As a kid, my mom used to make BBQ shredded chicken sandwiches. The chicken was tender and the barbecue sauce perfectly sticky and sweet. I ate those sandwiches up.
From plants, grains, and seeds. I make my own tofu. I make my own seitan. I make my own everything. We do not eat a lot of processed foods.
Note: Since this post, we have removed wheat and many other processed foods from our kitchen, but I still wanted to share our story and recipe with you all!
Cookies do not make a visit to my house regularly. But every now and again, I stare into the cupboard at the chocolate chips and just can't help myself. These cookies are vegan.
This double chocolate chip cookie doesn't taste vegan, though. It tastes delectable. This recipes hails from a billion places and eventually has become my own as I have rearranged to fit our lifestyle.
Cookies can be really 'bad' for you. Loaded with cholesterol and saturated fat. Tons of added sugar. Ew. When I make cookies, I make yummy, good for your soul cookies.
For these cookies, I use coconut oil, bananas, almond flour, and almond milk in exchange for the 'normal' ingredients. Don't worry. These cookies turn out just fine. If you are not used to using these ingredients feel free to swap in what you have.
Most nights I like to make dinner from scratch, but Fridays are my, "I'll cook, but not all of the way" days. Naan pizzas are my go-to for Fridays. They are yummy and they make use of the produce in the garden.
I pick up the naan bread from a local bakery, the mozzarella from a small farmer, and the rest is from the garden. The basil. The pesto. The tomatoes. All from the yard.
You are probably wondering how the heck do I grow tomatoes during the winter/spring...Siberian Pole Tomatoes. Look'em up. They are native and grown in Siberia. They can withstand anything.
Make some naan pizzas tonight.
The warm fire and the cozy sweater that my nanny got me for Christmas was all that I needed this morning to make a fresh loaf of banana bread Goodness, do I live for baking. The combination of measuring ingredients out as a chemist would in a lab alongside the musical stylings of AWOLnation just gets me worked up. And not to mention greasing my favorite bread pan...the one that I bought ten years ago when I began baking.
This banana bread follows a standard recipe that I created years ago for cranberry walnut bread. That is the beauty of the recipe. It interchanges without fail and can be a staple for any design that you create (hello, zucchini bread, carrot bread, and even lemon poppyseed lavender bread). My suggestion for this bread is to watch the oven carefully to avoid burning the bottom of the delectable bread.
We've been into baking lately and sometimes that really just means mixing things together. Mostly this is part of our baking unit study that we have been conducting for most of the summertime. Summertime is the perfect time to bake and learn because we have a garden full of fresh produce and an oven begging to be used.
Today we whipped up fresh strawberry crepes using the berries from the backyard. This isn't paleo or grain-free, but it could be adapted to be so. Then again, I never claimed to be either of those things. Live life. Eat well. Be smart. That's what I like to say.
Portable food is a must in my house. Not because we are all over the place or anything, but because I need go-to food at a moment's notice...I have one of those kids who is always hungry, you see.
And having something on hand is makes feeding such a child efficient. She can go into the fridge and grab a wrap, a burrito, or a sandwich without having to ask me about it. When she has eaten two bites because that's all she ever eats, she can put it back in the container and get it again later.
No fuss for me. No grumbling tummy for her. Win-win.
Since we make so many on-the-go meals, I have found it better to make the wrap at home. We save a lot of money doing this since I can make a dozen or more pita breads on Sunday and freeze half of them for the second week. Easy peasy.
My pita recipe comes out warm and delicious every time and you can easily make this recipe in your kitchen too. The pita bread is a little time consuming, so I recommend making it on the same day you do meal prep. Preferably start it in the morning, let the dough rise while you are grocery shopping, and then come back to finish the bread.
Roasted cauliflower, carrots, and spinach go into this warming red curry made completely vegan and completely good-for-your-soul. When I lived in San Francisco, I was able to stop into any of the hundred Asian market to pick the ingredients, but now, I have to make a solid effort to find these ingredients. In my hunt to make this Thai soup, I was able to source the lemongrass and ginger from a small market with the rest of it from the local market.
So, I always have them in stock. My kitchen is very rustic, Asian-inspired, and a little wacky. This curry is spicy, but in a warm sense and will appease kids and adults. Your entire home will smell of lemongrass, ginger, and meaty roasted cauliflower.
Potstickers make a meal that adults and children can both fall in love with. Potstickers can be eaten with a fork, chopsticks, or cute little fingers. They can be baked, broiled, fried or steamed, and then dipped into a variety of sauces.
Perfect way to teach kids how to cook too.
I love potstickers. In my home, we make potstickers every week because I am a ninja. Actually, at the beginning of every month, I make a batch of 200 potstickers and freeze them.
