Saturday, June 16, 2012

New Blog

I have decided to start a new blog. This blog has been a fun place to share some of my favorite recipes and ideas about health, however, recently I have decided to be Vegan. Many of my recipes on this site contain meat and/or dairy, so I thought it might be nice to have a blog centered wholly on plant based foods. You will find me at my new blog GO PLANT YOURSELF.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Spelt Thins

I found an amazing blog that I just love!  It's called Oh She Glows.  I found a great recipe I wanted to try, Wheat Thins. I am trying to get away from using a lot of wheat,  so I made a substitution or two to her recipe.  This is HER recipe all the way!  But I do love that I could make my variations and it still turned out fantastic!  These home made crackers are, to me, so much better than the origional "Wheat Thin" crackers.  I hope you enjoy them as much as I do!

Spelt Thins
1 1/4 cups spelt flour
1 1/2 tablespoons unrefined sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon paprika
4 tablespoons chilled extra virgin coconut oil
1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons water (maybe more)
1/4 teaspoon vanilla

Preheat oven to 400.  Line two large baking sheets with parchment.  In a large bowl, mix dry ingredients.  With a pastry cutter, cut in coconut oil until the mixture is in fine crumbles.

Mix vanilla and water and then pour into the flour mixture.  Stir this mixture until it comes together.  Flour your hands and get in and work the dough with your hands until the mixture is soft and pliable. 

Split dough in half and flour your counter.  Roll the dough very thin and cut into squares or with a small cookie cutter, cut shapes into your dough.  With a spatula, move the cut pieces to your large baking sheets.  Bake 10 minutes.  Watch closely.  Rotate your pan halfway through baking.  (I did overbake my first batch and they were still very yummy)

*my variations were using coconut oil instead of Earth Balance.  I also decreased the amount of salt, but did sprinkle some on top of the crackers.  I used spelt instead of wheat.


Monday, April 16, 2012

Raisin Pecan Bars (Vegan)

This recipe is an adaptation of one of my favorites. The Original is completely different, but if you want it for reference you will find it in the book Set For Life "Alan's Cookies".

We have recently decided to go "Vegan". I know what you're thinking, really?! Will she ever make up her mind on what to eat? The answer is probably no. The more I study the more I learn and I am just trying to find the "right" thing for me. The funny thing is, if you read over this blog, you will find I started by eating low carb. I have decided that is definitely not for me. It is not a way of eating that can be maintained long term. Also, in light of several documentaries and several books I've read, I have learned that eating that way is a sure way to develop cancer. I would like to live a long time and so I have decided to cut out all meat and dairy products. Let me just say that, for me, this works. I have battled anxiety and weight problems for quite a long time and I have been doing this for two months and I am finding many symptoms I've experienced starting to disappear! I feel so much better!

In an effort to feed my family and to find variety, I have been recipe hunting like crazy! I am not a professional chef nor do I claim to even be that great of a cook, but I am a Mom and when I find something my kids will eat and that I like, I will continue to post it! Hope you enjoy these bars. They were gone in 10 minutes. They were so incredibly nummy!

Raisin Pecan Bars (Vegan)

1 C Coconut Oil

1 C Agave

1 C. turbinado sugar or any unrefined sugar

4 T. Ground golden Flax

1/2 C. Water

2 t. Vanilla

3 C. Spelt flour

1 C. ground Oat flour

2 C. Rolled Oats

1/2 C. Ground almonds

1 t. Salt

1 1/2 t. Soda

1 t. Baking Powder

1 C Raisins

1/2 C Coconut

1/2 C. Pecans

Cream oil, agave, and sugar. Add flax, water and vanilla. Mix well. Add all the flour, one cup at a time until well mixed. Add rolled oats, ground almonds, salt, soda, baking powder and mix only until combined. Add raisins, coconut and pecans, mix in. Bake on a large cookie sheet in bar form for 15 minutes.


Sunday, April 8, 2012

Quick Skillet Bread

I'm not sure where I found this recipe. If you ever see the source, let me know. It is so incredibly simple and so tasty! I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.

