Friday, May 24, 2013

Ok so my eldest daughter has been begging and begging me to make my homemade Baklava for about a month now sooooo when I was creating the family meal plan for the week, I thought let's do a full Greek night!!! I made a Greek Meze Platter (Vegan Style, of course!) & it was a HUGE HIT! The kids asked that it be a weekly staple for dinner - that's always a good sign! Our Meze platter cucumbers & peppers (from our CSA Box this week!), 2 kinds of hummus (Mama's Garlic Hummus & a raw cayenne pepper hummus), Kalamata olives, Marcona almonds, mini pitas, Greek potatoes & I was going to make tofu "Feta" but the kids begged me to make my tofu scramble so I did - which turned out well because they started slathering hummus on the pitas & stuffing them with the scramble! We were all so full & happy, we didn't get to the baklava! So, that's being devoured tonight!! Happy Friday & Happy Memorial Day weekend!! 

Gorgeous Green's Greek Potatoes
(or Patates Fornou, as they say!)
my own damn recipe

10 - 12 good sized red potatoes, peeled if skins aren't good, chopped into small cubes
2 shallots (or 1 medium onion), coursely chopped
10-20 cloves garlic, peeled
1/4 to 1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 cup lemon juice
1/2 cup vegetable broth
1 heaping tsp dried oregano
Sea salt & pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 425. Combine all ingredients (excluding potatoes) in a baking dish & combine. Add in potatoes & toss to coat evenly. Put this baby in the oven for about an hour, it could be a little longer - check the potatoes by taking out a spoonful & shoving them super hot right into your mouth & see if you want them softer! Haha I seriously do that & burn my mouth off but these are so freaking good, I swear you won't even care!

Green's Garlic Hummus

This amazing dip has, like, 50 cloves of garlic in it! Talk about soooo good for you it’ll pour out your pores! So so good. & you'll be surprised at how mellow the garlic flavor is because it's been roasted.

4 - 5 heads of garlic
1/4 cup olive oil, plus more for drizzling
1 28 oz can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
1/2 cup lemon juice
2 heaping Tbsp. tahini
salt & pepper, to taste

Preheat oven to 350F. Cut tops from garlic heads to reveal tips of garlic cloves. Place garlic heads on large sheet of foil, and drizzle with olive oil. Wrap garlic heads tightly in foil, and bake 30 to 45 minutes, or until garlic head feel soft through foil. Cool in foil.
Puree chickpeas about 1 minute in food processor til you've got a fine paste. Add lemon juice, olive oil, tahini and 1/2 cup water. Blend chickpea mixture 2 to 3 minutes, or until smooth.
Squeeze roasted garlic pulp from each clove into chickpea mixture in bowl of food processor. Pulse hummus several times to combine. Season with salt and pepper. I love to serve this hummus in a pretty serving bowl, drizzled with olive oil (yet again), & sprinkle paprika & freshly ground salt & pepper over the top. Serve with pita bread, pita chips, tortilla chips, fresh veggies - Go wild!!

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Crazy Good Coconut Curry

This Curry has turned my husband (a certified non-curry man) into a believer! Not only will it’s cooking aromas tantalize & transform your entire kitchen, it’s delicate & delicious flavors are enough to win over anyone who dares to believe they dislike curry! This is a high-protein, low fat recipe; Another great “Clean Out the Fridge” recipe since you are not obligated to use the veggies I use (they are a mere suggestion & my own personal preference). Use squash, bell pepper, kale, chard, peas, sweet potatoes - make this your own using my recipe as your foundation. You will be so happy you did! This is one of those recipes to make again & again & again! Serve with fresh hummus & warmed pita.

-sea salt
-canola, or other neutral cooking oil, in mister
-2 cups vegan chick’un broth, divided (I highly recommend Better Than Bouillon’s No Chicken Base - 1 tablespoon dissolved in 2 cups hot water)
-1 package extra firm tofu, drained & gently squeezed in kitchen towel, then cut into small cubes (Another recommendation: Wildwood Sprouted Tofu - fantastic, non-GMO, sprouted soybeans - easier to digest! Although, any extra firm tofu will suffice) AND/OR 1 & 1/2 cups cooked chickpeas; You can cook your own or, if easier, pour ‘em straight from the can
-garlic powder
-onion powder
-1 tbsp + 1 tsp curry powder
-1 & 1/2 tsp ground ginger or 1 tbsp fresh chopped ginger
-2 tsp granulated garlic or 2 tbsp fresh minced garlic
-1 small onion, coarsely chopped
4 to 5 carrots, peeled & coarsely chopped
1 medium/large stalk of broccoli or small head cauliflower (or, hey! Both!), coarsely chopped
2 well-chopped organic tomatoes or 1 can organic crushed or diced tomatoes & their liquid
1 can organic light coconut milk
3 cups cooked brown jasmine or basmati rice OR 3 cups cooked couscous (I recommend trying this curry with the couscous - it is melt-in-your-mouth delicious!)
1/2 bunch fresh cilantro, very finely chopped 

