Sunday, July 29, 2012

Lentil Burgers

 These burgers are a lot more simple to make and have such great flavor!  In fact, as I type this, Dan is making these tweaking these burgers to make them into a "Taco meat" flavoring and we will put them in tortillas.  Lentils are the one legume my kids and husband have had a hard time liking.  Dan says they taste like dirt, LOL.  I LOVE lentils, but I grew up eating lentils, so I'm used to them.  I have been on the hunt for good recipes with lentils.  This recipe I found at Vegan Meals. I hope you enjoy these! 

Lentil Burgers

1 onion, finely diced
2 cloves garlic, finely diced
2 stalks celery, finely diced
1 1/2 cups cooked lentils
1 1/2 cups cooked brown rice or wild rice
1/2 cup walnuts, finely chopped
1/4 cup bread crumbs
2-3 tablespoons ground flax
1/4 cup water
2 Tablespoons apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons sage
1 tablespoons poultry seasoning

In a small saucepan combine onion, garlic and celery with 1 tablespoon water and steam on medium heat for about 5 minutes.  Remove from heat and combine all ingredients in a large bowl.  Mix with your hands until, adding a small amount of water if it is not coming together well.  The mixture will be crumbly.  Press the mixture into balls and put on a cookie sheet lined with parchment.  Spray with top of each ball with nonstick spray and press flat with the bottom of a flat measuring cup.  Bake at 350, 15 minutes on each side.  These burgers are a little crumbly.  The next  day, we heat them in the oven in a cast iron skillet and put them into lettuce or swiss chard wraps with Simple Hummus, tomatoes, avocado's and onions or sprinkle over salads.
How to Cook Lentils will be posted below

Cooked Lentils
2 cups water
1 cup lentils

Combine water and lentils in a medium saucepan with the lid on.  Bring to a slight boil on medium heat, immediately turn to low and cook for about 45 minutes with the lid on!  Make sure that when bringing it to a slight boil that it doesn't over flow.  If you want to bring to a boil with the lid off, you can :)

Friday, July 27, 2012

Simple Millet Stuffed Bell Peppers - Guest Recipe

 In recent months, I have become more acquainted with a person I consider a "kindred spirit".  Her name is Cindy.  I've admired Cindy from afar ever since we moved into our home.  She lives a few streets over from us.  Years ago, I learned that Cindy was a Vegetarian.  I always admired people who could stick to it, because I struggled so much over the years with what to eat and how to overcome my cravings that I just didn't think it was ever going to be possible to have a good relationship with food. 

 As Dan and I began studying a plant based way of life, I thought about Cindy a lot and felt prompted to talk to her about what she has done over the years and why she eats that way.  The other thing I had noticed about Cindy was her constant smile.  She has a calm way about her and I wanted to get to know her.  My Mom, who lives in a basement apartment in our home, which I LOVE, had decided to make the same changes we were to our lives and wanted to come with me as we met with Cindy.  We called Cindy and she invited us over for lunch.  We spent a good 3 1/2 hours at Cindy's beautiful home.  The first thing I noticed about her home was how fresh it smelled, not the kind of home where you can tell air fresheners or candles are used (like me, ha ha!).  It was clean and inviting.  She had set the table beautifully and had placed before us a beautiful millet/parsley salad, red cabbage/apple/carrot salad, and a lovely dish called triple simmer.  She had gently cooked veggies as well as a delicious carrot/apple juice.  This was our lunch.  Now, coming off of beef and chicken, and a fair amount of processed foods, I was surprised to find this meal so simple.  It was basically fruits and veggies!  I loved it!  It was wonderful!  She talked about her life and what led her to make the changes to eat plant based.  It was fascinating to hear about her life!  She talked about her family, her husband and how she overcame her chocolate addiction years ago.  She talked about her fascination with how the rights kinds of food can heal us.  We talked about the Gerson Therapy at length, something she is studying.  It was a wonderful afternoon!

