Thursday, July 28, 2011


I am taking a much needed vacation from blogging. Check back with me at the end of August!!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Creamy Tomato Basil Pasta

To me there are few things yummier than a creamy tomato sauce. When I found this recipe on I was so excited and I wasn't disappointed. This is a great blog if you haven't checked it out before. I have gotten a lot of good recipes from there.

Easy Tomato Basil Cream Pasta

Lightly adapted from Vegan Yum Yum.
Yield: 4-6 servings
  • 1 16 oz box  uncooked whole grain spaghetti
  • 2 large ripe tomato or 4 smaller tomatoes
  • 1 cup raw cashews
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 6 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 - 2 tsp salt, or to taste
  • 3-4 tbsp water
  • 1-2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup packed fresh basil, finely chopped ( or several shakes of dried basil)

1. Bring a large pot of water to boil. Chop tomato and add it to the blender (including skin and seeds). Now add the cashews, water, and tomato paste. Blend until smooth.
2. Add your pasta to boiling water and cook pasta according to package directions.
3. Meanwhile, add olive oil to a large skillet and heat to low. Add the minced garlic and sauté for a few minutes being careful not to burn it.
4. Pour the sauce from the blender into the skillet, stir, and bring to a simmer. Add the salt and let it cook for 4-5 minutes, watching closely. Then add water
5. Remove sauce from heat and stir in the chopped basil and pepper. Add the drained pasta back in the pot and now gradually add pasta sauce until your desired amount is achieved. Stir and serve immediately.

* I have doubled her original recipe. Find hers here.
** It may seem like a lot of salt but believe me - without it, it will not taste all that spectacular.

*** This is SOOOOOOO good!!!

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Date Sweetened Apple Cobbler - You can thank me later

I combined parts of two different recipes here and here  (you will have to download her raw dessert recipes) and changed them to use dates as a sweetener and I came up with this. IT IS SO AWESOME. Seriously, you will be eternally grateful for this one.

Date Sweetened Apple Cobbler with Cashew Cream

Preheat oven to 400F and grease 9x13 pan with coconut oil.

Apple Filling

5 medium apples
1/2 cup medjool dates
1tsp. cinnamon
juice of 1/2 a lemon
1 tsp. vanilla
1 tsp. ground nutmeg
1 tsp. sea salt

Slice 4 apples in thin slices and stick them in a bowl. Coarsely chop up the 5th apple and put it in the blender. Add the remaining of the ingredients in the blender with the 1 apple and blend them until smooth. You might need to add a little water to get it to blend. You can also use your food processor.

Mix the sliced apples with the blended mix and then spread in a 9x13 pan.

Cobbler Topping

1 cup almonds
1/2 cup rolled oats
2/3 cup medjool dates
1 tbsp coconut oil
pinch of sea slat
1/2 tsp. vanilla

Process the almonds by themselves a little in your food processor and then add the rest of the ingredients. Don't over process, you want the topping to be crumbly.

Put the topping over the apples.

Cover the pan with foil - poke some holes in it and bake for about 40 minutes.

Cashew Cream
1/2 cup soaked cashews (
soak for about 1 hour)
1 tsp. coconut oil
1 tsp. vanilla
2 medjool dates
Almond milk to help blend

You can do this in your blender or food processor. Slowly add almond milk till you get the consistency you want. I like mine thick.

Allow cobbler to cool for about 15 minutes before serving - it will be super hot. Top with the cashew cream

** Don't forget to put the foil on or you will burn a little bit of your topping like I did!!

** Words cannot express how good this was.

Thursday, June 30, 2011

A Tale of 2 Tabouleh salads

So I think in America people call this salad Tabouli but Arabs call it Tabouleh, so that's what we call it around here. I love the tabouleh salad my husband's mom used to make. My first attempt making it was a nightmare but I eventually figured it out. Then I found a tabouleh recipe in one of my raw food recipe books  that used quinoa (but I cook the quinoa) instead of wheat bulgar. Lately I have made that version more but I will give you both versions.

