November 16, 2011

Cream of Mushroom Soup

This can be served alone or you can use it in replace of canned cream of mushroom soup in any recipe. This recipe makes a large enough batch that often at least 1/2 can be saved for future use. It also freezes well. Fantastic recipe.

3 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon butter
1 1/2 pounds mushrooms (any kind), cleaned and chopped very fine
1/2 cup onion, diced
3 tablespoons white wine
5 tablespoons of whole wheat flour (or cornstarch for gluten-free)
1 teaspoon dried thyme (or 1 tablespoon fresh chopped thyme)
4 1/2 cups organic chicken stock or vegetable stock
1/2 - 1 teaspoon sea salt
3/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 cup heavy cream (plain yogurt works well as a substitute)
1/2 teaspoon salt (if needed)

Heat the olive oil and butter in a soup pot over medium high heat. Add the mushrooms and onion. Cook, stirring often, until mushrooms are wilted (about 5 minutes). Stir together white wine, flour, thyme, stock, sea salt and black pepper. Add to mushroom mixture. Stir well. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer until slightly thickened (about 20 minutes). Remove from heat. Stir in the heavy cream and add more salt to taste. Enjoy!
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October 20, 2011

Ultimate Breakfast Biscuit

These will get gobbled up. They are packed with protein, healthy fats and very little sweetener.

1 cup whole grain spelt flour
1 cup almond flour (I ground up 1 cup of almonds in a food processor)
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 cup organic dark chocolate chips
4 tablespoons organic agave sweetener or honey
6 tablespoons apple sauce
1/4 cup virgin coconut oil, melted
4 tablespoons unsweetened almond milk (or milk of your choose)
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup berries

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Combine dry ingredients, including chocolate chips in a bowl and stir well. Combine wet ingredients in a separate bowl and combine well. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir just until combined. Spoon a rounded 1/4 cup of batter onto baking sheet and press berries into the top (I will add more next time, two on top were not enough). You'll need to leave about 2 inches in between each biscuit. Bake for 15-18 minutes. Allow to coll for a few minutes then place on a wire rack to cool further. These are best eaten fresh, otherwise store in air tight container and chill. Warm gently in oven to refresh. Enjoy!
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October 9, 2011

Baked Tofu Bites with Dipping Sauce

These make a delicious lunch or snack. They are also wonderful tossed onto a salad!

1 - 16oz package organic non-gmo extra firm tofu
olive oil for drizzling
salt and pepper to taste

Dipping Sauce (optional):
3 tablespoons tamari, soy sauce or Bragg's liquid aminos
2 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
1/2 teaspoon sesame oil

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Chop the tofu into 1 inch squares and place them in a bowl. Drizzle olive oil over the tofu and gently mix. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and gently mix again. Place squares of tofu on baking sheet and place in the oven. Bake for 15 minutes, flip tofu over and bake for 15 more minutes (a total of 30 minutes). Mix ingredients for the dipping sauce. When tofu comes out of the oven you can dip the pieces in the sauce and eat or toss them on top of a salad. Enjoy!
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October 1, 2011

Baked Oatmeal

You will never need another baked oatmeal recipe again! This is packed with whole grain extra thick oats, all kinds of fruit, protein (egg, nuts and milk of your choose) and the wonderful unrefined sweetener maple syrup.

1 cup extra thick rolled oats (gluten-free if need)
1/4 cup chopped walnuts or pecans, lightly toasted, divided
1/2 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
pinch of salt
1/8 - 1/4 cup maple syrup (Depending on the sweetness you like.)
1 cup organic whole milk (or any other milk you use)
1 large egg, lightly beaten
2 tablespoons butter or coconut oil melted and cooled slightly
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2-3 ripe bananas, peeled and sliced 1/2 inch thick
1 cup blueberries or raspberries (fresh or frozen)