Since then she has been gracious enough to share good books to read, many lovely, simple recipes and many of her insights into how to be positive and happy and how that can change our health and wellness for the better.  I feel a deep connection with Cindy and am so grateful for her friendship!  This recipe is hers.  I love the simplicity of it!  I thank Cindy for sharing it and hope you enjoy it!

Simple Millet Stuffed Bell Peppers

1 cup cooked millet (will show recipe for this below)
4 large or 5 medium bell peppers
1/2 cup sweet onion, grated or diced finely
1/4 cup red cabbage, finely shredded
1 tablespoon olive oil
4 fresh cloves garlic (or to taste)
1 large tomato - diced
1 teaspoon ground cumin (optional - to taste)
1 tablespoon water in the bottom of the pan

Cut off top 1/3 of the bell peppers and dice the tops into the millet mixture.  Remove all seeds from peppers and discard.  Mix ingredients in medium bowl and stuff into the bell pepper bottoms.  Arrange in a large skillet or pot, placing the tablespoon of water in the bottom.  Heat your pan to 60 degrees or turn on medium and when the water is bowling in the bottom or it has reached temperature, then reduce to lowest temp on your stove top.  Cook for about 20 minutes.  

Serve plain or pour red enchilada or tomato sauce over each pepper.  Enjoy!!
(scroll to the end of the post for the millet recipe)

Cooked Millet

2 cups water
1 cup millet

Combine both in a small saucepan, cover and turn on medium heat, when slightly boiling, turn to lowest heat and cook for about 15-20 minutes or until millet has soaked all the water.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Homemade Whole Wheat or Spelt Tortillas

 With little prep, these wonderful tortillas can be made and frozen or refrigerated for a few weeks.  They can be put in the oven or re-heated in a cast iron skillet.  Do not use the microwave because they can make these very tough and/or gooey.  We like these tortillas with beans, onions, avocado, tomato and lettuce.  We will put hot sauce on it as well.  My kids still eat ketchup on theirs.  I use my Bosch to mix the dough but these can be mixed by hand, kneading it for a couple of minutes to mix it well.  I also use a tortilla press.  I LOVE my tortilla press, it's one of the best investments.  I use a Villaware but I did see a CucinaPro on Amazon that is comparable. If you do not have the money to get one of these now, they can be rolled out with a rolling pin and using non stick spray in a cast iron skillet, cooked on both sides until the color slightly changes.  Here's the recipe!  Any questions please leave comments, because if you have questions, likely others do too!  Also, feel free to email me at

Homemade Tortillas

4 cups spelt or whole wheat flour
1/4 teaspoon baking powder (optional)
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 coconut oil or canola oil
1 1/4 cup warm water

Mix dry ingredients.  Add the wet ingredients and mix for 1 minute.  Let rest for 5 minutes.  Divide into 12-24 balls.  Roll out or press in a tortilla press until the color slightly changes.  It's okay to have some dark spots, especially around the edges.  If you over cook these they will be crispy, which isn't a bad thing, but to keep them pliable stack them on top of each other after cooking and store in a plastic bag or container to hold a little moisture after they have cooled slightly and are warm.  It will keep them soft and pliable.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Gerson's Hippocrates Soup

