Monday, May 31, 2010


I just got home from work and both boys have soccer practice. I need to figure out what's for dinner, and fast. Something simple, quick, easy and nutritious.... TACOS. These make the perfect meal!

What you'll need:

Taco shells: soft or hard shells, we prefer fresh soft taco shells but realize those aren't always available.

Beans of your choice, depending on your mood you can have black beans, pinto, refried or any others you like. If you would like to make your own beans below is a simple recipe we use for our pinto and/or black beans.

Lettuce, chopped. Skip the iceberg lettuce and opt for something with more minerals and nutrients. You can use raw spinach or mixed greens.

Tomatoes, chopped
Onions, chopped
Cabbage, thinly sliced and chopped
Olives, sliced
Avocados, sliced
Nutritional yeast, in place of cheese, sprinkle it on generously

Salsa, fresh is always best but any of your favorites will do.

Brown rice, cook according to directions

If using dried beans, soak for one hour. Pour water out and replace with new water. Cook beans on medium, added chopped onions, garlic and cilantro. Cook for about 1 -1 1/2 hours or until you can squish the bean easily between your fingers.

For canned beans, heat beans in medium sauce pan. While your beans are heating cut your veggies. Rice should be cooking at this time as well. You can warm your shells during this time if you are not using fresh tortillas.

To make things easier have all your topping in a row so you can assemble them as you move along. Take your tortilla or taco shell add beans, rice, veggies, nutritional yeast, and salsa. Quick, easy and delicious. Dinner is served.... seriously it's that easy.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Baked Brie

Have little time for preparing a last minute get together, but you want to impress your guests? Baked brie with raspberry is simple yet decadent, and your cheese loving friends will gobble this up. should probably make two, or three.

What you'll need:

Raspberry jam
Pillsbury Crescent dough

Pre-heat your oven 350 degrees. Roll your dough flat onto a non-skick baking sheeting. Place brie on dough and spread jam on top of brie. Fold dough over brie and bake for 25-30 minutes.

Serve warm on its own or with apples and crackers.

*Those of you who have the time and prefer to make your own dough, we'll get a recipe up soon.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Orange Creamsicle Smoothie

I am a smoothie freak. I'll admit it. I make smoothies for breakfast, snacks, lunch, desserts, and yep - even for dinner. Most days, smoothies make up 80 percent of my smoothies, raw cocoa nut-milk smoothies, vanilla almond date smoothies, peanut butter banana smoothies, fruit smoothies.... that's how much I love 'em. And I'm not the only one. My kids (and their friends) love them just as much. Then again, who wouldn't love a smoothie? You don't believe me? I challenge you. Come on over and I'll make you one. I am serious. Just do it before June 30 2010, or you'll have to try my smoothies in Bulgaria. Or I guess you can just go to Jessie's, I can't take her with me ;(

Anyhow, the great thing about these smoothies is that you don't have to use sugar, frozen yogurt or ice cream to make them taste good. There has not been a time that I have made a smoothie for my kiddos and their friends without them remarking about how delicious it was...and always, always, without fail, asking what is in it. The reply to my ingredients disclosure? THAT'S IT?????? Needless to say, they are always surprised.

Well, it's time to stop being shocked that natural can taste so good. It does. No ice cream, no yogurt, no sugar. You want it sweeter? Make sure you use ripe fruit. Add some honey. Try dates. We don't need sugar. You want it creamier? Throw in the frozen bananas. Add some cashews. We don't need dairy.

The smoothie pictured above is one of my latest favourites.

What you'll need:
Fresh oranges (whole or juiced)
combo of fresh and frozen bananas(to make it nice, cold and creamy without diluting the flavour with ice)
teaspoon of vanilla
Nice big glass, or jar.... your breakfast is served.

Add a handful of greens (usually spinach, collard greens, or kale) -and your taste buds will never know (shhh), but...your body will thank you. It's nice knowing something you love so much actually loves you back! Unlike that milkshake you had last night. Yeah, I saw you.

I know it sounds odd, but trust me....if you can get past the whole 'greens in a smoothie?' thing, and start out with 80% fruit and 20% greens, you won't even be able to taste the greens. That's the beauty of a green smoothie. They are super nutritious and even more delicious!

If you've got issues with drinking something green, suck it up. Literally. Ok, you caught me being sarcastic, I meant it figuratively too. ;)

Put your smoothie in a ceramic cup and use a colored straw (you big baby). This typically works for kids too. Fortunately, I started mine out young, so they never had a chance to think green smoothies were 'gross'.

