Monthly Archives: July 2012

ONE GREEN PLANET – Chocolate Health Cookies

Check out my newest recipe on One Green Planet…Chocolate HEALTH Cookies.

Click HERE to get the recipe.

About these ads

5 Comments

Filed under Beans/Legumes, Cookies / Bars, Dessert, Gluten Free, Kid Friendly, One Green Planet, Recipes, Vegan, Vegetarian

Ethical Ocean Recipe Contest – Chocolate Molten Lava Cake

I am honored to have been asked by Ethical Ocean to enter the Ethical Ocean Vegan Recipe Challenge where they are looking to crown the vegan recipe of summer.

You can vote every day for 3 weeks and every time you vote you’ll be entered to win a daily prize from Ethical Ocean (the place for vegan and eco shopping). And if you vote for the winning recipe, you’ll be entered to win a Grand Prize – $500 gift card to Ethical Ocean.

Please vote for my recipe HERE!   Pssssst…I truly appreciate your votes!

2 Comments

Filed under Cake, Contests, Dessert, Recipes

SECRET INGREDIENT CHOCOLATE AMARETTO PUDDING

This recipe was created prior to learning about my oat allergy.  While I loved how this recipe turned-out, my body did not.  That being said, if your body does not have any issues with oats, this pudding is for you…it is healthy, lowfat, and free of processed sugar.

——————————————————————————————————-

Trying Wayfare’s puddings at this years Natural Products Expo West inspired this recipe.  I like the idea of using whole grains to thicken pudding since they are essential to a healthy diet and also health-promoting.  What’s better than that?  This pudding is so healthy that I will let my kids eat it for breakfast… after all it is made out of oats.  Hurray for healthy desserts!!!

If you are not a fan of almond extract…go ahead and leave it out.  You will love the chocolaty results.

INGREDIENTS

1 cup gluten-free old fashioned oats
2 cups filtered water
1/2 cup So Delicious Creamer
1 cup So Delicious unsweetened coconut milk
1/2  cup cocoa powder
6 stevia packets
6 dates
1 tsp vanilla
2 tsp almond extract*
 
*Feel free to substitute other flavorings, i.e. mint, raspberry, orange…but start with 1/2 tsp and work your way up from there.  I have not tried any others, so I am not sure how much of each to use.

Place the oatmeal and filtered water in a small saucepan and cook over medium heat.  Once it reaches a boil, turn the heat down to low and allow the oats to simmer until thickened.  Once the oats have thickened, turn off the heat and place the lid on the saucepan.  Let the oats sit for 10 minutes.

Once the oats have thickened, place them in your high-speed blender (I use a Vitamix) with the remaining ingredients.  Allow the mixture to blend for a full 3 minutes, stopping to scrape down the sides as needed (I know it’s a long time…trust me on this).  Once the 3 minutes are up, CAREFULLY remove the lid since the pudding will be VERY HOT!!!

Pour the hot pudding into a glass tupperware and allow it to cool to room temperature before placing it in the fridge to set.

For a printable version of this recipe click HERE.

4 Comments

Filed under Breakfast, Dessert, Gluten Free, Grains, Kid Friendly, Pudding / Mousse, Recipes, Vegan, Vegetarian

TEMECULA TANGERINES

Last year I was introduced to Temecula tangerines.  I had seen them in Mother’s Market before and never even thought about buying them because quite frankly they aren’t very enticing.  I know, don’t judge a book (or in this case fruit) by its cover, but these oranges look like they would be dry and not juicy in the least.

Last year the kids and I went shopping and Mother’s was sampling the Temecula tangerines.  Man, they are good!  Juicy, flavorful, and uber-convenient.

Temeculas peel so easily and can quickly be peeled into a bowl of sorts, which is our favorite way of eating them.  We peel off the top of the tangerine and are left with a wonderfully tasty “bowl” of tangerine segments which easily pull-out segment by segment.

Have you tried Temecula tangerines yet???

5 Comments

Filed under Fruit, Kid Friendly, Product Reviews, Vegan, Vegetarian

BOOK REVIEW – SANCTUARY: Portraits of Rescued Farm Animals

Our family dog (a.k.a. my 14 year old first child) passed away a few weeks ago.  She was such a good dog; spunky, loving, and vocal.  Needless to say I have been absorbing any kind of animal love with extra zeal since then in a senseless attempt to fill the void.

A few days after her passing I was contacted by Sharon Lee Hart with a request for me to review her book, Sanctuary: Portraits of Rescued Farm Animals.  I jumped at the chance.  Sharon posted the book to me in the mail and I lapped it up upon receipt.

Flipping through the book it becomes abundantly clear that Sharon took the time to get to know the animals so that she would be able to capture their true essence in her photographs. Sharon writes in the introduction,

My process for taking these photographs was to sit and wait for the animals to approach me.  Once they did, I was greeted in a variety of ways.  Memorably, Amelia the turkey nuzzled my neck and gave me a ‘hug,’ and Dee Dee the donkey rubbed her face on my cheek and rested her head on my shoulder.” 

