Friday, April 5, 2013
Well, I said in my previous post that I had purchased quite a few avocados, so today I decided to make a weekend dessert for my son (maybe others too) that contains these delicious little devils. I have seen this made pretty often, but usually with milk. I decided to switch it up a bit. It passed the test! Enjoy!
2 ripe avocados
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/4 cup agave nectar
1/4 cup Zico chocolate coconut water
1 teaspoon peppermint extract
Blend all ingredients in large bowl with a hand mixer until smooth. Chill and serve.
Thursday, April 4, 2013
My son has been on spring break this week, which requires many trips to the market for supplies. I, in turn, end up for some weird reason buying a lot of avocados and red bell peppers. I have no idea why. Maybe I am preparing for a zombie apocalypse where they will be needed. In any case, today I looked down and there were FOUR. (and four avocados) I decided to stuff them and make them dinner. Here is the recipe. I used protein-packed quinoa instead of rice, and a nice drizzle of hemp oil to group everything together at the end. Nutritious and tasty!
3 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
1 cup black quinoa (or any color!)
3 cups organic low sodium vegetable broth
3 large red bell peppers
1/3 cup chopped sun dried tomatoes
1/4 cup pine nuts
1/4 cup raw pumpkin seeds
1/2 small red onion, minced
3 teaspoons minced garlic
1 1/2 cups baby bella mushrooms, clean and sliced
1 tablespoon dried oregano
3 to 4 table spoons of panko bread crumbs for dusting on top of peppers
1 tablespoon organic cold pressed hemp oil
1 tablespoon olive oil
sea salt and pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 375
Cook quinoa in 2 cups of the vegetable broth for twenty minutes, starting at a rolling boil for the first minute, then reducing to a simmer in a covered non-stick pot. Toast pumpkin seeds and pine nuts in a non stick skillet (dont add any oil or spray) until lightly golden, about two to three minutes at medium high heat. set aside. Saute mushrooms, garlic, and onions in olive oil until tender and onions are translucent. Set aside. Slice Peppers lengthwise, removing seeds and place in baking dish. When quinoa is done cooking, add onion and mushroom mixture, oregano, salt, pepper, sun dried tomatoes, basil, pine nuts and pumpkin seeds to pot and stir together to combine. Place mixture into pepper halves, and put one cup of vegetable broth into bottom of the baking pan surrounding the bottoms of the peppers. (more if needed for bigger pan) Cover with foil and cook for one hour for slightly crisp peppers, a little longer for softer. When done, remove and drizzle with the tablespoon of hemp oil.
Sunday, March 31, 2013
My husband is a kohlrabi junkie. He admits this information readily to the public, so I'm sure he won't mind if I share it. I'm always trying to think of ways to serve it up except for peeled, in a bowl. It's almost hard to get it out of his hands once he sees it peeled, actually. (sorry honey.) I sat down today and tried to think of a salad that would knock his socks off. This one contains all of his favorites, although he might not realize it. Here you go! Hope it's a hit at your house too!
For a small salad:
3 small kohlrabi, peeled and sliced very thin (i used a mandolin)
4 stalks lemongrass, ends only... minced very fine
1/4 tsp white pepper
2 tablespoons sesame oil
2 tablespoons mirin (kikkoman)
1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
1/2 tsp sea salt or to taste
1/2 tsp toasted sesame seeds
3 green onions, chopped (green only)
2 teaspoons chopped fresh parsley
Chill before serving and enjoy!
