Tuesday, June 23, 2009


In honor of Father's ("Pop") Day, here are two popular treats for a poppin' fun party :)

Sweet and Spice Popcorn

1 tsp sesame oil
1 tsp sugar
1/4 - 3/8 tsp chili powder
1/8 tsp garlic powder
1/8 tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp salt
dash cayenne, optional
2 cups plain popped popcorn

Mix seasonings and sugar in a med sized bowl. Add popcorn and oil, then mix until popcorn is coated with seasonings. Serves 2.

Lemon Maple Three Seed Mini Muffins

1 Tb poppy seeds
1 Tb hemp seeds
1 Tb pumpkin seeds
1 3/4 cup oats
1 Tb sugar
1 1/2 - 2 tsp lemon zest
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp allspice
2 1/2 cup flour, such as spelt or kamut
1 Tb baking powder
3 Tb lemon juice
1 1/2 Tb flaxmeal
3/4 cup non-dairy milk
3 Tb maple syrup
1/4 tsp maple extract (or vanilla)
2 Tb canola oil

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Combine first 10 ingredients (poppy seeds through flour) in a large bowl. In a small bowl, add lemon juice and milk. Mix slightly, then add flaxmeal, maple syrup, maple extract, and canola oil. Combine wet ingredients into the large bowl with the dry ingredients, and mix until just combined. Drop batter into a prepared mini-muffin pan, and bake for 13-16 minutes for mini-sized muffins, or until toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Makes 12 mini-muffins, perfect size for parties.

And while you are having a party, why not watch Mary Poppins!

(Popcorn photo by Darren Hester)

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Birthday Portland Excursion & Other Eats

It's been a while posting...partly because we've been getting burned out from 9-11 hour days at work. We had an especially bad day on Thursday June 18, which happened to be our 23 rd birthday. :(

Saturday was a wonderful day, though, hiking in Forest Park (the largest urban park in the USA), strolling through Portland's Pearl District (and stopping in at Storables, Powell's City of Books, and Whole Foods Market), and eating at Proper Eats Cafe! We had a wonderful refreshing hike followed by a fresh, healthy lunch. If you are ever in the area, you have to hike at Forest Park, it is so beautiful, scenic, lush, peaceful, and rejuvenating!

At Proper Eats, we shared a tabouli wrap with shredded beets, sauerkraut, spinach, and miso tahini sauce on a whole wheat tortilla, and a sample platter of raw crackers, raw veggies, sunseed avocado dip, hummus, and spicy black bean dip. For dessert, decadent Thai Chili Dark Chocolate Truffle and Peppermint Dark Chocolate Truffle! While the meals were very good, unique, and fresh, we felt like they weren't wow enough to get the next time. We really want to try their other dishes, because it was all so healthy, local, and vegan. The cafe is quaint and even has a small grocery store with local produce, bulk section, and vegan snacks.
Did we mention how much we LOVE our farmer's market? Last week we bought super sweet and fresh strawberries, zucchini, lettuce, bok choy, cucumber, and fresh aromatic basil.

Since we are behind in posting, here are some more delicious yet random eats to share with you!

Starting off the weekend with a fruit n' veggie smoothie, fresh sliced pears, and some Nature's Path Flax Waffles, drizzled with a little pear butter and maple syrup.

And, let's just skip to dessert! Vive le Vegan's Chocolate Chip Cookies!

We adapted them slightly (added in a little oats for texture, among other things), but overall these were the best chocolate chip cookies we've tried. Good texture, soft yet not too doughy or crumbly, whole grain, and very flavorful! This recipe can act as a base to be used to create other great cookies. Yummy :)

Using our huge farmer's market zucchini, we made zucchini hummus. This recipe came from our raw "cook"book (Raw Food Made Easy for 1-2 People), but our tahini was non-raw, so this hummus is semi-raw. The hummus has zucchini, tahini, garlic, a little cumin and paprika, and some salt just blended together. It is slightly thinner in consistency, but very tasty and unique. It is more than just hummus - it can be used as a creamy sauce, as a dip, or as a dressing, and you can change up the spices to create different flavors. We loved it especially over pasta (chilled or warm), fresh basil leaves, and veggies (in this case some sundried tomatoes).
So, celebrate this summer by buying fresh local produce, traveling/exploring new places, eating healthy delicious meals, and indulging in decadent desserts!

Portland is a great place to travel, with beautiful bridges, parks, shopping, and restaurants.

Have a nice week everyone! We will share some more product reviews soon.

Let us know what your favorite places/cities to travel are, because we love to travel!

Zucchini on FoodistaSemisweet Chocolate on Foodista

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Basil and Cilantro

Don't you do just love fresh herbs? Dinner tastes like it was made in the garden!

What are your favorite herbs to use in meals? When we think of herbs, we think of basil, cilantro, oregano, sage, thyme, parsley, and mint. But those are typical herbs - can you think of any other herb that's unique but really good to cook with?

We especially love that different ethnic cuisines use the same herbs but in different ways. Basil in Thai and Italian. Oregano in Italian and Greek. Cilantro in Mexican and Thai. YUM!

Basil grows so well in Texas, and we used to have a garden of herbs, but our favorite was the basil! Although it dies every winter, it thrives in the summer once it's replanted. We love basil in Italian food - on homemade pizza or with simple bow tie pasta and olive oil and tomatoes.

Basil is also great with Thai food - we love Thai Country Restaurant in McMinnville, especially how they add fresh basil to curry dishes, fresh spring rolls, soups, and stir fries. Here we brought home leftovers of Spicy Green Bean and Tofu, Pineapple Red Curry, with some fresh asparagus, quinoa, and sticky rice. Try some Thai Tofu Saute with sweet Thai basil!

