Thursday, January 29, 2009

We're Heroes....

Heroes of Bob's Red Mill that is! Although it would be an honor to be a real hero to someone special.

We have the privilege of being on a special list to receive new or exciting products from Bob's Red Mill. We are faithful followers and devoted to all of Bob's products, especially all things whole grain.

Our first batch of goodies arrived at the end of 2008, and they included (starting from top left):
  • Misc: Ceramic mugs, bag clips, Bob's aprons and caps!
  • Grande Whole Grains - very hearty, chewy, and wholesome, with lots of various grains.
  • 10 Grain Flour
  • Whole Grain Gingerbread Cake Mix - delicious, spiced, soft, moist, and yummy!! Added some pumpkin for moistness, flavor, and nutrition.
  • 10 Grain Hot Cereal - with stone ground high protein hard red wheat, rye, triticale, oat bran, oats, corn, barley, soy beans, brown rice, millet, and flaxseed, this blend is full of fiber and protein! Delicious!
  • 7 Grain Pancake/Waffle Mix - a great blend of soft, yet fiber-rich, flours to make easy and tasty pancakes!
  • Creamy Rye Flakes - to make a delicious bowl of "rye-meal". Chewy and nutty!
  • Steel Cut Oats - for a wonderful texture for breakfast, or cooked and added to breads.
  • Long Grain Brown Rice - nice for every cuisine - Thai, Mexican, etc...

So go be a "hero" and set a good example to others around you! Eat nutritious and vegan, pray and act morally, and just simply love. No matter how small, the little things in life can be seen as heroic to someone special.

P.S. While striving to be a hero, go enjoy some Bob's Red Mill grains!

Peace, LK

Friday, January 23, 2009

Smoothies and Greens

Our two favorite foods to whip up lately include smoothies (using our Vitamix) and greens - although we have yet to try greens in our smoothies :(

What are your favorite smoothie flavors/blends?


1. Banana 'Egg' Nog - with frozen bananas, So Delicious Vanilla Coconut Yogurt, nutmeg, and a little soy milk or almond milk!

2. Pumpkin Banana - lots of pure pumpkin puree with frozen bananas, soy milk, and pumpkin pie spice!

3. Berry - Any mixture of frozen berries (we have blackberries, blueberries, bosenberries, and marionberries) with frozen bananas, mixed berry or raspberry soy yogurt, and cranberry juice.

4. Blueberry (Although we have not had it in a while b/c of the season) - blueberries with frozen bananas, soy milk or juice, and blueberry soy yogurt.

Note: every smoothie pretty much has bananas (and most often are frozen)

For your information, here's an article on the basic way to make a nutritious fruit smoothie.

We definetely want to have a banana greens smoothie, but we are frugal people and already spend too much on groceries, so we only get enough fresh green veggies for dinners. The greens we've cooked up this month have been so fresh and delicious and healthy!

What's your favorite green leafy vegetables?


1. Kale - not too bitter, not too hearty nor wilty. Delicious!!
2. Spinach - goes well in any dish!
3. Swiss Chard
4. Mustard Greens
5. Beet Greens

Here are some ways we use our greens:

Veggie Tofu Rice Bowls - mix up veggies with tofu, rice and garlic, basil, Braggs, and nutritional yeast!

Hummus Sandwich - spinach hummus with tomato and fresh kale on homemade oatmeal bread!

Sauteed Greens with Garlic - then have as a side dish, or mix with tofu scramble, or put in wrap with creamy beans and basil vinaigrette.

Here's an article you might enjoy on the healthy benefits of green leafy veggies.

Have a great weekend, LK

Friday, January 16, 2009

Spicy Start to the New Year!

A Spicy Start to the New Year!

To start 2009 off, we couldn't have forgotten our "lucky" black-eyed peas. And since we thought of home, i.e. Texas, we made some spicy black-eyed pea casserole with spanish rice:

Spicy Black-eyed Pea Casserole

15 oz can black eyed peas, drained
1 4 oz can green chiles
15 oz can diced tomatoes, canned, unsalted
1 1/4- 1 1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/4-1/2 tsp Mexican seasoning
1/2 tsp cumin
1 med. garlic, minced
1/2 cup onion, diced
2/3 cup green bell pepper, diced
1/4 tsp salt
3/4 cup canned corn
1/4 tsp jalapeno powder
cooked spanish rice
olive oil

Chop vegetables (garlic through bell pepper) and saute on stove slightly. While sauteing, combine spices. Once veggies cooked, add rest of ingredients except rice and oil, and heat through. Serve over spanish rice, drizzled with olive oil. Sprinkle more spices to taste.

How about more spicy authentic Spanish food - Tortilla Soup!
This is the best tortilla soup! Spicy, flavorful, healthy, and authentic!

Spicy Tortilla Soup

1/2 cup chopped onion
1 -2 cloves minced garlic
1 Tbs
p Bragg's
2 cups water
1/2 cup fresh salsa
1 can no-salt added diced tomatoes (~1 3/4 cup), with juice
1/8 tsp salt (omit if have salted tomatoes)
3/4 - 1 cup black beans (from a can, rinsed)
1 tsp ground cumin
1/2 fresh chopped cilantro (we like lots, and used about 1/4 cup?)
1/2 Tbsp lime juice

optional: cooked corn, green chilies
When serving: avocado slices and tortilla chips, optional nutritional yeast

We actually had this soup with Just Tomatoes' "Just Veggies (freeze-dried peas, corn, bell peppers...), which was good, but we would like to try corn in the summer and green chiles. Even sundried tomatoes would be a different but good addition.

