Posted in Recipes

One Pot Asparagus Pasta

Asparagus season is just around the corner (end of February to June) so you could say I’m getting ahead start. I was at the store looking for different vegetables but couldn’t help getting a little asparagus. I wasn’t sure how I would use it but I knew figuring out how I’d eat it would be easy.

Asparagus health benefits are amazing, like fiber, folate and vitamins A,C, K, E the benefits go on. Plus since its low carb paring up with carbs balances it out in a way. I also added nutritional yeast to this recipe adding a nice amount of B12 to this dish plus some studies show B12 not only gives energy but helps break down fats and protein helping aid in weight loss.

Not only is it a one pot dish (Yay clean up and dishes) but the health benefits are amazing plus when time is not your friend this is very fast and easy. You may also look for all the different types of pasta to add even more nutritional goodness to this recipe.

One Pot Asparagus Posta:

Cook and prep time about 30 minutes, Serves 4

8 ounce spaghetti

2 1/2 – 3 Cups of water

6 Teaspoons Vegan Chicken Bouillon

1/4 Cup of Nutritional Yeast ( you can add more per taste)

6 Cloves of Garlic diced

2 Tablespoons of Olive Oil

Handful of Asparagus washed then cut per your desired size

Salt, Black Pepper, Fresh Parsley, Basil and Oregano per taste

Fresh shredded Parmesan Cheese for on top if so desired

Use a large pot with a lid. Add olive oil, over medium/high heat add diced garlic, asparagus, parsley, basil and oregano. Sauté for a few minutes Then add water, bouillon, Spaghetti and nutritional yeast stirring until most of ingredients are blended . Turn heat to low ,place lid on then cook for about 8 minutes. After 8 minutes check to see if pasta and asparagus are done or if you need to add more vegan broth Cook a few more minutes if needed. This dish is done when the asparagus is tender but still crisp and pasta is al dente.

Serve if you would like top with parmision and enjoy

Posted in Uplifting

“The Terrible No Good Very Bad Day”

Photo by Keenan Constance on Pexels.com

As a child I read Judith Viorst book “Alexander and The Terrible No Good Very Bad Day” and thought I could identify with the character at times, even feeling as if that book somehow was written just for me. Don’t get me wrong I was usually very happy go lucky and full of energy but it was that energy that seemed to add to my days not going as smooth as one would like.

Have you ever had one of those days, weeks or years (hello 2020) when it just left you let down and annoyed? Maybe even further discouraged and needing a lifeline thrown? I know we all have probably been there this past year. From walking into stores at half the compacity to walking down the isle in hopes of finding toilet paper for once. We might have moved on from the isles being picked over but we still are walking around with masks and keeping our distance from each other.

I have always found such solus in being alone. I find such peace when I am at my wits end just getting away, taking a walk by my self so I am alone with my thoughts always helps set things right in my mind. I still feel that way but for once I long for people going about their life, being able to see the worn out looks or smiles. I got so used to not making eye contact and giving half polite smiles when needed that I would give anything to really see people again all exposed and giving off subtle clues to how they really are.

Maybe the reason we are having such a hard time is the very thought of being alone with our own thought for once is just to much to handle. Maybe we are seeing parts of our selves that are to hard to look at and then there is no one to share those new found thoughts because we are shut off from each other. In a world that has such an amazing ability to connect we are so disconnected.

Maybe instead of staying disconnected we could use all the other was to connect. We all have had those days, weeks and years that leave us upset and thinking the world is against us but that’s just it we all have those times and we all have those sweet moments when all is right with the world.

And

If you have ever read the book you get to see that at the end Alexander still had all his “problems” but he did remember his mom saying there will be days like these.

This past year has been one for the books but I have a passage that has helped me so much. Notice it says you will have trouble not if.

“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” John 16:33

If you are in need of help (in the US) have no one to turn to please call

1- 877-726-4727 This is a referral service to get you to the people that can help you.

Posted in Recipes

White Bean Verde Soup

Yes, I am still on my soup kick but most places in the northern hemisphere a warm meal is needed and if it is easy plus nice on the budget I can’t help but share.

I decided that with my two cans of white beans and yes they are different ones I would make a quick dinner. I love tortilla soup, since I don’t eat meat I do get creative with trying to make it. Todays recipe is very loosely based from my love of tortilla soup.

You may not know this but white beans are awesome in providing zinc, copper and look out they even have proteins in them that can help with wrinkling of the skin! (I may take up eating them daily.) You can even have help with your bowel habits when eating the white kidney bean because they are very high in fiber. I could go on with all the great benefits of white beans but I will leave you with this great tip to maybe talk with you healthcare provider about. It has been shown that the extract in white beans help with glycemic control which help with pre or diabetes.

