Tag Archives: recipes

Gluten-Free Vegetarian Baked Ziti and Eggplant Garlic “Bread”

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And I’m back in the game for a BIG win!

The baby is 6 weeks old now and I’ve finally been making some appearances in the kitchen these past 2 weeks.  Mostly I’ve just been throwing simple things together for dinner in attempt to fill everyone’s bellies with something remotely healthy.  The other day I was walking through Costco, quickly checking items off my shopping list when inspiration stopped me in my tracks.  Ancient grain, gluten-free penne noodles.  Why, I cannot say.  I don’t even like noodles generally.  I did however used to LOVE my baked ziti recipe, which involved Italian sausage, ricotta, Parmesan and a WHOLE lot of mozzarella.  I haven’t eaten it in years.  I used to often make it with penne noodles because I could rarely find ziti.  So seeing the penne made me think of ziti, and that got me thinking about how I could come up with a yummy, healthier version.

That treasured flame I haven’t felt in almost a year was lit.  I spent the next few days mentally manifesting my creation… and it paid off, big time.  The whole family loved it, and that almost NEVER happens!  

Now, I made pasta to feed an army.  I used the entire Costco sized bag.  I regret that I didn’t even look to see how much that was.  I believe it was 6 cups, uncooked.  In the end it made 3 casseroles.  We ate 1 1/2 for dinner, my husband took the leftovers to work for lunch, and I put 1 in the freezer for a day in the future when we need a quick meal.  I love that kind of back up.  So, if you want to make less, reduce the recipe, but it does freeze well and is great to have on hand.

 

Gluten-Free Vegetarian Baked Ziti

1 Costco bag of Gluten-Free Ancient Grains Penne noodles

3 small or 2 large zucchini, sliced and quartered

About 2 cups crimini mushrooms, sliced

1 head of garlic, cloves peeled and sliced

A few tsp oil (olive or coconut)

2 jars marinara sauce (preferably organic)

4-6 oz soft goat cheese

1/2 (or more) tsp fennel seeds  (to give it that Italian sausage flavor)

About 7 oz goat mozzarella, grated

 

Preheat oven to 375.

Cook noodles according to package directions, rinse well, drain and set aside.  Place zucchini, mushrooms and garlic on a baking sheet and toss in oil.  Roast for about 20 minutes, until tender.  To the pot of noodles add roasted veggies, sauce, soft goat cheese and fennel seeds.  Mix well*.   Divide into 3 casserole dishes.  ~If you’re planning to freeze any, line the dish with plastic wrap, add the cooled pasta mixture, cover with plastic wrap and freeze.  When it is fully frozen you can remove it from the dish, wrap it in foil or wax freezer paper and store it in the freezer.  When you’re ready to eat it remove the wrap, put it back in the same dish you froze it in, let it thaw for several hours, top with grated mozzarella, and cook.~  To the one(s) you’re planning to cook now, top with grated goat mozzarella and cook until cheese is melted and bubbly, about 12 minutes.

 

*The soft goat cheese should melt if the noodles are still warm.  If you don’t want the cheese melted in you could also just crumble it on top once you get it into the casserole dishes.

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I have to apologize for this terrible photo. My camera isn’t the greatest and apparently neither is the lighting in my dining room.

Eggplant Garlic “Bread”

1 Eggplant

garlic powder

sea salt

Olive or coconut oil

 

Peel eggplant and slice into 1/2″ rounds.  Sprinkle with salt and let sit about 30 minutes.  Rinse well and pat dry.  Brush lightly with oil on both sides, sprinkle with garlic powder and sea salt, and place on baking try in the oven for about 20 minutes, flipping halfway through.  They are done when they are dry on the surface and beginning to turn golden brown.  

Oven Roasted Green Beans with Mushrooms

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Major hit tonight!  I had some green beans that I needed to use up in the fridge.  I’m not the biggest fan of green beans, but I’ve been buying them and eating them anyway because they’ve been super affordable lately.  I’ve tried a few recipes, but none that really did it for me.  I was browsing through some recipes this afternoon and couldn’t find anything that spoke, so I threw together something of my own and (((MIRACLE))) everyone love it!

Here it is, hope you love it too!

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Oven Roasted Green Beans with Mushrooms

a drizzle of your favorite oil (organic butter, ghee, coconut oil, olive oil, etc.)

1 lb green beans, ends snipped, cut in half

garlic powder

powdered ginger

sea salt

fresh ground black pepper

about 10 crimini mushrooms (or your favorite mushrooms), sliced

Heat oven to 400F.  Toss green beans in a little oil on a baking sheet.  Spread them out and sprinkle generously with garlic powder (about 2 tsp).  Sprinkle a little ginger (about 1/4 tsp), sea salt and black pepper, to taste.  Place in oven and roast for 20 mins.  Add mushrooms (may need a little more oil) and toss together, roast for an additional 20 minutes.

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Salad for Craving

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Vegetarian who doesn’t like salad.  Right here.

How does that even work?

I often wonder that myself.  I eat a dinner plate sized salad every day.  Almost always it’s just plain lettuce with a little lemon juice and stevia on it.  It’s really quite sad for me.  One might think, “No wonder she doesn’t like salad, how mundane!”  And one may be right, except, the reason my salads are like this is because I just don’t enjoy plates full of crunchy green stuff enough to put any more effort into it than that.  It isn’t worth it to me.  Especially when I’m also cooking a meat dish for my husband, often with a grain or potato side, plus a veggie based dish for myself and the kids, and I’m buried under kid clutter and dog hair and the sink is full of dishes for the third time today and the boys are screaming and beating each other up –AGAIN- in the living room ((deep breath)).  Spend extra time to make a colorful dish that I have to force myself to choke down?  No thank you, ma’am.

