk remedies is a drink made with hot water, honey and lemon for treating colds and other respiratory ailments. Honey also helps relieve coughs, catarrh and sinus problems. Its antiseptic and antibacterial properties protect against numerous infectious diseases that affect the digestive tract.

Rather unexpectedly, perhaps, honey can help with hay fever. Naturopaths believe that taking a tsp of honey containing some of the wax from the honeycomb cells every day will build up your resistance. It is important, though, to buy honey that has been produced locally and which is natural, unprocessed and organic.

Honey stimulates production of serotonin, which has a relaxing and mood-enhancing effect. It also contains a wealth of minerals, as well as vitamin C and numerous B vitamins. It's healing properties are believed to speed up recovery in some widely varied conditions, including liver and kidney ailments, circulation problems and arthritis.

Miracle Food: Garlic



According to the seventeenth-century herbalist Nicholas Culpeper, garlic is "a remedy for all diseases and hurts...It is a good preservative against and a remedy for any plague, sore or foul ulcer, takes away spots and blemishes in the skin, eases pains in the ears...It is also held good in the jaundice, cramps, convulsions..."

Garlic is not less highly regarded today. Taken on a regular basis, it builds up high levels of resistance to infection within the immune system. It is antiviral, antibacterial and antiseptic, as well as antibiotic. This should make it a vital part of your diet at all times, but especially when you are feeling under the weather. If you take garlic in large quantities, for example, when you feel the onset of a cold, you can often fight it off before it takes a real hold. Garlic is a great detoxifier and contains a strong dose of vitamin C, as well as the antioxidant mineral selenium. Besides having these powerful antioxidants to fight free radical, it actually leaches some of the worst toxins from the system and helps excrete them. As both free radicals and the toxins that help create them contribute to the onset of cancer, garlic is on the most potent aids to health that you can find.

The cleansing powers of garlic are formidable. It is an age-old remedy for parasites in the stomach and intestines. It is excellent for clearing respiratory ailments and is a decongestant, making it very helpful in cases of catarrh, bronchitis and asthma. It is also an unusually effective cleanser and toner of the liver.

Garlic is also renowned for its beneficial effects on the heart and the circulation. It can reduce high blood pressure - it contains a substance called allicin, which dilates the blood vessels and reduces clotting - and it can lower cholesterol levels. It thins the blood, and this helps improve the sluggish circulation that results in cold hands and feet, and also counters diseases of the arteries. Allicin is excreted through the lungs, bowels, skin and urinary system, and in the process detoxifies all of them.

Garlic contains sulphur, which helps cleanse the liver and is also believed to inhibit the growth of tumors.

Miracle Food: Carrots


Carrots have a powerfully cleansing effect on the liver, the body's most important organ of detoxification, which, in turn, improves the functioning of all the related systems. They also strengthen and tone the liver function, especially in juice form.

Carrots are a storehouse of beta-carotene, which the body converts into vitamin A, boosting the immune system, protecting and strengthening the respiratory and digestive systems, and building strong teeth, hair and bones. Beta-carotene has a healing effect on the skin, especially in cases of eczema, dermatitis and acne, and improves the complexion if taken as a juice with apple. Beta-carotene is believed to lead to improved night vision and healthy eyes.

Carrots contain natural sugars, which they release slowly into the body to give sustained energy, rather than the sudden burst that you get from refined sugars. They work best when eaten raw.

Because carrots contain both vitamin C and beta-carotene in large quantities, they are at the forefront of resisting disease and strengthening immunity. They are believed to benefit a wide range of ailments, including respiratory infections, digestive problems and ulcers. They also offer protection against the risk of various forms of cancer. They have a long folk remedy tradition of helping with conditions specific to women, including regulating menstruation and improving the flow of breast milk in nursing mothers, which may be linked to their high calcium content.

Carrots have an excellent effect on the blood, building up the red corpuscles, improving circulation and increasing hemoglobin. They are also believed to give protection against diseases of the heart and arteries. If you eat carrots daily, they will, over time, reduce your cholesterol levels too.
Taken from "Miracle Foods" by Anna Selby

Monday, March 16, 2009

Miracle Food: Cabbage


When eaten raw or used as part of a fresh vegetable juice cocktail, cabbage is of particular benefit to digestion. It detoxifies the whole digestive system, in particular the stomach and the upper colon. It soothes stomach upsets and indigestion and, taken long term as a daily juice, it helps heal stomach ulcers. It is also very helpful for anyone who suffers from constipation, as not only does it help eradicate the ailment itself by encouraging peristalsis, but it is also deeply cleansing for the colon, which can suffer from a buildup of toxins in cases of long-term constipation.

Cabbage contains a number of valuable minerals. Calcium is essential for strong bones and teeth, as well as the proper functioning of the nervous system, muscles, the heart and blood clotting. Magnesium also promotes healthy muscles and nerve functioning, repairing the body on a cellular level. Potassium and phosphorus are both needed for a healthy heart and kidneys, while iodine-rarely found in land vegetables - is important for thyroid function, energy and growth.

A powerful antioxidant and a deep cleanser, cabbage also purifies the blood and can improve cases of oily skin prone to acne, particularly if taken as a juice. It benefits all skin types, and cabbage water (the water in which cabbage has been boiled) is an age-old pick-me-up for a tired complexion.

