Sunflower Burgers

At our local food co-op there are these delicious little veggie burgers that are made out of sunflower seeds.  They are so good and I love them so much, but they are also unreasonably expensive.  So, last night for dinner I decided to try to make them for my son and I, from scratch.  They were an experiment that I consider successful, because my son ate one for dinner with glowing reviews and then asked for another.  Success!

The flax seeds and the psyllium husks in the recipe are there as a binding agent.  If you so choose, you can eliminate both of those ingredients and substitute one egg.

You will need:

One cup raw, unsalted sunflower seeds

2 Tbs. flax seeds

2 Tbs. psyllium husks

2 Tbs. lime juice

A small handful of basil(or any other herbs you may want)

1 tsp. garlic salt

1 Tbs. coconut oil

 

To make:

Soak the sunflower seeds and flax seeds in water for at least an hour.  In a food processor, combine the strained seeds along with all other ingredients except the coconut oil.  Puree until smoothish.  Put the coconut oil on a skillet over medium heat.  Spoon the mixture onto the pan in burger sized portions and cook, flipping occasionally until slightly brown on both sides.

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Eat and enjoy.

 

We made ours into little quesadillas with sprouted tortillas and fontina cheese and tahini and avocado.  They were really good.

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Nutty Herbal Muffins(Vegan!)

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This week I made muffins.  And they were good.  I wanted to make something sweet and savory, using the many herbs I have planted on my fire escape garden.  This is what I came up with:

You will need:

1/2 cup lime juice

1/3 cup coconut oil or butter

1/3 cup maple syrup

2 Tbs. almond butter

2 cups whole grain flour(I used whole wheat pastry)

1 cup rolled oats

1 tsp. baking powder

1 tsp. baking soda 

1/2 tsp. salt

1/2 to 1 cup of nut or seed of your choice(I used almonds and walnuts, finely chopped)

2 to 3 heaping handfuls of fresh garden herbs(I used basil, sage, lemon balm and mint)

sliced almonds to sprinkle on top

 

To make:

Preheat oven to 350F.  Lightly oil or add cupcake papers to a 12-cup muffin pan.  Put the lime juice, oil, syrup and almond butter in a medium bowl and whisk until well combined.  Mix the flour, oats, baking soda, baking powder and salt together in a large bowl until well combined.  Add the lime juice mixture and combine, using as few strokes as possible…do not over mix.  Fold in the herbs and nuts.

Spoon the batter into the muffin pan evenly so you have twelve muffins.  Sprinkle with nut or seed of your choice.  Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean(approximately 20 minutes).  Let the muffins cool for a few minutes before removing them from the pan.

muffins2Serve and enjoy!

 

Shiny Happy Crystal Pouch

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Last week I made this cute little pouch for my crystals. I am going to tell you how I made it over the course of a very busy weekend.

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It all started on Friday night.  I started a little circle with my size 5 crochet needle and began to increase.

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We went to the Three Rivers Arts Festival  to see my friends band.  Then the boy met some friends at the fountain.  Ah, summer.  All the while I increased stitches as I went around.

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The next day, at the water park, I stopped increasing and just kept going around and around.

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By the time we made it to the drive-in, I started decreasing as I went around and around until I had a cute little bowl.

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The drive-in was beautiful and old and I asked if we could have a tour of the projector room.  This lovely man talked our ears off and explained how each movie on this huge machine is about 6 miles long.  Note the aluminum foil holding parts of it together.  He also, sadly, told us that this is the last summer for this old behemoth.  They, like most theaters everywhere, are going digital.

The movie was awful, by the way.

So, I began increasing a tiny bit again as I went around and around until I had a nice and wide opening at the top.  I knotted my yarn off then crocheted a long chain to use as a draw string.  I wove this through the stitches where it was narrowest at the opening, added my shiny happy crystals into the pouch, then closed it up with a little bow.

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How was your weekend?

