Sunday, December 30, 2012

Happy New Year from WAHFE!

I've been really quiet on the blog this month but I thought I'd post our family photo from our "Happy New Year" cards that went out to friends and family on Christmas Eve.  It's become a tradition that I send out Happy New Year cards after Christmas because...

1. I'm a procrastinator when it comes to getting a family photo done for the card and
2. My husband's side of the family doesn't celebrate Christmas because they are Hindu! 

So it gives me extra time to get a photo done and seems more appropriate and cost effective that we send out Happy New Year cards so I don't have to get two separate sets of cards done.

I hope that all of my blog followers had a mostly great 2012 and are ready for a fresh new year of great things in 2013!

Some of the highlights of 2012 for me personally and on the blog include:

  • My attendance at the 2012 Food Blog Forum at Disney World where the chefs greeted me with wonderful vegan food and I got to reconnect with all of my Food Blog friends.
  • A weekend of workshops at the first annual Florida Herbal Conference in Ocala, where I gained new knowledge about the use of herbs for health.
  • My daughter's participation in the Portion Size Me Snack Wars Challenge
  • A week long trip to Paris with my husband as an early celebration of my 40th birthday

  • Joining the Raw Food Jump Start and Teacher Training at Eva Rawposa's Uncooking School.
  • And lastly, my daughter Anika's successful first year of competitive gymnastics and participation in the USAG state tournament...all in good health and free of injuries
So many great things happened, I feel truly blessed and ready to take on 2013! 

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Simple Collard Chips

Yes, you read that right!  Collard Chips.  Kale Chips are so last year.  And since I don't have a dehydrator, I like to cook them at a low temperature for up to 40 minutes so they still have a slight bit of "chewyness" to them.  I don't really have a recipe for this other than to say you need 2 heads of Organic collards and a bottle of Organic Low Sodium Tamari.  Then follow these directions....

Step 1: Tear 2 heads of unwashed collards off the thick stem in chip size pieces
Step 2: Soak in filtered water for 10-15 minutes and put through a salad spinner
Step 3: Hand toss/massage with 1 1/2 tbsp of Organic Low Sodium Tamari and let it sit for 10 minutes to absorb. Heat oven to 200F.
Step 4: Spread the collards out flat on several trays lined with parchment paper.  Do not spray with oil.  I use a Silpat silicon mat to keep the collards from sticking.
Step 5: Keep an eye on the chips after 25 minutes.  Some of them will dry out faster than others.  You can start removing the really dry ones so they don't become paper thin and fall apart when you pick them up :-)  Depending on your oven it could take up to 45 minutes to cook them all this way.
Step 6: These are not dippable chips, but you could lightly spoon some hummus on them if you wanted to.  Enjoy with your kids!  They will love them.  And the best thing ever is sending them to school in their lunch and hearing how everyone thought they looked disgusting but really wanted to try one.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Homemade Vegan Sushi

Most people are surprised to find out that sushi doesn't have to contain raw fish.  You can normally find several vegetable rolls on the menus of most Japanese restaurants where you can choose from tempura sweet potato, tempura asparagus, avocado, carrots, cabbage and tofu.  You can also order miso soup and a salad with ginger dressing and you have a completly vegan meal!

The sushi pictured above has carrots, tofu and avocado.  I added nutritional yeast for extra nutrition. I also used Organic Eco-Farmed Basmati rice, so don't think you need to buy special short grain sushi rice...or a sushi mat for that matter.  You just need the sushi nori (seaweed sheets), which you can get from any health food store or asian store.

This past week has been a big sushi week as I have packed it in my kid's lunch boxes every single day.  The trick is making the rice the night before AND cutting up your tofu and carrots in little pieces.   Then it's literally a 3 minute assembly process per roll in the morning.   There's a nice step-by-step recipe with pictures at  You don't need to flavor the rice the way they did it, though it probably does taste better.  I just season mine with rice vinegar and dip in low sodium Organic Tamari.  And as I mentioned, you can also add nutritional yeast!

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Very Pumpkin Smoothie

It's that pumpkin time of year again where we must find creative ways to eat pumpkin!  This smoothie is not raw but I am going to try a raw version using an organic pie pumpkin in the near future.  Pumpkin is a nutritional powerhouse.  We all need to eat more of it, but not so much in baked goods where a lot of the nutrition gets lost :)  According to, pumpkin is a good source of Vitamin E, Thiamin, Niacin, Vitamin B6, Folate, Iron, Magnesium and Phosphorus, and a very good source of Dietary Fiber, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Riboflavin, Potassium, Copper and Manganese.
So eat more a smoothie!
Makes two 24 oz smoothies + extra
1 cup cooked pumpkin (I used Organic canned)
2 frozen bananas
2 cups ice cubes
2 1/2  cups unsweetened Almond milk
1 tsp Vanilla
1 tsp Cinnamon
Toss everything in a high powered blender and blend until smooth.  This smoothie is very pumpkin flavored and not very sweet.  If you want it sweeter you can add a medjool date or two or agave nectar to taste.


Sunday, October 21, 2012

Raw Curried Okra Salad

If you saw my post from over a week ago you know I have an entire bin full of okra in my refrigerator, probably more than 5 pounds worth.  And at the rate we are harvesting it from our garden, we will need to consume at least 1 pound a day so that our refrigerator does not start to overflow...or worse, so that the older pieces don't start going bad.

