Sweet Potato and Beet Green Soup with Farro

So first off in this post, I have to give a shout out to my girl, Natalie’s, study group friends at Utah Valley University :).  I have a new group of fans :).  Love it!  Anyway, they made my day.  I always love it when I get feedback from you about trying my recipes and your success or failure when trying recipes I post (hopefully not so much failure as success LOL).  If you ever have any questions about recipes that are on the blog, please ask away!!  I love helping friends discover their some times hidden talent of cooking. :).

Whenever I ask anyone if they have tried farro, which is my new fav, by the way, friends always say, “What is farro?”.  Farro is a grain, similar to wheat, but it is not gluten free, so I’m sorry about that for all of you celiacs friends.  It is perfect in this soup recipe. My hubs and I think it is so hardy and oh, so so good!  You’ve got to try it.  It’s also a great source of iron and extremely high in fiber. I’m going to be posting more recipes with farro just because I LOVE IT!!

One thing I would do different next time in this recipe is add a can or two of white beans.  I added this ingredient to recipe as an option.  I think it would be the icing on the cake haha.  I loved this recipe and will definitely be making it again!

Also, I decided to use my Instant Pot to speed things up a bit, but I cooked mine a tad bit too long.  I used the “soup” setting and I set it for 15 min.  I think 10 min would be perfect.  I’m still trying to perfect my cooking technique with the Instant Pot.  We are very slowly becoming friends hehe.

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Sweet Potato And Beet Green Soup with Farro

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Adapted from a willcookforfriends.com recipe

Course: Soup

Prep Time: 15 min

Cook Time: 45 min Stovetop or 15 min total Instant Pot

Total Time: 1 hr Stovetop or 45 min Instant Pot

Yield: 8 servings

Serves: 8 Scale

Ingredients

  • 1 small yellow onion diced
  • 1 bunch beet greens (from about 4-6 beets) washed, stems removed and diced, leaves roughly chopped (steamed for approximately 4 min and submerged in a cold bath to shock it) I did not cook my stems but saved them to saute with the onion and garlic.
  • 3-4 cloves garlic minced
  • 3 medium sweet potatoes peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes (about 4 cups)
  • 12 tsp. each ground cumin, sweet paprika, and tumeric powder
  • 1 cup farro
  • 6 cups low sodium vegetable stock
  • 2 cans white beans (optional)
  • 14 cup fresh parsley chopped (2T. dried parsley)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • green onions for garnish

Directions for stovetop:

  1. In a large pot, add a little of the broth, onion, beet stems, garlic, and a big pinch of salt. Saute for about 5 minutes, or until the onions have begun to turn translucent. Add the cumin, paprika, and turmeric, and cook for another 1-2 minutes to toast the spices.
  2. Add the sweet potato and farro, followed by 5 cups of stock. Bring to a simmer, then cover and reduce the heat to low. Cook for about 45 minutes, or until the farro is tender.
  3. Add in the cooked beet greens, and cook until the greens are nice and warm.  It won’t take long, just 1-2 min. Add salt and pepper to taste, and if the soup is too thick, a bit more water or stock. Stir in parsley at the very end.
  4. Soup can be served immediately, or cooled down and stored in the fridge for up to five days, or the freezer indefinitely. The farro will continue to absorb some more liquid as the soup cools, so if you reheat it and it seems too thick, add a bit more water or stock, and adjust the seasoning if necessary.

Directions for Instant Pot (IP):

  1.  In the Instant Pot add a little of the broth, push the saute button and wait until the IP heats up and add onion, beet stems, garlic, and a bit pinch of salt. img_9868
  2. Saute for about 5 min, or until the onions have begun to turn translucent.  Add cumin, paprika and turmeric, and cook for another 1-2 min to toast the spices (this is what we call blooming the spices and you can smell how fragrant they are and it’s delightful :).
  3. Add the sweet potato and farro, followed by 6 cups of stock.  img_9870
  4. Cover with the lid and lock it (on mine, you hear a chime sound when it locks) and push the cancel button, and now push the soup button and adjust the time to 10 min. Now you just have to wait…………..BUT while I waited I couldn’t help but treat myself to a slice of this delicious banana pumpkin bread haha.  I was starving after work.  I’ll share the recipe very soon :).  It’s delish!  Anyway, I digress haha.img_9872
  5. After the IP beeps, release the pressure and wait for it to all release and then remove the lid.  Add the canned beans (optional) and cooked beet greens, stir and taste, but be careful not to burn your mouth.  It’s crazy hot!  We topped ours with a few green onions and it was so good!  Enjoy!

