Monday, December 19, 2011

Speaking of Water...

I had a question about drinking water and it reminded me of an article my mom sent me a long time ago. Just look at the profound influence for good or ill our thoughts, prayers and words (even labels!) have on what we eat and drink!

And as you read, I want you to consider: What do I think and say about my food? What about other areas of my life and myself? Our "spiritual creations" really do precede our physical ones.

I believe we should do the best we can when finding and preparing food and drink for our families. But after all is said and done, and even if there is some catastrophe that leaves one without the "best" things, prayer to a loving God makes a big difference. We cannot save ourselves. God is the One who blesses our food and bodies and makes them healthy despite the poor circumstances at times. Our faith takes action as we do our best in whatever situation we are placed.

Sermon for the day concluded.

How water reflects our consciousness

Water has a very important
message for us. Water is telling us
to take a much deeper look at our
selves. When we do look at our
selves through the mirror of water,
the message becomes amazingly,
crystal, clear. We know that human
life is directly connected to the
quality of our water, both within and
all around us.

The photographs and information in
this article reflect the work of
Masaru Emoto, a creative and visionary Japanese researcher. Mr. Emoto has published an important book, "The Message from
Water," from the findings of his worldwide research If you have any
doubt that your thoughts affect everything in, and around you, the information and photographs that are presented here, taken from the
book of his published results, will change your mind and alter your
beliefs, profoundly.

From Mr. Emotos work we are provided with factual evidence, that
human vibrational energy, thoughts, words, ideas and music, affect the molecular structure of water, the very same water that comprises over
seventy percent of a mature human body and covers the same amount
of our planet. Water is the very source of all life on this planet, its
quality and integrity are vitally important to all forms of life. The body is very much like a sponge and is composed of trillions of chambers
called cells that hold liquid. The quality of our life is directly connected
to the quality of our water.

Water is a very malleable substance. Its physical shape easily adapts
to whatever environment is present. But its physical appearance is not
the only thing that changes; its molecular shape also changes. The
energy or vibrations of the environment will change the molecular
shape of water. In this sense water not only has the ability to visually
reflect the environment but it also molecularly reflects the environment.

Mr. Emoto has been visually documenting these molecular changes in water by means of his photographic techniques. He freezes droplets of water and then examines them under a dark field microscope that has
photographic capabilities. His work clearly demonstrates the diversity
of the molecular structure of water and the effect of the environment
upon the structure of the water.

Snow has been falling on the earth for more than a few million years.
Each snowflake, as we have been told, has a very unique shape and structure. By freezing water and taking a photograph of the structure, as
Mr. Emoto has done, you get incredible information about the water.

Mr. Emoto has discovered many fascinating differences in the
crystalline structures of water from many different sources and different
conditions around the planet. Water from pristine mountain streams
and springs show the beautifully formed geometric designs in their
crystalline patterns. Polluted and toxic water from industrial and
populated areas and stagnated water from water pipes and storage
dams show definitively distorted and randomly formed crystalline structures.

Spring Water of Saijo, Japan

Spring Water of Sanbuichi Yusui, Japan

Antarctic Ice

Fountain in Lourdes, France

Biwako Lake, the largest lake at the center of Japan
and the water pool of the Kinki Region. Pollution is getting worse.

Yodo River, Japan, pours into the Bay of Osaka.
The river passes through most of the major cities in Kasai.

Fujiwara Dam, before offering a prayer

Fujiwara Dam, after offering a prayer

With the recent popularity in music therapy, Mr. Emoto decided to see what effects music has on the structuring of water. He placed distilled water between two speakers for several hours and then photographed the crystals that formed after the water was frozen.

Beethoven's Pastorale

Bach's " Air for the G string "

Tibet Sutra

Kawachi Folk Dance

Heavy Metal Music

After seeing water react to different environmental conditions, pollution and music, Mr. Emoto and colleagues decided to see how thoughts and words affected the formation of untreated, distilled, water crystals, using words typed onto paper by a word processor and taped on glass bottles overnight. The same procedure was performed using the names of deceased persons. The waters were then frozen and photographed.

Untreated Distilled Water

Love and Appreciation

Thank You

You Make Me Sick . I Will Kill You

Adolph Hitler

Mother Teresa

These photographs show the incredible reflections of water, as alive and highly responsive to every one of our emotions and thoughts. It is quite clear that water easily takes on the vibrations and energy of its environment, whether toxic and polluted or naturally pristine.

