Thursday, December 4, 2008

I've been trying out new recipes!

For dinner today I tried out a new soup Recipe that I found in a Magazine I like to read: Real Simple. I liked it.
Squash and White Bean Soup
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 onion
1 14.5-oz can diced tomatoes
1 small butternut squash, peeled and cut into 1/2 - inch pieces (4 cups)
1 Tbsp fresh thyme
Kosher salt and black pepper
2 15-oz cans cannellini beans, rinsed ( I used white beans)
1 bunch spinach, thick stems removed

Heat the oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring often, until soft, 5 to 6 minutes. Add the tomatoes and their juices and cook, stirring occasionally, for 3 minutes

Stir in the squash, thyme, 5 cups water, 1 1/2 tsp salt, and 1/4 tsp pepper and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until the squash in tender, about 15 minutes. Stir in the beans and spinach and cook until the spinach is wilted and the beans are heated through, 2 to 3 minutes.

The recipe included some biscuits but I found a recipe online at that I used

Cheese Biscuits

1 c flour
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 c. milk
1/2 c. cheese
Preheat oven to 400.
Mix together and fill greased muffin tins 2/3 full. Bake for 15 minutes. Super Easy!
Adam really liked these even though the soup wasn't his favorite.

Yesterday I made some Christmas cookies out of the Real Simple magazine (I told you I've been trying out recipes!)

Pecan Snowballs
1 c. pecans
1 c. unsalted butter at room temperature
1 3/4 c confectioners' sugar
1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/2 tsp pure almond extract
1/4 tsp kosher salt
2 c. all-purpose flour

Heat oven to 350. Spread the pecans on a rimmed baking sheet and toast for 8 minutes. Let cool and roughly chop. ( I chopped them finely in the Cuisinart so that Kael could eat them)

With an electric mixer, beat the butter and 1 c. of the sugar until fluffy. Mix in the vanilla and almond extracts and salt. Gradually add the flour, mixing until just incorporated. Mix in the pecans.

Shape the dough into tablespoon-size balls and place on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
Transfer half the balls to a second parchment lined baking sheet, spacing them 1 1/2 inches apart. Bake until lightly golden, 18-22 minutes. Let cool on the baking sheets for 10 minutes.

Place 1/2 c. of the sugar in a large bowl. Toss the warm cookies in the sugar and return to the backing sheet. Sift the remaining 1/4 c. of sugar over the cookies before serving.

This picture shows what Kael is like while I am cooking. First he is happy then bored and then desperate to be picked up!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Real Food Store Gravy

Mom sent this to me a long time ago. I tried it and it was really good, although my was salt for some reason . . . .
¼ rice flour (I use white flour whenever I feel like it)
¼ cup nutritional yeast
¼ c. soy oil (I use only 1-2 T. olive oil)
2 ¼ c. stock/water
¼ cups Braggs Aminos (It tastes just like soy sauce.  You get it at the Real Food Store.  I think soy sauce could be substituted here if you can't get Braggs Aminos)
1 1/2 t. minced garlic
3 ½ t. prepared mustard
¾ t. horseradish
¾ t. Worcestershire sauce
Dash  of pepper
In a heavy bottomed pan, over medium high heat toast flour and yeast for one minute, stirring constantly (I didn't do this the first few times and I thought the gravy was fine). Whisk in oil and garlic and stir constantly four 30-40 seconds.
Whisk in remaining ingredients, bring to a simmer and allow to cook 15 minutes on low heat. (I just cook until it's thickened.)  Add tamari or water if necessary.
The gravy I made tastes just like the Real Foods Store's to me.  If you have a mathematician at your house who could do a more precise job reducing the recipe.
Here is the original:
1 c. nutritional yeast
1 c. soy oil
2 T. minced garlic
9 c.  stock/water
1 c. Braggs
1/3 c. prepared mustard
1 T. horseradish
1 T. Worcestershire sauce
½ t. black pepper

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Orange-Honey Marinade for Salmon

You all know that I stopped eating a lot of meat . . . so in honor of my once a year meat consumption, here is a picture of me and my friend Karen, at the Salmon Festival with the salmon we caught. Since I caught it with my own hands, I couldn't waste it . . .. (Although I did feel a littel bad after I caught it thinking about the poor fish suffocating!)! And here is the recipe I used to cook it . . . We invited people over from my hubby's work to share it with us.

Salmon Orange-Honey Marinade

1/3 cup orange juice

1/3 cup soy sauce

3 tbsp. olive oil

3 tbsp. Ketchup

1 tbsp. honey

1/2 tsp. groung ginger

1 clove garlic

24 oz. of salmon (I had a whole salmon so I made a lot of marinade)

Mix it all together and let marinade for as much time as you remember to marinade it! For me that was 2 hours. I think it's even better if you do it over night.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Quick Breakfast Pudding

This breakfast is almost like dessert!

8 dried apricot halves
5 or 6 dried figs
1/4 cup raisins
1 green apple
1 cup quick rolled oats (I used regular and it worked)
3 cup soy milk (vanilla)
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

Chop apricots, figs, and raisins in a food processor. Cut apple in quarters and remove core. Add to dried fruit in food processor and chop fine.

Transfer to a saucepan and add oats, milk, and cinnamon. Heat to a simmer, then cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until thickened, about 5 minutes.

Pecan Maple Salad

1/2 cup chopped pecans
1/2 cup regular soy milk
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
2 dates
2 tablespoons pure maple syrup

Mix in blender half the chopped pecans with the other ingredients. Then when creamy, take our of the blender and add the rest of the pecans so the dressing remains lumpy, with some crunch. Pour over romaine, spinach or whatever salad you have. When I made it I used romaine and spinach with apples and peaches in the salad. Yum!

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Anything New?