Traditional Tabouleh
1 cup of wheat bulgur ( I used fine- soak bulgur in hot water until soft about 20-30 minutes, then drain excess water - I used a clean smaller bowl to push the water out, the bulgur would fall through a strainer)
1 bunch parsley - chopped
1 bunch green onions - chopped - green parts too
4 roma tomatoes - chopped
2 1/2 cucumbers - chopped
(some people add 1/2 green pepper - chopped)
Salt to taste (don't over do it)
1/2 cup lemon juice
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

Mix everything in a big bowl. 

*My husband likes his with a little more lemon juice. Taste it and add more if you like.

Quinoa Tabouleh (adapted from Raw Food/Real World: 100 Recipes to Get the Glow )

1 cup uncooked quinoa (cook according to package)
1/4 cup olive oil
3 Tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp salt
1 cup diced cucumber
1 cup chopped roma tomato
1/4 cup chopped green onion
1/2 cup chopped parsley

Toss all ingredients together

* I never measure the amount of veggies. I just put in as much as I like. I like a lot of parsley so I put in more.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Roasted Sweet Potato Corn Soup

My friend linked this recipe on her facebook wall and I thought I would try it. I am glad I did because it has become one of our favorite soup recipes ever!!

Roasted Sweet Potato and Corn Soup

  • 2 sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 (12 ounce) package frozen corn kernels, thawed
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 1 1/2 cups finely diced celery
  • 1 cup diced red onion 
  • 1/4 cup shallot, minced
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
  • 3 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 potato, peeled and cubed
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley


  1. Preheat an oven to 425 degrees F (220 degrees C). Place the sweet potatoes into a 9x13 inch baking dish, drizzle with 1 tablespoon of coconut oil, and season with salt and pepper. Stir to coat the sweet potatoes in oil.
  2. Roast in the preheated oven until the sweet potatoes are golden and tender, 15 to 20 minutes. Stir occasionally as they cook so the sweet potatoes cook evenly.
  3. Meanwhile, measure out 1 cup of corn kernels and set aside. Place the remaining corn into a blender, and puree with the water until smooth; set aside.
  4. Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon of coconut oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Stir in the celery, onion, and shallot. Cook and stir until the onion has softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in the tomato paste and dried thyme leaves; cook 1 minute more. Pour in the vegetable broth, corn puree, bay leaf, salt, and cubed potato. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, then reduce the heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer until the potato is tender, 25 to 35 minutes.
  5. Once the potato is tender, remove and discard the bay leaf. Stir in the whole corn kernels, sweet potato, and chopped parsley. Return to a simmer and season to taste with salt and pepper before serving.
* In this pic I served the soup over Quinoa just to fill ourelves up more but the second time I made it we just ate it like a soup with some garlic bread.

** I have made this with the red onion and then another time with yellow onion and I think the red onion tastes better.

*** You will probably want to double this recipe.

*** This was a winner with the entire family, even baby G.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Strawberry Spinach Salad

I stole these pics off my sister's blog but I was the one who gave her the recipe in the first place so I don't feel bad... I originally got this recipe from

The salad:
Fresh Baby Spinach 4-6 oz.
Fresh Strawberries, about 15, sliced
1/4-1/2 cup pecans, chopped
The dressing:
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup white wine vinegar
1/8 cup honey
1/2 Tbl poppy seeds
dash of paprika
Combine all the ingredients and serve or refrigerate until ready to eat!

** This salad is great for summer and you can mix this dressing up for any green/fruit combination you can think of.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Short on time?? - 5 minute dinner

Are you short on time? Apparently I am because I cannot seem to blog for 2 weeks. Oh well. I cannot tell you how many times I have eaten this dish in the last few weeks. I mean it is such a ridiculously easy recipe that I feel silly putting it on here but maybe it will help someone.