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Lightly grease a 2-quart baking dish. In a medium bowl, combine the rolled oats, half of the nuts, baking powder, cinnamon and salt. Stir with a fork to combine. In a liquid measuring cup, combine the maple syrup, milk, egg, butter and vanilla. Spread the sliced bananas in a single layer over the bottom of the baking dish. Top with half of the berries. Sprinkle the dry oat mixture over the fruit in an even layer. Pour the liquid ingredients evenly over the oats. Sprinkle the remaining nuts and berries over the top. Bake for 20-30 minutes (mine always takes around 20 minutes), until the top is browned and the oats have set. Let cool 10 minutes before serving. You may enjoy drizzling milk of your choose over the warm oatmeal. Enjoy!
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September 10, 2011

Homemade Goldfish Crackers

We made bear shaped. These are a fun cracker for kids to make from start to finish. I was ready to take the quick route and cut the cookies all into strips and then squares, but luckily my girls jumped in and took over and cut each little bear out one-by-one. This was our first time making these and they make a yummy snack!

8 ounces, weight sharp cheddar cheese, shredded (2 cups)
4 tablespoons butter, cut into cubes (next batch I want to try 2 tablespoons coconut butter and 2 tablespoons butter)
1 cup whole wheat pastry flour (next batch I want to try whole grain spelt flour)
3/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons cold water

Pulse everything (except the water) together in the food processor until the dough resembles coarse sand (we used our very clean hands). Pulse in water, 1 tablespoon at a time (we again used our hands). The dough will be crumbly. Don't add extra water. Just keep working the dough until it sticks together. You may want to wrap in plastic and chill for 20 minutes in the refrigerator to make the dough easier to work with. Roll out the dough and cut into desired shapes. We really had to work the dough with our hands to flatten and make it stick together. You can use a toothpick to make the eyes and a smile if desired. Place on a cookie sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for about 15 minutes, or until crispy. Makes approximately 6 dozen crackers. Enjoy!
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September 5, 2011

Caprese Skewers

2 cups cherry tomatoes
1/2 pound fresh mozzarella cheese, cubed
1/2 cup fresh basil leaves, lightly torn
olive oil for drizzling
balsamic vinegar for drizzling

Begin with a fresh basil leaf, spear the basil followed by a cherry tomato and mozzarella cheese piece, as desired. Repeat with each additional skewer. Generously drizzle the olive oil and balsamic vinegar over the skewers. Enjoy!
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September 1, 2011

Peaches 'N' Cream

Amazingly refreshing and guilt free!! This is so very, very good.

Complements: Diet for a New World

6 ripe peaches, stones removed and sliced into thin wedges
2 cups raspberries, blueberries, strawberries or other berries in season (optional)
1 cup raw almonds
3/4 cup almond milk or other milk
1/4 cup pure maple syrup
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/4 cup raw almonds, toasted and slivered or chopped

In individual goblets, layer the peaches and berries. For the almond cream: blanch the almonds in boiling water for 30 seconds. Drain and plunge the almonds into cold water. Drain, and squeeze the almonds between your fingertips to remove the skins. Compost or discard the skins. Put the almonds, almond milk, maple syrup and vanilla in a blender and blend until smooth, about 2 minutes. Pour the almond cream over the tops of the fruit and sprinkle with the toasted almonds. Chill until ready to serve, up to 3 hours. Enjoy!
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August 31, 2011

Summer Squash Sloppy Joes

1 pound of organic ground chicken breasts (or a 12-oz package of soy crumbles)
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1/2 sweet onion, chopped fine
1 carrot, shredded
1 1/2 cups summer squash, grated (I used 2 small zucchinis)
6 - ounce can tomato paste
3/4 - 1 cup water
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 - 1 tablespoon chili powder
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon dried oregano
salt and pepper to taste
grated cheese (optional)
6 whole grain hamburger buns, toasted (or gluten-free buns if needed)

In a large saute pan over medium heat, heat the olive oil until shimmering. Add the meat and cook 5 minutes. Add the chopped onion and cook, stirring occasionally, about two minutes. Add the carrot and summer squash to the mixture, mixing well and cooking another 2 minutes. Add the tomato paste and water, stirring to dissolve completely. Add the garlic, chili powder, paprika, oregano, salt and pepper. Simmer for 15 minutes. Place on hamburger buns and top with cheese. Enjoy!
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August 30, 2011

