I am thinking about how appreciative I am for right now. I just spent the better part of a day bathing with my baby, taking a lovely walk with her and the dog, lounging in the hammock with her and playing on the floor with her. How awesome is that!? Now she is asleep and I get to plan my friends birthday dinner for tonight! I am going to make squash stuffed with black beans, wild rice and veggies. There will also be salad and a yummy appetizer. I am so grateful that I have this time to do what I love to do. My family makes me feel so very loved. I have been eating Wasa crackers with hummus, hearts of palm, avocados, roasted red bell pepper, sprouts and any other goodies I can find. Very yummy and fairly easy to make & clean up! Miss Lola is now seven months and is enjoying eating with the rest of us! Lucky girl, her sister wants to feed her.
Since the weather is nearly freezing we need comfort food. This comes in our house in the form of veggie burgers, I love the Sunshine brand because there is just rice and veggies in them, no soy or anything else funky! YUMMY!
The verdict is in-you do not need a dehydrator to make kale chips. Baking them at 200 for 2 hours does the trick too. Parchment paper is recommended and you should switch the top racks to the bottom every half hour or so. My daughter likes them now so I will be making them as much as possible! They are also delightful on vegetable soup!
Lately I am obsessed with reading all these different blogs relating to family and fashion. Weird combo at first, but then I realized how inspiring it is for a mom to see other moms dressing up while keeping their families inspired and content. I personally have to remember to dress it up and not stay in my workout clothes all day! So in honor of that I am going to start adding some photos of what I wear to this lovely place in the blog-o-sphere. In this photo I am wearing Dansko shoes, thrift store find dress and earrings from my good friend jenny belle! Enjoy and take time to remember how special each moment is.
My new thing is making my own sprouts. I just got sick of paying almost three dollars for not so crispy ones at the store. I have so far made fenugreek and alfalfa sprouts. The verdict is in and it is that I wish I started this phase of my life years ago. Homemade sprouts ROCK! The fenugreek are really good for nursing mammas, they help produce more milk! The other thing I have been doing tons of is soaking my nuts before eating them. I have read that soaking nuts for 12 hours cuts the fat content in half while making them much easier to digest. The soaked nuts also make the vitamins and minerals more accessible to your body. Sounds good to me! Hope everyone out in the blog-o-sphere is enjoying the last fleeting days of summer!
I recently acquired a recipe for kale chips from my friend Miriam and it is the bomb! With her permission I will reprint it here!
This recipe requires a dehydrator: ~Cut stems from 2 bunches kale. I like the curly, leafy kind the best. ~Keep kale whole or rip it into bite size pieces. ~Blend in food processor until very smooth: 1.5 cups cashews soaked for an hour or more 4 cloves garlic 3-4 slices of roasted red peppers juice from one lemon juice from two oranges 1-1.5 cups nutritional yeast .5 cups soy sauce or brags .5-1 cup water You can add more yeast to thicken or water to thin. You want a very thick, but pourable sauce. ~Toss kale in special sauce, wipe off excess sauce...it shouldn't be dripping or too sparse-experimentation works best here-see what you like! ~Spread single layer on parchment or Teflexx lined dehytrator trays ~Dry at 140 for about 4 hours ~Take kale off parchment and put directly on trays and dry for another 1-3 hours or longer until fully dry, crisp and brittle.
So I finally tried Daiya brand cheese and like everyone says its amazing. I used it to make a lasagna with no meat or dairy....otherwise known as vegan. My family (of which I am the only semi-vegan) loved it! I will post a recipe soon!!
Here at our household, the easier the dinner usually the better the outcome-hence our love of pesto. My father in law grows the basil and then at the peak of summer he whips up huge batches of pesto. He then freezes it in zip-locks to eat during the winter. Luckily for us he has been giving us a lot of them lately and we have been eating it up! I don't have his exact recipe (not sure that he uses one) but I do know that he doesn't add parmesan cheese to it-they prefer to add the cheese at the end and I prefer to not have it at all. Usually he mixes up basil, pecans, garlic, olive oil, and some salt and it is perfection! My own additions to this dinner were a salad of spinach, sunflower seeds, dried cranberries, finely diced celery and carrots, some avocado and a small amount of goat cheese topped with a homemade vinaigrette. To complete the meal I whipped up some wild rice salad with cranberries. This recipe is from "The Candle Cafe" cookbook, and I love it! The Candle Cafe is in NYC and someday I want to eat there!!!
Wild Rice Salad 1 cup black long-grain or other wild rice 1/4 cup sunflower seeds, soaked overnight if desired 1/3 cup dried cranberries 1/4 cup chopped red onions 1/4 shoyu or tamari 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil 2 tsp grated orange or lemon zest
Combine the cooked rice with sunflower seeds, cranberries and red onion. Whisk together other ingredients and pour over the rice mixture. Thats it! Another great thing about this rice is that it keeps well for leftover purposes.
Since I'm pregnant I am totally giving in to all the cravings.....on Valentines day we made these and they were winners!
