Friday, September 12, 2014

Pumpkin Curry Soup

Fall is in the air and I thought I'd post some of my favorite recipes.  I LOVE soup!!  I love creamy, chunky, and chili-type soups.  Here is one of our family favorites.


2 T butter or olive oil
1 c chopped onion (1 small)
2 cloves garlic
1 ½ tsp curry powder
½ tsp salt
¼ tsp ground white pepper
3 c chicken broth
1-15 oz can pumpkin (or fresh--just cut it in cubes and boil it for about 20 minutes and puree)
1 can coconut milk
Heaping spoonful of peanut butter

Melt butter in large saucepan over medium-high heat.  Add onion and garlic; cook, stirring frequently, for 2 to 3 minutes or until tender.  Stir in curry powder, salt and pepper; cook one minute.

Add broth and pumpkin; bring to boil.  Reduce heat to low; cook, stirring occasionally, for 15 to 20 minutes. Stir in coconut milk.  Transfer mixture to food processor or blender (in batches, if necessary); cover.  Blend until smooth.  Add peanut butter and stir—if you like the chunky PB.  Otherwise, throw it in the blender.  Serve warm.  

Monday, January 21, 2013


I have a bit of the flu.  Being pregnant (22 weeks), I cannot take much of anything for my symptoms, so instead I spend more time than usual sitting around and thinking.  I saw a quote that read, "At any given moment you have the power to say--this is not how the story is going to end."  While reading those words, my memory took me to a classroom Florida when I was in 9th grade.  My health teacher was telling the class statistics.  She said something to the effect of, 'if you're obese as a teenager, you have a (insert crazy-high percentage here) of being obese as an adult' and 'if both parents are obese, you have a (insert crazy-high percentage here) of your children also being obese.

I remember my heart sinking.

So discouraging to hear.  I felt like I was doomed to failure and that nothing I was doing or could do in the future would change these statistics.  From the age of 10 or so, I would look in the bathroom mirror and say awful things to myself about how I was repulsive...not just ugly, repulsive.  My entire family all seemed half my size and I didn't understand how I was so unlucky.  I wallowed in this feeling of how much I hated how I felt about myself.  And now to hear that it was my future?  And possibly my children's future?  I was overwhelmed with intense grief that lasted only a few minutes.

Just after these thoughts raced through my mind, I had a resolve burning inside me.  I can remember this moment like it was yesterday.  Determined to not be a statistic and to take charge of my own destiny.  I have never looked back since.

I have been in my ideal weight range for nearly 10 years and hear all the time how healthy my children are and how they love their fruits and vegetables.  It's hard to put into words the gratitude I feel for that teacher and that moment that changed my life.  I had previously felt victimized by my circumstances and that mind shift--to being in charge of my actions--has ballooned into several aspects of my life.  I am forever grateful.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Veggie Fajitas

Wow.  My husband and kids even like these.  I discovered this gem at El Torito Grill on a business trip this summer.  Every time I go on these trips, I order the same dish.  They are light but hearty at the same time.  I took a photo at the restaurant and then made my own version at home. WOW.

Here is my best attempt at a recipe for you:

Vegetable Fajitas via El Torito Grill
5 cloves garlic (minced)
1 onion (sliced)
1/3 cup olive oil
2 T fajita seasoning + water
4 red potatoes cut into wedges (try to be consistent in thickness of chopping for even cooking)
2 cups red pepper (sliced)
2-3 cups carrots (cut into match sticks
Corn (I cut off of 2 ears of corn on the cob that wasn't super fresh)
2-3 cups fresh spinach 
1 1/2 cups broccoli
1/2 head of cauliflower
Zucchini (sliced and halved) *
Yellow squash (sliced and halved) *
Pinto or black beans

*Not pictured here because I didn't have any--they were still amazing
 Combine garlic, onion, and olive oil and cook until translucent.  Add potato, carrot, red pepper, corn, broccoli, and cauliflower. Add fajita seasoning.  I mixed 2 Tbsp with 2 Tbsp water and then poured it in my wok.  Cook until veggies are nearly tender.  Add zucchini and squash and cook for 5-10 minutes until tender.  Add spinach and warm until it wilts (won't take more than 1-2 minutes). 

Serve on tortilla with beans, guacamole, and veggies. The potatoes and spinach make this--don't leave them out until you try it!  My husband was not excited when I wanted to try this experiment because of the potato and spinach.  He agrees they are the best part.

Monday, March 12, 2012


Inspired by Chef Chloe, I decided to make some serious cupcakes for my kids 2nd birthday.  I didn't love the frosting the first go-around, so I decided to branch out and mix it up with another favorite of mine.