Looking at the pictures of the animals and reading their stories as told by those who rescued them and care for them on a daily basis has been healing for me.  I am encouraged to know that there is so much goodness surrounding these animals whose lives were once fraught with terror and sadness.  Goodness prevailed.

I highly recommend Sharon’s book for the gorgeous photography, stories, and essays written by Karen Davis (President and Founder of United Poultry Concerns), Kathy Stevens (Founder of the Catskill Animal Sanctuary), and Gene Bauer (Founder of Farm Sanctuary). .

.

10% of the proceeds from books sold through www.farmanimalsanctuaryproject.com will be donated to the sanctuaries.

Click HERE to purchase.

.

A limited number of prints are available for purchase in sizes ranging from 8 x 8″ up to 40 x 40″.  

Please contact Sharon via e-mail for a price list – sharonleehart@gmail.com  Click HERE to learn more about the project.

.

Sydney (1998-2012)

4 Comments

Filed under Books, Product Reviews

QUICK & EASY BERRY JAM

My daughter has been chomping at the bit to make jam.  I’m not sure where she got the idea, but with all of the juicy berries we have been bringing home, now is definitely the time to preserve the berries while they are at the height of their flavor so we can pop into the jars when the bounty is no longer here.

My maternal grandmother was the queen of canning.  She grew-up on a farm in Minnesota with a gazillion brothers (she was the youngest and the only girl…even her twin was a boy!  Just based on that you know she lived in the kitchen).  I could go on and on about her canned peaches and have so many memories of all of the grandchildren being horrified when we discovered that there was only one can left in the pantry…they were THAT good.

Don’t even get me started on her huckelberry syrup…absolute heaven!

And her garden.  Oh her garden.  When it was dinnertime she would send my sister and I out to the garden to harvest the salad for the meal.

And her backyard.  It was HUGE and lined with fruit trees.  We would go out there and play for hours.  When we got hungry, we just reached-up and picked whatever we wanted to snack on.

Grandma Ruba made some amazing jam as well and I was always excited when she brought some on her visits.

Needless to say, I was definitely nostalgic while making jam with my daughter.  Perfect weather, cooking with my little one, and a tasty jam as the result of a wonderful day…another slice of heaven.

This jam my daughter and I created was definitely fresh vs. the cooked-down taste with a traditional jam.  I like both versions, but this version seems so appropriate for capturing the fruit in it’s prime.

We have one in the fridge and I froze the rest for later use.

INGREDIENTS
Inspired by 5 Dollar Dinners
 
3 lbs. berries (I used 2 lbs. strawberries, 1/2 lb. blueberries, 1/2 lb. raspberries)
1 box fruit pectin (I used Sure Jell)
2 tsp agar powder
1 12oz. container frozen organic apple juice concentrate (I used Cascadian Farms)
sweetener to taste (depends on ripeness of berries) with stevia, honey, or maple syrup.
.

Wash, de-stem,  and dry the berries.

Mash the berries with a potato masher.  If you are using some blueberries, make sure to pop open all of the blueberries.  The kids will have A LOT of fun helping you with this.  Make sure they have clean hands and then encourage them to get their hands into the action and squish the berries.

Bring the apple juice concentrate to a boil and add in the pectin and agar agar.  Whisk until dissolved and pour the boiling mixture over the crushed berries. Mix well.

Pour the jam into glass containers and cool to room temperature.  Refrigerate the cooled mixture to set.

The jam will stay well in the fridge for 3 weeks or freezer for 3 months.

I can’t wait to try this with the apricots we have been getting at the Farmer’s Market!

For a printable version of this recipe click here.

Leave a comment

Filed under Fruit, Gluten Free, Kid Friendly, Quick, Recipes, Sauce / Spread / Jam / Yogurt, Vegan, Vegetarian

SRC – PB BANANA BON BONS

After a one month break from the Secret Recipe Club (SRC) I am thrilled to be back.  I have so much fun participating in this wonderful group.  For those of you unfamiliar, the SRC is a club that was:

“[B]orn from an idea that it’s founder Amanda had one day while trying to come up with ways to bring more exposure to her cooking blog, Amanda’s Cookin’. She thought it would be fun to make a recipe from a friend’s blog and that friend could do the same. But instead of just the two of them, including several others would be even more fun. Plus, it would also help give added exposure to their food blogs. And so it began…”

Their first month yielded 19 participants and now there are hundreds. The concept is simple really. Each month you are “assigned” a participating food blogger to make a recipe from and it’s a secret until reveal day.

This month I was assigned the blog, Baking and Boys, penned by an amazing baker, Katrina.  In her words, “It’s a crazy house full of boys around here with me trying to keep it all together. Ya gotta love it! Welcome to Baking and Boys.”

It didn’t take me  long to choose which recipe I was going to make.  As I explored her blog I zeroed in on her recipe for Healthy Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Truffles which she found on a coconut recipe website.  I made this recipe as a surprise for my children during the last week of school.  They were thrilled to come home to it.

