Monday, November 18, 2013

Coconut BLT's

Coconut "Bacon", Lettuce and Tomato Sandwiches

This is the best BLT you will ever eat. You will need to get a few things for your "pantry",
 but they can be used for many other recipes.  This recipe makes approximately 6 BLT's.

3 cups Organic Unsweetened Coconut Flakes
2 Tb. Maple syrup
2 Tb. Raw Coconut Aminos*
Bragg's Amino Acids*
1 Tb. Sesame Oil
1 Tb. Liquid Smoke
1 tsp. black pepper
1 tsp. smoked paprika
Preheat oven to 350'
Mix all ingredients in a large mixing bowl until coconut flakes are well coated.
Spread flakes on baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes.
Stir and cook for 10-15 more minutes making sure they don't burn.
Remove from oven and let cool to get crispy.
On your choice of bread, use Vegan mayo, fresh sliced tomatoes and organic romaine lettuce.
Top it off with fresh sliced avocado, if desired.

*A note on Bragg's Amino Acids (300mg):
It's the same as soy sauce but 1/3 the amount of sodium (900mg)
& Coconut Secrets Aminos have only 115mg. 

Pick up a bag of UNSWEETENED Coconut Flakes
at your local health food store for less than $4.  It goes a long way!

Mexican Quinoa Casserole

We recently found this recipe on Pinterest and just had to make it!  
Check out A Whisk and Two Wand's recipe for Mexican Quinoa Casserole by clicking on this link.

Image courtesy of  A Whisk and Two Wands

We used Red Quinoa and Fiesta Blend Vegan Gourmet Shreds
 by Follow Your Heart to give it a spicy flavor.

Chia Seeds

For the vegan pantry:

Chia gel

Chia Seeds

Benefits:  Chia seeds are a great source of Omega 3's, similar to flax seeds, however Chia seeds contain much higher amounts of antioxidants than flax seeds, so they can be stored for long periods of time without becoming rancid.  Chia seeds are high in both protein and fiber, and unlike flax seeds, they are easy to digest and don't need to be ground or mashed to release their nutritional benefits.

Uses:  You can add Chia seeds to just about anything...soup, yogurt, protein shakes, breakfast cereal, salad dressing, etc.  Use Chia seed gel as a firming agent for dishes in place of eggs.  We use it in our lentil loaf, a recipe we will adding to this blog shortly.  Judd makes a Chia gel using water or apple juice, stores it in the refrigerator to add to his morning oatmeal.

Vegan Hash Brown Casserole

Vegan Hash Brown Casserole

1 package Hemp & Sage Sunshine Burgers (3 patties)
2 C. Chopped Bell Peppers (top left photo)--We use 1 bag of organic
 frozen mixed bell peppers
1-16 oz. packed of Alexia frozen hash brown potatoes 
1 package organic frozen mixed vegetables
1/2 package of Daiya Cheddar "Cheese"

*NOTE:  This recipe is Vegan because we are a vegetarian and vegan family.  However, if you desire, you can replace some or all of these ingredients with the products of your choice, but we hope you don't!  This recipe is DELICIOUS as-is, whether or not you eat meat and dairy.


Preheat oven to 375 F.

Let veggie burgers partially thaw.  Break into bite-sized chunks and spread in a 1 1/2 quart, 
lightly greased casserole dish.  Put a generous layer of your favorite 
organic ketchup on top of the burgers.

Saute the peppers in a frying pan until tender.  Turn heat to low and add the potatoes.  Add salt and pepper to taste, and break apart the frozen potatoes. (top right photo)  Stir in 1/2 bag of 
Daiya cheese and set aside.

Layer one bag of frozen mixed vegetables to the veggie burgers in the casserole dish.  (I boiled the veggies briefly on the stove top first, then drained them well.)  
Next, add the potato/pepper mixture on top. 

Bake uncovered until top is browned, approximately 25-30 minutes. 


**If you try this recipe or any others that we post on our blog, we'd love to hear back from you!** 

We're back!

Wow...we've severely neglected this blog for the past several months, but we're back!  I (Kristen) will be teaching Judd how to post recipes as well, so that when I'm busy he can take over.  

This past weekend our local health food store, Love Whole Foods, held a customer appreciation event that we were fortunate to attend.  They had lots of product samples, and we absolutely fell in love with a vegan hash brown casserole we tasted!  Therefore, today's first post will be the recipe for this delicious dish.

