Vegetarian Recipes

Creamy Zucchini Pasta

I look forward to making this creamy zucchini pasta dish every year when our zucchini is ripe. We headed out to the garden yesterday and picked some fresh zucchini. My daughter especially loves to help hunt for this veggie. It’s so fun when the garden is full of ripe veggies!

We decided to make this light delicate meal for an early dinner on the patio. It was scrumptious!
The soft farmer’s cheese is a perfect complement to the zucchini, and the subtle flavors of this dish make it a good choice for kids. Fresh artisan bread is the perfect compliment to this summer meal. Enjoy!

 

 

Ingredients

1.5-2 lbs zucchini (roughly 4 small-medium zucchini), shredded with grater
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 1/2 tablespoons freshly minced garlic
1/2 cup vegetable broth
2 1/2 tablespoons finely shredded fresh basil leaves
1 1/2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley
1/2 tsp dried savory
4 oz farmers cheese, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
parmesan cheese
salt and pepper
box of thin spaghetti

 

1. Finely shred zucchini with a grater. Place the shredded zucchini in a colander and let sit. Liquid will drain from the zucchini. After about 10 minutes, pick up the zucchini shreds in handfuls and squeeze out any excess liquid over the sink.

 

2. Heat olive oil in large skillet over medium heat. Add garlic and saute until lightly golden (about 1 minute). Add the zucchini and dried savory and cook for 5 minutes. Add the vegetable broth and fresh herbs. Cook a couple more minutes. Add the cheese; when it begins to melt, pour the sauce over cooked pasta. Top with parmesan cheese and season with salt and pepper to taste.

 

 

 

Fresh Strawberry Popsicles

Lying in the grass, eating fresh strawberries in the shade, watching the clouds roll by…That is what the kids and I did last weekend at Grand Teton National Park for a little getaway. It was so relaxing. And the mountains were so beautiful. It was a great trip to finish up the summer.

We’re back in full swing at home now, and ready to kick off this weekend with some fresh strawberry popsicles. The fresh fruit makes for an ice pop that is bursting with flavor. You can use this simple recipe as a base to make any berry combination. Have a fun weekend!

2 cups fresh strawberries
1/2 cup water
2-3 T honey or agave nectar (or more to taste)

1. Puree all ingredients in blender. Taste to make sure the sweetness is to your liking. Pour into popsicle molds. Freeze at least 4 hours. Enjoy!

Simple Spaghetti

My brother-in-law lived in Italy for some time. He learned how to make exceptionally delicious Italian meals. He taught my husband how to make this cheap and simple meal when we were newly weds. The ingredients are always around our house, so it’s perfect when you’re not sure what to cook and don’t feel like going to the grocery store to get a bunch of ingredients. 

-Jodi

 

INGREDIENTS:

olive oil

2 cans diced tomatoes

1 can tomato sauce

1 large onion, finely chopped

3-4 cloves garlic

2 tablespoons dried basil (varies depending on your taste)

scant 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper

pinch of crushed red pepper flakes

1 box whole wheat spaghetti noodles

freshly grated parmesan cheese

 

DIRECTIONS:

1. Heat olive oil in large skillet on med heat. Add garlic and cook for a minute. Add onion, cayenne pepper, crushed red pepper flakes, basil, and cook until onions are translucent (about 4-5 minutes). The cayenne pepper and crushed red pepper we usually add a couple pinches of each because we don’t like it very hot, but you can add more to your liking.

2. Add diced tomatoes and tomato sauce. Bring to boil, cover and simmer on low for about 20 minutes.

3. While sauce is simmering, cook noodles according to package.

4. Serve sauce with cooked noodles and freshly grated parmesan cheese on top.

 

Lima Bean Soup

This Lima Bean Soup Recipe is a nice comforting light meal. It has very nice subtle flavors that meld well together. My family and I find the simplicity of the soup satisfying and not necessary to add any salt or added flavorings. I love how this is a super inexpensive meal too!

-Jodi

Serves 8

 

INGREDIENTS

1 pound dry lima beans, 8 cups water
4-5 carrots, chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
32 oz vegetable stock
4 cups water
3 tablespoons olive oil

DIRECTIONS

1. Soak beans overnight in 6-8 cups of water. The next day, drain and rinse beans until water runs clear. Discard the bean water, and set beans aside.
2. In a soup pot, heat oil and cook vegetables about 5-8 minutes or until onions and celery are translucent.
3. Add water, vegetable stock, and beans to pot. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 2 hours or until beans are tender.
4. Place a hand mixer in the pot and blend some of the soup for added thickness. Or, place 2-4 cups of soup in a blender and mix until creamy. Add back into the soup pot. * I highly recommend doing this last step, because it adds a nice thickness to the soup.

vegan gluten free brown rice and wild rice pilaf with fresh basil and pine nuts

Basil and Pine Nut Pilaf

This Basil and Pine Nut Pilaf is a really great recipe that uses up leftover rice. Thanks to Jessica  who gave us this recipe a few years back. It’s got nuts, fresh basil and garlic. Yum! Hang on to this recipe for a quick side dish this week.

~Jodi

 

Below are Jessica’s notes along with the recipe. Enjoy!

This is a brown and wild rice pilaf with a great blend of savory flavors – fresh basil and pine nuts…yum.  I have found that making pilafs with brown rice is much easier in a rice cooker.  You simply cook the rice in a flavorful broth and then toss in the rest of the ingredients after the rice is cooked.

2 cups brown rice (I prefer short grain)
¼ cup wild rice
4 cups chicken or vegetable broth
3 Tbsp olive oil
1 medium onion, finely chopped
4 large cloves garlic, minced
1/3 cup pine nuts, toasted
1/2 cup fresh basil (or more!), finely chopped
salt and pepper to taste

COOK RICE:  Place brown rice and wild rice into a rice cooker with the broth and turn it on.
SAUTE ONIONS/GARLIC:  When rice is soft, saute onion and garlic in oil in a large pan over medium-high heat until onions are translucent.
COMPILE PILAF:  Add the rice, toasted pine nuts, and basil to the onions and garlic.  Toss until well mixed.  Add salt and pepper to taste.

Note:  This recipe can also be made as a way to use up left-over rice.  To do so:  Pour 1/4 cup water or broth over 4 cups left-over rice and heat in microwave until warm.  If rice is especially dry, you may need to add additional water.  Saute onion in oil.  Stir sauteed onion, almonds and golden raisins into rice.  Add salt and pepper to taste.  Unless you cooked your rice in broth, using leftover rice may not be quite as flavorful as following the original recipe.

Note on toasting pine nuts:  put pine nuts in a pan over medium heat and once pan is hot, stir constantly until starting to brown and a nutty aroma is released.  This process makes nuts much more flavorful.

Peaches and Cream Oatmeal Muffins

This Gluten Free Peaches & Cream Oatmeal Muffins recipe is great for those who are trying to stay away from wheat flour. The oat flour adds a slight nutty flavor, and these muffins end up tasting a lot like sweetened hot oatmeal cereal topped with peaches. Make sure to use fresh peaches or the muffins will end up a little soggy. Enjoy!

-Jodi

 INGREDIENTS 

2 cups oat flour

1/2 cup rolled oats

1 T baking powder

1/2 cup brown sugar

2/3 cup milk

1 tsp vanilla

2 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp salt

1 cup fresh peaches, diced

 

DIRECTIONS

Mix flour, oats, baking powder, brown sugar, salt, and cinnamon. Add milk and vanilla- mix until blended. Fold in peaches. Pour into greased muffin tin. Bake for 20-22 minutes in the oven at 400 degrees.

Garlic Sauteed Swiss Chard with Romano Cheese

This Garlic Sautéed Swiss Chard with Romano Cheese recipe is a perfect accompaniment for any Italian dish. The only problem with this dish is I never make enough. My family eats so much of it, it ends up being about the same proportion as the main course. Anyways, if you love chard, you will enjoy this recipe.

-Jodi

 

INGREDIENTS:

3 T olive oil

1 T freshly minced garlic

1 bunch Swiss chard, stems cut out and chopped into 1/2 slices. The leaves coarsely chopped separately.

1 T butter

1/8 c Romano cheese or more to taste (you can substitute Parmesan cheese for Romano)

sea salt to taste

 

1. Bring small pot of water to boil. Add stems and boil for about 5 minutes (or until soft); drain.

2. While stems are boiling, heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add garlic and sauté for a minute. Add the chard leaves and cook until wilted. Add cooked stems to skillet with the leaves. Stir in a tablespoon of butter. Add Romano cheese. Season with sea salt. Enjoy.

Healthy & Simple Valentine’s Day Dessert

This Healthy & Simple Valentine’s Day Dessert recipe is perfect for sharing with someone special. It is so quick and easy you will be shocked! And it’s delicious! Chocolate, strawberries, and creamy Greek yogurt- who would have thought!

– Jodi

 

Serves 2

Ingredients

1 cup vanilla or honey flavored greek yogurt (I use Greek Gods Honey yogurt because it is rich and creamy.)
2 graham crackers, crushed
2 whole strawberries
shaved chocolate bark (optional)
chocolate syrup for garnish (optional)

 

Directions: 
1. Take crushed graham crackers and divide them evenly onto 2 plates. If you’d like to make the heart shape with the yogurt, read on. If not, skip to #2.

Heart shaped yogurt mold:
You will need a heart-shaped cookie cutter and very thick Greek yogurt in order for the shape to take hold (If Greek Gods Greek yogurt is available you can use this and it will work great). Place the cookie cutter lightly on top of the graham cracker and gently fill with the yogurt (you will use about 1/2 cup. Do not over fill). Run a knife across the top to smooth out the surface. Gently lift up the cookie cutter and remove. Voila! You will have a heart shape left. Sprinkle with desired chocolate topping of choice, and garnish with a strawberry.
2. You absolutely don’t need a heart-shaped yogurt in order to enjoy this simple, yet elegant dessert. Take 1/2 cup yogurt and drop it gently on top of the crushed graham crackers. Sprinkle with desired chocolate topping of choice, and garnish with a strawberry. Repeat with second plate.

 

Enjoy!

 

* to make gluten free, omit the graham crackers.

 

healthy valentines day dessert 2

Vegetarian Baked Ziti

Can I just say, “Delicious!” This vegetarian baked ziti recipe is a twist on a classic recipe with no compromise on flavor. Cheesy, creamy and sauciness all meld to create a luscious savory dish.

 

-Jodi

 

INGREDIENTS

1 T olive oil
1/2 small onion, chopped
2 tsp minced garlic
1/2 tsp basil
1 small bag baby spinach
1 lb penne ziti pasta
1 1/2 cups ricotta cheese
3 cups mozzarella cheese
4 cups marinara sauce
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Freshly ground black pepper

 

DIRECTIONS

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain. Place in a large mixing bowl.

While pasta is cooking, heat 1 T oil in pan on medium heat. Add chopped onions and cook for 3 minutes. Add minced garlic and basil. Cook until onions are cooked through and transparent. Remove from heat.

Add cooked onions, spinach, ricotta, 2 cups mozzarella cheese, parmesan cheese, marinara sauce to mixing bowl with cooked pasta. Add freshly ground black pepper to taste. Gently mix all ingredients together. Pour into 9×13 pan. Sprinkle with remaining mozzarella cheese. Bake uncovered in oven for 25 minutes or until cheese is bubbly.

 

Serves 6

 

 

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Light vegetarian frittata with zucchini and tomatoes

Zucchini Frittata

The zucchini Frittata is a light vegetable dish, with a wonderfully fresh taste of basil and thyme. It can be made fairly easily and quickly. This is a low-fat frittata variation, using less egg and dairy than traditional frittata recipes. And above all… it’s a great way to use all that summer zucchini.

-Curt

 

1 tablespoon olive oil
6 green onions, including tops, chopped fine
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 medium size zucchini, halved lengthwise and cut into 1/4 inch slices
1 can diced tomatoes, drained well and extra water pressed out.
1/4 teaspoon each dried basil and thyme,
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
2 large eggs
¼ tsp salt (optional)
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

 

PREHEAT: Preheat oven to 350° F.
COOK: In a non-stick 10-inch skillet with an ovenproof handle, heat the olive oil over moderate heat for 1 minute. Add the green onions and cook, uncovered, until soft – about 5 minutes. Add the garlic, zucchini, tomatoes, basil, thyme, and pepper and cook, covered, until the zucchini is just tender – about 3 minutes. In order for the frittata to set well, drain off excess liquid.
MIX: In a small bowl, whisk together the egg and egg white (eggs) and salt; pour into the vegetable mixture in the skillet. With skillet still on stove, slowly stir mixture until egg begins to barely “set”, almost like an omelette. At this point, pull off of stove and sprinkle with cheese.
BAKE: Place the skillet in the oven and bake the frittata, uncovered, until just set – about 3 -5 minutes. Raise the oven temperature to broil and place the skillet in the broiler 5 to 6 inches from the heat; broil for 2 to 3 minutes or until the frittata is golden.
FINISH: Allow to slightly cool. Cut into wedges and serve.

Slow Cooker Wheat Berry Cereal

This is a recipe that my hubby remembers eating as a kid and requests it every so often because it really sits good in your stomach. We tend to eat it more in the winter months because it is a warm cereal, but any time of the year is great. This Wheat Berry Cereal is hearty and filling and good at keeping you satisfied until lunchtime. Wheat berries are full of protein, potassium, folate and fiber. Serve with your favorite whole wheat bread, and top with fresh fruit for a nutrient-rich breakfast.

-Jodi

 

INGREDIENTS

2 cups wheat berries
5 cups water
1/2 tablespoon salt
brown sugar for sprinkling on top (optional)

 

DIRECTIONS

1. Combine all ingredients in slow cooker. Cook on low for 8-10 hrs.
2. Drain wheat berries. Serve in cereal bowl topped with brown sugar and your choice of milk. The cereal is also good topped with fresh fruit. Enjoy!

 

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Butternut squash soup seasoned with sage and curry for a comforting meal

Butternut Squash Soup

This is an exceptional soup. Full of healthy bright yellow butternut squash full of Vitamin A. Perfect for a winter evening’s meal. It has become one of  our favorites.

-Curt

1 butternut squash
1 yellow onion
3 white potatoes
1 cup sweet frozen corn
6 cups chicken stock
1 tsp sage
1 cup half and half or cream
2 tblsp sour cream
2 tsp curry
salt and pepper to taste

 

ROAST: Prick the squash with a fork and place it whole on a sheet pan. Roast for 45 minutes in the oven  at 400 degrees until the squash has softened. Cool the squash, then cut it in half and remove the seeds. Peel the halves and cut into 2-inch chunks. Reserve.
COOK: Cut potatoes and onion into small chunks and put in large pot. Add corn and chicken stock. Slowly cook over medium heat till soup is at a simmer, add squash and coook till potatoes and onions are tender.
FINISH: Remove squash chunks with slotted spoon and place in a blender and puree. Return blended squash to pot. Stir and season with curry, salt, and pepper. Mix in cream, sour cream. Taste and adjust seasonings to taste.

 

Note:  I use a hand held blender wand to make my cream soups. Instead of going back and forth from a blender, an inexpensive hand held wand makes it much easier. Simply place the wand into the soup pot and blend carefully in the pot. Easy. I use the wand for many recipes. Well worth the investment for serious soup creators!

 

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Easy Black Bean Burritos

A few nights ago I didn’t know what to cook for dinner and we came up with this yummy burrito that my 5 year old daughter loved. Yay! This Kid Friendly Black Bean Burritos recipe is great when you are lacking in fresh ingredients, and don’t want to go to the store. It is very forgiving if you don’t have one of the ingredients and need to substitute something else, (i.e. pinto beans for black beans, or can of diced green chills for the bell pepper). It would also be great with pepper jack cheese in place of mozzarella. The options are limitless. Have fun with this one!

-Jodi

 

4-6 (10 inch) whole wheat flour tortillas
2 T canola oil
1 onion, chopped
1 bell pepper, chopped
2 cans black beans
1 can diced tomatoes with green chiles (or 1 can diced tomatoes plus one 4 oz can diced green chiles)
1 cup frozen corn
2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp oregano
3 oz cream cheese
mozzarella cheese, shredded
 

 

1. Heat oil in large skillet over medium heat. Add onion and bell pepper and cook for 3-4 minutes. Add diced tomatoes, beans, corn, cumin and oregano. Heat through, about 5 minutes, then add the cream cheese. Let mixture come to a boil while stirring often.

 

2. Stack flour tortillas on a plate and microwave for about 20 seconds or until warm.

 

3. Spoon the bean mixture down the center of a warmed tortilla. Add a handful of mozzarella cheese. Roll tortilla up. Wait a minute to allow the cheese to melt before eating. Enjoy!

 

Vegetarian Burritos with beans, avocado and vegetables

Ultimate Burritos

Ultimate Burritos were an easy staple vegetarian recipe during my college years.  It was just so easy to always keep a package of tortillas and some cans of beans on hand, and I always had a good supply of fresh vegetables to use in them.  My roommates would see me eating these and would be in awe at my gourmet dinner compared to the mac n’ cheese and ramen noodles they were eating.  I didn’t even spend much more time or money on my food.  Besides being inexpensive and easy, this is a fantastically fresh, delicious and balanced meal.  And a balanced meal is what I needed most to keep my body healthy and my mind active.

-Jessica

 

1 can black beans
1 can kidney beans
1 cup corn
whole wheat tortillas
Monterrey jack, Colby jack, cheddar, or vegan cheese, grated
lettuce, torn
tomatoes, diced
onions, finely diced
green bell pepper, diced
avocados, diced (or guacamole)
sour cream or plain yogurt
salsa or hot sauce

 

Directions for a crowd: Stir together the 2 cans of beans and corn in a medium bowl.  Microwave the mixture until hot.  Meanwhile, heat the tortillas, one at a time,  in a pan on the stove over medium-high heat.  Have each topping in a separate bowl and let each person create their own ultimate burrito.

Directions for the single college student: Stir together the 2 cans of beans and corn in a medium bowl with a lid that can be stored in the refrigerator (use this mixture all week long!)  Place a tortilla on a plate and line the center of it with a few spoonfuls of bean mixture.  Cook in the microwave for 30-60 seconds or until beans are warm.  Meanwhile, heat a medium fry pan over medium-high heat on the stove.  Remove the tortilla with beans from the microwave and place it in the fry pan.  Cook  until the tortilla has reached your desired level of crispiness.  This process combines the speed of cooking in a microwave with the improved crispiness of heating in a pan.  Place back on your plate and top with the rest of the toppings.  Roll up, and watch the envy on your roommates faces.  Or better yet, make them one too!

 

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vegetarian quiche recipe with broccoli and red peppers

Christmas Quiche

I remember being in first grade and telling the class that my favorite food was quiche.  I still think it is delicious.  This quiche recipe is fantastic and is healthier than most.  I use a large 10 inch, deep dish pie plate instead of 2 smaller pie plates so that there is more filling and less crust overall.  You can also omit the crust all together for a crustless quiche, that is also delicious.  The filling has lots of veggies, no bacon or ham, and less than 1 egg per serving.  It is called Christmas quiche because of the red and green vegetables it contains, but feel free to use you own favorite vegetables in it and to make it any time of the year!

~Jessica

 

1 prepared pie crust, unbaked, in a 10 inch, deep dish pie plate

1 cup diced or grated swiss cheese 

1 small diced red pepper (about 1 cup)

2 cups broccoli, chopped in small pieces

1/2 cup sliced green onions

6 eggs, slightly beaten

1 cup milk

1/2 tsp nutmeg

salt and pepper to taste

  1. PREHEAT OVEN:  Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.
  2. VEGGIES:  Saute the red pepper and broccoli in a little bit of olive oil until most of the liquid has evaporated from the peppers and the broccoli is slightly soft.  There should be about 2 cups veggies after they are cooked.  You can use any vegetables you like – just make sure that once they are cooked there is about 2 cups.
  3. EGG MIXTURE:  Whisk together the eggs, milk, nutmeg, salt and pepper.
  4. LAYER:  Sprinkle the cheese evenly on the bottom of the pie crust.  Then sprinkle on the cooked veggies and the green onions.  Lastly, pour the egg mixture over the top.
  5. BAKE:  Bake at 450 for 15 minutes, then turn the heat down to 350 and bake for an additional 30-35 minutes or until the egg has mostly firmed up in the middle
  6. COOL:  Let the quiche cool for 5-10 minutes before serving.  It can also be served at room temperature or cold.

Serve with some whole grain bread and a side salad or fruit.

Note:  If making a crustless quiche, be sure to spray the pie plate with a non-stick spray before placing the fillings inside or you will have a hard time getting them out!

 

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Oatmeal cookies recipe with pumpkin, chocolate chips, cranberries and whole wheat flour.

Pumpkin Oatmeal Cookies

These cookies are soft, chewy, moist, and have the most pleasing flavor of pumpkin fall spices.  I got the original recipe from twopeasandtheirpod.com  So thank you Maria and Josh for giving me one of my two all time favorite cookie recipes!  I just did a little bit of tweaking to make it 100% whole grain and added a few more oats, since I love oats 🙂  I hope you love these as much as I do!

-Jessica

 

2 cups whole wheat pastry flour

1 tsp baking soda

1 1/2 tsp cinnamon

1/4 tsp ground ginger

1/8 tsp nutmeg

1/8 tsp allspice

1/8 tsp cloves

1/2 tsp salt

1 cup butter, slightly softened

1 cup brown sugar, packed

1 cup granulated sugar

1 cup pumpkin puree

1 egg

1 tsp vanilla

2 cups old-fashioned oats

1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

1 cup dried cranberries

 

  1.  Oven prep:  Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.
  2. Dry ingredients:  In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, allspice, cloves, and salt.  Set dry ingredients aside.
  3. Wet ingredients:  In a large bowl, beat butter and sugars until light and fluffy.  Add pumpkin, egg, and vanilla.  Beat until combined.
  4. Mixing:  Gradually add the dry ingredient mixture to the wet ingredients and mix until well incorporated.  Stir in oats, chocolate chips, and dried cranberries.
  5. Baking:  Drop cookie dough by rounded tablespoons onto the prepared baking  sheet.  Bake cookies for 12 minutes or until cookies are lightly browned.  Cool on the baking sheets for 2 minutes since they will be pretty soft and mushy still, then remove them to wire racks to cool completely.

 

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Thanksgiving healthy snack for Kids

My daughter and I had so much fun making healthy Halloween snacks that we thought we’d better create one for Thanksgiving too. We ended up creating this darling fruit turkey with fun big eyes and colorful feathers. It is a great snack to make with your little ones for a Thanksgiving festivity. My 5 year old had so much fun and feasting on it afterwards was a great treat.

I really didn’t have to help much- just a little with applying the peanut butter.

 

-Jodi

 

Makes 4 Turkeys

Ingredients:

1 large apple, cored and sliced in half, and then slice in half again horizontally
1/2 orange, peeled, separated into slices, and then cut the slices into small chunks.
few grapes, raisins, or apple bites
1 graham cracker sheet, broken into 4 pieces
nutella spread, thick peanut butter, or cream cheese
*mini marshmallows
12 tooth picks
Directions: 

1- TURKEY HEAD- to make the face, we used a graham cracker for the head, squished mini marshmallows and raisins for the eyes, orange slice for the beak, and a piece of apple skin for the waddle. Glue everything onto the graham cracker with peanut butter.
Attach the graham cracker turkey head to the apple with another dab of peanut butter.

2- FEATHERS- Poke 4 toothpicks into the back of the apple. Slide fruit bites onto the toothpicks. That’s it! Enjoy!

*You can use whipped cream cheese for the eyes instead of marshmallows to make it with less sugar.

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Moist cornbread recipe with honey and yogurt

Super Moist Cornbread

Cornbread is notoriously crumbly.  My mother’s recipe was the best around because it was so moist.  I have altered her recipe to make it 100% whole grain, while still retaining the yummy moist goodness.  This cornbread is not too sweet and is delicious with a bowl of soup or chili, and is also good with honey or jam and a side of fruit for breakfast.

2 eggs
3 Tbsp honey
1 cup plain nonfat yogurt
2 Tbsp melted butter (optional)
1 cup whole white wheat flour
2/3 cup whole grain cornmeal
2 tsp baking powder
½ tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt
2 Tbsp freshly ground flax seed (optional)

 

MIX: Mix wet ingredients and dry ingredients separately and then carefully stir together, just until evenly moistened.  Pour into a 9×9 pan sprayed with non-stick cooking spray.
BAKE: Bake at 400° F for 18-20 minutes or until golden on top and a toothpick comes out clean.

 

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Skinny Corn Chowder

This skinny corn chowder recipe is a slightly modified version of the famous recipe my mother-in-law used to make back on the farm. It was always a treat when she had this marvelous soup waiting for us after a day of traveling. It was a perfect warm welcoming to get us settled in for a cozy visit.

This version is a bit healthier than the original with whole wheat flour instead of white flour and less butter. Hope you will enjoy it as much as we do.

-Jodi

 

2.5 cups boiling water
2 cups chopped potatoes
1 c carrots
Half cup celery
1/4 c onion chopped
Half tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
3 T butter
1/4 c whole wheat flour
2 c milk
3/4 c Parmesan
1 can cream of corn

 

1. Combine the first 7 ingredients and boil 15 minutes. Meanwhile make white sauce.

2. To make white sauce, melt butter in a large pot on the stove on medium heat. When melted and softly bubbling, whisk in flour until combined. Slowly stir in milk. Whisk constantly until heated through and thick.

3. Add cheese. Then add veggies and water; simmer until blended and hot. Serve with a slice of warmed wheat bread.

 

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Barley and chickpea salad with basil almonds and golden raisins recipe

Beautiful Barley and Chickpea Salad

Hulled barley is a more natural and fibrous alternative to pearled barley because it has its bran still attached.  Dried chickpeas (garbonzo beans) are much less expensive than the canned version.  The disadvantage that both of these foods have in common is that they take so long to cook and soften.  This recipe makes use of the advantages while minimizing the disadvantages by cooking them together in a slow cooker.  Plop them in the slow cooker with some chicken or vegetable broth and a few hours later come back to toss them with a delicious combination of herbs, nuts, golden raisins and dressing.  The result is a beautiful and absolutely heavenly side dish that is easy, nutritious, and inexpensive.

 

1 cup hulled barley, uncooked
½ cup dried chickpeas (garbanzo beans)
4-6 cups chicken or vegetable broth (or water + bullion)
2 Tbsp red wine vinegar
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 tsp dijon mustard
¼ tsp salt
¼ tsp pepper
¼ cup chopped fresh basil
2 Tbsp slivered almonds, toasted
1/3 cup golden raisins
1/3 cup green onions, thinly sliced
¼ cup chow mein noodles (optional)

 

SLOW COOK: Place barley, chickpeas, and broth in a small slow cooker.  Cook on high for 3-4 hours or on low for 6-7 hours or until soft.  Add more liquid if necessary.  When done, drain any excess fluid and cool to room temperature.
DRESSING: Whisk together vinegar, olive oil, mustard, salt & pepper.  Set aside.
MIX: Place softened barley & chickpeas in a medium sized bowl.  Add basil, almonds, raisins, & green onions.  Pour dressing over the combination and stir until well-mixed.    A sprinkling of chou mein noodles on top adds a nice crunch to the salad, but check the label if you choose to use these, as some are still made with trans fats.

Note:  If you would prefer to use pearled barley and canned chick peas, simply cook the pearled barley according to package instructions then mix the cooked barley and canned chick peas with the rest of the ingredients as instructed above.

 

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Apple Walnut Cake

I LOVE apple cake in the fall time. I make apple cake around here when the leaves are turning red and the orchards are full of apples. Our apple tree is still too young to bare much fruit, so we head up north to my father-in-law’s farm to pick red apples from their overabundant tree. This apple walnut cake recipe is something we eat for an evening dessert and it’s also great to have a warm slice for early morning breakfast with a glass of cold milk.

-Jodi

 

Ingredients 

3 cups whole wheat flour
1 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp cloves
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp ginger
1 1/4 cups apple sauce
2 tsps vanilla extract
3 eggs, beaten
4 generous cups of apples, peeled, cored, and diced
Topping:
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon

 

 

 Directions

1. Grease a 9×13 pan and preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2. In a bowl, mix together flour, sugar, salt, soda, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg and ginger. Next add applesauce, eggs, and vanilla. Mix well. Fold in apples. Pour batter into 9×13 greased pan.

