Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Falafel and Tzatiki Sauce

Falafel Patties

2 garlic cloves
1 can of chick peas rinsed and drained
1/4 cup of multigrain flour
1/4 cup of flat leaf parsley
2 T tahini
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp lemon rind
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
2 T olive oil

Place garlic in food processor and blend until finely chopped.  Add olive oil and tahini.  Blend until it is a paste.  Place into a bowl and add remaining ingredients.  Mix well.  Form into patties and fry in a bit of olive oil until browned.  

Tzatziki Sauce

1 1/2 cups coarsely chopped english cucumber
3/4 c plain yogurt (soy if available)
1/2 cup chopped mint
1 T lemon juice freshly squeezed

Mix well.

Quinoa Tabbouleh

1 cup of Quinoa 
1/2 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice
1/4 cup olive oil
a bunch of flat leaf parsley chopped (about 2 cup)
1/2 cup fresh mint leaves chopped
1 pint cherry tomatoes quartered
1 english cucumber diced

Boil 2 cups water and add 1 cup quinoa, cook for 15-20 minutes on simmer until water is absorbed, let cool.  

Mix together lemon juice, olive oil and salt and pepper to taste. Combine remaining ingredients with quinoa and pour dressing over the whole thing. 

I love this tabbouleh with pita triangles, lettuce leaves or even with blue corn chips. 

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Yummy Oat Bars

This recipe is straight from Dr. Fuhrman.

2 cups quick old fashioned oats (not instant)
1/2 cup shredded coconut
1/2 cup raisins or 1/2 cup chopped dates
1/4 cup chopped walnuts
2 ripe bananas, mashed
1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce (I found I used a bit more)

  Preheat oven to 350°F.
  Mix ingredients together in a large bowl.
  Press dough in a 9x9-inch baking pan and bake for 30 minutes.
  When cool, slice into squares or bars and serve.

The only change I made was that I doubled the recipe and made it in a 9x11 pan.  Next time I am going to use blueberries! Enjoy!

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Eggplant Chips

I have been addicted to these for about a week now.  
I have perfected the way I make them and thought I would share. 

I thinly slice the eggplant and lay them on paper towels.
Lightly salt the eggplant slices and leave them for about an hour to get the extra water out of them.  
Here you can just see the water on top of the slices.
After an hour or so, take a papertowel and dab off the water, the bottom paper towels will be soaked. 
Place them on a cookie sheet with parchment paper or a baking stone sprayed with a bit of olive oil and drizzle a tiny bit of olive oil over the slices and then shake on garlic powder and paprika
Bake in a 400 degree oven (my smooth cook top died and I wanted to replace it quickly until I decided what I really wanted.  I have become completely enamored with my VERY old, GE,  $50 Craigslist find.  It works amazingly well and probably has many more years in her. I named her Muriel, isn't she cute!?) 

I like my chips pretty well done.  They take anywhere from 30-50 minutes.  Depending on how fresh the eggplant is, how long you waited before dabbing off the water, and how thick they are sliced.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Saucy Rice

Made this up on the fly last night.  I got a physician's note for my kid's daycare program to remove dairy and processed foods from their meals.  On the days that the main dish does not meat this criteria, I have been providing their main dish.  Last night, I remembered that it was hot dog day and I had nothing to make in the fridge.

I quickly surveyed the pantry and whipped up a new keeper in our house!

Saucy Rice

Medium onion diced
clove of garlic
1 cup of frozen corn
1 can of diced tomatoes, not drained
1 can of black beans drained and rinsed
1/2 tsp of cumin
1/2 tsp paprika

6 servings of brown rice

Dice a medium onion and a clove of garlic and saute in a bit of olive oil until transparent.  Add frozen corn and saute for 2-3 minutes longer until they are just browning. Add can of diced tomatoes and beans and seasoning.  Simmer for 5 minutes.

Serve on a bed of steamed brown rice.


Monday, June 25, 2012

Noodle-Free Lasagna

This recipe was tweaked from the Eat to Live book.  The first time I made it, it was a bit too seasoned for us.  I did not like the squash sliced lengthwise because it wasn't easy to make thin slices, also it made way too much "noodles" and they were wasted.  It also made for messy eating for kids.  Tonight's version was freaking amazing!

The "noodles" were made by slicing and eggplant and one zucchini into very thin slices.  Mine were not paper thin, but about a 1/4 inch thick circles.  They were placed on cookie sheets that had been wiped with olive oil.  They were then placed in the oven and cooked for about 10 minutes. 

