Recipe for Easy, Kid Friendly, Kale Salad

I didn’t take a picture of my recipe (I ate it all). But here’s basically what it looks like:

rice and tofu kale salad

This picture is from Beyond Rice and Tofu, and her recipe is linked to the image. She uses apples in her version, which are probably great too! I’m more of a savory salad when it comes to kale, so I opted out of fruit. Truth be known, I doctored up a bag like this one: 

kale salad store bought

Cassidy’s Kale Salad Recipe:

one cup chopped kale

one cup chopped cabbage

one zucchinni, cut into long thin strips (spiralizer works or just slice it with a knife)

1/4 cup sunflower seeds

1/4 cup dried cranberries

optional: 1/4 cup nuts (pistachios or slivered almonds)

poppyseed dressing. store bought organic, or make your own.

(poppyseed dressing idea:

combine some smooth base, like vegenaise, mayonaise, yogurt, silk tofu, or something neutral tasting with a yogurt like texture) with poppyseed, olive oil, salt, pepper, mustard (dijon is good), vinegar (apple cider is good), and a sweetner like raw cane sugar, or honey, or agave (even maple syrup). mix and pour.

Poppyseed dressing recipes:

Healthy Happy Life shares a poppyseed dressing that’s vegan. 

Combine everything, then eat! It’s better as it sits in the fridge a few days, so this is a good recipe for any make-ahead parties or dinner prepping.

 

Recipe for Mozzarella Balls Side Dish

I actually do not have a picture of this recipe by itself, but here is the dish being served alongside our lunch from earlier this week. It is so yummy, and I haven’t found any dinner that doesn’t pair well with this side dish.

Healthy Baby Weight Mozzarella Balls Recipe

My Momma’s Mozzarella Balls Side Dish (don’t you love the original name? This recipe is actually from my mother’s kitchen. Enjoy!)

Ingredients (with all of these, organic, non-GMO is best).

one cup mozzarella balls

olive oil (you can sub coconut oil, but it will change the flavor, as well as texture of this dish. Olive keeps things very italian in nature).

Pink Himyalan sea salt (get the kind you have to grind up yourself if you can. If not, regular table salt is fine, but use less table salt than you would sea salt.)

pepper (black pepper, freshly ground, and just a pinch)

red pepper flakes (about a teaspoon, or more if you like more heat.)

Small mix of freshly chopped thyme, oregano, basil, and rosemary. (you can also use italian seasoning if you do not want to mix your own).

Combine everything together to taste. It’s about 1/4 c olive oil and a half-teaspoon each of salt/pepper. Then the seasoning you just add in until you like the taste. Can you tell I don’t measure?

Another great recipe with mozzarella balls I found over at boulderlocavore.com, and it’s a bite-size mozzarella caprese salad. Being a caprese fan, but so OVER having to cut up large pieces of tomato to eat it, this recipe is so cool. (and easy!) Click the image below to see their recipe. BoulderLocavore.mini_mozzarella_balls.66

Tomato, Parmesan, circles for lunch

Tomato, Parmesan, circles for lunch

Slice up some roma tomatoes, drizzle with olive oil, top with parmesan cheese, then sprinkle with salt and pepper. place them on a pan on low broil for 6 minutes. Then enjoy!

 

IMG_7802

We added mozzarella balls, kale salad, carrot sticks, and Elliot requested Apple slices with honey to go with his lunch. Believe it or not, this was leftover day at our house! 🙂

IMG_7805

The flowers are from a wedding we attended over the weekend, but aren’t they gorgeous? Makes for great blog photos, haha!IMG_7806

Fresh Healthy Raw Vegan Thanksgiving

One of the biggest challenges for me, personally, is coming up in the next few weeks: Thanksgiving.

I LOVE HOLIDAYS!! But the idea of eating all of that unhealthy food is weighing on my mind. It’s complicated, too, by the fact that Thanksgiving is not just one day for us. We will have a Thanksgiving meal with multiple branches of our family tree, all resplendent with gleaming assortments of hormone infused turkey, gelled cranberry sauce, and processed stuffing. Blech.

What’s a girl to do? These are traditional family recipes and holidays centered around food.  The first step for me has been to start educating my mind, and sharing with my son, about the holiday is NOT about food. We are not celebrating eating, we are not glorifying the gorging of oneself, no matter how great my Grandmother’s squash casserole might be (and it is amazing).

