Saturday, February 27, 2010


This is what I eat every morning for breakfast. Feel free to mix it up with differet kinds of fruit etc.

1 cup soy milk (if you use vanilla soy milk then do not add the the tsp of vanilla)
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp Cinnamon
2 tbsp flax seed or powder
2 dates (pitted) or a small handful or raisins
1 banana
3/4 cup of frozen fruit
1 banana

I love this smoothie and hope you will too.

Chocolate Chocolate Chip Cookies

I made these yesterday and they were very good.

3/4 cup canola oil or any oil
2 cups sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla

1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon whole flax seeds
1/2 cup soymilk or cows milk

2 cups all purp flour ( I did 1 cup white and one cup wheat)
3/4 cup cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 F.

Grind the flax seeds on high in a blender until they become a powder. Add soymilk and blend for another 30 seconds or so. Set aside.

In a large bowl sift together flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt.

In a seperate large bowl cream together oil and sugar. Add the flax seed/soy milk mixture and mix well. Add the vanilla.

Fold in the dry ingredients in batches. When it starts to get too stiff to mix with a spatula, use your hands until a nice stiff dough forms. Add the chocolate chips and mix with your hands again.

Roll dough into 1 inch balls and flatten into a disc that's about 1 1/2 inches in diameter. Place on an ungreased cookie sheet about an inch apart.

Bake for 10 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool for about 5 minutes, then set them on a wire rack to cool completely.

For chocolate chocolate chip cherry cookies, replace 1 teaspoon of the vanilla with almond extract, and replace 1/2 the chocolate chips with dried cherries.

For chocolate nut cookies, replace 1 teaspoon of the vanilla with a nut extract (almond, walnut, what have you) and replace the chocolate chips with 1 1/2 cups chopped nuts (hazelnuts, almonds or walnuts all are good).

Snobby Joes

This recipe is from Post Punk Kitchen. That is where I also go the pumpkin Waffle recipe. Check it out!

1 cup uncooked lentils
4 cups water
or one can of beans

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium yellow onion, diced small
1 green pepper, diced small
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 Tablespoons chili powder
2 teaspoons oregano
1 teaspoon salt
8 oz can tomato sauce
1/4 cup tomato paste
3 tablespoons maple syrup
1 tablespoon yellow mustard (wet mustard)

4 to 6 kaiser rolls or sesame buns or any type of bread

Put the lentils in a small sauce pot and pour in 4 cups water. Cover and bring to a boil. Once boiling, lower heat and simmer for about 20 minutes, until lentils are soft. Drain and set aside.

About 10 minutes before the lentils are done boiling, preheat a medium soup pot over medium heat. Saute the onion and pepper in the oil for about 7 minutes, until softened. Add the garlic and saute a minute more.

Add the cooked lentils, the chili powder, oregano and salt and mix. Add the tomato sauce and tomato paste. Cook for about 10 minutes. Add the maple syrup and mustard and heat through.

Turn the heat off and let sit for about 10 minutes, so that the flavors can meld, or go ahead and eat immediately if you can't wait. I like to serve these open faced, with a scoop of snobby joe on each slice of the bun.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Got Muffins?

I just wanted to post a couple more muffin recipes that we've tried and liked lately. The first fits in lovely with the "orange veggie" thing we have going.

Pumpkin Spice Muffins
1 1/4 c. oats
1 c. whole wheat flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
1/2 tsp. cloves
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. salt
1 c. canned pumpkin
3/4 c. brown sugar (I do think this could be decreased....they were plenty sweet)
1/2 c. applesauce
1/4 c. milk
1 egg
1 tsp. vanilla

1/4 c. oats
1/4 c. whole wheat flour
1/4 c. brown sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 c. butter

Combine dry ingredients, then wet and mix together. Sprinkle with topping. Bake at 350 degrees for 18-20 minutes. This makes a whole lotta muffins. But they're scrumptious.

The second recipe, admittedly pales in comparison to this one....but it seemed very healthy. And they did taste good.....they just didn't have the pizzaz of the pumpkin ones.

Cinnamon Oatmeal Muffins:
1 1/2 c. whole wheat flour
3/4 c. oats
1 Tbsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
2/3 c. brown sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon
3/4 c. milk
1/3 c. Applesauce
1 1/2 tsp. oil
2 eggs (or 3 egg whites)

Same story as always. Blend the wet, blend the dry, mix together....and then do the hokey pokey. :) Bake at 400 10-12 min.

