the two Ls

the two Ls

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Pumpkin Gingerbread Muffins

Yesterday was Thanksgiving & I loaded my plate with lots of veggies! I had oven roasted sweet potato & beets, steamed cauliflower & broccoli, mashed potatoes with mushroom gravy (from My Beef With Meat), & of course cranberry sauce. "Where was your protein?", all the meat eaters are asking. My answer - I made raw pumpkin-maple pie with baked oat crust from THE oh she glows COOKBOOK. It's packed with nut protein & pretty darned yummy too!

Then there was leftover pumpkin puree. What's a hen to do? A little research & merge a traditional pumpkin bread recipe with a vegan pumpkin muffin recipe & here it is!

1/4 cup sugar (your choice)
1/4 cup molasses
1/3 cup canola oil
1 cup pumpkin puree
2 flax eggs (2 Tbs ground flax mixed with 6 Tbs water)
1 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1 tsp baking powder
I tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
pinch of salt
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 cup chopped walnuts

Prepare a 12 muffin pan & set aside. Preheat oven to 350F.
In a large bowl, make the flax eggs &  let rest a few minutes. Stir in the rest of the wet ingredients. Add the spices, raisins & nuts. Stir well. Add flours, baking power & baking soda. Stir gently just until all ingredients are combined. Fill muffin pan & bake at 350F for 30 minutes.

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

chocolate black bean protein bars

  •  Awesome Chocolate Black Bean Protein bars
  • 1 1/2 cups black beans (1 15-oz can, drained and rinsed very well)
  • 3 tbsp dutch or regular cocoa powder
  • 7 tbsp chocolate protein powder (I used Vega chocolate performance protein -30gr protein! and also once I only had Vega chocolate all in one protein shake...I use what ever I have on hand)
  • scant 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2-3 TB pure maple syrup

  • 3 1/2 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 tbsp pure almond extract
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/3 cup (or more) vegan or bittersweet chocolate chips (Not optional; omit at your own risk.)


Homemade Chocolate Protein Bars: Preheat the oven to 350 F. Combine all ingredients, except chocolate chips, in a high-quality food processor. Blend until absolutely and completely smooth. (A blender works if you absolutely must, but the texture and taste will be much better in a food processor.)  Pour into a greased 8×8 square pan. Sprinkle chocolate chips over the top and press down with your hand. Cook the homemade chocolate protein bars 16 minutes. They will still look underdone when you take them from the oven, but this is okay. Let cool. 
When I used the Vega all in one chocolate smoothie powder it was easy to cut them right away. With the Vega sport performance powder they were fudgy-er and needed to be refrigerated overnight before cutting. Store leftovers in the refrigerator. 

*Try the protein powder of your choice.

This is an adaptation of Chocolate Covered Katie's wonderful recipe. Check out her tasty blog.

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Szechuan Beans & Tofu

Szechuan Beans and Tofu


3 tbs tamari
2 tbs honey
2 tbs cider vinegar
4 tsp cornstarch
1/2 cup water

1 lb firm tofu, pressed & cut into whatever shape you fancy
1 tbs tamari
1 tsp sugar / maple syrup
1 tbs olive oil

1 tbs olive oil
1 lb fresh green / yellow string beans, in bite size pieces
6-8 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tsp of crushed red pepper flakes
1/2 cup water
chopped chives or green onions

Since I was planning to serve this over brown rice, I started cooking the rice first. Then I made the sauce & put it aside while I prepared the beans & garlic. Next came the tofu prep. Heat a large non stick skillet, add oil then tofu. Cook for about 4 minutes on each side until golden & crispy. Then add the tamari & sugar / syrup & stir until tofu is coated. Remove from heat & set aside. In another large skillet heat olive oil & add the garlic & beans. Stir & cook for 1 minute. Then add the crushed red pepper & water, cover & cook until beans are tender crisp. Remove cover & add the sauce, stirring until it comes to a boil. Add the tofu & chives, stirring to coat. Remove from heat & serve over rice or noodles of choice.

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Quinoa Salad with Black Beans and Mango

A yummy meal with food I had on hand. This weekend I had brewed up a big pot of lazy man's black beans and I decided to use some to make this recipe I found in Veganomicon. I recipe called for cilantro...a spice i promptly removed and simply used the spices in my garden.