Saturday, March 30, 2013
Today I was on a mission. I'm sometimes forced to eat one of two things on a standard menu in a midwestern restaurant... #1. A salad with everything removed except for the standard tomatoes and lettuce while keeping the cost in tact, or #2. A veggie burger, which usually consists of either some form of black bean and paste-like formation or a mystery dough ball fried in the same lard that was previously used to fry cheese sticks. Ew. Hence my mission of the day. Create vegan veggie patty extraordinare, sans paste. I wanted to use fabulous ingredients (naturally) and no flour and fry them up in coconut oil for a lovely crispness. They were AMAZING. So amazing I forgot to top them off with the mushrooms that I planned on sauteeing for the top! They need nothing. Not even a bun. I hope you enjoy them as much as I did. I had to call a friend over for dinner! Serve them up with some chilled honeycrisp slices, or Kelly's Killer slaw. Here is the recipe:
2 cooked and cooled medium sweet potatoes
1 can (15 oz) organic great northern beans
1/2 tsp minced garlic
2 tablespoons tahini
1/4 of a small organic honeycrisp apple, minced finely
2 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp white pepper
1/4 tsp oregano
1 1/2 cups panko bread crumbs
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper or ground habenero pepper (if you prefer spicy, use habenero)
1 bunch of green onions, green only, chopped
extra panko for coating patties
Place potatoes,beans, garlic, tahini, and apple into a food proccessor and blend until smooth. (about the consistency of hummus) when finished, place in large stainless bowl and add sea salt, pepper, oregano, cayenne or habenero pepper, and then gently fold in panko crumbs and green onions.
When mixture is blended, form mixture into patties, then place each gently into a bowl of extra panko crumbs to lightly coat and set aside. Heat a heavy skillet and coconut oil to medium high heat, and fry the patties until golden on each side. drain on paper towel covered plate, and then serve!!
Monday, March 18, 2013
It seems that March and winter are being INCREDIBLY stubborn this year. With that said, the only thing that sounds good consistently for dinner is soup. Lots of hot bowls of warm goodness. This black bean soup is a cuban favorite in my old stomping grounds of Miami. I switched a few things up over the years, but it still is an all-time favorite with my family and friends that beg me to make it over and over. Here is the magical recipe! (it is also great topped with vegan sour cream and chopped chives, or served over black rice!)
2/3 cup olive oil
1 large red onion
4 to 5 garlic cloves
1 green pepper
1/2 teaspoon pepper
4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp oregano
1/2 teaspoon cumin
2 bay leaves
2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons red wine
2 tablespoons olive oil
Sort two cups of black beans, removing any stones. Soak in ten cups of water overnight. The next day, cook beans by themselves in the ten cups of water for 45 minutes. you will likely have to skim "bean foam" from the top of the pot, and also add more water toward the end of the cooking time. Use your judgement. The beans should always be covered by about an inch and a half of liquid. During the 45 minute cooking time, saute the onion, garlic and green pepper (chop them first) in a seperate pan in some olive oil. Once the 45 minutes has passed, take a ladleful of the saute and add it to the black beans, and use an immersion blender to blend the ingredients for about thirty seconds on high. If you dont have an immersion blender, take a ladlefull or two of the black beans and some of the saute and mix it up in a regular blender or a food processor. It will do the same thing! Add the rest of the ingredients from section 1 to the beans and stir..allow to cook at a low boil for another hour. When the hour has passed, add the ingredients from section 2...then allow to boil for another hour after that hour has passed, add section 3, and Stir and enjoy! You will LOVE this!
Monday, February 25, 2013
Today was a balmy forty one degrees in Michigan. I furiously cleaned my house and dreamed of blooming tulips and upcoming days spent at my Father in-law's pool. Then, I saw the weather report. We have a winter storm warning in effect. Sigh. I decided that a cheerful summery salad was just what was needed to get us through the upcoming storm. Here is what I tossed into the bowl:
1 can of organic garbanzo beans
8 or 9 sun dried tomatoes, chopped ( I used the ones I previously dehydrated)
10 kalamata olives, chopped
8 mint leaves, chopped
1 cup chopped fresh parsley
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon hemp oil
1/4 cup thinly sliced and chopped red onion
1/4 of an organic red bell pepper, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
juice from 1/2 lemon
sea salt and fresh pepper to taste
combine all ingredients in a large bowl and toss. Enjoy!
