I just found out that my blog was nominated for the Top 25 Foodie Moms of 2012 Contest!! If you have a second and want to vote for me, I’d greatly appreciate it!
Click on the link below. You can vote once every 24 hours PER DEVICE! Some devices will let you vote more than once! You don’t need to sign up for anything, just click on the vote button and that’s it!
Voting ends May 29th.
Thank you for all your support, it means a lot to me!
- “Top 25 Vegetarian & Vegan Mom Blog” Contest ends Feb. 14th at 5pm (kidtestedfirefighterapproved.com)
Let me start by saying I SERIOUSLY lack in the green thumb department… I can kill a cactus. I taught myself how to sprout and I have a new sense of confidence when it comes to growing something, that makes me so happy! I’m not ready to start my own kale garden yet but in the meantime I’m having a blast sprouting in my pantry.
Once you get the hang of it, it’s super easy and fun! I always keep a jar or two in my fridge, I love to add sprouts to my daily salads! I added sprouts to my recent copycat Whole Foods-like Oil-Free Lentil Salad, that was delicious! The past few weeks I’ve been sprouting spelt, wheat berries and buckwheat groats together to make a delicious live-food breakfast! I add a little walnuts or raw pumpkin seeds, some fruit and a little almond milk, it’s really delicious.
** Tools you will need to do this:
1. Grains, seeds, beans, lentils or whatever else you want to sprout! I like green lentils, mung beans, spelt, wheat berries, buckwheat and variety packs the best. I’m still experimenting with other ones, there are so many! You can sprout quinoa, chia seeds, pumpkin seeds (I tried this and didn’t really get any growth… still mastering this one!)… so many options! I’ve sprouted garbanzo beans before and made hummus out of them… tasted kinda funky, I have to admit but I’m willing to try it again.
2. 1/2 Gallon Mason Jars – They work the best and allow the most sprout production due to their larger size. I like the wide-mouth ones the best! You can also use them to store your dry beans and grains, I do!
3. Sprouting Lids or Cheesecloth and a rubber band – I like the lids the best
4. Dark pantry or cupboard – time to clear out a space for your new sprouting habit! Now, some sprouts (from what I’ve read) need sunlight but I haven’t gotten to that level yet. I tried leaving my lentil sprouts out on the counter for sunlight and they ended up brown and odd tasting. For now, I’m sticking to the cupboard/pantry method!
5. Bowl – large enough to hold a mason jar upside down to catch excess water
1. I add about 1/2 – 1 cup of whatever I want to sprout to my 1/2 gallon mason jar (some more, some less depending on the size of the seed/grain you’re growing)… fill the jar with water, attach my sprouting lid (or cheesecloth if you don’t want to use a fancy lid) and drain the water out. I then fill the jar up again and let it sit in my cupboard with the LID ON (metal one that comes with the jar or a plastic one you can order separately) overnight – about 12 hours.
2. The next morning – attaching the sprouting lid or cheesecloth, drain the jar into the sink and place it upside down on a towel to get most of the excess water out. Then place the jar upside down in a bowl, lined with a paper towel. Place this getup in a dark cupboard or pantry.
3. WRITE YOURSELF A NOTE SAYING “SPROUTS”… that’s what I do. It’s taped to the outside of my cupboard to remind me to rinse my sprouts a few times a day. Out of sight out of mind, they’re easy to forget about.
4. Continue to fill the jar up with water and drain 2-3 time a day, placing the jar back into the bowl in your cupboard or pantry each time. Make sure you get most of the water out or your sprouts will MOLD! If you forget about them and leave them in there without rinsing them for 24 hours they will most likely mold… just happened to me today! AGH!!! I hate wasting two whole jars of sprouts!!!
5. When you’ve achieved your desired growth on your sprouts rinse them one last time and place a metal or plastic lid on the jar and place in the fridge for up to a week.
6. TIME TO EAT! Add them to salads, eat them for breakfast or snack but most of all ENJOY THEM because they are SOOOOO GOOD FOR YOU!!!
I bought a spiralizer (Buy it here) a few months ago and this is the first thing I made! These little kitchen tools are so cool! You can make curly fries (I bake mine without oil), zucchini noodles, apple “noodles”… the list is endless! Your kids will love using this thing and so will you!
Daikon radishes have a very distinct strong flavor. If you do not like this flavor, substitute brown rice noodles or whole wheat pasta instead. I plan on experimenting with this recipe in the future!
This recipe is from Melomeals: Vegan For $3.33 A Day!
