Tofurturkey!

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I’m a dessert girl at heart and really, I couldn’t care less when it comes to actual “meals.” This is the exception. We started by making these for Thanksgiving and calling them tofurkey. In toddler- that’s “tofurturkey.” and it’s important to use the toddler terminology here because guess what… my daughter eats these!

Now don’t worry if you’ve ever had the “pleasure” of eating tofurkey. This will NOT taste like that. The only similarity here is the name. Tofurkey (gag). I usually serve these with sweet potato, a green veggie, and cranberry sauce. It’s fabulous. These are also gluten-free, lower carb, and dairy-free/ vegan. Top that with being easy, tot-friendly, and fun (think making different shapes etc) and you’ve got a real winner.

Now I really hate these “Joy-of-Cooking” type recipes. You know, the kind where you need a recipe for one of the “ingredients” in the original recipe. By the time I make the first recipe I don’t even want to make the final dish. So just use my short cut and make a smaller amount. Why would anyone want over 1 cup of herbs? Anyways. This is yummy. Enjoy🙂

Holiday Herb Mix

This savory herb mixture is used in the Faux Turkey Breasts. It is easy to make this ahead and keep using it throughout the holiday season. Makes about 1 1/4 cups

Ingredients

  • ½ cup dried rubbed sage
  • ¼ cup dried marjoram
  • ¼ cup dried rosemary
  • ¼ cup dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Directions

  1. Stir all the ingredients in a small bowl to blend. Transfer the herbs to a glass jar and seal with the lid. The herb mixture will keep up to 1 month, stored airtight at room temperature.
  2. Note: To make a smaller batch use 2 Tbsp sage, 1 Tbsp ea of marjoram, rosemary, and thyme, and 1/4 tsp black pepper. I have used ground instead of dried spices and it still came out ok. Little stronger seasoning but still yummy.

View recipe at plantoeat.com

Faux Turkey Breasts

Source: www.huffingtonpost.com

Serves: 8

Ingredients

  • 2 (8-ounce) packages soy tempeh
  • 1 (12-ounce) container water-packed firm tofu drained
  • ⅓ cup yellow miso (white Miso works also)
  • 3 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • ¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 large onions finely chopped
  • 3 tablespoons Holiday Herb Mix
  • 1- 1 1/2 teaspoons sea salt ( I use 1 tsp)
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Directions

  1. Quarter the tempeh squares and tofu square into rectangular blocks. Using the food processor fitted with the shredding disc, shred the tempeh and tofu (the mixture will appear crumbled). Stir the miso and mustard in a small bowl to blend. Set the tempeh-tofu mixture and miso-mustard aside.
  2. Heat 1/4 cup of oil in a heavy large frying pan over medium-high heat. Add the onions and sauté for 8 minutes, or until they are translucent. Stir in the herb mix, salt, and black pepper. Then, stir in the shredded tempeh-tofu mixture and miso-mustard mixture. Sauté for 8 minutes, or until the mixture is well blended and golden brown. Set the tempeh mixture aside until cool enough to handle.
  3. Brush the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil over a heavy large baking sheet. Using your hands and about 3/4 cup of the tempeh mixture for each, shape the tempeh mixture into eight 4 to 5 inch-long oval patties that are about 3-inches wide and taper at one end to resemble chicken breasts. Arrange the patties on the prepared baking sheet. Brush more oil over the patties. The patties will keep for 2 days, covered and refrigerated.
  4. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Bake for 35 minutes, or until the patties are golden and heated through.

View recipe at plantoeat.com

These reheat well in the microwave.

Buffalo Tempeh Lettuce Wraps

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Sliced tomatoes=hot mess=get napkins and chop them next time.

Buffalo Tempeh, Avocado Lettuce Wrap with Creamy Ranch Dressing (Vegan/Gluten-free)

My hub is a picky man. You know, those meat-and-potatoes vegetarian types, content to live on Boca burgers for an eternity. Well, he looooved this recipe so I had to share it and rejoice! Today we used one package of tempeh, 1 (slightly bruised and picked apart) avocado, and 1 tomato, which served 2 of us but left us hungry. He got 3 wraps and I got 2. Next time I’m doubling the tempeh. It’s an excellent source of protein and SO YUMMY. It’s just spicy enough, very refreshing, and quick. The “work” of this recipe can all be done a night ahead. I even made the dressing the night before and it was fine. Of course, I forgot to add blue cheese (who forgets blue cheese when you’re having buffalo anything??? Someone who has been a vegetarian for 15 years. Doh.). Hub doesn’t like blue cheese anyway but I will add some next time. It didn’t need it though. So try this, you’ll like it. My picky hub said he’d eat it TWICE a week.

