Saturday, August 14, 2010

Homemade Caesar Dressing

We love Caesar Salad around here, but two of my kids don't do well with cow dairy. I came across this recipe and tried it out today. It turned out perfect, and only took about 5 minutes to make! A definite winner if you are looking for a vegan alternative!


(makes approx 1 1/12 cups and lasts one week in the fridge)

  • 4 oz of silken tofu
  • 6 Tb of lemon juice
  • 3-4 cloves of garlic
  • 3/4 Tb of Dijon mustard
  • 2 tsps of Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground pepper
  • 1/2 tsp of Kelp powder or Dulse flakes
  • 3/4 cups of extra virgin olive oil
In a blender, blend all the ingredients EXCEPT the oil until smooth. While running the blender on low, slowly add the oil. Chill and mix with your salad!

**The kelp flakes are what really make this dressing have that anchovy-caesar taste. You can get these flakes at any health food store.

Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookies

We are always looking for dairy-free desserts. We made a big batch of these cookies this week for a friend. I was really impressed with how they turned out. Savanna is the baker in the family, but since she was out most of the week I made these by myself. They were REALLY good!


(makes 48 small cookies)

  • 2 1/2 cups of whole wheat pastry flour (get at any health food store)
  • 1/2 Tb baking soda
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1 1/2 cups of turbinado sugar
  • 1 cup of refined coconut oil or melted coconut butter
  • 1/4 cup of olive oil
  • 1/3 cup of ice water
  • 1 Tb of black strap molasses
  • 1/2 Tb vanilla extract
  • 1 10 oz bag of vegan chocolate chips or carob chips
  • 1 cup of chopped walnuts (optional)
Sift flour, baking soda, and salt. In a separate bowl with a mixer mix sugar and oil about 3 minutes until smooth. Add water, molasses, and vanilla mixing until well combined. With the mixer on low, slowly add the flour mixture until almost blended. Add the chocolate chips and nuts mixing until just combined.

Roll into small balls of dough and place 2 " apart on a baking sheet. Flatten out a bit and cook 13-15 minutes at 375 degrees until edges are slightly brown. Cool and Eat!

Cashew "Mock" Chicken Salad

These next few recipes are dedicated to my good pal, Lara. It's fun to have someone so excited to read my food blog and actually try my recipes! Plus, I'm very excited that she is making so many positive changes in her health- love you girl!

Savanna and I made this recipe this morning. It's one of my favorite raw recipes. It tastes very similar to chicken salad. I usually serve it stuffed in a raw red bell pepper or over lettuce. You can put it on bread like an actual sandwich or with crackers like we did today.


1/4 cup of sunflower seeds
1 cup pecans
1 cup cashews
1 cucumber, cut in chunks
1 stalk of celery
2 diced green onions (optional)
juice of 1/2 a lemon
1/2 tsp sea salt
1 tsp curry powder
1 tsp dill
1 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp onion powder

Throw all the ingredients in a food processor and pulse chop until medium fine. Chill and serve!

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Homemade Italian French Bread

Savanna and I learned to bake our own bread from our friends at church. It is SO much better than store bought, and it's way cheaper too. Takes a little bit of time, but not much effort. And for the record this is not my healthiest recipe, but I did modify it a bit to make it more so. I do like that there is only 6 ingredients, all of which I can pronounce and know what they are! I am going to post the original recipe and I'll put my changes in parenthesis.


(makes two large french loaves)

  • 2 1/2 cups of water
  • 2 Tb of yeast
  • 5 Tb melted Crisco (I substitute olive oil)
  • 3 Tb sugar
  • 2 tsp sea salt
  • 6 cups of flour (we did 3 cups of whole wheat & 3 cups of white flour- any more whole wheat than that and it becomes very heavy)

Mix 3 cups of flour, the Crisco, 2 cups of the water, sugar and salt.

Dissolve the yeast in the remaining 1/2 cup of water and add to the flour mixture.

Beat in the 3 remaining cups of flour very gradually. The dough should be sticky to the touch, but should not remain on the skin and should pull away from the sides of the mixing bowl.

Let rest (covered with a damp rag) for 10 mins. Punch Down. Let rise 15 mins (still covered with a damp rag). Punch down. Repeat 4 times.

Divide dough into 2 parts. Roll the dough flat into a rectangular shape. Roll up into a long loaf, pinching the edges as tight as you can.

Place both loaves on a greased cookie sheet and let rise 40 mins (cover again with the rag). We decided to put one long loaf and one smaller loaf on a cookie sheet, and one loaf in a regular loaf pan. It's the same amount of bread- just different shapes.

Bake at 375 degrees for 25 minutes.

The results were great!

Banana Berry Freeze

Not the best picture, but this was really good. We actually made it for breakfast (you'll see why when I post the ingredients). I modified this recipe from a book I recently finished by Dr. Joel Furhrman, "Disease-Proof Your Child." He is another whole foods, mostly plant-based diet advocate, but he is also an MD so he gives some great medical background as to why diet can alleviate or prevent many illnesses (for my friends with kids with ADD or ADHD or severe allergies- he gives specific dietary guidelines to help). He is a bit extreme in his views, but that doesn't mean that I think he is wrong...just means you might have some BIG changes to make after reading his book! He has a ton of recipes in the back. We've tried some and really like them, others...not so much. This one was a winner!


