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Thursday, December 5, 2019

Plant Based Recipe: Persimmon Pudding

This is a recipe that changed people's view on persimmons.  This is delish and sweet and super healthy!  Pair it with fruit to keep it healthy or splurge on some ginger snap cookies or graham crackers.  It will be the hit of your party, for sure!

Persimmon Puddingrecipe by Carolyn Strickland

3 persimmons (peeling makes the pudding a little smoother)
2 pitted dates
1/2 cup raw cashews (sit in hot water for 10 min if you don't have a high speed blender)
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
splash of lemon juice
a few tablespoons of plant based milk

Whirl all ingredients in high speed blender until well blended.  Pour into bowls and serve immediately or cover and chill in the fridge.

Friday, November 29, 2019

Plant Based Recipe: Vegetable Crescent Roll

Vegetable Crescent Roll

We made this at meal prep using different ingredients than the recipe.  Since everyone wants to know how we made it, I will use our recipe instead.  The actual recipe calls for mushrooms instead of Mexican sausage and I added in the peppers and yellow squash to give more veggies.

2 medium shallots, diced (1/2 c)
1 tsp olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 yellow squash, chopped
½ red pepper, diced
½ yellow pepper, diced
¼ c red cooking wine
¼ pkg (1 link) Field Roast Mexican “sausage”, diced
¼ of medium butternut squash, peeled and cubed (1.5 c)
¼ bunch kale, stems removed and chopped (1.5 c)
¼ c balsamic vinegar
1 packages of Immaculate Baking Company Crescent Rolls

Preheat oven to 350 and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
In a large pan over medium-high heat, saute the shallots in the oil with a pinch of salt.  Cook for 5 minutes until shallots begin to brown.  You can also use vegetable broth to keep from sticking if you want to go oil free.  Add sausage and lightly brown, about 5 minutes.
Add garlic, yellow squash and peppers along with red cooking wine and cook for 10-15 minutes until the cooking wine has evaporated and vegetables are tender.   Stir in kale and turn down the heat as the kale wilts down.
While that is cooking steam butternut squash in steamer pot.  Meanwhile heat ¼ c balsamic vinegar in a small saucepan stirring until it reduces to a glaze. 
On parchment paper make a roll with the crescent rolls.  Use fat ends of the triangles and overlap in a line (tips will be pointed away from the middle on either side) for the cooked mixture to fit then fold over the tips to cover.  There will be veggies peeking out and that’s ok.  Brush or spoon the glaze over the roll and bake in the oven for 25-30 minutes.
*This can also be made into a holiday ring (wreath).  Just double all the ingredients and form the roll into a ring using the additional can of crescent rolls.

Plant Based Recipe: Black Eyed Pea and Greens Soup

Black Eyed pea and Greens soup

*adapted from Carolyn Strickland

2 15 oz cans black eyed peas, drained and rinsed
½ TB extra virgin olive oil
1 large yellow onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
½ package (2 links) Field Roast Smoked Apple Sage “Sausage”, sliced or diced
2 stalks celery, chopped
6 cups vegetable broth
1 large bunch kale, stems removed (also great with collards)
4 carrots, chopped
½ tsp liquid smoke
½ tsp smoked paprika

Heat oil in skillet (or use some veg broth for oil free version).  Cook sausage until lightly browned (2-3 min).  Set aside in a bowl.  In a stock pot over medium-high heat, saute onion, garlic and celery until onion is translucent, 5-8 minutes adding water a few T at a time to keep veggies from sticking to pan.  Add drained and rinsed black eyed peas and broth and bring to a boil.  Add carrots, liquid smoke, and paprika (add collards here, if using) – simmer until tender, at least 20-30 minutes more.  Add sausage and kale and simmer 10 minutes. 
Makes roughly 6 servings

Plant Based Recipe: Black Bean Burgers

Black Bean Burgers

*adapted from Happy Herbivore

Makes 4 burgers

1 15 oz can organic black beans, drained and rinsed
2 TB organic ketchup
1 TB Dijon mustard
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp garlic powder
½ cup gluten free oats

Preheat oven to 400 and line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
In a mixing bowl mash black beans with potato masher or fork.  Stir in condiments and spices then fold in oats.  Form the mixture into 4 patties and bake for 10 minutes.  Carefully flip the burgers and bake another 5 minutes.