Despite it all, I have found ONE salad that I love.  And I mean back-scratch-on-a-down-comforter-in-front of-a-fire-with-a-tummy-full-of-relished-dinner-LOVE.  ((Might I have been a black lab in a previous life?))  I found it by accident while trying to navigate a menu at a restaurant, Zitas- here in St. Louis, without losing my vitality.  I had it without the parmesan and, of course, had my own dressing stashed in my purse.  I hesitated when the waiter told me it had green olives, but I decided to go out on a limb and try something I hadn’t tried in a while.  Tastes change, you know?  It was so amazing; I didn’t even want the cooked food I’d order for after it (which normally is my incentive to eat the salad in the first place).

Here’s the breakdown:

A plate-full of your favorite greens (I like to cut them small so I get more without realizing it)

2-3 TBS  sliced green olives

1/8 cup  diced roasted red peppers (jarred or made at home)

2-3 diced canned artichoke hearts

The dressing:

1-2 tsp water

3-4 tsp lemon juice

12 drops stevia

½-1 tsp stone ground or Dijon mustard

Shake up the dressing and toss it all together.  I always rinse any olives or artichoke hearts I use.  I don’t use them often and I prefer not to get a full dose of all the salt and the several shady added preservatives.

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There are 2 other ways I like salad, both Natalia Rose inspired.

I eat both of them on mixed greens with diced tomato.

#1

Mash avocado with lemon juice and stevia, smash it into the salad with your hands.

#2

Finely shred an ounce or two of high-quality raw goat cheddar and toss with lemon juice and stevia with the salad.

The downside, yes, optimist though I am, there is a downside.  My body just doesn’t do well with much fat, like, preferably no overt fat what-so-ever, so these are salads to savor no more than once a week for me, assuming all else is kept very low fat throughout the week.  If I get too much I end up with crazed blood sugar and it takes several days of zero fat to recover.  It isn’t fun when it happens, so we like to avoid that.  In any event, I hope you enjoy these salads as much as I do, whether once a week or thrice daily, whatever feels right for you!  And, if you’ve got any ideas for dressings that follow these guidelines, I’d love to hear them:  no salt, no fat/oil, no vinegar, no grain/seed/nut, no sun dried tomato or blended tomato, no animal flesh.  I think that’s all my particularities.  Yes.  Feeding me is daunting business.

Saturdays at the Wolfley’s

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Today was a productive day.  Hooray for that!  Why does it always turn out, though, that after a “productive” day the house is in disarray even more than usual?  But I did check off a few things from my to-do list that have been sitting there for weeks.

First of all, I finally got around to making the laundry soap I’ve been meaning to make for a while now.  I kind of had to do it today seeing as how the laundry is piling up again and I’m out of soap.  I decided a while ago I would start making my own soap to save money and avoid chemicals.  The student family budget rules this family.

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Laundry soap sitting over night to “goo.” Tomorrow I will put it into the laundry detergent containers I’ve been saving.

Next, I finally got around to finishing the candle holders I’ve been dreaming of.  I’ve had old spaghetti sauce jars taking up space on my counter for over a month!  I tried spraying them with glitter spray, but that looked super tacky.  Then I followed this tutorial and frosted them.  I didn’t have any food coloring, and I wanted them just a bit antique-ee, to go with the brownish hazelnut candles inside, so I mixed tumeric with some water and used that to color the Epsom salt.  The candles wouldn’t sit in the bottom because it was concave, so I poured more of the salt in there and scrunched them down into it.  Voila!

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Also, I got around to cleaning our microfiber couches.  This one was a long time coming!  We’ve had these couches 5 years.  They were cleaned once by my husband with the steam cleaner, but that was a few years ago and we’ve had kids potty train since then… you know what that means…

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There is one more project I worked on for quite a bit of the day, but I need to run to Lowe’s before I can finish it, so you’ll have to wait to see that one : )  I have to give a big shout-out to Pinterest!  My house has never been cleaner, and I have never been craftier, and this gives me one more thing to babble on and on to my husband about every night for the purposes of annoyance : D

Now, about Saturdays at our house.  Saturday evening (or sometimes Friday if its more convenient) we have family movie night.  Kolby is usually not here, but the kids and I rotate turns choosing a movie, dinner, and dessert.  We have a shoddy little chart that I made (I am ultra UNcrafty).  Tonight I chose an eggroll type invention for dinner (which we enjoyed after our usual large salad, of course), Behn chose frozen cookie dough balls for dessert, and Coen chose Stuart Little via Netflix for our movie.  We spread an old sheet out on the floor and picnic in front of the TV.  Afterward, if there’s time before bed, we play games.  Tonight we played Dora and Diego Candyland.

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Our rotating movie night chart, I keep it on the inside of the cabinet door to conceal its unsightliness

Now for the food.

For dessert I modified this recipe.  Then, I tossed it into the freezer while I made dinner.

Cookie Dough Balls

1/2 cup coconut sugar

4 TBS organic butter or coconut oil, softened

1/4 tsp alcohol-free vanilla extract

1/4 cup coconut milk (I used reduced fat, the Trader Joe’s brand)

3/4 cup organic spelt flour

3/4 cup organic millet flour

pinch sea salt

2 squares organic 70% cocoa or highter chocolte bar (I used Trader Joe’s “The Pounder” dark chocolate bar), chopped small

Stir it all together and drop into “balls” on a plate, freeze.