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Vegan Roasted Red Pepper Pasta

 

Last week I made a recipe that my sister-in-law, Tami, referred to me and it was delicious and quick.  Love those kind of recipes after a busy day at work :). This is a recipe to keep in mind when you’re carb loading before your next big endurance run/ride :).  Enjoy!

Vegan Roasted Red Pepper Pasta (optional GF)

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10-ingredient roasted red pepper pasta with a creamy, savory-sweet red pepper sauce and fresh parsley. Light, healthy, and simple, yet incredibly satisfying.

Source: minimalistbaker.com

Course: Main Course

Prep Time: 15 min

Cook Time: 45 min

Total Time: 1 hr

Yield: 4

Serves: 4

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  • 2 red bell peppers (~119 g each)
  • 2-3 Tbsp (30-45 ml) olive oil (I did not use oil — optional)
  • 2 shallots finely chopped (~1/4 cup or 40 g)
  • 4 cloves garlic finely chopped (2 Tbsp or 12 g)
  • Sea salt and ground black pepper to taste
  • 1 12 cups (360 ml) Unsweetened Original Almond Breeze Almond Milk
  • 2 Tbsp (6 g) nutritional yeast
  • 1 12 Tbsp (10 g) cornstarch or arrowroot powder, (or other thickener of choice)
  • optional: Pinch red pepper flake (for heat)
  • 12 ounces (340 g) gluten-free or non gluten free 🙂 linguini or spaghetti noodles, (or other noodle of choice)
  • Vegan Parmesan (easy to make; google it 🙂
  • Finely chopped fresh parsley or basil (optional)

Directions

  1. Heat oven to 500 degrees F (260 C) and roast red peppers on a baking sheet until charred – about 25-30 minutes. Cover in foil for 10 minutes to steam, then remove (peel away) charred skin, seeds and stems. Set aside.
  2. Cook pasta according to package instructions; drain, toss in a touch of olive oil, cover with a towel and set aside.
  3. While the red peppers are roasting, bring a large skillet over medium heat and sauté onion and garlic in 2-3 Tbsp olive oil until golden brown and soft – about 4-5 minutes. Season with a generous pinch of salt and pepper and stir. Remove from heat and set aside.
  4. Transfer sautéed shallot and garlic to blender with roasted peppers, almond milk, red pepper flake, nutritional yeast and cornstarch. Season with desired amount of salt, pepper, and red pepper flake.img_9813
  5. Blend until creamy and smooth, taste and adjust seasonings as needed, adding more salt and pepper or nutritional yeast for flavor. You want the flavor to be pretty robust and strong since the noodles don’t have much flavor – so be generous with your seasonings.img_9814
  6. Once blended, place sauce back in the skillet over medium heat to thicken. Once it reaches a simmer, reduce heat to low and continue simmering.
  7. Once sauce is thickened to desired consistency (see photo), add noodles. However, before tossing add a touch more olive oil (optional), salt and pepper to the un-tossed noodles for added flavor. Then, toss to coat.img_9815
  8. Serve with (generous amounts of) vegan parmesan, red pepper flake, and fresh chopped parsley or basil.

Amount Per Serving (4)

  • Calories: 487
  • Protein: 14g
  • Sugar: 4g
  • Carbohydrate: 75g
  • Fat: 14g
  • Sodium: 365mg
  • Fiber: 10g

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Peg’s Three Bean Soup

This time of year makes me crave some good soup! The other night I came home from work and started throwing some deliciousness in a pot thinking that it wouldn’t be all that great, BUT it was so so good! Enjoy!


Sauté together:

1/2 jalapeño 

3 garlic cloves

1 teas. cumin

1/2 teas. chili powder

Salt and pepper

A little vegetable broth for sautéing. 

After the onion is translucent, add the following:

1 large 25 oz can pinto beans

1 15 oz can garbanzo beans

1 15 oz can black beans

4 c vegetable broth

1 15 oz can diced tomatoes

1 15 oz can of sweet corn or you can use frozen corn as well

Simmer for approxima 30 -40 min and serve with Costco uncooked Tortillas, cooked of course :), avocado, vegan sour cream, and fresh green onion on top.  You may want to add more cumin and salt and pepper as well to taste. 

Enjoy!!

Our First Vegan Thanksgiving Did Not Disappoint!!! 😁

Thanksgiving was very different this year for Dane and I. Traditionally, we would eat all of the traditional fare with all of the fixings, but this year we have been feeling so great with our new way of eating that we tried not to go off plan. Dane did not budge but I sometimes believe in the 90/10 rule or probably more like 80/20 rule 😂.  We had all of our family here for the big event and it is BIG at our house, especially since it is my most favorite holiday of the year. I love all of the fuss!


