Saturday, December 9, 2017

Coconut Peanut Balls (DF, GF)

3 and 1/2 cups dates  (I use medjool dates)
1 cup raw peanuts
1/2 tsp salt

Blend the dates in a blender or food processor until smooth.  Stir in the coconut and peanuts and salt.

Form into balls and store in fridge.  Each day these balls tend to get more flavorful.  I like these better after they have been in the fridge overnight.

I've started using the  Farberware Cookie Scoop for forming the snack balls, instead of using my hands.  It is easier and not as messy.

My favorite food processor is the KitchenAid  7-Cup Food Processor

For blenders, I use both the  Vitamix Blender and Ninja Master Prep Professional Blender

I keep the Lord before me always.  Because he is close by my side, I will not be hurt.
Psalm 16:8 (NCV)

Friday, December 8, 2017

Contribution from Freelance Writer Jess on Veganism and Composting

I hope you are enjoying the articles from Jess as much as I am !!!  Here is her latest on how helping the planet by composting.   THANKS Jess !!!

Compost Your Way To A Self-Sufficient Garden

Veganism isn’t just doing your duty towards animals - it helps the planet, too. The livestock industry is a huge polluter, accounting for 14.5% of man-made greenhouse gases every year. Reducing the demand for meat and dairy reduces the strain on our green and blue marble! However, there are a few extra steps you can take yourself.
We’re talking about composting of course, and in this article we’ll walk through the steps of creating and using the stuff. You’ll make full use of your household waste, help the planet and make delicious veg, with your time in the garden improving health to boot.

What Can I Compost?

Before you go head-first into composting, bear in mind that not everything can be put into a composter. There are plenty of things you can compost, including the bulk of what will be in your diet. This is why composting is so good for vegans, because nearly everything you eat can find its way into your compost pile, as opposed to waste from non-biological goods.

There are a few things you shouldn’t compost. Fats and oils, including products like olive oil and coconut oil, will not be good. Also, if you’ve picked up any produce that’s been treated with pesticides, keep it away from the pile as it will leach into your final product.

How Do I Get Going?

For the beginner, composting is incredibly simple. The process works by the breakdown of your waste into a bacteria-laden, mulch heap that’s packed full of nutrients and growth increasing compounds. You can set up a heap in your garden for starters; use soil or leaves to compact your waste into a heap. Make sure you keep it soaking wet, as the bacteria inside need water to get working on the waste. Regularly turn the pile with a pitchfork to get oxygen aerating through the heap. After at least two months, and sometimes longer, you’ll have compost.

What Do I Do With The End Product?

When you have the end product, it’s time to put it to use. This will act as a fertilizer, encouraging your plants to bloom quickly and powerfully. You can implement fertilizer by spreading it around the base of plants, on top of soil. Keep it away from leaves and the stem itself, as some composts can ‘burn’ the plant due to the concentrations of nutrients. With that done, you can grow your veg bigger, faster and stronger. With the right stuff, you might have a contender for the biggest vegetable contests.

Composting is a great way to develop self sufficiency in your home and in the process grow tasty, big vegetables. And to top it all off, you’ll be doing your bit to save the planet.

Friday, November 17, 2017

Lentil Sweet Potato Veggie Soup (DF, GF)

Instead of the bag of frozen veggies, I have used 1 can of green beans, 1 can peas, 1 can diced tomatoes, and 1 can of carrots - all with the liquid.  So the amount of added water/veggie stock would also be reduced.

3 cans lentils (about 1 pound of dried lentils)
1 large sweet potato, cubed
2 large dates, chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
2 tsp minced jar garlic
1 - 16 oz bag of frozen vegetables 
3 to 4 cups water or vegetable stock
1 tsp dried thyme
1 tsp ground fennel
1 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper

Put everything in a crockpot and cook on low for 10-12 hours.

I praise the Lord  because he advises me.  Even at night, I feel his leading.
Psalm 16:7 (NCV)

Sunday, August 6, 2017

Chickpea Lentil Veggie Soup (DF, GF)

This is REALLY good.  The dates give it a nice flavor !