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Then I moved on to dinner.  I had searched for a good “inside out” eggroll recipe, but came up lacking.  So, I threw together my own invention.  There were too many noodles for my liking, so I’ve cut them in half in the recipe.  I actually think it would be better with no noodles at all, but then I’ve never been much for noodles.

We’ll call it… Eggless Unroll.

1-2 TBS coconut or peanut oil

1-2 TBS sesame oil

about 10 carrots, peeled and cut into matchsticks

1 head cabbage, sliced in thin strips

4 bulbs of garlic, minced

about 1 TBS freshly ground black pepper

1 bunch scallions, sliced thin

2 TBS cilantro, chopped small

1 TBS Hoisin Sauce, optional (find the highest quality you can if you’re going to use this, mine wasn’t the best)

2-3 TBS Tamari (or soy sauce)

1/2 12 oz box Buckwheat Soba noodles (optional), cooked according to package directions

sweet chili sauce, to taste (optional)

Put the oils, carrots, cabbage, garlic and black pepper in a large pot and cook until tender.  Add cilantro, scallion, Hoisin, Tamari.  Toss well.  Add the noodles and toss again.  Severe with a little sweet chili sauce sprinkled over the top, if desired.

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I Scream, You Scream, We All Scream for… Milkshakes (Healthy Ones!)

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Dinner tonight was sort of a flop, at least visually.  My daughter had the idea of making a healthier version of biscuits and gravy, since my husband had requested this dish for his dinner.  So I made our go-to spelt biscuits (I use coconut milk instead of dairy milk in them).  Then I made a gravy similar to my mushroom gravy, but I didn’t have any mushrooms.  Unfortunately, the gravy came out more like a thick-ish soup.  BUT, as luck would have it, I’ve been trying to come up with a way of making creamy soups without using dairy, and I think I found it!  So, this soupy sad looking “gravy” may, in fact, have just been a blessing from Heaven, an answer to my un-creamy soup dilemma.  Thanks, culinary angels!

Now to the point.   I had some friends come over today to see how I make milkshakes and ice cream and to talk about health.  This is my favorite kind of day!  I’ve got a long list of milkshake/ice cream recipes I’m perfecting and I was hoping to post them all together, but I’m going to give you what I’ve got so far.  A few things first.  Be selective about your Stevia.  I will only use NuNaturals or KAL, everything else tastes bitter, with the exception of flavored Stevias, the Sweetleaf brand is okay.  Buy bananas by the box full, ripen them to well-freckled perfection, peel and place on a baking sheet.  Cut them into 3rds or 4ths and freeze.  Store them in freezer bags.  You need not waste any bags if you store the empty ones in the freezer and re-use them.  Flavor extracts, be SURE they are alcohol-free.  You can get the best price on these at Vitacost.com.  Nuts; be sure they are raw.  The bag must specify that they are raw.  You can get the best price on these at Trader Joe’s.  Nut milks, the best brand to get is Pacific, but the Trader Joe’s brand is also okay, or you can make your own at home.  Just blend 1 cup of water with a handful of nuts, or 2 TBS of nut butter and filter it through a nut milk bag or cheese cloth.  Spinach; I use the organic baby spinach from Costco.  It’s the best price I’ve found, plus it’s prewashed so you can just toss it right in.  I make a big pitcher full of milkshake, and each of these recipes will make that amount.  I fill a Ball Freezer Jar and put it in the freezer for my late night ice cream indulgence (yes, every night, curled up in bed, with my husband and his TV shows and my current read).  If you are less of a glutton, just cut the recipe in half… or you could be a better person than I and share.  Your call.  Okay…  Blender; I use a Vitamix.  A Blendtec would also be great.  You can try it in a regular blender, but be sure to blend your “base” (the spinach, liquid and flavorings) thoroughly and be careful when blending your ice and frozen bananas, these shakes are THICK and I lost 3 blenders to raw recipes during my first few months on this dietary journey.  A high speed blender is WELL worth the investment!  If you would like free shipping on a Vitamix, please let me know.  I recommend getting a refurbished model, if you can.  They come with the same 7-year warranty, but are less expensive.

Alright, the recipes.  Here are my 10 current favorites.

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Vanilla Ice Cream Cone

1 cup water

2 TBS (heaping) raw almond butter

Dash Celtic sea salt

1 TBS alcohol-free vanilla extract

½ TBS vanilla powder

3 droppersful NuNaturals or KAL liquid Stevia

Dash of ground cinnamon

2 large handfuls organic baby spinach

2 handfuls ice cubes

5-6 frozen bananas, cut into chunks

Blend water, almond butter, salt, vanillas, stevia, cinnamon and spinach well.  Add ice and banana and blend creamy.

 

Peanut-Butter-Scotch

1 cup water

3 TBS Organic Peanut Butter* (optional)

Dash Celtic Sea Salt

½ tsp alcohol-free Butterscotch Flavoring

3 droppersful NuNaturals or KAL liquid Stevia

½ tsp  ground Cinnamon

2 large handfuls organic baby spinach

2 handfuls ice cubes

5-6 frozen bananas, cut into chunks

Blend water, peanutbutter, salt, flavoring, stevia, cinnamon and spinach well.  Add ice cubes and bananas and blend creamy.

*Be selective about peanut butter, and eat it only on rare occasion.  Peanuts are homes to a specific kind of mold which contains aflatoxin, a known carcinogen.  So, peanuts cause cancer.  Don’t eat too many!  Look for an organic brand without salt or sugar added.  If you want to be really great about it you can get Wild Jungle Peanut Butter, which is not only raw but the Amazonian peanuts used to make it are the only aflatoxin free variety.

