Saturday, November 29, 2008

Dad & First Vegan Thanksgiving

We've been blessed with a wonderful DAD to come visit us for Thanksgiving, now that we are miles away from our family down in Texas. And his visit couldn't have been more memorable! He always teaches us to smile, have fun, be patient, and to just enjoy life!He is so wonderful; he was even vegan for the full 3 days he was here! Now he won't keep it up (b/c he says it's hard to change habits and he still likes his meat), but he is so easy going and very supportive. He gave us so many compliments about our cooking - "Everything is soo flavorful", "Wow this is delicious", and "I don't want to go back home to bland boring food". He made us smile and light up each time he enjoyed our food. Thanksgiving was wonderful too in that it was our first full vegan Thanksgiving, because we cooked all the food! Anyways, as for the delicious food we've been having this past week...

Our Thanksgiving meal:
Danish Squash & Apple curry puree, Homemade Pecan Whole Wheat Bread, Walnut Pecan Patties with Herb Gravy, and Steamed Asparagus. Excellent!

For desert, German Chocolate Fudge and Apple Pie - both recipes are keepers! For the fudge we mixed coconut butter, cocoa powder, chopped pecans, rolled spelt flakes (or oats), and a tad bit of nut butter and agave. You can refrigerate it for a 'fudge' softer consistency, or freeze it for a firmer fudge. We finally made WHF's Apple tart, but adjusted it and made a walnut-pecan-pumpkin seed-buckwheat-date crust, omitted the raisins, and used apple pie spice. Wow the crust was so good, and we like this recipe b/c there is no margarine or oil!

For leftovers here are some ideas!

Roasted beets, carrots, and turnips with walnut pecan patties and pecan whole wheat bread

Winter Squash Apple Puree Soup with salad

Just simply bread and olive oil, or walnut pecan sandwich with gravy and squash - all the "fixin's"
FYI - if you have lots of leftover gravy, why not add it to rice dishes or ... even tamales!

For the remainder of Dad's visit, he loved the Thai Coconut Dish, the Creamy Lima Bean n' Beet Soup, the whole grain bagel-rolls, the coconut cinnamon roll muffins, and the fruit smoothies!

The Cinnamon Roll Muffins are perhaps the best cinnamon rolls and muffin recipe we've ever made and tried! We were craving cinnamon rolls, but didn't want to be slaving in the kitchen for hours as we would for a usual cinnamon roll recipe. So we came up with these and they were a hit! Our dad loved them! So soft and moist and cinnamony and coconuty too. We'll post the recipe soon!

Hope you have a blessed Thanksgiving full of loving memories and tasty food. We love the holidays because it reminds us of our childhood, of wonderful smells from the kitchen, and especially of family.
And we are grateful for vegans & vegetarians and all of our readers! - LK Sisters

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Autumn Blends

So simple!

(each recipe serve 2)

Pumpkin Pie Smoothie

1/2 -2/3 cup pumpkin puree
1- 1 1/4 cup soy milk
~ 1/3 cup frozen bananas
3-4 generous dashes pumpkin pie spice
~ 2 tsp molasses and 1 tsp agave, optional
1 individual carton vanilla soy yogurt, optional

Puree in a blender until smooth. Then enjoy!

Pumpkin Pudding (with tofu)

~2/3 cup pumpkin puree, or to your liking
1 packet of vanilla pudding mix ( we used Mori Nu)
1 pack firm tofu
dashes of pumpkin pie spice

Blend until smooth, then refrigerate to firm up.

Egg Nog Smoothie (no measuring)

1 individual carton vanilla soy yogurt
soy milk (enough for a good consistency to thin it out)
frozen bananas
dashes of nutmeg
dash of cinnamon
dash of allspice
some coconut butter, optional

Blend into smooth. Enjoy!

Banana Pumpkin Applesauce

1 banana
2 large apples
1/4 cup pumpkin puree
dashes of cinnamon

Puree in blender until smooth. Eat cold or warm!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

A Little More About Us

This past week we've made lots of healthy tasty meals, but we were unbelievably busy at work that we didn't take any pictures. We made a creamy pumpkin pasta dish made with large wheat shells, tofu/pumpkin 'ricotta' filling, onions, garlic, and marinara sauce. Delicious and made enough for 8 people! We also enjoyed burritos with homemade whole wheat tortillas, revised from the King Arthur Whole Grain cookbook.

Being apart of the Community Supported Agriculture program (CSA), by buying produce for the winter season from a local farmer, has been such a great opportunity. We absolutely love all the mixed greens and salad mixes - we have eaten so much more greens than we ever have! Here was a delicious salad with mixed salad greens and stripped sweet raw beets!

With chan dal beans from Bob's Red Mill, we cooked Channa Palak Masala from Happy Herbivore, though we changed it up just slightly. Love homemade soup out of the crockpot! So easy, filling, and warm on a cold wet day in Oregon.

