Sausage and Veggies

sausageveggies

Have you ever had one of those moments where you feel as petulant as your two year old? Because you’ve been busy doing errands and you both need to eat and there is no prepared food in sight, and you refuse to break down and eat at a less-than-healthy restaurant (which is just about everything when you have allergies)?

And as I drive by a Taco Time I wonder: is it really better than fainting from hunger?

So as the same two questions get hurled at me from the backseat “Why this?” “Why that?” the tension mounts on the way home. The darling sweet girl becomes a mighty force to be reckoned with as the hunger deepens. And mom needs to eat too.

That is a recipe for momentarily forgetting the beautiful, sacred moments of being together and radiating love for each other.

How we cope?

The first thing we do when we get in the door is drink a Nuplus each. I have to mention it because it is only thing that keeps us happy (and sane) in these types of moments. We feel nourished in under 2 minutes and it holds us long enough to create some sort of meal.

Thank God for Sunrider. I say that so many times everyday.

Then that little face looks up and says, “More please, Mommy!” And I can feel the love radiating once more in both of us. That force to be reckoned with in a two year old body becomes a darling angel as we both calm down and start feeling good again.

Now it’s time to eat.

We are still hungry, so we need something hearty and quick. This is one of our favorite stand-bys as it takes only about 15 minutes to make.

Sausage and Veggies

Ingredients:

  • Bulk sausage (PCC brand Chicken Apple or Turkey Breakfast are the best)
  • 1/2 organic onion, chopped
  • 1-2 cups frozen okra (or fresh if you can get it)
  • 4 leaves of organic kale, chopped
  • a big handful of organic cherry tomatoes
  • 1 organic baby bok choy, chopped
  • 1 cup green olives, chopped
  • 2 Tablespoons organic sunflower or organic coconut oil
  • 1 teaspoon organic Italian herbs (basil, oregano, rosemary, etc). We used a premixed blend from PCC’s bulk spice section.

Dishes Used:

  • Knife and cutting board
  • Pan and spatula

Directions:

  1. Heat up a pan on medium heat and add in oil. 
  2. Brown sausage on both sides and cut into pieces.
  3. Add onion and herbs and mix well.
  4. Once onion is translucent, add the rest of the ingredients and mix well.
  5. Cook until kale and okra are a nice, bright green, about 4-5 minutes.

That’s it!

 

Oven Roasted Chicken and Veggies

Oven Roasted Chicken and Veggies

The warm, fragrant smell of roasting chicken is so comforting, especially now that the weather is turning cool and rainy.

As the days get shorter, the need for more comforting, warm, nourishing foods is growing, and what could be better than a simple recipe that is so healthy and delicious!

This recipe is completely inspired by wanting to have a full meal with minimal work so I can get back to doing puzzles with my daughter. She suddenly loves puzzles and wants to do them over and over again. And it is not easy to put together a dog or fish puzzle while chopping vegetables and basting chicken. I’ve tried.

This takes me about 10 minutes to prepare, then it goes in the oven and you only have to check it once or twice. It’s perfect for those rainy puzzle days.

The other inspiration is that I wanted to make some real, homemade, super healthy, mouth-watering chicken broth (and then chicken soup), so we have to get started by roasting the chicken. So first, the melt-in-your-mouth, allergy-free oven roasted chicken and veggies recipe. And keep a look out for that chicken soup recipe. :)

Oven Roasted Chicken and Veggies

Ingredients:

  • 4 organic leg quarters, or 4 thighs/4 drumsticks (bone in), or equivalent
  • 1 large organic zucchini, chopped
  • 2-3 organic red potatoes, chopped
  • 1/2 large organic onion, chopped
  • 1 large organic yellow squash, chopped
  • 1 Tablespoon organic dried basil
  • 1/2 Tablespoon organic dried rosemary
  • 1 Tablespoon organic coconut oil (or your favorite oil, but it’s super good with coconut oil)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1-2 cups organic cooked rice (you can cook it in chicken broth if you have it for some nice flavoring)
  • lemon wedges (optional)

Dishes used:

  • Knife and cutting board
  • Glass baking dish

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400F.
  2. Wash chicken parts in a non-toxic fruit and veggie rinse (Sunrider’s brand is the best b/c it is ingestible). Drain and pat dry.
  3. Coat your baking dish with coconut oil.
  4. Add the roasted veggies and then top with the chicken.
  5. Coat the chicken in the rest of the coconut oil and rub well so they are evenly coated.
  6. Add herbs, salt and pepper liberally over chicken and veggies.
  7. Cook at 400F for 30 min, then lower the temperature to 375F and cook another 20 min, or until the internal temperature of the thighs are 180F and the juices run clear. You may need to add more time depending on your oven.
  8. Serve with a bed of rice and a squirt of fresh lemon over the top.

That’s it!

Italian Veggies And Rice

ItalianVeggiesAndRice

“This is soooo good. Can we have it again?”

I always love hearing this. Especially from a teenager. The only problem is sometimes I have no idea what I actually just made. You see, I never really make things from a recipe. I just throw together what feels right, and what I have on hand, and that’s it!

So I thought, “Hmmm… I’m really going to have to think about this. What did I make?”

Then I came here to post a recipe and what did I find? I had already written a version of the recipe! I just hadn’t posted it yet.

And I never thought I’d like blogging. Ha. When it means I can find my recipes and share them, I’m all for it :)

The best way to cook is from intuition. Of course having easy, good recipes to follow makes a strong foundation, but then use the intuition to choose what ingredients, how much, etc.

For example, in this recipe, you can use many different types of vegetables, not just the ones listed. I made this recipe yesterday and the only veggies that were the same were the tomato, onions and zucchini. Instead, I added in squash, carrots, spinach and arugula, and it was fantastic.

It starts when you are in the grocery store (or standing in your garden). What veggies do I want today? Which ones do I feel drawn to? Take breath. Soften your gaze. Feel your breath. Now look around and see what stands out. Your body will tell you once you start to listen and have some communication.

I learned all this from the meditation snacks taught by Savitri at Alive and Shine Center in Bellevue, WA. The centering is a great thing to do before you shop, and before you cook. It teaches you how to feel and intuit, rather than go by the repetition and information stored in the brain. It is great to have the information… just use it with feeling.

Start upping your cooking intuition and see what you create! And let me know. I’d love to hear from you!

Italian Veggies And Rice

Ingredients:

  • 1 organic zucchini
  • 1/2 organic onion
  • 1/2 pint organic olives, pitted
  • 2 stalks organic celery
  • 2 leaves organic chard
  • 1 organic baby bok choy
  • 1 organic tomato
  • 18 oz organic diced tomatoes (I like Jovial brand for taste and quality)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • basil, thyme, oregano, marjoram, rosemary
  • 1 cup organic jasmine rice

Dishes Used:

  • Pot and spoon
  • Knife and cutting board
  • Pan and spatula

Directions:

  1. Cook rice according to directions.
  2. Heat oil in pan and sauté onions 2-3 minutes.
  3. Chop and add the zucchini and celery to the onions.
  4. Then add spices, salt and pepper. Stir fry for 4-5 minutes or until zucchini starts looking cooked.
  5. Chop olives, bok choy and chard and add to stir fry. Add tomato sauce, and add more salt if needed. Stir fry another 3-4 minutes. Add chopped tomato. Cook 1 more minute.
  6. Remove from heat and serve over jasmine rice.
  7. To add a little variety, you can also mix in some Veganaise just before serving. Use about 1 heaping teaspoon per serving.

That’s it!

Veggie Fried Rice

veggiefriedrice

Chinese food is so good.

If it wasn’t for the MSG (and now GMOs, corn oil, garlic) we’d be eating Chinese once a week at least. My favorite? Fried Rice.

Apparently my little Sweet Pea also loves fried rice, and while I was taking the picture her little hand snuck in and took a taste. Fortunately, this was Daddy’s plate.

I used to love to eat Chinese and Japanese foods, and I’d even buy Asian foods such as seaweeds like nori, wakame, kombu… In fact, we used to have an incredibly delicious recipe for kombu soup that was nourishing and hearty. I just can’t post it, however, because the ingredients in that recipe are now too dangerous to eat.

