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Mama’s Got Balls: Easy Vegan Meatball Subs

21 Aug

I never knew Meatball Subs existed until my then boyfriend (now husband) and I went to eat at a sandwich place and he ordered a huge foot long Meatball Sub. How can anyone eat such a gigantic meat sandwich? Anyway, I made this Vegan Meatball Sub especially for him in memory of that date so many years ago. And yes, he can eat at least two of these in one sitting. Ummm… actually, so can I.

Vegan Meatballs 3

Easy Vegan Lentil Meatballs

Mix together in a bowl:

  • 2 c cooked lentils, drained
  • 1 c quick oats
  • 1/2 c wheat germ (you can substitute ground sunflower seeds or flax seeds, if you want)
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 3 Tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 3 Tbsp tomato sauce (depending on what you are going to do with the meatballs, you can substitute this with ketchup or BBQ sauce or another type of sauce)
  • 1 tsp parsley
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1 tsp basil
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder

Vegan Meatballs 1

Mix together well to incorporate all the ingredients. Form into balls. There will be around 18 – 20 pieces around 1 1/2″ in diameter. You can make your balls smaller for appetizer portions or bigger for burgers, whatever suits you.

Brown the Meatballs

You could roll the balls in whole wheat flour, but I don’t feel this is necessary because they will be dunked in sauce anyway.

Also, both methods (below) work, but I prefer method 1 because of the way they brown and the way they stay intact once in the sauce. If you don’t have time to keep watch over the stovetop, then method 2 works just fine.

Vegan Meatballs 2

Method 1 Sauté: spray a non-stick pan (I use ceramic and stay away from teflon) with grape seed oil. Cook all sides of the meatballs until browned.

Vegan Meatballs 5

Method 2 Bake: bake in a preheated oven at 350F for 10 minutes. Turn meatballs over on the other side and bake another 10 – 15 minutes until golden brown.

Easy Tomato Sauce

Place in a slow cooker:

  • 28 oz crushed tomatoes with basil (or plain and add 1 tsp dried basil)
  • 1/4 c extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1 onion, halved

Cook on low for 3 – 4 hours. Or you can simmer it for an hour or so on the stove. Discard the onions or use in another recipe.

Vegan Meatballs 6

Mix the Meatballs with the Sauce

When both the sauce and meatballs are done cooking, gently combine them to make sure they are heated through. Serve immediately. Do not overcook together as the balls may begin to fall apart.

NOTE: if you want ground meat in the sauce instead of meatballs in your sauce, you can add the meatballs to the sauce in the slow cooker and cook together for an hour or more. The longer you cook the meatballs in the sauce, the more soggy they will get. The sauce will resemble ground meat sauce. Both ways are delicious!

Vegan Meatballs 4

Mama’s Got Balls: Assembling the Subs

You will need:

  • Vegan Meatballs with sauce (from above)
  • big size hot dog buns from Vegan Hot Dog recipe or your choice of bread
  • your choice of vegetables: caramelized onions, spinach or other
  • your choice of toppings and other sauces

Slice buns, add in your choice of vegetables, Vegan Meatballs with sauce, and toppings. Enjoy!

Other Ways of Serving

Vegan Meatballs 7

  • with Pasta
  • over Polenta
  • over Rice
  • small balls as Appetizers served with sauce on the side
  • serve with BBQ sauce instead

Vegan Meatballs 3

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On Being A Mama and The Power of Veggie Soup

11 Dec

As you have probably noticed, I’ve been on a writing break for over a month.  I have no better and simpler excuse than this: I have been focusing on being a Mama.  My son has needed me more these days and I have needed to be with him.

Homeschooling

We started Kindergarten homeschooling in the Fall.  I didn’t know homeschooling would be as much fun as it is and I didn’t know it would be so intense.  My son is truly engaged and I am relieved that my research on curriculum is paying off!  Every morning goes by so fast these days and the time shared with my son are too precious for me to miss or rush through.

Thought I’d share these drawings with you.

An Activity of What makes you: HAPPY (being with Mama and Daddy), SAD (being alone), SCARED (meeting a monster), SURPRISED (meeting a monster that sings "You ain't nothing but a hound dog!)"

My son intended to write "Paddington Bear, 1 Main Street"... but this is what he wrote instead.

Although my husband and I discuss the education aspect of homeschooling a lot, the food in schools is what really frightens me.  The conventional foods, the processed foods, the allergens abound, the unhealthy culture at school cafeterias.

Allergies

My family went on a few weeks holiday in the Fall to visit family.  That’s when I realized that this Mama In The Kitchen cannot really be on holiday.  My son has had an allergy for the past 2 months because I was not able to prepare his food diligently for 3 weeks.  I have been on a mission to clear his body of this powerful allergy.  We are drinking lots of raw green smoothies, eating raw salads and cooked veggie soups.

