Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Garden Harvest & White Bean Chili

Hello Fall!!! I'm so in love with the weather right now and loving HARVEST TIME!  My garden is in full force and I'm overeating all kind of amazing things like, tomatoes, swiss chard, zucchini, beets and carrots!  We also enjoyed peaches and apples from the trees in our yard as well, although they need some serious grooming.  
Above:  These are our square foot gardens with tomatoes/zucchini/squash planted behind them straight in the ground.  These gardens are so incredibly easy!  As you can see, they are sectioned off into squares and I plant per square instead of in rows.  This way of gardening has made life so much easier!  Weeding is minimal and the weeds pull out quickly and easily.

I'm thrilled that as Fall sets in I am able to make soups, stews and chili's.  There is nothing more comforting to me that having something like this for dinner!  This Chili has been one of my favorites and I used to make it with Chicken, and I decided to try it without.  Just as good!  Yes!  Hope you enjoy.

White Bean Chili
1 onion, chopped
3-4 garlic cloves, minced
1 heaping tablespoon cumin
1 teaspoon salt or 2 tablespoons Liquid Aminos
1 small can diced green chile peppers
4-6 cups Great Northern Beans, cooked 
(add as many beans as you'd like for thickness)
6 cups vegetable broth

Saute onion and garlic in a little water.  Add cumin and saute for at least 1 minute.  Keep a little moist with water.  Add diced green chile peppers, beans, & vegetable broth.  Season with a little salt or Liquid Aminos.  Heat through and serve with chopped green onions, cilantro, salsa on top, or as seen above, hot sauce!  It also makes a great dip for chips!  Enjoy!

Monday, July 29, 2013

Creamy Summer Squash Soup

My garden is overflowing with produce right now!  I can't believe it!  We are enjoying zucchini and yellow squash like crazy.  I decided to make a quick soup for dinner tonight and it turned out so good!  My kids ate at least 2 bowls each.  Love that!  They were pounding veggies and didn't even care.  Stellar!  Hope you enjoy this soup, especially if you have zucchini and squash coming out your ears like us!

Creamy Summer Squash Soup
One large yellow squash, cubed
One large zucchini, cubed
1 onion, cut in chunks
2 cups vegetable stock
1-2 cups almond milk
1/4 cup Braggs Liquid Aminos

Combine the veggies and vegetable stock in a large pot.  Bring to boil, turn to low and cook 15 minutes or until veggies are soft.  Add almond milk and liquid aminos.  Blend well.  Flavor with a little more salt, 21 Salute or whatever sounds good to you.  We didn't add anything else to ours.  Delish!  

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Ponzo Noodle Salad

We love the Forks Over Knives Cookbook at our house and look forward to trying new recipes often!  This is one we've made a few times and thought I'd share.  It's a cold salad, which is wonderful in this hot weather.  Of course, I always modify a few things, so here is their recipe, modified.  If you want the original, get the book!  I love it!  So useful!

Ponzo Noodle Salad

1 pound brown rice noodles (whole wheat work too)
2 medium carrots, cut in matchsticks
3 green onions (white and green parts), cut in thin strips
1/2 cup coarsely chopped cilantro 
1/2 cup Ponzo Sauce

Ponzo Sauce
Zest of 2 lemons
Zest of 2 limes
1/4 cup agave
3/4 cup Bragg's Liquid Aminos
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup rice vinegar

Whisk Ponzo Sauce ingredients together and store in refrigerator for up to 1 week.  

Cook the noodles according to package directions.  In a skillet using very little oil or using water to keep moist, cook the carrots.  Drain noodles and rinse with cold water.  In a large bowl, combine all ingredients and mix well.  This is even better the second day!!!!!  Enjoy!!!

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Protein Packed Lentils & Quinoa

I have been feeling a little sore from exercise.  I have been drinking a lot of chia and using a lot of nuts/seeds, but have been lacking the legumes and power grains.  Life is busy and I've been feeling overwhelmed with cooking much.  I threw this together for lunch.  It did take about 40 minutes to cook (the lentils, not the quinoa.  Quinoa takes about 15 minutes to cook).  It was tasty!

