Monday, December 5, 2011

Peppermint Mocha

I normally don't put creamer in my coffee...I'm a black girl. However during the holiday season I get a big ole hankering for some peppermint mocha. I sometimes splurge and get one at Starbucks, but not on a weekly basis let alone every day. Tonight I decided I wanted a good cup of coffee with some Peppermint mocha creamer in it. For some reason I read the ingredients....bad idea for someone who wanted a good drink! Wanna know what's in it? No? I didn't think so....but I'm gonna tell you anyway. Here we go:
water, corn syrup, partially hydrogenated soy bean oil and/or cotton seed oil, sodium caseinate, "natural and artificial flavors" (puh-lease) maltodextrin, mono and diglycerides, dipotassium phosphate, color added, carrageenan, dextrose, sucralose, acesulfame potassium 
Uh yeah, my spell check is lit up like Christmas with all of those additives. HOLY BUCKETS! So what am I drinking again? Oh yeah...creamer?! So, enough said. It was time to make up  my own. Add this to your favorite cup of coffee and enjoy knowing what the heck you are drinking! Oh, and another quick tip. If you already drink creamer in your coffee, keep that container.....even though it is currently housing a chemical concoction, clean it out and fill it up with your purpose that sucker!


My re purposed coffee mate container with MY creamer in it
and my french press....the only way to make coffee!
5 packets stevia (not sure what that would end up being in tsps. Sorry. Test it out as you go if you have it in bulk.)
3 tbs cocoa powder
1 tbs peppermint extract
1 can evaporated milk


Whip it all together with a mixer for a few minutes and viola! Peppermint mocha. I added about 3 tbs to my small coffee cup or 6 to my large mug, but feel free to add what you think tastes best!

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Pumpkin Whoopie Pies

Sorry I haven't posted much lately. We have been so busy. Holiday stuff, family stuff, play dates, doing friends hair, chasing my kids, power outages, car name it! I have been busy! I have a feeling I will be slacking in this time surrounding the Holidays. It is just too busy to keep up. However, this one I was hoping to post before Thanksgiving and well...I didn't get to it. But, here it is now. Better late than never I guess. My friend Nichole gave me a family recipe for pumpkin whoopie pies and asked if I could modify them to make them healthier. They biggest challenge in these is the filling! I mean Crisco and powdered sugar are the two main ingredients. Lets be tastes amazing! However, I would like to be able to eat more than one of these a year, so I took those two ingredients out completely! It was tricky, but I really like what I came up with. This recipe makes quite a few, but I just froze a bunch to eat later!

Cookie/cake Ingredients

2 1/2c raw honey
1 c vanilla Greek yogurt
1 c apple sauce   
3c pumpkin   
5 eggs
2 tsp baking powder
2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp vanilla
3 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ginger
2 tsp salt                                          
1 tsp cloves
5 c whole wheat flour     

Cream yogurt, apple sauce and honey, then add pumpkin, spices, baking soda, baking powder, eggs, vanilla, and salt and mix well. Add flour one to two cups at a time and mix well.  Drop onto a cookie sheet 1-2 Tbs at a time. It all depends on what size you want them. Bake at 350 for 10 -15 minutes...don't over bake. 

Filling Ingredients

1 cup coconut butter (Olivio brand)
3 -8 oz cream cheese (could use fat free, low fat or full fat)
2 tsp vanilla
pinch of salt
2 c raw honey
4 tbsp whole wheat flour
8-12 Tbs corn starch (This helps thicken and bind since I didn’t use any powdered sugar. Add one at a time until it thickens enough for you)

This is about how much filling I put in. You could use more,
but again, it isn't super thick and more would run.
*I have a slight disclaimer here. I really wanted to do this without sugar and it made it a little runny for the filling. If it is important to you to have the filling thick and fluffy, take out the corn starch and add powdered sugar in place of the honey. If you use the honey, make sure you refrigerate the filling before you fill the whoopie pies and then keep them refrigerated until you eat them. It will help keep the filling from running.


Cream together the coconut butter and cream cheese.Add in the rest of the ingredients and beat well. Refrigerate for at least two hours. Place some between two cookies and store in refrigerator. You can wrap some individually with saran wrap and freeze them. They are great to pack in lunches that way! They thaw by lunch time! J

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Stuffed Quinoa and Turkey Meat loaf GF

I'm not much of a meat loaf person. In fact, I think it is safe to say I am a hater.A big ole pile of ground beef covered in ketchup. Gross! I mean seriously. Who thought up a loaf....of meat....?!?! The name says it all!! The only meat loaf I ever like up until now was my Cindi's My best friend in high school, Nicole's, mom. It was stuffed with ham and cheese and had pizza sauce on top. Now that I could do! Thinking of that inspired me to figure out a healthier and tastier version of the classic Midwest staple. So, here it is! I really liked it, and that says a whole lot coming from a meat loaf hater!


