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Showing posts from October, 2017

Whole Wheat Pumpkin Pancakes

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Whole Wheat Pumpkin Pancakes Vegan and Fat Free!
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Happy Halloween!  There's no better way to celebrate today than to whip up some of these pumpkin pancakes.  I had a partially used can of pumpkin puree sitting in the fridge that I wanted to use up.    I immediately thought of pancakes.  The pumpkin puree in this recipe not only provides delicious autumn flavor, it also eliminates the need for eggs or oil, making this recipe both fat free (as long as you choose to cook it with a small amount of nonstick spray) and vegan!

This recipe was a huge hit with the littlest member of the family.  I feel really good about that considering that pumpkin is high in so many important nutrients, including vitamin A.  I topped her portion with a little bit of peanut butter, she covered it in applesauce as well.

Makes: About 9-12 Pancakes
Ingredients:2 1/4 scant cups unsweetened soy milk (or milk of choice)2 TBSP + 1 tsp apple cider vinegar2 cups whole wheat flour2 TBSP coconut sugar2 1/2 tsp ba…

Whole Wheat Double-Apple Cinnamon Muffins

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Whole Wheat Double-Apple Cinnamon Muffins Completely Vegan!
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We had a few apples laying around just asking to be baked into perfectly delicious apple-cinnamon muffins (well, not literally...that would be creepy-but very much in the spirit of Halloween).  It occurred to me that I could use some applesauce to replace the eggs (hence the double in the name) making them both extra apple-y AND vegan!

Makes: 24 regular sized muffins OR 40 mini muffins
Ingredients:1 scant cup unsweetened soy milk (or milk of choice)1 TBSP apple cider vinegar (or other vinegar or lemon juice)2 cups whole wheat flour1/2 cup coconut sugar3 1/2 tsp baking powder1 tsp cinnamon1/2 tsp salt1/2 tsp baking powder1/3 cup canola oil1/4 cup applesauce (home made or store bought is fine, just make sure it is unsweetened) 2 cups diced apples (about 2 large apples) Directions:Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F.Mix your "milk" of choice with the vinegar, set aside. Grease muffin cups, or line with cute paper…

Sesame-Carrot Slaw

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Sesame-Carrot Slaw I wanted to make a small side dish to go alongside our dinner of orange tofu the other night.  I simply julienned up some carrots (although, you could certainly shred them in a vegetable grater if you so desired) and mixed together a dressing of apple cider vinegar, sesame oil, and canola oil.  I sprinkled the top with sesame seeds and called it a day.  Sometimes it's nice to have really simple side dishes and salads to pair with other foods.

Serves: 4
Ingredients:2 carrots, peeled and julienned2 tsp canola oil1 tsp sesame oil1 tsp apple cider vinegar1 tsp sesame seedssalt to taste Directions:Place the carrots in a medium serving bowl.In a small bowl mix together the canola oil, sesame oil, and apple cider vinegar.  Toss the dressing with the carrots.Sprinkle the top with sesame seeds.

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Healthier Orange Tofu

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Healthier Orange Tofu Orange tofu or orange chicken in a American Chinese restaurants are usually breaded, deep fried, and smothered in a thick syrupy sauce.  Not exactly the kind of meal I want to eat on a regular basis.  This version has all of that great citrus flavor, thanks to the zest of the orange in the sauce without all of the unnecessary extras.

This recipe is somewhat different from the Sesame-Ginger-Tofu that I posted about in a couple of ways.  In addition to the difference in flavor from the fresh orange zest, the tofu is quickly stir fried, not baked.  If you prefer a less tofu-y texture you may want to follow the instructions for baking the tofu outlined in that recipe.  Personally, I enjoy the natural texture of tofu.

Serve this with steamed broccoli and orange segments (you have to buy an orange for the zest anyway) or alongside some fried rice.

Serves: 4
Ingredients:2 TBSP hot waterzest of 1 orange (I use a microplane, however you can also just use a vegetable peel…

Vegan Green Smoothie

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Vegan Green Smoothie Lots of parents worry about getting enough vegetables into their kids (or themselves for that matter).  We have had lots of smoothies in this family, but all have been heavily fruit based.  I wanted to make something which would help all of us get a little bit more veggies into our morning.

I have seen many recipes for "green smoothies," but I wanted to make something that was extremely simple (for when we are half awake).  This recipe only calls for four ingredients: spinach, fruit, soy milk, and maple syrup (or whatever you wish to sweeten it with).  Alternately, you could use a sweetened milk and skip the sweetener altogether.

I was not disappointed.  My toddler loved this smoothie!  She thought it was so funny that the smoothie was green.  She asked if we could do a purple one (blueberries and beets, maybe?), but she declared that "a red smoothie would not be tasty."  Lol
Ingredients:1 cup densely packed baby spinach leaves1 cup unsweetene…

Green Meatless Balls (Vegan & Gluten Free!)

