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Sarah Lawrence

Eat this!

I love taking recipes that my friends are making and converting them into things that my family can eat.  For one thing, it gives me a challenge.  But, more importantly, it helps my kids feel like they are being included in the "hip" culinary circles that their friends enjoy.   It's a BIG DEAL to feel like you CAN eat "NORMAL FOOD" when you are dealing with dietary restrictions... no matter what your age, stage or reason. So I took on the taquito.  These things are the rage on pinterest and kids are bringing them in for snack at school and super star moms are baking them up as after school snacks.  I'm in, I figured.  Let's do this!  Scale the recipe up if you have time and par bake the taquitos for 5 minutes, then remove them, cool them and wrap them individually to freeze!  Love it! Make it a meal: (adjust option to suit your family -- we round things out with BIG salads!)
  1. add a chopped salad (chopped greens, cukes, tomato, celery, red onion, pepper, avocado, carrot, berries, nuts, etc)
  2. add a soup (a brothy veg soup with fresh tomatoes, a hit of cayenne and lime and lots of cilantro would be great with the taquitos!)
Now, high five me and get in that kitchen! :) 003 Sarah's Baked Black Bean Taquitos ~ serves 4 for dinner, more as a snack ~
  • 1 can(822g) black beans (or 2.5 cups homemade)
  • 1 cup mushrooms, minced
  • 1/2 cup tomatillo salsa (or salsa of your choice)
  • 3 Tbsp dairy free cream cheese (I use Tofutti or Daiya)
  • 1 cup dairy free shredded cheese (I used Daiya)
  • 1 Tbsp ground cumin
  • 2 clove garlic, minced or 1/2 tsp powdered garlic
  • 1 cup fresh cilantro, minced
  • 1 package gluten free tortillas -- many corn tortillas are ok, but check for wheat flour as some brands are labeled as corn but also include wheat
  1. Preheat your oven to 450 degrees.
  2. Drain the beans and toss them in a good sized bowl.
  3. Add remaining ingredients (except the tortillas!) and stir until combined.
I find that steaming my gluten free tortillas makes them pliable enough to roll, so I set up a pot with about an inch of water, get that boiling and them set a cookie cooling rack on top of the open pot.  I set the stack of tortillas on the rack and cover with an oversized pot rack so they can steam for a few minutes.
  1. Now, take one tortilla and lay it out on your work surface.  Add about 3 Tbsp of filling in a line down the left edge.  Then fold the left edge over the filling and roll it tightly to the right.
  2. Lay the rolled taquito on a sheet tray and continue until you've used up your filling and tortillas.
  3. Put the pan into the oven, uncovered, for 10 minutes or until the edges just brown.
  4. Remove and let them cool for a few minutes before serving.

Sarah Lawrence

Easy Anytime Cookies

So, here’s a confession… I don’t buy food “treats” for my family often.  And, I’ve been told by my 10 year old that he needs more than fruits and veggies some days.  So, I’m stepping up my game and getting back into the healthy treat mentality.  I thought I had successfully won my people over on the whole foods 100% of the time, but what works for me isn’t working for them.  While I’m not conceding and running out to buy Ho-Ho’s and RingDings and neon orange cheese puffs, I feel good bringing homemade, lovingly made, whole food snacks back into the picture on a more regular basis.  What’s more… I am SO incredibly proud of my son for being able to iterate his needs.  He is a gorgeous example of doing what it takes to know what his body needs.  These cookies are quick to mix together, easy to freeze and slice off what you need and totally customizable to your tastes.  Easy, Anytime... easy anytime cookies. You can thank my boy for these… try them and let me know what you think!   [caption id="attachment_673" align="alignleft" width="640"]Easy Anytime Cookies Easy Anytime Cookies[/caption]   Easy Anytime Cookies 1 1/2 cups almond meal 1 cup brown rice flour or 1/2 cup brown rice flour + 1/2 cup quinoa or amaranth flour ½ cup potato starch (optional, but improves texture) 1 Tbsp vanilla powder (I use Authentic Foods) ¾ cup peanut butter 3 ripe bananas (if you prefer less banana flavor use green bananas) 1 cup mini chips (Enjoy Life vegan chips are great) or nuts or raisins or other dried fruit ** add in a Tablespoon of flax meal, chia seeds or hemp seeds for some omega 3 goodness!   Combine all ingredients except chips/add in's in your mixer bowl.  Using the paddle attachment, mix on medium speed until combined.  Then add in chips or nuts/fruit and mix gently to incorporate. Tip the dough onto a clean board and shape into a log.  Slice off the number of cookies you want to bake.  Wrap the remaining dough in parchment, plastic wrap or in a zip loc bag and freeze until ready to use. Place the dough slices on an ungreased baking sheet and bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 12-15 minutes.  The smaller your cookies, the less time they will need to cook. Frozen cookies will bake in about 15-18 minutes.