Masaru Emotos extraordinary work is an awesome display, and powerful tool, that can change our perceptions of ourselves and the world we live in, forever. We now have profound evidence that we can positively heal and transform ourselves and our planet by the thoughts we choose to think and the ways in which we put those thoughts into action.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Vitamin Water?

Disclaimer: Not actually good for you or your kids. Just well-marketed sugar water.
Just drink good, clean water.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

A great way to use up those garden veggies:

Summer Vegetable Ratatouille...

This is delicious served atop creamy garlic mashed potatoes. Use skin-on red potatoes, russets, or whatever. In my opinion it's most important to use plenty of butter and cream. :) The potatoes are essential. Thanks to Anitra for this recipe.

Summer Vegetable Ratatouille

2 onion, sliced into thin rings
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 medium eggplant, cubed
2 zucchini, cubed
2 medium yellow squash, cubed
2 green bell peppers, seeded and cubed
1 yellow bell pepper, diced
1 chopped red bell pepper
4 roma (plum) tomatoes, chopped
1/2 cup olive oil
1 bay leaf
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
4 sprigs fresh thyme
salt and pepper to taste

Heat 1 1/2 tablespoon of the oil in a large pot over medium-low heat. Add the onions and garlic and cook until soft.

In a large skillet, heat 1 1/2 tablespoon of olive oil and saute the zucchini in batches until slightly browned on all sides. Remove the zucchini and place in the pot with the onions and garlic.

Saute all the remaining vegetables one batch at a time, adding 1 1/2 tablespoon olive oil to the skillet each time you add a new set of vegetables. Once each batch has been sauteed add them to the large pot as was done in step 2.

Season with salt and pepper. Add the bay leaf and thyme and cover the pot. Cook over medium heat for 15 to 20 minutes.
Add the chopped tomatoes and parsley to the large pot, cook another 10-15 minutes. Stir occasionally.

Remove the bay leaf and adjust seasoning.

Not the best picture, but it'll work.

If you don't have an ingredient or two, use some extra zucchini or squash to replace it. We always have more of those, eh?

Monday, June 20, 2011

Saving a Buck

My mom sent this to me a while back, and I thought some of you might find it helpful. In my menu planning, I usually have a beans and rice night (I have several recipes I rotate), fish and potatoes of some kind night, Friday pizza night, and some kind of different ethnic food night. Sunday is usually some kind of prepare ahead casserole, and that leaves only a leftovers night or some other dish of choice. It makes it easy and economical.

Saving Dinner Monday

How to Cut Back Without Sacrificing Nutrition

by Leanne Ely, C.N.C

Dear Friends,

According to the USDA, the average American family of four is spending $80 a month more on groceries than they did a mere 3 years ago. For a lot of families, the upturn in grocery spending does not reflect an upturn on family income. Clearly something has got to give!

We've all noticed how much food has gone up--I can't think of one thing that hasn't. And while I cannot control food prices, I can control my own budget and as it becomes necessary, cut back to keep my food expenses in line. Here are 10 ways to cut back without sacrificing nutrition:

1) Eat vegetarian one night a week (rice and beans is a favorite with my kids).

2) Eat breakfast for dinner one night a week (pancakes and eggs are way cheap). Light candles and serve juice in wine glasses for fun.

3) Eat greens and beans one night a week (I use frozen collards, turnip greens etc. on sale to keep the cost down). Give your big guys Tabasco sauce to bump it up!

4) Eat homemade soup one night a week (try the one below!).

5) Cook with your crockpot one night a week (utilizing inexpensive cuts of meat and poultry).

6) Only buy meat and produce on sale and/or marked down.

7) Eat from your freezer one night a week (you'd be surprised at how many meals are in there just waiting to be thrown together!).

8) Buy dried beans and make your own instead of buying canned (instructions on how to cook them are right on the bag).

9) Make your own chicken broth from your leftover roast chicken (throw the carcass, an onion, carrots and celery into a pot, cover with water, simmer for an hour or so).

10) Pack PB & J's, some carrot sticks and waters for dinner the night you're all running all over the place (nixing the drive thru). No one will die from not having a "proper meal".

This is all easy stuff and doesn't require a lot of thought. Eating vegetarian for example, could be combined with eating greens and beans for dinner or eating soup, or breakfast for dinner. The point is the thought process of cutting back, making do and using up what you have. You can live on less than you think, that includes food.

Try some of these suggestions. Go shopping in your freezer and fridge before you even begin to plan your menu this week. Likewise, check out that pantry for anything that might turn into dinner this week.

Keeping clutter at bay requires cutting back on unnecessary purchases. This includes food!