One friend suggested I blanch and freeze a bunch of it.  But, based on my past history of freezing things from the garden and using them in recipes later, I decided not do too much of it this way.  I use a lot of frozen fruit, frozen spinach, and frozen sweet potato chunks.  But other frozen veggies typically get overlooked once they arrive on the "frozen vegetables" section of my freezer.

While searching for raw okra recipes I came across this one at Raw Girl in a Toxic World.

Her recipe had 1/3 cup of olive oil and well, you know how I'm a bit of a freak about using too much oil...especially when you don't really need it for food to taste good most of the time.  I also had some leftover sweet yellow onions that I had marinated in coconut aminos, so those got thrown in too.  So here is my modified version of the recipe.

1 pound of Okra sliced into 1/2 inch rounds
1 ear of Corn soaked in hot water and removed from the ear/stalk
1/3 cup Vidalia Sweet Onion sliced thin and soaked in Coconut Amino Acids
1/2 tsp Coriander
1/2 tbsp Curry Powder
1 1/2 tsp Organic Low Sodium Tamari
Juice from 1/2 a lime

Put everything into a big bowl and then massage the spices and tamari into the veggies.  If it's not salty enough for your taste, try adding more lime juice before adding sea salt.  If you think it needs oil, go ahead and drizzle a little EVOO over the top, but I personally didn't miss it!

Let me know what you think in the comments below :)

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Almost Raw Taco Salad

I am on a mission to find 30 super easy and delicious raw dishes that don't require a food dehydrator.  This is one of them!  This Almost Raw Taco Salad recipe comes from the Oh She Glows blog.  It's so incredibly simple, visually impressive, and yummy!  And it's a great recipe for men who think raw food is boring and not filling. 

I called this recipe "Almost Raw" because I used the Guiltless Gourmet Organic Baked Corn Chips in place of high fat flax seed crackers made in a dehydrator.  The salad has plenty of fat with the avocado, walnut taco meat and cashew cream "cheese".  I didn't see the point in making the meal 100% raw if it meant eating 60% or more of my calories in fat! 

I'm not opposed to eating fat, but as stated many times before on my blog, I do believe fat should be limited to 20% or less of calories...regardless of whether you are eating high raw or not.  Some raw foodists think that as long as you eat whole fats it doesn't matter how much you consume on a daily basis.  I very much disagree and I think it's one of the reasons people give up on eating raw long term. Fat is fat, even if you are consuming healthy fats, too much of it can lead to health issues.

Stepping down off my soapbox now.  Please give this recipe a try!  I promise you will not be disappointed :)

Monday, October 8, 2012

Matcha Green Tea Chia Porridge

On those mornings you are needing a healthy dose of caffeine, this is a good option!  Meet my Matcha Green Tea Chia Porridge.  It's even more simple to make than my regular Chia Porridge recipe.  It's simply 1 cup of Unsweetened Almond Breeze, 1 tsp Matcha Powder, and sweeten to taste with raw agave or maple syrup.  Stir all three in a bowl for 2-3 minutes and let sit for 10 minutes.  You can additionally top with fruit and coconut flakes.

Now if you are looking to get fancy with it, you can go to Aarti Parti's website and try her Green Tea Chia Pudding.  Or go to Good Graces for a Coconut Matcha Pudding made with Coconut Milk!

Have fun with it and enjoy!

Garden Goodness: Overstocked with Okra!

We are harvesting large bowls full of okra every day from our garden, and even though we made okra twice over the weekend we STILL have so much of it! 

Since we are doing a lot with raw food I have been looking up recipes for raw okra, which I think I may prefer over cooked okra since cooking it makes it a bit slimy.

Do any of my followers have tried and true okra recipes that are raw or cooked and low in oil?  Please post in the comments below!

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Rawsta! (or raw vegan "pasta")

We had raw pasta for dinner twice this week!  The first photo is of a Low Fat Raw Vegan Pad Thai by raw foodist Megan Elizabeth.  The recipe is within the video, so if you don't have time to watch it all, you can fast forward to the end and there is a slide with the full recipe.

I also purchased some of Megan Elizabeth's Low Fat Vegan recipe eBooks.  I'll be blogging about some of those recipes in the coming week!  I've just found that my body does so much better when I restrict nuts and fats, so I'm happy to have found her videos and website!

The second photo pictured above is a modified recipe from Choosing Raw.  I wanted to reduce the nuts so I used 1/2 cup of raw Zucchini in place of 1/2 cup of the nuts.  I am going to work with this one more because it ended up being a bit watery, probably because of the zuchini.  So I suggest if you make my modification that you add only a 1/4 cup of water and then check the consistency.

If you are wondering how I Spiralized my zuchini, I used a Spirooli!  They are cheaply made in China so I don't how long they last, but so far it's getting the job done.  You can find Spiroolis on Amazon.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Baked Eggplant with Ginger and Agave Marinade

I needed to get dinner on the table in a hurry last Friday night because everyone was crying about how they were "starving".  Okay, so I was starving too!  When I eat lunch at 12pm and then have dinner at 7:30pm, even with a snack in between, it's hard not to be really hungry.

