I'm Moving. Follow Me Follow Me!!
This started out as just a food blog, but as my life has evolved, I'd like my blog to evolve as well. Aside from lots of recipes, I have stuff to say. I like to talk. There's stuff to be worked out, like how I'm going to raise a vegetarian baby in a household where his father and half-brother both eat meat, or like how I'm going to lose the fertility drug induced weight when I already eat very healthfully and exercise. What else do I change? There's vegetarian baby stuff to post. Also, I'm funny. Just ask me!
So humor me and follow me on over to The Hippie Inside, where I'll continue to post my recipes and lots of other stuff too!
You might also like:
Hearty Noodle Bake
Eating Healthfully when Exhaustion Wins
Super Fast Dinner Rolls
Labels: moving | 0 comments
Friday, October 21, 2011
I make it a practice to NOT drink my calories, unless the drink is an actual meal, like a smoothie for breakfast. I generally require my liquid calories to provide me with a pretty big amount of nutrition in order to make drinking calories worth it in the first place. Note that I said generally. From time to time I'll have a cocktail or a glass of wine, and every now and then, I get hit by a stray, random, and really rather strange craving. I swear I have more cravings now than I ever did when I was pregnant! Anyway, yesterday was one of those times.
I woke up really wanting some horchata. My ex-mother-in-law used to make a mean horchata, and they sell a decent enough version at a local Mexican hole in the wall restaurant. Since I don't have access to the ex-MIL, and I'm pretty sure Allende isn't open at 6:30 in the morning, I decided to see if I could make it myself, so I turned to Doctor Google for help. I found a plethora of recipes, and the grand majority of them included milk as a main ingredient. In my experience authentic horchata is an aqua fresca, and milk totally defeats the purpose of drinking it in the first place, so I did what I always do. I pieced together several different recipes and made my own.
2 cups white rice
6 cups cold water, divided
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 cup raw cane sugar (in the name of all that is good, please don't use that processed white crap!)
1 tsp vanilla extract
Soak the rice over night in the refrigerator in 3 cups of water.
Next morning add rice, soaking water, and cinnamon to the blender and blend the crap out of it. Blend until it's as smooth as your blender can possibly make it. Then blend it some more.
Strain into a pitcher through a fine mesh strainer or cheesecloth. There should be no sediment in the liquid. I strained mine through a fine mesh strainer lined with two layers of cheesecloth and still got a tiny bit of sediment. I was so impatient, I drank it anyway, and boy was it ever good. However, if you've got more patience than I do, I would suggest straining it more than once.
Stir in the remaining 3 cups of water, sugar, and vanilla. Because raw cane sugar doesn't dissolve as well as the evil white kind, you need to stir like mad. In fact, I suggest putting it into a pitcher with a lid so you can shake the heck out of it. Not only does it give you yummy authentic horchata, it gives your biceps a good workout as well!
Serve over ice with a sprinkle of cinnamon on top.
Labels: beverage, easy, vegan | 2 comments
Tuesday, October 18, 2011
There are recipes for apple nachos all over the internet. I love apples, and I love them even more now that it's Honeycrisp season, so apple nachos seemed to be just the ticket, but so many of the recipes are soooo unhealthy. I mean come on! Marshmallows? An entire stick of butter? Caramel sauce? Commercial chocolate syrup? Do you have any idea what's even in that sticky, sweet, processed chocolate stuff? I'll give you a hint: high fructose corn syrup is the number one ingredient in the grand majority of them. This is a snack that has such potential to be healthy, so I decided to health it up. I had mine for dinner last night! This recipe is for a single serving, so feel free to up it and make more. Had I done that, I would have eaten the whole thing!
Healthy Apple Nachos
1/2 of a Honeycrisp apple
1/4 cup Sunflower Seed Butter (or any other nut or seed butter you so desire; I used this, because I had just finished making it earlier in the day)
Cinnamon to taste
1 TBSP raw pumpkin seeds (pepitas)
1 TBSP raw pecans
1 TBSP raw slivered almonds
10-12 vegan chocolate chips
Core and slice apple and arrange on plate (spritz with lemon juice if you are concerned about browning; my apples didn't brown while I got the rest of the stuff ready)
Put nuts/seeds into toaster oven at 350 degrees for about five minutes. You'll know when they're done, because they start to smell terrific.