The  ricotta-like filling was made by placing a small onion, 4 cloves of garlic and one container of silken tofu in the food processor.  Once pureed, I added 8 leaves of basil and buzzed a couple times.  You add that to a bowl and mix in one cup of soy mozarella/parmesan blend and a container of firm tofu broken up.  Add 1 Tbsp of italian seasoning, and 1 Tbsp of Mrs. Dash.  Stir together to mix well.

The veggie layer is easy peasy.  I finely chopped 2 heads of broccoli,  red, yellow and orange peppers, 8 oz of baby bella mushrooms, 8 oz of shitaki mushrooms, 2 handfuls of spinach and one handful of kale.

Layers :
spaghetti sauce
eggplant slices
veggie mixture
zucchini slices
ricotta mixture
spaghetti sauce
eggplant slices
veggie mixture
ricotta mixture
spaghetti sauce

Bake in 350 degree oven for 1 hour uncovered.   

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Southwestern Bean Burger

I used this recipe and tweaked it because, well, I can't do anything as I am told.  It was a WINNER!

3 cloves of chopped garlic
1 medium vidalia onion
1/4 cup of corn
1/4 cup of red bell peppers chopped
1/2 cup of medium salsa
1 can of black beans rinsed
1/2 - 1 cup of fine cornmeal
1 tsp of ground cumin
1 tsp of cilantro

Saute onions and garlic until onions are transparent.  Add red peppers and corn and saute for a couple more minutes.  Rinse black beans and buzz about 3/4 of can in food processor with 1/2 c of salsa and place in a bowl. When vegetables are sauted, place in food processor and buzz to a creamy consistency.  Add to bowl with beans.  Add whole beans, cilantro and cumin and mash everything together.  Add cornmeal to make mixture stick together.  I added a bit more than a cup to where I felt it would make patties.

I made 16 small patties (cookie size).  Placed them on my baking stone and baked at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.  (15 minutes each side)

I served with a simple guacamole, romaine leaves and roma tomato slices.The rice is a rice blend and a can of tomatoes and chiles. 

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Dinner and an update

This was our dinner tonight. You will see rosemary and garlic salmon, caramelized brussel sprouts, roasted cauliflower, cantaloupe and strawberries.  It was fantastic! 

We are doing well.  My husband has lost 38 pounds total and I have lost 17.  McCartney has lost anywhere from 8-10 pounds.  Robert, the hubs, looks fantastic.  He looks healthy and it is obvious he has lost a bunch of weight.  Last weekend he put on a baseball cap and it was too big!  He is slowly decreasing his diabetic meds and doing well all around.  I am noticing that I am much less grouchy and I have fewer headaches.   We used to live on Alka-Seltzer and now, we have no use  for it!  Progress is good!

Roasted Cauliflower

One head of cauliflower chopped
2 t onion powder
2 t garlic powder
2 t paprika
2 T olive oil

Toss cauliflower in spices and oil and layer onto a baking sheet.  Heat oven to 450 degrees and cook for 25-30 minutes.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Vegetable Barley Soup

I like to make dinner on the fly.  I like to improvise.  Tonight I threw together a couple recipes I have seen and using what I had one hand, made a hearty vegetable soup that was a hit with the family.

In 1 T of olive oil saute the following:
One large onion sliced thinly
3 carrots grated
2 cloves of garlic buzzed in the food processor

In large stock pot combine
8 cups of vegetable broth or the equivalent
2 zucchini squash finely diced
1 can of diced tomatoes
1 can of great northern beans
1 can of organic green beans
The corn from one ear of sweet corn
I celery stalk finely sliced
2 cans of tomato sauce
1/2 a head of cabbage finely diced
2 tsp of oregano
2 tsp dried basil
2 tsp black pepper

Bring to boil
Add 2 cups of barley
Reduce to medium heat and simmer for 20 minutes

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Baked Beans

1 large sweet onion
2 cloves garlic
Buzzed in food processor until finely minced

1 small can of tomato sauce
3T soy or tamari
4 T maple syrup
2 t yellow mustard
2 cans of navy beans (I used Great Northern beans)

Cook at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.

You can choose to saute to onions and garlic in a bit of olive oil before adding to mixture if you prefer)

Grilled Bean Burgers

Finely chop one medium to large onion
saute in a bit of olive oil for 2 minutes

Add 3 cloves of minced garlic and saute for 1 minute

Add one large grated carrot and saute for a minute more.

1 can of black beans drained and rinsed
1 can of light kidney beans (or pinto) drained and rinsed
 1 1/2 cups of rolled oats ground in the food processor
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp cumin
2T dijon mustard
2T ketchup
2T soy sauce (or tamari)

Mix all together and add sauted mixture.  Form into 6-8 patties and grill.