Both of these recipes came from a cute little blog called fivelittlepeaches. It's also where I got the baked oatmeal from, to give credit where it is due.

And, a question please: I read recently that the cinnamon you commonly buy at the grocery store is not actually real cinnamon, and isn't as good for you as real cinnamon. (I guess it's called cassia? And the real stuff is cinnamonum verum and much more expensive?) But there were no sources given. Anyone know anything about this?

Walmart Brand Organic

Hello all!

So today I went to the grocery store and had a first! I bought ORGANIC MILK!!! It was Great Value Brand (Walmart's Store Brand). At first I was on a high... affordable (ish) organic milk! Yes! But as I drove home the thought struck me: "Does organic mean grass fed?" We all watched Food Inc. We all know why that matters... so I did a little poking around on the internet and found this article:

I think it's worth taking the time to read. I don't know completely how I feel about it yet. I still feel like I bought a better option than normal milk... but I guess it's still not the best. Is it worth the price if I'm not getting the FULL benefits of organic milk? Jury is still out.

Anyway I am still loving our Stonyfield Farm yogurt, and I hope to make small switches to Organic as time goes on.

I'd be interested to know what you think of the article if you have the time to read it.

--Much Love


Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Pumpkin Waffles

2 1/2 cups whole wheat flour or white flour
1/3 cup brown sugar
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
2 Tablespoons soy yogurt
2 cups soy milk
15 oz pureed pumpkin, fresh or canned
1/3 cup oil
2 teaspoons vanilla

Sift together dry ingredients. In a separate bowl, vigorously whisk together wet ingredients until well emulsified. Pour wet into dry and combine. Cook for 3 1/2-4minutes. Make sure to spray the waffle iron.

I was out of ginger, nutmeg and cloves. So, I just added another 1 1/2 tsp of cinnamon to the recipe. I put a little bit of butter and Agave over the warm waffle and it tasted like pumpkin pie. SO SO SO YUMMY!

You do not need to use soy milk or soy yogurt. That is more for a "vegan" diet. Cow's milk and regular yogurt will do the job.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Olive Oil

Hello friends! Quick question:

Do any of you know the difference nutritionally between olive oil and extra virgin olive oil? I always buy extra virgin but I found myself wondering "why"? recently. Did I learn somewhere that it was better? If so... what makes it better? And lately I have been on a "less processed the better," kick and so maybe just plain ol' olive oil is the way to go... plus it's less expensive. Any thoughts?


Saturday, February 20, 2010

Check it out!

Hey friends! I just found a really cool site, and I thought I'd share. Super Healthy Kids. It has a button on the side-bar that you can click on to get weekly meal plans that include breakfast, lunch, a snack and dinner. Not all meals listed include a recipe, but you get an idea and could easily google one I'm sure. Also, not all recipes are vegetarian, but most could be adapted. For the most part I was really impressed.

Menu planning is something I struggle with.....I've been on the computer for over an hour looking for ideas! And that's just for dinner! Do you guys have any great suggestions for menu planning? I don't have enough veggie recipes in my arsenal yet to just make a monthly meal plan out of the file yet, and I'm struggling! My family doesn't do well without variety so I can't just make the same things over and over. Comments and suggestions much needed and appreciated!

Friday, February 19, 2010

Strawberry Sauce

Sorry to be posting so much guys! Katie and Whitney both requested this recipe though so I am happy to oblige:

Strawberry Sauce-- excellent over pancakes and waffles :)

3 heaping cups strawberries (as it is Feb. I used frozen... hoping they were harvested last summer)
1-2 tablespoons sugar or other sweetener (depending on the sweetness of the berries)
2 tablespoons fruit juice (it suggested oj, I used apple)
1/8 cup water

Place all but water in saucepan over med-high heat. Stir until sugar is disolved. Add water. Bring to boil. Reduce heat to med-low simmer, stirring occasionally to break up the berries and until sauce thickens.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Programming Notes

Hello! I want to say again how happy I am that we are doing this blog. I have tried lots of the recipes and I appreciate so much the knowledge that you all share. It keeps me motivated!