Quick Skillet Bread

Nonstick spray
½ c. garbanzo bean flour
1 pinch salt
2/3 c. water, room temp.

Preheat nonstick sauté pan. Whisk the flour, salt and water together, batter will be thin. When a drop of water dances on the pan, add nonstick spray. Pour batter (a few tablespoons worth). Tilt pan to distribute batter evenly. Cook over medium to medium high heat for about 2 minutes. Flip and cook other side.

If you want them thin, they will have some small bubbles (sort of like little holes in the crepe, this is great for spreading guacamole and filling with veggies.)

Making them thicker, just add more batter and cook a little longer to wrap beans or anything runny.


Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Intuitive Eating

How does it sound to never have to diet again? How about eating whatever you want? How would you like to feel peace about what you eat and not worry about calculating every little gram of anything again? How would you like to respect your body, love it for what it is? How would feel about not comparing every inch of yourself to others?

Do you find that when you even think about cutting sugar, carbs or fats out of your diet, all you can think about is eating them, even more than normal? Do you find that when you have a chance to eat the foods you cut out of your diet, you tend to binge on them when given the opportunity? Do you keep any of these foods out of your pantry so you aren't tempted by them? Have you ever begun a diet by have a "Last Supper" meal (eating all the foods you will be deprived from?)

This book discusses our different eating personalities...some of us are a couple of these...maybe they ring true to you, like they did for me.

Careful Eater - This kind of eater spends quite a bit of time planning meals or snacks, worrying about what to eat and carefully calculating it's health content. This kind of eater is interested in health and carefully eating for the sake of the body image. This kind of eater can eat well every week or month to find themselves binging on the weekends or holidays. This kind of person may not "diet" but they do over analyze every food situation.

Professional Eater - This kind of eater is always dieting. They move from one diet to the next, hoping each new diet will be the "one" diet that will work for them. It may work for the short term but not the long term. Sometimes dieting takes place in the form of fasting, or "cutting back". Professional dieters know all about portions, calories, and all other dieting tricks. These kind of dieters will usually have a "last supper" meal lasting one meal or a week or more before the next diet.

Unconscious Eater - This kind of eater usually eats while doing other things, like watching t.v., in front of the computer, reading or working. The author describes 4 different kinds of unconscious eaters:
  • The Chaotic Unconscious Eater - This kind of eater is usually on the go all the time and grabs whatever is available from vending machines, drive thru, etc.
  • The Refuse-Not Unconscious Eater - This kind of eater will eat whatever is lying around. These kind of eaters are not aware of what they are eating. They have a "clean your plate" mentality.
  • Waste-Not Eater - values the food dollar, and will not let anything go to waste.
  • Emotional Eater - obviously uses food to cope.
These behaviors almost always result in chronic over eating.