Serves 4-6

1 super large mango diced small
1 red pepper diced really small
1 cup chopped scallions
1 cup fresh mix of mostly basil with mint and parsley
2 TB Japanese vinegar (she called for red wine vinegar )
2 Tb oil
dash of herbamare
2 cups cooked quinoa
2 cups of cooked black beans (or on 15 oz can)
lettuce leaves

Combine  mango, pepper, scallions, spices with vinegar and oil. Add quinoa and beans. It's best room temperature...let it sit awhile to absorb flavors.

If you don't have quinoa ready just combine 2 cups water and 1 cup rinsed quinoa. Bring to boil and reduce to simmer. I like to cook it with the lid on. Cooks in about 15 minutes. Wait till water is absorbed.

Thursday, September 7, 2017

Carrot pineapple muffins/ cupcakes

It's my husband's birthday and he requested a low sugar cake. Ha! Now that's a challenge, especially since his favorite cake is carrot cake. I browsed around the internet for ideas then scoured my cookbooks. Finally I got an inspiration from Veganmicon by Isa Chandra Moskowitz. This is an adaption that was a hit. Since I used them as "cake" we ladled some coconut cream on top as "frosting."
1/2 cup soy yogurt
1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk
1 TB ground flaxmeal
1/4 olive oil
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup crushed pineapple (all the juice is squeezed out)
1/2 cup frozen apple juice concentrate
1 large carrot -grated
1 heaping teaspoon orange zest (no white)
1/2 cup golden seedless raisins

 sift in:
1 1/3 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 tsp ginger
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt

Preheat oven to 350 and grease 12 cup muffin tin.
In large bowl whisk together yogurt, milk, flaxmeal. Whisk in oil and brown sugar.
Sqeeze the pineapple dry add to mix. Add carrot , apple juice concentrate, zest and raisins. Sift in all the dry ingredients.
Stir only to moisten. Scoop into muffin tins. Scoop high...these muffins don't really rise. Bake 23-27 minutes depending on the size of your tins. (mine were large rectangles so I did 27.
Cool to cool 5 minutes then transfer to a rack.

Sunday, September 3, 2017

SUPER Ginger Cookies

These cookies should be wearing  capes, they are sooooo super. When I was in Bow-Edison, Washington I tasted an amazing ginger cookie. My friend Lisa and I did the “research”(which amounted to repeated tastings.) I took notes in my phone and finally I had the time to figure it out.

½ cup coconut oil
1 cup organic granulated sugar, I used Sucanat
4 TB molasses
1 flax egg- which is 1 TB flax and 2 ½ TB water

1 ½ cups whole wheat flour
½ cup cocoa powder
2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground cloves

add 3TB water (about) to make a nice stiff dough
3 TB sugared ginger
 1/3 cup chocolate chips- mini I like Enjoy Life
sugar to roll in

Preheat oven to 350º and prepare baking sheet with parchment paper. 

Cream coconut oil and sugar together in a large bowl using a mixer. You want to whip it. Add molasses and flax egg, and beat thoroughly. Sift flour, cocoa powder, soda, salt, and spices into the creamed mixture.  Add water to make stiff dough.
Add chips and sugared ginger to your taste.
Roll dough into ball about 1 “. Press into sugar. 

Bake for 13-14 minutes. Take the parchment paper with cookies and place on table. Let cool for several minutes –if you can! Good luck eating one! 

Saturday, September 2, 2017

Instant Breakfast- steel cut oats

Instant Breakfast
I found this recipe on PopSugar Fitness. The premise is to make all these "oatmeal muffins" (which are just cooked steel oats) and freeze them. When it's morning and you want breakfast you simple place one or two in a bowl, microwave and add your special toppings. Easy! This one recipe has streamlined my mornings considerably!

This recipe makes enough for 10+ breakfasts if you use 2 "oatmeal muffins" per serving.

  1. 8 cups water
  2. 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  3. 2 cups steel-cut oats
  4. 7 tablespoons pure maple syrup
  5. 2 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
  1. Bring water and salt to a rolling boil. Pour in oats, stir, and reduce heat to simmer, cooking for 30 minutes.
  2. Turn off heat and stir in the maple syrup and cinnamon. Allow to sit for 10 minutes.
  3. Lightly grease 21 sections of two 12-cup muffin tins, and pour in the oatmeal.
  4. Freeze flat for five hours. Remove pan from the freezer and allow to thaw for a few minutes. Using a butter knife, gently pop the oatmeal "muffins" out of the pan, seal in a freezer bag, and keep frozen.
  5. When you're ready to eat, place two to three in a bowl and microwave for 2-3 minutes. Add your favorite toppings and enjoy!
two muffins waiting to be heated
75 calories per muffin

SATURDAY MORNING splurge breakfast, one TB of vegan chocolate chips added

Monday, August 21, 2017

Quinoa breakfast cereal

Ever wonder what to do with the left over quinoa in the fridge?