3. In a small bowl mix the chopped walnuts, brown sugar and cinnamon. Sprinkle on top of the cake.

4. Bake at 350 degrees F for 40-50 minutes or until toothpick inserted into center of cake comes out clean.

 

 

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Vegetarian Penne Pasta recipe with Butternut Squash and Sage

Butternut Squash Penne

This is a modified version of a favorite recipe given to me while I was in college.  Olive oil replaces most of the butter, and there are almost equal amounts of squash and whole wheat pasta.  Serve with a side of green vegetables or a salad and you have a meal!

-Jessica

1 Tbsp. Butter
3 Tbsp. Olive oil
3 Tbsp. Fresh Sage, finely chopped
½ cup vegetable or chicken broth
¼ cup toasted pine nuts
1 medium butternut squash, peeled, seeded, diced into 3/4” cubes (4 cups), and     boiled just until fork tender
5 cups cooked whole wheat penne pasta (8-10 oz. dry)
salt and pepper to taste
grated parmesan cheese

 

SAUTE: Place butter, olive oil, and sage into a large saute pan over high heat.  After one minute, add the broth, toasted pine nuts, boiled squash and cooked pasta.  Stir until all is coated with the sauce.  Add salt and freshly ground pepper to taste.
FINISH: When thoroughly heated, plate immediately and top with Parmesan cheese.

 

 

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Healthy Halloween Snack #5: Witch Snack

Here is our last snack out of our 5 healthy Halloween snacks.  My daughter is going to be a witch for Halloween and we had to make a snack that matched her costume this year. This is our delicious wheat bread with Nutella snack. We loved eating this as a mid-afternoon snack.

-Jodi

To make one witch, you will need: 

2 slices of bread, part of an apple, 1 baby carrot, 5 raisins, nutella chocolate spread (or peanut butter).

 

Directions: Cut the witch face out of 1 slice of bread. Cut a triangle shape for the hat out of the second slice of bread. Arrange bread so the hat is on top of the face. Spread Nutella on the hat. Add 4 raisins. Place 2 apple slices in a straight line to represent the rim of the hat. Slice the carrot and decorate as hair. Place a raisin for the eye and a small speck of apple for a smile.

 

 

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Healthy Halloween Snack #2: Pumpkin Fruit

Here is our second out of 5 healthy Halloween snacks. We have loads of fun making this snack. It’s a Pumpkin Fruit snack made with oranges and stuffed with banana, apples, and grapes. Our favorite part is carving the jack-o-lantern faces on each orange. It’s fun and so much easier than a real pumpkin. : )

-Jodi

 

To make 2 you will need:

2 oranges, 1 banana, 1 apple  or some grapes.

 

Directions: 

1. Cut up the banana and apple into bite sized pieces. Set aside.

2. Carefully cut a circle out of the skin of the top of the oranges. Remove the top circle as best you can without ripping it. spoon out the orange fruit. You can either discard the orange fruit/pulp or cut it up and add it to the fruit. If you use it, you can omit 1 of your other fruits.

3. Using a knife, cut out pumpkin faces in your oranges.

4. Pour the bananas and apples into the hollowed-out oranges. Top with the orange lid. Voila! You now have super cute edible jack-o-lanterns.

 

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Healthier Honey Caramel Apples

We’ve made caramel apples before, but never had such delicious ones until we came up with this recipe. We were trying to make something a little bit healthier than the normal thick and gooey caramel apples, and this recipe totally won! This is hands down my daughter and hubby’s favorite caramel apple recipe now and mine too. The honey adds a unique flavor and when combined with the brown sugar and vanilla it is unbelievably good. We’ve found it is totally unnecessary to completely cover the apple in caramel. A healthier and less messy alternative is to the drizzle the apple with caramel, allowing for about half of it to be covered.

-Jodi

 

INGREDIENTS

1/3 cup packed dark brown sugar
1/4 cup honey
1 1/2 tablespoons butter
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon vanilla
3 tablespoons chopped pecans or other unsalted nut, optional
6 small apples, (chilled from the fridge).

 

DIRECTIONS 

Line a baking sheet with wax paper and coat with cooking spray. Insert a popsicle stick into the tops of the apples. Set aside.

Combine brown sugar, honey, butter and salt in a small saucepan and cook over medium heat. As soon as the syrup starts to barely bubble around the edges, stir constantly, for 1 minute. Remove from heat. Stir in vanilla.

Using a large spoon, drizzle a spoonful of caramel over each apple, turning as you pour. Repeat the drizzling process until it is all gone. Immediately add the chopped nuts. Let cool for about 10 minutes. Enjoy!

 

 

*Note- If you make sure the apples are cold from being chilled in the fridge for a couple hours prior to making this recipe the caramel hardens quicker than if the apples were at room temperature. 

 

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Pumpkin Pie Smoothie

This Pumpkin Pie Smoothie recipe is creamy, delicious, and great for kids! It’s seasoned with just the right amount of spices to get you in the mood for Autumn. Crumble graham crackers on top for an extra treat the little ones will love.

Serves 2

Ingredients:
1/2 cup milk or soy milk
1 cup  plain pumpkin puree
1/2 cup vanilla yogurt
1 banana (frozen if possible. If not that’s okay)
1 T honey or agave nectar
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 1/4 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1 cup ice cubes

 

Directions:
Blend ingredients in the order given. Serve immediately.

 

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Kale & Walnut Pesto

This Kale & Walnut Pesto recipe is a great twist on the classic. My dear friend Jeanne made this recipe for me, and I was blown away! Enjoy this recipe tossed with your favorite cooked pasta or serve with crackers.

-Curt

Prepare time: 30 minutes (approx.)

 INGREDIENTS:

½ cup walnuts
1 bunch kale, leaves torn. Discard thick stems.
1 cup grated Romano cheese
1 small clove garlic (additional to liking)
Salt and black pepper to taste
½ cup olive oil

 

DIRECTIONS

1. Heat oven to 350° F. Spread walnuts on a baking sheet and toast for 6-8 minutes. Cool.
2. Bring large pot of salted water to boil. Add kale and cook until bright green. Drain and cool.
3. In a food processor, combine walnuts, kale, cheese, garlic, salt and pepper and process until finely chopped.
4. Add olive oil through top feed and mix through.

Toss with your favorite pasta. 

 

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Zucchini Grinders

This is our most requested vegetarian meal for dinner time. It’s also probably the easiest dinner we have too. A classic favorite: Zucchini Grinders. It’s a sandwich smothered in a zucchini spaghetti sauce and melted cheese. Yum. How could you go wrong? It’s also great with cooked mushrooms. Hope you enjoy as much as we do.

-Jodi

 

Serves 4

 

Ingredients: 

1 T olive oil
2 medium zucchinis, cubed
1 pinch red pepper flakes
salt & pepper to taste
1 cup marinara sauce
1 1/2-2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
4 (6 in) whole wheat sandwich rolls, split

 

 Directions: 

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

2. Heat olive oil in skillet over medium heat. Fry the zucchini in oil until browned and slightly tender. Season with red pepper flakes, salt and pepper, and stir in the marinara sauce. Cook and stir until the sauce is heated through.

3. Place sandwich rolls open-faced on a cookie sheet in the oven and bake for about 5 minutes or until they are toasted. Remove from oven.

3. Place a square of aluminum foil under each sandwich roll. Spoon generous amounts of the zucchini mixture into each roll. Top with a generous amount of mozzarella cheese. Loosely wrap the foil around the bottom and sides of the sandwich.

4. Bake for 5-7 minutes in oven or until cheese is melted and bubbly.

 

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Vitamin C Boost Green Smoothie

This Vitamin C Boost Green Smoothie recipe rocks the house. Seriously- it’s awesome and a great way to start your morning or give you an added boost in the afternoon.

– Jodi

 

INGREDIENTS:

1 cup soy milk
2 cups kale (frozen works great)
1 orange, peeled and halved
1 banana
1 cup frozen pineapple
1 tbsp flax meal
2 T agave nectar
2 cups ice

 

DIRECTIONS:

Blend ingredients in the order given until smooth. Serve immediately.

 

 

 

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whole grain breakfast crepe recipe with yogurt and fresh fruit

Whole Grain Breakfast Crepes

One might typically think of crepes as a dessert, however, this whole grain version is a wonderful breakfast when filled with fruit and yogurt.  It makes a delicious dessert. Bon matin!

-Jessica

 

CREPES
1 ¼ cup milk
1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
3 eggs
1 tsp butter

 

FILLING:
yogurt
fruit (berries and bananas work well, but choose your favorite!)
powdered sugar (optional)
jam or jelly (optional)

 

BEAT:  Beat the milk, flour, & eggs in a medium bowl until there are no lumps.
COOK:  Place the butter in a medium sized saute pan and heat over medium-high heat.  Swirl the butter until the bottom of the pan is coated.  When the pan is very hot, quickly pour about ¼ cup of the batter into the center of the pan.  Pick up the pan by the handle and tilt it in a circle so as to let the batter coat the bottom of the pan.  It will cook quickly.  When bubbles appear on the surface and the edges of the pancake turn upwards, the pancake is ready to be flipped.  The other side will cook even faster.  It should be just barely golden colored on both sides.  Repeat with the rest of the batter.  It will take some practice to make a beautiful thin, round, and nicely colored crepe.  But even if they don’t look perfect the first time, they will taste wonderful!
FILL:  In a line down the center of each crepe, fill with yogurt & fruit.  Add a little powdered sugar or jam if the yogurt and fruit aren’t sweet enough for your taste.  Roll up and eat!

 

Note:  It is easiest to first cook all the crepes and then to have each person at the table fill their own as they are ready for them.  Also, unfilled crepes reheat well in the microwave if they need to be prepared in advance.

 

 

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Karma curried dip recipe for roasted vegetables. Made of yogurt, grape seed spread, curry, and spices

Karma Curried Dipping Sauce

This sauce recipe is easy to whip together and is perfect to dip roasted vegetables in.

-Curt

INGREDIENTS

2/3 cup grape seed spread (This can be found in health food stores with the name Vegenaise.  It is a vegan Mayo.)
1/3 cup plain yogurt
1 Tbsp curry powder
1 ts ground ginger
½ ts tumeric powder
½ ts chili powder
½ ts sweet hungarian paprika
¼ ts salt

 

MIX: In a small bowl, stir together the mayonnaise and yogurt. Stir in spices and salt. Cover and refrigerate at least 1 hour or overnight.

 

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vegetarian tortillas with beans and cheese

Tortilla Patties

This recipe has been in our family for years and years. My nephew Justin became a real expert at making these and is responsible for pushing it by making it at almost every family gathering he could.  It is really quite simple, just two layers of corn tortillas filled with beans and cheese and put on the griddle till tortillas are golden and the insides hot and melted. Serve with fresh guacamole and hot sauce. Easy. Affordable. Filling.

-Curt

 

Corn Tortillas
Vegetarian low fat refried beans
grated cheese

OPTIONAL TOPPINGS
Fresh Guacamole
Fresh Salsa
Shredded Lettuce

 

PREPARE: Place tortilla on plate and spread on a layer of refried beans followed by a topping of grated cheese. Top with another tortilla.
FRY: Place on a lightly oiled hot skillet and cook the layered tortilla till golden brown. Then gently flip tortilla and brown the other side. That is it! It’s done!
FINISH: Serve with guacamole, shredded lettuce, salsa, hot sauce etc.

 

NOTE: These should be really easy and quick to make. Sometimes it works best to microwave the layered tortillas till the insides are hot and the cheese is melted – then transfer the concoction to the griddle and brown the tortillas. It makes it faster and easier not to burn the tortillas while still getting the insides nice and hot.

 

You Might Also Like

 • Artichoke and Feta Tortilla Wraps from Everyday Health

 

 

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vegetarian lasagna recipe with whole wheat noodles and spinach

Vegetarian Lasagna

As a child, my mother gave me my choice of dinners on my birthday.  I always… always chose lasagna. Now that I am much older, I still haven’t lost my affection for this wonderful Italian dish.  In order to appease my insatiable desire for my boyhood favorite, I have come up with my lower-fat, vegetarian version.  It takes a little time but is well worth the effort… and this recipe makes excellent leftovers.

-Curt

1 Box (8 noodles) of whole grain lasagna noodles.
2 bunches of spinach.  (washed thoroughly and chopped)
1 6 oz.. can olives chopped
1 lb chopped mushrooms
24 ounces cottage cheese
8 ounces of low fat mozzarella cheese
4 ounces sharp cheddar cheese

 

SAUCE
15-oz can crushed tomatoes
15-oz can tomato sauce
Tomato paste to thicken (about 4 tablespoons)
1 clove crushed Garlic
1 tsp Oregano
2 tsp Basil
1 tsp Onion Powder
salt & pepper to taste

 

BOIL: Cook noodles as directed on package.  Drain and set aside.
SAUTE: Saute mushrooms and spinach in a teaspoon or two of water. When done strain out all excess water and set aside for assembly.
HEAT: Combine all sauce ingredients in a large pot and slowly heat over low temperature.  Set aside for assembly.
PREPARE: Grate cheese and set aside for assembly. To assemble, simply layer noodles, then sauce, then veggies and then cheese in a large (preferably deep dish) cassarole dish.  Repeat until all ingredients are gone or until casserole dish is full.
BAKE: Bake at 375° F for 40 minutes or until cheese is golden brown.  Allow to slightly cool.
FINISH: Serve hot with whole wheat garlic bread & salad. This lasagna “sets up” much firmer after overnight refrigeration.  It makes great leftovers… in fact it’s maybe better the second day!

 

 

 

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Whole Wheat Pastry Dough

That’s right!  It is possible to make a pastry dough recipe without white flour and without shortening.  Great for making dinner pot-pies, dessert fruit pies, and just about anything else you would use traditional pastry dough for.

-Jessica

2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
1 tsp salt
3/4 cup cold butter
5-8 Tbsp very cold water

 

MIX: Stir flour and salt together in a large bowl. Cut butter into small pieces and rub into dry ingredients with clean hands until it is mostly mixed in.  You can also use a pastry cutter to do this.  Sprinkle in water, 1 Tbsp at a time, and knead lightly in the bowl using just enough water until a dough forms.
ROLL: Separate the dough into 2 equal pieces.  Form each into a ball and press into a disc shape.  Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for about 30 minutes before rolling.  Roll out the dough as thinly as possible while still being able to keep it intact.  Makes one 9” double pie crust, or two 9” single pie crusts.  Bake according to pie instructions.

 

Note: This dough can be made up to a few days in advance.  Store in disc shapes wrapped in plastic wrap until ready to use.  Let sit at room temperature 30 minutes prior to rolling.

 

 

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roasted vegetables recipe seasoned with olive oil, sea salt, and italian seasonings

Oven Baked Herbed Vegetables

When I first tasted these delicious potato wedges I literally went bonkers over them.  I devoured a whole plateful and begged my friend Nina for the recipe.  She graciously shared it with me and it has become a regular in our home.  This is a great side dish for parties or when company comes over.  It is very easy to prepare and takes very little time.

-Curt

 

MAIN VEGGIES
Potatoes (red, white and russet)
Red Onion
Yams

OIL AND SEASONINGS
Olive Oil or Grape seed Oil
Sea Salt
Italian Seasonings
Optional: Be creative. Try lemon pepper or any commercial mix’s.

 

OPTIONAL VEGGIES
parsnips
carrots
green beans (whole)
turnips
rutabagas
winter squash
peppers (green or red)
whole cloves of garlic
eggplant
asparagus
beets

 

PREHEAT: Preheat oven to 450°.
PREPARE: Clean veggies and cut into wedges and place in a large mixing bowl. After the veggies are together, drizzle olive or grape seed oil over the tops of them. Add seasonings and salt to your own tastes and with a large mixing spoon stir well, making sure each veggie slice is lightly coated with oil and seasonings. The oil will keep the seasonings coating the wedges.
BAKE: Layer on baking sheet coated with a bit of cooking spray and bake in oven at 450° for 40 minutes or until tender and browned.  At the very end, if needed, turn the oven to BROIL for around 3 – 5 minutes or until you get a desired roasted color.  Serve with ranch or blue cheese dressing or dip of your choice.  They are especially good with my Karma Curried Dipping Sauce (check it out in the sauces/condiments section). Or they are great alone!

 

Note: Don’t get hung up on exact measurements of seasonings or the oil. Just add enough oil to lightly coat the volume of veggies you are baking. Then add seasonings and salt to your taste. This is a fun easy recipe, be CREATIVE!

 

 

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potato salad recipe with green beans and feta

New Potato & Feta Salad

The combination of feta cheese, dill, and red peppers combined with a tangy mustard yogurt dressing makes this a fresh new potato salad. It is a great alternative to a traditional potato salad. Try to obtain fresh dill if possible, it will be well worth the effort!

-Curt

4 pounds small red potatoes, quartered, cooked, cubed about 1/2”
2 cups (16 oz..) plain yogurt
4 teaspoons Dijon mustard
4 tablespoons chopped fresh dill or 2 teaspoons dill weed
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 package (8 ounces) Crumbled Feta Natural Cheese
2 red peppers, diced
2 cups fresh green beans, ends removed and cut in half
4 tablespoons (about 3 stalks) green onions, ½ cup (about 6 stalks) chopped
Salt to taste

 

BOIL: Boil potatoes and green beans in advance and allow to cool. Boil potatoes for about 8 minutes.  Add green beans and cook another 5-6 minutes or until done.  Drain, rinse in cold water, and allow to cool.  When you are ready to make the salad, cube the potatoes about 1/2”, or slice into 1/4”.  Might be easier to cut before cooking them, so they cook evenly?
MIX: Mix yogurt, mustard, dill and black pepper in a large bowl. Add remaining ingredients including potatoes and green beans and mix lightly. Serve at room temperature or refrigerate and serve cold.  If allowed to sit for a few hours, the flavors will blend more.

 

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Easy slow cooker vegetarian refried beans recipe

Slow-Cooker Refried Beans

What’s easier than opening a can of re-fried beans, smothering them on a tortilla and chowing down?  Its a great snack and can be part of a great meal.  This recipe makes it possible to have the same easy snack available and have it be less expensive, more delicious, and all natural.  With only a few minutes of preparation, throwing ingredients into the slow cooker and then mashing them up afterward, you can store the beans in an air-tight container in the refrigerator and use them all week long!

-Jessica

 

2 cups dried pinto beans
6 cups water
1 tsp salt
1 onion, chopped
6 cloves garlic, chopped
1 tsp ground cumin

 

SLOW COOK: Add all ingredients except for cumin into a large slow cooker.  Cook for 4-5 hours on high or 8-10 hours on low or until beans are very soft.
MASH: Drain beans, reserving the liquid.  Mash or blend adding just enough reserved liquid to achieve the texture you prefer.  Add cumin.  Taste and add more salt if necessary.  If you prefer spicier beans, you can also add  green chilis (fresh or canned) and any other seasonings you would like to try.

Pears baked with brown sugar and cinnamon make this recipe sweet and satisfying

Baked Pears

Baked pears are so comforting on a chilly day.  They are soft, warm, and sweetened almost entirely naturally, since they are basically fruit stuffed with fruit.  This is an exotic looking dessert that really isn’t very hard to create.  Impress your friends with this yummy recipe, or eat them by yourself!

-Jessica

 

¼ cup raisins
¼ cup dried cherries, prunes, or dates – chopped if larger than raisins.
4 large Bosc pears
2 Tbsp brown sugar, packed
½ tsp ground cinnamon
2-3 Tbsp chopped pecans
½ cup water
1 cinnamon stick or ½ tsp ground cinnamon
Plain yogurt (nonfat or lowfat)

 

BOIL: Place all the dried fruit into a small pot of water and bring to a boil.  Turn down the heat and simmer while preparing the pears.  Peel and core the pears, digging out a cavity about 1 inch across and 2-3 inches deep from the bottom end, leaving the stem intact.  Drain the dried fruit, which should now be plumped a little, and put into a small bowl.
PREPARE: Stir in the brown sugar and ½ tsp cinnamon. Press the mixture firmly into the cavities of the pears and then set the pears, stems up, in a small baking pan.  Add the water and cinnamon stick.  (If using ground cinnamon, mix into water before pouring it into the pan.)
BAKE: Cover the pan with aluminum foil and bake at 325° F for 40-45 min. or until warm and soft.
FINISH: Serve the pears topped with pan juices and with a side of plain yogurt.

 

NOTE:  yogurt can be placed in a paper coffee filter suspended over a bowl in the refrigerator to create “yogurt cheese.”  The liquid whey drains out, leaving a thicker, custard-like texture that may be preferred for a dessert.

 

 

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tomatillos and black beans are the filling for this tasty enchilada recipe

Tomatillo and Black Bean Enchiladas

Light, zingy and zangy…this enchilada recipe is a break from the norm and you wont be disappointed.

-Jessica

 

Tomatillo salsa:
12 oz. (¾ lb) tomatillos, chopped
1 bunch (about 8) green onions, sliced
4 garlic cloves, minced
6 oz. can diced green chilies
1 jalapeno, seeded and minced
1 bunch cilantro, chopped
½ cup corn

2 15oz cans black beans
zest of 1 lemon (about 1 Tbsp)
½ tsp ground black pepper
12 6-inch corn tortillas
1 cup Monterrey Jack cheese, grated
plain yogurt for garnish

 

COMBINE: Combine the ingredients for the tomatillo salsa in a large bowl.  In another bowl, combine the black beans, lemon zest, black pepper, and 2 cups of the prepared tomatillo salsa.  This will be the filling for the enchiladas.
ASSEMBLE: Place as much filling as can comfortably fit into each tortilla, roll up, and place seam-side down in a 9×13 pan.  Once the pan is filled, sprinkle with cheese.
BAKE: Cover in foil and bake at 400° F for 30-40 minutes or until warm inside and cheese is melted.  During the last few minutes the foil can be removed to better melt the cheese without drying the enchiladas out too much.
FINISH: To serve, top each enchilada with a generous spoonful of tomatillo salsa and a dollop of plain yogurt.

 

Note: To prevent the tortillas from breaking during assembly, wrap the stack of 12 in a wet dish towel.  Place in the microwave for 40-60 seconds or until warm and moist.

 

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strawberry spinach salad recipe with poppy seed dressing

Summery Strawberry Spinach Salad

Sweet, tangy and perfect for a summer picnic – this salad recipe gets families to eat their spinach!

-Jessica

4 cups spinach, loosely packed
1 cup strawberries, sliced
2-3 green onions, sliced
1/3 cup slivered almonds, toasted

DRESSING
1/3 cup oil
¼ cup apple cider vinegar
3 Tbsp honey or agave (or 1/4 cup sugar)
2 tsp Dijon mustard
½ tsp salt
1 tsp poppy seeds

 

BLEND: Blend all dressing ingredients together in a blender until well mixed and frothy.
COAT: Place spinach in a large bowl.  Pour just enough dressing over the spinach leaves to lightly coat all the leaves when tossed.
TOSS: Add the strawberries, green onions, and toasted slivered almonds.  Lightly toss.

 

 

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stir fry recipe made with fresh ginger, bok choy, snow peas, pepper, and onion served over brown rice

Colorful Asian Stir Fry

This Colorful Asian Stir Fry recipe has FLAVOR and is gluten-free! I am picky with Asian food, because I need a lot of flavor.  A little soy sauce doesn’t cut it.  The subtle spiciness of fresh ginger and red-pepper flakes mixed with soy sauce, vinegar, and the natural flavors of the vegetables is quite delightful.  You will also love the variety of textures in this dish – the soft bok-choy leaves and rice, the crisp vegetables, and the crunchy cashews.

-Jessica

4-6 cups prepared brown rice
6-8 ounces shrimp, chicken, or extra-firm tofu (optional)
3 Tbsp soy sauce
3 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
½ cup water
1 Tbsp cornstarch
2 Tbsp canola or vegetable oil
1 large red onion, cut into large chunks
2 medium carrots, sliced rather thinly (¼”)
3 Tbsp fresh ginger, minced or grated
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 red bell pepper, cut into 1 inch pieces
6-8 oz. snow peas, ends trimmed if desired
1 bunch/head bok-choy, chopped coarsely
1 cup whole cashews
¼ tsp red pepper flakes, finely ground or crushed
1 cup canned pineapple tidbits or chunks for garnish

 

RICE: Start cooking the brown rice before chopping the vegetables for this dish, since the rice can take about 45 minutes to cook (follow package directions).

SAUCE: In a small bowl, stir together the soy sauce, balsamic vinegar, water, and cornstarch.

PROTEIN: If choosing to include shrimp, chicken, or tofu – cook this first and then add to stir fry during the last few minutes of cooking.  If using tofu, saute in a little bit of oil and soy sauce until it has shrunken and is a golden brown.  This will provide better texture and flavor.

STIR FRY:  Heat oil in a wok or very large fry pan over high heat for about 1min.  Add the onion, carrots, and ginger and cook for 5 minutes, stirring regularly.  Then add the garlic, red pepper, snow peas, bok choy, and cashews and continue to stir regularly, cooking 3-5 minutes more or until the vegetables start sticking to the bottom of the pan.  If using meat or tofu, add it in once the bok choy has wilted.  Then add the liquid mixture and the red pepper flakes, stirring constantly for 1-2 minutes until the sauce is thickened and vegetables are tender-crisp.  If you would prefer more sauce, an additional ¼ cup water can be added.  Serve over rice and garnish with pineapple.

 

 

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mango sorbet with lime recipe

Mango Sorbet

Sorbet is predominately frozen pureed fruit, and this sorbet recipe is just about as pure as it gets.  It is like slurping up a fresh mango!

-Jessica

 

2 1/2 cups fresh mango, pureed
1/3 cup sugar
2/3 cup water
1 Tbsp lime juice (approx. 1/2 lime)

 

HEAT: Combine sugar and water in a small saucepan and bring to a boil.  Reduce the heat and simmer until all the sugar is dissolved.  Pour into a separate container and cool in refrigerator for 1-2 hours until completely cooled.
MIX: Stir together the sugar water mixture, the pureed mango, and lime juice.
FREEZE: Pour into a 1-quart ice cream maker and freeze as directed by manufacturer.
FINISH: Serve with fresh berries.

NOTE:  Sorbet can be made with many different kinds of pureed fruit.  Try pineapple, strawberry, and any other kind you think would work well!  Lemon juice can also be substituted for the lime, which makes for some more variation.

 

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Vegetarian wrap recipe with avocado cucumber tomato and sprouts

California Tortilla Sandwich

This is a light cool sandwich, great for hot sunny days.  It is made “burrito style” with everything rolled up in a cool tortilla. It is stuffed with fresh tomatoes, cucumber, avocado, cream cheese and salsa. This recipe is very quick and easy to make. Of course, I always prefer whole wheat tortillas whenever possible.

-Curt

 

WholeWheat Flour Tortillas
Cucumber peeled and diced
Tomato
Avocado
Cream Cheese
Shredded Lettuce  or
Alfalfa Sprouts
Salsa

 

PREPARE: Lay a flour tortilla flat on a plate.  Spread cream cheese across center of tortilla.   Place diced cucumber in a row down center of tortilla along with sliced tomatoes, avocado wedges, salsa and shredded lettuce or alfalfa sprouts.  Roll up tortilla and anchor with a toothpick.  Voilà!  There it is!
FINISH: Serve with chips, and salsa.

 

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Tropical Stir Fry with cashews, pineapple, coconut and vegetables.

Aloha Tropical Stir-Fry

This recipe is a fun and easy spin-off of the traditional Asian stir-fry.  The pineapple chunks and shredded coconut really adds a delicious twist.  Aloha!

-Jessica

1 lb tofu, cut into 1/2” cubes OR ½ lb chicken, cut into bite-sized pieces
1 Tbsp cornstarch
3 Tbsp soy sauce
¼ cup water
3 Tbsp canola or vegetable oil
1 red onion, cut into 1 inch chunks
3 bell peppers (a mix of red, yellow, orange, or green), cut into 1 inch chunks
6-8 oz. snow peas
1 cup whole raw cashews
1 20 oz. can pineapple chunks or tidbits in juice (keep the juice!)
brown rice, prepared according to package directions
shredded coconut, for topping

 

SAUTE: Saute tofu or chicken in a bit of olive oil until thoroughly cooked.  For tofu, cook until golden brown for best texture.
MIX SAUCE: Place cornstarch in a small bowl.  Stir in soy sauce and water slowly to prevent clumps from forming.  Set aside.
STIR-FRY VEGETABLES: Heat oil in a large fry pan or wok.  Add vegetables and cashews and continuously stir.  If starting to burn or stick to pan, add part of the pineapple juice.  When vegetables are just tender-crisp, add the cooked tofu or chicken and the can of pineapple with its juice.  Stir the sauce again to make sure cornstarch is thoroughly mixed, then stir into vegetables.
FINISH: Serve over brown rice and top with shredded coconut.

