Friday, December 28, 2012


So being a vegetarian sometimes I cannot always get an udon without a fish sauce or other meat product in the broth. Due to that, I often make my own.

First chop up 1 leek,  5 carrots, and  a green bell pepper and saute in sesame oil and pepper
Add a tbspn of red chili paste (or flakes if you dont have the paste lying around)
Then add in rainbow chard or other leafy green vegetable (bok choy is a good one to use)
After about 5 min, add 1/2 cup of soy sauce and 1 tbpsn of sesame seed oil
After about 5 min, add 1/2 a box of vegetable broth.
After about 5 min, add 1 package of Eden Organics Udon noodles
Cook until the noodles are tender.
When the noodles seem to have about 5 min left, add in broccoli.

Ladle into a bowl and say yum!

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Vegetarian Wellington

This Thanksgiving, I decided to make a vegetarian Wellington and it came out amazing! The lemon definitely made the dish.

1 frozen puff pastry (make sure to plan for 40 min to let thaw)
1 butternut squash- peeled and chopped
3 cups spinach
a tsp on garlic
pepper to taste
1/2 of the juice from a large lemon
3 tbspn of butter

Saute for about 20 everything but the puff pastry.
After squash is soft, with a spatula, mash the ingredients very well so that the squash is thin.
Stuff puff pastry with the veggie puree. Wrap. Take 1 egg (beaten) and paint the top of the pastry. Bake for about 20 min at 375 degrees (check every 5 min to make sure it does not overcook).
Take out when golden brown. You may have to rotate the baking sheet a couple times to make sure cooking is even.

Say yum!

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Veggie Lentil Soup

It looks like soup to me!

This week's box came with:
1 round squash - not sure what type, but it is sweet
1 green romanesco
1 bunch of carrots
dino kale
1 leek

Saute the leek, carrots, and romanesco with olive oil, lemon, and pepper for about 15 min
Add in 1 box of veggie broth, the round squash (peeled and cut), kale, your favorite herbs (rosemary, thyme, basil, and oregano) and 1 cup of red lentil.
Simmer on medium heat for about 45 min.

Say Yum!

Thursday, November 8, 2012

It looks like soup to me

Husband is not as much of a fan to macrobiotic lifestyle as I am, so every fall when I start to get my CSA box and I look at the ingredients as say "It looks like soup to me," he rolls his eyes. He knows what he is in for - local nutrition served warm to heal the soul through a big bowl of soup.

The season began this past Friday. My box came with
Delicata Squash
Savoy Cabbage
German Butterball potatoes
Green Romanesco,
Baby Broccoli
Dino Kale

Now I did not use all of this in my soup, but here is my soup:

2 Delicata squash - these are similar to butternut squash but a lot smaller. You have to peel them, take out the seeds and then cut them up

4 full size carrots
1 Savoy Cabbage
A pound of butterball potatoes (or any potatoes)
2 leeks - I had to buy this at the store since it did not come in my box
Herbs from the garden or dried - thyme, basil, oregano, and rosemary to taste
Pepper to taste

Either 4 tbspns butter OR oil depending on if you like to keep it vegan.

Put all of the ingredients in a large pot and saute everything for about 20 min. Stirring at least every 5 min. Then add 4 cups of veggie broth - you can add more if you like your soup brothful - I like mine stewlike.

Cook for about 1 hour more, stirring every 20 min. The potatoes should become really soft and creamy.

Say yum !

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Black Bean Chipotle Hummus

1 can organic black beans ( I like Safeway O organic brand)- drain 1/2 the juice
1 can organic garbanzo beans -- drain 1/2 the juice.
1/2 cup cilantro
1 juicy lime (or lemon)
1 or 2 depending on how spicy you like it - chipotle peppers (I buy the canned ones and freeze what I do not use)
1/3 cup tahini

Blend in a GOOD blender or food processor until a creamy consistency. You may have to add olive oil, water, or more lemon/lime juice to get it to blend properly if your beans did not have much juice.