Crock Bean Soup with Kale
Serves 6

3 tablespoons olive oil
3 medium onions, chopped
1 medium carrot, chopped
3 cloves garlic, pressed
1 bunch kale, trimmed and sliced (or use 2 cups frozen greens)
1 pound cannellini beans, soaked overnight (you can also use white beans)
4 cups low sodium chicken broth (make your own or buy canned)
1/4 cup tomato sauce
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
Salt and pepper, to taste

In a skillet, heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Add onions, carrot and garlic. Cook until onions are translucent. Add kale and cook till wilted, about 3 minutes. In a crock pot, place soaked, drained beans; add crushed red pepper flakes and the contents of the skillet; cover with broth (add a little water if necessary, but crock pot should be 3/4 full).

Cook on high for 8 hours, or until beans are tender. Once beans are tender, add the tomato sauce and salt and pepper to taste.

SERVING SUGGESTIONS: Some whole grain rolls and a big salad.

Monday, June 13, 2011


I grew up with a couple of big plants of rhubarb around, but was under the impression that I din't like it. Well, let's be honest, paired with strawberries and plenty of sweetener (a treat, for sure), this stuff is good.

Here's a little snippet from Anitra from

Rhubarb's in Season...

bright and gorgeous, rhubarb is in...

Rhubarb is often dubbed the "pie plant," and the stalks, though tart by themselves, do make a divine pie filling when paired with berries. But pie is by no means the only way to experience rhubarb. This tart vegetable is as delicious in a savory dish as it is in a sweet one.

In Season: Rhubarb can be found from late winter to early spring with a peak season from April to June.

What to Look For: Thin, red, crisp stalks have the best texture. If stalks are floppy, it indicates they were picked too long ago.

How to Store: Wrap in plastic and refrigerate for up to 1 week.

And here's a whole foods version of a classic rhubarb recipe:

Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp


  • 3 cups rhubarb, cut into small pieces
  • 3 cups strawberries, cut into small pieces
  • 1 cup unrefined sugar (or agave-- if you use agave, don't be shy to do a bit less. I did, and it was still plenty sweet.)
  • 1 1/3 cups spelt flour, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 cup sucanat
  • 1 cup old fashioned oats
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/2 cup butter (or coconut oil), melted


Prep Time: 15 mins

Total Time: 50 mins

  1. In large bowl combine rhubarb, strawberries, sugar, 1/3 cup flour and cinnamon. Put into to greased 9 x 13 inch baking dish.
  2. In another bowl combine remaining 1 cup flour with sucanat, oats and nutmeg. Add butter and blend well. Sprinkle over rhubarb/strawberry mixture pat gently.
  3. Bake at 350 degrees for 35-40 minutes in preheated oven.
Serve this with some real vanilla ice cream. It's good. And really easy.

And if you want a more savory use, you can give this a try. Thanks, Anitra.

Oh, my goodness...oh my goodness


Be careful, this could get addicting!

This tangy condiment is delicious on top of sharp cheese and crusty bread. It's also great over roast chicken and pork, which benefit from the sour fruitiness.

Makes 1 1/2 cups

Rhubarb Chutney
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 small onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon finely grated peeled fresh ginger (from one 1-inch piece)
Sea salt
1/3 cup dry white wine
1/4 cup golden raisins, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup sugar or 1/3 cup Xagave
1 1/2 cups rhubarb, trimmed and cut crosswise 1/4 inch thick

Heat oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Cook onion, garlic, ginger, and 1/2 teaspoon salt until onion is translucent, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat, and add wine and raisins.

Return to heat, and bring to a boil; cook for 1 minute. Add sugar, and stir until it dissolves. Stir in half the rhubarb. Bring to a boil.

Reduce heat; simmer, partially covered, until rhubarb breaks down, about 5 minutes. Stir in remaining rhubarb. Raise heat; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer until second batch of rhubarb just begins to soften, about 2 minutes. Let cool completely.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011


Tomorrow being Cinco de Mayo, I thought I'd post these recipes for beans and rice that we've really been enjoying lately. Easy. Delicious. Great food storage recipe too. I got and modified these from

This makes a lot of beans, and I love having the leftovers. I like the beans unmashed as well. Great for use in huevos rancheros, tacos, or even just beans and rice plain. So yummy.