Loaf Ingredients
1/4 C quinoa
If you line your pan with foil it makes
 clean up a whole lot easier. Keeps the
glaze from burning to the bottom.
1/2 C water
1 Tsp Olive Oil
 1 Tbs Cumin
1 yellow onion diced
4 cloves crushed garlic
20 oz ground turkey
1 Tbs tomato paste
1 Tbs Tabasco
2 Tbs Worcestershire sauce
1 egg
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
Filling Ingredients
3/4 c feta cheese
1/2 c frozen or wilted spinach (If frozen be sure it is completely thawed)
Glaze Ingredients
2 Tbs raw honey
2 tsp Worcestershire
1 tsp water


Pre heat oven to 375. Cook quinoa in water to directions on package. Let it cool a little bit before mixing with the meat so it doesn't cook it when you are mixing it. Mix all loaf ingredients fully. Using about 3/5 of the mixture make the bottom half of the loaf. Create a well in the middle with the sides slightly higher. Put the feta and spinach in the well. Using the last 2/5 of the meat mixture completely cover the filling and create the top of the loaf. Mix the glaze ingredients well and brush over the top until it is completely covered and running down the sides. Bake at 375 for 1 hour.

Mango and Black Bean Quinoa GF

My friend Nichole gave me this recipe this summer and I kept wanting to make it, but every time I got mangoes we ate em! We LOVE mango! The past 6 weeks or so we have been getting a mango in our produce box so I figured we could spare one or two for a meal. :) The mango works so well in this dish because it has a slight spiciness to it. It isn't like eating a pepper or anything crazy, it's sweet, but it has a zippy undertone that marries well with the Latino flavors of the other ingredients. This was definitely a winner and I am so glad she shared it with me! I changed a few things mainly because of what ingredients I had on hand, but the one thing I think makes a big difference is I toasted the quinoa. It adds a nice flavor that you don't get when you cook it straight up. The toasty flavor goes great with this dish! You seriously have to try this!


2 cup quinoa
4 cups water
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
4 tablespoons balsamic vinegar ( The recipe I had called for raspberry balsamic, but I didn’t have that.)
1 large or 2 small mangoes, diced
2 avocado, diced
15-ounce can black beans, rinsed well and drained
1 red bell pepper, diced
¼ cup cilantro, finely chopped
Small red onion, minced (could use about a ½ c of green onion, but I like the flavor of red better)
1 whole jalapeno pepper, seeded and finely minced
juice of 1 lime
salt and pepper, to taste


Toast quinoa in a dry skillet over md/high heat until it starts to pop a little and slightly brown. Add 4 cups of water. Bring to a boil, then reduce to low and cook, covered, for 15 minutes or until water is completely absorbed and quinoa is fluffy. Transfer to a large bowl. Add mangoes, avocado, black beans, red bell pepper, cilantro, mint, onion, jalapeno pepper, olive oil, vinegar and lime juice.  Season to taste with salt and pepper. The recipe I had served this as a cold side salad, which would be great for the summer. I however made it hot and served it that way. It was pretty amazing warm! (If you aren't eating this as a main dish like we did and you are using it as a side, halve the recipe!)

Mediterranean Chicken GF

I made supper tonight for a friend who just had a baby. This is what I decided to make her. I had seen a recipe that looked interesting, so I used it for some ingredient Ideas. I'm not a huge fan of eating a big ole chunk of meat, but this was soooo good! I will absolutely make this again!


2 pounds skinless, boneless chicken breast
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
Salt and black pepper
4 cloves of crushed garlic
1 cup vertically sliced red onion
3/4 cup dry white wine
3/4 cup chicken broth
1/2 cup chopped or sliced pepperoncini peppers
1/4 cup pitted kalamata olives, (I used black)
2 cups cherry or grape tomatoes
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
1 (14-ounce) can artichoke hearts, drained and quartered
1/2 cup feta cheese


Put oil in a large skillet and bring to heat over md/high. Sprinkle chicken with Salt and pepper. Add half of chicken to pan; sauté 5 minutes or until browned. Remove chicken from pan and place on paper towel on a plate. Repeat procedure with remaining chicken; remove from pan.
Add onion to pan; sauté 5 minutes or until onions caramelize. Stir in wine, scraping pan to loosen browned bits. Bring wine to a boil; cook until reduced down. (about 2 minutes). Add chicken, broth, pepperoncini, and olives,  garlic, tomato, basil, thyme and artichokes; cook over low heat about 10 minutes or until all of the flavors meld together. Sprinkle with cheese.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Lebanese Lentils and Whole Grains

Here is another recipe sent my way from my friend Jill sent my way! I always get excited when she sends me recipes, cause she is one of few who eats crazy ethnic food like me. :)  I do not lie when I tell you I ate 3 helpings of this! THREE! It is just so good! The presentation may not look the prettiest...lets be honest, Lentils rarely look pretty.....but Holy cow is it amazing! I tweaked very little on this recipe. I of course added a slight bit more cumin cause it's my fav, knocked back the oil and I was out of Cinnamon. The recipe called for a Cinnamon stick, but I didn't have that or ground so I left it out. If you have it, throw in a Cinnamon stick when you put in the cumin seeds. Gotta try this one guys it's an AWESOME meat free!


1 cup brown or green lentils sorted for debris and rinsed
2 Tbs extra-virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1/2 teaspoon cracked black peppercorns
3 medium red onions, thinly sliced
Kosher salt
3/4 cup Himalayan whole grains
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
½ C Pine nuts
Squeeze of fresh lemon juice
Greek yogurt, for serving, optional


Place the lentils into a medium saucepan and fill with enough cold water to cover the lentils by about an inch. Bring it to a boil over medium-high heat, then turn down to a simmer and cook until the lentils are tender but not mushy, about 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, as the lentils cook, heat oil in a large skillet. Allow the oil to warm for a minute, then drop in the cumin seeds and cracked peppercorns and cook, shaking the pan once in a while until the cumin seeds darken slightly, about 1 minute.

