Category Archives: Vegetarian

Pumpkin Waffles

After tasting his first bite of “brinner” tonight my four year old said, “Mom, this is the best dinner ever! You should post this on your blog.” I didn’t know that he knew I wrote a blog and I am not even sure he knows what a blog is. Regardless, any meal my boys regard as blog worthy is truly blog worthy.

I have found a fun new blog that has great clean gluten-free/grain-free recipes, http://www.eatthecookie.wordpress.com. I slightly adapted her recipe for Sweet Potato Waffles and made what the boys and I would agree are the best gluten-free waffles we have had to date.

I served it with some breakfast sausage (Applegate makes a great gluten-free chicken breakfast sausage that tastes like regular sausage) and  a green smoothie, which I have been making quite often for my own breakfasts. Recipe for that to come soon, too.

We served the waffles topped with organic cream cheese and a small drizzle of pure maple syrup. Yum!!! Delicious!!

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Pumpkin Waffles

1 c. pumpkin puree (I used organic pumpkin from Trader Joe’s)
4 eggs
1/4 c. unsweetened almond milk (or more if batter is too thick)
2 Tbsp. coconut oil, melted
2 tsp. vanilla
6 Tbsp. coconut flour
1/2 c. tapioca flour
1/4 c. flax meal
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. each cloves, ginger, and nutmeg

In a medium bowl, combine pumpkin, eggs, coconut oil, and vanilla. Mix well. In a seperate bowl, combine dry ingredients. Mix two bowls together and add almond milk.

Allow to sit for 5 minutes. If batter is too thick, add more almond milk, a Tbsp. at a time until desired consistency. The thicker the batter, the more dense your waffles will be. I kept my batter pretty thick and had nice, dense waffles.

Heat waffle iron to a medium heat. Pour batter in and cook until done. This batch made two whole waffles for me.

Top with organic cream cheese and a dash of syrup for an amazing taste!  Enjoy!

Husband Rating: Didn’t get one because my husband wasn’t home for this dinner but I think the fact that my 4 year old loved it so much speaks for itself… he rarely loves anything these days!  Ahhh, the joys of parenting!  🙂

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New Favorite Grain-Free Pizza Crust Recipe

I was looking for a new pizza crust recipe and came to the one on a blog called The Unrefined Kitchen.  Great blog!  Even better pizza crust recipe!!!  We have made it several times – though I haven’t gotten around to publishing it yet.  It mixes up totally differently than any other pizza recipe, with the dough being more batter-like than dough like.  But, it is so tasty!  We made it with some delicious veggie toppings shown below – grilled zucchini and red pepper slices, onions, and fresh mozzarella cheese (no sauce, just a drizzle of olive oil on the crust). If you eat grain-free or gluten-free, this is a great pizza crust to try!

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Pizza Crust (Grain-free)

Recipe from http://www.unrefinedkitchen.com/2012/04/14/pizza-crust-primalpaleo/

Ingredients:
2 cups almond flour (I use Bob’s Red Mill)
1 cup arrowroot powder
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1 1/2 tsp. oregano
1/4 tsp. black pepper
3 eggs
1/2 cup almond milk

Directions:

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Line a pizza pan with parchment paper.

Combine dry ingredients in a large bowl. Whisk to blend together.
Add eggs and almond milk to the dry ingredients. Mix well. (The batter will be runny–not like typical pizza dough.)

Use a spatula to spread batter onto greased pan.

Bake crust in preheated oven 8-12 minutes.

Remove crust from oven and top with sauce and desired toppings.

Bake for another 10-15 minutes. Enjoy!

Black Bean Tacos with Homemade Corn Tortillas

One thing I miss now that I am gluten-free is having a good tortilla with my tacos. Flour tortillas just seemed superior to me in texture and flavor to the store bought corn tortillas. I did find one brand of corn tortillas that were ok but I still wasn’t loving them.

I was telling a few friends about this and one couple, who are great cooks, told me that they LOVE corn tortillas! Really?  I didn’t believe it… But, their qualification was that the tortillas had to be homemade. That seemed like a daunting task to make my own tortillas. They insisted that they were simple to make so I finally deicded it was time to give it a shot and see if they really were better.

Were they better??? YOU BET!!! They were so easy to make, taking very little time at all! And, they tasted far better than any corn tortillas I have ever gotten in a store. I am sold! I will be making my own corn tortillas from now on.

Now, the trick will be to make a bigger batch and try freezing them… hmmm…. another addition to this recipe for another time! 🙂

By the way, we decided to a vegetarian filling for the tacos inspired by a recipe I saw on Cookie + Kate (a vegan blog that has wonderful recipes). Definitely check it out!

