Thursday, November 21, 2013

Proper Food Combining

Wow! Where does the time go!?    This time it's gone to taking care of the last revisions on the book, and canning, freezing or drying what's left from the garden. 
Something I looked into years ago has been coming to mind more lately, which is proper food combining.  Basically, different foods require different enzymes to digest properly.  When we eat foods together needing different enzymes there is a greater chance, for instance, of indigestion and poor absorbtion of nutrients.  The general groups to eat together are;  proteins with veggies, grains with veggies, fruit with fruit (except melon only with melon).  I do not do this all the time, but when I've stuck with it for even a week or two I have seen positive results; one more notch above dropping meat, dairy, and refined sugars and flours from the diet.  There are alot of sites referring to this.  Of the current ones I checked out online, I like for their user friendly,  detailed information, including helpful food lists and charts.  I hope this information proves useful to you, maybe even the piece of the puzzle you've been looking for!
Have a joyous and blessed day!

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Nutty Seed Brittle

No oven involved; these are a delicious, nutritious, super quick snack.

vegan, gluten free, snack, healthy

Nutty Seed Brittle

Mix #1                                                               Mix#2
½ cup sunflower seeds                                  ¾ cup sunflower seeds
¼ cup pumpkin seeds                                    ¼ cup sesame seeds, brown unhulled
¼ cup sesame seeds, brown unhulled       ¼ cup pecans, chopped very fine
¼  cup pecans, chopped very fine
Syrup                                                              Mix#3
½ tsp xv coconut oil                                     2/3 cup pistachios, coarsely chopped                                        
½ tsp liquid lecithin                                     ½ cup sunflower seeds
1 T tahini                                                      ¼ cup pecans, chopped very fine
4 tsp honey                                                 2 T sesame seeds
4 tsp maple syrup

Cover a large cookie sheet with a piece of parchment paper, & have a second piece at hand.  Mix together seeds & nuts & set aside.  Place a 15” nonstick fry pan on low.  Add syrup ingredients in order listed, in the same spot.  Increase burner temp to medium/high, stirring constantly.  Stir for 1-2 minutes until nice & bubbly.  (If syrup darkens more than just slightly, pan is too hot.)  Stir in the seeds & nuts, stirring & flipping for 2-4 minutes until a bit fragrant.  Pour onto parchment paper and spread out a bit using the edge of the spatula.  Put the second piece of paper over the top &roll out with a rolling pin to a thin layer.  Remove top paper, cool completely, break up into pieces & store in an airtight container.   In the hot/humid weather, store in the frig.

Options: for those who like more of a sweet/salty flavor, 1/8 tsp salt may be added.  For a more toasted flavor, the sunflower seeds may be dry roasted in the pan on med/high for 1-3 minutes before making the syrup, then added in with the rest of the nuts.  (Stir them as they roast.)  Measuring out such small amounts of the syrup ingredients can be a bit challenging.  Better to have a little more than less in all but the tahini, which may reduce the crunchiness if too much.   For bars, line an 8”x8” baking dish with parchment paper, pour in mixture & press down very firmly.  When still partially warm press down with a pastry cutter into 1 ½” squares.  If your fry pan is any smaller, make half a recipe at a time for better results.  Half the recipe cooked in the larger pan will produce  crispier brittle.

Monday, November 4, 2013

Maple Cranberry Sauce

Once you’ve tried fresh cranberry sauce without all the refined sugar there’s no going back! 

vegan, gluten free, healthy, sauce

Maple Cranberry Sauce

¾ cup water
1 cup maple syrup
3 cups fresh cranberries

Bring the water & syrup to a boil, being careful not to boil over.   Stir in the cranberries, bring back to a medium simmer & cook for 15-20 minutes, stirring every couple minutes until a thick sauce consistency, no longer watery when stirred up. (It will thicken more as it cools.)  Immediately pour into a heat proof container.  Cool completely & store covered in the fridge.  (A thicker skin may form on top.  This is normal.)  Freezes well.  If frozen in 2 cup amounts, you’re all set to make a batch of cranberry bars any time of year.
         Have a joyous and blessed day!

Friday, November 1, 2013

Why write a recipe book?

Why write a recipe book? Simply put, it was the repeated nudges 2-3 years ago from the Holy Spirit to write one!  (I catch on eventually.)  My response when I realized this idea was not coming from me: 'Lord, aren't there enough recipe books already?!'  A couple more nudges the next few days.  'Ok, I'll get started.'  It wasn't a matter of starting from scratch though.  After more than 30 years of experimenting, tweaking, and more tweaking, it was more a matter of choosing which ones to add, tacking down the exact amount of the ingredients, and taking pictures.  (That sounds alot quicker and easier than it was!)  Of course after a couple of years there were also new ones that deserved a spot in the book, such as coconut bars and nutty seed brittle.  All the steps involved in putting the book together have been good practice for me to remember to pray for wisdom and guidance in all aspects of each day; the big things and the small things.  Because the  truth is - in the long run, I don't know which things will end up being the most important.
The recipe ingredients are vegan, nutrient dense, whole foods. Over 60 are also gluten free.  As I recall, there are only three that aren't all whole foods: the spicy veggie pocket shell is made with unbleached flour, a small amount of unbleached flour is used in the burrito shells, and the filo dough for the baklava is not whole grain.  The other 102 recipes are made up of all whole foods.  The sweeteners used have very little refinement.  These are: honey, maple syrup, maple sugar, and/or unsulphured molasses.  If you have any questions or comments on the book or the recipes, you are welcome to email me at:  If you are just getting started on making delicious, whole, satisfying food; there are easy to follow, detailed instructions included, with the ingredients in the order needed.  May you experience the joy of making, as well as eating the food from the recipes you find in the pages of  'Comfort Food'!