Adapting a "Ginger and Honey Marinade" recipe from Modern Spice by Monica Bhide, I think I did okay, because everyone gobbled up every last bit of the eggplant.

Ginger and Agave Marinade
1 tbs grated peeled fresh ginger
1/4 cup Raw Agave Nectar
1 tsp red chile flakes
1/2 cup no sodium veg stock
1/2 tsp grated lime zest
1 tbsp low sodium tamari
Sauteed Onions and fresh chopped basil for garnish

I combined the first 6 ingredients in a bowl and then poured over my 1/4 inch sliced eggplant.  Then I put it oven at 400 and baked it until it looked all nice and cooked.  I think it was not more than 15 minutes.  Oh, and you will need 2-3 medium size eggplants for this :)

Vineet was out in the garden when he saw me taking photos of dinner...


Monday, September 17, 2012

Meet our new Family Member (And what he eats!)

He's a little camera shy but isn't he a cutie?!  Meet Raju, our newest family member. He is a 9 pound Chihuahua that we rescued from Orange County Animal Services about 6 weeks ago.

Believe it or not we are first time dog owners. We've always been cat people, but decided to look at dogs one day when we were at Animal Services looking at kittens.  We found this little guy and just fell in love.  He has been a wonderful addition to our family especially since my kids have been asking for a new sibling.  No, we won't be having more of those!  I love my kids, but I feel like adding more kids will take away from the attention I'm able to give them.  A dog was the perfect new addition.

We started him right away on a Vegan kibble by Natural Balance.  He had hook worms when we got him and I figured I would wait and see if the food would help rid them from his system since it's more alkaline, and I was right!  The worms were gone within 2 weeks!

I'd love to hear from any of my subscribers who have had their pets on a vegan diet for more than a year and how it's working.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Stuffed Poblano Peppers

Nothing here was from our garden, but boy these peppers are really YUMMY!  I have blogged about these previously under "The Worst Thing We Ate Last Week and Then Came Monday Scones" but didn't put a recipe with it.  Gotta love the title of that post!  And it looks like I sprayed them with oil last time, but it's not necessary.

As I mentioned before, I originally got the idea for the recipe from my Sister In Law who got the idea from the Food Network Show "Throwdown with Bobby Flay".  Of course his version was not vegan.

I have since made some changes to the sauce to make it a little less fattening.  Served with salad these make a super easy and delicious weeknight meal.

Serves a Family of 4

6 Poblano peppers
4 Red Bell Peppers
2 packages cooked Seeds of Change Brown Rice Pilaf (I used only one packet of the seasoning for both packages of cooked rice)  Alternatively you can cook your own brown rice in low sodium veg broth or no sodium stock.
Cilantro (for garnish)
1/2 can of light coconut milk or 3/4 cup of unsweetened organic soy milk (room temperature)

Place Poblanos and Red Bell Peppers under the broiler until lightly charred and soft. I put them on a non stick baking sheet. Take them out of the oven and remove any major pieces of char (unless you like that stuff, but realize that it ages your body :-/). 

Cook pilaf according to box directions, adding only one packet of seasoning to keep sodium down.    While rice is cooking you can start making the sauce.

Put your red bell peppers into a high speed blender along with the coconut milk.  Blend until smooth and warm.

When the rice is done, stuff your Poblanos with the rice and then pour the sauce over the top! Garnish with chopped cilantro if you like.  Super easy and super yum :)

Pair this meal with a green salad or bean salad and you have a healthy, delicious and quick weeknight meal!

Friday, September 14, 2012

Chili made from Eggplants in our Garden


We are harvesting a lot of eggplants from our garden at the end of summer.  Since we can't really eat them raw, (or at least I don't want to eat them raw!),  I've been perusing all of my recipe books for easy dinners with eggplant.  I came across this really good one in Appetite for Reduction by Isa Moskowitz and it was a least for my husband who went back for two additional servings!

Aside from the intial chopping of veggies, it really comes together without much effort :)  

Lentil and Eggplant Chili Mole
Makes 6 Servings
Active Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour

1 tsp olive oil (I used veg broth)
1 small onion, cut into medium dice
1 red bell pepper, cut into medium dice
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbsp mild chili powder
2 tsp ground cumin
2 tsp ground coriander
2 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
3/4 tsp salt
2 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
1 cup dried green lentils, washed
4 cups vegetable broth
1 (15 oz) can diced tomatoes
2 pds eggplant, cut into 3/4 inch cubes
2 tsp agave nectar or pure maple syrup
Cilantro, for garnish (optional)

Preheat a 4-quart pot over medium-high heat. Saute the onions and bell pepper in the oil until translucent, 5 to 7 minutes. Add the garlic and saute for another minute, using nonstick cooking spray or a splash of water if it's sticking. Mix in the chili powder, cumin coriander, oregano, cinnamon, and salt.  Add 1/2 cup of the vegetable broth and the cocoa powder, and cook for about 1 more minute while stirring to dissolve the cocoa.

Add the lentils, remaining vegetable broth, diced tomatoes, and eggplant. Cover the pot and bring the mixture to a boil, keeping a close eye on it. Once it's boiling, lower the heat to a simmer and cook for about 40 minutes, until the lentils are tender and the eggplant is soft.  Mix in the agave. Taste for salt and seasoning.