- 1 medium Daikon, spiralized (around 6 cups)
- 2 t toasted sesame oil
- 5 scallions, diced
- 1 T soy sauce
- 1 T siracha – or less if you don’t like s
- 1/4 c Wasabi Ginger Dressing
- 2 T toasted sesame seeds
Saute all of the ingredients together in a non stick skillet for 10 minutes. Taste and add more soy sauce, black pepper and siracha if desired.
I have the best husband! He is always willing to run to the store for me if I need anything, no matter how crazy the item is or how long the list. He went to Sprouts for me a few days ago AND took our toddler to give me a much-needed break. He brought home these Chili Peanuts and said he thought they looked good but they weren’t. He must have been hungry… Rule #1 of grocery shopping is not to go when you are hungry otherwise you end up with things like this.
I asked Melody of Melomeals: Vegan For $3.33 A Day what she would do with them (she is the recipe invention master!) and she suggested a peanut sauce. Great idea! I went through my fridge and cupboards and I found soba noodles, a leftover red pepper from making Red Lentil Thai Chili, cilantro, limes, fresh ginger, Morningstar Chick-n Strips, panang curry paste, half a can of coconut milk, leftover shredded carrots from making Carrot Breakfast Bread, snow peas and a fresh bag of organic spinach from my CSA delivery. Okay… time to invent something!
After adding, tasting and blending for what seemed like forever… my Chili Peanut Sauce came out pretty tasty! This sauce would go well with a bunch of things but I made it into a noodle dish with the red pepper, carrots, snap peas, spinach, Morningstar Chick-n Strips and soba noodles.
Thai Chili Peanut Sauce
* 1 cup chili peanuts
* 2 Tbsp panang chili paste – you could use any curry paste but the panang was really good!
* 1/2 – 3/4 cup coconut milk
* 2 Tbsp fresh ginger
* 3 cloves garlic
* 2 Tbsp fresh lime juice
* 1/4 cup cilantro
* 1-2 Tbsp maple syrup
* 2 Tbsp soy sauce
* 1 tsp Sriracha (optional)
* Big pinch of salt
* Add all ingredients to high-powered blender (I used my VitaMix) and blend until smooth.
* Add more coconut milk if it’s too thick
* I’m pretty sure this would work in a food processor but I haven’t tried it yet. Next time.
For the noodle dish I added this sauce to:
* I cooked my soba noodles
* Sautéed 1 diced red pepper, 1 cup shredded carrots and 1 cup snow peas in a tiny bit of peanut oil
* I then added the Morningstar Chik-n Strips and cooked for about 3-4 minutes, stirring often
* Added 1 cup of sauce, then noodles and spinach (about 5-6 cups) and mixed with tongs, cooked on low heat until spinach wilted and sauce was covering all ingredients.
* I served this with Sriracha Hot Sauce, it really made the dish!! You could use regular whole wheat spaghetti for this too. Top with fresh cilantro and maybe a little lime juice, if you wish.
If you can’t tell by my posts lately, I love soup! I love leftover soup too but after about 3 days of it, I’m ready for something new. That’s when I usually ship it off to my hubby to share with the guys at work. I learned a cool new way to make burgers from leftover soup from my favorite vegan food blogger Melomeals: Vegan For $3.33 A Day.
Here’s my second try at this, I used leftover Red Lentil, Chickpea & Chili Soup for the burger and served it on rosemary sourdough bread with caramelized onions, spinach and Southwestern Chipotle Sauce. It was so good… like “party-in-your-mouth” good!!
First, I tried it out on leftover Chipotle Split Pea Soup and it was excellent! My hubby and toddler loved it and my hubby requested I put together a batch for him to take to work.
Here’s how you do it:
* Take 1 cup of leftover soup and add it with a liberal 1/2 cup rolled oats and 1 Tbsp golden flax meal…. and that’s it!
* Mix and place in fridge for several hours or overnight – I did overnight, worked out great!
* Shape into patties and cook in cast iron pan on high heat until done.
Since both my kids decided to nap at the same time today, I had a chance to make this breakfast bread recipe I’ve had my eye on for a few weeks. I’m always on the lookout for healthy but fast breakfast options for busy mornings and this works perfectly! I had leftover shredded carrots from making the Healthy Veggie Muffins a couple of days ago and Chipotle Split Pea Soup last night so this was a perfect way to use them up!
Breakfast bread with peanut butter, orange slices and a glass of almond milk… Yummy!! Toddler and hubby loved this and ate it throughout the day!
The original recipe is from… you guessed it! Melomeals: Vegan For $3.33 A Day, my all-time favorite recipe source and vegan food blog. I changed it up a bit over the past year, I make it often because it’s really good! If you haven’t explored her blog, PLEASE do so!!!