Instead, for Thanksgiving we are celebrating God’s provision to the Pilgrims during a time of winter famine. We are celebrating the establishment of the United States of America by a boat full of people who were undaunted by great harship. We are celebrating the freedom of religion, the freedom of thought, and the very freedom that makes it ok for us to decide to go non-mainstream about what we eat and how we care for ourselves without fear of persecution.

We are celebrating our families, both those present and those we miss. We are spending time thanking God for his blessings, for his provision, for his protection over us, for his faithfulness to us. We are thanking each other for the love, support, honor, and respect we give to our family. We are spending this time being thankful, and we may have a meal while we are at it.

The thing is, though, that the Thanksgiving meal is not so different from other meals aside from the assortment is greater. We will eat that dinner like we always eat dinner, which means picking something healthy, but tasteful, eating until we are full, and stopping.

You know the relatives love to bring out the big guns of food goodies, though, and will offer my son cookies, cakes, pies, and all kinds of yummies that I can’t lie and say aren’t delicious–because they are—but the contents of that food is not what we want to put into our bodies. We want to be healthy, and yummy is a priority, but not the reason we eat.

So I’m prepared. Check out these 3 kid-friendly, dare I say Kid-Approved, healthy snacks I will be taking to Thanksgiving this year.

Pear Turkeys

img_fruit-turkeys

This idea comes from Pottery Barn No, I did not know they offered cooking suggestions, but why not?

You take different colored pears, and slice them up to make the feathers. The different colors on the pear help your turkey look colorful. The oranges add dimension–just a tip here, use clementines. They peel SO much easier.

Also, with the face, the website did not get too much direction, so best I can tell, you’re going to cut the “gobbler” (that little dangling peice below the beak) out of the second half of pear you didn’t use for the body of the turkey itself. Then the eyes look like raisins (You might could use organic dark chocolate chips?)

Again, with the face there’s not much instruction on the site, so here are my suggestions/options:

For eyes:

1 ) Use raisins, and attach them using those toothpicks that have a colored tip. Then the tip looks like an eyeball, for display, but it’s obvious from looking at it that it needs to be removed before you eat it.

2) Use honey to attach the raisins to the head. You can also use a sliced pear as the backing…detail work with pear gets on my nerves. I’m just not that patient. But it is an idea for you if you don’t want toothpicks around small mouths.

3) Use grape halves for eyes. Stick them on with honey.

For the beak:

1) use a peanut.

2) If your kid is allergic to nuts, or you want to avoid peanuts for really small children, you might try another kind of nut, like an almond or pistachio.

3) No nuts? I’m always a fan of dark chocolate chips.

4) You can use Mr. Potatohead parts.

5) organic cheese

For the gobbler:

1) Cut out a peice of pear

2) Use a carrot string

3) red bell pepper (not great tasting, but kids will likely remove the face parts anyway).

For the feet:

1) Nuts

2) use piped icing like you would for a cake

3) Use celery sticks

4) Use carrot sticks

5) Use peices of pear and just cut out feet

What did you come up with for turkey “accessory” parts?

Giant Melon Turkey

Screen shot 2013-11-15 at 10.38.19 AM

All of the instructions are included in the picture (and if you click on the image that website it is linked to has several other kid-friendly food ideas. This one is the best one I saw that was also healthy and unprocessed). There are two variations of this melon turkey on the site I linked to, one with a pumpkin and the other with a watermelon. 🙂

Question: My husband is allergic to red bell peppers. What do you suggest I use for the gobbler and the feet on this one? Right now, I’m going to cut an apple lengthwise into halves, and put them as the feet with maybe some chocolate chips as talons…then for the gobbler…..I may cut up some strawberries into quarters and stick them into the pear with toothpicks to hold them on so that it takes the shape of the gobbler. I’ll post pictures later next week of what I come up with! 🙂

Last, but not least, here’s a list grownup recipes I think even the kids will love. PS. I have actually made this pumpkin pie recipe I listed here, and my family loved it. It’s awesome. Do chill it before you serve it, though, or it comes out more like pudding. It’s still tasty as pudding, but since you are trying to make pie, I’ll go ahead and share that yes the chilling recommendation is necessary. 🙂 Overnight is best. All of the grown up recipes come from this blog.