Source: tastykitchen.com (This version uses tortillas)

Prep Time:
1 Hr

Cook Time:
10 Min

Serves: 2

Ingredients

  • FOR THE TEMPEH:
  • 250 grams Tempeh (one package)
  • 1 pinch Salt
  • 1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
  • _____
  • FOR THE MARINADE:
  • 12 cups Vegetable Broth
  • 14 cups Hot Sauce
  • 1 Tablespoon Oil
  • 2 Tablespoons Soy Sauce
  • 3 Tablespoons Lemon Juice
  • 2 cloves Garlic, Minced
  • 14 teaspoons Paprika
  • 1 pinch Salt And Pepper
  • _____
  • FOR THE DRESSING:
  • 12 cups Vegan Mayonnaise
  • 2 Tablespoons Milk Alternative (I used coconut milk)
  • 1 teaspoon Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 1 clove Garlic, Minced
  • 1 whole Green Onion chopped
  • 12 teaspoons Dried Parsley
  • 14 teaspoons Dried Dill
  • 18 teaspoons Salt And Pepper
  • _____
  • FOR THE ASSEMBLY:
  • 4 Romaine Lettuce or Tortillas
  • 1-2 whole Avocados, Sliced
  • 1 whole Tomatoes, Chopped

Directions

  1. Bring a medium pot of water to boil with a pinch of salt and the tempeh. Boil tempeh for 30 minutes (this helps take any bitterness out of the tempeh).
  2. While this is boiling, whisk all marinade ingredients together.
  3. When it’s done, remove it from the water and slice tempeh into 1/4 inch strips, and place in a shallow dish (I got about 10 strips). Pour marinade ingredients over-top, allowing it to marinate for at least 1 hour (the more, the better). I did overnight.
  4. Heat 1 Tablespoon of olive oil in a large frying pan, over medium heat. Pan fry tempeh strips for 4 minutes on each side. Leave the fried strips in the pan and pour the remaining marinade over the tempeh strips, and allow sauce to reduce until the tempeh soaks the majority of it up (about 5-10 minutes).
  5. For the ranch dressing, blend all ingredients together in a food processor or blender until smooth. Set aside.
  6. To serve, place a few strips of warm tempeh into the centre of a leaf. Pile on a generous amount of toppings (avocados and tomatoes), drizzle with ranch dressing, roll up and enjoy!

View recipe at plantoeat.com

GF CARROT CAKE!!!

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This is my first attempt at modifying a recipe to make it low sugar/low glycemic. It’s only fitting that it should be carrot cake. It’s funny how our tastes change as we age. My dad always loved carrot cake (funny, because he doesn’t even like vegetables) and I thought it was gross (I was one of those kids who doesn’t like lumps or bumps  in my food). I craved this cake for months while I was pregnant. This developed into a dangerous addiction. A carrot cake cupcake was my only request after giving birth! Seriously, I could eat carrot cake all day. Stay tuned for a cream cheese frosting that will go well with this. I haven’t found the perfect one yet but (I hate to say this because I loooooove frosting) this cake doesn’t really need frosting. It’s yummy by itself. I ate it for breakfast this morning without guilt🙂 And the best part is- it’s low sugar but NOT filled with artificial sweeteners. You can give it to the kids!

Gluten-free Carrot Cake

This is my modification of the carrot cake recipe from Gluten Free Fix.

Original Source: glutenfreefix.com (she does a version with honey)

Ingredients

  • 14 cup coconut oil melted (but not too hot)
  • 14 cup coconut sugar
  • 12 tsp liquid stevia
  • 2 eggs at room temperature
  • 18 cup applesauce unsweetened preferred
  • 1 cup finely grated carrots
  • 12 cup crushed pineapple canned is fine
  • 12 cup almond flour, packed
  • 14 cup coconut flour, packed
  • 12 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 12 teaspoon baking soda
  • 14 teaspoon salt
  • 12 cup chopped pecans (or walnuts)

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. Whisk dry ingredients to get out lumps.
  3. Whisk together oil, coconut sugar, stevia, applesauce, and eggs. Be careful not to scramble your eggs when adding oil.
  4. Stir in carrots and pineapple.
  5. Whisk in dry ingredients, making sure you get out all the lumps.
  6. Stir in nuts.
  7. Pour batter into greased 8×8 baking dish.
  8. Bake for 45-50 minutes. You’ll know it’s done when the top starts to crack and the bright orange color cooks away. Testing it with a toothpick will not indicate doneness. It will still be softer than your average cake when it’s done.
  9. Cool completely before icing.
  10. Top with your favorite cream cheese frosting (or not). It’s glorious. Enjoy!