Tuesday, November 26, 2019

Favorite dessert recipe - Carrot cake and cream cheese frosting*dairy, soy, nut free

Vegan Carrot Cake with Cream cheese frosting

This carrot cake is delish but the icing is surprisingly insane!  And it's made with a japanese sweet potato!  During meal prep we made cupcakes but my next plan is a layer cake so I can get more icing!  And the cool thing is there is no sugar (unless you count maple syrup, but I count that as more natural sweetness).  The kids, in the homes that this went to, requested I post the recipe so here goes!

Vegan Carrot cake
*adapted from Straight Up Food cookbook

1 1/2 cups unsweetened nondairy milk (we used coconut)
14 Deglet Noor dates, chopped
1/2 cup persimmon puree (or 1/2 ripe banana, mashed)
1/4 cup raisins or craisins
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 3/4 cups old fashioned rolled oats
2 tsp cinnamon
2 tsp baking powder or sub baking soda if allergic to corn
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp ground nutmeg
1/8 tsp cloves
1 1/2 cups grated carrots (2-3 medium)
1/2 cup raisins or craisins
1/2 cup chopped walnuts if not allergic

Combine milk, dates, persimmon, 1/4 c craisins, and vanilla into a small bowl and set aside 15 minutes for dates to soften.  Preheat oven to 350.  Line 8x8 baking pan with parchment paper.  Grind oats into flour with food processor.  Transfer to medium bowl and whisk in cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda, nutmeg and cloves.
Blend the wet ingredients in blender until smooth.  Stir into the bowl of dry incredients.  Fold in grated carrots, 1/2 c raisins or craisins and walnuts. 
Spoon batter into pan and spread evenly.  Bake 40-45 minutes or until top is medium brown.  Let cool for 10 min before removing and placing on cooling rack.  Cool completely before icing. 
*For 12 cupcakes, line muffin pan with parchment paper liners and bake 25-30 min on 350.  To bake a standard loaf, decrease milk by 1/2 cup, line a 9x5x3-inch loaf pan with parchment and bake at 325 for 50-55 min.

Vegan Cream cheese frosting
*adapted from

1 large japanese sweet potato (white flesh), peeled and chopped into 1 inch cubes
1/2 cup maple syrup
6 TB coconut oil, melted
2 TB water
1 tsp lemon juice
1 tsp apple cider vinegar
1/8 tsp salt

Steam sweet potato cubes for 10-15 min.  Fill one cup with sweet potato and mash with a fork until cup is packed.  Transfer mashed potato and rest of the ingredients into a blender and blend until silky smooth.  Add more water if needed to reach smooth consistency.  You can now frost your carrot cake or transfer to a bowl to keep in the fridge for up to a week. 

Saturday, November 2, 2019

BIG ANNOUNCEMENT: Weekly Meal Plan and Prep Service

So, you watched Forks over Knives or The Game Changers and you are sold!  OK, you want to give this plant based thing a try but where do you start??  What do you eat if you don't eat meat?  I was there 7 years ago.  Not only was I bitter that I couldn't eat eggs for breakfast anymore, I didn't know what to eat instead.  I had no idea how good food could be.  I also didn't know what recipes to try or where to get funky stuff like chic pea miso.  And what is nutritional yeast anyway??

Trust me because I have been there!  I became a Plant-Based Culinary chef through Forks over Knives, I know where all the goods are and I know where to get them for the best price.  Let me plan your meals, do the grocery shopping and teach you how to do this right while we prepare your meals for the week.

Incredible Health Farms, LLC accounces a new service to our area:

Weekly Meal Plan and Prep Service

Here's how it works:

1.  Every week on Monday I will announce the meal plan for the following week on Incredible Health Farm's Facebook page.
2.  If you want in, comment on the Facebook page and pay via Venmo, check or cash by Wednesday.
3.  Meet me at the farm on prep day specified.  It will be either Thursday night, Friday night or Saturday morning depending on our schedule.

 This incredible price includes:

    👉  Meal planning
    👉  Grocery shopping
    👉  Prep planning
    👉  Counseling during prep - questions answered by myself or Cliff, the plant-based Physician's                    Assistant.
    👉👉 ALL THE MEALS you need for a week of including breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks

Well worth over $100 but our introductory price is $85 per person or $150 per couple!!!