Cabbage is antibacterial and boosts the immune system. Its high vitamin C content helps to build up resistance to coughs, colds and other infections, and cabbage water is also helpful in soothing coughs and clearing the head and bronchial passages. Cabbage water works particularly well if you add a pinch of ginger or cayenne pepper to it.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Miracle Food: Berries



"Some berries contain most of the essential antioxidant vitamins while others contain them all. This makes berries particularly important for immune health, as these super-scavenger vitamins neutralize the free radicals that on a cellular level are responsible for many of the things that go wrong with our bodies. These fruits can protect not only against infections, but against more serious degenerative diseases, too, as well as the problems of premature aging.

Their high antioxidant content ensures that berries have a deep cleansing and, ultimately, anti aging effect. Strawberries are also thought to be beneficial for the skin-smoothing out lines and wrinkles - and for soothing arthritic inflammation.

Raspberries are a mild laxative and good, too, for indigestion. They are also beneficial for menstrual problems and, like all berries, have high levels of phytoestrogens and so are helpful for erratic periods, PMS and menopausal problems. Raspberry leaf tea, incidentally, is an age-old herbal remedy recommended for pregnancy, childbirth and new mothers, as it is believed to strengthen the uterus. It is also used to treat a variety of menstrual problems, including painful cramps.

Black currants, red currants and blueberries are excellent blood cleansers, as are blackberries, which are also extremely energizing. Blackberries and cranberries are effective at clearing congestion in the respiratory tract, as well as soothing sore throats.

Cranberries and black currants are beneficial for kidney, bladder and urinary tract infections.

Many berries also contain high levels of minerals, especially calcium, magnesium and potassium. Calcium, essential for strong bones and teeth, is also necessary for the smooth functioning of the nervous system, muscles and heart. Magnesium and potassium are important, too, for a healthy heart and nervous system. These minerals, plus the traces of iron and zinc in many berries, are vital for cellular growth and health."

Taken from "Miracle Foods" by Anna Selby

Peanut Butter Vegetable Soup

3 stalks celery, sliced
2 medium carrots, chopped
1 large onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 TB earth balance
3 cups water
1 medium potato, diced
1 medium zucchini, sliced
4 tsp vegetable broth powder
1/2 tsp. pepper
1 (16 0z) can tomatoes, diced
2 TB parsley
1/2 cup peanut butter

In a large saucepan cook celery, carrots, onion, and garlic in Earth Balance covered, about 5 minutes. Stir in water, potato, zucchini, vegetable broth powder, and pepper. Bring to a boil; reduce heat. Cover and simmer for 10 min. Stir in undrained tomatoes and parsley.

In a small bowl, gradually stir about 1 cup water into peanut butter till smooth. Return mixture to saucepan, cook and stir till heated through.

Taken from "Vegetarian Recipes" by Better Homes and Gardens

*My variation - put everything in a crock pot and let simmer for several hours. Serve over rice noodles or rice.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Southwest Bean Salad with Lime Vinaigrette


This one is a favorite! I love the lime.
1 (15-oz) can red kidney beans, rinsed and drained
1 (15-oz) can garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained
1 small zucchini or yellow summer squash, thinly sliced
2 small carrots, cut into julienne strips
1 small red onion, sliced and separated into rings
1/4 cup shredded soy cheese
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup lime juice
1 to 2 TB snipped cilantro or parsley
1 TB water
1 clove, garlic, minced
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp ground cardamom
lettuce leaves
In a large mixing bowl combine the kidney beans, garbanzo beans, zucchini or yellow squash, carrots, onion, and cheese.
For dressing, in a screw-top jar combine the olive oil, lime juice, cilantro or parsley, water, garlic, salt, cumin, and cardamom. Cover and shake well. Pour the dressing over the bean mixture, tossing to coat. Cover and chill for 2 to 24 hours, stirring occasionally.
To serve, spoon salad onto individual lettuce lined plates or bowls.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Fresh Vegetable Risotto

2 cups sliced fresh mushrooms
1 medium onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 TB olive oil
1 cup Arborio rice
3 cups vegetable broth
3/4 cup bite size broccoli pieces
1 medium tomato, seeded and diced
1/4 cup shredded carrot
1/2 cup "creamy mozzarella"*
1/4 cup "Parmesan cheese"**
3 TB fresh basil or parsley
tomato slices

In a large sauce pan cook the mushrooms, onion, and garlic in hot oil too tender. Stir in the rice. Cook and stir for 5 min.

Meanwhile, in another saucepan bring the vegetable broth to a boil; reduce heat and simmer. Slowly add 1 cup of the broth to the rice mixture, stirring constantly. Continue to cook and stir till liquid is absorbed. Add 1/2 cup broth and the broccoli to the rice mixture, stirring constantly. Continue to cook and stir till liquid is absorbed. Add 1 cup more broth, 1/2 cup at a time, stirring constantly till the broth has been absorbed. This should take about 15 min. Stir in tomato, carrot and the remaining 1/2 cup broth. Cook and stir till rice is slightly creamy and just tender. Stir in "creamy mozzarella", "Parmesan cheese" and basil or parsley. If desired garnish with tomato slices.

Taken from "Vegetarian Recipes" by Better Homes and Gardens

*"Creamy Mozzarella"

1/4 cup onions, diced
1 TB olive oil
1 cup water
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
3 TB rolled oats
1 TB sesame butter or tahini
2 TB arrowroot
2 TB lemon juice
1/2 tsp sea salt

Saute onion in olive oil until browned. Place onions in blender. Add remaining ingredients. Process until smooth. Pour into saucepan. Cook over medium heat. Stir constantly until thick.

Taken from "Everyday Vegan" by Jeani-Rose Atchison

**"Parmesan"

1 cup almonds, raw, unsprouted
3 TB nutritional yeast
1/2 tsp sea salt

Place all ingredients in blender and blend until all ingredients are a fine powder. Store in the refrigerator, tightly capped.