Add the onions, sprinkle with a dash of salt and cook until they turn dark caramel brown, stirring often. This will take about 15 minutes. (Splash the onions with a little water if they stick to the bottom of the pan.) You'll know they're done both by their deep chestnut color.
Remove about half of the onions to a paper towel-lined plate (These are to top your meal later.) Sprinkle in the ground cumin, cayenne and saute about 1 minute.

Add the whole grains and cook, stirring often until some grains start to brown. Quickly, add the cooked lentils, 3 cups of water and 1 1/2 teaspoons of salt; bring to a boil. Turn the heat down to low so that the pan is at a simmer, cover and cook 30 minutes. The water should be completely evaporated and grains should be tender. (If there's still too much water in the bottom, put the lid back on and cook for another 5 minutes.)

Turn off the heat, keep the lid on, and allow the grains to steam undisturbed for about 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, toast the pine nuts using, in a small dry skillet over medium-high heat, shaking often, until lightly browned.

Serve with the reserved caramelized onions, toasted pine nuts, if using, and a little squeeze of lemon juice and a spoonful of plain Greek yogurt.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Banana Breakfast Cookies....yes, I said breakfast cookies!

Why not have cookies for breakfast?! Ya know ya wanna! I spent the past two days looking for recipes for cookies...I've been feeling the urge...and nothing quite struck me until this morning when I really wanted to eat junk for breakfast. I figured why not make a cookie I can eat for breakfast?! So, I went to work. I decided on adding the coconut flour and milk to add protein so it really could be in place of breakfast. If you don't care about the protein or you don't like the texture the coconut flour adds, simply remove the two coconut ingredients. Your cookies will still turn out great...less protein therefore less breakfasty but still good non the less. I enjoyed my Saturday morning cookies, and I hope you all do as well! (Goes great with a hot cup of coffee!!)


2 ½ ripe medium bananas
1/2 cup honey
½ cup apple sauce
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 c coconut milk
2 eggs
2 cups whole wheat flour
1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
1 c coconut flour


Heat oven to 375°F. Mash 2 the bananas. In large bowl, beat sugar, butter, vanilla, eggs, coconut milk and mashed bananas with electric mixer on medium speed, or mix with spoon, until well blended. Stir in both flours, baking powder and salt.
Drop dough about the size of 2 Tbs about 2 inches apart onto ungreased large cookie sheet.
Bake 9-11 minutes or until set and edges begin to turn light golden brown. Cool 1 minute; remove from cookie sheet to wire rack. Cool completely, about 30 minutes.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Pumpkin Bread

Holy cow my mom makes THE BEST pumpkin bread on the planet!! I tweaked this so that I could eat it without feeling guilty, but I'm not gonna lie...Hers is better! I will eat mine now and plow hers at Christmas. (It's a tradition for our fam to have pumpkin bread at Christmas.) I actually made it cause my sister is moving to Turkey and won't be able to have tasty pumpkin bread this Christmas! That's right, I said Turkey. I will be driving her to the airport tomorrow and have no idea when we will get to see her next....the cost of following Jesus huh? You all can be praying for her as she jumps into this next season. Anyhow, back to the bread. This makes 4 loaves and I freeze all but one. They are super moist, so they will go bad quicker than most so freeze the loaves you aren't eating. These also make great gifts for teachers, neighbors and friends, so bake a bunch at once and freeze em till Christmas time....again, stealing my mom's ideas. :) Love pumpkin!


29 oz can Pumpkin puree
8 Eggs
2 C apple sauce
7 C Whole wheat flour 
4 c raw honey
4 Tsp Soda
1 Tbsp Salt
2 Tsp Cinnamon
2 Tsp Nutmeg
1  C water


Mix pumpkin, eggs, honey and applesauce in large bowl.  Combine flour, soda salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg in bowl.
Add dry ingredients to pumpkin mixture alternately with water, mixing well after each addition.  Spoon into 4 greased and floured loaf pans.
Bake at 350 for about 30 min to1 hr. or until bread tests done. (I know 30-60 min is a drastic time difference, but I have baked them for over 45 minutes before and my last was done in 30. So.....after 30 min check the bread. When knife or tooth pick comes out clean it's done. If not, check every 5-10 minutes until done.)

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Roasted Chick peas/ garbanzo beans GF

I found this idea some recipe site the other day. Whoever decided to roast these suckers is a genius! The recipe I found had crushed red pepper flakes and my kiddo won't touch spicy stuff anymore, so I decided, "What the heck, why not make up my own!?" I am always looking for healthy snacks and I always have garbanzo beans on hand, so this is great for us! yummy! Another quick tip....I found that if I broil them on the second day, that they turn out great and crunchier!


2 15-oz can Garbanzo Beans
1 tsp salt
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp cumin
Olive oil


Preheat the oven to 400 degree F.

Drain and rinse the garbanzo beans in a large colander. Continue to rinse until all the foamy liquid goes away.