Remember, your kids will follow your lead. If they are older, then it may take a while. In any event, don't force the issue. Let them come to you. Your job is to just start enjoying your own green smoothies in front of your kids. Laugh with them and at their jokes, agree with them that it's weird, and eventually they'll come around. Yes, these are the tricks I've used over the years, only for different raw food recipes. So I know what I'm talking about. I've tried to make my family eat healthier with some other methods (fascist, cough cough). Let's just say, it wasn't fun. For anyone. Sorry guys....yeah, you. Ok, and you too. But I'm better now, promise. Yeah, yeah, I'm a food fascist..... in recovery.

Hold on a minute. Before you get all excited to make your own super vitamin in a glass, I have another disclaimer. Yeah, you guessed it....this is another recipe for the Vita-mix (or other industrial type blender).
Green smoothies require an extra powerful blender or your smoothie won't be a smoothie, it'll be more like a sweet, chunky salady type thing. You won't like it (unless you're odd girl you).

If you don't have one of those babies, or at least access to one (seriously, I had to make my friends batches of green smoothie periodically...until they finally broke down and got their own Vita -mix.) maybe you have a juicer and a ordinary blender that will handle some frozen bananas....?

If this is the case, just juice the greens and the oranges, and add the juices to your blender. You will be missing out on the fiber that comes with those things, but hey, when your ready to invest in a Vita-mix, you'll make up for lost fiber then, seriously, just ask Jessie. Or, go eat a salad. Kind of like carbon offsets....take a plane, plant a tree. Juice your greens, eat a salad. Really though. We need fiber. From raw fruits and veggies. No, taking a pill or mixing a powder into your drinks is not good enough.

If you do have a best friend in your kitchen (no, not a Jessie, a Vita-mix), then shame on you, you should already know this! Na, just joking, we're glad you're learning! Throw about two whole oranges in with some fresh and frozen bananas, a handful of greens (or more) and zip it all up until nice and smooth. Drink, then smile. Be proud.

NO, we're not getting paid to promote Vita -mix, although we should be.... ;)

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Gourmet Baby

My friend Becky recently asked me about how to make baby food for her little girl. I am thrilled that so many families are taking their childrens nutrition into their own hands, exactly where it belongs. I made baby food for all three of my kiddos, and to this day they are still amazing eaters. Disclaimer - if you want your kids to eat healthy, you must model behaviour for them. If you're chowin' on brownies and fries for lunch, don't expect your little one to happily sit there eating his/her carrots...come on now.

Making your own baby food is simple, environmentally friendly, economical and most importantly, much healthier for your precious ones than jarred food will ever be. Another advantage is that you know exactly what you are feeding your child and you can pronounce all of your ingredients.

First step?
Choose fruits and vegetables that are organic and in season for optimal flavor and nutrients.

Keep in mind that when introducing new foods to your baby it is wise to start with one individual fruit or veggie and then introduce a new food every 3-5 days. I was always a little more cautious and waited a week. This allows parents to check for any food sensitivities, and baby to 'get to know' and thoroughly enjoy a certain food.

Here are some of my little one's favorite first foods; bananas, butternut squash, sweet potatoes, green beans, blueberries, avocados. Oh, and just you wait till you start combining fruits with other fruits or veggies with other veggies…you and your baby will have so much fun!

What you’ll need:
Fresh fruit or veggies
Food Processor
Ice cube trays or other eco friendly storage containers, if storing

Cook your veggies and/or fruit, I prefer steaming them, in order to retain more of the nutrients.
When done steaming, put cooked veggies or fruit into food processor and puree until smooth.

*If you have a Vita-mix and you prefer to retain all the nutrients, minerals and enzymes in your babies food, then make it raw. Skip the stove, and just throw your fruits and/or veggies in the Vita-mix and process until you reach the desired consistency. Remember, the Vita-mix can cook food, so if you don't want it cooked, don't process your food for too long.

Voila!! You have a gourmet meal for your little one, and it's fresh!!!

Made extra? Perfect. Put pureed food in eco friendly containers (see link for ideas), and freeze. You can keep these extras for three months in the freezer.... but remember, fresh is always best.

Link for Eco friendly containers:

Monday, May 10, 2010

Portobello Mushroom Burger

What can I say about this mock 'burger' ? Well, it's definitely not a burger. But it certainly looks like a burger.... right? Portobellos make the perfect buns, don't they? If only I brushed them with a bit of olive oil and sprinkled some sesame seeds on top.... oh well, there is always next time. Hey, you can still do it.