 

Orange Julius Goes Green

¾-1 cup water

2 ripe, organic oranges, sectioned and frozen

1 TBS alcohol free vanilla extract, 1/8 vanilla bean, or ½ TBS Vanilla Powder

2 droppers-full liquid Stevia (NuNaturals or KAL brands)

1-2 large handfuls organic baby spinach

2 handfuls ice cubes

5 frozen bananas, cut into chunks

Place water, vanilla, Stevia, and spinach in the blender, blend.  Add oranges and blend until smooth.  Add ice and banana and blend until thick and creamy, using the agitator to push the banana down.

Note:  Peel and segment the oranges in the morning or the day before and freeze.

 

Amaretto

1 cup water or almond milk

Dash of Celtic sea salt

½-1 tsp alcohol-free almond extract (to taste)

1 tsp alcohol-free vanilla extract or 1/2 TBS Vanilla Powder

3 droppersful Stevia

2 large handfuls organic baby spinach

2 handfuls ice cubes

5-6 frozen bananas, cut into chunks

Blend water or milk, salt, extracts, stevia and spinach well.  Add ice cubes and bananas and blend creamy.

Optional:  Add chopped frozen cherries.

 

Candy Cane

1 cup water

1/4 tsp alcohol-free peppermint extract

3 dropperful stevia

2 large handfuls organic baby spinach

2 handfuls ice cubes

5-6 frozen bananas, cut into chunks

Blend water, extract, stevia and spinach well.  Add ice cubes and bananas and blend creamy.

Optional:  Stir in carob chips or a chopped chocolate bar (be sure its high quality, organic, and 70% or more cocoa-Green & Black or Endangered Species are great brands) after making.

 

Chocolate

1 cup water or almond milk

3 heaping TBS raw cacao powder

½ TBS Vanilla Powder or alcohol-free vanilla extract

Dash Celtic sea salt

1 dropperful Chocolate Stevia (optional, I use Sweetleaf brand)

2-3 droppersful Stevia OR 4-6 TBS raw agave nectar or pure maple syrup (or a mix of agave and maple syrup)

2 large handfuls organic baby spinach

2 handfuls ice cubes

5-6 frozen bananas, cut into chunks

Blend water or milk, cacao, vanilla, salt, stevias/sweeteners and spinach well.  Add ice cubes and bananas and blend creamy.

Optional:  add ¼ tsp peppermint extract

 

Candied Vanilla

1 cup water or almond milk

1 dropperful Vanilla Stevia (I use Sweetleaf brand)

½ TBS Vanilla Powder or extract

2 droppersful Stevia

2 large handfuls organic baby spinach

2 handfuls ice cubes

5-6 frozen bananas, cut into chunks

Blend water or milk, stevias, vanilla and spinach well.  Add ice cubes and bananas and blend creamy.

 

Vanilla Bean

1 cup water or almond milk

Dash Celtic sea salt

¼-1/2 vanilla bean

2 large handfuls organic baby spinach

2 handfuls ice cubes

5-6 frozen bananas, cut into chunks

Blend water or milk, salt, vanilla bean (cut it into chunks first) and spinach well.  Add ice cubes and bananas and blend creamy.

Cinnamon Bun

1 cup water

1 TBS raw sunflower seeds

4 raw Brazil nuts

About 10 raw almonds

Dash Celtic sea salt

½ TBS Vanilla Powder or alcohol-free vanilla extract

Lots of ground cinnamon, I would guess about 1/8 cup

2 large handfuls organic baby spinach

2 handfuls ice cubes

5-6 frozen bananas, cut into chunks

Blend water, sunflower seeds, Brazil nuts and almonds well, until a creamy milk forms.  You may use it like this, or make it lower fat by running it through a nut milk bag or cheese cloth to strain out the fiber and make a nut milk.  Add salt, vanilla, cinnamon and spinach.  Blend well.  Add ice cubes and bananas and blend creamy.

 

Black Licorice

1 cup water

½ tsp alcohol-free Anise extract (to taste)

3 droppersful Stevia

2 large handfuls organic baby spinach

2 handfuls ice cubes

5-6 frozen bananas, cut into chunks

Add water, extract, Stevia, and spinach.  Blend well.  Add ice cubes and bananas and blend creamy.

There you have it, my collection of current favorite milkshake recipes.  I eat these every day for lunch and the frozen ice cream “left overs” every night for dessert.  I’ve got several more recipes I’m working on, as well as some delicious toppings for the ice cream.  Hope you enjoy these and I look forward to sharing more soon!

Pizza’s Many Forms

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It seems I never run out of ways of making pizza.  All the recipes are essentially the same, Muir Glen pizza sauce, all our favorite veggies, and Mozarella and Jack Goat cheese, but the forms are different.  Tonight, at my son’s request, I made pizza yet again, but this time I put it on Ezekiel burger buns, which gave my daughter the idea to put the buns together and make a pizza burger : )  I needed to use up the Morning Star vegan breakfast sausage in my freezer that was left over from the “vegan week” my husband did a while ago, so I threw some of that on there.  Normally we don’t eat soy, so most of our pizzas are just veggie.  Anyway, here are some pizza ideas to inspire you…

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Pizza on Ezekiel buns

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Pizza on Ezekiel buns as a “pizza burger” 

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Weekly movie night at our house, dinner and dessert and a movie followed by a camp out in the living room. Go-to meals: Pizza or sweet potato fries. Always begun with a big, raw, green salad, of course : )

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Zucchini Pizza Boats (my favorite). Cut zucchini lengthwise, scoop out centers (I use a melon baller). Bake about 20 mins at 350, fill with toppings of choice and bake again until cheese is melted and bubbly.