With Turkey Legs gone I haven't really been experimenting lately in the kitchen. It's very unmotivating to cook when I don't have him around! I have found one way to get my son to eat something green. I pureed up kale and some fruit (like a smoothy) and then froze them in Popsicle molds and he eats them up like crazy. If I put it in a cup he won't touch it, but if it's frozen he begs for a Popsicle!

Anything new in the kitchen with you all?

One last thought: Wouldn't it be fun to be like Michael Phelps and eat 10-12,000 calories a day? I guess that means I have to swim 5 hours a day as well . . . . Oh well . . . !

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Mango Strawberry Mousse

1 lb. tofu, soft (use the kind in the refrigerator)
1 mango
2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 basket strawberries
Peel mango and cut of the meat.
Put all ingredients except strawberries into the blender and puree until smooth.
Slice strawberries and mix into mango mousse.
Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 3 hours before serving. This step is essential. The three hours develops the flavor. Don't skip this part! Enjoy!

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Curry Cauliflower Soup

Can you believe that here in Japan it is still not too hot to eat soup? Well, this one is healthy . . . but surprisingly good. My friend made it up mostly and then I made some adjustments. Sorry if this recipe doesn't make much sense, but here it goes . . .

One bag celery hearts
6 small zucchini
2 gigantic onions
1 head (is that what you call it?) of garlic
cashews (optional)
coconut milk (optional)

Combine these veggies in a little olive oil and bake around 350-400 degrees for 45 minutes or until soft when pierced with a fork. When done roasting put in a blender and blend until creamy. Add some chicken stock to help with the creamy consistency. At this point you can add cashews for some creaminess and blend them in or a can of coconut milk. My friend added a whole can. I only added 1/2 a cup. Another friend added cashews. Set mixture aside.

A little olive oil
1 TBSP curry
1 TBSP cumin
1 tsp red pepper flakes (or less)
1 tsp chipotle pepper
1 tsp paprika
salt and pepper
2 bunches kale, mustard greens, collards green or combination
1 head of cauliflower
1 large sweet potato
1 box chicken broth or more

Combine spices and oil in a pan. Mix together. Add veggies except greens and then a little water to steam the veggies until tender. When tender add broth, reserved pureed veggies and greens. Heat through until greens are cooked.

This recipe is really good, however don't put too many red pepper flakes in it. I think I seriously over seasoned mine with that. Also, it tasted good with some toasted coconut on top. Enjoy!

Almost Caesar Dressing

2 T. ground almonds
3 cloves of garlic (roast if you want, but add more if you do)
3 T. nutritional yeast (my friend used sesame seeds since she didn't know what this was)
2 T. soy sauce
3 T. Dijon mustard
1/4 c. water
1 T. olive oil

Mix together.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Bean and Tomato Casserole

This recipe my dears is everything a dinner main course should be--convenient, delicious, fast, easy, healthy, versatile, and cheap. I put it in the oven on delay start and time bake while Pippi and Bardo and I played in the pool. When we arrived home the kitchen smelled like chili and the kids were READY to eat. I popped Jiffy muffins to go along with it to cook while I showered, and "voila!" dinner was ready the moment I was ready. This time, I used black beans and white beans. Next time I think I'll chop some greens into it. I found this Recipe on pg 512 of How to Cook Everything by Mark Bitman.

1 Tablespoon chili powder (I halved the reciped and still used a whole tablespoon)
6 cups drained cooked or canned beans, any type or a mixture
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
2 tablespoons minced frash savory, marjoram, or oregano leaves or about 20 fresh basil leaves, torn (I used the basil.)
4 medium-large tomatoes, sliced
2 large onions, sliced
1 cup grated Jack or Cheddar cheese

Step 1: Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahreinheit. Stir the chili powder into the beans; taste and add more if you like.

Step 2 : In a baking dish or casserole, place a layer of beans; Season with salt and pepper, and sprinkle with a little of the herb. Add a layer of tomatoes, one of onions, and a sprinkling of cheese. Repeat until all the ingredients are used up, finishing with a fairly thick layer of cheese.

Step 3: Bake until the casserole is hot and the cheese melted and bubbly, about 20 minutes. Serve hot.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Tropical Rice Pudding Parfaits

This was yummy. I going through a sweet tooth stage right now. As I'm typing the baby is climbing up to the table and eating the left overs. Turkey Legs liked it better without the fruit, I liked it with the fruit. I also didn't use light coconut milk. My neighbor searched all over the city today for a red onion. She couldn't find one anywhere. Isn't that weird. If you can't find a red onion here there is no way you will find light coconut milk! The commissary was also out of bananas yesterday. I think we have reached an all time low . . . !

Serves: 6
Preparation Time: 30 minutes

1 cup short grain brown rice (preferably brown sweet rice*)
2 cups water
2 cups unsweetened soy milk, divided
1/2 cup canned unsweetened light coconut milk*
1 cup date sugar*
4 tablespoons arrowroot powder
1/4 cup unsweetened shredded coconut, lightly toasted, reserving 1 tablespoon
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Fruit Layer:
2 cups chopped fresh pineapple, drained
2 cups chopped fresh organic strawberries
1 tablespoon date sugar

Cook rice in water according to package directions. Bring 1 cup soy milk, coconut milk, and 1 cup date sugar to boil in medium saucepan and simmer, uncovered, for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Whisk arrowroot powder into remaining soy milk and add to boiling mixture. Simmer and whisk until thickened. Remove from heat.

Toast coconut over medium heat until lightly browned, shaking pan occasionally. Fold in cooked rice, coconut, and vanilla. Pour into bowl, cover and refrigerate until cold, about 4 hours.

Mix chopped pineapple and strawberries with 1 tablespoon date sugar.

Assemble: Spoon a layer of rice pudding into each of 6 clear parfait glasses. Top each with a layer of the fruit mixture. Repeat layers with remaining pudding and fruit mixture. Sprinkle reserved lightly toasted coconut on top.