Friday, February 22, 2013
I am not one that usually craves pizza. I have my 13 year old son to thank for this, since pizza is his favorite food. I have suffered in making a bagillion pizzas (not even eating them, just the process) and it really killed my appetite for them over the years. But, for some reason today was a pizza day. My son was thrilled (naturally, although any food these days thrills him) to help me assemble and create pizza magic in our kitchen! It was soooo delicious.
here were our ingredients:
Eggless pizza crusts
sauteed baby bella mushrooms (sauteed in oregano, basil, fresh garlic salt and pepper)
sliced black olives
fresh spinach and beet greens
veggie shreds ( mozzarella and parmesan)
also a touch of vegan parm as a topping, as well as crushed red pepper
tomato sauce (I used frozen from my garden)
Bake at 425 for 12 minutes. Hopefully you will get a slice and your 13 year old wont eat them all!
Thursday, February 21, 2013
March is approaching in Michigan, and everything here is a bit...gray. I have been packing myself full of greens because they seem to increase my happy vibes, and I like to start my morning with a green smoothie in lieu of a heavy breakfast these days. My cousin recently reminded me of a child hood favorite, the shamrock shake...so I decided to make my own version for him. It is amaaaazing. Here it is!
One big handful of spinach
1/2 handful of beet greens or kale
1/4 cup frozen mango
1/2 cup coconut water
2 ripe kiwis
6 to 7 mint leaves
2 frozen wheatgrass cubes
blend in vitamix on variable until smooth.
I have used pineapple in place of the mango as well, and also added a touch of cayenne pepper sometimes... but this is my favorite smoothie, by far. Enjoy!!
Friday, February 8, 2013
So, I have a confession. I'm a bit of a gadget junkie. My most recent purchase was a dehydrator on Amazon for 24 bucks, and I figured, HOW COOL! I can make all kinds of vegan delights without banishing the nutrients from my veggies and fruits. The first thing I decided to try was sundried tomatoes, homemade garlic powder from dried garlic cloves, and dried basil. My plan was to combine the three ingredients with some sea salt and fresh ground pepper in olive oil to use as a topping for quinoa or whole wheat pasta. It turned out amazing! The garlic and basil MUST be dried for this to have a shelf life of TWO YEARS in your fridge. after the ingredients dehydrated for about 14 hours, I whipped the garlic around in my Vitamix for a few seconds, and threw everything together. SUCCESS!
Friday, January 4, 2013
Three tablespoons olive oil
4 to 5 garlic cloves, minced
2 shallots, minced
4 organic celery ribs, diced
1/2 small package of baby organic carrots, chopped
2 containers of organic baby bella mushrooms, chopped to your size preference (I like them chopped only in half so they are chunkier in the soup)
1/2 chopped head of cabbage two cans of fire roasted tomatoes(I like Muir Glen Organic)
a palmful (about 1 1/2 to 2 tablespoons) of dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 1/2 Tablespoons sea salt
1/2 teaspoon white pepper
12 cups organic low sodium vegetable broth
Saute the shallots, garlic, and celery in olive oil in a big stock pot until translucent, add the carrots and the mushrooms and the seasonings. Saute for two minutes. Add the tomatoes, cabbage, and the broth. stir to combine. Cook on low until vegetables are still tender and cabbage is nearly translucent, then serve. so far I have been eating this for three days and Im not sick of it yet! Good sign!
Tuesday, January 1, 2013
While in California, my sister in law Kelly made a cole slaw that was amazing and today I replicated it with a few changes. Cabbage is an amazing source of vitamin C, it is a great detoxifier, and helps in proper functioning of the brain. I'm thinking this is the right way to start off the New Year! Here is what I used...
1/2 head of cabbage, chopped
zest and juice from one lemon
1 tablespoon celery seed
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 tablespoons Braggs organic apple cider vinegar
1/2 teaspoon agave nectar
sea salt to taste..I used about 1/2 teaspoon
Toss all ingredients in a large stainless steel bowl or similar, and chill. Serve as a lovely side dish or snack anytime! Let the New Year begin!