Protein Packed Lentils & Quinoa
1 onion, chopped
6 cloves garlic, crushed and minced
2 carrots, chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
1 cup lentils
2 cups water
1 tablespoon 21 Seasoning Salute (Trader Joes)

Combine all ingredients in a stainless steel skillet (I used my Platinum Cookware, turning the temp to medium and when it's to temperature, 60 degrees, then I turn to low and simmer 30 minutes.).  Bring the contents to a low boil, turn to low and simmer 30-45 minutes with lid on.  Serve over quinoa.

Cooked Quinoa
1 cup Quinoa
1 1/2 cups water 
(I don't like my quinoa soggy, so I like using a less water.  It is usually recommended using 2 cups water, a 2:1 ratio.  So experiment with what you like!)

Combine ingredients in a small saucepan.  Bring to a boil, then turn to low heat, put on lid and let steam for 15 minutes or until quinoa is light and fluffy and not soggy.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Happy Birthday To Me Carrot Cake Muffins!

Yep, it's my birthday.  It was a WONDERFUL day! I am actually getting old enough to say, I don't have birthdays anymore, but come on, lets face it, we all really wanna have a birthday acknowledgement like when we were kids!  Birthdays rock!  Getting older rocks!  Really....it does!  My kids ask, "how does it feel to be one year older?"  I always reply, "Better than ever!!!"

Dan prepared my meals for the day.  It was relaxing and enjoyable.  However, I insisted on making my birthday cake!  My favorite cake of all time is Carrot Cake.  I found THIS amazing recipe the other day and decided to try it tonight.  This recipe is for Carrot Cake Muffins and let me just tell you, these were DIVINE!  I was in heaven!  I topped these with Coconut Cream.  What is Coconut Cream?  It's canned coconut milk put in the freezer or fridge, opened and scrape off the cream from the top.  Whip in a drop or two of stevia and spoon on top of your muffin.  It's so simple and so delicious!  These muffins are a must try!  Pretty darn healthy too!  Nice perk, eh?!  Way to go One Ingredient Chef.  I loved it, it made my day!

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Laundry Soap

I have been involved with doTERRA and using their oils for over a year.  I LIVE on them!  They have had so many uses and helped our family with so many things.  If any of you have smelled the oil Purify, you will know exactly how awesome this homemade laundry soap will be!  It makes your home smell so incredibly fresh just when diffusing it!  It also purifies the air and keeps it free form all sorts of pesky little germs.  It's a refreshing and uplifting smell as well.

I decided to make homemade laundry soap using this incredible oil.  I did some searching and found several recipes out there on Pinterest and blogs.  I decided to take the basic idea of many of these recipes and do my own thing.  Just a few little notes about this laundry soap.  It is powder.  I found THIS great website with some useful info and using most of the same ingredients for liquid laundry detergent if you'd prefer to use it instead.  I like the easiness of the powder and have a top loader washing machine so it works for me.

A note about essential oils: I use purify, but the first time I made this recipe I used a combination of lavender, melaleuca (tea tree oil), and orange oil.  It was an awesome combination too!  I have a friend who uses just orange oil because it's cheaper and she loves the smell.  So, as you can see the possibilities for "flavoring" your laundry soap are endless!
 Above are the ingredients I use. All of these ingredients, except the oil, I purchased at my local Smiths Marketplace.
1 large Box Arm & Hammer Washing Soda
1 large box Baking Soda
1 large box Borax
2-3 bars Kirk's Castile Soap
20-30 drops purify (more if you so desire)

 Finely grate the Castile Soap
Combine the soap a cup or two at a time along with a cup or two of the Washing Soda and the essential oils.  Process until smooth.
You may need to repeat this process one more time, depending on the size of your food processor. (don't worry about using your kitchen tools for this, it cleans well, ha ha!)
I don't need to process all the borax and soda, I just pour the remaining ingredients in the bucket and mix really well with my hands.

I double my recipe for my large family and this should last me a few months at least.  

This takes me about 10 minutes, tops!  It's so incredibly easy and leaves my laundry smelling wonderful!

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Carob "Magic Shell"

Greetings Fellow Healthy Buddies!

Jen asked me to contribute to the blog and so HERE I AM and here it comes!

