Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Mongolian Soup

8 c. stock of choice (vegetable, beef, chicken, turkey, etc.)
1 tsp. peeled and grated ginger root
1 - 2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tbsp. scallions or onion of choice
2 - 3 tbsp. chopped fresh cilantro
4 oz. chopped spinach, chard, or kale leaves
8 oz. thinly chopped Chinese cabbage, bok choy, or leaf of choice
splash of lime juice
raw sea salt (I use Real Salt brand) and freshly ground pepper to taste
pinch of cayenne pepper
3 oz. bean thread noodles (I use the Dynasty brand)

Combine stock, ginger, and garlic in large pot. Simmer for 15 minutes. Add scallion, cilantro, spinach and Chinese cabbage. Cook 5 - 10 minutes. Add noodles and spices and cook until soft.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Simple Green Veggie Wrap

1 gluten-free wrap (I use Sonoma Natural Ivory Teff Wraps)
Hummus (optional)
Spring lettuce and baby spinach mix
Red clover sprouts (or sprout of choice)
1/2 - 1 whole avocado, diced
Local and / or organic goat cheese
Gluten-free Italian salad dressing (I like Seeds of Change Italian Herb Vinaigrette)

Spread hummus on wrap. Place lettuce on wrap. Top with sprouts, avocado, goat cheese, and dressing. Fold one side of wrap over fillings and pull towards you. Roll and secure with toothpicks. Cut in half, on angle.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Hummus Among Us

2 c. dried chickpeas
6 c. water
3 1/2 tsp. salt
2 tbsp. olive oil
2 tbsp. chopped parsley (or more to taste)
1 1/2 tbsp. chopped garlic (2 - 3 cloves)
2/3 c. fresh lemon juice
1/4 c. tahini
1/2 tsp. ground cumin

Wash the chickpeas. Soak overnight or simmer for 20 - 30 minutes with 3 tsp. salt, turn off heat, and let soak 1 - 2 hours or until soft. Drain, reserving 1 cup of the cooking water.

In a food processor or blender (I have found the blender to work better), combine the chickpeas, 1 c. of cooking water, remaining 1/2 tsp. salt, and remaining ingredients. Blend until completely smooth. Cool and serve.

(Recipe from The Kripalu Cookbook: Gourmet Vegetarian Recipes by Atma Jo Ann Levitt)

New Garden Book

Lately, I have been reading a lot of books on gardening and recently found a true treasure. The Vegetable Gardener's Bible has been a wonderful, easy read and is filled with a lot of visuals allowing me to better grasp the concepts presented. Edward Smith gives a simple gardening plan and the pages are filled with his vast knowledge and experiences.

Is it spring yet?

Tuesday, February 15, 2011


1 heaping tbsp. of Bueno Coffee Substitute - Creamy Hazelnut (or decaf-coffee of choice)
1/2 c. boiling water
1/2 c. coconut or other dairy-free milk
1 tsp. - 1 tbsp. honey or other sweetener (to taste)
70% or higher dark chocolate, shredded to sprinkle

Boil water. Place coffee substitute and boiling water in French press (you can also use a tea strainer). Let stand for 2 - 5 minutes (depending on preferred strength). While that is steeping, bring coconut milk and agave nectar to boil. Remove from heat and place in blender. Blend for 20 seconds (you may need to cover the blender with a towel to prevent spills). Pour prepared coffee in a mug or glass to fill half. Using a baking spatula, pour milk into cup holding back the foam. When the cup is almost full, add the foam to top. Sprinkle with chocolate.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Nutrient Packed Smoothie

1 - 2 c. frozen fruit of choice (berries, peaches, mango, orange, etc.)
1/2 - 1 ripe banana
1/2 avocado (optional)
1/2 c. apple juice or water (if using water, add a little agave nectar, honey, or maple syrup to taste)
1/2 c. coconut milk (lite, regular, or beverage) or coconut milk yogurt
1 tbsp. flax seed mix (see recipe below)
1 tbsp. hemp seeds (or eliminate and add another tbsp. of flax mix)

Blend all until smooth. Add additional juice or water if necessary for desired consistency.

Flax Seed Mix Recipe

1/3 c. pumpkin seeds
1/3 c. sesame seeds
1/3 c. sunflower seeds
1 c. flaxseeds

Grind each (I use a coffee grinder) until very fine. Mix all in jar and store in freezer.