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Cauliflower crust pizza… okay, maybe this one is really my favorite, I just don’t like the effort it takes to make it! I have to make a quadruple recipe to make enough for myself and my children for dinner. You can find the recipe for the crust here: http://detoxinista.com/2012/01/the-secret-to-perfect-cauliflower-pizza-crust/

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Pizza on Ezekiel bread, same as making it on buns (and you can also use sprouted grain bagels or English muffins). Just put the bread in the oven for 10 mins at 400 degrees, take it out and top it and put it back in until the cheese is melted and bubbly.

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Skillet pizza. Just the toppings, no crust, which means no grain! Sautee your veggies in a tiny bit of organic butter, extra virgin coconut oil or extra virgin olive oil until tender. Toss in the pizza sauce, top with goat cheese or raw cow cheese, and cover with a lid until melted. This is SO VERY yummy!!!!!

Raw Pizza… for the adventurous! This one has Ani Phyo’s eggplant bacon, her vegan cheese, one of her crusts and sauces, and pineapple. Warning on raw pizzas: there are a LOT of nuts in here, which are very high fat and difficult to digest. Don’t go thinking just because its raw it will benefit your health! There is no healthy pizza, sorry to say, these are all occasional recipes!

I’ve got a few other recipes I’d like to try, like one with an almond flour crust and one with a spelt crust.  If I could find one that uses millet flour I would be most excited, but I do like to stick to the zucchini boats or  skillet pizza.  Of course, I should also add, I don’t eat this often as its not low fat, but its great to know I can indulge in ooey-gooey cheesy goodness when I want to!

Inventing on the Fly

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The other night I decided as I was starting dinner that it had been far too long since I broke away from recipes and came up with something of my own.  I was already planning to make Ree Drummond’s Crash Hot Potatoes.  I had some mushrooms in the fridge that needed to be eaten and I wondered, “How might one go about making vegetarian mushroom gravy?”  If I could come up with something like that we could put it over the potatoes and make a healthier version of country comfort food, which I’ve been 3 long years without.  I considered how you can thicken sauce with butter and flour in a skillet and then slowly add the meat drippings and I wondered… would that work with millet flour instead of white wheat flour, and vegetable broth instead of meat drippings?  The answer, as it turns out, its OH, YES!    I had thawed some fish for my husband and was thinking about what I could do with that that would be outside my norm.  I thought about using bread crumbs and frying or baking it with some unique flavorings, but I’ve done that before, and besides I didn’t have any bread crumbs so I would have to used regular bread crumbled up and toasted… BUT I did have croutons.  I didn’t see any reason why croutons crushed up wouldn’t make a great breading.  I’m sure its been done before, but it was a new idea to me.

I added my own twist to Ree’s Crashed Potatoes by brushing the tops of them with butter melted with chives, garlic black pepper and sea salt.

Here’s what I came up with:

Mushroom Gravy

By Holly

 

1 package Crimini mushrooms, sliced thin

1 pat butter (or ½ TBS oil of your choice, you can make this vegan)

3-4 TBS millet flour (or flour of your choice)

2 cups water

1 vegan bullion cubes (I use Not-Chikn)

Sea salt (optional)

Freshly ground black pepper

 

In a small pot boil water and bullion cube until dissolved.

Meanwhile, sauté mushrooms in a skillet with butter until tender and juices emerge.  Add flour and sauté another minute, stirring constantly.  Slowly add bullion while stirring, bring to boil.  Remove from heat and season with salt and pepper.

 

*Note:  If gravy is too thick, add boiling water to desired consistency.

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Behn enjoying is potatoes and gravy… not much to look at, but boy was it good!

 

Daddy’s Fish

By Holly

 

2 fillets of any white fish

Large handful of herbed croutons, smashed or ground in coffee grinder

1 egg, beaten

Coconut oil spray (or a small amount of butter or oil of your choice)

Freshly squeezed lemon juice

 

Rinse fish well.  Heat skillet and oil.  Dip fish in egg, then ground croutons.  Place in skillet and cook several minutes on each side, until cooked through.  Remove to plate and add a squeeze of lemon juice.

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Daddy’s fish… wish I’d have jumped for the camera sooner, he got into it too fast! By the way, the lemon juice was his addition. Got to give credit where credit is due.

Several days later I also made this gravy over mashed cauliflower, SO GOOD!

Here’s how I make mashed cauliflower:

Take 1-2 heads of cauliflower (depending on how many your feeding), wish it and cut it into big chunks.  Put it in a steamer basket.  Add a few cloves of garlic and several red potatoes (optional, I like the texture it adds).  Steam until tender.  Add Not-Chikn-Broth (made from the cubes, you can get them at Whole Foods), sea salt, black pepper (optional) and a little butter (optional).  Mix with a hand mixer until creamy.

Delicious, with or without the gravy.  Enjoy, friends!

That’s How We Roll: Easter!

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Easter is one of those “all about the food” holidays.  Actually, I can’t think of a holiday that isn’t… even Memorial Day, Labor Day and Independence Day tend to be connected to cookouts and red-white-and-blue cupcakes.   It really seems that for many of us, the meaning of the celebration gets lost in the gluttony of the celebrating.  Now, to be clear, I beleive that foods is an enjoyable thing and that its meant to be, and I enjoy holiday foods as much as anyone… BUT I do have issues with the reason we’re celebrating taking backseat to overstuffing ourselves with damaging substances.  For this reason, I make a real effort to prepare my family for holidays in advance, teaching what the holiday is about for days leading up to it and getting us all into the spirit.  I keep the food items simple and make healthier versions of them.  Also, I’m big on holiday traditions and try to incorporate creative traditions that we all enjoy and that stand as a reminder to each of us what the holiday is all about.

