Saturday, December 20, 2008

Pancakes again

I already posted the pancake recipe (it's in the recipe index on the left if anyone is interested), but I made them again this morning and added blueberries this time! They were really good. I got a good picture of them this time though, so I wanted to post that. (yea, yea - I know - food geek)

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

The quest for interesting salads...

Trey and I had an interesting Thai salad today for lunch. It had a fantastic peanut dressing that I have to learn how to make. I love salads. We tend to get stuck in the same old-same old rut sometimes though. The salad today had iceberg lettuce (I think you could sub romaine or even half romaine, and it would be yummy), cabbage, tomato, cucumber, carrot, tofu, and peanuts. It had this yummy peanut sauce covering it. I think the kidlets would devour a salad like that. I need to come up with some good salad combos to keeping things interesting for everyone. If anyone reading this blog has some good ideas - please pass them on! My first goal is to get my living foods intake up to 50% of my diet. I'd like to get it higher than that eventually. Coming up with creative salads will help me reach that goal!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Lots of fruits and veggies

My quest to add more living foods to my diets is continuing! My first goal is to get to 50%. I'm going to have to get creative to keep my husband interested. He's "tired" of salads - which, really, is tough, but I don't want him to get burned out. I do want to grow old with him! So, I'm going to have to put more planning into our meals. Of course, I can only do what I have energy for!

Today, I had a midwife appointment, and I stopped to get gas. Livi saw a picture of donuts in the window and wanted one. I said no, so she wanted spaghetti! Yea, I'm not sure of the line of reasoning there, but we went home and made some marinara with onion, pepper, tomatoes, fresh basil, garlic, and zucchini. I cooked some gluten free pasta with it. Then I marinated some sliced fresh mushrooms in olive oil, lemon juice and Bragg (got the idea from Karen Knowler). They were good, but they definitely need to marinate for a couple of hours before eating them. We had a big green salad with the pasta.

After school snack today was soy yogurt with fresh strawberries, blackberries, kiwi, and banana.

for dinner, we had tofu satay with a raw satay sauce (made with raw tahini, miso, orange juice, cayenne, and some other stuff I can't remember!). The recipe came from a book called Alive in 5. We had another big salad with dinner! Yep, I definitely need to get a little more creative. LOL. Ah well, it was good, and I am definitely starting to feel better.

We had a healthy day AND the kids' bentos are packed for lunch tomorrow!

Monday, December 15, 2008


Tonight we had a pretty good gazpacho. The kids liked it well enough, but next time I'll blend the onion and pepper into the tomato juice. They liked the taste, but they don't like biting into raw onions! I've been a mom for nine years. I can't believe I made such a rookie mistake! LOL. The recipe was super easy. I saw it on Living Fresh with Sarah Snow. I chopped up five tomatoes, a small onion, some red pepper, cucumbers, and celery, got some corn defrosted and put some no-salt seasoning and olive oil and put it all in a big bowl. Next, the whole mix was drowned in tomato juice and voile - gazpacho. We had some rice crackers with it. My quest to add more living foods into our diets is going well so far!

For desert I made a sweet rice-ish type thing with mangos. That was gobbled up quickly!!!

This gadget is the coolest! I used to hate cutting up mangoes, but this gadget makes it way easy. Love it.

This picture is of the raw flax crackers that we started yesterday. They are - eh, at best. We might play with the recipe and see what we can come up with. They might be okay with some kind of dip or spread. We'll see.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

A day of obsessive foodiness!

Yea, I don't think foodiness is a word, but oh well! It was snowy outside and lazy inside today. I spent the bulk of the day surfing around the Internet on other food blogs and watching videos by raw foodist Karen Knowler. I also spent some time making a recipe index for the recipes that I have put on my blog. I tried several new things today that I got from the Internet. All of the new recipes, so far (we still have flax crackers in the dehydrator) have been a success!

First, we made chocolate nut mylk! That is a recipe that will be making frequent appearances in our home. It was quick, easy, nutritious, and yummy. I think it would be really good with a blended frozen banana. We'll have to try that soon.