I know it's summer and in the last thing you are thinking about is a hot soup.  This soup, however is incredibly easy, great for digestion and a staple in the healing of cancer, the Gerson Way.  What is that?  Well, you can find a simple review of The Gerson Therapy on their main website as well as a simple book review I wrote for the Nutrition Principles website.  The book The Gerson Therapy has to have been one of the most fascinating things I've read....ever!  The basic idea of the therapy is to heal cancer, diabetes, heart disease or any other degenerative disease as well as drug addiction.  Yes, it can be done through the foods we eat which are whole foods, mostly organically grown fruits and vegetables in the form of 13 cups of juice hourly each day, coffee enemas, potassium supplements and other natural supplements.  It sounds a little weird, I'm sure, but chemotherapy and radiation doesn't sound weird?  I also just finished reading a book called "A Time To Heal" by a woman named Beata Bishop.  This book reads like a novel, and is a story of her journey in healing herself using The Gerson Therapy.  Over 25 years ago she was diagnosed with Malignant Melanoma, a very serious and deadly form of Skin Cancer.  She was given 6 weeks to 6 months to live.  She explains how she finds out about The Gerson Therapy and her decision to follow it for the next 18 months and how she miraculously heals.  It is not an easy journey.  The Gerson Therapy requires a great deal of dedication and for a long period of time with strict adherence to following a clean diet after healing.  There are many amazing stories out there of people who have cured themselves using this therapy.  Without question, I would use this method to heal myself if ever needed.  My hope is that I won't.  

This wonderfully simple soup is something I try to keep in the fridge often and eat with my lunch or dinner often.  This is the Gerson's recipe and they purposely leave out salt and other flavorings, because they can conflict with those who are healing.  Before adding anything else to give this soup your own flavor, try to eat it as is.  I love it!

Hippocrates Soup
1 medium celery root or 3-4 stalks celery
Garlic as desired
2 small leeks or 2 onions
1 1/2 pounds tomatoes or more
2 onions
1 pound potatoes
a little parsley

Do not peel any of these vegetables!  Wash them very well.  Cut them coarsely.  Barely cover the vegetables with filtered water (I like less water, it makes the soup much more creamy).  On medium heat bring to a simmer, turn on low and simmer 2 hours.  Blend the soup, leaving small chunks, if desired.  Store for up to 2 days.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Quick Skillet Bread

I just posted a great recipe on Nutrition Principles.  This recipe is like a small crepe and is very tasty and quick!  I hope you like it!

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Veggie Nori Rolls

 Any fans of Sushi out there?  We are big fans!  However, as we try to stick to a more plant based diet, we have found a way to make our own simple veggie rolls.  They are wrapped in seaweed that has been dried.  It feels like crisp paper and can be brittle.  We usually buy ours at an Asian market because we need to buy it in bulk.  However, you can usually find dried seaweed at your local grocery store in the Asian food section. 

Veggie Nori Rolls

12-14 Nori Sheets
1-2 carrots
4-5 green onions
1 cucumber
1-2 avocado's, sliced
1 cup quinoa
2 cups water

In a small pot, combine quinoa and water.  Turn on medium heat and bring to a gentle boil, turn to low, cover and cook for 15 minutes.  With a Titan slicer thinly julienne your carrots, and cucumber.  Thinly slice your green onions (scallions) lengthwise.  Remove stems from your cilantro and wash the leaves.  Set aside on a plate as seen below. (Other veggies to add if desired: red peppers, zucchini, thinly sliced cooked beets, asparagus, lettuce, cabbage)

Prepare a small bowl with water for sealing the Nori.  
To Assemble:  If you have a mat to roll your Nori roll, you may use that, but it can be done without.  

 Place about 1/4 cup quinoa in the center of the Nori (make sure the quinoa is warm, not cool).  It doesn't have to be super neat.
 Place your veggies over the quinoa. I love more  veggies than quinoa in mine. 
 begin rolling the wrap with your hands.  It's okay if some of the veggies are sticking out, you will tuck them in.
 Using both hands tuck in the vegetables, still leaving a small part of the Nori unwrapped, as seen below.
 Dip your fingers into the small bowl of water and rub the water along the edge of the Nori.
 With your mat (or without, using your fingers to continue to tuck the veggies in), finish rolling the wrap tightly against that moistened edge.  It will stick together.
Your roll should look like this.  I like to eat mine just like this!  The seaweeds is very chewy, so it's not exactly pretty or easy to rip apart with your teeth, but I do it anyway :)  My kids like to cut theirs and dip it in Bragg's Liquid Amino's with a little wasabi.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Chocolate Truffles

These are another great recipe I found on The Rawtarian.  She has such yummy recipes!  These make up super quick and are one of my favorite treats!