Little background on me:
My name's Christina
I've been slowly (but surely) changing the way I eat (working my way to 100% plant based)
and I enjoy seeing what yummy delish-is-nuss I can create for my 
little family of 6!

Last summer I came across the holy grail of Summer treats!
Who woulda thunk?  But they are truly divine.
This summer I wanted to step it up a bit! 

I am a HUGE fan of chocolate.
HUGE fan....
Did I mention....I'm a fan???
Well, chocolate is not very kind to my tummy, so a 
perfect alternative is CAROB!!

I have been eating carob all my life.  For EVERY birthday (and I DO mean EVERY) I have had a carob cake.  It's the texas sheet cake recipe, only made with carob!  Love it!   I already know and love carob so I though I'd experiment with making carob covered frozen bananas!  I tried it and it was LOVE at first bite!

Here's the simple recipe!

1/4 c coconut oil
1/4 c powered sugar
(I am going to be experimenting more with honey/agave to see if the results are satisfactory!)
1/4 c carob powder
1/2 tsp vanilla

Combine the coconut oil, powdered sugar and carob in a small saucepan over low/med heat.
Stir until coconut oil is all melted and the carob and powdered sugar is dissolved.  Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla.  Take a FROZEN banana and dip down in the sauce.  Work quickly as it will start to set up fast!  Once set up, put back in the freezer for about 15 - 20 minutes.  

If you can wait, if not, just eat right then!  The banana will be slightly soft due to the heat of the sauce. If you're like me, I just couldn't wait, and the banana was inhaled in a matter of 4 big bites!  Boy was is GOOD!!!  You can be creative and roll in some chopped nuts before it sets up completely.  I loved it with just the carob though!  

We've got ALL summer to fix (and EAT) these bad boys and I can hardly wait!

Saturday, May 25, 2013

White Bean, Millet, Walnut Taco 'Meat'

We eat a lot of beans, as you know, and I don't know about you, but we need variety.  Kinda like my old chicken days...I ate chicken every day and that gets pretty darn old if I didn't have a billion ways to serve it.  I'm so glad those days are over, to be honest with you.  I love that there are so many various plant foods to choose from!  Tonight I was in a hurry to make dinner and didn't have any beans previously made like I normally do, so I pulled a can of white beans out of our food storage and put some millet on to cook and let the creative juices flow.  Ha!  Actually it isn't so creative, just a little spin on what I normally make but the flavor turned out great!

White Bean, Millet, Walnut Taco 'Meat'

1 large onion, chopped
1 cup walnuts, chopped
1 can white beans (about 2 cups)
1 1/2 cups cooked millet
2 tablespoons chili powder
2 teaspoons garlic powder (or 2 garlic cloves, crushed)
1 teaspoon cumin
coconut oil (2 teaspoons, optional)

Saute onion in oil or water for about 5 minutes.  Add walnuts for 2 minutes.  Add beans, millet and spices.  Add a little water if needed.  Cook on medium low heat until heated through.  Serve in a lettuce, or chard leaf or on corn tortillas!

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Why Juice?

Why Juice?

Why not?!  Juicing is a way to get a straight “shot in the arm” of nutrients.  I have found, for myself that the more living foods I consume, the better I feel, the less cravings I encounter.  Why is this?  I fully believe that when we consume dead foods, or processed foods, the less nutritionally fed we are.  Our bodies will begin to scream for the nutrients it’s lacking.  This comes in the way of cravings!  The more alkalizing foods (refer to THIS alkaline/acid chart) we eat or juice, the quicker we will absorb the nutrients our body needs.

One of the biggest questions in regard to juicing concern the fiber that is being removed.  That can’t be good?  We need that fiber, right?  Yes, we need fiber and should be consuming it in the form of eating these foods as well, but the benefit to juicing or even a juice fast provide our digestive system a break.  Pulling the fiber from the vegetables and fruits frees the nutrients . 

In the book pH Miracles by Robert and Shelley Young, they describe the benefits of juicing, “When you “drink your vegetables,” your body is getting minerals, chlorophyll, and enzymes, so vegetable juices are very alkalizing.  They also have an important cleansing effect in the intestines.  Juicing vegetables you might otherwise cook also provides enzymatic relief to the digestive organs.”  These juices go straight into the blood stream and provide us with "instant" nutrition!  

