Easy, healthy, sometimes indulgent recipes

vegan

Homemade Pumpkin Puree

Homemade pumpkin puree is yet another pumpkin recipe that I am about to send your way.  I am in a heavy “use the pumpkins before they are ruined” mode.  Now that the pumpkin seeds are done, it is time to move on to the actual pumpkin. Making home made pumpkin puree is surprisingly easy, though it does take some time. 

pumpkin puree

Homemade puree is slightly sweeter than canned and of course, it is hard to beat fresh over canned, but it is hard to beat the convenience of canned. In many cases, I use canned and do this when I have an overload of pumpkins.

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Paleo Nut and Seed Granola

Paleo granola? Is that even possible? No oats? No sugar? I am not by any means strict Paleo follower, but I find more and more that I love cooking Paleo inspired recipes.  When America’s Test Kitchen was running a cookbook sale, I ordered a few cookbooks and this one came from the Paleo Perfected cookbook. Confession, it was more than a “few” cookbooks, but best not discuss that part right now.  I made some modifications, increased the cinnamon, used pumpkin seeds instead of sunflower seeds. What I love about this recipe is how easy it is to swap out different nuts. This would work great with almonds and hazelnuts. Also, other fruits would work well, like dried cherries or dried pineapple.

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Kale Lemon Apple Green Juice

kale ginger green juice

I have been looking for ways to make more green juice and to replicate the same experience of juicing without actually buying a juicer. I think juicers are amazing, but I really want to avoid buying yet another appliance to sit on my counter.  My kitchen mantra is to keep things as basic as possible.  I try to have as many multi-functional devices as I can.  I own a nice blender,  it is not top of the line,  but it is middle of the road and it does the trick well for this recipe and many others.  What I like about making “juice” in a blender, you always have a choice on using the pulp and keeping the drink more like a smoothie or it can be strained for a clear juice.

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Vegan Oatmeal with Strawberries and Peanut Butter

vegan oatmeal with berries

Ahh, oatmeal.  Oatmeal with diced cooked apples is my sons favorite food to eat so an oatmeal type of a  breakfast is often cooking up in my kitchen. The nutty aroma of oats cooking up in the kitchen is incredibly comforting.  Now, I know everyone knows how to prepare oatmeal.  Nothing that I am about to write here is groundbreaking, but I wanted to share it because I just love preparing it.  It is a staple in our house.  On a cold day such as today, it is hard to pass up the warming flavors of this breakfast.  While we are not vegan, I love preparing vegan dishes because I am forced to tap into  plant-based foods to replace any traditional ingredients.  I always look for ways to enrich any dish with nutritious super-foods like chia seeds, hemp or cacao nibs.

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Easy Homemade Cashew Milk

Cashew milk is a favorite in our household.  We are not vegan nor do we have any issues with dairy, but we still love to use this plant based milk. I previously wrote about making almond milk, but cashew milk is even easier to make than almond milk.  The process is very similar, but there is one less step.  Raw cashews need to be soaked overnight to achieve ultimate creaminess and then they are blended with water.  However, cashews are so creamy that once they are blended they actually disappear into the milk. There is no need to strain the pulp. The milk actually retains all that wonderfulness and nutrition.

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Morning Very Berry Smoothie

vegan smoothieI don’t know about you, but usually after a major Holiday, like Thanksgiving I am looking to prepare something quick, satisfying, filling and as healthy as possible.  This smoothie is actually one of my go to breakfasts post workouts and pre work. Often time I layer everything in my blender in the evening,and just push the button in the morning.  The easiest way for me to prepare this is to use frozen organic fruit, but any fresh fruit obviously works. If I do use fresh fruit, I typically add 1/2 cup of ice.

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Unsweetened Almond Milk

This is my first post for the new blog. Welcome! We are so close to Thanksgiving and I am busy putting together the menu for Thanksgiving 2015, but in the mist of all the prep, I am working on some basics, like almond milk to have on hand for easy morning breakfasts.

In the recent years, I really grew to love “alterna” milks.  At this point, it is all I drink. I started buying various types, cashew, soy, coconut and finally almond.   There are so many choices and options that I honestly find it overwhelming. Sometimes I just stand there in the natural foods aisle, staring, reading the ingredients, staring some more and finally nervously choosing a non-dairy milk product.  I hate to imagine what I actually look like while choosing a carton of non dairy milk.

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