Tarragon

I titled this post tarragon because I knew if I titled it “Pea Soup”, you likely woudn’t even open the post. But, this pea soup is really unique, way too simple, and tastes really good. 

This recipe comes from a great cookbook that is a follow up to the movie “Forks Over Knives” – which is truly eye opening. Anyway, the cookbook has the same name… “Forks Over Knives.” The recipe…

Yam and Split Pea Soup and Tarragon – serves 6-8

ingredients:

8 cups vegetable broth or water

2 cups split peas

1 bay leaf

1/2 tsp. dry mustard

1 large red onion, chopped (about 2 cups)

2 medium yams or sweet potatoes (about 4-5 cups)

1/2 cup chopped fresh tarragon or 2 tsp. dried

black pepper

Pur the broth or water, split peas, bay leaf, and mustard into a soup pot. Bring to a boid, then lower heat, cover, and simmer 40 minutes, or until peas begin to break down. Add the red onion, yams, and tarragon, stir. Simmer 30 minutes, or until the yams are tender and the peas are creamy.

And.. done. 

Enjoy!

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Cornbread comfort – gluten free and delicious

Today’s recipe is both gluten free AND vegan! Does it get any better? This is, in my estimation, the best cornbread I have ever eaten. Now – my family teases me that I always complement my own food creations (too true… just got called on it this morning with my Vegan Valentines Eggy Breakfast Bread. But, with this recipe, you may find yourself agreeing with me as you indulge in your third or fourth piece… 

Gluten Free Sweet Cornbread:

Preheat oven to 400 and spray a 9 x 13 pan or two 9 x 9 pans.

Ingredients:

2 cups oat flour

2 cups organic cornmeal

2 tsp. baking powder

1/3 cup coconut oil

1/3 cup applesauce

2/3 cup agave nectar (or honey)

2 cups almond milk

1 tsp. sea salt

3/4 cup frozen corn (optional)

1/2 cup water mixed with 2 tbsp. ground chia seed (allow to sit a few minutes)

1. In a large bowl, stir together dry ingredients 

2. In a glass container, put the coconut oil, applesauce and almond milk together – then warm in the microwave until the coconut oil is melted… but you do not want it to be hot. So, just put it in for 30 seconds, stir well, repeat until the coconut oil is melted. Stir in the sweetener once the oil is melted.

3. Mix the wet ingredients (including the chia/water mixture) with the dry ingredients and stir well to combine. At this point, you can add some organic frozen (thawed) corn if you like whole corn in your corn bread. 

4. Pour into pan (pans) and bake for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of a pan comes out clean.

Enjoy!!!

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Ash Wednesday

Today is Ash Wednesday – the start of Lent. I was telling my children today that Christians often “give up” something for Lent. But, I explained, it has to be something that will give us a daily reminder of the sacrafice of Christ on the cross. No, it doesn’t have to be dramatic (though is can be), but it does need to be something that will allow us to daily reflect and pray every time we consider this small sacrafice we have chosen to make in our own lives. You know you’ve chosen the right thing when it is the first thing you thought of that you really do not want to give up. Bingo. 

Many women I know have done chocolate. While I do consider chocolate to be an essential part of daily life, I know I could give it up much easier than, say… online shopping (my bingo). So, this is a link for those of you who have chosen something other than chocolate to give up for Lent… such as… meat? dairy? eggs?

This is the perfect recipe for us for a few reasons, first that we have a life-threatening peanut allergy in our home that prevents me from enjoying my absolute favorite childhood candy bar… the Butterfinger. Of course, being vegan (and no longer liking milk chocolate) also prevents me from indulging. But, when I came across this recipe, I thought… why not give it a try using sunbutter instead of peanut butter. I can tell you… this recipe is seriously awesome. It is much easier than you might think (takes minutes), it works just like it is supposed to… and it is such a wonderful little treat. My only warning… cut them small (squares) or else, you will find yourself eating them WAY too fast. 

