Saturday, June 7, 2014

Quick and Easy Brussels Sprout Salad

It is hard to believe that I didn't start eating Brussels sprouts until about a year ago, and now I am obsessed with them. I love them steamed, oven roasted with sweet potatoes and shredded into salads.

While doing my weekly fridge clean up today I was supper excited to find a bag of very large Brussels hiding in the crisper. Then I was faced with the decision of what to do with them. Since I had just finished cleaning the kitchen, I decided to do the quickest and easiest way!

Pecans, Dried Cranberries and Brussels Sprouts
I pulled out my handy Saladmaster Machine and Bowl and shredded the Brussels on cone 2.
I chopped and toasted the pecans, mixed some Dijon mustard, agave nectar and apple cider vinegar together and added to shredded Brussels sprouts, tossed in the  cranberries and topped with the pecans. This took less than 15 minutes and it is so good. You could serve this to people who think they don't like Brussels sprouts and they will LOVE it!
Looks and tastes amazing!
Brussels Sprout Salad Recipe
20 Brussels sprouts washed and the bottoms cut off
1 cup dried cranberries
1 cup chopped pecans or walnuts
2-3 teaspoons of Dijon mustard depending on your taste preference
3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon agave nectar
Salt and pepper to taste
  1. Toast nuts in a skillet on med to low for about 5 minutes. Place in refrigerator to cool after toasted.
  2. Place sprouts in the basket of the saladmaster machine and use cone 2. You can also use a mandolin or pulse a few times in a food processor.
  3. Add mustard, vinegar, agave nectar, salt and pepper to a bowl and mix together.
  4. Combine shredded Brussels sprouts, cranberries, toasted pecans and dressing and mix together and serve.
This would make a great side dish to any Summer Cook out! Or you could just eat half the bowl while you are working, which is what I did! 

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Chipotle Beet Burgers

One of the things I love about having an organic garden is trying new things! We added so many new veggies to the garden this spring, one of them was beets. I have never eaten fresh beets, but knew I would find something to do with them. If not I could always make vegan red velvet cake or give them to clients.

I came across this recipe for Beet Burgers from Post Punk Kitchen and used it as a starting point. Anyone that knows me knows that I use recipes as an idea and then make changes to make it my own.  I knew I would want to make this gluten free, so I used ground up oats instead of breadcrumbs. I changed the seasonings completely and I baked them instead of frying them in oil as suggested and finished off on the grill. So basically I used the brown rice, lentils and beets and then changed everything else. This recipe is very versatile, you can change the spices to your tastes.

This is a little messy and takes some time, but it is so worth it. Don't skip the grilling step if possible, that charred flavor really makes a difference in taste. The recipe makes about 10 patties, you can either freeze the rest or cut the recipe in half. You can reheat in a skillet, just be careful not to overheat and dry them out.

Fresh beets peeled and grated on the Saladmaster Machine
They freakishly look like ground beef
They are great served on Romaine Lettuce as wraps
See that lovely charring, makes it taste like a "real" burger
Now time for the recipe, bear with me, I don't measure seasonings so you will have to rely on your taste buds! One Chipotle doesn't make it spicy, it gives it a smoky flavor and helps to mellow out the earthy flavor from the beets. If you want them spicy, you can add more!
Chipotle Beet Burger Recipe
2 1/2 cups cooked *brown rice (just a little over 1 cup uncooked)
2 cups cooked brown or green lentils (1 cup dry, you will have some leftover)
2 cups peeled and shredded beets ( I had four small to medium sized from my garden)
1 chipotle pepper
1 roasted poblano pepper ( you could sub for a bell pepper)
1cup ground oats
1/2 onion diced
2 garlic cloves
2 tablespoons tahini
Chili powder, cumin and salt to taste
1. Heat oven to 425 degrees.
2. Add chipotle, poblano and garlic to the food processer and pulse on high until chopped.
3. Depending on the size of your food processor, you might need to do it in two batches.
4. Add shredded beets (very messy job shredding beets, wear gloves or you will have red hands), cooked and cooled brown rice and lentils and pulse on high until well blended.
5. Pour mixture in large bowl, add the seasonings, diced onions, tahini and ground oats and stir until combined. I used my gloved hands to mix it together. Taste to see if it is seasoned to your liking. It will have a strong earthy beet flavor at this time, but mellows out after cooking!
6. I used a cookie scoop, but it is basically 1/4 cup. Shape into patties and put on a cookie sheet sprayed lightly with non stick spray.
7. Cook for 15 minutes, then flip the patties and cook for another 15 minutes.
8. Place on a hot grill for just a few minutes to get a little charring.
*When cooking the lentils and brown rice, I add 1/2 of a vegan beef flavored bullion cube for added flavor.
This recipe makes about 10 of the most amazing Beet Burgers! I hope that you enjoy them. One of my clients had them and wanted to know how I made them taste like REAL burgers!