When we started out we were spending at least $100 per person on groceries alone, bumping around trying to figure out what to eat, what tastes good, what to feed people if they came over.  I would have happily paid someone to take the thinking out of my meals and someone to guide me every week and answer my questions as I change my lifestyle???  That's GOLD!  If you want to give plant-based a try, there has never been an easier way!   

Still not sure?  Here are a few pictures of what I have accomplished with Marie Owens as she changes her life for the better.  I even posted some recipes that we have already used:

Spicy Kale Wrap
White Bean Chili
Instant Pot Beans and Rice topped with
Addicting Queso
BBQ Quinoa Salad

Sample Meal Plan

Breakfast:  Blueberry Oatmeal and kale/fruit smoothie
Lunch:  Spicy kale salad wrap and organic strawberries with Chocolate hummus
Snack:  Fruit or non-dairy yogurt with granola and dark cherries
Dinner:  White Bean Chili with frozen grapes for dessert

Plant-based Recipe: BBQ Quinoa salad

This is an adapted recipe from Happy Herbivore

BBQ Quinoa salad

Make BBQ sauce and set aside to cool or use 1 c BBQ sauce free of high fructose corn syrup.

Sauce (makes 1 c):
1/2 c organic ketchup
3 TB apple cider vinegar
1 TB lemon juice
1 TB organic brown sugar
1 TB vegan Worcestershire
1 TB dijon mustard
1/2 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp smoked paprika or Smokehouse maple seasoning
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp chili powder
1/3 c water

In small saucepan combine all ingredients and whisk together while you bring it to a boil.  Reduce and simmer for 15-20 minutes. 

Quinoa salad:
3 c cooked quinoa
1 c bbq sauce
1 15 oz can black beans, rinsed and drained
10 oz cherry tomatoes
1 c corn and/or chopped peppers (red, yellow and orange)
1/2 c red onion
guacamole, optional topping

Toss quinoa with bbq sauce.  Add beans, tomatoes, corn and/or peppers and onions.  Mix together.  Serve cold or warm topped with guac, if desired.

Plant-based Recipe: Instant Pot Beans and Rice with Queso

Instant Pot Beans and Rice

6-8 servings

2 cups brown rice, any non GMO brand
2 1/2 cups water
2 cans black beans, rinsed and drained
2 cans rotel, undrained
2 TB Garlic and Herb seasoning
3 cups spinach, chopped

Add all to an instant pot except spinach and set on manual for 25 minutes.  Stir in spinach.  It will wilt quickly.  Serve in 2 cup servings topped with Addicting Queso.

Plant-based Recipe: Addicting Queso

You have been warned.  This queso is off the charts.  I'm not responsible for what I do with a pot of this and a bag of whole grain Tostitos. 😋😋😋

Addicting Queso

In a blender add:
2c water
1/3 c nutritional yeast
1/4 c Tahiti
1/4 c arrowroot powder or 7 tsp cornstarch (both are gluten free)
2 TB lemon juice
1 TB onion powder
1 tsp salt
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp taco seasoning
2 dashes liquid smoke

Blend for a minute or two.  Pour into a pot and add:
1/2 can rotel, drained

Whisk rapidly over hugh heat until mixture thickens.  

Plant-based Recipe: White Bean Chili

White Bean Chili

1 small yellow onion, diced
Vegetable broth for saute
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 tsp cumin
2 TB tapioca flour
1 lb yukon gold potatoes, chopped
4 c Vegetable broth
2 cans white beans, drained
1 c corn kernels, canned or frozen
1 (16 oz) jar of salsa verde
1 (4 oz) can green chiles
1/4 tsp dried oregano
salt and pepper to taste
cilantro, optional topping

In large pot saute yellow onion until translucent.  Add vegetable broth as it cooks to keep from sticking.  Add garlic and cumin and saute for 30 seconds continuing to add broth as needed.  Add in tapioca flour, potatoes and 4 c vegetable broth while stirring.  Add in white beans, corn, salsa verde, green chiles, and oregano.  Let soup come to a boil and turn down to let simmer for 30 minutes to let potatoes cook.  Stir frequently.  Once potatoes are cooked, salt and pepper to taste.

Store leftovers in fridge for up to 7 days.  Freeze for up to a year.

Plant-based Recipe: Spicy Kale Salad Wrap

Spicy Kale Salad

This can be used as a wrap or a topping to a salad or a large salad all by itself.  It's chock full of flavor and pairs great with Incredible Health Farm's spicy radish microgreens!

