Thursday, April 17, 2014

Vegan Black Bean Enchiladas

Vegan Black Bean Enchiladas

2 cans black beans
1 tomato diced
1 cup corn
bunch of green onions, chopped
1-2 garlic cloves, minced - optional
1 large can enchilada sauce
Vegan cheese *
Hot sauce to taste (optional)

Heat black beans, corn and garlic together.
Lightly grease a 9x13 baking dish.
Spoon beans, corn and garlic into warm tortilla shells and sprinkle or drizzle the vegan cheese, green onions and tomato on top of the beans. Add extra spice by adding a few drops of hot sauce. Wrap and cover with enchilada sauce. Bake at 350 for 20 minutes or until heated through.

*There are some fantastic recipes for vegan cheese / cheese sauce out there. This recipe is good either with or without cheese. If you are not vegan then a 4-5 cheese blend also tastes good in this recipe.

Tin Can Taco Soup

This is a great meal that we often make when we are camping. You can make this soup at home using fresh ingrediants and bring it with you to camp to eat after setting up, or you can bring the canned foods and make it on site. It's something satisfying for those cool evenings around the campfire (even in the summer it is cool at night in here Montana).
Tin Can Taco Soup

2 cans kidney beans
1 can black beans
1 can corn
1 can diced tomatos
1 can diced green chilies
1 packet taco seasoning

Heat over the stove or campfire until hot and serve with tofutti sour cream and black bean tortilla chips. You can use other kinds of tortilla chips, but the black-bean ones add extra deliciousness!

Recipes from Friends - Whole Wheat Applesauce Cake

This post and my previous one include a couple of recipes that have been given to me from various friends over the years. I'm not sure who came up with the originals, but if you know please tell me, and I'll happily link to the recipe or credit them in this post.

This recipe is one that my mom was given in College.  She used to make it every week when she was first married to my dad. This is the original recipe, but I have included a couple variations that are sure to be big hits as well. :)

Whole Wheat Applesauce Cake (Original Version)
1/2 C. oil
1 C. granulated brown sugar
1 C. applesauce
1 1/2 C. unsifted whole wheat flour (Can use pastry flour instead)
1 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 C. raisins (optional)

Prehead oven to 375 degrees.  Oil & flour an 8" round or square baking pan or muffin tins. 
Cream oil & sugar together and mix in applesauce and baking soda.  Add flour & cinnamon, blending thoroughly.
Pour batter into pan & bake 30 minutes for 8" cake (or about 20 min for cupcakes).

Varition 1
Replace applesuace with 1 cup canned pumpkin.
Replace raisens with 1/2 cup chocolate chips.

Variation 2
Make a simple frosting out of a package of Tofutti cream cheese, 1/2 C. organic sugar and 1 tsp vanilla flavoring. Spread it on the cake after it has cooled completely.

Recipes from Friends - Vegetarian Buckaroo Chili (Spicy!)

This post and my next one are going to include a couple of recipes that have been given to me from various friends over the years. I'm not sure who came up with the originals, but if you know please tell me, and I'll happily link to the recipe or credit them in this post.

This is probably the best chili recipe I have ever had. You can make it exactly as the recipe says, or you can cut down on the chili seasoning and have it be more kid friendly. My kids like spicy food, but even they complain if I make this full strength, so we usually leave out one of the chili seasoning packets and only add half the chili powder (yes they are two different ingredients).

This is especially good with my husbands corn bread. I'll have to see if I can get him to write it down so I can share it with you...

Buckaroo Chili
2 packages Morning Star beef crumbles
2 large cans chili Beans
2 large cans kidney beans, drained

3 4oz cans tomato sauce
2 Cloves Garlic, minced
2 packages chili seasoning. Depending on how hot you like your chili you can use either the mild variety or use only one of the regular seasoning packets instead of two.
1 T. chili powder
1-2 cups water (1 is where I like to keep it since it makes for a thicker, heartier chili)
1/2 t. Allspice
1/4 cup ketchup
1 t. cumin
1 t. Salt
1/2 t. Oregano
1/2 t. Pepper
1/2 t. Red Pepper
1 large onion finely chopped 

Sauté onions in a frying pan on medium heat. Heat beef crumbles in stock pot or medium-large pot until they are thawed. Add the rest of the ingredients. Cover and simmer over low heat 30-45 minutes. Stir occasionally and add more water if needed. Garnish with Tofutti sour cream, tortilla chips, salsa and diced green onions.