What to juice for optimal nutrition?  Again, referring to the alkaline/acid lists found all over the Internet and in books provide you with a list of foods that are alkaline.  When our bodies are more alkaline based, versus acid, we are healthy or more alive.  When our bodies become acidic, our bodies become a place where disease and decay thrive.  So, when it comes to juicing we are going for alkalinity.  This comes in the form of vegetables and very few fruits.  As you consume more vegetables juices, this will provide your body with a large amount of alkaline based nutrients and you will feel awesome!  I’m not gonna lie, the first time you choke down a “green” drink, you’re gonna feel like it might all come right back up!  So, start with equal amounts of apples, carrots and greens in the form of kale, spinach, swiss chard, romaine lettuce, etc.  Juicing a lemon with my green drink is a must!  It always helps mine to taste better.  In time, you will be able to lesson the amount if apples and carrots and add more greens.  

I juice a 32 oz green drink every morning and it consists of a variety of greens; kale, spinach, beet greens, and swiss chard.  I will sometimes add celery and/or a cucumber, cabbage, and a green pepper.  I love cilantro/parsley as well.  I add 1 green apple and 1 lemon to my 32 oz drink.  I rarely add carrots.  Carrots are alkaline but also naturally very sweet and can still increase your blood sugar.  Juicing grasses like wheat grass is also beneficial, although I haven’t had the time or patience to investigate growing my own and certainly don’t have the time or money to buy it.  I have read loads about the benefits though and encourage you to do that if you know how.

I also occasionally add 1 garlic clove, ginger root (peeled), or radishes to my juice.  Sometimes the spicy takes away the monotony of  the heavy greens.  Although, I have been juicing for a year and love variety, I NEVER tire of my green juice every morning.  If I happen to miss my green drink in the morning, my body feels more tired and I feel more cravings later in the day.

A word about Organic…I do all I can to buy organic.  I know there is much controversy concerning organic, however, I still buy it, wash it well and have peace of mind knowing I’m making the best choice I can. I also try to buy organic produce stateside and NOT from Mexico.  I cannot source this, but have heard that Mexico sometimes uses human waste as fertilizer (yuck, I know). I cannot afford to buy everything organic.  I work with my local grocery store and the produce manager there is wonderful about ordering anything I need organic and gives me great prices!  The foods I buy organic are; apples, romaine lettuce, swiss chard, kale, and carrots.  I buy these buy the box every week.  We juice it, eat it for almost every meal and LOVE it!

I will also be posting some great information about what kind of juicer is best? Also, information about the power of a juice fast.  Stay tuned!

There are some excellent books, documentaries and other sources about the power of juicing I recommend:

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Creamy Cauliflower Soup

This recipe is adapted from The Forks Over Knives Cookbook.  My kids weren't very excited about this soup, because it had cauliflower in it.  Well, there wasn't a drop left!  They LOVED it! 

Creamy Cauliflower Soup
1 head cauliflower, cut into florets
1 onion, chopped
4-5 garlic cloves, crushed and diced
4 teaspoons curry
1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste
4-6 cups water or vegetable broth
Almond Milk (optional)
Cilantro & Scallions for garnish (tastes amazing in soup)

Saute onions and garlic in a little water until translucent.  Combine all ingredients and bring to a boil over medium heat, turn on low until cauliflower is soft.  Blend the soup.  If it's too thick, add a little water or almond milk.  Garnish with cilantro and sliced scallions.

Veggie Medley With Ginger Using Platinum Cookware

Two words. Platinum Cookware.  On my blog, I've talked a little about the Salad Master set that Dan and I purchased.  It is water-less, oil-less cooking, stainless steel cookware.  We were not happy with our Salad Master.  See...this cookware had a little opening on the top of the lid that would "click" when the food was up to temperature.  When it was up to temperature you would turn it down.  The problem was, sometimes the clicker wouldn't work, other times, if I needed to cook something like baked potatoes in my pot, I would need the temperature a little higher, like 100 degrees and the clicker would click nonstop, causing me to seriously flip my lid.  Ha ha!  No pun intended there!  

