Hazelnut Cranberry Roast En Croute

Wow this Field Roast is good!  Even my carnivore dad said it was “amazing!”  Then we were talking with my sister on the phone and he told her how much he enjoyed it.  Yummy for vegans and carnivores — make this for your next Sunday night dinner with roasted potatoes, onions, asparagus, and warm mushroom gravy like we did!

Happy New Year!  A mentor I’ve worked with, Christine Kane, says we should lose the New Year’s Resolutions and focus on the BE in our life.  Resolutions are DO-HAVE-BE,  “I will DO this thing, so I can HAVE this other thing, and then I can BE this thing.”  The best order for creating positive change in our life is the BE-DO-HAVE model.  I learned this many years ago with LifeSpring/WorldWorks transformational training and Christine reminded me that when you start from BE the DO and HAVE follow more easily.  My friend Diana Penning pointed out to me that our Grad School Alma Matter starts with the motto, “To Be” — another touchstone that BE is the right path.

Christine recommends a better ritual for the new year — choosing a word that will guide us throughout the year.  She gives the example of a resolution to get organized — instead, chose the word Release.  Release inspires us in a bigger way than get organized.  As we come from a Release perspective we understand that we’re holding on to more than just physical clutter — resentment or extra weight that are affecting our health.

This year I’m going to BE the word Effortlessness.  2014 was a very difficult year for me — getting laid off and now at the five month mark of not being able to find another position.  I didn’t really mind losing that job because it was not challenging  and I wasn’t listened to when two bad decisions were made.  These mistakes eventually caused the failure I foretold and my team and I suffered.  Plus, my husband travels so often I get lonely and depressed.  These circumstances have had me feeling a lack of purpose and as a result too many things take so much effort that I give up or don’t even start.  Exercise, cluttered garage, endless weeding, job searching, even getting out of bed some days.  If I approach everything effortlessly I will then do what needs to be done and have what is vital for my growth and overall health.

On another note, it’s been a tough year but also a great one!  I’ve finally let go of some negativity I’ve been holding onto for years — as I near 50 I now get that resentment is only hurting me!  I have found closure and true peace and it’s quite cathartic.  I’ve engaged in some volunteer work that has been very rewarding and I have an amazing husband — he does travel often but it just makes the time we’re together all that more sweet!  I love creating healthy vegan meals for us and of course writing about it in this blog!  We’ve had many visitors from family and friends this year and I’ve captured wonderful memories, plus there is always the beach — just watching the sunset there makes everything better.

Christine has created a word self discovery tool, go to this link to request your free copy! http://christinekane.com/word/

What will your word be?

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Turmeric Juice

I’ve mentioned the many benefits of turmeric in this blog a few times before so I won’t review now but I wanted to share this natural pain relief juice recipe.  I have degenerative disks in my back and live with constant pain.  Unfortunately I pop Advil like candy to get through the day.  Yoga helps quite a bit but it only takes the edge off.  I found this juice recipe and since I’ve been drinking about half a cup a day, my pain has lessened dramatically and I haven’t had an Advil since!

It’s a bit time consuming but worth it if you live with pain — you can get all the ingredients at Whole Foods.  I substituted the honey with pure maple syrup and added some fresh ground pepper — I read somewhere that for turmeric to fully work in the body it needs pepper!

The time consuming part is preparing the tamarind — a plant I’d never even heard of before.  You have to boil it down into a jam consistency and strain it.  I wondered if that part was worth it until I started reading up on the healing properties of tamarind.  It has many medicinal purposes including rheumatism and inflammation so I then understood why it was included in this recipe.  It is also used to aid digestion, fever, and sore throat.  It has a high fiber content with thiamin, iron, magnesium, phosphorous, niacin, calcium, vitamin C, and copper.  It also contains high levels of tartaric acid for antioxidant action!

Here is the link to the recipe — join me in reducing your pain naturally!