It’s Been a Good Week

I’ve been enjoying:

My front porch and hanging my laundry out to dry on it,

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Pat Martino at the Three Rivers Arts Festival,

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this scent in my essential oil diffuser,

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gardening on my back porch,

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this amazing record I got from Jerry’s Used Records for very cheap,

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this guy,

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and these incredible herbal tea popsicles from Healcrest Urban Farms…I had the ginger herb and the apricot sage…they were the best popsicles I’ve ever had.  No joke.

Healcrest TeaPops

How was your week?

Egg on your face….And in your hair!

This week I am inspired by my post from last week about kitchen cosmetics and the fun and cheap and easy beauty tips most of us have within our own kitchens.  This recipe is something I do at least once a week, especially if I have some time to set aside before I get ready to go out or I want to look nice.  Just a simple mask for your face and hair using four ingredients….three of which there is a good chance are already in your kitchen.

1Eggs:  You know those expensive shampoos you buy that have those shiny labels boasting “protein for strengthening” in them?  Well, you can get the same effect just by putting eggs in your hair.   And egg yolks are nice and packed with vitamins A, D, and E – all great for shiny, healthy hair.  To top it off, the fatty acids in eggs moisturize and condition like nothing else.

The protein in eggs is also really good for your skin and will leave your face feeling tighter and smoother.

Apple cider vinegar:  One of the best alternatives to conditioning, apple cider vinegar may smell funky, but it balances the PH of hair and helps remove unwanted residue and leaves your hair and skin soft and shiny.

Coconut oil:  Coconut oil helps reduce frizz and is a great natural conditioner for all hair types.  Used on your skin, it is a non-greasy moisturizer that, with use over time, helps protect your skin from the harmful rays of the sun.

Essential oils of rosemary and clove:  I add the oils to this mixture because of their many great benefits to your skin and hair, but also so you don’t smell like eggs and vinegar after you rinse this out of your hair and off of your skin.

Rosemary is very good for cleaning the skin and contracting the pores.  In hair care it can stimulate the scalp, improving the condition of the scalp, helping to rid the scalp of dandruff and it can improve hair growth.  Rosemary oil used over time can help darken your hair.

Clove is used mainly in hair care recipes and, as with rosemary, it is a natural conditioner and helps improve scalp health.

You will need:

2 eggs

3 Tbs. apple cider vinegar

3 Tbs. coconut oil

5 drops essential oil of rosemary

5 drops essential oil of clove

To make:

Place all contents in a blender and puree.  Take a small amount of the mixture and smooth all over your face and neck.  With the rest, lean over a sink or tub and pour the mixture into your hair, massaging it all through, not neglecting to massage and rub into the scalp.  Put a towel on your head and leave on for at least 30 minutes to one hour.

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Rinse off and wash your hair as normal.  (note: when rinsing off, please do not use really hot water or you may end up with some hair scramble)  You are going to be amazed at how gorgeous your skin and hair will look and feel.

Facial Steaming

Are you interested in giving yourself an at-home facial that is super easy and really cheap?  Just follow the directions below for a facial steaming.  Everyone can have clear skin…skin that is clean down into your pores…without any kind of special equipment or a ton of money.  With just a few supplies and a tea bag and some water.  It is that simple.

Steaming your face on a regular basis greatly opens the pores, helping the skin rid itself of toxins and impurities.  Herbal steaming cleans your skin naturally, increasing perspiration, deeply cleaning every pore, removing dirt and air-borne impurities.  Steaming can also naturally hydrate and increase the circulation of your skin.

Start by steaming your face once a week.  As your skin gets used to it, you can move up to 2 or 3 times a week, but no more than that, as too much steaming can actually remove natural oils from the skin.  Follow the steam with a mask of honey and watch the compliments on your glowing skin come pouring in.

