Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Pumpkin Chocolate Chunk Bread

Dry ingredients:
3 cups flour
2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon Real Salt
1 tsp baking soda

Wet ingredients:
1 stick butter, softened
1 can organic pumpkin (365 brand)
2 eggs
plus add 1 cup brown sugar after mixing the wet

In one bowl, mix wet ingredients
In the other bowl, mix dry ingredients
Mix together
Add 3/4 cup 67% cacao chocolate chunks (365 brand)

Divide into 4 mini loaves (I use a mini loaf pan)
Bake at 350 for 40 minutes
Cool and eat!

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Chocolate Pie

1 vegan pie crust (I use Wholly Wholesome--frozen section)
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream (I use Organic Valley)
1/3 cup milk   (I use 365 brand Almond Milk)
8 oz 365 brand chocolate chunks
2 eggs

Preheat oven to 350
Poke holes in crust gently
Bake alone for 10 min
Combine heavy cream and milk in saucepan
Bring to low boil
Remove from heat, add chocolate
whisk til smooth
Add 2 beaten eggs
Whisk, add to crust
Bake 14 mins
Cool 1 hr
Refrigerate, serve chilled with TruWhip on top

Monday, November 21, 2016

Nut Free Snack Mix

This is a GREAT snack.
My 9 year old loves the Enjoy Life snack pouches, but at $1.29 each, they aren't so economical.
I decided to try to make it at home with 365 brand ingredients.  Took all of 5 minutes.

Pumpkin Seeds $3.99
Sunflower Seeds $2.49
Dried cranberries $2.99
Mini chocolate chips (half the bag) $1.98

I got 16 bags out of the mix-- so 72 cents each
I also could have done less per bag-- I made them a bit more full than the ones you can buy pre-made.

How to video:

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Vegan Gravy

I cannot believe I haven't posted this yet!

Just in time for Thanksgiving-- try this once before your big meal-- I bet you will want this on the table.
This is hands down the best gravy I have ever tasted... and I am included meat gravy from before my vegetarian days.
It comes from All Recipes and you can find the original recipe here.
I'd say it makes enough for about 8 people.

  1. Ingredients

    • 1/2 cup oil (avocado, oil, grapeseed)
    • 1/3 cup chopped onion
    • 5 cloves garlic, minced
    • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
    • 4 teaspoons nutritional yeast
    • 4 tablespoons light soy sauce
    • 2 cups vegetable broth
    • 1/2 teaspoon dried sage
    • 1/2 teaspoon salt
    • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper


    1. Heat oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Saute onion and garlic until soft and translucent, about 5 minutes. Stir in flour, nutritional yeast, and soy sauce to form a smooth paste. Gradually whisk in the broth. Season with sage, salt, and pepper. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer, stirring constantly, for 8 to 10 minutes, or until thickened.

Friday, October 28, 2016

Barley Soup

Oh my goodness-- this is one of my top 3 "Healthy & Cheap" meals!  I make a LOT--it freezes really well.  I've doubled this recipe below and I'd say it makes about 25 servings-- so you can halve it if you don't want any to freeze.

This is also super easy-- you can really dump it all in the pot.  You can change what's added based on what you like-- it's a pretty loose recipe.

2 cups pearl barley
4 carrots, chopped fine
4 stalks celery, chopped fine OR (my preference) 1 bunch chopped leeks + 1 tsp celery seed
4 yukon potatoes, chopped
18 cups water
6 vegan Rapunzel boullion cubes
salt and fresh pepper to taste
2 cups frozen peas
2 cups frozen corn)

All in pot, bring to boil-- then simmer 1 hour.

OR- all in crockpot, cook 6 hours

10 mins before serving add 2 cups frozen peas + 2 cups frozen corn.


Better the next day because it thickens.

Taking for lunch?  Fill a mason jar, then heat up in microwave at work!  (Take lid off!)


Thursday, October 13, 2016


Colcannon is "an Irish and Scottish dish of cabbage and potatoes boiled and pounded".  You can find lots of varying recipes.  I just love it--- it's a comfort food but it has greens in it.  I serve it with a side of soup usually.

