Thursday, March 14, 2013

A Little Spicy Deliciousness!

 Time for some asian food!!

Oh how I love it. Not enough good can be said about this goodness in a bottle that I found at Trader Joes. it's..... uh-mazing! It's tangy, and sweet, a little "peanut-y" and spicy very spicy! Pure deliciousness! I'm telling you, if you like asian food, GET IT! :) Ok... I'm done with my rant.. Lets begin! :)

So.. I had a recipe from my Spork Fed cookbook that I wanted to try, but this was just about what I expected that recipe to taste like, so I figured I would do the same kind of thing with this.. (Also.. I needed an alternative option because my library books had to be returned before I started incurring the, should be a crime, rate of $.25 per day, per book! and I had over a dozen books!)

I found a 2 lb. bag of mini sweet peppers at the grocery store. I got them because the regular bell peppers were out of control expensive. I figured, if I was going to spend $5 on peppers, I would get something fun and interesting. The mini sweet peppers are so good! Who knew? I was worried that I wouldn't be able to finish the bag before we left on vacation, but I would say I maybe have a dozen left... if that. We're loving them! So many various things you can add them too, or I've just been chopping the top off and eating, inhaling them! Another favorite of ours now! G has always loved peppers, but these are off the charts. She loves them just about as much as I do, if not more!... well, I'm not sure that's possible.

Ok, take 2.. enough talk, on to the recipe...

You will need:

Spicy Peanut Vineaigrette (Trader Joes)
10 Mini Sweet Peppers
1 Shallot
1 Garlic Clove
Base of Your Choice: Fettuccine, Chow Mein Noodles, Rice.. whatever you want!
1 T. Sesame Oil + Drizzle Olive Oil (just enough to balance out the sesame oil)
Sesame Seeds
Sliced Water Chestnuts
Bamboo Shoots
Sliced Green Onions for Topping


  • Heat oil in skillet. Don't make it too hot because you don't want the delicate shallots and garlic to burn the second you put them, but you want it hot enough to sweat the shallots just a bit.
  • Add shallots and garlic to pan, and cook just until you start to notice the shallots start to become barely translucent. 
  • Cut tops off sweet peppers, cut in half lengthwise, and deseed. Slice into thin strips and add to skillet.

*I barely let my peppers cook at all. Literally, maybe 2-3 min. I like my peppers VERY crunchy and basically just barely warmed through. Just cook them to your liking.

  • After your peppers are cooked how you like, add in half of the bottle of Spicy Peanut Vineaigrette. I got 2 good meals out of the bottle from 2-3 people, depending on what you use for your base.
  • Add in any add-ins your want. I chose water chestnuts and bamboo shoots. Snap peas would be awesome.. whatever you feel like! (Can you tell this recipe is flexible??) ;)
  • Once your sauce has warmed through, you're ready to go!
  • Add on top of whichever base you want to use. I used fettuccine the first time because that is what my cookbook recipe called for from Spork Fed. The second time around I used chow mein noodles and they were SO much better. The sauce stuck to them so much better and... they just fit! Definitely want to try brown or wild rice next time. It would also possibly be good over quinoa? It's worth a try! :) 

Here are a couple pics of both ways I made the recipe.. I forgot to add the green onions the second time, because I was so anxious to eat it that I piled it on the plate and dove it! (after the pic of course) ;)

Have fun with this one, guys! There are SO many possibilities and room for creativity! :) Enjoy!


Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Vegetarian Sushi Rolls & why you should eat Nori

I admit, several months ago, the thought of sushi rolls made me scrunch my nose. Raw fish? Seaweed? Uh, no thanks. Then we went to this sushi place for our friend's birthday, and I tried a couple different kinds and found that it wasn't actually as repulsive as I had assumed, and not every sushi roll contains raw fish! I decided to try out vegetarian sushi rolls made fresh and sold at my local grocery stores (HEB and Kroger's), and found that it was fairly tasty.  Problem is, it's pretty expensive, so it sushi seemed like one of those once in a while treats.

When planning this week's menu, I decided to attempt to make my own sushi roll. I bought toasted nori (seaweed) and the special bamboo mat required. I didn't use the rice that most restaurants use for sushi rolls, but it worked out well, and I was able to cater it to flavors I like.  We have long grain rice on hand, so that's what I used.

Below is my recipe for a Mexican infused sushi roll. It's very tasty, and was a hit with our older two kiddos and my husband, plus it's easy and inexpensive!