Put nut/seed butter in a microwave safe dish and microwave until runny. It took mine about 20 seconds.
Drizzle nut/seed butter over apples.
Sprinkle with cinnamon to taste.
Top with nuts and chocolate chips.
There you have it. It's so easy. It's so good. It's so healthy, full of heart healthy fats, protein, fiber, phytonutrients, antioxidents, and also vitamin C. You can eat the whole danged plate full all by yourself, and it's guilt free! Yuummmm.
Labels: dessert, easy, fruit, nut butter, snack, vegan | 0 comments
Tuesday, October 11, 2011
Wheat Berries of Joy!
I've got a deep and abiding love for wheat berries. It's strange actually since I have a just as deep and abiding loathing for wheat bread and wheat crackers. However, I love wheat pasta way more than regular white pasta. As usual I digress, but there's a glimpse into one of my interesting and adorable quirks. What was I talking about? Ah yes, wheat berries.
Wheat berries are whole, unprocessed wheat kernels that contain all three parts of the grain: the germ, bran, and endosperm. Only the hull has been removed. Because of this, wheat berries retain all of the grain's vitamins, minerals and phytochemicals. Wheat berries, like all whole grains, have tons of health benefits. Whole grains can help lower the risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and certain types of cancer. Eating whole grains instead of refined/processed grains can help with weight control, as well. The best part though, is that wheat berries are yummy.
I hadn't had wheat berries for years, because ... well, because this is Illinois, and they don't have a lot of food here. Kidding! Sort of. I did live here for over four years before I was able to find kale in an actual grocery store. Anyway, I stumbled upon wheat berries in Whole Foods the other day, and I had to have some. They are delightfully chewy in texture and have the most awesome nutty flavor. I like to cook up a batch and use it to top salads, throw into yogurt, put on my oatmeal, eat as a side dish instead of rice, put in soups, on and on.
The first thing I did with these wheat berries, however, was make a breakfast porridge. In the crock pot! I didn't take pictures at every step along the way because this isn't really a recipe; it's more of a guideline. Also, I didn't really think it would work. Wheat berries involve at least a hour, and usually more, depending on how you like your final texture to be. They involve a lot of stove time. I've got a seven month old teething, active baby. I do not have time to babysit something on a burner for an hour or more. So I decided to give the crock pot a shot, and I'm SO glad I did! I made two different versions.
So this is what you'll need for version one:
Wheat Berry Breakfast Porridge
1 cup wheat berries, rinsed
handful steel cut oats (by this I literally mean a handful. I stuck my hand into the tin, grabbed what would fit in one fist, and threw it into the crock pot
2 3/4 cup unsweetened apple juice
3/4 cup dried fruit of choice (I used cranberries and cherries)
spices of choice (I used a shake each of cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg, and ground cloves)
Spray inside of crock pot with non-stick cooking spray
Add all ingredients
Cook on low over night - ideally at least eight hours, possibly more depending on how broken down you like your wheat berries. I prefer mine somewhat chewy!
I topped mine with a scant sprinkle of raw cane sugar and a drizzle of coconut milk (from the carton, not the full fat from the can kind).
And for version two:
Tropical Wheat Berry Breakfast Bowl
1 cup wheat berries, rinsed
1 can coconut milk
enough water to make 3 1/4 cups when combined with coconut milk
liberal shake cinnamon
liberal shake ground ginger
1 very ripe banana
Spray inside of crock pot with non-stick cooking spray
Mash banana into a chunky puree
Shake can of coconut milk vigorously, pour into a large glass measure, and add enough water to make three and a quarter cups of liquid
Add everything to the crock pot
Cook on low over night - ideally at least eight hours blahblah same as the other
This was SO good. Next time I'm going to add some chunks of mango and/or pineapple to the crock pot. Dried tropical fruits would work, as well, but I love the way the banana melts and caramelizes a bit, making the wheat berries so creamy and sweet.