Sarah Lawrence

No Bake Brownie Bites

[caption id="attachment_593" align="alignleft" width="300"]No bake brownie Bites No bake brownie Bites[/caption] It is a hot one in New England today.  Scorchers like today just don’t make me want to bake, but I’ve been itching to try a black bean brownie recipe that my friend Kerri created.  With the humidity though, not even a battalion of flying monkeys was going to make me turn on the oven!  So, a little blitzing with a batch of black beans and a few yummy raw staples and a nifty, no bake, nut free brownie bite was born.  My favorite bite was one I rolled with a few dried blueberries.  If you like an earthy flavor, go for the buckwheat.  Otherwise, try the GF oat flour for a mild canvas and a great bite of heart healthy oat fiber.  *nut free, gluten free, dairy free No Bake Brownie Bites 1 cup oat flour (choose gluten free if you need it) or 1 cup raw sprouted buckwheat flour * or a combination of both flours -- buckwheat is earthy, oat is neutral 12 medool dates, pitted, about 1 cup 1-2 droppers of liquid stevia or a few more dates to taste ¼-½ cup cacao powder 1 ½ cups black beans, unseasoned (drained and rinsed if from a can) ¼ cup water ¼ cup coconut oil Add ins of your choice – see end of recipe In your food processor, pulse the pitted dates a few times until they start to break down and get like a paste.  Add the black beans and process until smooth.  Add the remaining ingredients and pulse until you get a ball of dough.  You may need to add a bit more water or coconut oil depending on the moisture content of your beans and dates.  The consistency we’re going for is something like a stiff cookie dough or play dough. I like to line my small stone baking pan (8x6 or 8x8) with parchment paper, tip out the dough and press it firmly into the corners and then flat on the pan.  Fold the parchment over the mixture and refrigerate it so it firms up a bit more. Cut into ½ inch pieces.  Now you can get creative… you can roll the pieces into balls like truffles and swirl them around in cocoa or cacao powder, cinnamon, coconut, chopped nuts, matcha powder, powdered berries.  You can mix in dried fruit; dried blueberries and chopped dried cherries are my favorite.  You can leave the bites as squares and drizzle with chocolate sauce or spread with a thin layer of ganache.  Bottom line is that these are slightly sweet, fiber rich, heart healthy bites. *To make sprouted buckwheat flour start with raw buckwheat groats.  Soak them for about 2 hours, then rinse and drain.  Let the soaked groats sit in a sprouting bag or a glass container (lightly covered with a clean cloth) overnight.  Rinse the groats after 24 hours.  If they are sprouting, great… if not, let them sit another night.  Once the groats have nice sprout tails you can either set them on a baking sheet and let them dry before grinding them to flour or you can pop them in a dehydrator.  If you have a dehydrator, you’ll know what to do with it.  Otherwise, rinse the sprouts gently and drain them, then lay them on a baking sheet and let them dry out overnight.  You may need to stir them or flip them to help them dry evenly.  I used about 1 ½ cups of sprouted buckwheat groats to get my 1 cup of flour.  A clean coffee/spice grinder makes quick work of this job, but a food processor will work too. BONUS: My Daily Green --Red Cabbage, grapefruit and ginger Salad
  • thinly sliced red cabbage with grapefruit, pickled ginger and a splash of rice wine vinegar
  • a few handfuls of seasonal greens

