Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Asian Teriyaki Noodles with Garlic Tempeh Recipe

Asian Teriyaki Noodles and Garlic Tempeh Recipe

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Garlic tempeh, brown rice noodles, and blanched vegetables smothered in a homemade teriyaki sauce!  A delicious combination of sesame oil, a little red pepper sauce and low sodium gluten free tamari sauce.

I couldn't make all of you wait for this delicious summer dish.  You can add any vegetables you have in the fridge, just chop'em and toss'em in!  I've always wanted to create a teriyaki sauce that wasn't so sweet it tasted like dessert!  That is my biggest complaint about all teriyaki sauce recipes,  I don't want an overly sweet dinner.  It actually makes me sick to my stomach to eat that much sugar for dinner.

So, my solution was to look at a lot of different teriyaki sauce recipes and then combine the best of all of them AND reduce the amount of sugar used.  I think this one turned out perfect, it has a hint of sweet but not too much.

I've been creating more recipes on these LONG, boring days of summer.  One of the reasons is because I need to create cooling recipes for dinner so we all don't die of heat stroke in this aweful heat with no air conditioning!

I have been busy in the mornings driving 30 minutes to take my son to his Theater classes but the afternoons are so hot they drag on forever! I'm glad the kids have found some fun things to do over the summer.  Friday nights recipes may be interesting because the boys will be on a father and sons campout......that ought to be an interesting evening of cooking for just the girls.

***My husband cannot handle any heat in his food so this is very mild, you can certainly add any amount of spice you like to this recipe!

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Vegan Pina Colada Smoothie Recipe

Pina Colada Smoothie Recipe

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Beat the summer heat with this cool and refreshing Pina Colada Smoothie!  This rich, creamy smoothie features electrolyte rich coconut water to keep you hydrated, sweet frozen pineapple boosted with the natural sweetness of dates and stevia.  

I combined the two versions of this smoothie in the picture  you see above, this smoothie can be made into a Green Smoothie, or you can leave it as a traditional style Pina Colada smoothie.

First, you must understand that I have Never tasted a Pina Colada before, I haven't even had a virgin Pina Colada so please understand this may not taste like the alcoholic drink you may have had sitting on the beach in Cancun or something like that.  This is meant to be a cool, refreshing, healthy smoothie for a hot summer day.

We do not have air conditioning in our home and when it gets to be 100 degrees outside there is NO way I am going to cook dinner.  Instead of cooking we generally eat fruit or smoothies and something light.  This was part of dinner last night and my family LOVED it!

You will notice the different colors in the glass, the bottom is the green smoothie recipe, the middle is the traditional pina colada recipe and the top is the pina colada green smoothie again.  I made it fun and mixed it up in the glass!!

My daughter is the pickiest of the bunch and my husband has SUPER TASTER powers so I know between the two of them if they approve it is a blog worthy recipe.  They both whole-heartedly approved of this smoothie.  So here is the beat the heat Pina Colada Smoothie Recipe!!!

**When I am making a smoothie for a meal I like to add  a plant-based protein to my smoothie.  Sunwarrior makes a DELICIOUS brown rice protein that is not chalky or gritty so I like to use it when making smoothies for dinner.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Gluten Free Rosemary Cheese Crackers

Gluten Free Rosemary Cheese Cracker Recipe

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Crispy, crunchy, cheesy gluten free crackers, you couldn't ask for a better combination!  These crackers are packed with nutrition but they are so delicious I dare you to just try and eat only one!  

I know as a mom I am always looking for healthy snacks for my kiddos.    It can be difficult to find affordable gluten free snacks!  Most boxes of gluten free crackers cost between $5-$7!!  

With two tween kids I can't afford to pay for a $7 box of crackers that they will plow through in 30 minutes!  If you are the mother of tweens or teens you know what I mean.  The options for gluten free crackers in the health food store are endless, however, that doesn't mean that they are healthy. Sure they have a substitute for every cracker on the snack isle of the grocery store.  You can find gluten free Saltines, Ritz, Graham crackers and more.....

I'm not going to pay $7 for a box of junk!  Why pay for refined flours, refined oils, sugar and other ingredients that have no nutritional value!  I created this recipe as a solution to the sad excuse for snacks in the health food stores.  

** I know a lot of women think if they got it from the 'health food' store it must be healthy.  Sorry, but that is absolutely NOT true.  You would be shocked at the ingredients I have found in products on health food store shelves!!  

High fructose corn syrup
Isolated whey protein
Isolated soy protein
White, bleached flour
isolated fructose
 and many more......

Health food stores carry A LOT of junk!!  All of the 'muscle building' isolated protein garbage, poor quality mineral supplements, weight loss supplements and a host of other cheap, unhealthy products.  I find it ridiculous that anyone would believe that some isolated powder would make you 'grow' muscles!  Sorry to burst your bubble but exercise builds muscle not protein!  Yes, you need protein but NOT massive amounts of it, however, supplement companies have got body builders hooked on their refined garbage and they make a lot of money convincing them that they need it!  Kudos to them for their very effective marketing.

Health food stores are not much better than regular grocery stores, you really have to wade your way through a lot of junk.  Don't even get me started on 'pasture-fed' meat and 'organic' dairy products.  I will leave that for another post!   

