With the holidays coming up, a delicious dessert that can be served to nearly everyone in your house (vegan and non-vegan alike) is always a blessing. This recipe has never failed me yet. Many of my friends and family were/are chocolate fans, and they all tend to say this cake hits the spot for them. My mother-in-law first shared her version of this recipe with me, but I tweaked this just a bit to suit me. Its super simple, easy and delicious. A bigger bonus is most of the ingredients can be found right in your kitchen as we speak.
Recently my son was diagnosed with malabsorption. It has been many years and mulitple doctors to finally get a diagnosis, but I am grateful to now receive some closure to so many issues and complications we were experiencing with his health. His classification as of right now is food allergies. I actually now carry around a card that lists all the foods he cannot have, which will trigger reactions. We are blessed his reactions do not cause him to experience anaphylaxis, but his allergies were actually causing his bowels to inflame so much that he wasn’t absorbing hardly any nutrients, therefore he was experiencing a parents worse nightmare called failure to thrive. He had stopped really growing and putting on weight for months at a time. He actually fell off the growth chart going into the negatives, that was pretty devastating for us to watch, along with a host of other issues that we never realized could be related.
Even in the midst of all this, God is good! We now have an answer to all our questions, and can move forward in faith claiming the promises of healing while helping to heal his gut by avoiding his trigger foods. Due to my sons allergies and needs I have adapted this recipe from my original one, fortunately for us these patties still came out very tasty.
In a large bowl: Mix the gluten-free oats, grounded pecans, sunflower seeds and seasonings
In a saucepan: Saute onions in the oil (or substitute water) for about 1-2 minutes.
Next add the sauteed onions to the large bowl with the dry ingredients, then add the hot water and stir real well. I usually use a wooden or metal spoon initially. Once its cooled a bit, mix with your hands, to really make sure its combined. Break apart 6 equal pieces, roll into balls, flatten, fry and enjoy!!
Delicious topped with a sauce along with a side of rice and vegetables or on burger buns, homemade bread or rolls of your choice, add any toppings and condiments you desire and devour!
Lentils have become an all time favorite in our household lately. I use them in shepherds pie, lentils and rice, taco filling just to name a few. The use of lentils is endless, so why not turn them into a delicious burger?? I actually got the idea from my husband. One day he came home famished and looked in the fridge to discover some left over lentil taco filling and cooked rice. He decided to stir the two together, add a bit of whole grain flour as a binder, fried them up and viola! Burger/patty awesomeness.
Lentils are not only versatile with their use, but they are power packed with so many nutrients which is a big bonus. All of these factors led to this recipe coming to fruition.
*optional addition: 1 – 1 1/2 cups vegetables to suit your fancy (or more if you like)
*optional addition: 1 jar mild salsa
Oil, for frying
Cook 1 cup whole grain rice until soft and tender, approximately 25-30 minutes.
While the rice is cooking, prepare the lentils:
Saute onions and garlic in a pot.
2. After its done sauteing add 1 cup dry red lentils, 3 cups vegetable broth and any additional seasonings you desire (we have added cumin and mild chili powder before). Cook lentilsfor approximately 15-20 minutes, until lentils are soft and tender.
3. Towards the last 10 minutes add any additional vegetables you desire and salsa.
Once everything is cooked, prepare the patties:
1. In a large bowl place 1 1/2 cups cooked rice and add lentil mixture. Stir very well to mix.
2. Add enough flour until mixture begins to become a bit stiff, so that you are able to form it into patties.
3. Take 1/3 cup of mixture and fry each into a patty and enjoy.
I remember one day my husband and I had gone out to eat at one of our favorite Mexican food restaurants in Bermuda, making one of our first attempts to go out and still eat “healthy”. We happily informed the waiter we wanted our burritos with no meat as we usually do. The waiter then proceeded to ask if we wanted them “vegetarian” we proudly said yes, but further explained no cheese, ensuring nothing was cooked in lard, etc. We were so pleased with our determination and anxiously awaited to receive our food. When it came to the table we were so excited to partake, only to find our long awaited “vegetarian” burritos the waiter told us about were filled with overcooked frozen vegetables and very little beans and even less rice.
