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! :)