2 servings
2 cups quinoa-cooked
Enough a almond milk to moisten 
1 1/2 tablespoon maple syrup
1/2 vanilla
1 teaspoon cinnamon

In saucepan heat all ingredients.

We also toasted pumpkin seeds for top. Also add fruit of choice. We used strawberries.

Sunday, August 20, 2017

Beets & Sweets & Cauliflower (oh my!)

A sweet & simple side dish

2 medium sweet potatoes, peeled & cubed
3 medium beets, peeled & cubed
1/4 of a head of cauliflower, broken into flowerets
1 Tbs olive oil
seasonings of your choice (Be creative!)
(I used onion powder, garlic powder & herbes de Provence.)

Pre heat oven to 450 / 425 convection
Place prepared veggies in roasting pan
Drizzle with oil & sprinkle with seasonings
Toss with a spatula
Bake for 10 minutes
Stir & turn veggies & return to oven
Continue to bake for 10 minute intervals, stirring & turning as you go
Bake until tender or until they make you happy
(I cooked mine in a convection oven at 425 for a total of 30 minutes.)

Serves 2

Friday, August 18, 2017

Banana chocolate chip muffins

These delicious muffins get their appetizing brown hue from the coconut sugar. If you use white sugar they will be light in color..... We liked the yummy warm nutritious coconut sugar.

Set oven to 375 and lightly grease muffin tins.

Dry ingredients:
1 3/4 whole wheat pastry flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
Mix all ingredients in large bowl.

Wet ingredients:
2 ripe bananas
1/8 cup almond milk
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 block silken tofu (the kind in the cardboard carton)
2/3 cup coconut sugar
1/4 melted coconut oil

1/2 cup chocolate chips. (Enjoy Life is our favorite brand) save to add in last.

I used a small electric mixer to blend all wet ingredients well. Then fold wet ingredients into dry. Add chocolate chips.

Monday, August 14, 2017

Mushroom Thyme pizza (sorry we used real cheese on this one)

1 2/3 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon Olive oil
2/3 cup warm water
Package of yeast (2 1/4 teaspoons)
1 teaspoon sugar

Dissolve sugar and yeast into warm water. Let it sit till bubbly.
In food processor place floor salt and oil. Pulse for a few seconds. Stir yeast mixture. With machine running pour the yeast mixture into the flour mixture. Once it forms a ball allow machine to run for 30 seconds. Remove dough and place in oiled bowl. Turn once so dough has light coating of oil. Cover with towel and let raise in warm place till double, approximately an hour.
Then punch down (don't knead a second time) and with your hands work the dough to become pizza shape.

12 ounces or so of thinly sliced mushrooms (we used a mix of Shitake and Cremini)
many sprigs of fresh thyme...I estimate we used 3-4 TB finely chopped leaves (no sticks)
1-3 TB olive oil

6-7 ounces Taleggio cheese (or Brie if you can't find Taleggio) This is the one time vegan cheese just doesn't cut it. When we can find a suitable replacement we will adjust the recipe. This is perfection

Pre-heat oven to 550
Make dough.  Shape your dough into  one or more pizzas- let sit while you make the topping.
Mince herbs.

You will have to cook your mushrooms in batches, probably three batches. Heat your largest saucepan, get it really hot. We didn't use oil, only a tablespoon of water. Now over medium high heat cook mushrooms will shriveled and all the water has evaporated. It's best if you don't overcrowd your frying pan. You want to brown the mushrooms not steam them. Stir them and add a pinch of salt and 1/3 of the herbs.
Repeat till you have cooked all mushrooms. Be sure all the liquid is cooked off before beginning the next batch.

Make a nice thick layer of mushrooms on the dough. Take off cheese rind and pinch balls of cheese onto the mushrooms.

Cook for about 10 minutes. Enjoy.

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Sweet potato burgers with caramelized onions

It was the night before we needed to leave the cottage and we needed to empty the fridge.  We looked at what we had and this is what we came up's yummy!