Our good friends Dave & Cindy (Cindy's recipes have been posted here before) and their daughter and son-in-law, Ritchie & Christina decided to make a business of selling Platinum Cookware.  They did a demonstration for us and we were SOLD!  This cookware is exactly what we have needed!  No clicking!!!  Woot!  Most veggies cook at about 60 degrees and the little dial on the lid would show us when it was up to temperature.  We would then turn our burner either off, or on low and it would keep it's temperature until the veggies were cooked, thus keeping the temperature low.  Boiling point is 212, if I remember right.  This keeps your food well below that and traps all the heat inside cooking your food.  It requires no water, if your veggies have been rinsed and are a little wet, and very little water if your veggies are dry.  NO OIL!  They actually bake cakes in these pans, with NO OIL!  It is like a magic show with these pans.  

I cook in them daily!  My kids love potatoes and veggies in them, not to mentions soups, stews, quinoa, rice, oatmeal, the list goes on!
Today I made these veggies.  VERY EASY!  Very delicious!  If you do not own Platinum, it is worth looking into, however, in the meantime, make sure you're using stainless steel.  It is still possible to cook your veggies on a lower heat.

Veggie Medley With Ginger

1 yellow pepper, de-seeded and cut in chunks
1 cup Brussels sprouts, ends removed and rinsed well
1 large handful fresh green beans, ends removed and rinsed well.
1 large handful or two of Asparagus, thick ends cut off and rinsed well.
1 inch ginger, peeled and thinly sliced

Combine all the veggies.  Bring up to 80 degrees.  Turn off heat, or remove from heat if your stove stays hot (ceramic).  Let sit for about 15-20 minutes.  Check.  I added my asparagus after the veggies were up to temperature.  They tend to cook quickly and were mushy if combined with the other veggies in the beginning.  
Sprinkle with 21 Seasoning Salute.  Enjoy!

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Orange Chia Muffins

I have been in the mood for cooking big time these last few days!  Maybe it's because it's Spring?!  I am loving my DoTERRA oils and using them in my cooking.  Wild Orange is an inexpensive oil and adds a ton of flavor to shakes, juices, syrups, muffins, cookies, etc!  These muffins were created by me today!  Usually I modify existing recipes but this one was all me.  I was thrilled at how they turned out.  I hope you try them and let me know what you think :)  I wish I could have you all over for brunch, because to me the best part is watching people enjoy something healthy, made by me.  It brings me lots of JOY!

Orange Chia Muffins

3/4 cup fresh orange juice
1 1/2 tablespoons chia seeds

1 1/2 cups spelt flour
1 cup rolled oats
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon soda
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/3 cup honey or agave
1/4 cup coconut oil
5 drops wild orange essential oil

Crumb Topping (optional)
1/4 cup spelt flour
1/4 cup oats
1/4 cup organic sugar
grated rind of one orange
1/4 cup coconut oil

Preheat oven to 400.  Combine the orange juice and chia seeds and set aside for about 15 minutes. In a large bowl combine spelt flour, rolled oats, salt, soda and baking powder.  Mix well.  Add honey/agave, coconut oil, wild orange oil and orange juice chia mixture.  Quickly mix well.  Do not over mix!  If using crumb topping prepare by mixing all ingredients together until crumbly.  Spoon muffin batter into a stainless steel muffin tins that have been sprayed with nonstick spray.  Sprinkle the crumb topping on top and bake muffins for 15-20 minutes or until tops are a little crispy and muffins are slightly browning. Remove from oven and let cool slightly.  Enjoy!!

Yield: 12 large muffins

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Tofu Veggie Rice Wraps

This is my first time using these fun rice wraps! I have seen them and wanted to try them but usually use seaweed instead.  These were easy and lots of fun to make!  I bought my rice wraps at Smiths Marketplace in the Asian food section.  As you can see above, they just need to be dunked in water for a about 10-15 seconds.  When you pull them out, they may be stiff still, but will soften.  I also picture a sweet and sour sauce.  I used a recipe in the cookbook Forks Over Knives, but the sauce was sticky and didn't turn out well at all.  I will not be including that recipe.  This was a quick, fun lunch I had this week.