*May be found in health food stores.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Summer Fruit Pie


1 cup almonds
1 cup dates, pitted (medjool are preferred)
3 bananas, sliced
1 teaspoon lemon juice
2 kiwis, sliced
1 quart organic strawberries
1 pint blueberries
1/2 cup vanilla soy milk
1/2 bag frozen strawberries or 1 pint fresh organic strawberries
2 dates (I added a few more!)

Make pie shell by placing almonds in a food processor and processing until very fine. Add dates and process until chopped and mixed well. Press mixture in a pie plate to form shell. (This might be a little crumbling, but just keep pressing it down hard to get the dates to stick to the almonds.

To make the filling spread bananas on the crust, pressing down slightly. Sprinkle lemon juice over the bananas. Place kiwis, strawberries and blueberries over the bananas. Place the soy milk, frozen strawberries and dates in a blender and blend until smooth. Pour blended mixture over the fruit. Decorate with fruit as desired. Cover and freeze for at least two hours before serving.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Banana Muffins

 Adapted from Zucchini Bread
Adapted from _Sweet & Natural_ by Janet Warrington 
2 cups whole wheat flour
1/4 cup + 1T soy flour
2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup millet  (do they mean whole millet or ground???) 
1/2 cup applesauce
2 large egg equivalent
2 cups mashed over-ripe bananas
1/4 cup golden raisins 
Preheat oven to 350 F In a large bowl, mix together flours, baking soda, salt, and  millet.  Set aside  In blender, puree on high speed the applesauce, egg or equivalent,  bananas and raisins. Add wet stuff to dry, moisten evenly.    Spoon batter into non-stick 12 muffin tin dividing evenly and bake 40-50  minutes at 350 F or until browned.  Remove muffins from pan, cool to room temperature.  Wrap and chill.  Or eat on the spot.

Hot Apple Kasha

This one looks really really good. I'll have to find something to replace Kasha since I have no idea where to get it here!

1 / 2 c. uncooked millet (do they mean whole millet or ground???)
1 1 / 4 c. water
1 / 4 c. uncooked roasted buckwheat kernels of Kasha
1 / 4 tsp. ground nutmeg
1 / 4 tsp. cinnamon
1 c. apple juice
1 medium apple, peeled and chopped
1 / 4 c. raisins (optional)
1 / 4 c. brown couscous (optional)

1. Combine millet and water in a pan and bring to a boil over high heat.(watch that it doesn't boil over) Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for15 min. without stirring. 2. Add buckwheat, cinnamon and nutmeg to millet. Add Apple juice, choppedapple, raisins and couscous stirring into pan. Cover and cook for 10 to 12min. or until liquid has been absorbed and grains are tender. 3. Remove from heat and let sit for 5 min. Serve hotGood plain, with milk, sucanat or brown sugar on top.

Oatmeal-Millet Bread

I hope mom doesn't mind if I post these millet recipes. I just don't want to lose them and I really want to try them! 

 1 tbs yeast (or 1 pkg)
 2 cups thick rolled oats
 1/3 cup millet
 8 cups stone-ground WW flour
 1/4 cup blackstrap molasses
 1/2 cup dark honey
 boiling water
 sea salt
 In one bowl, combine oats, 2 cups boiling water, sea salt, and
 sweeteners.  Mix and set aside until it cools to just over room
 temperature (should be kinda brown and pasty).  In a pan, combine
 millet and 1/2 cup water; bring to a boil, remove from heat, cover
 and let it return to just above room temperature.
 Proof yeast.  Add grains.   Add enough of the flour so that the
 dough leaves the bowl.  Transfer to dry flat surface.  Encorporate
 the rest of the flour in by hand.  Let dough sit for 5 minutes. 
 Knead.  Transfer to a bowl and let rise until doubled.  Punch it
 down, shape it into loaves and let it rise again.  Bake at 375-400
 for about 40-50 minutes. 

Broccoli And Tomato Pasta

Again another one from my friend I haven't tried, but would like to try!
8oz uncooked spaghetti
2 cups fresh broccoli florets
2 large tomatoes, peeled, seeded and coarsely chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 cup sliced ripe olives
1/2 cup minced fresh parsley
1/4 cup grated Romano cheese
1/8 teaspoon pepper

In a large kettle I boiled water and then added spaghetti, let it boil for 6 minutes. Then I added broccoli and let it boil another 3 or 4 minutes until both pasta and broccoli were tender.
At the same time in the skillet, I saute the tomatoes, garlic and pepper flakes in the oil for about 2 minutes. I then drain the pasta and broccoli mix and add it to the skillet. Then I add the remaining ingredients and toss to coat.

Spinach Lentil Stew

A friend here gave this to me. I haven't tried it yet, but I didn't want to lose it!

1/2c chopped onion
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon canola oil
5 cups water
1 cup lentils, rinsed
4 tablespoons vegetable granules (she sometimes uses chicken)
3 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 bay leaf
1 cup chopped carrots
1 can (14oz) diced tomatoes undrained
1 (10oz) package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar (I used cider vinegar because it is what I had)

In a large saucepan you saute the onion and garlic in oil until tender. Add water, lentils, the bouillon, Worcestershire Sauce, salt, thyme, pepper and bay leaf; bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and cover and simmer for 20 minutes.
Add carrots, tomatoes and spinach then return to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer again 15 to 20 minutes longer until lentils are tender. Stir in vinegar. Discharge bay leaf before serving.
-With this one, Brandon wanted it served in a bowl over a 1/2 cup of brown rice, which was fine. But then he also said how much he wished it had a few slices of link sausage in it. We might find a compromise on that one.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Cashew Caesar Dressing

Here's another recipe from Dr. Fuhrman. This one is so good and the best part is no oil! It is kind of thick so it's great as a raw veggie dip and you can put lots on your salad and not feel guilty! Turkey Legs loved it, so did the kids.