Found recipe on Taste of Home

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Bluebery Mango Quinoa Salad

I have no idea where I copied this recipe from, I believe it was a quick dinner book my mom had.  This salad is refreshing and yummy.

1/2 cup quinoa
1 c water

1/2 cup fresh blueberries
1/2 cup chopped mango
1/2 cup chopped cucumbers
1/2 t dried cranberries

1 1/2 T olive oil
2 T lemon juice
1/4 t lemon zest
10 finely chopped basil leaves

Place the quinoa in boiling water , reduce heat and summer for 15 minutes uncovered.  Fluff with fork.   Let cool to room temperature and add furits and veggies.

Make dressing but don't chop basil leaves until just before serving or they will turn black.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

OMG Chili

Tonight I came home and had no real inspiration for dinner.  I decided to throw together an easy chili.  My last time I made chili, my husband said that we should add some ground turkey.   Dr. Fuhrman does allow some meat, but he specifies that it should be good quality meat that is antibiotic free, hormone free and grass fed, etc.  I decided that instead of buying ground turkey in that tube you cannot see through, I would get some free range, hormone and antibiotic free chicken.  The chili turned out wonderfully! 

In a large soup pot combine :
3 cans of chili beans
1 can of dark kidney beans
1 can of diced tomatoes
1 can of tomato sauce
1 large chopped onion
1 green pepper diced 
2 T of chili powder  (or to taste)

For chicken :
Boil one chicken breast until no longer pink.  Chop into cubes and place in food processor.  Process until it is "ground" consistency.  Add to chili.

Simmer for 30 minutes

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Refried Bean Soup

I have no words for the yumminess of this soup!   This is another gem from Fat Fee Vegan Kitchen.  The original recipe is found here.   I slightly altered it for us and it was a HUGE hit.  We had zero leftovers.

1 large onion, chopped
3 – 4 cloves garlic, minced
1 green bell pepper, chopped
1 can vegetable broth
1 14-ounce can diced tomatoes
1 can fatfree refried beans 1 can black beans
1 cup frozen corn kernels 1 teaspoon cumin
1 1/2 teaspoon paprika
salt and pepper, to taste

Spray a large, non-stick pot with cooking spray, and sauté the onion until it begins to brown. Add the garlic and bell pepper and cook for one more minute. Add all the remaining ingredients and cook 20-30 minutes.

I garnished with a simple guacamole and we ate it with some blue corn chips.   I have a feeling this will be in heavy rotation at our house!

Friday, May 11, 2012

Eggplant Rollups

 (this is a halved version of Dr. Fuhrman's recipe from Eat to Live)

Cut eggplant into half inch slices, longwise.
Bake eggplant 20 min at 350 degrees

Medium red bell pepper
half red onion
half cup celery
half cup carrots
2 finely chopped cloves of garlic 
chop all veggies and water saute them until they are a bit soft

add 1/2 T Mrs. Dash
large handful of spinach and let it wilt a bit into the veggie mixture

put all into bowl

Add 3T spaghetti sauce to veggies mixture and add 3 oz. of non-dairy mozarella cheese and mix

Take eggplant slices and mound veggies into center, roll up and pin with toothpick.   Dab more spaghetti sauce on top.

Bake for 30 minutes at 350 degrees.  (this recipe make 6-7 rollups)

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Mighty Muffin Redo

I made my second batch of Engine 2's Mighty Muffins tonight.  I tweaked it a bit and thought I would share.
2 small apples grated
7 really ripe bananas lightly squished
Juice of 1 lemon
1/4 cup walnuts chopped
splash of agave to sweeten
3/4 c water
1 t baking powder
3 c oat bran
1 c rolled oats
1 c frozen blueberries

Stir together, plop in muffin pan and bake for 45 minutes at 375 degrees.

 All mixed up and ready to fill the pans
 Muffins, muffins everywhere!  This adjusted recipe makes 24 muffins.  
Don't have to worry about overfilling as the muffins do not rise.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Lemon Garlic Tilapia

My mom and step dad are also on the journey.  Tonight she sent me a cell phone picture of her dinner and I thought I would share.

Place 4 tilapia fillets in baking dish.  Pour 3T of fresh lemon juice over fillets and drizzle 1 T of melted butter on top. Sprinkle with one clove of garlic finely chopped and Mrs. Dash.

Bake in 375 degree oven until fish is white and flakes when pulled apart with a fork, about 30 minutes.

They also had roasted asparagus, vegetables and a fruit salad.