Here's Karen's video on how to make it:

For dinner we made nori wraps - another idea we got from Karen. Mine had avocado, tomato, cucumber, carrot, red pepper, pickle, red onion, spinach, and romaine inside of it - simple, nutritious, and delightfully yummy. I think we'll be putting many things inside nori sheets. The other thing we made were sweet potato fries. I got this idea from a fellow veggie blogger. These were a huge hit. I thought we would have a ton, but they cook down quite a bit. I cut the amount of cayenne in half for my hubby. He's not a huge fan of spicy stuff. He grew up in Texas, a.k.a. the land of sour cream and cheese. I think next time I'll put the full amount in because they really weren't very spicy. Here is the link to her recipe. It is delicious.

Here is Karen's video on the nori rolls:

After our fabulous dinner, we had a fabulous desert. Another recipe that I got from another fellow veggie blogger (one who incidentally is also pregnant and due in May - cool). These are raw fudge balls. My self-avowed carob hating husband ate two of these without realizing he was eating carob! I'm not going to tell him - yet. These were totally easy, and everyone liked them. These fudge balls are a desert I don't mind feeding everyone! Don't they look good?

Kids green smoothie

I'm feeling a little bit like a culinary mom genius this morning! LOL. Well, okay, maybe not - but let me bask in my glory. The kids love smoothies and they particularly love peanut butter/banana smoothies. I usually make those with bananas, peanut butter, vanilla, and soymilk. Well, today I decided to try and "green" the smoothie. I made it with spinach, dates, water, probiotic powder, flax meal, bananas, vanilla, crunchy peanut butter, and ice cubes. Even though the drink is green, the kids are in there happily drinking their spinach! I honestly wasn't too worried. I mean these kids have grown up with "weird" food! LOL. I'm having some for breakfast, too, and it's good! Next time though - I think I'll be sure and freeze the bananas instead of throwing in ice cubes. The ice cubes kind of dilute the taste a little - I think it would taste better without them.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Butternut squash with adzuki beans

I have a huge vegan cookbook called Vegan Planet. I have only made two recipes out of it - which is silly! One recipe I have made over and over though, and it is a recipe that uses butternut squash and adzuki beans. This time of year, Costco has packages of peeled, cubed butternut squash which makes the recipe so convenient. You can use a can of adzuki beans, but I try to cook all my beans from scratch. Today I cooked up the adzuki beans with kelp. Then, I chopped up the shallots, sauteed them in a little olive oil for a couple of minutes, added Bragg Liquid Aminos, water, and the squash. The cookbook has more precise measurements, but I'm sure I made a bigger batch than what is in the cookbook because it took WAY more water than what was called for. Cooking the shallots and squash together slowly like that sort of caramelizes them and makes them gooey and sweet. When the squash is soft, mix with the beans, season with salt and pepper if you want, and enjoy!

I also cooked up some chard for dinner. Well, really, the chard is only "cooked" long enough to wilt it. I sliced 8 large garlic cloves, sauteed them briefly in olive oil, then added the chard and about a tsp of Bragg Liquid Aminos. After the chard is wilted, remove from heat and top with sesame seeds.

I sliced up some super yummy tomatoes to eat with dinner. My goal is to eat a high raw diet. Living foods are so important to good health. Now that I am not so sick all the time, I have started making green smoothies in the morning again. I plan on experimenting and trying out some new combinations. I've been making big, awesome salads for us. I have been trying to use up the prepared salad dressing that we have in the house, so I'll be forced to make my own! If I can ever remember to get more sunflower seeds from the market, Trey and I are going to make RAWvolution's onion bread again - that stuff is so good (stayed tuned for an upcoming blog post on it!). I just watched a tutorial video tonight on making flax crackers that I am going to try tomorrow. My health is so much better when I am eating a cleaner diet, and now that I am feeling well enough to prepare food - I am going eat a better diet! If it's healthy for me, it's healthy for the kids, and growing baby "Squishy," too.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Marilu Henner's Healthful Cold Spicy Soba Noodles

I found this recipe in one of those free magazines at the health food store. Who knew Marilu Henner was such a health nut? This recipe is super easy and really good. It's become a frequent addition to our dinner table!