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Green Meatless Balls Vegan & Gluten Free! I needed a quick recipe that I could whip up to bring to a relative's house.  It had to be gluten free, because two people in attendance have gluten insensitivity.  I used oats as the binder, making them vegan in addition to being gluten free.  The base is cannellini bean, making them lighter in both color and flavor than the lentil balls I made a little while ago.  The other main difference between this recipe and the lentil balls, is that while those were mashed with a fork, these were put through the food processor to create a more consistent texture.  The main flavors come from the spinach and basil (which also give them a delightful green hue!)

We had these with some pesto and carrot noodles.  You could put them on zucchini noodles, spaghetti squash, or whole wheat pasta and top with any pasta sauce.
 Ingredients: 1 can of cannellini beans1/4 cup quickoats1/4 cup densely packed baby spinach leaves2 TBSP basil chiffonade 2 TBSP ol…

Vegan Pesto

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Vegan Pesto Sauce This vegan pesto sauce is not fat free, but it's not all oil either-it's somewhere in between.  It is made with a combination of olive oil and vegetable broth that gives it a nice deep flavor.  Pine nuts give it a classic pesto texture.  We had in on carrot noodles (carrots strips made with a vegetable peeler).  It would be equally delicious on zucchini noodles or whole wheat pasta.
Ingredients:1/2 cup basil leaves, tightly packed2 TBSP pine nuts2 TBSP olive oil1/4 cup veggie broth (home made or salt free)1 clove garlic, peeled1 tsp fresh lemon juicepinch saltdash pepper Directions:Place all of the ingredients into your food processor.  Blend until smooth. Pour it over pasta, rice, or veggies!

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Sage-Vegetable Patties (Vegan and Gluten Free!)

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Sage-Vegetable Patties Vegan & Gluten Free!Yum
These patties are a mix of chickpeas, zucchini, carrots celery, onion, garlic, fresh sage, and other herbs.  Oatmeal is the binder, so they are completely gluten free.  All of the ingredients are totally plant based, so this recipe is also vegan.  They have the texture of falafel, but they taste like thanksgiving dinner!


We had them with steamed zucchini, and vegan mashed potatoes. Yum!

I would recommend prepping all of your vegetables before you being working like this:


Then you fry them in a pan with a little salt to reduce the moisture (this will improve the taste and texture of the finished product.


Mix all of the ingredients together in a mixing bowl.


Then, just form the patties and bake!

Ingredients:1 TBSP olive oil1/2 onion, chopped1 clove garlic, minced1 stalk celery, diced1 carrot, peeled & grated1 small zucchini, grated (about a cup)1/4 tsp salt1 can chickpeas, drained & rinsed2 TBSP fresh sage chiffonade 1/4 tsp dr…

Easy Vegan Fried Rice

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Easy Veggie Fried Rice Fried rice doesn't have to be unhealthy for you.  This version is lighter, fresher, and tastier than the original.  Brown rice adds fiber, grated and diced veggies add in vitamins, and the peas add in protein.  The flavor of this rice is enhanced by sesame oil and a touch of soy sauce, but most of the flavor comes from the veggies themselves.

My two year old was enthralled by the chopsticks, and insisted eating with them.  Ultimately, we ended up feeding her with the chop sticks, but she did like this recipe quite a bit.

This recipe cooks up super quick, so make sure that you have prepped all of your vegetables before you begin.   If you make the rice ahead of time, or are making this dish with leftover rice this would make a very quick and easy weeknight meal.  If this is intended as a main course, just double the peas or stir in some tofu.

Serves: 4-6
Ingredients:1 TBSP canola oil1/2 onion, diced1 clove garlic, minced1 carrot, peeled and grated1 stalk ce…

Sesame-Ginger-Tofu Stir Fry

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Sesame-Ginger-Tofu Stir Fry Tofu stir fry is one of those recipes that every vegetarian needs to have in their repertoire.  Tofu is full of lean protein, and the veggies are full of vitamins and minerals.  It's an all around great meal.
Tofu is one of my toddlers favorite foods (lucky, I know), so we have this dish and variations on it quite a bit.  This recipe has a couple extra steps than your average stir fry, but they are well worth it, plus stir fry cooks up so quickly that you have the extra time.  The tofu is pressed, then baked for superior texture.  The broccoli and carrots are steamed (very lightly) because, I find, that steaming develops their flavors better than frying.
Serves: 4 Ingredients: 1 block firm tofu1 carrot, peeled and sliced1 large head broccoli broken into bite sized pieces (about 4 cups)1 TBSP oil for frying plus extra for greasing (I used canola) 1/2 onion, chopped1 clove garlic, minced1 tsp fresh grated ginger1 stalk celery, sliced1 TBSP soy sauce1 TBSP…

Chili Burger (Vegan and Gluten Free)

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Chili Burger Vegan and Gluten Free! Once a week or so, I like to make a home made veggie burger for dinner.  I wanted to create something with a bold and classic flavor profile, like a bowl full of chili.  Kidney beans, tomatoes, bell peppers, garlic, onions, and herbs and spices come together to make that great chili flavor.  I think I replicated that flavor pretty well in this burger.

Because the recipe calls for canned beans and tomatoes, you can whip up this burger pretty quickly.  You could even make the patties the night before, or on the weekend.  Then you just have to preheat your oven and pop them in when you get home from work.

