Sunday, May 16, 2010

Gardening!....and News

Hi all,

Enjoying the lushness of spring-summer? We had our first warm weather that made us really excited for the start of summer. Time for farmers markets, fresh fruits/vegetables, and spending time outside!

So, the good news is that we've moved to our own home, and LOVE taking care of it, gardening, painting, decorating, and just hanging out. Quiet, lovely, and all ours. We've just planted a few flowers in the front, and a vegetable-herb garden out back:

Lavandula stoechas 'Madrid Blue' (Spanish Lavender)
Gardenia jasminoides 'Kleim's Hardy'
Erysimum linifolium 'Bowles Mauve' Wallflower
Philadelphus coronarius 'Variegatus' Mock Orange shrub
Lithodora diffusa 'Grace Ward'
Health Kick Tomato--packed with extra lycopene
Sungold Cherry Tomato
Sweet Banana Pepper
Thai Basil Herb
Fresh Peppermint Herb

We also planted our rosemary and chives that had just been growing on our windowsill. So excited for homegrown fresh veggies and herbs!

Now, the disappointing news....We've decided to put this blog on hold for now.

We feel that we've gotten situated in our daily lives that we don't need to take pictures of every meal. We love staying busy with other activities instead of taking time to record and blog about everything, and are content with just baking/cooking for ourselves. We enjoyed it at one point, but now that we have a house and as time passes, our lives are changing and so are our priorities. We are at the time in our life where we are ready to just enjoy life here in Oregon, instead of reaching out to the internet-blog world. We are looking to volunteer somewhere meaningful, meet friends, garden, home-decorate, learn the guitar, take evening neighborhood walks, travel around the state, read, and many other local activities.

We hope you enjoyed reading our blog and got some inspiration from our cooking adventures! We pray you grow to love cooking and baking vegetarian/vegan food...for your health, for the environment, and for the animals' welfare.

Peace as always,

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Raving About New Amy's Products

Amy's Products always saves us when we are hungry and want something quick, easy, and tasty. Check out their new product line! So excited about the low sodium beans and rice burrito, as this burrito is our favorite and even better with less sodium!

We recently tried the new Gluten-free Roasted Vegetable Pizza - awesome! The rice crust is both crispy and soft, delicious in flavor, and you don't expect it to be gluten-free. And the flavor and vegetables are delicious; are only suggestion of course is more vegetables and tomato sauce, but that is easy to do at home - we just added more tomato sauce and veggies. The cheese is non-dairy and suprisingly we liked it and it didn't remind us too much of milky pizza cheese (which we don't like). We loved it so much, we just split one pizza even though the serving size is 1/4th :) Definitely try this!

Another product we enjoyed - Non Dairy Baked Ziti. Very tasty, like going to a family-owned Italian restaurant. Very filling! Sometimes Amy's meals aren't as filling, but this was big and hearty, lots of pasta and tomato sauce. The peas added a nice touch, and the cheese again tasted good. It would be delicious with added spinach and then you have a complete meal! Try this delicious authentic vegan ziti!

For those vegetarians wanting real cheese, our coworker eats Amy's Indian Mattar Paneer almost every week. She highly recommends this meal, which includes a delicious Indian spiced sauce with carrots, garbanzos, peas, and rice.

It's always nice when you visit family out of town, to always suggest Amy's products for a quick lunch or dinner. Our family knows where to get Amy's and they eat it too, so we all enjoy an Amy's meal that's vegetarian.

So I know we've mentioned Amy's before, but we just HAD to let you know about these finds!
Until next time, wishing you the best,

Monday, April 5, 2010

Coming Soon...

We will post soon, we promise!

We have been busy with work and are in the process of buying a home!
Right now, we are traveling, visiting our family in Texas for Easter. Beautiful wildflowers, including bluebonnets and Indian Red Paintbrushes!We are excited about owning a home, and hope to share our good eats soon!

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Just Some Suggestions

Just some suggestions for....

... products that we currently use
... products that we are eager to try!