Sarah Lawrence

You can't beet this juice

[caption id="attachment_590" align="alignleft" width="300"]Ruby Red Energy Juice Ruby Red Energy Juice[/caption]
Veggie juices and smoothies are a quick solution to morning nutrition.  While a juicer can make the process a breeze, you can also employ your high speed blender, a nut milk bag and a little therapeutic hand work for the same result.  Prefer to keep your foods full of fiber?  No problem!  Add a few small apples to the blender along with a splash of water and you can create a velvety, sweet smoothie that will perk you up all morning long while providing filling liquid nutrients that are equally easy on your GI tract. 
  When choosing greens for this or any juice/smoothie, consider Romaine not only for it’s watery sweetness but also for Vitamin A, K and C; spinach for manganese, magnesium, iron, calcium and potassium as well as Vitamins K and C; kale for Vitamins K, A and C as well as a bunch of minerals.  Every leafy green is pretty much a nutrient dense powerhouse.  Greens are also a source of ALA which is an Omega 3 fatty acid.  Omega’s 3’s are making headlines all over the nutrition world these days, and you can get yourself a plant strong shot of them first thing out the gate every morning by including greens in your juices and smoothies.  Vitamin and Nutrient levels differ based on variety, so my approach is to use a combination of the greenest greens every day.  But if I had to choose just one green, hands down, it would be kale… Kale will add slight bitterness to your drink, but it is full of glucosinolates (pronounced “glue-co-sin-o-lates”) which our bodies break down into isothiocyanates or (ITCs) (pronounced “I-so-thigh-o-sigh-a-nates”).  While those are a mouthful to say they are worth the trouble!  ITC’s are major players in cellular detoxification as well as being documented cancer preventers and cancer fighters.  It may sound like I’m pitching you something in an info-mercial when I say, “but wait… that’s not all!”  Truth is, that’s not all!  Kale is rich in antioxidants (specifically lutein, beta-carotein and quercetin, but there are at least 40 more); these antioxidants protect your body from all kinds of oxidative damage.  They are like a clean up and repair crew at a cellular level.  They are the anti-inflammatories in nature’s medicine chest.  You want these guys on your varsity team and juices and smoothies like this one are a painless way to play.     If you’re an info junkie, like me, click to check out The George Mateljan Foundation website for a lot more documentation on kale.  You can also look up other foods… in case you’re curious! Red Rising 1 ruby red grapefruit, peeled (any grapefruit will do, but ruby reds are a little sweeter) ½ lemon, peeled (unless it’s organic, then throw it in peel and all) 1 big beet, raw (scrubbed and quartered) 1 lb greens liquid stevia (optional)
  1. Place ingredients in Vitamix or high speed blender in the order listed so the juiciest items hit the blades first.  Blend until smooth.
  2. Pour the puree into your nut milk bag.  Twist the top closed and start massaging the juice out of the bag.
  3. If you need to adjust for sweetness, try a drop of liquid stevia.  Personally, I find the slight bitterness of this blood red juice to be just perfect, but if you’re not used to the bitter flavor or prefer something with a hint of sweetness, give it a drop and a stir and go from there.
Berry Good Variations (wink!):  Add 1 cup of raspberries, strawberries or cherries. Alternative:  Add 2 apples and about ½ cup of water to create a smoothie rather than juice.  Blend as above, but do not strain.  Just pour and enjoy.

Sarah Lawrence

Banana Goji Berry Smoothie

Add this guy to your smoothie list… this one tastes like banana while having the antioxidant benefits of the goji, omega 3’s from the flax oil and the killer nutrient punch from the kale.  It’s an earthy orange color and my kids gave it two thumbs up!  Nervous about adding kale or greens to your smoothie?  I was too... but the thing is that you really don't end up tasting them.  In this recipe, you taste the banana and the goji's and the color masks the greens well.  In some of my other recipes, I use blueberries or other berries to make the smoothies more appealing to the eye while also making them taste like fruit.  The BIGGEST ISSUE with adding greens to smoothies is usually the texture.  If you have a vitamix you'll be fine because that thing blends just about anything to a silky smooooooth perfection.  If you're using another blender you may find the texture to be grainy.  If that's the case you can try steaming the greens without any seasoning and then adding the wilted greens to the blender.  Another thing to note is that smoothies are a great way to incorporate your powdered probiotics.  I use a product that has a very high count of beneficial bacteria to manage my autoimmune imbalance.  Even though I use the unflavored version, it doesn't taste good when mixed with just water, so I pour out everyone elses portions of smoothie and then add in my packet, blend and I'm good to go! Looking for other smoothie recipes?  Use the search box on this page and type in “smoothie” or check out my smoothie page.  I am working to update the list.  We start every day with a fruit and vegetable packed smoothie, so I’ve not even typed up a fraction of the ones we’ve made… [caption id="attachment_505" align="alignnone" width="300" caption="This one is a nice earthy orange color"]Banana Goji Berry Smoothie[/caption] Banana Goji Berry Smoothie (serves 3) 3 bananas 2 cups almond milk 2 Tbsp flax oil ½ goji berries 2- 3 cups kale (I just pack the Vitamix with kale and blend) Blend everything in the Vitamix until smooth. Serve.