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Caramelized Onion & Shallot Pasta

This recipe was inspired by the movie “Chef” — I recommend the movie except for the one moment where he’s cutting up a whole pig!  There was a scene in the movie where he made pasta for a friend, I wasn’t sure what he put in the pan first, it looked like large pieces of garlic but that scene made me want some pasta stat!  I started by heating about a tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil in a pan and added a chopped onion.  I then added a large chopped shallot and two large garlic cloves, shaved into large pieces.  I caramelized the mixture by keeping it over medium heat for about fifteen minutes, adding a bit more olive oil as needed.  I then added about a third a cup of white wine and some freshly chopped garden tomatoes along with ground salt and pepper.  I served it over Ezekiel 4:9 Sprouted Grain Pasta (complete protein, high in fiber, low glycemic) and the flavor was exquisite — so easy with minimal spices but just perfect.  My husband and I gobbled it up!

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Creamy Turmeric Tea

The perfect way to start your morning!  The original recipe comes from Dr. Sanjay Gupta but I made it even better with vanilla and replaced the honey for maple syrup to make it vegan — enjoy!

Microwave one cup of almond milk and then add in the following while vigorously whisking until blended: 1/2 teaspoon turmeric, 1 teaspoon cinnamon, 1/4 teaspoon ginger, 1/4 teaspoon of vanilla, and 1 teaspoon of maple syrup.

Let’s look at the amazing benefits of Turmeric!  Follow this link for a list of fourteen drugs turmeric can replace!  http://themindunleashed.org/2014/06/science-confirms-turmeric-effective-14-drugs.html.

Here are ten reasons you want to include turmeric in your diet daily:

  1. Detoxifies your liver naturally.
  2. Helps manage weight, and aid in fat metabolism.
  3. A staple in Chinese medicine for helping lift mood in cases of depression.
  4. As a natural pain killer and with its anti-inflammatory properties, it is a natural treatment for arthritis.
  5. As a natural antiseptic it accelerates wound healing and repairing of damaged skin.
  6. Can help internally and topically with psoriasis and other inflammatory skin conditions.
  7. Helps in soothing an upset stomach.
  8. A natural preventative against flu viruses.
  9. Has shown promise in slowing the progression of multiple sclerosis in mice.
  10. It’s delicious — try some of this tea today!
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Coconut Almond Quinoa

This is a wonderful breakfast and my husbands new favorite!  He’s away working in New York right now so making this is a bit of an I miss you — wish you were here — ha ha, I’m eating it and you’re not kind of message! 🙂

The full recipe is at the link below — along with the coconut flakes recommended in the recipe, I topped with fresh blueberries and pure maple syrup.


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Garlicky Tahini Dressing

What a treat — I got to meet Rip Esselstyn, the author of My Beef with Meat and The Engine 2 Diet.  You can tell from his photo that he is not difficult to look at!  I thoroughly enjoyed his lecture — he helped me re-commit to a vegan lifestyle and set aside the evil cheese!  He has partnered with the Whole Foods Healthy Eating Campaign and is on a tour of many of the stores to discuss his book and the Healthy Eating Campaign.  Before the lecture Whole Foods had prepared some of the recipes from My Beef with Meat and my favorite was the Garlicky Tahini Dressing.  In fact, every time I go to Whole Foods I can find it on the salad bar!  It’s simple to make at home and it’s now my favorite go-to dressing.

Prep time is no more than five minutes and it makes about 2 1/2 cups of dressing.  This recipe can be found on page 215 of My Beef with Meat.

1 cup tahini

1/2 cup rice vinegar

3 tablespoons pure maple syrup

1/2 cup water

2 tablespoons low-sodium tamari sauce (gluten free soy sauce)

2 tablespoons nutritional yeast

1 heaping tablespoon minced fresh garlic

2 scallions, thinly sliced

Mix and enjoy!

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Hemp, Chia, and Flax Seeds w/ Fruit

My vegan auntie Carolyn came for a visit and made this easy fruit dish for breakfast.  Simply cut up the fruits of choice (she used apples, oranges, and pomegranate) and sprinkle on a mix of chia, hemp, and flax seeds — voila, a healthy and nutritionally complete breakfast!  These seeds make a great addition to smoothies as well.

Hemp is one of the best vegan sources of protein and is highly absorbable.  Additionally, the seeds contain all the essential amino acids making hemp a complete protein.  Hemp also contains a balanced ratio of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids and are an excellent source of magnesium and iron.

