Rice & Spelt Teething Biscuits

Lately, when I’ve worked so hard to get dinner prepared and all ready, it is so frustrating when I end up holding a fussy baby through the entire meal instead of eating it. So, when we sat down to eat tonight, I gave my 6 month old her first solid teething biscuit and I ate my entire dinner in peace!! Here is the recipe I adapted from this blog:

http://myso-calledmommylife.blogspot.com/2012/06/homemade-baby-teething-biscuits.html

Shopping Cart:

  • 1 cup spelt flour
  • 1 cup Earth’s Best rice cereal
  • 2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 mashed banana
  • 2 Tbs. coconut oil
  • 4 Tbs. water

Mix the dry ingredients and then add the rest of the wet ingredients. Mix into a dough that you can roll out on wax paper to about a 1/2 inch thick. Find your favorite cookie cutter and cut into fun shapes. Bake at 425 for 15 min. Cool and let baby enjoy!(Please watch your baby and never leave them alone while eating.)

 

 

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Non-dairy Mac and Cheese

With 10 days left until my 2nd child enters the world, lately I have resorted to some shortcuts that I am not proud of; most specifically the mac and cheese that comes in an box and envelope. I know it isn’t the worst food for a toddler, but I don’t want my son to get used to the bright orange color and salty flavor as a standard choice for his weekday meals.

Today after a trip to the farmers market we had a hungry child and a lot of veggie prep to finish, so I needed another quick meal. I had been looking at this recipe for awhile and decided to tackle it. It was a hit! I didn’t have all the ingredients, so my version below is a slight adaptation from the “Epicurean Vegan” site. She has some good tips about baking it that you should check out. She also has great photos, which I don’t have time to post now. Thank you for your tasty, and quick recipe.

http://epicureanvegan.com/2010/05/23/creamy-macaroni-and-cashew-cheese/

Shopping Cart:

1 1/2 cups cashews
1/2 cup nutritional yeast
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper

3 cups non-dairy milk (unsweetened almond, soy or coconut)
3 Tbs. cornstarch
1/4 cup canola oil
2 Tbs. Lemon juice

Gluten-free pasta (I like the quinoa elbows from Whole Foods)

Put the cashews in the largest-sized bowl of the food processor and finely grind. Don’t let the cashews turn to a paste. Add nutritional yeast, salt, garlic powder, and pepper. Then pulse a few times to mix in the spices.

In a saucepan, combine the non-dairy milk, cornstarch and oil.

“Bring to a simmer over high heat. Decrease heat to low-medium, cover and simmer, stirring occasionally for 10 minutes, or until cornstarch dissolves. With the food processor running, gradually add milk/oil mixture to cashew/nutritional yeast mixture. Blend for 2 minutes or until smooth and creamy. Next blend in miso and lemon juice.” (I left out the miso, but would have added it if I had it.)

Add about half of the sauce to your pasta. I saved the other half of the sauce for another day when I am in a rush.

Now I didn’t feel so guilty about serving this with some fresh broccoli and a salad. Phew, conscious cleared.

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Lära Balls for Toddler (and mom)

Life with a toddler seems to be filled with making food, snacks and more snacks. I try to keep my pantry well stocked so I always have something on hand to grab when we leave to go anywhere.  I have been a fan of Lära Bars for years, and most recently have found myself going through close to one per day. That adds up, and it is also a lot of plastic waste.
I have been experimenting and have recently found a fun way to make them so they aren’t such big portions, and I can store them without having to wrap them individually. The author of the blog, DAMY Health, makes them into little balls so they are like a “cookie”. I found it faster then molding them into a bar shape.  I can store them in his snack containers and they don’t get smashed in the bottom of my diaper bag like before.
Shopping Cart: Almond Cookie
  • 2/3 cup Seedless/Pitted whole Dates
  • 1 cup almonds
  • dash of sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla

Makes about 6 balls or 3 bars.

In a high-powered food processor, grind the nuts into a powder, but not a paste. Remove them from the bowl and grind the dates (make sure all the pits are out!). Then mix together the dates, sea salt, vanilla and nuts into a dough. Form the dough into balls and roll in coconut for fun. Refrigerate until they have hardened and then store them in an air-tight container.

 

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Natural Easter Egg Dyes from the Kitchen

I just got out the plastic easter eggs the other day and played “Egg Hunt” with my son in our patio. It got me in the spirit to try something new and “green”, especially with Earth Day approaching. Today we are making natural dyes for our easter eggs with cabbage, tumeric and beets. All of these items I already had in my kitchen, all we needed was some extra eggs and some big bibs for my son and his 21 month old friend. Toddler egg dying is an adventure, but well worth the hassle.

I cut the recipes in half, which turned out to be perfect for 2 dozen eggs.