Easy Zucchini Carrot Rice Casserole

Easy Zucchini Carrot Rice Casserole

2 cups cooked brown rice
2 carrots shredded
2 zucchini cubed
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp basil
1 tsp paprika
3 cloves of garlic minced
1/2 onion finely sliced
2 T olive oil
1/2 cup water

Combine veggies, onions, garlic and seasonings with olive oil and water in frying pan/wok and cook/stirfry on medium heat until nearly done.
Combine rice and other ingredients in greased 9x13 baking dish. Cover and bake at 350 for 20 minutes.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Vegan Veggie Pizza

Crust (recipe makes 2 crusts):
It's not really as tricky as it might look, it just takes a day or so to achieve best results. I've made this crust in 20 minutes and it is still OK in my book. You just really have to work the dough a lot in the short time you have.

Topping (per pizza):
1/2 cup basil pesto per pizza (You can use Costco brand which is not vegan, but there are plenty of vegan pesto recipes to be found online)
1/4 Onion finely chopped
1/2 Tomato diced
1 cup Broccoli finely chopped
1 small Zucchini quartered and chopped into small pieces
2-3 Mushrooms thinly sliced
2 tsp Garlic powder
1 Tbsp Basil
1/4 tsp Salt

Preheat oven to 450. Spread out crust on baking sheet. Spread pesto on unbaked pizza crust. Add toppings and seasonings. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until crust is starting to brown.

Grocery Guide

Are you wanting to eat more healthfully, but lacking ideas on what to stock your fridge with? Here is a list of foods we buy or grow in season. It's not a comprehensive list, but something to get you started.

It was a very bright day. My youngest gave up looking at the camera!

Butternut Squash
Corn (Organic)
Red Onion
Yellow Onion
Yellow Squash

Dried Cranberries
Dried Dates

Bulgar Wheat
Cornmeal (Organic)
Pita Pockets
Tortilla Chips
Whole Wheat Flour
Whole Grain Bread

Tubers/Root Vegetables
Sweet Potatoes

Black Beans
Chili Beans
Kidney Beans
Peanut Butter
Pinto Beans
Split Peas

Celtic Salt
Curry Powder
Dill Weed
Garlic (Fresh)

Pre-made Foods
Curry Sauce
Hot Sauce
Morning Star Sausage Patties
Spaghetti Sauce

Coconut Milk
Rice Milk
Soy Milk
Cherry/Grape Juice
Orange Juice

Honey (preferably raw and local)
Maple Syrup (Organic)

Vanishing Berry Smoothie

This was such a hit that I didn't get a chance to take a picture of it before it was all gone. Here is a picture of my youngest with a smoothie ring around his face from the cup instead:

Simply Delicious Fried Potatoes

I love Sunday mornings at our house! It's a time to relax, cuddle with the children and cook fantastic breakfast food. This morning we were listening to a Frank Sinatra station on Pandora and I was dancing around the kitchen and living room with my husband and the boys.

Here's part of what we made for breakfast this morning (in between dancing). It's low on ingredients but high in flavor (and fat and carbs but let's not think about that right now shall we?). These are so tasty that we don't need to add extra toppings!

Simply Delicious Fried Potatoes

6 medium potatoes
1 Tbsp. Garlic powder
1 Onion chopped
1 tsp. Basil
1 bunch parsley finely chopped (about 1/2 cup)
2 Tbsp. olive oil

Cube potatoes and place in frying pan with oil.
Add onion, garlic powder, and basil.
About 1/2 to 2/3 of the way through the frying process add fresh parsley.
Fry in large frying pan over medium heat until potatoes are golden brown on the edges.
We use 2 large frying pans to speed up the frying process

Cranberry Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies

Cranberry Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies

1 1/4 cups Oatmeal Flour (Blend in blender)
1 1/4 Cups Whole Wheat Flour
1/2 Cup Olive Oil
1 Cup Natural Peanut Butter (We use Adams brand)
1 Cup Honey
1/2 tsp Salt
1 tsp Lemon Juice
1 tsp Vanilla
1 Cup Chocolate Chips
1/2 Cup Cranberries

Mix wet ingredients together and add to dry ingredients. Stir until well blended.
Mix in chocolate Chips and dried cranberries.
Form into walnut sized balls. Make a crisscross on each cookie with a fork and bake on ungreased cookie sheet at 350° F for 9-10 minutes.

Banana Pancakes

My husband came up with this recipe as an alternative to buying pre-made mixes which are more expensive. The dry ingredients can be mixed up ahead of time and stored in an air-tight container (we do this when we go camping). This recipe can be made with or without eggs. The recipe without eggs is not quite as light and fluffy, but I still think they are delicious!

