We had an announcement to make and could not decide with which picture to go with. In the end we went with the second picture with the shoes and dates.
I love the way these bars turned out. They are dry and crispy in a good way and not overly sweet. They do crumble easily but that’s because there is not a lot of honey/sugar in it to ‘glue’ the nuts together. Less sugar or sticky-hold-perfectly-together bars. I think I will pick the less sugar ones.
1/2 cup roughly chopped almonds
1/2 cup sunflower and or pumpkin seeds
1/2 cup cherries
1 Tbls almond butter
1 Tbls water
1/4 tsp Vitamin C powder (ascorbic acid)
1 tsp honey
Pre-heat oven to 250F. In a bowl, mix the nuts and cherries together. In a separate bowl dissolve 1/4tsp V. C in 1 tbsp water. Then add the honey and stir until dissolved. Mix the almond butter with the nuts, seeds and cherries. Add the honey and vitamin C to the mix and stir, stir, stir! Stir everything to coat with the sticky honey and almond butter. Dump everything on a lined cookie sheet with parchment paper and pack tightly down with a stiff spatula knife or you can try rolling it with a rolling pin. Either way, you want everything packed tightly together. This recipe is kind of small for a medium cookie sheet, but you can easily double it for a full 14”x10” sheet. Mine was only half full. Put in the oven for 25-30 minutes. When done let cool. With a sharp big knife, cut into bars and wrap into parchment paper for easy to-go snacks.
Our radishes have come and gone but this is an amazing salad that you should try! Growing radishes just for this salad is justifiable because it tastes so fresh.
2 Bunches of Radishes
3 Persian Cucumbers (or any home grown ones)
Green Onions (or half of a small sweet onion)
Small Bunch of Dill (not pictured)
2 Tbsp Sunflower seeds
Unrefined Sunflower oil
Sea Salt and Pepper
Slice radishes and cucumbers into slices. Mince the green onion and dill and add to the salad. Throw in the sunflower seeds. Pour sunflower oil to coat veggies. Add sea salt and pepper to taste. Enjoy!
Today is my last day of a two week juice fast. Two weeks not eating anything but just drinking water, herbal tea, and veggie juices (OK I will admit I did do some fruit juices) oh and coconut water from fresh young coconuts! It was an interesting experience. Totally different from the first time I did a juice fast. But the first time it was more of a juice feast than fast. I am thankful that I had this opportunity to do a juice fast for two weeks. If it were not for Sashenka then I would have never completed it successfully. He encouraged and motivated me (also worried for me, made juices, took care of our toddler, gave me a massage, etc…!!!) A huge thank you!!! I’m not going to say that it was supper easy. But I’m not going to moan and groan about how horrible it was either. I’m just going to talk about some things that were different from what I expected when compared to the first time I did this. And of course a juice recipe at the end.
And speaking of tasty juice recipes…
…. The star that is pictured consists of…
1 Sweet Potato
Juice root veggies with skins on and enjoy!
This juice is very filling, sweet, and beautiful!
This is our fourth Christmas together and our first real Christmas tree. Our last year’s ‘tree’ and the year before that were far from ordinary. But this year we went with a real tree, surprisingly! We still could not get away from making something; therefore we made all of the ornaments and the star topper (using this tutorial for the star). The stars are made from salt dough and a cookie cutter while the other ornaments are made from a combination of balloons, papier-mâché, and drywall mud. We thought about making the garlands of beads but could not come up with what to make them with so that they would be cost efficient as well. In the end we just bought four strands from the craft store.
A lot of people who have tried my borscht have asked for a recipe and I never seem to write it down when I am making it. So finally I did and here it is. Sashenka and I absolutely love it and easily eat an 8 Qt. pot in three days. It is vegan, light, and packed with vitamins and nutrients! Hope you enjoy it as much as we do.
2.5 lb red young potatoes with skins on washed and cubed
1 large onion diced
3 carrots diced
4-5 celery stickes diced
2 green bell peppers diced
3 medium beets grated on the larger size grate.