I took the liberty of doing some things... So Katie and I chose colors to write our posts with and this morning I went back through old posts and gave Whit and Emily colors too- that way we can easily know who posted the recipe. I gave Whitney her signature color: Red, because I thought that she would like that the best, and I gave Emily Green, just because I thought we could use that color. Em and Whit: Feel free to change your color if you don't like it!

I also added labels to some posts that didn't have them. If you don't like that you can change it too! I'm just trying to keep it all organized a bit.

I love you all!

Veg Head Three Bean Chili

Today is Food Network Recipe Day from me. This one is from Miss Rachel Ray. Okay- NOTE: I do not know where Rachael goes shopping but it must be somewhere funky because her can sizes are weird. They are always a few ounces off from the normal can sizes. For this recipe I just used the can sizes that were closest and it was delish! That may not work for all her recipes but for chili I think there is wiggle room you know?

So anyway... this is how I make Rachael's chili. I have been looking for a chili recipe that would be "the one!" and this is it. When I made it last Jack had 3 bowls and said "I LOVE this!" it was also Corey's favorite chili I have made.

Veg Head 3 Bead Chili

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, chopped (I use less)
1/2 each 1 large green and 1 large red bell pepper, chopped
1 jalepeno pepper, seeded and chopped
5 cloves minced garlic
1 cup veggie stock
32 oz (I think the normal size is 28 oz) can crushed tomatoes
1 can each dark red kidney beans and black beans, drained and rinsed
1 1/2 tablespoons ground cumin
2 1/2 tablespoons chili powder
1 1/2 teaspoons hot sauce
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup vegetarian refried beans

Optional Toppings:
shredded cheddar, chopped tomatoes, chopped scallions or red onion, olives, diced avacado, tortilla chips, sour cream

Saute onion, peppers and garlic over medium heat in oil 3-5 min. Deglaze pan with broth. Add tomatoes and beans. Season with spices. Thicken with refried beans. Simmer 5-10 min. Serve with toppings.

LEFTOVER IDEA for this recipe:

Baked Potato topped with steamed broccoli florrets, chili, and cheddar cheese. Yummm!

Breakfast Cookies

Hello! This is a recipe that I adapted from Ellie Krieger at the Food Network. Ellie is their "healthy," chef. I like to poke around at her stuff... some if it is great but others still need to be healthified in my opinion. Still, you gotta love those food network people. I rarely dislike a recipe I try from them.

So I am going to type the way I am making it with what she used in ( ) at the side. That way if you want to healthify it in a different way you can. I still have yet to mess with the sugar. I probably will the next time I make it. I usually just change things slowly each time I do it to prevent me from going overboard you know?

Breakfast Cookies - One cookie, a banana, and a big glass of water makes a satisfying and yummy breakfast!

1 1/4 cups whole wheat flour (3/4 c w w f, 1/2 white flour)
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 pinch kosher salt (1/4 teaspoon salt)
2 tablespoons trans fat free margarine (2 tablespoons butter)
1/4 cup applesauce (1/4 cup canola oil)
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup white sugar
1 egg white (1 egg)
1 small jar (1/4 cup) carrot baby food
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup rolled oats (1/2 c oats, 1/2 cup bran cereal flakes)
1/3 cup raisins
1/3 cup chopped nuts - we used pecans, walnuts would be really good too

Mix dry. In mixerstand blend butter, applesauce and sugars on high 1 min. Add egg white, carrot and vanilla, beat 30 sec. Add flour mixture, beat 30 sec. Add oats, raisins and nuts, mix on low until just incorporated. (Dough will be sticky and less cohesive than normal cookie dough). Form 12 balls on prepared cookie sheet. Wet hands and flatten to 1/4 inch thick. Bake about 12-15 minutes- should still be soft when you take out.

Sunday, February 14, 2010


I have no idea where to put this post, so I am just putting it here. Ashlee told me to share this information with you and I think you will like it.

I should probably give you a little back ground first. It was eight months after I had my three year old that I developed IBS. I quickly started talking with my mid wife and she suggested to increase fruits and veggies in my diet. Well, I did just that and I went from having three attacks a week (12 a month) to one a month.

About seven months after having my nine month old daughter I remembered that I had once had IBS (I had no attacks during pregnancy). I quickly started changing my diet again. However, I felt that I needed to do more than I had done before but I didn't know what that was. I began by increasing fruits and veggies and eating less of sugar. On new years eve my friends told me about a book, "Eat to Live". It sounded like the missing piece to my puzzle. I began reading it and quickly adapted it to my life style and every day diet.

