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Showing posts from August, 2010

Blueberry Maple Nut Breakfast Couscous

This is one of my very favorite things to eat for breakfast.  My whole family are big fans of it as well!  The best part is, it is sooooo easy!  Perfect for lazy Saturday mornings.  You can switch it up with fruits and nuts of your choice.  This is my favorite combination at the moment, but I am always finding ways to switch it up.
1 cup plain soy milk
1/4 cup water
1/2 cup couscous
1 tablespoon brown sugar
2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/3 cup finely chopped pecans
1/2 cup fresh blueberries

1.  Bring the soy milk and water to a slow boil.
2.  Add the remaining ingredients except the blueberries, stir, cover and remove from heat.  Allow it to sit, covered for 10 minutes.
3.  Add in blueberries and serve.

Homemade Thick Crust Veggie Pizza

I was having a pizza craving the other day and came up with this recipe.  I made the dough and then let my kids top their own.  I try to get my kids involved in the kitchen, when I can.  I've noticed that they are much more likely to like eating something when they have had a hand in making it.  So, not only were these good to eat, but we had good fun making them!
The Dough
Ingredients 1 1/2 teaspoons evaporated cane sugar 1 1/2 cups warm water 1 tablespoon active dry yeast 1 tablespoon olive oil 1 teaspoon salt 2 1/2 cups whole wheat flour 1 cup all purpose flour
Directions 1.  Dissolve the sugar in the warm water.  Sprinkle the yeast on top and let it sit for about 10 minutes. 2.  Mix in the remaining ingredients and knead until the dough forms, usually 8-10 minutes. 3.  Cover and allow it to rise for about 1 1/2 hours. 4.  Using a rolling pin or using your hands on a well floured surface, form your pizzas. 5.  Bake in a preheated 500 degree F oven for 5 minutes.
The Pizza
Ingredients Brussels sp…

Pistachio Sugar Cookies

Dr. J's family owns a pistachio farm in central California.  And it seems like there is a never ending supply in our cupboards... especially around the holidays.  The bummer is, I'm actually allergic to them.  When I was about 4 years old, after opening all our presents on Christmas Day, my mom and dad found me red faced with my hands in the pistachio nuts.  Now, my face wasn't red because I was caught, I was actually having an allergic reaction.  I stayed away from pistachio's altogether until  Dr. J and I were on our honeymoon and we ordered a dessert that had them in it.  I actually didn't have an allergic reaction to them, and it's a good thing because a trip to the ER is the last thing you want to be doing on your honeymoon!  I still don't eat them often or in large quantities, but once in a while, who could resist having them!  So, my 'once in a while' was in the form of a pistachio sugar cookie.... and what a great 'once in a while' t…

Creamy Cauliflower Soup

This is one of my very favorite soups.  It is so rich and creamy... perfect for a cold rainy day.  Although, it hit 110 degrees F here the other day when I made it and it was still divine.  My 5 year old picky eater loves it because there aren't any chunks in it and the rest of us love it because it is absolutely delicious!
1 cup yellow onion, chopped
1 cup leeks, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon ground thyme
1 teaspoon dried oregano leaves
1 head of cauliflower
5 cups vegetable broth
1 teaspoon soy sauce
1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper
cashew cream (I order this brand online and keep a few boxes on hand)
green onions, diced for garnish

1.  Saute the onions, leeks, garlic, thyme, oregano and salt in olive oil over medium high heat until onions are translucent.
2.  Add in remaining ingredients, except the cashew cream and green onions, and bring to a boil.
3.  Once boiling, reduce heat and simmer until …

Sweet & Spicy Asian Pasta Salad

I love Native Foods.  When I was a teenager I would ditch class, take a good book and go eat there.  One of my favorite things to order was the 'Chinese Save The Chicken Salad' with seitan.  I loved this salad so much and I could literally drink the salad dressing!  Which is why I have created a handful of recipes that incorporate Tanya's(Native Food's founder and chef extraordinaire) incredible dressing.  This is my pot luck pasta salad.  I've made it quite a few times and it's always a big hit.  I usually serve it up family style in a big bowl, but I felt a little fancy the other night and hollowed out some bell peppers to put it in.
Sweet and Spicy Asian Dressing
1/2 cup orange juice
1/4 cup rice vinegar
1/4 cup pure maple syrup
3 tablespoons grated ginger
1/4 cup sunflower oil
1/4 cup sesame oil
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon ground red pepper

Place all ingredients in a blender and mix until smooth.

