Thursday, August 21, 2014

Raspberry Peach Banana Chia Seed Pudding (DF, GF)

This was SOOOOO  good.  My co-workers also liked this !!  I am trying to make chia pudding on a regular basis - it is GREAT to satisfy a sweet tooth !!!   Eat it as a snack or for dessert.  

This is a GREAT way to eat more chia seeds, which are high in fiber, Omega-3 fatty acids, calcium, manganese, phosphorus, and protein.

5 Tbsp Chia Seeds (I use Bob's Red Mill)
1/2 cup frozen raspberries, slightly thawed
1 and 1/2 cup frozen peaches, slightly thawed
2 bananas

Blend the peaches, raspberries, and banana in a blender until smooth.

Put all the ingredients into a glass jar with tight fitting lid and stir or shake until well combined.   

Then refrigerate for a few hours or overnight (shake or stir occasionally).

Estimated Nutritional Value per serving based on 4 servings:  Calories 122,  Total Fat 3.4g, Cholesterol 0mg,  Sodium 1mg, Carbs 25.1g, Fiber 6.8g, Sugars 13g, Protein 3.2g

But you must resist the devil and stay strong in your faith...... 
1 Peter 5:9 (CEV)

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Molasses Peanut Butter Raisin Bran Muffins - Wheat Flour

I thought these were DELICIOUS - as did my taste testers.  I liked the raisins from the cereal.   Everyone LOVED the  strong molasses flavor. 

Adapted from this recipe and  this recipe .

1 and 1/2 cups whole wheat flour (I use Bob's Red Mill Whole Wheat Flour )
1 and 1/2 cups Raisin Bran cereal
1 and 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 cup Sucanat   (or brown sugar) (I use Barry Farm Sucanat)
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp allspice
2 Tbsp Ground Flaxseed (I use Bob's Red Mill)
1 tsp vanilla extract
2/3 cup molasses
1/4 cup peanut butter
1/3 cup unsweetened applesauce 
2 large very ripe bananas, mashed  (if your bananas are smaller, you will probably need to increase the liquid by 2-4 Tbsp)

Mix the vanilla, molasses, peanut butter, applesauce, and bananas 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.   Bake at 350 degrees for about 20-25 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 Pan,Casabella 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 !!!

Estimated Nutritional Value per muffin based on 12 muffins:  Calories  206, Total Fat  3.4g, Cholesterol 0mg,  Sodium 115mg, Carbs 41.5g, Fiber 2.9g, Sugars 19.3g, Protein  4g

Be on your guard and stay awake.  Your enemy, the devil, is like a roaring lion, sneaking around to find someone to attack.   
1 Peter 5:8  (CEV)

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Sweet Potato Spinach Tofu Scramble (DF, GF)

I think these are MUCH better if the package of tofu is frozen first.  Just make sure to take it out of the freezer in advance so it will be thawed when you are ready to make these.

I combined my 2 favorite scramble recipes: my spinach scramble and my sweet potato scramble .

The sweet potato adds a nice flavor to the tofu scramble.

1 cup chopped veggies of your choice (I use bell peppers and onion)
1-10 oz package of frozen spinach, thawed and drained
1 cup chopped sweet potato 
1 pkg firm or extra firm tofu (water packed), drained and squeezed dry
1/2 tsp turmeric
1/2 tsp garlic salt
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp black pepper
1 tsp dried mustard powder
2 Tbsp Nutritional Yeast Flakes (optional)
1/4 cup coconut bacon (optional)

Drain the package of tofu and squeeze to get out as much water as possible.  

Cook the sweet potato in the microwave for a couple minutes to soften.  Then cut the sweet potato into chunks and add to pan.

I actually cook the veggies in the pan with a little water to soften them and slightly caramelize them - before adding the tofu .

Then crumble the tofu and add to the veggies in the pan.  Add all spices.

Add the coconut bacon when the scramble is almost done.

Cook over medium-low heat until they are the consistency you like.  I happen to like mine on the drier side (because I usually put ketchup on them !!!).  

