Sunday, February 27, 2011

Spirit Sunday * Shine

Just some words of wisdom and encouragement that we find worthy of sharing...shine on!

Spirit Sunday * Shine

Baked Mac N' Cheese

This is one of Kris' most requested recipes.  It's incredibly easy, and takes just 15 minutes to prep and 30 minutes to bake.

  • 1 Package Whole Wheat Pasta Shells (or your choice of pasta)
  • 1 Package Dairy Free Cheddar Style Shreds* 
  • 1 Cup Raw Cashews
  • 1 1/2 cups of water and 1/2 cube of Knorr's Vegetarian Vegetable Bouillon Cube (OR 1 1/2 cups Better Than Bouillon No Chicken Chicken Stock)
  • 2 Tablespoons of Italian Style Bread Crumbs (Check the label before purchasing Italian Style; most contain cheese!  We use Plain Bread Crumbs, and add garlic salt, onion salt, and Italian seasoning).
  • 2 Tablespoons melted non-dairy butter substitute, such as Earth Balance.


 If you are not using a high speed blender such as a Vitamix, soak your cashews overnight.
  1. Cook pasta according to package; drain.
  2. Blend cashews, water and bouillon in Vitamix for approximately 1 minute or until mixture is very smooth.
  3. Heat cheese substitute, cashew cream and vegetable stock in a saucepan over medium until all ingredients are melted together and smooth, stirring constantly.
  4. In baking dish, add pasta.  Mix in "cheese" mixture, then sprinkle with bread crumbs and melted "butter".
  5. Cover and bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes.  Uncover and bake for an additional 5 minutes.  Remove from oven and let stand for 5 minutes.  Enjoy!!

*Suggested Cheese alternative brands: Daiya or Follow Your Heart.  If you are trying to avoid anything with dairy in it, please read the labels closely.  We recently discovered that the soy cheese brand we had been purchasing has casein in it, which is milk protein and therefore non vegan.

Tomorrow is Meatless Monday! Click on the image for great meal ideas and check back later for our new recipe, a variation of Chef Roberto Martin's Mac 'n Cheese.

Jamie Oliver's Wish

“I wish for your help to create a strong, sustainable movement to educate every child about food, inspire families to cook again and empower people everywhere to fight obesity.”
~Jamie Oliver

Jamie Oliver--Lengthy, but worth watching.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Please Support Your Local Farmers!

Just wanted to share a picture of our local roadside produce stand.
Notice the "old fashioned cash register" on the post.
(Payment is by honor system!)

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Where Do Vegans Get Their Protein?

One of the most common questions vegetarians hear from non-vegetarians is "Where do you get your protein?"  Of course, the people who wonder this may eat chicken wings by the bucket and guzzle soda by the gallon, never stopping to think where they get their fiber or vitamin C.  Vegetarian, vegan or not, we all need to consider the health effects of what we eat. While it's true that protein is necessary, equally important for vegetarians are calcium and iron, and, if you’re vegan, vitamin B12.
If you’re eating a well-balanced vegetarian diet with plenty of whole grains, fruits and vegetables, you are eating one of the healthiest diets on the planet. You do, however, need to make sure you get a few vital nutrients.

Vegetarian Protein

The little known truth about protein is that most of us get too much, not too little of it. Women need about 45 grams per day and men need around 55 grams. One cup of tofu contains about 20 grams of protein, so women, eat some tofu and you’re almost halfway there! If you’re eating a well-balanced diet, you’re probably consuming more than enough protein without even thinking about it. Even though it’s quite easy to get plenty of protein on a vegetarian or vegan diet, its a good idea to make sure you’re eating a variety of protein-rich foods. If you’re a lacto-ovo vegetarian, you’ll likely get sufficient protein from eggs and dairy without even trying, but if you’re vegan, here are some high protein vegan foods to include in your diet:

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Grow Your Own Sprouts!

Growing your own sprouts is fun and easy!  This is a family friendly project that the kids will enjoy.  We purchase our supplies locally at Access To Organics

Sprouting  Jar & Seed Mixes

Protein Powerhouse Blend Sprouting Seeds contain
Adzuki, Garbonzo, Mung Beans and Snow Pea.
It's a delicious source of nutrient rich protein!
Put on top of salads, sandwiches, or in your
favorite stir fry.

3 Part Salad Mix contains Organic Alfalfa, Radish &
Broccoli.This mixture is great on salads
& sandwiches or stuffed in pitas!

The Protein Powerhouse Blend
takes about 3 days to grow.  Check out
the progress of our first batch:

DAY 1--Soak seeds 10-12 hours
Day 2- Rinse and drain seeds thoroughly three times daily.

Day 4-Sprouts ready to put on top of a great big bowl of salad!

Seed Of Change

The Seeds of Change catalog that we ordered came in the mail yesterday!  For those of us who are "land challenged", I believe container gardening is the way to go.  We look forward to sharing some ideas with you in the near future!  All that we currently grow is rosemary and basil, but we plan on using our little back patio to start our very own container garden in the near future.