Talk about hard work, but it definitely pays off on those nights that I have nothing left and am on the verge on committing fast food suicide. And then a child reminds me that she "sure wishes that she could just have a potsticker" and BAHM...dinner is done.
Once you have mastered this recipe, you will find yourself doing all sorts of good and not-so-great variations. Honestly, I like to think of potstickers as teeny tiny vegetable delivery pouches. Kids and picky adults love love love them.
Need I say more? I guess I should. If you thought that I liked oats, well you'd be surprised to discover that I love peanuts even more. Peanut butter is my very best friend. And I don't care how much Paleo folks tell me peanuts are "bad for me" because peanuts and I will not be parted.
I wake up every morning and scoop a spoonful of peanut butter into my mouth. I use peanuts to make fresh peanut butter. And I stockpile peanut butter (the kind made with JUST PEANUTS) when it goes on sale at the store. I have an entire cupboard dedicated to my peanut butter "habit".
Needless to say, I love peanut butter. I also love chocolate. I'm not sure which one I like more, but I am pretty sure it is peanut butter. But the combination of peanuts and fudgey chocolate make it hard to decide. When I am unsure if I want a scoop of peanut butter or a tablespoon of chocolate chips, well, I'll just have my cake and eat it too.
My peanut butter fudge brownie bites are ideal for quick fixes, lunch boxes, and more. Heck, after I make these, I wrap them up and put them in the freezer for a "rainy" day...which is all of the time where I live. Bonus points for living in the PNW.
Enjoy the recipe!
Call me crazy, but I love beets. The red, staining root that is beet is one of my favorite winter treats. Each winter, after the beets have grown big, red, and juicy, I pull them from their cozy homes and make raw red beet salad.
That's right. Raw. Acidic. Surprisingly cleansing.
This red beet salad is loaded with vitamins. I combine grate beets, apples, and chopped celery tossed in olive oil and apple cider vinegar to create a stunning side salad that will detoxify your blood.
Ever been to an elementary school's cafeteria? If not, then you will surprised to discover that much of what the schools serve is downright unhealthy.
Case in point: Two weeks ago, I had lunch with my twelve-year-old sister, who brings lunch to school, and I noticed that most of her friends were eating cafeteria food. The choices were grim: nachos, hamburgers, and a plethora of fat and sodium-laden side dishes. Sure, the children could choose the vegetarian option, but how many children do you know that would choose a salad over chili cheese fries!
To avoid children eating these unhealthy lunches it is better to send your children off to school with a nutritious brown bag lunch. Here are some wonderful and nutritious lunches that will have your child begging for home cooked food over cafeteria junk---
Butternut squash is one of those winter veggies that most people shy away from because they are not sure how to prepare it or they think they might not like the flavor. Well, let me say this, this squash is loaded with a crisp, sweet, and refreshing flavor that will make anybody fall in love with it.
Thanksgiving is all about using the fall bounty, and squash is just right for this holiday because it represents the vegetables that orginated in America. The ones the Native Americans shared with our ancestors. This Thanksgiving make this dish and watch everybody come back for seconds! Or just make it for lunch...screw those hungry guests.
Today was the first day of school for the little genius and I thought that it would be appropriate to celebrate with pancakes. But wait! These pancakes aren't the kind that cause a sugar rush or interfere with attention spans or anything...they are delicious, protein-packed pancakes with a few butterscotch chips tossed in (literally, 5-6 per pancake).
These are the sort of pancakes that make you smile. They are sweet and salty and hit that "gotta have carbs" spot in your belly...or in my case, in my heart. Because I love carbs. Carbs love me. It's a win-win situation.
Anywho, let's get straight to the point because I hate those bloggers that go on and on and on with their story about their pancakes. You want the recipe. Let's do this thing. The recipe DOES NOT require bananas or any special egg tricks, but it does require protein powder. If you don't have protein powder, I would add a few tablespoons of flour, but no guarantees here.
**Because I love you, I have placed links to the ingredients that we used. Of course, you can use what you want, but as you know, I am an Amazon addict and these are the best deals for this stuff. GF cooking is freakin' expensive.
Chilled soup can make a great main dish during the fall because it is not cool enough for hot soup, and that is why gazpacho makes a great soup. Give this one a try, I promise the flavors will have you wishing you made enough for seconds!
Take the sweetness of autumn corn and toss it with the tang of kalamata olives, and you get a delicious corn salad. I love this salad because you can turn it into a main dish or hell, get crazy and make it a dip by skipping out on the lettuce.
I love to make this whenever I am strapped for time but still want something that uses all of the fresh produce and takes great. Place this along side a roasted turkey or butternut squash soup.
Okay okay, so you all know that I live for a smoothie in the morning. I mean, I practically sleep with my blender. Smoothies are a great way to get a HUGE amount of nutrients into your body in one go. Most of my smoothies have some veggies in it, but this one doesn't.