In all the work you are doing, work the best you can.  Work as if you were doing it for the Lord, not for people.
Colossians 3:23 (NCV)

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Giveaway - Bob's Red Mill Gluten Free Scottish Oatmeal

I LOVE Bob's Red Mill products and use them on a regular basis.  I use Bob's Red Mill Gluten Free Flours, Arrowroot Powder, Whole Wheat Flour, Bulgur, Chia Seeds, Flaxseed, Oat Bran, Potato Starch, Quinoa, Steel Cut Oats, Sunflower Seeds, Tapioca Starch, Vital Wheat Gluten, Rye Flour, Cornmeal and I'm sure I've forgotten some !!!!  

All Bob's Red Mill products are high quality - I have NEVER been disappointed in any of their products I have tried.  They take pride in making sure they provide the highest quality products available to their customers.  This is reflected  in their effort to meet with their farmers to ensure they provide the best grains possible, and that the farmers are using good farming practices.  

I am SOOOOOOOOOOO excited to be able to offer this giveaway !!!!!  I was THRILLED when Bob's Red Mill gave me this opportunity.  

This is the FIRST time I have tried Bob's Red Mill Scottish Oatmeal.  I have to admit I was a little skeptical at first.  The oatmeal is very fine and I expected the overnight oats to come out mushy.  It was DELICIOUS.  I think the Caramel Overnight Oats made with the Scottish Oatmeal is my new favorite overnight oats recipe !!  Then I didn't know how it would be in snack balls.  I thought it might be too fine.  But again, I was pleasantly surprised.  The oatmeal isn't as big as old-fashioned oats or even quick oats, but it tasted GREAT in the snack balls.  In fact, they were a BIG hit among my taste testers !!!!  

Scottish Oatmeal   - Oatmeal originated in Scotland centuries ago and was different from our modern rolled oats.  Bob's Red Mill Gluten Free Scottish Oatmeal is produced in the same old fashioned way.  The result is a surprisingly unique and flavorful cereal.  

Check out the recipes I made using Bob's Red Mill Scottish Oatmeal:

Now - for details of the giveaway !!!!

Bob's Red Mill is offering this product to ONE (1) LUCKY winner !!!  This giveaway is open to US and Canada residents.  

See below to enter the giveaway.  This giveaway will end on August 27,  2014.  I will pick the winner on August 28, 2014 and send an email.  I will also post the winner's name on the blog.

Giveaway - Bob's Red Mill Scottish Oatmeal

Continue praying, keeping alert, and always thanking God.
Colossians 4:2  (NCV)

Monday, August 11, 2014

Molasses Coconut Oat Peanut Butter Balls (GF)

These have a crunch from the corn flakes and a strong peanut butter  flavor.  All my taste testers LOVED these....they thought they were delicious.  Two of my taste testers thought these tasted like peanut butter cups !!!!

Comments from my taste testers:  LOVE the peanut butter flavor, along with the chocolate flavor.  Like the crunch from the corn flakes (nice texture to the balls).   Of course like the coconut in the balls. 

My dad, aunt and niece all LOVED these balls also.  Everyone has liked the crunch and texture of the cereal in the balls.

Adapted from this recipe.

3 Tbsp molasses
3/4 to 1 cup oats (I used Bob's Red Mill Scottish Oatmeal )
3/4 cup unsweetened shredded coconut   (I use Tropical Traditions  )
1 cup natural peanut butter
3/4 cup corn flakes cereal, crushed
1 cup chopped dates 
3 Tbsp almond milk

Blend dates and almond milk in blender until desired texture.  I keep some date chunks left - it gives the balls a chewier texture.

Then combine all ingredients in a bowl and mix together.

Form into balls and put in freezer to firm up.  Each day these balls tend to get more flavorful.  I actually stored them in the freezer.  

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

Estimated Nutritional Value per ball based on  40 balls:  Calories  79, Total Fat 4.5g, Cholesterol 0mg,  Sodium 8mg, Carbs 7.9g, Fiber 1.2g, Sugars 4.2g, Protein 2.5g

so that it is no longer I who live, but it is Christ who lives in me.  This life that I live now, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave his life for me.
Galatians 2:20 (GNT)

If you order by clicking on any of my Tropical Traditions links and have never ordered from Tropical Traditions in the past, you will receive a free book on Virgin Coconut Oil, and I will receive a discount coupon for referring you.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Caramel Overnight Oats (DF, GF)

I modified my recipe for Chocolate Coconut Overnight Oats  to come up with this recipe. 