My family, of course, wanted the traditional thanksgiving meal so I tried to compromise to make everyone happy. I did make the traditional turkey, which I posted the recipe a few weeks ago. It is seriously the most moist and juicy turkey you will ever eat. My family loves it each year. I made a stuffing recipe that was vegan, no oil. I know, it was tricky but with a little white wine and vegetable broth, it was a success! My son-in-law, Garrett, made it and did a fantastic job. Ohmyveggies.com has an amazing recipe for Super Vegan Traditional Stuffing and everyone thought it was great. Mashed potatoes were made with no butter but with a bit of almond milk and Dane made the most delicious gravy—mushroom gravy, which is his own concoction. He’s still working on the recipe but a lot of our family had it and said it was delicious. I loved it. I did make the traditional gravy to go along with the turkey for those that wanted it. The beans were steamed and were delicious by themselves. We had vegan rolls, which did have some vegan butter that was called Earth Balance-soy free dairy free. They turned out to be scrumptious. One of the things that is a must on Thanksgiving is the traditional Watergate salad that my mother would make each year.  It reminds me of her and I love it. She’s been gone for more than ten years now and her Watergate salad legacy lives on! It’s like a small piece of her is here with me. She loved thanksgiving too and it’s a time when my family would gather each year. I miss it. 


And ahhhhh the pies! That’s when I caved. Banana cream pie is a fav and I also love pumpkin pie, but had requests for pecan pie and apple, so I made those too. I decided to do a vegan pumpkin pie and try a recipe from the minimalistbaker.com, which was a recipe that I thought I had tested the week before, but nope! Wrong recipe!! Not my fav, I have to say, and I was pretty disappointed. I also tried a vegan banana cream pie from that site that I didn’t like either, so I made the traditional banana cream pie! Seriously, I just love it and I also love coconut cream pie. All in all, it was a success and the new way of eating did not disappoint this holiday fare :). Cheers to healthy living!

Moist Thanksgiving Turkey–Brined Roast Turkey w Sage Butter Rub

Okay peeps!  I had to do it!  For all of you carnivores out there :).  Seriously, though, who likes dry turkey?  Ummm NOT ME!  LOL.  I have used this recipe for several years now and every Thanksgiving I get oooooo’s and ahhhhh’s and yummmm’s about it.  This is definitely one of our family’s favorites for Thanksgiving.  I hope you like it :).  Oh, and over Thanksgiving break, don’t forget about the plantoeat.com sale.  It’s only ONE time a year, so take advantage of it and enjoy the turkey :).

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Brined Roast Turkey with Sage Butter Rub

If you’re planning to make a brined turkey, make sure you don’t buy a kosher turkey, which has already been treated with salt. Serves twelve to fourteen. Yields about 1/2 cup rub.

Source: finecooking.com

Course: Main Course

Cuisine: American

Serves: 12 Scale

Ingredients

  • For the brine and turkey:
  • 1 cup kosher salt
  • 14 cup granulated sugar
  • One 14-lb. fresh natural turkey; giblets removed and reserved
  • Olive oil as needed
  • For the sage butter:
  • 12 cup unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 2 Tbs. chopped fresh sage
  • 14 tsp. kosher salt
  • 14 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
  • 14 tsp. Bell’s poultry seasoning (optional)

