Posted in Recipes

Chilled Cucumber Soup and Chickpea Sandwiches

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I can’t believe it is June already but with the heat wave that is sweeping across my area it feels like August. I was wanting something cool for dinner and decided on chilled cucumber soup and egg salad sandwiches, this time I took pictures of this refreshing soup so I thought I would give new life to this older post.

Chilled soup is so great at keeping a person cool and the chickpea sandwiches are a good different twist when you aren’t in the mood for egg salad.

Cucumbers are low in calories but offer so much help in the heat. They keep you hydrated, give comfort to sunburns or puffy eyes plus a great help with headaches and keeping your blood pressure in healthy range. Buttermilk has some great benefits too like reducing body heat and dehydration. Have some digestion problems? Buttermilk has been shown to help with digestion and even irritable bowels.

The benefits of the ingredients are so many, it’s just amazing how much this soup helps me on a hot day.

Hope this helps cool you down.

Todays recipe is another one to keep you cool and it is perfect when your appetite is a little smaller because of the hot weather. I grew up eating this with a nice egg salad sandwich but sometimes changing it up to chickpeas for protein.

I love the fact that I can make this first thing in the morning and let set in the refrigerator all day waiting for me to come home and just set it out then eat.

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Based on your family size you may need to add or decrease the amounts but for a nice summer meal it’s great.

Chilled Cucumber Soup:

1 quart of buttermilk

1-2 medium cucumbers ( depends on size and how chunky you would like your soup)

Hand full of Green onions or 1 small purple onion ( white onions also work)

Fresh ground pepper and a pinch of salt to taste

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Peel cucumber, chop green onions, great cucumber and if using purple onion grate this as well. In container add grated cucumber and onion, pour in buttermilk add seasoning. Chill for the entire day. Best if served in chilled bowls.

Chickpea Sandwiches:

1 Can of chickpeas washed and drained

Mustard, olive oil mayo ( vegan mayo)

Salt, pepper and garlic powder to taste

Bread of your choice

Pour chickpeas into dish, mash with a fork then add the mustard and mayo enough to make a tasty paste ( think consistency of egg salad ) now season to taste. Refrigerate the when ready make into sandwiches. This will keep well for a few days in the refrigerator.

Posted in Recipes

Southwest Buddha Bowl

Buddha bowls are so easy, as long as you have a grain, veggies and protein you can go so many ways with flavor. Have fun and mix it up is what I like to do. Today’s recipe is short and sweet giving you an idea of a different way to eat this great dish.

Do you want more ideas?

For grain you can do rice, (such a nice variety in just rice alone) quinoa, barley, bulgur and the list can go on but these grains are a great start.

Vegetables think fresh, crunchy and again the sky is the limit here too, with summer coming you could really have fun with all the fresh wonderful veggies.

Now the protein, legumes or beans and again you can have a large choice with beans. Not to split hairs but I used lentils and they are considered a grain legume so have fun deciding on what category they belong in. I choose to just eat a larger portion of lentils so to fill in both my grain and legume. Right or wrong I enjoyed this quick easy meal.

Southwest Buddha Bowl:

For the Lentils:

1 cup dry lentils

2 cups water

1 jalapeno seeds removed and diced

1 small white onion diced

1 small tomato diced

cumin, salt, lime juice to taste and a pinch of sugar

In a sauce pan add washed lentil, water and the remaining ingredients cover and cook for about 45 minutes or until the lentils are done.

Vegetables:

Salad Spring mix per taste

1 red sweet pepper diced

1 orange sweeet pepper diced

1 white onion diced

1 pint of cherry tomatoes

In a bowel place desired amount of lentils and vegetables

Add the toppings/sauce

For the sauce

1 jar of Cashew Cheesy Sauce use per taste ( warmed it up in the microwave)

Plain Greek Yogurt per taste

Now enjoy!

This might not be your usual Buddha bowel but it’s a great easy meal on a Summer night.

Posted in Recipes

Quinoa Zucchini Casserole

This is an older post that I decided to give new life to because we had a slight cool down, so I wanted to have one last casserole before the warm days of summer and cooking light begins.  I also used a crock pot this time. It tasted just as good but it didn’t have the slight browning on top that you get when you bake it in the oven. (As you can see in the picture) This is a warm comfort food that welcomes you when you get home. 

If you choose to use the crock-pot, butter the sides and bottom of the crock-pot then follow the recipe as you would if you are baking it in the oven, but cook on low in the crock-pot for 6-8 hours

 

With my love of casseroles it’s a standing joke with my children on how much I love them and enjoy coming up with new ideas for them, it’s probably the one thing they don’t miss about my cooking now that they are grown.

