Quick and Easy Lunch

I was busy and didn’t think I had time to make myself lunch then I came up with this. Whole wheat pita, avocado, black beans and salsa–fast, healthy and GOOD!

Outstanding Oatmeal

I make a fabulous, healthy and energy packed oatmeal.

Oatmeal

 

It includes chia seeds, flax seeds, hemp seeds, walnuts, pumpkin seeds (pepitas), blueberries, strawberries and a dash of cinnamon.

 

Is it any wonder I am always disappointed when I have oatmeal out at a restaurant?

 

 

No Chemicals in my Popcorn Please!

Partially hydrogenated oil, propyl gallate, TBHQ (Tertiary Butylhydroquinone),  MSG, natural flavoring from beaver’s anal glandsdiacetyl butter flavoring, soy lecithinperfluorooctanoic, artificial flavors and of course corn kernels.  These are just some of the ingredients in common microwave popcorn.  Some of these are toxic chemicals that have been linked to stomach problems, skin rashes, lung damage, Alzheimer’s and cancer.  Many are banned in other countries.

 

Why subject yourself to all these additives and toxic chemicals when it is really easy to make popcorn in the microwave in a regular paper bag?

 

Of course you can also pop corn in a pan on the stove in hot oil, but this can be messy and takes some time to clean up.  (Especially if you burn the oil like I have done!)

 

If you don’t have an aversion to the microwave, simply put 1/4 cup of organic kernels in a brown lunch bag, close the bag and pop for a little under 3 minutes (depending on your microwave).  Just microwave until you no longer hear popping.  In the mean time you can melt butter, or better yet, just sprinkle the popcorn with some cinnamon, or cayenne, turmeric, be creative!

 

Sources:

http://insider.foxnews.com/2014/04/28/dr-oz-reveals-hidden-dangers-microwave-popcorn

http://foodbabe.com/2013/11/12/microwave-popcorn/

http://spryliving.com/articles/is-microwave-popcorn-bad-for-you-video/

Vegan Cookies for Thanksgiving

In preparation for Thanksgiving, I did some baking today  — I made 3 batches of delicious vegan cookies.  They are vegan in that they aren’t made with dairy milk, eggs or butter, but there are plenty of yummy (and not so healthy) ingredients.  I made Vegan Biscotti, Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookies and Vegan Spicy Oatmeal Cookies with Craisins (recipes below):

Cookies

 

Happy Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookies

Modified slightly from  http://vegweb.com/recipes/happy-vegan-chocolate-chip-cookies

Makes 18, 1 1/2″ cookies

Ingredients:

2 cups unbleached flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 cup vegan chocolate chips
1 cup raw sugar (turbinado)
1/2 cup coconut oil — melted
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 – 1/2 cup water

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

While your oven is pre-heating put the cookie sheets you are going to use on top of the oven (or in the oven) so they get preheated as well.
In a large bowl, mix together flour, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon. Stir in chips and set aside.

In a medium size bowl mix together sugar and melted oil.  Add the vanilla and then add 1/4 cup water; mix well.

Add the wet ingredients to the dry and mix it well but be careful not to overwork it. Add more chips if you need to.  Mix dough with your hands.  Add up to another 1/4 cup of  water to soften dough so that it can be formed into balls.

Place balls of dough onto ungreased cookie sheets (if you want flat cookies, press them gently as they won’t spread on their own).

Bake for 9-11 minutes. The cookies are done when they seem a little bit softer then you want them to be. They will harden up some as they cool.

Cool for 2 minutes on the baking pan, then move to a cooling rack

 

Vegan Biscotti

Ingredients:

1 1/2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups unbleached cane sugar
3/4 cup smooth unsweetened applesauce
1 -3 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon almond extract
1 1/2 cups almonds, toasted and chopped
Directions:

Preheat oven the 325°F. Lightly oil a cookie sheet.

In a large bowl, mix together the flours, baking powder, and salt.

In a medium bowl, mix together the sugar, applesauce, oil (1 TBS for a hard biscotti, 2-3 TBS for a softer biscuit), and extracts.

Stir the sugar mixture into the flour mixture, add the nuts; finish mixing with your hands.

With floured hands, shape the dough into two 3-inch wide “logs” about 3/4 inch thick, with the ends squared off.

Place these on the cookie sheets and bake the logs for about 25 minutes.

Remove the pans and reduce the oven heat to 300°F.

Cool the logs on a rack for 15 minutes.

Cut the logs carefully with a sharp knife straight across into 1/2 inch wide slices.

Place the slices cut side down on the cookie sheets.

Bake 10-15 minutes, or until golden on the bottom.

Turn the slices over and cook 10-15 minutes more, or until golden on bottom.

Cool on racks, then store airtight for up to two weeks.
Spicey Oatmeal Cookies with Craisins

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup vegan margarine
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 cup almond milk
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp ginger powder
  • 1/4 tsp cloves
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 3 cups quick cooking or rolled oatmeal
  • 1 cup dried cranberries

Directions:

Cream together the margarine and sugars until smooth. Add vanilla and almond milk and mix well.

Add flour, baking soda and spices until well mixed, then stir in oats and cranberries.

Spoon 1 1/2 inch balls onto an ungreased cookie sheet and bake 10-15 minutes at 350 degrees, or until done.

 

 

Sweet Potato Tacos

I made these delicious Sweet Potato Taco’s tonight for dinner.  I got the recipe from my son and daughter-in-law and they are delicious and once again — easy!

Ingredients

  • 1 large Sweet Potato
  • 1 Red Pepper
  • 1 Sweet Onion
  • 1/2 can Black Beans
  • Salsa
  • Corn Kernels
  • 2 Tbsp. Olive Oil
  • 1 tsp. Chili Powder
  • 1 tsp. Cumin
  • 1/2 tsp. Allspice
  • 1.2 tsp. Paprika or Cayenne if you want them hotter
  • Sliced Avacado
  • Tortillas or Hard Taco Shells

Directions:

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Peel and cut sweet potato into small cubes.

Toss with 1 Tbsp. olive oil, chili powder, cumin, allspice and paprika.

Roast on a parchment paper lined baking sheet at 450 until soft (about 20 min.)

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hile the Sweet Potato is cooking, slice the pepper and onion and saute in 1 Tbsp olive oil until soft.

Mix Black Beans, Salsa and Corn in a small saucepan and heat.

Assemble tacos — Black Bean Mixture, Sweet Potato, Peppers and Onion, add sliced Avocado on top or if there isn’t any room in the taco, put them on the side of the plate.  Enjoy!

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