Say Yum!

Monday, October 29, 2012

How the BLEEP do you eat a pumpkin?

My CSA box came on Friday and inside was a sugar pumpkin. Thinking about my love for roasted pumpkin seeds, I was excited. The more I thought about it, the more that I realized that the rest of the pumpkin was either going to end up in the trash or as a jack-o-lantern, and that did not sit well with me. Off to the internet I went and  2 min into my research had a DUH moment. 

Basically equate the pumpkin with a butternut squash. A trick I learned a long time ago about the butternut squash is to cut off the top and bottom and then PEEL it with a potato peeler. That is exactly what I did. I decided to make pumpkin soup with it. 

Boil the pumpkin first and then puree it when soft to add to the other ingredients ...
2 tbspn of olive oil, 2 carrots, 1 granny smith apple, the pumpkin, sage leaves, 1 box of veggie broth, and some pepper. 


Monday, October 15, 2012

Old Recipe New Twist

So a friend recently introduced me to Nutritional Yeast. It is a complete protein and also a great source of various vitamin B! It is low in fat and gluten free. It has a cheesy flavor, which makes it perfect to add to veggies - especially the kale chips that I discussed in an earlier post.

You can find nutritional yeast at Whole Foods. They sale a HUGE container of it, but they also sale it in the bulk section where you purchase it by the weight so you can get just a cup or two at a time.

Give it a try - I am sure you will love it!

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Brussel Sprout Chips

Say What?.. Yes Brussel Sprout Chips!
Cut those little things into slim litle pieces, pull of as many loose leaves as possible, put just a little olive oil and salt on them and cook at 375 for about 10-15 min. Then enjoy the crunch!

Monday, September 10, 2012

Quinoa Chili

Replace your usual chili recipe meat with Quinoa instead or do this simple recipe... 

Cook 1 cup quinoa and then add 
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
jalapeno peppers to taste 
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 tablespoon cumin
2 cans organic diced tomatoes
1 can organic black bean 
1 green bell pepper
1 red bell pepper
black pepper to taste

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Easy Pizza

So Wednesday for us is Pizza Wednesday. I have made dough myself but it never comes out quite right. I found Trader Joe's wheat pizza dough and started having the hubby pick it up on his way home.

Roll out your TJ pizza dough (costs 1.49 at my location) and make sure to put plenty of flour on the dough because it will stick.

Add Classico Organic Pasta Sauce (the only jarred sauce that I am willing to eat)

Add minced garlic, herbs and veggies from my garden (rosemary, thyme, oregano, basil, green bell peppers and spinach), and add broccoli.

Add your favorite cheese of course --we like ours in moderation

Bake for about 15 min at 400 degrees and BAM you just made a low cost and great tasting pizza at home.

It does come out better if you use a rolling pin and a pizza pan, but I have made it without those.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Tastes like a Garden

I hate jarred pasta sauces. The only one that comes close to edible in my opinion is the Organic Classico. I prefer to make my own. Super easy and super good for you! I get these ingredients from my garden so that it is particularly fresh.

2 zucchini
4 large tomatoes or 1 pint of little tomatoes or equivalent (I have used 1 can diced tomatoes)
1 green bell pepper
1 red bell pepper
oregano, basil, thyme, rosemary, garlic, pepper, and olive oil to taste ( I use about 20 leaves of oregano, 20 leaves of thyme, 20 leaves of rosemary, and 20 leaves of basil) 1 tbspn minced garlic, 1 tspn pepper, and 1/4 cup of olive oil).
I often add spinach and other veggies to this as well.

Put in blender or food processor and blend! I have a vitamix, so I blend on variable 10 for about 20 seconds.

I typically use this with the Barilla Plus Spaghetti (cooked), put in pan, mix in sauce, add cheese as desired and bake on 375 for about 15-20 min.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Stir Fried Quinoa

Nom... nom... nom. I love this one. It makes me happy in the inside and it is super healthy!
Quinoa is a protein packed seed that has the nutrition of a multi-vitamin and that is high in protein.
You can find it usually in the rice and beans section of your store.

