Thursday, July 31, 2008


This post will be short, as we are pressed for time! We have so much to do before we leave tomorrow for Houston to attend a MercyMe concert with our dad, and then go to Oregon (Sunday to Wednesday) for job interviews at Betty Lou's! (Pray for us!). So quick rantings about our recent baking and cooking... (not necessarily quick to make)

We finally made the raw cinnamon rolls that everyone's been enjoying - and they were fabulous! Decadent, spiced, and nutty! We enjoy homemade cinnamon rolls, but those can take long to make, and even though these were no exception, they were well worth it.

We made an orange-cranberry variation, adding orange juice instead of water, adding orange zest in filling, and adding dried cranberries instead of raisins. Awesome orange frosting (almond butter, orange juice, and orange zest)! Very tasty, healthy, and filling. (Tip - drink lots of milk or water with it!) Made lots and froze them. Other variation ideas: maple date/fig with maple frosting; lemon blueberry; vanilla spice; chocolate.

We revisted an old recipe favorite - Thai Tofu Saute. Good flavors and better the next day! Awesome with broccolli, onion, bell peppers, but would be good with snap peas and cabbage. The sauce was really good and made lots. Yum! Served with quinoa.

More veggies... raw that is! We made raw zucchini spaghetti with raw marinara sauce. Marinara sauce included local fresh tomatoes, sun-dried tomatoes, garlic, onions, herbs, bell pepper, mushrooms, and spinach, all pureed (semi-chunky). Shredded a huge local zucchini - so good! It was a refreshing meal, but more like salsa and nothing like a good plate of spaghetti with veggie spaghetti sauce.

... will be back after our travels! LK

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Mmm Creamy Delights

Don't you just love the feel of creamy-smooth foods in your mouth? How about soft-fluffy? And sweet-fudgey? And creamy-cooling?

Veganomicon's Pasta Della California was the perfect fresh summer meal, with lots of creamy-smooth avocado. Spiral wheat pasta with chopped broccoli, LOTS of garlic, lime zest and lime juice, spinach... and LOTS of creamy-smooth avocado to hit the spot! Will definetely make again!

Our soft-fluffy delight: Sweet Potato Yeast Bread. Instead of using canned pumpkin for Celine's Pumpkin Yeast Bread, we bought some canned sweet potato puree, added ingredients in our bread machine, and 3 hours later, enjoyed the best bread ever. Seriously! So soft and fluffy with a lovely sweet-potato flavor!

To use up the rest of the sweet potato puree, we made some sweet potato brownies (found recipe online). We underbaked them so much, that they turned out to be sweet potato fudge, but all the more decadent! Sweet and fudgey! We froze them so they would be fudgey yet somewhat firm. You can taste the sweet potato flavor, and it is quite rich. Always good to try new recipes and concoctions, though we think we'll stick to our fudge recipe and just make variations from that.

And we also made creamy ice cream - Strawberry Vanilla! A creamy-cooling treat.

Cheers, LK Sisters

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

English Muffins, Carrot Pancakes, and Comforting Meals

The past week or so we've been compiling all the great recipes we have bookmarked so that we can print them off and bind them in a binder...that way we can cook these recipes and stop accumulating more recipes. There are so many great looking recipes out there, that we can't make them all. So, we will just work with the ones we will print off for now. (And that adds up to over 100 pages! Yikes!).

Yes, we love food and cooking! We decided this week to go back to what we love - baking bread/breakfast/dessert and making comforting, hearty meals. Who doesn't love the great yeasty fresh smell of bread rising, bananas in the oven, nutty rice cooking on the stove, and cinnamon filling the air?

Like many bloggers recently, we made carrot cake pancakes. Soft, fluffy, and we get our healthy orange fix in the morning! For the first time, we enjoyed them with some cooked apples, a little agave, and heavily doused cinnamon on top. This morning we also enjoyed the pancakes for breakfast, but ate them with more freshly shredded carrots, slightly warmed, and cinnamon. I think we had 1 Tbsp each of cinnamon on our pancakes! Yummy.