Cous Cous with Beans

1 cup whole wheat cous cous
1- 2 cans beans ( I like black beans and/or pinto)
Favorite salsa

Boil 1 cup of water with a dash of salt. When the water boils take it off the heat and stir in the couscous. Let couscous sit for 5 minutes. While cous cous is sitting open up the can of beans and drain  and rinse them. You can heat up the beans in the microwave if you want.

In individual bowls mix together couscous, beans and some of your favorite salsa. You can top with shredded cheese if you want.

* I have been eating this as a quick lunch and I have even made it for dinner a few times with little complaining. It seriously takes 5 minutes.

** My favorite salsa is this one from Costco.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Weigh in - Constant Vigilance!!! and Roasted Cauliflower with couscous

So in the last 2 weeks I have lost another 2.5 lbs. I have officially reached my goal weight. YAY!!! But now I want to lose more. And I want to start being able to weight lift because I need to get toned. I have been really consistent with my exercise in the last few weeks but I worry about adding weights back in for fear of hurting my back. Oh well, we'll see how I feel in the next month or so...

Are you getting tired of hearing about my struggles to lose weight. I think listening to other people talk about this sometimes can be really tiresome. So please let me know if I am GETTING ON YOUR NERVES!!

One more thought about weight. I have finally accepted that I just have to be really strict with myself to be at the weight I want. Sometimes I see other people eating yummy junk food and I get jealous that they can eat that stuff and not get fat. But I can't. That's just the way my body is and there is really no point in boo hooing about it. In reality I don't want all that junk food because although it tastes good it is not good for me and I have to remind myself I really am not missing anything. So to channel Mad Eye Moody, CONSTANT VIGILANCE is basically what is required of me and so be it. ( Yes, now you know I am a Harry Potter geek)

Roasted Cauliflower with Cous Cous

Adapted from a Better Homes and Gardens recipe

juice from two limes or lemons
1/3 cup olive oil
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp pepper

1 head cauliflower, chopped into large florets
2 zucchini or yellow squash, cut in 1/2 inch slices
1 red onion, cut 1/2 inch slices

Brush marinade generously onto veggies. Roast in oven at about 400 degrees in a 9X13 pan for about 15 -20 minutes, or until cauliflower is the softness you like.

Serve over couscous. You can drizzle more marinade after you dish it up and top with parsley.

** I really love this one. I really like cooked cauliflower. My kids just tolerate this one.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

A compromise - no bake chocolate rice crispy treats

So a few weeks ago my sister-in-law and her six boys came to visit for a week and a half. Yes, I said six boys. And you know what? It was awesome! We used paper plates the whole time (sorry Earth), My SIL and her boys did my dishes the whole time (my kitchen has never been so consistently clean) and the younger boys played with my girls the whole time. I actually had more free time because they took over all my jobs for me. It was awesome. Plus they are a really fun family so it was great. I was a little nervous about what to feed them. I made them some of my vegan recipes and I got thumbs up on most of them. The one issue we had was the lack of sweets in my house. One of my nephews ( I won't name names) was convinced he was having headaches from sugar withdrawals. It's called detox, buddy!!  :) At one point they were skyping with some of their other cousins and one of my nephews shouted out (kind of in a panicky, help me voice) "They have no sugar here!!!"

But I did make them sweets. I am not totally mean. I made them fudge balls and chocolate smoothies and this recipe from Greensmoothie girl:

No Bake Chocolate Rice Crispy Treats

1 cup almond butter, peanut butter, or sunflower seed butter ( I usually use peanut butter)
1/2 cup raw honey or agave
1/4 cup ground flaxseed
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1/4 cup coconut oil
1 Tbsp vanilla
1/4 tsp sea salt
6 cups puffed brown rice ( can find at health food stores)

Cream together wet ingredients in large bowl by hand. Add flaxseed, cocoa, salt and blend. Add crisped rice and stir until evenly mixed.

Spread onto greased (with coconut oil) 9x13 pan. Then put in freezer for at least 30minutes. Cut into squares.