Sunday, March 9, 2014

Hearty Vegan Lentil Stew

I am a soup and stew kinda girl! For me, it's not just for those cold dreary days. I enjoy it for breakfast, lunch and dinner even during the heat of our wonderful Texas Summer! Soup is my comfort food, and it is a great way to pack lots of nutrients in one bowl!

Lately I have been on a lentil kick. I love how versatile they are and they are so good for you! I use them as a meat replacer all the time! All things lentil blog post coming soon!

For this Hearty Lentil Stew I used green lentils. You can find the green ones at your local grocery store. If you have a different color, you can use them. Red lentils have a much shorter cook time and can become mushy in soup and will change the texture of this stew.


1 large yellow onion, chopped
4 medium carrots, chopped
4 celery stalks, chopped
4-6 potatoes, peeled and diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
16 ounces lentils, rinsed
1 large can of diced tomatoes, drained
8 cups water
4 vegan beef flavored bouillon cubes 
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp each sea salt and black pepper
garlic powder, onion powder


Add the garlic, onion, celery and carrots to large soup pot, add about 1/4 cup of water to sauté the veggies. You do not need any oil to, just keep adding small amounts of water to continue to sauté. Cook for about 10 minutes.
Add the potatoes, lentils, tomatoes, water and bouillon cubes and seasonings.
Bring to a boil, then turn on low and simmer for at least 45 minutes, stirring often. At this point the veggies and lentils should be soft, the longer you let it simmer the more flavor it will have.
Taste the stew and add more seasonings to taste. I like to add a splash of worcestershire sauce(Kroger brand is vegan)
This stew reminds me of "Beef" stew with its hearty flavors! When you reheat it, you might need to add water since the lentils and potatoes will absorb the liquid.
I hope you enjoy this yummy vegan stew!


Saturday, August 10, 2013

Our Visit to the Farmers Market

 We decided to brave the Texas heat and venture out the the White Rock Local Market. This was our first time to attend and it was great. There were so many great things to see, that we had to walk around a few times to soak it all in. I was so caught up in enjoying myself, that I forgot to take lots of photos to share.

There were local farmers with beautiful organic produce, a lady that was selling fresh picked mushrooms ( I got two giant portobella caps for a new raw recipe I am making), Texas Olive Oil, dog treats, lavender soaps and so much more. You can check out the full list of vendors that they have here. We learned today that the "everything" market as they called it, is on the 1st and 2nd Saturday of the month. The other times it is just local farmers selling their produce, which is still awesome!

It was hard not to buy something from every booth, but I was trying to stay on budget! Here is what we did buy:

  • Lovely Portobellos from a very nice mushroom grower. It was my first purchase and I didn't see the name of her farm and I forgot to ask.
  • Yellow squash from Demase Farm  that I am going to sprialize and make raw spaghetti for a client.
  • A basket of yellow and red onions from a local organic farm. I didn't get the name of this farm either because I was so busy chatting with the lady that runs Dallas Frugal Foodie, (she helps them with their booth sometimes) We chat on facebook often, but I had never met her! 
  • Two jars of jam from In a Pickle Foods. They use only fresh local fruit, no high fructose corn syrup or pectin. It is so yummy you could eat it out of the jar. We bought peach and apple. I think I am going to make mini peach tarts.
  • A jar of Green Salsa from Cita's Salsa. It is a small family owned business, and all of their salsa was delicious and so fresh.  When she offered me a sample I told her " I will try it, but we make our own salsa". I could justify my purchase since I only make red salsa :) I would highly recommend purchasing from her.  They offer a Frequent Fire Card to encourage you to recycle the jars. For every empty jar you return, they punch your card, after 7 you get a free jar!
  • We needed something to cool off our mouth after we had Cita's habanero salsa so we enjoyed all natural Popsicles from Pop Star . I had a coconut lime and hubby had cantaloupe. It was just what we needed.
  • I am saving the best for last! You know I LOVE to cook and I was so thrilled to meet Chef Milton. He makes the most amazing gourmet salts! I added these to my large collection of spices: Smoked Atlantic Sea Salt and Pepper, Atlantic Sea Salt with Lavender, Chef Miltons all Natural Rub and of course my favorite Smoked Atlantic Sea Salt with Hatch Chili Pepper! It was really great to talk to him and share ideas. I am looking forward to adding these to my recipes.