To cook, we just prepped everything to have the soup later in the week, but you can cook this soup in a slow cooker (add all ingredients except avocado and tortilla chips) or just heat soup over the stove in a big pot, making sure to saute onion and garlic slightly first.

Top your soup with avocado, tortilla chips, and nutritional yeast!

Hope you get enough spice this new year to kick off a new you (hey, maybe that spice will motivate you in keeping your resolutions!). - LK

Friday, January 9, 2009

Adding Pumpkin

We like the idea of adding pumpkin to all kinds of foods. In quick breads and yeast breads, cookies, smoothies, puddings, ice creams, oatmeal, soups, and main dishes. This winter we've added pumpkin to a variety of foods and not only does pumpkin make the foods delicious but also nutritious!

We tried this pumpkin pie ice cream, but used all soy milk (no soy creamer), a little more pumpkin puree and pumpkin pie spice, and added some frozen bananas. Made lots of ice cream! Deliciously spiced, and we read that adding arrowroot powder helps prevent ice crystals from forming.

Other creamy pumpkin treats of course include pumpkin banana yogurt smoothies and pumpkin puddings.

From our wonderful friends at Bob's Red Mill, we made Gingerbread using their Gingerbread Cake Mix, but instead of using eggs and oil, we used pumpkin puree, a little oil, and flax with water. So moist, spiced, and delicious! Will definetely make again. You could add some raisins or orange juice for a different variation.

Last weekend we went on a trip to Salem and to Lifesource Natural Foods, where we got some fresh squash pumpkin veggie soup. Warm and creamy for a cold day! Adding pumpkin to even a bowl of split pea soup is another great idea!

Another pumpkin hide-a-way --- in tofu scramble! We love tofu scrambles, and having pumpkin tofu scramble was no exception. Chewy tofu with creamy pumpkin. Yum! Added green bell peppers and onion, but other veggies like kale or broccoli would have been good.

So, we have a can of pumpkin ready to use for the coming week, and we are thinking of creamy curry sauce with cauliflower and veggies, pumpkin maple banana pancakes, and pumpkin vinaigrette broccoli. Get creative with pumpkin! - LK

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Muffins, Scones, Pancakes, and Breads

First of all, Happy 2009! We hope for a blessed year for everyone and for joy, peace, and memorable moments to come.
December has been a baking month! We love to bake breads and every week we try new recipes or make variations off of our favorites.

Today we made some quick pancake muffins - an orange variation and a garlic basil variation. For the orange muffins all we did was mix 1 cup of Bob's Red Mill 7 Grain Pancake mix, 1 Tb flaxmeal with 2 1/2 Tb water, 1/2 cup orange juice, 1/2 cup water, and 2 Tb wheat germ. The garlic basil muffins had all water and no orange juice, and had 1/2 tsp each of garlic powder and dried basil. We made 12 mini muffins - so easy and delicious!

Last week we made the garlic basil muffins from Veg News that La Belle Vegan recommended. Here's a link to the original recipe. These were excellent! We changed it up slightly:

Garlic Basil Whole Grain Muffins

2 Tb flaxmeal
5 Tb water
1/3 cup olive oil
3/4 cup water
1/4 cup soymilk
1/4 cup wheat germ
1 cup whole wheat flour
1/4 cup cornmeal
1 1/2 Tb baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 tsp garlic powder or garlic granules
1 1/2 tsp dried basil
1/4 tsp ground black pepper

Preheat oven to 385 degrees F. Spray muffin tin with cooking spray. In a large bowl, beat flaxseed meal and water with an electric mixer (or a wire whisk) for about a minute. Add olive oil, remaining water, and soymilk. Beat for an additional 30 seconds on medium speed. Stir in wheat germ, whole-wheat flour, cornmeal, baking powder, salt, and spices. Spoon mixture into prepared muffin tin. Bake for 12-15 minutes or until tops spring back when lightly touched. Makes 12 mini muffins.

These scones were different than our usual scone recipe, as they used coconut butter and were not as dry as traditional scones. They were like the texture of banana bread - dense and soft. We made one as maple flavor and the other as apple cider flavor. Both delicious, spiced, and with a great rich texture.

With a Marionberry-Peach-Banana fruit syrup, these oat-sesame pancakes were nutritious and flavorful! From, we adapted this recipe. The sesame seeds were ground with the oats and batter to give a nutty flavor. We made a few minor adjustments, such as lowering the sugar and omitting lecithin; however, the big change we would recommend for future baking is to add baking powder. The pancakes didn't rise, but they were good anyways. The pancakes are also tasty plain and simple for lunch.
With pumpkin puree, this cornbread was savory yet slightly sweet, moist and delicious! We followed our cornbread recipe, but modified it accordingly. We added ground coriander into the batter, which complemented the pumpkin savory-sweet taste. Next time we may add even more pumpkin, slightly less cornmeal, and a little banana for more moistness.

Bob's Red Mill's Gluten-Free Hearty Grain Bread:
This bread mix was like pumpernickel in flavor and texture, with hint of cocoa and caraway. We've never really dealt with gluten free food before, so it was hard to assess whether the batter was too wet or normal for gluten free breads. We will try other Bob's gluten free products to experiment more often with different flours and ingredients.

Happy New Year,