Caramelized onions
1 large red onion
1 generous tablespoon Olive oil
Sprinkle of sugar
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar

Cut onion in half and slice thinly. Heat oil in frying pan medium high then turn down too medium low. Start frying onion. Sprinkle with sugar. Cook more. Then splash on vinegar keep cooking. Make them nice and soft. Scoop out and place aside.
In same frying pan we will cook the burgers.

1 cup black beans (rinsed, of course)
1/2 cup quinoa
1 cooked sweet potato (naked, no skin )
3 tablespoons nutritional yeast
Splash balsamic vinegar
Herbamare to taste
Fresh spice-we used basil

Mash beans with fork. Add other ingredients and then form burgers.
Cook in frying pan on medium.
When serving, pile the onions onto of burgers. Enjoy!

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Blueberry pie

The two Ls are on cooking holiday again. Prince Edward Island, home of yummy wild what do we make first? Blueberry pie! This is a KEEPER!

5 cups wild blueberries
1 cup sugar
3 Tb tapioca 
Zest of one lemon, be sure not too add white pulp

2 cups flour
1/2 tap salt 
2/3 cup coconut oil
3-6 TBs ice cold water

Mix in large bowl all ingredients for filing. Set aside.
For crust add all dry ingredients. With pastry cutter or two forks cut in coconut oil till you have little pearls.  Add water till you have a pastry dough. Roll out on floured surface. (We used a frozen can since we had no roller.) 
Recipe makes two full crusts.  We were fancy with lattice because we wanted to use the extra for little pies for immediate consumption.

Monday, July 31, 2017

tofu: baked soft and yummy

This recipe comes from the famous San Francisco vegan eatery- the Millennium Restaurant. This tofu is so yummy even one year old Lukas loves it. (future vegan!)

1 pound firm tofu
1/4 cup tamari
1 tsp maple syrup - I put in two for Lukas' batch
1/2 tsp sesame oil

Squeeze all water from tofu- I use my handy Tofu X-press. Cut tofu in half length-wise and then into slices. I like mine 1/2 inch thick.

Combine liquid ingredients and place in shallow baking pan (I used a super large ceramic pie plate.) Place tofu in marinade.
Let sit for an hour or so. I flipped the tofu so both sides were covered.

Preheat oven to 350
Bake in oven for about 20 minutes. Easy.

Sorry no photo.

No photo! No worries! I made this recipe for dinner tonight & here's the pic of our leftovers. My granddaughter, Brynn, likes Caramelized Tofu best but I think this should be renamed Soft Baked Tofu Deliciousness.  (Leah here btw)

Coconut cream pie, yum

When I was visiting Sanibel Island I found a coconut. I always dream of coconut cream pie, why not make it with my own coconut? I pedaled my bike too three post office and paid to ship it. All I had to do was pay and they slapped a label on it. The coconut! No wrapping. The coconut stayed on my coffee table for weeks. Finally it was time. Jennie and I were determined to make the pie.
We started by making the crust, then it was time to get that cocoon. 
After 30 minutes with a sledge hammer, screw driver and scissors we gave up. We bought some unsweetened coconut. Her is the recipe which began with the wonderful recipe from the Minimalist Baker. Small adaptations and the addition of chocolate makes it a 10.

1 cup oats
1 cup raw almonds
2 Tbs coconut sugar
5TB melted coconut oil
1/4 cup unsweetened coconut  and more to sprinkle on top of crust

1/4- 1/3 cup vegan chocolate chips (optional, we just LOVE chocolate on everything)

3 Tbs cornstarch
1/3 cup coconut sugar
1 can (1 2/3 cup)  lite or regular coconut milk
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup toasted coconut to add (optional) We like it coconutty

Coconut whip:
2 cans full fat coconut milk refrigerated for 6 hours or more
1/2 tsp vanilla
3-7 Tbs confectioners sugar-depending on your desired sweetness- taste it and see

Make crust:
Heat oven to 350.  Grease 9inch pie plate Pulse together all dry crust ingredients (except coconut) in food processor/or vitamix.  Add melted coconut oil. Fold together while adding  coconut to form a crust that is a bit batter and a bit dough.
Pile dough into pie plate then press down. Sprinkle toasted coconut on top.
Bake for 17-20 minutes till golden brown and delicious smelling.
Take out of over sprinkle chocolate chips and set in fridge to cool.

Before beginning place metal or glass bowl in freezer. this is for next step.