I topped this bowl with a sprinkle of raw cane sugar and way more than a drizzle of coconut milk (from the carton!). It was sooooo good!
Labels: breakfast, crockpot, easy, vegan, wheat berries | 1 comments
Tuesday, September 20, 2011
Honey Roasted Cinnamon Peanut Butter
My nut butters are usually very simple, one ingredient kinda things. Generally I use just nuts, either dry roasted or raw, no added salt or sugar or oil of any kind. It's absolutely amazing this way. You get the taste of the actual nut without all of the added sodium and fat and calories that really do nothing to enhance the flavor anyway.
Every now and then, though, I like a treat just as much as the next person. While surfing the web one dreary morning, I came across an ad for Naturally Nutty Honey Roasted Cinnamon Peanut Butter. It set off an almost immediate craving. I've never seen Naturally Nutty brand around here in the stores, and ordering it from their website wouldn't have fulfilled my sudden need for instant gratification. Then there was the whole issue of the fact that I'm ummmm frugal, and I wasn't about to pay five bucks (plus shipping!) for a mere eight ounces of peanut butter. Hmmmm, a little light bulb went off in my head. "I'll bet I can make this." I checked my cabinets and was thrilled to discover that I had all the ingredients needed to make this new yummy concoction that I now absolutely had to have! It was easy as pie, too. Though I don't know who made up that expression, because I think pie is all kinds of hard. I've never made a pie crust in my life that was worth eating. But as usual, I digress, so back to the goodness that is this peanut butter.
Honey Roasted Cinnamon Peanut Butter
1 pound dry roasted unsalted peanuts
1/3 cup honey
1/2 cup raw cane sugar
1 tsp kosher salt
2.5 tsp cinnamon
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Place peanuts in a large mixing bowl.
3. Melt honey on the stove top or in the microwave until liquid.
4. Pour liquid honey over peanuts and mix very well.
5. Sprinkle nuts with sugar, salt, and cinnamon and stir well.
6. Place on a baking sheet covered with parchment paper or a silpat.
7. Bake for 25 minutes, stirring FREQUENTLY. After the first ten minutes, I stirred mine about once every five minutes. Nuts will be golden and bubbly when done.
8. Stir nuts on baking sheet until they no longer stick together. I got tired of this step, so I quit. If I hadn't been going to grind them up, I would have continued stirring so they'd look all pretty in the candy dish, but I figured it didn't much matter since I was going to butter-fy them anyway.
9. After the nuts have cooled, break them up into manageable sized clumps (unless you did actually stand there and stir them until they didn't stick together anymore), and put them in the food processor.
Yes, those are indeed breast pump parts in the background!
10. Turn food processor on high until nuts break down into a flour like consistency.
11. Turn food processor off and scrape down the sides. Depending on the motor strength of your processor, you might want to rest it for a bit. You don't ever need to add any oil to your nut butters. You just need to process and rest process and rest over and over again until you've got nut butter. Nuts have tons of natural oils that will release if you're just patient enough.
12. Process until really pretty thin. I process mine until it's much thinner than anything I'd put on a sandwich, because once it's been in the refrigerator for awhile it firms up and becomes the perfect spreadable consistency.
13. Pour in glass or plastic containers with seal tight lids and store in the refrigerator.
That's it! Fast, relatively easy, better for you than the processed oil filled stuff from the stores, and a TON cheaper than commercial brand specialty peanut butters. This didn't last very long in my house, because for the first time ever, the kiddo liked one of my home made nut butters.
Labels: easy, nut butter, pinch your pennies | 1 comments
Wednesday, September 7, 2011
Low Fat Summer Squash Bread
Continuing with my "What the heck do I do with all these summer squash?" theme, I decided to try and bake it into some quick bread. Zucchini bread is amazing, so why not use summer squash instead, right? It turned out pretty darned good too, especially for a low fat version. This are not vegan, as I used Egg Beaters, but with a few tweaks it could easily be veganized.
Really Low Fat Summer Squash Bread
1 cup summer squash, seeded and shredded
1/4 cup unsweetened apple sauce
3/4 cup whole wheat flour
1/4 cup egg beaters
1 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
1/4 cup raw cane sugar
1/3 cup packed light brown sugar
3/4 cup unbleached all purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1. Preheat oven to 350°.