Pasta Salad
Ingredients 2 red bell…

One of my favorite things... Mini LARABARS

I'm always on the look out for things that will make my life easier and thought I would share some of my favorite finds with you.
These Mini LARABARS are my favorite on-the-go snack!  They are about 100 calories each, and 100% real food.  Just as an example, the Cherry Pie Bar is made with dates, almonds and unsweetened cherries... and that's it... and they are yummy!  I always keep a couple in my bag just in case one of my kids or I get hungry when we are out.  I can't tell you how many times these have saved me!

Zucchini 'Faux-Apple' Pie

(As I was trying to get the perfect picture, my little man snuck in the shot.  I thought it was pretty cute, so I thought I would share.  I'm pretty sure he's thinking, Enough pictures, Mom!  Cut me a piece already!)
Now, don't judge this recipe too quickly.  I know the thoughts of zucchini replacing the classic 'apple' in an apple pie, may incite doubts... but just give it a chance!  I made this the other day, and my kids and hubby included, gobbled it up without even knowing they were eating their veggies!  You really wouldn't know it wasn't an apple pie, and it's a delicious way to use up all of your summer zucchini.
My Go-To Vegan Pie Crust
Ingredients 1 teaspoon vanilla 2 tablespoons evaporated cane sugar 1 cup Earth Balance Buttery Sticks 6 tablespoons ice water 1/2 teaspoon salt 1 1/2 cups white whole wheat flour 1 cup all purpose white flour
Directions 1.  In a bowl, combine the dry ingredients. 2.  Using a pastry blender, cut in the Earth Balance a little b…

Couscous Salad

Recently, Dr. J and I went to a local Moroccan restaurant for date night.  Ever since, I have been daydreaming about the Couscous Salad that I had.  I decided to try to recreate it the other day for my dad when I was over at his house.  My mom had been out of town for a week and the poor guy was left to fend for himself in the kitchen.  So, I whipped this up for us to eat for lunch.  He loved it!  I even left him a container full of leftovers to get him by until my mom returned home.  It is so easy to make and it tastes light and fresh and down right delicious!
Ingredients 8 fresh mint leaves, minced 1/3 cup fresh cilantro, chopped 5 cups couscous, cooked according to box and cooled 3/4 cup red onion, diced 20 oz. grape tomatoes, halved 2 zucchini squash, chopped 3 tablespoons olive oil 4 tablespoons fresh squeezed lemon juice 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper salt to taste
Directions 1.  In a small bowl, combine olive oil, lemon juice and black pepper to create a dressing. 2.  In a large bowl mix a…

Asian Marinated Tofu Sandwich With Teriyaki Aoili

This is a perfect summertime sandwich.  You will love it!  I made this for lunch yesterday.  Princess M was at school and my 2, almost 3 year old was swimming at Grandma's... so I decided I would actually make myself some lunch.  It seems like most days I just eat on the go.... a smoothie, a Lara Bar, a handful of this or that are my most common lunch items.  But, yesterday, I took a little time for myself and had a great lunch!  I wasn't totally kid-free... I did have my 3 month old sous-chef, but he's pretty low key.  All in all, this mama had a great meal and this sandwich was the key ingredient!
Teriyaki Aoili
Ingredients 2 tablespoons teriyaki sauce 1/2 cup vegan mayonaise 1/2 teaspoon garlic, minced 2 tablespoons fresh cilantro, minced
Directions Combine ingredients and refrigerate until you are ready to serve.
Asian Marinated Tofu Sandwich
Ingredients Fresh bread of your choice 6 oz extra firm tofu, cut into thin slices and patted dry with a paper towel 1 cup teriyaki sauce teriy…

Portobello Biryani With Cilantro-Mint 'Yogurt'

Dr. J and I decided to have date night at home this past weekend.  We thought it would be fun to make some Indian inspired food and attempt a vegan Biryani.  As I was preparing this meal, my mind wandered to my Swiss, cheese-making, great-great-grandfather and wondered what he would think of his great-great-granddaughter cooking with all these exotic spices and flavors.  I'm not a spice expert, but I doubt many of these spices were readily available in the Swiss Alps.  Anyhow, this was my go at Biryani.  Although, I'm pretty sure, just the fact that I have a Swiss, cheese making ancestor, I can't call this authentic... Anyhow, it sure was tasty!
Cilantro-Mint 'Yogurt'
Ingredients 1 cup plain soy yogurt 1 clove garlic, minced 2 tablespoons fresh cilantro, minced 1 teaspoon fresh mint, minced salt and pepper to taste
Directions 1.  Combine ingredients. 2.  Refrigerate for about 30 minutes to blend the flavors before you serve.
Herb Infused Cooking Water
Ingredients 4 cups water 1 …