But you know me…I had to switch it up a bit by adding some sliced banana and turning these into frozen treats akin to a healthier bon bon.  The other changes I made were to eliminate the added salt and sweetener.  Since the banana slices were nice and ripe, they had a natural sweetness all their own and the chocolate coating was sweet as well.  I also upped the amount of chocolate slightly since adding the banana slices meant the bon bons were slightly larger than the original recipe, meaning more chocolate was needed for coverage.

This recipe came together so quickly, uses simple ingredients, and was a resounding success!!!


INGREDIENTS – Makes 20 bon bons

6 Tbs. organic peanut butter
¼ cup coconut flour
6 ounces Enjoy Life chocolate chips
1 tsp coconut oil
1 banana
.

METHOD

Slice the banana into 20 slices and place them individually on wax or parchment paper.

In a bowl combine the peanut butter and coconut flour using a spoon and eventually your hands.

Using a 1 teaspoon measuring spoon, form the peanut butter mixture into half circles and place one on each banana slice.

Freeze for 30 minutes to one hour.

Once the banana and peanut butter is frozen, heat the chocolate and coconut oil together over a double boiler until completely melted OR in the microwave at 30 second intervals (stirring in between) for approximately 2 minutes.

Insert a toothpick in the top of the bon bon and submerge it in the chocolate.  Shake off the excess and place the bon bon back on the waxed paper.  Continue with the remaining bon bons and place back in the freezer to set.

Serve straight from the freezer.

For a printable version of this recipe click here.

16 Comments

Filed under Candy / Fudge, Dessert, Frozen Treats, Gluten Free, Kid Friendly, Nuts, Quick, Recipes, Vegan, Vegetarian

PRODUCT REVIEW – MINI POPS

I am constantly contacted by companies wanting me to try their products.  At the infancy of Veggie Grettie I jumped at the chance to try any and every product, however over a year and a half later I have become MUCH more choosy.  One, because I don’t want to waste food and two, because I am very picky about what I eat and what my children eat.

When the creators of Mini Pops contacted me I was excited to know that sorghum pop”corn” was making its way in to the market.  A few years ago while watching Bizarre Foods, Andrew Zimmern visited a tribe in Africa (I believe ) and they popped sorghum grain for him.

Immediately after the show I went on the web, found an online source of the grain, and placed my order.  A few days later my family and I were popping sorghum on the stove.  Fun stuff!  The sorghum pops are like miniature popcorn; tiny, cute, and yummy.

While I was happy to see this fun popped grain headed to stores, I was hesitant to accept Mini Pop Inc.’s offer to sample their goods until I did some research and discovered that they have really done a good job nutritionally.  Their snacks are both LOWFAT and LOW SODIUM along with being Organic, Gluten-Free and Non-GMO!  Hurray for Mini Pops…a snack company that is putting HEALTHY snack foods out there!!!

According to Mini Pops:

“Compared to corn, sorghum grain has fewer calories, less fat and less sodium.  It has more protein, more calcium, more iron, and comparable fiber.  Plus, Mini Pops lack those popcorn hulls that get caught in the gums.”

Mini Pops sent me the following flavors:

  • PETITE PLAIN
  • ITTY BITTY BUTTER
  • NANO PEPPER & HERB
  • SUBATOMIC SEA SALT

When I opened the bags I was shocked with how full they were.  Usually when you open a purchased bag of popcorn, chips, etc. you only get half of a bag.  These bags were so full that after tasting them I had trouble putting my clip on since they were still so full (That’s a GOOD problem in my book).  When I buy something I like to get a good amount for my money.

I enjoyed the flavors, but wished they had a heavier hand in seasoning them.  If forced to choose I would say that my favorites were the Nano Pepper and Herb along with the Subatomic Sea Salt.

Overall, I am impressed with this snack.

To learn more about Mini Pops and see the other flavors in their line-up (not all of them are vegan) CLICK HERE.

3 Comments

Filed under Product Reviews, Vegan, Vegetarian

PATRIOTIC CHEESECAKE – One Green Planet

Happy almost 4th!  I thought you might like to revisit my Patriotic Cheesecake recipe…it is now being featured on One Green Planet (click HERE).

Have a safe celebration…

3 Comments

Filed under One Green Planet

WATERMELON POPS

It is getting hot here!  My brain is constantly thinking about what I can make as a nice cooling treat.  With all of the cute fruit and melon wands I have been seeing on Pinterest, I decided to take it one step further by freezing them while simultaneously simplifying the fruit wands by sticking with just one fruit and one cookie cutter cut per Popsicle.

I cut off all of the rind of the watermelon while keeping the watermelon in tact and then made 1/2-3/4″ thick big round slices (We used a mini-melon, but next time I plan on using a standard watermelon).  The kids and I then cut out shapes in the watermelon using cookie cutters, stuck small wooden dowels in them, placed them on cookie sheets and froze them…Instant whole-food Watermelon Popsicles.

Yum!  Perfect for the Fourth.

4 Comments

Filed under Dessert, Frozen Treats, Fruit, Gluten Free, Holiday, Kid Friendly, Recipes, Vegan, Vegetarian