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    • Dinners to make ahead of time

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    •  5/16/2011 10:38:15 PM
    •       My bags are packed and I am ready to hop on a plane and fly to South Carolina for the week. I am leaving my husband behind with my four daughters....... yikes. Tonight I taught him how to do a ponytail in the girls hair for school, he has the schedule of school pick up and dance drop offs, twins nap time and what they like to eat all written down. I am crossing my fingers that all will go smooth. In order to help him out a little, I decided to pre-make the dinners for the week. I searched through our website and considering the cold weather..... I went with soups! They store really well, reheat quickly, and my kids gobble them up. If you haven't tried these recipes yet, take advantage of this rainy spring time and blend up some delicious soup!




      Cream of Broccoli Soup

      3 medium potatoes, diced
      2 medium celery stalks, sliced
      6 cups broccoli florets
      1/2 onion, diced
      2 cloves of garlic, minced
      2 cups water
      CASHEW CREAM SAUCE (see recipe below)
      1 tablespoon dried basil (I sometimes add more- depending on taste)
      1/4 teaspoon black pepper


      Place potatoes, celery, broccoli, onion, garlic and water in a large pot.  Bring to a simmer.  Cover and cook over medium heat for about 10 minutes, or until potato chunks are tender and pierced with a fork (do not overcook).
      Make CASHEW CREAM SAUCE in a blender.  Pour cream sauce into the pot with the vegetables and stir together (don't forget to add the additional 1 1/2 cups of water...see recipe below).  Add basil and black pepper.  Begin transferring mixture to the blender - 3 cups at a time.  Blend mixture until the vegetables are completely smooth OR leave them slightly chunky, depending on your taste.  Pour blended mixture into a clean pot.  Once all the mixture is blended, stir in Sesame Seasoning if desired.  Heat gently, stirring frequently, until steamy.

      Top with diced red peppers or fresh tomatoes.

      *My kids will eat this soup with fish crackers on top :)

      1 cup raw cashew nuts
      2 cups water
      1 teaspoon salt
      2 teaspoons onion powder
      1-2 Tablespoons Chicken-Like Seasoning (or Chicken Paste/Bouillon)
      1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
      2 Tablespoons cornstarch, flour or Clear Jel
      1 1/2 cups more water (to be added after blending)

      Place all ingredients in blender and blend on high for about 2 minutes until smooth (make sure mixture is smooth- not gritty).  Pour into pot with vegetables.  Add the 1 1/2 cups more water to the blender, swish it around, and add to the mixture in the pot.




      All of these will store really well and I know my kids will not complain to their about what they have for dinner. Now I am just crossing my fingers that things will go as well in real life as it is in my head! 

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    • Stuffed Portabello Mushrooms (to die for)

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    •  5/13/2011 9:38:19 PM
    •  It was my husband's birthday and we usually go to dinner and spend the night out. It's  not easy to find vegan-type restaurants close to us, so after we eat out we have regrets and just plain don't feel good. LIGHTBULB....I will cook a nice dinner for his bday and the girls (my two older kids) can be the servers.. something they LOVE to do.

      A typical dinner at our house consists of mostly steamed veggies... not exactly restaurant fun. I have always wanted to try cooking portabello mushrooms so I found a few recipes and combined them and then added a few things on my own. Here is the final result that is seriously something I now crave..... ALL THE TIME. The best part about it .... EASY PEASY!


      Stuffed Portabello Mushrooms

      (my picture does not do it justice.. really its amazing good)

      1/2 cup Almonds

      1/4 cup olive oil

      1/4 cup  Braggs liquid aminos (easy to find at most grocery stores near the salad dressings/soy sauce)

      1/4 water

      2 TBSP balsamic vinegar

      3 cloves of garlic

      1 tsp dried oregano

      1 tsp dried rosemary

      4 Large Portabello mushrooms stems removed

      1  medium onion chopped

      1 bell pepper chopped

      Preheat oven to 350. Place almonds, olive oil, braggs, water, garlic, oregano, rosemary in a high powered blender or food processor and blend until smooth. Place the four mushrooms in a large baking dish up side down and top with onions and peppers. Pour sauce over each mushroom and bake for 25 minutes.

      (I peeled back the top to give a better view of the stuffed part... I hope that helps)


      I served mine with mashed yams and steamed veggie. It has been such a big hit that I have made it three times in the last couple of weeks. My kids even like it. YUM! try it and let me know what you think.




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    • Pear Salad

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    •  5/7/2011 10:41:46 PM
    •  Today was the first warm day of the year! We actually go to to play outside ALL day. My kids had a blast and my sweet husband started planting our garden for the year. After playing outside in the sunshine catching some much needed Vitamin D, all I can think about is salads! There are so many fun ways to make the same old salad taste delicious. If you are stuck in a salad rut, add some fresh sliced fruit to it. Adding strawberries to some fresh greens with a squeeze of lemon or lime makes for a refreshing summer salad. 

       I was introduced to one of my favorite salads a few years ago by maintenance mommy: Pear Salad!

      This is my take on it. I love it:



      Pear salad

      3 tbsp lemon juice
      1 tbsp dijon mustard
      1 1/2 tsp fresh thyme
      1/2 cup olive oil

      1 bag mixed baby greens
      2 ripe pears, halved, cored, thinly sliced lengthwise
      1 cup crumbled "tofu feta" see recipe below

      Whisk first 4 ingredients in a bowl to blend. Season dressing to taste with salt and pepper.

      Toss greens with enough dressing to coat. Divide among 4 plates. Top each serving with pear slices. Sprinkle with feta.  Drizzle the top lightly with the remaining dressing


      Tofu Feta:



      2 TBSP olive oil
      2 TBSP water 

      1/4 cup red wine vinegar 
      1 tsp salt
      1 tsp dried basil 
      1/2 tsp oregano

      1/2 lb firm tofu crumbled

      Mix the first 6 ingredients together in a bowl, add tofu crumbles, and marinate for at least an hour.  Store in the fridge in air tight container for up to 5 days


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