Serves: 4
Preparation Time: 10 minutes

4 - 8 cloves garlic, roasted *
1 cup unsweetened soy milk
1/2 cup cashew butter
2 tablespoons nutritional yeast (optional)
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
Instructions:Roast garlic, then blend all ingredients together. * To roast garlic; break the cloves apart. Leave the papery skins on. Roast at 350 degrees for about 25 minutes until mushy. When cool, remove skins. Yield: 2 cups Serving Size: 1/2 cup

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Kale Potato Soup

I was pleasantly surprised with this soup. My oldest daughter ate 2 bowls and my 1 year old was even eating the kale. Give it a try!
1 large onion
1 clove garlic
2 big potatoes
1 large bunch kale
5 cups stock or hot water (stock tastes better)
1- 15 oz. can Great Northern Beans (drained and rinsed)
pepper to taste
Water saute onion, cooking and stirring until clear and slightly golden. About halfway, add the whole peeled garlic; when the onion is done crush the garlic with a fork. Add the potatoes and 2 cups of water.  Simmer, covered, until potatoes start to soften around the edges.  Meantime, wash the kale, remove stems, chop, and steam. (Don't try to cook it with the potatoes;  the flavor will be too strong. Really.) I would recommend chopping the kale pretty small. When the potatoes are very well done, puree half of them with remaining water and the pepper.  Combine all the ingredients and heat gently, correcting the consistency if necessary by adding hot water or milk. Makes about 6 cups and serves 4 if no extra water is added.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Another Chocolate Chip Cookie

1 1/2 cups rolled oats
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup walnuts, chopped
1 cup chocolate chips
1/2 tsp. salt (optional, I didn't add it and it was fine)
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1/2 cup light tasting oil or applesauce
1/2 cup pure maple syrup
2 T. water
2 tsp. vanilla

Mix all the dry ingredients in and bowl and then the wet ingredients in a different bowl. Add the wet to the dry and stir until moistened. Let sit 5 minutes. They are a little hard to shape, but you can try patting them into a 1/8 or 1/4 measuring cup. Bake at 350 for 10-12 minutes, one baking sheet at a time on the middle rack.

I used applesauce instead of oil and dates instead of chocolate chips. The applesauce changes the consistency of the cookie but it is still really good. My friend who gave me the recipe used oil and they were VERY good and addicting. Turkey Legs couldn't stop eating them, hence, the reason I used applesauce, not quite as addicting!

Monday, March 31, 2008

Whole Wheat Flour Tortillas

The past three recipes are from that same friend Lila.
I usually make at least double portion and save the rest for another day.


1.     2c. whole wheat flour

2.     1 ½ tsp baking powder

3.     1 tsp salt

4.     1 ½  tsp.  oil

5.     1 c. or more lukewarm water


1.     Mix all the dry ingredients together then add oil and water.  The mixture should be sticky. Transfer the mixture on a floured surface and knead well until the dough is no longer sticky. The dough should be as soft like an earlobe. If not add more warm water and knead well. Cover the dough with a damp towel and let it rest for 15 minutes.

2.     Divide the dough into several balls (the size it's up to you) and cover them well for 15-30 minutes. 

3.     Roll out each ball from the center into thin circle. If it's sticky add a thin layer of flour on the rolling pin and surface you are working with.

4.     Warm a dry griddle (don't add oil) over medium high heat. Cook the tortillas for 30 seconds on each side or until the dough looks dry, started to form layers.

5.     Wrap the cooked tortillas in a dry clean napkin(towel)


*You can cook 3-4 or more tortillas at the same time if you have a griddle or you can use one or two large cast-iron skillets at the same time



Broccoli, Apples, and Red Onion in Honey-Mustard Marinade

If you are not going to serve this right away, you can leave out the apple slices and add them just before serving


1.     1 ½ lbs of broccoli

2.     2 tbsp  cider vinegar*

3.     2 tbsp  Dijon mustard

4.     ½ tsp minced garlic

5.     ¼ tsp salt*

6.     2 tsp honey*

7.     1-2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil*

8.     ¾ thinly sliced red onion

9.     1 or 2 tart apples, sliced

10.  Freshly ground black pepper, to taste



1.     In a bowl, whisk ingredients 2-7 together.

2.     Cook cut broccoli into a water boiling pot for 1-2 min, or until the broccoli turn bright green. Meanwhile put thin sliced onion in a large colander then pour cooked broccoli over it, then run cold water over until the vegetables cool down.

3.     Transfer the vegetables into a serving bowl and add sliced apples and black pepper to taste.  Pour the sauce mixture over and toss well. Serve cold or at room temperature.

*These are optional. You can also use about 3-4 tbsp apple juice with Dijon mustard instead of salt, cider vinegar, honey and olive oil. At home, I use Dijon mustard and apple juice and maybe a drop of olive oil for dressing. Add almonds or other nuts if you like.

Black Bean Enchilada Casserole

My friend Lila made this for a ward brunch.  By the end of the activity, a 15 year boy was scraping the bottom of the pan to get the crumbs he liked it so much. It's really yummy and I don't want to lose the recipe!
This recipe can be made with Whole wheat flour tortillas rolled up Enchilada style. I made this dish into two 9x13 baking pans save one in the freezer for another day.


1.     2 pkgs of yellow corn tortilla or whole wheat flour tortilla *

2.     2 cans of black beans*

3.     1 can of unsalted corn

4.     1 medium onion

5.     3 green bell peppers(or broccoli)

6.     2 pkgs of bottom mushroom

7.     1 can of tomato pasta sauce

8.     1-2 cups of chopped cilantro

9.     Pinch of salt, garlic powder, and black peper (optional)


1.     Blend the black bean with its juice in a blender until creamy.

2.     In a pan, sautee the diced onion with a bit of oil for few minutes or so and spoon it out and set aside.*

3.      In the same pan, sautee the diced bell pepper, mushroom, and corn with its juice, add a bit of salt, black peper, and garlic powder(optional) then add about ½ cup of water, cook until tender.