2 cups of long grain rice cooked according to the package (cooked, it will make 4 cups)
1 TBSP Balsamic Vinegar
Minced garlic (as much or little as you like- I keep a jar of minced garlic in the fridge).
1-2 avocado, sliced into strips.
3 Nori sheets
Salsa verde
Seasonings (I used Cajun seasonings, but you could use taco seasonings or just salt)

Combine cooked rice, balsamic vinegar, a splash of salsa verde and minced garlic and sprinkle with seasonings. Mix well.
Lay a sheet of nori onto the bamboo sushi mat. Top with seasoned cooked rice- layer about 1 cm thick and covering about 3/4ths of the nori sheet. Make sure to spread it to the front and side edges.

I sprinkled a little more seasoning over the rice, and then placed a line of avocado strips across the rice. I really should have taken a picture of what this looked like.  When you roll it up, you want the avocado to be in the middle, so make a strip of avocado right down the middle of the rice, from left to right.  Sprinkle cilantro across it.

Now it's time to roll it up.  If you've never made sushi before, check out How To's on the web so you roll it properly. Once you've rolled it tightly, you might need to push some rice in each end to make sure it's really stuffed.

Slice gently with a very sharp knife.

Make two more just like that.

Now it's time to make the creamy topping.

Take 1/2 an avocado and mash it up. Add a splash of salsa verde and 2-3 TBSP of mayo.  Season it if you'd like. Mix together until smooth.  Taste to see if you want to add more mayo or more seasoning.

Spoon over the top of the sushi, or put in a baggy, cut the corner off of it, and pipe the creamy mixture over the sushi.  Depends on how fancy you want it to look.

Serve with soy sauce!

Makes 3 sushi rolls.  Each sushi roll can be sliced into 5-8 pieces, depending on how thick you like your slices. I like mine more on the thinner side.

I put cabbage and carrots in one of the other rolls I made and really liked that. Play around with things, see what you like!

This is a great appetizer to serve to friends or a treat to take for lunch. (I set aside some to put in my husband's bento box for tomorrow.)

Seaweed is a great ingredient to slip into your diet. It is packed with amino acids, vitamins and minerals.  It has high amounts of iron (which I need) and is said to help with alertness and mental clarity (hello, this mama needs that!)

It helps lower cholesterol levels and has antiviral, antibacterial, and anti-inflammatory properties. Those who suffer from Fibromyalgia or other chronic inflammatory conditions may find this ingredient helpful, as well as those who have memory issues or struggle with depression.

If you don't think you can handle sushi rolls, try it shredded over a salad or in a sandwich.

Here's another recipe for a more traditional vegetarian sushi- looks yummy! I think I'll try this one next!

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Mandy Vlog: Recipes needed!

Have trouble meal planning sometimes? ME TOO!

Documentaries on Health

Looking for revealing documentaries on health and lifestyle?

Hulu and Netflix offer loads of great documentaries. Some of these are great for children to watch as well.  We have used some of these videos in our home school lessons.

The Gerson Miracle
    The Gerson family reveals how food is our medicine and can reverse health issues and disease that many doctors say can only be healed through intense, harmful chemical therapies. You can learn more about the Gerson therapy on their website,

Fat, Sick, & Nearly Dead
    This documentary follows a man who changes his life through juicing and a lifestyle diet change.

A River of Waste: The Hazardous Truth About Factory Farms  
    This documentary tells about about how factory farms hurt the environment- how it harms the soil, our water sources, and therefore everything else.  Very interesting, as we often don't hear about this side of things. It's not just about how disgusting factory farming is!

Food Matters
     Is a collection of interviews with leading Nutritionists, Naturopaths, Scientists, M.D.'s and Medical Journalists providing proven solutions for overcoming illness naturally.  You can find more support, recipes, etc on their website, .

Dirt! The Movie
    This is a wonderful documentary that details how the health of our soil impacts the health of our bodies. "Dirt feeds us and gives us shelter. Dirt holds and cleans our water. Dirt heals us and makes us beautiful. Dirt regulates the earth’s climate. Dirt is the ultimate natural resource for all life on earth."  More information available at .

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Hearty Vegan Potato Stew

Friends.. I have to say, this one is a keeper!

It's so easy, it should be a crime. I could give you the idea and you could come up with a recipe all your own, but I know, for me, I like just having a recipe on hand, so I figured that I would share it with you.

This is the hearty goodness that I whipped up tonight..