This just may be one of my 'top 1o' favourite 'living foods' recipes. I adore Portobello Mushrooms. They go perfectly with our Sun-dried Tomato Cashew Pate and a drizzle (or two) of our classic Original Pesto. Top it off with some mixed greens and fresh cherry tomatoes, add some onions and sliced Avocados and you have yourself a beautiful, nutritious and tasty meal.

Oh, and don't forget, you are what you eat! Seriously, it's true. What's your body made of?

What you'll need:

2 Medium - Large Portobello mushrooms
optional olive oil brushed on top, sprinkle with sesame seeds.

Sun- Dried Tomato Cashew Pate:
Raw Cashews - I don't know how many....I don't measure for raw foods recipes. Throw about a 1/2 cup into a food processor.

Add the following:
One or two cloves of Garlic. Start with one, taste, adjust. You can always add more, but you can't take it away. Use the same principle for the rest.

a dash or two of Sea Salt.
a dash or two of Pepper.

Sun - dried Tomatoes - start with about 7, than taste and add more if you want

Olive Oil - start with a drizzle or two... add more if you need/want to.

Note, If you are using Sun-dried tomatoes in a jar with olive oil, you may not need to add anymore oil.

Process all until you like the consistency and flavor. If you want it thinner, add more olive oil. If you want it thicker, add more nuts. Raw food is sooo easy!

Mixed Greens
Cherry Tomatoes
Sliced Onions

Original Pesto Recipe -See former post

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Mother's Day Scones

We'd like to dedicate this mother's day recipe to Jo-Ann and Deborah. Thank you for all your love and support throughout the years. Even though we are miles apart this mother's day, we will be celebrating you and the impact you have had on our lives. We are so grateful and we love you.

Okay, enough of the gushy stuff. I have a story to tell.

The first time I had Cherry Chocolate Chip scones was when Jaime made them for my baby shower. I couldn’t believe they were vegan. To be honest, even my guests had no clue, until they asked for the recipe. I mean these were good…really, really good.

Several months later, Jaime mentioned another scone.... A tangy and sweet, delicate lemon poppy seed scone drizzled with lemon glaze and sprinkled with lemon zest. Well, they sounded good, "but I'd probably prefer the cherry chocolate chip", I thought.

Well, I was wrong. One bite, and my taste buds went crazy. These were just as good as she and her family said they were. So thanks Jaime, for broadening my taste bud horizons. We are even now. ;)

So, with Mother's day just around the corner, we knew these would be the perfect addition to our blog. So forget about spending money on mom this mother’s day, she’ll love the idea of having a special tea party with her little angels. These scones are heavenly. Oh, and did I mention they're vegan?
What? You don’t drink tea? Oh. Well that’s okay these are really a perfect treat with any beverage of your choice. Don't worry, we won't be offended.

Cherry Chocolate Chip Scones
What you’ll need:
2 cups flour
5 Tbsp sugar
1 Tbsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
6 Tbsp vegan butter, cut into the flour
1 ½ cups of vegan chocolate chips
1 1/2 cup of dried cherries, chopped
1/3 cup of soy milk
Egg replacer for 2 eggs

Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees.

Place medium sized bowl into freezer. Measure butter and place in freezer until needed. In small bowl/container, combine soymilk and egg replacer and place in freezer until needed. In a large bowl, thoroughly combine; flour, 3 tbsp of sugar, baking powder, & salt. Put flour mixture into chilled bowl, and cut in the vegan butter. Using a fork, incorporate butter into flour gently, making the mixture look a bit like sand. You can also use your hands to do this, but make sure to not handle it to much, as you want your dough to stay as cold as possible. Work quickly. Add chilled soymilk and egg replacer and stir to form dough. Once mixture is dry enough, add chocolate chips and cherries. Fold until well incorporated.

Place dough on floured surface and press evenly into 2 inch thick circle. Transfer to non heated baking stone. Sprinkle with sugar, bake and let cool. Cut like a pizza into 8 triangles.

For mini scones shape dough into 2 inch thick square and transfer to cool baking stone. Cut into 2x2 squares, then cut diagonally to create triangles. Space triangles out a tiny bit, so they are really close, but not touching. Sprinkle with granulated sugar and bake for about 10 minutes (check around 8 minute mark just in case). When slightly brown, they are ready.


Make sure to chill bowl, butter and soymilk/egg replacer at least 15 minutes prior to use.

Work as quickly as possible. The dough should stay somewhat cold.

Use a very sharp knife for cutting the mini scone dough into squares and triangles.