Cafe Rio Inspired Tostada With Creamy Tomatillo-Cilantro Dressing

One of my favorite places to eat, back when I was a young college student, was Cafe Rio.  I would wait in Disneyland-long lines just to get my hands on one of their tostadas.  Dr. J thought I was crazy.  Well, for some reason, I've had them on my mind lately... so, for dinner last night, I made my own vegan version... and there were no lines to wait in, which Dr. J much appreciated.  I could seriously eat the dressing with a spoon.  It was sooooo good!
Cilantro Lime Brown Rice Ingredients 2 cups brown rice 4 cups vegetable broth 1 cup water 1 tablespoon olive oil 3 cloves garlic 1 lime 1/2 cup cilantro, chopped 1 teaspoon sugar
Directions 1.  In a large pot, bring vegetable broth, olive oil, water, garlic and juice from 1/2 a lime to a boil. 2.  Add brown rice, reduce heat and simmer for 45 minutes or until the liquid has been absorbed. 3.  Remove from heat and stir in cilantro, sugar and juice from the other 1/2 lime.
Black Beans
Ingredients 2 cans black beans, rinsed and drained 1 can yellow corn…

Gooey S'more Bars

It was a sad day indeed, for me, when I found out that marshmallows weren't vegan or even vegetarian friendly.  You would never know, tasting them in all their sweet fluffy deliciousness.  Needless to say, I was in mourning for weeks.  Then, one day not too long ago, I noticed they carried gelatin free/vegan marshmallows at my local health food store.  I was so excited, I began plotting how I could use them... and after much planning and trial and error, I came up with these gooey, sticky, chocolatey, bars full of marshmallow goodness... and just in time for us to celebrate National S'mores Day yesterday!  Of course, holiday or not, we will definitely be enjoying these all year round...
Ingredients 1 cup whole wheat flour 1/2 cup white flour 2/3 cup brown sugar 1/4 cup coconut oil 1/2 teaspoon baking soda 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt 1 teaspoon vanilla 1 tablespoon molasses 1/2 cup Earth Balance Buttery Sticks 2 tablespoons water 1 10 oz bag of vegan marshmallows  (I used the Dandies brand) 1 …

No Sugar Added, Nectarine Fruit Leather

I am a huge fan of Trader Joe's dried fruit bars.  I'm not a huge fan of paying fifty cents a piece for them.  I decided over the weekend I'd use up the nectarines in my fridge in an attempt to create something similar.  My 2 year old and I loved them.  Dr. J thought they were a little 'toothy' for his liking. I like them that way, so I am happy to eat them all up.  I put a bag of them in my purse so I would have a healthy snack, on hand, if I got hungry throughout my day... which is fairly often for this nursing mama!
Ingredients 4 nectarines, pits removed and chopped (I left the skin on for the extra fiber and nutrients) 1/8 cup orange juice
Directions 1.  Heat oven to 140 degrees F.  If you have a convection or dehydrate option on your oven, use it.  If not, it will still work on bake, it just might take a little longer to dry out. 2.  Puree nectarines and orange juice in a food processor or blender. 3.  Cover a cookie sheet with raised edges, or a baking pan with parc…

Saffron Cupcakes With Coconut 'Cream Cheese' Frosting

I've had some saffron threads burning a hole in my spice cupboard.  I finally figured out what I wanted to make with them and wanted to share the flavorful experience with my parents.  When I told my mom I was making vegan saffron cupcakes I immediately saw a look of worry on her face.  I think saffron is most often associated with savory dishes, but this spice works surprisingly well in desserts.  The smell of these cupcakes cooking was amazing, and they definitely lived up to their heavenly aroma!
Saffron Cupcakes
Ingredients 1 teaspoon saffron threads 1 cup lite coconut milk 2 teaspoons vanilla extract 3/4 cup sugar 1/3 cup coconut oil 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt 1/2 teaspoon baking soda 3/4 teaspoon baking powder 2 tablespoons cornstarch 2 teaspoons white vinegar 1/2 cup whole wheat pastry flour 3/4 cup white flour
Directions 1.  In a small pan, cook saffron threads and coconut milk over medium/low heat for about 5 minutes.  Set aside to cool. 2.  In a large bowl, combine all the dry ingredients. …

Elise's Sweet & Spicy Vegan Chili

I first made this recipe last October for a Halloween party.  It was a hit with everyone, and that includes my meat-eating friends.  Dr. J even heard that some preferred it to the traditional meat-full chili.  The only problem was, back then, I never wrote down my recipes (one of the main reasons I started my blog).  The good news was we never ate the same thing twice... the bad news was we never ate the same thing twice.  Dr. J has been begging me for months to recreate this chili and last night I did.  It was just as delicious as it was the 1st time, and now I have it written down, so I can make it over and over again.  I have to tell you, this recipe makes a lot.  It probably serves 12-14, and that's with hearty portions.  We are going to be eating it all weekend, but it is so yummy, no one is complaining!