Next, prepare pudding in a saucepan. Add cornstarch, coconut sugar, and whisk in coconut milk. Whisk vigorously to avoid clumping.
Place over medium heat and cook till bubbly..continue whisking. Reduce heat to low and cook for 4-6 minutes. use a rubber spatula to  scrape sides constantly. It will appear jiggly when done.
Remove from heat and whisk in vanilla and coconut flakes. Place plastic wrap over the top to keep skin from forming. Place in fridge 2-3 hours...till cooled and set.

Coconut Whip:
Gentle scoop out coconut cream from cold cans full fat coconut milk. Leave behind the "water".. (You can cook with this or place in smoothies.)
Place cream in chilled bowl. Whip with hand held mixer for a minute then add the amount of powdered sugar you want. I have also used maple syrup- yummy but different texture. Set in fridge.
Once pudding is completely chilled put half of the whipped cream in  the pudding . Blend till just mixed.
Place pudding/cream mixture into chilled crust. Top with rest of whipped coconut cream. Set in fridge for at least 4 hours.
I made mine super early and it stayed in the fridge for 3 days! It was still yummy. You can place toasted coconut on top.
The Sunday night crowd gave it a 9, and a 10 for the chocolate version.
Lukas, the 1 year old, licked every bit off his tray and plate.

Saturday, June 24, 2017

Blueberry Lime Ice

Another one from the Golden Door.
Get out the Vitamix or food processor quick! You will want this delicious treat right away. Unfortunately you have to wait until it sets up in the freezer before to can whip it into shape.

3 pints of fresh or frozen blueberries
1/2 cup fresh orange juice (2 oranges)
3 TB thawed frozen apple juice concentrate
3 TB fresh lime juice (2 limes)
6-12 orange slices for serving (optional)
6 springs of mint of serving (optional)

In a shallow glass pan combine berries and juices. Stir well and cover. Place in freezer for 3-6 hours. (I used frozen blueberries so it only took 1 1/2)
When the mixture is frozen, remove and let stand for 10 minutes. With metal spoon, break up the frozen fruit into smaller pieces. Transfer the mixture to food processor or Vitamix. Process till smooth and creamy. 5-8 minutes.
Serve immediately or freeze for up to an hour and process again.
To serve, place a scoop or two in a martini glasses and garnish with blueberries, orange slices, and mint.
My husband gave it a 10. (on a scale of 1-10) That is a very rare thing!

PS i think it would taste awesome with some whipped coconut cream by its side.

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Light & Easy, Not So Cheesy Spinach Lasagna

This recipe is taken from quick-fix vegetarian by robin robertson. She calls it beat-the-clock spinach lasagna. I've never made lasagna before. It just seemed like too much trouble but this recipe is really simple, light & tasty. You don't even have to cook the noodles or chop anything!

8 lasagna noodles (the regular kind)
1 - 10 oz package of frozen chopped spinach, thawed
1 pound of firm tofu, drained & crumbled (I pressed it for a short time, while I gathered the other ingredients)
1 tbs freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 tsp dried basil
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp of salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 - 24 oz jar of marinara sauce
1/2 cup of grated soy mozzarella or grated soy Parmesan

Preheat the oven to 350F. Place the noodles in a shallow dish & pour in just enough hot water to cover the noodles. Set aside. Squeeze the water out of the spinach & place in a large bowl. Add the tofu, lemon juice, basil, oregano, salt & pepper. Mix well. Drain the noodles. Do not blot dry.
Spoon a layer of marinara sauce into the bottom of a 9x9 inch baking dish. Top with half of the noodles. Spread half of the tofu mixture evenly over the noodles. Repeat with a layer of the remaining noodles. Top with a thin layer of sauce and then the remaining tofu mixture, ending with the remaining sauce. Top with the cheese. Cover tightly with aluminum foil & bake for 45 minutes. Remove the foil & bake for 10 minutes or more. Let stand for 10 minutes before serving. Serves 4-6.

Healthy Cherry Bean Salad

Meal Salad for 1

Greens- your choice, I used baby spinach
Beets- roasted
10 or so cherries cut into pieces
Handful of cannelli beans
 half of an avocado
 a splash of Cherry balsamic vinegar
 a sprinkle of Sunny Spain- salt free lemon pepper
I also threw in a tiny piece of vegan creamy pepper cheese. It was minuscule so it doesn't count.