Due to the high levels of radiation that are now found in the Pacific ocean because of the Fukushima disaster, the seaweeds and other native plants and products are contaminated, or possibly contaminated.  This includes fish and sea life. Just recently there are reports that radioactive cesium levels have jumped 9,000% in three days… and no one knows why. And there are reports that this radiation is being dumped into the sea.  And yet nuclear power plants are still being created and used. No one knows why.

So do your own research, but take care if you eat any Asian products or any fish from the Pacific.

And maybe buy a solar panel or two while you’re at it. ;)

But this dish is pretty safe, and it’s so yummy I couldn’t even take a picture without a fast little fist getting a bite to taste!

There are so many ways you can make this dish, and I’ve found this is the easiest way for me. As always, I make this with what I have on hand at the moment, so feel free to ad lib with what you have available.

This is great with chicken or tofu (I used the Roasted Tofu) or just veggies. And it is best eaten with chopsticks.

Veggie Fried Rice

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups cooked organic jasmine rice
  • 2 stalks organic celery, chopped
  • 1/2 onion, chopped
  • 1 orange or yellow organic bell pepper
  • 1/2 cup fresh organic snow peas or sugar snap peas
  • 2 cups organic spinach and arugula mix
  • 1 cup organic peas (optional)
  • 1 Tablespoon Bragg liquid aminos (or soy sauce / tamari)
  • 1/2 teaspoon organic ginger (fresh is best,  cut up really small, or powdered if you need)
  • 1/2 organic zucchini, sliced
  • 3-4 organic eggs, scrambled
  • salt and pepper to taste

Dishes Used:

  • Pan and spatula
  • Cutting board and knife

Directions:

  1. Heat veggie oil in pan and add onions. Cook 2-3 minutes. Add fresh ginger if using.
  2. Add zuchinni, peas, bell pepper, and celery. Stir fry for 4-5 minutes.
  3. Add sugar snap peas / snow peas, spinach/arugula mix.
  4. Add Bragg, powdered ginger (if using), salt and pepper, cooked rice.
  5. Add the scrambled eggs and mix well.
  6. Serve topped with fresh tomato, or just as is.

That’s it!

Super Fast Veggie Khichdi

veggiekhichdi

One pot, lots of yum.

I love this meal because it’s one of the easiest to make. One pot, everything goes in, and it comes out super yummy. It’s hearty, nutritious, and we don’t ever feel tired after eating it. Plus it’s very customizable to your tastes and preferences.

Add whatever veggies you want… the ones below are just options. Sometimes I use fennel or okra or turnips… I just use what I have on hand, but the list below is pretty standard. If you can have garlic, add it in with the onions. It’s great with garlic. I miss garlic.

I call it a Khichdi, but it is really a very loose interpretation of Indian Khichdi.

This dish was inspired by a really great company called Eastern Essence that sold a great organic khichdi. All their products are GMO-free, allergy-free, supported organic farming in India (where the use of GMOs and chemicals is getting pretty disastrous), and so it is helping support good companies and practices while being healthy and easy. It is Ayurvedically balanced and everything. We used to buy packages by the dozen b/c they were so easy to make, we felt good after eating them, and they tasted sooo good.

Unfortunately, not enough people knew about how extremely healthy and helpful this company was, so it is no longer running. However, I still believe they’ll come back. I’m not letting go of that dream! :)

A long time ago, it wasn’t such a big deal to get nutritious food. Your local farmer grew it for you, or it was in your own backyard garden. Once mass food production started though, the food quality went way down, due to many factors like overworking the fields, growing the same crop over and over in large quantities, herbicides, pesticides, and now GMOs which are genetically altered plants.

“It is now possible for plants to be engineered with genes taken from bacteria, viruses, insects, animals or even humans.”

-from an article by the Institute for Responsible Technology

 

Rice engineered with human genes?

Think you are vegetarian or vegan but eating non-organic veggies? Think again. Who knows, that rice may be your own descendant.

So when you are shopping, please support organic. It is not only helping YOU be healthier, but it is helping the earth, the farmers and companies who are trying to make a difference, and it will even help the economy by not supporting these big bio-tech companies who want to patent food.