Easter was my favorite holiday growing up.  Why?  Because chocolate was my favorite “food”!  My mom did holidays BIG and every Easter morning we’d wake up to huge Easter baskets stuffed with candy, gifts, and (of course) a chocolate bunny bigger than our heads.  We were never restricted, we were free to eat all or nothing.  My sister’s candy would last months.  Mine would last… well, it wouldn’t.  I would eat until I was sick and keep right on going.  A sugar addict pretty much from birth I had absolutely no self control.  Knowing my love for Easter my mom continued to give me my beloved Easter baskets through my 18th year.  Now here I am at age 31 with my own children, having broken free from the addiction and developed a passion for health.  My children do not get Easter baskets, and I make no apologies.  If you’ve ever had an addiction of any kind, its probably not something you would wish on your kids or intentionally attempt to foster in them.

So here’s how Easter works in a home where dad is a Chiropractor and mom is a Health Coach : )

We read a few stories and talked a bit about Easter leading up to it.  Christ is the focal point of our lives, so I kind of feel like the spirit of Christmas and Easter are with us to some degree throughout the year without needing to put in any special effort.  The day before Easter we dyed some eggs.  This is the first year in 3 years we colored eggs, and it was Coen’s first time ever (previous years we ate more vegan foods, we now eat eggs and goat cheese on occasion).  After that we had our usual Saturday night family movie night (we watched Lady and the Tramp, so classic!).

Sunday morning Kolby made the kids special breakfast omelets, which is a rare happening in our house because the kids and I typically eat fruit in the mornings.  The kids drew on their colored eggs with markers and I made cinnamon rolls, per their request when asked what dessert they would like for their Easter treat.  I found a recipe using spelt flour and coconut sugar, here.  I used real butter though, instead of coconut oil, although I would have been fine with using coconut oil as well.  I didn’t make the icing from the recipe, I just made a buttercream glaze with about 1/2 cup of coconut sugar ground into powder in a coffee grinder, 4 TBS softened butter, 1 tsp alcohol-free vanilla, and about 2-3 TBS coconut milk.  I blended it together with the hand mixer until it was creamy and poured it over the rolls when they were almost cooled, but still a little warm.  I was excited, after calculating, to find that the calories from fat in these are much lower than I’d feared, I can actually eat 3 of them at once if I didn’t have any added fat for the day. (!!!!)

We got ready and went to church, we left at 12:30 and returned around 4:30, during which time we indulged in Eater messages and sang Eater hymns.  The kids did get a couple of little candies from church that they ate.  I made dinner (large salad, roasted Brussels sprouts and mashed red potatoes, plus ham for Kolby) and we ate.   Kolby hid the eggs in the front yard… well, sort of… he actually just put most of them on the ground.  It was a lazy man’s egg hunt that lasted all of about 2 minutes.  I was planning to do it in the backyard but he didn’t manage to finish mowing yesterday.  We came inside and the kids popped the eggs open.  What we’ve done for several years now, in lieu of gifts and candy, is to put strips of paper in the eggs with “gifts” written on them… like a place we will visit, something we will do as a family, or a special choice they get, such as getting to pick the family movie night movie or any dinner they want.

Next, we grabbed a few books I got from the library and headed to our bed where we all cuddled up and read.  The kids and I cuddled and read, that is, Kolby cuddled and snored and is still out now, four hours later.  Anyway, the first book we read “The Sparrow’s Eater Song” was poorly written and not very entertaining or educational.  The second book, “He is Alive!” was beautifully written and illustrated and made for some great conversation and learning opportunities concerning the last week of the Savior’s life.  It was a little long though, so we didn’t have time to read the third book.  Maybe tomorrow.

Last, we went to the kitchen and ate our cinnamon rolls, and yeah, I ate three!  Because I could.

Eating/coloring eggs

Omelets!!!

Unrelated to Eater festivities, in the middle of the day Coen popped out of my bedroom wearing my jammie pants and thinking himself quite clever.

Eater story lineup

Canyon was sad in the window wanting to come out and hunt eggs too!

Coen got so excited running to show me his eggs, he totally biffed it and lost his eggs all over the driveway… luckily brother and sister were nice enough to assist!

Then we got inside and Coen biffed it again and lost his eggs all across the living room, daddy helped this time : )

Finding *gifts* in the eggs

The cinnamon rolls, coconut sugar isn’t white, so the icing is a little different looking, but rather yummy

Happy kids!

Eat dem rolls, Behny!

HAPPY EASTER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Kids Making Friends with Veggies

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I’ll probably mention this topic somewhat often, because, honestly, I get asked about it a lot.  People see my kids woofing down a vegetable-centric meal, often mostly if not all raw, and they’re amazed.  “How do you get them to eat vegetables?”  They ask.  Well, I don’t feel like I “get” them to eat them… I mean, there’s no force involved.  They do it happily, for the most part.  Every now and then I hear a complaint about wanting a more exciting salad for dinner if I serve the same ‘ol too many days in a row, but that’s about it.