We also enjoyed making homemade whole grain English muffins! They actually we pretty easy to make - it just took patience to let the yeast ferment overnight and then let it rise. Easier than bread baking, and used less energy because they don't require an oven to cook. You just cook them on a skillet similar to pancakes. We served them with homemade beet veggie burgers, then tofu sandwiches. Really soft (more like a soft bread texture than a airy English muffin) and very tasty when toasted!

Another great treat we enjoyed was homemade banana-date-walnut-oatmeal bars. We tried to imitate Odwalla bars, but we still need to tweak the recipe. It was very soft and flavorful, it just needs to be less fluffy/bready and more dense like Odwalla's.

Banana-Date-Walnut-Oat Bars

1/4 cup + 1 Tb Scottish oatmeal
1/4 cup Bob's Red Mill Peppy Kernels (or rolled oats + some uncooked millet)
1/2 cup whole wheat pastry flour
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 cup chopped walnuts

6 large medjool dates (1/4 cup), mashed/pureed
3/4 cup frozen bananas, warmed and mashed with the liquid (or 3/4 cup fresh bananas mashed plus some liquid)
2 Tbsp flaxseed meal, added to mashed bananas
2 Tbsp agave nectar

Mix together dry ingredients. Add dates into flour mixture, then add mashed bananas. Mix slightly, then add walnuts and mix until just combined. Spread in a 1 1/2 quart glass bar pan (9 x 7 baking pan) and bake 13 min. Let sit before cutting into bars.

With the extra dates, we just mashed them onto a graham cracker and topped with walnuts for a quick and tasty treat. I never knew how soft and versatile dates are in baked goods!

For meals, we chose the hearty dishes - Homemade Sloppy Joe's with Chickpeas, Chickpea & Vegetable Shepherd's Pie, and Edamame "Fried" Rice.
The Sloppy Joe's reminded us of our southern roots - messy, tomatoey goodness! For leftovers, we served them in cabbage leaves for a lighter flare, and then another day served them mixed with cooked red quinoa as a "Quinoa bowl".

The Shepherd's Pie we adjusted from multiple Shepherd's Pie recipes we saw, one from Veganomicon. Ours had lots of nutritional yeast and Bragg's, plus a little thyme, sage, Worcestershire sauce, garlic, onion, olive oil, coriander, and celery seed. For the filling, we used local squash (it was like a cross between zucchini and winter squash; semi-creamy), chickpeas, and diced carrots. The mashed potato topping we had made a few days before, which made the dish less time consuming. It actually was half red potatoes, half cauliflower mixed with soy milk. We really loved the mashed potato/cauliflower mix! Lighter, yet still creamy and comforting. This dish was very tasty when doused with nutritional yeast and drizzled with a little olive oil and more Bragg's.

Our last hearty meal for the week was a healthy Asian bowl- edamames, diced carrots, scallions, diced bell pepper, toasted sesame seeds, and long grain brown rice, with just some olive oil and Bragg's. Sometimes the most simplest ingredients come together with the best flavors.

We have more great concoctions coming soon!

While we've been doing moving/job research (we may be moving to Oregon), we found this great website - You can search an address, find how "walkable" it is, and even zoom in and see the streets/houses close up! ("street-level" view option)

-LK Sisters

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

RAWesome Foods

We've been attempting to eat more wholesome raw foods in our diet each week. Last week we had raw cashew mango cookies, and the week before we tried raw spinach zucchini lasagna. Well, we've had more RAWesome foods :)

For the fourth of July, we made Taco Lettuce Wraps. Most of it was raw, except the homemade bluecorn tortillas that we served with it. Our feast included...
... taco "meat", diced tomatoes, raw corn kernels, sliced avocado, cabbage leaves, and the tortillas (although for leftovers we had a truly raw meal with just the cabbage as our wrap). We got the taco "meat" recipe from a free magazine from the natural food store. Here's the recipe and our comments:

Taco Lettuce Wraps

2 cups walnuts, soaked (~ 1 1/2 hours)
2 Tbsp Braggs
2 Tbsp water
1 Tbsp cumin
1/2 Tbsp coriander
1 bunch cilantro (we didn't have any)

fresh corn kernals from 1-2 heads of corn
fresh tomatoes, diced
sliced avocado
cabbage heads

Process taco "meat" in a food processor until mixture resembles ground taco meat. Serve with remaining fresh veggies. Serves 8.