 

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Healthy Pasta Vert Stir Fry recipe with Avocado, Zucchini, Asparagus and snap peas

Pasta Vert

This healthy stir-fry type pasta recipe is a simple way to add more vegetables into the pasta-lovers diet without skimping on flavor.

-Jessica

1 box whole wheat pasta (any type works fine), cooked
1 Tbsp olive oil
2 cups asparagus, woody ends removed, and chopped in 2-inch segments
2 cups sugar snap peas or snow peas
1 cup zucchini, cut in half and sliced in 1/4” slices
½ cup pesto (or to taste) – see pesto recipe in the sauces/condiments section
1 large avocado, cut into bite-sized chunks
1/3 cup pine nuts (optional)

 

BOIL PASTA: Cook pasta according to manufacturers directions.
SAUTE VEGETABLES: Heat olive oil in a large pan over medium high heat for 1 minute.  Add asparagus, pea pods, and zucchini and sautee, stirring often for 4 minutes or until crisp-tender and bright green.
COMBINE: In a large bowl (or in the pasta pot), add the pesto to the cooked and drained pasta and stir until it is well-coated. Add sauteed vegetables.
FINISH: When plated, top with avocado chunks and pine nuts.

 

Vegetarian sandwich with avocado peppers cucumber tomatoes and sprouts

Avocado Veggie Sandwich

Avocado is truly the king of veggie sandwich recipes.  It is easy and outrageously delicious.  There are quite a few variations of this sandwich that I have sampled in different  natural foods cafe’s while on my travels.   I have made these for guests on many occasions and it always goes over in a very big way.   This is a fairly simple sandwich to make.  It starts with layering a whole wheat bread slice with a seasoned avocado spread.. then is topped with layers of cucumbers, green pepper, and tomatoes, monterey jack cheese and alfalfa sprouts… all on whole wheat bread. It’s totally outrageous!

-Curt

 

Whole wheat bread
Cucumbers (peeled & sliced)
Tomatoes (sliced)
Green and /or red peppers
Alfalfa Sprouts
Sliced Monterey Jack Cheese – (or vegan cheese)

 

PREPARE:  Scoop out avocado and mash in a bowl till smooth.  Season with garlic salt and chopped green onion to taste. Slice remaining veggies and cheese and set aside for the construction of sandwiches.
FINISH:  Layer a slice of whole wheat bread with avocado spread… then simply layer remaining veggies & cheese on whatever order captures your imagination.  Top with sprouts and last layer of bread and cut diagonally.  Pierce with a toothpick and serve!
OPTIONAL:  Spread a bit of low-fat mayo on top layer of bread. (watch out for the fat!)

 

Vegetarian Cobb Salad recipe full of protein and veggies

Vegetarian Cobb Salad

Have you ever had a salad for dinner that didn’t leave you feeling healthy, only hungry afterwards?  This vegetarian cobb salad recipe is the answer.  Besides having lots of yummy fresh vegetables, it also has protein-rich beans, eggs, and cheese to help fill you up and satisfy your cravings for a real meal.  Make just enough for yourself or for a crowd.  Put on more of the toppings you love, dont include the toppings you dont love.  Make this your favorite entree salad!

-Jessica

 

Lettuce
Spinach
Green onion
Carrot
Cucumber
Tomato
Bell Pepper

Corn
Olives
Avocado
Kidney Beans
Hard Boiled Eggs
Cheese (cheddar or bleu)
Dressing

 

MIX:  Mix lettuce and spinach.  Top with the rest!  Try dipping your fork into a side of dressing before stabbing your bite of salad.  It gives you the flavor without too much dressing

 

 

 

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Creamy Waldorf salad with Avocado Citrus Dressing

Creamy Waldorf Salad

Here it is!  A creamy and wonderfully delicious Waldorf salad without marshmallows!  Its creaminess comes from the avocado citrus dressing. Yum.

-Jessica

 

1 large granny smith apple, cut into bite-sized pieces
1 large fuji apple, cut into bite-sized pieces
1 large stalk celery, diced small
¼ cup dried cranberries, dried cherries, or raisins

 

DRESSING
1 medium avocado
¼ cup fresh orange juice
1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
½ cup plain yogurt
1 Tbsp honey
salt to taste

 

DRESSING: In a small mixing bowl, mash up the avocado well.  Add remaining dressing ingredients and whisk until smooth.
COMBINE: Place the cut-up apples, celery, and cranberries into a medium sized serving bowl.   Stir in the dressing until everything is well coated.
FINISH: Top with walnuts and serve!

 

Note: This salad does not keep well.  Eat within an hour or two of preparation.

 

 

 

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brown and wild rice pilaf recipe with almonds and golden raisins

Honeymoon Rice Pilaf

On our honeymoon in Seattle, my husband and I ate at a fancy restaurant overlooking the ocean.  The view was beautiful and we ate fresh seafood with the most amazing rice pilaf on the side.  It was so good that we made a point to study it carefully and then tried to re-create it when we went home.  We did well and honeymoon rice pilaf is now a favorite in our home, for the memories and for the taste.

-Jessica

 

2 cups brown rice (I prefer short grain)
¼ cup wild rice
4 cups chicken or vegetable broth
3 Tbsp olive oil
1 medium onion, finely chopped
½ cup slivered almonds, toasted
½ cup golden raisins

 

COOK RICE: Place 2 cups brown rice and ¼ cup wild rice in a slow cooker.  You can also cook the rice over the stove according to package directions, substituting broth for water.

SAUTE ONIONS:  When rice is soft, saute onion in oil in a large pan over medium-high heat until translucent.

COMPILE PILAF:  Then add the rice, almonds, and golden raisins.  Toss until well mixed.  Add salt to taste, if needed.
USING LEFTOVER RICE: This recipe can also be made as a way to use up left-over rice.  To do so:  Pour 1/4 cup broth or water over 4 cups left-over rice and heat in microwave until warm.  If rice is especially dry, you may need to add additional water.  Saute onion in oil.  Stir sauteed onion, almonds and golden raisins into rice.  Add salt to taste, if needed.  Unless you cooked your rice in broth, using leftover rice may not be quite as flavorful as following the original recipe.
Note on toasting almonds: Put almonds in a pan over medium heat and once pan is hot, stir constantly until starting to brown and a nutty aroma is released.

 

 

 

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zingy bean salsa recipe with beans, pepper, tomato, corn, onion and cilantro

Zingy Bean Salsa

This hearty salsa recipe is full of flavor and with its many colors is as fun to look at as it is to eat it!  It is also extremely versatile.  Try it as a dip with corn chips, as a filling in a tortilla wrap, as a topping on a veggie burger, or as a perfect pot-luck salad (see note).

-Jessica

 

1 15-oz can black beans
1 15-oz can pinto beans
2 cups corn
1 ½ cups chopped tomatoes
½ cup chopped red bell pepper
½ cup chopped green bell pepper
½ cup minced red onion
1/3 cup minced cilantro

¼ cup olive oil
¼ cup fresh lime juice (or red wine vinegar)
1 tsp salt
fresh ground pepper to taste
½ cup crumbled feta cheese (optional- for an extra zing!)

 

COMBINE: Combine all ingredients in a large bowl.  Cover and let marinade in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour before serving for maximum flavor.  Though flavorful, this salsa is very mild.  If you prefer a spicy salsa, feel free throw in some minced hot peppers- but start with just a little, you can always add more.  Serve however you’d like!  (see ideas at top of page.)

 

Note: This salsa can be converted into a delicious salad – a perfect side dish to bring to a pot-luck dinner or to simply enjoy in your own home.  To the already prepared salsa, add:

4 cups prepared quinoa or brown rice
2-3 Tbsp olive oil
2-3 Tbsp lime juice (or red wine vinegar)
½ tsp salt (or to taste)

Biscuits recipe made with buttermilk and whole wheat

Baking Powder Biscuits

When Cindy and I were first married, she showed me the proper method of making biscuits.  They have since become a favorite of mine.  I love a fresh hot batch of biscuits right out of the oven, served with a wide array of jams, honey and my favorite, apple butter. These biscuits are made with whole grains of course, and can be served with a meal… or are good enough to become the entire meal themselves.

-Curt

1/3 cup butter
1/4 cup cornmeal*
1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour or whole wheat pastry flour
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup buttermilk

* Optional: Substitute 1/4 cup whole wheat flour for corn meal.

 

PREHEAT: Heat oven to 450°.
MIX: Cut shortening into flour, baking powder and salt with pastry blender until mixture resembles fine crumbs. Stir in just enough milk so that dough does not stick to sides of bowl and forms a ball.   (Too much milk makes dough g ummy,  not enough makes biscuits dry.)
KNEAD & ROLL: Turn dough onto lightly floured surface.  Gently knead about ten times.  Roll out to about 1/2 inch thick.  Cut with a 2-inch biscuit cutter and place on an ungreased cookie sheet about 1 inch apart.
BAKE: Bake until tops are golden brown, around 10 to 12 minutes.  Remove from oven and immediately take from cookie sheet.
FINISH: Serve with butter, jams, honeys and apple butter.

 

 

Vegetarian potato soup with swiss cheese

Potato Soup

This is a hearty, creamy potato soup recipe that is satisfying enough to be a whole meal by itself. I cannot resist potato soups. I use sharp cheddar and Swiss cheeses for a taste that has just a bit of a kick to it.  This has become a classic recipe in our home… it is easy to make, and with the low cost of potatoes, a delicious and economical meal.

-Curt

 

8 medium potatoes, diced
1 1/2 quarts water
1 leek, cleaned & chopped fine or one onion, chopped fine
2 stalks celery chopped fine
1 tablespoons butter
2 cloves minced garlic
1 vegetable bouillon cube
2 teaspoons basil
1 tsp thyme
salt & pepper to taste
1/4 cup chopped parsley
2 cups 2% milk
1 1/2 cups sharp cheddar
1 1/2 Swiss cheese

 

  1. In a large soup pot, heat and butter over medium-high.  Add minced garlic and saute for 1 minute.
  2. Add water , cubed potatoes and chopped leek or  onion.  Add seasonings, cover and boil for 1/2 hour or until potatoes are tender.
  3. Remove 1/2 of soup and blend until smooth, then return to pot, (or with a hand held blending unit, blend soup just enough to make a creamy texture).
  4. Turn heat to low and  stir in  milk and grated cheese.  Salt & pepper to taste.
    Serve with whole grain toast

High Protein Coconut Cookies- Gluten Free

These cookies are amazing! What I like about this cookie is it offers a good base for a gluten-free or paleo cookie, it is high in protein and you can add anything you want to it. Nuts, chocolate chips, almonds, ground flax seeds, raisins etc. The only sweetener is honey, and a little stevia:)

 

 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

 

Ingredients:

1/2 cup butter, softened (or earth balance butter substitute)

1/3 cup honey

1/2 t. stevia powder

4 large eggs

1 t. vanilla

1/4 t. salt

1/2 cup coconut flour

1 cup unsweetened coconut, finely shredded

optional: nuts, chocolate chips, almonds, ground flax seeds, raisins

 

Mix together butter, honey, and stevia powder. Add eggs, vanilla and salt and mix again. Add coconut flour and coconut and stir until combined. **The dough will be sticky.

Bake at 350 degrees for 10-12 minutes (these cookies will not brown on the top but will be done when they brown on the bottom. Enjoy.

 

High Protein Coconut Cookies- Gluten Free recipe with coconut, raisins, honey

High Protein Coconut Cookies- Gluten Free recipe with coconut, raisins, honey

Salade Niçoise

Salade Niçoise comes from the town of Nice in southern France.  This entree salad has the perfect combination of mildly flavored toppings that blend together to form yummy French goodness.  The french certainly have a way with food.

-Jessica

 

1 head lettuce, torn
4 cups cooked brown rice, prepared as directed on label and cooled to room temperature
2 cans tuna fish, drained and flaked
2 hard boiled eggs, chopped or sliced
1 large tomato, chopped
1 green pepper, chopped
½ cucumber, chopped
4 green onions, sliced
1 can whole, pitted olives, drained
Italian dressing or olive oil and vinegar

 

Assemble 4 plates of salad by first spreading lettuce leaves over the plates.  On top each of the lettuce beds, first place 1 cup of rice, then ¼ of each of the other toppings.  Sprinkle lightly with either Italian dressing or simply some olive oil and red wine vinegar.  Bon Appetit!

Serves 4

Lemon poppy seed muffin with honey recipe

Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins

This is a light, sweet muffin with a tang of lemon.  Grating the peel and using the juice of a fresh lemon gives these muffins a real fresh taste.   I have always been a fan of poppy seeds which gives these a nice texture.  A great muffin for a brunch, a light trip or picnic.

-Curt

2 1/4 cups whole wheat flour
2 tablespoons poppy seeds
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup skim milk
1/3 cup honey
2 tablespoons canola or grape seed oil
1 tablespoon grated lemon rind
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 egg, lightly beaten
Vegetable cooking spray

 

MIX: Combine flour, poppy seeds, baking powder and salt in a large mixing bowl.  In a separate bowl, mix milk, honey, vegetable oil, lemon rind and juice, and egg.  Add to dry ingredients, stirring just until moistened.
BAKE: Divide batter evenly among 12 muffin cups coated with cooking spray.  Bake at 400 ° for 20 – 25 minutes or until golden.  Remove from pans immediately;  let cool on wire rack.

Note: Just barely mix-in ingredients.  Do not over stir… it will make for a tough muffin!

Grilled Italian Polenta recipe with mushrooms and olives

Grilled Italian Polenta

 

I heard a great chef once say, that the world was divided into two great categories: those who are polenta lovers and those who are not. A rather simple way of looking at life, but I suppose it is true. I, for one, am a true polenta lover. Polenta is an absolute staple in Italy. It is a thick corn porridge which is allowed to “set”, making a wonderful bed for various sauces and toppings. Polenta is usually cooked over the stove and continuously stirred until it becomes thick – a time consuming process. This recipe is cooked in a slow cooker, which eliminates the stirring and comes out with a perfect result every time! I pour it into a casserole dish and allow it to cool, then slice it off and fry or grill it, then cover it with this rich Italian mushroom sauce.

-Curt

 

POLENTA
2 cups whole grain cornmeal
6 cups boiling vegetable or chicken broth
salt to taste (if using bullion  for broth, no salt needed)

 

TOMATO MUSHROOM SAUCE
1 tbsp olive oil
2 cloves crushed garlic
1 lb sliced mushrooms
1 medium zuchinni, chopped
1 medium yellow crookneck squash, chopped
1 15 oz.. can chopped black olives
7 ripe roma tomatoes, diced
2 8 oz.. cans tomato sauce
1 tbsp basil
1 tbsp oregano
1 tsp rosemary
1/2 cup parmesan cheese
salt & pepper to taste

 

PREPARE POLENTA: Spray the walls of a slow cooker crock with non-stick spray and sprinkle in the cornmeal.  Add the boiling broth and whisk until lump free.  Cook on high for 2-3 hours or on low for 7-9  hours until very thick.  Pour and spread into a large bread pan, sprayed with a non-stick spray, and refrigerate until completely cooled and “set.” This may take a few hours.
COOK SAUCE: In a large skillet, heat olive oil and saute garlic for a minute, then add chopped veggies and seasonings and cook, stirring occasionally, until everything is just tender. Add tomato sauce, chopped olives and parmesan. When hot, set aside.
GRILL OR SAUTE POLENTA: Gently turn the loaf pan with the set polenta over.  Polenta should plop out easily.  Slice into ½” to 1” sections.  Grill both sides on a piece of foil until hot or Saute in a bit of olive oil over medium heat for about 5 minutes on each side, or until golden.
FINISH: Place polenta on individual plates and top with tomato mushroom sauce.  Sprinkle with extra parmesan.

Almond Broccoli Soup recipe- great for freezing and perfect for a light meal anytime of day

Almond Broccoli Soup

This Almond Broccoli Soup recipe is very healthy and goes well with a nice slice of multi-grain bread. It’s great for the freezer, which makes for a quick healthy light meal any time of the day. We love eating this for lunch with some hearty bread.

 

 

2 large heads broccoli, chopped into small chunks (including stalk)

2 tsp olive oil

2 cup onions

4 tsp tamari or soy sauce (preferably reduced sodium)

2 tsp thyme

2 tsp marjoram

2 tsp nutmeg

2 tsp dill

1 tsp black pepper

4 T almond butter

8 cups vegetable stock

4 tsp lemon juice

4 T fresh parsley, chopped

 

 

Directions:

Heat oil in large soup pot over med heat. Saute onions, tamari and spices for 2-3 minutes. Add chopped broccoli and cook for several minutes (stirring frequently). Add the stock and almond butter; bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until the broccoli is almost soft. Do not overcook broccoli. Let the soup cool down and purée in a blender or with a hand blender. Pour soup back into pot and add the lemon juice and fresh parsley. Serve while warm.

 

* NOTE: You can also use different vegetables in this recipe such as carrots, potatoes, squash and cauliflower. Each are nice variations.

 

 

This recipe is adapted from Deepak Chopra’s, The Chopra Center Cookbook.

 

 

healthy crunchy green bean recipe with almonds

Green Beans Almondine

A must have side dish for Thanksgiving, and goes well with all sorts of other meals.  Its really not much harder than making boring steamed green beans.  You simply stir in a delicious nutty coating.  If you want to boost your intake of vegetables, boost their flavor with recipes like this one!

-Jessica

 

1 lb green beans

1 – 1 1/2 Tbsp olive oil, butter, or a combination of the two

1/2 cup chopped almonds

3 cloves garlic, minced

1/4 tsp salt or to taste

 

1.  Green Beans:  Steam the green beans for about 5 minutes, or until they turn bright green and are just barely tender.  If you don’t have a steamer, you can also boil them.

2.  Almond Topping:  While the green beans are cooking, heat the olive oil and/or butter in a large skillet over medium heat.  Add the almonds and cook them, stirring frequently, until you can smell the nuts toasting – about 5 min.  Stir in the garlic and cook for about 1 minute more, stirring constantly.

3.  Mix:  When the green beans are done cooking, put them into the skillet with the almonds and stir until they are coated.  Sprinkle with salt.  Put the green beans into a serving dish and any almond topping left in the pan can be sprinkled on top.

Cranberry orange scone recipe with whole wheat flour

Lemon/Cranberry-Orange Scones

While visiting Arches National Park in Southern Utah, I visited a natural foods cafe called “Honest Ozzies”. There I was able to sample my first baked whole wheat “English Style” scones. I loved them. Since then, I have kept my eyes out for recipes for baked scones and have come up with this wonderful version of a lemon scone. They are wonderful for breakfast or picnics.

-Curt

 

4 cups whole wheat pastry flour
4 teaspoons baking powder
1 ½ teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
3 ½ teaspoons grated lemon/orange rind
½ cup cold butter
¼ cup olive oil
1 cup buttermilk (can make buttermilk by mixing 1 cup milk with 1 Tbsp lemon juice and letting it sit for a few min.)
5 tablespoons honey
¼ cup brown sugar + 16 drops stevia (can substitute 1/3 cup brown sugar)
½ cup sliced almonds – placed on top

OPTIONAL: chopped pecans, almonds, raisins, etc.

 

MIX: Measure flour into a large mixing bowl. Mix in baking powder, baking soda, salt and lemon rind. With a pastry cutter, fork or fingers, cut in shortening or butter until the flour resembles fine crumbs. In a separate bowl, add buttermilk, honey or molasses and mix well. Form a well in the center of flour mixture and add wet ingredients and gently stir in. The dough should be quite moist but not so sticky that it can’t be handled. If necessary, add either more flour or milk to get the right consistency.
KNEAD: Place on a lightly floured board and knead gently four or five times taking care not to over work dough. Using a floured rolling pin roll dough out into a 1” round. When almost to desired thinness, sprinkle the sliced almonds evenly onto the dough.  Continue rolling dough out until it is 1” thick.  This will press the almonds into the dough.  Slice into wedges like a pie and place on an ungreased cookie sheet.
BAKE: Bake at 400° F for 12 to 15 minutes or until done. Take care as to not over-bake these.

Grilled Tofu

Grilled tofu is easy to prepare and is a great alternative to that hunk of meat on your plate.  Tofu easily soaks up whatever flavors it is cooked in, so a quick soak in a delicious marinade is just the ticket for this fully flavored recipe.  Delicious served with brown rice and a side of stir-fried veggies.  For variations, try grilled tofu using your other favorite marinades.

-Jessica

 

1 14 oz. block firm or extra firm tofu, drained

Marinade:
¼ cup soy sauce or low sodium soy sauce
4 tsp vegetable, canola, or olive oil
1 tsp sesame oil
1 ½ tsp dark brown sugar, packed
1 ½ tsp fresh ginger, finely grated
1 clove garlic, minced
¼ tsp crushed red pepper flakes or hot sauce

 

PREPARE: Cut tofu crosswise into 6 slices.  Place in a single layer on top of 3-4 paper towels.  Top with another layer of 3-4 paper towels and set a baking pan or cookie sheet on top to press out the extra water.  Take care to choose a pan that is not too heavy.  After about 2 minutes, repeat the process with fresh paper towels twice more.
MARINATE: Stir together all marinade ingredients in a large pie plate.  Place tofu slices in a single layer and let marinade for 8-10 minutes, turning over every couple of minutes.
GRILL: Heat up either a George Foreman type grill or a ridged grill pan over medium heat.  Lightly oil the surface.  With a spatula, carefully place tofu slices onto the grill and let cook for about 3 minutes on each side or until grill marks appear.  Turn only once.

Cocoa Almonds recipe with cinnamon, agave nectar, raw sugar, cocoa powder and sea salt

Cocoa Almonds

4 cups whole raw almonds
2 Tbsp agave nectar, or honey
3 Tbsp maple sugar, or raw sugar
2 Tbsp cocoa powder
1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp sea salt

 

Preheat over to 250 degrees. In a medium bowl coat almonds with agave nectar. IN a separate small bowl combine maple sugar, cocoa powder, cinnamon and salt.

Sprinkle over almonds and stir until well combined (sprinkle on a little extra maple sugar or raw sugar). Bake almonds on a parchment lined cookie sheet for 20 minutes. Stir and bake for another 10 minutes. Cool and enjoy!

 

 

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Multi-grain waffles recipe with buttermilk

Multi Grain Waffles

This is one of my all time favorite recipes. A good waffle iron and a batch of super nutritious multi-grain batter makes for the ultimate breakfast. Great for when guests are over and you want to make something mind blowing. I am showing here how to grind your own flour and the amounts of each grain to exactly make the best mix. If you don’t have a grinder, (very sad) I encourage you to get one. It is one of those things you use over and over. You can buy whole grains (very cheaply) and not be reliant on going to the store.
But, if you don’t, which is okay, get multi-grain flour from the health food stores.

-Curt

 

BASE RECIPE
2 Cups flour
2 Tbls flax seeds
1 Tbls baking powder
1/2 tsp salt

 

WET INGREDIENTS
1 cup buttermilk
1 cup milk
1/4 cup oil
1 egg

 

TOPPINGS
Grape seed oil (instead of butter)
Fresh yogurt
Fresh cut fruits  (banana, peaches, strawberries, blueberries etc.)

 

FLOUR (grind the following)
Wheat (soft white) 2 cups
Oats 1 cup
Kamut 1/2 cup
Rye 1/2 cup
Spelt 1/2 cup
Corn 1/2 cup

 

PREHEAT: waffle iron.
MIX: In a large mixing bowl, add wet ingredients and mix thoroughly. Add dry ingredients to the wet and gently stir in with a whisk.
DO NOT over mix. One of the secrets is to mix quick at first till everything is blended, but then stop. Allow the baking powder to raise the batter without beating it down which happens if you mix when the batter is raising.
COOK: Spray waffle iron with non-stick oil, then gently pour enough to make a good waffle. Serve with pure maple syrup.

 

Note:  We recommend using healthy oils on the waffle instead of artery clogging butter. Try it! It is actually better, and better for you!  We always use grape seed oil as our favorite. It is the best!

tastey coffee cake recipe that is low fat

Coffee Cake

Coffee cakes are perfect for breakfasts, brunches or lazy sunday mornings.  What’s more they’re simple and easy to make.  In comparison with traditional recipes, the nutritional content of this coffee cake recipe has been greatly enhanced.  This cake calls for whole wheat pastry flour which add fiber and nutrients.  We have cut down on the fat content and added honey for the sweetener in the main body of the cake instead of sugar. Perfect for breakfast with a side of yogurt and fruit.

-Jessica

 

CAKE
1 large egg
3/4 cup skim milk
1/2 cup plain lo-fat yogurt
3 Tbsp. vegetable oil
1/3 –  1/2 cup honey (to desired sweetness)
2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
1/2 tsp. salt
4 tsp. baking powder
2 tbsp ground flax meal (optional)

 

TOPPING
2 Tbsp. sugar
1/4 cup finely chopped walnuts or pecans
1/2 tsp. cinnamon

 

PREHEAT: Preheat oven to 400° F.  Coat the inside of an 8-inch square baking pan with nonstick cooking spray.
MIX: In a large mixing bowl, whisk together egg, milk, yogurt, oil and honey.  In a separate bowl, mix baking powder, flour and salt.  Gently mix in dry ingredients into the wet ingredients.  Stir ingredients just to blend.  Do not overmix as doing so will make the cake tough.  Turn the batter into the prepared pan and gently spread batter evenly throughout.
TOPPING: In a small bowl, stir together sugar, walnuts and cinnamon;sprinkle over the batter.
BAKE: Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until the top is golden brown and toothpick or knife inserted in the center comes out clean.  Allow to cool in the pan on a rack for 10 minutes so center doesn’t fall in. Cut into squares and serve.

Potatoes Au-Gratin with Swiss Cheese

Potatoes Au Gratin

I have a real weakness for anything potatoes.  Potatoes Au Gratin, baked with cheese  to a rich and creamy perfection, aah…  potatoes were never at their finest.   It’s rich creamy texture definitely classifies it as a comfort food!  This recipe is made with lots of russet potatoes and a light cheese sauce.  I pre-boil my potatoes for a creamier texture  (it also cuts down on the baking time).  To keep down the fat,  I use 2% milk instead of cream.   The incredible flavor of cheese is reached by combining the mild flavor of mozzarella with the distinct flavors of swiss and sharp cheddar cheeses.

-Curt

 

6 medium potatoes, boiled and thinly sliced
2 cups grated swiss, mozzarella and cheddar cheese
1 teaspoon onion powder
Salt & pepper to taste
2 cups 2% milk
3 tablespoons lite-sour cream (optional)
2 slices of whole wheat bread made into crumbs (optional)

 

BOIL: Boil potatoes and allow to cool.
PREPARE: Slice potatoes into thin rounds and place in large mixing bowl.   Mix in onion powder, salt and pepper and 1 cup of grated cheeses.  Place ingredients in a 8” casserole dish and pour milk over casserole.  Top with rest of cheese.
BAKE: Bake for 1/2 hour at 350 degrees. Top with whole wheat bread crumbs!  (about two slices, toasted and blended up into fine crumbs!)

Note: For a added dimension try adding some finely chopped broccoli.  You will need to saute the chopped broccoli in a little water until just tender and then mix in with the boiled and sliced potatoes and the cheeses etc.  The addition of broccoli creates an entirely different dish!

salad recipe with cranberries gorgonzola and walnuts

Cranberry Gorgonzola Salad

Tart, sweet, and savory.  Crisp, crunchy, and chewy.  This salad recipe definitely draws attention to itself.

-Jessica

 

1 head lettuce (anything but iceberg, if you can help it), torn into bite-sized pieces
1 small granny-smith apple, cut into fairly small chunks
1/3 cup dried cranberries
1/3 cup gorgonzola cheese, crumbled
½ cup walnuts, coarsely chopped

 

VINAIGRETTE DRESSING
½ cup oil
1/3 cup red wine vinegar
¼ cup honey (or 1/3 cup sugar)

 

SALAD: Mix lettuce and spinach.  Top with the rest!  Try dipping your fork into a side of dressing before stabbing your bite of salad.  It gives you the flavor without too much dressing!
DRESSING: Shake or whisk together all ingredients in a cruet or small bowl.