This was SOOOO good.  I think this is my favorite overnight oats recipe.

1/2 cup oats (I used Bob's Red Mill Scottish Oatmeal )
1 tsp caramel extract (I use OliveNation)
1 tsp Ground Flaxseed (I use Bob's Red Mill)
2 tsp unsweetened cocoa powder  (I use Hershey's)
2 to 3 Tbsp peanut butter (no sugar)
1 tsp Chia Seeds (I use Bob's Red Mill)
3/4 to 1 cup water or unsweetened almond milk
2 Tbsp unsweetened shredded coconut  (I use Tropical Traditions  )
3 dates, VERY finely chopped

Put all the ingredients into a jar with tight fitting lid and shake until well combined.  I use an "old" 16-oz glass peanut butter jar.  Then refrigerate overnight or for a few nights.  I had mine sit in the fridge for 4 nights and it was delicious the morning I ate it for breakfast. 

Warm up in the microwave for about 90 seconds or eat cold.

Estimated Nutritional Value per serving based on 1 serving:  Calories 554,  Total Fat  30.8g, Cholesterol 0mg,  Sodium  335mg, Carbs  60g, Fiber  13g, Sugars  19.9g, Protein 17.3g

Strengthen yourselves so that you will live here on earth doing what God wants,  not the evil things people want.
 Peter 4:2 (NCV)

If you order by clicking on any of my Tropical Traditions links and have never ordered from Tropical Traditions in the past, you will receive a free book on Virgin Coconut Oil, and I will receive a discount coupon for referring you.

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Double Chocolate Mint Muffins - Wheat Flour

These are REALLY good...they have a nice mint flavor - not too strong.  The chocolate chips are a nice addition.  They have a rich chocolate flavor.  I took these to a brunch and everyone thought they were GREAT....there were none to bring home !!!  Always a good sign !!!

1 and 1/4 cups whole wheat flour (I used Bob's Red Mill Whole Wheat Flour )
1/4 cup Sucanat   (or brown sugar) (I use Barry Farm for Sucanat)
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (I use Hershey's)
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda

1/8 tsp salt
1/2 cup vegan chocolate chips (I broke up a chocolate bar)
3/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
3/4 cup unsweetened almond milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 tsp Peppermint Extract (I use Nielsen-Massey)
2 large very ripe bananas, mashed  (if your bananas are smaller, you will probably need to increase the liquid by 2-4 Tbsp)

Mix applesauce, milk, vanilla, peppermint, and mashed bananas 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 20-25 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 !!!

Estimated Nutritional Value per muffin based on 10 muffins:  Calories 129,  Total Fat  1.5g, Cholesterol 0mg,  Sodium  113mg, Carbs 27g, Fiber 2.6g, Sugars 10.2g, Protein  2.7g

My prayer is that light will flood your hearts and that you will understand the hope that was given to you when God chose you.  Then you will discover the glorious blessings that will be yours together with all of God's people.
Ephesians 1:18 (CEV)

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Microwave Baked Apples (GF)

This makes a nice, quick, easy and delicious dessert.

2 medium to large apples
2 Tbsp brown sugar or maple syrup or date syrup/paste
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
2 Tbsp raisins
2 tsp water

Wash the apples and remove most of the core (leaving about 1/4" at the bottom).

Cut off a thin layer at the top of the apples.

Fill the center of each apple with the sweetener of choice, cinnamon, and raisins.  Add the water on top of the filling.

Cook uncovered, in the microwave on high for 5 to 8 minutes, or until tender when pierced with a fork.

Let stand 5 minutes before serving.

Don't worry about anything; instead, pray about everything.  Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he  has done.
Philippians 4:6 (NLT)

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Interview with Attila Hildmann - German Vegan Cookbook Author

I was thrilled when approached to do an email interview with German bestselling author and celebrity chef, Attila Hildmann.  Attila is a self-taught chef and Germany’s most famous vegan chef.  He is the author of several  bestselling cookbooks including his newest cookbooks  Vegan for Fit - Attila Hildmann's 30-Day Challenge  and  Vegan for Fun. Attila lives in Berlin.

I hope you enjoy the interview and sample recipes !

 When did you become vegan ?

That was 14 years ago, back in 2000. Back then I could never have imagined that I would stay a vegan for longer than a couple of days. 