My momma rocks!

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Summer Garbanzo Salad

One can of garbanzo beans drained and rinsed
Diced Red pepper
Diced orange pepper
Sliced cucumber
3 sliced green onions
4 roma tomatoes seeded and sliced
Juice of one lemon
splash of vinegar
splash of olive oil
salt and pepper

Mix together and enjoy!

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Red Bean Burgers

This recipe was once again a combo of several I have seen around the internet.  I rarely have all the ingredients for one full recipe, or I see something in another recipe that looks good so I tend to patchwork recipes together.  This one was a HIT with the kids.  We all liked it a bunch!

1 can red beans mashed in food processor
1/2 c of minced onions
1/4 c of sunflower seeds buzzed in the food processor
2 T of ketchup
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp  pepper
1 tsp garlic pepper
1 cup oats buzzed in the food processor

Make 6 patties (adding oats if needed for consistency) and place on a cooking stone.  Bake in oven heated to 350 degrees for 25 minutes.  Flip burgers over with a spatula and bake for another 10 minutes.

We served them on whole grain bread with all the toppings: onions, tomatoes, ketchup, mustard, mayo and lettuce.  It would also be good with a bit spicier base, perhaps adding jalapenos and then adding guacamole on top!

Hummus Stuffed Mushrooms

Baby Bella mushrooms
1 garlic clove minced
1/2 t onion powder
1/2 c hummus
3-4 sun dried tomatoes

Remove the stems of the mushrooms, saving half.  Add diced mushrooms stems to hummus and the rest of the ingredients.  Spoon mixture into mushroom caps and place in oven at 350 degrees for about 10 minutes.

Roasted Sweet Potatoes

Oh so good! 

I peeled and chopped sweet potatoes into cubes.  I tossed them in a bowl with paprika, pepper and a tiny bit of olive oil.  I then spread them onto my Pampered Chef stone cookie sheet and baked them at 400 degrees for 30 minutes stirring half way through. 

They were a big hit!  Such a hit that we are having them for lunch again today.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Vegetable Soup with white beans

This soup is based almost completely on Fat Free Vegan's Garden Vegetable and Bean Soup. The changes I made are reflected below.

4 cans Vegetable broth
2 carrots, peeled and diced
1 large onion, diced
4 cloves garlic minced
1/2 cabbage, chopped
1 large can green beans drained and rinsed
1 small can of tomato sauce
1 1/2 teaspoons dried basil
black pepper
1 teaspoon salt
1 large zucchini, diced
1 can great northern beans

Sauté the carrots, onion and garlic in a bit of olive oil for about 5 minutes in a soup pot. Add all the remaining ingredients EXCEPT the zucchini and beans and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce the heat to medium and simmer for about 15 minutes. Add the zucchini and beans and cook until the zucchini are tender.

This was the first soup that the kids asked for seconds! It will definitely be a staple in our house. Next time I believe I will add barley. It made plenty of soup for all five of us and about 4 portions of left overs. Enjoy!

Cajun Shrimp Salad

Tonight I made an amazing shrimp salad. It was yummy and everyone devoured it. Because I am gracious, I will share the recipe with you *wink*.

The salad :

Romaine lettuce
Corn (I used frozen, I'd bet roasted corn on the cob would be FAB)
Roma tomatoes - chopped
Cucumber - chopped

Topped with Cajun shrimp :

I simply used frozen shrimp that I rinsed and thawed. I removed the tails and tossed in the tiniest bit of olive oil and some cajun seasoning. I then heated them in a skillet until they were warn and a bit browned.

The dressing:

The dressing was the star here. I simply followed the directions from a post I read on Dr. Ben Kim's website. It is 1/3 olive oil (1/3 the amount of dressing you would like to make), 1/4 fresh squeezed lemon juice, 1/4 honey, 2 T dijon mustard, pinch of sea salt and some minced garlic. I mixed mine in a wide mouth mason jar and shook it like crazy. It was amazing!

Monday, April 16, 2012

Ch Ch Ch Chia

I have been using chia seeds off and on for a couple years. Chia seeds are tiny little seeds that are BIG powerhouses. Chia is said to help in weight loss because they reduce food cravings and block some absorption. They hold tons of water so they can help in hydration. Chia has more Omega-s fatty acids than Salmon and is easier to digest than flax seeds. We order ours from
  • 2x the amount of protein of any grains
  • 3x the amount of antioxidants of blueberries
  • 5x more calcium than milk
  • 2x the amount of potassium in a banana
  • 3x the iron of spinach

We love them at our house. I soak them and use them in everything. To soak chia, put 2/3 cup of chia in 4 cups water. I drop them in the water and shake them once or twice for the first couple hours after I make them. I use a canning jar so that I can shake them easily. The seeds will swell up and make a gel. You can store them in the refrigerator and they will keep for 2 weeks. We put a spoonful in oatmeal, on salads, smoothies and even in soups and sauces. I like them in juices and water as well.