The best part of quinoa is that you can cook it in a rice cooker! It is about 1 cup of quinoa to 2 cups of water. Since I cook for the entire week's lunch, I do 2 cups quinoa and 3.5 cups water (that is all my cooker can fit)  in my rice cooker. In about 45 min it is done.

You can use whatever veggies you want, but this is what was in my fridge this week.

Saute 5 carrots, garlic and pepper to taste, and a bunch of green onions (the white and green parts) for about 5 min.
Add 1/2 a cauliflower and a bunch of broccoli to the mix and saute about 5 more min.
Add 4 large handfuls of swiss chard and a bell pepper and cook about 5 min.
Add in the cooked quinoa, 5 tbspns of Low sodium Soy Sauce, and 5 tbspns of Sesame Seed Oil.
Add in 4 tbspn of butter (of Olive Oil to keep vegan)

You can obviously make less, but like I said I cook our lunch for the week so I make 10 servings of this stuff at a time. Hubby, Baby Joy, and I love this! It is also a crowd pleaser.

Say Yum !

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Italian Ratatouille

This can be made stove top or in a crock pot. You can use whatever veggies you have on hand, but this is what I used today.

4 large tomatoes diced
1 container of cherry tomatoes
3 zucchini
3 squash
1 eggplant
2 bell peppers
1 bag or spinach
2 tbspn of diced garlic
1/4 cup of chives
1 tbspn pepper
I use fresh herbs from the garden - garlic, rosemary, basil, and oregano.
1 jar of your favorite tomato sauce. (I like organic Classico)

You can eat this as a stew (which a ratatouille is) or you can eat it like a tomato sauce over pasta.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Environmentally Friendly & Money Saving Tips

Not a recipe this time, but part of living Green is being Green... Here are some environmentally friendly tips that also double as money saving tips. 

1) Become a paperless household - no paper towels, no paper napkins, no disposable diapers - no paper other than toilet paper, and there are some people that even use cloth for that.

  • Cloth Diaper - it isn't what it used to be. I use gdiapers 100% cloth option, which basically work like disposables in terms of how you put them on the baby - put have an outside cloth, an inside cloth, and a snap liner to hold the inside cloth in place. Even my husband loves them. We paid about $400 originally for everything and we have never had to pay anything else since. Honestly that originally money was mostly gifts/gift cards so not much of that came out of our pocket.
  •  Cloth wipes - You can also do cloth baby wipes. I understand why many don't do this - and quite honestly I dont either (hubby won't let me). Instead I buy seventh generation wipes on Amazon in bulk and spend about $5 a month on wipes (1 box lasts us about 2 months). Amazon has a great Amazon Mom program that will give you discounts on diapers (if you do paper), wipes, and lots of other baby products. 
  •  Cloth Pads - Yep, I said it - cloth pantiliners and pads (I like the brand Gladrags). I think that is all I need to say about the matter. 
  • Cloth Napkins - Reuse! Buy or make cloth napkins and use those instead of paper towels or paper napkins
  • Dish towels - Instead of using papertowels, I clean my house with dish towels. I even clean my floors with them instead of having a mop (I clip them into a swiffer and use that instead). 
2) Cleaning Products- You don't need all of these fancy cleaners! Back in the good old days people cleaned their entire house with just baking soda and vinegar. (If you dont like the smell you can add water and lemon). Vinegar and lemon are natural anti-bacterials. Clean your glass (wont leave smear marks!), your floors and counters (I let the baking soda foam when I do these and then do a second and third rinse with just vinegar and then just water again to make sure there is no residue), clean all your furniture -even wood with vinegar. Use baking soda on your tile, toilets, and shower/tub. It is that simple. 