Thanks for stopping by!

Kristen & Judd

Monday, April 1, 2013

Now THIS is a smoothie!

"Now THIS is a Smoothie!" smoothie.

My friend Sheri & I stopped by our local produce stand today and picked up some ingredients to add to what I already had at home so that we could make a great big colorful & nutritious lunch smoothie. 

Here are before and after pictures, followed by a list of all of the ingredients that went into this beautiful magenta beverage!



Here's the long list of ingredients that went into this drink. We just experimented and added fruits and veggies to the Vitamix as we went along until we got the taste and consistency that we desired.  This recipe made two servings and we had enough left over to freeze a few cups 
to have later for an evening frozen snack.  This is definitely an entire meal in a glass!

1/2 small pineapple (approximately 1-1/2 cups)
1/2 Cup frozen strawberries
2 frozen bananas
1 small (farm fresh) beet, peeled
2 small carrots, peeled
1 celery stalk
1/2 Cup fresh broccoli
1/4 of a cucumber, peeled
1 kale leaf
2 Tablespoons of Chia Seed gel
2 Tablespoons of Hemp Protein Powder
1 Cup of ice
1 Cup of  unsweetened, cold Celestial Seasoning Acai Mango Zinger Tea
(replace with water, juice or liquid of your choice)

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Banana Protein Smoothie

This smoothie recipe is one of Kristen's all-time favorites.  
It's simple to make and delicious!

Mix 1 frozen banana, 1 Cup of your favorite milk substitute (mine is Silk Pure Coconut or Unsweetened Vanilla Almond Milk) and a couple of Tablespoons of Hemp Protein Powder
 in your Vitamix or blender until smooth.  That's all there is to it!

P.S.  We ALWAYS buy extra bananas!  When the skin starts to darken and they are too ripe too eat, we just peel them, break in half and freeze.  

Sunday, March 24, 2013

"Twiddle Bars"

This recipe is a homemade version of Lara Bars, a healthy, whole food nutrition bar that can be found in your local grocery store.  If you're not into making your own, by all means, buy theirs.  We think they are the best bars out there.  However, if you're adventurous, try making your own!

Ours are named Twiddle Bars because Judd has always called our daughter Briana "Twiddlebug", and she is the one who suggested the idea to make a homemade Lara Bar.

We use our Vitamix to make these; if you don't own one, you should be able to use your food processor to make them.  

Feel free to experiment with your choice of ingredients, but remember to always use pitted dates as the base ingredient, as they are what gives the bar its consistency and holds it together.  Check out the Lara Bar Website for different flavor options to try out.

Here's our recipe:

1 1/3 Cup Pitted Dates
1/2 Cup Raisins
1/2 Cup Chopped Nuts or Seeds of choice (Peanuts, sunflower seeds, pepitos, cashews, etc.)
1/2 Cup Coconut Flour  (Although coconut flour is a bit costly, one bag will go a long way.  It adds a nicer flavor than regular flour, and it's a healthy, gluten-free alternative.)  We like Bobs Red Mill Coconut Flour.  (Approximately $7.00)

Blend Dates & Raisins in food processor until it has a paste-like consistency, using the "pulse" option on your machine if it has one.

In a separate bowl, add Date/Raisin blend to chopped nuts/seeds and mix together by hand.  (Important:  do NOT add the nuts/seeds to the food processor!  It will dry up the date mixture.)

Roll the mixture into 1" balls, then roll them in the coconut flour and shape them into bars.  Keep refrigerated to maintain firmness.  (NOTE:  We save the excess coconut flour in a separate container to use again.)

Here is a picture of our latest batch of Twiddle Bars.  Our go-to recipe consists of just dates, raisins and sunflower seeds.  Judd made this version by blending 1 1/3 cup of dates, 1/4 cup of raisins and 1/4 cup of Goji Berries, then hand mixing the blended ingredients with 1/4 cup of pepitos and 1/4 cup of sunflower seeds.  You get the idea!

This recipe makes 6-8 bars each containing 195 calories.  We suggest eating one bar as a mid-meal snack.  These aren't diet food, so while you may want to eat all 6 in one day, please don't!!  

Eat your veggies!

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Sesame Tahini

For the Vegan Pantry:

Sesame Tahini is an all natural creamy puree of sesame seeds that has a light, nut-like flavor.  It is a common ingredient in Middle Eastern cooking.  We love to use it when making Hummus.