Corn Fritters with Tomato Avocado Relish

For the corn fritters:
4 tablespoons finely chopped onion
2 egg yolks
1 cup fresh or canned corn kernels
2 tablespoons melted butter
1/4 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1/4 cup corn flour (or corn meal)
1/2 cup unbleached flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
4 egg whites
safflower oil to fry in

For the relish:
1 large tomato, cored and chopped
1 tablespoon minced fresh basil
1 clove garlic, minced
Juice of half a lime (about 2 tablespoons)
1 1/2 teaspoon olive oil
1 1/2 teaspoon white wine vinegar
coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
1 ripe avocado, pitted and diced

Mix the onion with the egg yolk, corn and butter. Combine the flour, salt, baking powder and cayenne. Add the flour mixture to the bowl and mix well. Beat the egg whites until stiff. Stir a quarter of the egg whites into the corn mixture to loosen the batter. Fold in the remaining whites.

To make the salsa, combine all of the ingredients except the avocado in a medium bowl and mix well to combine. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve. Just before serving, mix in the avocado.

Place a large skillet over medium heat. Add just enough oil to barely cover the bottom of the pan and heat until sizzling hot. Scoop the batter into the skillet a heaping tablespoon (I used 2 tablespoons) at a time, cooking the fritters in batches of 4 or 5 so that they are not touching. Fry 1-2 minutes per side, until golden brown. Transfer the cooked cakes to wire rack and repeat with the remaining batter.

Serve immediately topped with the relish. Enjoy!
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August 27, 2011

Cannellini Bean & Artichoke Spread

A great spread to make ahead and serve for a summer meal. Use it as a dip for fresh harvested veggies or spread it on sprouted grain toast and top with a tomato slice!

1 garlic clove roughly chopped
1 shallot roughly chopped
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1/3 cup olive oil
1 - 14 ounce can of cannellini beans, drained and rinsed (organic if possible)
1 - 14 ounce can of artichoke hearts or artichoke bottoms, drained
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
10-12 tarragon leaves (optional)

Place all ingredients in food processor with S blade and pulse to combine. Turn off processor, scrape down sides of bowl and then blend again until combines. Enjoy!
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August 22, 2011

Veggie Chop Salad with Raw Ranch Dressing

Another tasty raw salad to eat during harvest time and hot summer days. Make up a batch and eat from it throughout the week. I even tossed it on top of brown rice, added some walnuts and it was a great lunch.

1 cup raw diced carrots
1 cup raw diced celery
1 cup raw diced red pepper
1 cup fresh or frozen peas
1 cup green beans, diced and lightly steamed
1 cup shelled edamame, cooked as per package (you can lightly steam them along with the green beans, about 2-3 minutes)
Salad greens for base of salad (optional)

Prepare all chopped veggies. Combine all veggies in large bowl. Toss the salad with Raw Ranch Dressing (recipe follows).

Raw Ranch Dressing:
2 small stalks celery
3/4 cup raw cashews or Brazil nuts, soaked for 30 minutes (Place the nuts in warm water and let sit (30 mins) and then drain the water)
1/4 of an avocado
1 cup filtered water
juice of one small lemon or 3 tablespoons
3 tablespoons fresh dill or 1 teaspoon dry dill
2 small chives, roughly chopped
2 small stems of fresh oregano or 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
2 fresh basil leaves or 1/4 dried basil
1 small clove garlic
1/2 teaspoon sea salt or to taste

Place all ingredients in high speed blender and combine until creamy and smooth. If using dried herbs, let the dressing rest for 10 minutes to allow the flavours of the dried herbs to emerge. Serve alongside salad or toss the chopped salad with dressing to coat and spoon onto bed of greens. You can store the dressing and veggies separate until ready to eat. Once tossed, the salad is best eaten immediately. Enjoy!
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July 14, 2011

Fresh Berry Tart with a Raw Nutty Oat Crust

Fantastic, fantastic good wholesome whole foods fantastic! This qualifies for a dessert, snack or even lunch. A treat that you must serve more then once in a summer.

