Monday, November 30, 2020

Sunflower Guacamole

 I found this on and thought my customers would like a good recipe to try with their sunflower microgreens!  Sunflower is packed with so many great nutrients and adding in some avocado is icing on the cake :)

Sunflower Microgreens Guacamole  

2 avocados
juice of 1/2 lime
1/4 tsp salt
2/3 c roughly chopped sunflower microgreens
1/4 c finely chopped red onion
1/2 jalapeno, finely chopped

Place avocado, lime juice and salt in a bowl and mash to a chunky consistency.  Add in microgreens, onion and jalapeno and stir to combine.

Thursday, November 12, 2020

Emotional health - a year later

 I re-read one of my posts today on getting to the core of emotional health.  I talked about losing my mom a little every day.  About being vulnerable so I can help others.  Two things stood out to me as I re-read this:

1.  Mom passed away exactly a year and 2 days later.
2.  I have posted nothing but recipes since then.

Regarding the first point, I had no idea we would really lose her that quickly.  I was preparing myself for the wretched days of her not knowing who I was or know my kids.  I was busy trying to support my Dad and aunt as they tried to take care of her.  I was dropping everything to help pick her up from the bottom of the shower when she passed out as Dad tried to bathe her.  Hard, emotionally draining stuff like that.  I was not preparing myself to say "my mom passed away this year", or "I don't have a mom anymore", "she is in a better place".  I was busy making the time she had here good and keeping up with all we had to do.  The hospice company brought her home in February and I thought, this is great, we will have help as we get through the last year or maybe two.  I've seen people linger on with hospice.  At least now we had help.  What I didn't expect was that they would bring us a book that shows us the signs of the final week and show us that this is where we were.  Previous to her coming home, she was in rehab for a few weeks following a bad UTI in the hospital.  She kept saying "I can't do this anymore".  I kept telling her we were going to take her home as soon as she would eat and get her strength back up.  Just keep walking, Mom we will be bringing you home as soon as possible.  When we got her home she kept saying that.  When hospice told us what was going on I realized, she's not talking about the rehab.  She can't do THIS anymore.  She can't be here anymore.  She was letting go.  She wasn't fighting anymore.  She was ready to go home.  That final week was full of family and friends and neighbors, coming in and loving on us, going out of their way to feed us and support us.  It was the most beautiful and most painful week of my life to date.  God was so evident in every day.  His angels were surrounding us and giving us strength to talk to her and sing to her.  And just like that she was gone.  The next week was a flurry of decisions and to do lists.  More people showed up for her funeral than I could have ever imagined.  A couple of weeks later COVID escalated and we haven't seen most of these beautiful people since.  I have only seen my family once since then.  I'm so thankful we were able to celebrate her life before the shut down.  Not everyone had that opportunity this year so I do not take it lightly.  And I had no idea it was going to be this hard to do life without her.

So second point - with all this crazy how is it I'm only able to share recipes?  I guess I have to go back to the original post to find the answer to that - talking about my feelings is pointless.  But that is not true.  Talking about them right now is keeping me from mindlessly eating chips watching Hulu.  I have found the core of some of my cravings lately.  I'm not taking time to stop and talk about what is going on.  Do I have to do it on here all the time - Nope.  Don't worry I'm not going to flood you with journal entries about my feelings.  I realize, however, that we are all going through stuff.  ESPECIALLY this year and we need to talk about it.  Whether it's in a blog post, a text to a friend or a phone call.  We need to unpack the brain.  If you are looking to mind numbing tv and vegan junk food to get through an emotion, as I have done from time to time, you have to look at the core and address the core problem.  It won't be easy and it will take time out of your to do list.  You won't fall apart forever, just long enough to get it out so you can move on.  Take time to be still.  Be still and know that God is in control and He sees you.  He knows where I am and can give me exactly what I need to fix the core of my problem, if I take time to be still.  The craving will reveal the core of the problem if you sit still.  Take time to miss my mom and talk about it because this is not a small thing.  

Cashew Cheese sauce

This sauce is awesome for pasta, potatoes, pizza base, rice and veggie bowls, basically anything you want to add cheese to.  It's great for dipping crusty bread too...  Noah is my picky eater and he loves this sauce.  He likes to mix this with marinara sauce to take spaghetti over the top!