Heat a large skillet over medium to medium-low heat until warmed. Sprinkle a pinch of sea salt over the bottom of skillet & wait 1 minute. Spray skillet with your oil mister, lightly coating the bottom of the pan. Wait an additional 30 seconds - this creates a natural non-stick effect! Throw in your cubed tofu, if using, & let slightly brown, 3-5 minutes. Sprinkle tofu with garlic & onion powders, then turn over to brown other side of cubes, another 3 - 5 minutes until the tofu begins to slightly harden & brown. The aroma will be heaven to your nasal passages!! Remove tofu & set aside. Add in 1/4 cup of broth, then onion & let onion soften, another 4-5 minutes. Add in curry, ginger & garlic - stir everything around to combine. If the pan is drying out, add in small amounts of broth - a tablespoon at a time, to keep cooking the onion. Add in the tomatoes, coconut milk & 1 cup broth, bringing to just below a boil. Reduce heat & cook down for 5-10 minutes, tasting as it cooks down. (Test by spooning out a carrot with small amount of liquid until it is near to your liking). Add in broccoli (&/or cauliflower) & chickpeas, if using. Cook an additional 5 - 10 minutes, depending on how cooked you want your veggies. Serve with rice or couscous & garnish generously with cilantro. (Omit cilantro for little ones, as it’s natural heat tends to come out the more it is chopped.)

To make rice, the usual equation is 2 cups liquid to 1 cup grain plus 1/2 - 1 tsp salt & 1 tbsp fat (oil or vegan butter). To make a lower fat grain that bursts with flavor, I add a tsp of that amazing bouillon to my water once it’s boiling. Laugh if you must, but it’s far lower in calories than oil, no fat & superior flavor - why NOT use it?! I also like to add the salt after the grain has cooked since I can then have control over the amount of sodium. If you make the couscous, the last 5 minutes of the cooking the Curry, boil 3 cups water over high heat, add bouillon & 1 & 1/2 cups couscous, stir well, cover then turn off heat & let sit until your Curry is done. To serve, fluff grain with fork, spoon massive amounts of this AHHHmazing Curry over it & die happy. Bon appetit!!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Amazingly Awesome Artichokes

-water (fill a large pot about halfway)
-2 lemons, halved
-lots of garlic
-onion powder or 1 large chopped onion
-1/4 cup white wine
-1/2 cup Tamari
-1/2 a container Better Than Bouillon (or 2 -3 vegan bouillon cubes)
- 2 tbsp olive oil
-2  bay leaves
-salt & pepper, lots
wash artichokes in cold water
chop off stems
remove tough lower leaves

cut artichokes in half
bring broth to slight boil
lower heat & place artichokes in  broth
simmer for 25 - 35 min, covered
serve with dill dipping sauce

great thing about this broth - it can be frozen or refrigerated & reused for artichokes a second time!!
- 4 tbsp vegenaise
- splah of plain unsweetened soy milk
- 1/2 fresh squeezed lemon
- 1/4 - 1/2 tsp dill weed
- 14 - 1/2 tsp parsley
- 1 tsp onion powder
- salt
- pepper
combine well & serve with artichokes

This can be made a day ahead of time - the flavors develop nicely in the fridge

 Just give it a quick stir before serving


& Happy Valentine's Day!

Monday, November 8, 2010

Potato Kale soup!

There's really no need to go into a long introduction on this one - it speaks for itself! What is better than kale & potatoes on a cool Fall or Winter evening?! It is perfection in a bowl!! This soup was inspired by Kim Barnouin's recipe for Kale & White Bean Soup but with a few tweaks! This is a delicious one-pot wonder meal! Serve with rustic, crusty bread or garlic toast.