That experience didn’t just disappoint me, but made me so apprehensive to attempt putting any vegetables in any of my Mexican food ever again. Then a beautiful thing happened, my 40 Day Back to Eden Journey, which taught and encouraged me be creative and experiment with foods I never thought to try, it made me regain hope and think to myself, nothing is ever bad if it can be done right! So this recipe to me is proof that vegetables and Mexican food can co-exist and not just as a side or salad.
~16-24 ounces enchilada sauce (it is possible to make your own, click here a recipe)
½ tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 small yellow onion, chopped
1 small bell pepper, chopped(I used half of a small yellow and half of a small orange)
1 small zucchini, chopped
1 – 15 oz can black beans (I used the equivalent 1½ cups cooked black beans from ½ cup dry beans)
½ cup corn
3 green onions, sliced (optional)
½ cup fresh parsley, chopped (you could alternatively use cilantro) (optional)
Sea Salt, to taste
8 – 10 flour tortillas (fajita size or your could make your own, click here for a recipe)
If you are making your enchilada sauce, you should do so first. Then on to making your delicious filling!
In a large sauce pan, add your oil and warm over medium heat.
Once warmed, add in your diced onions, and cook until softened and translucent, approximately 5 minutes.
Next, add in the diced bell peppers and zucchini. Cook until softened, approximately another 5 minutes or so.
After the onions, bell peppers and zucchini are thoroughly cooked, add in your canned/cooked black beans and corn. Keep over medium heat until all is completely warmed. Season with sea salt to taste.
Once the mixture is completely heated and seasoned, remove from heat and set aside.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. While the oven is warming, scoop about 1/2 cup of enchilada sauce to the bottom of a 9×13 baking dish and spread evenly.
(We used approximately 10 flour fajita tortillas in this recipe.) Lay all the tortillas out and scoop about 1/4C of the veggie-bean mixture to each tortilla.
At this point you can add any additions to the enchiladas you would like, such as olives, green onions, cilantro/parsley, vegan cheese, vegan sour cream, etc.
After adding any additions roll the tortillas up tightly, and place each one seam-side down on the sauce in your baking dish. Repeat with remaining tortillas.
Pour the remaining enchilada sauce over your tortillas, making sure to cover everything really well.
Next cover the dish with foil, and bake for about 15-20 minutes, or until the sauce is bubbling around the edges.
After you remove it from the oven you can sprinkle or drizzle any left over topping your heart desires.
Let cool and enjoy! Served best with rice, a side a lightly steamed or broiled veggies, salad and come delicious corn cake.
The Family Blueprint
“Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.” – 1 Corinthians 10:31
Enchilada sauce is a must have for any Mexican/Spanish themed dinner. However, sometimes I may not have any on hand and I can’t get to the store quick enough before dinner. Plus you never know what is in those canned versions. Most times they are full of tons of sodium and other things that may not be pleasing to ones lifestyle. So here is my go-to recipe to complete my delicious enchiladas and to cover my mouth watering burritos. This one I know will not only be healthy but delicious as well.
As I stated in a previous post, I was on a 40 Day Back to Eden journey which consisted of stepping into the unknown as far as dietary consumption was concerned and learning a new healthier way of life. As foods began to be reintroduced back into our diet in their order of complexity, so did some seasonings, but not all. One seasoning that wasn’t permitted on the journey that my family absolutely adores was McKay’s chicken style seasoning. With this devastating blow I knew I had to find a replacement.
I scoured the internet and attempted many “chicken” style seasoning recipes but none compared nor satisfied my taste buds desire. When I finally made up in my mind to stop attempting to imitate the seasoning, I went on the hunt to find something different. The next best thing for me was to find a homemade broth recipe in powder form, it was literally by the grace of God that I stumbled across a delicious one by Super Veggie Mom. I didn’t have all the ingredients, but I did have most, and let me tell you, this recipe became an instant hit and has become a stable seasoning to have in our home for everything!!! At least for me and my dietary consumption, this has replaced my beloved McKay’s chicken style seasoning for the good.
Place all the ingredients,except the parsley, in a blender. Blend thoroughly until everything is powdered together (approximately 1-2 minute)
Next, add parsley and pulse to chop and mix. Store in an airtight container indefinitely. I store all my seasonings in the fridge to prevent clumping in our humid environment.