Not only is the star of this soup packed with good stuff for you but the salsa verde helps clear those sinuses. You know we all could use that help too.

This soup takes less than 30 minutes if you buy the beans in a can plus you only have six ingredients.

White Bean Verde Soup:

2 15 ounce cans of white beans not drained (your choice, I used a white kidney and navy)

1/2 to 2/3 Cup of Salsa Verde (green salsa)

4 -5 Cups of water

8 – 10 Teaspoons of Vegan Chicken Bouillon

1 Carrot in bite sized pices

1/2 White onion diced

4 Cloves of Garlic diced

1 Tablespoon of Olive Oil

In a large pot add olive oil, diced onion, garlic and carrots. Sauté over medium high heat until onions are almost translucent. Add can beans not drained, water, bouillon and salsa. Turn down heat to low, let simmer for about 20 minutes.

Serve with Corn Tortilla chips and enjoy. Makes about 4 servings

Posted in Recipes

Quick Vegan Chili

To say I enjoy a nice bowel of chili is an understatement. I believe I could live off of chili or soup. I am always trying new ways to make both or as I look for new recipes on Pinterest it can lead to hours of scrolling and drooling as I find so many great recipes out there.

Today my picture falls flat on a Pinterest level but looks are deceiving because this chili is actually very good.

I came home from shopping hungry and a little cold so of course I turned to a chili or soup. I only had one can of red beans, half of a package of soy chorizo, half a can of corn with little time to boot but the chili turned out great so I thought I’d share.

Short on time but want to enjoy something tasty? This turns out to be a very cheep meal and who isn’t trying to watch their spending nowadays.

Quick Vegan Chili :

3-4 Servings, Time 20-25 minutes

1 16 ounce can of Red Beans

8 ounce of Soy Chorizo

1/2 can of Corn (about 8 ounces)

1 15 ounce can diced Tomatoes

1 8 ounce Tomato Sauce

1/4 of a onion diced

6 cloves of garlic diced

1 Tablespoon Olive Oil

In a large pot on medium/high heat add olive oil, garlic and onion sautéing until the onion is almost translucent then add the soy chorizo cooking a few more minutes. Turn burner down to a low heat adding the remaining ingredients. Let simmer for about 15 minutes then serve.

I used vegan shredded cheese to top my chili and of course crackers but a nice side of corn bread would also be so very good, Enjoy!

Posted in Uplifting

Seeing Everything Clearly

Have you ever had something in your eye that no matter what you did it was still there? You try everything and still it bugs you to the point of asking for help from someone who has a better vantage point. They may not feel the pain or discomfort but they can help because they see what you can’t.

I had that problem the other day. I have vision problems at times due to my health but this time was different, it was due to me being cheap and not wanting to throw away my mascara. I switched to a clean mascara and it works great, never flakes(unless its time to say good bye to it) but it does cost more. Maybe you can see why I was trying to stretch it. If you have ever wanted to stretch the use from mascara you know it can get flaky and those flakes sometimes go into your eye, the fun of makeup.

I was in a hurry, causing me to put my mascara on fast and run out the door blinking as I went because I felt like something might be in my eye. Driving along there was no might or denying it. I definitely had something in it. I had to drive with only one eye while the other one was shut but tears coming down my cheek, yes I looked beautiful. At least I arrived safety at the store. Looking in my mirror I didn’t see anything but I felt what was the size of a boulder in my eye. I blinked, rubbed, blotted but nothing helped. I tried to rub off the mascara on my good eye in hopes I didn’t look as lopsided but of course that didn’t help, instead I just looked like I rolled out of bed crying but into the store pretending all was fine.

I did manage to get my things from the store and back home safe with just my ego slightly bruised.

My face washed, my eye a little better and no mascara this time, giving my poor eyes some much needed rest, and yes the old one finally made its way to the trash. I started thinking on how sometimes we act as if everything is fine even when its obvious we aren’t.

Why do we all seem to have that in common? We all say we are fine when asked but inside we are falling apart.

On the morning of my mascara flake I read this passage, coincidence?

Mark 8:22-26 22They came to Bethsaida, and some people brought a blind man and begged Jesus to touch him. 23He took the blind man by the hand and led him outside the village. When he had spit on the man’s eyes and put his hands on him, Jesus asked, “Do you see anything?” 24He looked up and said, “I see people; they look like trees walking around.” 25Once more Jesus put his hands on the man’s eyes. Then his eyes were opened, his sight was restored, and he saw everything clearly. 26Jesus sent him home, saying, “Don’t even go into the village.”