Adapted from: The Whole Life Nutrition Cookbook

1 cup raw pecans
1 cup rolled oats (if you are gluten sensitive then use gluten-free oats)
1 cup medjool dates, pitted
1/4 cup butter
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon (optional)
1/4 teaspoon cardamom

Berry Filling:
1 1/2 cup organic berry juice
2 tablespoons corn starch
2 tablespoons maple syrup
2 cups fresh organic berries, such as raspberries, blueberries, and strawberries

To make the crust, place the pecans and rolled oats in a food processor fitted with the "s" blade. Process until ground, then add the pittled medjool dates, butter and spices and process until well combined. Place into an 8x8 inch square baking dish and firmly press evenly into the bottom of the pan. Place into the refrigerator to chill while you are making the filling. To make the filling, place the berry juice, corn starch and maple syrup into a small saucepan. Place pan over medium heat. Bring mixture to a boil, stirring frequently. Turn heat down and cook until the mixture is thick and clear, stirring frequently. Remove pan from heat and let cool for about 5 minutes. Wash and dry berries and spread evenly over crust, then pour sauce mixture over the top of the berries. Chill for about 20 minutes before serving. Tart will keep covered in refrigerator for up to 3 days. Top with whip cream if you desire. Enjoy!
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July 12, 2011

Cabbage Salad with Cilantro Vinaigrette

Here is a refreshing cabbage salad. This is one of my favorites. It is so easy and packed full of whole and healthy foods. You can serve this salad with most any dish. The best part is storing the leftovers in the refrigerator and enjoy eating it throughout the week as a snack. Or you can add any source of protein to the salad (marinated tofu, baked chicken pieces, ground nuts or garbanzo beans) and it becomes a satisfying lunch! Cabbage is a rich source of powerful phytochemicals. Raw cabbage is also very detoxifying to the body, improving digestion and elimination, while killing harmful bacteria and viruses in the gut.

Complements: The Whole Life Nutrition Cookbook

4 cups chopped Napa or Savoy cabbage
4 green onions, finely sliced
1 large carrot, grated
1/2 cup sunflower seeds (or any chopped up nuts!)

1/4 cup chopped cilantro
4 tablspoons extra virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons brown rice vinegar
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
pinch cayenne pepper

Place cabbage, green onions, grated carrot, and toasted sunflower seeds into large bowl. Place ingredients for dressing into a blender and blend until smooth. Pour dressing over salad and toss well. Again, I store the salad in the fridge and eat from it for many days. Enjoy!
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Sun Dried Berry Fruit Leather

Get loads of seasonal berries while you can! Support your local berry growers and pick them yourself or buy from a farmers market close to you. This recipe is great to do with kids. You have to have a bright sunny summer day and it takes some patients, but it is well worth the wait.

4-5 cups fresh berries (3 cups pureed)
1 tablespoon honey (optional)

Place the fresh berries into a blender with the honey. Blend until the berries are a smooth consistency. You should have 3 cups of fruit puree. If you would like you can press the puree through a cheese cloth to remove the seeds (this will give you a nice smooth fruit leather). I did not do this. I driedthe fruit with the seeds and all. Place a piece of wax paper onto an edged baking sheet (15x12 inch)(or any 15x12 dish with a slight rim around it). Pour the pureed fruit onto the wax paper. It should be about 1/4 inch thick. Place the dish in full sun for 6-8 hours. When it is all dry (the kids checked on it every hour or so) peel the fruit leather off the paper and enjoy!
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April 10, 2011

Mock Tuna Salad

This is a very delectable sandwich spread. You can spread it on toast or use it as a dip. It is rich in healthy fats and high in protein.