Cilantro is so cheap, but often we don't know what to do with all of it before it wilts. We jazz up our Thai Red Curry Tofu Scramble, served with some quinoa, corn tortilla, and white radish. We didn't have enough quinoa, so we thought a corn tortilla might go well with dinner :)

For a Mexican meal, we used the cilantro in Harmony House Foods Black Bean Soup and in a fresh Mexican salad, with avocado, tomatoes, chives, and a local greens mix. Delicious on a summer day! Try some Tortilla soup too!

Please let us know your favorite dishes to use basil and cilantro, and your favorite herbs!

Have a great Friday!

Thai Basil on FoodistaCilantro on Foodista

(Photos of fresh herbs taken by ethangeorgi)

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Wishing good health and fun for June!

Sweet red strawberries are in season here!! We are excited that our local farmer's market has started up. Soon more berries will be plentiful, along with other great summer produce. Summer fruits and vegetables and sunny warm days means refreshing, light, nutritious, easy meals!

The local strawberries were delicious as is, but we also enjoyed them in a raw buckwheat porridge, sprinkled with a little raw wheat germ and hemp seeds.

We also enjoyed a light, healthy, refreshing, and creamy GREENS smoothie! Most of the green smoothies we have enjoyed (and need to make more often) include some or all of the following: bananas, greens, cucumbers, blueberries, non-dairy milks, hemp protein powder, spices, and other fruits and juices.

Any suggestions on how to make these smoothies WOW and change them up frequently would be greatly appreciated! We need some greens inspiration. Also, if you purchase or know of any high quality nutritious greens/fruit powder mixes, please let us know. We have been enjoying hemp protein powder, but once it is gone, we want to try an even healthier blend with greens and fruit in it, such as Amazing Grass brand. Has anyone ever tried this blend? Which greens brands do you recommend that have fresh, high-quality, low-sugar, natural and organic ingredients??

Another healthy alternative to fresh food is freeze-dried food! We love freeze dried peas to snack on - a healthy snack with a nice crunch. The freeze-dried mangos are delicious in cereal in the morning, and the freeze-dried edamames are a handy addition with dinner. We usually get freeze-dried peas, corn, fruit, and tomatoes from Just Tomatoes at our local grocery store, but we decided to buy from Harmony House Foods for different freeze-dried products. Unique freeze-dried or dehydrated products, like sweet potatoes, pears, green beans, etc.... The only thing we weren't crazy about was the kiwi - was really tart. They even have really good vegan vegetable soup mixes.We are overall thrilled at Oregon summers, so much more fun and refreshing than Texas' summers! It's wonderful to enjoy farmer's markets, Oregon landscape (coast, hills, forest, waterfalls, etc..) and to savor fresh nutritious foods!

As Hippocrates says, "A wise man should consider that health is the greatest of human blessing." "He who has health, has hope; and he who has hope, has everything."-Unknown

P.S. We found this great website to be creative - wordle. Express yourself, your thoughts, your desires, your joys!

Wordle: Vegan Nutritious Food Phrases

Wordle: Sunshine in my Life
Happy June!

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Tomato-ey Meals

Tomatoes are becoming less expensive and are so juicy ripe! A great reason to buy lots for tomato-ey meals.

We tried Veganomicon's Potato Kale Enchiladas, but instead of rolling up the tortillas to make enchiladas, we layered them to make a Mexican lasagna. Easier to make it layered! A healthy homemade enchilada pie.
We liked the textures and flavors - juicy tomatoes, creamy potatoes, and crunchy pumpkin seeds for textures, and tomatoes, potatoes, and jalapeno/Mexican spices for flavors. It was tasty, but needed something else, like a drizzle of olive oil or fresh oregano. Also, it took so long to make - and we even split the tasks, prepared the potatoes and sauce ahead, and the next day assembled everything.

When our Dad visited last week, we immediately thought of a tomato dish to make for him - everyone likes tomatoes right? Whenever we cook for him, we try to make healthy but flavorful meals that he will like, because usually he doesn't eat the healthiest and he doesn't get much homemade food either. So, we decided to try Fat Free Vegan Kitchen's Italian Layered Vegetable Casserole. Another layered tomato-ey dish, but Italian style! This was really really good. We prepared the eggplant, bean filling, and sauce ahead of time, and then the next day assembled everything. An easy homemade tomato sauce - though next time we will increase the amount, because the dish could have used more. An easy bean filling too. Had a dollop of olive oil. Next time we might use fresh basil for more intense flavor. Our Dad was very happy :)

We served this with olive oil and homemade Garlic Spelt Rolls, a recipe from a favorite cookbook, the Bread Machine Magic by Linda Rehberg and Lois Conway.

For an Easy 5 minute Tomato Soup, with a fresh tomato-ey flavor, try this easy recipe!

Easy 5 minute Tomato Soup

6 tomatoes, coarsely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1 -2 Tbsp pesto (try Alive Organic Pistachio Pesto)
2 Tbsp olive oil
lots of dried basil (or fresh)

Combine all ingredients in a food processor or Vitamix, then blend to your liking (smooth or somewhat chunky). Eat or heat, then eat. So delicious, easy, and fresh! You can also blend in some avocado to make it creamier.

Another delicious tomato soup, but more preparation, is the Fresh Tomato Basil Soup with carrots, red bell pepper, and celery.

Tomatoes don't have to be in just Mexican or Italian meals. At our local Thai Restaurant, we had Thai Sweet and Sour Pineapple Tofu dish with tomatoes in it, and it was delicious! What meals do you like to have tomatoes in?

Tomato on Foodista