The Authors give us 10 Principles to follow:
  1. Reject the Diet Mentality - The truth about deprivation, how it affects you psychologically. Willpower alone will never win. Do not deprive yourself of anything and in time you will find yourself turning away food.
  2. Honor Your Hunger - Keep your body fed with adequate energy and carbs or you will trigger a primal drive to overeat. If you find yourself overly hungry, overeating will almost always ensue. Listen to your fullness. Do not eat yourself sick, experience this for yourself and you will find yourself turning away food.
  3. Make Peace With Food - Give yourself unconditional permission to eat. If you tell yourself you can't or shouldn't have it, it will lead to feelings of deprivation. (She has many studies of healthy people who haven't restricted food and how putting them on a diet causing them great stress and unhealthy views of food resulting in many months or years to recover).
  4. Challenge The Food Police - "Scream a loud "no" to thoughts in your head that declare you're "good" for eating under 1,000 calories or "bad" because you ate a piece of chocolate cake." The food police give you many rules for eating and if you break those rules what that can do to your eating.
  5. Feel Your Fullness - Listen to your body signals that tell you you are not hungry anymore. Pause in the middle of eating to ask yourself how your food tastes, and what your current fullness level is.
  6. Discover The Satisfaction Factor - Ask yourself what you really want to eat and eat it. Enjoy it. Take time to eat. Satisfied now - eat less later. Sometimes we eat many things before we eat the thing we really want to eat causing us to eat many more calories than we would have. Pay attention to the color, taste, texture of food.
  7. Cope with Your Emotions Without Using Food - Do we eat for comfort, distraction, sedation, punishment, excitement, sooth, love, anger, stress, frustration, bribery, reward, etc? Write down your feelings (studies show this is very effective). Meet your needs without food. Rest, express feelings, seek nurture in things you enjoy like: friends, pets, yoga, bubble bath, spa, keep fresh flowers in your house, garden, meditate, soothing music, rest, (whatever of these things sound good to you). Deal with your feelings by writing them down, talking to others, cry, breathe deeply. Allow yourself to feel what you are feeling and those feelings, in time, will diminish. She suggests getting help through therapy, if needed.
  8. Respect Your Body - (this is my favorite chapter) Accept your genetic blueprint. Feel better about who you are. Be careful what you think about yourself and begin to replace it with the things you love about yourself. Do not compare yourself. (This is easier said than done, but I love her suggestions). If you respect and love yourself, you will naturally take better care of yourself. Throw away the scale and put away the tight jeans and wear beautiful clothes that fit you well, regardless of the size. Even a skinny person will feel fat in tight, ill-fitting clothes.
  9. Exercise - Feel The Difference - Focus on how it feels. Exercise because you love yourself and because you want to. Find activities you enjoy doing. Don't get caught in the exercise mind games (ie - if I don't sweat then it doesn't count). Make exercise fun. She addresses beyond physical fitness, addressing those who exercise to much and how we can do that in the name of dieting. (maybe we allow ourselves to eat whatever we want and exercise it off - this is a diet mentality.)
  10. Honor Your Health - Gentle Nutrition - Make food choices that honor your health AND taste buds and make you feel well. You do not have to eat PERFECT to be healthy. PROGRESSION, NO PERFECTION.
I put on my blog all of dieting woes. Last year I lost about 50 lbs. It was a great year, and I was successful but only in losing the weight, not in keeping it off. I have gained about 20 lbs back. I'm not happy about admitting that. I have spent so much time worrying about food and this book spoke many truths to me. I have battled food my whole life, even exercise. Since reading this book I have kept my house stocked with all the foods I haven't eaten...things like bread, potatoes, fruit, candy, etc. I have enjoyed eating it! I have not binged, which is interesting to me. I have candy in my house and it's not all gone yet (even if it was, thats ok)!!! I am on a journey to stop thinking about food and exercise all the time. I have turned down food, left food on my plate and have enjoyed not worrying about what kinds of exercise or how long I've exercised...I just go by how I feel! I find myself turning down junk food (the book calls them "play" foods) or eaten only a little because I find myself feeling sick or I find that I want something else more. In this book, we are encouraged that if we fight the fear (very scary to let our guard down and eat the foods we deny ourselves), we will find peace with food, no more binge eating and in time we will reach our natural weight. Doesn't that sound nice?! Already I feel so much happier about what I'm eating. I feel at peace already! I am not going to stress about how much weight I gain in the process (I have no scale anyway, lol). One very interesting thing to me is to watch children. We are born intuitive eaters. If they are not hungry, they won't eat. I highly recommend this book and any thoughts you have to share about it :)

Friday, May 20, 2011

Veggie Lasagna

I am the kind of cook that just dumps a bunch of whatever I feel like into the pot and sometimes end up with a great in an effort to try and write down what I'm doing, I am going to start posting recipes, picture or not. Some of these I will try to post pics and others, I just plain forget. Besides I am no photographer. There are other amazing blogs with lots of organization and wonderful pictures, but I am not good at that, so I just post the recipes mostly and really crappy pictures, ha! So, I apologize. I know that I love to look at pics when cooking. It gives me an idea of what the creator's dish looks like, so I can appreciate that cooking without the picture leaves you flying blind sometimes. I will post what I can. Please contact me for any questions!

