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 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.

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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.

Posted in Recipes

Stuffed Zucchini

Zucchini, the vegetable that keeps on giving and giving even when we might not appreciate its generosity. I think we could learn a lot from this hardy, versatile vegetable. I have made stuffed zucchini often and enjoy changing it up a lot but this recipe could basically be featured on “Chopped”. I used half of a zucchini that was left from a different dish and the rest of the stuffing from what I had on hand. The marinara sauce was left over too but just a little short so I added a tomato to kind of help it out.

I am in my happy place cooking when I have to use what I have or improvise. My family wouldn’t always appreciate my creativity but to me its more fun. Now that it’s just me I usually cook for I get to do this without any sighs, blank stares and put on smiles. Yes, my kids were good sports, and I am so blessed.

And blessed to have zucchini so lets get to todays recipe.

As You can see I was not stretching the truth about all the little odds and ends do make it work.

Stuffed Zucchini:

1 or 2 Zucchini depending on size of the squash

1 Green Bell Pepper diced

1small Tomato

1/4 of a white Onion diced

6 cloves of Garlic diced

1 cup a Marinara Sauce

1 cup of cooked Quinoa

1 cup of grated Cheese

1-2 Tablespoon of Olive Oil

Cut the center of the zucchini length into two strips and width slice across all the way down but not all the way through leaving a shallow bottom of the zucchini. Scoop out the bite sized pieces setting aside. Next dice green bell pepper, tomato, zucchini, onion and garlic. Add the olive oil to a skillet and turn on to a med/high, add veggies and sauté until the union is almost translucent then add marinara sauce. Simmer for a few minutes add quinoa cooking just long enough that all ingredients come together. Take of heat spoon into zucchini shells that are in a 13×9 baking dish with water in the bottom then top with cheese. Cover and bake at 350 for about 45 minutes. After 30 minutes take of cover and let cheese brown for the remainder of 15 minutes. The zucchini is done when it is tender and the stuffing is bubbly.

Cut into serving pieces, serve and enjoy.

Posted in Recipes

Butternut Squash Soup

I am bring this older recipe back because it is that time of year for Butternut Squash. You may find that it is in season (for the US) from end of September all the way through late Autumn even early Winter.

I used frozen in this recipe because I made it in the off season and it is easier but with this great squash in season it would make this soup even better. If you choose to use fresh it is very easy to cook just allow about an 40-50 minutes to bake this yummy squash.

Butternut Squash has some pretty amazing health benefits too. It helps boost the immune system, support lung function and who doesn’t need that especial this YEAR! The benefits of this great Veggie go on but just the two I mentioned has me eating this vegetable as often as I can.

Hope you enjoy this as much as I do and maybe eat it in some fuzzy warm cozy socks.

Todays recipe is a very fast way to make butternut squash soup.

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As you can see, I have just the basics but this is still full of flavor.

Butternut squash soup:

1  12 ounce bags of cut up butternut squash

( if using fresh squash: cut length ways clean and remove seeds, wash squash then drizzle olive oil salt and pepper on squash. Place face down in pan add enough water around squash so it is steamed not submerged in the water. Bake at 375 for about 40-50 minutes.)

2 cup of veggie broth

1 cup of unsweetened coconut milk

1 Tablespoon of coconut oil

The following seasoning per your taste:

Rosemary, poultry seasoning (or sage and thyme), black pepper mix, parsley

In a hot pan add coconut oil, butternut squash and seasonings. Sauté for a few minutes until fragrant.  Turn down burner to a simmer then add veggie broth. cook for about 10 minutes until squash is done. If you want a smooth soup put soup mixture in a food processor. When I am in the mood for more texture or I don’t feel like cleaning my food processor I just mash-up the squash with a potato masher. Finally add and stir in the coconut milk. Simmer for a few minutes more, then enjoy your quick soup.

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Lentil Sloppy Joes

I had seen a post on Facebook asking about Vegetarian Sloppy Joes and needing a recipe  alternatives to the Morning Star ground. The following post is two years old but after I saw the post and responded to the person on Facebook I got to thinking maybe I should bring back this recipe for those that may have missed it.

Sloppy joes are one of my favorite foods, they are simple and if done right really good. I have experimented with all different meat alternatives but enjoy the health benefits of the lentil full of clean protein and fiber. Lentils are rich in folate, niacin, and vitamin E. As well as a great source of  minerals such as calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, and potassium.

I substitute lentils in so many ways that I usually have some already cooked and ready for me to use in a wide range of foods but if you do not have them on hand. Place preferred amount cleaned and in a pot with just enough water to cover the lentils then cook uncovered for 20-30 minutes. You my season them but when I cook them for the purpose to have them on hand I wait to season them later.

GREAT TIP: I  have found that when I use lentils for meatless meat balls or a meatless ground I mash them slightly and let them dry a little.

I like to use brown or green in this recipe but you may use what ever kind you prefer.

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1 – 1/2 cup of cooked lentils slightly mashed (may use more for a large family adjust the following ingredients as well)

1 Tablespoon of olive oil

3 cloves of garlic minced

1/2 small onion diced

4-5 mini sweet peppers diced

1 8 oz can of tomato sauce

1 Teaspoon (vegetarian friendly) Worcestershire sauce

1 Teaspoon of vinegar

1/2 Teaspoon of dry mustard

1 Teaspoon or so of brown sugar

The following per your taste salt, pepper and garlic powder

In a pan add olive oil, garlic, onion and peppers sauté until fragrant and onion is almost translucent. Add lentils cook until lentils start to look a little crisp then add brown sugar and rest of the ingredients. Simmer for about 15 minutes.  Serve on buns or bread, can top with cheese.

Makes about 2-3 large sandwiches depending on size of bun and amount you use for each.

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