When I was in Evanston I had the pleasure of visiting the must amazing spice place appropriately named The Spice Shop. What was supposed to be a two minute zip -in and out turned into an hour exploration. Not only were the products interesting, but the staff was super knowledgeable.  Raynard helped me. He had so much information on the spices their uses and combinations. (He gets a ten star rating from me!) I brought so many small packs home with me! Do check out their website- linked above. It is another wonderful resource for not only their products but also recipes. I can't wait to try them all.

Saturday, April 29, 2017

vegan food pyramid

  • Consume high-net-gain foods: leafy greens & colorful vegetables deliver energy by way of conservation rather than consumption. The digestive process is energy-intensive – highly processed, refined, denatured foods require much more digestive energy to break it down in our systems. By shifting from processed and refined carbs (pasta and bread) to fruits and pseudo grains (amaranth, buckwheat, millet, quinoa and wild rice), our body can assimilate easier and also obtain more nutrients.
  • Consume alkaline-forming foods: keeping a balanced pH is important to achieving peak health. People with low pH are prone to many ailments and fatigue. Brian suggests consuming more high alkaline-forming foods (asparagus, beets, bell peppers, broccoli, carrots cauliflower, celery, chicory, cucumbers, dill, green beans, leafy greens, leeks, onion, parsley, parsnips, peas, sea vegetables, sprouts and zucchini). Prescription drugs, artificial sweeteners and synthetic vitamins & minerals are extremely acid-forming and consumption should be monitored.
  • Eliminate biological debt: there are 2 types of energy, one brought about from stimulation (short term energy), the other from nourishment. If you are well-nourished, you have no need for food stimulation. Brian states “Caffeine is North America’s second favorite drug next to refined sugar. Obtaining energy by way of stimulation is like shopping with a credit card. You get something you desire now, but you will still have to pay eventually. With that bill comes incurred biological interest: fatigue.”
This information is courtesy of the Thrive group headed by Brendan Brazier.
I found this write-up on the blog Enrich. The article is eating for energy.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

coffee caramel snapachinno

1/2 envelope vega sport protein or any protein powder with no extra flavoring or sweetener
unsweetened almond milk
cold brew coffee
ice and 3 cold brew coffee ice cubes
a drop of caramel extract
tiny bit maple syrup

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

mindful eating

Last night I attended another interesting seminar at the Great Sage Restaurant in Clarksville MD- weight management on a plant-based diet. The lecturer, Paige Snyder is a plant based nutritionist who specializes in sport performance, stress management and achieving your optimal weight through clean, plant-based foods. She talked about macronutrients and the Thrive food pyramid. One of the most interesting nuggets that struck a chord with me was mindful eating.
Right at this moment I am sipping my smoothie while writing- GUILTY!
Here are her tips;

When ready to eat
1. sit and just take a breath, slow down.
2. take a moment to be thankful for your food.
3.look at and enjoy the pleasure of seeing beautiful food.
4. smell your food.
5. take a bite and chew it 25-30 times (not the 3 that the average American does)
6.put your fork down between bites.

Now I know this is not rocket science and you have probably heard it before...but try it for one meal a day. Or may try all the meals in one day a week. Let me know how it works.
More later........

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Yummy tofu

So I was preparing to make my favorite staple of the week- pan seared garlic fried tofu. Yum. I asked my husband, wonderful husband, to pick up two containers of extra firm tofu.  I didn't think that he would bring back two containers of these tiny cubed tofu pieces of extra firm tofu. Hmmmm. Now what do I do with these? 

I started by squeezing them, as always, with my handy tofu X-press. Water out, I fried them in a little coconut oil. After I flipped taken over with a spatula I poured some tamari and maple syrup on and continued to cook. The result was yummy.

Here are the simple ingredients:
*Cubed extra firm tofu
*Coconut oil to fry in
* A couple tablespoons or so tamari sauce- I didn't measure
*1 tablespoon or so maple syrup

Friday, April 7, 2017

Tofu X press

This thing is awesome. Want to squeeze the water out of your tofu in a half hour? ....without doing anything? Get out your Tofu Xpress! Amazing how the spring automatically get tighter while it squeezes out all the water. Make it really easy to whip together  some pan seared garlic tofu!

Monday, April 3, 2017

Marinated Lentils

This recipe was taken directly from the Oh She Glows Everyday cookbook. It's so yummy I wanted to share it. An easy, make ahead or eat immediately, recipe this is a keeper! it was a hit at Burger Night and that's a tough crowd!