Access To Organics

Heading to Access To Organics today to stock up on some sprouting seeds.  If you haven't tried growing your own sprouts, you should give it a try!  Not only are they delicious on a salad, but they add a great taste to your favorite sandwich...hummus, black bean burgers, "chik" patties, etc.  In addition, it's easy to do and fun to watch them grow!  We purchased a "sprout jar" for around $10, but you could also make your own.  I will start a new batch today, and post instructions and pictures for you in the next few days.


Monday, February 7, 2011

Mac N' Cheese - Recipes

Good stuff!!

Mac N' Cheese - Recipes

Breakfast Casserole - Recipes

We make Chef Roberto Martin's Breakfast Casserole weekly! We like to add Morningstar "Sausage" Crumbles to the recipe. "Skinny Bitch In The Kitch" also has their own superb version of this dish.

Breakfast Casserole - Recipes

Great Vegan Substitute to Dairy and Meat - Recipes

Chef Roberto Martin shares his tasty substitutes:

Great Vegan Substitute to Dairy and Meat - Recipes

I've made several of his recipes, and they are delicious and easy to prepare!

Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookies

Chocolate Chip Cookies
Adapted From The Awesome Book 
“Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar”
(Recipe "tweeked" by Kristen)

½ cup brown sugar
¼ cup white sugar* (I use Sugar In The Raw natural cane sugar instead)
2/3 cup canola oil (I prefer safflower oil)
¼ cup unsweetened almond milk (or your favorite nondairy milk)
1 tablespoon tapioca flour (I use Ener-G egg replacer instead)
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1½ cups all-purpose flour (I use whole wheat flour)
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
¾ cup vegan chocolate chips (semi-sweet are usually vegan, but check the label to be sure; I use Ghirardelli.)

1.     Preheat oven to 350 F.  Lightly grease baking sheet (or use a baking stone.) 
2.     Combine sugars, oil, almond milk, and tapioca flour in a mixing bowl.  Use a strong fork and mix it really well, for about 2 minutes, until the mixture resembles smooth caramel.  There is a chemical reaction when sugar and oil collide, so it’s important that you don’t get lazy about that step.  Mix in the vanilla.
3.     Add 1 cup of the flour, the baking soda, and the salt.  Mix until well incorporated.  Mix in the rest of the flour.  Fold in the chocolate chips.  The dough will be a little stiff so use your hands to really work the chips in.
4.     Roll the dough into walnut sized balls and bake for 6-9 minutes.
5.     Let cool on baking sheet for about 5 minutes and then transfer to wire cooling racks.

Heavy Metal Vegan Cooking on "The Veg Edge"

Chef Chloe Coscarelli on The Veg Edge

Oven Roasted Veggies

My most requested (and easiest) recipe: 
Oven Roasted Veggies

Slice 2 or 3 zuchini and yellow squash, 1 sweet white onion, and 1 red bell pepper into bite-size pieces. Toss with a couple of tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil and salt & pepper to taste. Bake at 450 for 30 minutes. Enjoy! This is great served with or over long-grain wild rice or whole wheat spaghetti tossed with olive oil and fresh garlic.

Time to go to work...

I'm so excited to share our recipes and resources, but I have a paying job that beckons me!  I promise to come back tonight and work diligently to post many of the recipes you've been asking me to share.  Until then, have a great day and be kind to one another.  xoxoxo  ~Kristen

Today is Meatless Monday!

To our carnivorous friends:  
Not ready to go vegetarian just yet?!  Then how about just once a week to start?  Today's your day: 
Follow the link for great recipes, toolkits and health news!

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Black Bean Burger Recipe

(My husband cooks a mean) Black Bean Burger!

1/4 cup diced onion
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. cumin
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 cup seasoned bread crumbs
Optional: 1 tsp. chili powder, chopped red bell pepper, spices of your choice.

Drain & mash black beans, but leave moist.  Combine all ingredients together and form into small patties, 2 1/2-3 inches in diameter.  (You want the patties to be smaller than a traditional burger, as it will flatten/spread out on the bun.)  Cook in skillet on medium heat in safflower or extra-virgin olive oil until brown/blackened on both sides.  (Approximately 10 minutes per side.)  Serve on whole wheat hamburger buns or Pepperidge Farm Whole Wheat Deli Flats  Serve with your favorite toppings:  sprouts, lettuce, sliced avocado, tomato, sliced veggie cheese, etc.

Makes approximately 6-7 burgers

Note: Any time we link an ingredient, it is just to let you know what particular brand we use.  You can substitute with the brand of your preference, but please read the labels carefully.  Check back soon and we'll post a list of suggested pantry items, as well as ingredients to stay away from!


Skinny Bitch author gives you five good reasons to go vegan

Rory Freedman and Kim Barnouin - Skinny Bitch in the Kitch