The Power of Cooked Veggie Soups

From a Mama’s point of view, there is no way I can compare the amount of cooked vegetables in soups my son will willingly eat versus raw ones without added oils or fruit sugars.  Cooked veggie soups win any day.  This is why I love making my son soups – but I make sure they are from foods that are as unprocessed as possible.  When my son doesn’t feel well, there is nothing more soothing to him than warm soup on a cold day (besides lots of freshly squeezed orange juice too).

Vegan Pottage with Whole Herbs

I vegan-ized a recipe from my son’s history book, which was taken from a 17th century English Housewife cookbook!

Place all ingredients in a pot and bring to a boil.  Lower heat and simmer for 1 hour or more.

1/2 – 1 head of chopped cauliflower

1 chopped large sweet onion

1 1/2 c oat groats

2 big handfuls of chopped endive

2 big handfuls of chopped lettuce

2 big handful of chopped spinach

8 cups of water

Add apple cider vinegar (1 tbspn) and  sea salt (2 – 3 tsp), to taste.

I don’t know what’s more satisfying: a healthy history cooking project for homeschool or watching my son finish a wonderful amount of veggies for lunch.

Raw Blueberry Bars

26 Jun

A Raw Blueberry Bar

Thinking about really nutritious, fresh, un-processed, Raw Pop Tarts or Raw Cereal Bars or Raw Fig Newtons?  Either for breakfast, a snack or a dessert, this is it! This truly healthy recipe is very easy, simple and the family will love it.  Blueberries are now in season and tastes fantastic with vanilla, coconut, lemon and maple syrup!

Raw Pastry

Grind into a fine flour with a Vitamix or Coffee grinder:

1 cup sprouted and dehyrated soft wheat berries*

* Alternatives: sprouted and dehydrated oat groats (or simply grind rolled oats if this is easier), soaked, rinsed and drained nuts (make sure they are dry thoroughly – I usually store them in the fridge for a few hours in a sieve after rinsing them)

Place in a bowl and add:

1/2 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp vanilla extract (without alcohol)
1 tbspn extra virgin coconut oil
2 – 3 tbspns maple syrup, according to taste

Mix together.  Flatten with the palm of your hands or a roller on a flat surface. Refrigerate or freeze until hard.  Carefully separate pastry from surface.  Cut into long strips and store in an air tight container in the refrigerator until ready to serve.

Blueberry Jam

Mix together in a food processor:

1 tsp fresh lemon juice (optional but brings out the taste of sweet blueberries)
1/4 cup dates, soak if required
1 cup fresh blueberries*

*Alternatives: You can use your choice  of seasonal fruits here, like strawberries, figs, etc.

To Serve A La Minute

Place pastry strips on a flat surface.  Top half of each strip with blueberry jam and fold the other half on top to form a type of sandwich.  Serve immediately.

Cinnamon Donut Holes

28 May

Raw Cinnamon Donut Holes

My husband tells me today that he’s been craving Donuts.  Not just any donuts, but Krispy Kreme Donuts. And he’s been craving it for 3 weeks.

Ugh.  Really? Why didn’t he tell me earlier?

Not one to encourage processed foods in my house, I scramble and come up with these Cinnamon Donut Holes tonight.  Son was happy I had dessert and devoured them.  Hubby doesn’t crave the other donuts as much anymore.

I consider that a success.

Place in a bowl:

1/2 cup raw coconut flour (use high speed blender or food processor to grind dried shredded coconut to a fine powder, be careful not to over grind or else you will end up with coconut butter)

1 cup raw oat groats flour (soak oat groats overnight, drain and rinse the next day, sprout if you wish, dehydrate and process in a high speed blender to a fine powder – or grind raw rolled oats to a powder, if you wish)*

1 cup raw sprouted soft wheat flour (soak soft wheat berries overnight, drain and rinse the next day, sprout if you wish, dehydrate and process in a high speed blender to a fine powder)*

* I always have these on hand and keep them in the refrigerator or freezer.

Add to the bowl:

1/2 tsp sea salt

1 tsp vanilla extract

5 tbspns extra virgin coconut oil at room temperature

5 tbspns raw local honey

Mix together until a batter forms.  If it is still to dry, add just a little water at a time to create a batter that sticks. Roll into small balls.  Coat with ‘powdered cinnamon sugar’. Although not raw, this is the least processed and closest alternative to the sugar coating of regular donuts.  Grind together in a high speed blender:

2 tbspns ground cinnamon

6 tbspns Sucanat (dried whole cane sugar)

Alternatively, you can coat the donuts with more ground coconut flour or dip in raw chocolate syrup (2 tbspns raw local honey mixed with 1-2 tbspns raw carob powder or raw cacao powder) for a Donut Fondue!