1 cup uncooked french lentils
1/2 cup uncooked brown lentils
2 TB olive oil
2 TB plus 1 1/2 tsp red wine's where I made a change - I used White Nama Shoya Sauce and no salt or pepper
1 TB fresh lemon juice
1 1/2 tsp dijon mustard
 1 1/2 tsp maple syrup
1 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1 1/2 cups sliced green onions both dark and
1/2 cup chopped parsley
1/2 cup oil- packed sun-dried tomatoes, drained and finely chopped

1. Pick over lentils, discarding any debris. Rinse and drain. Place lentils in saucepan with 4 cups of water.  Bring to boil then reduce heat. Simmer, uncovered for 20-25 minutes or until tender.
2. In a large bowl whisk together oil, vinegar, lemon juice, mustard, maple syrup, salt. Stir in green onions,  parsley and tomatoes.
3. Drain the lentils really well and spoon them into the bowl with the other ingredients. Stir well.
4. Serve immediately (warm and delicious) or let cool slightly and then cover and marinate in the fridge. You can keep in fridge (in airtight container) for a week. or freeze in a freezer safe ziploc with all the air squeezed out. Lasts 1 month. Angela recommends adding  extra dressing and salt to liven it up.

Saturday, April 1, 2017

evergreen matcha and coffee sproutachino

This week I was visiting Sanibel Island in Florida. I fell in love with the small vegan cafe called the Sanibel Sprout. The wonderful creators of these drinks were super nice and happily shared the basic recipe .Here are the recipes for the two drinks I imbibed freely.These are basic  and I will update with photos and more exacting amounts.

Evergreen Matcha Iced Tea

1 heaping TB matcha
1 TB soursop matcha
A speck of a drop of jasmine diluted with water - it's potent!
1 squirt honey or maple syrup
vanilla favored almond milk
Stir together and then pour over ice.

Soursop is an amazing source of antioxidants.

Coffee Sproutachino

1 scoop cashews
1 small scoop coconut
4 dates
1 scoop cacao powder
4 oz coffee

I now also add flaxmeal, maca, tofu and nut milk. Yum. 

Blend in a high speed blender.

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Sweet Potato Spice Cake

 Sweet Potato Spice Cake with Hazelnuts and Candied Ginger

 I am always looking for good dessert recipes to cook for the "burger night" crowd. Each Sunday night my extended family gets together for food and cards. Usually I bring the dessert or the salad, my two specialties. Here a recipe I found in an 2013 Vegetarian Times.

1/2 cup raisins
3 cups all  purpose flour
1 TB baking powder
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/8 tsp group cloves
3/4 cup oil
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
 1 cup almond milk
2 Tbs lemon juice
1 medium sweet potato peeled and finely grated (3 cups)
1/2 cup finely chopped candied ginger
1/2 cup chopped toasted hazelnuts

1 8oz vegan cream cheese
1 TB agave
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup finely chopped toasted hazelnuts

Pre-heat oven 350. Coat 10 round cake pan with cooking spray

1.Place raisins in a small bowl and cover with boiling water. let sit 10 minutes then drain and set aside.
2. Whisk together flour, baking powders and spices in a bowl.
3. In a separate large bowl whisk together oil and sugars. then add in almond milk and lemon juice.
4. Stir flour mixture into oil mixture till a nice batter forms.
5. Fold in sweet potato, ginger, nuts and raisins. Pour into prepared pan.
6. Bake 1 hour or until toothpick comes out clean.
7. Cool then unmold cake onto wire to cool completely.
8. Make topping with cream cheese, agave and vanilla. Spread on cooled cake
9. Decorate.

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

cherry chocolate chip ice cream, vegan of course

This recipe is almost a duplicate of the recipe on Forks Over Knives. I have changed some of the amounts. It's so yummy. You can't go wrong.

3 frozen bananas, cut into 1inch chunks
1 bag (8 ounces) frozen cherries
Splash of almond extract
1TB to 1/4 cup soy milk
Handful of vegan chocolate chips

Put top three ingredients into a high speed blender or cuisanart. Add a little soy milk just to  make it blend. Scoop out and sprinkle with chips. Yum.

Sunday, February 5, 2017

Parsley Pesto

I bought a bunch of fresh parsley yesterday to use 1/2 cup in a recipe I was making. Now what to do with the rest? I usually make parsley tea but today I decided to make pesto. I was inspired by a recipe from a Nova Scotia based catering company called Conscious Catering. Here's my version.