12 yukon potatoes (or yellow) peeled and cut in half
1/2 head of green organic cabbage, shredded
1 bunch scallions
1 bunch black kale, shredded
1/2 stick Kerrygold butter (or to taste)-- or 1/2 stick Earth Balance for vegan
1/2 cup almond milk
Salt and pepper to taste

Bring a large pot of water to a boil
Boil cabbage and kale for 2 minutes (covered)
Using a wire skimmer, skim out cabbage and kale and set aside
In same pot of boiling water, boil all the potatoes for 20 minutes, or until soft
In a large bowl, put the kerrygold butter and milk
Using wire skimmer, scoop potatoes into the bowl over the butter and milk
Mash potatoes with a masher
Fold in cabbage and kale
Add scallions
Salt and pepper it to taste

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Lentil Soup

As simple as this is, it's the favorite soup amongst my kids.

It is so filling, so healthy, so tasty, and SO inexpensive!

If you are doing it in the crockpot, just throw all of it in at once and cook on high for 4 hours.

This is the healthiest most inexpensive meal I make.

Recipe by Mark Bittman from How to Cook Everything. -- I adapted it a little bit

I double this recipe:
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 yellow onion, chopped
1 carrot, cut into 1/2 -inch dice
2 celery stalks, cut into 1/2 -inch dice
1 cup lentils, washed and picked over (I use a whole bag 365 brand Green Lentils when I double it)
6 cups water + 2 Rapunzel vegan bullion cubes
1 tbsp thyme
Freshly ground black pepper

Everything into stock pot and bring to boil, cover and simmer 30 minutes
In cast iron pan, sauce onions and garlic, then add to pot anytime

Sunday, October 9, 2016

Roasted Butternut Squash with chickpeas and garlic/lemon yogurt sauce

Wow, that's a long title.

I was inspired by a picture I saw on Instagram from @wildlywholesome
and decided to improvise what I saw.

It's really filling and has great flavors!

1 butternut squash
1/4 cup roasted chickpeas (my recipe is here)
Sauce:  1/3 cup full fat greek yogurt, 2 tbsp water, 6 garlic cloves, juice of 1/2 a lemon

Halve the squash, scoop out seeds and roast facedown  400 degrees on stoneware for 35 minutes
Fill hole with chickpeas
Drizzle sauce on

Next time I think I'll add some chopped herbs--anything-- cilantro, basil, rosemary.

Sunday, October 2, 2016

Maple Berry Smoothie

Super simple-- my new favorite between-meals thing to eat.

1 heaping cup 365 brand frozen strawberries
1/2 cup 365 brand frozen blueberries
1 cup water
1 tbsp 365 brand maple syrup


Drink. :)
192 calories

Saturday, October 1, 2016

Apple Cake

I modified this recipe from this one here.

It really is delicious, and according to my husband is just like apfel kuchen in Germany.

My oldest daughter and I make it each year for Rosh Hashanah. 

 I agree that it's important to get 5 different kinds of apples to get different flavors, tart and sweet, crispy, and soft.  It begs for a cup of coffee.

Adapted from:

Marie-Hélène's Apple Cake recipe on Epicurious


  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • Pinch of salt
  • 5 large apples (different kinds-- we used Honeycrisp, Granny Smith, Gala, Cripps Pink, Golden Delicious)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup  cane sugar
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1/2 tsp almond extract
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted and cooled


Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Generously butter a 9-inch piece of stoneware.
Whisk the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt together in small bowl.
Peel the apples, cut them in half and remove the cores. Slide in food processor.
In a medium bowl, beat the eggs with a whisk until they’re foamy. Pour in the sugar and whisk for a minute or so to blend. Whisk in the water, almond and vanilla. Whisk in half the flour and when it is incorporated, add half the melted butter, followed by the rest of the flour and the remaining butter, mixing gently after each addition so that you have a smooth, rather thick batter. Switch to a rubber spatula and fold in the apples, turning the fruit so that it's coated with batter. Scrape the mix into the pan and poke it around a little with the spatula so that it's evenish.
Slide the pan into the oven and bake for 50 to 60 minutes, or until the top of the cake is golden brown and a knife inserted deep into the center comes out clean--transfer to a cooling rack and let rest for 5 minutes.
The cake can be served warm or at room temperature, with or without a little softly whipped, barely sweetened heavy cream or a spoonful of ice cream. 
The cake will keep for about 2 days at room temperature and, according to my husband, gets more comforting with each passing day. However long you keep the cake, it's best not to cover it — it's too moist. Leave the cake on its plate and just press a piece of plastic wrap or wax paper against the cut surfaces.