** This recipe is a compromise recipe to me because I really only want to use dates for sweeteners but sometimes my girls want more so I make these. I have also been known to let thme eat this as cereal in the mornings. Sometimes...Not all the time...

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Sprout Love

I'm back... (Cue screaming) So I have been kind of dead to the Internet lately. We had family visiting from out of town (more on that later) and I just didn't feel like I would be a great hostess if I was on the computer a ton doing my blog. So that is my excuse. But I really don't feel like I need excuses. I mean I will blog when I feel like it, okay??? If I sound a little bit snippy it is because my husband is out of town and I get kind of grouchy when he is gone. Yet another excuse. ANYWAY...

The good news is I finally started using my sprouter that my wonderful sister-in-law bought me a couple of years ago. Remember the one that has been sitting on my counter for forever?? Anyhow, wouldn't you know it, it really isn't that hard to sprout. So we can just add sprouting to my list of easy things that I needlessly procrastinate doing.

So here is the low down on sprouting... You can sprout seeds, nuts, legumes, beans, etc... Just soak what you want to sprout overnight in filtered water. I just did it in a regular bowl. The next day drain and rinse them using a fine mesh strainer. Then if you have a sprouter (which I suggest getting) you just lay them out on the tray and rinse them morning and night for a few days until they have nice long sprouts. Different things take different times to sprout. You can find this information in your sprouting kit instructions or online.

I have this sprouter,

which I recommend for a couple of reasons. 1. It's the only one I have ever used. 2. The tray drains easily with it's built in holes and then when you are done sprouting you can just stick the tray in the fridge with the lid on and they will keep for a while that way.

You can stick the sprouts in salads, wraps, and even smoothies. A loves them so much she just eats them plain. But she is a little weird. I mean that kid inhales salads.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Weigh in, keeping track, and sweet potato fries

So I weighed myself this morning and I lost 3 pounds last week. I am very happy. So far I have lost 14 pounds. I am almost to my goal weight but I would like to go even lower. We'll see. It is kind of boring to talk about my weight so much so  I will stop.

So last week I kind of threw out the challenge of keeping a food journal. Did anyone do it? I did, although not faithfully the whole week. But I will tell you, keeping a journal really keeps you honest with yourself and helps you to realize a lot of things about your eating patterns.

So here is a sample of one of my days last week. I could do the whole week but that would be boring and long to type and I am a bit lazy. So there you have it.

Friday May 6 I ate:
Breakfast - oatmeal with almond milk and a banana
Lunch - Green smoothie, green salad with hard boiled egg
Dinner - stuffed grape leaves, Caesar salad, and some kale chips

 As I was looking back at my journal I realized that I actually didn't do a great job keeping track all week. So I am going to renew my efforts this week. and I renew my challenge to you: keep a food journal for one day. You can do it!!

Anyhow here is a yummy and easy recipe:

Sweet Potato Fries

5 - 6 sweet potatoes, sliced like fries
1/4 cup coconut oil
1 tsp sea salt

Put the oil and salt in a large zip lock bag and mix up. Then dump in sliced fries and mix up with the oil. Bake on a oiled cookie sheet at 425 degrees for 20 - 30 minutes. Flipping once during cooking time. You might want to cook them longer if you like them really crispy.

* The coconut oil is really yummy with these!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Variation on a Theme: Oats for breakfast

I eat some form of oats almost every morning for breakfast. Boring, you say? Easy, I say. Breakfast is the one meal of the day I don't have to put too much thoughtinto (not to mention time.) And oats are great for you. So here are 3 ways we do oats at our house.

1. Rolled oats - or old fashioned oats. You can get these at any store. Don't get quick oats - they are even more processed. You can do these on the stove top or just microwave an individual serving. I think a key to good tasting oatmeal is putting in a bit of sea salt.

