Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Vegan Lifestyle Links

We start with websites that support the vegan lifestyle, then add links to recipe websites we like, then equipment we use daily, then our links to learn more about vegan meat and cheese substitutes to help you transition to a whole foods, plant-based diet.

Forks Over Knives http://forksoverknives.com/ You can rent the movie there or see it on Netflix, iTunes, Amazon Video, check out of your local library. There are lots of free recipes, success stories for inspiration plus tips on making the lifestyle work for you.

Nutrition Facts NutritionFacts.org is run by a hero of the planet, Dr. Michael Greger MD who compiles and presents all of the English language research papers about nutrition and presents them in videos (usually about 2-3 minutes long) that explain the scientific evidence in lay person’s terms, citing each paper presented in his videos so you can go read the papers for yourself.

Dr. John McDougall MD drmcdougall.com practices in Santa Rosa, California and has several patients who have reversed heart disease, defeated cancers of all kinds, reversed type 2 diabetes, multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis and several other diseases. There are lots of inspiring videos of his patients describing how sick they were before adopting Dr. McDougall’s diet and how good they feel and look now. There are also free recipes and newsletters available.

Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine http://pcrm.org started by another hero of the planet, Dr. Neal Barnard MD as an association of physicians who promote a healthy plant-based whole food diet as a way of healing their patients. There are several free recipes there along with video cooking lessons. They sponsor a free 21-Day Vegan Kickstart which you can sign up for and start on the first day of each month. They’ll send you free recipes and links to videos to help keep you motivated and on track. It normally takes about no more than 14 days, up to 21 days for your tastebuds to reset and after that you won’t miss the high fat animal foods that are making you sick.

For cooking ideas, check out Happy Herbivore http://happyherbivore.com/ Lindsay Nixon is the creator of the Happy Herbivore and she’s written several books which are a good way to get started with plant-based cooking, the ingredients are mostly easy to find in your local grocery store and are not usually complicated or time consuming.

If you have Netflix look for Engine 2 Kitchen Rescue for great information about getting rid of the harmful items in your kitchen, how to shop for foods and how to prepare a few recipes. Highly recommended.

Fat Free Vegan http://blog.fatfreevegan.com created by Susan Voisin is another great website with free recipes that we make all the time.

Jeff Novick, RD, MS has videos about shopping and cooking for the vegan diet, here’s one https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PXi998JX8YM

Chef AJ http://chefajwebsite.com/index.html is fun and witty and has some really great videos in her “Healthy Living with Chef AJ” series.

Jill McKeever has super fun videos and has some amazing recipes, many using the Instant Pot, here’s her YouTube Channel https://www.youtube.com/user/SimpleDailyRecipes

You may be interested in buying an Instant Pot, it’s super versatile and Chef AJ and Jill McKeever have tons of recipes using it. This is the model we use https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00FLYWNYQ/

A high speed blender such as Vitamix or Blendtec will definitely make your life easier. We absolutely love our Vitamix! They sometimes sell Vitamix blenders at Costco, that’s where we bought ours.

Meat substitutes: you really want to read the labels on these because many companies put animal proteins into their products. There are a few that are vegan such as:

Beyond Meat http://beyondmeat.com

Field Roast http://fieldroast.com

Gardein https://gardein.com/ I think Gardein products are most or all vegan, check the label first (should say it’s vegan on the package)

“Cheeses”: Same with meats, check the ingredients to avoid animal proteins, but these are vegan:

Daiya “cheese” http://daiyafoods.com available at Whole Foods and certainly other grocery stores.

Miyoko’s Creamery Artisan Vegan Cultured Nut Products http://miyokoskitchen.com available at Whole Foods and other health food stores, spendy but fun to have around from time to time.

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Purple Sweet Potatoes

The winter solstice for us is the beginning point of our year so this year our celebration included buying a 40 pound case of organic purple sweet potatoes. We spent the rainy day pressure cooking and bagging them for freezing. For those of you who might be interested in our process, we’ve posted a few pictures.
We like the flavor of these much better than the orange flesh varieties, and there's a big nutrition bonus in this variety, they are very high in cancer fighting antioxidants. Almost anytime you see this beautiful dark purple color in a vegetable or fruit such as beets, red cabbage, blueberries, concord grapes, goji berries, blackberries, etc., it means it’s loaded with antioxidants.
40 pound case of organic purple sweet potatoes.

Potatoes before washing: notice the produce code starts with the number 9 meaning these are organically grown.

After washing in a 10% salt water solution and scrubbing the skin with a brush, then rinsing afterward. Salt water removes any pesticide residue and kills other organic toxins like E. coli and salmonella.

We cut the potatoes in half, then quarters, then cube for pressure cooking.

Cubes ready to cook.

Into the pressure cooker with 1 cup of water, cook at high pressure for 6 minutes, quick pressure release.

Drain the potatoes retaining the wonderful tasting, antioxidant rich "pot liquor" to drink later. We let the potatoes cool in a pan, then spoon into freezer storage bags, about 2 cups per bag. We plan to eat one bag of these between us every two days.

Solstice project complete. Two months worth of purple sweet potato superfood bound for the freezer.

This is our reward: Gorgeous deep purple sweet potatoes with a drizzle of maple syrup, home made pumpkin pie spice, and pecan pieces sprinkled on top, yum!

Friday, May 8, 2015

Dijon-Roasted Purple Potatoes

These wonderful potatoes are oil free crispy baked jewels! You can substitute any kind of potato but the baking time may need to be adjusted.