Cashew Cheese Sauce
*adapted from This Cheese is Nuts by Julie Piatt

1 cup raw cashews, soaked overnight in water OR soak 10 min in boiling hot water
1/4 chicpea miso (found at Whole Foods)
1 TB nutritional yeast
1 TB lemon juice
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup boiling water (not for soaking)

In a high speed blender, blend all ingredients on medium for 1-2 minutes.  If you do not soak the cashews it will have a more gritty texture so make sure you soak.  If you do not have a Vitamix soak in hot water for at least 20 minutes or overnight, covered in the fridge.

This recipe will cover a pound of pasta very nicely.  Feel free to add a can of peas if your kid will eat it.  Or lightly steamed broccoli.  

Picture:  Pasta, Classico Pasta sauce, sauteed mushrooms, peas, cashew sauce and topped with spicy salad microgreens

Almond Cheddar spread/dip/cheese ball

 I love the simplicity of this recipe.  It has been adapted from This Cheese is Nuts by Julie Piatt.  I love her book and we use several of her recipes religiously and this is one of them. It's a big hit at every party as a dip, it works great as a spread on sandwiches and wraps and it can be formed into a cheeseball with crushed nuts covering the outside.  I have made this recipe a little simpler but notes below will tell you the original plan for this recipe.

Almond Cheddar Spread

2 cups raw almonds
1 7 oz jar of pimentos, undrained
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
1 tsp salt
1 tsp garlic powder

Add everything to a Vitamix blender (add pimentos first) and blend until smooth.  Add water as needed to achieve desired consistency.  

For a cheeseball, try not to add any water so the ball forms as firm as possible.  Empty the cheese onto a piece of wax paper and form the ball.  Crush 1c of toasted almonds or use toasted slivered almonds and press into the ball.  Place on serving tray and add crackers or cut carrots and celery.

Note:  If you do not have a Vitamix or high speed blender, soak the almonds overnight in water or soak n boiling hot water for 10 minutes.  The original recipe uses 1 3/4 tsp smoked sea salt so that's a cool spin.   

Thursday, July 2, 2020

Overnight Oats

This is my go to recipe for "on-the-go" breakfast or lunch.  There are many variations you can use from chocolate peanut butter to fruit and chia seeds.  For this recipe I use my favorite farm's (Boozer Farms) crop of peaches and blueberries.  Mango is also awesome with blueberries.  Bananas are great but I advise to cut them up and throw it in right before serving.

Overnight Oats

1/2 c old fashioned oats or gluten free oats
1 peach, diced
1/2 cup blueberries
1 T honey
1 T chia seeds
3/4 to 1 c non dairy milk

In a mason jar (or tupperware) add the oats, chia seeds, peach and blueberries.  Drizzle honey on top and pour in the milk.  Seal and refrigerate overnight (or for a minimum of 4 hours).


As you can see this recipe uses nightshade vegetables.  It was once thought that these veggies increased symptoms in those suffering from arthritis but recent research has proven that it has anti-inflammatory properties and should be consumed by anyone who wants to lower their inflammation.  That would be everyone.

Serve on grits, polenta or brown rice pasta


*adapted from Lipoprotein (a)

1 eggplant (1 lb) cut into 2 inch cubes
1 orange or yellow bell pepper cut in 1 x 1/2 in pieces
1 red bell pepper, cut in 1 x 1/2 inch pieces
1 yellow onion, diced
1 zucchini or yellow summer squash, cut in half lengthwise and sliced 1/2 in thick
1 1/2 T minced garlic
1 3/4 c tomato broth or water (or vegetable broth)
2 large tomatoes, diced or 1 can (14 oz) diced tomatoes, undrained
1 T balsamic or red wine vinegar
1 tsp dried basil
1 tsp dried oregano or marjoram
1/4 c chopped fresh parsley or basil
2 TB nutritional yeast
Salt and pepper to taste

Put eggplant, peppers, onion, zucchini/squash and garlic in a large pot.  Add 1/4 c of the broth and cook over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally for 7 minutes.  Add remaining broth and tomatoes, vinegar, basil and oregano and stir to combine.  Bring to a boil over high heat.  Cover and simmer on low, stirring occasionally until vegetables are tender, about 20 to 25 minutes.  Add parsley and nutritional yeast and stir.  Season with salt and pepper.  Enjoy!