Quick and Delicious Tahini Hummus

*Image courtesy of Vitamix

This is our new favorite "go-to" quick snack recipe!  You can find it here on our blog under Recipes-Hummus or by following this link Vitamix Hummus Recipe.  We replace the sesame seeds with a heaping spoonful of Sesame Tahini, which you can find in most grocery stores.  We also like to add some chopped roasted red peppers to our hummus.  Dip your favorite fresh veggies or some homemade baked whole wheat tortillas for a healthy snack option.  (For homemade tortillas, just slice some whole wheat tortillas, coat lightly with olive oil and salt.  Bake on a cookie sheet for 5 minutes at 400 degrees.)

We use and recommend this brand of Sesame Tahini:

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

More amazing recipes!

I've found a ton of amazing recipes at  Everything from smoothies to soups and salads, entrees and of course, desserts!  While you're at her site, please read Kris' incredible story of living with a very rare and incurable stage 4 cancer.  We could all learn a thing or two from her about living our lives to the fullest.

7 Best Anti-Aging Foods

Check out FitLife.TV's 7 Best Anti-Aging Foods
I am going to try this super easy blueberry smoothie tonight!

And here's our version...

Sunday, January 27, 2013

What to buy organic

EWG's 2012 Shopper's Guide to Pesticides in Produce

Zucchini Soft Taco

Zucchini Soft Taco

Cold Ingredients:
Whole wheat tortillas
Spring mix
Baby Spinach
Tomatoes, sliced
Avocado, sliced
(Use any variation of vegetables that you want!)

Cooked Ingredients:
 1/2 Onion
2 Cloves Minced Garlic 
2 Medium Zucchini
1 Tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon oregano (or Italian Seasoning)
1/8 teaspoon Chili Powder or Chipotle Powder (optional)

Saute onions and garlic in olive oil  over medium heat until softened.  Add zucchini, paprika, oregano and chili powder/chipotle powder.  Saute for 5 minutes, flipping zucchini until both sides are evenly browned.

Distribute zucchini mix over a tortilla, and top with cold ingredients.  Wrap up and enjoy!

This is a FAST, EASY recipe and makes approximately 6 wraps.  Judd likes to take one or two to work the following day by wrapping them individually in aluminum foil.  Then, he puts them on his dashboard to warm up!  See picture below:


New blog section!

Hi all!  We hope you've had a great weekend.  Judd just prepared a quick new meal, Zucchini Soft Taco's, so I'm making this a short post (I will post a picture and the recipe later.  They're delish!).

We just wanted to bring to your attention that we've added a new section to our Blog, titled "Vegan Pantry Essentials".  Again, these items are not just for Vegans!  We have found that the reason most people grab the fast food and junk food is because "traditional diet foods" lack flavor and are BOR-ING!!!  Not true with our meals...we love what we eat because it tastes delicious AND it is good for you.  Having a pantry stocked with essential healthy, flavorful ingredients is the easiest way to stay on track and by-pass the junk food.

We've started the section with one of our favorites, Nutritional Yeast Flakes, and will be adding new things daily.  We hope this helps you out the next time you're at the grocery store.


Friday, January 25, 2013

10 Fascinating Facts About Cows Milk

10 Fascinating Facts About Cows Milk

Nutritional Yeast Flakes

For the Vegan Pantry:

Not to be confused with brewer's yeast, nutritional yeast has a roasted, nutty, cheese-like flavor.  It is a good source of amino acids and B vitamins*, and most brands are naturally gluten-free.  You can find nutritional yeast flakes in the bulk aisle in most natural food markets.  Some brands such as Bob's Red Mill, KAL, and Bragg can also be purchased online.  (See the link below to purchase Bob's on

We like to sprinkle it on pasta dishes in place of Parmesan cheese.  Another favorite use is to add a few tablespoons to melted margerine and a sprinkle of garlic salt, and drizzle over steamed broccoli.

*The recommended daily intake of Vitamin B12 for healthy adult men and women is 2.4 mcg.
In natural foods, vitamin B12 is primarily found in animal products, including fish, meat, poultry, eggs, milk, and other dairy products. But that doesn’t mean animal products are necessarily the best source of this essential vitamin.
Although it is not found naturally in most plant foods, some brands of nutritional yeast contain vitamin B12, and it is widely added to many breakfast cereals and fortified nut milk.  