Let the chili sit for 10 minutes or so for maximum flavor. Serve garnished with cilantro, if you like.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Berry Buckwheat Muffins

So part of our raw food kick has been using more raw buckwheat, which is Gluten Free!  And as you might have guessed, this recipe is not "raw" because I don't have a dehydrator.  To tell you the truth, I'm not all that certain I really want one.  I'm convinced that owning one of those contraptions creates a sort of obsession with raw food.  Yes you can make raw pancakes, raw breads, raw muffins, crackers, wraps, etc.  But you have to use a lot of nuts, seeds, and oils in most of those recipes, making them high in fat and not all that healthy.  And when you consume anything dehydrated, your body has to rehydrate those foods for digestion.

Of course, I'll make things raw when I can but as long as I'm using organic whole food ingredients in my recipes, I have no problem at all with cooked food!

These Blueberry Buckwheat Muffins are from "Get It Ripe" by Jae Steele.

Berry Buckwheat Muffins
Ingredients 1 3/4

1 3/4 cups whole raw buckwheat
2 cups filtered room temperature water
1/2 cup maple syrup
1/3 cup organic Unsweetened Soy Milk or Almond Milk
1/3 cup flax seeeds
1/4 cup coconut oil
2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
zest of 1 organic lemon (2 tsp lightly packed)
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp anise seeds, ground (optional)
1 tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
2 cups frozen (not thawed) mixed berries

Rinse buckwheat, then combine it in a bowl with the room temperature filtered water and soak overnight (or combine with the just-boiled water and soak for 1 hour)

Preheat oven to 375F. Prepare a muffin tray with paper liners.  You'll need 16 cups instead of 12.

Pour soaked buckwheat (along with any unabsorbed water) into food processor or blender, add the syrup, milk, flax seeds, oil, lemon juice, zest, anise and salt, and give it a whirl for about 1 minute, until the buckwheat kernels are blended down.  Add the baking powder and soda, and blend again for 10 seconds to combine.

Pour the batter into a large bowl and fold in the blueberries with a silicone spatula.

Portion batter into muffin cups, filling them to the top, and bake for 25 minutes, until the tops are domed and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Stores in an airtight container for up to 2 days, or in fridge for up to a week.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Live Chocolate Mousse

I just realized it's been a whole month since I last posted on my blog!  I'm a baaaad food blogger.  Well, the biggest two things happening in my life are my kids starting public school after homeschooling them for three years AND holy crap, I'm turning 40 this month!  I think those are good excuses.  So to make up for it I am posting a dessert recipe today!  A Gluten Free Vegan Raw Chocolate Mousse!

I've made a simplified version of this recipe so many times with just avocado, cocoa powder, and agave nectar and my kids would always eat it, but they never "loved" it.   Well now that I've figured out how to make it thicker and chocolatier by adding raw almond butter to the mix they can't get enough of it :)  Oh yeah, and my husband loves it too.  And it goes great in a lunchbox for school or work as a super healthy dessert.

I adapted this recipe from the March 2010 edition of Vegetarian Times.  If you are not a subscriber and would like to be, please go and subscribe now at where they have the lowest subscriber rates.

Live Chocolate Mousse

3 Haas Avocados
1/4 cup plus 3 tbs. Maple Syrup
1/4 cup plus 2 tbs. Raw Cocoa Powder (or just unsweetened if you don't have raw)
3 tbs. raw almond butter
1 tsp lemon juice
Pinch ground cinnamon

Toss it all in your Vitamix, Magic Bullet or whatever high speed blender and blend until smooth. 

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Raw Collard Wraps

I'm back to putting more recipes on the blog since friends on my Facebook page are drooling over my food photos and asking for recipes :) And ahem, I haven't posted in a couple of weeks ;-/

This one takes some time to prep and assemble but it's so worth it!  And you will have enough leftover hummus and nut cheese to keep in the refrigerator for a couple of days so when you want a quick lunch, you just have to assemble-which is the quick part!

The Zuchini Hummus and Nut Cheese in this recipe are from Raw Food Chef, Amber Crawley's book Practically Raw.  I love love love this book!  It is a MUST buy for anyone new to raw food that doesn't have a dehydrator and doesn't care to go 100% raw.

One bundle of Organic Collards
6 carrots peeled and chopped
1-2 cucumbers
1 large or 1 1/2 medium zuchini peeled and chopped (2 1/2 to 3 cups)
1/2 cup tahini
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 small clove garlic, peeled
1/2 tsp agave nectar
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/4 tsp ground cumin (soaked for 2-4 hours and drained)
1 cup raw cashews
1/2 cup filtered water
1/2 tsp probiotic (optional)
1 tsp nutritional yeast
1/2 tsp lemon juice
1/2 tsp salt

First wash and dry the collards. Look closely at the leafs because sometimes bugs form their homes on them :) Now cut the stem off of the end, but don't cut into the leaf to remove all of it. Instead of cutting into the leaf to remove the thick part of the stem you will thin the stem out with a knife by folding the collard in half gently so as not to tear the collard and then take your knife and thin away!