Chocolate Truffles
adapted from The Rawtarian

1/2 cup sesame seeds
1/2 cup hemp seeds
1/2 cup almonds
1 cup dates, pitted and halved
1/8 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons carob or cocoa

Place almonds in the food processor and process until crumbly, add sesame seeds, hemp seeds and dates.  Process until dates are well mixed.  Add salt and carob/cocoa.  While mixing add agave 1 tablespoon at a time until the mixture clumps together.

Form into small balls, roll in coconut, hemp seeds, carob or cocoa powder, or eat plain!  

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Potato Curry

Well, as you can gather, Dan and I are NOT photographers!  Ha!  But I know when I'm trying a new recipe, I really don't care what the picture looks like, just that there is one.  So, keep in mind, I'm providing you a picture, not a master piece :) When Dan took the above picture, he said to me "who would want to eat that? It looks disgusting!".  This is another Sunday favorite brought to us by Dan.  He loves to make this meal and I love it when he does.  It is very simple.  I'm sure this could be used as a stew, but we love it over brown rice or quinoa.  

Potato Curry

4 potatoes, peeled and cubed
2 tablespoons grapeseed or canola oil
1 yellow onion, diced
1 red pepper, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1/4 to 1 1/2 teaspoons cayenne pepper (this is optional, if you like spicy, then add more)
4 teaspoons curry powder
1 (1-inch) piece fresh ginger root, peeled and minced or 1 teaspoon powdered ginger
2 teaspoons salt
2 tablespoons sugar 
1 (14.5) ounce can diced tomatoes or 4 large tomatoes chopped
1 (15 ounce) can garbanzo beans or 1 cup fresh (optional)
 1 cup frozen peas
1-2 cups green beans, fresh or frozen
1 14 oz. package extra- firm tofu, cut in cubes (optional)
1 1/2 cups coconut milk or 1 (14 ounce) can coconut milk

Place potatoes in a large pot and cover with salted water.  Bring to boil, reduce heat to medium low, cover and cook about 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large pan or skillet over medium heat.  Stir in the onion, red pepper and garlic; cook and stir until the onion has softened, about 5 minutes. Next, add cumin, cayenne pepper, curry powder, ginger, salt,and sugar and cook for 2 minutes.  Add the tomatoes, garbanzo beans, peas, green beans, tofu and potatoes.  Pour in the coconut milk, and bring to a simmer.  Simmer until ready to serve.
*We sometimes don't have all the ingredients to put into this stew, so don't hold back from making it if you don't have all that is listed here.  Sometimes we only make this with onion, garlic, potatoes, tomatoes and peas or beans.  

Friday, July 13, 2012

Nutrition Principles

My cousin, Trent and his wife, Marcie have a marvelous site where they write about all kinds of amazing nutritional information.  The name of this site is Nutrition Principles.  Recently, Trent asked me to be an author on his amazing site!  I was thrilled!  In the last few weeks I have shared a few recipes (recipes only shared on his site :) I have also shared a simple book review about The Gerson Therapy as well as a sample weekly menu.  I will post the link for this website on this blog, so that you may refer back to it.  Take some time and check out this amazing website and share it with friends!

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Baked Mac

This is by far the meal my kids demand at least once a week!  It seems complicated, but it isn't!  I love the easiness of it! I have made this gluten free before and those options are listed below. Enjoy! 