1 cup whole wheat pastry flour 1 cup unbleached white flour 1 cup brown rice flour 1 teaspoon baking powder 1/2 cup safflower oil 2/3 cup maple syrup 2 t vanilla extract 1 t fine sea salt
2 cups grain-sweetened, nondairy chocolate or carob chips 1/4 cup maple syrup 2 T safflower oil
Preheat oven to 350 Combine the flours and baking powder in a large mixing bowl In a separate bowl, whisk together the oil, syrup, vanilla extract, and salt Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients, and stir to form a smooth dough If the mixture is too crumbly, add a bit of water, 1 teaspoon at a time, and up to 1 tablespoon more oil until the dough just holds together Roll the dough out to ½” thickness between two sheets of parchment or wax paper Use cookie cutters or a knife to cut the dough into desired shapes Arrange the cookies on the prepared baking sheet Bake for 15-20 minutes or until lightly browned Transfer the cookies to a baking rack to cool completely While the cookies are cooling, combine the chocolate chips, syrup, and oil in the top of a double boiler and place over simmering water If you don’t have a double boiler, place a stainless steel bowl over boiling water and melt the ingredients in it Turn off the heat, cover, and let stand for 5-10 minutes or until the chocolate melts Stir until smooth Dip each cookie halfway into the chocolate sauce, and place on a sheet of wax or parchment paper Chill in the refrigerator until hardened
So this pregnancy thing has me craving lots of sweets, no surprise there. The other night we were sitting by the fire dreaming about pastries and I found this little recipe in the excellent book "Vegan Lunch Box" by Jennifer McCann that seemed easy enough. I had never made scones before but they just came together so perfectly I am sure I will make them again soon, and this time I'm going to double the recipe and freeze some for another day! Another change I will make for next time is I will add lots more lemon zest, lemon juice, and blueberries-I am always wanting for more flavor!
1 cup all-purpose flour 1 cup whole wheat pastry flour 1/4 cup sugar 2 Tbsp baking powder 1/2 tsp baking soda 1/2 tsp salt 1/4 cup earth balance 1/2 cup plain unsweetened hemp/soy/rice milk (or whatever milk you choose) 3/4 cup blueberries (or more if you like) zest of one lemon (I will use two lemons next time) extra hemp milk and sugar for topping
Preheat oven to 400 and line a baking sheet with parchment paper that is sprayed with coconut oil. Sift together the flours, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Add the earth balance and cut in with pastry cutter until it looks like a course crumbly meal. Add the milk, blueberries, and zest. Mix together until it forms a dough. Place dough on a lightly floured surface and divide in half. Form each half into a round flat shape about 3/4 inch thick. At this point I used a cookie cutter to make little heart shapes because that is what my family requested. Even though once they were cooked you couldn't really tell what shape they were! If you like more traditional triangle shaped scones then you can do that. Then the topping of milk and sugar is added - don't forget this part it makes a yummy sugary crust that is unbeatable. Bake for 15-18 minutes, until the edges and bottom are golden brown. While this is baking you can make your lemon sauce.
1/2 cup sugar 1 Tbsp cornstarch 1 cup water 1/8 cup earth balance 1 tbsp lemon juice (I am going to change this to 2 tbsp next time) zest of one lemon
Whisk sugar and cornstarch together in a small saucpan. Gradually stir in water and heat over high to medium heat until boiling, stirring constantly. Boil for 2 minutes, until sugar has dissolved and the sauce has thickened. Remove from heat and stir in earth balance, lemon juice, and zest. Serve right away or let cool-the sauce thickens more as it cools.
Our little girl turned four on new years eve and she requested chocolate cupcakes with "white" frosting and chocolate candies on top. Being a total chocoholic I agreed, and made a double batch so there would be plenty for all and left-overs to boot! I couldn't wait to try out my new recipe from the book "Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World".
1 cup soy milk 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar 3/4 cup granulated sugar 1/3 cup canola oil 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 1/2 teaspoon almond extract, chocolate extract, or more vanilla extract 1 cup all-purpose flour 1/3 cup cocoa powder, Dutch-processed or regular 3/4 teaspoon baking soda 1/2 teaspoon baking powder 1/4 teaspoon salt
These are the instructions:
Preheat oven to 350°F and line a muffin pan with paper or foil liners. Whisk together the soy milk and vinegar in a large bowl, and set aside for a few minutes to curdle. Add the sugar, oil, vanilla extract, and other extract, if using, to the soy milk mixture and beat until foamy. In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Add in two batches to wet ingredients and beat until no large lumps remain (a few tiny lumps are OK). Pour into liners, filling 3/4 of the way. Bake 18 to 20 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Transfer to a cooling rack and let cool completely.
I also made the vegan buttercream frosting for these and let me tell you, they ROCKED!
1/2 cup nonhydrogenated shortening 1/2 cup nonhydrogenated margarine, I use Earth Balance 3 1/2 cups powdered sugar, sifted if clumpy 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract 1/4 cup plain soy milk or soy creamer
Beat the "butters" together then add the sugar, vanilla & extract. Beat for about 5-7 minutes and frost to your hearts content.
I can vouch for these cupcakes, any person, vegan or not would be silly not to eat one or two or three of these babies! All of GiGi's friends gobbled them up like they hadn't eaten in weeks!