4 cups fresh parsley leaves (packed)
2 large cloves of garlic
1/4 cup roasted sunflower seeds
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
1.5 teaspoons salt
It makes about 1&1/2 cups of pesto. I froze half & the other half will get used this week for dinner. Give my recipe a try & let me know what you think.

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Rompin' Red Lentil Sauce

Credit for this recipe goes to Anne Esselstyn. It's so good & so versatile. The last time I made it I used it on pasta, as a pizza sauce & to enhance some leftover lentil soup. Or you can just eat it by the bowlful. I like to top it with a large handful of baby arugula when serving. Apologies for the photo. I didn't think to take one until there was just a bit left in the bottom of the storage bowl.

1 large onion, chopped
3 carrots, chopped
2 celery stalks, chopped
2 tbs garlic, chopped
1 tsp dried basil
1 tsp dried oregano
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
1 28oz can crushed tomatoes
3 cups vegetable broth
1/2 cup red lentils
1 6oz can tomato paste
1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
1 cup chopped fresh basil
3 tbs nutrional yeast flakes
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper

In a large, heavy bottomed pot stir fry the onion over medium heat for 2-3 minutes. Add the celery, carrots & garlic & continue cooking until vegetables soften & begin to brown.
Stir in the dried basil, oregano & red pepper flakes & continue to cook for 1 minute.
Increase the heat & stir in the tomatoes, broth, lentils & paste. Allow to come to a boil, then turn down to simmer for 30 minutes.
Add the fresh parsley & basil, nutritional yeast & black pepper. Simmer a few minutes more, then serve over pasta.

Monday, January 16, 2017

Nanae's Dragon Sauce

Best dressing ever! Leah shared this with me as a new option for my Buddha bowls. The cook at her school makes it and the little ones gobble it up. So...I decide to try it on the weekly Sunday family gathering. It's a hard group of mixed eaters- no vegans(just me.) The crew loved it! I forgot to take a photo.. It disappeared fast.
PS I just added a photo at the bottom. Dragon sauce on my breakfast.

Blend in food processor or high speed blender.

1/2 cup nutritional yeast
1/3 cup or less olive oil (I used less)
1/4 cup maple syrup
1/4 cup tamari
1/4 cup water (I used more)
1/4 cup tahini
1 clove garlic

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Fall Harvest Buddha Bowl

Fall Harvest Buddha Bowl with Creamy Cashew Apple Cider Dressing

I bought some big beautiful "buddha bowls" from my friend Thien this winter.  This purchase has inspired me to try all kinds of combinations of food in the bowls. (Check out Thien's site: ) And then I stumbled upon this recipe in Kara Lydon's blog- "the foodie dietitian." Yum!!!!
Thien's bowl

    For the Buddha Bowl:
  • 3 cups chopped butternut squash (about 1/2 large butternut squash)
  • 3 cups chopped apples (about 2 large apples)
  • 1 15.5 oz can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1 teaspoon maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, divided
  • 2 cups quinoa
  • 1 small bunch kale, stems removed and roughly chopped
  • 2 tablespoons pumpkin seeds (pepitas)

  • For the Cashew Apple Cider Dressing:
  • 1 cup cashews, soaked for at least one hour
  • 1 small shallot, minced (about 1 tablespoon minced)
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon maple syrup
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
    For the Buddha Bowl:
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, toss butternut squash, apples and chickpeas with 1 tablespoon olive oil, maple syrup, cinnamon, nutmeg and 1/4 teaspoon salt.
  3. Transfer to a large parchment-lined baking sheet and roast for 30-35 minutes, or until squash and apples are tender and chickpeas are crispy, tossing halfway through.
  4. Cook 2 cups quinoa according to package instructions.
  5. Add kale to the large mixing bowl and toss with remaining olive oil and salt. Transfer to a baking sheet and spread kale out in a single layer. Bake for 10 minutes, or until the edges of the leaves are slightly browned but still mostly green.
  6. Divide quinoa evenly between bowls. Add chickpeas, squash, apples and kale. Drizzle cashew apple cider dressing over top and sprinkle with pumpkin seeds.
  7. For the Cashew Apple Cider Dressing:
  8. In a high-speed blender or food processor, blend or pulse all ingredients together until smooth and creamy. Drizzle over fall harvest buddha bowls.

I almost forgot to take a photo! It was so yummy there is hardly anything left!