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