Saturday, July 31, 2010

Nutritious Morning Muffins

I created a morning muffin to eat tomorrow morning before church. It goes great with tea or coffee and should serve to be beneficially nutritious to hold us until lunch time when church is out. Normally, I do not use any sugar of any kind whatsoever but may use some brown rice syrup, agave nectar, or stevia. Since mom is diabetic, these muffins turned out not overly sweet at all (although I know the coconut flakes are sweetened) and should cause no harm to her or the rest of the family members.


3 cups Bob's Red Mill Whole Wheat Pastry Flour
3/4 cup Fructose
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp sea salt
4 tblsp ground, golden flax seeds
1/4 cup diced dried figs
1/4 cup diced dried apricots
1/4 cup diced dried dates
2 small apples diced
1 cup sweetened, flaked coconut
1 cup chopped walnuts


1 tblsp vanilla
1/4 cup canola oil
3/4 cup boiling water
1/4 cup coconut cream (from can)
1 cup plain soy milk

Prepare egg replacer by adding 3/4 cup boiling water to the 4 tblsp ground flax seeds and let set while you prepare everything else.

Pour all dry ingredients, including the fruit and nuts, into large mixing bowl. Then add the wet ingredients along with the flax seed mixture. Stir until mixed well and spoon into greased muffin pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes.

©2010 Bonnie Crutcher. All Rights Reserved.

Carmelized, Gingered Sweet Potatoes, Onions, and Swiss Chard Over Rice

Veganishta got back on her feet again today most of the day and felt that creativity bug creeping up towards dinnertime this evening.

1 cup diced sweet potato
1/2 cup sliced onion half moons
3 tsp sliced fresh ginger
Olive oil (circle pour into wok to count of three)
3 tblsp Earth Balance butter
Bragg's kelp seasoning mix (3-4 shakes)
4 large red swiss chard leafs with stems
3 tbls organic brown rice syrup
Sea salt
Cooked brown rice/jasmine rice

First, pour the olive oil into hot wok with the Earth Balance spread and then add the sweet potatoes and stir-fry for about 5 minutes; next add the onions and ginger with a shake of sea salt on top and stir-fry all until sweet potatoes are browned and cooked through and onions are lightly carmelized; add the few shakes of the Bragg's seasoning and the brown rice syrup; then dice the swiss chard and toss on top of everything and stir-fry quickly just until chard is wilted but still bright green and not mushy. Remove from heat and let sit until you are ready to serve it over rice. Veganishta cooked half jasmine white rice and half brown rice and mixed them together.

(Copyright ©2010. Bonnie Crutcher. All Rights Reserved.)

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Is it a smoothie or a juice drink?

Yesterday I decided to take in yet some more greens and fruits. I pulled out the juicer and the blender and scrounged the fridge in the garage and the one in the kitchen. I pulled out carrots, celery, blueberries, banana, apples, ginger root, and frozen spinach. I wanted to use fresh spinach but with a sore foot and walking on a cane, I decided not to attempt the 45-minute drive to Whole Foods.

This juicing/blending event turned into quite the mess, but the end result was worth it. First I juiced the carrots, celery, apples, and ginger root, then I poured all that into the blender. Next I added the blueberries and frozen spinach and banana. My blender is not the best (have to get a Vita Mix) and so it kept jamming, and I had to keep moving things around with a wooden spoon. Finally, I gave in and added one cup of water and that paved the way for a smooth blend.

I made enough to fill one tall glass and also filled a large Bolthouse Farms drink bottle. I had another glass of the juice or smoothie stuff today and looks like I'll have enough for tomorrow and possibly the next day.

I'll go with the fresh greens next time, but still, I'm sure my body is thanking me for this gift of antioxidants and other nutrients it is receiving from this blended concoction.

I have noticed a HUGE change in my skin since becoming near-Vegan the last four months. I previously had horribly dry skin, and my hands looked like a 95-year-old woman's hands. Not anymore. I don't even use hand lotion as much. My skin is more moist and shiny and smooth. I'm sure the olive oil and all the greens had something to do with that, not to mention giving up the dairy and meat!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

3-in-1 Beans with Spinach

Today was bean day. The Veganishta set out her Great Northern beans to soak last night, rinsed them in the morning and resoaked them all day.

Here is what she concocted on the stove for this evening's dinner.

1 pound of Great Northern (or any white) beans; cleaned, soaked overnight and once again
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 cup parsley flakes
1/2 cup diced onions and bell peppers
16 oz of frozen spinach
2 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp white pepper
3-4 tblsp curry powder
2 tblsp ground sage
1/4 cup brown rice
1/4 cup pearl barley

Pour beans into large soup/stock pot and cover with water 2-3 inches. Bring to a boil on stove and then down to a slow-med simmer. Add the parsley, sage, onions and peppers, and olive oil. Cover with lid and let simmer for 2 hours to 2 hours 15 minutes. Check and stir every 20 minutes. If water is getting low, add 2-3 cups each time you stir. For the last 45 minutes, stir in the brown rice and barley. Make sure there is still enough liquid like a thick soup or stew; add more to make sure it will continue simmering and not sticking to the pot. For the last 20 minutes, add the salt, black pepper, and curry powder and spinach. At 2 hours, it should be nicely cooked and smelling good.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Quinoa Sweet-Hot Stir Fry

Well, the hot weather in the desert is sweet, until the monsoons come, and then you sweat.

I haven't posted in a few days because I haven't created anything unique until this evening. It is semi-unique, however, as I did make a similar stir-fry a couple of weeks ago.