I LOVE smoothies. I think it is the easiest way to get the kids to eat what I want them to eat. It helps them get their greens in without tasting greens. My daughter, McCartney, hates mushrooms and I even toss a mushroom into every smoothie I make for her!

As far as the blender goes, I have not purchased the Vitamix. I may in the future, but I am having a hard time choking down the $500 price tag. I am sure I will sometime, but for now I am using a Cuisanart blender I got at Kohls for right around a hundred dollars. I originally purchased a Ninja. It did not blend everything smooth enough for our tastes. Things were still a bit crunchy and leafy. It also did not pull items from the top of the container so it didn't really give a good consistent blend. I returned it after a few weeks of fighting with it.

Smoothies could not be easier to make!

I start out with a bit of soy milk or almond milk and a handful or two of spinach. (If you don't want to use either milk, you could just use water. ) I have also added a couple leaves of kale and I always throw in 1 or 2 mushrooms (which you cannot taste). I will also add an avacado half in our smoothies too, especially when I know they are going to go bad and I don't want to waste them.

I then add whatever frozen fruit I have on hand. We buy a strawberry, peach, pineapple blend. I toss in whatever fresh fruits I have as well. Sometimes I add a banana, sometimes cantaloupe, sometimes kiwi. I have added canned fruit before as well. I just drained and rinsed it. I have not had luck adding citrus fruits to my smoothies so we don't add those.

At this time your smoothy will be a lush green color. If you need to disguise this of the kiddos, make sure add some frozen blueberries or pomegranate juice.

I add chia to our smoothies. It is easier to disguise chia if it is soaked prior to use because it blends easier. Chia gives you tons of energy and lots of Omega 3s. I plan to talk about Chia Seeds later today.

Sometimes I find that it is way too thick and I just add some water to thin it down.

There ya go. I have no set recipe for our smoothies since I just chuck in whatever is near by. You will find out what you prefer and what you don't. For instance, I hate bananas in my smoothies, but my kids have a fit if they are not in there. Play around, you really can't go wrong.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

The kids

Dustin is 17. Dustin has a moderately mentally handicapped status. He was adopted from foster care and has been with us 11 years this June. He has Fetal Alcohol Syndrome and has some other severe issues. He struggles with bowel obstructions and I hope this diet will help eliminate those stomach issues. Some families have had success in curbing some impulse behaviors with limiting gluten and dairy for kids with Fetal Alcohol as well. It will be interesting to see what this diet does for him.

Harrison is 9 and is in 4th grade. He was our first bio child. He is currently on medication for ADHD. We hope that we can eliminate that with this diet in the future. We shall see. He also struggles some bowel issues as well as asthma. He has always loved vegetables and fruit and has never really cared for meat. He has been the easiest to transition to the diet. He is quite bright and understands the importance of being healthy and making this change. Harrison has gained weight on this diet which is amazing for him!

McCartney is 8 and is our only girl and last bio child. She has her own issues that we hope can be lessened with this new way of eating. The pediatrician was concerned about her chronic bowel condition enough to suggest we eliminate all dairy and sent us on this journey. She complains for stomach aches almost daily. That is beginning to decrease a bit. She has been our most resistant to the changes, but she is really coming around! I believe it is possible that she may have issues with gluten as well. McCartney has lost approximately 6 pounds on this diet. She gained 30 pounds after starting a new medication last year and has struggled to get it off even after stopping the med. She is thrilled that her clothes fit better!

(names are actual)

Banana Breakfast

We adapted this from Dr. Fuhrman's recipe. Harrison makes this nearly every day for breakfast.

We start with a whole banana sliced in the bottom of a bowl. Add a half cup of rolled oats (dry/uncooked), sunflower seeds, 10-12 frozen blueberries, about a half cup of pomegranate/blueberry juice. McCartney prefers to add walnuts also, but Harrison doesn't like them. Microwave for 2 minutes.

The bananas get all smushy and the blueberries get warm. It is yummy. We then mix it around, add sliced fresh strawberries and sometimes a splash of soy milk. No need to add extra sugar, it is sweet and delicious.

Lunch - Avacado Corn Black Bean Salad

Today for lunch I made the avocado black bean salad I posted here.