1 (28 oz) can organic garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
1/2 avocado, mashed (I used the whole avocado and would highly recommend you doing the same :))
1/2 cup onion, finely diced
4 celery stalks, finely diced
1/2 cup diced dill pickles
garlic powder to taste
salt and pepper to taste

Process the beans in a chopper until they look like, well, tuna. You don't want to over process, you still want to have some texture from the beans. I used a potato masher and it worked great. Combine the beans with the mashed avocado, onions, celery and diced dill pickles. Add garlic powder, salt and pepper to taste. Combine all ingredients in bowl and mix well. Enjoy!

April 4, 2011

Chocolate Mousse Cake

Here is an extremely satisfying chocolate dessert. It is high in fat and protein (whole food sources), but low in sugar and it uses no flour.

Compliments: Modified from
For the bottom layer:
6 tablespoons butter
7 ounces bittersweet chocolate (or 3/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips)
1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 large eggs, separated
pinch of salt
1/3 cup brown sugar, packed

For the middle layer:
2 tablespoons cocoa powder
5 tablespoons hot water
7 ounces bittersweet chocolate (or 3/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips)
1 1/2 cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon raw cane sugar
pinch of salt

For the top layer:
1/2 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons honey

For garnish: Chocolate curls, cocoa powder or chocolate chips

To make the bottom layer, butter the bottom and sides of a 9-inch springform pan. Center a rack in the oven and preheat to 325 degrees. Combine the butter and chocolate in a a large heatproof bowl set over simmering water. Stir occasionally until the mixture is smooth. Remove from the heat and let cool slightly, about 5 minutes. Whisk in the vanilla and egg yolks. Set aside. In a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat the egg whites and salt on medium speed until foamy, about 30 seconds. Crumble the brown sugar into the mixing bowl. Beat until incorporated, about 15 seconds. Continue to beat on high speed until stiff peaks form. Using a whisk, mix one-third of the beaten egg whites to the chocolate mixture to lighten it. Fold in the remaining egg whites gently with a rubber spatula until no streaks remain. Pour the batter into the prepared springform pan and smooth the top with a spatula. Bake until the cake has risen, is firm around the edges and the center has just set but is still soft, about 14-16 minutes. Transfer the cake to a wire rack to cool completely, at least 1 hour. Do not remove the cake from the pan.

To make the second layer, whisk together the cocoa powder and hot water in a small bowl; set aside. Melt the chocolate in a heatproof bowl set over simmering water, stirring occasionally until smooth. Once melted, remove from the heat and let cool slightly, 2-5 minutes. In the clean bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whip the cream, sugar and salt on medium speed until the mixture begins to thicken, about 30 seconds. Increase the speed to high and whip until soft peaks form when the whisk is lifted. Whisk in the cocoa powder mixture until smooth. Using a whisk, mix one-third of the whipped cream to the chocolate mixture to lighten it. Fold in the remaining whipped cream gently with a rubber spatula until no streaks remain. Pour the mousse into the springform pan over the cooled cake. Gently smooth the top with a spatula. Wipe the inside edge of the pan to remove any drips. refrigerate for at least 15 minutes while preparing the top layer.

To make the top layer use a clean bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Whip the heavy cream and honey at medium speed until it begins to thicken. Increase the speed to high and whip until soft peaks form when the whisk is lifted. Spoon the whipped cream over the middle layer. Smooth the top with an offset spatula. Return the cake to the refrigerator and chill until set, at least 2 1/2 hours. You can top with chocolate curls, powdered cocoa or chocolate chips. Enjoy!

March 23, 2011

Baked Creamy Chicken (or Tofu) Taquitos

These are delicious! Whether you are baking them with chicken or tofu (frozen tofu, thawed takes on the texture of chicken) you will definitely need to have a second serving. The picture above is using tofu. We also love using the recipe with chicken. You really can't tell much of a difference.

1/3 cup (3 oz) cream cheese
1/4 cup salsa
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon granulated garlic
3 tablespoons chopped cilantro
2 tablespoons sliced green onions
2 cups shredded cooked chicken (or frozen and then thawed and shredded tofu, see notes below)
1 cup grated pepperjack cheese
1-2 teaspoons of oil (I use safflower)
small corn tortillas (8-10)
shredded cheddar (for topping)
topped avocados and tomatoes (optional for garnish)

*Note: To make tofu have the consistency of chicken you want to start by freezing a package of extra firm organic tofu. After it is completely frozen (it takes at least 24 hours) remove the tofu from the package and lay on a few paper towels that are covering a plate. Then top the tofu with a few more paper towels and then a plate. The plate will help press gently down on the tofu and the paper towels will absorb any liquid that is removed from the tofu as it thaws. After the tofu is thawed tear off pieces the size of diced chicken.