A few tips:

1.  We’ve always had a “what mom prepares is what’s for dinner” rule.  If they don’t eat it, it goes in the fridge until they say they’re hungry.  If they choose not to eat it again it goes back and the process is repeated until they decide to eat it.  They won’t starve themselves, and we only needed to do this with one of our children and only for a few weeks before his tastes changed over and he rediscovered his natural love for vegetables.

2.  Blend leafy greens up into green smoothies.  Kids LOVE fruit smoothies.  They won’t taste the greens, but their bodies will adapt to the chlorophyll and their taste will naturally change and they’ll be snacking veggies before you know it.   Just put a handful or two of fresh or frozen fruit into your blender, pour water to the top of the fruit, and add a handful or two of baby spinach.  Blend well.  You can omit the water and make what we call “ice green” which is a soft serve fruit ice cream (make sure to use frozen fruit for this and you’ll need a high speed blender).  If you need to sweeten the frozen fruit add a little high quality stevia.   We often eat this for dinner in the summer time.

3.  Make a big colorful salad and add some ingredients kids love.  Cut up fruit with a fruity dressing is typically a great way to go.  Just blend up a piece of fruit or berries with a touch of stevia and apple cider vinegar and you’ve got a fruit/berry vinaigrette.  Another things kids go wild for is shredded raw goat cheese and/or olives.  My boys LOVE salad with salsa as a dressing, either ordinary salad or peach mango salsa.  Just toss is all well together.  If you add the goat cheese and olives to the regular salsa you’ve basically got grain free, vegetarian taco salad, and that’s delicious!  Dressing really makes the salad, so play with those.  There are some great brands you can buy with simple ingredients, or google some raw salad dressing recipes and make your own.  Asian style dressings are a big hit around here as well.  See below for a few of our favorites.

4.  Make lettuce wraps.  Lay the table out with a colorful display of cut up veggies and a pile of lettuce leaves (we like to use Butterhead for this).  Maybe have some raw cheddar goat cheese out or a nut based filling (like the Chikn Salad below), a little stone ground mustard is great as well.  Let them have fun building their own wraps.

5.  Let them help in the kitchen and garden.  When kids help make their food, and especially if they grow it themselves, they are proud of it and find great joy in presenting and eating it.

6.  Sneak veggies into things they already like, like sandwiches.  My kids love a good veggie sandwich on sprouted grain bread (like Ezekiel bread).  Spread on some Veganaise or stone ground mustard and add some sliced tomatoes, lettuce, alfalfa sprouts, cucumber slices, sea salt and freshly ground black pepper… maybe even a little raw goat cheddar or an organic hard-boiled egg sliced up.

7.  Make yummy dips and serve them with a variety of sliced veggies, like celery, jicama, peppers, cucumber, baby carrots, etc.  See below for our favorite dip recipe.

 

The boys enjoying salad tossed with salsa and olives

Kid-Friendly Pancake Syrup Romaine Heart Salad

(modified) From the Smart Cooking the Costco Way Cookbook

 

Dressing:

2 TBS cold pressed extra virgin olive oil or melted coconut oil
1 TBS apple cider vinegar
2 TBS pure maple syrup (make sure its the real thing)
1 1/2 TBS Dijon mustard
Course salt and ground pepper

 

Salad:

2 heads romaine hearts, chopped, washed and spun dry
4 celery stalks, thinly sliced
1 apple, halved, cored and thinly sliced
3 ouces crumbled raw cheese (dairy -preferably goat or sheep- or nut, optional)
1/2 cup candied walnuts (optional)

Whisk dressing ingredients together and toss with salad ingredients.  Sprinkle with cheese and walnuts.  Makes 6 side dish sized servings.

 

Chinese Chickenless Salad

By Ani Phyo

Makes 4 servings

 

Dressing:

2 TBS Nama Shoyu or Bragg’s Liquid Aminos

2 TSP apple cider vinegar

1 tsp minced garlic (powdered works too)

1 tsp minced ginger  (powdered works too)

1 TBS toasted sesame oil

2 TBS raw agave syrup

 

Salad:

6 cups thinly shredded napa cabbage (I have used lettuce for this)

2 cups shredded red cabbage

2 cups shredded carrot (I buy the pre-shredded kind)

½ cup thinly sliced green onion (about 3 whole)

 

Garnish:

¼ cup sliced almonds (optional)

Whist the dressing ingredients together in a small bowl.  Place the salad ingredients in a large mixing bowl, pour on the dressing and toss.  Top with almonds, if desired.

 

Spinach Caesar Salad

1 large bunch organic spinach
1/2 cup raw pumpkin seeds, coursly ground (I use a coffee grinder, a Vitamix would also work)
1-2 garlic cloves, pressed
1/2 lemon, juiced
1/2 – 1 tsp dijon mustard
2 TBS olive oil
dash Celtic sea salt
sprinkle of freshly ground white pepper

Rinse the spinach well and dry, tear into bite sized piece and place in a bowl (may not be necessary if you use baby spinach).  In a small bowl or blender, blend the garlic, lemon, dijon mustard, olive oil, salt and pepper.  Pour dressing over spinach just prior to serving.  Toss well and sprinkle with ground pumpkin seeds (this is the replacement for the cheese).

 

Raw Vegan Greens

By Jinjee and Storm Talifero, http://www.thegardendiet.com

1 head collard greens
¼ cup extra virgin cold pressed olive oil
1 tomato
½ onion
1 ½ cups really raw cashews, ground into flour
1 tsp celtic sea salt

Remove the collard stems and chop leaves into large pieces.  Toss in olive oil, add cashew flour and toss again.  Place in a glass dish and top with sliced tomatoes and onion slices.  Sprinkle salt over the top.  Put lid on the dish and place in the sun at least 2 hour.  Serve.