The other evening as I went to make some stuffed zucchini I thought why not have a casserole instead.

Todays recipe is what I came up with. I didn’t take a picture because I was so wrapped up in cooking that I forgot but this recipe is defiantly one to try on a cool evening.

4 Cups shredded Zucchini

1 Cup cooked Quinoa

1 small Onion

4 cloves of Garlic

1 small can of diced Green Chilies

3 Eggs

1/2 Cup Plain Greek Yogurt

1 can of Cream of Mushroom Soup

1-2 Cups of Cheeses ( I used med cheddar)

1/4 Cup Bread Crumbs

Salt and Pepper to taste

In a 13×9 lightly greased pan grate zucchini. In small pan sauté onion and garlic until fragrant and translucent then add green chilies sauté a few minutes more.  Pour on top of shredded zucchini. In a small bowel beat eggs, yogurt, half cheese and cream of mushroom soup, salt/pepper then pour mixture on top of zucchini, add rest of cheese and breadcrumbs. Bake at 350 covered for 30 minutes uncover back for about 30 minutes more.

Posted in Recipes

Edamame & Spirulina Spaghetti

I had this kind of pasta noodle awhile ago and thoroughly enjoyed them. Edamame is an immature soybean in the pod but the benefits are still amazing although some may disagree on eating them because they are a green and natural whole food it is up to you to decide.

Edamame is low on carbs and calories but high with clean protein as well as dietary fiber, vitamins A, variations of B, C, E, K , Calcium, Magnesium, potassium. I am sure I messed some more but even these few awesome befits suggest help to the cardiovascular system just to name one great benefit.

Now on to the other great part of this spaghettis noodle spirulina also known as an algae. Yes, you read that right but before you write it off take a look at some great things this little algae can do. It can be cultivated world wide in salt or fresh water plus it contains plant based protein.

I can’t believe all the great things this little algae does. Studies have shown it helps with weight loss, gut health and diabetes, detoxing of heavy materials and help with hyperactivity/ADHD.

Spirulina has the normal vitamins like iron, B6, B12, A, C, magnesium but it has antioxidants, anti-inflammatory benefits. This little algae has so many great benefits its classified as a supper food and if you haven’t already please take a look at spirulina.

This recipe is not hard and is simple and can swap out the basics depending on your taste or what you have around.

Edamame & Spirulina Spaghetti:

Serves 4 (with leftovers) Less than 30 minutes including prep

1 8 ounce box of edamame and spirulina spaghetti

2 medium size roma tomato cut in bite size pieces

4-5 garlic cloves diced

1/2 white onion diced

4 small sweet peppers diced

1 1/4 cup up crushed tomatoes

1-2 tablespoon olive oil

Salt, black pepper, dried oregano, dried parsley per taste and 2 drops of basil essential oil

In a large pot cook spaghetti per package directions. While the noodles are cooking chop/dice garlic, onion, tomato and sweet pepper. In sauté pan on medium/high heat add olive oil, sweet peppers sauté then add onion garlic, diced tomato and seasoning sautéing until onions are translucent then add crushed tomatoes, let simmer then add the drained noodles and toss together then serve. Add parmesan on top if desired.

Posted in Recipes

Chow Mein Tempeh

A few months ago I had the pleasurer of my daughter and her boys moving in with me and because of this I have had to revert back to cooking for more than one. Yes, on Sundays or a weekend here and there we would get together and have dinners but for the most part I would just cook for me. This was something that took getting used to, so when my sweet family came back home I had no idea how it would go but so far just a few hick ups like this dinner all has gone well.

Sure, cooking is shared sometimes ( so awesome) but for the most part I am home so I get to cook and surprise my family. Sometimes it is a good surprise other times I am greeted with looks of really? Todays recipe didn’t disappoint with looks. My daughter bought the tempeh and my grandson loves top ramen ( that is why I used these noodles’ )so I thought (crazy me) this might be a winner of a recipe but it turns out this was one just for the older folks. ( grandsons not approved)

Not letting the little ones detour me I made it anyway and found it was tasty, really easy plus a quick dinner.

Tempeh is fermented soy beans that is high in protein, vitamins, minerals and prebiotics so whether you are a meat eater or not this is a great addition to any meal plus it is so vestal with out the texture tofu has.

Chow Mein Tempeh:

1 8 ounce pack of Tempeh (just plain no added seasoning) slice in large bite size slices

1 8 ounce sliced Cremini Mushrooms

1 handful of Green Onions chopped

4-5 cloves of Garlic diced

1-2 Tablespoon of Olive Oil

2 packages of Top Ramen

Chow Mein Sauce (see below for ingredients to sauce)

In a large skillet add olive oil and sliced tempeh

Sauté tempeh then add rest of ingredients

Sautéing the remainder of the ingredients.