Raw Vegan Cranberry Relish


Screen shot 2013-11-15 at 10.52.46 AM

Raw Vegan Pumpkin Pie

Screen shot 2013-11-15 at 10.57.26 AM
Raw Vegan Apple Pie

Screen shot 2013-11-15 at 10.57.36 AM

The No Candy Halloween

glow sticksWe are not giving out candy this Halloween. We have not given out candy for the entire 4 years my son has been on the Earth. We simply have a problem with processed foods, and the muck candy corporations think they can cram into foods because it’s colorful or has cartoons characters on it. When my son was born, I became keenly aware of what was going into both my body, and his body. We choose healthy. It is a process for us, and I’ll admit to more than a few Starbucks runs recently, but we’ve entirely cut out any kind of candy or soda, and we are weaning off sugar, too.  We are down to fish as our only meat, and I’m weaning that out of our diets, too. (Shh, don’t tell the husband.) It didn’t work for us to go cold turkey (no pun intended, but that is funny.) , but the process has been great. On Halloween, it is a great opportunity to take a giant leap forward to say no to processed candy.

Continue reading

Raw Vegan Pumpkin Pie Recipe

I used Fully Raw Kristina’s inspiration, but I added some of my own ideas. But really, with so few ingredients, it’s not really “creative” It’s just easy and YUM!

1./2  can of raw pumpkin pie filling (Kristina uses an actual, raw pumpkin. I haven’t tried that way yet. Bravery comes in steps.)

walnuts (Kristina uses pecans…maybe this is my own recipe.)

Dates (whole, pitted medjool dates) I bought mine in boxes, and this will take about 2 boxes.

cinnamon

ginger

nutmeg

Almond milk. (optional).

I am not putting portions on the spices, because my son was helping me make this and we just put “a few shakes” from the container. So. Spices: To taste.

Get out your pie pan. I used a ceramic pie pan and I did not need to oil it first. If you are using a metal one, you might want to oil it to make sure it comes out ok, but mine was fine–NO sticking. and I didn’t use any kind of butter or oil.

Use a blender (food processor is better, but I only have a bullet). and mix the dates with the walnuts. About a handful of each per bullet and it takes about 4 bullets. So probably only one round in your food processor. I am really adding food processor to my Christmas list.

TIP: If you are using a bullet blender, put the dates in by themselves first and get them “chopped” then add the walnuts afterwards. Otherwise the dates remain whole and only the nuts get chopped. Likely if you are using a food processor this is an issue you will not have. Again, see Christmas list. 

Once this is blended together until it looks like a pie crust consistency, pour it into the pie pan and mash it around until it forms a crust. The walnuts make it crunchy and crust like, the dates make it sweet and sticky enough to form into a crust.

For the filling:

put about three spoon fulls of pumpkin and a handful of dates per bullet cup. add in about two shakes of cinnamon, one shake of nutmeg, and half a shake of ginger. not much ginger. More cinnamon than nutmeg and adjust to your taste. I’m a nutmeg person, so I had more of that in mine.  Also my son helped, so we may have added way more than anyone wants. haha. We also aldded just a splash of almond milk to help the bullet blend everything together, it was having a hard time with the thick pumpkin. If you are using a blender, or something more high powered, you can consider the almond milk optional.

Tip: Do not use water. It will make it way too runny. and only use a pinch of almond milk. The milk does add a creamy flavor, which we enjoyed, but you can leave that out if you don’t like it, or don’t have it, and you will still have an amazing pie. 

Blend. Repeat. Blend until you fill the pie pan.

DONE!! you can eat it right then, OR you can freeze it. We froze ours for an hour, then ate it for dessert that night.

We re-froze the leftovers overnight, and then last night I took it down out of the freezer and let it thaw in the fridge overnight. In the morning, my son and I ate it for breakfast. 🙂 YUM!!

 

Enjoy!

Ok, so we ate all of our pie, and there are no pictures of mine. So I borrowed these pictures from a few of my favorite raw vegan blogs. The pictures really do represent what ours looked like–you know, before we ate it. I have linked all of the images to their respective blog pages, where  they have great pumpkin pie recipes, too, that you may want to try.

 

SONY DSC

ok, my bullet is really horrible at this job, so imagine this image but with large pieces of dates that never blended in well….remember you can click these images to see other recipes!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

pie-crust

Taylor Alexis–she uses pecans, too. Apparently, that’s the theme. But I like walnuts! 🙂 You can use what you like, too 🙂 Get creative!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

frozen pie

I’m not actually sure how their pie is this firm (Maybe that’s where using fresh pumpkin is handy..) Mine was this firm when it was frozen…but to be that frozen it was also too cold to eat….don’t worry, though. Ours still looked like pie when it was thawed (in the fridge) and it was yummy.