Next, put your carrots in the food processor using the "shred" blade. Wash the cucumbers and depending on how many wraps you are making you will want to chop 1 cucumber for every 3 wraps. You can either slice it thin with a mandoline or give them a medium dice.  Set these aside and start making the nut cheese and hummus!

To make the hummus you will put the zuchini, tahini, lemon juice, garlic, agave, sea salt and cumin into the food processor and blend until smooth. Transfer to a glass storage container and refrigerate.

Rinse out your food processor cause we're going to use it again for the Nut Cheese!  And in the process we are going to make Cashew Milk!  Bonus!  Throw your cashews and water into the food processor. and blend until smooth. Strain off the pulp with a fine mesh strainer or nut milk bag. Squeeze the bag or push down on the pulp in the strainer with a big spoon until you have most of the water out.  Pour the "milk" into a glass jar and put in the refrigerator.

Now in a bowl you can mix the probiotic powder, nutritional yeast, lemon juice and salt with the leftover cashew pulp.  Place in refrigerator while you are assembling....

Lay a collard leaf out on a plate.  Spread your hummus down the center of the leaf over the stem.  Now put a handful of shredded carrot and handful of chopped cucumber on the top part of the leaf where you will start rolling.  Put some cashew cheese on top.  Fold the left and right sides in toward the center and start rolling the collard toward you. Cut in half , right across the stem, and enjoy!  Or make more!

Friday, July 20, 2012

WAHFE Goes on a Raw Food Kick!

I've been on the Uncooking School's email list since last year but after participating in a weekly raw food exchange between friends, I have been inspired to move to the next level and join the "Ultimate Raw Food Jump Start".  I'll be learning more about how to simplify raw food preparation and becoming certified as a Living Food Chef!

My husband and kids have really enjoyed everything I'm making and bringing home from the food exchange.  While we're not 100% raw, we are definitely enjoying a much higher raw diet.  I am using more nuts and seeds than I would like to, but I feel like it's necessary as I'm experimenting.  Hopefully I can figure out how I can start to cut down by the end of summer!

Anyhow, the Jump Start starts July 31st, so if you are interested in more information or want to join you can go to The Uncooking School website.

Also, don't forget to check my website Recipe Index for archived raw recipes and of course you can look forward to more upcoming raw food posts :)

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Portion Size Me "Snack Wars Challenge"

Today was an exciting day!  My kids got to participate in the Portion Size Me "Snack Wars Challenge" at our local Homegrown Organic Cooperative Store.  Below is a photo of the Airstream and portable home of the Reid family who are promoting their book titled "Portion Size Me" and educating the public on how to snack healthier and make better lifestyle choices. 

My daughters said they weren't nervous at all but I could tell they were a little nervous with the time limit to prepare their snack and the fact that they had a basket of "mystery ingredients".  If you are familiar with Food Network's show "Chopped", this competition was similar in style, but without all the pressure or fancy kitchen appliances.  I did joke while they were setting up the baskets that they might find things like Chia Seeds, Tofu, Romaine Lettuce and Raw Cocoa beans.  And what would they make with that?!

The actual mystery ingredients were watermelon and Alouette Cheese.  My kids of course did not use the cheese since we don't eat dairy.  Now if there had been Daiya Vegan cheese and a toaster oven to melt it, I'm sure they would have come up with something!

Here's my daughter Anika in the middle, looking all professional chef like.  She made the winning snack of fruit salad with avocado, watermelon, peaches and bananas!

Here's what it looked like...and okay, so her presentation needs work, but it tasted good :)  And who would think to put avocado in a fruit salad?

Below is what Ksenia and I made together, which also won "Best Tasting Snack" in the final round with adults competing.  We used every healthy ingredient we could find in their "pantry" that had things like gummy bears, Jell-O pudding cups, canned sausages and Ritz Crackers.  I have a bone to pick on this because I don't think this teaches the kids to try new things that ARE healthy.  I'm a firm believer that if you only give kids whole foods to choose from, they will always make healthy choices.  I think what Marshall Reid and his parents have good intentions, but at the same time they are putting out a confusing message.  I'll discuss more about that on my other blog at my Nutrition Coaching site

So I used the watermelon, Mott's Applesauce, mandarin oranges, sliced almonds and prunes.   Never have I tried this combo before but it WAS good.

If you want to participate in the Snack Wars in your home town, go to the Portion Size Me blog!

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Kiwi's Next Great Young Chef Contest!

Kiwi Magazine is looking for the "Next Great Young Chef" for 2012!  My kids have decided to start working on some recipes that include all of the products that must be included for the recipes to be accepted.  Those are products by Earth Balance, Nielsen-Massey, and Xylosweet

While we have never used Xylosweet, I think it will be an easy substitution for them to experiment with since the labeling says that it is a one to one ratio with other sweeteners.  We have also found that we really love the Earth Balance Soymilks and Peanut Butters.  Both products are so rich and creamy! 

We love the Nielsen Massey Vanilla Extract but the kids have discovered other flavors they want to test in their recipes.

You can enter your kids by going to the Kiwi Magazine 2012 Next Great Young Chef page. 