Side Note: To use this seasoning as a vegetable broth, simply combine 1 tsp of powder with 1 cup of water. It is absolutely delicious in soups, on vegetables, baked potatoes, popcorn the list goes on and on 🙂
When I was a child my mother used to buy these delicious soft date filled oatmeal cookies. I think the company went out of business or something because those delectable cookies stopped making an appearance in my house. To this day it saddens me that I cannot find them, so I have been scouring the internet over the last few months in search of something similar that I could make plant-based. While I have yet to find something really close, I did stumble across this delicious recipe that I tweaked to fit my dietary changes. Let me tell you they were delicious!!!! This will be placed in my special reportoire of recipes that I do atleast once a month, maybe twice…okay… maybe once a week. While we ate these as a breakfast bars, it can easily be used as a healthy alternative to a delightful dessert. So good!
Its so awesome when I find a delicious alternative to the regular pancakes, french toast and typical breakfast cereal meals. While I now there is a big fuss over whether coconut sugar is truly a healthy alternative or not, when looking it up you can find many health benefits like low glycemic index. However like any sweetener its still considered sugar and needs to be used sparingly; as too much sugar causes problems and weakens a persons immune system making them more susceptible to things like a common cold. We must practice temperance in all things and a well balanced diet, making sure God is always glorified in our bodies (1 Corinthians 6:20) even through simple things like our diet.
2 1/2 cups pitted dates, chopped & lightly packed (I only had 2 cups and soaked them it worked fine)
1 cup water
2 tablespoons lemon juice, freshly squeezed
2 tablespoons coconut sugar
1/2 teaspoon natural baking soda
For the Crisp:
1 3/4 cups quick-cooking rolled oats
1 cup unbleached all-purpose or whole wheat flour
3/4 cup coconut sugar
1/4 teaspoon aluminum-free baking powder
3/4 cup coconut oil, softened(I needed 2 extra tablespoons)
Preheat the oven to 350 °F with the oven rack in the middle position.
Line an 8*8 square baking dish with parchment paper and lightly grease it.
For the Filling:
In a saucepan, place the dates, water, lemon juice, and coconut sugar.
Turn to medium-high heat and bring to a boil. Once boiling, add the baking soda and simmer for about 5 more minutes, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon. It will begin to bubble vigorously. Continue until you see the dates get soft.
Once the dates look very soft and mushy, let them cool while you make the crisp.
For the Crisp:
In a medium sized bowl, place the oats, flour, coconut sugar, and aluminum-free baking powder, stir to combine.
Once combined add the softened coconut oil and mix together until it resembles soften bread crumbs. (After I added the 3/4C coconut oil and combined it I noticed it was still a bit too dry, so I added 2-3 more tablespoons)
For the Layers:
Place half of the crisp mixture in the lined baking dish and press firmly.
Next, pour your cooled date mixture, spreading it evenly across.
Cover the date mixture with the remaining crisp and press lightly. Pressing too hard will bring the date mixture to the top and you don’t want that in your pretty layers.
Bake for about 45-50 minutes or until your top crisp layer is a beautiful golden brown.
Let it cool for about 4 hours or overnight, you want the crisp to set.
After the time, cut, devour and enjoy!! We sure did ☺️
I feel like I was having withdrawals from not being able to write on this blog in quite some time. While my husband and I do update our facebook page daily with things, I haven’t really been able to sit and write anything for quite some time. For so many reasons, I am so excited to get into them in a separate post. One reason was because I decided my family and I needed to do a revamp in our lifestyle, and realized we were missing something in our lives. Which is why I enrolled us all into a 40 Day back to Eden Journey. I can’t wait to tell you all about it!!
During my 40 days (which ends this week), we basically did a raw/natural plant based food diet. While I did have an “ordinary” plant based food diet, this journey opened my eyes to a new way of life. Like making things like almond butter from scratch, and pancakes not from regular all-purpose or whole wheat flour. My mind has been opened to step out of the rigid box I was in when it came to feeding my family. I can’t wait to share all my new recipes that God has given me to share with you all!!
Homemade almond butter is my family’s newest love!!! So quick, easy, and delicious that it goes so quickly. We are in love!!! As long as I can buy almonds from the store, have an oven to toast, and a high-powered blender, I will no longer buy pre-made peanut butter, cashew butter, almond butter or any other butter any store has to offer.