Line the counter with a few sheets of paper towel. Place the drained garbanzo beans on top of the paper towel and let them dry for a few minutes.

Once the beans are dried, place them on a parchment lined baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and then sprinkle on the spices. Using your hands, toss the beans around so they are all fully coated.

Place the baking sheet in the oven for 20 minutes and all to roast. After 20 minutes, remove the pan from the oven and give the beans a little shake and then place back into the oven for another 15 minutes shake em around a little bit and roast for another 15 minutes. 
Season with salt if needed once fully roasted and then serve hot or cooled.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

The Weekly Dish

My sweet Olie pop's one year pictures.
I am finally catching up with my life....Well, sorta. My laundry is still in piles in my laundry room, but I have at least caught up with a majority of life. Probably cause I have sick kids and that means we don't leave that house and no one comes over. I am getting a little stir crazy, so I have been doing some extra baking and cooking. Oh yeah, and Darcy took Olie's 1 year pictures last week, so I will probably load this post up with his pictures. He was crying THE. WHOLE. TIME. so it was miraculous she got such good pictures! She's so good! Hey, if you want a chance to win a $200 photo shoot with her, go here and get a raffle ticket for only $10!!! Anyhow, back to the food!! This week I think I will post these......

Roasted chick peas
pumpkin bread

This pretty much captures the morning. Can not believe she got such good ones when this is all he did. :)

Saturday, October 29, 2011

The healthiest chili ever! GF

Growing up my mom use to use V8 juice in place of tomato juice in chili. It gave it a little bit of a thicker texture and a little zip. I loved it! The other night I had piles of veggies that I was unsure of what to do with. I figured what the heck, I will make my own veggish juice to use in my chili. I mean 12 cups of organic veggies in a pot of chili?! Can't go wrong there! You don't even notice they are in there, but you still get the benefits! If you don't have these exact veggies, throw in what you do have. There are no rules when it comes to what gets put in this soup! This is a meatless chili but you could add meat if you wanted to. Was super pleased with this recipe! Also, This makes quite a bit. I usually make a huge pot and freeze half for another time, so if you are only making it for one meal, you could halve the recipe.
veggies pre cooking

after cooking, add the juice and puree.


2 tbs olive oil
3 organic celery
5t organic carrots
1 organic zucchini
1 organic softball size onion
7 organic garlic cloves
1 organic green pepper
1 5 oz package organic fresh spinach
2 bottles of organic tomato juice
2 cans organic pinto
2 cans organic dark red kidney
2 cans organic black beans
2 cans organic light red kidney beans
1 small can green chilies
2 Tbs chili powder (Could use less but we like spicy stuff)
3 Tbs cumin
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
1 tsp chipotle pepper ground
1 tbs paprika powder
Tabasco to taste ( I use 1 Tbs cause I like it hot!)


Chop veggies to similar size. Heat oil in large pot, add veggies and sweat down for about 15 minutes on md/high. Add spinach the last 5 min. Add tomato juice and seasonings and puree with immersion blender to completely puree. Add in beans and let simmer for at least 30 min. I like a little plain Greek yogurt in mine, it tastes like sour cream. mmm....

Friday, October 28, 2011

Chickpea soup GF

My bf from elementary school (Tara) put this recipe on fb the other day and it instantly appealed to me. It is right up my alley!! The recipe she posted didn't have any spinach in it, however, I try to sneak it in wherever I can. And, since I added the spinach, I pureed it completely so my men didn't see any "green things" as Nahum calls it. Tara's recipe pureed only 4 cups of it to keep it somewhat chunky. I also think it would be good without pureeing anything, but if you want to hide the spinach, give it a good whirl with an immersion blender and your secret will be safe. :)


2 tablespoons olive oil
2 cups finely chopped onion
8 garlic cloves, peeled and halved
4 c fresh baby spinach
4 cups water
1 teaspoon minced fresh or 1/4 teaspoon dried rosemary
3/4 teaspoon salt
½ tsp cumin
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
3 (15 1/2-ounce) cans chickpeas (garbanzo beans), drained
1 (14 1/2-ounce) can diced tomatoes, undrained
 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
6 tablespoons (1 1/2 ounces) grated fresh Parmesan cheese ( I used feta)


Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add onion and garlic, and cook for 10 minutes, or until onion starts to become transparent. Add spinach and stir until wilted.. Stir in the water and the next 6 ingredients and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer 20 minutes. Using an immersion blender completely puree. (You could leave some chunky or leave it totally chunky. I pureed it so my boys didn’t notice the spinach….sneaky sneaky. J  Stir in the vinegar, and bring to a boil. Remove from heat. Serve sprinkled with feta cheese or Parmesan.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Peanut butter cookies

Andy requested some peanut butter cookies. Great idea! I haven't made over a peanut butter recipe yet! And, can I just say.....mmmmmmmmmmmmm........ Oh my, I am not lying when I say we polished these suckers off in literally 2 1/2 days. Ok, so maybe that defeats the purpose of making them healthy, but it was so hard to have self control with these they were so good! This is one of those that I highly recommend trying out if you are wanting some good for ya desserts! 