4.     Spoon a thin layer of pasta sauce on two 9x13 baking pans, then lay  ¼ of tortillas evenly on each pan. Then another thin layer of sauce on the tortilla.  After that, add ½ of sauteed mixture including onion(save the juice for later) then black bean evenly on the layer.  Finally lay rest ¼ of tortillas on each pan, pour sauteed veggie juice on each pans, then add ½ of remaining pasta sauce on the top. Make sure all the tortilla is soaked in the sauce and juice.

5.     Bake 375 uncovered for about 40 minutes.  The top should feel a bit crispy but soft underneath of layer.  Add cilantro before serving.


·        If you'd like to use homemade mushed black bean just blend the cooked bean with its own cooked juice and seanson with a bit of salt, garlic and onion powder.  The mushed bean should be creamy.  I made a lot of this and save it in the freezer for eating with brown rice or tortilla.

·        You can omit direction 2 and sautee the onion together with other veggies to save time. But I found it gives the dish more flavor if you cook it seperately.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Hard-cooked eggs

Gently place 1 dozen eggs in pot. Cover with lots of water. Bring water to a rolling boil. Remove from heat, and let sit in water for 15 minutes. Gently drain eggs and rinse with cold water. Dye (if desired), peel, and enjoy.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Black Bean Lettuce Bundles

I liked this because it replaces the tortillas with Romaine Lettuce. I did serve tortillas for the rest of my family. I thoroughly enjoyed the crunchiness of the green pepper in the dish. Also, by placing the lettuce on the table whole, my 2 year son hit a milestone and ate lettuce for the first time in his life!
2 c. black beans
1/2 large avocado, mashed
1/2 green pepper
3 scallions
1/3 c. cilantro
2 T. lime juice
1 tsp. cumin
1/3 c. mild salsa
8 large Romaine lettuce leaves
Mash together the beans and avocado.  Add remaining ingredients. Serve bean mixture in lettuce leaves like a tortilla.

Bean and Kale Scramble

I cooked this one up for my husband the other night. When he came home from work and saw what we were having he was very hesitant. However, after he ate it all he said how he was pleasantly surprised by the dish.  So, if you are adventurous and willing to give kale a chance, this is a great dish to try.
Serves 3
8 cups kale (about 2 bunches), chopped
1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes (I don't like them, so I used 1 fresh tomato, I could have used more)
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 cup shiitake mushrooms, coarsely chopped
3 cloves garlic
water, as needed
1 T. no salt soup base or seasoning
1 cup canned, beans, no salt, any type, reserving liquid
1 1/2 T. of a sweet vinegar like raisin (I used red wine vinegar since that was all I had)
1 T. Dijon mustard
red pepper flakes, to taste
pasta sauce, as desired
1/4 cup any type of nut, chopped
In a large skillet, water saute the kale, tomatoes, onion, mushrooms, and garlic in a little water over medium heat for 5 minutes, adding water as needed so it doesn't scorch.  Add bean liquid, soup base, and enough water to keep from scorching.  Cover and steam for 10 minutes.  Add the beans, vinegar, mustard and res pepper flakes, then cook for 3 more minutes or until mushrooms are tender and liquid cooks out.
You can also top with some pasta sauce and a sprinkling of nuts. I used pecans. I will definitely make this meal again.

Monday, March 10, 2008

So . . . let me tell you abou these recipes and why they ended up on Neen's Bean's blog, posted by me . . . . I am not a traitor :)

Neen's Bean's was doing a health class the past seven weeks. A ton of people came who were interested in changing their diet and improving their workouts. I went for moral support for her and to have a good time. The classes were awesome. Along the way, I signed up for dr. Fuhrman's website. He has a fantastic recipe data base, including making desserts without white sugar. It's great! So for the last class, I made these two desserts and they were huge successes. There was not one piece of either one left. I personally prefer the Gingerbread Cake, however, the men seemed to prefer the Banana Cream Pie. Both were exceptional. Everyone wanted the recipe so I posted it on Neen's blog for the other people in the class. Neen's gave me privileges to post on her site because she is overwhelmed with recipes (from those in her class) she needs to type in, so I'm helping her. She's trying to collect a huge data base of recipes so we can have a variety of super healthy food to eat. I didn't even feel guilty when I ate these desserts. Turkey Legs loves the cake plain without anything on it. He has requested it as a snack on a winter hike he is going on. I don't mind because it's healthy enough to eat for breakfast or lunch or dinner . . . . .
PS I did buy a Vita-Mix and it's the best appliance in the world!

Healthy Gingerbread Cake
Serves: 8
Preparation Time: 40 minutes

2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/4 cup date sugar (substitution: puree twice as many dates)
1 cup pureed pineapple
1 banana, mashed
1 cup applesauce
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
3 teaspoons ground ginger (I only used 1 teaspoon)
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1 cup chopped walnuts
1/2 cup currants1 cup peeled and shredded carrots
1 cup peeled and shredded beets

1 medium butternut squash, peeled and cut in chunks
1/2 cup date sugar (substitution: puree twice as many dates)
1 cup carrot juice
1/4 cup lemon juice
2 teaspoons lemon zest
1/4 teaspoon lemon extract

1 1/3 cups macadamia nuts, unsalted
1 cup soy milk
2/3 cup pitted dates, preferably Medjool (soft and plump)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix flour, baking powder, and baking soda in a bowl. In a larger bowl, beat date sugar, pineapple, mashed banana, and applesauce together. Stir in spices. Add the flour mixture along with the chopped walnuts and currants. Now, add the shredded carrots and beets. Mix well. Spread in a nonstick 9 X 9 inch baking pan. Bake for about 50 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Serve with Warm Butternut Lemon Sauce and Macadamia Cream.

BUTTERNUT LEMON SAUCE - Cover and simmer squash and date sugar in carrot juice about 15 minutes or until tender. Puree squash with carrot juice, then add lemon, lemon zest, and lemon extract. Keep warm and drench warm cake with it.

