Vegan Raspberry Mango Muffins With Pistachios

My eldest daughter isn’t leaving for college for another 5 weeks and already she is teaching me things.

She made these incredibly moist and delicious muffins and gave me the recipe.

She substituted raspberries for blackberries and I would switch out the wheat flour for coconut flour.

just a few ideas.

In any case, these were delicious!

She has taught me about Chia seeds which are wonderful; Extremely healthy and a great ingredient for vegan chefs to add texture, heft and “egg white” qualities to baked goods.

Blackberry Mango Muffins

Ingredients

3 Tbsp. Chia seed
1 1/4 Cup Warm Water
2 Cups Mango, No Skin/seed and Mashed
1/2 Cup Coconut Oil, Melted
2/3 Cup Organic Sugar
1 Tbsp. Apple Cider Vinegar
1 Tbsp. Vanilla Extract
3 1/2 Cups Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
1 1/2 tsp. Baking Soda
1 tsp. Baking Powder
1 Tbsp. Ground Allspice
1 tsp. Salt
1 Cup Fresh Blackberries
1 Cup Salted, Shelled Pistachios

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350°F and get 24 cupcake liners ready in a baking sheet.

Stir the chia seed and warm water together and set aside for a few minutes until it is gelatinous.

In a small bowl, stir together the coconut oil, mango, sugar, ACV, vanilla extract and the chia seed mixture.

Using a large bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, Allspice, and salt.

Pour the wet mixture into the dry and stir together until there are not dry chunks and it is smooth.

Fold the blackberries and salted pistachios into the batter. Using an ice cream scoop, scoop the batter into the cupcake liners until it almost reaches the top.
Bake for 23-27 minutes, check to see if they are done baking with a toothpick to see if it draws clear. Place on cooling rack for 10 minutes.

Enjoy and Share!

Yummy, Spinach and Cannellini Soup

With a few staples in the pantry you can create fresh and filling healthy meals by adding a seasonal ingredient or two.

Cannellini or white kidney beans, garlic, yellow onion and coconut oil are always on hand.

A bunch of fresh spinach added to a few simple staples puts this meal over the top.

Coconut oil, garlic and yellow onion sauté until soft and then add spicy and beans.

Add a few cups of water and allow the everything to simmer together.

I have been avoiding soup bases and bullion because they contain MSG…even the vegan brands, for the most part.

This dish doesn’t need it.

The richness of the coconut oil makes this soup tasty without any added chemicals.

This meal is very clean and filling.

Talk about cheap!

There is no excuse not to eat well when you can have a meal like this in minutes.

Enjoy and share!

Spicy Kale and Sweet Potato Stir Fry

This recipe is and anti-oxidant, anti-inflammatory recipe that is hard to beat.

I really don’t know if you can eat any healthier than this.

Organic kale and sweet potatoes, garlic and coconut oil with crushed red pepper flakes.

This meal is fairly inexpensive, really.

Especially when you consider how much nutrition you get for the money and how filling this is.

Start with about 2 tablespoons of coconut oil and 3-4 cloves of garlic. ( I always use a lot of garlic! )

Saute in a pan and add 3-4 large sweet potatoes, washed, with skin on and diced into 1 inch cubes.

Cook these ingredients together until the sweet potatoes get soft.

The fat in the coconut oil helps your body to process the vitamin A in the sweet potatoes, which, by the way, has been found to be beneficial in protecting the body against skin cancer as seen on the Dr. Oz Show.

Mine became mushy but I didn’t care. This is soooooo good!

Massage the kale….yes. Massage it, wash it and chop it up and add to the pan and cook unit soft.

Add crushed red pepper flakes and salt to taste.

You will crave this dish. I promise.

You will feel satisfied but not heavy and you will have done yourself a favor.

I also added some turmeric, ginger and cumin.

These are my favorite spices and they are great for your health.

I have been going on about coconut oil lately so please don’t get bored with me.

Coconut oil is so incredibly beneficial to you health and especially to brain health and is showing promise mitigating the devastating effects of Alzheimer’s disease.

It tastes great, it’s good for you.

Use it every chance that you get.

Enjoy and share!

So Delicious! Black Bean and Avocado Spread!

I apologize that my photos are not more glamorous or that the spread itself is not prettier.

But there is no denying the fact that this little dish is one yummy and nutritious treat.

Coconut oil, black beans, garlic and avocado create a powerhouse of healthy oils, fiber and antioxidants in a tasty and convenient spread or dip; warm or chilled.

This recipe is an anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant rich combination that is easy to incorporate into your diet.

Just sauté garlic in coconut oil for a minute add 2-3 cans of organic black beans and cook until soft.

I start mashing everything with a potato masher then add the avocado and blend in the food processor.

Avocado is my new favorite food these days and I use it as a meat/dairy substitute in sandwiches and as a base for creamy dips and spreads.

My diet is becoming increasingly vegan if for no other reason than I simply feel better; more energized, lighter, and sharper.

Coconut oil is another of my favorites and I find ways to squeeze it into everything that I eat.