- 2 cups old-fashioned oats
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1 tablespoon cinnamon
- 1/4 – 1/2 teaspoon Kal Stevia Powder (I use 1/4 tsp)
- ¼ teaspoon cloves
- ¼ teaspoon cardamom
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- 4 tablespoons fresh ginger
- ¾ cup dried unsweetened coconut
- 2 large carrots
- 1 – 15 oz can of white beans and their liquid
- 1/3 cup water
- 2 tablespoons psyllium husk
- 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce – I like to use cinnamon
- 1 tablespoon vinegar – I used apple cider vinegar
I did it, I finished a whole can of chipotle chiles in adobo sauce! I always buy a can, use one or two for a recipe and the rest of it sits in the fridge and rots.
As you can see, I’ve been on a soup kick this week due to the recent rain. I love soup, it’s so easy and almost everything you need ends up in one warm bowl of goodness!
This is from… you guessed it! Melomeals: Vegan For $3.33 A Day vegan food blog. She has so many delicious recipes, I may just cook my way through her whole site!
First off, this soup smells SO GOOD when it’s cooking… the kind of smell where your neighbors peek their heads over the fence and say “What are you cooking? That smells awesome!”. Not only does it smell good, it tastes good too! Plus it’s easy to make, cheap and very healthy (protein & fiber!), what more do you need!
Chipotle Split Pea Soup
1 t thyme
1 t basil
1 t tarragon
1 t rosemary
1 large onion, 1.5 cups chopped
8 cloves garlic, minced or 2.5 T
1 medium carrot, chopped
2 medium stalks celery, chopped
1 lb dried split peas
6 -8 c water or vegetable stock
2 bouillon cubes if not using stock
1-3 canned chipotle peppers in adobo chopped
salt/pepper to taste
1 T balsamic vinegar
fresh parsley or cilantro if desired
* In a heavy bottomed soup pot over medium heat add the dried spices,onions and garlic and saute for several minutes.
This is for all you kale “cult members” out there! There seems to be two kinds of people when it comes to kale – those who have no idea what it is and those who are obsessed with it. I don’t have much experience in between the two, only one or the other. We eat kale almost everyday so I suppose that puts us in the “cult member” category.
I found this recipe in the Engine 2 Diet book. It’s really good on crackers, pasta, veggies and sandwiches/wraps. I smear this on my toddler’s sandwiches with white beans and soy cheese and she devours it!
* 1 bunch kale, rinsed and chopped (I use black/lacinato kale – use stems too)
* 1/2 cup walnuts
* 1/2 cup water – (use water leftover from steaming kale!)
* Salt, to taste
- Steam the kale for 5 minutes, until tender
- Blend the cooked kale with the walnuts and 1/2 cup of the green water from steaming. Blend until smooth.
- Add salt to taste, if desired
My toddler LOVES this! Can you tell?
I haven’t bought or used packet taco seasoning for a few years now and I never will again! This is the most flavorful taco seasoning recipe, it’s easy to make and has much less sodium than the regular packet kind.
This recipe is from Food.com, it’s the #2 highest rated out of 3,286 taco seasoning recipes. I tried the top rated 5 and this one is the best, in my opinion. I use this to make my taco/burrito/tostada TVP “meat” (with hidden greens) and anything else that calls for taco seasoning!
- 2 tablespoons mild chili powder (for the best flavor do not reduce this amount)
- 1/2-1 teaspoon garlic powder (I use 1 tsp)
- 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon paprika
- 2 -3 teaspoons cumin (I use 3 tsps)
- 1 teaspoon seasoning salt (or use 1/2 teaspoon white salt) – I use 1 tsp Santa Maria Style BBQ Seasoning
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 pinch cayenne pepper (optional or to taste) – I use a big pinch
Combine all ingredients (double or triple if desired) .
Store tightly sealed in a small glass jar until ready to use OR freeze in individual wrapped foil packets
TVP Tacos with this seasoning… YUMMY!!
We ordered pizza tonight, didn’t feel like cooking… strange, I know. You’d be surprised how good pizza is without cheese PLUS it’s much better for you that way!
We like to order Papa Johns – veggie with extra sauce, no cheese and sometimes I add a little Daiya Mozzerella Cheese on top and melt it under the broiler for a minute – yep, it melts like regular mozzarella and it’s completely dairy free. It’s made out of tapioca and it’s good on top of pizza, mexican food and many other things. You can find it at Sprouts.
Tonight we used a coupon and skimped on the toppings – mushroom and olive only. I make a really good loaded veggie pizza that you have to eat with a knife and fork, recipe coming soon!