To bake mini scones, place close together, but not touching on baking sheet, as it will force the scones to rise up,instead of expand out.

Cut into shapes directly on cool baking stone. The less you handle the dough, the better the scones will look.

Remove from oven and let cool slightly. Then slice like a pie into eight triangles and then in half again.


Lemon Poppy Seed Scones
What you’ll need:

Same recipe as above, just replace soy milk with juice from one large lemon. Instead of cherries and chocolate chips, add zest from one lemon and 2 tablespoons poppy seeds. Fold and incorporate ingredients. Follow the rest of the directions from above.


2 cups powdered sugar
1/2 cup lemon, juiced and zested
1 Tbsp vegan butter, melted
Zest from one lemon

Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees.

While baking prepare glaze.

Melt butter over low /medium heat and whisk in lemon juice. Whisk until translucent. Add powdered sugar slowly while whisking to keep translucent. Repeat until sugar is all incorporated. Stir in lemon zest. Make sure to have a bit extra for presentation.

Remove from oven and pour glaze over scones while still warm. If dough is shaped in large circle, let glaze cool and harden. Then slice like a pie into eight triangles. Dust powdered sugar on top and remaining lemon zest. Sprinkle with poppy seeds.
Bake for 10-15 minutes until golden.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Snack Time. J & J Date Bars

So, you want a snack that’s sweet, but healthy....good luck with that. No, we're kidding. We’ve got something to satisfy your sweet tooth, and it’s healthy too.
J and J Date Bars are a great snack for anyone. I knew if my kids would eat them, they would definitely pass the kid test, but what about someone who is not raw, vegan, nor vegetarian? Would they like them? To find out,I did what any rational adult would do; I experimented on my friend, whose diet does not fit into the aforementioned categories. The results? She absolutely raved about these bars. After she tried the first one and loved it, I was inspired to bring her more. So Krystal, thank you for being my fearless taste tester, and without further ado, here are the recipes as promised. Oh, and don’t worry Krystal, next time I make a batch- I’ll bring some in for you.

Cashew Crunch

What you’ll need:

2 handfuls of raw cashews
Pinch of sea salt
8 – 10 dates

Grind cashews and salt in your food processor till desired consistency, I prefer mine ground into small pieces rather than chunks. Add dates and grind until the mixture forms into one large ball.

Remove and form into small bars or rounds. Eat immediately or put in fridge to harden and enjoy later.

Cherry and Almond Tart

What you’ll need:

1 – 2 handful(s) of raw almonds
1 – 2 handful(s) of dried cherries
Pinch of sea salt
8 – 10 dates

Grind almonds, cherries and salt in your food processor till desired consistency, I prefer mine ground into small pieces rather than chunks. Add dates and grind until the mixture forms into one large ball.

Remove and form into small bars or rounds. Eat immediately or put in fridge to harden and enjoy later.

Peanut Buster

What you’ll need:

1 – 2 handful(s) raw peanuts
Pinch of sea salt
8 – 10 dates

Grind peanuts and salt in your food processor till desired consistency, I prefer mine ground into small pieces rather than chunks. Add dates and grind until the mixture forms into one large ball.

Remove and form into small bars or rounds. Eat immediately or put in fridge to harden and enjoy later.

Pecan Pie

What you’ll need:

1 – 2 handful(s) raw pecans
1 – 2 handful(s) raw almonds
Pinch of sea salt
8 – 10 dates

Grind pecans, almonds and salt in your food processor till desired consistency, I prefer mine ground into small pieces rather than chunks. Add dates and grind until the mixture forms into one large ball.

Remove and form into small bars or rounds. Eat immediately or put in fridge to harden and enjoy later.

Coconut Pie

What you’ll need:

1 – 2 handful(s) raw almonds
1 – 2 handful(s) raw cashews
1 handful of raw coconut flakes
Pinch of sea salt
8 – 10 dates

Grind almonds, cashews, coconut and salt in your food processor till desired consistency, I prefer mine ground into small pieces rather than chunks. Add dates and grind until the mixture forms into one large ball.

Remove and form into small bars or rounds. Eat immediately or put in fridge to harden and enjoy later.

Substitute dry fruit in recipes for any of your favorites; apricot, blueberry, cranberries, strawberries, you name it. These bars are versatile, so go crazy making your own creations,

Chocolate lover? Just add cocoa to create a simply divine treat...Chocolate Covered Cherry, yummy!!

And, for those of you foodies who are interested in raw recipes, these bars make an amazing pie crust.