It was very tasty, healthy, and filling! We want to definitely have this again, but we brainstormed some other ideas - mix walnut meat with 1/2 quinoa for a lighter "meat"; make an Italian flare with herbs and balsamic; add a creamy dressing such as guacomole or agave mustard dressing; have it in a pita, or serve with other veggies such as cucumber, sprouts, salsa, shredded carrots, etc...

We also made Fresh Avocado and Cucumber Soup (also found this in a magazine).

Fresh Avocado and Cucumber Soup

1 cup soy or hemp milk
4 green onions, chopped
2 large avocados, cut into chunks
juice of 1/2 lime
1/4 tsp salt
1 and 1/2 large cucumbers, peeled and chopped
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro (we didn't have any)
black pepper
lots of cayenne

Puree all ingredients in a food processor and puree until well blended with a smooth consistency. Add pepper and adjust seasonings. Chill before serving.

It was fresh, cooling, easy, and healthy! We added ~ 2 Tbsp bell pepper, and we garnished with corn kernels and chives. It would be good with spinach or pureed cauliflower, or with tomatoes and Italian spices like basil.

With our fresh figs, we enjoyed Fresh Raw Fig Spread. Instead of heating the mixture, which is usually the technique when making jam, we just processed the figs to a thick paste with no cooking required.

Fresh Raw Fig Spread

~ 20 fresh figs (~ 1 lb)
1/8 cup water
1 lemon, juiced, optional
1/4-1/2 tsp brown sugar

Process in food processor until thick puree. Makes ~ 1 1/2 cups! So easy!

We used this on toast, for nut butter banana jam sandwiches, and in our oatmeal.

Lastly, we shopped at, and bought some great new "raw" finds! We've only tried the Mexican Flax Chips, which has a unique crunch (very good!) and a great tomato-Mexican flavor! We'll let you know how the other raw goodies turned out!

The goodies include: Lydia's Organics Apple Ginger Bar, Raspberry Bar, Tropical Mango Bar, Carob Hazelnut Bar, and Apple Fig Bar; Organic Golden Flaxseed Crackers, Mexican Harvest; Goldenberry Brazil Nut Cookie; Nature's Gift Raw Organic Pineapple Flax Cookie; Adam and Eve Dangerous Date Bar; and Gopal's Mexican Power Wrap.

Hope your summer is full of sunshine and good food! LK

Friday, July 11, 2008

Be Green - Reduce Food Waste!