 

 

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Vegetarian Potato Pot Pie recipe for dinner

potato pie

I discovered this recipe years ago and it has become one of our all time favorite meals. People go absolutely bonkers over it! It is a richly flavored pie and is very filling. It’s heaped with potatoes, spinach and green onions and baked to a golden brown. It stores well in the fridge, and makes excellent leftovers. I use 2 kinds of potatoes, and add cauliflower as an option to make it even healthier. This is a sure-fire recipe, easy to make, and everyone seems to love it. Buying pre-made whole wheat or whole grain pie crusts makes this a snap.

-Curt

 

MAKES 4 PIES
10 medium russet potatoes
(or my preference 5 russets and 5 gold potatoes)
2 cups finely chopped green onion
3 cups finely chopped spinach
3 eggs
16 oz. lite sour cream
24 oz low-fat cottage cheese
1 cup milk
4 tbl butter
2 – 4 cups shredded cheese (Use your favorite cheeses. I like swiss, gruyere, sharp
cheddar and jarlsberg)
4 frozen whole wheat 10-inch pie shells

SEASON WITH: Sea salt, pepper, 2 tsp onion powder, 1 tsp garlic to taste.

1. Clean and boil potatoes until tender. Place in a large mixing bowl and crush into small pieces with a potato masher.

2. Mix in the cottage cheese, sour cream, cheese, eggs, salt, pepper, green onions, spinach, butter and chives.

3. Pour into pie shell and bake at 400 for 50 minutes, or until filling is puffed and golden and shell is cooked.

 

NOTE: If you are making four pies, I recommend getting a huge mixing bowl. We have a 24” bowl which is perfect for mixing all the ingredients and having room to spare. Don’t worry about the exact measurements. A little variations are fine… have fun with this and adjust ingredients to what you prefer.

 

OPTIONAL: Variations of this classic pie can be had with some optional ingredients like chopped broccoli, spinach, asparagus etc. One of the healthy variations I make, is I boil a cauliflower, and blend it into the milk. Then, I pour that into the potato mixture which gives a nice flavor and the nutrition of the cauliflower.

 

Blender pancakes with fresh wheat recipe

Blender Pancakes

Growing up, this pancake recipe is what my dad always made.  The blender is the master tool.  It is used to grind the wheat, mix the batter and pour the batter onto the griddle.  These pancakes are easy, have minimal cleanup, and the wheat can’t be any more freshly ground than this!

-Jessica

1 ¼ cup milk (or 1/3 cup dry milk powder + 1 ¼ cup water)
1 cup uncooked whole wheat kernels
2 eggs
2 Tbsp oil
1 Tbsp honey
½ tsp salt
1 Tbsp baking powder

 

BLEND:  Blend milk and wheat in blender on high for 4-5 minutes or until smooth.  Add rest of ingredients and blend on low just until thoroughly mixed.
COOK:  Pour right out of blender onto a hot griddle.  When bubbles appear on surface they are ready to flip.
TOP:  Top with your favorite toppings keeping in mind that there are many delicious toppings that have more nutrients than simple syrup does.  Our favorites are yogurt and fruit.  Jam, applesauce & chopped nuts are other options. You can even have a pancake topping buffet!

healthy tomato soup recipe

Creamy Tomato Soup

One evening, while visiting England in 1994, my father Doug took my friend Bill Potter and down a narrow hedge lined road to a quaint pub called the Woolpack Inn.  It was a cool, slightly rainy night and inside the pub a fire was crackling. It was in this remarkable setting that we were served an absolutely remarkable tomato herb soup.  The soup was very generously served in enormous bowls with a side of toast and English crackers.  We ate like Kings that evening.  What’s more, the soup was all we needed… it filled and satisfied us to the utmost!  What follows is a recipe which I have worked on tirelessly to try to do justice to the original  English soup at the Woolpack Inn.  Try it, and for just a few moments, imagine yourself in a quaint pub in old England.

-Curt

 

1 tsp butter
1 cloves garlic, minced
3/4 tsp onion powder
1 tsp thyme
1 tsp basil
2 tsp dried parsley flakes
Two 28-ounce cans crushed tomatoes
Juice of 1 lemon
2 cups water or stock
1 cup 2% milk
1/2 teaspoon salt
A few dashes of white pepper to taste
Parmesan cheese to taste
2 tablespoons sour cream (optional)

 

SAUTE: Heat the butter in a medium sized soup pot and saute the garlic over medium heat for about 30 seconds.
ADD: Add crushed tomatoes.  Add lemon juice, herbs and water or stock and simmer on low heat  stirring occasionally.  Add milk to soup, and return to a simmer.
FINISH: Add salt,  pepper and parmesan.  Serve hot with grated cheddar cheese (optional), garlic bread, toast or crackers.

Vegetarian Lasagna recipe with zucchini, summer squash, garlic, peppers, pasta sauce, ricotta cheese, and mozzarella cheese

Vegetarian Lasagna

It’s the perfect time of year for a warm vegetarian pasta dish. This hearty vegetarian lasagna recipe will even have your kids asking for seconds- enjoy!

1 (16 ounce) package lasagna noodles
1 yellow pepper
1 orange pepper
1 small red onion
1 small zucchini
1 small yellow squash
1 cup mushroooms
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 (26 ounce) jars pasta sauce
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 (15 ounce) container part-skim ricotta cheese
4 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
2 eggs
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

 

Directions

1.Cook the lasagna noodles according to package. Rinse with cold water, and drain.
2.In a large saucepan, cook and stir vegetables and garlic in oil. Stir in pasta sauce and basil; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer 15 minutes.
3.Mix together ricotta, 2 cups mozzarella cheese, and eggs.
4.Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Spread 1 cup tomato sauce into the bottom of a greased 9×13 inch baking dish. Layer 1/2 each, lasagna noodles, ricotta mix, sauce, and Parmesan cheese. Repeat layering, and top with remaining 2 cups mozzarella cheese.
5.Bake, uncovered, for 40 minutes. Let stand a few minutes before serving.

 

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Weight Loss Soup Mexican recipe with cabbage, zucchini, red pepper, mexican seasonings, greens, and squash.

Weight Loss Soup – Mexican Style

A while back, I ran into a friend who had lost 40 pounds. He was in a weight loss contest at his work, and was in last place till he discovered this amazing weight loss soup concept! Then he surged to first place! He claimed it was all due to an amazing vegetable soup recipe where you EAT AS MUCH OF IT AS YOU WANT – you feel great and don’t go hungry! Here is the recipe, but I’ve adjusted it a tad making it more flavorful and a bit more healthy. It is a hearty soup FULL of only vegetables. Low fat, high fiber, flavorful and satisfying. Eat it all day long! This is one of the most life changing recipes I have come across.

 

VEGETABLES
1/2 CABBAGE Chopped fine
3 Stalks Celery chopped
1 Zucchini Diced
1 Red Pepper chopped
1 Onion chopped
5 Green Onions chopped
2 Cans Green Beans (or fresh grean beans)
1 cup frozen corn
1 Cup butternut squash peeled and diced
2 Cup Chopped Kale
1 Yam diced
1 Cup Chopped Spinach
2 Quarts water

 

SEASONINGS
2 8 Ounce Can V8 Juice
4 tbls chili powder
1 tsp cumin
3 tsp Cosco No Salt Herbal Blend

(optional)
3 tsp Vegetable Boullion*
Minced Garlic
Sea Salt

 

1. ONIONS & GARLIC: In a large soup pot, add olive oil, minced garlic and onion. Saute till golden brown. About 10 minutes over medium high heat.

2. WATER & VEGGIES: Add water, seasonings and chopped vegetables. Add more water if needed. Simmer on medium heat for about 30 minutes or until vegetables have softened up.
3. FINAL SEASONING: Once the soup is cooked, add final seasonings. I then blend about 3 cups of the soup and add back in to make it a bit creamy and thick.

healthy gluten free vegetarian pizza recipe with brown rice crust and loaded with veggies and pinapple

Brown Rice Pizza

What?!  Make a pizza with a brown rice crust? What has the world come to?  When I first tried this recipe, my eclectic friend Barry Sockat happened to drop in and sampled my strange creation.  At first he was sceptical to say the least but after his third piece he was ecstatic over this marvelous creation.

-Curt

 

RICE CRUST
5 cups cooked long & short grain brown rice  (about 3/4ths short to 1/4 long)
1 tsp basil
1/2 tsp oregano
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp salt

 

PIZZA SAUCE
1 15 ounce can tomato sauce
5 Tbls tomato sauce
1/2 tsp garlic
1 tsp basil
1/2 tsp oregano

 

PIZZA TOPPINGS
Grated Mozzarella, Cheddar cheeses
Black Olives, chopped
Pineapple tidbits
Mushrooms, sliced
Green Peppers, chopped
Sliced tomatoes, cold

 

BOIL: Cook brown rice together as directed on package. (Include seasonings while cooking the rice)  Spray a medium to large pizza pan.  Scoop cooked brown rice onto pan and carefully spread out and pack down to make a well formed 1/2” -3/4” high crust.
SAUTE: In a couple of teaspoons of water, saute chopped mushrooms and green pepper until just tender.  Drain off water and set aside.
MIX & ASSEMBLE: Mix up pizza sauce and spread over rice crust.  Add a layer of grated cheese followed by well placed layers of mushrooms, green peppers, chopped olives and pineapple tidbits.
BAKE: Place in preheated oven at 425 degrees for 15 to 20 minutes or until cheese lightly browns.
FINISH: Cut and serve topped with cold sliced tomatoes.

 

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vegetarian chivito burger with egg

Chivito Veggie-Burgers

This easy chivito veggie burger recipe is a wonderful exception to a common complaint with veggie burgers that they lack flavor.  A Chivito is a hamburger-type sandwich found in Uruguay.  Besides the regular ground beef patty, bun, and condiments they are piled high with ham, cheese, lettuce, tomatoes, a variety of pickled vegetables, and a fried egg.  They are huge, greasy, and admittedly a delicious occasional treat.  The chivito veggie-burger is a spin-off that is much less greasy, has just as many toppings, and is just as delicious.   Best of all, it is easy.  The veggie burger patties and whole wheat buns can be stored in the freezer, and when you need a quick meal they can be pulled out and topped with whatever veggies you happen to have.   And don’t be scared of the egg!  It is actually quite good and helps to keep you full longer!

-Jessica

 

frozen veggie burger patties
whole wheat buns
eggs (1 per burger)
cheese
lettuce
tomato
bell pepper
avocado
red onion
pickles
dijon mustard
ranch dressing

 

Grill veggie-patties according to package directions (a George Forman-style grill works well and is easy to use all year round).  While patties are cooking, the toppings can be prepared.  Fry one egg per burger, slice the cheese and vegetables, and toast the buns.  When the veggie-patties and eggs are done, spread the buns with dijon mustard and/or ranch dressing and pile on the toppings!

 

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Cabbage salad recipe with cucumber, red pepper, and tangy poppyseed dressing

Cabbage Salad

I remember my dad making this salad in order to entice his social teenage son to stay home and eat dinner with the family.  He would call out, “Justin!  I made coleslaw!” and my brother would run down the stairs and say, “Really?!”  And he would eat with us.  True story.  It is that good.  This is an atypical coleslaw recipe in that the dressing is oil-based instead of mayo-based.  Its sweet tangy-ness has a real freshness to it.  A perfect side dish for a picnic or barbeque.  Or to get your teenagers to spend time with you.

-Jessica

 

½ green cabbage, chopped small
1 bunch green onions, chopped
1cucumber, sliced and chopped into triangles
1 red bell pepper, chopped

 

Dressing
¼ cup red wine vinegar
¼ cup apple cider vinegar
1/3 cup sugar or ¼ cup warmed honey
½ cup canola oil
½ tsp ground mustard
¾ tsp salt
2 tsp poppy seeds

 

Chop all vegetables and place in a large salad bowl.  Put all dressing ingredients into a blender and blend until well-mixed.  Pour dressing over salad and toss.  Cover and store in refrigerator for several hours before serving for maximum flavor.

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Miz Helen’s Country Cottage

Butternut Squash Rice Curry Soup with potatoes, brown rice, butternut squash and coconut milk.

Butternut Rice Curry Soup

I am a big fan of butternut squash soups. They are so hearty and full of flavor – and fit great into the fall weather as the seasons cool down. This variation has a bit of coconut milk in it, and curry, giving it an eastern flavor. In order to make it more of a meal, we gave it body by adding several cups of hearty brown rice. Your family will love this soup! it goes over super well with kids and adults alike. This is not bland boring soup – and is great served for a few days after you make it!

 

1 Large Butternut Squash
5 Medium Russet Potatoes
2 Medium Onion
2 Cups Sweet Frozen Corn
4 Cups Cooked Brown Rice
5 Tbls Curry Blend
3 Tbls Chicken Boullion (or veggie chicken boullion see notes)
3 Tbls Lite Sour Cream
1 Can Coconut Milk
Sea Salt to taste
3 Tsp Fresh Sage Chopped Fine (1 tsp dried)
3 Quarts Water

 

1. RICE AND POT OF WATER: Cook large batch of brown rice in a rice cooker. Once that is started, get large soup pot, add water and start heating on stove.

2. CUT UP SQUASH: With a sharp knife, carefully cut off peel from squash. Cut in half and scoop out seeds and inner fibers around seeds. Then chop the “squash meat” into chunks about 2 inches in size. Place in a large pot with water over medium high heat on stove.

3. CHOP AND ADD OTHER INGREDIENTS: Chop onion, potatoes and add to soup. Cook slowly on medium high till potatoes and squash are tender. With a hand blender, blend thoroughly till smooth.

2. ADD SEASONINGS, RICE AND SERVE: Add coconut milk, sour cream, seasonings and blend into soup. Taste as you go. Adjust water, seasonings if needed. Stir in cooked brown rice and serve!

 

Note: Almost all soups take on a life of their own. They start simply but have to be adjusted as you develop the flavor. The basic recipe here is pretty fail proof, but you’ll want to taste as you go and add seasonings, water etc based on your batch. One of the best chicken based vegetarian broth is called McKays Chicken Broth (www.mckays-seasoning.com).

crunchy banana muffins recipe with oats, honey, and pecans

Crunchy Banana Muffins

I discovered this recipe and with the help of a master baker and good friend Annette Kay,.. with her help we refined and perfected it.  The result is what I believe is a fantastic muffin.  During one hectic summer doing massage at the famous Green Valley Spa, I (and the rest of the staff) almost lived off my batches of these muffins.  Besides tasting great, they are a great source of needed energy.  They are also great for picnics, breakfasts, long trips… or for that matter, anytime.

-Curt

1 3/4 cups whole wheat flour
3 3/4 tsp. baking powder
1 1/4 cups rolled oats
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
3 Tablespoons Honey
3 Tablespoons Molasses
3/4 cup skim milk
2 egg whites
4-5 bananas mashed
1/4 cup chopped pecans
(optional)

 

PREHEAT: Pre-heat oven to 400°.
MIX: Combine flour, baking powder, oats, salt and baking soda. In a separate bowl, combine honey, milk, molasses, egg whites, and mashed bananas.  Mix well. Slowly pour wet ingredients into dry ingredients.  With a spoon, lightly and gently fold ingredients together until just mixed.  Fill muffin tins with muffin papers.  Fill each muffin paper to about 2/3 full.
BAKE: Bake at 400 ° for 18-20 minutes.  Let cool before removing muffin papers.  Serve.

 

Note: The secret to a light muffin is to not over-mix the batter.  Gently stir ingredients until batter is just mixed.  Do not over do it!

Beans & Rice recipe caribbean style with black and pinto beans, cabbage and banana

Caribbean Beans & Rice

This version of a Caribbean inspired dish is an incredible festival of exotic flavors.  The colorful medley of spicy black beans are layered on a bed of brown rice, then accented with a variety of individual toppings such as cashews, bananas and salsas. Not only is this recipe nutritious and full of flavor, but it is also great fun building your own individual creation with the various ingredients. Have at it!

-Curt

 

MAIN INGREDIENTS
4 cups cooked combination of long & short grain brown rice
1 can black beans
2 can pinto beans
1 teaspoon olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
3/4 cup red bell pepper diced
3/4 cup green bell pepper diced
1 small yellow onion, diced
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
5 tsp Piccapeppa sauce (sold at most stores)
1/3 cup raisins
salt & pepper to taste

 

TOPPINGS
Salsa
Cashews
Lime (fresh cut for squeezing)
Banana, cut
Chopped Green Cabbage
Fresh cut ripe tomatoes

 

BOIL: Cook rice as directed on package.
SAUTE: After rice is cooked, saute garlic & onions in olive oil in a large skillet.  Just as onions are almost translucent, add minced peppers and  saute long enough for the peppers to just become tender.  Add beans, cooked rice, raisins, cumin, and Piccapeppa sauce.  Heat thoroughly stirring occasionally.  Salt & pepper to taste. salt & pepper to taste. Pull from heat and set aside.
FINISH: To serve, start by making a bed of rice on each individual plate or bowl. Cover with spicy bean mixture and then let person add toppings from bowls of ingredients listed above.  Have fun and enjoy!

Granola-in-Bowl recipe with oats, honey, nuts and berries

Groovy Granola

Crunchy and nutritious this simple granola recipe will give you the basics to create your own home made granola. Full of heart healthy oats and sweet honey, our Groovy Granola makes a hearty fast breakfast or even a late snack. Use the basics for the beginning and add some of our optional dried fruits and nuts to create your own perfect blend.

-Curt

 

MAIN INGREDIENTS
4 cups old fashioned rolled oats (not instant)
1/2 cup honey*
1/3 cup canola oil

*can also use 1/4 cup pure maple syrup and 1/4 cup honey

 

ADDED EXTRAS
NUTS: Chopped  or whole almonds, cashews, pecans, walnuts
SEEDS: flax, sesame, sunflower
Shredded coconut 1/2 cup
1/3 cup dried fruits: raisins, cranberries, blueberries, apricots, cherries etc.
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg

 

PREHEAT: oven to 325 degrees.
MIX: In a large bowl, mix oats, nuts, seeds and spices. Add oil and honey and stir until well combined. Spread mixture onto baking pans.
BAKE: Bake on middle shelf in oven until granola is golden brown, about 30 – 40 minutes. Keep an eye on granola after about 30 minutes as ovens vary.
FINISH: When done, remove granola from oven and allow to cool on pan. Using spatula, transfer granola from pan to a large bowl and break up into smaller pieces. Add dried fruit at this point and gently stir in (baking fruit makes the fruit hard and too dry). Allow to cool and then transfer to air tight containers for storage.

 

Note:  The great thing about this granola is you can create your own version by adding extras to your tastes. Just keep the main ingredients pretty consistent. You can also swap out some of the rolled oats for rolled rye, barley, spelt and triticale. This recipe keeps well and is packed with healthy stuff that is really good for you!

Pumpkin seed protein smoothie recipe with soy milk, almonds, dates, protein powder, and pumpkin seeds

Pumpkin Seed Protein Smoothie

This high protein, high fiber smoothie is a bit festive with the great taste of pumkin! We created this recipe for our friends at eatseed.com. This is very quick and easy to make up. Perfect for an afternoon pick-me-up or high energy breakfast. We added pumpkin along with pumpkin seeds. Then we threw in flax, protein powder, peanut butter and a bit of coconut oil – which nutritionists are promoting as a super brain food. Add lots of ice, and blend yourself some health!

2.5 cups Rice or Soy Milk 2 cups ice
1 frozen banana
1 Tbls coconut oil

2 Tsp peanut butter
4 Tbls canned pumpkin
2 Tbls Flax Meal

1/4 cup pumpkin seeds
1/4 cup raw almonds
2 dates pitted (optional)
1 scoop protein powder (about 4 Tbls)
Stevia (sweeten to taste – optional)

1. ADD all ingredients into a strong blender like a Vita Mix or Blend Tec except part of the pumpkin seeds and almonds. (save them for last and barely blend in to allow some crunchy big pieces of nuts) Blend thoroughly, then add a touch of stevia for those who want a bit sweeter smoothie. Add small handful of pumpkin seeds and almonds at end and gently blend leaving some chewy crunchy nuts through the smoothie. Serve in glasses and sprinkle a few pumpkin seeds on top. Enjoy!

Note: You will need to adjust the ice as you blend. You want this to be a thick smoothie, and ice is the key to making it cold, refreshing and thick. Too much ice makes it hard to blend though. Add as you blend if need be. 

Oatmeal with steel cut oats and soy milk

Homestyle Steel Cut Oats

Homestyle Steel Cut Oats are a healthy, delicious easy way to start your day off right. Steel cut oats are whole grain oats  that instead of being rolled, are dried and cut into pieces with steel.  Look for them in the bulk foods section of your grocery store.  Steel cut oats do take longer to cook than rolled oats, but their texture is worth the wait.  Chewy and a little bit crunchy…No mushiness here!

-Jessica

 

MAIN INGREDIENTS
1 cup steel cut oats
3 1/2 cups water
1/8 tsp salt
1/2 cup milk or soymilk
1 teaspoon vanilla

 

MIX-INS
cinnamon
brown sugar
honey
maple syrup
raisins

berries
bananas
granola
nuts

 

COOK: Bring water to a boil in a large pot.  Add oats and salt.  Reduce heat to low and cook for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
ADD: Stir in milk and vanilla.  Cook for an additional 10 minutes.
MIX IN: Mix in cinnamon, brown sugar, raisins, berries, nuts, or whatever will make these oats delicious for you!

Serves 4-6

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Vegetarian minestrone soup recipe with beans and vegetables

Minestrone Soup

I first tasted this vegetarian version of the classic minestrone soup at my brother Brookes home.  I thought it was incredibly good.  This recipe is full of beans, pasta and vegetables and has a rich, fresh taste.  Garnished with a little parmesan cheese and it is to die for.  I have designed this recipe to be cooked in one pot for simplicity and ease.

-Curt

 

BROTH
7 cups water
1/3 cup dried barley
2 cups dried macaroni
2 tbsp. Olive oil

SEASONINGS
1 tsp garlic powder
1 1/2 tsp basil
1 tsp oregano
1/4 Tsp white pepper
salt & pepper to taste

VEGETABLES
1 1/2 cup diced onion
1/2 cup diced carrot
1/2 cup diced celery
2 cups chopped tomatoes
1 cup frozen green beans
1 can kidney beans
2 cups chopped purple cabbage
1 can garbanzo beans
2 cups dried macaroni
2 cup chopped spinach
1 cup peas
1-8 ounce can tomato puree
1 15 oz.. cans tomato sauce

 

Optional
Zucchini
Mushrooms
Potatoes
Broccoli

 

BOIL: In a large soup pot, heat 7 cups of water to a slow boil.  Add barley and cook for 20 minutes.  (If you want to cut down on the cooking time, omit barley and go to step 2.)
COMBINE: When barley is just getting tender add olive oil, seasonings and macaroni.  Slowly boil for 5 minutes or until macaroni is just starting to soften.
FINISH: Add the rest of veggies, beans etc. except spinach.  Cook over medium heat for 20 minutes.  Add spinach and cook an additional 5-10 minutes or until the vegetables are tender but not overcooked.  Salt & pepper to taste and serve with parmesan cheese on the side.

Oatmeal applesauce cookie recipe with applesauce, chocolate chips, nuts, flax seed, olive oil, whole wheat flour, and stevia

Oatmeal Applesauce Cookies

I personally do not like overly sweet cookies.  These cookies were developed with the notion of having a low-fat, low-sugar cookie packed with whole grain goodness. Where you got a bit of dark chocolate and a hint of sweet, but that left you with a healthy feeling rather than a sugar low.  These cookies have become a standard in our home. I make them when I go on road trips. What is incredible about these amazing cookies is you can snack on them and they sustain you when a real meal isn’t available.  Try them… they are almost like a meal replacement!

-Curt

 

WET INGREDIENTS
1/2 cup brown sugar
4 – 4 oz. small containers of unsweetened applesauce
1/2 cups olive oil
16 drops stevia
2 tsp. vanilla

 

DRY INGREDIENTS
2 cups whole wheat flour or multi grain flour
2 cups oatmeal
1/2 tsp salt
2 1/2 tsp baking Powder
1.5 cup chopped nuts (pecans, walnuts, cashews, almonds, macadamia nuts)
1/3 cup dark chocolate chips
1/2 cup carob chips
1/4 cup flax seed

 

PREHEAT: Preheat oven to 350° F degrees.

MIX: Mix wet ingredients in a large mixing bowl.  In a separate bowl, mix dry ingredients.  Add wet into the dry and gently mix together only enough to blend thoroughly but without overworking the dough.    (If needed add a bit more milk or flour to achieve the correct texture of cookie dough.)

SPOON & BAKE: Drop by the spoonful on a greased cookie sheet  and bake at 350° F degrees for 20 minutes or until golden brown.

 

NOTE: Don’t get hung up on exact measurements of nuts and chocolate. Mix in what YOU like. I prefer lots of macadamia nuts and a bit of extra dark chocolate. Try various dark chocolate chips… or throw in some dried cranberries. Make these your OWN.

 

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Shepherd's Pie recipe with no meat and all veggies

Shepherds Pie

My mother used to make a great shepherds pie.  It was a meat and vegetable casserole in a rich tomato base, layered with cheese and of course the crowning glory was a topping of fluffy mashed potatoes.  It was always one of my boyhood favorites.  It is a hearty meal and always hit the spot.   This is my  vegetarian variation of my mothers recipe.  It is still one of my very favorites, and now a lot healthier!

-Curt

2 cups cut Green Beans
1 ½ Cups Sliced Mushrooms
3 ½ Cups Corn Kernels
1 ½ Cup Peas
1 Chopped Onion or ½ tsp. onion powder
3 15-oz. Cans Tomato Sauce
2 cups grated cheese (mozzarella, swiss or cheddar… or all 3!)
1  teaspoon basil
1 teaspoon thyme
½ teaspoon rosemary
½ teaspoon sage
½ teaspoon garlic powder
Salt & Pepper to Taste

Mashed Potato Topping
4-5 large sized potatoes
2 Tbsp. Butter
3/4 Cup Milk
Salt & Pepper to Taste
Paprika
Parsley

 

SAUTE: Lightly saute onion, green beans, mushrooms, Corn and peas.  After vegetables are just tender, add tomato sauce and seasonings to taste.  Consistency should be like a thick stew.  Pour into a large 14” casserole dish.  Top with grated cheese to taste.  Remember  cheese can be high in fat, so don’t overdo!
Mashed Potato Topping:  Clean and boil potatoes until done.  Place in large mixing bowl and mash adding butter and milk until potatoes are the right consistency.  Season with salt & pepper.
FINISH: With a spoon or moist hands, gently layer mashed potatoes on top of vegetables and cheese.  Sprinkle with paprika and parsley.
BAKE: Bake at 375° for 35 minutes.   Serve and eat like a famished shepherd.

orchard crumble recipe with peaches, plums and heathly crumble of whole wheat flour, oats, and brown sugar

Orchard Crumble

Primarily fruit and whole grains, orchard crumble is packed with the nutritional good stuff. Serve with a side of vanilla ice cream and voila! – The ultimate comfort-food-crowd-pleaser dessert recipe that delivers both taste and nutrition!

-Jessica

 

Filling:
3 cups pitted plums, quartered
3 cups pitted peaches or nectarines, cut into pieces the size of the quartered plums
1/2 cup brown sugar

Topping:
1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1 cup oats
1/3 cup wheat germ (optional)
2 Tbsp freshly ground flax seed (optional)
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 cup canola oil
2-3 Tbsp butter, softened slightly

Filling: Combine the fruit and brown sugar. Place in the bottom of a 9×13 baking dish, coated with cooking spray.

Topping: Mix together the flour, oats, wheat germ, flax, brown sugar, cinnamon and salt until thoroughly combined. Add the oil and butter, mixing evenly in with clean fingers or a pastry cutter.

Sprinkle: Sprinkle the topping over the fruit filling.

Bake: Bake at 375 for 35-40 minuets or until golden brown and bubbling.

Serve: Serve warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

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Multi grain bread recipe with flax, chia, and coconut oil

Anne’s Grain Mix Bread

I got this healthy bread recipe from the grain-expert, Anne.  I have been making it for a couple of years now and it is a staple in our home.  It makes 6 tender, flavorful loaves of 100% whole grain multi-grain bread.  I freeze the extra loaves to use when I need them later.  All of the ingredients can be found in bulk on Anne’s website.  All in all, this is the HEALTHIEST bread I make AND it is the most DELICIOUS loaf-bread that I have ever made.  A real winner.    – Jessica

 

To make flour:
8 cups whole white wheat
3 cups grain mix : equal amounts of amaranth, barley, buckwheat, millet, oats, quinoa, brown rice, and rye.   (If you can’t find all of these, just use what you can find!  The more the better!)