I have always been a pretty healthy eater (ask Ahslee, she will testify) but my weight was always stuck around 158-165 lbs (I am 5 "9"). I dance, exercise and eat so well but that is just where my body wanted to be in weight. In the past 6 weeks I have lost 16 lbs. I never go hungry and because I breast feed I actually eat more than most people. I am now 150 lbs and the number is still goint down.

You are pretty much vegan for six weeks and then you add meat and dairy back into your diet if you choose to. If I do, it will be sparingly. To me that means red meat once a month, chicken twice a month and fish once a week. Dairy and sugar will be sparingly as well.

I also eat 1-2lbs easy of veggies and fruit a day (a lot of salad) but I love it. My hair feel different, people have commented on my skin tone and my dark circles under my eyes are getting lighter.

If you want to talk to me about this, then email me and I will send you my number.

Sorry that was a lot. Thanks for listening.



Fudge Drops

Holy Crap, I made these this morning and they are do good and easy to make. You do not have to use Soy yougurt or earth balance butter. Just use normal yogurt and normal butter.

Vegan Balsamic Fudge Drops
(adapted from Habeas Brûlée)

Balsamic vinegar is the secret ingredient, but the only sign it's there is the deeper, richer taste it gives these cookies.

1 cup unbleached white flour (or use gluten-free baking flour)
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/8 teaspoon salt
5 tablespoons Earth Balance margarine
1/2 cup plus 1 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder (not Dutch-process)
2/3 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup dark brown sugar
1/3 cup soy yogurt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar (see Note)
Vanilla sugar (I did this the quick way by pulverizing a vanilla bean with sugar in my blender)

Preheat oven to 350 F. Cover two baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats.

Mix the flour, soda, and salt together and set aside. In another bowl, mix the cocoa with the sugars and set aside.

Melt the margarine in a medium-sized saucepan. When it is completely melted, take it off the heat and add the sugar/cocoa mixture and stir to combine. Then add the soy yogurt, vanilla extract, and balsamic and stir until mixed. Finally, add the flour mixture and stir just until it's combined—don't over-mix.

Using a cookie scoop or tablespoon, drop tablespoons of the dough onto the baking sheets about 1 1/2-inches apart. Sprinkle lightly with vanilla sugar, and place them in the oven. After 5 minutes, switch the pans around so that the one on top is on the bottom and the front sides are in the back. Check again in 4 minutes. Be careful—depending on the type of pan you use, they can go from underdone to burned in seconds (I found out the hard way!) They shouldn't need more than 11 minutes and will look soft on top, but they'll harden as they cool.

Remove from the oven and transfer onto cooling racks. Makes about 2 dozen cookies.

Note: I used regular (i.e. cheap) balsamic vinegar, but I'm sure you'd get more effect if you follow Danielle's instructions to make reduced balsamic.

Per cookie: 77 Calories (kcal); 3 g Total Fat; (29% calories from fat); 1 g Protein; 14 g Carbohydrate; 0 mg Cholesterol; 66 mg Sodium; 1 g Fiber

Friday, February 12, 2010

Fudge Cookies

I got this recipe from, sit

These fudgy-but-fat-free cookies have three chocolate enhancers: cinnamon, prunes, and balsamic vinegar. You probably won't be able to detect any of them in the finished product, but they lend the cookies a deeper, more chocolaty taste.

1 cup unbleached white flour (or use gluten-free baking flour)
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
pinch cinnamon (optional)
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup plus 1 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder (not Dutch-process)
2/3 cup demerara sugar (or other vegan sugar)
1/2 cup prune puree (see note)
1/3 cup soy yogurt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar (see note #2)
Vanilla sugar (I did this the quick way by pulverizing a vanilla bean with sugar in my blender)

Preheat oven to 350 F. Cover two baking sheets with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.

Mix the flour, soda, cinnamon, and salt together and set aside.

In a medium-sized mixing bowl, mix the prune puree with the sugar and cocoa and stir to combine. Add the soy yogurt, vanilla extract, and balsamic and stir until mixed. Finally, add the flour mixture and stir just until it's combined—don't over-mix.

Using a cookie scoop or tablespoon, drop tablespoons of the dough onto the baking sheets about 1 1/2-inches apart. Using the back of a spoon, flatten each cookie slightly and sprinkle with vanilla sugar. Place them in the oven. Bake for about 9 to 11 minutes—be careful not to burn the bottoms!