“But I don’t have time for all this!” Me either. So just buy organic, and you don’t have to think about all this GMO stuff.

And this recipe: one pot and one spoon. That’s all the dishes you need. Oh, and a knife and cutting board if you want to add some more chopped veggies.

 

Super Fast Veggie Khichdi

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups organic rice (I use basmati, but jasmine is another good option), washed and rinsed
  • 3/4 cup organic red lentils, washed and rinsed
  • 1 small organic onion, diced
  • 1 organic carrot, chopped
  • 1 good handful organic green beans, chopped
  • 1 cup organic peas
  • 1 organic zucchini, chopped
  • 1 organic tomato, chopped
  • 1 head organic lettuce
  • organic cilantro for garnish
  • 1 teaspoon organic turmeric powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon organic cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon organic paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon organic mustard seeds
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • organic veggie oil, high-heat (like sunflower)
  • 2-4 cups water

Dished used:

  • Pot and spoon
  • Knife and cutting board

Directions:

  1. Heat oil in a large deep pan, or big pot.
  2. Add spices and stir until fragrant.
  3. Add rice and lentils and stir until well coated.
  4. Add onion and cook for 2-3 minutes.
  5. Add water slowly. It should cover the rice and lentils by about an inch or so.
  6. Add carrots, beans, peas and zucchini, and stir together.
  7. Cook for 20 min, stirring occasionally. Add water if needed. You’ll know it’s done b/c the rice is done and the lentils are getting soft and mushy.
  8. Once it’s cooked, add tomato and cilantro.
  9. Serve over a bed of lettuce (optional) and add flax seed oil on top.

That’s it!

 

 

Vegetable Pancakes

veggiepancakes

I’ve been trying to find the most appetizing, appealing ways to get lots of veggies into my daughter’s diet.

Then a wonderful thing happened.

The other day, a friend of ours drops by with a present. Now, this friend is an amazing cook and I hope I can persuade her to do a few guest posts for the wonderful recipes she has. She is one of those people who can really send love into food, and you feel it when you eat her meals!

She kept telling us about the wonderful qualities of a Cuisinart food processor, and how they are invaluable in a kitchen. I thought it sounded good, but I’m pretty simple here, and I thought a Vitamix blender and a scale were about it for me when it comes to kitchen gadgets.

Then she let me borrow one of hers.

Oh dear, it is SO useful.

I used it every few days or so, thanking her when I used it. I could make things so quickly that before had taken hours. I kept looking on Craigslist to buy one for myself, knowing she’d need hers back soon, but nothing was appearing so far.

Then there was a knock at the door.

And here she came, presenting us with a brand new Cuisinart 11! It was such a beautiful surprise! She has a beautiful heart, and a generous spirit.

So this recipe is dedicated to our friend, Zofia!

Thank you Zofia!

These pancakes are a great way to get extra veggies into your diet. My daughter loves pancakes. She loves latkes. So we merged those two ideas with veggies. You could also add apple (we have and it’s WONDERFUL) or any veggie that can grate well, like turnips, for example. This is the recipe we used tonight, and it was gooood.

 

Vegetable Pancakes

Ingredients:

  • 1 organic zucchini
  • 1 organic yellow squash
  • 1/2 onion, diced
  • 1 stalk organic fennel
  • 1 organic carrot
  • 1 cup organic spinach, chopped well (optional)
  • 3 organic potatoes (red or yukon gold)
  • 4 organic eggs
  • 4 Tablespoons gluten free flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • a little oil for frying

Dishes Used:

  • Cuisinart!! or grater 
  • Pan and spatula
  • Mixing bowl and spoon

Directions:

  1. Chop (into large pieces) the zucchini, squash, fennel, carrot and potatoes.
  2. Place them in the Cuisinart with the grater attachment and zap! They are grated.
  3. Either squeeze the grated veggies in a cheesecloth, or put them in a strainer, gently press water out, and let it stand for a few minutes.
  4. In a mixing bowl, combine veggies, eggs, onion, spinach (if using), salt and pepper. Then add flour and mix well.
  5. Heat the frying pan on medium heat. Once it is nice and toasty, put on a little oil. I usually only use oil for the first round, and after that no more. The pancakes don’t stick to our pans, so I prefer less oil, but do what works for you.
  6. Place several large spoonfuls of the veggie mix on the frying pan. They should sizzle right when you put them on (then you know the pan is hot enough).
  7. Cook for about 4 min, then flip and cook 4 more min. They should be golden brown on both sides and cooked through.
  8. Serve with salad, condiments and lots of love!