Sarah Lawrence

Apple Walnut Muffins (gluten-dairy-egg free)

Apple season is upon us and the bushel of apples on my kitchen counter are calling to me to use them!  These apples are so beautiful that you can shine them up on your pant leg and sink your teeth right in for an oh-so-sweet-crisp-tangy-amazing bite and be at one with the apple bliss.  That's a given.  But, so are these... Cinnamon apples, apple chips, apple slices, apple granola, apple smoothies, apple sorbet, apple butter, apple pie, apple cake.... and, ah, apple muffins! I make mini muffins more than full size muffins not only because they're cuter, but because they are easier to pack in lunch boxes, easier to freeze and just the right size to have with a cup of tea.  Check out the alternative fruit and nut combinations and have fun making muffins with or for your loved ones!  Know that you're getting whole grains and healthy fats in these little gems. Apple Walnut Muffins [caption id="attachment_478" align="alignright" width="300" caption="Apple Walnut Mini Muffins"]Apple Walnut Mini Muffins[/caption] (yield 24 mini or 12 regular muffins) Flour blend: ½ cup sorghum flour ½ cup quinoa or millet flour ½ cup amaranth flour ½ cup arrowroot flour 1 tsp xanthan gum ½ tsp salt 1 tsp baking soda 1 tsp baking powder 1 tsp gluten free vanilla powder (or add 2 tsp gluten free vanilla liquid extract to the liquid mix) Liquid blend: ½ cup rice syrup or 3 medool dates, softened in ½ cup water and blended until smooth or ½ cup maple syrup 1 Tbsp chia seed ¼ cup hot water ¼ cup coconut oil 1 ripe banana, mashed 1 tsp apple cider vinegar Fruit/nut mix*: 1 ½ cups apple, small diced ¾ cup walnuts, chopped *other fruit/nut combos to try are pear/almond, banana/pecan, peach/cashew.  Substitute these fruits for the apple at the 1 ½ cup portion, however, for great results make sure to choose very firm, almost under-ripe fruits since these are all juicier or more liquid forming than apples.
  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  • Line the muffin pan of your choice with paper liners.
  • Combine the flour blend in a mixing bowl.
  • Combine the chia and hot water in a small bowl and set aside until the chia absorbs the water.
  • Combine the chia gel with the remaining ingredients for the liquid blend in another mixing bowl.  Make sure that the banana is very well washed and everything is quite a smooth liquid.   If you aren’t partial to the nubby bite that chia adds to baked goods, you can blend the liquid mixture in a Vitamix or other blender until the chia is smooth.
  • Pour the liquid blend into the flour and stir well to combine.  Fold in the diced apples and nuts.
  • Scoop tablespoon size portions into mini muffin cups or ¼ cup portions into regular muffin cups. 
  • Bake the mini’s for 12 minutes or until golden; bake regular muffins for 18-20 minutes.
  • Check the done-ness of one muffin by inserting a wooden tooth pick into the center and pulling it out.  If there is a goo on the stick, you need to bake for a few minutes longer.
  • Remove the muffins from the oven and transfer them from the tin to a cooling rack.  Gluten free baked goods have a tendency to be more moist than glutenous baked goods, so allowing these muffins to cool and get great air flow underneath the papers will help ensure bottoms that aren’t soggy.
  • Serve or freeze (freeze on a baking sheet and then transfer the frozen muffins to a zip lock or freezer safe container).


