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Sunday, June 27, 2010

Rice Cooker Oats

I posted a while back on cooking oats in my crock pot. I liked that recipe, but have found a better one using my rice cooker.

Before heading to bed I load my rice cooker with 1 cup Oat Groats or Steel Cut Oats. Then for every cup of oats I add 3 cups water. I add a few table spoons of honey and cinnamon and raisins (if desired).

Set the rice cooker on warm all night and the oats will be ready and warm in the morning. They are not dry, but moist.

Rice Cooker Oats

1 cup oat groats or steel cut
3 cups water
honey to taste
cinnamon to taste
raisins (optional)

Friday, June 25, 2010

Summer Garden Water

We picked out first cucumber this morning. How they grow so quickly. One day I walk past and they are tiny green nubs and blooms...the next day they are laying on my counter.

Our garden is also being over taken by mint. I love the fresh scent it gives as we brush by it about the garden. Our girls love to chew on it and collect it and put it in their 'mud pies', 'mud teas' and 'real teas'. It's something everyone with a yard should have...maybe in a pot though.

Today I filled a glass pitcher with sliced cucumber, fresh mint leaves and lemon slices. I filled it with water and ice and let it 'steep' for a little while.

It's pretty enough to keep on the counter all day, and it is a reminder to drink it also. I just filled it up with water and ice as needed through out the day. We called it "fancy water". Yummy.

Fancy Water

1/2 cucumber sliced thin
5-10 leaves of mint
1/2 lemon sliced
water and ice

Monday, June 7, 2010

Guiltless Chocolate (chip) Muffins

I am a woman, I love chocolate. I know that's not the best food for me...let's be real. It's just comfort food...aka "mommy food".

I have been on the look out for something to satisfy my sweet/chocolate craving with hopes of it being healthy at the same time...

With a few other recipes combined and some practice baking, I came up with this Guiltless Chocolate (Chip) Muffins.

It truly is guiltless. The batter has no egg, no oil (except for spraying the muffin tins), dairy-free, sugar free (if you omit the choco chips), and can be caffeine free if you replace the cocoa with carob.

Then you have the chocolate chips which are the guilty party. The muffins came out moist and fluffy.

We made them for Daddy's birthday cake.

Guiltless Chocolate (chip) Muffins

1 1/4 cup flour (I used whole wheat)
1/2 cup honey
1 Tblsp bran
2 Tblsp cocoa (or carob powder)
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
3 Tblsp apple sauce (I use one snack cup)
1/2 cup almond milk
1 tsp vanilla
chocolate chips (optional) maybe 1/4 cup or so...

Mix all ingredients in bowl or blender, except the choco chips. Spray mini muffin tins. Fill the muffin tins and I add a chip or two on top (or in the middle) of the batter. It makes a yummy surprise when you bite into the muffin... :)

One of my little helpers like to add a choco chip on top, the other likes to mix a handful of chips in with the batter then fill muffin tins. Yummy!!! A girl after my own heart...

With or without chocolate chips they are top notch.

Makes 36 mini muffins.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Crock-Pot Steel Cut Oats

I felt I was super mom with the Crock-pot the other day. I had soaked some red beans the day before, put them to cook all day. I separated the cooked beans in 2 quart jars, then the rest I made a red bean chili in the crock.

The 2 quarts of red beans will be for dinners later on in the week.

So, after the chili was done for supper that evening, I washed the crock and set it for breakfast!
It cooked all night and was warm and ready to eat when we woke. Easy peasy!!!

Crock-Pot Steel Cut Oats

2 cups steel cut oats
6 cups water
1/3 cups honey
1/2 cup raisins
2 tsp cinnamon (or more to your liking)

Stir all ingredients into crock and set for 6 hours and 30 minutes on low. My new wonderful crock has a timer and once the time is out it automatically sets to warm. Very nice.