Taken from Traci's cookbook

Miracle Food: Broccoli

" Broccoli has a high vitamin and mineral content, containing beta-carotene, vitamin A, vitamin C, iron and zinc, together with a range of B vitamins and folic acid. It is profoundly strengthening for the immune system and has now been recognized by many medical authorities as a major force in combating cancer of the bowel. This is because broccoli contains sulphuraphane, a substance which detoxifies and effectively secretes the carcinogens we are breathing in and eating all the time. It is very protective of the immune system as a whole, not only against cancer, but also against heart disease and a range of infections, particularly those affecting the respiratory system.

High in both antioxidants and fiber, broccoli is a deeply cleansing vegetable. It cleanse not only the entire digestive system, it purifies and stimulates the liver, too-the body's most important organ of detoxification. This has a beneficial effect on the entire system, as when the liver is working to its full potential, the whole body functions better. Broccoli prevents a buildup of harmful toxins within the system, and you can even see the difference. When the body's toxic load is reduced, the skin visibly improves, making broccoli an excellent beauty food. Its vitamin B2 content is another beauty booster, benefiting skin, hair and nails. Vitamins B2 and B5 combine powerfully in broccoli to metabolize fats into energy, so it gives you a boost in more ways than one. Proper cooking is essential to ensure broccoli retains its beneficial nutrients.

As a good source of folic acid, broccoli is also particularly valuable for pregnant women. Folic acid protects against spina bifida in unborn babies and strengthens the nervous systems and blood cells of mothers and babies alike. Folic acid also promotes the production of serotonin, a mood-lifting chemical that is produced naturally within the body, so broccoli may also be beneficial for people suffering from depression. It is recommended that 1-3 portions of broccoli should be eaten a week."

Taken from "Miracle Foods" by Anna Selby

Lentil-Spinach Stew

1 cup sprouted lentils
1 medium onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 TB olive oil
4 cups water
1 (7 1/2 oz) can tomatoes, cut up
4 tsp vegetable broth powder
1 TB Worcestershire sauce
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp dried thyme, crushed
1/4 tsp fennel seed, crushed
1/4 tsp pepper
1 bay leaf
2 medium carrots, chopped
1 (10 oz) pkg frozen chopped spinach
1 TB balsamic or red wine vinegar

Sprout lentils by rinsing them and then letting them sit in a bowl of water for 3 hours. Drain; set aside. In a large saucepan cook onion and garlic in hot oil till tender. Stir in the lentils, water, tomatoes, vegetable broth powder, Worcestershire sauce, salt, thyme, fennel seed, pepper, and bay leaf. Bring to a boil; reduce heat. Cover and simmer for 20 minutes. Add carrots and frozen spinach. Bring to a boil, breaking up spinach with a fork; reduce heat. Cover and simmer about 15 minutes more or till lentils are tender. Stir in vinegar. Discard bay leaf.

Taken from "Vegetarian Recipes" by Better Homes and Gardens

Miracle Food: Beans and Lentils (pulses)



"Pulses are widely available, easy to store and cook, and generally inexpensive. They are very useful sources of protein, making them an excellent alternative to meat for vegetarians and for those wanting to reduce animal fats in their diet. They are also a good form of carbohydrate, with slow-release sugars. Unlike the sugars found in sweets, cakes and chocolate, slow-release sugars do not send a sudden rush of sugar into the blood, causing an endless yo-yoing of energy levels and, often, mood swings. Instead, they release their sugars slowly, giving a constant source of energy throughout the day, with a steadying effect on blood sugar levels.

Pulses contain phytoestrogens, or plant estrogens, which occur naturally in certain plants and mimic female hormones. These phytoestrogens have a stabilizing effect on the menstrual cycle and are believed to be highly beneficial in regulating erratic periods, tackling PMS and relieving menopausal symptoms, such as hot flashes and night sweats. There is also increasing evidence that pulses lower breast cancer risks and protect against fibroids.

Most pulses are high in minerals, including iron, potassium, selenium, calcium, manganese, magnesium and folic acid. They are excellent intestinal cleansers and increase the friendly bacteria of the gut that aid digestion. They are a staple of detoxifying diets. They also cleanse the blood and lower cholesterol. Lentils also contain a number of B vitamins, and these help to stabilize blood pressure."

Taken from "Miracle Foods" by Anna Selby

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

A great snack

Slice a banana in a bowl and top with honey and cinnamon. YUM!

Miracle Food: Bananas


"Bananas are an unusually rich fruit source of protein, and their energizing qualities make them a good fruit for breakfast or to snack on. Compared to other fruits, they are rather high in calories and fiber content, making them mildly laxative. Paradoxically, besides being energizing, bananas contain tryptophan, an amino acid with naturally sedative effects, which makes them a good bedtime snack for anyone who has trouble sleeping. Tryptophan is also a natural mood enhancer, and raising tryptophan levels may alleviate symptoms of depression, anxiety and PMS."

Taken from "Miracle Foods" by Anna Selby

Nut and Curry Humus

2 cans garbanzo beans
¼ cup almonds
1/3 cup tahini ( a sesame seed paste that can be purchased at most health food stores)
2-4 garlic cloves, minced very small
¼ cup lemon juice
¼ cup. Liquid from garbanzo beans
3 TB water
½ - 1 tsp. salt
1 ½ tsp. curry powder

Blend all ingredients in blender until smooth.

Works great for a vegetable dip or sandwich spread.