2. Grease loaf pan.
3. Mix together dry ingredients. If you have to, use your hands to break up any lumps. It needs to be completely incorporated.
It should look like sand.
4. Add wet ingredients. It will seem like there's not enough, but just keep mixing and mixing, and it will eventually make a dough.
5. Pour into loaf pan.
6. Bake for 55 minutes.
This made a hearty dense loaf, and it was really good. In retrospect, however, I could have pureed the squash and used squash puree and a flax egg to make it vegan. It would have also made it a bit lighter. Next time...
Labels: bread: quick, snack | 0 comments
Grain and Veggie Salad with Tangy Tofu Dressing
I've actually got three posts lined up to make! I'm just having a hard time finding the time to actually make them. Baby happily takes up a lot of my time. However, now he's sleeping peacefully in his wrap on my chest, and I have a few minutes to blog.
Last week, Drew brought home something like six dozen yellow squash from work. Someone's garden had an explosion. Now, I love squash, but I usually buy them about two at a time, and I had no idea what to do with all that squash. I chopped it up and put it into omelets. I diced it and ate it in wraps with hummus. I steamed it and ate it salted for a snack. Then, in my sleep deprived, brain-dead state, I completely ran out of ideas. So...
I turned to the lovely world of the internet and Googled "What the hell do I do with all this summer squash?" (yes seriously), and I found about eight gazillion recipes. However, I'm so damned picky that I only liked about three of them. I found a recipe for Millet and Veggie salad over at Melomeals that I thought I would like a lot after I tweaked it to my satisfaction. You guys know me, after all of my "tweaking", it wasn't really even remotely the same. However, the inspiration definitely was not my own; that came from Melody's amazing blog.
Like many of my posts, this is more of a guideline than it is a recipe. There are so many possible variations to make it suit your own tastes (for example: I used enough garlic to bring down all of Salem's Lot!). The possibilities are endless. The thing that brings it all together and really makes the whole dish is the dressing. The really amazing thing about this is that even the kiddo liked it. He ate more of it than I did, I think. This surprises the heck out of me considering it had lots of vegetables in it. And grain. And health. Go figure!
Yeah, it's not terribly aesthetically pleasing, I know, but it sure does taste good, and it's SO healthy!
Grain and Veggie Salad with Tangy Tofu Dressing
1/2 cup dry grain of choice. Like Melody, I used Millet, because I had it and I LOVE it. Next time I think I'll use quinoa. You could use pretty much any grain that tickles your fancy. You could also probably use whole wheat cous cous or even small legumes, like lentils.
1 small to medium summer squash, seeded and diced
1/3 cup shelled edamame
4 spears asparagus, chopped
2 to 3 cloves garlic, pressed
Salt and pepper to taste
1/4 cup pureed tofu
2 TBS nutritional yeast
3 TBS sesame tahini
1TBS lemon juice
3/4 cup cold water
2 cloves pressed garlic
1 TBS good brown mustard
liberal shake nutmeg
liberal shake (or three, if you're like me!) dried dill
1. Cook grain of choice according to package directions.
I toasted mine first.
Try not to notice that my burner needs cleaning!
2. Saute desired veggies, or you can use the dry fry method. That's what I did, saving the calories from the oil to use in the dressing instead!
3. Let grain and veggies cool to room temperature.
4. While you're waiting for everything to cool off a bit, you can go ahead and multi-task
Yeah. In fact I do love to show him off!
1. Puree tofu to very smooth, almost liquid state.
2. Add all other ingredients and whisk whisk whisk until very well mixed and frothy.
The Whole Shebang
1. Mix cooled grain and veggies.
2. Pour half of dressing over grain and vegetable mixture and mix well.
4. Let chill for several hours, ideally over night. The longer it melds the better it tastes.
5. When ready to serve, drizzle more dressing over the top and salt and pepper to taste.
Now, what the heck do I do with the rest of these?!
