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!