Now when we want to buy new products, we always look at reviews! We especially love reading reviews to make sure the product we are considering is highly recommended. Reviews are important and helpful in one's purchases, and we just wanted to shout out short but sweet reviews for some of the products we love. We also have a list of products that we want to try--has anyone tried these? If so what are your opinions? We would love for anyone to comment about these products or any other product that should be known!


With our morning breakfast, we start out day with some Amazing Grass greens powder. Add two scoops to a homemade fruit smoothie and we don't even taste "greens". Just fruity smoothie deliciousness. Ever since we started adding Amazing Grass to our smoothies, we have felt healthier and more energized. Just do not try their Amazing grass snack bars - dry, tasteless, and nothing special.

Essentials with breakfast - Dr. Fuhrman's DHA. Just 0.5 mL added to a spoonful of your smoothie provides 175 mg DHA. Vegan too! Great product! Food Science of Vermont's Mega Probiotic capsules are also great for your health. We take 1-2 capsules at breakfast: 1 capsule contains 5 billion CFU's of vegan probiotic bacteria and 220 mg of the prebiotic Fructo-oligossacharides. Since taking these, we feel like our digestive tract is healthier with less yeast infection problems.

For lunches and snacks, we love munching on Bergin Nut Co.'s Organic Soy Nuts! Nothing but the natural soy roasted into a great nutritious snack! Great for those you are looking for something crunchy like nuts or chips but are allergic to nuts or who want something healthier. Contain a nice amount of fiber and protein!

A wonderful gluten-free product, Tinkyada Pasta Joy Brown Rice Pastas are actually our preference over regular wheat pastas! We love how this pasta cooks--just right with a perfect bite, and not too mushy.

Try La Tourangelle's Toasted Sesame Oil to make your dinner meals extra flavorful! All natural, high quality sesame oil is great drizzled on rice, quinoa, broccoli, and potatoes. It's also delicious to dip homemade bread in. We actually made a great tasting Sesame Wheat bread and the sesame is just enough to make the bread nutty.

Ok, so now for the list of products that have caught our attention!

- Organic Nectar's Raw Cacao Chocolate Bars - we want to try these because instead of using cane sugar, they actually use organic palm nectar (aka coconut sugar) which is the best low glycemic sugar on the market! We love coconut sugar and have been experimenting with it at work. And we love dark chocolate, so these bars look delicious.

- Yoga Snacks Raw Corn Chips - we love chips, and these look tempting! They contain sprouted corn, and flax seeds, and offer yummy varieties like lime corn chips! Yum.

- truRoots Organic Sprouted Green Lentils - sprouting the beans makes the nutrients more bioavailable and preserves the flavor and freshness.

- Alter Eco Dark Quinoa Chocolate - another chocolate to try, this one has quinoa in it! So intriguing. Their 73% Chocolate with Cacao Nibs is one of our favorites.

Please comment about what you have tried, what you liked, and also some great products not listed that you want to share! Thanks!

PS: Lauren of "Ginger is the New Pink" is hosting a giveaway on chocolate! Here's the link. All the chocolate sounds so delicious, authentic, and exotic!

Have a great week,

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Whip Up These!

In attempt to keep the cooking and baking short and sweet, we continue to go back to these two recipes. So easy and tasty and fun to change them up each time.

Awesome Homemade Veggie-Bean Burgers

Makes 10-12 patties

1/2 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp cumin
1 - 1 1/2 tsp oregano
1/4 cup each cornmeal and wheat gluten
2 1/2 Tb nutritional yeast
2 Tb flaxseed meal
2 cups pinto or black beans
1 Tb canola oil
1 clove garlic, minced
1 Tb Braggs
1 Tb stone ground mustard
2 - 4 Tb diced bell pepper
2 Tb diced onion

1. In a small bowl, mix onion powder, cumin, cornmeal, wheat gluten, nutritional yeast, and flaxseed meal.
2. In a large bowl, mash pinto beans, then add remaining ingredients. Mix until just combined.
3. Add dry mixture from the small bowl to the bean mixture in the large bowl, and mix until well combined.
4. Form 10 - 12 patties. Place on a baking sheet that has parchment paper or has been sprayed with cooking spray.
5. Bake at 375 degrees for 15-25 minutes, or until golden on both sides.Variations: Add 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes or cayenne
Add 1/4 - 1/2 tsp Worcestershire sauce or Balsamic vinegar
Use white beans, lentils, black-eyed peas, or kidney beans
Add 2-3 Tb finely chopped veggies
Add lime juice and jalapeno

Great for breakfast, snacks, or lunches, these extra fluffy soft biscuits are easy to whip up. Serve with avocado, olive oil, nut butter, or jam.