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Charoset (Chopped Apples & Almonds spread)

Charoset is one of the symbolic foods served during a Passover seder every year. 

It is always such a hit with my kids--and it is so healthy-- that I try to remember to make it throughout the year:

(This makes a ton, you can halve the recipe):

Makes 5-6 cups

5 organic apples: 
3 granny smith, 1 golden delicious, 1 honey crisp (or whatever you can find)
Zest & juice from 1 lemon
1 cup of 365 brand almonds
1 teaspoon cane sugar
1 tablespoon cinnamon 
¼ cup sweet Manischewitz wine (or sub any sweet-ish red wine)

(1) Cut up the apples (toss the core) into equal small sizes and put in the food processor. Chop up the apples into small minced chunks and transfer to a mixing bowl. Repeat until all the apples are chopped—chop no more than 2 at a time or you’ll make a paste.
(2) Take the juice of lemon and add to the apple mixture. Grate zest and leave in food processor—almonds will chop it later.
 (3) Grind the almonds with the zest, sugar and cinnamon. Add to the mixture. It will stay good for over a week in the fridge. Flavors will intensify after the first few days. 

Great on matzah, can also eat on pita, crackers, etc.

Monday, September 26, 2016

Vegetarian 4 Bean Chili

This is especially good the next day!
(Especially if that day is chilly.)

(If using cans, remember to check backs of them for things like "lard"in the beans or other spices in the tomatoes, etc.  -- get pure plain beans!  I usually soak mine overnight and then use 1.5-2 cups worth, but cans work fine, too-- that's how I started making this recipe.)

Vegan Chili

Serves 8-16

2 Tbsp olive oil
3 small yellow onions, chopped (about 1.5 cups)
2 cloves garlic, pressed
1 Tbsp chili powder
1 tsp sea salt- or more/less to taste
1 tsp paprika
¼ tsp coarse black pepper
26 oz box strained tomatoes* (I use “Pomi” brand)
32 oz vegetable broth  (I use water+ Rapunzel Vegan Boullion cubes)
1 large green pepper, finely chopped in Cuisinart
1 small jalepeno pepper, finely chopped in Cuisinart
¼ cup flaxseed meal- I get in bulk from Whole Foods, costs 28 cents for 1/4 cup
5 cans beans: Black, Navy, Kidney x2, Chickpea (or 1.5-2 cups dry, soaked) 365 brand

(If doing crockpot, toss everything in and cook high for 4 hrs-- except onions+garlic-- saute those and add in whenever.)
1.  Coat pot with oil, set on medium heat.  Add onions and cook until they begin to soften.
2.  Drain and rinse beans.  Add all beans to a large bowl and mix.  Sprinkle with the chili powder, paprika, salt, pepper, and garlic.  Mix well.  Add to pot.
3.  Stir in tomatoes.  Add broth, peppers, and flaxseed meal.  Bring to a boil. Then simmer, covered, 15-20 minutes.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Moms' Snack Review: We tried 22 snacks for you!

We tried 22 snacks this morning at Whole Foods!  All the moms tried these snacks, plus kids ranging from 1-3 years old.  We liked ALL the snacks-- none got a thumbs down-- 
but the favorites are at the top!

Brand new item! 365 Organic Apple Cinnamon Animal Cookies

Fig Newmans-- we ran out they were such a hit!  (Purple package-- wheat free & dairy free)

Whole Foods Bulk Section- Gummy Bears- made with purple cabbage and radish

365 Brand Dried Cranberries

365 Brand Apple Cereal Bars

Enjoy Life Seed & Fruit Mix- Beach Bash-- moms voted this a great thing to keep in their purse for themselves!-- free of the 8 most common allergens, bonus!