MACADAMIA CREAM - In Vita-Mix, Blendtech, or other powerful blender blend all ingredients together until smooth and creamy. Place dollop over sauce drenched cake.source:

Banana Cream Pie

This is so yummy! For the raw tahini I blended in sesame seeds. I don't have the medjool dates, so I added twice as many pitted dates. This may be a little too sweet, but everyone liked it. Enjoy!
Serves: 8
Preparation Time: 30 minutes

1 cup oats
1/2 cup unsweetened soy milk
3 tablespoons raw tahini1 very ripe banana

2 very ripe large bananas
1/2 cup unsweetened vanilla soy milk
12-15 medjool dates
1/2 avocado, peeled and pitted
4 large romaine lettuce leaves (or other lettuce)
1 tablespoon ground flax seed (optional)
1 teaspoon raw sunflower seeds (optional)
1 teaspoon unhulled sesame seeds (optional)
1 teaspoon chopped walnuts
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/2 cups raw cashews
3/4 cup unsweetened vanilla soy milk
8 medjool dates
unhulled sesame seeds (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

CRUST: Blend oats into a flour. Blend banana. In a bowl, thoroughly combine blended oats, banana, tahini, and soy milk. Spread dough in a glass pie dish until bottom and sides are covered. Bake for 10 minutes, then remove and cool.

FILLING: Blend all ingredients in a high-powered blender. Spoon mixture into pie crust and bake for 40 minutes. Let cool.

CREAM TOPPING: Blend cashews, soy milk, and dates together in a high-powered blender. Spoon over entire surface. If desired, sprinkle with sesame seeds. Refrigerate.source:

**I made this again and it tastes even better if you put bananas on the bottom of the pan then add the filling. I also used almond extract instead of vanilla for the cashew topping and it was fantastic!

Friday, February 8, 2008

Tofu Nuggets

One 16 ounce tub of extra firm tofu
1 tablespoon light olive oil
2 tablespoons cornmeal
2 tablespoons whole wheat flour
1/2 tsp. seasoned salt (optional)
1 tablespoon nutritional yeast
Quick Tartar sauce or prepared marinara
bbq sauce or teriyaki sauce
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Lightly oil baking sheet.
Cut tofu into 1/2" thick slices crosswise to get 6 slabs.  Blot well between clean tea towels or several layers of paper towels.  Cut each slab crosswise into 4 sections to get 1/2 x 2" nuggets.  In a large bowl, genlty toss tofu with with oil (or spray with olive oil cooking spray). Combine the remaining ingredients in a large plastic freezer bag or produce bag and shake to combine.  Add the tofu and shake gently until evenly coated. Arrange in a single lalyer in the prepared pan.  Bake 15 minutes, then turn carefully and bake another 10 minutes, or until golden and firm. Serve with sauces.
Quick Tartar Sauce
1/2 cup soy mayonnaise
1 tablespoon pickle relish
1 to 2 teaspoons prepared mustard
Combine ingredients in a bowl and stir together until well blended.
Vegetarian Family Cookbook

Apple Strudel

I just came across a great apple dessert from Dr. Fuhrman. I wasn't really sure if it would be that good as I was making it, but it was fantastic. I ate half the pan! The great thing is that it has absolutely zero sugar! It filled my house with such a nice smell as well. I love guilt free desserts! Enjoy!

1/4 cup apple juice (I didn't have apple juice so I used pineapple, it was great)
3/4 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 egg white
1/4 cup vanilla soy milk or milk or whatever you use (I jused unsweetened, plain vanilla soy)
3 apples, peeled and chopped (I didn't peel, too lazy)
1/4 cup raisins (dates could be used, I didn't use anything since my husband is anti-raisin)
1/2 cup rolled oats or oatmeal flakes (I'm going to use more next time, they were so good)

Mix together the juice, vanilla, cinnamon, egg white and soy milk.
Stir in the apples, raisins, and oats.
Pour into an 8x8 inch baking dish. Bake uncovered for one hour.

My recommendation is to double the recipe. A single recipe won't be enough!
I might also cover it with foil since I want it a little less crispy. Either way is delicious!
Bon Appetit

Saturday, February 2, 2008


Ratatouille means "stew" or "soup" in French. I love this combination. It also reminds me of the fun movie "Ratatouille." Like the rat Remy, I hope fireworks shoot off when you taste the wonderful combination of these veggies!

1 large eggplant
2 medium zucchini
1 large onion
1 green pepper
1 whole clove fresh garlic
2 tablespoons olive oil (broth or water made be used)
3 fresh, ripe tomatoes, chopped or
5 tablespoons tomato paste and
3 tablespoons water
1 teaspoon salt (optional)
1/8 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon basil
1/2 teaspoon oregano

Dice eggplant into 1" cubes and slice succhini in 1/2" rounds. Chop onion coarsely and cut green pepper into squares. Use a heavy-bottomed saucepan with a lid. Saute the onion, garlic, and green pepper until they are soft; stir in eggplant and zucchini and saute a few minutes more. Crush garlic clove with a fork. Add tomato and seasonings. Cover and simmer gently for about 30 minutes or until all the vegetables are well cooked. Uncover and turn the heat up to evaporate some of the liquid, stirring as necessary. Serves 6 to 8.

Imam Bayildi: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Add a large potato cut in chunks, some sliced mushrooms if you wish, and a cup of broth or water. Instead of simmering on top of the stove, bake in a covered dish for 45 minutes.

Gvetch: Include not only potato chunks and sliced mushrooms, but also 4 carrots sliced in rounds and the juice of 1 lemon. Use only 2 tablespoons water instead of a whole cup and bake as for Imam Bayildi.