Shopping Cart:

Vinegar

Salt

4-5 beets (for pink)

1/2 head of red cabbage (for blue)

tumeric (for yellow)

I’m too tired to write out the directions, they are all posted here:

http://www.marthastewart.com/268125/natural-egg-dyeing-techniques

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Cookbooks and Cookies

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Toight we are having cookies for dinner. Well, we are having a little leftover pressed salad, but mostly cookies.

Lately I have been checking out and renewing (multiple times) the new vegan cookbooks at the library. Since we have been vegan now for over a month, we have had done a lot of research on new ways to eat veggies, grains and beans. I have resorted to making a weekly menu and shopping once a week for that menu.  But, as crazy at it may sound, it is helping me try out new recipes and expand my knowledge of vegan cooking. I am wasting less food since I have a plan in the beginning of the week. But after eating so healthy during the week we are still splurging on Saturday nights.

Here are my favorite books so far.

The Teff Chocolate Chip cookies were our cheat meal this weekend, I highly recommend trying them out. And they are SUPER easy.

Shopping Cart:

  • 1 1/2 cups ivory or dark teff flour
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp. sea salt
  • 1 cup maple syrup
  • 1 cup peanut butter
  • 1 1/2 cups of chocolate chips (we used the grain sweetened ones)

Preheat the oven to 350 and line the baking sheet with parchment paper. Mix the dry ingredients. Mix the peanut butter and maple syrup together until smooth. Add dry to wet ingredients and mix (do not overmix). Add chocolate chips and bake for 13 minutes and no more! Thank you, Terry Walters for your book, I am going to finally get it soon and return the other to the library before I get too many food stains on it!

 

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Chocolate Pudding

After my chia seed pudding experience, I found myself craving the real texture of pudding. Don’t get me wrong, I liked the new variation on pudding, and I felt less guilty eating it. But, now that I am trying to indulge in one dessert per week (my new year’s resolution) I thought long and hard about what it would be last week. I found this recipe and followed it exactly. Success. The correct texture AND taste. Ahh…maybe I don’t even need to post the picture to tempt you. Plus, I ate it all. I froze one serving and it worked as an ice cream treat for later.

Silken Tofu and Chocolate Mousse 
Adapted from Michael Smith via Food Network Canada and the blog: And Then I Do the Dishes.

  • 8 oz (about 300g) package of silken tofu
  • 8 oz (about 300g) of bittersweet chocolate, chopped
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract (optional)

“Start by melting your chocolate in a double boiler; set aside.

Next, you need to puree the tofu until it is smooth. Now, you can use your food processor for this, but I used my stand mixer with the whip attachment and I’m pretty sure you could use any kind of mixer you like. When the tofu is nice and smooth, add the melted chocolate and mix until the tofu and chocolate are blended very well.

Here’s when you can add any kind of flavoring you like: vanilla extract, almond extract, peppermint extract, instant espresso powder, it’s all up to you! Divide the mousse into 6 individual serving dishes and set in the refrigerator for a few hours. Garnish with nuts, fruits, a little whipped cream, make it fun and enjoy!”

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Cooking with “friends” in the house…

So this year I am very behind with my prep for brunch. Three days ago I came home to find my house trashed. Plants were toppled over, soap dispensers were toppled over into the sink, books were off the shelf and one stocking was on the ground. At first I assumed someone broke in. Then I thought perhaps we had an earthquake. I never did find out what it was. I was paranoid and always watching over my shoulder. I thought I was going a little crazy. I spent a lot of time cleaning.

Then, this morning I woke up ready to start preparing for brunch on Sunday and I noticed some disgusting droppings in our room that we thought were mouse scat. I screamed, rushed our son out the door and let my husband call any exterminator who would work 2 days before a holiday. When I got home I threw in a load of laundry and I noticed a huge hole in my husbands’ jeans. I let out a scream when I heard something rustling in the closet. That is when my husband came in and started looking for the mice, or whatever it was. He was perfect for the job: mask, traps and he even sent me for a rope.

A few minutes later I heard a scream. “This is much bigger than a mouse.” He came out of the room with a little sweat on his brow and looking a little white. Long story short, somehow a SQUIRREL had found its way into our house. It had trashed the house and then burrowed in our closet for 2 nights!! We got to meet an incredibly nice man who came to our door 10 minutes later with a simple net in his hand. I ended up not watching, but it made it safely out our window after a good chase around the room. My son and I listened from outside the room.

So, instead of cooking, today I spend the morning bleaching every surface in the house. I still have the bathrooms to go.

Christmas brunch is going to be simple this year, but here it is:

  • Cheese Fondue with Asparagus, green beans, peppers, broccoli and bread
  • Birchermuesli
  • Chili Cheese Squares
  • Breakfast sausages
  • Dessert: Fudge

Nothing new this year, but I am going to update my fudge recipe because it turned out better than ever before!! Hopefully we will only have invited guests around this apartment for the rest of the holiday.

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