Penne alla Vodka

Penne alla Vodka with the Best Garlic Bread in the World!

This recipe is straight out of one of our favorite cookbooks, Choe's Kitchen.

1 pound penne
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes
1/2 cup chopped fresh basil, plus extra for chiffonade garnish (to cut an herb or vegetable in chiffonade, first stack the leaves as evenly as you can.  Roll the stack tightly so it resembles a cigar.  Slice the roll crosswise into very thin slices, and pull apart the slices into strips.)
Sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup vodka  (Note from Kris: I just purchased one of those tiny little airplane sized bottles of vodka.)
1/4 cup raw cashews (If you are not using a high-powered blender, such as a Vitamix, soak the cashews overnight or boil them for 10 minutes and drain.)
1 cup water

Bring large pot of heavily salted water to a boil.  Add penne and cook according to package.  Drain and return to pot.

Meanwhile, heat oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat.  Add garlic an cook about 1 minute.  Stir in crushed tomatoes and basil.  Season with salt and pepper. Cook over medium heat for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

In the meantime, combine cashews and water in a blender.  Process on high until very smooth, about 2 minutes.  Stir cashew cream into the tomato sauce and turn off heat.  Adjust seasoning to taste and toss with hot pasta.  Garnish with basil and serve immediately.

The Best Garlic Bread in the World! recipe:

1/2 cup vegan margarine
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
6 cloves garlic, minced
1 baguette
Dried or fresh parsley for garnish

Preheat the oven to broil.

Combine margarine, nutritional yeast, and garlic in a small microwave-safe bowl or sauce pan.  Heat over low heat until the margarine is melted.  Stir until combined.

Slice the baguette in half horizontally and place each half, cut side up, on a baking sheet.  Spread the garlic mixture over each half.  You may not need to use all of the garlic mixture.  You can refrigerate or freeze any leftover garlic mixtures for another use.  Sprinkle parsley over each half and broil for about a minute or two, checking very frequently until lightly browned.  Keep your eyes on the garlic bread, it can burn very quickly!

Hummus Recipe

I made this recipe the other day in my Vitamix, and I promise you, it was better than any I've purchased from the grocery store.  I did 2 things slightly different; instead of the raw sesame seeds, I used a heaping tablespoon of Sesame Tahini.  I also topped the hummus off with diced roasted red bell peppers (from a jar).  You can find Tahini in most grocery stores.  This is the brand I use:  

A link to some great recipes...

While looking at The No-Meat Athlete's website, I found a link to a treasury of delicious recipes I'm going to try.  I need as many smoothie recipes as I can get my hands on!  Judd makes a lot of "green" smoothies, but I just can't get past the color.   I love green veggies, I'm just not a fan (yet) of drinking them.  I prefer my smoothies to be pretty and pink!  Lol.  Anyway, here's the link.  Let me know if you try any of them, and I will do the same!  Vegetarian Recipes for Athletes



Some of you know that we recently purchased a Vitamix, and we absolutely love, love, love it.  They are a bit expensive, but definitely worth it.  We'll be sharing lots of recipes with you that we've made using the Vitamix; however, you can modify lots of them to make using your blender or food processor.  If, like us, you've been considering purchasing a Vitamix but are put off by the price, consider using QVC to purchase one!  During the holidays, we took advantage of their 5-Easy Payment Plan.  $100 a month for 5 months was easier on the pocket than paying for it all at once, and it was interest free!  If you follow QVC on Facebook or get their iPhone app, you can be on the look-out for this special offer to come around again.  It seems as though they do it ever couple of months.  Even now, they have a 3-payment plan:  Vitamix on QVC.

By the way, I made hummus the other day in the Vitamix.  It was better than store bought and half the price. With that being said, it will eventually pay for itself!  :)  I'll post the recipe later today.

Happy Friday!


We're back!

Well, it has been nearly 2 years since we've updated our blog and boy, we're ashamed!!  I just got off the phone with one of my dearest friends, Jan Wikstrom, who is on the path to better eating habits and she has inspired me to get back to work on this blog.  You don't have to be vegetarian or vegan to enjoy our recipes...they are more about having fun with cooking food that tastes great and that happen to be good for you.  In fact, I'm going to ask Jan, who is not a vegetarian, to share some of her favorite new recipes with us so that we can share them with you.  Happy cooking, and even happier eating!

See you soon,