Chocolatey Peanut Butter Freezer Fudge


1 1/4 c. coconut oil (melted to a buttery consistency)
1/2 c. organic peanut butter (room temperature)
1/2 c. agave nectar (or to taste)
1/2 c. carob powder

Blend together coconut oil and peanut butter on a low speed until just combined and creamy. Mix in agave nectar until combined. Mix in carob powder until combined.

Line square baking dish with tinfoil. Spread mixture into dish and place in freezer for 20 minutes (give or take). Remove from freezer and let stand 5 minutes.

Pull out tinfoil and carefully release from the frozen fudge. Cut into squares.

(Recipe adapted from www.mynewroots.blogspot.com "Chocolate Fudge and Self Love", posted February 11, 2011)

Sunday, February 13, 2011



2 tsp. olive oil

1 c. chopped onion
1 c. chopped carrots
1 c. chopped celery or 2 tsp. celery seed
1 - 2 c. chopped winter squash [I like butternut], peeled
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp. oregano
1 tsp. thyme
1/2 tsp. poultry seasoning
6 c. chicken or vegetable broth
4 c. diced potatoes [peeled optional]
1 tsp. sea salt
2 c. diced cooked chicken [optional]
1 c. non-dairy milk [I like coconut or hempseed milk]
6 ounces gluten-free noodles [spaghetti noodles broken into thirds works well]

Heat oil in large pot and saute onion, carrots, celery, and garlic for about 5 minutes [or until translucent]. Sprinkle in oregano, thyme, poultry seasoning and celery seed [if using instead of celery]. Cook 1 minute. Stir in broth, potato, and salt. Bring to boil, reduce heat, and simmer partially covered for 25 minutes or until potato is tender. Add chicken [if using], milk, and noodles. Cook additional 10 minutes or until noodles are tender. Remove from heat and let stand for an hour or two [if you have the time] to let the spaghetti noodles really bulk up.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Orange-Apple Scones

1 c. of brown rice flour
1/2 c. of millet flour
1/2 c. of sweet sorghum flour
1/2 c. of tapioca flour
1/2 c. of sucanat
1 tsp. of xanthan gum
2 tsp. of baking powder
1 tsp. of baking soda
1/2 tsp. of sea salt
1 tsp. of ground cinnamon

1/3 c. of coconut oil
1/8 - 1/4 c. blackstrap molasses (to taste)
1 tsp. of pure vanilla
1/3 c. of applesauce
2/3 c. of coconut milk (or other non-dairy milk) combined with 2 TB of fresh lemon juice (let stand for a few minutes)

1 1/2 c. of diced apple
Zest of one orange
Juice of one orange

Combine all dry ingredients. Combine all wet ingredients. Mix dry and wet ingredients well. Add diced apple, orange zest, and orange juice and fold into mixture.

Grease cookie sheet or use parchment paper. Drop 1/4 cup size balls of mixture onto cookie sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for 22 - 25 minutes. Remove from oven when knife or toothpick comes out clean.

(Recipe adapted from glutenfreehope.blogspot.com "Figgy Pear Scones", posted January 30, 2011)

Friday, February 11, 2011

Animal, Vegetable, Miracle

Every year, about this time, I get the itch to read Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver. I love the balance between story, knowledge, and recipes. I just started it again and each time I read it, I learn something new or pick up on something hadn't noticed before. I am also constantly inspired to work towards local-ism and simplicity. If you haven't enjoyed this book it is, in my opinion, a must for 2011.

"Households that have lost the soul of cooking from their routines may not know what they're missing: the song of a stir-fry sizzle, the small talk of clinking measuring spoons, the yeasty scent of rising dough, the painting of flavors onto a pizza before it slides into the oven. The choreography of many people working in one kitchen is, by itself, a certain definition of family, after people have made their separate ways home to be together." (p. 130)

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Fettuccine Alfredo

1 Ib. fettuccine, linguine, or other flat pasta
1 tbsp. kudzu root (or arrowroot or cornstarch)
1 1/3 c. rice milk (or other non-dairy milk)
6 tbsp. Earth Balance or ghee
2 tbsp. nutritional yeast
1 1/2 tsp. sea salt
Freshly ground pepper

Cook pasta according to manufacturer's instructions. Dissolve kudzu in milk (do not heat milk). Melt ghee or Earth Balance over medium-low heat and sprinkle in nutritional yeast. Whisk together 1 - 2 minutes. Slowly mix in milk mixture and add salt. Turn heat to low, and cook until thick, whisking occasionally, about 15 minutes. Toss over drained pasta. Add pepper to taste.