What made you decide to become a vegan?

In 2000 my father died of a heart attack. The tragedy made me think about cholesterol. The foods that contain it are all animal based. So I cut them out and it worked for me. I've lost 77 pounds and my cholesterol level went down to a normal level. 

How hard was it for you to change to a vegan diet ?

Damn hard! After a couple of days on a vegan diet I felt terrible because I didn't know what to eat. I was hungry and had huge cravings. So out of desperation I started cooking and developing recipes. Now it's so easy that even after 14 years I won't go back to eating meat. 

Is there one specific vegan person that inspired you after you decided to become vegan ?

Not really. I do my own thing. When it comes to cooking, Jamie Oliver certainly inspired me, even though he is not vegan. 

You believe that eating vegan 1 or 2 days a week will considerably improve one’s health - why is that ?

It's the most anti-oxidant rich diet that's out there. Anti-oxidants are substances that protect your body from free radicals and aging. Plant-based foods are also cholesterol free, that makes them heart friendly and some of them contain molecules that are even able to fight cancer, like EGCG from matcha green. 

What are the benefits by eating vegan some of the time ?

Every little step helps. If you try out my Vegan for Fit 30 day challenge you will lose weight easily and eat delicious meals without feeling hungry. If you would go back to eating steak after the challenge, that's perfectly fine with me. You could also try to eat vegan once a week, that's also great for your health. 

What types of food do you recommend eating on a vegan diet ? Mostly fruits and vegetables ?

Mostly vegetables, legumes, green leafy veggies, some fruits and lots of green tea. I am a Matcha green tea junkie ;) 

Do you eat vegan 100% of the time ?

Yes I do, but I am easy on others. Everyone should eat what he or she wants. 

What is your favorite vegan recipe ?

My Spaghetti Bolognese recipe, it won on TV against a star chef's veal bolognese! 

Do you have advice for how to grocery shop when following a vegan diet ?

Just take your time and go to Whole Foods and buy basic ingredients. You won't regret spending some money on your body‘s fuel. 

Do you have any tips for eating for those vegans that are on-the-go ?

Prepare food in advance and try to find easy recipes. My books like Vegan For Fun and Vegan For Fit are packed with easy to-go recipes with short ingredient lists.  I also snack on fresh fruits when I am on the road or eat a handful of nuts. 

Do you have any great vegan snack ideas ?

I love vegan sandwiches and quinoa and noodle salads. It's so easy if you know how to do it. 

Do you have any delicious recipes that people would not know were vegan ?

You can make delicious Spaghetti Carbonara Sauce with a white almond butter sauce.  Nobody will be able to tell it’s not dairy ☺ 

What is your 30 day vegan challenge ?

Vegan for Fit is the No. 1 diet in Europe right now, millions have been successful with it. It’s a very easy 30-day program for losing weight and getting in shape. It's incredibly effective, and the cool thing is the people aren't hungry while they are doing it! There's no suffering! During these 30 days you can eat delicious meals and you don‘t have the feeling that you're missing anything. Part of the book is also a very simple fitness program. No gym, no club, nothing to be afraid of! That's what makes it different from other diets. I tested the program on a hundred people. These 100 people lost a total of 1000 lbs in 30 days, an average of 10 lbs per person. That's incredible. And this is why I've sold 750,000 books in Germany in the past two years. Vegan for Fit was Number 1 of the Amazon bestseller list because people like doing it . It's fun, it's effective, it's easy! 

Will a person have to go hungry on the 30 day vegan challenge ?

No, absolutely not. That's what makes it so special and successful. You will feel totally satisfied. 

How successful have people been who have done the challenge ?

About 95% have been successful when they tried the challenge. Many got inspired to eat organic, do sports and live a healthier life. 

What type of food or equipment is needed for the 30 day vegan challenge ? 

Not much, just basic cooking supplies like a frying pan, a stove, a pot,  and a blender.

What are your thoughts about the cost of food when following a  vegan diet ?  I’ve heard many people comment that it is expensive to buy food for a vegan diet.

That might be the first impression but if you cook with basic ingredients like veggies, legumes and grains you will certainly eat less expensive! It's just a question of know how. Many people on earth are forced to eat vegan because veggies and grains are the cheapest ingredients. 

Do you want to tell us about any of your books ?