You can check out my new crock and the vegetarian tortilla soup recipe here.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Baked Oatmeal with Cranberry & Walnuts

This is going to be my next favorite breakfast. It's super simple to throw together and while it's baking you can be getting smoothies/coffee/setting the table or just taking a breather before the day begins...

Baked Oatmeal w/ Cranberry & Walnuts

Combine the following ingredients in small bowl and set aside:
1 3/4 cup almond milk
1/2 c apple sauce (I tossed in one snack cup)
1 T flax (milled)

Combine the following ingredients in mixing bowl:
2 cups rolled oats
3 T honey
1/3 cup cranberries (or raisins)
1/4 cup chopped walnuts
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp cinnamon

Add the wet ingredients to the dry oatmeal mixture and stir. Pour into sprayed dish.
Bake 375 degrees for 40 minutes.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Pretty Pink Beet Smoothie

Once I saw GreenSmoothieGirl's hot pink breakfast smoothie I just had to try it. It was just too pretty. What a way to wake up in the morning, drinking a great pink drink...and it's all natural coloring.

It is beet season around here and the beets I found had beautiful green tops that I could not toss, this time. So, I added them.

My recipe is not the same as the original GSG's hot pink smoothie, surprise...I modified it! But, some days it all differs to what I have available (or what I remember to put in it). This morning I forgot the vanilla, big difference! :)

Pretty Pink Beet Smoothie

1 1/2 cups almond milk
1/4 cup cashews
5-7 baby carrots (or just grab a handful out of the bag)
1/4 cup cranberries
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 beet (peel the beet and quarter)
2-3 beet tops
7-9 frozen strawberries
1 Tblsp rice protein powder (optional)

Blend away, maybe even twice to get it all silky smooth. It will happen, if you have a blendtec. I sometimes add a banana too.

If it's too thick, add more milk and pulse. I like my smoothies thin enough to drink with out a spoon. It's all about getting it down for me, and moving on...

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Slow-Rise Yeast Pancakes

This pancake recipe is different from my other pancakes. I have never made pancakes using yeast and was interested in trying this one out. It was a hit from the beginning.

The pancakes are moist in the middle and have that yeast-y bread flavor. I just love the rise the batter makes the next morning while in the fridge all night.

This is what it is supposed to look like the next morning.

Slow-Rise Pancakes

2 cups whole wheat flour
2 1/4 tsp yeast
1 tsp salt
2 tsp honey
1 1/2 cup almond milk
2 Tbl applesauce (I just dumped a snack cup in)
1 Tbl flax + 2 Tbl water (or 1 egg)

Blend this in your blender (Blendtec users hit 'batters'). Set in fridge over night.

The next morning add 1/3 cup almond to batter and 'pulse' in blender a few times. Pour into hot, sprayed skillet.

It's just fun to have breakfast ready to go the next morning, like waking up with both your tennis shoes on...aka two-tennis-shoe-speed...ready to go!

All you need now is a great breakfast smoothie...(but wait until morning to do that).

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Raw Vanilla Macroons

If you are looking for a simple and 'good' dessert I have just the thing. The greatest thing about vegetarian/vegan desserts is they are usually all good and you can eat them anytime, before dinner, after dinner, before breakfast...that's the way I like desserts...

Raw Vanilla Macroons (or Almond Joy)

2 cups shredded coconut
2 Tblsp agave nectar or honey
2 Tblsp nut butter (I used Natural Peanut)
1 Tblsp vanilla
pinch of salt

To make this recipe alittle more joyful add:

handful of whole almonds
1/2 cup chocolate chips (or carob is you like)

Mix up the first 5 ingredients in a bowl and mold into balls and freeze.

To make Almond Joy squeeze a whole almond into the center of the coconut mixture (before freezing). Freeze. Melt chocolate in microwave bowl and dip almond coconut balls in melted chocolate. Freeze again...they can be set in fridge before serving.

I went back and doubled the recipe.

Monday, May 31, 2010

Oatmeal Breakfast Smoothie

My Blendtec turns 300!!!