Refried Beans Without the Refry

Original Recipe Yield 15 servings


  • 1 onion, peeled and halved
  • 3 cups dry pinto beans, rinsed
  • 1/2 fresh jalapeno pepper, seeded (if desired) and chopped
  • 2 tablespoons minced garlic
  • 5 teaspoons salt
  • 1 3/4 teaspoons fresh ground black pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cumin, optional
  • 9 cups water/ chicken stock


  1. Place the onion, rinsed beans, jalapeno, garlic, salt, pepper, and cumin into a slow cooker. Pour in the water and stir to combine. Cook on High for 8 hours, adding more water as needed. Note: if more than 1 cup of water has evaporated during cooking, then the temperature is too high.
  2. Once the beans have cooked, strain them, and reserve the liquid. Mash the beans with a potato masher, adding the reserved water as needed to attain desired consistency.
  3. Or leave whole and eat with Mexican rice as a meal. Works in huevos rancheros, anything really.
  4. Optionally also, mash and refry with cheese, etc.

Mexican Rice

I have started doubling this recipe to have enough leftover to use with all the beans. This has lots of flavor.

Original Recipe Yield 8 servings


  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2/3 cup diced onion
  • 1 1/2 cups uncooked white rice
  • 1 cup chopped green bell pepper (or a mixture of colored peppers)
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 1/2 (8 ounce) cans tomato sauce
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/8 teaspoon powdered saffron (optional)
  • 3 cups water


  1. In a large saucepan, heat vegetable oil over a medium-low heat. Place the onions in the pan, and saute until golden.
  2. Add rice to pan, and stir to coat grains with oil. Mix in green bell pepper, cumin, chili powder, tomato sauce, salt, garlic, saffron, and water. Cover, bring to a boil, and then reduce heat to simmer. Cook for 30 to 40 minutes, or until rice is tender. Stir occasionally.
  3. OR, cook and combine ingredients and cook in pressure cooker with suggested amount of water for the cooker.

Monday, April 25, 2011


Way back when I posted the pictures and recipes for granola bars from the Healthy Snacks eBook by Katie from Kitchen Stewardship, I didn't realize that I posted the wrong recipe--or at least not the one I made. My brother went to make them the other day and they were totally different!

Here's the soaked version that I make and love. You don't have to soak and dry the oats, you can just use regular rolled (old fashioned, not quick, if you please) oats, and if your walnuts are soaked like mine, that's great! I do the unbaked ending, and we LOVE these.

½ or ¾ c.butter

2/3 or 1 c. honey

2 tsp. vanilla

4 ½ c. soaked and dried oats

½ c. whole wheat flour

1 c.walnuts

1 cup add-ins: mini chocolate chips, dried fruit, sunflower seeds, coconut, etc

In a small saucepan, melt butter, honey and vanilla over medium low heat. Once butter is melted and bubbly, cook and stir for 5 minutes. In a separate bowl, stir together the dry ingredients. Mix the liquid with the oats. Incorporate add-ins at this point (mini-chocolate chips melt, so you may want to cool first).

Choose Your Own Ending

Unbaked (Use the 2/3 cup honey and ¾ cup butter) Line a container of any kind with waxed paper (I’ve used glass dishes and plastic storage containers.) Press into a pan with waxed paper. Allow to harden up (the refrigerator ensures this) and then cut into bars.

Baked (Use 1 cup honey and ½ c. butter, or use less honey but have more crumbly results. Add 1 tsp. baking soda and mix in thoroughly.) Press mixture hard into a greased pan; use wax paper on your fingers to apply pressure. Bake at 325 degrees F for 10 minutes. Allow to sit in pan until completely cool and then cut into bars.

Taste difference? Believe it or not, 10 minutes in the oven does something considerable. The baked bars have a mouthfeel related to a cookie (but not quite) and are less sweet. Unbaked bars are more like a sticky Quaker chewy granola bar, but with the 1 cup honey are much too sweet (and more expensive anyway). You could try half and half in 8x8” pans to see which you prefer!

Makes at least 20 bars, equivalent to about 3 boxes processed bars

Cost: $3.00, varies widely based on honey and butter prices

HOW TO: soak and dehydrate oats! (adapted from Katie at Kitchen Stewardship)

Start by soaking the oats overnight in water at the ratio of 3 cups oats to 1 cup water with one tbsp whey in the cup. Add 1/3 cup whole wheat flour (or spelt or buckwheat flour) in order to have some phytase available to break down the phytic acid. Without it, this process is worthless.

Drain any excess liquid off (if there is any, the oats aren't that moist).

Spread as thinly as possible on cookie sheets or a silicone baking mat.

Toast in a 250 degree oven for as long as it takes for them to completely dry out, usually about 2-4 hours. You want the oats to be very crunchy. You can accomplish this in a dehydrator at any temperature as well. Use parchment paper or teflon sheets to keep the oats from falling through the racks.