 

Dinner Tonight: Skillet Potatoes

This blog is not vegan, but I do a lot of vegan eating, so a bunch of my writing tends to lean vegan. In the interest of some of my non-vegan readers, I thought I’d share tonight’s dinner: Skillet potatoes.

The dish itself is, actually, vegan (so give it a try newbies!) but it is inspired by a non-vegan blog I have just discovered called Mel’s Kitchen Cafe.  it’s also seriously delicious and my plan for dinner.

Here it is: Skillet Potatoes

Here are the ingredients:

Screen shot 2013-08-02 at 2.08.58 PM

For the full instructions, I think you should visit Mel’s Kitchen Cafe. She did a great job with amazing pictures and write-up there, I think you’ll love it.
The short version of what she’s doing is that you cube some potatoes and fry them with oil and spices. (you can say “pan-sear” if you think that sound healthier).

This recipe calls for Yukon Gold potatoes. Those are yummy, but I’ll be using Irish Potatoes because that’s what this girl has in her pantry right now. (budget!!) anyway.

You cube the potatoes, mix in some oil and spices. I like to experiment and use what’s in the garden. So you could use olive oil, or you might try coconut oil, sesame oil, even melted butter will work just fine. (Earth Balance works too, veganites). Also, while rosemary is amazing, some other herbs will do fine also and it doesn’t have to be fresh. Herbs de Provence would be lovely, so would Italian seasoning.
The Me&E Version:

about 5 Irish potatoes, peeled, cubed (as tiny as my patience can stand, but about 1/2 in. Think breakfast-size).

4 green onions, chopped.

melted butter (about one stick–cube it and pop it in the microwave for

Herbs-on-Hand (you like the hyphens? Sounds Fancy.) This is where I use what’s in my garden and growing well (more on my garden abilities later). Today’s selection is Oregano & Basil.

Garlic–about 5 gloves, pressed. (I’m such a garlic fan. Seriously, two was not enough for me, but use what you like).  I run mine through a garlic press, but you can mince it if you don’t have a press.

 

To Begin: Mel’s Kitchen has you microwave the potatoes first to get them soft. I like to limit my microwave usage, so I would suggest blanching the potatoes first, or even frying the potato cubes like you would french fries. Whatever works for you. Here, we boil them first.

Blanch the potato cubes until they are soft. Set aside.

Next, pour the melted butter in the bottom of a skillet and let it get hot. Careful not to burn the butter, so pay attention. (Tip: It helps to have  all the ingredients chopped, pressed, and  at the ready before you begin). Once warm, add the chopped onions and minced garlic. Cook until the onions are translucent (you know, see-through and a little wilty).

Then add the potatoes. Cook until they are soft all the way through and they have that nice golden brown color–even a little crunchy in spots. If you’re not sure when they are finished–that’s why you’re the cook! Take a taste-test to see. 🙂 Tip: If you will cook them like they have “sides” And do one flip in the middle, you’ll get more solid peices and the classic-potato cube look. If you stir them alot, you’ll get a more mushy texture in the end. Both will taste all right. So if you end up with yummy mushy potatoes, you’ll know you stirred too much. 🙂

At this point, you want to add the herbs (chopped up). Toss everything together, and serve. At a sprig of fresh spice to the top for garnish.

 

Also roasting some broccoli in the oven with butter/garlic/salt. 400 for 10 minutes. Florets only. 🙂 Bon Appetit!

folies-bergere-boxing-kangaroo

 

Product Comparison:

Pampered Chef Garlic Press VS. OXO Garlic Press

Ok, I’ve been cooking various garlic dishes over the last week rotating between these two garlic presses. My decision?

Well, the pampered chef garlic press won out. Why? Well, my OXO garlic press developed some kind of irremovable white film at some point. I washed it in the dishwasher and it came out with this gunk. Cannot get it off. Until that happened, it was my favorite press. It’s real metal (and I’m still not sure what the material is on the PC garlic press). The OXO will also flip back on itself to unclog the holes in the press, so it “self-cleans” too.

No clear winner, but the nonoperational state of my OXO won allowed the PC Garlic Press to be this post’s winner 🙂

Which press do you like?