1 C  raw honey
¾ cup natural fresh, ground, peanut butter
¼ cup olivio coconut butter
1 egg
1 ¼ cups whole wheat flour
¾ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
Dark chocolate chips optional


Mix honey, peanut butter, coconut butter and egg in large bowl. Stir in remaining ingredients.  Heat oven to 375ºF. Scoop dough onto cookie sheet  about the size of 1 Tbs. IF you want to, you can put a few chocolate chips on top before you bake em. If you don't want them, leave them out. Bake 7-8 minutes or until light golden brown. Cool 5 minutes; remove from cookie sheet. Cool on wire rack.


My Olie pop wasn't too excited about getting his picture taken this week at his one year pics...Darce managed to get some great shots if you want to see more go here!
It has been a while since I have posted. Sorry!! I haven't been MIA, it's just that all of my extra time has been going to this. My life only seems to get busier and busier...ahh....
Can I just say I LOVE FALL! It is the season for soups, chili and all things pumpkin! I have a number of recipes to post on here. My mom's pumpkin bread recipe that I tweaked to make healthier (Super tasty....but...not gonna lie, Hers is better. :)), chili, peanut butter cookies, a chick pea soup that is AH-MAZING and a few others I can't remember right now. I will do my best to get some up as soon as possible! Thanks for hanging in there with me and for waiting patiently for some yummy fall recipes! 

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Acorn Squash soup~Bonus blog!!! GF

I have never been much of one for eating squash. (Other than spaghetti squash which is basically flavorless.) I can still remember gagging when my mom made me eat it as a kid. Pretty much can't stand it. Wish I could, but...I can't. Well, yesterday Andy brought home our produce box and lo and behold there was an acorn squash. My first thought was "Crap. What a waste of money!" My second thought was "I like a challenge in the kitchen!" So, thus began my journey to make squash edible. I looked at about a million and one squash soup recipes and nothing struck my fancy...yes, I just said struck my fancy. :) So, I decided to make up my own and make it as healthy as I could. I am proud to say that I loved it! I ate squash and I loved it! I will absolutely make this again this fall/winter. Maybe even a couple of times!


1 Organic acorn squash
salt and pepper
Olive oil to drizzle
1 C red lentils
4 C (1 box) chicken or veggie broth
1 C kefir
3 cloves garlic
1 yellow onion
1 cup organic frozen spinach
1 tsp curry powder
1/2 tsp dried dill
1 tbs coconut oil


Cut squash in half. Drizzle with olive oil. Salt and pepper generously. (this will be the only s&p in the soup) Place open side down in a baking dish and bake at 400 degrees for 45 minutes.
While squash bakes, place chicken broth and lentils in a sauce pan. Bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer for 20 minutes. Add spinach and seasonings to the lentils and then simmer an additional 5 minutes.
Melt coconut oil in a skillet over md/high heat. Cook sliced onions and whole garlic cloves until onion is iridescent and slightly caramelized.
Remove squash from oven and spoon out the insides. Place kefir, onion mixture, lentil mixture and squash in a food processor. Puree until thick and smooth. Serve with homemade bread!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

I fell off the wagon~

My Olie Pop
We fell off the wagon. And when we fall, we fall hard! So hard in fact that Saturday night at midnight we ordered a pizza from papa johns!! When I heard the delivery man ring my door bell, I just about squealed with excitement! Two weeks isn't long, but man alive was I craving some unhealthy tastiness!  I know, this sounds pathetic, like we couldn't handle it or we just missed our dairy too much or whatever, but that isn't exactly the case. While it may be hilarious that we decided at midnight to stuff our faces with grease soaked cheesy goodness, it wasn't just a whim that we caved into. Here is why.... This vegan thing did not go as I had expected. Andy lost 7 lbs but was often tired and shaky. I GAINED 3 lbs which put me into the overweight category for my height (which I'm not gonna lie, I was ticked about!) and Nahum lost 1 lb which may not seem like much, but it is extremely unhealthy for a child diagnosed failure to thrive who is not even on a growth chart. In spite of being sure we had enough proteins and loading up with expensive supplements, I was still tired and irritable. Executive decision...back to animal proteins! I don't need a physical to tell me that this did not do our bodies good! Now, I know that late night "snack" was probably not one of the best decisions I have ever made. In fact it was probably one of the worst lol! I don't recommend it either. I had the worst gut rot I have had in a very long time! I regretted packing my face minutes after eating it. I payed for it with an hour of rolling around in bed whining " stomach!" However, I thoroughly enjoyed my Greek yogurt this morning and the keifer mac n cheese for lunch didn't go down so bad either. I feel much better today! I will return to my normal way of cooking with out regret! We tried it and it wasn't for us! I know there are people out there who do well with the vegan diet, and more power to ya! There are a few things we have liked that we will continue to do...Almond, rice or coconut milk, coconut "butter" and even some of the GFCF pretzels I found. We will continue to get our box of organic produce from B&B Organics and I think I will still only use meats a couple of times a week. I think those things are all good for us and I will continue to eat in that way...just not completely vegan. Sorry we didn't make it the full month and on to the blood work. The way our bodies responded told me enough. If you want to know more, I encourage you to try it for yourself. Maybe your story will be different! I would love to hear how it works out if you try it! So, all that to say, this weeks recipes will not be vegan. I think I will only have one for this week. We'll see, maybe I will post a bonus blog, but for now this is it...