Dijon-Roasted Purple Potatoes


2 pounds purple potatoes
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon vegan Worchestershire sauce
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
1/4 tsp. onion powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper


Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or Silpat. Wash the potatoes, halve them length-wise and cut each half into 4 or more long wedges like steak fries, soak wedges in cold water with about a teaspoon salt for 10-15 minutes, drain and rinse, then pat dry. In a bowl whisk together the lemon juice, mustard, vegan Worchestershire sauce, garlic powder, onion powder, salt and pepper. Toss the potatoes with the Dijon mixture, then evenly spread on the prepared baking sheet. Roast for 20-30 minutes, stirring once or twice, until browned and the tines of a fork easily go through the potatoes.

Kim & Mike's Homemade Ketchup

We went through several tries to develop this near perfect ketchup recipe which is much healthier for you than store bought because there's no added bulk sugar, plus it tastes really good. The sweetness comes from our own home made date syrup. 

Kim & Mike's Homemade Ketchup

Makes about 1 cup


1 15 oz. can of organic, diced tomatoes, drained
1 Tbsp. raw apple cider vinegar
1/8 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. paprika
dash of black pepper
1/8 tsp. garlic powder
2 Tbsp. lemon juice
3 Tbsp. date syrup (recipe below)
1 6 oz. can organic tomato paste


Add all the ingredients to a small food processor or blender and blend until smooth. Store in a tightly sealed container in the refrigerator. Keeps in the refrigerator for about 1 week.

Date Syrup


1 cup (packed) pitted dates (we love Barhi or Medjool)
1 cup filtered water

Blend ingredients until smooth, store in a tightly sealed container in the refrigerator or freeze.

Saturday, April 4, 2015

Super Muesli with Super Chocolate Oat Milk

Mike and I have developed a great filling, full of energy breakfast that we eat every day. This is the most anti-inflammatory, anti-cancer, nutrient rich meal on the planet and it's not expensive to make. It’s from ingredients you can find in any grocery store and make at home ahead of time. We each eat 1/2 cup of the Muesli and about a cup of Oat Milk each day, and we also add ground flax or chia seeds or hemp seeds to the cereal before adding the milk for an extra omega-3 boost. We also top the muesli with 1 cup of fresh or thawed frozen berries. We use a combination of sweet cherries, strawberries, blueberries, blackberries and pomegranate ariels. Here are the recipes:


Super Homemade Muesli

8 cups dry rolled oats
1 oz. pecan pieces*
1 oz. walnut pieces*
4 oz. dried fruit such as raisins, goji berries, dates, currants or figs, cut into bite sized pieces if necessary

Put all ingredients into a large bowl or covered jar and stir or shake to mix thoroughly. May be stored at room temperature in a tightly sealed container.

*Substitute any raw nut/seed you like for the walnuts and/or pecans.


Super Chocolate Oat Milk

1 cup dry quick cooking or rolled oats
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 teaspoon cardamom
1/8 teaspoon powdered ginger
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1/2 cup date syrup
3 cups filtered water

Put all ingredients into a blender and blend until smooth. Store in a tightly sealed container in the refrigerator for up to a week. Shake well before using.

Makes about 1 quart

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Kim's Tofu-Cashew Mayonnaise

This recipe is the closest we've gotten to store bought vegan mayo in taste and texture. The great part about this recipe is that there is no added oil. The cashews and tofu make a smooth, creamy consistency and the chia seeds or the xanthan gum makes it thicker.

Xanthan gum can be purchased at health food stores and many larger grocery stores these days. Bob's Red Mill and others manufacture it and it's usually available in the baking goods section or buy it at online Amazon.com.

This recipe makes about 1 pint of mayo.

1 12 ounce package soft silken tofu
1/2 cup raw cashews (about 2 ounces)
3 tablespoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/8 teaspoon granulated onion powder
1 Tbsp. chia seeds (or 1/4 teaspoon xanthan gum), optional
1/4 teaspoon salt
pepper to taste


Drain water from tofu and place it and all other ingredients in a high-speed blender. Blend at highest speed until light and creamy, about 1 minute. Seal tightly and keep refrigerated. Stir before each use.

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Vegan Roasted Garlic Cashew Aioli

This is a great recipe to use as a mayonnaise substitute.  It's rich, creamy and has a wonderful tangy flavor that is a perfect addition to your favorite sandwich or as a dip for veggies with less water added, and it makes a tasty salad dressing with more water added.

We always have roasted garlic on hand for various recipes such as this one and it's easy to roast a lot at one time especially if you can buy bags of peeled garlic.  We buy peeled garlic cloves in a bag at Costco and roast a baking sheet full of them at once.  Here's how we do it: line a baking pan with parchment paper, spread garlic out in a single layer, seal the parchment paper over the top and along edges, roast in a preheated 350 degrees F oven for about 15 minutes or until garlic starts to turn brown and becomes soft. Roasted garlic keeps in the refrigerator for 2 weeks.

Using a high speed blender such as a Vitamix will make this even creamier but a regular blender or food processor will work well too, though you'll probably need to blend for longer.

Makes about 2 cups

1 heaped cup raw cashews
12 roasted garlic cloves
2 Tablespoons apple cider vinegar
2 Tablespoons lemon juice
4 teaspoons dijon mustard
1/3 cup soft silken tofu
1/4-1/2 cup water, more/less as needed
1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste

Blend cashews with roasted garlic, vinegar, juice, mustard and tofu until mixture begins to form a paste. Blend in water to achieve desired consistency. Blend in salt to taste. This will thicken somewhat as it spends time in the refrigerator.

For a fabulous variation add 1-2 teaspoons of chipotle powder or 1/2 teaspoon of canned chipotle pepper in adobo sauce, or to taste. Chipotle peppers are HOT so go easy on this unless you really like it spicy!