I made one update. I added a splash of olive oil and a splash of vinegar and we ate it in Romaine lettuce leaves like a taco. It was amazing.

Here is the updated recipe:
2 ears of corn - boil then cut off corn
1 half a spanish onion diced
4-5 roma tomatoes (or their equivalent - we used giant beefsteak tomatoes in Florida)
1 Avacado cubed
2 cans of black beans rinsed
chopped cilantro to your liking
juice of one whole lime
splash of olive oil
splash of vinegar
black pepper

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Mushroom and Onion Soup

Came home today and could not decide what to have for lunch. I pulled out my recipe binder and decided I needed some soup on this chilly, drizzly day.

I found the original recipe at FoodWorkEtc. I made a few changes. Below is how I made this yummy soup.

3 cups of thinly sliced Baby bella mushrooms
1 large yellow onion
2 cans of vegetable broth
2 T cornstarch
olive oil
sea salt and pepper
I cut the onion into slices and then quartered them. Placed them in a large pot with just a bit of olive oil. I sauteed them until they where caramelized. Once the onions were brown, transparent and yummy, I added the mushrooms and a half a can of vegetable broth to give the mushrooms a change to reduce a bit.

In a small skillet, I heated a cup of vegetable broth and added 2 T cornstarch. I stirred until it thickened to make a roux.

I added the roux to the pot and the remaining vegetable broth. Sea salt and pepper to taste. I simmered for about 15-20 minutes.

It was DELISH! It is definitely a keeper!

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Banana Applesauce Breakfast Cookies

I had a friend ask me on Facebook just what exactly do we do for breakfast. I have to admit, I am the world's worst getter-upper in the morning. So, I try to do easy peasy! Here is one option:

My mother introuced us to these breakfast cookies. They were on pinterest, but they did not trace back to a blog entry or webpage so I have no idea who to give credit to. If someone knows, please let me know and I will add the credit.

This is the best and most awesome breakfast cookie ever! And the best part, no flour, no sugar, and no dairy added!

1.5 cups of oats
2-3 super rippened bananas (mashed)
1 cup of unsweetened applesauce
handful of dried cranberries to taste (we have also done raisins)
handful of walnuts

Pretty much just throw everything together, mix it up pretty well, throw it on a baking sheet at 350 for about 35 minutes.

They are great warm and right out of the oven. As they sit they do get a bit sponge-y, but I like them that way and so do my kids.

Oven Roasted Asparagus

Dinner tonight was a large salad that was made with Romaine lettuce. It included cabbage (gotta include those cruciferous vegetables!), carrots, baby bella mushrooms, yellow pepper, cherry tomatoes, and cucumbers. Harrison detests salad. We have compromised and he gets a dish of fresh cut vegetables. I simply make sure he gets plenty of greens in his smoothies. Tonight he got cucmbers, cherry tomatoes and yellow peppers. The child could eat his weight in peppers, he loves them so!

I also made the famous (at least in my world!) caramelized brussel sprouts from Flower Patch Farm Girl. The littles (Harrison and McCartney) do NOT like them. I am trying to "train" their taste buds. I know that their tastes will change the longer we do this plan so I am trying to expose them. I have been giving them one half and requiring them to eat it. I announced tonight that next time we have them they will eat 2 halves. This goes against most of what I believe about eating. I do not like to force my kids to eat. But I look at this more like giving their bodies the opportunity to try things they are unaccustomed to and allowing for a chance for their taste buds to adapt. If they continue to not like it after a time, I will not force it. And just so you know, I HATE peppers. I am doing the same thing myself and forcing my body to acclimate.

You will also notice a bit of celery stalks on the table as well. Once again, the two boys (Harrison and Dustin) do not care for celery. I offer them a small amount of natural peanut butter with the celery and we will slowly phase that out after a time.

The remainder of our dinner was over roasted asparagus. I wrapped a pound of asparagus in foil, drizzled it with a tiny bit of olive oil and fresh cracker pepper. I simply put it on a baking pan and put it in the oven until it was tender (about 30 minutes or so) while I prepped everything else.

Finally, we had a freshly sliced cantaloupe for our fruit.

(I apologize for the poor quality photos, my camera is at work for a project and I wanted to document dinner for you!)

Gaining weight

I took my son to the pediatrician this morning for his monthly med check. He has always been super skinny. We have a hard time getting him to eat and keeping weight on him. Today, he had actually gained a pound! This peds office was instrumental in getting us thinking about changing our eating habits and was thrilled when they found out we were doing Dr. Fuhrman's program.

The Nurse Practitioner was thrilled! I said, "That funny because the rest of us have lost weight."