Serve immediately and enjoy!

Once refrigerated or frozen, allow to thaw at room temperature before serving.

Where’s My RAW Oatmeal?

4 May

I don’t know how my family transitioned into a less processed diet without our family’s staple raw breakfast: raw oatmeal. Made from oat groats, apples and dates, I was inspired to create this porridge from my old Muesli recipe. It really is delicious and when first transitioning into a more unprocessed and raw based diet, my husband would lovingly say, “I don’t want the cooked oatmeal, I want to eat the RAW oatmeal”.

When Karen Ranzi, author of Creating Healthy Children through Attachment Parenting and Raw Foods, had breakfast at our house one day, she wrote down the recipe immediately after eating two bowls. She said it would be the first thing she would make for her family when she returned home.

Needless to say, we eat it at least once a week. I hope you and your family enjoy it too!

Soak overnight, rinse and drain well:

2 cups raw oat groats (if you can’t find whole oat groats, you can use steel cut or rolled oats but these are not raw)

Blend in food processor (chunkier) or high speed blender (smoother and creamier) with about 1 cup of water and the rest of the ingredients:

1 tsp cinnamon

1 tbspn lemon juice

1 cup dates, seeded

1 cup raw nuts, soaked overnight, rinsed and drained (optional)

3 apples, cored, no need to peel

Serve topped with other seasonal fruit (optional).

Mama Won’t Mind If You Have Another Of That Chocolate Cake

30 Apr

Mama Won't Mind If You Have Another Of That Chocolate Cake

The Cake

Besides the coconut oil in the icing, this is a nut-free raw cake! Mainly oats and dates, this batter is versatile. You can make it into a brownie, cookie, cake, crumbs for fruit desserts, etc.

The day before you make the cake, prepare the oat flour: 1. Soak oat groats overnight. 2. Drain and rinse. 3. Dehydrate until thoroughly dry by placing on 2 mesh screens on trays so the groats don’t easily fall out. I place the dehydrator on full for 1 hour then decrease the temperature to 105F. This takes about half a day. 4. Process 2 cups of dehydrated oat groats in a high speed blender, such as aVitamix, to make flour. EASY ALTERNATIVE: grind rolled oat flakes into flour.

Batter: Place in a food processor and mix together:

1/4 tsp sea salt

1/2 cup raw cacao powder (you can substitute with raw carob powder)

1 1/2 cups dates, pitted

Add in and process together:

2 cups oat groats, processed into oat flour as above (ALTERNATIVE: you can use rolled oat flakes and grind into a powder)

Add slowly to the powdery mixture until you have a batter that sticks together:

6 tbspns raw local honey (you may need less)

use silicone molds for easy removal

Grease molds with extra virgin coconut oil (or olive oil). Place batter in molds to create small mini-cupcakes or layers of cake. Remove and set aside.

Mama Won't Mind If You Have Another Of Those Chocolate Cupcakes


Chocolate Icing

How healthy can this chocolate icing be??? Avocado (vitamin E!) and coconut oil (the benefits are amazing)? WOW. And this icing can be used to top anything! Fruits, cupcakes, cookie, as a dip, top raw ice cream (banana ice cream or almond ice cream)… yum!

In a food processor, mix together:

1/4 cup raw cacao powder (or raw carob powder)

1/2 cup extra-virgin coconut oil

1/2 cup raw local honey

1 medium avocado

Pipe on top of cupcakes or place in between layers of cake, then pipe top of cake.

Note: Depending on your dates and honey, your cake may be just right or a little on the sweet side. If it is a little too sweet, you can use fruit (mashed up banana as ‘cream’, strawberry slices, raspberry, or other seasonal fruits) as the filling in between layers to break up the sweetness. Enjoy!

Can I Have More of those Raw Oatmeal Cookies Mama?

4 Apr

The Yummiest and Easiest Raw Oatmeal Cookies

“Mama!” my son’s eyes widened as he exclaimed, “Daddy put one whole raw oatmeal cookie in his mouth and ate it in one gulp!”

Pause.

“So, can I have more of those raw oatmeal cookies?” he smiled.

Yes, these raw oatmeal cookies are delicious and they will have the kids and daddies wanting more! They are so very simple to make and highly nutritious. Cookies made of sprouted oats, coconut oil and almond butter… hmmm… I have no qualms serving it to my family anytime of day. We hardly enjoy dehydrated food anymore preferring fresh instead but this recipe may change all that.

Soak overnight. Next day, drain and rinse. Sprout for a day, if you wish:

1 cup organic oat groats

Place in a food processor and process until you have a nice thick batter:

pinch salt
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 tbspns raw almond butter
2 tbspns extra virgin coconut oil
1/4 cup raw local honey
2 cups sprouted oat groats

Place by a spoonful on a Texflex sheet on dehydrator trays. Dehydrate at 110F until desired hardness, turning cookies over once and placing them directly on trays to dry quicker.