While the remainder of the ingredients are in the pan, cook the top ramen according to the package directions, drain the ramen. In a small bowel make the sauce.

Chow Mein Sauce:

2 Cups of Veggie Broth

1/2 to 1 full Cup of Soy Sauce (per taste)

3-4 Tablespoons of Cornstarch

1/4 Cup of raw Honey

3-4 Tablespoons of blackstrap Molasses

1-2 Teaspoons of Asian style Hot Sauce

1/2 to1 full Teaspoon of powder ginger (per taste)

Add sauce and noodles’, let simmer on low to thicken a few minutes.

Serve over Rice

Posted in Recipes

Poor Man’s Rice Pudding

As a kid I would get so excited when my mom made rice pudding, it has always been a type of comfort food for me and I find the simpler the recipe the better, especially old fashion custard with raisins but since rice pudding is from all over the world I like to taste the different variations that are made and haven’t found one I don’t like.

I was in one of those moods to eat rice pudding. Giving up processed sugar for Lent didn’t deter me and since I wouldn’t be eating it I could try a new recipe out for my family, just testing the waters so to speak so when I did eat sugar again I would make it if they liked it.

You might have guessed they liked it so I decided to share it and will make it again soon (can’t wait!) I found this recipe in a very old cookbook my mom gave me years ago.

The copyright is 1945, some of the recipes may be out of date making for an interesting read and giving a lesson in not having a lot of luxuries but making the most of what you have and turning it into something special with hard work. I can really appreciate and respect that.

Todays recipe is simple, with no eggs and according to my family very tasty.

Poor Man’s Rice Pudding:

1/4 cup of rice – pinch of salt

3 tablespoons sugar

1 tablespoon butter

1 quart milk

Wash rice well and put it in a baking dish with the salt, sugar and butter. Pour the milk over and bake in slow oven (275-300) at least two and a half hours, stirring rice twice during the first hour.

Serves 4

I used oat milk, vegan butter but that was my preference and per my family tasted great.

Posted in Uplifting

Fear and Anxiety

Did you know that the African Impala in a zoo can be held back by a three foot wall even though they can jump ten feet in the air and travel as far as thirty feet in one single bound? Yep, I was pretty amazed when I read that so I started to study this beautiful animal more I found a lot of interesting things. I knew of the car and would see the beautiful animals run past safari trucks on shows but I never really understood how amazing these creatures are until the other day when I did some research.

Not only can they jump amazingly but they survive a cheetah chase by being maneuverable and unpredictable at less speeds giving them the ability to change directions rapidly allowing for a great survival rate but when they panic and try to out run the fast predator they usually succumb to the attack. I guess I am not surprised that these majestic creatures are also anxious animals who tend to cry wolf, they sound the alarm of a predictor so often that twenty-five percent of the time their cry to worn others of danger is only the grass moving, its so bad zebras usually don’t flee at their cries.

I continued reading but I couldn’t help but think of how often I am like these anxious animals and maybe you can see some similarities with yourself. I think of the times I hold myself back when I could move forward accomplishing a long term dream but I settle for my three foot fence never utilizing my full wonderful potential because it is so much easier to stay on the safe side eating grass that is easily maintained by others.

Or

If I do venture out I let my imagination get the best of me so I succumb to my anxiousness, cry wolf and flee when it is nothing but the wind in the grass. Maybe you haven’t done the fleeing but instead you don’t use the tools or gifts that make you so unique because you panic and try what everyone else is doing so you get caught by the very thing your running from.

Worry and anxiety can have such a hold on use we assume it’s normal and almost accept it ,but maybe if we look at it as a three foot fence knowing it can easily be jumped, it wont be so scary and in times when I forget at least I know the one that can help me jump.

Psalm 18: 33-50

  33 He makes my feet like the feet of a deer; he causes me to stand on the heights. 34 He trains my hands for battle; my arms can bend a bow of bronze. 35 You make your saving help my shield, and your right hand sustains me; your help has made me great. 36 You provide a broad path for my feet, so that my ankles do not give way. 37 I pursued my enemies and overtook them; I did not turn back till they were destroyed. 38 I crushed them so that they could not rise; they fell beneath my feet. 39 You armed me with strength for battle; you humbled my adversaries before me. 40 You made my enemies turn their backs in flight, and I destroyed my foes. 41 They cried for help, but there was no one to save them— to the LORD, but he did not answer. 42 I beat them as fine as windblown dust; I trampled them like mud in the streets. 43 You have delivered me from the attacks of the people; you have made me the head of nations. People I did not know now serve me, 44 foreigners cower before me; as soon as they hear of me, they obey me. 45 They all lose heart; they come trembling from their strongholds. 46 The LORD lives! Praise be to my Rock! Exalted be God my Savior! 47 He is the God who avenges me, who subdues nations under me, 48 who saves me from my enemies. You exalted me above my foes; from a violent man you rescued me. 49 Therefore I will praise you, LORD, among the nations; I will sing the praises of your name. 50 He gives his king great victories; he shows unfailing love to his anointed, to David and to his descendants forever.