These rosemary cheese crackers literally take like 5 minutes of prep!!  Busy moms don't have time to slave away in the kitchen trust me, I know!  

Let the kids help you  make these crackers, they will love helping you!!  It is a great summer activity to get the kids in the kitchen and let them help you make their afternoon snack.


Monday, June 18, 2012

Vegan & Gluten Free Spicy Asian Noodle Salad

Vegan and Gluten Free Spicy Asian Noodle Salad

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Low calorie, iodine and calcium rich kelp noodles are topped with fresh, finely chopped vegetables smothered  in a rich, creamy and spicy sesame asian dressing.  This salad is a light, refreshing summer lunch with a kick!

You'll notice the noodles are clear, they are nutrient rich kelp noodles.  The noodles are gluten free and delicious.  If you eat them raw they are quite crunchy which I don't mind.  

***If you like soft noodles soak them in the dressing for an hour before lunch and they will be perfect, soft noodles.

I hope everyone had a wonderful Father's Day.  I made a delicious, vegan French toast for my husband at breakfast and topped it with fresh sliced strawberries, maple syrup and sprinkled on stevia instead of powdered sugar.

We had an amazing vegan Father's Day BBQ with amazing veggie burgers that featured:  celery, bell pepper, onion, carrots, almonds and black beans.  We also had grilled corn, potato salad, melons and an amazing chocolate silk pie with a brownie crust and raw ganache topping.

I know I have tempted many of you by announcing that I made some delicious vegan calamari, however I still want to tweak the recipe a bit before I post it so it will be a little longer before it is posted.  The taste and texture of the mushrooms were great but the breading wasn't as crunchy as I would have you'll have to wait!

We have been incorporating more raw foods into our diet lately.  It always seems that as summer rolls around I crave a lot more fruit and fresh foods.  During the COLD winter months we eat a lot more hot soups and baked potatoes.  

My husband has finally come around and decided that he needs to eat more living foods!  Hurray!  That is not an easy thing for him but as he has begun suffering from increasing back pain, arthritis, fatigue and health problems I think it has finally inspired him to eat better.  He eats a vegetarian diet, but NOT a healthy one.  He consumes MASSIVE amounts of sugar.  For example, he will get a veggie sandwich at subway and follow it up with 3 or 4 cookies!

I am so glad he is feeling inspired to change!   A vegetarian diet is obviously a step in the right direction toward living a compassionate life, but it certainly does not guarantee health if you fill that vegetarian diet with soda, oreos, potato chips, cookies and other vegetarian junk food.  I am converting my junk food vegetarian husband into a health food superstar vegan hubby!  I will keep you updated on his health and diet progress.

I know that you all know I do not advocate consumption of refined vegetable oils.  I do find it odd that we condemn white flour because it is stripped of fiber and nutrients and yet we do not condemn vegetable oils which are also stripped of fiber and nutrients!  However, I do allow about 1-2 tsp. of oil per serving in some recipes because it adds the right flavor or texture to a dish.  

**The sesame oil is VERY  important to the flavor of this dish and adds a negligible amount of fat.  Don't skip the sesame oil.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Applebee's style Blackened Tempeh & cooking tutorial

Applebee's style Blackened Tempeh Salad example for the Tempeh cooking tutorial

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A delicious dish based on the All-American favorite restaurant Applebee's.   This dish features delicious cajun spiced blackened tempeh served over a cool, crisp salad with a signature creamy dressing.  

Tempeh can be a little tricky when you first start to prepare it.  It does not have any flavor of its own and so if it is not properly marinated or flavored you can end up with a pretty flavorless dish.     If you are not going to marinate the tempeh, boil it for about 10 minutes  prior to adding it to any casserole, soup or other recipe to reduce the bitterness.

The marinade possibilities for tempeh are endless.  You can prepare thai, italian, chinese, cajun, mexican marinades to accent any dish you are preparing.  Tempeh works beautifully ground for burgers, cut in squares for kabobs, strips for tempeh bacon, or crumbled for sausage.  Don't be afraid to experiment with tempeh.

Tempeh sausage flavors include: liquid smoke, garlic, onion, nutritional yeast, tamari and sage.  You can add a little heat if you like with red pepper flakes

Tempeh bacon:  add a little natural food coloring such as beet juice or turmeric, nutritional yeast, garlic, tamari, liquid smoke, olive oil, sage, thyme, parsley, rosemary, salt.

Tempeh is a traditional food from Indonesia.  It is made by naturally culturing soybeans through a controlled fermentation process.   The soybeans used in tempeh are soaked prior to fermentation.  The process of making tempeh increases the nutritional value of the soybeans.   Tempeh is sold in many varieties, including multi-grain with flax, barley, spelt and other grains.

I am considering changing the format of the blog.....

There are some exciting changes coming that I will announce in the next few months.  I have been working on a new project that I think you will all enjoy!

I have had less time to work on the blog recently and I have found that readership has dropped significantly due to my decrease in posting.  

I am considering only posting photos of the recipes along with articles and cooking tips.

I will only continue to post recipes if there is enough interest in me doing so.  

Instead of posting the whole blackened tempeh salad recipe I will explain how to marinate and cook tempeh.