 I love the options vegetables give me!  It's quick and easy and I always feel full, satisfied and never weighed down after I eat.  Eating this way has been the answer for me and I'm so grateful for the information I've learned and continue to learn.  I'm grateful for those who do the digging and provide the information the general public needs to know concerning our food and where it's coming from.  I hope you take the time to educate yourself.  I have a list of literature as well as several documentaries here on my blog as well as in my very first post.  These are great places to start!  With the help of Pinterest I have found some amazing blogs!  People are so creative!  I love that we all share what we learn concerning plant based nutrition.  If eating plant based is too overwhelming for you, try taking it a step at a time.  Maybe a meal a week is plant based, and from there you can add to it as you find your tastes changing.

Tofu Veggie Rice Wraps

1 16 oz tub tofu, drained and sliced thinly, as picture above
1 tablespoon grapeseed oil or coconut oil
2 tablespoons Braggs Liquid Aminos
1 red pepper, sliced thinly
1 carrot, sliced thinly
1 red onion, thinly sliced
1 bunch cilantro, washed a stems removed
Romaine lettuce (optional)

In a small fry pan saute the tofu in the grapeseed oil and Braggs Liquid Aminos until the outside of the tofu is crispy.  Set aside.  Prepare all the veggies.  Soften the rice wraps one at a time and prepare by layering the tofu and veggies.  Wrap as you would an enchilada.  Mine was a little tricky to fold, because it was sticky.  Do your best :)  I will post a great sauce soon! 
 In the meantime, Forks Over Knives has a great Brown Sauce that I like.  That book is worth it to own!  I hope you enjoy!

Monday, April 8, 2013

Taco Salad with Lime Cilantro Dressing

This dressing was amazing! It had a strong flavor like many other favorite recipes using cilantro and lime along with......lots of oil. In the cookbook Forks Over Knives they use beans as the base for many dressings. I love this idea! They have a dressing similar to this one...but I changed a few of the spices and added a couple ingredients. Ha! I guess I modified it :) my kids loved it! We also used the dressing on our Veggie burgers this past weekend. It gave it amazing flavor! Hope you enjoy! 

Taco Salad With Lime Cilantro Dressing
6-8 cups mixed greens
1 large bunch cilantro, rinsed and chopped
4-6 scallions sliced
2-3 tomatoes, diced
1 cucumber, diced
6-10 corn tortillas
For Dressing:
1 cup white beans
 (any kind of white bean, including cannellini beans)
2 cups cilantro
1/2 cup almond milk
1/4 cup lime juice
2 teaspoons cumin
1 teaspoon salt
4 cloves garlic, crushed

To make the tortilla chip strips, preheat oven to broil on high. Using a large cookie sheet, spray with nonstick spray. Cut the corn tortillas into strips and place on the cookie sheet. Spray the strips with nonstick spray and sprinkle salt if so desired. Broil only a few minutes, turn strips over and broil only about another minute. They brown quickly! Do not leave them for long. Check them every minute.

For the dressing: combine all ingredients in a blender and blend well. Add a little more milk until desired consistency is reached. 

Assemble all ingredients for the salad. Pour dressing on each individual salad. Serves 4-6

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Baked Tofu Nuggets

I haven't always enjoyed tofu and this last year I've actually changed my mind. It's really all about how you cook it. This recipe is easy. Dan still isn't a if fan of tofu, but all 5 of my kiddos loved these even if he wouldn't partake :) I will give you the recipe for what I made my family...reduce the amount if you need to make less.

Baked Tofu Nuggets
2 packages extra firm tofu cut into small squares
1-2 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 cup spelt flour
1/4 cup cornmeal
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon nutritional yeast

Heat oven to 400. In a bowl combine the tofu squares and olive oil. In a gallon bag combine the spelt, cornmeal flour, salt and nutritional yeast. Place a fourth of the tofu in the gallon bag and shake. Place on a large cookie sheet. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until outsides are crispy and slightly toasted.

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Carob Clusters

I was in the mood for so something sweet the other day and I found this carob recipe on The Rawtarian and decided to add pumpkin seeds and almonds and then put them in my freezer! Very simple and very tasty!