Fall is all about pumpkin and winter squashes! We have such a craving for anything pumpkin/squash. Yummy pumpkin smoothie with bananas, and yummy pumpkin pudding!Veggie Delight recently tagged us to post more about us. So, here goes:

Link the person that tagged you and post the rules on your blog. Share 7 random and/or weird facts about yourself. Tag 7 random people at the end of your post and include links. Let each person know that they’ve been tagged by leaving a comment on their blog.

Here are the people we are going to tag (We're only tagging three):
Monique of The Happy Veganarian
Anni and Heikki of Tofu for Two
Swell Vegan

Facts about us:
1. In junior high and some of highschool, we played violin in the school orchestra, and we took German as our foreign language. We are very passionate about music - we enjoy listening to music and playing the piano, we liked the violin (but got burned out after a while), and we have a guitar sitting in a corner waiting to be learned how to play. We are also interested in culture - we traveled to Germany, we went on exchange for a year in college to New Hampshire, we like cultural foods, and our heritage is a mix of different cultures.

2. Krista is left handed and Lisa is right handed. We are "mirror" twins; even our first cavity was on opposite sides.

3. We like licorice and as children our grandparents would always give us black jelly beans for Easter. Right now we have licorice vegan mints and licorice flavored Nature's Gate toothpaste.

4. As children, we loved to make crafts, color, and be creative. We were very quiet, soft spoken girls who liked to just dive into a project, such as crocheting, making posters, coloring, creating ornaments, etc. Today we still love to work on projects. We make scrapbooks of our unique experiences, create recipe and prayer books, paint ceramics, and create collages to give as gifts to our family members (through websites such as

5. We each have a different favorite 'animal' - Lisa's is an elephant and Krista loves dolphins. We have lots of figurines and such of each. Of course, we love cats and dogs, especially our two felines, Emma and Noah!

6. We don't like spending lots, and try to conserve and be good spenders. Sometimes though we do spend alot on food because we like food so much, especially when we see new products or go to cool stores like Whole Foods and Bob's Red Mill.

7. We are followers of Christ and love going to mass every weekend! God is so much a part of us, and He's number one in our life. We love to collect crosses to hang around the house.

God bless! Lisa and Krista (LK Sisters)

Sunday, November 9, 2008

We are the whole grain baker queens

Busy bees baking in the kitchen on the weekends! We have stuff to do on our to-do list, but the kitchen is like a magnet and we just spend most of our weekends cooking and trying new dishes. Since we're in the kitchen for a good chunk of the day, our whole apartment is filled with warmth from the oven, along with comforting smells of baked goods! You gotta love carbs and baked goods!
Homemade granola (low sugar, low fat, high fiber) from David's Pure Vegetarian Kitchen Cookbook! We will make our own cereal every week now. We used different grains, such as rolled barley flakes, rolled spelt flakes, rolled triticale, and rolled thick oats. This was a very chewy, nutty, and hearty granola - delicious in every bite! A lot cheaper than buying granola, fresher, and healthier.

Versatile, too! For one morning, we served this with pecans, dates, and almond milk. Other ideas: Add some orange zest and dried cranberries, pumpkin pie spice, pecans, dried apricots, figs, dried apples and apple pie spice, hemp seeds, flax, etc....For another morning, we tried it warmed, and this helped to soften the chewy grains.

Bob's Red Mill Pumpernickle Crackers, with pumpernickle meal! We love all of Bob's grains - so unique, fresh, and flavorful. These crackers had a nice crunch. (Although, only people with strong jaws/teeth should eat these, because of the hearty texture of the pumpernickle meal!) Lightly flavored with caraway seeds, these were really tasty with avocado. On a side note, the pumpernickle meal is really tasty on its own, cooked, then drizzled with a little olive oil.

Another David's Pure Vegetarian Kitchen recipe - "sourdough" biscuits, with creamy white beans and lemon juice for the "tang". Really good and soft. Sometimes, it had the taste of creamy white bean soup with a biscuit! Also good with olive oil.

More bread, of course. As bread lovers, we weren't satisfied with just one type of carb...we had to also make oat muffins- using oats, oat bran, and homemade oat milk! I think our blood pressure dropped just from thinking about weekend, we also made homemade multigrain tortillas and pecan wheat bread! Both recipes came from King Arthur Whole Grain Baking cookbook. Like all of the recipes in that cookbook (although not all vegan, we have to adapt them), the bread came out delicious - nutty, soft, fluffy, heavenly.

With all this talk about bread/baked goods, we're going to go eat some more nourishing carbs! :) Chao!

Monday, November 3, 2008

Whole Foods Product Reviews

When we visited Bob's two weeks ago, we stopped in at Whole Foods. You could stay in Whole Foods for hours!

Lot's of sweet and savory snacks!

The Cravings Place Cake and Cookie Mix
- we made pumpkin pineapple cake by adding in some pumpkin puree, crushed pineapple, and pumpkin pie spice. Very delicious, but not too sweet (we reduced the sugar) so that we could enjoy it as more of a subtly sweet bread. This mix would be good to make all sorts of various cakes and cakey cookies.