Remove from the oven and lift the parchment paper or silicone mats onto cooling racks. Allow to cool completely. These taste best cold and somehow even better the next day. Makes about 2 dozen cookies.

Note: I made prune puree simply by buying canned prunes and pureeing them in the blender. You can also buy a fat substitute, Wonderslim, which is essentially pureed prunes (or so I've heard), but it costs more and doesn't work any better. I've also heard of people using jars of babyfood prunes, but blending my own always made more sense to me. (Caution: don't use dried prunes!)

Note #2: I used regular (i.e. cheap) balsamic vinegar, but I'm sure you'd get more effect if you follow Danielle's instructions to make reduced balsamic.

Per cookie: 59 Calories (kcal); trace Total Fat; (4% calories from fat); 1 g Protein; 14 g Carbohydrate; 0 mg Cholesterol; 52 mg Sodium; 1 g Fiber

Pasta (Veggie Style) Zucchini

Zucchini PASTA
“Spiralize” in “Saladacco (Spiral Slicer)”, or similar machine. Shredded zuccini can work also, but the authentic “pasta effect” is not as notable.
Arrange on plate similar to pasta.
Pasta Sauce
10-12 “sundried” tomatoes, allow to soak for several minutes in warm water to soften.
1 large fresh tomato
1 large red pepper
1-2 stalks of celery
1 clove garlic
(4-5 fresh basil leaves)
Blend all of the sauce ingredients in a blender or Food Processor. Add the soaked sundried tomatoes last, a few at a time.

This does taste better warmed up!

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Kid Friendly Butternut Squash

Did you know that you are supposed to get a serving of orange veggies at LEAST every other day?

I personally get pretty sick of the orange veggie stand by, carrots so we've been trying new things.

A new discovery of this year is the delightful veggie- BUTTERNUT SQUASH! Did you know that it's good for a lot more than Butternut Squash soup? This is our favorite new side dish-- and it's my very own recipe. 5 points to me... even though it's probably couldn't even be considered a recipe so much as just a way to cook it.

Roasted Butternut Squash Bites

1 Butternut Squash
Olive Oil
Salt and Pepper

Preheat Oven to 400 degrees. Peel the butternut squash. (Like you peel a carrot? Yep. Like you peel a carrot. Just keep peeling until you are seeing only the orange-y center... it takes a bit.) Chop off the ends. Cut in half lengthwise and scoop out the guts. Cut the squash into bite sized pieces. Spread on to a well greased pan (or baking mat if you have one) and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast in oven for about 20 min tossing occasionally until veggies are fork tender. Serve. Yummm

Note: If you don't want to use the entire squash - it saves well, even peeled in the fridge for a long time. I just wrap mine up tight.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Vegan Banana Bread

I got this recipe from The Fat Free Vegan Recipes, and we really like it at our house. She has a cool section on her site that tells you what you can use to subsitute for eggs in recipes. I think I am going to try some more substitutions soon.

(I just barely tried to find the exact recipe that I got off the website, and I can't find it, she has some other bread recipes there too that sound delicious, but this one we know and love, so I will post this one).

Vegan Banana Bread
3 bananas
2 T. lemon juice
4 oz. applesauce (if I don't have this, I just use an extra 1/2 c. of squashed bananas)
1/2 C. dark sugar
2 C. whole wheat flour
3/4 t. baking powder
3/4 t. baking soda
1/2 t. salt

Mix wet ingredients and in seperate bowl mix dry ingredients. Add dry ingrdients to the wet and mix well.

Bake 350* for 50 minutes.
Let cool completely.

Makes one loaf.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010


I found this recipe at about 6 months ago. It is so fast and easy. My bread always turns out.

Makes 4 8/4 inch loaves.

7 c. whole wheat flour (grind your own if you have a wheat grinder)
2/3 c. vital wheat gluten (if you grind your own wheat you will not need this ingredient)
2 1/2 T. instant yeast

5 c. steaming hot water (120-130 F)

2 T. salt
2/3 c. oil
2/3 c. honey or 1 c. sugar (I like honey the best!)
2 1/2 T. bottled lemon juice

5 c. whole wheat flour

Mix together the first three ingredients in your mixer with a dough hook. Add water all at once and mix for 1 minute; cover and let rest for 10 minutes (this is called sponging). Add salt, oil, honey or sugar, and lemon juice and beat for 1 minute. Add last flour, 1 cup at a time, beating between each cup. Beat for about 6-10 minutes until dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl. This makes very soft dough.