Quinoa Burgers with Greens and Chilled Curried Peach Soup

 I am so excited to share this meal with you!  My boys absolutely gobbled the burgers and each had several "sippers" of Curried Peach Soup.  The burger makes use of three of my weekly staples: quinoa, homemade hummus and kale; and the gorgeous organic peaches we picked up at the market this week really shine while boosting up Vitamin A, C and Potassium.  

Quinoa Burgers with Greens and Chilled Curried Peach Soup
Quinoa Burgers with Greens and Chilled Curried Peach Soup

Quinoa is such a superb seed!  Not only is it incredibly easy to prepare, versatile and yummy but it’s a powerhouse of protein, B vitamins, iron, zinc, potassium, calcium & vitamin E.  Here, quinoa shares center stage with the amazing chickpea, aka garbanzo.  The chickpea takes on a big role as a binder, but is so mild and creamy that the other flavors come through.  

I love that only one pot and one skillet are involved on the messy side of things (if you need to make the hummus, you’ll have the food processor to contend with as well).  But, this one take relatively little effort to get great results.  To make this guy your own, try changing the spices.  You can use another green in place of the kale or try combinations of herbs instead (parsley and cilantro, thyme and oregano, dill).  Finishing the patties with rice flour gives a light crust and makes for a pretty golden brown burger. Use your hands to mix things and you will soon get the feel for the right texture so you will be able to adapt to the ingredients you choose.  My hummus recipe is a stiff hummus, actually much more stiff than commercial varieties, so if you are using a store bought hummus you may need to add in the garbanzo flour or rice flour to aid in binding and reduce the moisture level. Quinoa Burgers (Makes 6 burgers) 1 cup quinoa + 2 cups water 1 Tbsp organic onion powder 2 cloves garlic, whole and unpeeled 1 cup homemade hummus (recipe below) 1/4 cup minced kale (about 2 leaves) 1 teaspoon Frontier All Purpose Seasoning or your favorite herb blend 1 teaspoon smoked paprika 2 Tablespoons Bragg Liquid Aminos 1-2 Tablespoons garbanzo bean flour or rice flour (as needed) Fresh ground black pepper Brown rice flour 1 Tbsp Olive oil Preheat a skillet to medium high heat and pour in the quinoa.  Lightly toast the seeds for a minute or two until they start to smell nutty but are NOT burnt.  Add in the 2 cups of water, onion powder and unpeeled garlic.  Bring the mixture to a simmer and cook for 10-15 minutes or until the water is absorbed.  Remove from the heat and fish out the garlic. Put your softened garlic onto a plate or cutting board and, with the edge of a knife, lightly press on the garlic to squish it out of the peel.  Add this back into the quinoa mixture. Add the hummus, kale, herbs, smoked paprika, Braggs and several grinds of pepper into the quinoa pot and mix well.  I like to use my hands for mixing because I get a good feel for the stickiness of the dough and can tell if things are binding together or if I am going to need to adjust with the bean/rice flour and/or water.  So, once the ingredients are incorporated take about ½ cup of the mixture and make a ball.  If you can shape it into a burger type patty without anything crumbling off or wilting over, then you have the right consistency.  If you can’t, and your mixture is too wet, sprinkle 1 Tablespoon of garbanzo flour over the mixture and stir it in.  If your mixture is too dry, try adding a teaspoon of water at a time and mixing.  We are looking to make a mixture that it neither too wet nor too dry.  We want moist. Continue adjusting until you get a patty that holds well on its own. [caption id="attachment_445" align="alignright" width="300" caption="ready for mixing"]ready for mixing[/caption] Divide the mixture into 6 equal bits and form into balls which you will then shape into ¼ inch thick patties. [caption id="attachment_444" align="alignright" width="300" caption="shaping and dredging"]shaping and dredging[/caption] Get your cast iron skillet hot over a high flame and coat it with the olive oil. Turn the heat to medium.  Lightly dredge the patties with some brown rice flour that you’ve put in a shallow bowl or plate.  Get your burgers into the skillet and cook for 5 minutes on each side or until you get some browning. Serve on your favorite bun or GF bread or set up a pretty plate with greens and fresh tomato and avocado.  I think a grainy mustard is a wonderful condiment for this burger, but you’ll find your favorite.   Homemade Hummus 3 cups cooked chickpeas ¼ cup tahini 3 cloves garlic juice of one organic lemon dash of salt and pepper 1 tsp ground cumin ½ tsp ground chipotle pepper (optional) Put all ingredients in your blender.  Pulse to combine and then blend until a smooth texture is achieved.  If needed, stream in a tablespoon or two of veg broth or olive oil to thin the mixture (this step is really dependent on the moisture level of your chickpeas and tahini, so it will vary). Flavor develops more after a day in the refrigerator, but this is totally great right out of the food processor.  Use half the batch for the quinoa burgers and enjoy the remainder with veggies during the week or as an accompaniment for salad, or thin it out with water or almond milk to make a luscious dressing/dip. ************************************************** My kids LOVE this soup!  It’s a great soup for teaching, actually, because each of the components tastes so different on their own.  Taste the ingredients one by one before putting everything into the blender and then taste the final product.  When combined, the flavor of this golden peachy toned creamy soup is a little sweet, a little spicy.  Chill for an hour or more before serving, but don’t keep it for more than a day as the color will go a funny orange and the peach flavor loses something. Chilled Peach Soup 4 organic peaches ¼ cup coconut flakes 1/2 cup water 1 teaspoon curry powder ½ tsp fresh grated ginger Wash and pit the peaches.  Put everything into the Vitamix and blend on low speed for 10 seconds.  Whiz on maximum speed for 30 seconds or until the coconut is thoroughly blended and the mixture is smooth.  Transfer to a bowl or container and chill for at least an hour before serving. Note: blender or food processor will work but may not yield a smooth texture.  If you don’t have a Vitamix, consider using ½ cup of prepared coconut milk instead of coconut flakes and water.