Directions

  1. Make a basic brine: In a 6-qt. or larger pot, combine the 1 cup kosher salt, 1/4 cup sugar, and 2 qt. cool water. Put the pot over high heat and stir occasionally until the salt and sugar dissolve. Remove from the heat and let cool. Stir in another 2 qt. water and chill in the refrigerator.
  2. Soak the turkey in the brine: Remove the neck, giblets, and tail (if present) from the turkey; reserve them for making the turkey broth. Discard the liver. Rinse the turkey well. Double up two turkey-size oven bags and then roll down the edges of the bags a bit to help them stay open. Put the bags in a heavy-duty roasting pan and put the turkey, breast side down, in the inner bag. Pour the brine over the turkey (have someone hold the bags open for you, if possible). Gather the inner bag tightly around the turkey so the brine is forced to cover most of the turkey and secure the bag with a twist tie. Secure the outer bag with a twist tie. Refrigerate the turkey (in the roasting pan, to catch any leaks) for 12 to 18 hours.
  3. Make the sage butter: In a medium bowl, stir all the ingredients until well combined. Refrigerate if making ahead.
  4. Roast the turkey: Heat the oven to 350°F and position a rack in the lower third of the oven. Remove the turkey from the brine, rinse it very well, and pat it dry with paper towels. Discard the brine and oven bags. With your hands, gently loosen the skin from the turkey breast and legs, being careful not to tear the skin. Use one hand to distribute the sage butter under the skin and use your other hand outside the skin to massage and smooth the butter as evenly as possible over the turkey breast and as much of the legs as you can get to. Tuck the wings behind the turkey to secure the neck skin and loosely tie the legs together. Rub the turkey all over with a light coating of olive oil, and sprinkle lightly with salt (to help crisp the skin). Put the turkey, breast side up, on a roasting rack in a heavy-duty flameproof roasting pan. Put the pan in the oven, with the legs pointing to the back of the oven, if possible.
  5. After the turkey has been roasting for 1 hour, begin rotating the roasting pan (for even browning) and basting the turkey with pan drippings every 30 minutes or so. If there aren’t enough drippings to baste with at first, use a little olive oil until there are drippings. The turkey is done when an instant-read thermometer inserted in the thickest part of the thigh registers 170°F and the juices run clear when you remove the thermometer. Check the temperature in both thighs; sometimes one thigh will be done before the other. The total roasting time will be about 3 to 3 1/2 hours. Transfer the turkey to a carving board, tent it with foil, and let it rest while you make your mushroom gravy.

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Garlicky Thyme Tempeh; Healthy Meal Planning & A Free Trial Offer from plantoeat.com :)

Ahhhh the dreaded task of meal planning.  I remember 15 years ago when my kids were little (WOW, that makes me feel so old haha), my sister-in-law, Tami, and I would meet at McDonald’s every week, let the kids eat (ewww) and play and go to work meal planning.  We would bring recipe books galore and 3×5 cards, so we could share recipes, make a meal plan and write out our grocery list.  It would take us at least a couple of hours and that wasn’t even doing the grocery shopping! The feeling of checking that off our weekly to-do list was quite a sense of accomplishment and it still is, but now there is an easier way and I mean waaaaay easier.  Hurray for technology!!!  A few years ago my neighbor told me about this awesome new site she was using for meal planning and that if I joined, we could be friends and could have access to each other’s recipes.  Well, this was a no brainer for me because my neighbor was one of the best cooks and I wanted her recipes!!  It has made my life so much easier and I have an offer for you from my favorite plantoeat.com site :).  I seriously LOVE this site!!  It’s so simple to use.  Here is the link to get a special trial offer from them.   Plan to Eat  Try it out yourself and see if it works for you.  You can upload recipes from different blogs, key in your own recipes, plan out your weekly menu and also have your grocery list done for you.  Lickity split!!

Now let’s talk a bit more about meal planning…………

A few weeks ago, I did a short presentation for the local girls biking club on healthy meal planning, so I thought I would share that with you. Click on the link and you may find some ideas to help.

Healthy Meal Planning 

Here is a recipe that I tried this week that was sooooo awesome!!  I also uploaded it to my plan to eat account and shared it and, of course, it’s from one of my favorite cookbooks right now “Isa Does It :).  I served it with roasted veggies and brown rice.  I liked crumbling the tempeh up so a little bit was in every bite.  It would also be good crumbled up on a salad too.  Delicious!

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Garlicky Thyme Tempeh

Source: isachandra.com

Course: Main Course

Cuisine: Asian

Main Ingredient: Tempeh

Serves: 4 Scale

Ingredients

  • 8 oz tempeh
  • For the marinade:
  • 2 T soy sauce (or tamari)
  • 4 cloves garlic smashed
  • 12 C veggie broth
  • 2 T white balsalmic vinegar (or 1 tablespoon regular balsamic)
  • 3 T fresh lemon juice
  • 14 C fresh thyme leaves whole, soft stems roughly chopped
  • 2 T olive oil (optional)

Directions

  1. If your tempeh is a rectangle: slice it into 2 squares. Slice those squares into two thin squares across the middle, sort of like a clamshell. Now slice each square corner to corner, into triangles. You should have 8 thin triangles.
  2. If your tempeh is square: slice in half into two rectangles. Slice each rectangle across the middle, sort of like a clamshell. Then slice in half, into squares. You should have 8 thin squares.
  3. Steam the tempeh for 10 minutes. It’s going to smell like baking bread!
  4. In the meantime, mix all mariande ingredients together in a big bowl. When tempeh is ready, transfer it directly into the marinade.
  5. Let marinate for 1 to 4 hours, flipping occasionally.
  6. To grill:
  7. Preheat lightly oiled grill on medium high (indoor or outdoor). Cook tempeh for 5 minutes on each side, flipping with a metal spatula, so that it doesn’t stick. Tip: rub thyme and garlic on each side. Some will fall off, but not all of it.
  8. To broil:
  9. Preheat broiler. Keeping a close eye, broil tempeh on a baking sheet places 2 to 3 inches away from flame. 3 to 5 minutes each side. Baste with some of the liquid when you flip.
  10. Serve immediately!