1 Tbsp minced jar garlic
1 onion, chopped
1 can tomatoes (I used the liquid) 
2 cans chickpeas (I used the liquid)
1 can lentils (I used the liquid)
12-oz package frozen broccoli/cauliflower mix
12-oz package frozen sliced carrots 
1 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp ground turmeric
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1/4 tsp black pepper
2 cups water or veggie broth
1/2 cup Unsweetened Shredded Coconut  (I use Bob's Red Mill)
3 large dates, pitted

Blend water or veggie broth, coconut and dates in a food processor or blender until smooth.

Put everything in a crockpot and cook on low for 10-12 hours, or until done.

My favorite food processor is the  KitchenAid  7-Cup Food Processor

For blenders, I use both the  Vitamix Blender and Ninja Master Prep Professional Blender

My share in life has been pleasant;  my part has been beautiful.
Psalm 16:6 (NCV)

Saturday, August 5, 2017

Cranberry Peanut Chocolate Chip Balls

Adapted from this recipe .

1 cup Quaker old fashioned oats 
1 cup rice crispy cereal
1/2 cup sunflower seeds
1/2 cup raw peanuts 
3/4 cup vegan chocolate chips
3/4 cup dried cranberries 
2 Tbsp molasses
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/8 tsp salt
1 cup dates
1 large ripe banana
1 cup natural peanut butter  

Blend dates, banana and peanut butter until smooth.

Mix everything (INCLUDING date mixture) together in a bowl. 

Shape into balls.    Each day these bars tend to get more flavorful.

I've started using the  Farberware Cookie Scoop for forming the snack balls, instead of using my hands.  It is easier and not as messy.

My favorite food processor is the KitchenAid  7-Cup Food Processor

For blenders, I use both the  Vitamix Blender and Ninja Master Prep Professional Blender

I praise the Lord because he advises me.  Even at night, I feel his leading. 
Psalm 16:7 (NCV)

Saturday, July 29, 2017

Review of shirts from Everything Vegan

I was SOOOO thrilled when Aaron, founder of Everything Vegan, contacted me to try his shirts and write an honest review !!!

This picture my nephew took is a good picture to represent Aaron's clothing selection - lots of colors and beautiful designs !!!!

Aaron's cruelty-free apparel is available in t-shirts, tank tops and sweatshirts.  There are TONS of designs, TONS of styles and TONS of colors to choose from.  I had a hard time deciding which ones to get !!!!!  I was AMAZED at the choice of styles for each design - Women's Jr Fit Tee, Women's Classic Fit Tee, Women's Racerback Tank Top, Women's Classic Fit Racerback Tank Top, Unisex Tee, Unisex Tank Top, Unisex Sweatshirt, and Kids Youth Tee - WOW - what a selection !!!!  Each design comes in a specific set of colors - not all designs are available in all colors.

These shirts are AMAZING....they are VERY good quality and the material is INCREDIBLY soft.  These run true to size - no need to buy a larger size (like I did !!!).  I usually buy a bigger size because t-shirts generally shrink and many of them are just the right size before they shrink !!!!  These shirts have NOT shrunk from washing them.  I have not dried them all the way in the dryer though - I have dried them for just a few minutes and then hung them up to finish drying.

I HIGHLY recommend you check out Everything Vegan , you will NOT be disappointed!  Service is GREAT and the shirts arrived quickly.

I got the Vegan is not a diet, it's a lifestyle  in a Unisex Tank Top.

The Powered by Plants  shirt is the Women's Racerback Tank Top.  This style is my favorite - I LOVE it !!

The Vegan Vibes shirt is the Unisex Tee.

There are even MORE cool designs than when I got my shirts - I just may have to get some more !!!  I LOVE these shirts !!!!!

Aaron has done a GREAT job creating COOL vegan sayings on INCREDIBLY GREAT quality shirts !!!  The selection is just AMAZING !!  Check out all the great all the great designs !!!  You DEFINITELY will NOT be disappointed !!

Friday, June 9, 2017

Guest Post - Cleansing Citrus Pineapple Smoothie Recipe by Suzi

I am SOOOO thrilled to be posting a Smoothie recipe from guest writer Suzi.  Check out her website for more delicious smoothie recipes !!  THANKS Suzi !!!