Livin Spoonful Raw Pesto Pumpkin Seed Crackers - slightly too tangy of a flavor, so it wasn't our favorite, but it had a good crunch and is healthy for you.

A yummy Whole Foods Vegan Almond "Butter/Shortbread" Cookie with Raspberry Jam in the middle!

wonderful whole dates - we've learned to love dates - dates are like candy!

Corn Thins Flax and Soy Flavor - we love these corn-rice cakes! Like the Lundberg Rice cakes, these are good as a snack or for lunch, with avocado or nut butter or spices. We like these because they aren't as crumbly as Lundberg. Also like the multigrain variety.

Late July Vanilla Bean Chocolate Sandwich Cookies - like oreos, but better for you and vegan!

Ryvita Pumpkin Seed Crackers
- we like Ryvita (especially the Dark Rye variety) and these had a nice crunch with the pumpkin seeds, but they had a slight plain rancid flavor?

Lydia's Organics Raw Curry Crackers - Lydia's crackers are our favorite raw crackers. Such a great flavor and crunch. Good plain or with avocado! To bad they discontinued the Curry and Mexican flavored crackers. Other flavors though include nori, Italian, Green, and Fiesta.

Guiltless Gourmet Chili Verda
- unfortunately, we haven't tried these yet. We were bummed to see in very small print on the back of the package that it "contains dairy". We looked at the ingredient list and there is nothing we know of that is dairy, perhaps the autolyzed yeast extract or the natural flavor? We emailed them asking, but they haven't responded yet!

Scharffen Berger 82% Extra Dark Chocolate
- this was good with a good bite, but slightly bitter (82% chocolate). We prefer dark chocolate, but perhaps not this dark, more like 75%. But a very high quality chocolate product.

Cioccolato di Bruco Fondente Anice Dark Chocolate
- a delicious Italian high quality chocolate (72% dark) with a subtle anise seed flavor. We love anything anice, and the chocolate had the perfect bite and richness.

Whole Foods Baked Beans with Maple and Onion - so good and comforting! It's nice to have vegan baked beans - reminds us of our childhood.

Santa Cruz Lime Juice - good to have on hand in the fridge for Mexican style meals, for desserts, or for Thai coconut dishes!

Oat Dream Maple Sugar Milk - a sweet maply treat in the glass, in baked goods, or for breakfast with cereal.

(Untoasted) Sesame Oil - we've really enjoyed using this with broccoli, rice, tofu... A subtle nutty flavor.

RW Knudsen Cider & Spice Juice - WOW! Try it cold or warm!

Pumpkin puree - we've been craving anything pumpkin. So far we've made pumpkin cake and pudding, but next week we might make lots of pumpkin dishes and sweets!

Just Tomatoes Peas - Another Applaud - WOW! Like an addicting chip.

And some personal items we bought include:

Organic Cotton Socks
Aloe Oatmeal Soup and Almond Oatmeal Soup
Cucumber Melon Hand Soup
Honeymelon Spearmint Hand Lotion
Earth Science Liken Herbal Scent Deodorant (our favorite)
Built Gourmet Getaway Lunch Tote- works great! We take this to work every day, it fits our stuff in, and is light and stretchy but sturdy.

- LK

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Eyes, Bugs, Tornadoes!

Happy November! Since Halloween was yesterday, we wanted to get creative in the kitchen and have a "themed" meal. Easy but delicious...

... Black Eye Soup, slimy cucumber salad with bugs, and tornado and moon crescent rolls.

The Black Eye Soup was a variation of our Black Bean Soup, but we added a can of black eyed peas to have "eyes" in our soup. Pureed the black beans but not the black eyed peas.

For the cucumber salad, we just shredded a cucumber and added onion, currants, black pepper and some vinegar. It would be good with some other seasonings, but it was still refreshing and we enjoyed eating our slimy salad with black bugs!

Our Tornado and Moon Crescent Rolls were made with Bob's 10 Grain flour and carrot puree. We were hoping the carrots would make the rolls orange, but it just made it a darker golden brown. The carrot flavor though definetely stood out and made the crescents subtly carroty sweet. Yum!

We had so much fun carving a pumpkin (quite large one too!). The best part - roasting pumpkin seeds! We loved this garlicy cayenne addicting snack.

We are in the mood for comforting Autumn foods, so this morning we baked gingerbread raisin cookies. The recipe is from David's Pure Vegetarian Kitchen Cookbook that we checked out from the library. It is a great book so far with easy but tasty recipes that are quick to make and don't require much ingredients.

Another holiday treat we made last night was homemade "egg nog". In the Vitamix, we blended So Delicious Vanilla coconut milk yogurt, hemp milk, frozen bananas, nutmeg, and a dash of allspice. Turned out excellent!

Hope your November is off to a great start!

Today's All Saints Day, so here is a Bible verse in recognition of Saint Martha, the patron saint of servants and cooks.

“Blessed are they who hunger and thirst for righteousness…” (Matthew 5:6a)

We should prepare our meals with love and be thankful for the food we have. We should serve others and ultimately seek nourishment from God.

- LK Sisters