I like that Kiwi often features vegan and gluten free recipes, so I'm hoping my kid's recipes will have a good chance.  They certainly are excited about it and we are having a lot of fun in the kitchen with their experiments :)

Here's Anika in the kitchen this morning working on a new spin on French Toast.  As she was making the food she said "Mom, can I be the next Food Network Star?".  :-)

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Results from Circle of Mom's Top 25

Thanks to everyone who took the time to vote, especially if you voted more than once!  It ends up that I am number 99 and that is good enough for me.  It was a big improvement from #173, so I'm happy. 

If you'd like to take a look at the list of wonderful food blogs that were contending for the Top 25 you can go to the Circle of Mom's Top 25 page.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Vote for What A Healthy Family Eats on Circle of Moms

Did you know What A Healthy Family Eats is a contender for the Top 25 Food Bloggers of 2012!

The deadline for votes is coming up in 15 days on May 29, 2012.  You can vote for WAHFE once a day until that deadline.  If we win, we get a spot on the Circle of Mom's Top 25 list.  How exciting!

Please click on the badge or the link above to go to the page where you can vote! 

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Gluten Free Baked Tofu-Tortilla Extravaganza

Every once in awhile I like to make breakfast for dinner.  Somehow it feels easier to make than dinner, but maybe it's just the idea that it reminds me of a relaxed weekend breakfast. A "Slow Meal" of sorts where I'm not rushing to pick up my daughter from gymnastics and waiting for my husband to get home so we can all sit at the table together to eat.  Even though we homeschool, the weekdays are just crazy.

I found this super yummy recipe in Vegan Holiday Kitchen by Nava Atlas.  I've cooked some of her recipes via Fat Free Vegan, so when I saw the book in the new issues at my library I had to check it out.

Visually, it's not that impressive looking, and my husband didn't love it, but my oldest daughter and I both thought it was really very good.  It kind of reminds me of a broken down enchilada, made with tofu and vegan cheese of course.

The flavors melt together beautifully in the oven.  And though it's not a one pot meal, it is super simple to make.  

I used larger than a 2 quart casserole dish, so my results were a little different.  There was no "cutting into squares", we just spooned it onto the plate.

1 16-ounce tub firm tofu (I used Wildwood Organics brand)
2 tbsps Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 large onion, finely chopped
8 corn tortillas, cut into 1 inch square pieces (I used Food for Life brand)
1 14-16oz can crushed tomatoes
2 medium-firm ripe tomatoes, diced
1 4-8 oz can mild green chillies, chopped
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp dried oregano
Salt to taste (I sprinkled Himalayan Pink Sea Salt on at the end)
1 cup grated cheddar-style nondairy cheese
Vegan Sour Cream (Homemade or store bought- we didn't use any)

1. Preheat oven to 400 F.
2. Cut the tofu into 1/2 inch- thick slices, and blot the slices gently between paper towels or a clean tea towel. Cut the slices into 1/2 inch dice.
3. Heat the oil in a large skillet. Saute the onion over medium heat until translucent. Add the garlic and tofu dice and continue to saute until all are golden.
4. Combine the tofu mixture with all the remaining ingredients except the last two and stir until thoroughly mixed. Pour into an oiled 2-quart casserole dish (round or oval is most attractive, but rectangular works as well) and pat in.
5. Sprinkle the cheese over the top. Bake for 25 minutes, or until the cheese is melted. Let stand for 5 minutes, then cut into squares or wedges to serve. Pass around sour cream for topping individual servings if desired.

Monday, April 30, 2012

Cosmic Cashew Kale from Fat Free Vegan

Here is another favorite kale recipe straight from Fat Free Vegan!  If you are not familiar with Susan Voisin, please check out her blog.  I've been following her for more than 5 years!  She was the first blog I started following when I went vegan.

I made only a few changes to this "Cosmic Cashew Kale". I did not add the red bell pepper or the fresh basil and I used Basmati Rice instead of Quinoa.  It's not as colorful as Susan's version but I didn't have any of those ingredients on hand and didn't feel like driving to the store for the tenth time this week.  As long as you have the cashews soaked in advance, this comes together in 15-20 minutes, making it a perfect weeknight meal for busy families.  And this dish packs in plant protein and micronutrients, making it super healthy :)

I often hear from people who have recently tried kale that they think it is too "chewy" tasting.  I guess when you compare it to cooked spinach that is true.  But I don't have a recommendation for a recipe that will make it not chewy, except for maybe kale chips!

Monday, April 23, 2012

Gluten Free Vegan and Raw: Chia Breakfast Porridge

Summer is approaching here in Florida, so we are starting to crave more cooling meals (at least for breakfast and lunch).  I've been experimenting with Chia seeds for the past few months after coming across a brand of milled Chia seeds that did not need to be refrigerated.   For years I was using flax seeds but Chia seems to have a higher nutrient profile that packs in protein with less fat.  So I've been adding Chia to my oatmeal, smoothies, hydrating them with juice and drinking them, and using them as an egg replacement in baked recipes.

Then along came a blog post from a blogger friend, Julie Cove, at Alkaline Sisters where she featured a beautiful Chia Breakfast Porridge.  I have tried to make a Chia Porridge in the past and didn't find very appealing. I figured out from Julie's recipe that I was not adding enough milk.  The seeds were coming out partially hydrated, so the porridge was very crunchy and actually caused me to have stomach cramps.