Chocolate Cupcakes
1 ½ cups all-purpose flour (or gluten-free all-purpose flour plus ¾ teaspoon xanthan gum)
1 cup evaporated cane juice or date sugar (health food store or a really great grocery store will have these)
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup coconut milk
½ cup canola oil
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

To make the Chocolate Cupcakes: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Line cupcake pans with 14 cupcake liners.

In a large bowl, whisk together flour, sweetener, cocoa, baking soda, and salt. In a separate bowl, whisk together coconut milk, oil, vinegar, and vanilla. Pour the wet mixture into the dry mixture and whisk until just combined. Do not over mix.

Fill the cupcake liners about two-thirds full with batter. Bake for 16 to 18 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cupcake comes out clean with a few crumbs clinging to it. Cool the cupcakes completely before frosting.

Frosting a.k.a. Chocolate pudding (From Raw Food Real World cookbook--love!)
2 cups young coconut meat (also known as Thai coconuts)*
3/4 cup young coconut water at room temperature (may add more to thin it)
1/2 cup real maple syrup
1/3 cup agave
1/2 cup cocoa powder
2 T vanilla
1/4 tsp sea salt

Combine in high-speed blender (I use my Vitamix) and puree all ingredients until completely smooth.  Chill for a firmer pudding.

I sliced the tops off the cooled cupcakes, spread on some pudding and sliced strawberries, replaced the muffin top and then added a dollop of pudding again and a strawberry.  They were heavenly.

*Young coconuts can easily be found at Asian markets and most 'hip' grocery stores.  I grabbed a youtube link on how to open one for those who haven't tried.  They are amazing for you and are an excellent source of hydration.  Here's a photo so you can recognize it.  These are coconuts when they are green and under-ripe by our standards, but 'just right' in other cultures.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Cauliflower Soup

Tiffany and I both get Bountiful Basket (a local produce co-op) and get the occasional veggie that we don't know what to do with.  Cauliflower is one of those for me.  I don't have any recipes that are really good and a whole head is a lot for us to use raw with dip or something.  I got my hands on this recipe and made it tonight...slam dunk.  Husband loved it, kids loved it (minus the chunks--should've creamed it for them), and I loved it.  Wish the photo did it justice.

Cauliflower Soup

1 medium head cauliflower (or other veggie like broccoli or potato)
1/4 cup olive oil
2/3 cup chopped onion
3 Tbsp flour
2 cup vegetable broth
1cup liquid drained from cauliflower (or other boiled veggie)
1 can coconut milk
1/2 tsp. worcestershire sauce
3/4 tsp. salt
Garnish with chopped chves or minced parsley

Cut cauliflower into tiny flouretes.  Cook in boiling salted water.  Drain reserving liquid into container.  Combine olive oil and onion and cook until soft and transparent.  Blend in 3 tbls flour.  Add 2 cups chicken broth, cook, stirring constantly until mixture comes to a boil.  Stir in cup liquid drained from cauliflower, coconut milk, worcestershire sauce, and salt.  Add cauliflower and heat to boiling.  I ended up using corn starch to thicken it a bit as it was too watery for my liking.

You can double the recipe and combine a veggie with potato or different types of veggies together.  I did half potato and half cauliflower and it was delicious.

Monday, February 6, 2012

McDonald's Drops 'Pink Slime' from it's Burgers

I saw this in Time Magazine today and was pretty disgusted.  Everyone knows that fast food isn't the healthy way to eat, but very few people understand what goes into fast food to make it even MORE unhealthy.  Take a read--it's short.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Pumpkin Pancakes

I have 2 kids that are gluten and dairy intolerant. (I don't do very well with dairy either). These pancakes are an awesome alternative and something we can all eat at an affordable price. I grind my own quinoa into flour in my Vitamix. If you have a wheat grinder, you can also use that.

1 1/2 c. quinoa flour
1/4 c. packed brown sugar (I use Sucanat, pure maple syrup, or agave nectar)
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. ground allspice
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ground ginger
1/2 tsp. salt
1 3/4 c. buttermilk or sour milk (I make my own buttermilk, using just shy of 1 c. rice, almond milk with 1 TB vinegar or lemon juice mixed in. Since the recipe calls for 1 3/4 c. buttermilk, I adjust my homemade buttermilk to make that much).
1 c. pumpkin puree
2 large eggs (I use chia seeds. 1 TB chia seeds to 3 TB water. Mix and let sit 15 minutes)
2 TB vegetable oil (I use unsweetened apple sauce)
maple syrup
1/2 c. toasted pecans (I haven't used these)
whipped cream (optional. I don't use this either)

Measure the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, allspice, cinnamon, ginger, and salt into a large bowl. Mix well.
Whisk together the milk, pumpkin, eggs, and oil in a medium bowl. Add to the flour mixture and stir until just blended.
Serve with maple syrup, pecans, and whipped cream.