(per serving/person)

1 1/2 frozen bananas
1/4 cup non-dairy milk
1/4 tsp of vanilla
handful of frozen blueberries, strawberries or raspberries
tsp of ground flax seed
chopped nuts of your choice

Blend the frozen bananas, milk (we used almond milk), and vanilla - it will be thick like ice cream, especially if you have a Vitamix or other good blender. Top with frozen berries of your choice (we used blueberries and raspberries), the ground flax, and some nuts (we used slivered almonds). Enjoy!

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Killer Vegetable Soup

It is an aspiration of mine to open up my own restaurant some day. It will be a whole foods, healthy, family-fare type place. Maybe even just a big salad and soup bar with homemade breads and smoothies. Well, when I do make it happen this will be a soup-of-the-day for sure!

  • 4-6 Tb of olive oil
  • 3-4 small red onions, diced
  • 1 head of celery, chopped or sliced
  • 5-6 carrots, sliced
  • 1 bag of red potatoes, diced
  • 1 bag of frozen corn
  • 2 cans of crushed tomatoes (I use fresh tomatoes and process them in my fp)
  • 1-2 cans of white beans
  • Seasonings- I use a LOT of seasonings. Garlic powder, onion powder, Spike, dried parsley, sea salt, pepper, a dash of cayenne, etc. Use whatever you like, to taste.
In a large pot, coat the bottom with oil. Add onions and celery; cover and saute for about 5 mins. Add the carrots; cover and saute for 5-8 minutes. Add the potatoes; cover and saute for about 5- 10 minutes. These steps are crucial and really help the flavors of the soup blend.
Then add the rest of the ingredients and cover with water or vegetable broth. Season, cover and bring to a boil. Then remove lid and simmer for 30 - 60 minutes or until potatoes are soft.

Serves 8-12

Maple Syrup Cornbread

Savanna makes the best corn bread muffins! She made a batch this morning, and so I thought I'd share the recipe.


(Makes 12 muffins)
  • 2/3 cup of real maple syrup (grade b)
  • 1/3 cup of olive oil
  • 1 cup rice milk (or soy milk)
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup fine organic cornmeal
  • 1 Tb baking powder
  • 1 tsp sea salt
Stir wet ingredients together.
In another bowl, whisk dry ingredients together.
Mix wet and dry together.
Pour into greased muffin pans.
Bake 25 minutes at 350 degrees, until tester comes out clean.

Sweet & Sour Veggie Stir Fry

This is one of my favorite dishes to make. It is really simple, and really delicious. Whenever I eat chinese food I always order something with the Sweet & Sour Sauce. This recipe really duplicates that taste very well, and is much healthier! You can add meat to this dish if you like. We used tofu in this one.

  • 1 Tb cornstarch or arrowroot powder
  • 3/4 cup vegetable broth
  • 3 Tb of rice vinegar
  • 3 Tb of turbinado sugar
  • 1 Tb ketchup
  • 2 Tbs soy sauce
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 2 Tb olive oil
  • 4-5 minced garlic cloves
  • 1 diced onion
  • 2 sliced carrots
  • 1/2 cup cherry tomatoes, cut in half
  • 1 diced green or red bell pepper
  • 1/2 cup sliced mushrooms
  • 1/2 cup pineapple chunks
  • 1 14oz package of extra firm tofu, drained and cut into 1 inch cubes

In a large bowl, mix together the cornstarch and veg broth, then add vinegar, sugar, ketchup, soy sauce, ginger, and cayenne until mixed well.

In a large skillet or work, stir-fry the garlic, onion, and carrots in the olive oil about 5 minutes until carrots begin to soften. Add the tomatoes, pepper, mushrooms, and pineapple and stir-fry another 2-3 minutes.

Add the veg broth mixture to the veggies and cook until mixture thickens, about 5-7 minutes. Add tofu and allow to cook at least 5 minutes more. Serve over brown rice and enjoy!

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Vegetarian Chili in the Crock Pot

I took this picture when it had only been cooking a few hours. All the liquid was absorbed and the end result is a very thick, hearty, and tasty chili. The lentils kind of break a part and resemble the "meat" of the dish. My kids loved it, and even my finicky pregnant taste buds enjoyed it!

(Again, this is from

Serves 16- I'm not sure what size crock pot this girl has, but we halved the recipe and it filled up my pot- it makes a LOT!


2 Cans Organic Chopped Tomatoes
2 32 oz Boxes Vegetable Broth
6 Cups Mixed Beans (Lentils, Yellow Split Peas, White Beans) (If using large beans, soak the night before)
2 Tbsp Olive Oil
1 Onion, minced
5 Cloves Garlic, minced
6 Celery Stalks, chopped
6 Carrots, chopped
1 Bell Pepper, chopped
2 Tbsp Chili Powder
1 1/2 Tbsp Cumin
2 Tsp Salt
1 Tsp Sweet Paprika
1 Large Bunch Dinosaur Kale, chopped

1. Turn slow cooker (crock pot) on high. Set it for 12 hours. Pour all liquid into the pot.
2. Heat olive oil over medium flame and saute onions for 5 minutes. Lower heat if they start to brown. Add garlic and continue to saute another 2 minutes. Pour the onion mixture into the crock pot with the remaining ingredients. Stir.
3. Cook in the pot for 12 hours.

*For baby food: Cool, puree, and serve or freeze in baby cubes.

**Freezing Instructions: Allow to cool, place in appropriate container or Ziploc bag, label and freeze up to 4 months. When ready, defrost in fridge for 24 hours or place in pot and heat through under low-medium heat.