Today I went shopping at Costco. I love Costco! Here's why:

Look at all the yummy looking fruits and veggies! It's almost affordable to feed a growing family of six healthfully with a Costco nearby. Today I got a huge hand of bananas, 10 pounds of organic carrots (we're making juice and sun burgers this weekend!), cubed butternut squash (yea, yea, I know - lazy. Hey, I'm pregnant and I have four kids - it's called healthy convenience! LOL.), avocados, dates, cucumbers, red peppers, kiwi, romaine, pesticide free tomatoes, a big box of oranges, grapes, organic spinach, and organic apples. I always hear people say how expensive it is to shop at Costco - not true! If you stay away from the supersize Ghiradelli brownies, the 12-pack of Heath bars, and all the other junk and crap, it's easy to shop healthfully on a budget. I love it that I had buy the big two-pack of organic tofu for like $3 - how cool is that? I also got salsa, maple syrup, and artichoke hearts. Costco is one of my favorite stores.

Gluten free, scratch pancakes

My friend Sarah gave me permission to post this recipe for gluten free pancakes. She says she uses different kinds of flours when she's out of amaranth flour. Here's how they're made:

1 cup amaranth flour
1/2 cup arrowroot powder
1/2 cup ground almonds
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 1/4 cups water
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 tablespoons agave nectar

In a large bowl, combine amaranth flour, arrowroot, almonds, baking soda and cinnamon. In a separate bowl, combine water, lemon juice, oil and honey; mix well. Stir liquids into flour mixture; mix well. Heat a lightly oiled griddle or frying pan over medium high heat. Drop the batter by spoonfuls onto the griddle, using approximately 2 tablespoons for each pancake. Brown on both sides and serve hot.

The first one I ate, I just put some agave on it and ate it like that, and it was fabulous!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

After baby soup

I made this soup today, and it's the same soup I made the day my youngest was born. I had two bowls of it right after birth, and I plan on putting it in the crock pot when I go into labor this time. I cheat a little with it. I use Imagine's vegan potato-leek soup then add water, a bunch of chopped up veggies - this time it was corn, carrots, leeks, potatoes, and onions. I also throw in some pepper and Organic no-salt seasoning and let it cook. Yummy!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Bentos, muffins, and scratch pancakes

First, the bentos! This first one is Olivia's bento from today. Isn't her Peter Rabbit bento set adorable? It's perfect for her, too. Today I made her skewers of tomatoes, pickles, and soy cheese, ants on a log with almond butter, Glutino pretzels, snap pea crisps, gf mini cookes and gf animal cookies.

These bentos are the ones I made tonight for the kids' lunches tomorrow. The bottom tier has Glutino pretzels, dried blueberries, Pamela's cookies, and snap pea crisps. The top tier has "Heather's pasta salad," which includes pasta (gluten free Mrs. Leeper's vegetable spirals), a mayo-ish dressing, vinegar, organic no-salt seasoning, mixed vegetables, tomatoes, and seasoned tofu.

These muffins I saw at King Soopers, and I thought we'd give them a try. They are gluten free and dairy free. They were okay - a little gritty. I probably won't buy them again. They're not really healthy, and I prefer my homemade gf muffins.

Finally, I made scratch, gluten-free pancakes tonight for the first time! I liked them a lot. They're a bit thin, but they taste great. I got the recipe from my friend Sarah, and I have asked her for permission to post the recipe. For now, here's a picture of them - okay, the last two anyway. I forgot to take a picture when I had a whole plate full! They got eaten pretty quickly.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Stir fried ginger-sesame tofu

Tonight I made a version of Pan Fried Ginger Sesame Tofu from vegweb. I changed it up a bit. It was good. Everyone ate it, and I heard no complaints. I want to change it a bit more. I think I would reduce the sweetener, add more Bragg and garlic, and add a thickener, and maybe a little more heat to the sauce. In addition to the tofu and green onions, I added broccoli. Next time I think I'll add carrots and maybe peppers, too, and probably bamboo shoots. Dinner was a success though - everything got eaten, and I got thumbs up all around. Here is the original recipe on vegweb: Pan Fried Ginger Sesame Tofu. Thanks to LizzyQ and The Vegan Mother's Blog for turning me on to the recipe! Here's the changes I made to the recipe.