To make bread:
6 cups water (100-105 F)
8 cups flour (see above)
1/3 cup wheat gluten
3 Tbsp yeast (red-star or quick/instant – see note below)
1/3 cup coconut oil (expeller pressed coconut oil has no taste)
2/3 cup honey (Anne suggests local raw honey)
2 Tbsp Redmond Realsalt
1/2 cup brown flax seeds, freshly ground in a coffee grinder (optional)
1/2 cup whole chia seeds (optional)
8 cups more flour
2 Tbsp dough enhancer

 

  1. Place 2 cups w.w. wheat into wheat grinder, followed by 1 cup grain mix, 2 cups w.w. wheat, 1 cup grain mix, 2 cups w.w. wheat, 1 cup grain mix, and the last 2 cups of w.w. wheat.  Grinding it like this isn’t essential, but provides more evenly mixed flour without having to stir it afterwards.
  2. Place the water and yeast into a large mixer and stir until dissolved.  Add 1st 8 cups flour and gluten.  Mix just enough to make a pancake batter consistency.
  3. Add the oil, honey, salt, and flax and/or chia (if using).  Set timer for 8 minutes and start kneading in the mixer.  While the dough is kneading, add flour until the dough is less sticky and just barely cleans the sides of the bowl.  Be careful not to add too much.
  4. After the 8 minutes, add dough enhancer and continue kneading for 2 more min.
  5. When the timer rings, stop kneading and separate into 6 similar sized pieces.  Carefully shape them into loaves and place them into 6 1-lb loaf pans.  This is easier with slightly oiled hands and work surfaces.
  6. Place in a cool oven and set the heat to the lowest setting possible (170 F on my oven).  Let rise until doubled in size.  This should take about 15 minutes.
  7. Turn oven up to 325 and bake for 25-30 minutes.  You don’t need to wait for the oven to pre-heat.  When bread is done, a thermometer stuck in the end reads 180 F.  It is important to achieve perfect “doneness” so that it will not be underdone (doughy) or overdone (dry and hard).

Remove from the pans immediately and cool on a cooling rack.  It will slice easier once cooled.

 

Note:  If using quick or instant yeast, there is no need to stir the yeast until it is dissolved before adding the other ingredients.  Anne says that the Red Star yeast tastes better.  I like it both ways!

Easy vegetarian taco salad recipe with lentil & rice taco filling, peppers, cilantro, corn, beans, and catalina dressing

Vegetarian Taco Salad

Everyone loves this easy taco salad recipe at our house and the best thing about it is that it can be thrown together at the last minute. Use whatever veggies you have on hand. Have fun creating and enjoy!

 

whole grain tortilla chips
6 cups romain lettuce

 For the rest of the salad choose any of the following:

vegetarian taco filling (see vegetarian taco recipe)
black or pinto beans, rinsed and drained
vegetables- colored peppers, cooked corn, diced tomato
diced avocado
green onion, shallots, or red onion
cheese- queso fresco (crumbled), pepper jack, or monterey jack
guacamole or salsa, cilantro

 

1. Divide lettuce evenly among 4 plates.
2. Top lettuce with desired toppings.
3. Sprinkle with crumbled tortilla chips.
4. Top with Catalina Salad dressing or your favorite dressing of choice.

Quinoa with Roasted Veggies recipe; carrots, zucchini, red and yellow peppers, sprinkled with italian dressing

Quinoa with Roasted Vegetables

We are excited for autumn in our house. To celebrate the changing of the season, we’re going to roast vegetables with the super grain, quinoa. This easy quinoa with roasted vegetables recipe is good as a one-dish meal or as a hearty side. Feel free to substitute a root vegetable for the zucchini but make sure to allow for a longer cooking time (about ten more minutes).

 

 

Ingredients

3 medium carrots, cut into 1/2″ pieces

2 small zucchini, cut into 1/2″ slices

1 red bell pepper, chopped

1 yellow bell pepper, chopped

1 medium sweet onion, chopped

2 garlic cloves, minced

2 cups reduced-sodium vegetable broth

1 cup quinoa, rinsed

Italian dressing

salt

optional topping: shredded parmesan or romano cheese

 

Directions: Cut carrots and zucchini in half and into 1/2-in. slices; place in a large bowl. Add the peppers, onion, garlic & salt. Pour enough italian dressing on to coat all veggies; toss to coat. Transfer to a 13-in. x 9-in baking pan coated with cooking spray.

 

Bake at 400° for 40-50 minutes or until vegetables are tender. Set aside to cool.

 

Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, bring broth to a boil. Add quinoa. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 12-15 minutes or until liquid is absorbed. Remove from heat; fluff with a fork.

 

Transfer quinoa to a large bowl; stir in the vegetables. Sprinkle with cheese; serve with lemon.

 

Yield: 4 servings.

 

 

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Healthy summer squash lasagna recipe, with zucchini and summer squash

Summer Squash Lasagna

This easy summer squash lasagna recipe is a great way to use up that extra garden zucchini or other summer squash.  You won’t even miss the pasta. – Jessica

2 Tbsp olive oil

1 medium onion (about 2/3 cup), finely chopped

6 cloves garlic, minced

1 1/2 lbs fresh or canned whole tomatoes, cut into 3-5 pieces, depending on size.              (If canned, get 2 lbs then drain them)

2 tsp italian seasoning

salt and pepper to taste

1/2 cup italian seasoned bread crumbs, divided (optional)

2 lbs zucchini, yellow summer squash, or a combination of both – sliced 1/4” thick

1 1/2 – 2 cups mozzarella cheese

1 1/2 – 2 cups ricotta cheese

1/4 cup fresh grated parmesan

 

  1. Tomato mixture: Saute onion and garlic in oil over medium high heat for 2-3 minutes.  Add the tomatoes, italian seasoning, salt, and pepper.  Turn heat down to medium and cook for 8-10 minutes, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until most of the liquid has evaporated.
  2.  Layer: Sprinkle 1/4 cup italian bread crumbs (if using) onto the bottom of a 9×13 pan.  Place a layer of sliced zucchini/summer squash, covering the entire bottom of the pan.  Spread 1/4 of the tomato mixture – doesn’t have to be even since it is chunky.  Sprinkle 1/3 cup mozzarella and 1/2 cup of ricotta as even as you can.  Repeat the squash, tomato, and cheese layers 3 more times – but on the last layer don’t put any cheese (tomato should be on top).  If it doesn’t come out evenly, just divide things as even as you can.  You should still have 1/2 cup mozzarella cheese, 1/4 cup parmesan, and 1/4 cup italian bread crumbs left.
  3.  Bake: Bake at 400 F for 30 minutes, uncovered.  A lot of the liquid from the zucchini will evaporate during this time.  Then top with the remaining 1/2 cup mozzarella cheese, 1/4 cup parmesan cheese, and 1/4 cup italian bread crumbs.  Lower the temperature to 375 F and bake for an additional 20 min. or until the cheese is melted and turing golden brown.
  4. Serve:  Serve with some good crusty bread and a green salad.

 

Serves 8-10.

 

 

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Easy garden fresh pizza recipe with fresh vegetables and whole grain crust.

Garden Fresh Pizza

One of my favorite things about late summer is the produce flowing from the backyard garden.  I have (finally!) learned that its best to create dishes around the produce I gather each day instead of trying to find a million recipes to use up everything I harvest.  Pizza is one thing that I have found you can add all sorts of random vegetables to with it turning out great, though slightly different, each time.  I made this particular pizza with rainbow chard, red onion, yellow summer squash, and fresh basil – but tomatoes, other greens such as spinach or kale, zucchini, peppers, etc can be used with good results.

– Jessica

 

 

whole grain pizza dough – enough for a large pizza

1 6 oz can tomato sauce

1 tsp Italian seasoning

about 4 cups of greens (chard, spinach, kale), cut into bite sized pieces

1-2 cups mozzarella cheese

1 small summer squash, sliced thin

1/2 red onion, sliced thin

tomatoes, sliced (optional)

bell peppers, sliced (optional)

1/4 cup fresh basil leaves

parmesan cheese, to taste

garlic salt, to taste

parsley flakes, to taste

 

 PREPARE OVEN, STONE, and PEEL:  Preheat the oven to 425 F with a pizza stone inside.  Cover a pizza peel with cornmeal.

DOUGH:  Roll out your favorite whole grain dough recipe and place it on the prepared pizza peel.

SAUCE:  Stir the Italian seasoning into the can of tomato sauce.  Spread how ever much of it you want onto the dough.

GREENS:  Sprinkle the greens on top of the sauce.  Yes, I know that it looks like way too much.  Don’t worry – it cooks way down.  If you put any less you won’t be able to tell that it is there at all.

CHEESE:  Now sprinkle on the cheese.  It is important that it goes on top of the greens so that it holds them down.

VEGGIE TOPPINGS:  Bring on the rest of the veggie toppings – spread them all over!  This is not your typical pizza – you really shouldn’t see much cheese when we are done with these toppings.

BAKE:  Slide the pizza off the pizza peel onto the pizza stone.  I like to use a spatula and have a helper when I do this since the pizza is so tall 🙂  Bake for about 12 minutes – when the cheese is melted and just starting to bubble, sprinkle the basil on top.  After a minute or so, pull out the pizza.

SPRINKLE:  Sprinkle the parmesan, garlic salt, and parsley on top if desired.  I desire.  It is delicious.  Slice and enjoy!

Tofu dessert pie recipe with bananas and chocolate

Chocolate Cream Pie

Amazingly smooth, creamy, and chocolatey!  This delicious pie recipe is gluten free and vegan!  TOFU, yes tofu, is blended with melted chocolate for the creamy chocolate filling.  Besides making the pie healthier, the tofu provides a beautifully silky texture.  This method is much easier than making a traditional cream pie.  The crust is a gluten free and healthy version of a graham cracker crust.  If you are in a hurry, leave it crustless, as this recipe doubles as a chocolate pudding.  – Jessica

 

Filling:

6 oz dark chocolate bars or dark chocolate chips (I used 60% dark.  If you use darker, then you will probably want to add a bit more sugar)

12 oz firm tofu (use silken if making pudding)

2 Tbsp cocoa powder

2-6 Tbsp milk (dairy or non-dairy)

1 tsp vanilla

1/8 tsp salt

2-3 Tbsp agave (optional – go with your personal sweetness level)

 

2 bananas, just barely ripe (optional)

 

Crust:

1 1/2 cups brown rice or oat flour

3/4 cup ground nuts (I used almond, but pecan would be delicious)

3 Tbsp thawed apple juice concentrate

3 Tbsp oil

2-4 Tbsp brown sugar

 

 CRUST:  Toss all ingredients together in a bowl with a fork.  If it is too crumbly to press together, add a little bit more apple juice concentrate.  Press onto the bottom of a deep dish 9-in pie plate, coated with cooking spray.  Bake at 375 F for 10 minutes.  Cool on a wire rack.

FILLING:  Break up the chocolate and put it into a microwave safe bowl.  Melt it in the microwave on high for 1 minute.  Stir it until it is smooth.  Place all the ingredients into a food processor or high powered blender and blend until smooth.  The thickness will depend on the brand of tofu you are using.  If your mixture seems too thick to blend smooth, add some more milk – we want a mixture just thin enough to be able to blend smooth.  Once it is blended, for best results, grab a spoon and taste the filling.  If you want it sweeter, add a bit more sweetener.  If you want it more chocolatey, add a little more cocoa powder.

ASSEMBLE PIE:  Slice the bananas and place them in the bottom of the pie crust.  This is optional to use them, but they take up some empty space when using a deep dish and I think they go really well with the chocolate – balancing out the richness, and adding some more nutrition.  Pour the filling on top.  Store in the refrigerator until ready to eat.

 

 

Note:  If you want to make the pie in a regular 8 or 9 inch pie dish, you can use the same amount of pie filling.  Slice some bananas and place them on top or on the side instead of in the pie.  Reduce crust recipe to 1 cup flour, 1/2 cup nuts, 2 Tbsp juice concentrate, 2 Tbsp oil, 1-3 Tbsp brown sugar.

Gluten free power brownies recipe with black beans and pecans

Power Brownies

This power brownie recipe is absolutely fantastic and gluten-free. Guess what the secret ingredient is? Black beans!!! Isn’t that wild?

It’s made with black beans instead of flour, and they make the brownies super moist and packed with protein. Go ahead and try them, we’re certain your kids will love them too.     – Curt

 

1 15 oz. can black beans, undrained

3 eggs

3 T. olive oil

1/4 cup cocoa

pinch of salt

1 t. vanilla

3/4 cup sugar

1/2 cup dark chocolate chips

1/2 cup pecans

 

 

Preheat oven to 350º. Lightly grease an 8×8 baking dish. Combine black beans, eggs, oil, cocoa, salt, vanilla and sugar in a blender.  Blend until smooth (batter will be a little runny).  Pour into baking dish and sprinkle with dark chocolate chips and pecans. Bake approximately 20 minutes or until sides start to pull away and toothpick inserted comes out clean.

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Tossed Caprese Salad recipe with cherry tomatoes, fresh mozzarrella tossed with balsamic vinegar and olive oil

Tossed Caprese Salad

This is probably my number one favorite side-dish recipe during the month of August when I have lots of cherry tomatoes and fresh basil from the garden.  Slice them up, add some fresh mozzarella and voila!  A beautiful and delicious summer dish.  – Jessica

 

 

2 cups cherry tomatoes, sliced in half or quartered, depending on size

1 cup fresh mozzarella cheese, diced to the same size as the tomatoes

1/3 cup fresh basil, cut small

olive oil 

balsamic vinegar

salt and fresh ground pepper (optional)

 

1.  TOSS:  Combine the tomatoes, mozzarella, and basil in a medium sized bowl.  Drizzle a small amount of olive oil and balsamic vinegar on top – to taste.  If desired, also season with salt and pepper to taste.  Toss it all up and enjoy!

Quick mango salsa recipe with cucumber, cilantro and red onion.

Mango Salsa

The words mango and salsa in the same sentence get me all giddy inside. Yep, this sweet mango salsa recipe is a real winner. Serve with tortilla chips and voila, you’ve got an amazing appetizer your guests will go nuts over.

 

3 mangos, cut small

2 cucumbers, cut small

1/2 red onion, chopped

1/2 bunch cilantro, finely chopped

juice of one lime

salt to taste

 

Directions: 

Combine the mango, cucumber, red onion, cilantro and lime juice; mix well. Season with salt to taste. Serve with tortilla chips.

 

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Healthy chocolate almond biscotti recipe made with whole wheat flour.

Whole Wheat Double Chocolate Biscotti

Gotta love Biscotti – and with Chocolate it’s the perfect to combo! This whole grain chocolate biscotti recipe is absolutely delicious. You can store them in a container for a month (if you can manage to keep them from disappearing in a day or two!) Wonderful for dipping in any warm or cold drink you choose or great for a snack or dessert all on their own. This Chocolate Biscotti recipe is easy, healthy, delicious… and so pretty too!

 

1 1/2 c whole wheat flour

1/2 cup cocoa powder

2 tsp baking soda

pinch of salt

1/2 cup sugar

1/3 cup packed brown sugar

3 eggs

1 1/2 tsp vanilla

2 oz unsweetened baking chocolate, chopped into small chunks

1 1/2 cup sliced almonds

 

  1. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper
  2. Put the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl.  Mix together.  Add the sugars and blend into the flour mixture with an electric mixer.
  3. In a small bowl, whisk the eggs with the vanilla.  Add to the dry ingredients.  Blend on low speed until thoroughly combined.  Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed.
  4. Add the chocolate and almonds to the dough and blend thoroughly (dough will be very stiff and sticky)
  5. Dust your hands with flour.  Place the dough on a clean work surface liberally dusted with flour.  Divide the dough into two equal pieces.  Shape each into a 10″ x 2″ x 3/4″ log.  Place on the prepared pan, 2″ apart.
  6. Bake at 350 for 20 min or until set.  Remove from the oven and let rest for 10 min.  Cut the logs diagonally into 1/2″ slices.  You can serve these this way, which will be a soft cookie, or if you want them to be hard, lower the oven temp to 325 degrees.  Place slices on their sides on the baking sheet.  Bake for 15-20 min or until firm.  Transfer to racks to cool.  Makes 18 servings (2 biscotti per serving).

 

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Summer Sprouted Bean Salad with Avocado

Summer Sprouted Bean Salad

We found this great new product at Costco “Organic Sprouted Bean Trio”  by tru Roots. It’s a quick – cooking and nutritious blend of lentils, adzuki and mung beans. Perfect for soup, salad or side dishes.

These are very easy to cook.  Combine 1 cup sprouted bean trio with 3 cups water or broth. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low and simmer for 5-10 minutes. Remove from heat, cover and let stand for 10 minutes or until desired tenderness is achieved. Drain excess water and serve. If you like lentils and beans, you will love this trio!

Here is a quick summer salad using this bean trio. Enjoy!

 

 

Cook 1 cup of beans according to package directions. Cool.

 

Add:

1 cup cherry tomatoes, cut in half

1 medium avocado, cut into 1/2″ pieces

1/2 cup orange or yellow sweet peppers

fresh cilantro, rosemary or basil chopped

*You can use any fresh veggies and herbs in this salad

 

Dressing

Whisk together:

3 T. olive oil

1 T. balsamic vinaigrette

1/8 t. dry mustard

1 t. agave nectar or honey

salt and pepper to taste

 

Pour dressing over salad and enjoy!

Vegetarian Tacos

I love tacos. I love the crunchy shells. I love the fresh crispy cold lettuce and cool tomatoes along with the hot filling you can easily make in your crock pot or on the stove. Because I think tacos are so dang groovy, I had to create my version of a healthy vegetarian taco. I think these are simply marvelous! They are incredibly tasty, and yet amazingly healthy too. Full of filling and healthy lentils, brown rice and seasonings. Your kids will even be chowing down on these hummers.

-Curt

 

BASE RECIPE

1 cup lentils

1 cup brown rice

6 cups water

1 cup TVP (meat substitute) (optional)

SEASONINGS
1 packet Taco Seasoning
2 tsp chili powder
4 tbls ketchup
salt to taste

TACO TOPPINGS
Crisp Corn Taco Shells
Shredded Lettuce
Grated Cheese
Light Sour Cream
Salsa or Hot Sauce

 

1.  Add lentils, brown rice and water into a crock pot.  Add seasonings and slowly cook until thick, tender and full of flavor.  TVP can also be added to this blend.  Just keep adding water if needed.

2.  Serve buffet style with crisp taco shells, fresh cut tomatoes and lettuce, grated cheese, avocado, sour cream, salsa, etc.


Note: A quick way to make a variation on this amazing meal is to make a “taco salad”. Simply cook up the seasoned lentils and brown rice. Then layer it in a bowl, and top with shredded cheese, shredded lettuce, crumbled multi-grain chips and salsa. It is fantastic!

 

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Quinoa with sweet corn salad recipe; drizzled with rice vinegar and olive oil.

Quinoa and Sweet Corn Salad

This recipe is super simple but BIG on flavor and deliciousness! Makes the perfect, light summer lunch.

 

1 cup quinoa, cooked according to package directions using vegetable or chicken broth instead of water

1 cup frozen organic sweet corn (Costco has the best sweet corn)

1/3 cup fresh chives, chopped

1/3 cup fresh parsley, chopped

 

Dressing:

1 T. seasoned rice vinegar

1 T. olive oil

salt and pepper to taste

 

Rinse corn in a colander until defrosted. Drain excess water. Combine corn and cooled quinoa in a medium bowl. Add freshly chopped chives and parsley. Drizzle with rice vinegar and olive oil to taste. Lastly add salt and pepper. Eat right away or chill for later. Enjoy!

 

*This would also be really good on top of a bowl of mixed greens, or spinach.

 

Find us at Six Sisters StuffThis Gal CooksSay not Sweet Anne, Link Parties!!

Lemony Quinoa & Avocado Salad

Lemony Quinoa & Avocado Salad

This vegetarian salad recipe is zingy fresh but with the quinoa, garbanzo beans, and avocado it is more substantial than a typical leafy green salad.  Also because the spinach and cilantro is so finely chopped it makes it faster to eat 🙂   I keep finding new favorite salads.  This one is my new favorite.   – Jessica

 

1 15 oz can vegetable broth (or just under 2 cups)

3/4 cup dry quinoa

2 cups fresh spinach, packed

1 bunch cilantro

1/4 cup sweet onion

2 cloves garlic

1 can garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed

1 1/2 cups cherry tomatoes, cut in half

2 medium avocados, diced

 

Dressing:

juice of 2 lemons – about 1/2 cup

zest of 1 lemon

2 tsp dijon mustard

2 tsp olive oil

2 tsp agave nectar

1/2 tsp cumin

salt and pepper to taste (just a dash should do)

 

 QUINOA:  Bring the vegetable broth to a boil.  Turn the heat down to medium, add the quinoa and cook uncovered for about 12 minutes or until there is just a little bit of broth left in it.  Remove it from the heat, fluff it with a fork, put a lid on it, and let it sit for 5 minutes.  The rest of the liquid should absorb into the quinoa.  Once that has happened, place the quinoa in bowl to cool.

GREENS:  In a food processor, blend the spinach and cilantro until finely chopped.  You can do this without a food processor, it would just take more time.  Put the chopped greens into a medium sized serving bowl.

ONIONS/GARLIC:  Finely chop the onions and garlic (food processor works best here too.)

COMBINE:  Add the finished quinoa (if it has cooled), onions, garlic, garbanzo beans, and tomatoes to the greens and stir it all up.

DRESSING:  Whisk all the dressing ingredients together.  Pour the dressing over the salad, add the avocado, and gently combine.

 

Store in the fridge until ready to eat.  It tastes better if you allow the flavors to set for a while before serving.

Note:  Because of the lemony dressing, the avocados will not brown for a few days, and this salad makes delicious leftovers!  

 

 

Adapted from The Diva Dish

Low fat pasta recipe tossed with fresh vegetables and gorgonzola cheese.

Gorgonzola Rigatoni with Veggies

This vegetarian pasta recipe has the quickest, easiest, creamiest and HEALTHIEST gorgonzola sauce ever.  You would never even know how low fat it is.  Using fat free evaporated milk and cornstarch creates a creamy sauce that comes together without butter and without a long, slow thickening process.  Since gorgonzola is such a strong cheese, using a little bit adds a LOT of flavor.  This amount of sauce is perfect for adding some creamy cheesiness to the whole wheat rigatoni and Italian vegetables.  This meal also comes together quickly because the veggies don’t require a lot of prep.

– Jessica

 

 

9 oz whole wheat rigatoni pasta

1 12-oz can evaporated fat free milk

1 Tbsp cornstarch

2/3 cup crumbled gorgonzola cheese (3 oz)

1/2 tsp salt

1/4 tsp pepper

1/2 lb broccoli florets (about 3 cups)

1 cup small cherry or grape tomatoes (sliced in half if desired)

1/2 cup large whole pitted olives, sliced in half (about 12)

1 6-oz can sliced mushrooms, drained

 

 

 

 RIGATONI:  Cook the pasta according to pasta directions.

SAUCE:  While pasta is cooking, prepare the sauce.  Mix cornstarch and milk in a large sauce pan.  Over medium high heat, bring to a boil, stirring frequently.  Turn the heat down to low and stir in the cheese, salt, and pepper.  Stir occasionally for a few minutes until the cheese is melted.

 BROCCOLI: While the cheese is melting, place the broccoli florets in a microwave safe bowl with about 1/4 cup water in the bottom.  Cover the bowl with syran wrap or some other cover and microwave for about 3 minutes or until the broccoli is bright green, but still crisp-tender.

COMBINE:  Stir the pasta, broccoli, tomatoes, olives, and mushrooms into the sauce.  Serve when everything is hot.

 

 

Adapted from Betty Crocker’s Low-Fat, Low-Cholesterol Cooking Today pg 124.

Tart frozen yogurt with berries

Tart Frozen Yogurt with Berries

Search no further for the perfect 4th of July dessert!  I am a huge fan of tart frozen yogurt, and with the right tool, this can be prepared so, so easily.  Top with sweet strawberries & blueberries (or any sweet fruit!) to create a fresh, healthy, and perfectly delightful summer treat.  – Jessica

 

serves 4-6

 

3 cups plain greek yogurt (non-fat works great)

2 Tbsp agave nectar (or honey or sugar)

3 cups berries, whole or chopped depending on size

agave nectar for drizzling (optional)

 

 

 SWEETEN:  Stir the 2 Tbsp agave into the yogurt.  This is optional, by the way.  I am one who LOVES plain yogurt, and don’t need mine sweetened.  I believe I’m in the minority, though, and you’d probably want to sweeten it for guests.  2 Tbsp is just enough to retain the yogurt’s tartness while keeping the super tart bite off.

FREEZE:  Pour the yogurt mixture into a 1 1/2 quart electric ice cream maker.  Following manufacturer’s instructions, let it run for about 20 minutes or until the yogurt is thick and as frozen as frozen yogurt is supposed to be.

TOP:  Serve up the yogurt into individual cups and top with berries.  Drizzle a little more agave on top if you would like it sweeter.  Serve immediately!  It melts quickly.

vegan black bean soup with fresh lime, salsa.Garnish with crumbled tortilla chips

Easiest Black Bean & Salsa Soup

Our friend, Jodi, makes this Black Bean & Salsa vegan soup recipe to go with her tortilla patties for a super quick & healthy dinner. The limes and cilantro give it great flavoring. It would also accompany our spinach tortilla wedges or even a simple quesadilla perfectly.  This soup really couldn’t get any easier or better!

 

2 15-oz cans black beans, rinsed and drained

1 1/2 cups vegetable broth

1 cup chunky salsa (experiment with different kinds!)

1 tsp cumin

1-2 limes

cilantro for garnish

sour cream (non-vegan option)

 

 BLEND:  Blend half of the beans and all of the broth in a blender until fairly smooth.

 ADD & HEAT:  Pour the blender contents into a medium sized saucepan over medium high heat.  Add the salsa, cumin, and the rest of the beans.  Stir occasionally until hot.

 TOP:  Ladle the soup into 4 bowls and top each bowl with freshly squeezed lime juice and cilantro. It is also delicious served with a dollop of sour cream in addition to or in place of the lime juice.

 

 

Dairy free strawberry ice cream recipe

Strawberry Ice Cream

Home-made, sugar-free Strawberry healthy ice cream in a matter of minutes!  This non-dairy recipe is as creamy and delicious as it looks.  Frozen fruit, coconut milk, and vanilla.  In the blender.  Pure and simple. Deliciousness!

 

1 banana, sliced and frozen
1 handful of strawberries, frozen
1-2 tablespoons coconut milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

 

Place the frozen bananas and strawberries into a food processor. Start blending then add in the vanilla and coconut milk. Just enough for it to blend together but not too much, we want it to be really thick! Once it is nice and smooth but still very thick scoop it out and enjoy! It needs to be eaten right away as it will not keep very well in the freezer. Makes 2-3 servings.

No Bake Raw Almond Peanut-butter Cookies

No Cook Peanut Butter Cookies

This is the ultimate quick & healthy no bake cookie recipe. Filled with flax, oats, wheat germ, fresh ground peanut butter, raw almonds and pecans, it is filled with energy and super tasty. I add a little dark chocolate chips for a hint of decadence. I make a batch and leave them on the counter and before long, they are gobbled up. That said, these store quite well. You can make up a batch and have them ready to eat for a week or two in the fridge without them going bad.  – Curt

2 cup rolled oats
1 cup chopped almonds
1/2 cup sesame seeds (optional) 1 cup chopped pecans
1/4 cup wheat germ* (optional) 1/2 cup flax meal
1 1/2 cup peanut butter

1/2 cup raw agave nectar OR honey 1/2 cup canola or grapeseed oil
2 tsp vanilla extract
3/4 cup dark chocolate chips or carob chips

 

  1. CHOP NUTS: Finely chop almonds and pecans and add into a large mixing bowl.
  2. COMBINE AND FORM: Add all other ingredients mix well. Form into small balls, about 1 1/2 inches in diameter and place on serving dish. If needed, wet hands to make the cookies so that the dough does not stick to fingers. Also, use a tad of water and/or a bit more peanut butter if the cookies aren’t sticking due to lack of moisture. That is it! Just create little cookies and serve.