Heat oven to 425 degrees. Heat cream cheese over low heat. As it begins to melt add the salsa, lime juice, cumin, chili powder, onion powder, garlic, cilantro and green onions. When the cream cheese has melted add the chicken or tofu and the pepperjack cheese. Combine well. You can prepare this step ahead of time. Just keep the mixture in the fridge. Heat a skillet on medium high heat. Add enough oil just to cover the bottom of the pan (about 1 teaspoon). Place a corn tortilla in the pan. Heat about 30 seconds. This will soften the tortilla and allow you to fold it without it tearing. Remove the tortilla from the pan and place a good amount of chicken/tofu mixture on the lower third of the tortilla, keeping it about 1/2 inch from the edges. Then roll it up as tight as you can. Place seam side down on the baking sheet. Lay all the taquitos on the baking sheet (I used a pan with edges) and make sure they are not touching each other (mine touched and they were still wonderful, just not as crisp around all the edges). Place pan in oven and bake for 15 minutes or until crisp and the ends start to get golden brown. Remove the pan and sprinkle the taquitos with shredded sharp cheddar cheese (It doesn't take a lot). Broil the tops of the taquitos for 1-2 minutes. (You'll place the cookie sheet with the taquitos about 2 inches from the top of your oven and make sure you oven is set to "broil") Serve with sliced avocados and chopped tomatoes. Enjoy!
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March 13, 2011

Vanilla Roasted Walnuts

Walnuts don't only look like a brain, but they are high in omega 3 fatty acid which is essential for supporting and nourishing the brain. Be careful not to eat the whole bowl in one sitting!

Complements: (This is a fantastic website for gluten-free recipes. She uses primarily almond flour in her baking)

2 cups walnuts, raw
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 tablespoons honey (or agave nectar)
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1-2 vanilla beans (I use 1/2-1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract if I don't have the beans on hand)
dash cinnamon, ground (optional)

Place walnuts and oil in a cast iron skillet and turn heat to high. As soon as you hear the slightest sizzle, turn heat down to medium or low. Toast walnuts a few minutes until they smell nice and nutty. Add honey (or agave) and distribute around pan stirring, cook for a minute or two, then add salt. Scrape the beans out of the vanilla pod and stir into walnuts. Remove walnuts from pan and add just a dash of cinnamon if you like. Enjoy!
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March 12, 2011

Spelt Scones


2 1/4 cups whole grain spelt flour
1/2 cup raw organic cane sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons butter
1 egg
1/2 cup organic buttermilk (or organic unsweetened soy milk works great!)
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup chocolate chips or berries

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt in large bowl. Add the butter and with a pastry blender or two knives cut the butter in until it is well combined or resembles course crumbs. In a sperate bowl stir together the egg, buttermilk and vanilla. Add to the flour mixture and gently combine. Form the dough into 8 balls (I shaped mine into triangle shapes) and place on baking sheet at least 2 inches apart (they expand!). Bake until golden brown about 15 minutes. Enjoy!
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February 14, 2011

Three Bean Chili

Complements: The Whole Life Nutrition Cookbook

1 cup pinto beans
1 cup kidney beans
1 cup black beans
8-10 cups water

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
5 cloves garlic, crushed
4 large carrots, peeled and sliced
1 large green bell pepper, chopped
1 tablespoon cumin
1 tablespoon chili powder
2 teaspoons dried oregano
28-ounce can diced tomatoes
14-ounce can tomato sauce
1/2-1 cups bean cooking liquid or water
2 teaspoons sea salt
2-4 tablespoons cream cheese (optional)(I added this to the recipe. It makes a nice creamy chili.)
shredded cheese for topping (I added this as well. :))