View recipe at plantoeat.com

Simple Meal Planning - Plan to Eat

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Nutballs!

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Making drastic dietary changes has left me spending more time in the kitchen and drastically neglecting the blog. But I survived Thanksgiving and remained gluten-free! Kicking the wheat habit has left me asking myself, “what do I eat???” This all started after getting lost on the interweb and stumbling upon the mention of a book, Wheat Belly. I saw it in a forum and the writer had this attitude that made me think I must be the only person in the universe who hasn’t read this book. Boy, that did it. I felt stupid. So, within minutes, I had to read it (thank you kindle app).

Česky: Pšenice. Deutsch: Weizen. English: Whea...

The Culprit.

I had been on the verge of a health breakthrough for a while. The “Aha moment” was when I tracked my calories and noticed I was getting a day’s worth of sugar in my breakfast alone!!! Keep in mind, this was not fruit loops here. I was making homemade banana chocolate chip protein bars with oats, yogurt, and soy protein. What could be bad about that? They had a little flour in them and sure, brown sugar…. and chocolate chips… (but they were dark chocolate so that’s good, right? Anyway, it turns out there was something bad about that. The following day I gave up wheat. It’s one convincing book!!! As I got further in, however, I wasn’t sure I liked what I was reading. Giving up wheat was a BIG DEAL. I bake. I used to bake well, when I used white wheat flour. Now this guy (a cardiologist), wants me to give up sugar too! SUGAR!!!! That’s like asking my baby to give up breast milk! And what’s the alternative? Splenda? Artificial crap I would never ingest? Cancer? Forget it.

But I keep reading because I’m a sucker. So then I get hit with it. (I’m the one who never sees it coming). This is a low-carb diet!!!!! Dun dun dun… This guy got his foot in the door by telling me all I had to do was give up wheat to drop weight, feel better, have no more cravings, better sleep, better skin, better cardiac health, less chance of diabetes, and a great energy level. Bastard. I won’t get into the extreme details, but the diet is based on the glycemic index. Today’s wheat is genetically modified to the extent that eating whole grains is actually BAD for you. It can raise your blood sugar more than eating a Snickers bar.

Back to the question of the hour… What can I eat???? For about a month I tried some of the recipes in Wheat Belly. I was hungry most of the time. But you have to consider I’m still nursing an 8 month-old so hunger pangs happen. I ate a lot of strange meals like scrambled eggs with cucumbers and hummus and a bowl of almonds on the side. I lost weight though and in the first few days I realized that all of a sudden my fibromyalgia pain was GONE. So now I’m hooked. I started experimenting with almond and coconut flour and avoiding the processed gluten-free baking mixes (these extra starches will have the same effect as flour in terms of making you fat), and experimenting with different sweeteners. Oh and along the way… I un-vegetarianed myself. I made the decision that eliminating my pain is more important at this time in my life. I’ve been a vegetarian for 15 years. I have certainly done my part.

After a month of cutting wheat and sugar (and losing 6 lbs. with barely any exercise), I am starting to actually watch my carbs (while trying to only eat meat once daily) and work out more. The hardest part of this journey so far has been figuring out what’s for dinner with a very picky vegetarian husband and toddler who only eats bread. Finding good snacks is a challenge as well. So here’s a snack recipe…

Nutballs!

Makes 15-20 snack balls

Ingredients:

1/4 C Peanuts (dry roasted, unsalted)

1/4 C Raw Almonds

1/4 C Walnuts

1/4 C Pecans

1/4 C Peanut Butter

1/8 C Coconut (unsweetened)

1 tsp. Coconut Oil, melted

dash of salt

1/4 tsp. liquid stevia

1 Tbsp. coconut sugar (optional)

3 Tbsp. Almond flour (also called almond meal- it’s just fine ground almonds)

Flaxseed meal

Directions: Grind all the nuts in a food processor. Add other ingredients except flaxseed. Roll into balls. If they seem too sticky, add more almond flour. Roll the balls into flaxseed and freeze them. You could also cover them in coconut, a cocoa powder and coconut sugar mixture, cinnamon sugar, or (call me nuts) NUTS! Of course they’d also make great fillings for some healthy-ish truffles.

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Ricotta Pizza

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Tomato slices.