I know there is a big debate about to soak or not to soak the nuts prior to consuming. I have scoured the internet and saw that its easier on your digestion to soak all nuts prior to consumption. However, if you do decide to soak them prior to making any nut butters you will either have to dehydrate them (if you have a dehydrator, I of course do not) or toss them into the oven for a bit longer than your normal roasting time of 6-10 minutes, watching ever so closely of course not to burn them. The longer you roast them, however, they will begin to lose their nutritional value. I attempted to soak my almonds on an attempt prior to making some almond butter, however, I clearly didn’t roast them long enough, I suppose, and ended up with this yummy fluffy almond flour that NEVER turned to butter after nearly 50 minutes of blending with my Ninja. I gave up on this attempt. However, this almond flour was definitely more soft and air-y than the expensive store bought coarse almond meal/flour I bought
It ended up making delicious almond flour pancakes with no added flour, baking powder or baking soda, but a few added ingredients
Now on to my almond butter recipe, which is the real reason for today’s post
If you decide to roast prior to blending, preheat your oven to 350 degrees, and place your desired amount of almonds on your baking sheet in a nice thin layer.
*Roasting the nuts adds flavor, it also cuts down on the blending time when attempting to make the butter.
Bake for 5-10 minutes. You will smell the delicious aroma of roasted almonds and they will turn a rich darker brown. Stay near the oven, because they can burn rather quickly.
*Best to line with parchment paper prior to baking, I have done it on just foil, but after I removing them from the oven I heard little “popping” sounds like they were still sizzling. No, real worries though 🙂
Allow the almonds to cool for a few minutes, then place them in your high powered blender or food processor and blend for 10-20 minutes. (I use a Ninja that works beautifully)
*Best to stop every so often to scrape the side of your chosen machine and smash it down to the bottom for even blending.
[caption id="attachment_1765" align="aligncenter" width="279"] successful almond butter trial – on the right track![/caption]
Once you see its smooth and delicious texture taking shape add a few sprinkles of sea salt and blend for even distribution.
[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="846"] smooth and creamy[/caption]
Then that’s it you are finished!!!! Make sure to store it in a mason jar or any glass container (I use an old salsa jar) and place it in the refrigerator, on the door preferably. So simple, quick and easy. The longest it has ever taken me aside from that failed attempt I mentioned previously was 20 minutes from start (roasting) to finish (butter in bottle).
[caption id="attachment_1760" align="aligncenter" width="825"] successful almond butter trial -from approximately 2 cups almonds[/caption]
My kids were not too fond of plain almond butter, so I have added sweeteners (honey and raw maple syrup). If you add any additions like a sweetener or an oil, I have read the “butter” can go rancid faster (after approximately 2 weeks) seeing their are no preservatives. My almond butter never seems to last that long so I can’t answer to that 🙂 Without any additions it can last at least 2 months in the refrigerator, on the door.
Trust me, this tastes so delicious, and definitely more cost effective than the store bought brands. Not to mention, how wonderful it is to consume something that you know exactly what you are getting. Being that our bodies are a temple of God, how important it should be to us to truly value the fuel we put in our temple to have it function the way He desires. Remember “we do not live to eat, but that we eat to live”.
Give the recipe a whirl and let me know how it goes!!
The Family Blueprint
Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God. – 1 Corinthians 10:31
The health of the mind is dependent upon the health of the body. As Christian parents we are bound to train our children in reference to the laws of life. We should instruct them, by precept and example, that we do not live to eat, but that we eat to live. We should encourage in our children a love for nobleness of mind, and a pure, virtuous character. In order to strengthen in them the moral perceptions, the love of spiritual things, we must regulate the manner of our living, dispense with animal food, and use grains, vegetables, and fruits, as articles of food. – ApM 20.1
If your duty is in the kitchen, seek to be a perfect cook. Prepare food that will be healthful, nourishing, and appetizing. And as you employ the best ingredients in preparing food remember that you are to give your mind the best thoughts. If it is your work to till the soil or to engage in any other trade or occupation, make a success of the present duty. Put your mind on what you are doing. In all your work represent Christ. Do as He would do in your place. – C.O.L. 359.4
In our household there is one fruit that is a must have for my little people…bananas! Which I don’t mind since they are so full of many nutritional benefits, better than candy, right? However, they would eat them all day every day if I let them, but of course that’s not healthy nor practical (have to practice temperance and self-control even in healthy foods😊). Check out my health tidbit at the end!