Allow to cool slightly, then break apart and whiz briefly in a food processor until the oats are in little chunks.

Store in a tightly closed container at room temperature, or if you have access to freezer space, cold storage isn't a bad idea.

Added bonus: If you want soaked oatmeal for the morning, you can cook these up as hot cereal just as if they were "quick oats!"

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Coconut Banana Pancakes

I posted on my family blog about some pancakes we had for breakfast the other day (which we eat pretty regularly, actually), and I had such a good response and requests for recipes, I thought I'd oblige here.

The pancakes are pretty much the recipe from my Vitamix cookbook for buttermilk pancakes, but I change the grains up regularly. I have used oat, barley, kamut, spelt, hard red wheat, hard white wheat flours, and others I'm sure. In the picture above I used a mixture of kamut and spelt, just what I had on hand already ground. The actual recipe just calls for whole wheat flour.

Here's the recipe for the pancakes:

Place in blender:

1 1/4 cups buttermilk
1 egg
2 Tbsp. light olive oil (I've used several kinds, all with success)
1/2 tsp (sea) salt
a little squirt of agave or other natural sweetener, if desired. (about a tsp.)

Blend well.

Then add:

1 1/4 cups whole-grain flour or mixture of flours of choice
1 tsp. baking soda

Blend, pulsing to combine. If it doesn't all combine, give it a stir or two with a spoon.

Cook on griddle.

I usually at least double this to have a few pancakes left for the next day.

Now, for the syrup! Oh yes. Delicioso.

The original recipe comes from Kara, and you can find it here.

I have modified it to suit my taste and needs. The original was just too thin for me.

Place in saucepan over medium heat:
1/2 cup sucanat
1/2 cup honey
1/4 tsp (sea) salt

Melt those all together. Once the sucanat is all dissolved, add in:

1 can of coconut milk
(Kara's cans are bigger than mine, I guess. I just use my 13.66 oz can, and it works great. A little more or less won't hurt.)

Mix in well. Then, I add in:

about a tablespoon of corn starch and a smidgen of water to mix it beforehand, add the mixture into your syrup and bring to a boil to thicken.

Once the desired thickness is achieved, remove from heat. Add in:

a tsp of vanilla.

Place on pancakes and inhale. So good.

For a special treat, and as pictured above, layer on some banana slices and come unsweetened coconut. Wow. What a breakfast. No white flour or sugar. No HFCS. Just goodness. And man, it's SO GOOD.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Green Day

How about, instead of food coloring to make foods green for today, you just eat some real green foods? Salads are great, fruits and veggies are great. Green smoothies are great.
Try mashing some spinach into your mashed potatoes, or make twice-baked green potatoes, like these from GreenSmoothieGirl.

Twice-Baked Green Potatoes

My sister-in-law Kelli makes this recipe, and even her vegetable-hating 3-year-old will eat it, even though she won’t eat broccoli. Of course, I’ve added even more greens.

8 large potatoes
1 large head broccoli
4 C spinach
8 green onions, diced (including the long green part)
¼ C grated Parmesan cheese
2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
1½ tsp. sea salt
freshly ground pepper to taste

Bake foil-wrapped potatoes at 350° for one hour, then let cool enough to handle the potatoes. Chop the broccoli into small pieces and steam for 15 minutes, adding the spinach for the last 5 minutes of steaming. Cut each potato in half and scoop out the potato “guts,” being careful to leave the skin intact with about ¼” of potato all the way around, to keep it firm to use later. Set the skins aside.

Use a hand mixer to blend until smooth the potato “guts,” steamed broccoli, onions, spinach, Parmesan, olive oil, and salt and pepper. Add a bit of water if the mixture is too thick to blend.

Scoop the mixture back into the potato skins. Optionally sprinkle with additional Parmesan, then bake at 350° for 15-20 minutes. Serve immediately.

As for salads, try mixing it up from your usual if you are feeling salad burnout. Add some fruit, seeds, artichoke hearts, sprouts, different colors of peppers...make it beautiful and interesting! And to top it off (literally. ha.), make your own salad dressing. Ranch is a favorite, but if you want something else, try this:

Maple Syrup Dressing
¾ C extra virgin olive oil
¾ C red wine vinegar
6 Tbsp. maple syrup
½ tsp. sea salt
¼ C brown mustard
¼ yellow or white onion
½ tsp. garlic powder
Blend in a high-power blender until smooth.

(Feel free to cut the amounts in half. This makes quite a bit.)

Here's one more GSG recipe. A fun party salad that would really enliven your usual dinner salad and it's green, of course.