I needed to make something quick for myself, as we're going to a party at  my daughter's, and she will have nothing that I can eat. So, I made some quinoa, then did a stir-fry of red onion, garlic, daikon, zuccini, orange bell pepper, carrots, broccoli, and peas. I threw in some tumeric, some basil, some red pepper flakes, and some raisins. Oh, also I flung a couple pinches of salt in during the stirring process, along with a dash of celery seed.

It was a very satisfying meal for me. I have some So Delicious, Peanut Butter Zig Zag ice cream that I'll treat myself with at the party. I can take it because my daughter lives just next door. That makes things easy.

Here's a photo of this meal in my bowl. I know it's time for me to create something special, so I'm hoping to do that by next week.

Stay sweet but not sweaty,
The Veganishta

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Alfredo Stopped by for Dinner this Evening

Yesterday, mom had a taste for some white veggie lasagna and Greek salad. We bought the fixin's this afternoon, and I later set my Veganishta magic into action. I had to make another, marinara with cheese stuff version, lasagna for the hubby, however.

I took my time and captured some shots of the birthing process. I'll post a couple here. My creations are always a work in process, as I now know after this evening what to add a little more of or a little less of, but nonetheless, it was still delicious. Alfredo had a great time too.

I used some frozen and some fresh veggies: zucchini, carrots, red bell pepper, onion, garlic, spinach, and peas. I made my white sauce (the one that I usually add the cheddar vegan cheese to for mac and cheese) and added a bit of Italian Seasonings. Of course I sauteed the onion and two large cloves of garlic in some olive oil beforehand. I spread some olive oil on the bottom and sides of the glass baking dish (just a very thin layer), added some sauce, then sprinkled a couple of small handfuls of grits—yes, grits, on top of that. My way of keeping foods and sauces from sticking works really well, and you can end up with a flavorful polenta on the bottom of the masterpiece to enjoy! It works better than corn meal, which just turns hard and burns.

While typing this posting, I just realized I forgot to add the mushrooms. Geesh! Next time for sure I will add some of my gourmet mushrooms (from Costco–in a large container and freeze dried).

Salivate if you must. I know my tummy's about to bust.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Time Flies In and Out of the Kitchen

Sorry I have not blogged since last Sunday. I was so busy this week with a new book project and also had a two-day setback due to some kind of stomach bug. I don't know what it was, except that it might have been from eating some salad at a restaurant last Monday afternoon. But now I'm back on track and just made a grocery shopping trip and picked up some more fruit, lettuce, tomatoes, and a few other items. It is hot here today--feels more hot due to the humidity and the monsoons kicking in. Looks like we might have a storm.

For lunch today I threw together some rice with a little bit of lentils, some broccoli, some butternut squash, corn, green beans, and carrots. I sprinkled my curry powder and tumeric on it and some olive oil and that did the job. I've been craving apples for days because I ran out of them. If they're not in the house, it seems strange. So I bought some more apples and also some nectarines to enjoy for snacks.

I will have to post a new recipe soon with pictures but, for now, this is it. I'm back to my editing job and graphic design tasks this evening. I'll be seeing a client tomorrow morning so I need to finish up.

Happy Kales,

Sunday, July 4, 2010

4th of July Cheddar Linguini & Broccoli

Happy 4th of July. God bless America! Also, happy birthday to my Sweet Pea (who does not want me to call him that anymore) grandson who turns eight today. I cannot believe it.

For years my husband and I held the "Annual Crutcher 4th of July Picnic" at our home back in Illinois. Since we've moved to AZ, however, we've tried to keep up the tradition, but there aren't that many family members here who could attend.  I believe the last 4th of July barbecue we had with some good, grilled burgers and all the accompaniments was the 4th of July 2002. That is the day upon which my daughter went into labor while eating her "celebration burger." As quickly as we could, we rushed her to the hospital that afternoon and she gave birth that evening to our grandson Kai. What a happy 4th of July.

Okay, enough of the sentiment stuff. Now on to the food stuff. Kai's birthday party is today, and my daughter is having a, yeah, you guessed it, barbecue. So, since I will not be eating anything but the fruit she will serve as a side dish, I decided to whip up some of my special vegan cheddar cheese sauce and put it on some linguini and added some broccoli as well. This sauce is the same one I prepare for my Macaroni & Cheese, of which I am still in the process of perfecting just the right amount of ingredients. Nevertheless, this is so delicious and one would not even be able to tell it has no real dairy products in it. I ate my lunch, pictures attached, and now need to wrap the present and get over to the party!

Watch for future postings of the actual recipe. This is so much fun.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Veganishta Stir-Fry with Fried Tahini Tofu

Yesterday for dinner I decided I'd better use the fresh produce I had bought over the weekend. As my inspiration comes from Christina Pirello and her  "Christina Cooks" TV show, I attempted to have 5-6 things going at once. It got a little crazy. I ended up asking mom to step in and complete the pasta dish planned for her and Ken. So she did. I still had the rice cooker going; was cutting up and stir-frying veggies and tossing them into the pan as I was cutting them  (just like Christina!); the tofu marinating in a pasty tahini sauce I made up; then I tried to get the pan with the olive oil going for that. I placed the tofu into the pan and returned to the veggie stir-fry. Success!!!

The evening's dinner preparation was a little nerve-racking at first because I did not want to burn anything, but thanks to Christina, nothing burned because I followed the guidelines for  heat level, oil sizzle, and which veggies go in first and last, etc.

Thanks for the inspiration Christina. Our dinner was super as usual! And we were not late for church.