 

 

Note: The key to making these cookies is to have enough of the moist ingredient to make the cookies bind together. Peanut Butter is the key ingredient for binding. If the cookies aren’t sticking together add a bit more peanut butter. I get fresh ground peanut butter from the health food store when possible. If you haven’t tried that before, it is amazing! ALSO it is very helpful to keep your hands wet when forming the cookies so they don’t stick to your hands. And, the water on your hands will add a little moisture to the outside of the cookies to keep them together.

 

* Omit Wheat Germ to make Gluten free

Green Bean Tofu Stirfry with almonds - quick & easy

Chinese Green Beans, Tofu & Almonds

This delicious, quick and healthy Chinese Green Bean Almond & tofu stir fry recipe is loaded with healthiness! Cut up a bunch of fresh green beans, and crank up the wok! It starts with browning the tofu cubes, then adding the almonds and green beans with your favorite stir fry sauce. It’s bursting with flavor! Everyone will be coming back for seconds!

1 Package of FIRM tofu
4 cups of cut fresh green beans

1/2 cup raw almonds olive oil or canola oil corn starch
Stir Fry Sauce (your favorite recipe or pre-made from a bottle)

  1. BROWN TOFU: Cut tofu into 1 inch cubes. In a large mixing bowl, lightly coat with corn starch. Gently sprinkle and turn tofu till corn starch is sticking to parts of the tofu. Then, add to a hot wok with oil. Gently stir every minute or so until the tofu is browned. Remove tofu and put back into mixing bowl until after beans are cooked.
  2. GREEN BEANS: Saute cut green beans and raw almonds in wok with heated oil. Stir regularly. I sometimes add a bit of water to the wok and place lid on walk. This creates a great steam chamber which is a way to cook beans without as much oil. When beans are just tender, and almonds toasted, add your favorite stir fry sauce and gently stir in. Add tofu at the end and lightly mix in as to not break up the cubes. Serve and enjoy!

Note: It is so important to eat raw fruits and vegetables. But, sometimes it is just hard to grab an orange or apple or banana and just eat it straight. But, if you can cut it up in little bites and mix it with a few other fruits, somehow it becomes this fun exotic experience of fruit indulgence! Give it a try! Make it a regular in your snacking and cut up whatever you have on hand. You’ll feel refreshed and healthy! 

Healthy breakfast or snack recipe of whole grain toast with almond butter and strawberries

Strawberry Almond Toast

I know that this is a really simple recipe, so you may be thinking “Why post this?”  It is because when you are hungry and in a hurry (which is often in many of our lives), snack items will either make or break your health.  We will continue posting occasional healthy snack items.  So stay tuned!  This Strawberry Almond Toast is a fantastically quick and filling snack or breakfast item.  I got the idea from my friend, Cambry, who loves peanut butter.  She was telling me how delicious strawberries and peanut butter are on toast, and I though…hmmm…it’s probably good with almond butter too.  And it is!  (Peanut butter is great, too.  You choose!)   – Jessica

1 slice whole grain toast (try our English muffin bread or grain mix bread recipes)
1-2 Tbsp almond butter
1-2 strawberries, sliced

Compile and eat!  Try sprinkling on some sliced almonds for an added crunch.

quick & easy delicious fruit salad recipe

Easy Fruit Salad

This fast simple fruit salad recipe is the ultimate refreshing snack or side dish. When you are in a hurry and just want something healthy to snack on in front of the tv and want to feel refreshed and energetic, try cutting up simple fruits into bite size pieces of happiness. It is so quick to do, it is surprising we don’t do it more often. You can really use any fruits. These are the basic ones that people usually have on hand. Live uncooked fruits are so good for your health. Full of vitamin C and enzymes, you’ll want to make a habit of making this snack or side dish for your health.

Banana

Watermelon

Orange

Any Melons!

Pineapple

Pomegranate

Apple

Strawberries

Grapefruit

Blueberries

Cantaloupe

Any Berries!

1. CUT FRUIT: So easy. Just cut up the fruit and serve in bowls. Grab a fork and dig in!

2. DIP: You can serve this with a side of flavored yogurt or fruit dip as an option.

Note: It is so important to eat raw fruits and vegetables. But, sometimes it is just hard to grab an orange or apple or banana and just eat it straight. But, if you can cut it up in little bites and mix it with a few other fruits, somehow it becomes this fun exotic experience of fruit indulgence! Give it a try! Make it a regular in your snacking and cut up whatever you have on hand. You’ll feel refreshed and healthy! 

Garlic Red Potatoes Recipe with Herbs

Garlic Herbed Potatoes

This tasty red potatoes recipe cooks up quick and easy. Smothered in herbs and browned to a golden perfection. Serve them with a side of ranch or any dip, or just eat them straight out of the skillet. I boil the potatoes first till they are just tender. Then chill overnight. You can store the ready potatoes in the fridge till you are ready to cook them up in the skillet. They key is to saute lots of garlic in olive oil, then adding the potatoes into the toasted garlic. Then smothering the potatoes in herbs and sauted till golden brown. I cook these up and the pan of potatoes is usually devoured within minutes!

Small Red Potatoes (about 15) Olive Oil
2 tsp Minced Garlic
5 tsp Herbal Seasoning Blend

(I use Costcos Kirkland Brand No Salt Herbal Seasoning)

Sea Salt to taste

1. PRE BOIL POTATOES: Boil the red potatoes till JUST TENDER. Don’t over boil. Drain and allow to cool. Though not critical, I find cooling the potatoes in fridge overnight produces better potatoes.

2. SAUTE GARLIC: In a large skillet, heat a fair amount of olive oil. Add minced garlic. I use a commercial jar of pre-minced garlic for ease. Brown garlic till it is toasted to a golden color. This adds a full flavor to the garlic.

3. ADD POTATOES and HERBS: Add potatoes to the skillet. I then take my spatula and chop the potatoes in half in the skillet while they are browning. Smother the potatoes with the herbal seasoning. Don’t by shy. Do not over stir the potatoes. Allow to brown for a few minutes, then turn. Repeat till potatoes are browned. Add sea salt to taste and serve with a side of ranch.

 

Note: I use Costcos KIRKLAND BRAND ORGANIC NO-SALT SEASONING. It is incredible. But, you can use a variety of herbs. Try rosemary, sage, italian herbs. But always use garlic as the base. Experiment. The key is to add lots of herbs, and then to allow the potatoes to brown without over stirring

Easy healthy brown-rice-pudding recipe

Brown Rice Pudding

Easy, creamy and healthy Brown Rice Pudding recipe. My family has a heritage of being rice pudding lovers. I think I tasted my first rice pudding when I was about 3. My Grandma Snarr had a recipe that was as good as it gets. World class. We have tried here to adapt it and keep the creamy, comforting qualities that make a great rice pudding – yet make it reasonably healthy. Try it out. It is low sugar, and feels just crazy healthy leaving you satisfied and guilt free. This recipe is cooked in a saucepan with minimal ingredients. Easy to make. Everyone seems to love it. Leave it in the fridge for those moments when you need to reward yourself without binging on sugar.  – Curt

2 1/2 cups COOKED short grain brown rice
3 cups rice milk
1/4 cup sugar
2 Tbsp butter
2 tsp vanilla
1 egg

 
1. COOK SHORT GRAIN BROWN RICE: Cook rice as directed on package. You can use 1/3 rice milk instead of water in the initial rice cooking leaving the rice more flavorful and pudding like.

2. HEAT MILK: In a large saucepan, heat milk to scalding.

3. COMBINE AND STIR: Whisk in sugar, butter, vanilla, and egg till smooth. Then stir in rice and allow to simmer till pudding like.  Stir occasionally so that the pudding doesn’t burn.

 

 

Note: I recognize that this recipe has some sugar but it does not taste overly sweet. You can make versions where you adjust the amount of sugar, reducing it
a bit and adding a touch of stevia. Make it the consistency YOU like best. Add a bit more milk for a saucier pudding, and less for a thicker pudding with more rice. On another note after experimenting SHORT grain brown rice is stickier and seems to make a more moist pudding.

Vegetarian Sloppy Joe recipe with lentils & brown rice

Slow Cooker Vegetarian Sloppy Joes

This is a fairly easy super healthy vegetarian sloppy joe recipe for the slow cooker. Just throw all the ingredients into the large crock pot and it’ll feed a small army! Sloppy joes are kind of a family favorite. Who doesn’t like them? What I wanted to go for is a healthier vegetarian version. Easy to make. Filling. The only thing about this version is it is a slow cooker recipe so it can all be done in a crock pot but it does take time. You have to be a bit flexible when you make this and be willing to adjust this as you go. The main variables are adjusting the water as you go, so you end up with a very thick consistency. Also, feel free to season this using my recipe as the base, but slowly add a bit here and there to get it perfect for your tastes.

-Curt

1 1/2 cups lentils
2 cups short grain brown rice
1 1/2 cups TVP (optional but good)
8-10 cups water
1/3 cup dried onion pieces
2 packs sloppy joe seasoning mix
2 tsp garlic powder
1 can tomato paste
6 tbls ketchup barbecue sauce to taste
sea salt to taste
whole wheat hamburger buns

1. SLOW COOKER: In a large slow cooker, add water, lentils, brown rice, tvp and dry seasonings and allow to cook on high for a few hours till the lentils and rice are very soft and the mixture thickens up. The water may need to be adjusted as the cooking progresses to ensure you have enough moisture to cook thoroughly.

2. SEASON: When all dry ingredients are soft and thickened to a consistency of sloppy joe mix, add bbq sauce, tomato paste and ketchup to taste. This is where you need to be creative and add slowly the bbq sauce to your tastes. Mix in thoroughly and serve on whole wheat hamburger buns.

Note: As in many of my recipes, I recommend being flexible with the amounts for this recipe. This makes a nice batch. As the ingredients cook in the slow crock pot cooker, keep stirring occasionally and check for needed water if the lentils and rice aren’t soft enough. This usually gets better if it cooks for several hours with the seasonings and the sauces. 

Easy healthy granola bar recipe with toasted almonds oats cranberries coconut and puffed rice

No-Bake Almond Granola Bars

No-Bake Almond Granola Bar recipe makes chewy whole grain granola bars with crunchy tidbits of roasted almonds and sunflower seeds, drizzled with dark chocolate.  These are more satisfying than the store-bought granola bars I have tried and have that awesome fresh-home-made-no-preservative-taste.  My toddler even loves these “gwanoya bas.”   -Jessica

1 1/2 cup rolled oats
3/4 cup dry roasted almonds, chopped small (or toast raw ones yourself)
3/4 cup whole grain puffed brown rice (easily found in health food stores)
1/3 cup sunflower seeds (I prefer roasted and salted ones)
1/3 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
1/3 cup raisins or dried cranberries (optional)

1/4 cup coconut oil or regular butter
1/3 cup honey
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp cinnamon

3 Tbsp dark chocolate (optional)

OATS:  Toast the oats by placing them in dry skillet over medium high heat.  Stir for 5-7 minutes or until they are golden and they smell a little nutty.  (You don’t HAVE to do this step, but I highly recommend it as it makes the granola bars considerably tastier).  If you used quick oats, you are done.  If you used regular rolled oats the bars will stick together a little better if you pulse the oats a couple of times in a food processor or coffee grinder.
DRY INGREDIENTS: Stir together the oats, almonds, puffed brown rice, sunflower seeds, coconut, and dried fruit (if using) in a large bowl.
SYRUP:  Stir together the coconut oil/butter and honey in a small saucepan over medium high heat.  Once boiling, turn down the heat to medium and boil for 2 minutes, stirring frequently.  Remove from heat and stir in vanilla and cinnamon.
COMBINE AND PRESS:  Stir the syrup into the dry ingredients, mixing well until evenly coated.  Wet your fingers with water and press the granola firmly into a lightly greased 11×7 inch pan.  You can also use a larger pan, pushing the granola to one side making sure it is 1/2 – 3/4 inch thick.
DRIZZLE:  If you would like chocolaty topping, microwave the chocolate in a small microwave safe bowl for 1 minute on high.  Stir.  Drizzle over the pressed granola by carefully flinging the melted chocolate off the end of a fork or small spoon a little bit at a time.
BARS:  Place the pan in the refrigerator for 15-30 minutes or at room temperature for longer until the chocolate has hardened.  Then cut into bars.  Wrap the bars in plastic wrap for readily available snacks.

Inspired by:  Rachel Ray’s n0-bake chewy granola bars

Fluffy whole grain blueberry muffins recipe for breakfast or brunch

Blueberrylicious Muffins

Delicious Blueberry Muffin Recipe. My mother-in-law made the most amazing blueberry muffins a while back.  I got the recipe and then modified them to be whole grain, lower in sugar, and a bit simpler to create.  It took some work, but the final product is still light, fluffy, and blueberrylicious!  You will want to make these every time blueberries go on sale!    – Jessica

 

1 1/2 cups whole wheat pastry flour

1 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp salt

3/4 cups sugar

1/2 cup oil

1 egg

1 cup plain yogurt

1 cup fresh blueberries

 

  1. PREHEAT:  Preheat oven to 400 F and grease muffin tins (for 12 muffins) with cooking spray.
  2. DRY INGREDIENTS:  Whisk together the flour, soda, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl.
  3. BLUEBERRIES:  Rinse the blueberries and drain or pat most of the water off.  Place them in a small bowl and stir in 1 Tbsp of the dry ingredient mixture.  Place 3 blueberries on the bottom of each of the 12 spaces in the greased muffin tins.
  4. WET INGREDIENTS:  In a separate bowl, whisk together the sugar, oil, egg, and yogurt.
  5. COMBINE:  Carefully stir in the wet ingredients into the dry ones just until barely mixed.
  6. FILL:  Fill each space in the muffin tins 3/4 of the way full with batter.  Sprinkle the rest of the blueberries evenly on top of the muffins, pressing them down lightly.
  7. BAKE:  Bake for 20 minutes or until golden brown.  Remove from oven and immediately pop the muffins out of the tins, upside down onto a clean towel to cool.

 

Note:  The careful placement of the blueberries on the bottoms and tops of the muffins is essential to not having them all clump together as one big blueberry blob.

Vegan Raw Chocolate Pudding recipe with avocado, bananas & cocoa

Raw Chocolate Pudding

This delicious healthy Raw Chocolate Pudding recipe made with avocados, cocoa and bananas will amaze you! The recipe is not only quick and easy but vegan too. My co-worker Jodi brought this pudding to a party at my home and we LOVED it! Give it a try, I bet you won’t be disappointed.   – Curt

1 avocado

1 banana

1 T + 1 tsp honey or agave nectar (for vegan friendly)

1/4 cup cocoa powder

1/4 tsp fresh lemon juice

1/3 cup vanilla soy milk

3 strawberries or 3 T shredded coconut for topping (optional)

Blend avocado, banana, honey, cocoa powder, lemon juice and soy milk in food processor. Chill 1 hour. Serve topped with strawberries & bananas or shredded coconut. serves 3-4

Note: For a tropical taste, you can substitute soy milk with coconut milk.

Green Chili Vegetarian Enchiladas Casserole recipe layered with yams, beans, cheese, corn tortillas and green chilis

Green Chile Enchilada Vegetarian Casserole

Cinco de Mayo recipe!  This layered enchilada recipe is easy and simple to make. I love green chili enchiladas. Having lived in New Mexico I have eaten a fair amount of green chili recipes. I created this as more of a casserole instead of the traditional rolled up enchiladas. Mainly because I am not very good at rolling up enchiladas and having them come out looking so good. And the casserole concept builds super fast which is always big in my book. I create a mixture of roasted yams, black beans, corn and pinto beans. I make these with the best green chili sauce I can buy commercial brand. Hey, it is just easier. These make up super fast and are a sure hit.  – Curt

For more Cinco de Mayo healthy recipe ideas check out Jessica’s awesome Menu!

4 yams

2 cans black beans
1 can pinto beans
2 cups frozen sweet corn

3 Tbsp chili powder

1 Tbsp cumin
corn tortillas
2 20 ounce cans green chili sauce grated jack cheese to taste

  1. YAMS:  Roast yams at 375 degrees for about 45 minutes, or until soft. Remove from oven, cool, and remove skins. Then dice into small pieces.
  2. BLACK BEAN MIXTURE:  In a large mixing bowl combine black beans, pinto beans, corn, diced yams and seasonings.
  3. LAYER:  In a large deep casserole dish, layer ingredients. Start with a layer of green chili sauce, then add a layer of tortillas. Cover that with the bean mixture and top with cheese. Repeat until casserole dish is almost fill. The top layer should have a layer of tortilla, then a bit of sauce, with cheese as the final touch. Bake at 375 till cheese has a light golden brown. Serve with guacamole, green chili salsa and sour cream.

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healthy oriental gluten-free salad with rice noodles, tofu and spinach

Oriental Noodle Salad

This healthy Oriental Noodle Salad recipe is a FAMILY favorite – easy, gluten free and vegan! The dressing is really tasty, and forgiving. You can adjust according to taste and it is also good with a little fresh ginger or peanut butter (for a thai peanut flavor). * This recipe makes A LOT of salad! Great for a dinner party or lunch with your friends! This recipe was inspired by our great friend Ali Eisenach’s Oriental Salad in her “When Life Gives You Friends” cookbook, visit her at lemonpoppycake.com.

 

Dressing:

1/2 cup oil (you can use olive oil)

4 T. sesame oil

3/4 cup soy sauce

2/3 cup red wine vinegar

4-6 T. agave nectar (adjust to taste)

1/2 t. pepper

Combine dressing ingredients in a blender and pulse until combined.  Set aside while you cook tofu and noodles.

1 T. coconut oil

1 lb. extra firm tofu, cut into 1″ pieces

12 oz. rice noodles (or more)

Cook tofu in coconut oil In a large skillet until brown and crisped on the edges (season with a little salt). Remove from heat. Boil noodles until soft. drain and set aside. Pour half of the dressing directly onto the noodles and let marinate while you prepare the salad ingredients.

 

In a large bowl combine:

6-8 cups spinach

4 green onions, diced

1 large orange, peeled and cut into sections

2 red peppers, sliced (you can use orange or yellow peppers)

2 cups sugar snap peas

 

Add noodles, tofu and pour remaining dressing on top. Eat right away or chill before serving (I generally like to toss all the ingredients together right before serving…if you need to prepare noodles and tofu earlier in the day, just cover or place in large zip lock bags in the fridge until you are ready to serve). If you choose you could substitute the tofu for chicken. Enjoy!

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Southwestern easy salad recipe with avocado & cilantro lime dressing

Southwest Salad with Cilantro Lime Dressing

The colors, flavors, textures are perfectly pleasing in this southwestern-style entree salad recipe.  But the Cilantro Lime Dressing is really what makes it special.  It is a sweet, tangy blend of cilantro, lime, honey, and jalapeno.  The corn, beans, and avocado provide enough substance to make this salad a meal in itself, but it also goes well with a quesadilla.
– Jessica

1-2 heads lettuce (I like to mix romaine with spinach or red leaf)
1 cup diced tomatoes
1 cup diced avocados
1 15 oz can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 cup white corn (fresh or frozen and thawed)
1 cup grated Monterrey Jack cheese
1 red onion, cut in half and sliced thin (so pieces look like half circles)
1 bunch cilantro, (coarsely chopped and most of the stems removed)

Dressing:
1 large jalapeno, seeds and rinds removed
2 cloves garlic
2 tsp fresh ginger
1/4 cup packed cilantro leaves
1/4 cup lime juice
1/4 cup honey
2 tsp balsamic vinegar
1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 tsp salt

  1. SALAD:  Combine all salad ingredients and toss lightly.
  2. DRESSING:  Place all dressing ingredients into a food processor or blender and blend until smooth.  If you have a high powered blender, you can put the ingredients in whole.  Otherwise, it may be wise to mince the jalapeno, garlic, and ginger first.  If you plan on eating all the salad in one sitting, pour on just enough dressing to coat as you lightly toss the salad.  You probably won’t use it all.  If you plan on having left over salad, serve the dressing on the side.

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Easy & healthy Peanut Butter Banana Protein-Shake

Peanut Butter Banana Protein Shake

This Peanut Butter Banana Protein Shake is one healthy protein shake recipe I make almost every day. Or an occasional variation of this one. I recommend it highly as there is something about the protein and the ingredients in this protein shake that totally balances out your body. What’s more, it’s filling enough to be a meal replacement. The creamy frozen banana creates an almost milk shake consistency and supplies potassium and fiber. The ground flax meal is a super food filled with fiber and omega 3 oils. The little bit of peanut butter along with the protein powder adds a slow burning protein to rebuild tissues and provides a good brain fuel. The dates and almonds (along with being healthy and having fiber) add a beautiful extra taste creating the ultimate tasty mind boggling shake. I have introduced this to many people, and I hear back from my legions of devoted shake drinkers that they also drink it daily, as they feel so crazy fantastic afterwords!  – Curt

 

2 cups rice milk

1 cup ice

1 frozen banana

1 scoop (about 3 tbls) protein powder

   (soy, whey, rice – your choice)

1 tablespoon natural peanut butter

3 tablespoons ground flax meal

1 – 2 dates (pit removed)

small handful of raw almonds (about 15)

 

  1. FREEZE BANANA:  I keep a large zip lock bag in the freezer with peeled bananas ready to go. Freezing the bananas helps create a colder more ice cream texture to the shake. However, it isn’t mandatory they are frozen.
  2. COMBINE IN BLENDER: Add rice milk, frozen banana, protein, ice, flax, peanut butter and dates. Blend thoroughly till smooth.
  3. ADD ALMONDS: At the end of the blending cycle, add the raw almonds and blend for just a bit more. This allows the almonds to be a bit chunky and ads a little crunch to the thick shake.

 

Note: As in many of my recipes, I recommend being flexible with the amounts for the shake. The main thing is to get it as thick as you can as your blender can handle. I like the Vita Mix or Blend-Tec mixers. But there are other good ones as these are a bit pricey. The ice and the frozen banana give it the cold thick shake consistency. Vary ice accordingly. 

 

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fluffy whole grain buttermilk blueberry lemon pancake recipe

Blueberry Lemonade Pancakes

Fabulous and healthy Blueberry Lemonade Pancake recipe. When I made these pancakes for the first time my husband told me, “These are the only pancakes anyone should ever eat.”  These light and fluffy buttermilk pancakes can be made with or without blueberries in them, and are moist enough that they don’t even need butter and syrup.  Some lemon juice and powdered sugar on top is a nice touch, though.   – Jessica

 

2 cups whole white wheat flour or whole wheat pastry flour

1 tsp salt

2 tsp baking powder

1/4 cup sugar (or 3 Tbsp honey or agave)

3 eggs

1/4 cup oil

2 cups butter milk (or 2 cups milk with 2 Tbsp lemon juice, let sit for 5 min.)

1 cup blueberries

 

  1. Mix:  Combine the dry ingredients and the wet ingredients separately, stirring well.  Then mix them together into the same bowl.  Stir in the blueberries last.
  2. Cook:  Heat a griddle or a fry pan to medium high heat.  Pour 1/4 – 1/3 cup batter for each pancake and flip when they just start to turn golden brown.
  3. Top:  Top pancakes with fresh squeezed lemons and powdered sugar.  I also like to put a fruit mixture on top.  Peaches, bananas, and blue berries are a nice combination.

 

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Vegan sandwich with hummus avocado cucumber red pepper and lettuce: Easy Avocado Recipe

Yum Hummus Sandwich

This is a simple, mellow, easy, comfort-food type hummus avocado sandwich recipe.  Mashed avocado and hummus make this vegan sandwich filling and satisfying.  ~ Jessica

 

whole grain bread  (try our English muffin bread)

hummus (try our simple hummus)

1/2 avocado, mashed

cucumber slices

red pepper slices

lettuce

 

Spread hummus on one piece of bread and the mashed avocado on the other.  Compile the rest of the ingredients into a sandwich.  It’s that easy.

whole wheat vegan bread with texture and taste of english muffins

English Muffin Bread

I love English muffins, but they seem so time consuming to make – and I really have found that whole grain bread products are much better when they are homemade and fresh. So, when I came across a recipe of English muffin BREAD on One Good Thing by Jillee I was stoked!  What a great idea.  It’s just about the EASIEST way you could ever make a loaf of bread, and the finished product tastes like and has the spongy texture of English muffins (This is just more moist – so even better!).  Seeing this recipe made me want to modify it to make it whole grain.  I got right to it, and here is the result.  It makes GREAT toast and is super yummy with freezer jam!   – Jessica

Makes 2 loaves (double the recipe if you want 4 loaves.  You can freeze extras.)

2 3/4 cups warm water (90 – 100 F)
3 1/2 tsp instant yeast (also called rapid rise, quick rise, or bread machine yeast)
2 Tbsp wheat gluten
1 Tbsp salt
4 1/2 tsp sugar
5 1/2 cups white whole wheat flour

MIX:  Mix all ingredients together.  No need to knead, so you can do this either in a stand mixer with a dough hook or in a big bowl with a sturdy spoon.  Make sure you mix it up well, so that all the flour is well incorporated.  The dough may be lumpy and that is okay.  If for some reason the dough seems really dry and isn’t holding together, add a little more water.
PAN:  Spoon the dough into 2 well-greased loaf pans (mine are 4 1/2 x 8 inches).  Cover them with plastic wrap that has been sprayed with cooking spray on one side.  Put that side down, so that when the dough touches it, it won’t stick.  Let the dough rise until it doubles.  When it is doubled, it should reach the top of the pans.  This could take 45-60 min.  When it is almost done rising, preheat the oven to 350 F.
BAKE:  Bake at 350 F for 25 minutes.  Brush the tops of the bread lightly with butter (you can also just take the stick of butter and rub it on top of each loaf).  Put the loaves back in the oven and bake for an additional 10-15 minutes – just until golden brown.  If you prefer not to brush butter on top, you can skip that step.  Take the bread out of the pans ASAP and cool on a rack.  The warm bread is heavenly with honey or jam spread on it, but it is easier to slice when cooled.

 

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Black Bean Burger recipe with Mushrooms and Swiss Cheese

Black Bean Burger Melt

This is a very quick and healthy black bean burger recipe that can be whipped up in minutes flat. You can make your own black bean burgers, but for sheer convenience and speed, you can use any store brand black bean or veggie burger which makes this a snap (see notes below). The avocado adds a freshness to the meal and the sauteed mushrooms add a nice dimension. Without the hassle and extra calories of a bun, this makes a real fun quick tasty meal. – Curt

 

1 Black Bean Burger

Swiss Cheese (or your favorite cheese)

Sliced Mushrooms

Sliced Avocado

 

  1.  Thaw the frozen burger, or quickly microwave where it isn’t frozen.
  2.  Heat a cast iron skillet (or any skillet) to medium high temp.
  3.  Add a dab of olive oil on skillet and spread around. Brown the one side of the burger.
  4.  In another skillet, or if there is room in the skillet you are cooking with, add sliced mushrooms and saute till just soft and browned.  Remove mushrooms when done.
  5. Flip burger, and top with sliced cheese. Continue to cook. I usually top the skillet with a lid to assist the cheese in melting. When done, remove the burger and place on plate. Smother with mushrooms and top with fresh sliced avocado. Enjoy!

 

NOTE:  You can really use any veggie burger for this recipe. But my favorite is the Chipotle Black Bean Burger from Morningstar Farms. I buy them at Costco. They are 1/4 pound and really are great. Again, you can create your own veggie burgers at home but I have found it is a lifesaver to have some alternatives for when you are on the run, or don’t have a lot of time. This is why I love this recipe. It cooks up super fast, and is filling and nutritious. You can also add salsa to this dish for another nice twist.