You will need:

1 large bath towel

1 small pot with a lid

1 or 2 tea bags(herbal, black, green….just make sure there are no unnatural ingredients)

Enough water to cover the tea bags

1 Tbs. honey

To make and do:

Place the tea bag or bags in a pot.  Cover with water and place on a stove top and bring to a boil.  Immediately turn off the heat and cover with a lid.  Carry the pot over to a table with a chair.  Sit in the chair and cover your head, neck and face and the pot with the towel.  Remove the lid, making sure to keep the towel over your head and the pot, letting as little of the outside air in and the steam out as possible.  Stay like this, with your face over the pot for five to ten minutes, letting the steam go straight up and into your face, moving your face from side to side to get all angles and not neglecting the skin of your neck underneath.

After five to ten minutes, remove the towel and splash some cool water on your face.

Take the honey and smear it all over your face and neck.  After you have covered your skin with the honey, take your fingers and gently tap all over until your fingers get stuck.   Leave the honey on your face for five to ten minutes.  Honey is an extremely wonderful humectant and will help make your skin feel soft and vibrant.  Wash off the honey and feel your skin glow.

Are you interested in learning more about Kitchen Cosmetics?  Sign up for my workshop at East End Eden Wellness Center on June 1 from 10am to noon.

Read about my experience making beautiful skin happen here with the lovely Emily Levenson.

Parsnip Fries with Roasted Red Pepper and Horseradish Sauce

The other night I had a friend over for dinner and made this sandwich.  It was lovely.  But I wanted something to go with it.  In my refrigerator I had a red bell pepper, a horse radish root and some parsnips that needed to be eaten soon.  So I decided on fries with the roasted red pepper and horse radish sauce and, let me tell you, it was a very lovely and filling dinner.  (on a side note, the left over tempeh and parsnip fries and sauce made an amazing scramble for breakfast the next day.)

You will need:

For fries:

3 or 4 parsnips, peeled and sliced into fry-like pieces

2 Tbs. coconut oil

3 Tbs. corn meal

2 tsp. garlic salt

For sauce:

1 red bell pepper, roasted and peeled

2 or 3 cloves of garlic, roasted

2 Tbs. olive oil

2 tbs. shredded horseradish root

2 Tbs. goats milk yogurt

salt and pepper to taste

To make:

Fries:

p1Cut parsnips up into fry-like pieces.

p3Place in a zip lock bag with coconut oil, corn meal and garlic salt.  Shake until the parsnips are completely coated with the oil, corn meal and garlic salt.

Place on an aluminum foil-lined baking sheet.  Bake in a 450 degree oven for eight to ten minutes.

Sauce:

Roast the red pepper and garlic.  Cut the pepper up and place in a baking dish with the garlic.  Drizzle with olive oil and bake at 350 degrees for a half hour.

Before:

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After:

p4Peel the peppers and place them in a blender with the garlic and all other ingredients.  Puree.

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When the fries are done, remove from oven, serve and enjoy.

Super Duper Liver Cleanser/Fiber Drink

This is a super simple, tasty drink that is really good for you.

Hot lemon juice water every morning is a really great way to keep your liver healthy.  Lemon juice aids your liver in flushing out unwanted toxins which may be in the process of absorbing into your body.

And chia seeds?  Let me go on:  Adding chia seeds before and after your work out is better than carbohydrates or energy drinks to enhance athletic performances for endurance events.  Research has also demonstrated that the beneficial effects of omega-3, as found in chia, has helped those suffering with mood disorders. A meta-analysis of trials involving patients with major depressive disorder and bipolar disorder provided evidence that omega-3 in chia reduces symptoms of depression.  Omega-3 fatty acids have been proven to increase brain function and decrease depression. So, incorporating chia into your diet on a regular basis helps not just your physical health but also your mental health.
Adding just two tablespoons of chia seeds to your daily diet will give you approximately seven grams of fiber, four grams of protein, 205 milligrams of calcium, and a whopping five grams of omega-3. Chia has both soluble and insoluble fiber, which is a great benefit. That’s why the seeds expand in liquids without losing any of the fiber content. If you consume four tablespoons per day of chia, you get 14 grams of fiber.  By comparison, one packet of oatmeal has only four grams of fiber.
Need I say more.
I like the way this drink tastes, but you can experiment with different herbs or teas added to your drink as you go.  I also like to put this in a mason jar with a lid on it so I can carry it around with me and drink it throughout the day, as the chia seeds expand more and more in the water.  Try it for a few days and tell me you don’t feel like a million bucks!
You will need:
2 Tbs. chia seeds
juice of one half lemon
1 to 2 tsp. shredded ginger
raw honey to taste
boiling water to fill mug or jar
To make:
Put all ingredients in a mug or jar.  Pour hot water over.  Wait until desired temperature.  Drink.
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Any other ideas for this drink that you like to experiment with?  Let me know in the comments below.