Rinse the beans and place them into a large bowl. Add at least twice as much water as there are beans and soak overnight or for 6 - 8 hours. Drain off all of the soaking water from the beans, rinse well, and place into an 8 quart pot with the water. Simmer for about 1 to 1 1/2 hours or until beans are tender and cooked, set aside. (You can use canned beans if you would like. Use one can of each bean.) Heat a large 8-quart stockpot over medium heat. Add olive oil and onions; saute for about 5 minutes or until onions are soft. Then add the crushed garlic, sliced carrots, chopped green bell pepper, cumin, chili powder, and oregano; saute for another 3 minutes or so. Then add the diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, bean cooking liquid (I didn't add any extra water, because I wanted a thicker chili. You can add what you need to get the consistency you want), and cooked beans. Simmer for about 1 hour. (After I sauteed the vegetables I added all the ingredients to a crock pot and cooked for 4 hours on high) At the end of cooking time add the sea salt and cream cheese. After serving top with shredded cheese. Enjoy!
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February 11, 2011

Black Bean Burgers

These are delicious on toasted homemade hamburger buns or by themselves topped with avocado and tomato slices!

1 (16 ounce) can black beans, drained and rinsed
1/2 great bell pepper
1/2 onion
3 cloves garlic, peeled
1 egg
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 tablespoon cumin
1 teaspoon hot sauce
1/2 cup fine bread crumbs
1/2 cup oatmeal (place in blender and make into a powder)

If grilling, preheat an outdoor grill for high heat, and lightly oil a sheet of foil. If baking, preheat oven to 375 degrees, and lightly oil a baking sheet. In a medium bowl, mash black beans with a fork until thick and pasty. In a food processor, finely chop bell pepper, onion and garlic. Then stir into mashed beans. In a small bowl, stir together egg, chili powder, cumin, and hot sauce. Stir the egg mixture into the mashed beans. Mix in bread crumbs and powdered oatmeal until the mixture is sticky and holds together. Divide mixture into patties. If grilling, place patties on foil, and grill about 8 minutes on each side. If baking, place patties on baking sheet and bake about 10 minutes on each side. Enjoy!
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February 3, 2011

Toasted Quinoa with Raisins and Slivered Almonds

This is quickly becoming one of my favorite quinoa salads. It is wonderful served warm as a savory side dish. You can also store it in the refrigerator and it will last for a few lunches! (It is best slightly warmed)

Complements: The Vegan Table

2 cups quinoa
2 tablespoons water, for sauteing
2 shallots, minced (I used 1/4 of a red onion)
1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/8 teaspoon cayenne
4 cups vegetable stock
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
freshly ground pepper, to taste
1/3 cup raisins (a must, the sweetness really adds to the salad)
1/2 cup toasted slivered almonds (this gives it crunch and a more complete protein meal)

Rinse quinoa in a small-size strainer to remove the bitter coating called saponin (the plant's natural defense that keeps birds from eating it). Heat a large-size skillet over medium heat. Add quinoa and stir constantly for 5 minutes, or until moisture evaporates and quinoa is fragrant and dry. Meanwhile, heat 2 tablespoons of water in a 3-quart saucepan over medium heat. Add shallots and ginger and cook, stirring constantly, until shallots are slightly softened, about 3 minutes. Add the toasted quinoa along with cardamom, coriander, cumin and cayenne. Stir to combine. Add stock and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, and season with salt and pepper to taste. Cover and cook until all water is absorbed, about 12-16 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in raisins and almonds. serve warm or at room temperature. It will keep for a few days in the fridge. Enjoy!
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Gluten-Free Brownie

If you can't have wheat gluten or you just enjoy staying away from refined flour as much as possible these are a wonderful indulgence. I added a frosting to these brownies. The frosting turns these brownies into a super satisfying chocolate splurge.

Complements: The brownie recipe came from the book, You Won't Believe It's Gluten-Free.