 

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easy healthy whole grain carrot muffins for easter

Sweet Carrot Muffins

Since our site is called “dancing carrots” we are trying to add some special carrot recipes.  The sweet carrot muffin recipe is the first.  Don’t be scared by the carrots.  You can’t really taste them.  If you like carrot cake, you will like these muffins.  These are slightly sweet, whole grain, and have a very soft moist crumb.  Add a side of fruit and they make  a delightful Easter breakfast.   – Jessica

Makes 12 big muffins

3 cups whole wheat pastry flour
1 Tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp allspice
1/3 cup coconut oil or butter
2/3 cup honey (or 3/4 cup sugar)
2 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 cups plain yogurt (nonfat, low-fat, doesn’t matter)
2 cups finely grated carrot

  1. DRY INGREDIENTS:  Whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and allspice in a medium sized bowl.
  2. WET INGREDIENTS:  Cream together the coconut oil/butter and honey/sugar in a large bowl.  Beat in the eggs, vanilla, yogurt, and carrot.
  3. COMBINE:  Slowly and carefully mix the dry ingredients into the wet ones – just until evenly incorporated.  Don’t over-mix.
  4. BAKE:  Fill greased muffin tins for 12 muffins all the way full.  These muffins will puff up and be pretty big.  Place in an oven preheated to 375 F.  Bake for 25 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean or with just a few crumbs attached.
Hummus recipe with chick peas, tahini, and seasonings

Simple Hummus

If you have never made your own hummus recipe, you have got to try it.  It is SO easy!  And it is fun making something so easy that turns out just as well (if not better) than as when you buy it.  Hummus contains lots of health stuff – protein, fiber, and healthy oils.  Use it as a dip for vegetables or pita triangles or spread it on a veggie sandwich.  Sure beats mayo!  – Jessica

1 cup dry garbanzo beans or chick peas (makes 2 1/2 cups cooked.  If you prefer to use canned, use almost 2 cans)

1/4 cup tahini sesame seed paste (optional)

1/3 cup lemon juice

1 tsp minced garlic

3/4 tsp salt

1/2 cup water

1/4 tsp cayenne pepper or to taste (start small)

1/4 tsp cumin (optional)

2-4 Tbsp olive oil

 

  1. COOK:  Cook the dry garbanzo beans in a small slow cooker with 4-5 cups of water.  Turn it on in the morning and several hours later, check back to see if they are soft.  There isn’t an exact time here.  Drain the water.  You should have about 2 1/2 cups beans, now.  If you would prefer to use 2 1/2 cups canned beans, that is fine, too.
  2. BLEND:  Place the cooked garbanzo beans along with all the rest of the ingredients besides the olive oil in a blender or food processor and blend.  If it is too thick, add more water little by little and stir it down to the bottom before blending again.  (I find that it is easier to use a food processor than a blender for this recipe because there is more room around the blade.  Once I blend it in the food processor, I transfer it into the serving bowl and then blend it again with an immersion blender to get it super smooth.)  Taste, and adjust salt and cayenne to how you like it.
  3. FINISHING TOUCHES: Spoon the hummus into a bowl and pour olive oil on top.  Garnish with another sprinkle of cayenne and a parsley sprig.

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raw gazpacho with tomato cucumber red pepper v8 juice

Quick and Healthy Gazpacho

There are some recipes that are categorized as “super healthy”. This is one of them. I created this for times when I needed super nutrition. Freshness and the most live healthy ingredients for when I needed a boost. Most of this I gathered from other recipes. I just added a few things that gave it an extra zing. I also wanted this to be fast. Easy. For flavor an optional ingredient is spicy V8 for added body. I also add a super immune superhero, apple cider vinegar which also ads zest. This is mostly all fresh live foods, and will give you an instant pick me up. – Curt

 

7 tomatoes

2 Cucumbers

3 Stalks Celery

3 Red Peppers

2/3 cup parsley chopped fine

1/2 cup apple cider vinegar

2 – 8 oz cans spicy V8 Juice

3 cloves garlic minced

1 Red Onion

Salt to taste

 

1. Chop all vegetables super fine and combine in a large bowl and mix well.

2. Add minced garlic, V8 and salt.

3. Blend roughly about a half of the mixture in a blender on low which creates a fine texture and body to the soup. Pour back into the bowl and stir in.

3. Stir Apple Cider Vinegar at the last. Allow to chill for a few hours.

 

NOTE: In the summer months, when you have lots of veggies and fresh tomatoes, this is one of the most flavorful fresh dishes in the world. When I want to go on a healing cleanse, I always make a fresh batch of gazpacho and keep it on hand. You an eat it for a few meals a day. You feel great and the live fresh ingredients bring healing and cleansing. There are many variations of gazpacho – the apple cider vinegar and parsley are superfoods that work well with this traditional recipe.

 

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pancake mix recipe with flax oats barley whole wheat brown rice and rye

Emily’s Multi-Grain Pancake Mix

This pancake mix recipe was given to me by my friend, Emily.  She read my blog post about giving a home-made pancake mix to my neighbors and wanted to share her favorite pancake mix recipe with me.  She got it from goodcheapeats.com.  It is absolutely delicious and so healthy – 100% whole grain with a variety of different grains and flax.  There are also some optional ingredients you can add into the pancakes so that with just one pancake mix, you can make a slightly different pancake recipe each time.  I tweaked the recipe just a bit to fit my style and added some instructions for someone wanting to grind their own grains.  I hope you love this as much as I do!   ~ Jessica

 

For the MIX:

4 cups whole wheat flour

1 cup barley flour

1 cup oat flour

1 cup brown rice flour

1 cup rye flour

1 cup milled flax

1 3/4 cups powdered milk

1 cup sugar (omit this if you would prefer agave or honey – see note at the end)

1 Tbsp salt

1/3 cup + 1 Tbsp baking powder

  1. MIX:  Whisk all the ingredients together in a large bowl or Bosch mixer until all the ingredients are evenly distributed.
  2. STORE:  Place mix in an air tight container or zip-lock bag.  Store in the refrigerator or freezer for freshness.

NOTE:  If grinding your own fresh flour, you can grind all the grains at once by adding the following to your wheat grinder:

3 cups wheat

3/4 cup barley

3/4 cup whole oat groats

3/4 cup brown rice

Stir up the multi-grain flour you just prepared so that it is evenly mixed before adding 7 cups of it to the rest of the pancake mix ingredients.  (There may be a little flour left over).

I can’t often find whole rye, so I just use pre-ground rye flour.  But if you can find it, you would mill 3/4 cup rye with the other grains and add 8 cups of the multi-grain flour to the mix.

Don’t put flax into your wheat grinder.  It is oily.  Instead, grind 3/4 cups of it with a coffee grinder.

 

For the PANCAKES:

2 cups mix

2 eggs

2 Tbsp oil or melted butter

1 1/4 cup water (or more if needed)

1 tsp vanilla (optional)

1/2 tsp cinnamon (optional)

1/2 cup pureed pumpkin or mashed banana (optional)

1.  MIX:  Mix together all ingredients in a medium sized bowl.

2.  COOK:  Spray a griddle or large pan with spray oil.  Heat it over medium heat for about 5 minutes, or until hot.  Add about 1/4 cup batter to the pan for each pancake.  Flip when the underside is golden brown and bubbles are forming on the top.

Serve with your favorite toppings:  maple syrup, yogurt, jam, fruit, etc.

NOTE:  If you would prefer the pancakes to have agave or honey instead of sugar, omit the sugar when making the mix and stir 3 Tbsp honey or agave into the pancake batter.

whole grain pumpkin bars with chocolate chips

Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Squares

This is definitely a dessert, and desserts are to be eaten in moderation, right?  But I certainly feel healthier after eating a whole grain dessert than a white-flour one.  Plus it has pumpkin!  This one is quite yummy.  -Jessica

 

1 cup whole wheat pastry flour

1 tsp cinnamon

1/4 tsp allspice

1/4 tsp nutmeg

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, room temperature

1/2 cups sugar

1 large egg white

1 tsp vanilla

1/2 cup canned pumpkin puree

1 cup semisweet chocolate chips

 

1.   PREHEAT:  Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

2.  DRY INGREDIENTS:  In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, spices, baking soda and salt.

3.  WET INGREDIENTS:  In another bowl, cream butter and sugar until smooth.  Beat in the egg white and vanilla.  Then beat in the pumpkin puree.

4.  COMBINE:  Carefully mix the dry ingredients into the wet ones, just until combined.  Gently stir in the chocolate chips.

5.  BAKE:  Spray an 8×8 or 9×9 pan with cooking spray.  Spread batter evenly into the pan.  Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with just a few moist crumbs attached.

6.  COOL:  Cool completely in pan before cutting them into squares and eating them.  This will be difficult, but I PROMISE that they taste better cooled.

sweet and savory salad recipe with nuts cranberries pears and apples

Woodhouse Salad

I have a friend, Ammie, who is THE salad queen.  She has given me several different salad recipes that are all unique and incredible.  What I love about this one is that it has a really nice blend of sweet and savory.  The nuts and lettuce provide the savory, and the fruit and dressing provide the sweet.  If you would like to make it an entree salad, you can add some cubed chicken to it. This makes LOTS of salad – perfect for a pot-luck or social, but you may want to half it if only a small family will be eating.  – Jessica

 

1-2 heads Romaine lettuce
1 cup cashews, toasted (I used almonds – any nut will do)
2 apples, cubed
2 pears, cubed
1 cup dried cranberries

Dressing:
3 Tbsp agave or honey (or 1/4 cup sugar)
3 Tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp finely chopped onion
1/2 tsp prepared mustard (I like Dijon)
1/4 tsp salt
1/3 cup oil (choose your favorite)
1 1/2 tsp poppy seeds

 

1.  SALAD:  Tear or slice the lettuce into bite-sized pieces.  Top with nuts, apples, pears, and cranberries.
2. DRESSING:  Combine all dressing ingredients in a small bowl or cruet with a lid.  Shake well.  (You could also blend it).  There will be more dressing than you need for this salad, so don’t pour it all on.  Right before serving, pour on just enough dressing to coat, and then toss the salad.  OR, if you expect to have left over salad, serve the dressing on the side so that the lettuce doesn’t wilt.

Tortilla filled with spinach and melted cheese recipe

Spinach Tortilla Wedges

This is a super tasty recipe that cooks up very quickly. The key is finding a good multi-grain tortilla and some quality cheese. You can use any cheese you want. I usually use Jarlsberg and Gouda. But any will do depending on your tastes. I load it full of finely chopped spinach and grill it in a light dab of olive oil to make it super healthy. Top it with your favorite salsa and this is a sure winner. – Curt

MAKES 2 TORTILLA PIES

3 Cups finely chopped Spinach 1 Cup grated Cheese of choice (Jarlsberg, Gouda, sharp cheddar,

mozzarella)

4 multi-grain or whole wheat tortillas

olive oil

Salsa


1. Heat a cast iron skillet (or any skillet) to medium high temp.

2. Chop spinach up fine, and grate cheese. Then mix together for the filling.

3. Add a dab of olive oil on skillet and spread around. Place first tortilla on skillet.

4. Pile spinach mixture on the tortilla high. It will shrink in cooking. Place other tortilla on top. Then add a tablespoon of water to the skillet and cover the skillet with a lid. This creates a steam chamber that will cook down the spinach. Cook for a minute or so till the bottom tortilla is brown, but not burned. Remove lid and flip tortillas and brown the other side. I usually add a tablespoon of water again and cover to continue the oven like steam chamber process. When done, remover and chop into wedges, and top with your favorite salsa!

NOTE: There is no exact recipe for this as far as this being a perfect science. You have to be creative and just make them as you like them. The key is to chop the spinach very fine, and mix in a little grated cheese. The ratio is about 3 parts spinach to 1 part cheese. The spinach will reduce greatly when cooked. So I load a ton of spinach mixture in between the tortillas as it does cook down in volume. You can also add mushrooms or other vegetables. Just have fun and experiment. I like cooking on a cast iron skillet, but any skillet will do. Covering the skillet with a lid of some sort and adding a touch of water during the cooking will really help the spinach to cook down and the cheese to melt.

fingerling potato and asparagus skillet for healthy gluten free dinner

Rosemary Fingerling Potatoes & Asparagus

This is a quick recipe that is delicious. I cook this in a cast iron skillet to brown the potatoes and asaragus really well. I par boil the potatoes the day before so they don’t take long to cook up. The potatoes and asparagus are a great combination. They are seasoned by cooking them in olive oil, garlic, onion, mushrooms and rosemary. – Curt

 

COOKED IN SKILLET (preferrably cast iron)

About 12 Small Fingerling Potatoes

6 – 8 Stalks Asparagus cut into 3 inch pieces

12 Mushrooms sliced

3 cloves garlic, chopped 1 Red Onion sliced 3 Tbls fresh chopped Rosemary

or 2 tsp dried rosemary olive oil

Sea Salt

 

1. Pre cook the potatoes by boiling them lightly just till barely tender. You can cook them the day before for ease. 2. Add a little olive oil in skillet, and add chopped onion and garlic. Saute till browned. 3. Add potatoes and rosemary. Slowly cook in skillet till potatoes are browned, turning them when needed.

3. Add asparagus and mushrooms. Continue to cook and turn till asparagus is tender. Another tip is to add a bit of water to the skillet and cover with lid. This creates a steam chamber which creates an affect where the entire skillet cooks more evenly. Lightly season with sea salt. Serve and enjoy!

NOTE: Don’t worry about the exact amount of potatoes and asparagus. This can be altered to the proportions you like. This cooks up quite quickly if you have the potatoes lightly boiled before you brown in the skillet. Fingerling potatoes are very tasty and make a nice presentation

Creamy mashed potatoes & skins with Yukon Gold and Russets.

Mashed Potatoes with Skins

My dad said it best.  If he could only have one food in the world it would be the potato.  This from a man who was raised on an Idaho Spud Farm.  And of all the potato recipes.. nothing quite tops good old mashed potatoes.  We make them a little bit sophisticated by using 2 potato varieties. Yukon Gold Potatoes, and good old Idaho Russet potatoes. The Yukons make it creamier and the russets have a bit more body. I error on the side of having a bit more russets. Leaving the skins on is non negotiable. It ads nutrition, texture and heck, it’s easier than peeling them all! Don’t get hung up on exact proportions here. You have to create each batch with your own sense of what is best as potatoes vary in size, and we vary the batch depending on how many we are serving. One last note on the amazingness of mashed potatoes… they are super affordable, filling and kids love them! You can feed an entire family for a few bucks! How do you beat that? – Curt

 

INGREDIENTS

5 medium Golden Yukon Potatoes

5 medium Russet Potatoes

3 tablespoons butter

2 cups 2% milk or rice milk

sea salt & pepper to taste

 

OPTIONAL

4 tablespoons of sour cream

1 cup grated sharp cheddar cheese

1 cup grated gouda cheese

 

CLEAN AND CUT: Scrub potatoes till clean so that any dirt is removed from potatoes. Then, cut potatoes into about 2 – 3 inch chunks. Cutting into large chunks will speed up the cooking time.

BOIL: Choose a large cooking pot… large enough to mash potatoes in when finished boiling.  Boil potatoes until fork pierces easily.  Pull from heat and drain off water.

FINISH: Using a potato masher, mash down potatoes, adding butter and milk as you go.  Continue mashing until potatoes are light and creamy.  Salt and pepper to taste.


 

Note: 

NOTES: Potatoes are really an art. Not a difficult art, but it is an art. For one, potatoes vary in size. So, you have to learn to mash up a batch, then add the butter, salt, pepper to taste. Just add slowly and keep adding till you are happy with the batch. Just boil up the spuds, then mash like crazy. Then add butter and milk slowly. Too much milk will make the potatoes too thin and soupy. Too little and they will be dry. If I really want to be a bit decadent, I add more butter, a tad of sour cream, and then if I really want to go wild, I throw in just a bit of grated cheese. You can experiment with the cheeses as well. In our family, the mashed potatoes are so incredibly delicious, we hardly ever need gravy. Don’t get stuck on exact proportions having variety is half the fun!

Falafel recipe with chickpeas

Falafel

One of my favorite middle-eastern dishes is the falafel.  Falafel is a ball or patty made from ground chickpeas (garbonzo beans) and usually served in a pita.  They are usually deep-fried, but this recipe version can also be baked or cooked on a George Foreman-type grill.  They are a filling and flavorful meat-replacer.   –  Jessica

 

1 med-large onion, chopped

1/2 cup fresh parsley

1 tsp minced garlic

1 can chickpeas (garbonzo beans), or 1 1/2 cups cooked ones

2 tsp cumin

1 tsp coriander

1 tsp salt

1/8 tsp black pepper

1/8 tsp cayenne pepper

1 tsp lemon juice

1 tsp baking powder

1 Tbsp olive oil

1 egg

1 cup dry whole wheat bread crumbs (more or less)

 

  1.   CHOP & MIX:  In a food processor, mince the onion, parsley, and garlic very small.  (You can also do this by hand, it will just take longer.)  Add the chickpeas and pulse until they are chopped small, but still have some texture.  We don’t want a mushy mess.
  2.   STIR:  In a medium sized bowl, combine the cumin, coriander, salt, black and cayenne peppers, lemon juice, baking powder, olive oil, and egg.  Stir just until evenly mixed.  Stir in the chickpea onion mixture.
  3. THICKEN AND FORM PATTIES:  Slowly stir in the bread crumbs just until the mixture holds together well and you are able to form patties that are not too sticky and do not crumble apart when you try to flip them with a spatula.  Form the mixture into balls and then flatten into patties.  I like to make mine about 3 inches wide and 3/4 inch thick.
  4. COOK:  I like to cook my falafel on a George-Foreman type grill because it is so easy.  Simply spray both sides of the falafel with a spray cooking oil and place then on the pre-heated grill.  Cook until browned on both sides and cooked through.  If baking in the oven instead, spray both sides of the falafel with spray cooking oil, bake them at 425 F for 20 minutes, then flip them and bake for another 5-10 minutes.

Serve in warm whole wheat pitas with lettuce, tomato, cucumber, red onion and cucumber yogurt sauce (see dancing carrots recipe for cucumber yogurt sauce).

tzatziki cucumber yogurt sauce for gyro falafel dressing or dip

Cucumber Yogurt Sauce

This sauce is cool, refreshing, and easy to make.  It is traditionally called tzatziki sauce and is used in gyros, greek-style grilled meats and with falafel (check out that yummy dancing carrots recipe).  It can also be used for a salad dressing or as a veggie dip.

– Jessica

 

1 cup plain yogurt (or greek yogurt, if you’d like it thicker)

1/2 cup cucumber, seeded and chopped small

2 Tbsp finely chopped red onion

1 clove garlic, minced

1 Tbsp fresh dill, finely chopped or 1 tsp dried dill weed

1 tsp sugar (optional)

 

  1. MIX:  Stir all ingredients together into a small bowl.

Enjoy!

hearty creamy vegetable soup with carrots, potatoes, thyme, marjoram, nutmeg and ginger

Country Vegetable Soup

This is a nice creamy soup made up of a blend of root and leafy vegetables .  It is a real hearty dish perfect for cold wintery nights. Serve with some crusty whole grain bread.

-Curt

 

1 tablespoon butter
1 large onion, chopped
1 cup diced carrot
8 small peeled and diced potatoes
1 cup diced celery
3 cups brown rice cooked
6 cups cold water
4 cups finely chopped cleaned raw spinach
1 cup frozen peas
2 cups 2% milk
1 vegetable bullion cube
generous pinch of nutmeg
1 teaspoon thyme
1/2 teaspoon marjoram
1 teaspoon ginger

 

SAUTE: In a large cooking pot, melt butter and saute onion until soft.  Add water, carrot, potato and celery and cook covered over medium heat for 10 – 15 minutes.
ADD: Add rice and seasonings and simmer until vegetables are tender.
BLEND: Remove 1/3 of soup and blend, or partially blend soup by using a hand held blender.  This will thicken the soup giving it a creamy texture without using as much milk.
FINISH: Add the spinach and peas.  Simmer again until spinach and peas are just tender.  Stir in milk, nutmeg and salt and pepper.  Serve.

 

Strawberries dipped in dark chocolate for a fast easy dessert

Chocolate-Dipped Strawberries

Fantastic for Valentines Day, or any day!  Who doesn’t love chocolate dipped strawberries?  The sweet, juicy fruit and the crunchy chocolate coating…There is something just decadent about them.  And whether you are making one just for you, or a bunch for a crowd, with how easy they are to make you’ll never buy them again!

-Jessica

 

strawberries, washed and dried thoroughly
dark chocolate chips (at least 60% cocoa)

 

Melt: Place just enough chocolate chips for the amount of strawberries you are wanting to dip into a small microwave safe bowl.  A little bit of dark chocolate goes a long way.  A rule of thumb – 1 Tbsp chocolate chips per 1-2 large strawberries.  Melt in the microwave, stirring every 30 seconds until smooth.
Dip: Dip the strawberries in the chocolate and set on wax paper, taking care not to let them touch.
Finish: Allow chocolate to cool. When chocolate is completely hardened, they are ready to eat!

Asparagus crepes with white sauce recipe

Asparagus Crepes

This is a mellow, comforting dish that my mom would make when I was young.  I have modified it a bit and you would never guess that this recipe is SO easy – or SO healthy!  The sauce can be whipped up in minutes- and can also be fat free, as long as you use fat free evaporated milk in it.  The crepes are made with 100% whole wheat pastry flour.

– Jessica

 

Crepes:

1 cup whole wheat pastry flour

1 1/4 cup milk

4 eggs

1/4 tsp salt

1 Tbsp butter, melted (optional)

 

Sauce:

1 can evaporated milk

1 Tbsp cornstarch

salt and pepper to taste

 

2 bunches of Asparagus, bottoms snapped off

 

  1. CREPES:  Preheat a medium-sized frying pan over medium to medium high heat.  Lightly oil with a cooking spray.  In a medium sized bowl, whisk the flour, milk, eggs, salt, (and melted butter) together until smooth.  Pour about 3 Tbsp crepe batter into the center of the pan, immediately picking up the handle and rotating the pan until a very thin crepe is formed (as wide as possible, while still retaining a circular shape).  When bubbles start forming, and before the bottom browns, flip the crepe with a spatula.  Repeat until all the batter is gone.  Should make about 15 crepes.  Keep crepes on a plate in a warm oven until ready to eat.
  2. SAUCE:  In a small sauce pan, whisk the evaporated milk and cornstarch together.  Bring to a boil, stirring frequently.  Once boiling, cover, turn heat down to a simmer, and stir occasionally while preparing the rest of the meal.  Taste the sauce and add salt and pepper to taste.
  3. ASPARAGUS:  Steam the asparagus for 3-5 minutes – just until tender-crisp and bright green.
  4. PLATE:  Place 3-5 stalks of asparagus in each crepe and fill and/or top each one with about 3 Tbsp sauce

 

Note:  For an extra quick and easy meal, cook the crepes in advance.  They re-heat well in the microwave.  Make the sauce and steam the asparagus fresh.

 

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Healthy fruit smoothie for breakfast or a snack

Fruit Smoothie

Fruit smoothies are sweet, delicious, and very refreshing without any added sweeteners! They are excellent for breakfast or for a summer treat.  All one really needs to make a great fruit smoothie is fruit and a good blender.  All the rest is optional!  Experiment with combinations of fruits and juices. The most economical way to make good smoothies is to buy fresh berries and bananas when they are on sale and then freezing them yourself.  Any time you are ready for a smoothie, you can draw from your frozen fruit stash and make one within minutes!  Another reason to use frozen fruit is that it makes a nice, thick, smoothie without adding any ice, which dilutes the flavor of the fruit.  We personally like to include a frozen banana in most smoothies which gives a full body and texture.  Fresh squeezed lime juice adds a lot of dimension, as does coconut milk.  Which is your favorite combination?

-Curt and Jessica

 

FRUITS
Banana
Strawberries
Pineapple
Peaches
Apricots
Apple
Raspberries
Cherries
Blueberries

 

LIQUID
Apple Juice
Orange Juice
Pineapple Juice
Coconut Milk
Plain Yogurt
Cows Milk
Soy Milk

 

EXTRAS
Orange Juice (or other fruit juice) Concentrate
Lime juice
Lemon Juice
Chopped nuts (raw & unsalted)
Freshly ground Flax seed

 

EXPERIMENT & BLEND: Start by placing all of the fruit needed to make the smoothie into the blender.  Add about a cup of liquid and blend until the consistency is smooth.  You may need to add additional liquid if blending requires it or until the desired consistency is obtained. Obviously, more liquid will create a thinner smoothy, while less liquid will make a thicker smoothie.  A twist of lemon and/or lime will add a little zing.  Using yogurt or milk will add some protein to help keep you full longer.  If using a liquid other than juice, adding some orange juice concentrate will add more flavor without using too much liquid. Experiment and come up with combinations that work best for you!

 

healthy and refreshing green smoothie drink to renew energy

Green Drink

I learned this recipe from an old herbalist years ago who used to tell anyone who was sick to drink lots of these to renew their health. It is a real easy way to get deep green veggies into your diet without having to tediously chew them up. You will feel the healthiness immediately after drinking one of these! They are also good for helping our overly acid bodies become more alkaline, which is optimal for ideal health! – Curt

 

BASE JUICE
1 1/2 cup pinapple juice
1 1/2 cup water
1 cup ice

 

GREENS
KALE – about 3 leafs

OPTIONAL GREENS
Spinach
Parsley
Beet Greens
ANY DEEP LEAFY GREENS!

 

Just blend it all up!

 

NOTE:  Adjust pinapple juice, water and greens to your desired consistency. I like to dilute the pinapple juice as straight juice without halving it with water gets to sweet. But, you can adjust the proportions to what you like. The main thing is you are drinking a great dose of pure green energy!

 

Whole wheat toast with avocado easy healthy lunch snack

Whole Grain Toast with Avocado

Avocados are full of creamy deliciousness.  Why?  They are full of healthy monounsaturated fats.  It is for this reason that avocados make great spreads.  I like to use avocado in place of butter on my toast.  Perhaps not for breakfast, but as a snack or part of a lunch.  This recipe is super simple.  But many of the best recipes are!

~ Jessica

 

1 slice whole grain bread

1/2 avocado

salt or garlic salt, to taste (optional)

 

1.  Toast the bread.

2.  While the bread is toasting, put the avocado and a tiny amount of salt or garlic salt (if using) in a small bowl.  Mash it up with a fork to your desired consistency.  I like to leave it a little bit chunky.

3.  After the bread is toasted, spread the avocado on it.  Yum!

crock pot polenta with spinach and red peppers healthy dinner

Spanish Polenta and Butter Beans

Spanish Polenta and Butter Beans gluten free recipe. The ultimate spanish comfort food – you will not be disappointed with this mildly flavored, creamy textured dish.  Polenta can be time consuming to make with lots of stirring over the stove top.  This recipe calls for using a slow cooker instead.  This means no long bouts of stirring and no lumps!  For an even quicker and easier version, purchase 2 prepared tubes of polenta.

-Jessica

 

POLENTA
2 cups whole grain cornmeal
6 cups boiling vegetable or chicken broth
salt to taste (if using bullion
for broth, no salt needed)

 

BEAN-SPINACH MIXTURE
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 small onion, halved and thinly sliced
1 red pepper, diced
1 15-oz can butter beans, drained and rinsed
4 cups raw spinach, packed
¾ cup vegetable broth
1 Tbsp red wine vinegar
½ cup shredded Monterey jack cheese (or vegan cheese)
salt and pepper to taste

 

PREPARE POLENTA: Spray the walls of a slow cooker crock with non-stick spray and sprinkle in the cornmeal.  Add the boiling broth and whisk until lump free.  Cook on high for 2-3 hours or on low for 7-9  hours until very thick.  Pour and spread into a large bread pan, casserole dish, or baking sheet, sprayed with a non-stick spray, and refrigerate until completely cooled and “set.” This may take a few hours.
SAUTE POLENTA: Dice polenta into ½ inch cubes.  Heat 1 Tbsp olive oil in a large saute pan over medium-high heat, place polenta cubes in a single layer, and stir occasionally for about 10 minutes or until starting to brown.  Transfer to a dish and set aside.  You may need to do this in 2 batches.
MAKE BUTTER BEAN SPINACH MIXTURE: In the same large saute pan, reduce heat to medium, add 1 Tbsp olive oil and garlic and stir for about 30 seconds.  Add onion and red pepper and cook for 3 minutes or just until tender.  Stir in beans, spinach and vegetable broth and cook until spinach is wilted – about 3 minutes.  Remove from heat.  Stir in vinegar and cheese.  Add salt and pepper to taste.
FINISH: Place a layer of polenta cubes on each plate and top with butter bean spinach mixture.

Raw vegetarian wrap sandwich recipe with avocado bean sprouts and carrots

Raw Veggie Wrap

These raw vegetable wraps with avocado are super easy to make on a hot summer day.  Light and refreshing they are also very nutritious.  Very handy when you don’t have much time or are on the run.