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Stay tuned next Friday for an awesome Friend Friday Post :).

How’s the Whole Food Plant Based Diet Going and What Is It? 

Okay folks, many of you are asking me how the whole food plant based lifestyle is going, so let me tell you–IT’S GOING AWESOME, even while we were on vacation to New York City for the NY Marathon, we had a great time seeking out restaurants that fit our new lifestyle. It was like looking for a treasure every day and so fun! I’ll write more about that in another post. When I say whole food plant based diet, I mean lots of veggies, whole grains, beans and legumes, a little fruit and nuts, so we don’t have any dairy, meat or eggs.  The next question people usually ask is…… “What do you eat?” or say to me “I could never do that!” haha Well, let me tell you, that YOU CAN DO IT!!!  I like to focus on what I can eat and less on what i can’t eat and then pretty soon, a whole new world opens up to you and it’s AWESOME and you will notice a difference in how you feel!!

The learning curve…… and I’m still learning. I have to openly admit, I’m not to the point where I can just make up a recipe and roll with it YET. With the mainstream way of eating, I could totally make things up as I went and my meal would come out delish, but with this new vegan diet with no oil, I have had some pretty awesome failures lol. Are failures awesome? Seems a little ridiculous. 😂 I don’t want to get into that part of it because I am a food blogger and suppose to know what the heck I’m doing. 😂  It’s been awesome though and I love learning new ways of cooking so this is fun. Some observations I have discovered when cooking and since adapting to this new way of eating.

1.  When using an Instant Pot for beans and lentils, use the lesser number for cooking time after soaking them over night instead of the greater. You know the instructions that the Instant Pot comes with? It instructs us to cook beans for 20-25 min. I tend to go with the 25 number, but I’m learning to go with the 20 number. I’m not a fan of soggy beans I’ve learned. Ha.

2.  Your tastebuds do change. I don’t want to say this one in a negative way at all. It’s a great thing and believe me, I love good food! Eating my favorite calorie laden chocolate chip oatmeal cookies nearly blows my head off now haha. I never thought I would say that😜.

3.  I’ve man some pretty bomb vegan recipes, like the AMAZING CHOCOLATE BUNDT CAKE. I adapted from the cookbook, “Isa Does It.”  I’ve shared that in a recent post. Seriously, it’s so incredible that you would not know that it had no oil nor would you know that it was vegan.

4. When sautéing veggies in a pan with no oil…. put the veggies in the pan on med high and cook them until they brown a bit. (be attentive here and don’t get distracted, which is my problem) Now add a tad bit of vegetable broth, like you would add some oil–not too much but just enough :), put the lid on for a few min, stir, and cook until the desired doneness.  When roasting, put veggies on parchment paper and salt and pepper. Mix up about 1/4 c vegetable broth (I like using the “Better than Vegetable Broth”) and drizzle it on the veggies. Rub them with it a bit to get it all over. Bake in hot oven at 425 degrees for about 10 min and stir. Put back in and cook another 7-10 min. They are so good!

How Does My Body Feel?

I seriously feel SO GREAT! I’ve been doing a lot of different endurance events within the last month, most recently the ​New York Marathon, St. George Marathon, a 78 mile bike race with my daughter, and two biking events in the Huntsman World Senior Games. My recovery from each event has been so much quicker than previous years of just running St. George Marathon . My muscles seem to be more healthy, faster recovery time and stronger with the Plant Based diet. Three days after completing the St. George marathon, I did the World Senior Games hill climb event, where I was timed climbing up 886 feet for 3 miles. I was worried about my legs still being tired from the marathon but they felt GREAT! The following day I did a 12 mile time trial and felt GREAT pushing it and 10 days after this event, I did a 75 mile road bike race with my daughter and felt GREAT! Enough said about all of my crazy addiction with endurance, but this new way of eating works. It’s fueling my body with the nutrients it needs to recover and with no injuries (knock on wood😜). 

About eating animals…….

I have to say, I have a new outlook on meat these days. Why do we eat some animals and not others? Isn’t it weird to think about? Why do we eat chicken and not cats or why do we eat cows and not horses? It’s crazy when you don’t eat meat, the way your mind switches gears. To me, man was meant to eat grains, plants and lentils and beans. It’s so easy to do and our body loves it!