Well, now I love this porridge!  We were having it every day with whole Chia seeds until we ran out. Now Whole Foods is out of stock in their bulk section and in their Nutiva brand bags, and they are saying there is a shortage of supply, so they cannot say when they will get more!  Wow!

It figures the day I want to photograph the Chia for my blog, I have to use milled Chia. Well, I thought the milled version was okay, but my kids didn't like it.  They said it was mushy. So, you will want to try this with the whole Chia seeds first.

So here is my simplified version of the Alkaline Sister's recipe:

Ingredients (for one serving)

1 cup raw almond milk (or commercial brand if you don't have raw)
3 tbsp whole Chia seeds from your health food store (I like Running Food Chia for the milled version)
1/8 cup maple syrup
1/4 tsp organic Vanilla extract
1 pinch of organic cinnamon (to taste)
Garnish with fruit (I used peaches and a dried papaya)

Pour milk into a small bowl and then add the and other ingredients.  Stir with a small wisk for at least two minutes so that the chia begins to hydrate but doesn't become clumpy.

Set in refrigerator for 2 hours or overnight.

This can be enjoyed as a breakfast OR add more sweetener and enjoy as a dessert!

Monday, April 16, 2012

Pistachio Almond Milk

If you've been following my blog you might have read one of my previous posts about how to make Almond Milk or Cashew Milk.  We have a bit of a nut milk obsession in our house.  And you know you can make milk out of ANY nut! I know, it's crazy!! I had not thought about making Pistachio milk until I was browsing through Chef AJ's book, Unprocessed.

Chef AJ sent me a copy of her book back in January and I'm finally finding time to make more of the recipes in her book besides the Hail to the Kale salad.  If you haven't tried that one yet, please do yourself and your family a favor and make it this week!!

So the recipe for this in Unprocessed is 2 cups pistachios to 2 cups water.  Soak the Pistachios in water for two hours before you blend.  I didn't do that because I'm a recipe unfollower. I put 3/4 cup pistachios, 1/4 cup of almonds and threw them directly into the Vita-mix with 3 1/2 cups of water (I probably could have used 4). 

No soaking!  Yeah, I know, I am a bad raw foodie today :(  Well, I'm not a raw food purist anyway. See, I don't find any difference in taste or digestibility between soaking or not soaking before blending.  So feel free to break the soaking rule and just blend!  You can also use a fine mesh strainer instead of a nut milk bag but you will get some pulp. 

I almost forgot to mention that I also added 1 tbsp of Raw Blue Agave Nectar.  I recommend adding the sweetener.  Chef AJ didn't add any to hers but it needs it.

See my other posts about making nut milks if you need more specific directions. 

Happy nut milk making :)

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Photographic Ode to Our Garden Tomatoes

Photographs can be like poetry.  I love the way you can play with light and come up with an entirely different look of an object or group of objects.  How the shadows fall creates a certain mood.  These cherry tomatoes from our garden look pretty magnificent from this angle and in this light. 

I bought a used Nikon D50 back in November from a friend of mine. It's been a long time since I've used a "real camera", actually it's been about 20 years!  My first real camera was a Nikon FM20, a manual SLR. I took it with me to Europe for 6 months and captured some of the best photos.  I only wish I had taken more :)

When I first starting using the D50 on "Automatic" the photos were coming out really bad.  I took it off the auto and went to 100% Manual and many of the photos were coming out slightly fuzzy.  Now I shoot in manual and let the camera finesse the final focus.  The more I use the camera, the more I am figuring out. 

So now you can look forward to better food photos. Though I may occasionally still use the iPhone :)

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Avocado Brownies Anyone?

My friend Kiran at blogged about her Fudgy Avocado Cocoa Brownies around St. Patrick's Day. So I was waiting on my avocados to ripen just so I could try this recipe. You know how I love green things, especially in desserts! And I love that there is no oil in this recipe, so at first glance I only needed to make two changes.

I totally changed up this recipe to make it Gluten Free and Egg Free (so it's vegan) and had good results as far as fudgyness and texture.  However, because I added extra avocado the brownies really tasted like avocado.  My kids didn't seem to mind at all, they totally gobbled them up.  But I think for others to appreciate them I really needed to make the brownies sweeter and maybe I should try using baking powder next time, haha!

I will tell you about the changes I made (in case you really need to know) but I will need to make these a few more times and play with it more to get it right.  Thankfully the recipe only makes about 6 average size brownies or 4 big brownies! 

Here's what I did:
-Used 1/3 cup coffee instead of 2 tbsp
-Replaced eggs with 2 tbsp ground Chia seeds and hydrated them in the coffee
-Replaced the wheat flour with Bob's Red Mill Gluten Free All Purpose Flour
-Used 1/3 cup of vegan sugar and dusted the finished brownies with vegan organic powdered sugar (and like I said it still was not sweet enough)
-Used 2 1/2 avocados and pureed them in the Vita-mix
-I was out of Baking Powder so I used 1/16 tsp of Baking Soda + 1/4 tsp Cream of Tartar
-I baked the brownies in a 6 1/2 x 6 1/2 glass Pyrex dish, in a toaster oven at 325 for 30 minutes (hey, it's summer already here in Florida, I'm not heating up the house with the big oven!)