1 - 2 tbsp sunflower, safflower or canola oil
1 small to medium onion (preferably yellow), chopped
1 - 2 cloves of garlic, minced
4 - 5 medium to large carrots, chopped
1 - 2 stalks of celery, chopped
2 cups Yukon Gold potatoes, chopped
1/2 of a 6 oz can tomato paste
7 cups boiling hot water mixed with 2 generous tsp Better Than Bouillon Vegetarian
2 tbsp barley miso
1 tsp cumin
pinch garam masala
2 1/2 - 3 cups kale, chopped, spine removed
1 can white beans, drained & rinsed
generous pinch thyme
generous pinch basil

Heat oil in a large soup pot over medium heat. Add in the onion & saute until translucent. Add garlic & heat 30 seconds. Now add those yummy carrots, crunchy celery, buttery potatoes & tomato paste then stir to combine & coat the veggies with the paste. Add cumin & garam masala & stir to combine once again. Pour in the broth & bring to a boil. Once boiling, lower the heat to a simmer & stir in miso. Simmer for 20 to 30 minutes until the veggies are tender but still have a little bite. Add kale, beans, thyme & basil & simmer for another 20 to 30 minutes. Turn off heat & sprinkle generously with salt & pepper then ladle into bowls & dig in! This was a HUGE hit in our house - with the hubby, kids AND the almost 1 year old! 

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Pumkin Love

The time has come. 

Ahhh yes. The joy & excitement is overwhelming! 

My husband & kids get so excited when October rolls around & I make loaf after loaf of my perfectly delectable pumpkin bread! It seems like I cannot make enough to keep up with their demanding stomachs! & this year, we would like to share this recipe with you & your grateful tummies!!

-2 cups all-purpose flour
-1 1/2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
-1 heaping tbsp cinnamon
-1 heaping tsp allspice 
-1 tsp sea salt
-2 tsp baking soda
-1/2 tsp baking powder
-egg replacer for 4 eggs
-1/2 heaping cup Earth Balance at room temp
-2 cups Sucanat (or other vegan sugar)
-1 heaping cups applesauce
-1 can of canned pumpkin  (not pumpkin pie)
-1 1/2 tsp vanilla
-1/2 cup apple juice

1. Preheat oven to 375. 
2. Combine flours, cinnamon, allspice, salt, baking soda & powder in bowl. 
3. In a larger bowl, using a hand mixer, cream together the Earth Balance & Sucanat. Add in the egg replacer, applesauce, pumpkin & vanilla & combine well.

4. Add flour mixture into the wet ingredients & combine well. Throw in the apple juice & combine well yet again! 

5. You are going to have enough for 2 loaves - if you are blessed enough to have 2 ovens like me, you can bake both at the same time! Or pour 1/2 the batter in a loaf pan (filling up about 2/3 of the way) & bake for 35-40 minutes while putting the other 1/2 of the batter in the fridge then baking after the first loaf is done. When loaf is done, a fork will come out clean from the center. Now, eat & DIE HAPPY!

Friday, September 24, 2010

Something to kick up that boring salad?

Today I am posting a few of my favorite, most simple recipes. The first being my Kickin' Ranch & the second being my son's favorite snack, Bragg Tamari Almonds, then lastly, my beer-battered onion rings. These are, in no way, gourmet or low-fat, but they are, in fact, quite spectacular tasting! & that's what really counts, right? :) These are both simple to make & require very little ingredients. & all are perfect in a salad!

This is a great staple dressing. I know a lot of non-vegans who have this dressing at my house all the time & cannot get over the fact it has no disgusting dairy in it! It's great for salads, for dipping veggies, over a baked potato, etc. It may not be low in fat but it's high deliciousness. Now, it may seem like the amounts for the spices are a bit large but, trust me, it needs it or it's bland. The Vegenaise & soy milk combo seem to underwhelm the spices, so taste as you go to make sure there is enough flavor for you. 

- 1 cup Vegenaise

- 1/2 - 3/4 cup soy milk
 (this will vary depending on how thick or thin you like your dressing. I highly recommend using soy milk for it's thicker consistency as opposed to other nut milks. Also, try finding a soy milk with no added sugar or sweeteners. I used Soy Dream in this last batch & it works fine but I prefer, for this recipe, WestSoy's Organic Unsweetened Soy Milk)

-1 to 2 tsp garlic powder

- 1 to 2 tsp onion powder

- 1 tsp cayenne pepper 
(this can always be omitted or you can add more depending on how spicy or non-spicy you want it)

- 1 tsp sea salt

- 1 tsp finely ground black pepper

Place all ingredients in a medium sized bowl & whisk until smooth. I recommend starting with the smallest amount of the spices then tasting the dressing & adding more if necessary. This recipe can easily be doubled, tripled or split in half. Devour & enjoy!