Pre-heat oven for 1 minute to lukewarm and turn off. Turn dough onto oiled counter top; divide, shape into loaves place in oiled bread pans. Let rise in warm oven for 10-15 minutes until dough reaches top of pan. Do not remove bread from oven; turn oven to 350 F and bake for 30 minutes. Remove from pans and cool on racks. This recipe can be halved to make 2 loaves.

Make sure you grease your pans!

Tuesday, February 2, 2010


I wrote that post quickly this morning and have been going about my day... cleaning, scolding naughty children and the like... when it occured to me that I forgot to give credit where credit is due. I got the original recipe for the muffins from Kate's Garden Cafe. For that link click HERE.

Also, I made Fiesta Rotini last night... the one I sent you in e-mail and I must say that I add WAY more chili powder than the recipe calls for. Much kickier that way. We also decided it's actually better without the pepperocini's.

Have a nice day all!

Snickerdoodle Muffins

1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
1/3 cup apple sauce
2 teaspoons oil
1/2 cup agave nectar (or 1/3 cup sugar)
2/3 cup almond milk (or skim milk)


1 tablespoon whole wheat flour
1 tablespoon brown sugar (or sucanat)
1 tablespoon butter (or coconut oil)

Combine wet ingredients, combine dry- mix together until just combined. Place in prepared muffin tins (usually only get 9 miffins). Mix brown sugar and flour together, cut in butter. Sprinkle over muffins. Bake at 400 degrees until done :)

We like this for breakfast or a yummy snack. Sometimes I have the healthier options, sometimes I don't. It's healthy enough for me even without the fancy stuff. Note: Walmart now carries agave. Em, did you ever find out if it was a better deal at wally's or costco? They don't carry it at Sams here. I think Costco in general carries more healthy products than Sams Club. Bummer.

Other note: I love my new wheat grinder. I can make whole wheat pastry flour with it! Also- I know whole wheat flour is more expensive to buy than white flour at the store but if you have a wheat grinder- making your own flour is SO much cheaper than both. I am ordering wheat through the cannery and it's like $7.00 for 25 lbs of wheat. Awesome. I am also ordering beans. Of course all of this is pretty easy for me to say as someone gave me my wheat grinder.

Last note: Did you know you are supposed to keep whole wheat flour in the fridge? Keeps the nutrition longer. It won't go "bad," in the cupboard, but it will lose some nutrients.

Love you guys!

ps- Kate we are having your veggie quesedillas for lunch today! I'll let you know how it goes!

Monday, February 1, 2010

Laundry Links

Here are the recipes I've used for homemade laundry soap:
  • This link has a list of 10 or so recipes and a link to a pretty good FAQ for homemade laundry soap. I've been using recipe #9 lately. I'm not sure yet if it's quite as cheap as the next link, because I don't know for sure how long it will last....(but for sure a while) but I do feel like it cleans better.
  • This link is the first liquid recipe I tried. Definitely very cheap. The bucket lasted me about 6 months and cost me about $11 to make. It seriously calculated out to cost me less than a penny per load. I used to buy a box of powder soap at the grocery store that cost that much and only lasted me 3-4 weeks.
A few things about homemade laundry soap:
  • It's definitely better on your skin. I've never used the store-bought brands that are recommended for sensitive skin, but I did always have to run an extra rinse or my kids would have a rash. I don't have to do that with homemade.
  • The softer the water, the better it cleans. I think this is why I like the recipe in the first link better. It has more borax compared to everything else, which is supposed to help soften the water.
  • You can't use chlorine bleach with the recipes I've tried or it will dull and gray any whites. But, if the source I got this from is correct, Washing Soda is chemically the same thing as Oxi-Clean, so you're covered.
  • You have to be more on top of stain treating. With the store-bought soap I could throw anything in the laundry basket, leave it there for a week, and use a little Spray 'n Wash right before I tossed it in to wash. Now I have to spray everything as I toss it into the basket.
  • If you're making a powder soap, it's best to use a food processor to get the soap as fine as possible, to help it dissolve better in the water. Especially if you use a cold water wash, or have hard water. If it doesn't dissolve it leaves little greasy looking marks on your clothes, (they'll come out though). Plus it's tons faster. I used my food processor to pulverize 7 bars of Fels Naptha in about 2 minutes. (Use the grating attachment first, then put the chopping blade in to make it fine.) It would have taken FOREVER to grate that by hand.
  • Using vinegar instead of fabric softener is not only cheaper, but helps rinse your clothes better if you have hard water. Use 1/2 c. per load.
  • Not that I'm lucky enough to have an HE machine, but if you are, everything I've read says that homemade detergents are safe to use. The whole issue is the suds and these recipes are non-sudsing.
Sorry, this post is getting really long.....but one more thing! If you buy these ingredients in bulk, there are more uses for them. You can use the washing soda and borax (or I've seen baking soda and borax) in equal parts, (like 1 c. each) and mix together to make dishwasher detergent. Use 1-2 T. per load. Again, if you have hard water you'll want to use 1/2 c. of vinegar in the rinse aid cup.