That’s it!

Lentil and Quinoa Patties

lentilandquinoapatties

I used to eat veggie burgers thinking they were much healthier than meat burgers.

Ha ha!

Then I learned about what was actually IN them. Many of the “good” ones have wheat, gluten or soy at least. The “bad” ones have all kinds of stuff like:

  • Yeast extract, which is basically MSG (read more here)
  • Textured soy protein, which is made using hexane – a byproduct of gasoline refining and is classified by the CDC as a neurotoxin. Here is an article about soy protein, and another one on textured vegetable protein
  • Corn products like corn oil or maltodextrin, “modified” corn starch (anything “modified” is not healthy)
  • Colors and preservatives

There are a couple of brands that are good, even for all-organic, gmo-free, gluten-free, dairy-free, garlic-free, corn-free me, but then there is the taste factor and the cost factor… The best ones are the Sunshine Burgers, but the taste is not really my favorite. They work in a pinch, and are the only ones I’ve found that I like at all.

So, after all that, I hadn’t had a veggie burger in quite some time. A friend of mine mentioned a quinoa/lentil burger she was going to try, and I thought, hmmm, why not try to make one?

Now, why am I so picky about things like yeast extract, modified corn starch (aside from the fact it’s corn which I’m avoiding), and colorings, etc?

Many of these products were made in a lab, not in a garden or in a kitchen, and so in my opinion they should stay in a lab, and not in someone’s meal. If you read the article above on yeast extract, you’ll see that it’s actually a modification of MSG, which is unhealthy, however, it’s able to be passed through even organic certifications because of a non-strict labeling law. Many of the additives to food, and processed foods are really quite toxic once you learn about them.

So watch out for the organic bouillons and broths and chips. If you are avoiding MSG, check for “yeast extract” before you buy. We found the organic bouillon we were using had it, which is how I learned about it.

Well, this recipe has no MSG, no gluten, etc. It will take longer to make than the others I’ve listed on the site, unless you make the quinoa and lentils ahead of time. Then you just have the mixing and frying time, which is much more doable when you have a toddler around. But it is worth the wait :)

 

Lentil and Quinoa Patties

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup organic red lentils
  • 1 cup organic quinoa
  • 1/2 cup organic onion, diced
  • 1 large or 2 small organic fennel stalks
  • 1 medium organic kale leaf, despined
  • 1/4 cup organic sunflower seeds
  • 1/4 cup organic hemp seeds
  • 1 organic egg
  • 7 Tablespoons gluten-free flour or breadcrumbs
  • 1 teaspoon organic tumeric powder
  • 1 teaspoon organic cumin powder
  • salt and pepper to taste

Dishes Used:

  • 2 pots and spoons
  • Mixing bowl and spatula
  • Frying pan and spatula

Directions:

  1. Wash/rinse quinoa.
  2. Bring 2 cups of water to a boil and add quinoa and a dash of salt. Simmer for 15-20 minutes.
  3. At the same time, bring 1 cup of water to a boil and add lentils, turmeric, cumin and some salt and pepper. Simmer for 15-20 min.
  4. While those are cooking, place onion, sunflower seeds, hemp seeds, fennel and kale into a food processor.
  5. Once the lentils are finished and cool enough to taste, then add them to the food processor and process until the mixture is a thick puree.
  6. Once the quinoa is finished, transfer it to a large mixing bowl.
  7. Add mixture to the quinoa and stir.
  8. Add the egg and combine well.
  9. Then add the flour, 1 Tablespoon at a time, until it reaches the consistency of a burger patty, although it is fine if it doesn’t hold together quite as well as a burger. It took me 7 Tablespoons, but don’t be surprised if you need a little more or less.
  10. Add some more salt (about 1 teaspoon) and some pepper (1/4 teaspoon or so) to the mixture. Combine well.
  11. Heat the frying pan on medium heat and put in a little oil.
  12. Using your spoon, spoon over some patties! They will cook for about 4 minutes on each side (unless your frying pan isn’t all the way heated yet, then they will cook longer). You’ll know when they are ready to flip as they will stay together and the cooked side will be golden brown. They should be a nice golden brown on both sides when they are finished.
  13. Serve either as you would with burger patties on a gluten-free bun with toppings, or as a pretty stack with maybe a hint of ketchup, mustard or veganaise.