In this recipe, Katie provides options for some of the ingredients, so I will tell you what I used:

agave (not honey)

Organic corn flakes – crushed (not bran flakes)

Coconut palm sugar (not xylitol or processed sugar)

http://chocolatecoveredkatie.com/2012/10/18/healthy-butterfingers/

While you are there, check out some of her other recipes – she does some very fun and creative desserts. 

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Happy, healthy, GF scones

I have been making scones for my kids for a few months. A few morning a week, I start baking first thing so the scones are warm and ready when they arise. Though most scones are filled with butter and sugar, these are not. I modified this recipe to make it vegan and to include some oat flour. Here is the original: 

http://nourishingflourishing.com/2011/05/blueberry-scones-scuffins-if-you-so-desire-and-normalcy/

My blueberry scones recipe:

Ingredients:

2 cups almond flour (blanched)

1 ½ GF oat flour

3 tbsp. arrowroot flour

1 tsp. baking soda

½ tsp salt

¼ cup + 1/8 cup water mixed with 2 tbsp. ground chia seed

¼ + 1/8 cup agave nectar

2 tsp. apple cider vinegar

1 tbsp. vanilla

2 tsp. cinnamon (optional)

¼ to ½ cup flozen or fresh blueberries  or other fruit/berry (optional)

  1. Mix water with ground chia seed, set aside
  2. Mix flours, soda, cinnamon (if using) and salt with a whisk
  3. Mix agave nectar, vinegar, vanilla and add to the chia seed/water mixture. Whisk together.
  4. Mix dry ingredients with wet ingredient – will be very dry as you mix. Use your hands to shape into a large ball.
  5. Place on a baking sheet covered with parchment paper (or in a oiled scone baking dish)
  6. Flatten with wet hands or a spatula to about ¾ inch, thickness and slice into 8 pieces. Pull the pieces apart so they have room to rise and bake well.
  7. Place in preheated 350 degree oven and bake for 15 minutes.

 

Image

Yesterday morning, I noted a bunch of over ripe bananas in our fruit bowl, so I decided to modify my modified recipe to make banana scones. Here are the changes I made to the above recipe:

1. pureed 4 overripe bananas and used this in place of (not in addition to) to agave nectar.

2. increased the oat flour by 1/2 cup (so now 2 cups almond flour, 2 cups oat flour) because the bananas provided more liquid. I think I could have added even a bit more… or another tbsp. arrowroot flour.

That’s it… and they turned out a little more muffin-like than scone-like, but were delicious. The original recipe has a more scone-like texture. But, both are wonderful and I like that the banana ones have no added sweeteners at all.

Enjoy!!!

 

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Easiest kid dessert to make… EVER

3 ingredients, 1 pan (sprayed), and the fridge. Easy Shmeasy, as we say here…

And you thought regular rice crispie treats were easy… try this vegan version:

ingredients:

6 cups brown rice crisp cereal (check Harvest Health or meijer) – essentially, it is Rice Krispies, but brown rice.

1 tub “Ricemellow

1 large blob (maybe 1/4-1/2 cup) sunbutter or peanut butter

Directions:

1. pour brown rice crisp cereal into a large bowl

2. Open rice mellow and put blob of sunbutter/peanut butter into the tub, stir well.

3. Stir ricemellow/sunbutter mixture into the cereal and stir to coat. Feel free to throw in some chocolate chips if it suits you. It always suits us. 🙂

4. Press into 9×13 oiled pan and put into the fridge to set.

Cut and enjoy. P.S – there are very addicting. Use with caution.