2. Steel cut oats - even less processed than rolled oats. You can get these at most stores. I think it is more cost effective to get from the bulk bins. We do these on the stove top. The proportions are 1 cup oats to 2 cups water. Add water and oats  and a few dashes of sea salt to a pot. Bring to a boil and then turn off the heat. Cover the pot and leave it on the burner. Let sit for about 20 minutes or until most of the water is absorbed.

3. Raw Oat Groats - the least processed. We get these in the bulk section of the health food store. Soak these over night. In the morning rinse them in a fine mesh strainer. Here is the recipe:

1 cup oat goats
3/4 cup water
1/4 cup pitted dates
few dashes of sea slat.


All of these taste great with almond milk and whatever else you like. But try not to add any other sweeteners. Oats taste great with bananas, strawberries, blueberries, flax meal, nuts, cinnamon, etc...

Monday, May 9, 2011

contest winner and strawberry and date vinaigrette

And the winner is ... Toni!Way to go girls. I am glad you guys found a way to fit in your exercise. There weren't a ton of entries so this tells me a couple of things.

1. It IS really hard to fit in exercise.
2. You can't really motivate other people to exercise, even if you offer them money.

Even with the pressure of not sounding like a hypocrite on my blog was not enough motivation to overcome the busyness of life. So somehow we have to make the time and make exercise a priority. It takes a lot of discipline. When you find out the secret, let me know!!

So here is a recipe...

strawberry and date vinaigrette

Little less than 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
Little less than 1/2 cup white wine vinegar
3 medjool dates
5 frozen strawberries

Blend in blender till smooth.

** This is great with a fruit/green salad. Some possible combinations:

1. spinach, pecans, strawberries
2. romaine, apples, raisins, walnuts, thinly sliced red onion
3. mixed baby greens, pear, almonds

Here is how we had it last night:
mixed baby greens, apples, raw pumpkin seeds

Friday, May 6, 2011

Contest Day and another challenge: keeping track

So first up: the contest! If you exercised 3 times since last Friday make a comment telling us how you fit in your exercise. You need to comment by midnight tonight and then I will randomly choose a winner. I will announce the winner Monday. I barely got in my 3 days of exercise and I feel very sheepish about it. I definitely need to step it up a bit.

One way I have been fitting  in exercise is to walk up and down my stairs for 5 minute increments throughout the day. Sometimes I feel like this is a little silly but having a baby I can't break away for more than 5 minutes some times. But it gets my heart pumping and my leg muscles burning so I assume it is helping.

Next up: I weighed myself this morning and I am CRABBY. I GAINED 1 pound! I kind of stopped paying attention to what I am eating and I think that is one of the culprits. My friend and I were just talking about this yesterday. It is really easy to overeat the not so best of foods and a lot of time you don't even realize you are doing it. So that is why most weight loss programs encourage you to keep track of what you are eating. I was doing that for a while and then I stopped. I mean keeping track is not the funnest thing but I see it's benefits. So this next week I am recommitting myself to keeping a food journal. Next week on my blog I will document what I am eating. (I know you can't wait!!) So my next challenge to you is to keep a food journal. Try for one week, but even doing it for one day I think can be beneficial.

** Well, I better go. A is trying to run away from home and E is running after her crying. Just another fun-filled morning at our house!

Monday, May 2, 2011

Date Syrup and a Vinaigrette recipe

So in my quest to only use dates to sweeten my dishes I came across this video from the raw chef. This will make a date syrup that you can use to replace maple syrup, agave, or honey in recipes. The date syrup is not as sweet as those other sweeteners so you might want to add a little more or you might just like your recipes a bit less sweet than usual.

Date Syrup
1 cup pitted medjool dates (soak them in the water for a while if you don't have a high power blender)
1 cup water

Blend water and dates in blender until nice syrupy texture. (See video)

You can store this in jar in your fridge to have on hand to add to your recipes.