Nutty Noodles & Veggies

This is a recipe I found from a book on Lipoprotein (a).  It's a topic I'll expand on later but for now this recipe sounds amazing.  I changed it up a little for ease of use.

Gluten Free note:  if you want to try gluten free pasta the best we have found is brown rice pasta.  It holds up the strongest and tastes the best.

Nutty Noodles and Veggies

1/4 c peanut butter, almond butter or tahini (ground sesame seeds)
3 T reduced sodium tamari, coconut aminos or soy sauce
2 T brown sugar
juice of 1 lime (2 T)
1 T minced garlic
1 T peeled and grated fresh ginger or 1/4 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
1/4 tsp fresh ground black pepper
8 oz brown rice or whole grain thin noodles (ex spaghetti, linguine or soba)
1 c frozen shelled edamame, thawed or a can of chic peas, drained and rinsed
1 c shredded red cabbage
3/4 c shredded carrot
1/2 c diced red or orange bell pepper
1/4 c seeded and finely diced cucumber
1/4 c thinly sliced greens onions
1/4 c chopped cilantro or parsley
1 1/2 T hemp seeds or sesame seeds

To make the sauce, whisk together the first 8 ingredients in a small bowl.  Cook pasta as directed on the package.  Drain in a colander, rinse in cold water and drain again.  Transfer to a large bowl.  Pour the sauce on the noodles and gently toss to coat the noodles.  Add the rest of the ingredients and toss to combine.  Serve cold or at room temperature.

Tuesday, June 23, 2020

Japanese Sweet Potatoes to PERFECTION; Bonus recipes - Cake and Caramel

We have some friends who taught us how to make sweet potatoes the very BEST way without adding anything to it and I can not go back to eating them any other way.  Do yourself a favor and try these out - you WON'T be sorry!!!

This can be done with any type of sweet potatoes but the japanese sweet potatoes come out like pound cake 😋  This works best in an Instant Pot but if you only have a steamer pot, that is fine too.

Sweet Potatoes to PERFECTION

4 or more japanese sweet potatoes, or any kind
Instant pot or steamer pot
9x9 square casserole dish

Peel and rinse sweet potatoes.  Place in an instant pot on the rack that comes with the pot.

Add a cup to a cup and a half of water to the pot.  Set it on manual for 16 minutes (assuming these are roughly 3 inches thick.  If they are small or skinny go with 13).

Preheat oven to 375.

When the instant pot is done, carefully remove the potatoes and place them in the casserole dish.  Pour the water from the pot into the dish.  Bake in the oven for an hour.

After an hour the sweet potatoes should be lightly browned.  This is the delicious caramelized outside.  As you allow them to cool the liquid gels up slightly and makes a nice glaze for the potatoes.

Sweet Potato Caramel

You could use more like 2 cups of water, use 1 cup for the baking process and reserve the other cup to make a Sweet Potato Caramel.  Just pour it into a small pot and cook on low until thick.  You can use this on desserts or as a sweetner for a hot beverage.

Sweet Potato Cakes

When you have leftover sweet potatoes, the best way to reheat them is in the air fryer or oven.  Just mash it down into a patty and place it on parchment paper in the air fryer for 8 minutes on 370.  You can flip and toast the other side for a few minutes if you want but it's not necessary.  In the oven, it should take 20 minutes on 400.

Wednesday, June 3, 2020

Sesame Cauliflower

We love asian food so when I found this recipe by Chocolate Covered Katie ( I had to try it!  We had it on brown rice and it was delish!

Incredible Health tip:
Why eat cauliflower?  For one, just one serving (1 c) has 100% of your vitamin C!  Also a quarter of your vitamin K, which could help prevent mineralization where minerals build up in the arteries - a major risk factor for heart disease.  Cauliflower has glucosinolates which may help prevent cancer by protecting cells from damage and has anti-inflammatory, antiviral and antibacterial effects.  All good things!