Baked Mac
Adapted from Oh She Glows

1 medium potato, peeled and chopped
1 large carrot, peeled and chopped
1 onion, peeled and chopped
1 cup almonds
1/2 cup raw cashews
1 cup unsweetened almond milk
4 garlic cloves
6 Tablespoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon salt
2 Tablespoons nutritional yeast powder
1 tsp mustard
1 13.25 oz whole wheat elbows or rotini (rice noodles for gluten free)
2 slices bread (crushed almonds for gluten free)
1 Tablespoon coconut oil
1 Tablespoon parsley, dried or fresh

Preheat oven to 350.  Grab a casserole dish and spray with nonstick spray, set aside.  In a medium size pot, add the potatoes, carrots, onion and garlic.  Fill with a small amount of water, on medium heat, bring to a boil, cover, to to low and cook until vegetables are soft (about 15 minutes).

Process, 1 slice of bread into crumbs.  Add coconut oil and process well.

Bring a large pot of water to boil.  Add your whole wheat pasta and cook according to time on package.

In a high speed blender, add almonds, cashews, lemon, salt, yeast, mustard. Once veggies are cooked, drain them and add to cheese sauce mixture. Blend until very smooth.

Drain your pasta, return it to the large pot, add your cheese sauce and mix well.  Pour into your casserole dish and sprinkle with bread crumbs.  Bake for 30 minutes uncovered.  Allow to cool for 10 minutes.  

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Summer Zucchini Bake

 Have a few extra zucchini and yellow squash laying around, like I do?  Not quite sure what to do with it except maybe pour a cup of sugar on it and make Zucchini bread?!  I'm kidding.  I love Zucchini Bread!  I was on Pinterest the other day and saw some good recipes using summer squash but it was loading with cheese and butter.  I started brain storming about how I could make something like it without the butter and cheese and came up with this. It was a HIT!  Its very easy to throw together!

Summer Zucchini Bake
2-3 medium sized zucchini, sliced
1 yellow crookneck squash (any yellow squash will work), sliced
1/2 red onion, slices separated
5 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons grapeseed oil
2 teaspoons basil
2 teaspoons oregano
1/2 teaspoon salt
5 tomatoes, sliced
1-2 cups bread crumbs
1 tablespoon coconut oil or grapeseed oil

Spray the bottom of a large cake pan.  I use an old roaster pan.  Layer the sliced zucchini, yellow squash, zucchini.  Drizzle the 2 Tablespoon grapeseed oil over the zucchini and yellow squash.  Sprinkle with herbs and salt.  Next, layer the separated sliced red onion, minced garlic with tomato slices on top.  In a food processor, process the bread crumbs and coconut oil.  Sprinkle that over the top of the tomatoes and Bake at 350 for 30 minutes.  Uncover and cook an additional 10 minutes.  You could also broil it on low for about 3-5 minutes or until the bread crumbs are nice and toasty after baking it for 30 minutes.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Cherry Apricot Salad

 I'm so grateful to hear of your compliments about this new blog of ours!  I love any feedback you have to give.  I appreciate all the questions I'm receiving about what we are doing.  I know that eating more plant based seems like such an overwhelming thing, but it is so simple and I endeavor to show that here.  I was in the store today and picked up some cherries, because they are so amazingly delicious and I'm going to enjoy the fact that they are in season right now.  I walked around the fruit (instead of the candy isle) and saw apricots.  They weren't particularly cheap, but I picked up half a dozen to have for a treat.  As I pulled them out at home, I thought, how cool would it be to combine these two fruits and come up with a yummy dressing for them.  So I did!  This was such a yummy treat after lunch today.  I hope you like this recipe!

Cherry Apricot Salad
7 cherries, halved and pitted
5-6 apricots, halved and halved again
1 Tablespoon lime juice
1 teaspoon walnut oil 
(I buy mine at Smiths)
2 teaspoons honey

In a small bowl combine the fruit.  Drizzle the honey over the fruit.  In a small cup combine the walnut oil and lime juice and mix well with a fork.  Pour over the fruit and honey.  Serves one.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Lemon Blueberry Poppy Seed Muffins - Vegan Style

 I love to browse food recipes, who doesn't?  I am finding a new passion in taking a 'normal' recipe and making it healthier, without animal products.  I love the website Joy the Baker.  She has some of the most marvelous looking recipes!  I found this delectable muffin on her website a couple of weeks ago and HAD to try it!  I was thrilled that it turned out so well after making the changes I did to it.  It tasted absolutely WONDERFUL!  It helped that I had fresh organic blueberries to add to it.  I pop these things like candy.  I hope you enjoy this one.  It could seriously pass for dessert!