A basic recipe, with lots of variations possible!Fluffy Baking Powder Biscuits

Makes 8- 12 biscuits

2 cups whole wheat, spelt, or kamut flour
1 Tb baking powder
1-2 tsp sugar or agave syrup
1/2 tsp salt
3 Tb oil
1 tsp vinegar
1/2 cup soy milk or non-dairy milk
1/2 - 3/4 cup water

Combine dry ingredients in a large bowl. Add in wet ingredients and mix until just combined. Drop on a baking sheet lined with parchement paper (or use biscuit cutters to cut out biscuits). Bake at 400 degrees F for 12-15 minutes or until just golden.

add nuts and/or seeds - such as 1-2 tsp sesame seeds or 1 Tb crushed pumpkin seeds
add nut butter - we use 2-4 Tb sunflower seed butter with about 1 Tb less oil
Oat biscuit - add some quick rolled oats and/or oat flour
Corn biscuit - add 1/4 cup cornmeal and about 2-3 Tb less flour
Pumpkin biscuit - add 2-4 Tb pumpkin puree with 2-4 Tb less water
Make it savory! with 1/2 tsp total of dried herbs or curry powder or even caraway seeds

We also wanted to mention a product that we have our eyes on! Mary's "Gone Crackers Crumbs" look like a wholesome whole grain product to use in replace of those bland and refined bread crumbs! We could whip up a tasty dish with these!

Until next time,

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Valentine's Day Treats--Dark Chocolate and Pink Grapefruit Icebox Cookies

Happy Valentine's Day!

What does Valentine's Day mean to you? To us, it is a day to reflect on all the great loving people in our lives. Although we should express appreciation and love for others every day, this day is extra special! We started off the holiday early by watching "Becoming Jane" last night--such a romantic, sweet, and terribly sad movie!

Real love is expressed beautifully in Corinthians 13:4-13
"LOVE is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.....And now these three remain: faith, hope, and love. But the greatest of these is LOVE."

Valentine's day is also a time to eat decadent dark chocolate and make pretty decorated cookies! We checked out Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar cookbook at the library...there are so many great cookie recipes and pictures in this book! We chose something fun and different than the usual cookies we make, utilizing the winter citrus fruits--"Frosted Grapefruit Icebox Cookies". We would love to eventually make almost every cookie in this book!
Here's what we did:
  • Half a batch of grapefruit-flavored cookies with grapefruit juice and grapefruit zest.
  • Half a batch of orange cookies with orange juice and orange zest.
  • In an attempt to be more organic, and reduce packaging and waste, we bought organic cane sugar in the bulk section and mixed in some cornstarch. We processed it in our blender into powdered sugar. It slightly worked, but the sugar crystals were still grittier than store-bought powdered sugar.
  • Replaced the margarine with room-temperature (slightly soft) coconut oil and used whole wheat pastry flour for nutrition.
We had so much leftover icing, and it was slightly runny and extremely sweet! These cookies gave us "crash-and-burn" sugar syndrome. They did not make us feel very good after eating them. However they were fun to decorate, and smelled heavenly. We plan to scrape of the icing so they are more tolerable.

The shortbread cookie base was good, just a tad sweet and oily. When we make these next time, we will reduce the sugar and coconut oil. We also plan to just put the zest in the cookie base and omit the icing.