Note:  You can try adding different ingredients to this recipe, such as leeks, marinated mushroom, or even other types of greens like kale or bok choy!

 

Mostly Raw Taco Salad

Sunshine Burgers  (cooked according to package instructions and broken into crumbles, may add dry taco seasoning if you like)
Lettuce (any kind you like)
Mild cheddar goat cheese, shredded
Olives, sliced
Tomatoes, chopped
Green onions, sliced thin
Cilantro, stems removed and chopped
Guacamole, fresh or premade (I like the Wholly Guacamole brand)
Salsa (fresh or pre-made)
Garden of Eatin’ or Guiltless Gourmet tortilla chips, broken into pieces
Toss all ingredients together.
This is also good without the Sunshine burgers.

 

Mexican Style Salad

(all quantities to taste and depending on how much you’re making)

Any lettuce, shredded
Tomatoes, chopped
Green onions, sliced thin
Peppers, minced (if you like them)
Cilantro, stems removed and chopped
Avocado
Lime juice
Sea salt
Garlic powder
Salsa (optional)
Toss together lettuce, tomatoes, green onion, peppers, and cilantro.  On a small plate mash avocado, lime juice, salt, and garlic powder with the back of a fork until well combined.  Drop dollops over salad and add salsa if using.  With your hands mash the salad until the avocado is evenly distributed throughout.

 

Raw “Chikin” Sandwich Salad

1/2 cup sunflower seeds (soaked 3 hours)
1/2 cup cashews (soaked 3 hours)
2 inch piece of cucumber
1 tablespoon onion
1/2 celery stick
1/4 cup pecans (ground-a little more if whole)
1 teaspoon dill
1/4 teaspoon curry powder (I swear, it works!)
1/2 teaspoon salt
half a lemon’s juice
lots of ground black pepper
and one half carrot (optional, but I really like)

Directions:

Pulse all together. It should be a finer texture than regular tofu chicken salad. That helps it to stick together. No need to add water if it seems it won’t stick. The cucumber and nuts and carrot should release water after it sits. This is delish! Add to your fave raw bread! Keep in fridge for a week.

 

THE Spinach Dip!

10 oz frozen spinach, thawed and drained well
1/2 red onion, chopped small
1 1/2 cups raw almonds, soaked and peeled
1/2 cup raw cashews, soaked
1/4 cold pressed olive oil
1 1/2 cups water
1/3 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice
1-2 TBS nutritional yeast flakes (optional, to thicken and add a slight cheesy flavor)
4 garlic cloves
2 tsp sea salt

Blend all ingredients (EXCEPT spinach and onion) in high speed blender until creamy.  Add spinach and onion and pulse to incorperate.  Chill for several hours to thicken.

 

Cowboy Caviar

2 cups fresh corn, cut off the cob
1 (15oz) can organic black beans, drained & rinsed
1 ½ cups organic tomatoes, diced
2 ripe avocados, diced
2/3 c. red onion, chopped
1/4 c. olive oil
1/4 c. red wine vinegar
2 cloves garlic, minced
3/4 tsp. salt
1 tsp. cumin
2/3 c. cilantro, chopped
a few dashes of tabasco (optional)

Combine all ingredients, adding avocados last, and toss gently. Serve with Garden of Eatin’ or Guiltless Gourmet brand tortilla chips.

Drinking Green Cinnamon Rolls

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Why not kick things off with one of my favorite things: FOOD!

I’m pretty much an obsessive recipe collector and creator.  I’m not sure there’s a place in life I feel most in joy than when I’m in my own kitchen playing with food and designing new orders of deliciousness.  Well, today, my three-year-old and I are sipping on some magical milkshakes.  Watching my son gobble up this green goodness makes me think of how I am constantly asked for ideas on getting kids to eat vegetables, what better way than to make it into ice cream?

 This recipe is most amazing, I adapted it from the Cinnamon Roll Smoothie recipe found on lifeforcefamilies.com.

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The Cinnamon Roll “Goes Green” Milkshake

(1 serving)

1/2 cup almond milk (or 1/2 cup water + 1 TBS raw almond butter)

4 Raw Brazil Nuts

8 Raw Cashews

1 TBS Raw Sunflower Seeds

1/2 tsp alcohol free vanilla extract

1-2 droppersful liquid Stevia

Lots of cinnamon (to taste, if I had to guess I’d say about 1-2 tsp)

Dash Celtic Sea Salt

1 very large handful baby spinach

Handful of ice cubes

2 ripe frozen bananas

Place the almond milk, Brazil nuts, cashews and sunflower seeds in your Vitamix (or other high-speed blender and blend until creamy.  Pour through a mesh bag or cheese cloth to remove pulp (it will make a very creamy nut milk).  Rinse out the blender and pour the nut milk in.  Add the vanilla, cinnamon, Stevia, salt, and spinach and blend well.  Now add ice cubes and bananas and process using the agitator until very thick and creamy.  Taste to make sure its got enough cinnamon and sweetness for you and adjust flavor to your liking.  Serve and experience the magic!

Things to know:  Greens are essential to all life, even carnivorous animals eat greens.  Blending greens breaks down the thick cellulose walls of the plant, releasing the full nutrient potential for your benefit.  The sweetness of fruit covers the chlorophyll taste in greens when blended together.  Kids, or people in general, won’t mind the green color once they taste this, but if you think your children will be put off by it serve it in an opaque cup the first time.

You can find MANY more of my favorite recipes by visiting my website, InnateWellnessCoaching.com