Chia seeds… you may have heard of them, they’re pretty awesome.
Chia seeds are the latest super food on the health food scene. They look like poppy seeds, have a crunchy texture, and are almost nutty in taste.
Chia seeds are high in protein, fiber, calcium, antioxidants, and omega-3s. In fact, for women, the RDI of omega-3s is 1.1 grams (1,100 mg) a day, so if you’re looking for a new source that’s vegan, gluten-free, and easy to consume, you’ll want to pick up some chia seeds.
1 Tbsp of chia seeds is 60 calories, 3 grams of fat, 5 grams of fiber, 3 grams of protein, 8% of your daily calcium, and 2.5 grams of omega-3 fatty acids.
Chia seeds are great for athletes because they absorb large amounts of water, over 10 times their weight making them a great enhancer in hydrating our bodies. They also absorb the water we drink holding it in our system longer.
If you soak a teaspoon of chia seeds in water, until they become gelatinous and expand. Eating the soaked seeds can help you watch your caloric intake, because they make you feel full.
It’s up to you if you want to grind them up, but you still reap all the health benefits by eating them whole or just soaking them. Try sprinkling half a tablespoon on your cereal, ice cream, salad, oatmeal, or yogurt. Or you can make a pudding with them, add them to muffins when baking, or add a tablespoon in a smoothie concoction!
I eat 1-2 Tbsp of chia seeds per day – I add them t0 my morning protein shake, sprinkle them on salads, add them to baked goods and mix them in with my favorite almond or soy yogurt My toddler loves these mixed in her yogurt, we call them her “crunchies” (hemp seeds too).
My favorite is Nutiva brand chia seeds, they are organic and sold at an awesome price online at Amazon. Sprouts sells chia seeds in the bulk spice section for about $16.99 PER POUND, Amazon sells a 3 POUND BAG of ORGANIC Nutiva Chia Seeds for $22.89 with free shipping!! Awesome deal! (Buy here)
Who doesn’t like nachos?! We have nacho night at our house at least once a month (our junk food night), my husband loves it! As I’ve said before, I have a few nacho-type “cheese” recipes that I rotate for different types of food – nachos, bean dip, broccoli “cheese” potatoes, enchiladas, tacos, etc.
I used this potato-based vegan Fake-Out Cheese recipe for this batch of nachos, along with my husband’s favorite fake meat crumbles (Quorn brand – mushroom protein crumbles – orange bag, freezer section at Sprouts), black beans, black olives, homemade guacamole (2 avocados and a packet of “Spicy Great Guacamole” – makes the best guac! Produce section, black packet), fresh chopped tomatoes, Tofutti brand “Better than Sour Cream” sour cream (buy at Sprouts) and salsa/hot sauce.
- 2 tablespoons mild chile powder (for the best flavor do not reduce this amount) – I use chipotle or adobo chile powder
- 1/2-1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon paprika
- 2 -3 teaspoons cumin
- 1 teaspoon seasoning salt (or use 1/2 teaspoon white salt)
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 pinch cayenne (optional or to taste)
Combine all ingredients (double or triple if desired) .
Store tightly sealed in a small glass jar until ready to use.
I’ve given this recipe to many people and they love it every time! It’s not your typical high-maintenence sangria recipe either, you can use good ol’ $2 Chuck and no one will know the difference. I like to use the Cab or the Syrah but really, you could use anything you have open.
- 1/4 tsp Stevia
- 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
- 1/2 cup orange juice
- 1/4 cup orange-flavored liqueur – triple sec (cheap will do)
- 1 (750 ml) bottle red wine
- 1/2 – 1 whole lemon, sliced
- 1/2 – 1 whole orange, sliced
- 1/2 – 1 whole apple cored and sliced
In a plastic container (with lid) combine sugar, lemon & orange juices, liqueur and wine; stir.
Refrigerate for several hours.
Pour into pitcher add lemon, apple and orange slices – you can add these before if you want them to soak up a bit of the booze
Serve over ice.
I have a lot of spices, more than most people I bet. The thing is, I actually use them ALL!
I use baby food jars to store them, they are the perfect height to fit into the kitchen drawer. I dream of a fancy spice organizer but in the meantime, this will have to do.
Here’s a bit more…
I order most of my spices from my favorite online spice store World Spice Merchants. They have the freshest, best tasting spices and they are reasonably priced! Fresh spices make a huge difference in the way your recipe turns out, especially when you’re making Indian Food. I make a decent amount of Indian Food and I can really taste the difference. They also sell loose tea and tea accessories. I’m waiting for my shipment now – smoked sea salt is what I’m after this order!