Curried Split Pea Soup

This soup is a classic. It’s hardy, comforting, and healthy. It’s also pretty simple with ingredients you probably already have. Perhaps it’s the kind of soup you might pass up, but then you try it and you’re sold. I made it last night, so the thought of eating it for dinner again didn’t excite me too much. But I was warming it up on the stove for Oliver, tasted it, and you guessed it, ate it again. And I think it tasted even better today! Continue reading “Curried Split Pea Soup”

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Rainbow (Unrainbow) Cookies

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Okay, so I don’t really know where to begin with this post because there is so much going on in this recipe. Besides the fact that I’ve wanted to create something like this since December 2013 (reasons why I will get to), this multifaceted dessert has layers (literally) of recipes, all of which I’ve intended to blog about before this deliciousness…is it a cookie? a bar? could it be made into a tart? Yes. Yes. And yes. Continue reading “Rainbow (Unrainbow) Cookies”

Banana Nut Muffins

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It’s the last day of 2016 and what a crazy year it has been. There have been some highs and lows; the highs would have to include the birth of our baby boy and buying our first home together, and the lows have been learning experiences which have only strengthened me and my family. I used to always say this next year Is going to be the best yet! However, now I am taking it day by day, with the confidence of knowing that life will have many more highs and lows. It’s all about the attitude one chooses to have towards them. On our refrigerator we have a short piece titled ATTITUDE, and it states: The longer I live, the more I realize the impact of attitude on life. Attitude to me is more important than facts. It is more important than the past, than education, than money, than circumstances, than failures, than successes, than what other people say or do. It is more than appearance, giftedness, or skill. It will make or break a company…a house of religion…a home. The remarkable thing is you have a choice every day regarding the attitude you will embrace for the day. We cannot change our past…we cannot change the fact that people will act in a certain way. We cannot change the inevitable…The only thing we can do is play on the one thing we have and that is our attitude. I am convinced that life is 10% what happens to me and 90% how I react to it. And so it is with you…because YOU are in charge of your attitude.  Continue reading “Banana Nut Muffins”

Tempeh Bolognese

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Ah, tempeh meat sauce. This is quickly becoming one of my favorite comfort meals to make. I was supposed to make it with a spaghetti squash, but it was a cold, windy night when this was being tested in the kitchen and I just couldn’t resist good old (whole wheat) pasta. Don’t get me wrong – I’m usually a regular pasta kinda girl, but I gave Justin the option and this is what he chose. It’s been a few days and that poor spaghetti squash is still sitting on my counter. Continue reading “Tempeh Bolognese”

Chocolate Peanut Butter Energy Balls

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Having taken the year off from work to be with my little guy, visions of sugar plums and recipe tastings danced in my head. However, I’m lucky if I remember to make dinner. Period. Every day is filled with craziness and I have no idea where the hours go, and I absolutely love it. So those moments when I am able to make something new for my blog (and photograph it!) is just icing on the cake. I just sat down after a crazy day of making to-go lunches, playing with my 4 1/2 month old little dude, and having my upstairs gutted, and I gave myself two choices…work on that blog post that I started 3 days ago or continue reading that awesome book that came yesterday (I think I’m on page 2). Cleaning was off the table since that is the reason I never take naps when Oliver does. So I decided to treat myself tonight. By the way, the book is In the Company of Women by Grace Bonney and it’s quite inspirational. Anyway, I digress… I’m going to continue writing this blog post even though I’m half expecting Mr. Oliver to wake up any minute since he wakes up All. The. Time. He’s lucky he’s adorable. Everyone asks me if he’s a good boy. I tell them he’s the best. The sweetest. The most precious. Then they say…He’s a good sleeper? And I reply, Oh no, he’s the worst. I was going to wait until the 6 month mark to begin introducing foods for reasons I’ve only read about; however, I’m second guessing that in hopes that (perhaps) he’ll sleep better. (Some swear by it; some say it doesn’t work. Your thoughts? Comment below please!) I realize that most of my posts lately have been about motherhood, but it’s tough not to write about it since it consumes my every waking moment…and I wouldn’t have it any other way! Okay, onto the recipe. Continue reading “Chocolate Peanut Butter Energy Balls”

Pumpkin Nut and Date Muffins

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With the fall season upon us, it’s not just a time to whip out all things pumpkin (pumpkin pie spice potato chips? Yes, it’s a thing. It’s not my thing, but it’s a thing), but it’s also time for local fall/holiday shopping events and I like to have new and delicious things on the menu. This recipe is (very) loosely based on my pumpkin nut raisin bread recipe. The beauty of this muffin is that it can connect to many. The pumpkin lovers and the pumpkin not-so-muchers. The pumpkin in this muffin is not very detectable, but what it does do is add a lot of moisture. These are extremely hearty and a little goes a long way. Not to mention, it’s a superfood powerhouse – loaded with fiber, protein, calcium, omega-3’s, vitamin A, beta-carotene, vitamin C, and potassium. I usually have leftover pumpkin because I use large cans, so Roscoe my Rottie mix is treated to a colorful and healthy dinner as well. For those of you who live locally and do not feel like making an entire batch of these, I definitely intend on making these at future events!