There are a million recipes for eating vegan and cookbooks. Here are a couple of my favs.  We are doing no oil so I look up substitutions for different recipes because it is a different substitution if your roasting veggies than if your baking something. It’s so easy to figure out substitutions with Pinterest on our side 🙂 and with the resources we have online.  This way of eating doesn’t limit you, it’s just a different way of adjusting eating. By not consuming meat, you’re freeing your body of the inflammation meat causes and lowering your cholesterol, among many other benefits such as weight loss. You feel the difference in the first week of going Plant Based. I feel less bloated and I feel very satiated and I’m losing about 1/2 lb a week. My DH however, is losing more like 2 lbs a week and looks amazing! If you have any questions or comments, please email me at itsapegslife@gmail.com and I’m happy to share more about I with you. Until then, happy Plant Based Eating :).

Check out these videos that talk about eating plant based:

Netflix:  Forks Over Knives, What The Health

YouTube:  Plant-strong & healthy living: Rip Esselstyn at TEDxFremontwww.youtube.com/watch?v=AAkEYcmCCCk&t=38s,

Power Foods for the Brain | Neal Barnard | TEDxBismarck at www.youtube.com/watch?v=v_ONFix_e4k&t=796s

Just key in Plant Based Whole Food Diet in the search bar on youtube and you’ll find a ton of info about it.  You’ll be amazed at what nourishing your body with good whole food will do for your overall health and well being.

 

FRIEND FRIDAY GUEST–Bonnie Weeks!!! @carrot_bowl_bonnie

My guest this week is an amazing yoga & crossfit instructor, cook, mom, wife, friend to my daughter, Bri …… and me :).  Whenever I get to Portland to visit, I love it when Bri and I can have some Bonnie time in her yoga class.  Seriously, the best! If you don’t follow her on Instagram @carrot_bowl_bonnie, you’re missing out because her posts are BOMB!!  This pic was taken after an awesome yoga class. I have to admit, at first I was a bit star stuck with her because she really is so amazing.  She is a beauty through and though.

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Just a sample of Bonnie’s Instagram posts.  Not only are her pics brilliant, but the captions are inspirational.  We all love our daily carrot_bowl_bonnie :),,,,,, and those arms—so rrrrrrrrripped!!  I can hardly wait to make this recipe she is sharing with us today! Vegan Cashew Cream Enchiladas!!  Delish!  Here’s Bonnie!

For fun, here’s a list of 10 random things about me:

  1. I have more than 100 plants in my house. They make me happy. I just made a living plant wall and love it!
  2. I grew up in Montana and the sound of meadowlark’s singing in the field always made me feel at home. At our current home, the sound of robins and bullfrogs have replaced that.
  3. One summer when we were camping, we went to the local grocery store and my parents told me I could get whatever I wanted as a treat. I found the biggest tomato I’d EVER seen…I chose that over anything else.
  4. A couple years ago, I thought I wanted to be a food blogger.
  5. I could never do the splits as a child but can now in my mid-30’s.
  6. My favorite drink right now is Kevita, a probiotic drink like Kombucha, but less vinegar flavor.
  7. When I met my husband, Tyler, in college I immediately wrote him off because I thought he was too short. Apparently he tried to talk to me after that more times than I can recall. Woops! But his persistence paid off and I realized that he WAS taller than me and I actually liked him.
  8. I always thought my mom was the coolest because she was always in the middle of the fun. She always knew what was going on and knew how to be 100% who she was regardless of what anyone else thought of her.
  9. I’ve always loved to write poetry. When I began posting my yoga practice on instagram, I didn’t know it would become a place to begin writing again. Practicing yoga + writing changes my life daily.
  10. I think it’s amazing that there are things we continually find out about ourselves. I didn’t know I’d love yoga. I started practicing about 3 years ago. I hope that everyone finds some movement practice that reminds them of how powerful they are.

FIND ME ONLINE:
Instagram: @carrot_bowl_bonnie (a name remnant of my food blogger days, although I mostly post yoga)
Website: bonnieweeks.com (videos, bio, contact, blog)

Okay, let’s eat! If there’s something that makes me do a happy dance, it’s the perfect combo of good flavors. I love these enchiladas and think you will too!