And, I've been using the baking soda to wash my hair. LOVE it! Read more here if you're interested.

Now, if you want to kick me off the blog team for my first three ridiculously long additions, feel free. :) Much love!

Zucchini Quesadillas

Another repost:
This recipe comes from August/September 2004 Taste of Home.
1 onion, chopped
1/2 c. sweet red pepper, chopped
2 c. shredded zucchini
2 Tbsp. taco seasoning
flour tortillas
grated cheddar cheese
salsa and sour cream for serving

Heat a few Tbsp. of olive oil in a skillet. Add onions and pepper, saute for 3 minutes. (NOTE: I never actually measure the onions and peppers. I just use one pepper, and actually about half of a medium onion. I think onions are a subtlety that definitely can be over done. You usually get great flavor with about half what any recipe calls for.) As you can see in the picture, tonight I didn't have any red pepper, so I used green. Still good. Red is more kid-friendly. Add zucchini and taco seasoning, saute 3-4 minutes longer or until veggies are tender. Remove from heat. Heat tortillas on a griddle, spread one half with a thin layer of the zucchini mixture. Sprinkle desired amount of cheese on top, fold tortilla in half. Cook until tortilla is toasty, (flip once to toast both sides) and cheese is melted. Slice into triangles and enjoy!

Note: The original recipe called for pepper jack cheese, but I know my kids will not go there. Monterey jack is a nice compromise.

I've heard of people using hummus and other substitutes for cheese in their quesadillas to cut down on calories........what do you guys like to use? (Please feel free to comment any time I post with suggestions on how to make it healthier. I'm definitely still learning!)

Vegetable Lasagna

Okay ladies....I found this recipe already posted on my blog, so I copied and pasted to here!
Even though we've been TV-less for about three years now, I can't help but chuckle and think of Seinfeld whenever I hear the words "vegetable lasagna". If you don't know what I'm talking about....sorry, it was one of those, you had to see it to think it was funny kind of things. Anyway, sorry for the horrible picture, but it does give some idea of what this dish looks like. This recipe comes from my sister, Rikki. Her version was for stuffed shells, (you know, the jumbo shells that are sea-shell shaped?) but my family likes it better as a lasagna. Enjoy it however you like best! Tip: If anyone you're cooking for is weirded out by veggies, chop them very small.
2 c. chopped fresh broccoli
1 small onion, chopped
2 med zucchini, chopped
1/2 c. carrots, chopped
Saute the above in a bit of olive oil. Oh, and add a sprinkle of salt and a few grinds of pepper if you like.

In a separate bowl, combine:
1 lb. ricotta cheese
1 egg, lightly beaten
2 c. mozzarella cheese
1/4 c. parmesan cheese
3 T. basil

Lightly grease a 9x13 pan with cooking spray. Combine the veggies with the cheese mixture. Assemble your lasagna by spreading a layer of your favorite spaghetti sauce in the bottom of the pan. Then add a layer of lasagne noodles. Spread a thin layer of the cheese mixture, then repeat sauce, noodles, cheese until you've used all ingredients and the pan is filled, (I usually do three layers). Top with more cheese, (mozzarella, parmesan, whatever you have left) and cover with foil. Bake according to the directions of whatever noodles you've bought. For me this is usually about an hour at 375 degrees.

This dish is great, because you can prepare it ahead of time and then just stick it in the oven when you're ready. Hope you like it!