Labels: easy, millet, salad, tofu, vegan | 0 comments
Thursday, August 4, 2011
Single Ingredient Soft Serve
This recipe is ALL OVER the internet and has been for quite some time. I've been wanting to try it, but things like a complicated pregnancy and then a newborn kept me from having the opportunity. The newborn isn't quite so new anymore, and he's getting pretty good at amusing himself for a few minutes, especially if I put him in the kitchen with me, so I decided that I should try this out for breakfast this morning.
All you have to have is a frozen banana or two and a food processor. I was amazed that a couple of frozen bananas whipped up into such a smooth, sweet, and creamy treat. I was pretty excited. Don't get TOO excited though, because while this does have the creamy consistency of soft serve, it doesn't exactly taste like soft serve. This is good for me actually, because I don't particularly like soft serve, but my love for bananas has been pretty well established by now.
Single Ingredient Soft Serve
3 frozen bananas. You want them to be pretty ripe, but not so ripe that they're all brown.
1. Place frozen bananas in bowl of food processor fitted with an S blade.
2. Process until correct consistency, stopping to scrape sides of bowl.
How long this takes will depend on your food processor and on your personal definition of proper consistency.
There you go. That's it. Easy peasy, healthy, low calorie, low fat ice cream. It is fantastic just the way it is, but you can add stuff, as well. Of course that makes it no longer one ingredient, but still with a base this healthy you can splurge just a tiny bit too. I added a teaspoon of vanilla extract and a very liberal shake of cinnamon to mine. It would be good with a couple of tablespoons of peanut butter or with some fresh mint or even mint extract. If you are the chocolaty type, you could add a bit of cocoa powder or chocolate chips. Then of course are the combinations...chocolate peanut butter, chocolate mint, etc. etc. I think this would be good with some dried fruit as well. You could go tropical and add a bit of shredded coconut and some pineapple, or you could go tart and add cherries and apricots. I'd soak the fruit for a few hours first though. The possibilities are endless, and the base is only about 80 calories per serving and chock full of potassium! Also, you can totally eat ice cream for breakfast! Doesn't get much better than that!
Labels: dessert, easy, fruit, snack, vegan | 1 comments
Monday, July 11, 2011
No Sugar Added Protein Energy ... Rounds
I can't call these "bars", since I baked them in a muffin tin, in order to cut out a few steps, and I can't call them "bites" since they are much bigger than just a bite, and I can't call them "muffins", because even though I did bake them in a muffin tin, they are not. Muffins, that is. So rounds it is.
I was at the doctor today, and I asked her when postpartum hair loss is supposed to stop. Her vague-ish answer was, "Six weeks. Sometimes 12. Maybe later. Eventually. Don't worry; you have a lot; you won't be bald." Captain Subtext translates that into, "Normally, somewhere between six and 12 weeks, but this doesn't apply to you. Nothing applies to you since you are the hugest medical anomaly I've ever seen." Anyway, she also told me that adding more protein to my diet would help, so I set out to invent something that packs a huge protein punch in a small, quick to grab, easy to eat package. It wouldn't hurt if it gave me a boost of energy, as well, and an even bigger plus would be if it would help boost milk supply. I don't ask for much, do I?
Anyway, I came up with these ... rounds, which were initially supposed to be bars. The nuts, nut butter, seeds, and quinoa have a crapton of protein. Yes, crapton is indeed a scientific measurement. Look it up. The bananas and the wheat germ are both chock full of potassium, and aside from giving quick energy, potassium is amazingly good for you.
You can customize this recipe a bazillion different ways, according to your taste. You can use whatever nuts you would like, alone or in combination. I used almonds, walnuts, and pecans. You can vary your dried fruit (and if you haven't already, read about why you should dehydrate it yourself). I used cherries, blueberries, cranberries, and dates. I almost went tropical and used pineapple, banana, and mango, as I had all of those on hand as well. Next time... You can also choose whatever nut or seed butter you most prefer. I used unsweetened natural almond butter. Usually I make my own, but I just didn't have time this time. I did, however, use MaraNatha brand, and their only ingredient is raw almonds. Even many of the natural nut butters add some oil, so I'm pretty fond of MaraNatha. I considered using Sunbutter or Tahini. You can also use the seed of your choice. I used sunflower, because that's what I had, but pumpkin or sesame would work just as well.