(Recipe from The Urban Vegan by Dynise Balcavage, pg. 88)

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Baby Food

Since having my daughter, my life has been consumed with baby babble, diapers, toys, music, and most importantly food. A month ago my daughter began her voyage into solid foods. Over the summer I worked hard to can pears, peaches, apples and plums in sauce form using small jam jars. I have also been extremely careful to give her only organic foods as well as reverse osmosis filtered water. I make all of my own baby food, which has been surprisingly simple. Because I have food allergies, I wanted to ensure that I am introduce foods in the best possible way - a way that would minimize the potential of her having to live with allergies. Thus, a food introduction "schedule" was born.

Below are the first few foods that I have introduced, in the order of introduction along with some lessons learned. This schedule was adapted from the schedule provided by DBC Natural Holistic Health Center. Foods were introduced every 4 days, allowing me time to observe and ensure no allergies or intolerances were present.

1) Bananas
2) Applesauce
Note: I found both of these foods to be constipating for my daughter. I stopped giving these to her and will reintroduce later.
3) Green Beans
4) Peas
5) Broccoli
6) Spinach
Note: My daughter loved all of these vegetables and did very well on them.
7) Mung Beans
Note: These were still hard for her to digest and I found I need to cook them a few times to be fore digestable.
8) Pumpkin

This is where we are so far. I am finding that my daughter is doing much better on vegetables than fruit.

The next few foods include collard greens, kale, blueberries, blackberries, apricots, raspberries, swiss chard, strawberries, pumpkin seeds, leeks, and raisins.

In addition, I have found Super Baby Food by Ruth Yaron to be extremely helpful with cooking instructions, safety, times, and recipes. Note: I did not follow the order of the foods she introduced.

Time to order seeds!

It's that time again - time to order seeds for the garden! I have a plethora of seed catalogs coming in the mail and it has been so exciting to see all of the wonderful varieties available.

This year I ordered our seeds from Annie's Heirloom Seeds (http://www.anniesheirloomseeds.com/). Last year I planted a few varieties from Annie's and was really happy with the results. This year we're getting a little gutsy and trying artichokes, bok choy, celeriac, and okra along with all of the other "standard" fare. I have quite a list!

I have also found a few books that I've really enjoyed, including:

Grow Great Grub by Gayla Trail

The Rodale Guides to Organic Gardening

I have spring fever!

Home-Style Refried Beans

2 tbsp. corn, peanut, or olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 small yellow onion, diced
1 - 2 jalapeno or serrano chiles, seeded and minced
1 tsp. ground cumin
1/2 tsp. dried oregano
1/2 tsp. ground chile powder
2 (15-ounce) cans pinto or black beans, drained and rinsed or 3 1/2 - 4 c. cooked beans
1 bay leaf
2 cups water
salt and pepper to taste

Combine oil and garlic in skillet and cook 30 seconds over medium heat. Add onion and jalapeno, stirring occasionally. Cook until translucent, appx. 10 minutes. Add cumin, oregano, and chile powder. Fry another 30 seconds. Stir in beans, bay leaf, and water. Bring to boil over medium-high heat and simmer 20 minutes (or until about an inch of liquid remains).

Remove bay leaf and discard. Mash or blend bean mixture to desired consistency. Add water if too dry.

(Recipe from Viva Vegan! by Terry Hope Romero)

Krista's "Mmm! Mmm!" Granola

4 c. thick rolled oats, gluten-free
1/2 c. sunflower seeds (raw)
1/2 c. pumpkin seeds (raw)
1/2 c. flaked or shredded coconut (unsweetened)
Flaxseed to taste (1/4 - 1/2 cup)
1 c. chopped nuts (almonds, walnuts, hazelnuts, etc.)
1/4 c. oil grapeseed or coconut oil
3/4 c. honey (use less honey and more oil if you want it less sweet)
1/2 c. powdered goat's milk
1/4 tsp. salt
2 tsp. vanilla
splash of almond extract
1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
few shakes of nutmeg
any additional spices (cloves, cardamom, all-spice, etc.)
raisins / dried fruit of choice

Toast nuts and seeds (except flaxseeds). Mix all dry ingredients together. Add wet ingredients. Mix thoroughly. Bake on two greased cookie sheets (or use parchment paper) at 250 degrees for 20 minutes. Turn oven down to 180 degrees and bake an additional 16 - 19 minutes (or longer if you want it crunchier) until golden brown. Remove and let cool 10 minutes. Add dried fruit.