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Black Bean Tacos with Homemade Corn Tortillas

1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 can diced tomatoes with green chilies
1 cup corn
1 tsp. cumin
salt/pepper
roasted red pepper sauce (see recipe below)
shredded pepper jack cheese
guacamole
2 c. masa harina
1/2 tsp. sea salt

To make tortillas, combine 1/2 tsp. sea salt with 2 c. masa harina (corn flour). Add 1 1/2-2 c. hot water slowly until dough is firm and springs back to the touch; not dry or sticky.

Allow dough to sit for 1 hour covered. Divide dough into 12 balls. Put one ball between two layers of wax paper and roll out to approximately a 6″ circle. Continue to do so for all dough.

Heat a skillet to medium heat. Place one tortilla on and cook for about 1 minute or until just appearing to be cooked on edges. Flip and cook another 30 seconds. Remove to a plate with a paper towl on it to absorb moisture. Repeat with remaining 11 tortillas. Set aside.

In a medium skillet, combine beans, tomatoes, corn, cumin, and salt/pepper to taste. Heat over medium high heat until simmering. Continue simmering for 10-15 minutes or until hot through and mixture thickens slightly.

Serve scoop of bean mixture with some cheese and red pepper sauce in a tortilla. Optional – top with guacamole.

Roasted Red Pepper Sauce

12 oz. jar roasted red peppers, drained
1/4 c. water
1 small yellow onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1 tsp. sugar

Combine all ingredients in a food processor. (I used our magic bullet.) Blend until a smooth texture. Pour ingredients into a small sauce pan. Cooking at medium heat, bring to a simmer. Reduce heat and continue simmering 15 minutes or until slightly thickened and the flavor of the onion mellows a bit. Serve warm over taco ingredients.

*This recipe was originally for enchiladas so this would make a great alternative to store-bought enchilada sauce.

Husband Rating: 7 out of 10

Roasted Veggies with Tahini Sauce

I wish I could take credit for this recipe but I can’t.  I got it from http://ohsheglows.com/2013/03/05/roasted-buddha-bowl/ and only changed it a tiny bit.  It is absolutely delicious and could be a stand alone meal, though we used it as a side dish.  I will definitely be making this again.

(The blog I got the recipe from, Oh She Glows,  is all vegan recipes and although we are not vegan, I really enjoy many of the recipes she posts. )

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Roasted Veggies with Tahini Sauce

1 head broccoli, cut into bite-sized florets
1 head cauliflower, cut into bite-sized florets
1 can chickpeas, drained, rinsed, patted dry
1 Tbsp. grapeseed oil, divided
salt/pepper

Tahini Sauce
1/2 c. raw cashews, soaked*
2 Tbsp. lemon juice
1 Tbsp. tahini
1 large garlic clove
pinch salt
2-3 Tbsp. water, to thin sauce as needed

Instructions:

*To soak the cashews, you can do it overnight in a bowl covered with water or do what I did which is the quick method. Boil some water and pour over the cashews and soak for 45 minutes.

In a food processor, toss cashews, lemon juice, tahini, garlic, and salt. Puree until smooth. Add water to thin the sauce until similar to a salad dressing texture.

Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. On one, place the cauliflower and broccoli. Drizzle with oil and toss to coat. Sprinkle with slat/pepper.

On other baking sheet, place chickpeas, drizzle with oil and salt and pepper and toss to coat.

Bake veggies and chickpeas at 400 degrees for 15 minutes. Remove from oven to stir and return to oven another 10-15 minutes or until tender and just starting to brown.

Mix chickpeas and veggies in a bowl. Serve and drizzle with tahini sauce to serve. Yum!!!

Gluten-Free Tabbouleh

I needed a side-dish to have with our burgers tonight and this was healthy and delicious.  It was super easy and I am excited for the left-overs tomorrow for lunch!  We had it with our Gorgonzola Stuffed Burgers and Red Cabbage Sauerkraut.  And, crazy enough, when I mixed together all three on my plate, it was outstanding!

 

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Gluten-Free Tabbouleh

1 c. uncooked quinoa
2 c. vegetable broth
1 large cucumber, peeled and seeded
1 pt. grape tomatoes, halved
5 green onions, sliced thinly
1 c. finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
1/3 c. olive oil
juice of 1 lemon
salt/pepper to taste

In a small saucepan, combine quinoa and vegetable broth. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 15 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside to cool.

In a large bowl, combine cucumber, parsley, tomatoes, onions, and cooled quinoa. In a small bowl, combine olive oil, lemon juice, and salt/pepper. Toss lemon dressing with quinoa mixture and serve cold.