Josh's Banana Pancakes
Two mashed bananas,
2 1/4 cups filtered/distilled water*
1/4 cup olive oil
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup all purpose flour (or sub whole wheat pastry flour)
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup wheat germ
1 cup finely chopped nuts (optional)  This is optional but walnuts or pecans taste great in this mix)
2 eggs (optional)
1 Tbsp of cinnamon

Combine dry and wet ingredients separately and then mix them together with as little mixing as possible.
Cook in frying pan over medium heat until done.
Top with peanut butter, applesauce, fresh fruit or 100% real maple syrup. They even taste good plain!

*Sometimes whole wheat flour tends to suck up more water, so if you find your batter too thick, please add water until it comes to the consistancy of typical box-mix pancake batter.

Anytime Breakfast Burritos

This recipe is our families take on this simple, filling and completely delicious meal. Everyone in our family loves these and they don’t last long. The things that really make it special to me are the avocado, hot sauce and Gregg’s Savory Ranch (which you can pick up at Costco). I’m not normally a big fan of cilantro, but I miss it if I don’t include a couple of pinches of the chopped leaves on my burrito.

Anytime Breakfast Burritos
10 uncooked flour tortillas. You can pick these up at Costco, or just buy the traditional pre-made ones at your local grocery store, just warm them up a bit before you wrap them.

10 eggs scrambled, OR 1 block firm Tofu, drained and crumbled into a frying pan or Wok.
1 onion, diced
5 cloves garlic, minced
1 Tbsp McKay's "Chicken" Seasoning. Certain health-food stores will carry this. The kind we buy contains no meat.
Curry powder to taste
5 Morning Star sausages chopped into small pieces
1 tomato finely diced
Bunch of cilantro finely chopped

2 Avocados halved and thinly slicedHot sauce (optional)Gregg’s Savory Ranch Dressing (optional, but I highly recommend it)

Fry tortillas in frying pan (this takes about 60 seconds/tortilla and does not require any oil)
Scramble the eggs (or Tofu) with the onion and garlic. (We season our tofu with curry)Heat Morning Star sausages in a small skillet, or microwave them till they are thawed and warm.Chop, slice or dice the other ingredients Add everything all together and wrap.

Yum! This will feed 5 people at 2 burritos/wraps each.

Vegan Chocolate Pudding

I'm not much of a chocolate eater (is that even allowed to be said without disrespecting my female genes?) HOWEVER I have a weakness for chocolate and peanut butter together.

Vegan Chocolate Peanut Butter Pudding
Adapted from a delicious vegan chocolate pie filling I found online (if I find the recipe again I'll happily link to it and give them 99.0% of the credit. ;)  )

1 12 oz. package of Mori-Nu silken tofu, drained and dried as much as possible.
3/4 cup Vegan Chocolate chips (regular semi-sweet chips will work too)
2 Tbsp. Adams 100% Natural Peanut butter
3 Tbsp. Real Maple Syrup (if you want it sweeter, add more syrup 1 tsp. at a time)

Process the tofu in food processor until smooth.
Melt the chocolate chips in a glass bowl in the microwave, or in a double boiler over the stove.
Add the chocolate, peanut butter and maple syrup to the tofu mixture and process until well blended.

Pour into dishes and chill in the refrigerator for approximately. 1 hr. If you want it thicker leave it in for 2-3 hours.

Serves  4, or if you're like me, 2... but my husband better hurry and grab his portion or it won't be there--and I'll have not just 3 but 4 sad faces looking at me longingly.... ok, ok, I was wrong to eat so much. I'm sorry.... Why are you all still staring at me? I don't have a problem, really! *runs off to hide*

Juices a Plenty

I wrote these recipes down for a friend that was just starting to juice. If you are an old pro this post may not be the most helpful, but it's here just in case:

Here are the recipes plus some instructions on how to prep the food. Running the food through a juicer is pretty easy and takes just a few minutes. The food prep is what is time consuming, but it is completely worth it in order to experience better health!

Garlic is an antibacterial and antioxidant and will boost the immune system. It also helps with blood pressure. Carrots are full of antioxidants and help to cleanse the body (plus have loads of Vitamin A). Celery has natural anti-inflammatory properties. The first carrot drink recipe is more savory, but the carrot, apple juice is very sweet. All 3 should have a light fresh taste that will be surprising if you have never experienced fresh juices before. I know it was to me when I first started!