Spinach-Orzo Ensalata

This is my duplication of my favorite salad at Macaroni Grill, but nutritious and vegetarian—and I think it even tastes better. It’s a hit everywhere I take it.

1 C uncooked whole-wheat orzo pasta (boil it approx. 6-7 minutes and rinse well to keep grains
separate, then cool)
10+ C spinach (about 2 10-oz. bags), chopped
1 pkg. fresh basil, cut into ribbons
2 tomatoes, diced small
1 can black olives, sliced
2 oz. capers (half a 4-oz. jar), drained
½ C raw pine nuts
optional: shaved Parmesan to taste
Toss all ingredients except optional Parmesan. Add dressing to taste (the Tangy Dill Dressing on page 63 is perfect) and toss. Top each plate with shaved Parmesan if desired.

And here's the dressing for this one:

Tangy Dill Dressing
¼ C fresh lemon juice
¼ C fresh orange juice
½ C extra virgin olive oil
2 Tbsp. Bragg Liquid Aminos (page 238)
¼ C apple cider vinegar
2 Tbsp. honey
2 garlic cloves
1 Tbsp. dried (or ¼ C fresh) dill weed

Blend all ingredients in a high-power blender.

Green not only has a lot of fabulous nutrition, it's essential for true health and cleansing our bodies of toxins. Eat up!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011


When foods are in season they are at their peak of nutrition and are less expensive, to name only two bonuses. Here's one that you can enjoy right now:

Asparagus is at its peak from February through June. Eat it up!

Monday, March 7, 2011


I know I use this word a lot, but these are YUM. They are a great treat with no cooking time--quick and easy to make, whole food ingredients, and you can freeze them for those sweet tooth moments, or serve them for everyone to gobble up right away.

My little boy calls them "nuddies." I found the recipe on a blog a while ago and printed it off to try sometime. I'm so glad I got around to it.


2 C. pecans
(I didn't have a full 2 c.of pecans so I added in brazil nuts that I had on hand to fill the gap and they worked great.)
1/4 C. coconut oil
(It helps if this is in liquid form beforehand)
3 Tb. agave
3 Tb honey
pinch of salt
1 tsp vanilla
2 C unsweetened shredded coconut
1 C chopped chocolate
(I just used some good chocolate chips and processed them up a bit in my food processor)

Pulse nuts in blender.
Take out and add everything to a bowl.
Make into balls and chill or freeze until ready to serve.

Makes about 30 golf-sized balls

I cooled some of them in the fridge to eat for a treat that night and froze thr rest, first seperately on a cookie sheet, and then condensed them into a Ziplock bag for longer-term storage.

I'm not kidding. They are so good. And easy.

Monday, February 28, 2011

Thai Food, Anyone?

I have really grown a taste for Thai and Indian cuisine. This is another Green Smoothie Girl recipe from her 12 Steps to Whole Foods book. It is not just a recipe book, but it contains a lot of recipes to help you implement the things she teaches. Some of the recipes are winners, others not so much. This was a winner--not just a "we could eat it again."

Be warned that it has a kick (one my two year old could handle though. Take care if your kids are wary of spicy foods). It must be the red curry paste. But you can do yellow or green curry paste as well. To find good deals on curry paste and other Asian products go to your local Asian market. The prices are WAY better there and the stuff is probably more authentic. Gluten intolerance? Asian markets have lots of rice and yam noodles for cheap. Really, give them a try. It's one of my new favorite places to shop. :)

I made this with brown basmati rice and would highly recommend the same for you, unless you are really wanting it with noodles.

Whole-Grain Pasta with Thai Coconut Sauce

My teenaged son calls this dish “Asia Meets Europe.” You can serve it with 4 C of cooked brown rice instead of pasta, if you prefer to keep it truly Asian.

16 oz. whole-wheat or spelt pasta, cooked according to package directions
3 Tbsp. coconut oil
1 can coconut milk
2 Tbsp. cornstarch
2 onions, chopped
1 head cauliflower, chopped
2 red bell peppers, sliced
3 carrots, chopped
2 Tbsp. fish sauce
2 Tbsp. red curry paste (or green or yellow, if you prefer)
1 can lychee fruit, drained (pronounced “LEE-chee”) --I left this out--
1 can baby corn, drained
¼ tsp. sea salt

Heat the coconut oil in a wok or skillet and sauté vegetables until tender-crisp. Blend the coconut milk,cornstarch, fish sauce, curry paste, and salt in a blender. Add to the vegetables, along with the lycees and baby corn. Heat and stir until sauce thickens. Toss vegetables/sauce with pasta and serve.