365 Brand Banana Chips

365 Brand Sesame Rice Crackers- the kids LOVED these!

Earth's Best Organic Letter of the Day Cookies- Oatmeal Cinnamon

365 Brand organic Honey Graham Crackers

365 Brand Snack Crackers

Whole Foods Bulk Section- Oriental Rice Snack Mix

Whole Foods Bulk Section- Milk Chocolate Rainbow

Terra Chips- Sweets & Carrots

365 Brand Organic Honey Graham Bear Cookies

365 Brand Organic Cheese Square Crackers

Mochi Ice Cream-- favorite flavor= green tea (tried chocolate and mango as well)

Back to Nature Honey Graham Sticks

365 Brand Multigrain Morning Os

365 Brand Little Cubbies Cereal

365 Brand Blueberry Cereal Bars

Enjoy Life Seed & Fruit Mix- Mountain Mambo

Let us know what foods your toddler loves at Whole Foods-- what should we sample next so you don't have to just buy snacks and hope they like them?

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Easy Pasta Salad (for school lunches)

When I'm on my game, I make this Sunday night to use in lunches all week.
I usually use whatever veggies I have on hand, but my kids love olives so those are a must each time.
The cost for this is approximately $8 and lasts all week as a"main meal" for packed lunches.

Pasta Salad:
1 lb 365 brand elbows (Could sub quinoa pasta)
1 organic cucumber, diced
1/4 of a rd onion, diced
1 bell pepper (any color), diced
1 can black olives, sliced
1/2 cup manzanilla olives
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp thyme
1/2 cup feta cheese (optional)

Mix above ingredients in large bowl
In a small bowl, whisk together 1/4 cup olive oil and 2 tbsp lemon juice
Pour onto pasta salad and blend thoroughly
Add more oregano and thyme to taste
Enjoy for up to 5 days in the fridge!

Friday, September 2, 2016

Vegan Banana Bread (and oil/butter free)

In medium bowl, mash/mix:
3 ripe bananas
2/3 cup 365 brand unsweetened applesauce
1/2 cup water
1 tsp 365 brand vanilla extract

In large bowl, mix:
2 cups 365 brand flour
2 tsp 365 brand Korinjolte cinnamon
1tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup 365 brand cane sugar

Pur wet ingredients into dry-- mix very well (mixture will be dense like a bread)
Add (optional) 1-2 cups 365 brand chocolate chunks (to taste)

For bread, bake at 350 for 40 mins
For muffins, bake at 350 for 28 mins

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Vegan Shepherd's Pie

We are currently on hurricane watch and this seemed like the perfect meal to make to hunker down.

It is also a good budget meal.  I make this for my family of 5 for about $7 worth of ingredients.  That includes all organic produce, too-- all shopped for at Whole Foods.

Vegan Shepherd’s Pie
From Quantum Wellness

(Skip to potatoes first and get those boiling)

For the Veggie "Beef" Mixture:
½ cup chopped onion (1 small onion)
½ cup chopped carrot (2 small carrots)
¼ cup (or less) olive oil
1 Tbsp pressed garlic
½ lb. vegan beef crumbles (I used 1 cup)
1 heaping cup frozen peas
1- 2 cups vegetable broth (I used  one Rapunzel bullion cube and 2 cups water)
1 ½ tsp fresh thyme (I used the dried spice)
½ tsp pepper
1-2 tsp salt, depending on seasoning of crumbles

Saute the onions and carrots in oil for 5-7 mins in large cast iron pan (you'll just put that directly in the oven at end)
Add garlic, cook for 2 minutes
Add remaining ingredients and simmer for 10 minutes, add more broth as needed 
For the Potatoes:
1 ½ baking potatoes peeled and roughly diced (I used 8)
1 Tbsp salt
¼ cup vegan butter 
3 Tbsp rice/soy milk  (I used 365 brand unsweetened almond milk)
Salt and pepper to taste

Boil potatoes with 1 Tbsp salt 20 mins or until tender
Drain well, mash, and fold in butter
Add milk as needed to create creamy yet firm mashed potatoes
Season to taste with salt and pepper

Spoon and spread potatoes out over the mixture in the cast iron pan
Preheat oven to 375
Bake 20-25 mins

Makes approx 5-6 servings
*I used all organic produce 

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Make at Home: Chipotle Burrito Bowls

If you love Chipotle, try making these at home.  It comes out to about $2 per person for a huge serving.  (Serves 6-8)