Peanut Butter Cookies and Bars

The beauty of summer is that my boys are with me all the time.  Yesterday afternoon, my 9 year old came inside wanting a break from the nerf war and yard play with his brother.  Luckily, my husband was heading into the woods to do some tree work and our 5 year old was more than happy to tag along.... so me and my firstborn had the kitchen to ourselves.  These not-too-sweet, not-too-peanutty treats are the result of our kitchen experiment.  We will definitely play with this dough some more to create variations, but it's a great dough right out of the gate.  Share worthy for sure! GFV Peanut Butter Cookies + Bars 1 ½  cups brown rice flour ½  cup arrowroot starch 1 tsp baking soda 1 tsp xanthan gum 1 cup peanut butter 1 tsp ground cinnamon 2 Tbsp flax seed meal 8 medool dates, pitted 1 cup water Turn on your oven to 350 degrees and get it nice and warm while we work on the dough. Remove the pits from the dates and place the dates into your food processor.  Pulse until the dates form a sticky paste.  Add the brown rice flour, flax seed meal, arrowroot, baking soda and xanthan gum.  Pulse until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.  Spoon the peanut butter into the food processor and pulse to combine.  Begin streaming in the water while pulse until a uniform, creamy batter comes together.  This is a bit stiff, so be careful not to overload your machine! Scoop out 24 tablespoons, rolling each Tbsp into a ball.   We had fun pressing each ball flat with the bottom of our measuring cup.  The edges crinkled and the centers were smooth.  The cookies hold their shape and don't spread.  I can fit 12 cookies on each baking sheet. Bake for 12 minutes on a parchment lined cookie sheet. With the remaining cup of dough, either roll out more cookies or try this: Add: ½ cup gluten free oats ¼ cup vegan chocolate chips or minced raisins or minced dried cranberries (or all 3, but then you'll have to add 1/4 cup more peanut butter and a dash more water) ¼ cup peanut butter 2 Tbsp chia seeds + 8 Tbsp water + 1 tsp vanilla Mix the add in’s with the dough until everything is combined.  Press into a small bar pan (6 x 10 inches) or shape into a rectangle on a parchment lined baking sheet. Bake at 375 for 25 minutes, cool and slice.  