One of the cool features of the Blendtec Total Blender is its counter. It counts the number of uses, cycles run. I guess it's like a blender odometer...pretty neat.

Well, I have had mine since February 8th, just less than 4 months! Wow, that is some serious blending!!! 300 and counting...

So, my 300th blend was an Oatmeal Breakfast Smoothie. It is so yummy with oats and raisins and cinnamon...slurp! It was quite interesting eating my oatmeal for breakfast...and very filling. It doesn't have to be for breakfast, the first time I made this was 11pm. :)

Oatmeal Breakfast Smoothie

2 bananas (frozen)
1/4 cup rolled oats
1/4 cup milk (I used almond)
1/2 tsp cinnamon
dash of cardamon (optional)
1 T raisins

Blend and enjoy!!!

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Prairie Grit Cakes

To keep with the Westward Expansion era of American history we have been studying I made some Prairie Grit Cakes.

The grits were milled just down the road and all I added was a pinch of salt and pepper (and of course had to cook in water).

Follow directions to cook whatever grits you have on hand.

Scoop a small round into a warmed and sprayed skillet.

Smash down with the back of a spoon and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Turn once and serve with vegetable fritta.

Roasted Sweet Potatoes & Onion on Kale

I came across this recipe which I believe is a weight watchers recipe. It looked yummy and I had all ingredients on hand. It was quite tasty.

My girls wanted to know if the potatoes had pumpkin pie spices in them.

Roasted Sweet Potatoes & Red Onion Salad

2 Large sweet potatoes (peeled & cut into bite sized pieces)
1 Large Red Onion (chopped in bite sized pieces)

Roast these 400 (degrees) for 45-55 minutes.

In a small bowl mix:
1/4 tsp chili powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp black pepper
1 Tblsp white (or red) wine vinegar
1 oz (~2 Tblsp) frozen OJ concentrate

Pour dressing over potatoes and onions and lay on a bed of sauteed (or steamed) kale.

Vegetable Fritta

I wanted grits and eggs one evening - an easy supper after a long day. My fridge was packed with lots of fresh veggies but my mind was at a loss at what great meal to make with them all.

I pulled the eggs out and found the grits.

Then grabbed a red bell pepper. It was so pretty.

The asparagus was washed and ready to use, simple enough.

I had just made some fresh almond milk that morning. (I usually add milk or water to my eggs to make them fluffy and go a little farther with out adding more eggs.)

And of course I must get the spinach, since I have all these other great, beautiful vegetables...

I had out a bell, so I grabbed an onion... they just go together ALWAYS!

The almond milk is still being strained through the orange colored cheese cloth on my 'milk' pitcher.

So, let's see what I can do with this...

Dice the bell pepper, onion, asparagus and spinach. Add to warmed skillet and saute in a bit of water (if needed).

While that is cooking, crack 3 or 4 eggs with some milk and whisk together. Add salt & pepper to season.

After the vegetables are soft, pour the milk/egg mixture into the skillet.

(not a great picture, but bear with me - I'm not a photographer...yet). Turn the heat on low and cover to cook. I had to work the spatula around the edges to get out pretty wedges when serving.

Serve with Prairie Grit Cakes and a slice of tomato.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Granola recipe

I have wanted to make granola for awhile now and have had most of the ingredients from Green Smoothie Girl's granola recipe on hand for awhile now. I finally made the time to do this!

I found this recipe in her 12 Step book and it looked simple enough. It is also on her video 1 page #9.

I actually did not change much at all to her recipe, which is not like me. I usually have to add or take away something...but, not this time. Her ingredients were simple to find and it was all easy to do.

I did, however, half her recipe. In her video she says she doubles her batch, but for my first time I wanted to make sure we liked it before investing so many ingredients into it. It was a hit!

I have sprinkled it on our morning cooked grains, such as barley, oat groats or steal cut oats with fresh fruit and coconut milk. I have eaten it plain with coconut milk and served it in a plastic cup with a spoon for an afternoon snack.