-Curt

2 large tortillas
4 leaves romaine lettuce
1/2 ripe avocado, sliced
2 green onions, sliced
mung bean sprouts
1/2 cup grated carrot
1/2 cup grated zucchini
1/2 cup grated raw sweet potato
6-8 leaves fresh basil
Juice of 1 lime
garlic salt to taste

 

PREPARE: Microwave tortillas for around 15 – 30 seconds, until soft.
FINISH: Remove tortillas from microwave and cover each tortilla with lettuce leaves.  Place equal portions of avocado, grated veggies, sprouts across each tortilla. Sprinkle with garlic salt, Lime Juice and top with basil.

Steamed Vegetables with healthy Cheese Sauce for dinner

Steamed Veggies with Cheese Sauce

This is absolutely one of our all time favorite vegetarian recipes. This rich cheese sauce gets a bit of a kick from the sharp cheddar and swiss cheeses. It’s a perfect compliment over a bed of steamed broccoli, cauliflower carrots and white potatoes. While cheese sauce would not be considered “low-fat”, we have tried to make it as healthy as possible, and served over a steamed batch of veggies makes it justifiable! We also serve this dish with a side of whole wheat bread… which is wonderful for dipping into the sauce.

-Curt and Jessica

 

CHEESE SAUCE
¼ cup butter
1/3 cup whole wheat pastry flour
4 cups milk (I always use skim)
2 cups sharp cheddar or swiss

VEGETABLES
1 large bunch of Broccoli
1 head of cauliflower
4-6 large carrots
4 medium white potatoes

STEAM: Cut vegetables into small sections for steaming. Place into a large pot for steaming (with a steamer tray inserted). Add an inch or two of water, cover and steam until vegetables are tender… about 15 to 20 minutes.  Since the broccoli will cook faster than the rest of the vegetables, to prevent it from getting mushy and turning a yucky green color, you can add the broccoli during the last 10 minutes of cooking.
BOIL: While vegetables are steaming prepare sauce. Slowly bring 4 cups of milk to a boil, stirring constantly. Stirring is essential because milk will scald quickly! Combine 1 cup of milk with flour and either shake in a mixing jar or blend and add to the milk. (I recommend having the flour and milk combined and ready to poor before starting to heat milk so that you can continually stir without stopping). Continue stirring over heat until the mixture thickens and immediately remove from the stove.
FINISH: Stir in grated cheese, salt and pepper until cheese is melted and sauce is ready to serve.

easy dinner sweet potatoes with black beans and tomatoes

Loaded Sweet Potatoes

This super easy recipe is filling, fast, & packed with nutrients!  It can be made just as easily for a single person as for a large family (Just reduce or increase the amount of ingredients used). Microwave the sweet potatoes, and load on the toppings!

-Jessica

4 small sweet potatoes or yams
2 cans black beans
1 can diced tomatoes with Italian seasonings

Optional toppings:
Monterey Jack cheese, grated
Green onions, sliced

 

MICROWAVE or BAKE: Microwave or bake sweet potatoes until tender.  This should only take about 4 minutes per potato in the microwave or about 45 minutes in a 400 degree oven.  Be sure to pierce each potato with a fork before cooking.
SIMMER: Combine black beans and tomatoes in a small pot over low heat.  Simmer until hot, stirring occasionally.
FINISH: Slice the sweet potatoes in half and top with black bean mixture.  Sprinkle on additional toppings.

 

ready in 5 minutes.

Serves 4

Hearty Vegetable Pot Pie recipe with whole wheat crust

Hearty Vegetable Pot-Pie

Hearty and satisfying, this pot-pie is perfect for a cold winter’s day, or if you’re just really hungry!  And because the entire meal is cooked in only one pan, there is minimal clean-up.  The hardest part is just chopping the vegetables!

-Jessica

Pastry Dough
1 ½ cups whole wheat pastry flour
3/4 tsp salt
½ cup cold butter
4-6 Tbsp very cold water

 

Filling
1 Tbsp butter or olive oil
½ medium yellow onion, finely chopped (about ½ cup)
3 medium carrots, finely chopped (about 1 cup)
3 cups broccoli, chopped
8-12 oz. white mushrooms, sliced (about 4 cups)
2 small russet potatoes, diced small (about 2 ½ cups)
¼ cup whole wheat pastry flour
1 cup vegetable broth
1 cup milk
1 cup frozen peas, corn, or soy beans, thawed
¼ cup fresh parsley, chopped
¼ cup fresh chives, chopped (or ½ cup scallion greens, chopped)
1 Tbsp white vinegar
salt and pepper, to taste
1 large egg yolk

 

SAUTE: Warm oil or butter over medium heat in a 3- to 4-quart heavy bottomed omelet pan or cast iron pan that can also be used in the oven. Add onions, carrots, and broccoli and cook until onions are translucent, about 2 minutes. Add mushrooms and potato, and season with salt and black pepper to taste. Cook, stirring rarely, until mushrooms have shrunken, about 6 minutes.

MAKE IT SAUCEY: Sprinkle flour over vegetables, stir to coat, and cook 1 to 2 minutes more. Carefully add broth and milk, stirring constantly until mixture is smooth.  (If vegetables are starting to stick to the bottom of the pan before it is time to add the liquid, a small amount of liquid can be added in advance).  Bring to a simmer over medium heat, add peas/corn/soybeans, and cook until slightly thickened, about 5 minutes.  Remove from heat, add herbs and vinegar, and stir to coat.  Taste, and adjust seasonings.

TOP & BAKE IT: Whisk egg yolk with 1-2 tsp water in a small bowl.  Set aside.  Place rolled-out dough over the top of the filling in the pan.  Cut the dough to fit, and tuck it into the edges of the pan.  Brush dough with egg wash and cut slits in the top to vent.  Bake at 400° F for 25-30 minutes, or until the crust is golden brown and the pot-pie is bubbling.

cinnamon sugar chips with sweet fruit salsa (kiwi, strawberries, apples, raspberries or blueberries)

Cinnamon Sugar Pita Chips with Fruit Salsa

Our Cinnamon Sugar Pita Chips with Fruit Salsa recipe is a fantastic way to satisfy a sweet tooth while still getting a healthy dose of whole grains and fruit.
Great party food!

-Jessica

2 whole wheat pitas or tortillas, each divided into 8 wedges
2 Tbs butter, melted (can also use a lightly flavored olive oil or cooking spray)
2 Tbs sugar
½ tsp cinnamon

 

Mix:  Mix together the sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl.
Coat:  Brush top of the wedges lightly with butter, oil, or cooking spray.  Next, sprinkle them with the cinnamon/sugar mixture.
Bake:  Bake on a cookie sheet at 400 for 5-8 minutes, depending on how chewy or how crunchy you like yours.

 

Fruit Salsa

This is our suggested recipe, but feel free to use any fruit you wish!

1 kiwi, peeled and diced
1 apple, peeled, cored and diced
4 oz. raspberries, blackberries, or blueberries
8 oz. strawberries, diced
2-3 Tbsp 100% fruit preserves, any flavor

Combine:  In a medium sized bowl, mix together all ingredients.  Store tightly covered in the refrigerator for up to 2 days, but best when used fresh.

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Rainbow Couscous with zucchini summer squash mushrooms and carrots

Rainbow Couscous

Rainbow Couscous recipe is made from wheat and is delightfully light and fluffy.  It is used in middle-eastern countries much like rice is used elsewhere.  In this recipe, the couscous is topped with a variety of bright and flavorful sauteed vegetables.  You’ll feel like you’re somewhere over the rainbow eating this one!

-Jessica

4 cups prepared whole grain couscous, according to package directions
2 Tbsp olive oil
½ pound extra firm tofu or 1 chicken breast, chopped into bite-sized pieces
2 cloves garlic, minced
½ medium red onion, thinly sliced
2 cups raw broccoli, chopped
½ medium zucchini, sliced (about 1 cup)
½ medium yellow crookneck squash, sliced (about 1 cup)
½ pound sliced mushrooms
1 red bell pepper, chopped into chunks (about 1 cup)
1 green bell pepper, chopped into chunks (about 1 cup)
1 cup carrots, thinly sliced
¼ cup cold water
1 tsp cornstarch
3 tsp vegetable or chicken bullion
salt and pepper to taste
½ cup cilantro, chopped

 

PREPARE: Prepare whole grain couscous according to package directions in order to make
4 cups.  While couscous is cooking, the rest of the meal can be made.
SAUTE: Place oil in a large saute pan over medium high heat.  Add tofu or chicken and saute until fully cooked.  If using tofu, cook for several minutes, until it has shrinked and is starting to look golden brown.  This will give it a more firm texture.  Add all vegetables and cook 3-5 minutes, or until tender-crisp, stirring frequently.  Add a small amount of water to the pan, if the vegetables are starting to stick or burn.  Stir ¼ cup water, cornstarch, and bullion together in a small bowl.  Stir the mixture into the vegetables and turn the heat down to low.  Season with salt and pepper to taste and add chopped cilantro.
FINISH: Serve immediately over prepared couscous.  Garnish with pieces of cilantro.

 

Note: When sauteing vegetables, don’t over cook them or they will turn limp and lose their color.  Shoot for bright, tender-crisp veggies!

healthy baked potatoes stuffed with broccoli mushrooms onions and cheese recipe for an easy meal

Veggie & Cheese Stuffed Potatoes

As a young boy, my mother used to make baked stuffed potatoes which I still remember fondly to this day.  They were always large russets, stuffed with light and flavorful mashed potatoes mixed in with broccoli, cheese and mushrooms.  This simple recipe is a real treat and should become a favorite in your home.  It’s great as a leftover ready for a quick re-heat in the microwave.

-Curt

5 medium to large baking potatoes
2 cups finely chopped broccoli, stems and florets
1 -2 tablespoon butter
1 cup sliced  mushrooms
1/3 cup chopped green onions
1 cup skim milk
1 – 2 cups grated sharp cheddar cheese
¼ cup chopped parsley
1 tsp. salt
pepper to taste
paprika (optional)
½ teaspoon onion powder

 

BAKE: Bake potatoes in 425° F oven until tender when pierced with a fork (approximately 1 to 1 ¼ hours).
SAUTE: While potatoes are baking,  chop broccoli up fine and saute  in a few teaspoons of water (see note on water sauteing) until almost tender then add mushrooms and continue until lightly done.  Set aside.
ASSEMBLE: When potatoes are done baking, pull out of oven and cut the top off each potato so that the insides can easily be scooped out with a spoon.  (You may need a hot pad!)   Carefully scoop out insides placing the whites of the potato into large mixing bowl.  Enough sturdiness of the shell should be left to hold the stuffing.
MIX & FILL: Mash with butter and just enough milk until potatoes are light and fluffy.  Add scallions, sauteed vegetables, grated cheese, parsley, salt, and pepper to mashed potatoes and mix well.  Fill potato shells carefully with this mixture and finish by sprinkling top of each potato with a dash of paprika.  They should be stuffed full of the mixture and should taste magnificent!
BAKE: Bake 15 minutes more at 425° F and serve.

 

Note: The tops of the potatoes can even be layered with stuffing  and baked.  No need to waste anything! If in a hurry, you can boil the potatoes instead of baking them and simply have veggie mashed potatoes.

Tropical Fruit Parfait

A quick breakfast served with a muffin or a piece of toast – and just a little more exotic than a side of yogurt and a piece of fruit.  Try serving this recipe at a brunch or even having it for dessert!

-Jessica

½ cup plain yogurt
3 Tbsp sweetened and flaked coconut
2/3 cup chopped/sliced fruit

 

MIX:  Mix yogurt with 2 Tbsp coconut.
LAYER:  Place yogurt/coconut mixture in bottom of a glass.  Next, place layers of fruit.  Top with the last Tbsp of coconut and serve.

 

Note:  For this recipe, we used pineapple, mango, and strawberry.  Another tasty combination is kiwi, strawberry, and blackberry.  Try making your own favorite combination!

Steel Cut Oatmeal recipe, easy and healthy

Oatmeal Porridge

Oats are truly a “superfood.”  A warm and comforting bowl of fresh cooked oats seem to be the perfect breakfast. A bowl of cooked oats is a clean, filling fuel for the body that lasts through the morning.  Oats have been shown to regulate cholestorol along with a variety of health benefits. Real rolled oats are not as refined as the regular quick cooking oats, which means you get more nutrients and fiber.  Look for rolled oats in your health food store or in the natural foods section of the grocers.   Top with a bit of milk and sweeten with pure maple syrup or honey.  Sit back and enjoy an age old classic.

-Curt

 

COMBINE:
2 cups spring water
1 cup whole rolled oats or steel cut (no instant)
a pinch of salt

OPTIONAL:
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
3 teaspoons raisins

 

OTHER TOPPINGS:
Milk or Soy Milk
Pecans
Bananas
Berries
Honey or Pure Maple Syrup
Granola

 

COOK: If oatmeal comes in a package, follow the cooking instructions provided.  If purchased in bulk, cook oatmeal in twice the amount of water to oatmeal.  Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally.  When the oatmeal begins to thicken and bubble up, remove from heat serve with 2% milk, pure maple syrup and whole wheat toast.

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Three-Pepper-Fajitas recipe, easy

Three Pepper Fajitas

Three Pepper Fajita recipe is quick, filling, healthy, easy, and delicious!  Ole!

-Jessica

 

fajitas
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 red pepper, sliced into strips
1 yellow pepper, sliced into strips
1 green pepper, sliced into strips
1 red onion, sliced
Optional:  Zucchini, Mushrooms, Potatoes and broccoli.

8-10 whole wheat tortillas

 

seasonings
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp chili powder
½ tsp salt

optional toppings:
shredded monterey jack or cheddar cheese
cilantro
guacamole
salsa
sour cream or plain yogurt

healthy vegetarian enchilada casserole recipe with beans peppers and olives

Enchilada Casserole

These enchiladas are New Mexico style, which are layered in sections of tortillas, vegetable-bean filling and cheese, then baked.  The inspiration for this recipe came from my time I lived in New Mexico where I gained a real love of vegetarian style enchiladas.  This is a sensational health-conscious version.  You must try this one!  They make fantastic left-overs!

-Curt

 

MAIN FILLING
12 corn tortillas
1 green pepper, chopped
1 red pepper, chopped
2 15 oz. cans pinto beans
2 cups frozen corn
1 can black olives, chopped (optional)
2 cans green chilies 4 oz.

 

CHEESE MIXTURE
2 cups low-fat cottage cheese
4 cups grated cheese (colby, mozzerella, jack etc)

 

ENCHILADA SAUCE
2 16 oz. cans tomato sauce
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon onion powder
5 teaspoons chili powder
3 teaspoons cumin powder
salt & pepper to taste

 

SAUCE: In a saucepan, combine all ingredients. Heat sauce to where it is warm to the touch on stove.  Set aside.
VEGETABLE BEAN FILLING: While sauce is simmering, in a mixing bowl, combine cut peppers, pinto beans, chopped olives, corn and green chillis. Set aside.
CHEESE MIXTURE: In a mixing bowl, combine cottage cheese with 3 cups cheese.  Set aside for assembly. Leave last part of cheese for topping.
ASSEMBLE: Dip tortillas in sauce and  put a layer of tortillas in a large casserole dish.  Spread a couple of spoonfulls of sauce over layer of tortillas.  Follow with layer of filling, then cheese mixture.  Continue until all ingredients have been used. Try to add at least 3-4 layers of torillas as they add body to the casserole.  Top with remaining sauce and cover with remaining cheese.
BAKE: Bake at 350° F for 20-30 minutes.  Serve hot.
OPTIONAL: Top each serving with a spoon of guacamole and cold shredded lettuce.

baked potato recipe with vegetarian toppings such as broccoli, vegetarian baked beans and steamed veggies

Baked Potato Buffet

What a great meal and easy recipe. A large baker potato, right out of the oven with a table full of toppings.  Man could not be in a happier state!  A great meal for large groups… or if you are eating alone, just pick out which topping you want and keep it simple.

-Curt

 

Large russet Idaho potatoes, baked in the oven or in the microwave

TOPPING IDEAS:

Barbecued Beans
Shredded cheese
Cottage Cheese
Vegetarian Chili
Steamed Broccoli
Steamed Veggies
Chives
Butter (go easy)
Lo-Fat Sour Cream (go easy)
Corn
Peas
Salsa
Cheese Sauce

Guacamole Perfection easy avocado recipe

Guacamole Perfection

Avocados made into this Guacamole recipe are just amazing. I believe a good easy guacamole recipe with some hearty tortilla chips can be a meal in itself. Or, the perfect compliment to a good healthy well made Mexican main course. We make ours with fresh avocado mashed just enough, but leaving nice chucks of raw avocado. The additional flavors of cilantro, tomato, green onion and lime juice achieve guacamole perfection!  Adjust the following ingredients to make your own excellence in guacamole creation!

-Curt

 

4 medium avocados
few tablespoons of fresh minced cilantro
1 tomato finely chopped
1 stalk of green onion finely minced
lime juice from one lime
garlic salt to taste

 

PREPARE: Cut avocados and spoon out into a mixing bowl.  Mash just enough, but leaving some nice chunks of avocado.
MIX: Chop remaining veggies and gently stir in along with lime juice and garlic salt. Mix in the amount of ingredients to your tastes. There is no right or wrong – just variations!

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Vegetarian panini sandwich recipe with onions and peppers

Grilled Vegetable Sandwich

This is a great sandwich recipe!  Built on sliced whole wheat french bread or a substantial crusty roll… grilled onions, peppers and mushrooms are stacked high, then topped with cold tomatoes, olives, cheese and lettuce.  For those who want to live a little… add a bit of ranch dressing and wow!   Definitely worth the effort!

-Curt

 

TO GRILL
1 tsp olive oil
1 tsp dried basil
1 clove garlic
About a dozen mushrooms, sliced
1 red onion, sliced
1 green pepper, sliced

 

OTHER INGREDIENTS
Black olives, sliced
1 tomato sliced
lettuce
swiss or provolone cheese (optional)
ranch dressing (optional)
1 loaf whole wheat french bread or some w/w rolls
salt & pepper to taste

 

SAUTE: Slice onion, green pepper and mushrooms and saute in olive oil and basil & garlic until onion is just translucent.
FINISH: Slice french bread in sandwich sections .  Spread a little ranch dressing on the bottom slice (optional) and top with some sauteed vegies, then some olives, sliced tomatoes, salt & pepper to taste, sliced cheese and lettuce. Add top layer of bread and serve.

 

Note: The sauteed veggies can be a bit moist, so do not use regular bread with this sandwich or the vegies will make the bread rather soggie.  Whole grain french bread  or rolls are substantial enough to hold up just right.

Healthy Vegetarian Mini Pizza recipe

whole wheat bun pizza

I created this really quick and easy recipe mainly for my kids. We all love pizza, but making one from scratch is time consuming, and buying a commercial one is usually incredibly unhealthy. This is a great solution. The key is finding a whole wheat hamburger bun, or even a whole grain english muffin. Both work great. Just toast the bun, then load it up with sauce, cheese and healthy toppings!

-Curt

Whole wheat hamburger buns or
whole grain english muffins

SAUCE
Bottle of your favorite spaghetti sauce
Garlic
Italian Seasonings
Parmesan Cheese
Tomato Paste

TOPPINGS
Mozzerella Cheese (and or other italian cheeses)
Olives, Pineapple Tid Bits, Green Pepper, Onions, Red Pepper, Zuchinni, Mushrooms (any of your favorite toppings)

 

1.  Lightly toast bun or english muffin
2.  Mix together tomato sauce with seasonings and paste to make a rich flavorful sauce
3.  Place bun or muffin on baking tray. Layer with a generous amount of sauce. Add plenty of cheese and toppings
4.  Bake at 400 till cheese is melted and lightly browned

 

NOTE:  The key to making this tasty is to jazz up the sauce. I buy a bottle of quality spaggetti sauce, then add garlic, italian seasonings and a bit of parmesan cheese. You can also thicken it with tomato paste, which makes for a richer sauce. I really push the sauce on the flavor side, as it is what makes this simple recipe a winner.

Healthy Macaroni and Cheese recipe

Mac and Cheese Homestyle

Macaroni and Cheese is a classic American favorite.  Who can’t remember sitting down to a bowl of hot macaroni in a rich orange cheese sauce.  This is a lower-fat variation, using whole grain macaroni.  Whole wheat macaroni can be purchased in most health food stores or larger super-markets.

-Curt

1 16 ounce package whole wheat elbow macaroni

CHEESE SAUCE
5 cups 2% milk
3/4 cup whole wheat pastry flour
2 cups grated sharp cheddar cheese
3 cups grated cheese. Use flavorful cheeses such as sharp cheddar, swiss and jarlzburg (or whatever you have)
salt and pepper to taste

 

PASTA: In a large pot cook macaroni as directed on package and drain.  Set aside in a separate container.
SAUCE: In a blender combine flour and 2 cups of milk and blend till it is thoroughly mixed. In  the same large pot that the macaroni was cooked in (now without the noodles) pour in flour and milk mixture along with the rest of the milk. Slowly bring milk and flour to a boil, stirring constantly.  Stirring is essential because milk will scald quickly if not watched carefully.  Once this boils the milk mixure will thicken into a sauce. Turn off heat and stir in grated cheese and add salt and pepper to taste. The sauce should be rich and flavorful. Feel free to add cheese or seasonings to taste.
FINISH: Pour back in macaroni into the sauce and gently mix in. Serve with side of parmesan cheese and fresh ground pepper.

 

NOTE:  Use anywhere from 10 to 14 ounces of cheese in the sauce. Realizing of course, the more cheese in the recipe, the higher the fat content.

fresh basil pesto recipe with basil, pine nuts, garlic, salt, olive oil, and parmesan cheese

Basil Pesto

This intensely flavorful sauce is delicious on pasta, pizza, and as a spread for toasted baguette.  A little bit goes a long way with this recipe!  Pesto can even be frozen for later use, which makes for an especially easy meal.

-Jessica

 

3 cups fresh basil leaves, loosely packed
1/3 cup pine nuts
3 cloves fresh garlic, minced
½ tsp salt
½ cups olive oil
1/3 cups freshly grated parmesan or romano cheese

 

BLEND: Place basil and pine nuts in a food processor and pulse a few times until basil leaves are fairly small.   Add in garlic, salt, olive oil and cheese.  Continue to  pulse until well blended, but with some texture remaining.

 

Note: Pesto can be stored in the refrigerator for a few days if tightly covered.  It can also be frozen for long-term storage.  The easiest way to freeze pesto is to put it into ice cube trays.  When frozen, remove from the trays and store the pesto cubes in a freezer bag.  When you want to use, it will be ready to thaw in individual portions!

Vegetarian Chili Recipe with beans, chilis, and olives

Lost Mission Vegetarian Chili

When I lived in New Mexico I fell in love with the many variations of vegetarian chili that I was able to sample. This recipe was inspired after driving the back roads from Albuquerque to Santa Fe and visiting an old, incredibly romantic looking mission. We had many a bowl of great chili during those great adventures, and whenever I make my chili, my memories go back to the the dusty back roads, lost missions and quaint cafes of New Mexico. This is a very fresh tasting chili, full of hearty beans, grains & vegetables. It can be served topped with a bit of grated cheddar cheese and a side of tortilla chips and salsa.

 

BASE

3 red onions, diced
6 cloves garlic, crushed
4 cups water (adjust as needed)
3 cans pinto beans
1 can red beans
1 large potato, diced
1 yam, diced

SEASONING
1 8 oz Cans Tomato Sauce
4 Tbl. chili powder
1 Tsp. cumin
1 Tsp. garlic powder
Salt & pepper to taste

EXTRAS
(jazz it up the way you want)
1 can black olives, chopped
2 cups frozen corn
1 red pepper, diced
1/2 green pepper, diced
2 – 4 oz cans Diced Green Chilis

 

1. In a large stock pot, saute diced onions and garlic in olive oil until browned.  Add water, beans, potatoes, & yam and slowly boil until potatoes are tender (about 15 minutes). If needed, add a little water.
2. Turn the temperature to medium heat and add the rest of the ingredients and seasonings. Add more water if needed… and Allow chili to slowly cook until all the veggies are just tender and the chili is rich and full of flavors. You may want to adjust seasonings to taste adding more chili powder, cumin, garlic or salt & pepper to your individual preferences.
Serve with a bit of grated sharp cheddar cheese and a side of cornbread and/or chips and salsa.

 

Note:  Chili Powders can very in flavor and intensity. It is recommended you season gradually. Add most the seasonings then add more if needed. Adjusting the seasonings a bit can vary the flavor. Add more or less of garlic, chili and cumin to give it your preference of flavor. The carmelized onions and garlic are a must to give a rich full flavor.

Caramelized pineapple recipe; serve with yogurt, ice cream, or berries

Caramelized Pineapple

Delicious with a bowl of ice cream, frozen yogurt, or even just by itself.  This recipe is an easy alternative to eating plain fresh pineapple which can also be a delicious dessert by itself!

-Jessica

 

1 whole fresh pineapple
brown sugar (optional)

 

SLICE: Peel and slice the pineapple into ½ inch thick rounds.  Then cut out the cores.

SPRINKLE: Arrange the pineapple slices on a baking sheet in a single layer and sprinkle lightly with brown sugar, if using.

BROIL: Place the tray under the broiler  – about 6 inches from the heat.  Cook until the brown sugar melts and carmelizes – anywhere from 2-5 minutes.  Watch carefully so it doesn’t burn.  If not using sugar, broil until warm.

FINISH: Serve hot with ice cream, frozen yogurt, berries, or by itself.

Moist chocolate cake recipe with zucchini

Chocolate Zucchini Cake

Desserts are a once in a while treat that should be thoroughly enjoyed.  We believe in maximizing just enough nutrients in desserts without sacrificing taste.  Taste this cake recipe and you would never guess that it is 100% whole grain and that there is as much zucchini as flour.  Dark chocolate chips are even used instead of frosting.  This was the cake I always asked my mother to make for my birthday parties.  I wouldn’t tell my friends it had zucchini in it until after they had eaten it and told me how yummy it was.   If you like chocolate, it may be your new favorite birthday treat!

-Jessica

1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup white sugar
1/4 cup butter, softened
1 whole egg
1 egg white
1/4 cup oil
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 1/4 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1 1/4 cup grated zucchini
dark chocolate chips
walnuts or other favorite nuts, chopped

 

Mix: Cream together sugars, butter, eggs, oil, & vanilla.  In a separate bowl combine the flour, cinnamon, salt, baking soda, and cocoa. Combine the wet and dry ingredients together.  Add grated zucchini and mix well.  You can also add some chocolate chips and nuts into the batter if you’d like.  Pour the batter into a 9×9 baking pan lightly sprayed with cooking spray.  Sprinkle the top of the cake with dark chocolate chips and chopped walnuts.
BAKE: Bake in a preheated oven at 325° F for 30-35 minutes or until a knife comes out clean.  Remember that if the knife hits a chocolate chip, it could come out with melted chocolate on it even though the cake may be done.  If that happens, try another spot.

Vegetarian Breakfast Burrito recipe with tofu, potato, veggie sausage, and peppers

Breakfast Burrito

What an amazing breakfast concept. Making a portable concoction that tastes great and super nutritious! Instead of the traditional breakfast burrito full of eggs and meat, this healthier recipe is made with seasoned tofu stir fried with fresh veggies and packed with tasty stuff like veggie sausage, potato, peppers and cheese.  I stir fry up a batch of the “tofu fillings” and simply wrap it with fresh salsa in a whole grain tortilla.. The fillings can be stored in the fridge and can quickly be made into future burritos by easily wrapping up and microwaving.  Wrapped in aluminum foil they can keep warm while you haul them off to work or wherever your morning takes you!

-Curt

 

MAIN FILLING:
1 package tofu
1 Tbls tumeric
3 Tbls soy sauce
1/4 cup green onion
1/4 cup diced green pepper

1/4 cup diced red pepper
1 cup chopped bok choy
1 cup grated cheese (or vegan cheese)
(we suggest swiss or yarlsburg)
Salt & pepper to taste

OTHER OPTIONAL FILLINGS
Potato – cooked diced
Mushrooms
Veggie Sausage

Whole wheat tortillas
Fresh salsa

 

COOK: In a large hot skillet or wok, pour a bit of olive oil and add tofu. Mash tofu till it resembles scrambled egg texture. Add seasonings: tumeric, soy sauce and stir in. Add in cooked veggie sausage and chopped veggies. Stir fry till mixed in and the veggies are just tender. Add cheese and stir in till cheese is melted throughout. Turn off heat and prepare for assembly.
FINISH: Spoon filling into whole grain tortilla and top with salsa. Wrap up and enjoy!