Posted in essential oils, Recipes

Basil-Infused Pasta Primavera

I’m sure if you have read any of my blog you realize I have a love for pasta and enjoy making up recipes that would probably be laughed at by anyone that does it well, maybe I should leave it up to the experts but I can’t help myself with trying new things or fully embracing other peoples recipes that evolve pasta.

I may have a carb addiction or maybe I should just move to a country where I fit in with my love of all things pasta who knows but todays recipe is from a great cookbook “The Essential DIY Recipes of Essential Cooking” by Essential Educators. This is a great book if you want to try using essential oils in your cooking. I’m not going to get into the debate of essential oils and ingesting them but I would love to share some benefits of basil and how in essential oil it can help. A big tip when cooking with essential oil, always, always make sure the essential oil is pure, know where they get the oil from and a little goes a long way.

In todays recipe it uses not only the essential oil but fresh so you get benefits from both.

Basil’s name is derived from “basileum” the Greek name for king and the uses can vary from the Italian women wearing basil to attract possible suitors or the Hindu people put basil sprigs on the chest of their dead to protect them from evil spirits. While in the 16th century powdered basil leaves were inhaled to treat migraines and chest infections. The medical properties are amazing, it is a powerful antispasmodic (an agent to suppresses muscle spasms) , antibacterial (and who doesn’t need that) plus it can be used on insect bits ( hello summers coming)…it is so amazing such a good tasting herb that is widely used can be so helpful. You can even use it aromatically to help fight mental fatigue and yes, defusing it really helps I have noticed it is pretty fast acting too.

This recipe is quick and with summer around the corner with all the benefits of basil its one I couldn’t help but share, I hope you like it and please let me know if you made it.

Basil-infused pasta primavera:

1lb. of Farfalle or pasta of your choice

4-6 drops Basil essential oil ( I only used 4 because a little goes a LONG way)

2 cups Fresh Broccoli Florets

1 medium Red Onion, diced

3 Tablespoon Olive Oil

1 cup Fresh Spinach, coarsely chopped

1 cup Cherry Tomatoes, quartered

Salt and Pepper to taste

Lemon Juice per taste

Grated Parmesan cheese for topping

2 Tablespoon minced fresh Basil for topping

Boil water for pasta. Add 4-6 drops of basil essential oil to the water. Cook pasta according to package instructions. Drain, rinse, and set aside.

In a large skillet over medium-high heat, sauté broccoli until just tender, about 7-10 minutes.

Combine pasta, broccoli, spinach, and cherry tomatoes in a serving bowl. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Squirt the pasta primavera with lemon juice to taste, and then top with grated parmesan cheese and minced fresh basil.

Serve immediately and enjoy!

(Thanks to Essential oils pocket reference by Life Science. I use them so often but need to give a shout out, its such a helpful book if you want to know the benefits of essential oils.)

Posted in Recipes

Jackfruit Street Tacos

I enjoy trying all sorts of foods but when I made these tacos I was amazed and really happy with them so I thought I’d share. I was late to try jackfruit because it seemed like such a big chore just to get to the meat of the fruit and I was cautious trying the can, my normal adventures self just wasn’t having it. Then I really wanted to make a nice Irish stew so I broke down and bought a can and wondered why I hadn’t done it sooner, I mean really this stuff is great.

(Check out my previous post on jackfruit BBQ sandwiches and you will see that this great little fruit will shred like pork, because of this great shredding ability that takes on basically any flavor makes this a great substitution in recipes.)

Jackfruit also know as jack tree are in the same family of trees as the mulberry and fig and they come from southern India/Malaysia rainforest as well as a few other areas of even Brazil and Africa, pretty neat to me, but what is helpful to know is just how healthy is it?

Low in calories with easy to digest sugars, great fiber, high amounts of vitamin C, A and has B complex which is rare in a fruit plus it is paired up with iron, potassium and magnesium. Just one thing this amazing fruit does with all this great goodness is it’s great at regulating the heart rate and blood pressure and who doesn’t need help in those areas?