Here is a vinaigrette recipe that uses the date syrup:

Balsamic Date Vinaigrette (adapted from ohsheglows)

2 1/2 TBSP balsamic vinegar
2 TBSP apple cider vinegar
1 tsp dijon mustard
2 TBSP date syrup
1/4 tsp sea salt
1/2 clove minced garlic (optional)
2 TBSP extra virgin olive oil

*** Don't forget to exercise this week.!!!

Friday, April 29, 2011

CONTEST!! - Fitting in Exercise

The scary dungeon

So today I weighed myself. Oh yeah, remember I was supposed to do that every Friday? Well, I fell off the diet wagon a couple of weeks ago and I just couldn't bring myself to weigh myself because I didn't think I could handle any more bad news with the state I was in. I was already feeling pretty down by a discouraging appointment with my spine doctor, which is why I fell off the diet wagon in the first place. Why, oh why does my eating have to be so connected to my emotions? Grrr.

Anyhow, I braced myself and weighed myself today and I have lost .8 pounds since the last time I weighed myself, which I can't ever remember when that was. Anyhow, I am feeling a lot more peppy and positive now and I am back on track with my eating. I am also getting back on track with my exercise.

I have always loved exercising but with being a busy homeschooling mom it is hard to fit it in. Lately I have realized that there really is no ideal way to do it. You always have to make some sacrifice to exercise. Right now, mine is that I let my kids watch a video during Baby G's second nap while I exercise down in the "dungeon." This is not ideal in so many ways.

1. The dungeon is kind of scary.
2. I would really prefer my kids only watching one video a week.

But oh well. I know I could exercise at in the early morning or at night when the kids are still in bed. But let's be realistic, here: That is never gonna happen!! It is what it is. I mean I need to exercise. I mean I really need it. Not just how we all need it but if I don't exercise that is when my back starts acting up and my family can't survive with me out with back problems.

So I exercise and I want you to, too because exercising is one of the major keys to good health. So here is the contest. Everyone who exercises 3 times (at least 30 minutes each) by next Friday can leave a comment next Friday sharing how they fit in their exercise with all their other demands. Then I will randomly select one commenter to win a $15 gift card to

So go start exercising, even if you have to exercise in a scary dungeon. It's worth it!!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Mejaddarah - Lentils and Rice

This dish was my first experience with Arabic food and it made me fall in love with lentils. This is a very easy but delicious dish. To be authentic you would serve this with some yogurt or salad. We eat it with salad.


2 cups lentils
1 large onion chopped
2 onions crescent sliced
1/4 cup to 1/2 cup olive oil or refined coconut oil
2 cups brown rice
1 tsp cumin
salt and pepper to taste
2- 3 cloves garlic minced

Boil lentils in water to cover for 90 minutes or until tender. Fry chopped onion and garlic in oil until soft. Add to cooked lentils and season to taste with salt and pepper, and cumin.

Add the rice and about 3 cups of water and mix in with lentils. Bring to a boil and then simmer with lid on until rice is soft and liquid is absorbed. Add a little more boiling water if needed.

Fry the sliced onion in 2 tbsp of oil until they are brown - low heat. Put sliced onions on top when serving.

* I use coconut oil because it doesn't become carcinogenic when you heat it.
** You do need quite a bit of salt, preferably sea salt.
*** My kids scarf this up.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Best Dessert Ever and how to slice an orange

Wait for it... Fruit!

Since I have been trying to lose weight, I have been really trying to cut back on sweets and of course then I crave them more. And interestingly enough, I have not been craving fruit at all. Lately, I just haven't wanted to eat it. I mean fruit just hasn't seemed appealing at all. But I just make myself eat it. I know this sounds weird. Anyhow, so these times when I have been craving sweets I make myself eat fruit, specifically an orange. And you know what, most of the times that satisfies my craving.

Fruit used to be almost the only dessert we ever ate. In the past year as I  have been experimenting with unrefined sugars we have been eating a lot of treats. I think, perhaps, too many. I have really felt this need lately to get back to basics, to simplify my life and to get all these sweets OUT OF MY HOUSE!!

Now I am not saying that everyone should only eat fruit as a treat but for a while we want to really cut back on sweets over here. So we have decided to just have fruit and the occasional chocolate smoothie.