Vegetarian Jambalaya

1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 cup chopped celery
1 cup chopped green pepper
1 cup sliced fresh mushrooms
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp. olive oil
3 cups chopped fresh tomatoes
2 cups water
1 cup sprouted brown rice
2 TB nama shoyu
1 TB minced fresh parsley
¼ tsp. salt
¼ tsp. paprika
1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper
1/8 tsp. chili powder
1/8 tsp. pepper

In a large skillet, sauté the onion, celery, green pepper, mushrooms and garlic in oil until tender. Stir in the tomatoes, water, rice, soy sauce, parsley, salt, paprika, cayenne, chili powder and pepper.

Transfer to a 2-1/2 qt. baking dish coated with nonstick cooking spray. Cover and bake at 350 for 65-70 minutes or until rice is tender and liquid is absorbed.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Miracle Food: Apples and Pears


One of the great advantages of both of these fruits is that they are profoundly detoxifying, in particular for the digestive system. In fact, you can give you whole body a program of deep cleansing simply by eating nothing but apples and pears for a day. Both fruits are of benefit to your skin.

Besides ridding the body of toxins, apples and pears also strengthen the immune system, helping it to resist infection. Pears are particularly cleansing and have a high iodine content, which can aid thyroid function. Apples reduce cholesterol and also various forms of inflammation, most notably rheumatism, as well as soothing any inflammation caused by respiratory infection.

Taken from "Miracle Foods" by Anna Selby

Food Intolerance

"There are numerous foods, some of which seem highly beneficial, that cannot be tolerated by some individuals and interfere with their ability to absorb vital nutrients. This is known as a food intolerance, and it is becoming an increasingly common problem. A food intolerance is not the same as a food allergy. Food allergies have a very sudden and dramatic effect, such as vomiting, a rash or, in severe cases, anaphylactic shock or even death.

Food intolerances, on the other hand, appear more slowly and have chronic, long-term symptoms. For this reason, they are sometimes referred to as hidden, masked or delayed allergies. The lengthy list of symptoms includes skin conditions, such as acne, eczema and psoriasis; digestive disorders, for example colitis and irritable bowel syndrome; weight problems; hyperactivity and other behavioral problems in children; rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis; insomnia, headaches, migraine and exhaustion; and a range of psychological problems, such as depression.

One common culprit is wheat, and people whose diet centers on bread, cakes, crackers and pasta can develop an intolerance to wheat. Processed foods, savory snacks and sweets can also cause problems. Many of the foods which cause intolerances are, curiously, often staples in a person's diet or foods that they crave, such as chocolate or coffee. This is because the sufferer's body not only adapts to the intolerance, buy becomes dependent on it. The food acts on the system as a toxin, and the body, unable to absorb it in the normal way, reacts against it. Problems flare up elsewhere that seem quite unconnected with the offending food, especially as the reaction takes place several days later, so the culprit foods remain a mystery.

Further confusion is caused by the different effects that a food intolerance may have. Wheat, for instance may cause migraine in one person but eczema in another. Another problem is the multiplicity of symptoms. Typically, one person might have alternating constipation and diarrhea, migraine, rheumatoid arthritis and a general feeling of such lassitude that he or she can hardly get out of bed in the morning.

One of the ways in which nutritionists pinpoint a food intolerance is by an elimination diet, in which a very bland diet is first established and then foods are introduced, one by one, to monitor whether they have an effect. If they don't, they can be included in the diet once more. If they do, this is clearly the sign of an intolerance and they should be excluded permanently."

Taken from the book "Miracle Foods" by Anna Selby
"The World Health Organization has found that around 85 percent of adult cancers are aviodable and, of these, around half are related to nutritional deficiencies in the Western diet."

Taken from the book "Miracle Foods" by Anna Selby

Minestrone Soup

3 TB olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
3 or 4 cloves garlic, minced
2 bay leaves
2 tsp dried oregano
1 1/2 cups chopped celery
3 carrots, peeled, halved, and chopped
2 medium potatoes, peeled and chopped into small pieces
1 28 oz can chopped tomatoes with their juice
6 cups vegetable broth
1 TB honey
1 TB balsamic vinegar
1 TB red wine vinegar
salt and pepper
chili pepper flakes (optional)
1/2 cup cooked black beans
1/2 cup cooked lentils
1 cup short pasta of some kind
1 tsp dried basil
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil (or parsley will do)

In large pot, cook olive oil, onion, garlic, bay leaves, and oregano over medium-high heat until onion is translucent. Add celery, carrots, and potatoes. Cook about 3 or 4 minutes, stirring. Add tomatoes, broth, honey, vinegars, salt, pepper and chili pepper flakes, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer partly covered about 30 minutes. Add black beans, lentils, pasta, and dried basil Cook about another 30 minutes. Add a little water or more broth to thin if necessary. Remove from heat, stir in chopped basil or parsley.

Taken from the book "The Whole Foods Allergy Cookbook" by Cybele Pascal

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Yoga


Yoga is another class that I have thoroughly enjoyed participating in at our local Recreation Center. Yoga is so relaxing and rejuvenating and it just happens to be during the 45 minutes that the kids are taking swimming lessons, so it works out great. Because of Calvin's great work schedule of working for two weeks and then having one week off, he is able to go to my fitness classes with me on his week off, which has been a really fun thing for us. We especially look forward to going to our spinning and yoga classes together.
Physical Benefits

Flexibility: Stretching your tight body in new ways will help it to become more flexible, bringing greater range of motion to muscles and joints. Over time, you can expect to gain flexibility in your
hamstrings, back, shoulders, and hips.

Strength: Many yoga poses require you to support the weight of your own body in new ways, including balancing on one leg
or supporting yourself with your arms. Some exercises require you to move slowly in and out of poses, which also increases strength.