Don't forget the chocolate! Equal Exchange's 71% and 80% Dark Chocolate are our favorites, but Endangered Species' Deep Forest Mint Dark Chocolate, and Alter Eco's 85% Dark Chocolate & 73% Dark Chocolate with Cacao Nibs are also delicious. For now, while we are young and single women, we'll consider chocolate as our one-true love! :)

Hope everyone has a lovely, sweet Valentine's day! Remember that we are all loved in the eyes of God, no matter how lonely we feel.


Sunday, January 24, 2010

Great Lunch Meals and Delicious No Bakes!

Hi everyone!

It's been awhile ---- we are super busy this time of year at work! Finalizing new Betty Lou's organic vegan bars that taste great and are packed full of nutrition and antioxidants! Get excited for new snack bars that are better than Larabars, Pure Bars, and Cliff Bars! Check out Betty Lou's blog and website for any updates.

January has been milder in weather, but still rainy and damp, so we always enjoy some warm comforting food, especially one-pot meals. One of our New Years Resolutions is to make a dish from one of our vegan cookbooks. So, the past few weeks we've tried Vive le Vegan's Greek Basmati Rice, Veganomicon's Samosa Potatoes, among other great meals and breads.

The Greek Basmati Rice is probably one of the best rice dishes we've tried! Great flavor, not too strong in any particular spice, just an addicting bowl of deliciousness. Full of onion, garlic, olive oil, olives, zuchinni, chickpeas, rice, parsley, and spices we could eat this every day!

Samosa Potatoes was a yummy spiced meal perfect for lunches. Spices like mustard, coriander, onion, garlic, ginger, turmeric, and cumin, this dish was great complimented with olive oil and Food Should Taste Good Olive chips! We didn't stuff the potato with the mixture, we just cooked diced potatoes in the pressure cooker, and added peas, parsley, and carrots.

In one of our bread cookbooks, we've been baking whole grain breads. We discovered a great technique for making great sandwich bread. We mix the dough and knead it, then let sit for 1 hour or so, knead again, then let sit another hour or two. We bake it at 400 degrees F as a round loaf, and we put a pan of water in the oven, so the crust is nice and the bread is airy and soft! Try putting some Bob's Red Mill cereals in your bread (like 10 grain cereal, kamut cereal, or just cornmeal), as it gives a great nutty flavor and great texture.
We love Greek food, and we found on "Real Deal Falafel" recipe. We made modifications, but it was tasty and great with condiments such as olive oil, mustard, tomato sauce, and avocado. When you get home from work it's easy to whip up a delicious dinner.

Of course to polish off a delicious meal you need some sweet treats! Delicious No Bake Oat Bites from Vegetarian Times Oct 2005 issue. We used sunbutter instead of almond butter, reduced the syrup a tad, added chocolate covered cacao nibs, and drizzled heavily with 73% Dagoba chocolate. Messy to roll, fun to make, and awesome to eat! Would be good to try an oatmeal cookie dough version with cinnamon and more raisins.

For some fun time outside of work, we've been busy with scrapbooking. Here's two pages we did, one of the Oregon Coast (we used an old calendar photo for the background), and one of our u-pick excursions this past summer!

Have a great last week of January!

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Amazing Food for Life Reflection

Hi Veg Friends!

So we were sorting through our email and came across this great article. Thought we'd post and share - life is bountiful and full of joy!

It's been said that God first separated the salt water from the fresh, made dry land, planted a garden, made animals and fish... all before making a human. He made and provided what we'd need before we were born. These are best & more powerful when eaten raw. We're such slow learners...

God left us a great clue as to what foods help what part of our body!

God's Pharmacy! Amazing!

A sliced Carrot looks like the human eye. The pupil, iris and radiating lines look just like the human eye... and YES, science now shows carrots greatly enhance blood flow to and function of the eyes.

A Tomato has four chambers and is red. The heart has four chambers and is red. All of the research shows tomatoes are loaded with lycopine and are indeed pure heart and blood food.

Grapes hang in a cluster that has the shape of the heart. Each grape looks like a blood cell and all of the research today shows grapes are also profound heart and blood vitalizing food.