She said, "That's the best thing about this plan. Those who need to lose weight, lose. Those who need to gain weight, gain. Your body knows what it needs and utilizes your food accordingly."

Amazing! It amazes me that our bodies work the way they do when we give them the right fuel. Thinking of food as fuel is a new concept for me.

My only regret is that I wish I had done this many years ago.

Avacado Black Bean Salad

This recipe was born of a couple different ones I have seen around. It was born out of necessity when I visited Florida with my mom last month and we had some ingredients and not others for the recipes. I made it for lunch again today. It is a keeper. So fresh, so satisfying and so, so good.

2 ears of corn - boil then cut off corn
1 half a spanish onion diced
4-5 roma tomatoes (or their equivalent - we used giant beefsteak tomatoes in Florida)
1 Avacado cubed
2 cans of black beans rinsed
chopped cilantro to your liking
juice of one whole lime
splash of vinegar
splash of olive oil
black pepper

Mix together and enjoy!

I was so excited to eat lunch, I forgot to take a picture. I promise one next time.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Here we are

Robert beginning weight 265 Currently 239
Sheri beginning weight 282 Currently 267

New me

We have been following our new way of eating for over a month now. It is amazing to me the changes I have seen in such a short time.

In the past month, we have eliminated all dairy products, all red meat, chicken and pork, white flour products, all soda and most salt. Our goal is to go 100% non-processed foods. It is a lofty goal, but one that is definitely attainable.

Not only do I feel better mentally, I feel better physically. The foot/ankle I injured in July was really not doing well just a month ago. It is now healing quite well and I have started physical therapy. I thought tendon repair surgery was in my future with a long recovery and it remarkably started doing better 2 weeks after I started this way of eating. I am far less grouchy and less irritable. I have LOADS of energy. My headaches have lessened to only 2 in the last month. I typically have 5 a week on average with a migraine at least once monthly of which I have had none so far. I am sleeping better. It is pretty astounding.

My daughter, McCartney, has lost 6 pounds and is looking good. Her digestive system is definitely clearing out which was the main impetus for giving up dairy. She is struggling with our food choices and I think her OCD plays a big part in that. We are working hard at changing her perceptions. It is getting easier. My youngest son, Harrison, has transitioned to the way of eating miraculously well, although he never really cared for meat. He LOVES fruit, vegetables and beans so this has been pretty easy. The oldest with FAS, Dustin, loves any food so his transition was easy. My husband is really doing great and has taken this on with a fervor. He is excited to be healthier and live longer. His goal is to get off all his diabetic meds. He is currently on half the dosage he was taking and his sugar levels are maintaining perfectly. His disposition has changed and I chalk that up to him sleeping better, feeling better and having a wife who is more pleasant.

All in all, it was a positive change. I hope that the benefits continue to roll in and we see many more changes in our future.

Monday, April 9, 2012


I have just started to juice. I originally got the juicer because I wanted to make fresh juice for the soup I am making. Many recipes call for fresh carrot juice, I figured in the long run I would enjoy having a juicer. I do!

The first juice I made was from the Five Frozen Chamorros blog. Her Red Rooster was amazing! The hubs thought it tasted a bit like the front lawn, but he drank it. Her recipe is as follows:

The Red Rooster

4 - 6 oranges/grapefruit combo (whatever you like, or what's in the fridge), peeled
4 - 6 carrots, greens removed (never juice carrot greens!)
2 beets, with greens (always juice the greens of beets)
1 lime, peeled
Strawberries, handful
Kale (1/2 bunch) and/or
Chard (1/2 bunch) and/or
Spinach, 2 - 3 handfuls
1 - 2 cups cold water to run through machine to get all juice out (savor EVERY drop)

A few comments. If you read her blog (which you should as it is great!) you will see that she talks about how much beets stain. She called them "nature's permanent marker" and boy howdy is she right! Three words: ruby red poop.

So tonight, I decided to make The Red Rooster again. I also made a carrot orange juice. Yummo!

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Carmelized Brussel Sprouts

I am absolutely obsessed with brussel sprouts right now. I read a post over at Flower Patch Farm Girl a while back and pinned it on my Pinterest board. They are A. Maz. Ing.

They are super easy. I followed her directions and they turned out great. First, you steam them. I do this by placing the sprouts in a bowl and rinsing them and pouring off the water. I cover with plastic wrap and cook them in the microwave for 3 minutes. I let them cool a bit and cut them in half and lay them cut side down in some olive oil. You simply leave them on medium until they caramelize. When they are done, you squirt them with some lemon juice and sea salt.