1/2 head of small cabbage shredded
5 bay leaves
1 Tbsp dried parsley
1/2 tsp vitamin c powder (ascorbic acid Do not use a crushed vitamin tablet. Can substitute 1 Tbsp ketchup)
2 vegetable bullion cubes (vegan, organic)
Salt and pepper
Wash and cut the potatoes. Fill a pot 3/4 with water and add salt and potatoes to it. Set on stove on high. Dice onion and sauté in a skillet on medium on grape-seed oil till golden. Dice carrots, celery, and peppers , after the potatoes returned to a boil, throw them into the pot. Wash, peel, and grate beets and add to skillet with onions. Throw bay leaves and bullion cubes into pot. Add Vitamin C or ketchup to skillet. I add vitamin C for extra vitamin and it adds a nice sourness that a lot of people achieve with tomato past or ketchup. Slightly sauté the beets till just barely cooked and add everything from the skillet into pot. Add shredded cabbage. Throw in parsley and pepper and add more salt if need be. Bring to a boil and let simmer for 5-10 min or until cabbage is cooked. If the borscht is to thick for you and you have room in the pot you can add some more water and season accordingly. Приятного Аппетита!
I enjoy my subscription to vegetarian times and this is another recipe that I have attempted at making. I made only two minor adjustments from the original recipe. One the red quinoa is switched to white quinoa (red would have looked great, I just did not have any on hand). The other one is I used more garlic then the recipe notes (as usual). We love garlic and the Chimichurri defiantly needed the extra garlic in my opinion. Without it would have been bland. This is a very healthy dish packed with nutrients and is definitely guilt free!
Sweet Potatoes and Quinoa
2 large sweet potatoes, skin-on, finely diced (1 ½–2 lb.)
1 tsp. olive oil
1 cup quinoa, rinsed and drained
2 small, ripe yet firm avocados, peeled and sliced
¼ cup olive oil
3 cups loosely packed Italian parsley leaves, roughly chopped
3 Tbs. lemon juice
4 cloves garlic, minced
½ tsp. sweet paprika
¼ tsp. red pepper flakes
Preheat oven to 425°F. Wash potatoes and dice them into cubes. On a baking sheet spread them in a single layer and season with salt pepper and olive oil. Cook quinoa as directed on package. Usually 2 parts water to 1 part quinoa. Season with salt if desired. While the potatoes and quinoa are cooking make the Chimichurri. Blend parsley, lemon juice, garlic, paprika, and red pepper flakes in food processor until coarsely chopped. Pour in warm oil, and pulse quickly until blended. Serve sweet potatoes and quinoa in a bowl topped with sliced avocados and Chimichurri. And wedges of home grown tomatoes are a refreshing on the side. Enjoy!
With all of these sprouts growing and eating 1-2 jars a day, we try to come up with interesting ways to incorporate them into tasty recipes. Here is one recipe that we made together, and if I may say so, is by far the best original recipe that we have ever created! We have made it more than 5 times and absolutely love it! You guys should try this! It is very flavorful but not overpowering, perfect for a side salad but great on its own as well.
1 Quart Broccoli sprouts (radish sprouts would work too)
2 Roasted red pepper
1/2 medium Onion
3-4 TBSP Roasted walnut oil (I used La Tourangellen oil but any roasted walnut oil will work.)
Salt pepper to taste
Dice the red pepper, avocado, and onion. Combine everything in a salad bowl and drizzle with oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Enjoy!
I have not cooked creatively for the past month (as you can tell from the lack of recipe posts) and need to start back up again. But I have been engaged in creative ‘other’ things so I can’t say I have been slaking off. Therefore here are some insights into what we have been up to…
Running: I started running back up in April and have been at it religiously since. I run 2-5 times a week 2.3 miles each run with an average pace 9:50-10:20. I would like to run a longer distance at a time but for some reason seam stuck at my currant distance. I am running with a baby and stroller and it has been very humid/hot lately (my excuses for not reaching my goal of 5 miles). But does anyone have any tips of what I can do to improve and reach my goal? What time of day is best for a run; morning afternoon or evening? I usually run in the morning before 9am but occasionally in the afternoon around 2-3 pm. I have noticed that I have more endurance later on in the day verses in the morning and it is less humid in the afternoon. But morning runs help me start out my day. To eat or not to eat before/after run, how much and what? With music or not? I use an app called Podrunner and its just beats that help me stay motivated and I have noticed that the faster the beat the faster I run. But sometimes I also enjoy running without anything and just listen o the birds and my baby. Any other helpful tips?
Sprouts: We are growing our own sprouts! I have wanted to do this for some time and finally Sashenka urged me to start after reading this article of how sprouts improve eye sight.