I decided to try and use quick oats as my binder in this recipe.  Honestly, I think I like it better than breadcrumbs or flour.  The oats pick up the the other flavors much better than wheat products do, in my opinion.  So, if you are gluten free, this is the burger for you!

Ingredients:1 TBSP olive oil1/2 onion, chopped1 clove garlic, minced1/2 gree…

Cinnamon-Apple Sauce

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Cinnamon-Apple Sauce We still have a few apples kicking around from the last time we went apple picking.  Sad, bruised apples that was going to eat...  What better way to give them new life than applesauce?

This applesauce is completely sugar free.  I used a little bit of canola oil to grease the casserole dish to prevent the apples from sticking, but you could use nonstick spray or whatever you happen to have on hand.  I left the skins on my apples for a little extra nutritional boost, but you could peel yours.

When I asked my taste tester (my toddler) to try a bite her eyes opened wide.  She immediately asked for a bowl.  Applesauce made from scratch is a whole other level of delicious, trust me.  Better yet, make some for yourself.

Makes: About a pint
Ingredients: 6 apples, cut into 1/4 inch pieces (5 cups)1 tsp cinnamon1/2 tsp nutmegcanola oil (for greasing)


Directions:Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.Place your apples, cinnamon, and nutmeg in a greased casserole dish.Cook for …

Split Pea Soup

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Split Pea Soup This soup made a nice hearty dinner the other night.  Add a whole wheat dinner roll or a salad, and you are all set!  It is a pretty small batch, it makes enough for about three or four people.  If you want leftovers, double the recipe.

This meal is extraordinarily economical.  Split peas are about a dollar/bag, and the vegetables are not very expensive.  If you make your broth from scratch, you will have quite the budget meal!

Split pea soup is a great option for baby led weaning.  My toddler absolutely loved split pea soup when she was a baby.

Serves: 3-4
Ingredients:1 TBSP olive oil1 onion, chopped1 clove garlic, minced1 yellow potato, chopped1 carrot, peeled and sliced1 stalk celery, sliced1 cup green split peas6 cups vegetable broth (home made or salt free)1/4 tsp dried parsley1/8 tsp dried thymepinch of saltdash of nutmeg Directions:Heat the oil over medium heat.  Add the onions, and cook about 3-4 minutes, stirring frequently, or until they begin to look trans…

Baked Ginger-Pear Sauce

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Baked Ginger-Pear Sauce Recently, I found myself in possession of a few overripe pears.  Not wanting them to go to waste, a decided to whip up a batch of pear sauce.  I was very happy with the results!

There is no sugar in this sauce.  It really doesn't need it!  Oil is minimal, only a little to prevent the pears from sticking to the pan.  You could use nonstick spray or whatever you have on hand.

Makes: About a pint of sauce
Ingredients:4 pears (4 cups), cut into 1/4 inch pieces2 tsp grated fresh gingeroil for greasing (I used canola) Directions: Preheat your oven to 350 degrees FPlace the pears and ginger in a greased glass loaf pan.  Bake covered for 30 minutes.  Stir, and bake covered for another 20 minutes.Stir and bake uncovered for ten minutes.Allow to cool. Puree in a food processor or food mill.  (I used a small food processor.  I had to puree half at a time.)


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Veggie Loaded Twice Baked Potato

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Veggie Loaded Twice Baked Potato Potatoes were buy one get two free at the store, so right now we are swimming in potatoes.  I wanted to create a fun delicious recipe that would balance some of the starch with some healthy veggies.  I was very happy with the result.

I happened to have carrots, zucchini, and onion in my refrigerator.  There is no reason that you have to be limited to these veggies, however.  Use whatever you have on hand, just make sure that you end up with a total of about 1 1/2-2 cups of veggies total, and that they are either shredded or diced fine.

If you want a mellower onion flavor, try frying the diced onions in 1 tsp of the oil before you mix them with the other vegetables.  Then, reduce the oil you add to the potatoes by 1 tsp.

 Makes: 12 potato halves
 Ingredients: 6 russet potatoes1 carrot, grated1 medium zucchini, grated1/2 onion, diced1/8 tsp salt2 TBSP olive oil1/2 tsp dried tarragon1/2 tsp dried parsley Directions: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.Bake yo…

Veggie Scrap Broth

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Veggie Scrap Broth Every soup needs a strong base, but there is no reason to spend a ton of money on broth.  It is not only easy to make broth from scratch, it is practically free.

I only recently started making broth this way, at the advice of a friend.  All you need to do is keep a large zip top bag in your freezer.  Whenever you are chopping, dicing, or peeling, simply toss the scraps that you would otherwise throw away into the bag.  When the bag fills up, you are ready to make broth, my friend!

One of the wonderful things about this idea is that it makes a new broth every time you make it.  Last time I made broth, I had lots of butternut squash skins to use up.  It had an amazing aroma, and a very deep flavor.  Who knows what kinds of flavors you could make up?  Asparagus, broccoli, pumpkin, the possibilities are endless!

You can use home made broth as a soup base, a simmering liquid, or as a flavoring for rice.  You can use this broth in virtually any recipe that calls for brot…