Muscle tone: As a by-product of getting stronger, you can expect to see increased muscle tone. Yoga helps shape long, lean muscles.

Pain Prevention: Increased flexibility and strength can help prevent the causes of some types of back pain. Many people who suffer from back pain spend a lot of time sitting at a computer or driving a car. That can cause tightness and spinal compression, which you can begin to
address with yoga. Yoga also improves your alignment, both in and out of class, which helps prevent many other types of pain.

Better Breathing: Most of us breathe very shallowly into the lungs and don't give much thought to how we breathe. Yoga breathing exercises, called
Pranayama, focus the attention on the breath and teach us how to better use our lungs, which benefits the entire body. Certain types of breath can also help clear the nasal passages and even calm the central nervous system, which has both physical and mental benefits.

Mental Benefits

Mental Calmness: Yoga
asana practice is intensely physical. Concentrating so intently on what your body is doing has the effect of bringing a calmness to the mind. Yoga also introduces you to meditation techniques, such as watching how you breathe and disengagement from your thoughts, which help calm the mind.

Stress Reduction: Physical activity is good for relieving stress, and this is particularly true of yoga. Because of the concentration required, your daily troubles, both large and small, seem to melt away during the time you are doing yoga. This provides a much-needed break from your stressors, as well as helping put things into perspective. The emphasis yoga places on being in the moment can also help relieve stress, as you learn not to dwell on past events or anticipate the future. You will leave a yoga class feeling less stressed than when you started.
Body Awareness: Doing yoga will give you an increased awareness of your own body. You are often called upon to make small, subtle movements to improve your alignment. Over time, this will increase your level of comfort in your own body. This can lead to improved posture and greater self-confidence.

Taco Soup

Nutritional yeast, similar to brewer's yeast, is a nutritional supplement popular with vegans and the health conscious, who use it as an ingredient in recipes or simply as a condiment. It is a deactivated yeast, usually Saccharomyces cerevisiae. It is produced by culturing the yeast with a mixture of sugarcane and beet molasses, then harvesting, washing, drying and packaging the yeast. It is commercially available in the form of flakes, or as a yellow powder similar in texture to cornmeal, and can be found in the bulk aisle of most natural food stores.

It is a source of protein and vitamins, especially the B-complex vitamins. It is also naturally low in fat and sodium. Some brands of nutritional yeast, though not all, are fortified with vitamin B12. The vitamin B12 is produced separately from bacteria and then added to the yeast.
Nutritional yeast has a strong flavor that is described as nutty, cheesy, or creamy, which makes it popular as an ingredient in cheese substitutes. It is often used by vegans in place of parmesan cheese. Another popular use is as a topping for popcorn.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nutritional_yeast

Ezekial brand sprouted corn tortillas are a great choice when using tortillas.


Sprouting grains and seeds before baking produces living, nutrient-rich food. The process of germination changes the composition of grain and seeds in numerous ways. Sprouting increases vitamin content. Sprouting neutralizes phytic acid – a substance present in grains – that inhibits absorption of nutrients and more important Sprouting neutralizes or "predigests" if you will, grains through enzymatic activity. The enzymes produced during our natural sprouting process "in effect" breaks down amino acid protein bonds to promote digestibility of the entire grain.
Sprouted grain bread has numerous advantages over "enriched" wheat flour breads. These breads are made from the endosperm of the wheat kernel (the inside portion), which contains primarily carbohydrates and few vitamins and minerals. The milling of grain into white flour requires the removal of the bran and the germ. This results in the loss of natural fiber, bran and 22 vitamins and minerals. To compensate, five vitamins and minerals (thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, iron and folic acid) are added back in, "enriching" the flour. Sometimes calcium is added back as well.




Soyrizo

Uses:
Widely used in both Mexican and Spanish cooking and popular throughout the Southwest, Chorizo (pronounced chor-EE-zoh or chor-EE-soh) is a highly seasoned, coarsely ground sausage made from pork. Melissa’s Soyrizo is actually an all natural, pure vegetable product, yet incredibly similar to chorizo in many ways. A savory addition to many dishes including casseroles, vegetables, rice, soups, stews, enchiladas and eggs, Soyrizo provides a delicious meatless alternative with 60% less fat and no cholesterol. Made with healthy soy beans and no sodium nitrate. This item can be frozen.




Taco Soup

This is altered from Sarah's recipe from our family cookbook.


1/2 pkg. soyrizo
1/2 cup onion
1 can each:
kidney beans
pinto beans
black beans
corn
diced tomatoes
1/2 pkg. Knorr Vegetable recipe mix
1 recipe Traci's taco seasoning mix

Saute the soyrizo with the onion. Add to crock pot with remaining ingredients. Cook for about 2 hours. Serve with corn tortilla strips and soy cheese if desired.

Traci's Taco Seasoning Mix:
1 TB chili powder
1 TB nutritional yeast flakes
1/2 TB cumin
1 tsp oregano
1/2 tsp sea salt

Mix together all ingredients. This replaces one envelope of taco seasoning mix.