Thursday, January 31, 2008

Sunshine Bars

1 cup orange juice
1 cup apricots, loosely packed
1/2 cup honey
1 cup applesauce
1 1/2 cups rolled oats
1 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup wheat germ
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup raisins or dates, partly cut up (I prefer dates over raisins)
2/3 cup toasted almond meal (grind almond in a "coffee" grinder)

Preheat over to 350 degrees.
Heat orange juice to boil. Put dried apricots in pan, bring to a boil again, and turn off heat. Cover pan and let apricots absorb juice until tender enough to cut with a sharp knife, but not really soft.
Meanwhile, mix honey and applesauce. Stir oats, flour, wheat germ, cinnamon, and salt together. Drain apricots and add the juice to the honey-oil mixture. Chop apricots coarsely and stir into dry ingredients along with raisins and almond meal. Combine wet and dry ingredients and press mixture in to an oiled 9" x 13" pan. Bake about 30 minutes. Keep an eye on them. Cookies made with honey brown quickly. I go for less time and they turn out more moist. Allow to cool completely before cutting. Makes about 2 dozen large squares.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Playing Around with Amaranth

Yesterday Pippi and I popped amaranth successfully for the first time. She was so excited, "Mom! It's Barbie popcorn."

So here are a couple more recipes with amaranth that I want to try:

Amaranth Date Nut Bread

1 Cup chopped dates
1/2 cup Amaranth
1 cup boiling water
2 eggs or substitute
1/2 cup honey
1/4 cup butter
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups whole wheat flour
2 tsp. non-aluminum baking powder
1 cup pecans

Soak dates and amaranth in boiling water 15 minutes. Beat eggs well, add honey and butter, and beat again. Stir in honey and butter, and beat again. Stir in all remaining ingredients, mixing well. Pour into an oiled loaf pan, and bake at 250 degrees for 1 hour and 15 minutes. Makes 1 loaf.

Amaranth Salad Dressing

1 cup Hain Canola Oil
1/2 Cup toasted Arrowhead Mills Amaranth
1 tbsp tamari soy sauce
1 cloves garlic, minced

Combine all ingredients, mix well. Refrigerate overnight to blend flavors. Use as desired. Makes 1 1/2 cups.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Healthier Cookie Recipes

Can you really call a cookie healthy? Here are two recipes that are a little bit healthier. I thought they were good.

Magic Chocolate Chip Cookies, Four Ways

2 cups whole-wheat pastry flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup sugar
2 tablespoons ground flax seeds, optional
1 cup applesauce
2 tablespoons safflower oil
Additional ingredients
-1 1/2 -2 cups chocolate chips and 1/2 cup walnuts
-chocolate chip and raisins
-chocolate chip-trail mix
-chocolate chip and granola

Mix Dry ingredients and then add wet ingredients. Stir in additional ingredients. Bake in preheated over at 350 degrees for 10 minutes or so. Let stand 1-2 minutes.

I flattened the cookies before I cooked them and watch the over because I over cooked the first batch.

Oatmeal-Raisin Cookies with Carrots or Apple

1 1/2 cups whole-wheat pastry flour
1 cup quick-cooking oats (I used regular)
2 tablespoons wheat germ or ground flax seeds
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/3 cup sugar
1 cup applesauce
2 tablespoons safflower oil
1/4 cup firmly packed, finely grated carrot, or 1/2 cup peeled and finely diced apple
1 cup raisins
1/3 cup chopped walnuts, optional

Use same directions as above for baking.


-The Vegetarian Family Cookbook

Fruited Couscous

I thought it was really good. If you can find whole wheat couscous all the better! I, unfortunately, cannot find whole wheat couscous.

1 cup couscous, preferable whole grain
1 tablespoon light olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
1 large sweet apple, peeled, cored and diced (I didn't peel it)
1/2 dark or golden raisins (I used golden because I actually like them better)
1/2 cup chopped dried apricots or mission figs
1/2 teaspoon good-quality curry powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 cup apple or freshly squeezed orange juice
1/3 cup slivered toasted almonds or chopped toasted walnuts, optional
season to taste

Place couscous in a heatproof container. Pour 2 cups boiling water over it, then cover and let stand for 15 minutes. When done, fluff with a fork.

Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large skillet or steep-sided stir-fry pan. Add the onion and saute until trnaslucent. Add the apple and coninute to saute until the onion is golden.

Stir in the couscous, diced fruits, and spices. Add just enough apple juice to moisten. Cook over medium heat until well heated through, 5-8 minutes. Stir in the optional walnuts. Season with salt and pepper and serve.

-The Vegetarian Family Cookbook

Southwestern Rice and Black Bean Salad

1 1/2 to 2 cups cold cooked brown rice
one 16 oz. can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 1/2 cups cooked fresh corn kernels (from 2 medium ears) or frozen corn, thawed
1 medium red bell pepper, cut into narrow 2-inch strips
1 medium firm ripe avocado, diced
Juice of 1/2 lemon or lime, or to taste
2 tablespoons extra-virgin or light olive oil
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
season to taste

Combine the rice, beans, corn, and bell pepper in a serving container. Toss the avocado with the lemon juice, then add to the rice mixture along with the remaining ingredients. Toss to combine. Serve at once or cover and refrigerate until needed. Cilantro or scallions can be added.
From The Vegetarian Family Cookbook

Raisin Bars Revised

Since I first posted these I've tried making them again and have improved them. First add mostly dates instead of raisins. It tastes way better. I also substituted pineapple juice for the water and they were great. These resemble a Cliff bar. I adjusted the recipe because a few people commented how they didn't turn out that great. These adjustments worked great!

1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1 cup rolled oats
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup oil (I'm going to try 1/2 cup of applesauce instead next time)
1 1/4 finely chopped or ground raisins
1 cup chopped walnuts
1/3-1/2 cup water or juice (use 1/3 unless a little more is absolutely necessary to moisten)

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Blend the flour, oats, salt, and oil (applesauce) with fingers until evenly mixed. Add raisins, nuts, and water, and mix them in, pressing together with the fingers. (Use larger amounts of water only if absolutely necessary to make it all hold together.) press down very well into a greased 8 x 8 pan and cut into squares with a spatula before baking.
Bake 1/2 hour. Makes 16 two-inch bars.

