Friday, April 8, 2011

Amazing Veggie Pizza!

Friday night = pizza night at our house...definitely the right way to wrap up the week!  We look forward to sitting down with a slice (or two) and a glass of red wine, knowing that we can completely unwind for the evening.

I'm sure you're wondering 'what about the cheese?' The answer is slightly complex.  In Mexican food, avocado and olives are so rich and creamy that I forget there used to be cheese.  Pizza is the only time that I really, truly want something that I don't eat, sooo there are weeks when I add a little mozzarella, just because.  Recently, I discovered soy cheese at Trader Joe's and it tastes great on this pizza!

If you decide to alter this pizza to your own taste, I would recommend keeping the oven roasted garlic and caramelized onions.  They add amazing flavor and a creamy texture to every bite.  Prepping them ahead will make your life much easier too.  And don't be afraid of the spinach!  You can barely taste it!  If you don't have access to a Trader Joe's, there is a great recipes for whole wheat dough here.


1 bag Trader Joe's Wheat Pizza Dough
1 container TJ's fresh pizza sauce (from the cooler)
Shredded mozzarella or soy cheese
1 medium onion + oil for caramelizing
10-20 cloves garlic (seriously!  don't skimp!)
1/2 jar TJ's fire roasted red and yellow peppers
Kalamata olives, sliced in half
1 bag organic baby spinach
**optional: fresh basil leaves


1.) Preheat oven to 400 degrees

2.) Peel garlic cut the stems off.  Put garlic cloves into a small, foil-lined bread pan and add a little water.  Cover with foil and bake for around an hour, or until cloves are soft and slightly brown.
**I prefer to buy the pre-peeled garlic, which makes this step much quicker!
3.) Cut onion into slices and saute in oil over med-high heat until soft and brown.  Be sure there is enough oil, or add some Earth Balance if you want!

4.) Set dough out on a floured surface for 20min. and rub a little flour into the top

5.) Cut the Kalamata Olives and slice up the fire roasted peppers

6.) After 20min, stretch dough onto a greased cookie sheet.  This may take a little patience.  If there are small holes, just patch them one will know once the toppings are on!

7.) Spread the entire container of sauce onto the dough, then sprinkle with a layer of cheese

8.) Smash roasted garlic cloves between your fingers and put onto your pizza.

9.) Add onions, peppers and olives (and optional basil leaves)

10.) Top you pizza with almost the entire bag of spinach and then sprinkle a little more cheese on top

11.) Bake at 450 for 16-20min

....I know there are alot of steps to making this, but it is well worth it!!!  Enjoy!

Just a few tips I have learned....
*Baking two pizzas at once = burnt pizza
*Sauteed mushrooms are a delicious addition!
*For you die-hard meat-lovers out there...TJ's Italian dry salami is delicious (that's what goes on the other half of the pizza...)

Today's Ingredients:
Pizza dough and sauce - Trader Joe's
Soy-Sation Soy Cheese - Trader Joe's
Mozzarella option (no added hormones, please) - Trader Joe's
Kalamata Olives - Trader Joe's
Fire Roasted Red and Yellow Peppers - Trader Joe's
Peeled Garlic Cloves - Trader Joe's or Costco
Organic Baby Spinach - Trader Joe's
Organic Basil Leaves - Trader Joe's

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Blueberry Banana Bran Muffins...delicious!

These muffins are my new breakfast obsession!  I love knowing that they are waiting for me when I wake up in the morning.  With oat bran, flaxseed, blueberries and a little hemp milk, they have everything I need to feel great all morning.  Flax and hemp seeds both have lots of Omega-3's, which are great for your heart and brain.  This recipe also calls for bananas, molasses and agave, leaving out the sugar completely.  We like to cut them in half, toast them and add a little Earth Balance.  These muffins are sweet, moist and delicious!   I hope you have a chance to try them out! 