Of course, I always recommend serving dinner with a big green salad.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Vegetarian Chili

This recipe comes from Robyn Openshaw's (The Green Smoothie Girl) 12 Steps to Whole Foods book (I highly recommend it), and we quite enjoyed it. Be warned, it makes A LOT. I had to use my mom's canning pan to make it and froze a gallon bag full for later, plus having it for several meals and leftovers.

Of course, you could downsize the recipe. I like having freezer meals and leftovers sometimes. And we are still only three in our family (until May or June), so if you have a big family it might be just right for you.

I can’t overestimate this recipe’s role in helping my mom raise eight children on my father’s military income.Vegetarian chili is inexpensive, nutritious, filling, and a complete protein with brown rice added. As kids, we loved seeing it on the table on winter evenings with chips, shredded cheese, and a big green salad.

4 C pinto beans, soaked overnight and rinsed well
12 C water
2 C brown rice, rinsed well
2 diced yellow onions 4 cans tomato sauce
2 qt. diced tomatoes, with juice
2 Tbsp. chili powder 2 Tbsp. garlic powder
1½ tsp. sea salt
1 tsp. pepper
2-3 bay leaves
optional: 2 green bell peppers, diced
optional: 2 Anaheim or jalapeño peppers, diced

In a very large stock pot, bring the water and beans to a boil and then simmer for 2 hours (or longer, if the beans are very old), until they are almost tender. Add all the remaining ingredients, simmer for 1 hour, and serve. The taste improves overnight after refrigeration. Save leftovers to use for a baked potato bar—or, if you have a small family, you’ll have enough to freeze for another night’s meal.

I made it with the green (and I did red as well) peppers added, and left out the spice for our little boy. Without jalapeño peppers it is not spicy at all but has good flavor.

It's great as just a bowl of chili, but we also got creative and morphed it into other meals.

Here it is as a topping for some boiled red potatoes with tomatoes, salsa, sour cream, etc. (I was going to do a baked potato bar, but I had these boiled already. Same dif.):

I also used it as a "taco" replacement for a taco salad of sorts. Much like the potato bar but with a huge green salad and some homemade ranch dressing on top. Another note: the ranch dressing is great with some jalapeño pepper blended into it, if you like a kick.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Coming Up,

I've been trying lots of new recipes, many of them from the Green Smoothie Girl's 12 Steps to Whole Foods book. I'll be posting the really good ones we've tried here. I don't want to discourage you from buying it though, if you are interested. I get nothing for saying this, but it is great info that has really blessed our family. Plus, it is really large, and I'll only be posting a few.

Other recipes I'll share more freely. Come and see what's been cooking (and sometimes not cooking--i.e. raw foods) in my kitchen!

Monday, February 21, 2011

Black Beans

I got this from Anitra at

Black beans...full of nutrition

Who knew that there was so much good in a little black bean? Well here are some facts that may surprise you...

Black Beans are a wonderful source of dietary fiber which has been shown to naturally help lower cholesterol. In addition, the high fiber content in Black Beans helps keep blood sugar levels from rising too rapidly after a meal, making them a wise choice for people with diabetes, insulin resistance or hypoglycemia.

When Black Beans are prepared with whole grains such as barley or wild rice, the Black Beans provide a virtually fat-free, high quality source of protein. But that's not all. Recent research also shows that Black Beans are rich in antioxidants as well. Antioxidants destroy free radicals, and when eaten regularly, have been shown to offer protection against heart disease, cancer and aging.

Did you know that Black beans have more antioxidant activity, gram for gram, than other bean? And do you realize that a
100 gm serving size of black beans has about 10 times the amount of overall antioxidants in an equivalent serving size of oranges and similar to the amount found in an equivalent serving size of grapes, apples and cranberries?

And this is the recipe she put along with it. I'll add my modifications and thoughts, of course.

Southwestern layered salad...


This tasty recipe is straight out of my "Celebrate Dinner" book and it's one of my favorite black bean recipes. Give it a try!

Southwestern Layered Salad

8 cups shredded romaine
8 hard-cooked eggs, sliced 1 can black beans, rinsed & drained 2 cans whole kernel corn
1 can red beans, rinsed and drained 2 ripe avocados, diced ½ cup thinly sliced green onions 1/4 cup shredded cheese 1/4 cup green peas (optional) 3 1/2 cup cherry tomatoes, quartered 1 tbsp. lime juice

Layer the salad starting with the lettuce and topping off with the green onions. Arrange egg slices around the sides of the bowl as shown.