First, I didn't have cornstarch, so I dredged the tofu in potato starch. It worked okay, but it got a little gooey at first. The end product was good though. I used agave for the sweetener, Bragg instead of tamari, 4 cloves of garlic instead of two, and chili oil instead of pepper flakes. I served it all over steamed brown rice. Stay tuned for my revised revised version coming soon!

Our family loves Clementine season! These oranges are sweet and cute, and they never last long in our house!

Here's the kids' bentos from today. First is the preschool bento. It included snap pea crisps, two Pamela's gluten free chocolate chip mini cookies, skewers (or as Livi alls them - shish kabobs) of tomatoes, soy cheese, and mini dill pickles, "ants on a log" with almond butter, and grapes.

Here's the older kids' bentos. They also had each had a thermos of "vegetarian penicillin." The bentos had "ants on a log" with peanut butter, two mini cookies, mandarin oranges, and snap pea crisps.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Vegetarian Penicillin

Yesterday I was looking at some other food blogs, and I found a recipe that looked really good. It's on the blog Beans and Greens: The Vegan in Park City. The recipe was for a vegan chicken noodle soup. It looked fabulous, so my daughter and I decided to make a version of it this evening. It was fan-freaking-tastic! We're calling it "vegetarian penicillin." I changed quite a few things about the recipe. The author of Beans and Greens has two teaspoons of fresh ginger in her version. Well, I'll try anything once, but ginger in this soup just didn't sound good to me, so I only put in 1/2 teaspoon. I think that the soup would be even better without the ginger, but it is so incredibly healthy and healing that it's staying in. She also said that the original recipe called for dill, but she didn't think that sounded good. I thought it sounded great, so I added it! I changed some other things, too. Here is her version: Not chick'n noodle soup. Kudos to her for posting a great recipe! Here is my version:
1 tablespoon olive oil
3 celery stalks, sliced
20 baby cut carrots, chopped
8 cloves garlic, sliced
1/2 tsp fresh ginger, minced
1 small yellow onion, diced
1 tsp dried thyme, crushed
1/2 tsp dried dill
1 tsp dried oregano
9 cups water
3 tbsp meatless chicken broth powder
1 tablespoon Bragg Liquid Aminos
2 tsp tomato paste
1 tsp black pepper
1/4 tsp paprika
1 tsp tumeric
pinch of cayenne
3 pinches of shredded, dried kelp, crushed
4 oz flat rice noodles (not the super wide ones)
15 oz. "cotton" tofu (drained, cut small, cooked in olive oil and a little Bragg until browned and chewy)

In a large stockpot, saute carrots, celery, onion, garlic and ginger for about five minutes (add a couple of tablespoons of water to keep them from sticking). Add remaining ingredients and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for about 30 minutes until the vegetables are tender. Add noodles tofu and cook for another 10 minutes until noodles are soft. Serve and enjoy!

I also made some gluten free blueberry muffins that everyone enjoyed. It's a recipe that I got in a gluten free cooking class. I would like to play with it some and make it my own, but it's pretty good. I made 18 muffins and they all got eaten! They dont look like much, but that's okay.