That’s it!

Roasted Tofu with Veggies

RoastedTofuWithVeggies

Tofu was never my favorite.

Bean curd just didn’t sound appetizing, and most of the ways I had it prepared were really awful. There was one Tandoori Tofu that PCC makes that is ok, but is too spicy for me.

Then I read a recipe on Gluten-Free Girl’s site (I just love her recipes). I tried it and now not only do I like tofu, but my family does as well. However, we use it as more than just a appetizer, and we’ve changed it just a little bit.

This tofu reminds me of paneer (Indian style cheese) which we used to eat all the time. When it was cooked just right it was squeaky when chewed. So we called it Sqeaky Cheese. The tofu isn’t quite squeaky like that, but it is a similar texture and can be used in place of paneer, if cooked just right. So if you are dairy-free and you want something like paneer, this recipe might be your answer.

The story of tofu and my daughter is much like Green Eggs and Ham by Dr. Seuss. “Would you like some tofu, Sweet Pea?”

“I do not like them
in a house.
I do not like them
with a mouse.
I do not like them
here or there.
I do not like them
anywhere.”

We told her about how if she tries them then she might like them, just like the book. She wouldn’t budge. Then her sweet friend came over to play and we served some roasted tofu. Her friend ate them happily as my daughter watched. The next time I made that tofu, she tried them, loved them, and now will eat them here, there or anywhere!

The tofu is good by itself, but add it to a veggie dish and it’s fantastic! Both are better. There is a tofu-veggie-synergy that takes effect and it is a glorious meal.

The veggie dish is based on our last-minute-have-to-feed-everyone-quick dinner where I pull together whatever veggies I have and stir fry them. We try to make it with rice or quinoa, but we don’t always get that far.

As for the veggies, you can really add whatever veggies you have, just add them in order of how long they need to cook to be tender. Add potatoes or carrots before spinach, for example. We usually add okra as it is one of our favorites.

Play with it some, and enjoy :)

 

Roasted Tofu with Veggies

Ingredients:

Tofu:

  • 1 package organic extra firm tofu (PLEASE get organic and avoid GMO soy!)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 teaspoon (or more) of paprika
  • 2 Tablespoons organic high-heat oil like sunflower/safflower

Veggies:

  • 1 handful organic green beans, chopped into bite sized pieces
  • 2 cups fresh or frozen organic okra, sliced
  • 1 organic carrot, sliced
  • 2 stalks organic celery, sliced
  • 1 organic zucchini, sliced
  • 1 organic tomato, diced
  • 1/2 organic onion, diced
  • 1/2 package organic frozen peas, or fresh if you have them
  • 1/2 organic turnip
  • 2 handfuls organic baby spinach
  • 1 teaspoon organic paprika
  • 1 teaspoon organic cumin
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 cups cooked rice (cook the rice with salt/pepper and paprika for extra flavor)

Dishes Used:

  • Pot and spoon (for the rice)
  • Pan and spatula
  • Knife and cutting board
  • Fork

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 450F and place parchment paper on a baking sheet.
  2. Drain and cut tofu into bite sized pieces.
  3. Place tofu into a mixing bowl and pour 2 Tablespoons of a high-heat oil over them. Then sprinkle salt, pepper and paprika over them. You can add more paprika, it makes it even better.
  4. Gently toss together until tofu is well coated.
  5. Arrange tofu on the baking sheet, and put it in for 15 minutes.
  6. While that is cooking, fire up a burner to medium heat and add some oil and the onions.
  7. Cook the onions for 2-3 minutes, then begin adding the veggies in order of longest-time-to-cook to shortest like so:
    turnip, beans, carrot, celery, zucchini, okra, peas, tomato, spinach
  8. Add salt, pepper, cumin and paprika. Then add some more paprika.
  9. Mix well and cook for another 5-10 minutes, until the turnips look nicely cooked.
  10. By now, the tofu will be ready, so take it out, flip the pieces over one by one using a fork, then place them back in the oven for 10-15 minutes, until they are golden brown.
  11. Serve the veggies over rice and place the tofu on top. Add a healthy squirt of organic Flax Seed Oil  if you have it.