This recipe takes only about half an hour with not to many ingredients plus when it gets hot the potassium will help in retaining fluid, hello great summer dish.

Jackfruit Street Tacos:

Serving 3-4 people, prep and cook time about 30 minutes

1 can of Jackfruit drained and patted down

1 small onion

1 can of diced Green Chilies

4-5 cloves of Garlic diced

1 8 ounce can of tomato sauce

1-2 cups of Grated Cheese

2 Cups of Shredded Lettuce

1-2 Tomatoes diced

1-2 Avocados diced

Cilantro diced

1 Tablespoon of Olive Oil

8-10 White corn Tortillas

The following per taste Chili Powder, Cumin Powder, Onion Powder, Garlic Powder, Salt,

On med/high heat add olive oil to the skillet then diced onion and garlic. Sauté for a few minutes until you can start to smell the onion and garlic then add the diced green chilis, seasonings sautéing for a few more minutes then add the tomato sauce ( if you like more of a saucy taco add more than stated) simmer on low for about 5 minutes. While you are letting the sauce simmer chop the lettuce, tomato, cilantro and avocado. After about 5 minutes add the drained padded down jack fruit to the sauce and let it simmer together for about 10-15 minutes, you may want to stir and separate the jackfruit so that it is more of a shredded taco mixture. While the taco mixture is simmering on low finish cutting up the condiments and warm up the white corn tortillas.( to warm the tortillas wrap them in a damp cloth and microwave them per your microwave settings)

To serve, place small spoonful amounts of taco mixture on individual warm white tortillas, add shredded cheese, lettuce, tomato, cilantro and avocado, now enjoy!

Posted in Recipes

Veggie Chicken Green Chile Enchiladas

I enjoy all sorts of food but for me there is nothing like Mexican food to bring me back to growing up in Phoenix and enjoying some of the best I have tasted in America. It is with that thought which brought me to making green chili enchiladas. I have tried all sorts of substituents for the meat and really enjoy most of them but in this recipe I used Quorn meatless fillets and found they are in the top three to use for enchiladas.

If you haven’t heard of this brand I have blogged about them before. They come from the UK, 85% of this protein is made of mycoprotein, Myco is a Greek word for fungus,( so I guess I am still stuck on sharing recipes with fungi) This fungus protein has been available for food consumption since 1985 and made from Fusarium venenatum which is a naturally accruing fungus. The process is pretty interesting if you like to Geek out read/watch how they make things.

This protein is high in fiber but low in sodium, sugar and bad fats. I prefer this texture over other prepackage meat substitutes, maybe its my love for fungus, who knows. It has a lower carbon foot print compared to chicken or other meat so that is a big bonus.

Yes, eating fresh non-processed food is the best but I found when combining fresh with this kind of packed food sometimes can be ok and much safer than other alternatives.

The rest of the recipe only has a few more ingredients they are prepackaged but it makes for an easy to prepare meal.

Veggie Chicken Green Chili Enchiladas:

Serving size 3-4 Total time 1 hour and 15 minutes

8 White Corn Tortillas

2 1/2 cups of Cheese of your choice

1 1/2 cup of Greek yogurt

1-2 cups of Salsa Verde

1/4 cup of Veggie broth

1 Package of Quorn Meatless Fillets cooked and cut up in bite sized pieces

To cook the Quorn fillets I found placing them in a small pan with just enough water to cover then adding salt and pepper to the water, place a lid on the pan, cook on med/low for 20 minutes or less but if you are short on time I am sure a microwave will be fine. You know the fillets are done when you can put a fork in them. Take off heat remove the fillets letting them cool on counter. Save the water adding veggie bouillon to the water, if you have less than 1/4 cup of water left just add more to the pan. Shred or cut up the fillets in bite sized pieces.

With pan on the stove on a med/low heat add the pieces of fillets to the veggie broth then add half of the cheese. While stirring the mixture add half the Greek yogurt and half the salsa verde. You want a creamy mixture but not runny. When the cheese is melted and all ingredients are mixed well take of stove.

Warm up tortillas (I find wrapping them in a damp cloth and microwaving them works great but warm them how ever suits you)

While tortillas are warming up in a separate bowl pour remaining salsa verde and yogurt together mixing well.

Place one warm tortilla on counter spoon just enough of the fillet mixture on the tortilla to fill but not over flow. Roll filled tortilla, then place with seam side down in a 7×11 pan that has a small amount of salsa mixture on the bottom continue filling tortillas and placing them in the pan letting them touch. When all the enchiladas are in the pan pour the remaining salsa/yogurt mixture on top add cheese then baking uncovered at 375 for about 45 minutes or until the cheese is melted and it is bubbling.