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Cheater Baked Beans October 13, 2010

This recipe is stolen/modified from Veganomicon.  I always have a tough time following recipes, so below is my modification.


  • 5 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 tsp of coconut oil
  • 1 can tomato paste
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 cans white or navy beans
  • 1/4 blackstrap molasses
  • 1 tsp mustard powder
  • 1/4 tsp allspice
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt


  1. Mince garlic and combine with coconut oil is a medium sized pot
  2. Saute the garlic on a low heat (around 2) for at least 10 minutes
  3. Combine the remaining ingredients into the pot
  4. Let it sit for an hour occasionally stirring

These are called cheater baked beans because you are using canned beans and you’re not baking them!  There are a few reasons why I would make my own baked beans instead of buying canned ones.

First off I don’t like added sugars and it is impossible to find anything these days without added sugar.   I choose blackstrap molasses in this recipe because it contains one the highest concentrations of iron of any food (vegan or not).  Believe it or not it is right up there with liver on iron content, and much tastier!  (Honestly I wouldn’t know I’ve never had liver, but I hear it’s pretty gross)

I use a small amount of coconut oil when sauteing the garlic because you need to be really careful with heated fats.  Coconut oil is the only oil that can with stand high heats, all other oils become hydrogenated after cooking and are hazardous to your health.  Using other oils on occasion can be fine, but I would recommend regularly cooking with coconut oil.

Finally, the delicious beans!  Beans are a great vegetarian source of protein, vitamins and minerals.  Cooking them on a low heat will help break down the fibers and reduce gas.

I would recommend serving along with steamed kale and broccoli…YUM!!


Quinoa Cooking Tricks July 29, 2010

Filed under: Appetizers/Entrees,Gluten Free,Protein,Recipes — Yvette @ 1:36 am
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Right now quinoa is my favorite grain, but I have to be honest it took me a little while to cook it well.  Through trial and error I have finally got it down, so hopefully you all will benefit from my mistakes!

  1. I have found that soaking the quinoa for at least 15 minutes before cooking it is helpful.  A little advice for those of you who work, I find that if I just soak it in some water in the morning it is ready to cook when I get home in the afternoon/evening.  I just would not recommend soaking the quinoa over a day unless you plan on changing the water.
  2. Also the directions on the package usually say 1 cup quinoa cooked in 1 and 1/2 cups water.  This usually turns out to be too little water for me.  The quinoa comes out crunchy and hard, which makes it very difficult to digest.  I suggest using 1 cup quinoa to 2 cups water.

I love quinoa because it is a complete protein and a great source of good fats and iron.  When it is cooked properly it feels really light in the stomach and is easily digested.

Here is how I generally cook my quinoa (slight variation on the curried quinoa recipe I have posted before):

  • 1 cup quinoa soaked for 1 hour
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 tbs coconut oil
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp coriander
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne
  • 1/4 tsp cardamom

Combine in a pot and bring to a boil.  Then let it simmer for about 15/20 minutes.  The spices are optional, they just give the quinoa a nice flavor.  The coconut oil makes the dish nice and creamy.


Protein – Vegetarian Sources April 28, 2010

I recently met with a nutritionist who indicated that my protein levels were low.  And no it isn’t because I’m vegan and not eating meat (MOM)!  It is most likely due to the fact that I was on a raw vegan diet for a year and eating mostly nuts for my protein.  While nuts do contain some protein they are mainly a fat dominant food.  That isn’t to say that nuts are bad for you.  In fact they are packed with nutrients, minerals and one of the best sources of essential fatty acids; but should not be relied upon as a protein source, not for an extended period of time.  I have moved over to some other plants that are protein dominant, the wonderful world of beans 🙂

If you are into smoothies, I have been using Raw Protein from Garden of Life in my smoothies in the morning.  It is basically sprouted beans, dried and ground into a powder.  There is also some flax and chia seed in there, which are also very nutritious.  I also like the fact that they include some probiotics and enzymes!  I do admit I feel kind of silly using a protein powder in the morning, something feels reminiscent of frat boys and meat heads heading to the gym with their muscle milk.  But this protein powder is 100% vegan, gluten free, raw, soy free, kosher and so on.  It has large doses of Vitamin A, D, E and K.  Vitamin D is hard to obtain on a vegan diet, whereas most vegetarians obtain this through milk and dairy products.  And finally, there are NO additives or any flavorings, and I can barely taste it in my smoothies.  I highly recommend it!

Next I’d like to talk about tofu and tempeh.  After about two years of avoiding tofu and tempeh I have finally decided to give them a try.  Since I feel that I always need to be highly informed about my food I decided to do a little research on the two.  I found that tempeh is more of a whole food because it is actually made from the soybean, higher in protein and vitamins, and the proteins and vitamins are easier for the body to claim because of the fermentation process used to make tempeh.  Whereas tofu is made from soymilk, making it not a whole food, and contains more phytates which inhibit the bodies absorption of nutrients.  I still think that both foods contain a good source of protein and vitamins.  But from now on I will be choosing tempeh!