Corn tortilla strips:

Cut corn tortillas into thin trips with a pizza cuter. Place on cookie sheet sprayed with organic olive oil spray. Lightly spray tops of tortillas with organic olive oil spray. Sprinkle with garlic powder, chili powder and cumin. Place in oven on Broil for a few minutes until lightly crispy.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Broccoli Salad Italiano


1 bunch broccoli, cut into bite-size pieces
1/3 cup sun-dried tomatoes, reconstituted in 1 cup hot water
1/4 red onion, sliced into thin slivers
small handful sun-dried black olives, chopped
Dressing:
2 TB balsamic or red wine vinegar
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 tsp. basil, dried (or 2 tsp. fresh)
pinch red pepper flakes
pinch salt
Steam broccoli until crisp tender.
Drain tomatoes, dice
Mix broccoli, tomatoes, onion, and olives.
Mix dressing ingredients in a jar. Shake well to blend. Pour over broccoli salad.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Quinoa




Although not a common item in most kitchens today, quinoa is an amino acid-rich (protein) seed that has a fluffy, creamy, slightly crunchy texture and a somewhat nutty flavor when cooked. Quinoa is available in your local health food stores throughout the year.
Most commonly considered a grain, quinoa is actually a relative of leafy green vegetables like spinach and Swiss chard. It is a recently rediscovered ancient "grain" once considered "the gold of the Incas."

http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=142

Oriental Quinoa Pilaf



2 cups vegetable stock

2 TB Bragg Liquid Aminos, Nama Shoyu or soy sauce

2 tsp orange juice

pinch red pepper flakes

1-2 TB olive oil

2-3 garlic cloves, minced

1/2 onion, diced

1 cup quinoa

1/4 cup sesame seeds, toasted

1/2 cup green onions, chopped

1/2 cup red bell pepper, chopped

1/4 cup raisins, chopped (or craisins)

3 TB cilantro, minced

Combine stock, Bragg's, orange juice, and pepper flakes. Set sauce aside.

Saute garlic and onion in oil. Add quinoa.

Pour in sauce. Cover simmer until liquid is absorbed.

Add sesame seeds, green onions, red bell pepper, raisins, and cilantro to quinoa.

Serve immediately.

Taken from Everyday Vegan by Jeani-Rose atchison

Potato, Corn, and Cherry Tomato Salad



1-2 TB apple cider vinegar

1/2 cup olive oil

1 cup packed fresh basil leaves

sea salt to taste

2 1/2 lbs small red potatoes, diced

corn kernels cut from 6 ears (or 2 10-oz packages frozen corn, defrosted)

1/2 lb cherry tomatoes, halved

Blend together vinegar, oil, basil, and salt in a blender until dressing is emulsified.

Steam potatoes. Cool. Combine all ingredients in a large bowl. Toss gently.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Dinner Idea - Oriental Noodles with Spicy Ginger and Peanut Sauce and Baked Rice Balls


Oriental Noodles with Spicy Ginger and Peanut Sauce
1 pkg. soba or wheat-free noodles
1 broccoli bunch, cut into small flowerets
Sauce:
1/2 cup unsalted peanut butter (preferably organic)
2 1/2 TB fresh ginger, grated (or powder)
2 small garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup water
2 TB Nama Shoyu, Bragg Liquid Aminos or soy sauce
1 tsp brown rice vinegar
1 tsp maple or barley malt syrup
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
peanuts and cilantro for garnish
Cook noodles per package instructions. Set aside.
Steam broccoli until crisp tender. Set aside.
Process all sauce ingredients in blender until smooth. Add more water, if necessary, to create a medium-thick consistency. Heat briefly. Adjust seasonings, if desired.
Toss into broccoli and noodles.
Taken from Everyday Vegan by Jeani-Rose Atchison
Baked Rice Balls
1/2 cup of brown rice cooked in 1 1/2 cups of vegetable stock
1 onion, diced
1 carrot, diced small
2 cloves garlic, minced fine
1.2 cup parsley, minced fine
1/2 cup almonds
sea salt to taste
1/4 cup flax egg (more if needed to make balls stick together)
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Combine all ingredients well. Roll into walnut-sized balls and place on an oiled glass pan.
Bake for 30 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool slightly before removing from pan.
*I used my vitamix to dice the onion, carrot and parsley - worked great.
Taken from Everyday Vegan by Jeani-Rose Atchison

Monday, February 2, 2009

Spinning

Have you ever taken a spinning class? Calvin and I went to our first one today. WHOA! Great workout. It was a lot of fun. I'm trying to get back into biking shape for the summer.


The Scoop on Spinning

Spinning was created by world-class cyclist "Jonny G." Goldberg as a convenient and quick way to train for races. In 1989, he and John Baudhuin opened the first spinning center in Santa Monica, California and then developed a program to certify other spinning instructors. Curious to know about this spinning thing? The following info will help you decide if it's for you:

What is it? Spinning is an aerobic exercise that takes place on a specially designed stationary bicycle called (obviously enough) a spinning bike. As you pedal, motivating music plays and the instructor talks you through a visualization of an outdoor cycling workout: "You're going up a long hill now, you can't see the top yet.…" During the class you vary your pace -- sometimes pedaling as fast as you can, other times cranking up the tension and pedaling slowly from a standing position. This helps you to focus inwardly and work on your mind as well as your body.

Why we love it: Spinning burns serious calories (about 450 in 45 minutes) and offers an awesome aerobic workout that makes your heart pump fast. It also tones your quadriceps (front thigh muscles) and outer thigh muscles like nobody's business! Because you stay in one place with the same basic movement throughout, Spinning doesn't involve a lot of coordination; it's easier to concentrate on your form than in other types of aerobic classes. And although you follow the general instructions of the spinning teacher, you are in control when it comes to your pace. You can finish a spin class, regardless of your fitness level, simply by adjusting your pace or the tension knob on the bike.

http://yourtotalhealth.ivillage.com/diet-fitness/spinning-101.html

Almond Parmesan

1 cup almonds, raw, unsprouted
3 TB nutritional yeast
½ tsp. sea salt

Place ingredients in dry blender and blend until a fine powder.