Hearty Vegan Potato Stew
3 russet potatoes (peeled and cubed)
1 qt. carton organic, low-sodium veggie stock (Trader Joes)
1 T. fresh thyme (minced)
1 dried bay leaf
2 c. frozen mixed veggies
3 green onions (whites only)
3 T. minute rice
1/4 c. edamame
1 clove garlic (peeled and left whole)
salt and pepper to taste

Add veggie stock to your pan, and throw everything in. :) Simmer until potatoes are tender and rice will be done as well at that point.

Serves: 3


So.. a few things. 

1. If you don't have fresh thyme, just use dried, but only 1 teaspoon.

2. I made this soup mostly for G who is sick, so I didn't want to blow her away with the garlic, but I still wanted to have a little flavor in it. If you like garlic, you could always mince it up or grate it.

3. I had a good sized bowl and then G had a small bowl, and I still had 2 good sized servings left. I would say if you are feeding adults, you could get the 3 good sized servings out of it. If you're serving kids, you could probably get 5 kid servings out of it. Anything in between, you get the idea. It all depends on how big of servings you are giving.

4. Finally, I didn't had a large onion, but also didn't want a huge onion flavor, just something mild. Shallots would be great in this as well, cipollini onions would be great, or even just minced onions.

5. Wild rice would be AWESOME in this too!

Finally, whatever sounds good to you, throw it in. The edamame was a random throw in, and I ended up really enjoying it in there. Whatever you have would be great! It's hearty, and such a great comfort food on a chilly evening.

Hope you guys enjoy this one! I know I did, and I'm pretty sure it's calling my name again right now! :)


XO, Lindsey

Vegan Cookbook Reviews

Happy Saturday!!

Hope you guys had a great week!

Wanted to share a couple cookbook reviews with you guys. This is my first vlog, I guess you call it, so I hope you find it helpful and informative!

These are the cookbooks that I talk about in the video that I am LOVING right now..

Vegan Cooking for Carnivores by Roberto Martin.
Spork Fed by Jenny Engel and Heather Goldberg.

What are your favorite cookbooks, vegan or otherwise?

I'd love to hear from you! Enjoy the video!

Happy Creating!

XO, Lindsey

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Blueberry Goodness

Hello Friends!

My name is Lindsey. I'm a mother of one and a wife of 5+ years to my best friend. 
I love crafting, creating, and cooking. I also adore gardening and everything that comes with it. However, living in a condo in the city doesn't create the greatest atmosphere for the sprawling acres of garden that I'd love to have. One day.. one day. :) 

Mandy has asked me to do some writing for The Organic Family. I, of course was honored and excited at the opportunity. 

I have recently gone vegan, which I am still working through and trying to find the best and healthiest things to eat. I've been searching for new recipes to try and stumbled across this recipe for vegan blueberry scones I knew they were begging to be created in my kitchen! After a light dinner tonight, it was time, and they did not disappoint! I found them on the Earth Balance page. The recipe made 12 scones... I think. Maybe I should have counted before we started munching on them! :)

The original recipe called for two things that I swapped out for other ingredients. You could use gluten-free flour if you have it and coconut spread instead of regular vegan butter spread if you'd like. I didn't have either so I just used what I had. 

I also used frozen blueberries, but really the possibilities are endless! Blueberries, dried cranberries, raisins, orange zest, nuts.. Let your taste buds guide you! :)

So.. enough talk, more food. Enjoy one of my favorite new recipes!

Vegan Blueberry Scones

  • 6 Tbs. warm water
  • 2 Tbs. flaxseed meal
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/4 cup raw sugar
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 4 Tbs. coconut spread or regular vegan butter spread
  • 3/4 cup soy vanilla yogurt
  • 1/2 cup fresh or frozen blueberries
  • 2 Tbs. raw sugar

Preheat oven to 400 F and line your baking sheet with parchment paper or a silpat.

Add the flaxseed meal and warm water to a small bowl, mix together with a fork, and let stand for 10 minutes.

Whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and cinnamon in stand-mixer bowl.

Switch whisk attachment to paddle attachment on mixer and add in butter spread. Mix until combined, but do not overwork.

Stir in flaxseed meal mixture and yogurt into dry mix until just combined. Gentle fold in berries or any other additions you choose. 

Generously flour surface and roll out to approx. 3/4 inch thick. 

Cut into triangles or use a large ravioli stamp to cut scones. 

Place scones onto baking sheet, sprinkle tops with raw sugar.

Bake 8-10 minutes or until lightly golden brown.


Loves to you all,

Lindsey :)