During this holiday season I have jumped on the banana bandwagon with my children because, I have been craving banana bread. We don’t normally make it in our household, so I wasn’t exactly sure how my little people would like it. Therefore I opted for the next best thing, banana bread cookies! Not exactly the same, but it definitely introduced them to another way to eat bananas and was definitely a hit.
These little bites are not only delicious, they are quick and easy to make, plus can be eaten as a breakfast cookie since it’s packed with so many nutritious ingredients. Who doesn’t love a cookie you can have for breakfast and dessert? Another added bonus it contains no animal products like traditional banana bread recipes. Give it a try!
1/2 cup creamy almond butter (I make my own)
1 very ripe banana, mashed (about 1/2 cup)
3 tablespoons ground flax seed
1/2 rounded teaspoon aluminum-free baking powder
1/8 teaspoon cardamom + 1/8 teaspoon coriander
1/4 cup chopped raw walnut pieces (optional)
dash sea salt
*if more sweetness is desired 1 rounded tablespoon of brown sugar
Preheat your oven to 350F.
In a medium bowl, smash the banana really well. Then add all the remaining ingredients until well combined.
Allow the mixture to sit for about 10 minutes– letting the flax “gel” into the batter.
Using a tablespoon, or cookie scoop, drop the cookie mix onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. They are going to look wet, that’s fine they bake beautifully!
Bake for approximately 10-12 minutes, turning the pan halfway through the baking time for even browning. I live in Bermuda and have to bake them for about 15 minutes. So definitely watch and keep an eye on them.
After they are done baking, let the cookies to cool on the pan for approximately 10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to completely cool.
Over a day or two these cookies will darken to a beautiful dark brown, it’s due to the bananas. So no need to worry and throw them out!
Enjoy! We sure did.
This time of year, with back to back holidays, temperance and self-control in eating are the most difficult things to practice. However they are both definitely needed in order to maintain health and a sound mind. How many times have we over eaten and became “drunk” from too much food in our bellies? We either try to sleep it off in a stupor or just allow our drunkeness to run rampant with no filter. Either way isn’t the most beneficial and the poor stomach is taxed and overworked. Think of when you overwork your mind at the job or over exercise your muscles, it becomes an issue with mental fatigue & stress or pain & possibly injury, respectively. Now think about your stomach muscle having to overwork with a continuous huge load. Poor stomach! Just something to think about this holiday season and in the new year.
The Family Blueprint
Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God. – 1 Corinthians 10:31
My mother used to always make Special K loaves for special occasions in our house growing up. It soon became one of my favorite foods. When I changed my diet and eliminated dairy, I was a bit saddened as it meant I had to eliminate my favorite loaf because it contained cottage cheese. I scoured the internet and made dreadful attempts with alternatives. One day my husband bought me a fantastic cookbook that had a similar loaf, which was a success and became an immediate hit in my household, I only changed very few things which lets you know it is really good either way. Now with the holidays coming up, this will be an amazing and more healthy addition to the dinner table!
1 to 1 1/2 cups non-dairy milk, unsweetened as needed
Preheat oven to 350°F. Lightly coat a 9*13 inch casserole dish with non-stick cooking spray or oil.
2. Heat oil/water in a medium skillet over medium heat. Add onion and celery; cook until translucent, stirring occasionally, about 4 minutes.
3. Transfer onion mixture to a large bowl; add remaining ingredients, except rice flake cereal and milk, and mix well.
4. Add rice flake cereal; mix gently. Add milk as needed to moisten the mixture until it sticks together.
5. Press mixture evenly into prepared dish. Cover and bake 40 minutes.
6. Remove cover and bake an additional 15 minutes, until browned and crispy on the edges.
Cuts into approximately 16 pieces
You could make a double batch and freeze half. Next time you know you will be running late and still desire your family to have a hearty, healthy dinner simply allow it to thaw completely, and then bake as directed.