 

 

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Another vegan mac and “cheese”…

There are many vegan mac and “cheese” recipes out there. And, the one I have already posted on this blog is a great one. However, I have recently recognized a sensitivity to Cashews (I know – how sad is that?), so when I make the mac and “cheese”, I end up eating something else. Then I ran across a recipe that includes butternut squash. I did more looking and found a few more. So, in traditional Marie fashion, I combined a few and came up with this one. Family review: Christian and Hannah, “This is awesome – even better than the other one.” Anton, “Both are good… I like both the same.” To understand how good these reviews are, you must understand that the other Mac and “cheese” recipe is often chosen for birthday dinners – where kids get to choose what I make. So, here’s to another yummy mac and “cheese!”

1 cup cubed, roasted butternut squash – salted and peppered

1 roasted carrot

3/4 cup almond milk (unsweetened) or you favorite vegan unsweetened milk

1 tbsp. arrowroot flour

1 tbsp. dried sage

1 tbsp. earth balance buttery spread

1 tsp. dijon or yellow mustard (depending on your preference)

1 tbsp. lemon juice

6 tbsp. (or more, to taste) nutritional yeast

1/2 tsp. garlic powder or 1-2 cloves minced garlic

salt – to taste

1/4 tsp. tumeric

 

1. Cube the butternut squash and slice the carrot. Roast on a baking sheet at 350 for about 45 minutes – or until very soft. Remove the carrot and 1 cup of butternut squash and keep the rest of the butternut squash for another recipe. Or, just eat is because it is crazy yummy. 🙂

2. While the veggies are roasting, put minced garlic (if using), almond milk, buttery spread and arrowroot flour in a pan and begin to heat, whisking so there are no lumps from the flour. As you stir, add the other herbs and mustard. As the mixture heats, it will thicken. bring to a simmer and let it become thick and creamy.

3. When the squash and carrots are nice and soft, put them in a blender, adding the lemon juice and the milk mixture from the stove. Blend to a creamy, yummy sauce.

4. Oh – you may have wanted to start some water boiling to cook your noodles (sauce is enough for 8 oz of noodles). I used brown rice noodles to make this gluten-free. Cook your noodles, drain them, and put back into the pan. Pour the sauce over and stir.

5. Place in bowls and serve. ENJOY!!!

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The LOAF – revisited

There is this great website a friend alerted me to that allows you to choose a bunch of ingredients to make a vegan loaf. The Vegan “meatloaf” comes in many shapes and sizes… but it is not always a beloved meal. I gave the “Magical Loaf Studio” a try and the outcome was “This is really good!” from kids and adults alike. When all three kids and both adults in our house like a meal, it is a keeper! So, I thought I’d share my personal version of the magic loaf – and provide the website so you can give it a try as well.

1/2 cups walnuts – processed to coarse meal

1 tbsp. olive oil

one onion, diced

one large clove garlic (or 2)

2 med to large carrots, shredded

2 large or 3-4 small ribs celery

1 1/2 cups mushrooms – very finely chopped

2 cups cooked garbanzo beans – processed until mushy/chunky in the food processor

1/2 cup vegetable broth

2 tbsp. flax meal

1 cup quick oats or lightly processed (in the food processor) rolled oats

1/2 tsp thyme

2 tsp. dried sage

4 tbsp. nutritional yeast (optional – if you don’t have it, don’t worry about it)

2 tbsp. ketchup

1 tsp. dried rosemary

1 tbsp. dried parsley

freshly ground pepper, to taste

2 tbsp. soy sauce or braggs (I actually used neither – just skipped this)

salt to taste

1. prepare vegetables and saute them in the olive oil for about 8 minutes. Add the herbs and saute 2 minutes more. Set aside.

2. Process the walnuts, put in bowl. Process the oats if using rolled, add oats to the bowl. Process the garbanzo beans, add to the bowl. Mix in all the other ingredients (including the vegatables) and mix well.

3. Press into oiled loaf or 8×8 square inch pan (I used the loaf, but the recipe says it gets crustier in the 8×8. Bake for 45 minutes. Let sit for about 10-15 minutes, then serve. We all liked it with a bit of ketchup on top.

If you want to make your own, try it here:

http://www.veganlunchbox.com/loaf_studio.html

 

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