My only caveat about buying soy products is that soy is often GMO, which is why I stayed away from them for so long.  So my advice if you choose to eat either tempeh or tofu you MUST buy organic!  GMO foods are incredibly disastrous not only to our health, but to the environment as well.


Curried Quinoa March 25, 2010

Quinoa is a wonderful grain used by the Aztecs, it is a complete protein.  Quinoa is wonderful to cook with because it soaks up flavors well.


  • 1/2 cup quinoa
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 tbs minced fresh ginger
  • 1 tsp curry powder
  • 1/2 tsp cumin

First let the quinoa soak in a bowl for 15 minutes.  The grain has a protective coating and if it is not removed may cause you to be a little gassy.

After soaking put the quinoa and water into a pot and bring to a boil.  After the water is boiling, bring it down to a simmer and add the remaining ingredients.  Stir the ingredients around a bit, and let the quinoa cook.  It cooks similar to rice, so when the water has been cooked away, the quinoa is ready!



Sunny Mountain Rice March 16, 2009

Filed under: Appetizers/Entrees,Gluten Free,Protein,Recipes — Yvette @ 12:16 pm

I’m posting this mainly for my mother and her love of proteins.  This recipe will boost your protein levels in a healthy way.

  • 3 cups of water
  • 1 cup brown rice
  • 1/2 cup of quinoa
  • 2 cloves minced garlic
  • 1/2 tsp of sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp of pepper
  • 1/4 tsp of cumin
  • 1 cup of sunflower seeds
  • 1/2 cup chopped carrots
  • 1/2 cup chopped broccoli
  • 1/2 cup chopped zucchini
  1. In a pot bring 3 cups of water to a boil.
  2. Add in the brown rice, quinoa, garlic, sea salt and simmer on a low heat.
  3. After 10 minutes add in carrots, broccoli and zucchini.
  4. Let simmer for another 45 minutes or until grains are soft.
  5. Sprinkle on sunflower seeds and serve.

You can interchange the veggies in any way you like and play around with the spices.  Enjoy and let me know what works for you 🙂


Quinoa Recipe :) February 5, 2009

Filed under: Appetizers/Entrees,Gluten Free,Protein,Recipes — Yvette @ 2:16 pm

FYI quinoa is pronounced keen-wa.  This is a wonderful grain that is gluten free (for all you gluten-intolerant people) and it is a complete protein.  The Aztec’s treasured this grain and fed it to their soldiers before battle.

If you happen to not like the spices in this recipe substitute in your favorite.  Quinoa is great because it absorbs flavor as it cooks, so experiment and enjoy!


  • 1/2 cup of quinoa
  • 1 cup of water
  • 1 large clove of  minced garlic or two small ones
  • 1/4 tsp of cayenne
  • 1/4 tsp of cumin
  • 1/4 tsp of sea salt


You need to soak the quinoa for about 20 minutes before using it.  The grain grows a protective seal that will make it hard to digest if you don’t wash it off.  Trust me, Ali and my sister, if you don’t wash it off you’ll feel it the next day.  So, after soaking dispose of the water.  Then throw all the ingredients above into a pot, covering the pot bring it to a boil.  Once the water is boiling uncover and simmer on low heat until the quinoa absorbs all the water.


Goji Berries November 4, 2008

Filed under: Health Facts and Concerns,Health Tips,Protein,Superfoods — Yvette @ 3:26 am

Goji berries are one of the new super foods I’ve discovered.  They are a source of complete protein, which I know will make my mother extremely happy.  Yes, she loves complete proteins, she has wonderful rice and beans story that we all tease her about.  Ask her sometime 😉

Anyways, back to Goji berries.

A complete protein means they provide the body with all 8 of the essential amino acids, this berry contains 18.  Which makes this berry a high quality source of protein.  One or two tablespoons of these wonderful berries has more iron than a steak, more vitamin C than oranges, and more beta-carotene than carrots!  FYI vitamin C aids in the absorption of iron, so if you’re anemic, or generally concerned about getting enough iron, this is a great source.

Some other great things about Goji berries

  • wide variety of carotenoids, which are essential for good vision
  • multiple B vitamins which are necessary for converting our food into energy
  • contain vitamin E, which is rarely found in fruits
  • omega 6 essential fatty acids
  • good source of potassium and calcium
  • bentaine, which aids in a variety of things from calming nerves to protecting DNA
  • complex carbohydrates
  • beta-sitosterol an anti-inflammatory
  • the list really goes on, ask if you’re still curious!

A tip for all my ladies, this berry contains cyperone which aids in alleviating menstrual cramps.  Nice.  Although there is no miracle cure for the pain we endure once a month, they are definitely helpful.  Everybody is different; try it out for yourself and let me know!

Even though these berries are originally from the Himalayas, you can find them at your local health food store.  Goji berries are commonly brewed into teas in Chinese medicine.  I enjoy them in my granola and trail mixes, yes I’m that much of a granola head.  I’d also recommend throwing them in with your cereal, their texture is similar to raisins.  These berries have a lot to offer, enjoy 🙂