Just enough for the week :)


This is a delicious, no fuss recipe that is healthy and delicious. These are a perfect snack in the car, for the kids at school, in your own trail mix or in an Asian-inspired salad. These will last you awhile in the fridge.

- 2 cups raw almonds
- 1/4 - 1/2 cup Bragg Liquid Aminos
-1/4 cup low sodium Tamari
- garlic powder

Preheat oven to 170. Place almonds, Bragg aminos & Tamari in a large bowl & coat almonds completely. Let sit for a few minutes, mix around again & let sit a few more minutes. Spread the almonds on a large baking sheet & sprinkle them with the garlic powder. Let them roast for 20 - 30 minutes, stirring them around every 5 to 10 minutes for even cooking. Once they smell fragrant, remove, let cool & eat, eat, eat!! Save in the fridge for freshness. 

In the mixing bowl!

Done & ready to eat!! Yum!

serves 4 to 6

that's the bowl Lily made!!
Dip in that Kickin' Ranch!! or throw on top of your favorite salad! or use in your vegan green bean casserole! Or throw them into my Benihana Style Onion Soup! No matter which way you eat 'em, you end up with a song in your heart & a smile on your face!

-2 cups flour
-1 cup beer
(Corona Lite works perfectly!)
- 1 tbsp sea salt
-1/4 - 1/2 tbsp cayenne pepper
-1/4 - 1/2 tbsp finely ground black pepper
- 1/2 tbsp garlic powder
- scant tbsp your favorite hot sauce
(I ADORE Pepper Plant!)
- 2 to 4 thinly sliced yellow onions
- Coconut oil

1. Combine 1 cup flour, 1 cup beer, salt, peppers, garlic powder & hot sauce in a large bowl.
2. Place the additional cup of flour in a separate pie dish.
3. Heat a very large amount of coconut oil in a deep skillet until melted & hot over medium-high heat.
4. Taking a few slices of onion at a time, dredge in the beer batter to coat, then into the dry flour to coat again. Now toss 'em into the hot oil. They will take 2 - 5 minutes per side (keep a close eye on them - cooking time will vary based on size) until a lovely golden brown.

5. Have a few sheets of paper towels lined up on the counter to put the onion rings there when they are done frying. Then sprinkle with a little salt. Serve hot! Or put on top of your salads!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Football has officially begun!

Just another amazing bounty from our local farmer's market. Best loot ever!

Hello out there in Internet-world! As you may have realized, I take the title role of "Biggest Slacker" EVER! But I am back! (& better than ever!) I'm going to attempt to play catch-up this week - I have tons of pics & awesome recipes that I think are worth sharing & even better to eat! & I'm coming back at cha with 2 bomb-ass recipes I consider "Football Party Worthy". The dip is an especially big hit around here this time of year & the chili is also well-received by vegans & non-vegans alike! Hope you enjoy!

serves 6 - 10 (or sometimes 2 when my hubby & I are pigging out!! Bad, I know but SOOO good!)

The real point of this dip is pure spicy indulgence. The spicier the better. & those big football-lovin' meat heads that have taken over your living room for the next few months are gonna go nuts over this dip

- 10 of the best jalapenos you can get your hands on, minced very small & keep the seeds from at least half of the peppers (any other super spicy pepper will work as well just scale down the amount you out in depending on their hotness factor!)
- 4 cans artichoke hearts in water, drained & rinsed
- 2 heaping tbsp minced garlic
- 1 1/2 - 2 generous cups Vegenaise 
- 1 1/2 - 2 cups Parma! or any vegan Parmesan
- 1 tbsp cayenne pepper
- 1 tbsp onion powder
- 1 - 3 tsp sea salt
- 1 - 3 tsp finely ground black pepper
- Big bag of chips for dipping (I like to serve this dip with Garden of Eatin's Red Hot Blues - blue corn chips slathered in cayenne pepper - this dish is certainly not for wimps!) along with your favorite crudites

1. Preheat the oven to 350. 
2. Spread out the artichoke hearts on a large cutting board & start chopping. Now totally obliterate these, you want to leave some nice big chunks - that's the BEST when you're dipping! Transfer these precious gems to a large mixing bowl. 
3. Add jalapenos & garlic. Stir gently to combine.