In this recipe it adds tremendous richness, creaminess and depth of flavor.

I find that coconut oil lends a richness that meat and dairy add to foods.

Black beans are a major staple in my kitchen.
They are super cheap, incredibly nutritious and convenient.

I buy organic beans in BPA-free cans and I find that if I always have them on hand I always have a meal.

From a quick soup to a warm spread or quesadilla, black beans are a great source of protein.

I served these with organic corn chips.

Served warm as a spread for bread or in a corn tortilla with other veggies, this is a quick and convenient source of protein and nutrition.

Keep some in the fridge and serve with brown rice and sautéed red peppers and it makes a cheap and easy meal.

Vegan Chocolate Cream Whoopi Pies To Die For!

“Skinny Bitch” and “Skinny Bitch Book of Vegan Swaps” author, Kim Barnouin has shared this recipe for chocolate whoopi pies.

Read the book if you get the chance but definitely make these sinfully delicious desserts!

Ingredients

1 cup almond milk
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon arrowroot powder
1/2 cup Earth Balance vegan butter, softened
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
1/2 cup evaporated cane juice
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon almond extract

Method

Heat oven to 375 degrees. In a small bowl, whisk together the almond milk and vinegar, and set aside. (It will curdle a little; it’s supposed to do that.)

In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, arrowroot, and salt. In a large bowl, beat together the butter and sugars on low speed until creamy, about 3 minutes. Increase the speed to medium and beat until fluffy and smooth, about 3 minutes. Add half of the flour mixture and half of the almond milk mixture to the batter and beat on low speed until just incorporated. Add the remaining flour mixture and almond milk mixture and beat until thoroughly combined. Drop about 1 tablespoon of batter onto a lightly greased baking sheet, spacing them about 3 inches apart. Bake for about 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and let the cakes cool on the sheet for about 5 minutes before placing them onto a rack to cool completely.

Filling

1/2 cup non-hydrogenated shortening
1/2 cup Earth Balance, room temperature
3 1/2 cups confectioner’s sugar, sifted
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/4 cup almond milk

In a large bowl, beat the shortening and Earth Balance together until well combined. Add the sugar and beat on medium speed for about 3 minutes. Add the extract and almond milk, and beat for another 5-7 minutes until fluffy.

These will not last very long and I challenge you to miss anything.

I would like to try making these with coconut flour to make them gluten/wheat free, as well

Meatless Monday! Easy Summertime Meals that are Healthy and Light for Busy Families!

Summertime around here has meant a huge flurry of activity.

The hot and steamy weather hasn’t slowed us down much but appetites tend more toward light and flavorful rather than rich and filling.

And the schedules are all over the place! From sport activities to musical gigs, weekend getaways and family gatherings I find that preparing and serving nutritious meals is more challanging than ever.

Especially when I am not there to supervise everything!

Well, I’ve learned to “let go” and create easy, ready to prepare and assemble food for my family; even the picky ones.

I have been in the habit of keeping a big container of cooked brown rice in the fridge.

I also will sautee corn with cilantro and onions and keep that around.

In addition, I’ll chop green onion and fresh cilantro and keep that in the fridge, also.

There are always cans of organic vegetarian beans or refried beans in the panty.

I also make sure to keep stocked up on ripe avocados and limes.

By having these ingredients handy eating on the fly is healthy and quick.

Even the little ones can do it; even the chronically lazy!

We also like to garnish with fresh salsa and a tangy homemade yogurt or sour cream.

This meal and it’s many variations has become a summertime staple that everyone can enjoy and customize to their own preference.

Burrito style for those who are always running late and eating on the way or pizza stlye with a little Manchego cheese for weekend movie night.

So, don’t get frustrated get creative!

These budget friendly meals are flexible. Use what you have around and get fancy when the budget allows.

They are built in to be nutritious so you just can’t go wrong!

With only healthy options even the least culinary inclined among you can’t help but choose something delicious and nutritious while you enjoy a little fun in the sun!

Super Food Kaniwa with Corn, Beans, Red Pepper, Green Onion, Avocado and Lime Juice!

Kaniwa from Roland Products, pronounced “Ka-nyi-wa”, is a staple grain of the ancient Aztec and Incan cultures whhich has been cultivated for thousands of years throughout South America.

The crunchy, earthy grain is loaded with protein and makes a complete meal when mixed with vegetables.

Kaniwa Plant

Roland Foods offers a wide variety of specialty foods from around the globe and was kind enough to send me this box of Kaniwa to try at home.

I have cooked with Quinoa in the past and I love it.

Kaniwa is similar to quinoa but seems to feel hardier and denser.

I gathered all the vegetables I could find and chopped them to equal size.

1 package of Grape tomatoes cut in half, 7 green onions, 1/2 of a red onion, 1 can of pinto beans, 2 cups of corn, 1 red pepper, 1/2 of a English cucumber, 1 bunch of cilantro,the juice of 3 limes, 1/4 cup of olive oil and salt to taste.

I garnished with avocado.