Taken from Traci's cookbook

Dinner Idea - Light Pasta Primavera

Light Pasta Primavera

1 lb brown rice (Tinkyada brand) penne pasta
4 oz. earth balance
8 oz. sliced mushrooms
1 TB minced garlic
9 baby carrots, julienne cut
4 cups broccoli
½ cup vegetable broth
½ TB lemon juice
1 tsp. evaporated can juice crystals
¼ tsp. red pepper flakes
1 tsp. dried basil
sea salt and pepper to taste
almond “Parmesan cheese”

In a saucepan, bring water to a boil, add pasta, put lid on and turn off heat and let sit on burner for about 15 minutes. Prepare vegetable. Steam the vegetables for about 5 minutes in a very large wok or skillet, sauté the mushrooms and garlic in the earth balance for about 4 minutes. Add the steamed vegetables to the sautéed mushrooms. Add the broth, lemon juice, evaporated cane juice crystals, pepper flakes, basil, and salt and pepper to the skillet and toss for a minute or two. Add the cooked and drained pasta, incorporate with the vegetables.

No-Fry Potato Doughnuts

Here is a better alternative to regular doughnuts. They turn out great and are fun to make, especially with kids.

3 medium potatoes, peeled and quartered
1 cup almond milk (70-80 degrees)
4 Tb flax egg
¾ cup earth balance
½ cup evaporated cane juice crystals
1 tsp. sea salt
4 ½ cups white wheat flour
1 ¼ tsp. active dry yeast

TOPPING:
¾ cup evaporated cane juice crystals
1 ¼ tsp. ground cinnamon
¼ cup earth balance, melted

Place potatoes in a saucepan and cover with water. Bring to a boil; cook until tender. Drain, reserving ¼ cup cooking liquid; set liquid aside to cool to 70-80 degrees. Mash potatoes; set aside 1 cup to cool to room temperature. In bread machine pan, place dough ingredients in order suggested by manufacturer, adding reserved cooking liquid and potatoes. Select dough setting. When cycle is completed, turn dough onto a lightly floured surface. Knead in an additional ¼ to ½ cup four if necessary. Roll out to ½ in thickness. Cut with a 2-1/2 in. doughnut cutter. (or get creative – I use a wide mason jar lid and a shaving cream lid for the hole.) Place on greased baking sheets; cover and let rise until almost doubled, about 25 minutes. Bake at 350 for 15-20 minutes or until lightly browned. Combine sugar and cinnamon. Brush warm doughnuts with earth balance; dip in cinnamon-sugar.

My version of Grandma Moser's Apple Cookies

My favorite cookies growing up were Grandma Moser's applesauce cookies, especially right out of the freezer. They are so great. Here is my version.

3 ¼ to 3 ½ cups wheat flour
1 tsp. nutmeg
2 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. cloves
½ tsp. sea salt
2 tsp. baking powder
1 cup evaporated cane juice crystals
1 cup sucanat
2 tsp. baking soda (stir soda into applesauce)
1 cup earth balance
4 T flax egg
2 cups applesauce
1 cup oatmeal
1 cup nuts
1 cup tropical source choc. chips or carob chips
2 cups raisins or craisins

In bowl, mix flour, nutmeg, cinnamon, cloves, sea salt and baking powder. Set aside. In mixing bowl, combine sugars, applesauce (mixed with soda), earth balance and flax egg. Add flour mixture and mix well. Spoon onto greased baking sheet and bake at 375 degrees for 7-10 minutes.

Friday, January 30, 2009

Sucanat

Sucanat is non-refined cane sugar. Unlike refined and processed white sugar, Sucanat retains its molasses content; it is essentially pure dried sugar cane juice. The juice is extracted by mechanical processes, heated and cooled at which point the small brown grainy crystals are formed.

Sucanat is generally accepted as a substitute for brown sugar. Unlike regular brown sugar, sucanat is grainy instead of crystalline. Of all major sugars derived from sugar cane, Sucanat ranks the highest in nutritional value, containing a smaller proportion of sucrose than white cane sugar.

Taken from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sucanat

Sucanat is what I use in place of brown sugar and can be purchased at many health food stores and can also be found online.

Pumpkin Bread

3 cups wheat flour
1-1/2 cups evaporated cane juice crystals (or organic sugar)
½ cup sucanat
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. allspice
½ tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. salt
½ tsp. ground nutmeg
4 TB flax egg
1 can (15 oz) canned pumpkin
½ cup olive oil
½ cup water
1 tsp. vanilla
1 cup tropical source chocolate chips, non-dairy chocolate chips or carob chips

In bowl, combine the first 9 ingredients. In a separate bowl, combine the next 5 ingredients. Mix well. Stir into dry mixture just until moistened. Fold in chocolate chips. Spoon into two bread pans coated with nonstick cooking spray. Bake at 350 for 50-60 minutes. Cool for 15 minutes before removing from pans.

Cinnamon Rolls

My cinnamon roll dough is my basic bread dough:

½ cup warm water
2 TB. Yeast
1 TB. Evaporated cane juice crystals (organic sugar) or honey
Mix and let sit for about 10 minutes

3 cups almond milk
¼ cup earth balance buttery spread or oil
1 TB sea salt
3 TB Evaporated cane juice crystals (organic sugar) or honey
1/3 cup flax egg
½ TB lemon juice
Add yeast mixture to this and mix all together (I like to do it in a blender)

Pour mixture into bread bowl and add 8-10 cups flour. Add flour until the dough is still soft, but not too sticky.
(I use hard WHITE wheat and mill it just before use.)

Knead for about 6-8 minutes. Turn into greased bowl. Cover and let rise until doubled, about 1 hour. Punch down dough and raise for another hour.