1 heaping cup oat bran
1 cup whole wheat flour or whole grain spelt flour
1 tsp baking soda
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp sea salt

4 med overripe bananas (preferably previously frozen)
2 heaping TBSP flaxseed meal
2 TBSP canola oil
1 TBSP molasses
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup Agave Nectar
1/4 cup Hemp Milk (or other alternative milk)


1.) Preheat oven to 400 degrees

2.) Mix wet ingredients together in a large bowl (include flaxseed)

3.) Mix dry ingredients together

4.) Mix wet and dry ingredients together until just combined

5.) Spoon the batter into a greased muffin tin and bake for 17-20min. or until the tops are golden

**This recipe makes 6 large muffins, or 12 medium + 12 mini muffins

 Today's Ingredients:
Organic Whole Grain Spelt Flour - Marlene's (or PCC or Whole Foods)
Organic Oat Bran - Marlene's (or PCC or Whole Foods)
Tempt Hemp Milk - Marlene's
Wholesome Organic Molasses - Marlene's
Organic Golden Flaxseed Meal - Costco
Organic Agave Nectar - Costco
Organic Bananas - Trader Joe's

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Spring Resolutions

Ready or not, Spring 2011 is about to begin!  In Seattle,we will soon have at least a couple days a week when it is accepteble to go outside, put on sunglasses (or even sunscreen??), and notice how beautiful and green everything is.  Today was almost one of those days, and it reminded me of what I am so looking forward to.  It also brought some clarity to my thoughts and goals and made me realize that I have gotten a bit off-track.  Last week I only ran twice 'because it was so rainy' and although I promised not to make MORE cookies, I found a way around it and made peanut butter balls AND vegan banana brownies instead.  Whenever my food and exercise start slipping away, I find myself slipping away with them.  So...what better than a nice long run on a semi-springy day to put it all back in perspective!  I love my runs because I get so much think-time, and here's what I thought about today:

Spring 2011 Resolutions:

1. I will run at least 4 days a week, no excuses (nope, not even rain or snow)
2. I will focus my passion for food on delicious fruit and veggie recipes (hopefully inspired by the farmer's market)

That's it!  Keep it simple, right?  So to kick things off, here's a delicious and crazy-simple recipe that I make several times a week:

Crispy Oven-Fried Broccoli

Broccoli Florettes
Olive Oil
*optional: Whole Wheat Bread Crumbs


1. Cut broccoli florettes into bite-sized pieces and put into a bowl

2. Drizzle olive oil into the bowl and mix with a spoon until the broccoli is lightly coated

3. Pour some bread crumbs into the bowl and stir with a spoon until well-mixed

4. Arrange broccoli on an ungreased cookie sheet and bake for 8-10min. at 400 degrees

5. Eat right off the tray!  Or enjoy with the rest of your meal.

Today's Ingredients:
Organic Broccoli Florettes - Trader Joe's 
Organic Olive Oil - Costco
Whole Wheat Bread Crumbs - usually homemeade from our Dave's bread, but also available at Marlenes, PCC or Whole Foods

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Great Northern Lentil Chili

This wasn't a recipe that I was planning to share as I quickly threw the ingredients into a pot this week. I left the soup simmering and took my little guy for a walk, and when we stepped back into the house, the smell was amazing!  We had this for dinner with the Maple Cornbread Muffins I posted last month and it hit the spot! The lentils gave this chili just the hearty texture that it needed, and we topped it off with some avocado, tortilla chips and cilantro.  My husband even requested that we have it again!

1 medium onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 c. dry lentils, rinsed
4 cans organic Great Northern beans, drained
1 carton vegetable broth (I prefer Trader Joe's for this recipe because it doesn't have much tomato in it)
1 tsp. salt
2 tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. chili powder
1 tsp. pepper
1 tsp. dried oregano
2 (4.5oz) cans chopped green chiles
1 cup organic corn kernels

corn tortilla chips
diced avocado
chopped cilantro
splash of lime juice


1.) Saute onion in hot oil in a large soup pot over medium-high heat until soft
2.) Add garlic and saute 2-3 minutes
3.) In a blender or food processer, puree one can of beans together with a splash of broth
3.) Stir in the puree and remaining ingredients and bring to a boil, then reduce heat and let simmer for at least an hour before serving
4.) Enjoy!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Brown Rice California Rolls...yum!

There's not much I enjoy more than sharing delicious food with the people I love.  It often seems that people view 'vegan' (...or 'almost') as some kind of deprived lifestyle, but I actually view it as quite the opposite.  Not only do I eat insanely yummy food everyday, I feel great in about a million different ways because of it!  Honestly, it feels amazing, which is why I love to share my ideas and recipes with you!