We have an organic garden in our backyard and I know how much work goes into growing food.  I have so much respect for these farmers that brave the heat to bring fresh local produce to the community! So instead of buying your produce at the grocery store, visit a farmers market and meet the people growing the food. There is nothing better than eating veggies that have just been picked!

As an unexpected added bonus, we stopped at Natural Grocers on our way home! This was my first time and I was very impressed with the selection and prices. I wish there was one closer to my house, but we plan on making this a monthly event!

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Food for Life now offers an Employee Wellness Program

Last year I had the honor of being selected to become a Certified Food For Life Instructor for PCRM. I was so thrilled to be a part of this great organization. When I first started on a plant based diet, I attended a FFL Cooking Class, taught by Katherine Lawrence. I had been eating a vegan diet to help with the symptoms of Crohns disease for a few years.  During that first class I knew that someday I wanted to be able to share my journey with others and help educate them about the benefits of a plant based diet. I later had the opportunity to volunteer behind the scenes of several of Katherine's classes and over the years we have become great friends!

Shortly after becoming certified as an instructor, I began having complications with my Sarcoidois. The disease had spread into my lungs making it very challenging to teach classes. It has taken some time to reduce the inflammation, but I am happy to report that my lungs are clear and life is good!
 I am so thrilled that PCRM has developed the Employee Wellness Program. When I worked for the City of Bedford I was on the Wellness Committee and would have loved to had this program to offer to the city employees. In fact that will be one of the places I approach about offering this!

Information about the program:

Did you know that people with chronic health issues miss an average of 42 days of work a year. Making the right food choices is key to the prevention and survival of chronic diseases and health conditions, including cancer, diabetes, heart disease and obesity.

By offering PCRM's Food for Life: Employee Wellness Program, employers can lead the way to facilitating an office culture of health and wellness that employees can carry into their lives at home.

The program will provide you with the following:

  • Plant based nutrition education and cooking classes that include cooking demonstrations, samples of delicious dishes, and supportive group discussion 
  • Support for the companies management on incorporating affordable healthful choices in the food services
  • Resources on assessing the bio-metrics of program participants
This can be offered during a 1 hour lunch and learn session over a series of 9 weeks, or can be customized to fit your needs.

 Please contact me at if you would like more information about bringing this program to your workplace.

Monday, February 25, 2013

New vegan Meatless Products at Kroger

With all of the cooking that I do, I am at the grocery store at least 5 times a week. As much as I love Whole Foods, sometimes I just can't make it there. I am so lucky to have an amazing Kroger near my house that carries so many organic and vegan selections!

For those of you that don't shop at Kroger, they have come out with a line of products called Simple Truth and Simple Truth Organic . They are high quality and taste great! You can get organic canned beans, tomato sauce, corn, cereal, peanut butter and so much more, and they are priced very good!

Recently I discovered that they are carrying several Meatless Faux Meat options!

We don't eat these types of products very often since we try and stick to a more whole foods plant based way of eating, but I wanted to share this! These products can be a great transition food for people that are just starting a plant based diet. So many of the frozen faux meats have egg whites in them, so I carefully read the label and discovered that these are VEGAN!!! I am not sure why they didn't put vegan on the package, but from reading the ingredients, I don't see anything that is not vegan.
Meatless Patties

I purchased the Meatless Crispy Tenders since my teenage daughter loves the meatless chicken nuggets.

I cooked a few in the toaster oven to see how they taste, and I must say that they are the BEST I have ever eaten. They got crispy on the outside and the texture was very good. Sometimes these kinds of products can be very rubbery, but these are not that way. Honestly if you didn't know any better, you would think you were eating a chicken strip! I have not tried any of the others, but if they are anything like these, I am sure they are delicious.

I hope that people support them in their efforts to provide meatless and organic products so they will continue to carry them. I still love my Whole Foods and will continue to shop there, but it is so nice to be able to get great items at your local grocery store!