Saturday, December 29, 2012
The Michigan winter is in full swing, the Christmas rush is over...and the last thing I want to do is munch on another salad. I'm bored. Roasted veggies are the greatest. They pack you full of nutrition, yet give you the feel of a nice comfort food. Here I used a butternut squash, 1/2 of a bag of organic baby carrots, 8 oz of organic baby bella mushrooms, about a whole stalk of organic brussels sprouts from my garden! (YES!) I tossed everything together with about three tablespoons of olive oil, sea salt and fresh ground pepper, and some oregano. I just eyeballed that..but I'd say about a palmful of dried oregano. This combo, when eaten next to a roaring fire is guaranteed to satisfy. Enjoy!
Monday, December 17, 2012
Well, It's official. I'm ruined for life. After seeing the beauty of California I'm once again slightly deflated to return to a gray Michigan sky. On a positive note, I also returned with many new experiences, and recipes that often included a delicious form of newly descovered seitan from a company based on the west coast called Sweet Earth Natural Foods. The seitan was delicious on it's own, hearty and flavorful and like nothing else on the market! They also carry a variety of burritos that cater to vegans which pack a powerful punch of protein wrapped in a tortilla of amazing flavor. I was quite impressed! For more info, click here:sweetearthnaturalfoods.com it's really worth a look. Ask for their products at your local Whole Foods or other health food store. I did! Meanwhile, I will wait in withdrawals. The chipotle seitan is what we used in the salad above as a topper. Delish! Sigh. I miss California already.
Monday, December 3, 2012
Today I made an incredibly easy and delicious lentil soup in my new Hamilton rice cooker! Who knew it could do such things! My friends Kristine and Patty insisted I have one and gifted me this fabulous new machine. For years I have been doing beans, lentils and grains the old fashioned way, but not anymore! I'm hooked! This baby whipped up this delicious soup in 35 short minutes and kept it warm all day, without overcooking the lentils and turning them into mush. Here is the recipe I used...
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup finely chopped organic carrot
1 cup finely chopped organic celery
2 teaspoons sea salt
16 oz organic green lentils
1 can organic fire roasted tomatoes (14.5oz)
2 quarts organic vegetable broth
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
Rinse and sort lentils, place all ingredients into cooking pot of rice cooker, stir gently to combine and set to Boil/Simmer setting for 35 minutes.
Serves 6 to 8
Price per serving....$1.45
McDonalds Dollar Menu for eight- $8.00 and up
Health benefits of eating organic and vegan for our planet and your body- priceless.
Tuesday, November 27, 2012
Normally, I choose to juice in the mornings...but tonight my son is at wrestling practice and I have decided that this is a perfect dinner alternative. The above juice is my all-time favorite. Which even kind of shocks me, because before I was vegan I HATED beets. I think our bodies just tell us what they need. These are the ingredients, all blended on low speed in a Brevelle 800 juicer.
4 medium organic beets, peeled
1 frozen wheatgrass cube
2 inch cube of organic fresh ginger
4 stalks organic celery
1 organic granny smith apple
A palmful of organic baby carrots, or one organic carrot
This juice is always best and most nutritious when consumed right away, so that is usually what I do, but if you happen to make to much for your liking, then just seal it in a mason jar as pictured above and consume within 24 hours.
Here are a few benefits of this juice:
Beets: calcium, magnesium, vitamins A and C, as well as niacin. Full of fiber.
Celery: contains pthalides, which have been shown to lower blood pressure, high in vitamin C, and lowers cholesterol.
Wheatgrass: rebuilds the bloodstream, and neutralizes toxins
Ginger: reduces pain and inflammation, is an stomach upset remedy, and may slow the growth of colorectal cancer cells.
Green Apples: Full of vitamins A, C, B6, E, calcium, magnesium, iron and zinc...just to name a few. many more that keep the doctor away!
Carrots: rich in beta carotene, and carrots produce a natural fungicide that protect it's roots from diseases called Falcarinol. Researchers have discovered that there are anticancer properties in Falcarinol.
And, the very best reason to drink this juice is that it will make you feel amazing, and it tastes great!! Ching Ching! A toast to your health!