Roasted Red Pepper Hummus

I have wanted to try making hummus for a while now and since I am testing out before buying a full sized food processor (as opposed to my current mini one, thank you Liz and Dave!), I decided to give it a whirl.  Seriously, why haven’t I done this before.  Hummus is so easy to make and it tasted so delicious!

I definitely plan to make it again and try making other flavors – roasted garlic is top on my list! I made the roasted red pepper flavor because the boys really like that one when I buy it.  We all have enjoyed it – we eat it with crackers, fresh raw veggies, and our very favorite, gluten-free pretzels (thanks to Aimee on that one).

So, here was my lunch from today, with the yummy homemade hummus.

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Roasted Red Pepper Hummus

1 can chickpeas/garbanzo beans, drained and well rinsed
1/4 c. fresh lemon juice
1/4 c. tahini 1 clove garlic, minced
2 Tbsp. olive oil
1/2 tsp. cumin
1/2 – 1 tsp. sea salt
1/2 c. jarred roasted red peppers, drained and roughly chopped

Instructions:

In food processor, combine tahini and lemon juice. Whip in the food processor for one minute. Scrape the sides and process for another 30 seconds.

Add olive oil, garlic, cumin, and salt. Process for 30 seconds, scrape the bowl, and process another 30 seconds.

Add the chickpeas and process for 1 to 2 minutes. Scrape the bowl, and mix for another 1 to 2 minutes until smooth.

Add the peppers and continue processing for another minute or two until reaching your desired texture.

Store in the fridge in a sealed container. Hummus will be good for at least a week.

First Foray into Fermented Foods!!!

“I think I am going back for seconds.”

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Those are words I NEVER thought would come out of my mouth when eating sauerkraut! But, there is a first for everything. Tonight, we had our first meal with my first ever homemade batch of sauerkraut and I am impressed! This version might even get a non-kraut girl like me to eat more of those great fermented foods!

I keep hearing about how great fermented foods are for you… that can include yogurt, kefir, kombucha, and of course fermented vegetables. They contain tons of probiotics and are great for a healthy digestive system. Here is a quick article with basic info on it. I love yogurt and kefir and have even enjoyed kombucha a bit. But, I really know nothing about how to make them myself and so just buy the store versions. However, when I realized that the store-bought sauerkraut contained high-fructose corn syrup, I just couldn’t bring myself to but it and serve it to my family (i.e. my kraut-loving husband). So, I made my own!

It is super easy to do, super inexpensive, and so delicious – again, words I NEVER thought would come out of my mouth. I am taking a class on fermented foods in August and I just can’t wait to find out what else I can make at home!!!

We enjoyed our sauerkraut with brats, spicy mustard, and grilled broccoli and cauliflower.

 

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Red Cabbage Sauerkraut

1 head red cabbage, finely shredded
1/2 head green cabbage, finely shredded
2-3 large carrots, shredded
3 tsp. sea salt
half-gallon wide-mouthed mason jar
small pint mason jar

In a large bowl, combine cabbages and carrots. Sprinkle with salt.

Use your hands, not just to mix but to gently crunch the shredded vegetables. Do this until they start to release the liquid (about 5 minutes).

Pack the mixture into a meticulously cleaned half-gallon mason jar. Pack it down tightly, allowing the juices to rise. I had just enough to fill the jar almost to the top.

Fill the small mason jar about 3/4 full of water and place into the mouth of the large jar as a weight to hold the vegetables under the liquid. If, after putting the weight on top, the vegetables are not under water, add a few tablespoons of water until all are under water.

Cover loosely with a towel and leave sitting on the counter. Check daily to make sure the vegetables stay submerged. If small bubbles form on the surface of the liquid, skim it off. Let it ferment for at least 3-5 days before testing the flavor. We tested it after 5 days and then decided to let it sit for another couple of days. The flavor will continue to increase with each day, getting more sour and pungent as you wait.

When the sauerkraut reaches your preferred flavor, put the lid on top of the jar and place in the fridge. Enjoy for the next several months. The fermentation will slow down but not be stopped completely so the flavor will continue to mature with time.

Husband Rating: He didn’t give it a number but said it was mild but good.

Healthy Cookies – Gluten-Free

Tonight I am hosting a kick-off event for my church’s Team World Vision team. We are a group of mostly non-runners who are training together to run a half marathon in October.

Why would non-runners do this, you ask? Well, that is a great question! We are doing it to raise money to bring clean water sources to people living in Africa who do not have such access, specifically the country of Zambia.

Did you know:

*4,200 Children die each DAY from dirty water

*3.75 million people die each year from water-related causes.