Chia seeds are rich in omega-3 essential fatty acids and Alpha-Linolenic Acid (ALA).  They are a great way to increase daily fiber.

Flax seeds are also rich in omega-3 fatty acids with 98 mg SDG Lignans in every serving.  Flax also increases your daily intake of fiber.

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Homemade Deodorant

Seems strange to find a post for deodorant amongst food recipes but I just had to share this fantastic find!  I left antiperspirant behind about a year ago when I read about the connection to breast cancer — I have it on both sides of my family so I’m extra cautious.  I started using natural deodorants but for the first time in my life I stunk at the end of the day!  I wasn’t happy with the results but figured a little funk was better than breast cancer.  I found this recipe for an easy homemade version and have been using it for almost two months now — no stink, not even day two!  It’s a miracle and totally non-toxic with three natural ingredients — coconut oil, baking soda, and cornstarch, that’s it!  I keep it in an airtight container with the rest of my toiletries, a few fingers worth of the creamy mixture and no worries!

You’ll find the recipe at the link below — try it, I promise you’ll be hooked!


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Best Sandwich Ever!

This sandwich recipe got me excited to blog again so VeganViola is back!  It’s been quite the hiatus — can you guess the reason:

A) Dad was visiting for a month and we kept making him our favorites, didn’t want to experiment with a carnivore in the house.

B) I got lazy and didn’t feel like experimenting with new recipes to share.

C) We succumbed to our cheese cravings again and became vegetarians for a time.

D) All of the above.

The answer is of course D — all of the above.  A & B are excusable but C is continually problematic!  I was reading in one of Dr. Neal Barnard’s books about cheese — he says it has the highest level of casein of any dairy product and casein (besides studies showing that it produces cancer) is full of a chemical called casomorphins — they are opiates!  As the name implies, casomorphins are casein-derived morphine-like compounds.  No wonder cheese is so addicting!  I’m eager to try “Fourteen vegan cheeses that make you forget about the real thing” that I found on buzzfeed.com — will let you know as I venture into cheese making.

So, back to the best sandwich ever — my husband and I are so jazzed about this sandwich we planted an avocado tree and are eager for our garden tomatoes and basil to be ready!

As I mentioned this recipe got me excited to blog again — this is great for anyone, not just vegans!  How can it not be with avocado, tomato, pesto, and hummus!  You can find the full recipe at: http://ohsheglows.com/2013/09/04/ultimate-4-layer-vegan-sandwich/

We made them with multi-grain bread and served with simple greens topped with a spicy chipotle dressing recipe I found on FatFreeVegan.com: http://blog.fatfreevegan.com/2014/o2/holy-moly-spicy-chipotle-dressing.html — it was a bit too spicy for my taste but my husband loved it!


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Butternut Squash Ravioli Soup

Soup is the best cure for a head cold — ingredients such as garlic, onions, and turmeric kick up its healing powers!  I’ve already discussed the therapeutic properties of garlic and onions on this blog (see July 8) but not turmeric.  Turmeric boasts a variety of benefits including being a potent natural anti-inflammatory and painkiller along with having antibacterial agents.  Garlic, onions, and turmeric are staples when making a curative soup.  My husband came home from a business trip sick but this soup was up for the fight and won!

This is an easy soup that can be ready in 15 minutes.  Find a good frozen vegan butternut squash ravioli — I used a 16 ounce bag of Rising Moon Organics.  Simply cut up one small onion, four carrots (high levels of antioxidants in carrots!), and four celery stalks — place in a pot of water and bring to a boil.  Once water is boiling add the ravioli and continue to cook per package instructions (eight minutes for the brand I used).  When done dump it all into a colander and while draining pour 16 ounces of veggie broth into the same pot over medium heat.  Add two minced garlic cloves, a teaspoon of turmeric, teaspoon of white pepper, 1/4 teaspoon of thyme, and a dash or two of garlic salt.  Add the drained veggie and ravioli combo into the broth and heat through for about a minute until the broth is warm and the flavors are combined.  This flavorful soup has a bit of a bite from the turmeric and we devoured it — I love creating a recipe we’ll enjoy over and over!


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