Tuesday, November 20, 2012
I have a confession. I am a junkie. I live for GT's Multi Green Kombucha. Some say it is an elixir, some say it is a tea. I say it is fabulousness in a bottle. Ever since I started drinking Kombucha, I have stopped drinking coffee, diet soda (YIKES) and anything else except water and other teas. I started drinking it roughly a year and a half ago, and I havent had a soda since. I used to drink up to 12 (OMG, I know) diet cokes A DAY. Wow, that was slightly embarrassing to type. However, I am now clean. This product has so many benefits I cannot even list them all. Let's just say it has been used worldwide for centuries as a medicinal beverage, and the owner of the company started home brewing it in his kitchen for his Mother when she had cancer...oh, she is still around, by the way. I love the taste, but I have to be honest... it is a little different at first. Try it! Whole Foods stores carry this, or you can find it at your local health food store in the refrigerated section. Multi Green is my favorite, but there are a variety of flavors to choose from. Experiment and get hooked on health!
Monday, November 19, 2012
Good Morning! I have a feeling today is going to be one of those days...and on top of it, I may have to untangle Christmas lights...SO I am arming myself with my favorite power breakfast smoothie. Here are the ingredients.
A handful of kale, ribs removed. (mine was from my garden, but if not, get organic)
A handful of organic spinach leaves
1/3 cup of frozen organic mango or pineapple chunks
1 cup coconut water (I like Zico)
1 cube frozen wheatgrass juice (can be purchased at health food stores, or pre-made in ice cube trays and frozen! :) )
1 teaspoon or to taste ground habenero pepper or cayenne pepper
Load leafy greeans into high speed blender such as the Vitamix, top with frozen fruit, add coconut water and blend at variable speed starting at level three and moving up to 7 for about thirty seconds, or until blended.
Total prep time: 3 minutes
Total cost: less than $4.00 per serving
Total health benefits: priceless.
Let's face it, we already know know how dark leafy greens benefit our bodies. So now we can add the wheatgrass powerhouse to that, which is packed with chlorophyll and has been proven to stop the growth of unfriendly bacteria in the body, clean the liver and colon, and make your skin glow like a sunbeam. Good enough for me! On top of that, the frozen mango is also rich in vitamin C, and E, flavanoids, beta carotine, niacin, calcium, iron and magnesium. Oh, and it makes the smoothie frosty...which is a very important feature in and of itself. Coconut water is ultra-hydrating and packed with potassium. And my favorite ingredient...Ground habenero pepper! I buy in bulk from my health food store..do not buy McCormick spices, as they contain GMO's! The habenero pepper boosts metabolism and is a great source of vitamin B6, vitamin C and iron, and protects your body against cancer and diabetes. It also will give you a nice release of natural endorphins, which for me is great anytime! The pepper adds an amazing touch to this smoothie, but you can also make it without, or try different frozen fruit like berries instead also. The possibilities are endless and delicious! Enjoy!
Sunday, November 18, 2012
Another green beauty that is going strong in the garden amidst the frosty mornings is one of my favorites of all time, KALE! If you have yet to try this superfood, here are a few reasons why you should....
In just ONE cup of cooked kale (you get more if you eat it raw or in a smoothie) your body is getting:
2.5 grams of protein
354% of your RDA for vitamin A
89% of your RDA for vitamin C
1328% of your RDA for vitamin K
27% of your RDA for Maganese.....AND kale's high beta carotene content means that it helps protect your body from cancer and heart disease. Not only that, the high percentage of vitamin K keeps your blood healthy and may even contribute to better bone health. Maganese also helps contribute to bone health, and since kale has a great balance of calcium and magnesium, it is even better because without a proper balance of magnesium, calcium cannot be absorbed into our bodies. I know! AMAZING isn't it? The greatest part is that you can create SO many delicious recipes including kale...not to mention green smoothies and kale chips! Later this week I will show you some of my favorites. Kale is an essential part of my diet, and a very happy food! Try to incorporate it into your diet ASAP!!!
Saturday, November 17, 2012
It is really hard to believe that it is November in Michigan and I am still harvesting amazing veggies from my garden. Take a look at these brussels sprouts! Later this week, I will incorporate them with my kale (also still growing) into an amazing salad. My goal is to keep harvesting these babies until January, which I've heard is possible. We'll see!