Chocolate Cherry Berry Smoothie

Ah, it's a good morning!  The leaves are bursting from the trees, the grass is greening and the air carries the heady scent of waking soil.  It's an overcast morning here in NH, a beautiful grey morning.  My morning smoothie reminds me of the rich brown mulch that so many gardeners are spreading out these days.  The color is deep purply brown and the taste is very chocolately with a cool cherry tone.  The blueberries really fade into the background, but they add great nutrition.  And the spinach, well, you won't even know it's there.  This is a great intro smoothie for anyone leery of the green smoothie.  This smoothie is also a great cloak for probiotic powder, fish oil and flax seed.  Get all your goodies in one sip without the ick factor. [caption id="attachment_344" align="alignleft" width="225" caption="Chocolate CherryBerry Smoothie Poured"]Chocolate CherryBerry Smoothie Poured[/caption] Chocolate Cherry Berry Smoothie (Yields about 3 cups of smoothie ~ enough for 2 to share or 1 to savor) 1 cup frozen cherries 1 cup frozen blueberries 2 Tbsp cocoa powder or 1 Tbsp raw cacao powder* 1 cup almond milk or alternative milk of your choice or water 3 big handfuls of baby spinach, about 2 cups Additions: 2 Tbsp flaxseed meal or 1 Tbsp chia seeds, any powdered supplements you use, etc
*Cacao contains caffeine and is a stimulant so I don't use it if I am sharing my smoothie with my children.  However, if I need a little pick up in the morning, 1 Tbsp of cacao in a smoothie works just like a cup of coffee.
Put everything in your Vitamix or other blender and whiz on low speed for a few seconds until the spinach starts to work into the mix.  Use the tamper to push down the spianch as needed.  Increase speed to high and blitz the mix to a smooth and luscious smoothie! [caption id="attachment_343" align="alignleft" width="225" caption="Chocolate CherryBerry Spinach Smoothie in the blender"]Chocolate CherryBerry Spinach Smoothie[/caption] If the smoothie is too thick for your liking, you can thin it out with more almond milk.  You can also thin it out if you need more servings, but I would suggest adding more berries and a bit more cocoa powder if you're going that route.  My general rule is at least one serving of fruit and one serving of veg per person being served.


Cashew Chickpea "Burgers"

I don't have a ton of time to write tonight, but this was SOOOO good!  Baseball practice ran an hour later than expected tonight, so I needed a quick dinner.  With a bit of leftover white beans, some garbanzo flour and a healthy handful of parsley the humble cashew is again a kitchen favorite. 
Cashew Chickpea Burger
Cashew Chickpea Burger
Cashew Chickpea Burger
1 cup raw cashews 1 onion 2 cloves garlic 1 bunch parsley ¾ cup cooked white beans (this is a great way to use leftover beans!) 1 cup garbanzo bean flour ¼ cup braggs amino acids or gluten free soy sauce juice of 1 lemon ¼ cup water Place cashews, onion and garlic in the food processor and pulse until you have a coarsely ground mixture.  Add in the parsley and beans and pulse the mixture again.  We don’t want a paste, but we are looking for everything to be combined with no large chunks. Go ahead and add the garbanzo bean flour into the food processor and give it a pulse or two.  Stream in the liquids and add up to ½ cup of water if needed to make a smooth batter.  The batter will thicken over the next 10 minutes, so don’t worry if it seems liquidy.  [caption id="attachment_335" align="alignnone" width="300" caption="Cashew Chickpea Batter"]Cashew Chickpea Batter[/caption] Once blended, transfer the batter to a bowl and let it sit for about 10 minutes.  If the batter seems very liquidy after sitting for 10 minutes add another ¼ cup of garbanzo bean flour and stir it thoroughly to combine.  This should thicken the batter.   Now, start prepping your cook surface.  You can use a skillet, grill pan, griddle… whatever you choose.  When your batter is set, get your cook surface lightly oiled and hot over medium heat.  Scoop out a few portions of batter at a time and spread it out to about ¼ inch thick patty shape.  Cook for approximately 2 minutes per side.  The patties will get crisp and golden.  Set on paper towel to absorb any excess oil while you continue to scoop batter and cook the remainder of the batch. Serve over mixed greens with minted veg on the side or pop a few little patties into pita if you can do gluten.  Yummy hot, warm or cold!  The patties firm up as they cool and make a great finger food for little ones. Variations:  use black beans instead of white (navy or cannellini beans); try adding 1 TBSP rosemary or sage with the parsley; substitute cilantro for the parsley and serve with salsa; season with a tsp or two of cumin or curry powder; use cooked lentils instead of beans.