Dressing: Combine 1 ½ cup mayonnaise, 2/3 cups salsa, 2 tbs lime juice, ½ tsp. cumin, ½ tsp. chili powder, 1 ¼ cups fresh minced cilantro. Top with shredded cheese and sliced ripe olives.

I almost always leave cilantro out of recipes because we don't like it. Also, this is great as a side (or on top of) Mexican dishes like chicken enchiladas and the like, minus the eggs for such dishes if you please. This would be a great salad to bring to a potluck.

Eat up!

Friday, February 11, 2011

Valentine Treat Ideas

Wardeh from GNOWFGLINS has a great post up right now for healthier dessert options for your valentines. They look so good. Check 'em out!

Click Here

and begin drooling.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Good news for us!

My mom sent this to me today. My boys LOVE mushrooms however I serve them.

"In the Geometric Signature pattern of the Thyroid, Mushrooms have the highest concentration of Iodine. The edible mushrooms are used as food but also as pharmacology.

The nutrient content of mushrooms are remarkable: 30-40% of their dry weight is protein...they also contain virtually all of the minerals required by the human body as well as Vitamins A, B1, B2, C and D.

Serving Tip: Throw them raw in salads, cook them into soups or saute them in olive oil with a little sea salt - fantastic!"

Sauteing white mushrooms with some butter and onions is so great on top of baked potatoes, rice, and other grains.
I rarely use a recipe with these, but if I can replicate the mushroom saute that we put over rice the other night, I'll post it. What are your favorites?

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

The Great Health Debate

There have been so many PROVEN diets for people's best health. This is a kindof neat idea: Let's get together all of the experts from these professed "best" diets and have them tell their experience and debate. I never thought I'd hear some of the raw vegans say that 40% of people don't thrive on such a diet, and how and what to add for people's needs. Pretty cool.

They are doing it right now.

Check out this link to listen for free for a short time.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

My Favorite Starter Smoothie

For green smoothie beginners, I have a special blend I use that is a crowd pleaser for all ages and kinds. I had so many request my "recipe" from the last classes I taught that I thought I'd post it here.

Try this:
a couple handfuls of red grapes
some fresh pineapple (and core if your blender can hack it)
A couple large handfuls of spinach
A large leaf of kale (add more as you develop a taste for it)
Some frozen banana chunks
Water to desired consistency

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Aloo Gobi

Indian food done right is a wonderful thing. It is a fantastic option when you are trying to downsize your meat intake because there are lots of vegetarian options and lots of flavor that leaves you feeling like you really had something. I got (and modified) this recipe from my local co-op's newspaper. We really enjoyed it and will be eating it regularly now. It is not too spicy (but you could up the spice ratio if you like by adding more cayenne pepper, or do without it if you want none at all. I just did a bit and we thought it was just right).
One thing I will say is that, for us, this was definitely not enough as an entire meal or even main dish. I will make more next time and/or think of it more as a side dish. But we're big eaters, and I like to have leftovers for lunches. See how it goes for your family.

Aloo Gobi


5 tbsp. olive oil, divided
1 large cauliflower, cut
1 1/4 lb potatoes washed and cut in half-inch cubes (no need to peel. the peels are good to eat)
1 tsp cumin, divided
3/4 tsp salt, divided
1 finely chopped onion
2 fine-chopped garlic cloves
1/2-1 inch fresh ginger(depending on your taste), diced
2 tsp chopped jalapeno
1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper, or to taste
1/4 tsp. turmeric
1/2 tsp coriander seeds, ground
1/2 cup water


1. Preheat oven to 475 degrees. Mix 3 tbsp. of your oil, 1/2 tsp cumin, 1/4 tsp salt, all of your cauliflower and potatoes together in a bowl (or directly in the roasting pan to save a dish), spread in baking pan and roast for 20 minutes or until your potatoes are tender.
2. As the vegetables roast, grab a heavy skillet. Heat the remaining 2 tbsp oil on medium-high heat. Add in onions, garlic, ginger, and jalapeno. Stir frequently until soft (8-10 minutes; the onions should start to turn clear and golden). Add remaining spices (1/2 tsp salt, cayenne, turmeric, coriander, and cumin) and cook for an additional two minutes.
3. Add in water and roasted veggies. Cover and cook on lower heat for five minutes, stirring occasionally. Consume!

As a side note, a great side dish for many things is what we do with carrots. I don't peel them anymore because we buy organic and don't mind them, but you can if the peels bother you.
Chop up carrots however you like, boil them until they are just firm, then drain and add butter, salt, and dill to taste. Yum!