I always thought how odd that Jesus healed the man but his vision was askew at first. I never got it until the day with the mascara. Just like the blind man that was able to see but didn’t see correctly. That is until Jesus asked how he was and the man was honest telling exactly how he was. He didn’t hold back but told Jesus everything, not just being grateful to see but the weird, different, strange parts too. In turn the man got the full healing.

What would it be like if we were all a little honest with how we really are. Notice the man didn’t start complaining and telling Jesus how he messed up but instead just honest with what was going on. Maybe the man would have lived the rest of his life seeing people as trees if he kept quite.

A lot can be said on being honest. You have to open up and be vulnerable, but think of the healing and blessing we miss keeping our problems to our selves.

Posted in Recipes

Christmas Cookies

christmas cookies

I thought I would do a post of a few of my favorite Christmas cookies. I did post the recipe for Deacon cookies but when I started my Christmas baking I realized it would be nice to add a few more. I know the basic recipe I use for my peanut butter kiss cookies can be found on the back of the Hershey kiss bag and I think I memorized it correctly, if not what I give below is a combo of what I remember from the bag, so a big thank you Hershey for such a good recipe.

Deacon Cookies are a family recipe that even those who don’t usually like to bake enjoy. They are a simple sugar cookie but so very yummy.

The last but certainly not least are called Christmas Snacks again these come from my family so I have no idea who to give credit to but I have seen some bars that look and taste a lot like my Christmas Snacks but they call them other names. What ever the name they are a really tasty treat.

Deacon Cookies:

1 Cup Sugar

1 Cup of  Shortening (I like use 1/2 cup butter, 1/2 cup shortening)

3 Eggs

3 Teaspoon of Baking Powder

2 1/2 Cups of Flour

In a large bowl cream together the sugar shortening and eggs then add you baking powder and flour. Mix together until you have a large ball. Put cookie dough in a container with a lid in the refrigerator for at least 3 hours.

When the dough has chilled place half of it on a flat floured surface. With floured rolling-pin roll out your dough until desired depth. Now the best part use any of your favorite cookie cutters and cut out your cookies and place them on a cookie sheet. Bake at 375 for about 10 minutes.

When cooled you may ice them. I did an easy drizzle of icing on my tree in the picture.

Icing glaze:

1-2 Cups of Powder Sugar

1 Teaspoon of Vanilla

Milk ( add the milk slowly you just want enough to make it a glaze)

Peanut Butter Kiss Cookies:

1/2 Cup of Butter Shortening

2/3 Cup of Creamy Peanut Butter

1/2 Cup of White Sugar

1/2 Cup of packed Brown Sugar

1 Teaspoon of Vanilla

1 Egg

2 Tablespoons of milk

1 1/2 Cup of Flour

1 Teaspoon of Baking Soda

1/2 Teaspoon of Salt

Extra white sugar to roll the balls in

Preheat oven to 375. Cream together the butter shortening, peanut butter then add both sugars, vanilla and egg. Cream together then add the remaining dry ingredients. (Unlike some peanut butter cookie dough this one does not need to be refrigerated.) Form into about 1 inch balls then roll in the extra white sugar, place on ungreased baking sheet. Bake at 375 for 8-10 when done let set for about 30 seconds then place unwrapped Hershey Kiss on each cookie. Let cool then enjoy and give away to those who will be so grateful to have your homemade cookies.

Christmas Snacks:

2 Cups of Graham Cracker Crumbs

14 ounce can of Sweetened Condensed Milk

12 Package of Semi Sweet Chocolate Chips

1 Cup of crushed Walnuts

1 Cup of Shredded Coconut

1/4 Cup of Sugar

1/2 Cup of Melted Butter

Preheat oven to 350 In a bowl add graham crackers, sugar and melted butter mix together then pour into a 13×9 pan press down making a graham cracker crust. Next  spreading each layer of chocolate chips, nuts, coconut then pour the sweetened condensed milk over mixture put in over and bake for about 30-35 minutes until it is bubbly and slightly brown. When the Christmas Snacks are about half cooled down cut into bars.

Posted in Recipes

Bread Pudding

Bread pudding is one of my favorite desserts. The simplicity of it, and yes almost a comfort food in my book or maybe because it’s almost like French toast. What ever the reason I like it so much is not that important but I do enjoy making the basic recipe to trying it a little different and adding my own flare or keeping it real simple and not making any sauce for on top.