Prep time:  25 minutes
Serves:  6 wraps

1 head of kale (finely chopped) or roughly half to 3/4 bag of organic kale
1/3 red onion (finely chopped) or about 1/2 cup
1 large avocado
1/2 c sun dried tomatoes (from bag or jar), divided
1 TB olive oil, or water for oil free option
3 TB nutritional yeast + 4 TB
2 cloves garlic
2 TB lemon juice
2 TB Tamari
1/2 bag of radish microgreens from Incredible Health Farms
6 organic whole grain wraps

Blend olive oil or water, Tamari, lemon juice, garlic cloves, 1/4 c chopped sundried tomatoes and 3 TB nutritional yeast.  Add more water if you need more liquid to blend.  Remove kale from stems and chop finely.  Chop radish and add to kale.  Add in red ontion, avocado, 1/4 c sundried tomatoes, blended mixture and additional 4 TB nutritional yeast and massage everything together.  (I recommend doing this part using disposable gloves.)   Put roughly 1-2 cups in a wrap and enjoy!

Thursday, February 21, 2019

Emotional Health - getting to the core

I've never really considered myself an "emotional" person.  For a female, I'm pretty even tempered.  I was raised in a house of brothers.  Emotions were pointless.  We never discussed big stuff unless it was of the spiritual nature.  I understood perfectly how the spiritual world worked.  You go through something - you give it to God and you wait.  You have a problem with someone - you give it to God and you move on.  You feel heavy, burdensome stuff - you give it to God and you get relief.  He will handle it.  And there is some serious comfort in that simplicity.  I saw God take problems and turn them around.  I saw us run out of money time and time again and miraculously someone would show up to pay Dad back for a time he loaned money to them.  Or a bank error was adjusted and suddenly we had groceries.  My parents (more times than I can count) gave us their last $20 to hitch a ride with friends to attend a feastmeeting revival with our church.  I'm not sure what they would stay home with - I guess the food in the house.  Point being, God ruled our house and He was the most important.  As I raise my family and make the important decisions, I'm so incredibly thankful for that example.  It has led me well through this life.

What we didn't do was have the hard conversations.  We didn't discuss our feelings.  I didn't know how to process other than to give it to God.  That's fine but what about the feelings?  Feelings of loss, regret, guilt, anger?  How do you reconcile it?  How do you talk it through with yourself?  What is ok?  Can you get angry and yell?  Can you cry in front of people or is that showing that you are not giving it to God?  I still can't cry in front of people.  When talking about God, no problem.  He moves me to tears often.  When talking about my mom who I see leaving me a little each day - I can't do it.  By myself, the tears flow.  Right now, no problem even though I know people will be reading this.  I have to be vulnerable.  I have to take time to feel.  I have to take time to let it out.  Otherwise it bottles up and comes out in other ways.  It's ok to cry.  It's ok to be sad.  It won't last all day.  I'm always scared to fall apart because I won't get it back together and I have too much to do. Ain't nobody got time for that.  Not true.  You will heal a little at a time and the healing is the balm.

Alzheimers is so hard to watch in a loved one.  I hear, "enjoy every moment", "cherish these times", "she still knows you - that's good" but when your mom can't go to the bathroom without your help or she begs you to let her help you knowing she can't follow through on anything you ask her to do - it's so incredibly hard.  I give her laundry to fold and she may get the towels right but she balls up everything else.  It's ok.  I gave it to her because she so desperately wants to feel important.  Feel significant.  I talk about things that she does remember, funny moments that she recently laughed about knowing that soon she won't remember those either.  There will be a blank look when I mention it.  I want to scream - how can I enjoy these moments???  How can I cherish this time???  How do you mourn someone who is still right in front of you?  Nothing is put to rest.  If you are going through this, you are not alone.  I get it.

Why am I putting all this out there?  Because when I feel, you feel.  When you feel we connect.  When we connect we help each other.  I know the purpose of my life is to help people.  I know it to the core of my being.  In order to help people I have to be real.  I have to be vulnerable.  I have to show my weakness.  I will, one day, cry in front of you.  Maybe not today, but one day.  And it will be ok.  Emotions are a part of health and not all emotions feel good.  But healing does and letting out those emotions offers healing.

Psa 61:2 From the end of the earth will I cry unto thee, when my heart is overwhelmed;  lead me to the rock that is higher than I.