Feta and spinach stuffed quinoa and turkey meat loaf.....definitely not vegan!! :)

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Veggie patties and whole grains

Again....may wording for this recipe may not be the best...patties? I know, sounds gross. I can't call everything a veggie burger can I? These I was quite pleased with. my hubs actually ate the leftovers for this for lunch AND supper the next day. That says a ton, cause he isn't the biggest leftover fan. Nahum and I ate these with ketchup on em, but Andy is anti ketchup, so he ate them plain. One huge helpful tip is to use the grating option on your food processor. It will make this process go a whole lot quicker!


4 potatoes
2 large carrots
1 yellow onion
3 cloves garlic
1 green pepper
2 celery stalks
1 cup sunflower seeds
3/4 cup whole wheat flour
1 tsp salt


Grate all veggies and place in a mixing bowl. In food processor chop the sunflower seeds until almost pasty. Mix seeds, salt and flour into the veggies. Heat a little olive oil in a skillet. Get about a fist full of the mixture in your hands and squeeze them tightly and smash into patties. Drain the liquid out as you squeeze them. Fry about 3-4 minutes per side over md/high heat or until they are browned. to make the whole grains follow the directions on the link but use salted water instead of broth.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

halfway through week 2....

So far, this isn't all it's cracked up to be....Now this isn't from test results or anything, it is just based on how we feel. Andy is shaky all day long and appears to be wasting away to nothing. (Even though he drinks a half gallon of chocolate almond milk every two days!) NOTHING has changed for me except my toilet time has increased to 5-6 times a day.....and not to be too descriptive, but it isn't pretty. Our 2 week grocery budget is spent in one week thanks to the costly supplements we have to take and Making meals takes a little bit more work. Therefore beans and rice seems to be the main meal of choice in order to manage the budget properly.....Maybe I am just crabby and over it cause my body hasn't adjusted to it yet, but I will be honest. This isn't something I would promote at this point. Now I'm not a huge meat eater and I could probably go without it fairly easily. However, We are all missing our yogurt and cheese! I will press on at this point and time because I have committed to this. I did want to be real about how we are feeling. We are about 1/3 of the way through the process and wanted to share the truth of how things are going. I am curious to see what happens at each week marker.

Vegan Mac n cheese the corn dogs, this was a kid friendly vegan meal and Nahum loved it! However....he asked about a million times why it looked brown and not yellow lol. I told him mac n cheese comes in a variety of shapes and colors. Like how Panera has white shells and Annies has yellow and white and all different types of noodles. I think he believed me that it was just like any other mac n cheese lol!! The biggest challenge on this one was the vegan cheese. I found some at the Maple City Market. It was about 3 bucks a bag and I used two bags. There were a few different kinds, but I chose daiya brand because it was dairy free, casein free, soy free and gluten free. This would be safe for those of you who are making GFCF foods. All of the recipes I found required baking and/or tofu so I sorta created my own version so it was creamy like the boxed stuff, or the homemade stove top kind. Even if you are a dairy eater, I think you should try this. It's pretty good!


1 1/4 pound elbow macaroni
3 cloves garlic, crushed
2 containers (4 cups) plain vegan creamer (I use Silk)
2 tablespoons garlic powder, divided
2 tablespoons onion powder, divided
2 tablespoons paprika, divided
 salt and pepper, to taste
2 (8 ounce) packages vegan shredded cheese (I used one cheddar and one mozzarella)


Boil macaroni according to package directions. While the pasta cooks, heat creamer, garlic and seasonings in a medium sized pot.  Once it starts to simmer slowly stir in vegan cheese and turn up heat to medium high. Stir constantly until cheese is fully melted. Drain pasta and Stir cheese mixture in the pot with the macaroni and toss well. 

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Black bean and corn cakes GF

....Maybe I shoulda called em black bean burgers.....That sounds a little more appetizing than a bean cake. Oh well, what's done is done right? These would actually be really great as a burger on a bun, but we just ate them plain. So far this is one of Nahum's favorites, and I think mine too!  I am a bit of a black bean junkie so this went down well for me. Doesn't hurt that I made guac to go on it! YUMMY! I doubled this recipe so we had enough to eat for leftovers for lunch the next day, but if you are only making it for two or even four for dinner, you could make it as is. I usually make a lot so I can have leftovers. Enough chatter...on with the vegan bean cakes! ;)


2 cup nondairy milk (I use plain almond milk)
1 cup cornmeal
2 teaspoons salt
4 cups black beans, drained, divided
2 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground black pepper   
4 cloves garlic, optional
1 1/2 cup sweet corn (I used my frozen corn from this summer) 
guacamole, to garnish


 Heat the nondairy milk over medium-high heat in a small sauce pan until boiling. Mix the cornmeal and salt and whisk into the boiling milk. Make sure to avoid lumps by stirring constantly for about 3 minutes, or until the cornmeal has cooked through and forms a solid mass that pulls away from the sides of the pan.  Measure out 2/3 cup black beans and set aside. In a food processor, blend the remaining black beans, garlic and spices then stir that into the cooked cornmeal to form a thick paste. Stir in the remaining 2/3 cup black beans and the corn. Shape this mixture into about 10 thick patties. Cook over a high heat in a lightly oiled pan about 3 minutes on each side or until browned. Serve with guacamole if desired. Tastes great alone or on a bun.