A Walnut looks like a little brain, a left and right hemisphere, upper cerebrums and lower cerebellums. Even the wrinkles or folds on the nut are just like the neo-cortex. We now know walnuts help develop more than three (3) dozen neuron-transmitters for brain function.

Kidney Beans actually heal and help maintain kidney function and yes, they look exactly like the human kidneys.

Celery, Bok Choy, Rhubarb and many more look just like bones. These foods specifically target bone strength. Bones are 23% sodium and these foods are 23% sodium. If you don't have enough sodium in your diet, the body pulls it from the bones, thus making them weak. These foods replenish the skeletal needs of the body.

Avocadoes, Eggplant and Pears target the health and function of the womb and cervix of the female - they look just like these organs. Today's research shows that when a woman eats one avocado a week, it balances hormones, sheds unwanted birth weight, and prevents cervical cancers. And how profound is this? It takes exactly nine (9) months to grow an avocado from blossom to ripened fruit. There are over 14,000 photolytic chemical constituents of nutrition in each one of these foods (modern science has only studied and named about 141 of them).

Figs are full of seeds and hang in twos when they grow. Figs increase the mobility of male sperm and increase the numbers of Sperm as well to overcome male sterility.

Sweet Potatoes look like the pancreas and actually balance the glycemic index of diabetics.

Olives assist the health and function of the ovaries

Oranges, Grapefruits, and other Citrus fruits look just like the mammary glands of the female and actually assist the health of the breasts and the movement of lymph in and out of the breasts.

Onions look like the body's cells. Today's research shows onions help clear waste materials from all of the body cells. They even produce tears which wash the epithelial layers of the eyes. A working companion, Garlic, also helps eliminate waste materials and dangerous free radicals from the body.

Psalm 46:19 'Be Still and Know that I AM GOD'

~Amazing food, amazing life~

Friday, January 1, 2010

Happy New Year 2010!

Happy New Year everyone!

We hope 2010 will be a year full of joy, success, peace, and growth!

How was your Christmas? Ours was quiet, fun, and joyous. Our Christmas meal was delicious, healthy, and full of flavor. We wanted to review 4 of the recipes.

Ricki's Tofu Frittata was outstanding! Full of zucchini, mushrooms (instead of potatoes), tomatoes, sundried tomatoes, and olives! A great flavor, with subtle tarragon, and texture like an egg frittata or an egg salad. We would love to try this recipe again with different spices like Mexican spices, Greek spices, or Curry spices.

Another winner - Veganomicon's Cornmeal Masala Brussel Sprouts! We love brussel sprouts, and the subtle masala spice complimented the nutty cornmeal. Lots of cornmeal crumbs, but great as leftovers with beans or other veggies.

We made cranberry sauce, and served it over Italian cornmeal cake. The cranberry sauce was slightly tart, but very tasty, and with a little bit more plum nectar and agave, it turned out great! This is our recipe adapted from the Yoga Journal:

Naturally Healthy Cranberry Sauce
Makes ~ 4 cups.

3 cups frozen cranberries, thawed (or fresh)
1 cup diced apples (about 1 apple) - or try pears
1 cup plum nectar (or other juice like apple juice, cranberry juice, or pear nectar)
1/4 cup - 1/2 cup agave syrup, to your preference
1/8 tsp salt
2-3 tsp currants
1/4 tsp agar powder

Combine all ingredients in a saucepan. Bring the mixture to a simmer over medium to medium-low heat. Cook, stirring occassionaly until apples pierce with a fork, 18-25 minutes. May need to cover the saucepan and let simmer.

The Happy Veganarian's Speculaas cookies were perfect for a not-too-sweet snack. Could use a tad more cinnamon, but otherwise spiced and nice with hot tea! We made about 25 round soft bite-size cookies.

So did any of you Southern guys and gals have your black-eyed peas? We enjoyed a black-eyed pea soup with celery and garlic and broccoli for New Years luck! :)

"Glory to God in highest heaven,
Who unto man His Son hath given;
While angels sing with tender mirth,
A glad new year to all the earth."
~Martin Luther