Want to be more green savvy? Something as simple as reducing food waste can help! (We posted this at, and we wanted to share it with you!)According to authors Elizabeth Rogers and Thomas Kostigen who wrote “The Green Book”, 4.54 pounds of trash are produced every day by an individual – 500 billion pounds per year for the entire United States! So, to make small but significant changes in your consumption and disposal habits, start with the following tips to reduce food waste:
- buy products that contain recycled materials and that can be recycled
- buy products with the least amount of packaging
- buy less processed convenient foods and more fresh foods
- buy in bulk and avoid single-serving products
- buy natural eco-friendly products
- use what you buy
- use a shopping list and follow it, so as to not buy products that you won’t need
- avoid plastic and Styrofoam plates and use reusable plates instead
- do less take-out and fast food
- decrease portion sizes and go back for seconds if needed
- bring home leftovers from a restaurant
- use leftovers in a recipe for another day
- try to utilize all food parts (such as from a vegetable) in cooking
- use the least amount of plates and silverware
- use cloth napkins
- use reusable Tupperware
- use reusable bags for shopping
- reuse plastic bags
- recycle bags, cardboard, and paper
For more information on being “green”, research online, or check out The Green Book, by Elizabeth Rogers and Thomas Kostigen, and Green Chic – Saving the Earth In Style”, by Christie Matheson. We also found an article on "8 ways to cut waste when grocery shopping" that we thought was also helpful:
1. Skip single-serving items, which require more packaging per unit. Overpackaged offenders include frozen foods and lunch and snack items.
2. Purchase juice concentrates. You supply the water and pitcher and skip the large plastic container.
3. Avoid disposable goods, including razors, lighters, and plastic plates.
4. Use your own canvas or string bags at the grocery store. If you do use plastic, return it to the store for recycling, or use as trash bags.
5. Use produce bags only for moist or small, loose items, such as lettuce and berries.
6. When possible, purchase goods in cans or glass instead of plastic containers. Glass can be recycled indefinitely.
7. Look for multipurpose cleaners instead of buying one for each kind of surface.
8. Close the loop. Purchase products that have themselves been made from recycled materials, such as Seventh Generation paper towels.
Another article, posted by equanimity, discusses "10 ways to Green Your Fridge":
1. Ditch the plastic - switch to glass storage containers
2. Upgrade (and downsize) - buy an energy-efficient refridgerator, and one that's smaller in size that "consumes less energy and discourages waste".
3. Forget ice and water dispensers
4. Fill 'er up - keep the fridge full, to reduce energy consumption.
5. Mind the expiration date - check expiration dates and use food before it goes to waste.
6. Keep it clean - a clean fridge reduces bacterial growth and food spoilage.
7. Vacuum the coils - to keep the refrigerator more efficient, clean the coils in the back at least twice a year.
8. Check the seals - make sure the seals to the doors are tight to prevent air escaping.
9. Location - keep your fridge in a location away from appliances that generate heat or away from a sunny window.
10. Temperature - keep the temperature between 36° -38°F.
Can you think of other ways to reduce food waste? We would love your opinions and tips!

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Summer Treats

Aloha! ....from Texas unfortunately. It's so hot here that you just walk outside and start sweating. We've been enjoying refreshing treats to help cool us off!

We decided to use one of our gift cards for an ice cream maker! Now we have a whole list of ideas to create! (But with just us two, the ice cream lasts a long time) We had a beautiful watermelon to use, and decided on Watermelon Sorbet with a hint of spearmint. It turned out very refreshing, more like shaved ice.
The ice soy-cream we made was Banana Pecan Frozen "Yogurt". We used strawberry soy yogurt (the flavor we had on hand, next time we might use plain flavor), frozen bananas, vanilla extract, soy milk, and Equal Exchange's Roasted Pecans (which were soo flavorful and made the ice cream taste praline-ish.) Yummy! Now we can have all the unique flavored ice cream we want without all the preservatives, sugar, and cost that commercial bought soy ice creams have!

We also made cookies with extra nutrition.

We tried Avocado Lime cookies, which are supposed to be like healthy shortbread cookies, and added some hemp seeds. These were very unique in taste, with an avocado-lime taste. We think that you could use some portion of margarine in any cookie recipe with avocado so long as there is no lime to recognize the taste, and so long as the cookies aren't cooked at a high temperature. Interesting and zesty!

Another nutritious cookie - Raw Cashew Mango cookies. We were intrigued by Shannonmarie's (from Rawdorable blog) Raw Girl Scout cookies! Who knew that girl scout cookies could look so good and be good for you! We didn't have all of the ingredients, and don't have a dehydrator, so we kind of adapted the shortbread recipe ("Chewy Trawfoils").

We didn't have coconut, but we did use coconut extract. We used dried mango, soaked and processed, instead of dates. And we just made them into no-bake cookie balls instead of dehydrating/baking them. It's a quick and nutty snack, although I'm sure the original recipe would have been outstanding.

Happy Summer! We are celebrating because we have no more school and graduation is a month away! By the way, we've been updating our blog to make it more appealing and accessible, so if you've seen weird changes, sorry about that!

Here is a cute "Kitchen Prayer" we found that is just too cute not to share:
Bless this kitchen, Lord and those who gather here each day.
Let it be a place where we can meet to love and laugh and pray. Amen.

-LK Sisters

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Supporting Local Farmers By Buying Local Produce

Summer has been a GREAT season for fresh local fruits and vegetables!