According to Google it came from England in the 1600’s using day old bread. I like the fact that this dessert takes something stale, some discard and turns it in to the main ingredient to be fully enjoyed.

Maybe I am looking to much into it but I’m thinking a lesson could be learned here.

This the week after Thanksgiving in the US and maybe you have to much left over bread or rolls and maybe you are tired of pie. This recipe could give new life to some of your left overs and a new dessert for dinner.

I used a mixture of stale wheat bread and cinnamon bread but really any works.

Bread Pudding:

Prep 15 minutes Cook 45 minutes to 1 hour at 350

6-8 pieces of bread cut into cubes ( if using rolls adjust for size)

4 eggs

3 Cups of Milk

1 Teaspoon of Vanilla and Almond Extract

1/4 Cup of Sugar

1/2 Cup of Raisins

Mix eggs, milk and extracts in a bowel. In a buttered glass baking pan 9×13 place bread cubes in dish, sprinkle raisins on top then pour egg mixture over bread, push down on mixture letting the bread soak up some of the liquid. Bake at 350 for about 45 minutes to 1 hour the pudding is done when lightly brown and springs back when you press on it.

Mock Caramel Sauce:

2 tablespoons of Butter

2 tablespoons of Water

1/4 cup of Cream

1 teaspoon of Vanilla Extract

1 cup of brown Sugar

In sauce pan melt butter, add water, cream, vanilla and sugar. Bring to a light boil. turn down to a medium heat and continue cooking for about 15 minutes. Pour in a dish to use later or over the whole bread pudding letting it soak just a little.

Posted in Recipes

Vegan “Chicken” and Dumplings

Chicken and Dumplings are one dish that I really enjoy when cold weather comes calling.

Some say that it originated in the southern part of the United States with corn bread dumplings and greens. Other sources say it is French Canadian during economic hardship of the great depression. I lean more towards the French Canadian thought because my one Grandma’s family was just that and she could win over even the most sceptic with her chicken and dumplings. However this dish came to be I appreciate this heart warming comfort food.

Vegan, Vegetarian or if you do eat meat I think you will find this dish has it all. You have protein, veggies and biscuits in a thick broth. You really can’t go wrong with this all in one dish that warms you up from the inside out.

I made this dish a few different ways with out the chicken but this time I used a meat substitute I bought. I try eating less of the premade meatless options but once in awhile I find that it is fine to eat them and they really help change things up when you are trying to eat less or no meat. I used Quorn meatless meatballs that you can find in the freezer section of most stores. I think the meatless meatballs pull this dish together nicely and holds up well.

If you have cooked or even eaten a meatless option you know how sometimes the texture can be lacking or the taste is off but this time I think they work well for this dish.

I will be trying these great little meatless balls in a nice marinara soon but for now lets get to todays recipe.

Vegan Chicken and Dumplings:

3-4 Servings Prep 15 minutes Cook Time 40 minutes

2-3 Red Potatoes cut in bite size pieces

1-2 Carrots cut in bite size pieces

1/2 small Onion diced

1 Celery strip diced

4-5 Bouillon cube

1/2 bag of Quorn meatless meatballs frozen

5 Cups of water

Salt and Pepper to taste

1 Tablespoon of Olive Oil

In a large pot sauté onion and celery until onion is almost clear add water, carrots, potatoes, bouillon and salt/pepper to taste. Cook on a low simmer. While the vegetables are simmering start making your dumpling mixture.

Dumplings:

1 1/2 cup of Flour

2 1/4 Teaspoon of Baking Powder

1/2 Teaspoon of Salt

1 1/2 Tablespoon of cold Butter (vegan butter)

2/3 cup of unsweetened Flax Milk (or any other non dairy milk of your choice)

Add flour, baking powder and salt then stir. Add the cold butter to the flour mixture. With a fork brake up the butter until you have small little flour pebbles then add the milk, it may take a little less than 2/3 of the cup but you want to slowly stir in the milk until it is a biscuit texture.

Now turn the the pot with your veggies up to a high boil add the frozen meatless meatballs. when the pot is a rapid boil add spoonful of the biscuit mixture to the pot then turn to a medium boil adding a lid cook for 20 miniutes.

Then dish up and enjoy!

Posted in Recipes

Easy Fall Dinner

I know I sound like a broken record but I just love cooking in the Fall (Autumn). I find so many of my favorite vegetables are being harvested now. Not only is is cheaper to eat seasonally but I find my body seems to appreciate when I do. I tend to feel healthier eating this way.