So go on over to Kiran's Blog and try her version if you are okay with gluten and eggs.  Or if you dare, you can try my changes, just add 1/2 to 3/4 cups of sugar and you should be okay :)

Monday, April 2, 2012

First Use of My New Dutch Oven!

As you know, I won a new Le Creuset dutch oven at the Orlando Food Blog Forum a few weeks ago.  I have found several dutch oven recipes I want to try this month, but I needed to do something with four pounds of cherry tomatoes from our garden ASAP. So I decided on a simple, fat free, low sodium Cherry Tomato Sauce.  And the dutch oven is perfect for this because it is non reactive with the tomatoes.

All I did was add a finely chopped onion to the pan with two Rapunzel Vegan Broth Cubes and 1/4 cup water.  Then I added 4 cloves of crushed garlic and the washed and lightly blended (in my Vitamix) cherry tomatoes.  I brought them to a boil and then cooked on low heat for probably an hour and a half.  I seasoned with 1/2 tsp of salt since we do low sodium.  The recipe makes about 3 cups of sauce.

These cherry tomatoes had a ton of little seeds.  My husband and I didn't mind them but the kids were not enthusiastic.  My oldest daughter thought the seeds made the sauce bitter and my youngest thought there should not be seeds in spaghetti sauce, so I guess I need to figure out how to strain these seeds the next time I make it.

Anyone have any ideas for me?

Sunday, April 1, 2012

WAHFE at the Downtown Food & Wine Festival

As mentioned in a previous post, I was at the Orlando Food Blog Forum a few weeks back.  Well, in my "goodie bag" was an invite for me to attend the Downtown Food and Wine Festival!  And since we've never been, I figured this was a great opportunity. As you can see from the over cast sky, it was on the verge of raining.  And we weren't there long before it actually did rain!

I stopped by the JW Marriott booth, not because I recognized my friend's husband Eric, who is the Executive Chef at the World Marriott, but because of the beautiful bottles of homemade pickles!  My kids wanted to try a pickle, and when I went to ask, I said, "huh, I know this guy".

And then we had to try the Broccoli Rabe sandwich.  No, it wasn't on the menu, but Eric knows we're veg eaters so he made this one special for us.  I had a few bites and then my kids devoured the rest.  I guess I should have asked for two sandwiches!  It doesn't look like much but peppers here but this was the best I could do for a photo with crowds of people walking around us.

As I always say, never be afraid to ask for a vegan option wherever you go.  You just might be pleasantly surprised :)

The 2012 Florida Herbal Conference in Ocala

I had a great time last weekend at the Florida Herbal conference in the Ocala National Forest! I know some of you might be thinking...wasn't she at the Food Blog Forum the weekend before that? Two week ends in a row away from her family?! How could she? Well, we all should! Especially if you homeschool your kids like me :) It is hard to get away, but I have found I need to do it for my own sanity, so I seek out these educational trips and thankfully my parents can help out with watching the kids if my husband is traveling for his work.

The first talk we listened to was called "Growing Herbs in Florida's Climate", led by Jim Steele, owner of The Herb Garden.  What I learned from this talk is that herbs grow the best in spring and they do better in a cool, dry climate in general.  I've been telling my husband not to use Miracle-Gro because it's not an organic fertilizer and I found out from Jim that it does nothing for the soil.  It only makes the plant grow bigger in a short period of time but then you have to keep using it because the soil does not retain the nutrition from it.  So if you use Miracle-Gro, please stop!  

Go buy organic potting soil or you can buy the individual nutrients and make your own organic soil.  When I did a raised bed for a school garden project I just used Black Cow Cow Manure, Peet Moss, and Vermiculite.  I wasn't there to water every day and the plants did well even though I planted them late in the season.  There was no fruiting but they grew like crazy.  My husband still thinks that I was lucky to have these results and he doesn't want to spend the money on raised beds with fancy soil so long as our garden is producing.

There weren't enough chairs for me to sit in the shade so I ended up sitting on a pick-nick bench behind the tent.  As you can see, we had a good size crowd just for this class.  There were 5 classes happening in different parts of the camp simultaneously.

Rosemary Caspary was talking about "Healthy Cooking with Herbs and Spices" in the above photo. One of the books she mentioned that she uses a lot is called Wild Fermentation.  She also talked about making Water Kefir, Milk Kefir, and Kombucha and the basics of stocking a "clean eating" pantry.  She gave us a very useful handout that listed the various herbs, how to use them as food and for what ailments.  If you post a comment this month I will email you a copy of the document if you ask me :)

Emily Ruff, who is the Director of the Florida School of Holistic Living and also the event manager for the Herbal Conference, was speaking about "Food as Medicine" in the photo below.  She prepared several snacks made with herbs.  One thing she mentioned that I had not thought of was putting green powders in applesauce!  The sweetness of the applesauce hides the bitterness of the greens.  I use apple juice with the green powders all the time for my kids, so now I will try it with the sauce.

The last few photos are from the "Eat the Weeds Walk" with Deane Jordan.  Most of the weeds he showed us would be something to sustain us should we be lost in the woods.  I didn't take notes so I can't even tell you the names of the weeds below, but the pictures turned out really nice.