We've been buying lots of local produce, which is not only tastier, but cheaper and healthier. Choosing local foods also supports small farmers who take better care of the land, who often grow many varieties of crops, and who often use organic sustainable farming techniques.

We recently received "The Green Book", by Elizabeth Rogers and Thomas Kostigen, and "Green Chic - Saving the Earth in Style", by Christie Matheson. Both recommend eating local foods and buying from farmers' markets.

Both point out that it takes roughly 1500 miles for supermarket food to reach your plate, compared to 50 miles for local produce. Much more energy and resources are used to produce conventional food versus local food; Christie says that 32 times more energy is used and 32 times more CO2 is emitted with conventional food. In addition, local food is more nutritious, because it's picked when ripe, and eaten soon after, versus food from supermarkets that sit for days, maybe a week, before it's transported to the stores. (These are just some of the reasons to buy local - we suggest reading more about eating local foods and being "green".)

A great motivator to buy local foods, is trying new foods! There are so many varieties of fruits and vegetables that you can find at the farmers' markets. Here are some local foods we've eaten this summer:

  • Heirloom tomatoes of different sizes and colors (yellow, orange, purple!)
  • peppers
    • bell, banana, jalapeƱo, and one we don't know what kind it is - it's yellow with a "spin top" shape
  • eggplant (small purple-and-white stripped)
  • fresh figs!
    • yes fresh figs! First time to try these, and they were delicious, sweet, and addicting.
  • Texas peaches and corn
  • squash
    • zucchini, yellow, white, and sunburst
  • sugar snap peas
  • melon!
    • "jade" watermelon that was the best juiciest sweetest organic watermelon we've ever had! Very huge too.
    • also "sugar not" melon that was a cross between a cantelope and a honey dew with a slight cucumber/kiwi taste and that was soo sweet and juicy!
    • BTW - the melons came from Holistic Gardens of Texas A&M and there were about 20 more varieties of melons that they produced, and they wanted customer feedback!

And here are some tasty ways we used our great produce!

Roasted Veggies - eggplant, red bell pepper, tomatoes, and yellow squash with herbs - and served with couscous.

Garbanzo Snap Pea Quinoa Bowl ... garbanzos, snap peas, quinoa, green bell peppers, garlic, diced carrots, and a curry dressing.

Our first RAW meal! Lasagna with Zucchini "Noodles", a Spinach Basil Cashew filling, and Fresh Tomato Sauce! We are going to try to make a raw meal once a week. So far, it's been a great experience.

- We adapted Carmella's recipe from The Sunny Raw Kitchen. Lasagna usually takes so long to prep AND cook, but with this recipe, it only took long to prep, and then it was done!

Raw Spinach Zucchini Lasagna

Spinach Basil Filling:
1 cup cashews, soaked (for maybe 3-4 hours?)
1/2 cup water
1 large garlic clove, minced
1/3 cup nutritional yeast
3-4 cups fresh spinach
3/4 th of small pack of fresh basil (2 Tb?)

Grind nuts and garlic until fine. Then add other ingredients until creamy.

Tomato Sauce:
3-4 large tomatoes, chopped
1/3 cup diced onion
1 large garlic clove, minced
rest of the pack of fresh basil

Blend in a food processor until slightly smooth, slightly chunky.

2 large peeled zucchini, sliced thinly lengthwise

Using 1/2 of zucchini, make a layer in the bottom of a pan. Spread 1/2 of the spinach filling over the zucchini. Then add the remaining zucchini to make another layer. Spread the remaining spinach filling, and then top with the tomato sauce. Add a little nutritional yeast and black pepper to taste. Cut and serve!

Here's a photo of the cream filling and then a photo showing some of the layering.

... And you'll just have to wait to see what concoction we create with the watermelon! :)

To end this post, we hope that you will buy more local food. We as consumers need to support local family farms, buying directly from the farmers. Go to a farmers' market, or even better, grow your own food. You can also participate in the Community Supportive Agriculture program (CSA) if available, for which you pay in advance for a weekly amount of fresh produce.

See you at the next Farmers' Market! LK