Some of our favorite fruits for dessert are - oranges, grapes, pears, and apples with peanut butter.

The other night A. had the idea to make a fruit salad and she was really proud of herself so she had me take a picture. I made a simple "cream" sauce to put on it made from almonds, cashews, water, and dates.

A few years ago a friend of mine showed me a better way to cut oranges and it changed my life. This way it is so much easier to eat all of the orange without getting too messy. Here are some pictures to show you how.

Start with the orange sideways then slice it like this:

You will end up with circles...

Then cut the circles in half...

You end up with this..

and this...

You can basically rip the fruit out with your teeth...

And you are left with nothing but peel...

Friday, April 22, 2011

A versatile chocolate sauce

Chocolate Sauce:

3/4 cup dates soaked 15 minutes
1/4 cup soak water
1/4 cup coconut oil
2 1/2 tbsp cocoa powder

Here is a great raw chocolate sauce I invented using dates. I have used this for

Banana Popsicles

For these I just stuck a skinny craft stick in half a banana and then spread on natural peanut butter and then the chocolate sauce. Then freeze them. They are a lot easier to eat if you let them defrost a little before biting in.

Chocolate strawberries

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups

For these I lined a muffin tin with foil (next time I will use paper liners) and the put a layer of chocolate sauce, layer of peanut butter filling (see recipe below), and then another layer of chocolate sauce.

Peanut Butter Filling
1/2 cup natural peanut butter
2 dates
1 banana
blend in food processor

* I also saw a recipe for peanut butter filling using nutritional yeast. I will have to try that one and let you know how it turns out.

** You need to freeze the chocolate sauce or at least refrigerate it to get it to firm up.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Kale Chips

I got this recipe from Averie at Loves Veggies and Yoga. They are really good. I made them the other night for my mom and my friend, Carly. They bothe loved them. I have made them both in the oven and the dehydrator. I like the taste of the dehydrator ones better and they are better for you.

Averie’s Raw Vegan Kale Chips Recipe for 2 Bunches of Kale
1 c cashews (soaked for a few hours)
1 Medium Red Pepper
Juice of half a lemon (2 Tbsp)

1/4 c Nutritional Yeast

1 Tsp Salt (or to taste)

Wash the kale & remove tough stalks, de-seed the red pepper, drain off your soaked cashews
Put all the Ingredients into a blenderor Food Processor & Blend everything together Apply the coating to the kale
Put on Dehydrator Screens and Dehydrate until done, flipping once after a couple hours. 
Or, Bake In a 300F Oven for 20 Minutes, Flipping, and Then Baking Another 10 Minutes or so.  

** It didn't take that long in the dehydrator, just about 3 hours.

** Last time I made this I had a lot of the sauce leftover. I ate it later with raw veggies as a dip and it was great.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Baptism Review and how to get more veggies in your salad

So E's baptism was awesome. It was a really great experience. We had a lot of friends and neighbors come and share that special day with us. It was really nice.

 I realized too late that I should have taken a picture of the food. But here is a run down of what we ended up serving:

veggie tray (from Costco)
Homemade vegan ranch dressing
Wheat pitas
Spinach artichoke dip (From Costco)
Organic tortilla chips
store bought peanut butter and chocolate chip cookies (gag!)
Homemade peanut butter oatmeal chocolate cookies
Raw coconut balls
Pink Lemonade

Even at the baptism I was pushing my healthy recipes on people. I got good reviews of the hummus, ranch dip, and coconut balls.

Anyhow, today I don't have a recipe so much as a tip. I got this idea from the blog Whole Food for the Whole family. In this post she talks about using a mandolin to slice her veggies to give them a good "mouth-feel." It will make more sense if you read her post. Plus she has some good picks. But the gist of it is that you shred your veggies into your salad they are a lot more enjoyable to eat than knife sliced veggies. (Cue clouds dispersing, sun shining, and birds singing!)