3) You can always be extreme and make your own laundry detergent. There are a ton of different recipes; just google "make your own laundry detergent"

4) Go Vegetarian - if not for all of your meals - a lot of them. Beans, lentils, brown rice, soy, quinoa, leafy greens, corn, squash, and dairy are all low cost sources of calcium and protein with lots of other good vitamins and minerals mixed in there. 

5) Buy in bulk -, Costco, and Sams all have great bulk options that cost a little more right this second (ie you cant spread out the cost over a number of weeks) but cost you way less per ounce. You also use less packaging! 

6) In some areas you  need heaters and air conditioners. In California you can probably sweat/chill it out just a little bit. During the winter, set the thermostat to keep the house warmer than 62; in the summer set it to keep the house cooler than 85 and use fans. Unplug anything that you are not using and turn off the lights if you dont need them. Use natural light whenever possible. This will save you money on electricity. Now don't give me a look on this one. I lived in Texas for 6 years - where it is humid as hell, we had over 100 degree temps for 45 days straight during the summer, and during the winter it got down to the teens. My thermostat was set to not get hotter than 90 in the house during the summer and not colder than 50 in the house during the winter. Once we had the baby we made it no colder than 60 and no hotter than 85 - so if we can do it, so can you. 

7) Buy things that arent in packaging. You can get some good bulk deals even at places like Wholefoods and Safeway when you bring in your own containers and fill up from the dry goods sections (beans, lentils, rice, popcorn, snacks, granola, etc). We use reusable produce bags, reusable containers for dry goods, and reusable grocery bags -- this means when we go to the store all we bring with us is food. 

8) Eat local - less gas to get the food to you! This way the food will also be fresher and more nutritious.  Look for a local co-op, a local farm, or even a group delivery -- and are both great choices. 

9) Use all of your food--. Seems pretty self explanatory, but you would be surprised how much people waste food. We are all busy. In the past, I mad a menu and shopped just for it- now we do a local farm delivery box and cant choose what we get, but when I get the goods then I make a menu based on it. Then I cook our lunches for the week on Sunday and put them in the fridge or freezer for us to grab and take to work. This way nothing goes bad. Freeze what you arent using - use the fruit for smoothies later (and some of the veggies for smoothies too). 

Good luck with these easy tips! 

Now that's what I call vegan protein

Did you know that when you eat corn, squash, and beans together you have a complete protein -- that is some power food - or as they say on my little one's favorite channel "sport's candy". 

This recipe puts all three together and can be served with or without cheese to keep it vegan or to add even more protein. 

2 squash
1 zucchini 
1 cob of corn (Cut off the kernals) 
pepper and cumin to taste
3 cups of black beans (or 1 can) 
1 cup cheese or 1 avocado (if keeping vegan) 

Saute all ingredients but the cheese for about 15 min. Add cheese and saute for about 5 more min. Serve with tortillas. Say Yum!

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

My 1 yr old's favorite Green Smoothie

So Green Smoothies are all the rage right now, but if you try to give a little kid a smoothie that looks green most of them wont even be willing to try it. This is a favorite of my family - including my little 1 year old, Joy Luz. 

The best part is it is delicious and nutritious - A BIG secret is FREEZE YOUR VEGGIES. People usually throw the greens in fresh... that is fine and dandy, but freezing them gives it an icy texture and better taste. 

If you little one is still not liking it use frozen bok choy and butter lettuce as the green instead of spinach or kale. (I like kale in salads and as kale chips but I hate it in smoothies and I am a grown vegetarian. I cant expect my 1 year old to like it in a smoothie either)  

I always want to make sure my little one that is now on solids is getting all of her nutrition so I put the information into and this little baby is covered by her daily smoothie. 

1 oz juice (I like cranberry juice to keep the sugar content lower) 
Fill up the blender to the 2 cup line with water. 
Add Emergen-C vitamin C packets (I like tangerine), 
1 tb chia seeds, 
2 tbpn pea protein powder, 
1 frozen bok choy, 
1 tbspn green kale/seaweed powder
 1 cup frozen berries, 
2 capsules ( I open them up) each of raspberry ketones, and white bean protein. 
Blend and Drink. Sometimes I also add 1 tb of 100% cocoa powder and Joy LOVES those days. 