This is the halved recipe I used. To make the full recipe...just double the amounts I have listed.

Into a large bowl, combine:

4 cups rolled oats
1/2 cup wheat germ
1/2 cup shredded coconut
1/4 cup ground flax seed
1/2 cup raw pumpkin seeds
1/4 cup raw sunflower seeds
1/8 cup sesame seeds
1 Tblsp cinnamon

Into a sauce pan add:

1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup maple syrup (or molasses)
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup coconut oil
1/2 Tblsp vanilla

Heat this on the stove until barely melted. Stir well and pour over dry mixture.

Mix liquid and dry ingredients until distributed evenly. Bake 250 degrees, stirring every 20 minutes for 1-1 1/2 hours (or until dry).

Granola keeps in the pantry for 2 weeks or in the fridge for 6 weeks.

Monday, April 19, 2010

BlendTec Whole Wheat Pancakes

Here is an easy and plentiful pancake recipe. I used this in my BlendTec and call it:
BlentTec Whole Wheat Pancakes.
The original recipe came from the book by Mildred A Martin Prudence and the Millers.
This recipe serves seven.

I blended 3 cups almond milk (that I made fresh with my blendtec ) with 1 egg and 3 Tblsp flax and 6 Tblsp water and 1 snack cup of natural apple sauce (no, I did not blend a whole apple, but that's a good idea!).

To the wet mix I add 3 cups fresh milled whole wheat flour, 2 Tblsp baking powder and 1 tsp. salt. Press the batter button.

Every time I have made these pancakes my consistency has been great. Not too runny and not too thick.

This recipe makes plenty of pancakes for everyone to come back for more. Be sure to have plenty of Maple Syrup on hand for these.

The left over pancakes store well in the fridge to be warmed up during the week for a quick, easy and healthy breakfast.

You can also add flavorings, fruit to the mix or nuts...

BlendTec Whole Wheat Pancakes
3 cups milk ( I like almond)
1 egg + 3 Tblsp ground flax + 6 Tblsp water
1 snack cup of apple sauce
3 cups whole wheat flour
2 Tblsp baking powder
1 tsp salt

Blend in blendtec blender and enjoy!

Friday, March 12, 2010

Black Bean Sloppy Joes

I got this recipe from Stephanie and we really love it. I think it is best as left overs, then it seems to take on more of a 'Sloppy Joe' taste.

Black Bean Sloppy Joe's

1 bell pepper
2 chili jalapenos (Optional)
1 red onion (I use white)
2 garlic cloves (I use many more)

Cook together in a pot.

2 (15 oz) cans black beans
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp coriander

Stir beans and seasonings into veggies. I mash up some of the beans.

1 can 15 oz fire roasted (or diced) tomatoes
1 Tblsp brown sugar
1 Tblsp Worcestershire sauce

In a bowl blend tomatoes, sugar and W. sauce. Then add to bean mixture and simmer 3 minutes.

Salt and pepper to taste and garnish with lime (optional).

We have tried it on onion buns and it's really good. And for an extra healthy meal eat with home made whole wheat bread, carrots and a smoothie!!!

Tortilla Soup

My newest appliance now is a Crock-Pot. I think I have appliance issues. When will it stop? Are there meetings for these it real? Can anyone help me, or does anyone understand???

Well, I felt I (we as a family) needed an upgrade from our old crock. It was and still is a great appliance. I inherited it when I married my wonderful husband. He had it first and used it often as a bachelor, I'm sure. It's one with "low, high, off" and a plastic lid with lots of cracks. I had to put a towel on it when cooking. Really, it works, I said, I have a problem.

My new Crock has a digital timer and when it is goes to warm! Sweet!!! I like it. My fancy -shmancy rice-cooker has a sister...and it's a pretty red! :)

So, this post is supposed to be about the great recipe I cooked in my fancy-schmancy Crock-Pot. This recipe is adaptable for the stove or crock. I love this recipe and have been cooking it for years.