So now I've got nuts and nut butter and quinoa for protein, tons of potassium for energy and other good things, fruit for a burst of natural sweetness, and oats for a lactation boost. Now, these are not low fat. Nuts are quite caloric and have a high fat content. However, those fats are the good fats. They help lower bad cholesterol. They have lots of protein, fiber, and healthy monounsaturated fats, vitamins, nutrients, and antioxidants. Eating an ounce of nuts a day can help lower your risk of heart disease. So while these aren't necessarily low fat, they are quite good for you.
Because there is no added sugar, these aren't sweet and cakey like muffins. They also aren't sweet and salty and crunchy like granola bars. If you're looking for sweet, then you need to move on. They are dense and gooey and pack a hell of a nutritional punch.
Protein Energy Rounds
1/2 cup nut or seed butter
2 very ripe mashed bananas
1/2 cup whole nuts
1 1/2 cup dried fruits
1 cup rolled oats (not the quick cooking kind!)
2 TBSP wheat germ
1/8 cup uncooked quinoa
1 tsp vanilla
Liberal pinch cinnamon
1/4 cups seeds
1. Preheat oven to 350.
2. Coarsely chop nuts and dried fruit in food processor. Be careful and pay attention, because you don't want to make it a gooey paste. You just want it chopped up into big pieces, like so:
3. Mix nut butter and bananas until thick and paste like.
4. Add all the rest of the ingredients and mix well.
5. Spoon into a lightly sprayed muffin tin. And by lightly sprayed, I mean spray the hell out of it, or they'll stick!
6. Bake for 15 minutes.
7. These must be stored in the refrigerator.
Wednesday, July 6, 2011
Baked Macaroni and Cheese
I'm slowly trying to get back into the swing of things. The baby is four months old now, and it would be nice to have dinner again every once in awhile. While he is able to amuse himself for longer stretches than before, he's still only four months old, and those stretches aren't all that long, so quick and easy is the name of the game here.
Drew recently requested some baked macaroni and cheese. I had no idea how to go about this, because the only macaroni I've ever made in my life came out of a box, and when I gave up Shit That Is Bad For Me (TM), I pretty much stopped eating that. So I just sort of made this up as I went along, using what we had in the house. It's certainly not vegan. It's also not my usual low fat, healthy fare, but it is better than the packaged processed stuff, and I'm nursing. I can get away with the extra calories right now, because I've seen first hand what not getting enough calories does to my milk supply!
Laura's Make It Up As You Go Along Baked Macaroni and Cheese
8 ounces uncooked elbow macaroni
3 eggs or equivalent amount of Egg Beaters
1 1/2 cups evaporated milk
Generous pinch salt
Scant shake cayenne pepper
Shake ground nutmeg
2 1/2 cups grated cheese of choice - I used Swiss, Colby Jack, and Mozzarella. I suppose most normal people would use sharp cheddar and American, but I'm not normal. I also don't like cheddar, and we didn't have American.
Something crunchy for the top - I used crushed Corn Flakes. Crushed crackers of some sort or Panko would work really well too.
1. Preheat oven to 425.
2. Bring large pot of salted water to boil.
3. Add macaroni and cook two minutes less than package directions. Drain and set aside.
4. If you didn't buy pre-shredded cheese, grate your cheese in whatever manner you use to grate cheese. Personally I'm lazy, so I use the food processor. I'd still be shredding cheese if I had to do it with a manual grater!
5. In a large bowl whisk eggs and evaporated milk together until foamy.
6. Add a generous pinch of salt, the cayenne, and the nutmeg and whisk well.
7. Stir in the grated cheeses, and mix well.
8. Add the macaroni and stir well to coat.
9. Pour into a sprayed casserole or baking dish, and gently smooth the top to make an even layer.
10. Crush up your crunchy stuff and completely cover the top.
11. Bake 15 minutes covered and 15 minutes uncovered.
12. Let rest for ten minutes before serving.
13. Lastly, if you have one of these, put him in the kitchen and let him help!
My hope is that he'll develop healthy habits early on and not have to struggle like I did.