Bringing something when I go to a party is so much fun, because I get to show off delicious, healthy food.  These cute little rolls are made with short-grain, brown rice, tahini, avocado and more.  Although I didn't add any wild shrimp or crab, I'm sure that addition would be tasty.  They are also gluten-free and just all-around fun to eat!  Enjoy!

1 cup organic short grain brown rice (dry)
1/4 cup tahini
1/2 ripe avocado
1/2 organic cucumber
1/2 cup shredded carrots
2 organic nori sheets
some sesame seeds
1 tsp dry wasabi powder
Shoyu or gluten-free tamari
seasoned rice vinegar


1. Cook the rice in your rice cooker according to the package directions.  When the rice is cooked, add another cup of water and cook it again.  This will make it nice and sticky!

2. Cut the avocado and cucumber into long, thin slices.

3. Put cooked rice into a glass or wooden mixing bowl and add some rice vinegar and shoyu to taste (I think I used around 2 TBSP vinegar and 2 tsp. shoyu).

4. Put a sheet of nori, shiny side down, onto your cutting board or bamboo mat.

5. Add a layer of rice to the nori. Make sure your rice is not wet so that the nori stays in-tact.  Press the rice until you have a layer 1/4-1/8in. thick.  Leave about 1/2 inch of nori showing at one end. (if the rice is too sticky, you can get your fingers a little wet).

6. Spread a thin layer of tahini onto the rice, then add avocado slices, cucumber and carrots.

7. Carefully hold ingredients in as you roll the nori.  Use a little water to seal it at the end.

8.  With a sharp knife, slice your roll and dip each piece in a bowl of sesame seeds.

9. Mix up some wasabi and tamari and they're ready to eat!

 ...and now for the photo shoot! I just couldn't stop taking pictures!


Today's Ingredients:
Lundberg's Organic Short Grain Brown Rice - Costco
Avocado - Costco
Organic Nori Sheets - Marlene's
Shoyu or Gluten-Free Tamari - Marlene's
Tahini - Marlene's
Bunny Love organic shredded carrots - Fred Meyer
Organic Cucumber - Trader Joe's or Freddy's
Seasoned Rice Vinegar - Trader Joe's

Monday, February 21, 2011

Blueberry Buckwheat Pancakes

We officially have a new weekend tradition!  These yummy pancakes make us look forward to our nice, long breakfasts together on Saturday and Sunday.  They are perfect for our almost two-year-old too, who can easily pace us, gobbling down 2-3 pancakes all by himself!  This recipe was inspired by Tasha, aka The Clean Eating Mama, whose blog inspired me to start my own...check it out sometime!  I didn't need to change it at all.  I just added blueberries, one of our favorite foods.

Buckwheat is good source of protein, packing in 15g per cup of flour (as well as 12g of fiber)!  It is also gluten-free.  Although this recipe calls for whole wheat or spelt flour, I'm sure it would work equally well with a combination of oat and brown rice fact, I may be trying that out next time around!

1 cup whole grain buckwheat flour
1 cup whole wheat or whole grain spelt flour
2 T flax seed meal
2 T turbinado sugar (or any healthy dry sugar - I used date sugar last weekend)
3 tsp. baking powder
pinch of salt
2 cups almond milk
3 tsp. vegetable oil (I use safflower)
1/4-1/2 cup. water


1. Mix dry ingredients together in a medium bowl

2. Add wet ingredients, except for water, and mix well.  Then add water as needed.

3. Let the mixture sit for around 10min to thicken (flax seed meal needs a few minutes to set)

4. Drop batter onto a heated, oiled pan in desired-sized pancakes

5. Add blueberries right after putting the batter into the pan

6. Flip when you see the batter bubbling a little

7. Serve with a little Earth Balance and pure maple syrup!  Enjoy!

Today's Ingredients:
Bob Mills Whole Grain Organic Buckwheat Flour - Fred Meyer
Organic Whole Grain Spelt Flour - Marlene's bulk section (also available in Freddy's bulk section!)
Date Sugar - Marlene's
Organic Turbinado Sugar - Trader Joe's
Pacific Almond Milk, original flavor - Trader Joe's or Fred Meyer
Organic Golden Flax Seed Meal - Costco

Friday, February 11, 2011

Decadent Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups

Just in time for Valentine's Day!  This recipe is adapted from one of my new favorite books, The Kind Diet, by Alicia Silverstone.  These treats are vegan, and made with very little sugar, so they don't give you the crazy sugar highs and lows that you might expect.  They are still decadent though, and worthy of any special occasion.  Knowing that they're healthy makes me savor them even more!  Enjoy!