Option 1 – Carrot Garlic Juice
5 -7 medium-large organic carrots. They usually only need rinsing and don’t need to be peeled before being juiced.
2-3 large stalks of organic celery cut into 4 inch sections
1-3 cloves garlic. Start low and work your way up. It could cause heartburn if you start out juicing 3 cloves! 1 is still better than none!
Optional: Handful of organic spinach
Optional: 2-3 medium sized beet greens (leaves and stems)
Run through juicer and discard the pulp in compost pile

Option 2 – Carrot Juice with Ginger root
5 -7 medium-large organic carrots. They usually only need rinsing and don’t need to be peeled before being juiced.
2-3 large stalks of organic celery cut into 4 inch sections
I thumb tip sized (from the tip of your thumb to the first knuckle) piece ginger root - peeled
Optional: Handful of organic spinach
Optional: 2-3 medium sized beet greens (leaves and stems)
Run through juicer and discard the pulp in compost pile

Carrot Apple Juice:
5 -7 medium-large organic carrots. They usually only need rinsing and don’t need to be peeled before being juiced.
1-2 organic apples – quartered and seeded (any sweet variety of apple will work.
Run through juicer and discard the pulp in compost pile

Feel free to do some mixing and matching. I've mixed ginger and garlic into the same drink (who doesn't need some extra zing in their lives?)

The drinks without greens are a vibrant orange color. Adding greens or beets makes the color range from army green to brown. Neither look very appetizing, but please don't let that get you down. They taste good and will taste even better as you get used to drinking them.

I'll post a  delicious smoothie recipe soon that uses lots of fresh berries and looks quite tasty. Don't give up on eating healthy! :)

Simple Hearty Vegetable Soup

This is a quick lunch or supper recipe that is sure to keep those growing tummies filled (at least until the next meal).

Simple Hearty Vegetable Soup

6 Carrots
4 stalks Celery
4 Red Potatoes cubed
1/2 cup Barley
4 cloves garlic
1/2 large white onion
2 cans refried beans (you may substitute with home made refried beans)
1 can black beans (you may substitute with home cooked black beans)
1/2 tsp oregano
1/2 tsp basil
dash of rosemary
Salt to taste

Chop potatoes and veggies and add to medium-large pot along with the spices. Add enough water to cover vegetables. Cook until potatoes and barley are tender.*

*I recommend not leaving the pot on the stove with the burner on (waiting for that barley to cook) while you get distracted with other housework, or hop on facebook to check the latest news for "just a minute". Burned soup is never as tasty nor as picturesque... Oops.

Butternut Squash Soup

This is a fantastic soup my husband came up with. It’s extremely filling, and this recipe makes enough to have leftovers for another meal.


Butternut Squash Soup

2 Butternut Squashes
3 Carrots
3 Stalks Celery
1/4 Onion
1/2 tsp Curry powder
dash of Cayenne pepper
1/4 Cup Butter or Olive Oil
2 Cloves Garlic
2 Tablespoons Chicken Seasoning
2 Cups water
Salt to taste

Preheat oven to 350°. Halve butternut squash and place on baking sheet. Bake for 1 hour.*
Add spices and cook vegetables in a large pot until tender.
Scoop out the flesh of the butternut squash and blend with veggies in food processor or with immersion blender until smooth.

This soup is rather thick. You can thin it out by adding more water.

*You can also peel and cube the squash and cook it in a pot on your stovetop.

Crock Pot Split-Pea Soup

I love recipes that take minimal prep time and ones that don't require me to stand in front of the stove for extended periods of time. Because of this, crock pot recipes are some of my favorite. Just chop and add the ingredients, set the temperature and in a few hours the lovely aroma of whatever you are cooking fills the house and makes you feel like you might actually have a handle on this homemaking business (just don't look at the toilet or bathroom sink, please). My family loves a good soup and split pea is a classic in our house (yes even the kids love it). I use a 7 quart crock pot. You will want to adjust this recipe based on the size of crock pot you have. If you do not have a crock pot, you can cook this on your stovetop it just requires a bit more babysitting than the crock pot method.

Crock Pot Split-Pea Soup
4 cups dried split peas
4 carrots
1 large white or yellow onion
4 cloves garlic (more or less depending on your taste—we really like garlic in this family)
Salt to taste
Rinse peas in colander. Chop up the onion and carrots. Mince garlic.
Add to crock pot and cover with 1 inch of water. Set to "High" for a faster cook or "Low" for a more traditional slow cook. Be sure to check your water levels every couple hours or so!

Optional: Pour into blender and blend until smooth.
Warning: the soup will be really hot so I recommend you only fill the blender 1/3 to half full. Be sure to put the lid on before you start blending or else you may have hot pea soup covering you, your counters, and the small child who snuck up next to you while you were carefully pouring the soup into the blender (and who by this time is screaming because it got—of all places—in his eye). Just trust me on this, ok?

You could also use a hand blender and forego the scenario described above (as long as you keep the blender head buried deep in your pot).
Garnish with paprika and a small drizzle of olive oil per bowl.

Feeds 12 to 14 people. (This way you can have left-overs and not have to worry about what to fix for lunch or supper later in the week. Clever, no?)