Lemon Blueberry Poppy Seed Muffins - Vegan Style
Adapted from Joy the Baker

7 Tablespoons unrefined coconut oil
1/3 cup almond milk
1 heaping tablespoon ground flaxseed mixed in 2 tablespoons water
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/2 cups spelt flour
1/2 cup unrefined cane sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup lemon juice
1 Tablespoon poppy seeds
1 1/2 cups fresh blueberries (or frozen)

For the Topping;
3 Tablespoons unrefined coconut oil
1/2 cup spelt flour
3 tablespoons brown sugar

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Spray your stainless steel muffin tins with non-stick spray.

Melt your coconut oil, if it isn't already liquid.  Combine all wet ingredients in a large bowl.  In another bowl combine all of your dry ingredients except your blueberries.  Combine wet and dry ingredients.  Fold in the blueberries. Do not over mix. 

Fill the muffin tins 3/4 full.  Combine the topping ingredients and crumble with your fingers.  Sprinkle over each muffin.  Bake the muffins for 20 minutes.  Test with a toothpick to make sure the center is done.  Let cool for 10 to 15 minutes before serving.  Yield: 12 muffins.

These are amazing with a fruit smoothie or fresh fruit on the side!

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Perfect Vegan Burgers!

 Dan found this recipe and it has become our family favorite!  He usually makes it on Sundays and extras we freeze and enjoy throughout the week.  These burgers are so easy to warm up.  I pull them from the freezer and pop them in the toaster and they are ready!  My kids love them and take them for school lunches.  I enjoy them wrapped in lettuce or cabbage, but they are super yummy in a whole grain, dairy free hamburger bun with all the fixin's too!  I found this recipe from Oh She Glows and made just a few alterations.  One quick note about these burgers and I will add this reminder at the end as kids like "no chunks" in these burgers, so I ground everything extra fine using my food processor.

Perfect Vegan Burgers
Adapted from Oh She Glows

1/2 cup onion, very finely diced
1 large garlic clove, crushed
3 Tablespoons ground flax and 1 cup water, mixed in bowl, set aside
1 cup oats, processed into flour
1 1/2 cup whole grain bread crumbs
1 cup finely grated carrots
1 cup cooked white beans, mashed
1/4 cup fresh herbs (any variety)
1/3 cup almonds (ground fine using food processor)
1/2 cup sunflower seeds 
1 Tablespoon Braggs Liquid Aminos or soy sauce
1 1/2 Tablespoons chili powder
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon oregano
1 teaspoon poultry seasoning
1 teaspoon salt

Using a small amount of water, saute the onions and garlic for a few minutes.  Add sauteed onion and garlic as well as all remaining ingredients in a large mixing bowl.  Mix well, using hands (yes, it's the best way to mix it all!).  Form into patties and bake at 350 for 15-17 minutes on each side.

Again, we like the ingredients ground extra fine, so grinding onions, garlic, carrots and nuts extra fine in a food processor helps!  We also have substituted many kinds of nuts when we don't have exactly what the recipe calls for and it still turns out fantastic!
 Form into a large ball and refrigerate for about and hour (optional).  We've found that the burgers are less likely to separate or crumble as you form the patties.
 We bought a hamburger press to make our burgers, and it worked okay.  It made for a thicker burger and we like ours a little more thin.

 This batch I decided to roll them into balls, spray with nonstick spray and press with a measuring cup.  It was much faster and easier and made for a thinner burger.