Now for cinnamon rolls, roll dough out in a rectangle shape. Spread at least a ½ cup of softened earth balance buttery spread onto dough, sprinkle generously with Sucanat and cinnamon. Let raise until double. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Bake 20 minutes until golden and bubbly.

Meanwhile, combine ½ tsp. vanilla and 2 cups organic powdered sugar in a bowl. Add 6-8 TB melted earth balance a little at a time until desired glaze consistency is reached. Glaze hot rolls.

Practice using flax egg and almond milk

The following recipe is a great one to use to practice using flax egg and almond milk (which have been described in previous posts).

Cinnamon Cake Loaf

2 cups white wheat flour
1 ¼ cups evaporated cane juice crystals (or organic sugar), divided
3 tsp. baking powder
3 ½ tsp. ground cinnamon, divided
1 ¼ tsp. sea salt
4 TB flax egg
1 cup almond milk with 1 tsp. lemon juice mixed in
1/3 cup olive oil
2 tsp. vanilla extract
3 TB earth balance, melted

In a bowl, combine the flour, 1 cup evaporated cane juice crystals, baking powder, 1 ½ tsp. cinnamon and sea salt. In another bowl, combine flax, almond milk, oil and vanilla; stir into dry ingredients just until smooth. Pour half of the batter into a greased 9-in. x 5-in. x 3-in. loaf pan. In a small bowl, combine the remaining sugar and cinnamon; stir in earth balance. Drizzle half over batter; cut through with a knife to swirl. Top with remaining batter. Drizzle with remaining cinnamon-sugar mixture; swirl with a knife. Bake at 350 for 55-60 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pan to a wire rack.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Dinner Idea - Veggie Brown Rice Wraps

1 medium sweet red or green pepper, diced
1 cup sliced fresh mushrooms
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 TB olive oil
2 cups cooked brown rice
1 can (16 oz) kidney beans, rinsed and drained
1 cup frozen corn, thawed
1/4 cup chopped green onions
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp pepper
1/4 tsp salt
6 flour tortillas, warmed
3/4 cup salsa

In a large nonstick skillet, saute the red pepper, mushrooms and garlic in oil until tender. Add the next seven ingredients. Cook and stir for 4-6 minutes or until heated through.

Spoon 3/4 cup onto each tortilla; drizzle with salsa. Fold sides of tortillas over filling; serve immediately.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Homemade Wheat Bread

Making bread can be a daunting task for many, it certainly used to be for me. I would plan my whole day around the fact that I was making bread, and it was such an ordeal. The only way to get past that is to PRACTICE. Just do it, over and over and one day you will realize it's just not a big deal. You don't have to have a big fancy mixer either. I always just do my bread by hand. Traci recommends making sprouted wheat bread because of the importance of sprouting grains before use (which I will soon talk more about). I agree that sprouted wheat bread would be the best choice, however, this recipe is a good choice if you don't have sprouted wheat ready.

½ cup warm water
2 TB. Yeast
1 TB. Evaporated cane juice crystals (organic sugar) or honey
Mix and let sit for about 10 minutes

3 cups almond milk
¼ cup earth balance buttery spread or oil
1 TB sea salt
3 TB Evaporated cane juice crystals (organic sugar) or honey
1/3 cup flax egg
½ TB lemon juice
Add yeast mixture to this and mix all together (I like to do it in a blender)

Pour mixture into bread bowl and add 8-10 cups flour. Add flour until the dough is still soft, but not too sticky.
(I use hard WHITE wheat and mill it just before use.)

Knead for about 6-8 minutes. Turn into greased bowl. Cover and let rise until doubled, about 1 hour. Punch down dough and raise for another hour.

Form into 3 loaves and put in loaf pans. Raise for 30 minutes. Bake at 350 for 25-30 minutes.
Remove from pans and cool on a wire rack.

Dinner Idea - Broccoli Soup



4 cups chopped fresh broccoli

1 cup chopped celery

1 cup chopped carrots

1/2 cup chopped onion

6 TB earth balance

6 TB wheat flour

3 cups water

4 medium red potatoes

2 cups almond milk

3 tsp vegetable broth powder

1 TB minced fresh parsley

1 tsp onion salt

1/2 tsp garlic powder

1/2 tsp poultry seasoning

1 TB nutritional yeast (optional)

1/4 tsp cayenne pepper (optional)

1/2 tsp sea salt

Steam broccoli, celery and carrots. In a soup kettle, saute onion and garlic in earth balance until tender. Stir in flour to form a smooth paste. Gradually add the water, stirring constantly. Add diced potatoes. Bring to a boil.

In a blender combine 1/3 cup almonds and 1 3/4 cup water blend until smooth (for almond milk). When potatoes are tender add 1 cup potato mixture to blender and blend with almond milk. Pour back into kettle. Add steamed vegetables and remaining ingredients.

Created by Megan

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Easy Dinner Idea - Tostadas


I usually have these when I don't know what else to have. There is enough variety that the kids can pick and choose what they want and still get a good meal.

Corn tortillas (preferably sprouted corn tortillas), warmed in a warm skillet
Refried Beans, warmed
Black Beans (saute minced garlic, onions and green pepper in a small saucepan and then add a
can of black beans)
Enchilada sauce, warmed

Top with:

Shredded lettuce
Olives
Corn, warmed
Guacamole
Fresh tomato salsa (diced Roma tomatoes, diced onion, chopped green onion, chopped cilantro,
chopped jalapeno pepper, fresh lime juice, garlic powder, cumin, salt and pepper)

Created by Megan