Sesame Cauliflower

Serves 3-4

1 head of cauliflower, chopped into florets
1/3 cup soy sauce or tamari
1/4 c maple syrup, honey or agave
1/4 c rice vinegar
1 TB minced garlic
1 1/2 tsp roasted sesame ooil
1/2 tsp powdered ginger
1 1/2 TB cornstarch or arrowroot
1/4 c water
sesame seeds and scallions, for garnish

Preheat oven to 450.  Line baking sheet with parchment or silpat mat.  Arrange cauliflower florets on pan and bake for 10 minutes.  Meanwhile whisk together the soy sauce, sweetener, vinegar, garlic, sesame oil and ginger in a saucepan.  Bring to a boil.  While waiting stir together the cornstarch and water until dissolved.  Slowly whisk this into the saucepan as soon as it boils.  Turn heat to medium and cook 2 minutes, stirring frequently once it returns to a boil.  Cook until thick.  Flip cauliflower and bake an additional 10 minutes.  Add cauliflower to the sauce and stir until the cauliflower is covered.  Serve over brown rice or desired grain.

Crockpot Overnight Peach and Berry Oatmeal

I never liked oatmeal growing up.  It was slimy looking and soupy which gave me no desire to eat it.  It wasn't until I had Crockpot oatmeal that I discovered HOW to make oatmeal to taste like COBBLER!  The key is to cook it unto death.  With lots of fruit.  Even now, when I cook it in the microwave I add fruit and use less water so it all cooks into more like a cobbler, add some granola and a dash of creamer and it's like cobbler topping with ice cream.  FOR REALS!

Incredible Health tip:
Why should you eat oats?  Oats have high amounts of manganese, phosphorus, copper, B vitamins, iron, selenium, magnesium and zinc.  Why you should care about oats is because it's an excellent source of beta glucan which is a soluble fiber found to help lower cholesterol and blood sugar.  But it's a carb???  Not all carbs are created equal.  This is a carb you need.  It helps you stay full and satisfied.  It's already high in antioxidants but add some Boozer Farms peaches, blueberries or strawberries and you have a double whammy!

Crockpot Overnight Peach and Berry Oatmeal

*adapted from Fix it and Forget it Lightly cookbook
Makes 4 servings

Fruity baked oatmeal2 c plant based milk (almond will give it a nutty flavor, soy is preferred in our home)
1/4 c brown sugar or maple sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 c old fashioned oats
1 c peaches, chopped
1/2 c blueberries
1/4 c chia seeds
1/4 c craisins, optional
1/4 c walnuts, optional
Granola for toppping
Sweet and Creamy Almond Creamer by Silk
                                                                                                                        (Similar to picture shown just in a crockpot and not quite as solidified)

I recommend using a crockpot liner for super fast cleanup.  Add all incredients to the pot except granola and creamer and combine.  Cover and cook on low overnight, ideally 6-8 hours.  Oatmeal is ready to eat in the morning!  Stir it up and have granola and creamer ready to add as toppings. 

Recipe Note:  Walnuts will do great in the oatmeal but other nuts tend to soften too much.  If you want to use any other nuts just have them out as a topping when you are ready to eat.  Blueberries tend to burst when cooked so, although it's still tasty, if you prefer to have it whole when you eat it, just have as a topping instead.  Strawberries hold up a little better.  This is also great with apples and pears in the fall with some pumpkin spices.

Tuesday, June 2, 2020

Lentil Bolognese over Spaghetti or Spaghetti Squash

This is a recipe I found in a magazine that used fennel.  I hadn't tried fennel before but was willing to try it for the delicious looking picture it offered.  Turns our fennel has a bit of a licorice flavor to it and I'm not a fan of licorice HOWEVER when added to lentls and a host of other seasonings it brings about a meaty flavor and when you are vegan trying to do a bolognese, this comes in handy!  So here you go - a meat free way to enjoy bolognese sauce AND use fennel.

Incredible Health tip:
Why would we want to use fennel??  For these awesome health benefits:  it's a great source of potassium, vitamin A, calcium, magnesium, vitamin K, manganese to name a few which all adds up to better bone health, heart health and lower blood pressure.  The selenium in fennel appears to stimulate killer T-cells which boosts immune function!  Who doesn't want that in the midst of a pandemic?