I put all of the chopped vegetables in a bowl, cooked the 12 oz. box ( about 2 cups ) of Kaniwa and added to the veggies.

I added it hot to the vegetables to bring them to peak flavor.

I find that adding hot grains to the veggies gives off just enough heat to liven the flavors.

I mixed everything then added the olive oil and the lime juice.

Serve and garnish with half an avocado.

Add salt to taste.

This was fantastic.

Everyone loved this vegan, protein rich meal which could also be great as a side dish with grilled salmon.

Roasted Veggies! Zucchini, Red Pepper and Sweet Potato with Olive Oil, Salt and Pepper!

033roasted veggies

These roasted vegetables have become a must have staple around here.

They are super easy to prepare and simply bake in the oven on 425 degrees fahrenheit for 20 minutes.

010roasted veggies

Use restraint with the olive oil.

You don’t want to fry the veggies, just coat them lightly for a little flavor and so they won’t dry out.

Also, try using a fancy salt for more exotic taste and texture.

011roasted veggies

Cut them evenly so that they all cook at the same time.

012roasted veggies

Don’t overcook; you don’t want them to be too soft or mushy.

017roasted veggies

Salt and pepper is all you need for seasoning.

The beauty of this dish is it’s simplicity!

018roasted veggies

These veggies go with everything, are healthy and filling!

019roasted veggies

Make big batches and keep them in the fridge for an always ready snack, side dish or meal.

Add a salad or soup and you have a meal.

You can add some feta cheese or even put them between two slices of toated wheat bread for a sandwich.

There are so many ways to use these.

They can be your new “fast food”.

Having stuff like this on hand keeps your snacking healthy and helps cut down on preparation time for meals!

032roasted veggies

Celebrating Winter Sunshine with Buckwheat Soba Noodles with Green Curry Coconut, Red Pepper and Asparagus!

074green curry soba noodles

This is not so much a recipe as one woman’s quest for a fresh and spicy meal on an unusually warm and sunny winter day!

079green curry soba noodles

A trip to the neighborhood grocer yeilded fresh ginger, avocados, limes a jar of green curry paste, soba noodles….
You get the idea.

033green curry noodles

This dish is quick and easy to prepare.

I can’t get everything cleaned, cut, chopped and sauteed before the noodles are finished cooking.

You will want to time it so that you don’t overcook them.

I sliced some ginger with the red pepper and asparagus and added a little coconut oil to lightly sautee the veggies.

051green curry noodles

You can put this together pretty fast.

Squeeze fresh lime juice over everything before serving, it really brightens the flavors!

Toss chopped cilantro into the draining noodles to gather just enough heat to bring out the herb’s pungent aroma!

055green curry noodles

Fresh avocado is creamy and perfect with the spicy green curry and coconut sauce.

073green curry soba noodles

I also made a batch of whole wheat linguine but the soba were slightly better.

Not in flavor but in texture.

076green curry soba noodles

Try this for a nice meatless meal that is flavorful and filling.

Who Knew? Miso Soup is so Quick and Easy on a Cold Winter Day!

031misoo soup

I have always loved miso soup. The richness of the broth lead me to believe, in my early uninformed years, that there was a meat base to the broth.

I was so happy to learn that this is not the case.

Dashi is the base of many Japanese soups and sauces and can be made from dried sardines, mushrooms, and in my case sea weed.

I used 2 “leaves” of Kombu Sea Vegetable to 12 cups of water. ( I made a big batch; we’ll discuss this later).

The sea vegetable expands greatly in the water so I would suggest breaking it into small peices before boiling.

This saves time cutting it up later.

You can also purchase the kind which is cut or shredded.

Boil until soft.

You can buy Dashi but it is not always easy to find and making it yourself is so easy…why not?!

Now, making this soup in large quantities is not the best idea and I now know why.

You should not boil the miso.

And if you have to warm leftover soup you won’t be able to avoid over cooking.

Also, the scallions which add such a nice delicate flavor would not taste great or retain their texture if submitted to too much heat.

I wish that I would have known this befor I started.

I now know why cooking suggestions were given for one and two cup servings.

I would highly suggest making this soup in small portions for optimum flavor and quality.

011miso soup

Ingredients

3 cups dashi soup stock
1 block tofu
3-4 tbsps miso paste
1/4 cup chopped green onion

Method

Put dashi soup stock in a pan and bring to a boil.

Cut tofu into small cubes and add them to the soup.

Simmer the tofu for a few minutes on low heat.

Scoop out some soup stock from the pan and dissolve miso in it.

Gradually return the miso mixture in the soup.

Stir the soup gently.

Stop the heat and add chopped green onion.

Remember not to boil the soup after you put miso in.

*Makes 4 servings

010miso soup

Making the Dashi.

017miso soup

Measuring the Miso.

022miso soup

Mixing the Dashi with the Miso.

023miso soup

Disolving the Miso in the Dashi before adding to the Dashi Broth.

028miso soup

Mixing everything together in the soup pot.

040miso soup

I always need to add alittle heat!.

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