The nectarine raspberry smoothie is my sweet tooth option for mornings that I need to energize. And energize quickly. The smoothie blends together pears, nectarines and raspberries together for the ultimate breakfast treat.
So what does a sweet potato do for your body? Well, quite a bit, more than it is given credit for! It provides fiber, over 200% of your daily value of vitamin A(don't worry you will not OD your child, part of this is not digested), plus it is a complex carb. The great thing about a sweet potato is that it is naturally sweet and children love the taste!
Do you know what I miss more about living in San Diego? Good barbecue. Deliciously good BBQ baked beans, creamy coleslaw (with a bite of acid), and skillet cornbread. I made myself a promise the other night that I would go back to my home flavors and make BBQ baked beans that wouldn't come from a can. Gritty, honey cornbread too. Recipe to follow.
Fudge! I came across a little fudge shop near Seaside, Oregon this weekend and I got inspired to make fudge that didn't make me break out or give the kids a whopping headache!
I did some research in old cookbooks, looking at the standard ingredients. After a bit of time, I developed a peanut butter base and stuck to simple ingredients like coconut oil and maple syrup.
When the holidays are over and I am savoring the memory of sitting around the table for Thanksgiving, I can almost taste the pumpkin pie on my lips. Pumpkin pie is perhaps my favorite holiday dish. And my pumpkin pie is not-so-traditional (go figure!). It's made with coconut milk and pumpkin puree. No eggs or dairy, and barely any sugar at all. I love pumpkin as it was meant to be eaten.
BUT my most favorite thing about pumpkin pie, or any pie for that matter, is the crust. A good, cold butter crust made with just the right amount of flour and salt. Not mixed too much and generously pressed into a pan. Mmmm....crust. I could totally make a pie crust and eat it raw without any filling. I could half bake it and eat it without filling. I really love pie crust.
Woe is me though...I only have pie crust a few times each year. The rest of the year, I must go without it. That can be really difficult when I am dying for a slice of pumpkin pie. Not to worry though! I've come up with a way to enjoy pumpkin pie without the crust...and I usually eat it for breakfast.
If there was a food that I could marry, it would be stuffing. Boxed stuffing; homemade stuffing; stuffing at a restaurant...Fuck, it is so delightful. The way the toasted bread soaks up the broth and herbaceous flavors. The way it tastes even better the day after you make it. I think I like stuffing so much because I don't eat a lot of bread. And by that, I mean that you will not find a loaf of bread in my cupboard, ever. Bread enters my house on special occasions. That's final. I could tell you all about that on another day...get the stuffing recipe below.
National Taco Day is on October Fourth, and my family LOVES tacos. Okay, I love tacos. This year I am cooking tacos two ways: traditional shrimp verde tacos and a tofu taco salad. I don't have recipes for these....I just make them.
BUT, if you want to do something awesome for National Taco Day this year, I've compiled my favorite taco recipes right here!
Summertime is almost over, but that doesn't mean my latest obsession with making ice cream has to end! This weekend I made blueberry banana vegan ice cream. I know. I know. A mouthful. Just call it ice cream and be done with it, I guess. We mixed some frozen banana and blueberries together and added some chocolate chips to it...because everything goes better with chocolate chips. And woo hoo. Simple vegan ice cream without an ice cream machine. Eventually, I will cave and buy an ice cream machine. It's inevitable.
The first time I made this, I forgot to slice the bananas, and while we were able to blend it all right-- I would definitely slice the bananas before freezing them. The flavor is the ultimate duo of berries and bananas. It really is. No added sugar or anything gross. Just fruit, nuts, and chocolate. Smile. It's ice cream.
My freezer had about four pounds of frozen blackberries leftover from last summer's picking frenzy. With the next season coming up, I knew that I had to work through them to make space for this year's frenzied frenzy.
We love to pick blackberries. Everywhere that we've ever lived has been abundant in blackberries. (Sigh. Sadness may take over when we move next! No blackberries where we're going). But hey, at least I'll get to pick berries for one more season.
Back to the cooking. I've made blackberry oat bars, blackberry oatmeal, blackberry sauce for banana ice cream, blackberry sorbet...well, I've made blackberry everything and my family has just about had enough of me. But, I had ONE more bag left and just enough inside to make mini blackberry crumble pies.
That's right. Mini Blackberry Crumble Pies. I named them this because they truly combine the heavenly crumbleness of a crumble, the butteryness of a pie crust, and the rich fruit flavors of blackberries.
And guess what? No added sugar. We don't use sugar here. I'd rather have a tart berry over a sucrose-laden lollipop attack any day of the week. If you like sugar, you might add some honey to the berries, but really, do you need to? Can it wait?
The recipe will make 12-14 mini pies. I made 12 in my cupcake pan and a breakfast "galette" with the leftover crust and berries, so the family could nibble on it whenever they please.