(Recipe adapted from Krista's recipe.)

Rose's Dolma Recipe

1 jar grape leaves (can find in international isle of market)
1 1/2 Ib ground venison, beef, lamb, chicken, tempeh, firm tofu, or additional rice
1 1/2 c. jasmine rice, uncooked

1/2 large zucchini
1 green pepper
1 onion
1 roma tomato
1 tomato

3 garlic cloves, minced
1 medium can of tomato sauce (14.5 ounces)
2 tbsp. olive oil
lemon juice
salt and pepper

Optional - fresh basil, parsley, other half of zucchini, pepper

Set rice in water for 15 - 20 minutes (do not cook). Chop tomato and place in large bowl. Add tomato sauce, oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper (to taste). Add meat (if using). Drain rice and add. Mix well.

Hollow out zucchini, roma tomato, pepper, and onion. Stuff with mixture and set aside.

Wrap mixture in grape leaves (cut off stems, place mixture at stem side and fold in sides. Roll to form log shapes). Put in a well oiled pot, stacking tightly. Add stuffed veggies to pot.

Fill pot with water (enough water to almost cover stack of grape leaves). Place a plate (oven safe) upside down, on top of stack to hold pile together.

Bring to boil and simmer on med-low for 45 minutes (or until water is absorbed and rice is cooked).

Vegetarian Chili

1 1/2 onion, finely chopped
1 - 2 stalks of celery, finely chopped
2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
1/4 diced jalepeno
2 cups of northern beans
2 cups of kidney beans
2 cups of butter beans
2 cups of any other bean of choice
2 - 3 c. water
7 oz. stewed tomatoes
8 oz. tomato sauce
3 oz. tomato paste
3 oz. chili powder (yes, 3 oz.)
1 tbsp. cumin
6 oz. kombucha (can also use club soda or beer)
1 - 2 bay leaves
garlic or sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Saute onion, celery, garlic, and jalepeno until soft and translucent. Add beans and water. Cook 5 minutes. Stir in remaining ingredients (add more water if necessary). Bring to boil. Reduce heat to simmer and cook for 3 hours, stirring often.

*Can use slow cooker - cook on high 6 hours.

Mediterranean Pasta

1 box gluten free pasta (I like the Tinkyada brand)
4 - 5 lemon slices (appx. 1 lemon)
sea salt
2 tbsp. olive oil (more if pasta seems dry or sticky)
lemon juice to taste, optional
8 - 10 kalamata olives, pitted and quartered
1 - 2 tbsp. of capers, drained
6 - 8 sundried tomatoes, chopped
4 - 5 artichoke hearts, drain oil, chopped
1/8 - 1/4 c. goat cheese, crumbled
thyme, parsley, basil, oregano, sea salt, freshly ground pepper to taste

Place lemon slices in cooking water and cook pasta according to manufacturer instructions. Drain pasta, retaining the lemon slices. Mix in all ingredients and warm.

Serve immediately.

Lentil Burgers

3 c. cooked black lentils (or any type of lentil)
4 large eggs
1/2 tsp. sea salt
1 onion, chopped
1 c. toasted fine gluten-free bread crumbs
1 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
3/4 - 1 c. fine ground gluten-free oats (if using a different type of lentil other than black)
thyme to taste

Can also add: 1 - 2 medium carrots (fine shredded), 1/2 tsp. pepper

Combine lentils, eggs, and salt in a food processor. Blend until it has a hummus consistency. Stir in onion. Add bread crumbs and mix well. Let mixture sit for a few minutes.

Form patties.

Heat oil in skillet over medium to low heat. Add 4 patties (depending on pan size), cover and cook for 7 - 10 minutes until golden brown. Flip and cook other side for 7 minutes.

(Recipe adapted from www.101cookbooks.com "Vegetarian Lentil Burgers Recipe", posted September 9, 2007)