I split it 1/3 to my 1 year old and I get the other 2/3 of it. 


Sunday, July 8, 2012

Cheese or Veggie Enchiladas

Easy, Fast, and Oh so filling Enchiladas

Sauce: Boil 4 tomatillo peppers and 4 serrano peppers (less if you dont want this to be too spicy) in a pot until the tomatillos change color and are slightly soft. Take off the tops and the leafs before boiling.

Drain water and put peppers, garlic to taste, and a mix of 1/2 veggie broth and 1/2 water enough to cover the peppers. Blend and top enchiladas before baking.

Yellow corn tortillas (I suggest an authentic Mexican brand that is a little softer and not Mission which tend to break while folding.

Put veggies (zucchini and bell peppers) or just cheese at the round end of the tortilla. Role about twice over and lay fold down on sheet pan. After all of your enchiladas are made, top with the tomatillo sauce and additional cheese.
Bake for about 20-30 min at 350, making sure NOT TO BURN them, checking on them every 5 min.

Serve with black beans and cilantro rice.

Easy Salsa

1 can diced tomatoes
1 can rotel
1/2 bunch cilantro
1 tbspn garlic
2-6 serrano or jalepeno peppers (depending on how spicy you want it to be)

Blend until consistency that you prefer.

Easy Cilantro Rice

1 cup brown rice

1/2 cup diced cilantro

Put in appropriate veggie broth for your rice cooker (usually 2 cups for every 1 cup of rice)

cook in rice cooker.

That's what I call black beans

So we can do these the easy way or the hard way:

hard way:

soak dry beans overnight in a bowl full of water.
The next day, drain water.
Put black beans, 2 cups veggie broth
and to taste: garlic (I suggest 3 cloves), green onions (I suggest the whole bunch white and green parts chopped), cumin (I suggest 2-3 tablespoons, did I mention I LOVE CUMIN), pepper (I suggest shaking to your heart's content), and a pinch of salt. THE ABOVE suggestions are for a full bag of dried beans.

Add enough water to cover all of this appropriately. Cook on stove, medium heat for about 2.5 hours. Stir the beans every 20 mins. Taste to see if they are ready at about 2 hours. Add additional spices if necessary and keep watching til they hit the perfect consistency.

Sidenote - I have also done this in a crockpot instead of stove top. They come out drier, but still good.

Easy Way:
1 can of organic black beans
pour can in pot without draining.
Add 1 tblspn garlic
1 tspn cumin
1 tspn garlic
1/4 bunch of green onions --white and green.
Boil on medium heat about 10 min.

Lentil Loaf

I love Lentil Loaf, and it is 10x better when you serve it with mashed potatoes!
You can easily make this vegan by either leaving out the eggs (which just act as a binder so it wont be as loaf-like but will have the same taste, or by adding a vegan egg substitute).

This recipe makes like 12 servings.

2 cups red lentils-- cook for about 20 min. When they are done add them to the rest of the items.
1 cup diced carrots
1 red bell pepper
1 yellow bell pepper
1 zucchini
1 yellow squash
2 cans diced tomatoes or about 10 fresh diced
1 cup bread crumbs (you can leave this out for less carbs and calories it just wont be as loafy)
2 eggs (again acts as binding agent only. I leave out to remain vegan)
brown rice -- 1 -1.5 cups uncooked, but cook before adding to mixture.
Homemade pasta sauce -- or 1 full jar of pasta sauce

Mix very well and put in roasting pans.
Top with another full jar of your favorite homemade or store bought pasta sauce.

bake at 375 for 45 min with aluminum foil covering it, then cook another 15-20 min uncovered, make sure to rotate and check on loaf every 15 mins.