This creation I made for family that was coming in town a few weeks ago. I made two lasagnas. We had 4 adults and 11 kids! So, I was worried that one lasagna wouldn't cut it. Needless to say I had almost an entire lasagna left over. Fine by me! It was delicious! One of the lasagna's was very soupy and the other was perfect. The key, LESS SAUCE...and no cottage cheese (only ricotta). I tasted an amazing lasagna once that had cream cheese in it. I have yet to try that on my own. So if you do, let me know how that goes. Sometimes I worry that the noodles are not fully covered by sauce and so I put more on, this isn't necessary. Also, many people cook their noodles before baking them, but I never have. I find that cooking it for at least an hour does the trick and my noodles are never mushy. They are perfect. So this is what I prefer. careful not to add too much sauce! Also, after my lasagna has baked for an hour, I take it out and let it sit for 15 minutes or so, uncovered. It gives it a chance to set. Also, experiment around with veggies you like. I've never been a fan of eggplant, so I don't use it, but my SIL said she uses it often. So, go crazy! Have fun and enjoy cooking! It's such a fun creative process for me! Hope you enjoy my recipes!

Veggie Lasagna

4 cups spaghetti sauce (see below for my homemade sauce or sometimes when I'm in a hurry I use Walmarts Great Value brand Traditional Sauce)
1-2 zucchini sliced
2-3 cups fresh spinach
1/2 box whole wheat lasagna noodles
2 cups ricotta cheese
1/2 cup parmesan cheese
1 egg
1/4 cup parsley flakes
1 cup mozzarella cheese

Prepare spaghetti sauce. Set aside. In a large bowl beat eggs, mix in ricotta cheese, parmesan cheese and parsley flakes.

In a 9x13 pan spread a small amount of sauce across the bottom. Layer the noodles, 1/2 the cheese mixture, 1/2 the zucchini, 1/2 the spinach, sprinkle mozzarella cheese, and top with 1/2 the sauce. Repeat layers again, Sprinkle mozzarella cheese on top and bake for 1 hour @ 350.

Homemade Spaghetti Sauce

1 28 oz can diced tomatoes (blended in a blender) or 2-3 cups fresh tomatoes
1 15 oz can tomato sauce
1 15 oz can tomato paste
1 tablespoon dried basil or 1/2 cup chopped fresh basil
1 tablespoon oregano or 1/4 cup chopped fresh oregano
1 onion, finely chopped
1 teaspoon garlic or 2 garlic cloves minced
2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons sugar (optional

In a saucepan, saute onion and fresh garlic in olive oil. Add all other ingredients and simmer for about 10-15 minutes or until the sauce is very thick. Add more tomato paste for desired thickness. ( I will sometimes whisk into the sauce 1/4 cup white bean flour to thicken for added protein).

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

White Bean Enchilada's

We've been eating a lot of beans around my house, just to warn ya, lol. I made these the other night and the kids LOVED them! I'm also posting this just for you Sister-in-Law Stephanie at her request. I hope you try them! :)

White Bean Enchilada's

3-4 cups white beans
1 onion chopped
1 can diced green chiles
2 cups Mexican cheese blend or whatever you have on hand :)
1 tablespoon Mrs. Dash Fiesta Lime
24 corn tortillas (use my recipe Soft Corn Tortillas)
1/2 cup sour cream
1 cup sour cream
1 cup plain yogurt
1 can cream of celery soup (optional)

Saute onions in a little water and nonstick spray until soft. Combine sauteed onion and white beans in a large bowl. Add Mrs Dash Fiesta Lime seasoning, and 1/2 cup sour cream. In another bowl combine the sour cream, plain yogurt, cream of celery soup and green chiles. Set aside. In each tortilla, add a spoon full of the white bean mixture, top with a small pinch of cheese and fold. In a large non-stick pan, place tortilla in fold side down. When finished with all tortilla's, pour the sour cream/yogurt mixture over the top of the enchilada's and top with remaining cheese. Cover and Bake at 350 for 35-40 minutes. Top with salsa and serve! Enjoy!

Variation: Use pinto beans instead of white beans (try mashing some of the pinto beans), for the sauce, use red Enchilada Sauce instead of the sour cream/yogurt/cream of celery soup.

Variation: To the recipe above try adding 1 cup salsa to either the bean mixture and/or the sauce. It makes it more spicy and gives great flavor!