The Weekly Dish

Nahum and his buddies Adie and Brayden on a field trip to the orchard.
Boy I have a ton of catching up to do! I am two recipes in the hole and I have a weekly dish to get up! Whew!!! It has been a crazy week! Been busy with women's retreat, music stuff, school and a field trip buying and selling vehicles. (This explains why) So yeah, I'm behind. Anyhow, This has been quite the interesting start to the vegan month. We are going to weekly document weight and BMI.....Let's just say Andy and I are having frustratingly different results. My result? Gas...and A WHOLE LOT OF IT! Andy's result? He lost 7lbs and and dropped 1% BMI...really?!?! How is this fair? ;) Ah well...such is life I guess. So this week, my plan is to attempt to catch up on some of my missed recipe posts. I may even get some time tonight! Andy is at a concert with a friend and the boys are in bed....blessed quiet time! Maybe I should read my Bible instead of tinkering around on here.... Well, on to this weeks recipes.

Vegan mac n cheese
veggie patties and whole grains

Vegan corn dogs

Corn dogs? Yes, I know, the "dog" portion of a corn dog is usually my dad's words, "pig lips and chicken butt holes." Gross!! I know, I probably should have refrained from that quote, but it makes me laugh, so....Sorry if I grossed you out. ;) Anyhow, when I was researching recipes I did a search for kid friendly meals. This was one of them. I definitely has to tweak it a little bit to remove the sugar and white flour...annnd.....actually make them taste corny cause the recipe I found...not so corn dogish! These actually tasted quite good and I think the corn meal part made the doggy wanna be taste a whole lot better. Nahum loved this meal! It was his idea to add the sticks. :)


 1 cup whole wheat  flour
 4 tablespoon corn meal
 2 tablespoon melted coconut oil
 1 1/2 teaspoon raw honey
 1 teaspoon baking powder
 1/2 c warm water
 8 vegan hot dogs, (I use Smart Dogs)


Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Mix together all ingredients. (except vegan hot dogs). Make sure you don't let the coconut oil re harden before you put the water in. It will clump the flour or corn meal up.Get a wad of dough and work it around the hot dog. I used skewers to actually put them on sticks and that made it a little easier. I could hold on to the stick and wrap the dough around the dog without getting both hands sticky. Skewers are optional though.... Place on a cookie sheet and bake 15-17 minutes, until golden. I served mine with whole grain mustard and it was so yummy! :)

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

The deep dark vegan do they hide it?!

It's time for the raw and honest truth. Those of you who know me well will not be surprised at what I am about to divulge....there is a deep, dark, secret vegans keep and I have discovered it! Get ready....It is the most rotten, awful, horrendous gas ever to escape to bowels of a human being! My body has been in a gaseous state for days on end with no sign of relenting. I mean, I am no stranger to a toot here and there throughout my day, but this....this is something unknown to even me! After almost annihilating my husband via dutch oven last night, he MADE me get online and google "how to counteract gas from a vegan diet." This is just a small portion of one persons blog account. There were many others on other sites but this one by far described it the best!  (Be aware, you may need a poise pad before reading on.)

~I had heard through word of mouth that this might eventually be a problem, but I never thought anything of it. Until now.

Dear Lord! Why am I passing gas so much? Somebody make it stop! Aaaghh!

Let's just say that I about killed myself off in bed last night due to some unplanned gas attacks. Too bad I didn't have a generator handy, because there was enough methane created in that room to power an entire city for days. Oh, I couldn't believe what my body was doing to me here! I was putting healthy foods into my body, and what was coming out of my body was anything but healthy. Personally, I don't know how vegans ever get married with all the flatulence that their bodies produce. All I know is that, if I ever want to get a girlfriend, then I have to go back to meat or else she better get some heavy duty nose clips.

Now that I think about it, with all the soy and beans I've been eating lately, it's no wonder my life has suddenly turned into a scene from "Blazin' Saddles." The packages of health food never even bother to mention this side effect from eating their stuff. This is the dirty, dark side to veganism that they never want you to know about. The elimination of milk, eggs and meat from my diet is easy. The smell... oh Gosh, now that's the real challenge. I think I better invest in a month's supply of Beano.~

Did you laugh as hard as we did? I mean, he didn't stop there! His blog continued on and on about it all. I just captured a snip it of that posting! As comical as that is the honest truth! If something doesn't correct itself soon, I have a feeling this vegan month is going to come to an abrupt halt. I mean one can only be tortured for so long.

Bonus Blog! Chocolate Avocado Pudding GF

I need dessert! :) My friend Brittany asked me today if I had tried making the chocolate pudding using avocado. Nope! I have made other sweet things using it, but never pudding! So, I looked up some vegan recipes for it, gave it a good tweak and voila! Just a disclaimer, our reason for the vegan month is to stay away from animal proteins, not for the sake of use honey. I know some vegans do and some don't. But, yeah...Gotta have my honey! So, here it is! Don't let the avocado scare ya. It really is amazing and you don't notice that it's avocado...but you do get the health benefits! mmm.....Super easy!


2 organic avocados
2 Tbs cocoa
4 tsp raw honey


Throw it all in a bowl and use a hand blender, or throw it all in a food processor or blender and whip it up! Super easy and super good!