Cashew Creme Enchiladas

CASHEW CREAM ENCHILADAS (vegan)
CASHEW CREAM:
2 1/2 cups raw unsalted cashews
1 roasted pepper (use poblano, serrano, or pepper of choice)
3/4 – 1 cup water (adjust to make creamy, may need to add more)
1 tsp diced garlic
1/4 cup diced onion
3 – 4 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 tsp salt (to taste)
FILLING:
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 diced onion
1 diced sweet pepper (red, orange, or yellow)
1 jalapeno, diced with seeds and ribs discarded
1 sweet potato, peeled and diced in 1/4 inch chunks
2 tsp diced garlic
1 – 2 tsp cumin (depending on how much you love it)
2 tsp chili powder
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp salt
2 cans black beans, rinsed and drained
1 can corn, drained
1 small can green chilies
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
12 corn tortillas
Prepared salsa
Avocado or guacamole
DIRECTIONS:
1. In a bowl, cover the unsalted cashews with water. Let soak overnight OR 20 minutes (cover them with water, heat them in the microwave for 2 minutes, and let the food processor or blender run extra long to make them smooth).
2. Roast the pepper under the broiler for about 20 minutes. Pay attention until it starts to burn and blister. Remove from oven and immediately place in a covered bowl for 5 minutes. Take from the bowl and peel off the skin from the pepper.
3. Place drained cashews, roasted pepper, water, garlic, onion, lemon juice, and salt in your food processor or high-speed blender and puree. Adjust seasonings as needed.
4. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
5. In a large pot, sauté onions, peppers, and sweet potato in olive oil until just soft. Add garlic and spices, cooking for another minute. Add corn, black beans, green chilies, and cilantro. Combine together. Adjust seasonings if needed.
6. In the bottom of a 9 x 13 pan, spread 1 cup of salsa. Take one corn tortilla, scoop some cashew cream onto it and top with a scoop of the filling. Fill the tortillas with as much as they can hold – no holding back. Roll carefully and place, folded side down, on top of the salsa. Repeat until all tortillas are used up. Place foil on top of pan and bake for 20 minutes. Remove foil and bake for another 5-10, just until you see the tortilla edges start to brown. Remove from oven, spread remaining cashew creme on top, layer with more salsa, and sprinkle with cilantro. Serve with avocado or guacamole.
Cashew Creme Enchiladas

 

 Vegan Chocolate Zucchini Bundt Cake with No Oil

At last….. the long awaited cake recipe! Seriously, my new fav. ❤️

Vegan Chocolate Zucchini Bundt Cake with No Oil (Adapted from “Isa Does It” cookbook)

3 c. All purpose flour

1/2 c. Unsweetened cocoa powder

2 tea. Baking powder 

1 tea. Baking soda

1/2 tea. Salt

1 c. Granulated sugar

1 c. Unsweetened applesauce 

*1 c. Almond milk or your favorite nondairy milk

*1/3 c. Pumpkin

1 T. Pure vanilla extract 

2 c. Shredded zucchini 

1 c. Enjoy Life chocolate chips or another brand of semi-sweet

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a 12 c. Bundt pan and set aside. 

In a large bowl, sift together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Mix in the sugar. 

Make a well in the center and add the applesauce, milk, pumpkin, and vanilla. Use a whisk to mix the wet ingredients together in the well and then incorporate the wet and dry ingredients until well combined. Add chocolate chips.  Fold in the zucchini. Check consistacy and if batter is too thick add a little more milk. 

Pour into the prepared pan. Bake for about 60 min (a butter knife inserted into the center should come out clean). 

Let cool for 10 min or so, then invert it onto a cooling rack to let cool completely. 

*original recipe called for 3/4 c. Almond milk and 1/2 c. Canola oil. Addition of chocolate chips was ours :). It’s yummy!

For the ganache:

1/4 c. Almond milk

2 T. Pure maple syrup

6 oz. semisweet chocolate chopped or chocolate chips

Bring the almond milk to a roaring boil in a small saucepan. Add the maple syrup. Turn off the heat and whisk in the chocolate chips until totally melted and smooth. 

Place the cooling rack over the sink so that excess ganache falls into the sink and not all over the counter. As you can see, we just poured ours over the cake and let it pool in the middle. Yum!. Let it set before slicing and serving. 


This girl knows how to bake!

FRIEND FRIDAY GUEST—MY SISTER, EVON SEELY!!

Today my guest is one of my sisters (I have 3 AWESOME ones 🙂 , Evon Seely!! Evon is the oldest sister in our family of 6 children. I apologize for getting a little personal here but I LOVE MY FAMILY! #sorrynotsorry😜

The Rose Family :).  First pic is of our brother, Bruce, who was killed by a drunk driver at the young age of 24. It was heartbreaking for our family. I was just 8 years of age at that time and he left behind a wife and baby girl. My other brother, Larry, was on a mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints at the time and Evon was due with her firstborn.  The second pic is an older pic—me (enormously pregnant with our 4th child), Evon, Larry, Janis, Joanne (front) our dear dad and mom. 