1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup raw cane sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
3/4 cup brown rice flour
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum
1/4 - 1/2 cup chocolate chips (optional, I added these to the ingredients :))

2 tablespoons milk (any kind)
1 tablespoon cocoa
2 tablespoons butter
3/4 cup powdered sugar
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

For the brownie: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a 9-inch square pan. In a medium-size bowl, combine and mix all the ingredients. Do not cream the sugar and butter first. The batter will be very thick. Spread in the prepared pan. Bake for 25 minutes.
For the frosting: Boil together milk, cocoa and butter. Take off burner and add powdered sugar and vanilla. Spread on brownies while still hot. After you add the frosting let the brownies cool completely. Enjoy!
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January 26, 2011

Black Bean and Salsa Soup

This soup is incredibly simple and super, super delicious. You can top it with chopped onions, sour cream or shredded cheese.

2 cans black beans, drained and rinsed
1 1/2 cup vegetable broth
1 cup salsa (try it with my classic salsa)
1 teaspoon cumin
sour cream, chopped onions, shredded cheese (optional for garnishing)

Combine beans, broth, salsa and cumin in a food processor. Blend until fairly smooth. Heat soup in a saucepan over medium heat until thoroughly heated. Put soup in bowls and garnish as desired. Enjoy!
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Decadent Chocolate Bundt Cake

This is gluten-free, vegan, sweetened with maple sugar and loaded with pureed beats. Believe it our not it is guilt-free delicious! I topped it with warm berry sauce (recipe below), whipped cream and homemade chocolate syrup.

Complements: The Whole Life Nutrition Cookbook

2 cups brown rice flour
1/2 cup tapioca flour
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons xanthan gum
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1 cup grated cooked beets, pureed
1/2 cup melted virgin coconut oil
1 cup maple syrup
1 cup water
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon vanilla

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Oil a bundt pan with coconut oil. In a medium sized bowl place the brown rice flour, tapioca flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, xanthan gum, and sea salt; mix together well with a fork. For the 1 cup of pureed beats, first trim the ends off of the beets then cut them into quarters. Place the quartered beet into a steamer basket in a pot filled with about 2 cups of water. Place a lid on the pot and steam for about 30 minutes or until beets are very tender. Let cool then remove the peel and puree. In a separate bowl, place the grated beets, melted coconut oil, maple syrup, water, apple cider vinegar and vanilla. Mix well with a wire whisk. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and mix well, though be careful not to over mix. Immediately pour batter into oiled bundt pan and place into the preheated oven. Bake for 25-30 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool for about 10 minutes in the pan. Then flip it over onto a cake platter or plate. Serve with warm berry sauce (recipe below) and whipped cream. Enjoy!

Warm Berry Sauce

2 tablespoons cornstarch or kudzu
1 cup apple or berry juice
2 cups fresh or frozen fruit
1 tablespoons honey or maple syrup

Place the corn starch or kudzu and juice in a small sauce pan to dissolve. Use less cornstarch or kudzu for a thinner sauce. Blend the berries in a blender until very smooth. Add the pureed berries to the pot along with the sweetener. Whisk together, and then place pot over medium heat. Bring to a simmer, whisking continuously until mixture has thickened. Serve warm. Enjoy!
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January 23, 2011

Turkey Bean and Kale Soup

1 turkey carcass
10 - 12 cups water
2 cups great northern beans (dried)
3 stalks celery, diced
1 large onion, diced
4 carrots, diced
1 large bunch of kale, torn into bite sized pieces (to make 5-6 cups)
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon thyme

Put the turkey carcass in a large stock pot and cover with water. Bring to a boil and simmer several hours. Put the dried beans in a large saucepan and cover with water that is several inches above the beans. Bring to a boil. Boil 2 minutes and turn off heat and let sit an hour. Strain. Turn off the heat and strain the soup into another large pot. Let the bones cool and pick off the meat and return it to the stock. Discard the bones. Turn the heat back on and add the beans and seasonings. Simmer for an hour and a half and then add the vegetables, and simmer an additional hour (or longer). Taste the soup and if necessary add additional seasonings. Enjoy!
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