Carob Clusters
3/4 cup coconut oil (melted)
3/4 cup agave
1/2 cup carob powder
1/3 cup almonds
1/3 cup pumpkin seeds

In a blender combine coconut oil, agave, carob powder and blend until smooth. In a large bowl combine the carob mixture, almonds and pumpkin seeds. Mix well and spoon onto parchment paper. Keep in a cool environment or they will melt!  

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Vegan Chocolate Banana Cake

I am obsessed with desserts lately. I have enjoyed taking sweet things and modifying them. It's getting easier for me to get it right. I have a house full of bananas and was looking for a banana cake when I found is in one of my older cookbooks that I used to use a lot. Who doesn't love Chocolate?!

Vegan Chocolate Banana Cake

*2 cups spelt flour (whole wheat flour may be used)
1 cup organic sugar
1/2 cup cocoa or carob
1 1/2 teaspoons soda
2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
2 tablespoons ground flax soaked in 4 tablespoons water
1/2 cup applesauce
1/2 cup water
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup almond milk
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
1 large banana, mashed

Ina a large mixing bowl, combine all the dry ingredients. Mix well. In a smaller bowl combine the wet ingredients including the flax mixture. Mix the wet ingredients well. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and whisk for about a minute by hand. Pour into a greased (nonstick spray) 9x13 inch baking pan.  Bake in a 350 degree oven for 40 minutes. This cake needs no frosting! I sprinkled powdered sugar in top.

* I tried using 1 1/2 cups ground oat flour and 1/2 cup sorghum flour and it turned out beautifully!

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookie Bars

This is a recipe that has been a family favorite for years, even before we began a plant based diet. It was a recipe I had modified and since then has been a base recipe for all my cookies. It is so easy!

Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Bars/Cookies
3/4 cup oil (canola, NOT coconut oil)
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons ground flax
1/2 cup almond milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/2 cups spelt flour 
(or combination white/whole wheat flour )
2 cups rolled oats
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 cup vegan (or regular) chocolate chips

Mix oil, sugar, flax, milk, and vanilla well. Add dry ingredients and mix just until combined well.  Press into an ungreased 9 x 13 cake pan. Bake @ 350 for 15-18 minutes. Let cool completely before cutting into bars. You may also make these into cookies and bake for 10 minutes.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Vegan Chocolate Cake

This cake was so nummy, I have a serious weakness for cake. This is a must make! My picture doesn't do it justice! I made a few variations from this recipe found on Instructables 

Vegan Chocolate Cake 
1 1/4 cups spelt flour
3/4 honey or agave
1/3 cup cocoa powder
2 tablespoons ground flax
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup warm water
1/3 cup oil
1 tsp vanilla
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar

Mix all dry ingredients. Add the wet ingredients and mix well. If batter is too thin, add another half cup flour. Bake @ 350 for 25 minutes

Chocolate Coconut Frosting
2 cups powdered sugar
1/3 cup cocoa
1/4 cup coconut oil (melted)
1/2 cup shredded unsweetened coconut
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 cup almond milk

Mix dry ingredients. Add vanilla and milk. Add the melted coconut oil last. The frosting will be a little thin. I like it that way ;) Add less milk or more powdered sugar if you want a thicker frosting.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Pomegranate Mandarin Pecan Salad

I eat so many salads that I need variety! This salad was created from some of my favorite things to eat right now. The combination was so good!

Pomegranate Mandarin Pecan Salad

1 head of washed organic romaine lettuce, chopped 
1-2 mandarin oranges, peeled and sectioned and cut in half
1/4 cup organic raisins
1/4 pecan pieces
1/4 cup pumpkin seeds
1 pomegranate seeds
Balsamic vinaigrette 

Combine all ingredients in a large bowl. Serves two. Enjoy!

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

21 Spiced Potatoes n Broccoli

It's all about simplicity! It's also all about Trader Joes 21 Salute seasoning! I LOVE this stuff! I put it in soups, sprinkle it in salads, but my favorite is putting it on my baked potatoes!
This was my lunch today...steamed broccoli and a couple of small baked potatoes, drizzle flax oil, a small amount of Braggs Liquid Aminos and sprinkle 21 Salute.  Enjoy!