1 cup 365 brand brown rice
1 jar 365 brand salsa verde
1 can 365 brand black beans
2 avocados
1 bunch cilantro
2-3 roma tomatoes
1 red onion
1 green pepper
1 bag 365 brand blue corn tortilla chips
Splash of lemon juice + Splash of lime juice
Sour cream (optional-- the meal is vegan without it)

Boil 2 cups water with 1 cup brown rice, turn to simmer, cover til water is absorbed
Add a large handful of chopped cilantro to the rice
Add 1/4 to 1/2 cup salsa verde to the rice (to your taste)

Rinse and drain black beans-- hat in microwave or stovetop for just a  couple minutes

In medium bowl, mash avocados, splash of lime, pinch of salt, and about 2 tbsp chopped cilantro

Pico de gallo:
In small bowl, put chopped tomatoes, another 2 tbsp chopped purple onion, 1 tbsp chopped cilantro and splash of lemon

Sautéed veggies:
Slice up purple onion (half) and entire green pepper, sauce on medium-high heat for about 8 minutes

Plate everything and add sour cream and salsa verde + chips-- ENJOY!

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Roasted Rosemary Potatoes

This is such a simple side dish but so delicious.

Cut up as many potatoes as you want-- I usually do about 2/3 of a 5 lb bag of yellow potatoes.
Cut into medium cubes.
Throw in a bowl and toss with 2 tbsp olive oil, salt, freshly ground pepper, garlic, and freshly cut rosemary.  (All to taste).

Spread on baking sheet and bake at 400 for 30-40 mins depending on how crisp you like them.  We love to eat them alongside a chunky salad.


Sunday, August 21, 2016

Back to School Hacks: Getting Out the Door (and Back)

This is the second year I've used a LEAVING FOR SCHOOL/COMING HOME FROM SCHOOL sign in the hopes of instilling responsibility (and lessening mom + dad's)...

It works!  Is it foolproof?  No.  Do they try to skip over it (esp coming home)? Yes.

But that's okay-- it really is a huge help.  I have the older sib read it out loud to the younger as they put their shoes on (this sign is on the garage door).  The younger one yells "check!" if she's done it and "oops!" if she hasn't.

Want to make your own?  Follow this link and either print it as is, or use the second page to write in your own.

It's not quite like getting them to work the whole farm, but it's a step toward less work for you, right? 

Friday, August 19, 2016

Energy Bites

In a bowl, combine all dry ingredients first, then add wet:

1 cup 365 brand old fashioned rolled oats
2/3 cup toasted coconut flakes (baking aisle at Whole Foods)
1/2 cup 365 creamy peanut butter
1/2 cup ground flax seed (bulk area of Whole Foods)
1/2 cup honey
1/2 cup 365 unsweetened organic applesauce
1 tsp vanilla

Chill 15 minutes
Roll into balls
Keeps many days in fridge
Great for quick breakfast!

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Back to School Tip: Snack Bin

I know, I know.
We all want to do these amazing things, but we are tired and overwhelmed!

If there is ONE thing you do before school starts, I suggest making a Snack Bin.  Somehow this makes you feel like you've got your shit together more than anything else.  Here is how I get into the frame of mind for this--- tell yourself you will devote 2-3 hours to this project before the first day of school and then just do it.  That includes shopping and everything start to finish.  You will feel so ON TOP of stuff if you do this one thing (and it might push you into a surge of organization)!

Load up on 365 Snacks, ziplock snack bags (which I reuse-- so find a container for putting the used bags when you unload lunch boxes-- I use reusable containers for wet stuff and only use ziplock for dry things so I can reuse).

For even more savings, when you go shopping at Whole Foods, buy in bulk for a 10% case discount. Ask at Customer Service before you start.  Most things are a "case" at 6 items.    It really is worth it-- and Back to School is when Whole Foods has the best deals on these items anyway-- so this really sets you up for a smooth first 2 months of school where you're not running out of stuff.  It's all sealed well, so you can even store extra in a clothes closet, doesn't matter.

Have your kids help!  My 9 year old knows this is totally her task now.  I set up the baggies and snacks and she fills til the bin is full.  You can also have them make Trail Mix (cranberries, nuts, cereal, banana chips)

If you do a Snack Bin, tag me @ilovewholefoods so I can see it!
You can also use #backtoschoolhacks

Good luck, and Happy Back to School!