Pasta in Hummus Sauce

The vegan week began...and is going quite well! I will say I do miss my yogurt in the mornings, but I will survive! :) Yesterday I organized the boys rooms, and our room. Rearranged the boys rooms, made a head board rearranged the basement and a little in our dinning area....Oh yeah, and I hung pictures in our bed room, the living room and a mirror in the master bath. Andy laughed and said "well, the vegan diet must be working lol!" Who the heck knows it that is where the energy burst came from or not, but I don't feel worse, so that's good! :)  But anyhow, My first meal was the pasta and hummus sauce. Can I just say YUM?! Andy said he liked it so much he would have eaten it even if we weren't doing this vegan month! And, Nahum ate the spinach! WHAT?! He never eats anything green! I highly recommend this even if you are a meat eater! It was super good and I will definitely make it again!


1 lb whole wheat pasta
2 cans organic garbanzo beans drained
1/3 c extra virgin olive oil
2 lemons juiced
1 tsp salt
2 tsp cumin
3 cloves organic garlic
15oz can organic diced tomatoes drained
8 oz can organic tomato sauce
1 can black or kalamata  olives drained
10 oz box organic frozen spinach


Cook pasta to package directions. Put garbanzo beans, olive oil, lemon juice, salt, cumin, and garlic in a food processor. (blender would work as well) puree well! Once pasta is cooked, strain it. Place the spinach in the pan and completely thaw. Return the pasta to the pan. Pour the hummus, diced tomatoes, tomato sauce and olives over it and bring up to temperature and serve.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

I already have a favorite!

Ok, let the vegan begin! In order to prepare for the next month or two I did my recipe and food research. I planned out meals, wrote out recipes and made my grocery list! It really wasn't all that hard to buy vegan at my local store! The only thing I am disappointed in was the "cheese" wanna be stuff. NOTHING! Even the so called "veggie shreds and slices" have dairy in them. Nice. So tomorrow I am off to a local specialty store in search of a vegan "cheese". One thing I have looked into is honey. I use raw honey like it's my job and I wasn't sure I was prepared to give that up. The health benefits are amazing! After researching a little bit I have found that some vegans don't use it for cruelty purposes and some vegans use it because they don't think it hurts the bee. Well, don't crucify me, but I could care less about that nasty stinging bee. So, I made an executive decision. I WILL continue to use raw honey!
Now, about my new fav... I found this at Meijer. It was 3 for $5.00! Not bad!!! This is Olivio USDA certified organic coconut spread. Don't freak out yet! I use a lot of coconut oil already, so this caught my eye. It is Non- Hydrogenated, dairy free, gluten free, soy free, organic, non-GMO and vegan! Sounds gross maybe, but it is AWESOME! Even my coconut hatin' hubby loved it! I made him a bagel and used this instead of butter and he said he never would have known had I not told him! That my friends, is a testimony lol! I promise I will post recipes, but I was so excited about this find I had to share it!

The Weekly Dish

So this week starts off our vegan adventure. One disappointing part is I was unable to get a physical. Those suckers are dang expensive and Insurance will only cover a portion of 1 and I was hoping for two. And, Insurance will only cover a small portion of the blood work. So... I guess we will know a little bit just by the way we feel. I expect to feel way different if what we have seen and read is true. I still wish I could have more concrete evidence, but I can't spend my money on Dr. appointments right now. Boooo.... But, I will not let that deter me from going at this full bore. I may throw in a non vegan recipe or two just because I have some still waiting to be posted, but I will label the vegan ones so you all know what recipe is what. I think this week I will try to post:

Pasta with hummus sauce (YUM doesn't that sound so good?!)
Pigs n a blanket (something kid friendly)
Southwestern bean and corn cakes (I may try to do three recipes this week.)

Hope you all have fun following this little vegan adventure we are on. I will be sure to update weekly on how we feel and any changes we notice in our bodies.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Vegan WHAT?!?!

Nahum and his new "dirt bike" action...
Olie's gettin around like crazy now.
 Ok, so about two weeks ago Andy and I watched a documentary that talked about the health of Americans and how animal proteins are linked to cancer, diabetes and a load of other health problems. There are SO MANY documentaries out there claiming this and that, but how in the world are we suppose to know if those things are true or not? I mean unless you have a good year to dedicate solely to research how in the world are we to know the truth?! So, after watching this documentary I thought, "Hmm.... I could get physicals done before and after a month or two of a vegan diet to see if there is truth to this!". I mean, I don't have cancer or diabetes, but there was a plethora of other tests that can show increase and decrease in things such as blood sugars, white blood cell count, inflammation, cholesterol, blood pressure....and the list goes on. This does NOT  mean we will do this forever. This is basically just to test out the theory and see if there is any truth to it. So, I will probably post two more "normal" recipes and then after that it will be a month or two of strictly vegan. The hubs is all pumped about doing this....yeah, I was shocked too! I mean the man eats meat like it's his job! I am planning to get a physical before and after if I can afford it or find a local Dr. who is willing to give me freebies or cheap-o visits. If any of ya have any idea of how to do that let me know! ;) So, please walk this journey with me to find out if Animal proteins really do cause more harm than good. Vegan...WHAT?!