That’s it!

Ooo La La, Crepes!

crepes

Crepes is a magic word around here.

We have searched high and low for recipes, ingredients and ideas for how to make perfect gluten-free, dairy-free crepes that are actually good. Months and months of testing, and of eating trial batches, until we finally found them.

Yum.

We eat them at least once a week and we have soooo many toppings (coming soon) ranging from breakfast to dinnertime.

Our love for crepes started several years ago and we bought a Le Creuset crepe pan to celebrate this newfound love. We couldn’t find a “crepe spreader” (or “wooden rabot” for the real crepe enthusiasts) so we use a regular wooden spatula that is quite thin and it works great. Many recipes say to use a “swirling” motion with the pan to spread out the batter, but with a heavy Le Creuset pan, we’d been needing new wrists within the month. The spatula is much easier.

When my daughter and I ended up with gluten and dairy allergies, we thought the crepes were gone for good, but, thanks to my crepe-tastic husband, we found a way around it! We tried with so many different gluten free flour blends and single flours, and he would not give up until we made it perfect. Which was fine, because even a not-perfect crepe is still a crepe. We tried with many different oils and many of them came out either too mushy or not a great taste.

Then we finally found THE gluten-free flour blend and THE shortening.

Life became much more fun after that.

The first crepe we tried with these new ingredients were beyond delicious. They were crepe perfection. Crepe-tastic. Ooo, la la!

And even better news. They freeze really well. Once they are finished cooking, let them cool, then place some parchment paper between each one, and stick them in a freezer bag. They will last in the freezer for a week or so and still taste great. (They’ve never made it beyond a week in our house, so longer than a week is simply untested.) You can rewarm them in a 350F oven for 10 min.

We usually make a triple or quadruple batch and freeze what we don’t eat so we have several more meals ready to thaw at a moments notice.

You can’t even find crepes better than these in a restaurant. We’ve tried. Especially if they are gluten and dairy free. Then they just look at you and say, “Non.”

Merci.

So, with much joy, we bring you the best allergy-free crepes we’ve found so far!

 

Crepes

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup gluten-free flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 organic eggs
  • 1/2 cup organic almond milk
  • 1/2 cup filtered water
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 Tablespoons organic coconut oil + a little more for oiling the pan

Dishes Used:

  • Crepe pan (or regular pan) and spatula (or rabot if you must)
  • Whisk
  • Bowl
  • Measuring cups
  • Fork

Directions:

  1. Put the flour, baking powder and salt into a large mixing bowl.
  2. Crack the eggs into a measuring cup and beat.
  3. Pour eggs into the dry ingredients and mix with a fork until well combined.
  4. Combine milk and water and optionally any sweetener you would like, and pour slowly into the mixture stirring well and mushing out any lumps. When the mixture becomes runny enough, switch over to using a whisk.
  5. Once all the liquid is mixed in, whisk well until all lumps are gone.
  6. Preheat the crepe pan on medium heat.
  7. Melt the coconut oil in a little pan or oven-proof dish on medium-low heat.
  8. Whisk melted coconut oil into batter. Mix well.
  9. Put a little coconut oil on the crepe pan and spread it out. Then add about 2/3 cup of batter (depending on the size of your pan) and use your spatula to spread it out evenly.
  10. Let it cook until the underside is golden brown (2-3 minutes), then flip and cook until both sides are golden brown.
  11. Fold in half, then in half again (quarters) and place on a warm plate. You can, of course, leave them open and wrap them around the filling as another option.
  12. Repeat steps 9-11 until you are out of batter.
  13. Serve with your choice of a yummy topping! To make it quick, try slicing some bananas and strawberries and serve with a dollop of almond yogurt or make blueberry compote.