Suzi is a health and wellness blogger based in the UK. Her passion and goal is to inspire and encourage women to adopt a whole food, plant Based diet and lead a healthy lifestyle by making simple but positive lifestyle changes.

1 cup of kale
3 celery sticks
2 bananas
1 cup of pineapple
1 orange
Juice of one lime
Inch of ginger
1 cup of water

1. In a high-speed blender, put in the kale with the cup of water and blend until smooth

2. Add the celery sticks, pineapple, orange and ginger and blend again

3. Lastly, add the banana and juice of lime and blend until smooth

4.Pour in a jar or glass and enjoy.

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Lentil Stew (DF, GF)

  I LOVE a good, flavorful Lentil soup !

Adapted from this recipe

1 onion, chopped
4 stalks celery, chopped
1 16-oz package frozen carrots
1 16-oz package frozen spinach
2 8-oz cans tomato sauce
1 Tbsp minced jar garlic
1 and 1/2 cup dry lentils, rinsed
1 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp ground coriander
1/2 tsp salt (I used celery salt)
1/4 tsp black pepper
4 cups of broth or water

Put everything in a crockpot and cook on low for 8-10 hours or until done.

No, the Lord is all I need.  He takes care of me. 
Psalm  16:5 (NCV)

Monday, May 29, 2017

Three Bean Salad (DF, GF)

A bean salad is always GREAT in the summer !!!  Make this for picnics, lunches, get-togethers, or a side dish for dinner. This is a GREAT way to get your fiber !!!  

1 can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 can garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
1 can diced tomatoes, drained
1 onion, chopped
3 stalks celery, chopped
1/2 to 3/4 cup salsa (no sugar)
1 tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp onion powder
1 Tbsp cilantro flakes

Place all ingredients in a bowl and stir to combine  - serve immediately or after it has been in the fridge. 

But those who turn to idols will have much pain.  I will not offer blood to those idols or even speak their names.
Psalm 16:4 (NCV)

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Monday, May 15, 2017

Contribution from Freelance Writer Jess on Improving Your Health With a Garden

I hope you are enjoying the articles from Jess as much as I am !!!  Here is her latest on how having a garden can improve your health.  THANKS Jess !!!

How Growing Your Own Vegetables Can Improve Your Health
It's no secret that eating vegetables packed with vitamins and minerals is great for your physical health. But did you know that the very act of tending your own vegetable garden and growing your own produce can also have a number of mental and emotional health benefits too? Gardening, much like baking and sewing, has experienced somewhat of a revival among 18-24 year olds and 89% of them say they have a garden or grow their own plants. But how exactly can growing your own vegetables benefit your mind, body and soul?

Research indicates that being close to nature helps relieve stress. The beauty and tranquillity of the natural world is subconsciously calming and the repetitive, gentle act of gardening in the natural environment can be the perfect way to unwind and relax from the pressures of everyday life. Simply having your hands in the soil can relieve tension due to the natural electrons found in the earth - this process is called grounding. 

Physical exercise is great for mind and body. While gardening might not be the most traditional workout, it can be physically hard work particularly when it comes to hauling heavy watering cans, bending, lifting and stretching to prune your plants. All of this is apt to help you work up a sweat which improves everything from your heart health to your mood. Best of all, it is gentle exercise that anyone of any age and fitness level can carry out. 

Eat well
Of course the key benefit of growing your own vegetables is that you are creating fresh, organic food that is packed with nutrients and is much more financially viable than what you'd pick up in a store. Popular plants for novice vegetable gardeners include tomatoes which are full of vitamins and onions which are thought to have immunity boosting properties. Best of all you know exactly what has gone into your crops - no nasty chemicals or pesticides. And enlisting the whole family in the process will improve their diet and eating habits too - studies show that children who grow their own vegetables are more likely to take an interest in healthier foods and eat well as they grow. 

With the rise of allotments and community garden schemes, gardening has become a hugely social pastime that allows people to come together and unite in a common goal. As humans, we thrive from this sort of interaction as it improves our sense of belonging and self-esteem. 