Clean water is so integral in our lives and we take it completely for granted here in the US. When I think about how much water I used just in washing up my dishes, wiping my counters after baking, and throwing in a load of laundry this afternoon and how some people don’t even have enough clean water to drink or cook with, I am even more motivated to help! For $50 dollars, a person in Zambia will receive clean water access for LIFE. That’s right – less than the cost of a tank of gas!!!

 

If you would like to support this cause, you can visit my personal fundraising page at www.teamworldvision.org/goto/heatherwilford.

There you will see all kinds of information about this cause as well as how World Vision is going about bringing water into the communities in need.

So, what does this have to do with a food blog?  Well, like I said, I am hosting the kick-off event for our team.  And, I needed some good snacks for it.  Being that we are training and running, I couldn’t just do a regular cookie… I figured I should at least make it healthy, right?  So, I found a few different recipes for healthy cookies, breakfast cookies, whatever you want to call it and ended up with this one.  It’s pretty delicious and it taking a lot of self-control right now for me to not go back over to the counter and scoop up more!!!

Before you make this recipe (and you are going to want to make it), please take a second to think about how much water you use every day and how little it could take for you to help out someone else who doesn’t have that.  Then, go to www.teamworldvision.org/goto/heatherwilford and save a life by making a donation.  Then, go and make these cookies!  🙂

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Healthy Cookies

Recipe adapted from www.minimalistbaker.com

3 Tbsp. flaxseed meal with 6 Tbsp. warm water
2 medium bananas
1/2 c. natural crunchy peanut butter
2 1/2 Tbsp. coconut oil, melted
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
3 Tbsp. honey (if vegan, sub agave nectar)
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
pinch sea salt
1 1/2 c. gluten-free rolled oats
1/2 c. oat flour (grind from g/f oats)
1/2 c. almond meal
3/4 c. dark chocolate chunks (I broke a 85% cocoa dark chocolate bar into small chunks; if vegan, choose dairy-free chocolate chips)

In a large bowl, combine water and flaxseed meal. Allow to sit for a few minutes to “gel” together. Mash bananas into flaxseed mixture.

Add peanut butter, oil, vanilla, honey, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Mix well. Stir in oats, flour, and almond meal. One well combined, add chococlate chunks.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and preheat oven to 350 degrees. Scoop drops of cookie dough onto parchment paper using a spoon.

Place baking sheet in oven and bake for 15-17 minutes or until lightly golden on the edge. Remove from baking sheet and allow to cool on a cooling rack.

Store in an air tight container for a few days or in the fridge for even longer storage.
Makes approximately 2 1/2 dozen cookies.

Mango Banana Spinach Smoothie

In my efforts to incorporate more green smoothies into our diet, I keep experimenting and came up with a good combination. It was filling and delicious, chock full of great nutrients! I drank the whole batch but it was definitely big enough for two people… I just hoarded it for myself instead… 🙂

Mango Banana Spinach Smoothie

Mango Banana Spinach Smoothie

1 medium mango, peeled and chopped
1 banana, frozen and sliced
2 c. fresh baby spinach
1 scoop vanilla protein powder
1/2 c. plain organic whole milk yogurt
1 c. almond milk
2 Tbsp. hemp seeds

Combine all the ingredients in a blender. Combine until smooth. Enjoy!

No “Grain”ola

Looking for another great breakfast option for the husband… I found several posts that had grain-free granolas. These are great because they are packed with protein, healthy fats, and not too much sugar. This was easy to toss together (as is any granola, really) and keeps nicely in a sealed jar in our cupboard (though you could easily keep it in a Ziploc bag too. I did that until we got these cute containers.) It’s an easy recipe to adjust to what you have in the house or prefer to eat. Switch up the nuts and the fruits for your personal preferences. Try to keep proportions the same and you are good to go!

By the way, this has been everyone’s favorite granola we have made and it only lasted three days before I needed to make another batch!

No “Grain”ola

Recipe adapted from http://www.paleoparents.com

1 1/2 c. sliced raw almonds
1 1/2 c. unsweeted coconut flakes
1/2 c. pumpkin seeds
1/2 c. sunflower seeds
1 c. finely chopped or pureed walnuts
1/2 c. chopped dates
1 c. dried cranberries
1/2 c. coconut oil, melted
1/3 c. pure maple syrup
1 Tbsp. cinnamon

Combine nuts, coconut flakes, and dried fruit in a bowl and toss to combine. In a small bowl, whisk together cococnut oil, syrup, and cinnamon. Pour over nut mixture and stir to coat. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Spread out mixture in a single layer. Bake at 275 for one hour, stirring every fifteen minutes. Enjoy plain or with milk or yogurt!

Husband Rating:

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