Lentil Bolognese over Spaghetti (or Spaghetti squash)

*adapted from recipe in People magazine 1/15/20
Serves 4

1 large (4 lb) spaghetti squash, halved lengthwise and seeded
OR 1 lb spaghetti noodles cooked as directed
4 c vegetable broth
1 1/4 c dried black (beluga) lentils
1/3 c finely chopped fennel
1/3 c finely chopped carrot
1/3 c yellow onion
1/3 c red bell pepper
6 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 tsp fennel seeds
2 (15 oz) cans tomato sauce
3/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper, optional

To prepare the squash:
If using the spaghetti squash, preheat oven to 350.  Place squash halves side down on a baking sheet and roast for 40-45 minutes.  Pierce the back of the squash to check to see if a knife can easily go through.  That is when it's done.  Remove from the oven and let cool cut side up for at least 15 minutes.  With a fork loosen the squash and scrape from the shell into a bowl.

To prepare the bolognese:
While squash or noodles are cooking prepare your sauce.  Bring vegetable broth and lentils to a boil in a large saucepan over medium high heat.  Reduce to medium low; stir once, simmer 25 minutes then drain.
In a large skillet over medium heat add fennel, carrot, onion, and bell pepper and cook until softened, around 8 minutes.  Add a little water or extra vegetable broth to keep the vegetables from sticking.  Add garlic and fennel seeds and cook stirring constantly for about 1 minute.  Stir in tomato sauce and salt and pepper.  Add the drained lentils, cover and cook over medium low until mixture thickens, about 45 minutes.  Remove lid and stir occassionally.

Ingredients note:  Black beluga lentils can be found easily on Amazon.  You may also find the Goya brand of black lentils in the mexican section of Walmart.

Monday, May 18, 2020

Buffalo Cauliflower wings

I know you might be rolling their eyes at the idea of cauliflower wings.  I get the funny.  But for those who LOVE buffalo chicken wings but don't want the cholesterol, fat and carcinagens - this is a WINNER!  We make these at every Super bowl party, many pizza nights, basically any time we have a head of cauliflower in the house.  I love it with BBQ sauce or an asian sweet sauce too.  Any kind of wings you like - just change the sauce and you are golden.  To get it the crispiest use an air fryer.  It also saves time.  Just soak the tray when you are done or you will spend saved time cleaning it...

Note:  there may be ingredients you don't recognize so I put an amazon link to how to order these if you don't want to hunt them down at the store.  I buy the nutritional yeast by the pound because I put it on most everything from salad to stir fries and pizza.  It's a cheesy flavored and a great source of fiber, vitamins and minerals.  There are smaller quantities available.   

Buffalo Cauliflower Wings (Bites)
*adapted from PlantPure Nation Cookbook
Makes 6 servings

1 cup nondairy unsweetened milk
1 c whole wheat pastry flour
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp onion powder
1/8 tsp black pepper
1 tsp seasoning salt
1 tsp umami seasoning
1 tsp paprika
2 TB nutritional yeast flakes
1 cauliflower head, broken into florets
1 bottle buffalo wing sauce (Sweet Baby Rays, you will need half the bottle)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
In a mixing bowl, whisk together the milk, flour, spices including nutrtional yeast.  Place all the cauliflower pieces in the mixture and coat thoroughly.  Spread the cauliflower on the baking sheet and bake for 20-30 minutes until golden brown.  Take them out, put them in a mixing bowl and coat with your preferred sauce.  Spread them out onto the pan again and cook for 5 minutes.

For Air Fryer - cook at 400 for 15 minutes, take it out, put in the mixing bowl with the sauce to coat and return to the air fryer for 5 minutes.

So good!

Sunday, May 10, 2020

Chocolate cake in a mug

This is our favorite go to that is portion controlled, quick and easy with ingredients you most likely have right now!  Good for a treat now and then..

Chocolate Cake in a Mug
*adapted from The Book of Veganish

1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup unbleached all purpose flour
2 TB cocoa powder
2 TB vegetable oil (safflower or sunflower)
Pinch of salt
2 TB water
2 TB dairy free chocolate chips
Sprinkle of chopped pecans, optional

Mix all ingredients in a wide coffee mug or soup bowl (at least 16 oz).  Microwave on high for 1 min.