I do of course cheat now and then but in the fall I don’t see the point. It’s usually in the winter when I reach my breaking point and I go in search for some fresh spring veggies. It is at that point I tell my self rules can be bent and enjoy for a moment eating out of season.

With that said todays recipe is for anyone that is at a loss to what they should eat or think eating needs to be this big recipe to follow and go around town looking for all the ingredients. It is for those that maybe need reminded cooking can be fast and just as delish.

I am hoping to win some over that think fast food has be picked up or dropped off. I love the thought that fast not only can be good tasting but not a lot of effort and you can eat in season too.

The most you have to do with todays recipe is cutting/dicing but if you live with someone who loves to do it grab them and let them have fun while you sit back and talking to them. Make it a fun joint cooking time.

I know that my son loved to help me and I loved the fact I didn’t need to do all the cutting. So go ahead and teach so you can sit back and enjoy an easy dinner that just got easier.

You don’t have to have every veggie or maybe you would like more. This is just a blueprint to show those who forgot or maybe don’t know how to through things together in a way that works.

Easy Fall Dinner:

1 Butternut Squash

1-3 Zucchini Squash (depends on size and your love of this squash)

1-3 Yellow Crookneck Squash ( I know its is more a summer squash but I find it still really plentiful in the fall)

16 Oz Baby Bella Mushrooms (you can use any I used them because I had them on hand)

2-5 Cloves of Garlic peeled and diced

1 handful of Green Onions diced

Salt and Pepper to taste

2 Tablespoons Olive Oil

1 Cup of cooked wild rice or cooked quinoa

For the Butternut slice length ways clean out the center that has the “guts”/seeds then place face down in a baking pan(13×9) filling with just enough water to cover bottom of the pan. Cover bake at 350 for 1 1/2 hour. Great do ahead is bake this ahead of time so you can just warm it up or use a crockpot using the same method but on low all day.

Cook wild rice or if using quinoa cook per package directions

If you have the time to bake the Butternut then wait until the squash is almost done to start chopping up the veggies.

Add olive oil to a sauté pan then on med/high heat add squash. When squash is half way done add rest of veggies sauté until veggies have a nice brown and are tender but still a slight crisp to them.

When Squash is done spoon out of shell.

Serve the grains, squash and veggie on a plate then enjoy.

Posted in Recipes

Upside Down Applesauce Cake

To say I enjoy apples is putting it lightly. I really appreciate their savory flavor, variety and the versatility is amazing. Not only are they a quick snack that is nutritious but you can use them in cooking, baking and lets not forget the warm comfort of drinking them.

So as I am fully enjoying my favorite time of year and all that Autumn brings I find it fun to also find ways to use one of my favorite fruit, and in this season when apples are so plentiful the opportunities to enjoy them are endless. Not only was I looking for a way to use some of my apples up but I also wanted something sweet but not to bad for you.

My mom had given me a good recipe “Applesauce Citrus Cake” from a great cookbook “The Daniel Plan” but I wanted to change it up. This is a good recipe on its own but I wanted a nice topping for my cake but not icing.

Todays recipe is a union of a recipe from my mom and what I enjoy from a upside down cake. I am not a big fan of icing but I can’t help but like the melted butter brown sugar on top of a pineapple upside down cake. I use this in a lot of my cakes but my favorite is defiantly apple.

Yes, there are the best apples for baking but I had Fuji because they are a nice apple to eat fresh but they do bake well and plus they hold their shape nicely when baked. In the recipe below feel free to use whatever apple you have on hand or feel is best for you and I am sure the cake will still be very good.

Upside Down Applesauce Cake:

2 1/2 cups of Flour

2 1/2 teaspoons of Baking Powder

1 1/2 teaspoons Cinnamon

3/4 teaspoon Baking Soda

1/2 teaspoon Nutmeg (or Mace)

A pinch of salt

2 cups of Applesauce

2/3 cups of Organic raw Honey (or Agave works in a pinch)

1/2 cup of melted Coconut Oil

1 Egg

1 teaspoon Vanilla

2/3 cup chopped Walnuts

For the Topping

1/2 -2/3 cup of Butter melted

1 -1 1/4 cup of Brown Sugar

1 medium Apple pealed and sliced

Mix all the dry ingredients

After all ingredient’s are mixed well pour on top of apples.

Bake in a preheated oven at 325 for about 40 minutes. Remove from oven when cake is done then flip the cake upside down onto a plate removing the baking dish, let cool. Cake is best the first day but does keep for up to 2 if you can keep it around that long.