I put my whole soul and knowledge into Vegan For Fit and Fun. You can buy them on  ( Vegan for Fit - Attila Hildmann's 30-Day Challenge  and  Vegan for Fun  ) -  you won't regret it. They have fantastic food pics, easy-to-follow and tasty recipes, a workout schedule and motivational chapters. That's what made them so successful in Europe. In 2013, I  sold more books in Germany, Austria and Switzerland than Jamie Oliver. 

If someone could buy only 1 of your books, which one would you  recommend and why ?

Vegan For Fit, no question about it! You will love it! :)

THANKS Attila for the FUN interview and recipes !!!!!

Now, Attila was VERY kind and is sharing 2 of his recipes with us !!!
Chocolate Croissants from Vegan for Fit and Coconut Chocolate Bars from Vegan for Fun.

Chocolate Croissants and Quick Strawberry Jam

for approx. 4 croissants
1 pkg. frozen organic whole grain or classic puff pastry sheets (10. 5 ounces or 300 g, 6 pastry squares)
3.5 ounces dark chocolate (100 g) (50% cocoa)

For One Jar Strawberry Jam
(9 ounces or 250 g):
2 1/4 cups strawberries (250 g)
1/2 teaspoon agar agar
6 1/2 tablespoons agave syrup (100 mL)

Preparation time: 
20 minutes plus 30 minutes thawing time, 
15 minutes bake time,
and 30 minutes cooling time

Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C). Let the puff pastry thaw for about 30 minutes. Place 3 pastry squares on top of each other and use a rolling pin to thinly roll them out into a rectangle that is 12 x 6 inches or 30 x 15 cm. Do the same for the other 3 pastry squares. Cut both large rectangles
diagonally so that you end up with triangles.  Coarsely chop the dark chocolate with a knife.

Sprinkle the chocolate on the shorter sides—leaving a little space free on the edges—of the pastry triangles, and then roll each one up from the long side to the tip. Place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and bake in a hot oven approx. 15 minutes. 

If you want less work, you can fill and roll up the puff pastry right out of the box, but then you’ll end up with funny looking mini croissants.  They’ll still taste good, though.

 For the strawberry jam, wash, clean, and finely purée the strawberries.  Combine the agar agar with 1 tablespoon water and add this mixture to the strawberries. Boil the strawberries 5 minutes while stirring, sweeten with agave syrup as desired, and let cool 30 minutes. The jam can be stored in the refrigerator for 1–2 days.

Coconut Chocolate Bars

Ingredients for 10 bars

Coconut Bars:
10 cups coconut flakes (300 g)
1/4 cup agave syrup (60 g)
1 pinch iodized sea salt
1/2 cup coconut milk cream from 1 can of coconut milk (90 g)

Chocolate Coating:
4 ounces cocoa butter (120 g)
1/2 cup white almond butter (120 g)
1/2 cup organic cocoa (60 g)
1/4 cup agave syrup (60 g)
1 pinch iodized sea salt
4 pinches ground vanilla

Preparation time: approx. 30 minutes
plus approx. 15 minutes cooling time

Grind the coconut flakes in a blender until they are medium fine. Mix together with the remaining ingredients for the bars with a fork. Shape the mixture together with your hands into 10 chocolate bars. Place the bars onto a plate lined with parchment paper and let stand in the freezer for 10 minutes.

For the chocolate coating, melt the cocoa butter over a water bath. Remove from heat and fold in the remaining ingredients for the coating with a whisk. 

Take the coconut bars out of the freezer and place them on a wire rack. Put a piece of parchment paper under the rack. Spoon the chocolate mixture onto
the bars, coating all sides of the bars by using the back of a spoon or a brush. Make the wave form in the chocolate bars using the back of a spoon. 

Put the bars back into the freezer for another 5 minutes on a piece of parchment paper. After that, the bars are ready to snack on. It’s best to store them in the refrigerator.

Coconut Chocolate Bars
AH! “It’s important that you don’t confuse coconut milk cream with
coconut oil. What the recipe calls for is the coconut milk cream that
separates out and rises to the top of organic coconut milk, and not
the more transparent coconut oil, which you can buy in jars and use
for frying. In conventional coconut milk, the cream doesn’t separate out
because chemical additives such as emulsifiers are used to make sure
that everything remains liquid.”

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