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Ingredients (Makes 12 muffins):

  • 3 cups oats
  • 3/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 2 Tbsp chia seeds
  • 2 Tbsp cinnamon
  • Pinch of nutmeg (I used less than 1/4 tsp)
  • 2 cups pumpkin puree (canned pumpkin)
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup dates, chopped (optional)
  • 1 cup walnuts, chopped (optional)
  • Oil for greasing

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Steps:

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  • Mix the oats in a blender until they resemble flour.
  • Add the oat flour, baking soda, baking powder, chia seeds, cinnamon and nutmeg to a medium sized bowl and stir.
  • Combine the pumpkin, maple syrup, brown sugar, and vanilla extract into a large bowl and stir well.
  • Pour the dry ingredients into the large bowl with the wet ingredients and stir until mixed together.
  • Add the optional dates and walnuts, removing all the pits if your dates are not pitted.
  • Grease a standard 12 cup muffin tray (I used coconut oil).
  • Pour the batter to the top of each cup.
  • Bake for 30-35 minutes. Let them sit for a few minutes before removing them.
  • Enjoy!

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Mashed Cauliflower

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I realize my food choices are not on par with many of my loved ones, and I don’t expect any special treatment when I attend family/friend gatherings; I’m quite happy to bring an entre or two to go along with the other dishes on the table. So when I showed up at my Aunt Tricia and Uncle Richie’s house for Thanksgiving, I was taken aback by the variety of dishes, many being vegan. My uncle is a wonderful cook (having been in the firehouse all those years), and cooks many healthy meals, but something told me that the abundance of roasted vegetables with no cheese on them played more towards my aunt and uncle’s kind and caring host-with-the-most nature than to their plan for a healthy and veggie-ful Thanksgiving feast. They were delicious by the way. However, it was my cousin Danielle’s husband Greg’s cauliflower mash creation that had me super intrigued since the only ingredients were the delightfully delicious and popular cruciferous vegetable, aka cauliflower, and garlic. I didn’t even go near them for the first ten minutes because they looked exactly like mashed potatoes, so I just assumed that’s what they were. When Greg told me exactly what it was and I tried it, I realized Thanksgiving ’14 would be my favorite holiday as a vegan yet.

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 I decided to give the two-ingredient recipe a go, and it’s become one of my go-to dinners. This is a delightfully light alternative to a brown rice or quinoa dish, and I like it best with an assortment of roasted/sautéed vegetables (as you can see from my pictures). Due to its chameleon-like abilities, cauliflower is definitely part of the “in” crowd right now, and rightfully so. I mean, on top of roasting or sautéing them, you can mash these suckers up or create quite a party pleasing cauliflower ‘wings’ dish. Perhaps you’d rather slap on some special sauce and create a nice lil ‘chop’ for yourself. Pizza? Make it a cauliflower crust. And then there is of course the obvious option of eating it raw. Catch my drift? It. is. versatile. Ya know what else it is? Healthy. It’s jam packed with antioxidants, fiber, vitamins, minerals, and anti-inflammatory properties, so whatcha waiting for?

Ingredients:

  • 2 heads of cauliflower
  • 1 bulb of garlic
  • optional: dash of salt

Steps:

  1. Boil enough water in a large pot to comfortably fit both heads of cauliflower, chopped.
  2. Preheat the oven to 350F. Wrap a bulb of garlic in foil and bake in the oven for about 15 minutes. When finished, the cloves should fall right off their skins.
  3. Rinse and cut the cauliflower into large chunks, about 2 inch cubes and place in the boiling water. Cook until tender with a fork, about 20 minutes.
  4. Drain the cauliflower, but keep about ½ cup of the liquid in the pot. Add the baked garlic cloves and use a hand held blender to puree. If you don’t have a hand held blender, use a potato masher.
  5. Sprinkle with a little salt if desired; I used pink Himalayan salt. Enjoy!

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