1/4 cup olive oil
2 cups chopped carrots
2 1/2 cups chopped yellow onion
1/8 cup minced garlic
2, 4oz cans diced green chilies
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon …

Princess M's Tea Time Cucumber Sandwich

Today was Princess M's 1st day of kindergarten (excuse me while I wipe away a tear... kinda bitter-sweet), and I have been preparing for it in many ways... particularly in regard to her lunches.  I want her to eat a healthy lunch, but not have her feeling deprived when she sees the other kids whip out Twinkies and Cheetos.  On Monday, I had my mom watch my two youngest while I took her shopping.  We went to 3 stores in search of her favorite lunchbox worthy foods.  I bought her Trader Joe's Dried Fruit Bars, Trader Joe's Cinnamon Schoolbook Cookies, fresh strawberries, edamame, Trader Joe's Organic Popcorn With Olive Oil (our favorite!), peaches (Princess M's favorite fruit), salsa, tortilla chips and a few other things.  As far as her sandwich goes, this was a little tricky.  She is so picky, I've been troubleshooting some of my ideas with her over the past few weeks.  This cucumber sandwich was #1 on the list.  I'm a little shocked, as she only has a hand…

Serendipitous Crispy Lavash With Olive Tapenade, Topped With Mixed Baby Greens And Sliced Cherry Tomatoes

This recipe was the result of a disaster.  I started out making Baba Ganoush  for my spread.  I had roasted eggplant with red onions and garlic, mixed a few other things in the food processor.  Well, the end result was not good.  I hate to waste things, but this could not be salvaged and rather than make Dr. J and the kids choke it down, I decided to scratch it altogether.  Seeing how dinner was fast approaching, I searched my cupboard for something that could replace the Baba Ganoush.  I saw some black olives, and then glanced behind them to find some green olives with pimento.  I'd never attempted a tapenade, but thought I'd give it a whirl, as I was in a bit of a pinch.  It turned out really great.  Dr. J loved it as a light dinner, and it would work great for an appetizer.  All I can say is, what a serendipitous recipe!
Olive Tapenade
Ingredients 2/3 cup black pitted olives 1/3 cup green olives with pimento 1 1/2 teaspoon fresh lemon juice 3 cloves garlic 2 tablespoons extra virg…

Honest Apple Crisp

Last night for Family Night we taught our kids about the importance of being honest.  I found a great story about a boy who, while walking home from school one day, stole three apples from his neighbors orchard.  By the time he got home he had a terrible tummy ache.  Lying in his bed that night, he decided that he would earn the money to pay the farmer back for the stolen apples.  Before he could earn all the money, his family moved unexpectedly.  Years later, as an adult he returned to the apple orchard and found the farmer and paid him for the apples plus one extra.  He said that apple was the sweetest he had ever tasted.  For our treat, I wanted to make something sweet with apples in it, to go along with the story.  I came up with this warm apple crisp and it was delicious.  I had enough to make 6 individual apple crisps, and before I knew it, Dr. J ate two!  It's ok though, because I probably would have eaten them for breakfast.
Ingredients 3 Granny Smith apples, peeled and slic…

Portabello, Pepper And Caramelized Onion Stuffed Potatoes

Dr. J is a bit of a potato know it all.  He knows which work best for what, and loves trying different preparations.  He did most of his research while trying to master the perfect hash browns a few years back.  Anyway, while browsing the Internet one day last week, he came across this idea of hollowing out a potato with an apple corer and thought it would be fun if I created a new potato dish with this concept.  We stopped by our local Bed Bath and Beyond to pick up an apple corer, and decided to make these for Sunday dinner at my parents'.  They came out of the oven looking amazing and then lived up to their looks in flavor with the sweetness of the onions and the earthiness of the mushrooms.... sooooo good. They were a big hit!

Caramelized Onions

Ingredients 2 yellow onions, chopped 2 tablespoons Earth Balance Buttery Sticks 1/2 teaspoon salt 2 tablespoons brown sugar 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
Directions 1.  Melt Earth Balance in saute pan over medium heat. 2.  Add onions and cook fo…