Evon lives about 6 miles from me. She has always been there for me through hard times and good times. One of the memories that touches my heart was when my husband was going to chemo and my 5 children were young, she would drop everything and watch my sweet little darlings so I could be with my DH when he was so terribly sick. She is just that kind of person to everyone. I’m so grateful to have her in my life and so grateful for family. As Princess Diana said, “Family is the most important thing in the world.” And with that, I bring you my sister, Evon!❤️ Isn’t her family so beautiful!!

I am excited to contribute to Peg’s blog. When I was a teenager, I was driving my mom over to Panguitch quite frequently. At last, she asked me if I knew why we were going there so much. I told her no. She then told me that we were going to have a baby. I was so elated and excited! I told her that was great news as I had been praying for a little sister. Mom was about 41 years old at that time and wasn’t overly excited about the event. Peg is the baby of our family and has been adored and loved by her parents and all five of her older siblings. We have wonderful memories of her as she was growing up. She was such a blessing to our family. In fact, our Dad didn’t want “that dentist” to steal away his little Peg! Nevertheless, Peg and Dane did get married and Mom and Dad grew to love him very much too!
When Peg and Dane had children, we were so excited about them! We have many fun and special memories of them. Particularly, I remember the fun the kids had on Princess (the horse) and the day she ran away with Brianne and Nat; then Brance telling me he didn’t know I could run so fast! I love the photo of Brianne, Nat, McKelle and Brance on Princess. When they were little they also liked to run in circles on the blue living room rug. Hilarious! We enjoyed having the kids at our Santa Clara house jumping on the trampoline with their cousins. It was so cute when Caden became confused because his siblings called me aunt and our grandchildren called me grandma, so his name for me was “Aunt Grandma”. I loved tending the children when Peg and Dane went to dental conventions. We would have the grandest times! We have so many precious memories! We dearly love Peg and Dane and their delightful family!

Now, about the recipes . . . Most of my life I have suffered with stomach troubles. Finally, in 2014 I had a colonoscopy-endoscopy and found out that I had celiac disease and some of the complications that are caused by that disease. After learning more about it, I had to give up some of my favorite treats and thought I would never be able to enjoy licorice, breads, cinnamon rolls, etc. After trying some of the expensive (tasteless) commercial treats I decided that I needed to learn how to bake some of them myself. I purchased the book, Gluten-Free Family Favorites by Kelli and Peter Bronski. I liked their Artisan flour mix because it had more grains in it than some of the other mixes and the recipes had less fats. 

Artisan Flour Mix: 

1 1/4 c. brown rice flour

 ¾ c. sorghum flour

 2/3 c. cornstarch

 1/3 c. tapioca flour or tapioca starch 

1 teaspoon xanthan gum. 

Combine all ingredients and whisk well to mix thoroughly. Store in an airtight container for up to 3 months in the pantry or 6 months in the refrigerator.

One of my favorite recipes to make with it is Banana Mini Muffins. 



Banana Mini Muffins

3 medium-size ripe bananas

 1 egg

 ½ c. honey

 ¼ c. applesauce

 1 teaspoon GF pure vanilla extract

Dry Ingredients: 

 1 ½ cups Artisan GF Flour Blend

 1 teaspoon xanthan gum

 1 ½ teaspoons GF baking powder

 ¼ teaspoon baking soda

 ¼ teaspoon salt

 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon. (I like them spicy, so I add 1 teaspoon cinnamon, ½ teaspoon nutmeg and sometimes a few nuts on the top.)

 1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease the cups of a 24-cup mini muffin tin with butter or nonstick cooking spray. Place paper liners in the greased muffin cups, if desired.

2. Mash the bananas in a large bowl until mostly smooth with a few large lumps. Mix in the egg, honey, applesauce and vanilla.

3. In a separate bowl, combine the flour, xanthan gum, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon, whisking to mix well. Add the dry ingredients to the banana mixture and mix at low speed just until combined, 5 – 10 seconds. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and mix at high speed for about 5 seconds, until the batter is thoroughly mixed.

4. Scoop the batter into the prepared muffin cups. A cookie scoop works very well to transfer the batter. Bake for 15 to 18 minutes, until the muffins spring back when lightly touched and a toothpick comes out clean. The muffins should be slightly golden brown on top. Let muffins cool in the tin for 5 minutes, then remove and serve.

Me talking again :)— YUM!!!!! Thanks for sharing with us today, Evon! Love you!