3/4 cup graham cracker crumbs (around 10 graham cracker squares)
3/4 cup organic crunchy peanut butter or almond butter
1/4 cup maple sugar or other granulated sweetener
1/2 cup Earth Balance butter
1/4 cup light coconut milk or almond milk
1 package dairy-free, grain-sweetened chocolate chips - I prefer Sunspire brand
Some chopped almonds or extra graham cracker crumbs to sprinkle on top


graham cracker crumbs
1. Line your muffin tin with paper liners.  I usually make a variety of small and medium-sized cups.

2. Melt the butter in a small saucepan over medium heat

3. Mix in peanut butter, graham cracker crumbs, and maple sugar

4. Remove mixture from the heat

5. Spoon the mixture into the lined muffin tin

6. I usually put the peanut butter mixture into the fridge for 10-20 minutes.  If you don't do this, it is possible that the chocolate will sink through when you try to spread it on top

7. Stir the chocolate chips and coconut milk over medium heat until the chocolate melts - be careful to keep stirring the whole time so the chocolate doesn't burn (that would be so sad)!

8. Spoon chocolate evenly over the peanut butter mixture

9. Top with chopped nuts or crumbs and refrigerate for at least 2 hours before serving (it's pretty hard to keep them in the fridge that long around here!!)

10. Enjoy every bite! 

Today's Ingredients:
Earth Balance Baking Cubes - Marlene's, Whole Foods, or PCC
Sunspire Grain-Sweetened Chocolate Chips - Marlene's, Whole Foods, or PCC (or online!)
Organic Crunchy Peanut Butter - Trader Joe's
Health Valley Oat Bran Graham Crackers - Fred Meyer or Marlene's
Maple Sugar - Marlene's Whole Foods or PCC
Light Coconut Milk - Trader Joe's

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Maple Cornbread Muffins

This was my first time making these muffins and they were amazing!  So good, in fact, that they didn't really need any butter or honey (I still put a little Earth Balance on...).  This recipe is inspired by Alicia Silverstone's cornbread recipe in her book The Kind Diet.  I changed it a little and if I were to make these again, I might toss in some flax seed meal (maybe 1/4cup), just to hold everything together a bit more.  These could easily be gluten-free too - just swap out the whole wheat flour for brown rice, quinoa, or oat flour.  My favorite part about this recipe is that it turned out so moist!  We ate it with some Maple-Dijon Glazed Salmon (recipe coming soon), roasted broccoli and a green salad.  Delicious!

1/2 cup pure maple syrup
1 1/4 cups almond milk (soy or hemp would work as well, but almond is my favorite)
1/4 cup safflower oil
1 1/2 cups cornmeal (I used coarse grind)
2/3 cup whole wheat pastry flour or whole spelt flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp sea salt
**optional: 1/4 cup flax seed meal


1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees and grease a 12-cup muffin tin

2. Combine maple syrup, almond milk, and oil in a bowl and mix well

3. In a separate bowl, mix together the cornmeal, flour, baking soda and salt

4. Add the dry mixture to the wet mixture and mix until just well combined (this may look a little soupy, but that's ok)

5. Spoon the batter into the muffin tin and bake for 20 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.  They will be golden brown.

6. Let rest for a few minutes before moving to a cooling rack

7. Eat your muffins right away or store at room temperature for 2-3 days


Yummm....Salmon and Cornbread, one of my favorites!

Today's Ingredients:
Pure Maple Syrup - Trader Joe's
Pacific Organic Original Almond Milk - Trader Joe's
Bob Mills Coarse Grind Cornmeal - Fred Meyer or Marlene's
Bob Mills Whole Wheat Pastry Flour - Fred Meyer or Marlene's
-or- Organic Whole Grain Spelt Flour - Marlene's bulk section