The Hill Shade Love Salad

The Hill Shade Love Salad

4 cups cooked rice (we love brown rice or jasmine)
2-3 cans garbanzo beans, drained
2 cups raw kale, chopped up into bite-sized pieces
1/2 bag baby carrots diced up
basil leaves, chopped up (or dry basil in a pinch)
1/4 cup olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
lime juice squirted all over it, to taste (once you go lime in this recipe, you'll never go back to lemon)

Mix it all together in a giant bowl.

Courtesy of Christine Moers over at Welcome to My Brain

Black Bean Quinoa Salad

1 cup of quinoa (boil 2 cups water and cook 1 c quinoa for 12 minutes. Let sit 15 minutes)
1 can of black beans (rinsed)
grape tomatoes halved
chopped carrots, green peppers and onions
chopped cilantro
juice of one lime
pepper and Mrs. Dash

Potatoes and Capers

I found this recipe over at The Cooking Canuck. Since I rarely measure anything, I decided to just wing it and whip some together. It is terribly good!!

I took fingerling potatoes, but you could easily use red potatoes too. I simply sliced them into small cubes and boiled them for a few minutes until they were tender but not falling apart.

I drained them and put them in a bowl. Then I drizzled them with olive oil, generous amounts of fresh cracked pepper, rosemary and garlic seasoning (my favorite from TONE) and fresh lemon juice. I then tossed them with capers.

I like them hot or cold. Yummy!

Summer Salad Recipe

One of my kids is struggling with eating salads. He is not found of greens, and it is pretty vital to the way we are eating to have a salad almost daily. We are working on it and I am trying to find ways that I can help him enjoy the salad. Tonight I tried a sweet, summer salad and it was wonderful. He gagged, but he ate it without much fighting.

Field Greens
Sliced strawberries
Apple cubes
Cucumber chunks
Dried cranberries
Sunflower seed
Chick peas

Tossed with Raspberry vinaigrette.

Eat to Live

Last month, I attended a conference with the amazing Dr. Joel Fuhrman. It was held at the church where I work and I had been contemplating going for some time. I was blessed to get to attend at the last minute and I am so grateful I did!

A few weeks ago, we decided at the prompting of my kid's doctor to go milk free. Since that time I have started reading about the milk industry and it scares the living daylights out of me! The stuff we put in our bodies is disgusting. We started eliminating fast food about 4 months ago. It was difficult but oh so worth it! The junk that they do to the "food" there is mind-blowing! I don't need my food injected with sugar and salt to make me crave more. I don't need pesticides and antibiotics! I want food, real food that makes my body work!

Our diet will be 90% plant based. We will eat unlimited amounts of vegetables and fruits. We will add nuts and seeds as well as a bit of grains and a minute amount of animal products. We will become NUTRITARIANS. Our bodies will learn to function as they were intended. Our bodies will learn to heal and we will enjoy life.

As we make this journey, I will likely report here how it is going. I don't think it will be easy, but I think it will be worth it! So many people have given me support and offered ideas that they employ. The small changes we have already made are making a difference! My kids adapted well to the no-dairy portion. They went from hating water to embracing it! Their digestive systems are working better. Harrison CHOSE bell peppers for a snack the other day! CHOSE it! McCartney on the other hand HATES this. While she was laying on the floor of Sam's Club the other day whining about not getting cereal, Harrison asked her if she wanted to die earlier eating JUNK. She said, "Yes, I would rather die than eat this way!" Haha! She will adjust . . . sooner or later she will get hungry and it will become easier. She is all for the green smoothies, so I just keep adding things in there that I know she needs whether it be mushrooms, nuts or seeds.

I am already noticing that I am no longer craving sugar and salt. I can only hope that we continue with this and our bodies begin to function the way God intended. Sitting listening to Dr. Fuhrman, I realized how very much we rely on medication. One of his analogies was that medication was like a mechanic who cuts the wire to the check oil light in a car instead of actually changing the oil! I hope we can eliminate costly and dangerous medication in the lives of both of us as well as the children. I am heading into the journey with my mom and stepdad too so we can lean on one another. It will be hard, but we will do it.

So here is GOOD-BYE to 282 pounds! While I am not doing this expressly for weight loss, it will be a nice product. I would love to lose 100 pounds in the next year. Most people doing this nutritarian diet lose 75-100 pounds in the first 12 months so we shall see! Benefits include lowered cholesterol, lowered blood pressure, blood sugar regulating, etc. I am looking forward to being healthy for the first time ever!

I am hanging onto the promise that "Nothing tastes as good as being healthy feels!"