My eye sight has been failing and Sashenka is on the verge of forbidding me to use my smart phone because I read only from my phone. I blame it on pregnancy, he says it’s from me reading in the dark off my phone. I read everything off my phone from Bible reading to recipes to health articles. A solution would be is to get a reader. But that is not appealing to me because it means I will not be able to buy physical books and I have an attachment to physical books. Nor is it practical buying two copies, one digital and one physical. Anyways, back to sprouts. They are loaded with vitamins and minerals and are super tasty. In general I love sprouts but from the grocery store you are very limited between alfalfa, broccoli, maybe mung bean and pea shoots plus they can get pricey. We bought seeds from Mountain Rose Herbs for Radish, Crimson Clover, Buckwheat, Brown Mustard, Broccoli, and Alfalfa. We are growing them in mason jars with a screen on top. We start a jar a day to have a continual supply (but I think we will need to start three jars every two days). To grow them you just soak the seeds in water for 4-8 hrs to germinate them and then drain on the first day. Then rinse twice a day with fresh water to water them. Make sure they get air circulation so they don’t get moldy but do not blow on them because that introduces bacteria from your mouth into the jar. They do not need a lot of sun so a kitchen counter is more than enough. If they are on the paler side, I would put them on the window sill for couple of hours after they are done growing but before I eat them. You can store them in the refrigerator for one maybe two weeks but our sprouts never make it to the fridge; we eat them before they do. If you Google ‘sprouts’ you will get a ton of info but if you have any questions I would be glad to answer from our experience and research.
Personal care products: Here is a quick story: “They were in the local Wal-Mart and she reluctantly found the sunscreen shelf. It was the second day they were at the beach and they had a whole week ahead of them. She was seven weeks pregnant and feeling great! The only problem was that everyone was pressuring for her to use sunscreen and stating she was going to burn up and feel miserable. Part of her knew they were right but the other part could not agree to put toxic chemicals on her body that she knew would absorb into her skin and be passed to her baby. Her husband and best friend, supported her but did not know how to help her. So there she stood trying to pick the lesser evil of the many choices. She knew how bad they all were even the ones labeled ‘natural’. This was before she read this and this article. All she had back at the hotel was coconut oil that she had planned on using as sunscreen but was afraid it would not be enough. She did not want to be the ‘natural miserable one who burned up’…” That was me last summer at the beach with a group of friends. So this year I found this article and made my own sunscreen. And while I was at it I made my own bug repellent, toothpaste, eye cream, magnesium body butter, magnesium oil, and solid perfume. Whew! Told you I was busy! I’m excited because my eye cream turned out great! I used lanolin, wheat germ oil, natural vitamin E, and bees wax. Bug repellent smells so superior then store bought and is not toxic at all with 20 drops EO Lavender, 20 drops EO peppermint, 20 drops EO Rosemary, and 1 TBSP Coconut oil. The toothpaste I was not thrilled about and will try to improve it to share a recipe in a different post. The sunscreen is amazing, it works, and I absolutely love it so follow the link to make your own! Also magnesium on skin to help you sleep better – works! I put some magnesium butter on mine and Sashenka’s feet and we slept like the dead. The solid perfume …um so-so. I like the idea of a solid perfume but after spending money on the essential oils I was not thrilled with the aroma. Maybe it would be great just with a different combination of oils. But this is something that I am not going to venture into for now because the art of perfume making is so extensive and expensive that (for now at least) I’m not going to dive into it. I still want a perfume that I love and does not smell like you local health and herb store. Also that it would naturally be made from essential oils and not chemicals, so hopefully I will be able to find something soon. And will tell you about it.
Elimination Communication: While I’m at ‘updates’ I might as well write about how EC is coming along. AMAZING! I am extremely glad that we started and did EC with our first baby and now we will defiantly do it with every single baby following, God willing. Aurelius is 9 months and asks to go to the bathroom every time. He sleeps threw the night dry with waking up to go to the bathroom once. We do not have poppy diapers. Sometimes we will have a wet diaper but 98% of the time it will be our fault because he would ask and we either are too busy or just didn’t pay attention. I would recommend that everyone should at least give EC a try. It is not as hard as it seems!
A dairy free dessert for my creamy cravings. I actually feel a lot better without any dairy and have noticed that if I have any dairy I immediately suffer from a stuffy nose and a whole lot of mucus. Not very pleasant. I’m not a big tofu fan but this cream turned out surprisingly fresh and nutty. Sashenka even gave this a tiny taste and pronounced it edible but would not consume it himself. He eats tofu only in Miso soup. This cream could be used in different combinations with the help of some imagination. This was the simplest and quickest way that I chose to enjoy it.
I adapted this recipe from vegetarian times.
– ½ tsp. sea salt
– 2 Tbs. lemon juice
– 1 Tbs. vanilla extract
– 2 Tbs. maple syrup
– 2 Tbs. coconut oil
– 16 oz. firm tofu
Mix all ingredients together in a food processor until smooth and creamy like. Top with fruits and nuts or refrigerate and use in desserts.