On the subject of self-esteem, gardening is a great way to feel a real sense of achievement. Planting something and nurturing it into a product can be harvested to feed yourself and your family in a real back-to-basics approach to life that will fill you with a sense of self-sufficiency that we no longer get to experience often in the modern world.

Where to begin?
If you have decided to give vegetable gardening a go, it can be daunting to know where to begin - especially for novice gardeners. Setting up a vegetable garden is actually quite straightforward but it does require a little planning. The location of your garden is important. You'll need an area that gets plenty of direct sunlight but that can also ideally offer some shelter from the elements. The ground should be cleared of any roots or perennial weeds and it’s important to invest in good quality seeds for your produce. It's important to have a good understanding of the maintenance and growing patterns of specific plants. Some will only thrive at certain times of year while others (such as root vegetables) tend to be able to withstand colder, winter temperatures. Do your research and plan ahead - soon you could be reaping the mental and physical health benefits of growing a vegetable garden. 

Sunday, April 30, 2017

Lentil Potato Barley Stew (DF, GF)

This is a thick soup/stew chocked full of lentils and veggies !  Both my dad and I REALLY liked this.   It did not last long !!!!

2 cans lentils (about 3 cups of cooked lentils or about 1 and 1/2 cups dry)
1/2 cup barley
1/2 cup brown rice
1 can diced tomatoes, with liquid
4 cups veggie broth or water
1 small onion, chopped
1 cup diced celery
2 cups of cubed potatoes
1 Tbsp minced jar garlic
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
2 Tbsp dried cilantro flakes
1/4 tsp black pepper
1 Tbsp onion powder
1 Tbsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp salt

Put everything in a crockpot and cook on low for 10-12 hours.

As for the godly people in the world, they are the wonderful ones I enjoy.
Psalm 16:3 (NCV)

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Chickpeas Quinoa and Spinach (DF,GF)

Cook the spinach by itself and add to the quinoa after the quinoa is cooked. 

This can be eaten "as is" ... or .... as a topping on potatoes ... or ... in a burrito.  I also like adding in chunks of sweet potatoes.

1 and 1/2 cups dry quinoa
2 cans chickpeas, with liquid 
2 tsp ground curry powder
2 tsp ground cumin
3/4 tsp ground turmeric
3/4 tsp ground coriander
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground cardamon
1 and 1/2 cups water
1 16-oz package spinach, cooked

Place all ingredients (EXCEPT spinach) in a rice cooker and cook until done.  Stir in cooked spinach after the quinoa is cooked.

I really like the Rival 6-cup Rice Cooker w/Steamer.   It makes cooking rice SOOO easy.  I just put all the ingredients in the cooker .  So my rice dish is complete with spices and veggies when the rice is cooked.  The 6 cup isn't a big rice cooker, but it is plenty for 2 people.  

I said to the Lord, "You are my Lord.  Every good thing I have comes from you."
Psalm 16:2 (NCV)

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Double Chocolate Muffins (GF)

These are moist, rich, chocolaty muffins !!  I LOVE the addition of the chocolate chips !!!

1 and 1/2 cups gluten free flour 
1 cup Quaker old fashioned oats
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 heaping tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1/3 cup Sucanat   (or brown sugar)
1/2 cup vegan chocolate chips
1 cup applesauce
1/4 cup almond milk
3 large very ripe bananas, mashed
2 tsp vanilla extract

Mix the wet ingredients in one bowl.

Mix the dry ingredients in another bowl.    

Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and stir just until the dry ingredients are moistened.  

Pour into muffin pan and bake at 350 degrees for about 22 minutes or until toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. 

I like using the silicone bakeware for my muffins.  The muffins  come out so easily and I don't need to grease the pan.  My favorites are:   Casabella Silicone Standard Muffin PanCasabella Silicone Large Muffin Pan,  Casabella Jumbo Muffin Cups.

The OXO Large Scoop is GREAT for scooping out batter into the muffin pan.  It is MUCH neater than when I used a spoon to scoop the batter into the pan - I no longer get batter all over the muffin pan !!!

Protect me, God, because I trust in you.
Psalm 16:1 (NCV)