That’s it!

 

 

 

Quinoa Salad

quinoasalad

It is 80 degrees!

A warm, summer day, and it’s still June. What a wonderful gift for the Pacific Northwest! It was so warm in fact, that I couldn’t stand to cook for long in the heat. We needed something good, fast and simple for a late lunch.

Then I wondered, “I wonder what my other mom friends are cooking today?”

A great person to ask for good recipes is another mom. Mom’s just know how things work with children, husbands, and time efficiency, so they know what is healthy, yummy and fast. I actually learned this recipe from a darling friend of mine who also has a 2 year old. Her daughter and mine are great friends, and they play a lot together. I’ve learned so much from her and her wonderful cooking ideas!

You see, being a mom, I want to cook healthy meals and keep my family as happy and strong as possible. We haven’t been able to eat out, so fortunately we aren’t exposed to all the GMO and preservatives that are out there. There are so many problems with all the toxic herbicides and pesticides, the GMOs and the preservatives. Since the toxicity level has been rising steadily upwards since WW2, the rate of diseases has also been rising steadily. Autism, cancer, even just “brain fog” has been steadily increasing in the past 60 years.

So eating out has been off-limits not only for our allergy-free diet, but also because of the high toxicity levels in the food out there. I remembered what eating out was like… you order food, someone else makes it for you, you don’t have to do dishes, and you get to try something new!

Well, we finally did it. We heard about a place that is organic, gluten-free, soy-free and can cater to our no-garlic, no-corn, no GMO diet. If you live in the Seattle area, you are in luck! It’s called Hugo’s and it’s in Redmond. We just didn’t know where in Redmond it was located. We had just left the local craft store and we were hungry, so we tried to find it via our GPS. No luck. We decided to just go home and we could try it another day, but as we pulled out from the parking lot where we’d stopped to search the GPS, we saw it. Right there next to us.

Now that’s some good manifesting.

It was meant to be.

It was so good that my daughter ate ALL the flax crackers they served, and she even ordered more. She loved them so much that we made an order to go. She loved the server, Ben, so much that she gave him a huge hug and a flower. The food was so good, and organic. And allergy-free. We are all big fans.

And now we can finally eat out again! (and I am dancing for joy!)

But, home cooking is still best, and even though I love a night off from cooking (this was the first time in a YEAR we’d eaten out!) I do prefer for meals to be cooked by Daddy and Mommy. Or Momma as my daughter is suddenly and inexplicably calling me.

So enjoy the easiness and freshness of this lovely salad that is perfect on a warm summer day.

 

Quinoa Salad

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 large handfuls of baby spinach, washed (can substitute lettuce or other green leafy veggie)
  • 1/2 cucumber, diced
  • 1 stalk of fennel, diced
  • 1 large handful of fresh plum tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 stalk celery
  • 3 Tablespoons sunflower seeds
  • 4 Tablespoons Balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • juice of half a lemon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt (or to taste)
  • cracked pepper

Dishes Used:

  • Pot and spoon
  • Bowl and strainer
  • Cuisinart
  • Knife and cutting board

Directions:

  1. Soak quinoa in a good fruit and veggie rinse (I recommend Sunrider’s b/c it is non-toxic and works well) for 5 min and rinse. You can soak longer if you like. (You can cook the quinoa ahead of time, then this is a super quick recipe. Cold quinoa just out of the fridge or room temperature quinoa both work great for this recipe.)
  2. Heat up 2 cups water to boiling, then add rinsed quinoa and 1/2 teaspoon salt.
  3. Turn to medium-low and cook for 20 minutes. Add more water if necessary.
  4. Once it is finished, spoon it into a ceramic or glass bowl to cool completely.
  5. Place spinach in a Cuisinart and pulse until it is finely chopped.
  6. Add chopped spinach, and all the rest of the ingredients in with the cooled quinoa. Mix well and serve.

You can change up what veggies you put into the salad. Sometimes we add mint or diced raw apple or kohlrabi. Experiment with what you like and have fun!

That’s it!