This was really good. The baby of the family especially loved these. I made them with oil the first time and they were good. I'm anxious to try it with applesauce and see what a happens!

-The New Laurel's Cookbook

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Coconut Curried Vegetable Stew

1 1/2 tablespoons light olive oil (I actually used vegetable broth)
2 medium onions, chopped
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
4 medium potatoes, any firm variety, peeled and diced
4 medium carrots, peeled and sliced
1/2 medium head cauliflower, cut into bite-size pieces
2 cups frozen cut green beans, thawed
1-2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger or to taste
2-3 teaspoons good-quality curry powder or to taste
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
one 15-ounce can light coconut milk
salt to taste
1 cup frozen green peas, thawed

Saute garlic and onion over medium heat until tender. Add the potatoes, carrots, and 2 cups of water, and bring to a simmer. Cover and simmer gently until the potatoes are about half tender, 10-15 minutes. Add the cauliflower, green beans, ginger, curry powder, and turmeric. Cover and continue to simmer very gently until the vegetables are tender, about 20 minutes. Mash some of the potatoes against the side of the pot with a wooden spoon to thicken the base. Stir in the coconut milk and season with salt. If time allows, let the stew stand for 1 hour or so before serving. Just before serving, heat the stew and taste to correct the seasonings. Stir in the peas and cook just until the peas are heated through, then serve in shallow bowls.

I didn't add salt but added a little coconut flakes to it. I would recommend passing the salt around the table instead of adding to the pot. This way you won't use as much. You can also add 2 fresh mild chili peppers and 1/4 cup cilantro. I'll try it this way next time.

From the Vegetarian Family Cookbook.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008


18 C grains
1 C sesame/sunflower seeds
2-3 C chopped nuts
2 C sucanat/pure cane sugar

1 C oil
1 1/2 C honey
2 tsp vanilla

Raisins, craisins, chocolate chips, and anything else you like in granola.

Mix together the grains, seeds, and chopped nuts. Mix the oil, honey, and vanilla. Heat until runny. Pour liquid over the grain mixture and mix together well, then add the sucanat. Spread granola two large cake pans and bake in the oven for 18 min. Stir granola, then (if not using a convection oven) place the pan that was on the bottom, on the top, and vice versa and bake for another 18 min.

This was my first time making granola. Mom gave me good instructions and it turned out really well. With the grains, make sure to use types that are rolled: oatmeal, Montana Wheat's seven grains, barley, etc. Also, it makes A LOT, I halfed my recipe and I have enough for breakfast everyday for a couple of weeks. Another delightful discovery: I came across chopped hazelnuts in the grocery store, so I decided to use them in my granola and it was so good (plus it made the house smell really yummy). I also included chocolate chips and craisins in my granola. It really didn't take much to have a super delicious mix!

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Almost Ice Cream

Try this one out! Turkey Legs was a huge fan of the blueberry flavor I made him today.

bag of frozen fruit
a few dates
milk of choice

Throw the fruit, dates and a little milk in the food processor and process. Don't add too much milk or it turns into a smoothie; just enough to get the processor to work. It should be thick enough to put in a bowl and eat with a spoon. I've tried blueberry, strawberry, and peach so far. I'm excited to try banana and pineapple. The blueberry was the best so far! Have fun experimenting!

Creamy Butternut Squash and Apple Soup

Here's another one from the book The Vegetarian Family Cookbook that the Silly Witch gave me for Christmas. It's really tasty and even my husband Turkey Legs complimented me on it! That was a shock! It's definitely light so make it a first course and serve it with a salad and something of more substance like a healthy casserole or pasta dish.

1 large butternut squash
2 tablespoon oil
1 large red oinion, chopped
4 cups peeled, diced apply, any cooking variety
4 cups vegetable broth
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
2 cups milk of choice
salt and pepper to taste

Cook the squash in the oven at 400 degrees for 50 minutes or until tender. Saute onion in oil for 8-10 minutes. Add apples, broth, and spices. Bring to a simmer, then cover and simmer until apples are tender, about 10 minutes. Puree squash with 1/2 cup of milk. Puree apple mixture in separate pan. Add squash mixture to apple mixture. At this point, decide how creamy you want it and add milk to desired consistency. I didn't add any more milk because mine would have been runny. I'm assuming using a bigger squash will make it thicker.

Yummy Smoothies

This is a smoothie I tried from Dr. Fuhrman. You will never believe how good this is!!! I couldn't believe it. Give it a try even if it seems a little weird!

1 bag of spinach
1 bag frozen blueberries
a couple of tablespoons flaxmeal
a few dates
2 tablespoons cocoa powder
soymilk (I used vanilla, I think he uses unsweetened)
a banana (I actually put in two because I was unsure how it would taste, I think one would be just fine though)

Put it all in a food processor and blend til smooth. It's so good. I made this drink because I was so sick of eating salad, but I still needed to eat some greens that day. Next time I do it, I'm going to soften the dates by putting them in a little water and boiling it for a few minutes and then pureeing them first. This way I won't have so many chunks of dates in it. It was hard to drink with a straw with the date pieces.

Here's another one I haven't tried yet:

pineapple banana

I hope to try it soon, but if you do first let me know how it tastes.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Meal Time is Important!

On New Years Day I had the opportunity to eat dinner with my twin sister and little brother. We made a yummy stir fry with tofu. The recipe is from the Betty Crocker Cookbook that my mom got me for Chistmas. (This book has everything!) It was an especially fun dinner meal because my sister sent me some Japanese place setting and table runner. So we ate our stir fry with chopsticks!

Here is the recipe and some other pictures from the meal!

Happy New Year!