It has a list of ingredients, but I don't mind because a large majority are fresh. I like to chop and mix... other wise I guess you could go simple and use the frozen or canned or dried...your choice.
Tortilla Soup
1 can diced tomatoes
1 can enchilada sauce
1 med. onion chopped
1 bell pepper chopped
3-4 cloves of garlic (I love garlic! You can add more or less, or powder)
1 stalk celery chopped1 can chopped green chilies (optional)
2 cups water
14.5 oz veggie broth (or veggie bullion)
1 tsp cumin (be generous)
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp salt (again, be generous)
1/4 tsp black pepper
1 bay leaf
1 can corn (or 10 oz. frozen corn)
1 can red beans
1 can pinto beans

Chop and put all ingredients into crock. You can add shredded cooked chicken if you like.

Serve with tortilla chips and pico de gallo with fresh line slices!

This is also a great dish to make ahead of time and take camping. Just put in jars and heat up at the camp site.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Get 15% off Lamplighter Illustrated Books

I have written before about our much loved Lamplighter Books. These books are a treasure both from the inside and outside. The first set of books we purchased from Lamplighter Publishing was the illustrated Collection. We have read many of these books over and over to our little girls. This package has books that appeals to both girls and boys.

I am super excited to be an affiliate for Lamplighter Books. That means when you buy through my link or use my UTN (unique tracking number) when ordering you get 15% off your order on regular priced items. My UTN LAMP04 .

Feel free to pass this UTN LAMP04 on to whomever you please. Just be sure to mention the UTN LAMP04 if you call also.

One of our favorites of the Illustrated books is The True Princess. This is a sweet book of what it takes to be a true princess in Jesus' eyes.

The little princess' father has to leave the kingdom for a while and to protect the princess she must also leave the castle to work in a little bakery. She learns how to dress herself (with no maids), make her own music (with no musicians), and laugh at her mistakes (with no jesters). She learns to serve just as our master served us.

No matter what others say, if we know we are a true daughter of the King, we know we have what it takes to be a true princess.

The scripture reference is placed at the end of the book.

Matthew 20: 26-28

"...Whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be your slave - just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many."

I recommend this book to any little girl. If you are interested in buying this book and getting 15% off click The True Princess.

If you are interested in getting 15% off the entire Illustrated Collection (which I highly recommend too) click here Illustrated Collection 2010.

And don't forget when you are buying to use my UTN code LAMP04 .

BlendTec Chocolate Pudding

It's nearly bed time and of course this is the best time to make a quick evening smoothie before the kids head off to bed.

Tonight my 5 year old (soon to be 6yo) wants to make chocolate pudding.

Last time we made chocolate pudding before bed the kids were up late giggling... what made me think to give them cocoa before bed...but tonight we opt for Carob Pudding.

But, it can go either way, depending on the time of day.

We peeled and plopped 3 bananas into the jar.

Then spooned in some Carob powder. The recipe we created initially called for 1 Tblsp of Cocoa Powder, but my 5 yo is making this and feels we need 3 Tblsp of Carob powder (she's our little chef). Okay...go for it, girl.

Then we pour in 'some' rice milk then a glob of natural peanut butter. (These measurements are normal around our house.)

No added sugar is needed in this, the bananas are plenty sweet.

It's all set up and in the blender. Pretty, isn't it!

Now it's time for 'lift off'. All little hands on deck go straight to their ears and I ask "Who wants to push the button?"

They look at me like..."Huh?"

So, I push the button.

Blending... all smiles around the kitchen.

Done! It's oh, so creamy!

Just like out of a box, only better...

it's natural and this pudding you can eat before or after dinner.

And again...I know what's in it!

And It's dairy-free!

We love our BlendTec!

Recipe for Blendtec Chocolate Pudding

3 Bananas
1 Tblsp Rice Milk (or Almond Milk)
1 Tblsp Cocoa or Carob Powder
1 Tblsp Rice Protein
1/3 cup Natural Peanut Butter