This was such an easy concept but I had never thought of it before but it is so true. Now I don't have a mandolin so I just started using my old trusty cheese grater to grate up raw carrots, zucchini, beats, etc.. into our salads. We were never eating these in our salads before. And let's face it I just don't enjoy biting into a big chunk of raw zucchini but if you shred that zucchini up and can eat the whole thing.

So try it and see if you can't get your kids, and yourself, to eat some veggies on your salad you never did before.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Warning: Make these at your own risk, Peanut Butter Oatmeal CooKies

We have been planning the refreshments for my daughter's upcoming baptism and I really feel this need to have everything be healthy since I kind of  present myself that way. It has been kind of stressful coming up with idea that would be healthy, quick, appealing, not messy etc... So E wants to have cookies at her baptism and I said that I would make some. She said she wanted store bought. I thought she was crazy. I mean who thinks store bought cookies taste better than fresh homemade?? I tried to convince the kids that homemade was better but they did not believe me. So we did a taste test. And one of my hypotheses was confirmed...

My children ARE crazy! They thought the store bought cookies tasted better. So I agreed to buy some for the baptism. Hey, that is less work for me. But of course none of this stopped them from scarfing down all the homemade cookies I made. I mean these cookies I made were awesome so it just proves that my kids' taste buds are whacked.

So here is my recipe for

Peanut Butter Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies.

First Mix: (I used a hand held beater)

1 Cup natural peanut butter
1/2 Cup butter or refined Coconut oil (if you use the virgin coconut oil it will interfere with the peanut butter flavor)
1 Cup organic brown sugar (healthy stores and some grocery stores will carry this)
1/2 Cup Sucanet (evaporated cane juice, ditto about where to find it)

Then add:

2 range free eggs
1 tsp. of no alcohol vanilla
2 Tbsp of favorite nut milk, or cow's milk if you want

Stir in:
1 1/2 Cups Whole Wheat Pastry Flour
1 tsp. baking soda
4 shakes sea salt

Finally add:
2 Cup regular oats
1 Cup chocolate chips

Bake on ungreased cookie sheet at 350 for 10-15 minutes. Makes about 4 dozen

** I haven't had "real" cookies in the house for a long time and they sorely tested my will power. I must admit the cookies won, hence the warning!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Bday Dinner and Coconut Pancakes

Monday night we celebrated 2 very special b-days at our house. E is 8 years old and Baby G is 1! We had a little dinner party with my mom, who is visiting for E's baptism this Saturday. E requested chocolate chip pancakes for dinner.

So the menu was:

Chocolate Chip Coconut Pancakes
Banana Coconut Pancakes

Scrambled Eggs with green onions and tomatoes

Green Smoothies

Raw Apple Pie and Pear Ice Cream

* The pear ice cream was a disaster. I mean it tasted good but it was the consistency of a smoothie. The whole experience was pretty discouraging. I mean I really got depressed. How lame is that?

** I just threw in chopped green onions, and tomatoes into the scrambled eggs and it made them turn out watery from the tomato juices. That wasn't so tasty.

*** But the pancakes tasted great.

Here is the basic pancake recipe. You can add whatever you want to it. Like blueberries, bananas, or if you are very insistent, chocolate chips!

1 cup wheat flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp sea salt
2 tblsp coconut shreds
1/4 cup flax seed meal
1 tblsp honey (optional)
1 tsp vanilla
1 egg
1 cup almond or coconut milk
2 tblsp coconut oil
blueberries or sliced bananas

Mix wet ingredients in medium bowl. Mix dry ingredients in a larger bowl. Pour wet ingredients into dry and mix well until consistency is smooth.
Pour a scoop of batter (1/4 cup) onto preheated pan at medium heat. Sprinkle with blueberries or sliced bananas on top. Flip over when batter begins to bubble.

* I always forget to let my eggs and almond milk get to room temperature before I put the coconut oil in. So don't forget to do that or the oil will turn hard with the cold temperatures.