Image via Wikipedia

Here’s a great gluten-free “pizza” recipe. It’s not very filling, so you will need to serve a salad or something. It tastes kinda like lasagna. We don’t do a lot of mushrooms around here so we top it with fresh sliced tomatoes or those marinated tomatoes they have at Wegman’s. Believe it or not, the Wegman’s tomatoes were better than fresh but they are quite oily so try to drain them or pat them with a paper towel first. I didn’t and ended up with VERY messy pizza. This is super quick and can be made with baby in hand🙂 Enjoy!

Ricotta Pizza

This soft crustless pizza recipe is high in protein and full of great taste! Awesome for those looking for soft foods and also great for those looking for a low-fat, high protein alternative to regular pizza.

Source: www.food.com

Cuisine:Italian

Ingredients

  • 2 eggs
  • 1 (32 ounce) container ricotta cheese
  • 1 tablespoon italian seasoning
  • 2 cups mozzarella cheese
  • 1 sliced mushrooms or your fav topping
  • 1 (8 ounce) jar pizza sauce

Directions

  1. 1 Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. 2 Spray a 9″ x 13″ baking dish with non-stick cooking spray.
  3. 3 Mix eggs, seasoning and ricotta together and smooth into baking dish.
  4. 4 Pour pizza sauce on top and spread evenly.
  5. 5 Cover with mushrooms, cheese and any other ingredients you might wish to add.
  6. 6 Bake for 30-45 minutes at 350 degrees until ricotta sets up.

View recipe at plantoeat.com

*Favorite* Sweet Potato Black Bean Chili

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Ipomoea batatas, Convolvulaceae, Sweet Potato,...

This is the recipe I am asked for most frequently. This is a mild, kid-friendly chili. I do find the flavor is better when using freshly made beans (I do mine in the crock pot then freeze them). If you are using canned, you may want to use slightly less salt. I’ll be making this later in the week with some frozen beans. The best things about this recipe are 1) few ingredients, 2) enough for leftovers (this is a big one in our house), 3)cooking is mostly unattended. Yes, the chopping takes a while. I HATE CHOPPING STUFF. But it’s worth it. Keep in mind, the sweet potatoes won’t cook well if you don’t chop them uniformly. Nothing worse than a raw potato in an otherwise perfect dish😦. We serve this like any normal chili, with a little cheese and sour cream. Enjoy!

Sweet Potato and Black Bean Chili

Source: recipes.sparkpeople.com

Serves: 6

Ingredients

  • 1 Tbsp. Canola Oil
  • 2 Med. Yellow Onions(Chopped)
  • 1 Tbsp. Chili Powder
  • 1 Tsp. Ground Cumin
  • 2 Cup Veg. Broth
  • 4 Small- Med. Sweet Potatoes(Peeled and Cubed)
  • 1 (28oz) Can Diced Tom.
  • 2 (15oz.) Cans Black Beans(Drained and Rinsed) * or about 3 cups
  • 12 Tsp. Salt
  • 1 Tsp. Crumbled Dried Oregano

Directions

  1. Heat the oil in a large skillet, saucepan or dutch oven. Add onions and cook until soft over medium heat (about 5 min). Add the chili powder and cumin. Cook for another minute or so.
  2. Add veg. broth and the sweet potatoes. When boiling, reduce the heat to low and cook covered until the potatoes are almost tender (about 10 minutes).
  3. Add the tomatoes with all the juice from the can, the drained and rinsed beans, salt, and oregano. Bring to a boil over medium heat, then let simmer until potatoes are completely tender (about 20 minutes).
  4. Then get a big bowl and spoon cause you’re gonna love it!!!

View recipe at plantoeat.com

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My new addiction

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Here’s what I just ate:

I am ADDICTED to this dip. At first I was skeptical too, but just try it. I eat it with apples (Mmmmm… honeycrisps) but it would be great with strawberries also. The recipe claims it would be good with bananas, but I don’t eat fresh bananas so I won’t make any claims about that. You can also make this with a sugar substitute and with fat-free cream cheese and reduced fat peanut butter. It is a very adaptable recipe.

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Peanut Butter Cream Cheese Dip (low fat)

Original Source: recipes.sparkpeople.com

Course: Desserts

Serves: 16

Ingredients

  • 12 cup peanut butter
  • 8 oz package reduced fat cream cheese
  • 4 tbsp brown sugar (add more or less according to personal taste)
  • 14 cup fat free soy milk (vanilla flavored, or just use cow’s milk with extra vanilla extract)
  • 1 tsp real vanilla extract

Directions

  1. Soften cream cheese at room temperature.
  2. Mix all ingredients until light and creamy. An immersion blender is great for this.
  3. You can add more soy milk to make creamier if desired.
  4. One serving is about 2 tablespoons (but who eats that little, really?)
  5. Serve with sliced apples or bananas