Peanut butter "ice cream"

Ray and I made vegan ice cream, and it was fantastic! These pictures don't look all that appetizing because we were too impatient to wait to eat it when it was good and frozen, so we ate it "super soft serve!" Yummo! The recipe came from Vegetarian Times, and it is definitely a keeper.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Noodle salad and glazed carrots

Ray and I cooked dinner together tonight. He went shopping with me for ingredients, too. We made Miso-Sesame Noodle Salad from Vegetarian Times and Glazed Carrots, a recipe I found in Real Simple. The noodle salad was okay. We ate it, but I don't think we'll make it again. The glazed carrots were pretty good. I'm not a huge fan of carrots, but the boys really liked them. They were easy, too, so I imagine they're going to become a pretty regular thing in our house! We made them by quartering a bunch of fat baby cut carrots - enough to fill up the bottom of my cast iron skillet. Then added 1 1/2 tablespoons of Earth Balance, spread out in pieces over the carrots, then sprinkled 1 tsp of sugar on them. Then we put water in the skillet to about halfway up the sides of the carrots and cooked them on low-medium heat until the water was reduced to a glaze and the carrots were soft. We also had some Glutino herb crackers with dinner. They were pretty good.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

TVP tacos and mock sour cream

Tonight's dinner was fabulous! Everyone loved it. It's was completely vegan and almost gluten free (it will be the next time I make it). I'm glad it turned out so good because it took every ounce to energy I had to make it!!! *sigh* This pregnancy will be over someday, and I will have a beautiful baby to show for it. Anyhoo - dinner consisted of corn tortillas, TVP taco filling (from The New Farm Vegetarian Cookbook - I liked it, but I'm going to change it up a bit when I make it next - then I'll post a recipe), a "cheese" sauce (Here's the original recipe: "cheese" recipe. I made it a bit differently, and I am going to make it gluten free next time - we'll work on that later. It was pretty good though - a bit thick.), mock sour cream (recipe below), lettuce, tomatoes, avocados, salsa, and hot sauce. Man, it was so good, and I am really thrilled that I didn't vomit any of it up!!! LOL. Nice thing to put on a food blog, eh? Oh well, it's MY food blog. LOL.
Here's a happy customer!

Mock Sour Cream
1 cup raw cashews (rinsed well)
3/4 cup water
1/4 cup lemon juice
1 tsp onion powder
1/4 tsp salt
Blend in a high powered blender until smooth and creamy.

I even got the kiddos bentos made for tomorrow. I showed Beth hers, and she said, "It's so cute!" LOL.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Thai peanut noodles and spring rolls

Tonight I made Thai peanut noodles and spring rolls with a peanut sauce for dinner. It was super yummy! I even got all three bentos ready for school in the morning. It's so nice to feel human again.

The spring rolls consisted of rice thread noodles, tofu (cooked with Bragg), carrots, pickles, spinach, and red pepper strips wrapped up in rice wrappers. The peanut sauce was peanut butter, chili sauce, lime juice, sesame oil, and water (it was so good!).

Here's the recipe for the noodles. I copied the original recipe down from a cookbook 9+ years ago, but this version is quite a bit different. I don't know the name of the original cookbook unfortunately.
2 8-oz pkgs 100% buckwheat Soba noodles (cook according to package directions)
1 tbsp salt
2 tbsp toasted sesame seeds
1 C finely chopped carrots
1 bunch scallions, chopped
1/2 C vegetable oil
4 tbsp peanut butter
2 tbsp sesame oil
2 tbsp rice vinear
4 tbsp Bragg Liquid Aminos
1 tsp chili sauce
Mix all ingredients except noodles - then mix sauce with noodles! Can be served warm or cold.

I got all three bentos ready for tomorrow's lunch! Wow - I am feeling remotely human today - sort of. Livi's has tofu (cooked with Bragg), pickle and tomato skewers, carrots, mandarin oranges, and pudding. Yes, that is a ghost that the tofu is in. They were supposed to be for Halloween, but I forgot them! Oops. Ray's top tier has Thai peanut noodles, a spring roll and a bottle of Bragg. Beth's top tier has two spring rolls (I also have a small container of peanut sauce for her. Their bottom tiers have mandarin oranges and pudding.

Monday, December 1, 2008

a quick bento

Well, it's not much, but the kids like it! Sushi, rice crackers, a bottle of Bragg, mandarin oranges, and Sharkies.