Raw Coconut Cream Pie

Recently I have been really inspired to make raw desserts.  Maybe its the change in the weather, but I want dessert all of the time and I want it cold and I don’t want it to make me feel heavy and full.  And the best way that I have found to get all of this yummy goodness is with raw desserts…..and, the best part is they are really good for you.

I was really inspired a few months ago with a raw carrot cake I had at local Pittsburgh restaurant, Eden.  Then I was further inspired by this raw brownie recipe I recently made for a friends birthday.  Let me tell you, they were both divine.  So, I wanted to experiment a little and I came up with this recipe for a raw coconut cream pie.  I served it to a group of friends the other day and it was very well received.

You will need:

For pie,

1 cup raw cashews, soaked at least four hours

1 cup walnuts, soaked at least four hours

1/2 cup shredded coconut

3 Tbs. maple syrup

1 Tbs. lemon juice

1 Tbs. raw cacao powder

For frosting,

1 creamy part of a can of coconut milk, separate the water out by refrigerating for at least two hours

3 Tbs. coconut spread

1 Tbs. powdered sugar, or stevia, or some other sweetener

 

To make:

 

Place the soaked nuts, coconut, maple syrup and lemon juice in a food processor.  Puree until smooth.  Sprinkle with cacao powder.

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Place in freezer for at least two hours.

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In a bowl, add the creamy part of the coconut milk, the coconut spread and the sweetener.  Beat with a hand mixer until super creamy.  Pour over top of the pie that has been frozen.  Put back into the freezer for at least another two hours.

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Cut and enjoy.

The Best Hummus, Ever

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I know that is a statement that is overused, but trust me, this is the best hummus, ever.  It is so good and light and fluffy because it has sprouted garbanzo beans in it.  Not only do the sprouted beans make it taste ever so amazing, but sprouted beans are extra good for you.

Sprouted beans and grains are incredibly nutritious, especially for those on a raw food diet. Studies show remarkable levels of B Vitamins, as well as Vitamins C, E and A (up to 15 times the original content!). Some folks refer to sprouts as “pre-digested” food due to this breaking down process in the sprouting stage of life. This makes the sprouts far easier to digest than the original seed, bean, nut or grain. The heightened quantity of enzymes is another factor that aids in their digestion.  They are sometimes referred to as “living foods” because, essentially, the sprouting brings them back to life again.
You will need:
1 cup sprouted garbanzo beans(directions below)
2 tsp. salt
3-4 cloves of garlic
1/4 cup tahini
4-6 Tbs. lemon juice
4-6 Tbs. olive oil
To make:
Sprouted garbanzo beans:
Soak 1 cup of dried garbanzo beans in water overnight.
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Strain the garbanzo beans in a colander and place on top of a bowl with a plate over top.  Rinse with water 2-3 times a day until the beans grow a tiny little tail, about two days.
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Hummus:
Put the sprouted garbanzo beans in a pot with water covering them.  Cook on high until boiling.  Boil for five minutes.  Take off of heat and strain and rinse through a colander.
In a food processor, puree garbanzo beans and all other ingredients, adding a little water as needed.
5Serve with your favorite thing to dip in hummus and eat!  These taste great with my flax seed crackers from a previous post.