4. Add the Vegenaise & Parma. Fold in the artichoke heart mixture until well- combined. 
5. Lastly, add all those delicious spices & again, combine well. Transfer to a large baking dish.
6.  Let cook for 25 - 30 minutes. Sprinkle with extra cayenne if desired & serve HOT! 
This went so fast last time, I wasn't even able to get a picture of it coming out of the oven!
My gorgeous man filling up on dip!

serves 8 - 10

The great thing about this dish is the little time it really takes to make it since it cooks in the slow-cooker! Soak the beans the night before & pop all the ingredients into the slow-cooker in the morning & presto! Dinner! It could not be easier! Great with some homemade vegan cornbread!

- 1/2 cup dried black beans
- 1/2 cup dried cannellini beans
- 1/2 cup dried kidney beans
- 1/2 cup pinto beans
- 1/2 cup dried lentils
- 1 cup TVP
- 2 cups fresh (or frozen) corn kernels
- 1 cup chopped potatoes
- 1 cup chopped carrots

- 1 - 2 tbsp canola oil
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 1 heaping tbsp minced garlic
- 1 tsp cumin
                                                                               - 1 tsp oregano
                                                                               - 1 tsp paprika
                                                                               - 1 tsp cayenne, optional
                                                                               - 1 small can tomato paste
                                                                               - 7 cups very hot water
                                                                               - 1 vegan bouillon cube
                                                                               - sea salt & pepper to taste
                                                                               - Fixin's: onion, avocado, cilantro, vegan cheese,                 
                                                                                              vegan sour cream, salsa, etc

1. Pick over all your beans (except the lentils), discarding any undesirable or shriveled beans. Rinse & drain beans. Place all beans (except lentils) in a stainless steel bowl (preferable) & soak with a large strip of kombu overnight. 

2. In the morning, take out your slow cooker & turn it on low just to heat it up. 
3. Place a skillet over medium heat & warm for a minute or two then add in your oil & heat through, 30 seconds. Add in that gorgeous onion & saute until soft, around 7 minutes. Add in all the spices except the salt & pepper, stir to combine & cook for an additional minute or two. 
4. Add the onions & spices to the slow cooker. Drain your beans, discarding the kombu, & add them, along with lentils, TVP, tomato paste & bouillon. Add the extremely hot water & stir well until everything is well-combined. 
5. Cook in the slow cooker on high for 3 hours, stirring occasionally every hour or two & checking water level. Then on low for 2 - 3 hours. The last 1 1/2, add in the chopped veggies & stir until incorporated. The last 1/2 - 45 minutes, add in the corn & stir again. If needed, add small amounts of water, if it seems to be drying out. Once you reach the 5 hour mark, taste the chili to ensure the beans are tender enough. Add salt & pepper to taste & top with your favorite toppings! Lucas loves just dipping cornbread or chips in the chili. I love chopped raw onion & vegan sour cream on top of mine. Lily likes it like her dad. Kingston loves his with avocado & vegan cheese. & Miss Giorgia, well, she has not yet had this yumminess, but soon! Very soon!



Friday, September 10, 2010

Kraaazy Kingston!!

Kingston is not only the coolest kid I know, he is SO smart, so fun, so clever, so enjoyable to have around - He is amazing. & I am blessed to be his mama. Here's a few fun pics...

So this is the kool & krazy Kingston! He is THE MAN!









Saturday, August 28, 2010

Lovely Lily

I thought it would be fun to "introduce" you to the kids! I'm starting with Lily, 9. She is such a beautiful, talented, smart, creative, FUN daughter & sister! 

Lily - lover of all living creatures! This ladybug would not leave her! It was amazing!

Causing trouble in Mama & Papa's room!

First day of 3rd grade. She's going into 4th grade in just a couple weeks!! She, being a little fashionista, picked her own wardrobe!

Lily loves wigs (& dressing up in general!)

Holding her baby sister, Giorgia, at just a few weeks old

Lily & Kingston, messing around

  Lily in Hawaii - she thought this guy was awesome :) She posed as a much cuter statue with him 

All dressed up - & yes, it's just another day at school. No occasion - just Lily being awesome!

This is one of my favorite pics of Lil - our Laker girl :)