Note: my friend Bonnie reminded me that if you set your machine to 150F for the first 2 to 3 hours, the food being dehydrated will not reach a temperature of more than 110F and it will speed up the process of dehydration by at least half the time. After 2 to 3 hours at 150F, you can decrease the temperature to 110F for the remainder of the process. In doing so, these cookies will be done in about 6 hours.

Top 12 Kid-Friendly Year-Round Raw Superfoods

7 Mar

After discussing the top 5 reasons to feed our children more raw vegan foods, I thought it would be good to list the most kid-friendly raw foods that are in-season all year round and/or available all year round.  It is best to find organic, local and in-season foods, but sometimes it is just not possible for many reasons (one being I have a monkey who loves bananas and we don’t grow bananas where we live).

So, here is a list of 12 superfoods that are full of, as my son says, “En-zines! En-zines!”

Hope your kids enjoy these living and enzyme rich foods!

FRESH FRUITS

1. bananas – all kids love bananas.  They are rich in enzymes, best eaten just ripe when there are brown spots on the skin.  Many kids are monkey bananas for them in

  • breakfast – cereals, granola, porridge, pudding
  • green smoothies – a must in any
  • ice cream – with the texture of real ice cream, you can add different ingredients to change its flavor
  • lollipops – name me a kid who doesn’t like them!

2. apples – sweet and crunchy!  Full of phyto-nutrients and anti-oxidants, what’s there not to love in

  • breakfast – in our favorite Raw Muesli and a yummy accompaniment to Almond Yogurt.
  • easy snacks – simply slice one up and serve with or without a dip, or create Apple Sandwiches
  • raw Applesauce
  • immune booster ‘tea’: mix together equal parts of apple cider vinegar and honey, add water to taste
  • veggie juices – to make it more palatable for kids. I know my son prefers apple green juices over carrot ones.

3. lemons – rich in raw vitamin C and bioflavanoids.  Enjoy in

  • salad dressings: 1 tbspn lemon juice, 2-4 tbspns extra virgin olive oil, 1 tsp sea salt, spices and herbs
  • raw lemonade

4. avocado – rich in protein, enzymes, fiber, potassium, vitamin E and healthy fats.  Avocados add a richness and creaminess in

  • dips – Guacamole
  • soups
  • a simple side – sliced with a little sea salt and extra virgin olive oil
  • desserts – creamy chocolate Sundae

5. papaya – loaded with living enzymes, papaya contains papain, a digestive enzyme which helps break down protein and soothes the stomach.  Enjoy in

FRESH VEGGIES

6. romaine lettuce – rich in vitamin A, vitamin K, folate, vitamin C, manganese, and chromium, it is also a very good source of dietary fiber.  It is the mildest of all leafy greens and the easiest for kids to learn to love.  Enjoy in

  • easy salads – Kid’s Only Salad and South Asian Salad
  • smoothies – in any smoothie, this is the easiest way to get kids to eat them
  • as wraps – simply place a banana in a leaf, topped with almond butter and honey or dates or nama shoyu, or other filling

SPROUTED GRAINS

7. sprouted oat groats: a good source of dietary fiber, significant amount of vitamin B1, potassium, iron, phosphorous, selenium, zinc, manganese and magnesium.  Enjoy in

RAW NUTS and SEEDS

8. almonds – higher in fiber than other nuts, contains healthy omega-9 oleic fatty acids, calcium, phosphorus and magnesium. Enjoy in

  • Almond Butter – use it instead of peanut butter on bananas with honey, or in lettuce wraps
  • Almond Orange Salad Dressing
  • Raw Almond Milk – soak 1 cup of almonds overnight, rinse and drain the next day, process in a high speed blender with 4 cups of water and your choices of sweetener (honey, dates, to taste) and flavor (cinnamon, vanilla, cardamom)
  • Raw Almond Yogurt

9. coconut – besides being anti-viral, anti-bacterial and anti-fungal (Coconut Research Center), coconuts are highly nutritious, rich in fiber (4x as much as oat bran and 2x as much as wheat bran or flaxseed meal), vitamins and minerals.  We have a tub of coconut oil in my son’s bathroom and he enjoys eating the butter as I lather moisturize his skin with it. Enjoy in

  • breakfast – granola
  • coconut oil – in desserts, pit a date and place a little coconut oil inside, close and enjoy
  • creamy milk – simply blend together fresh raw coconut water and meat from one coconut.
  • Pina Colada smoothie – blend together water and meat from 1 coconut, 1 banana, 1 cup pineapple, 1 tbspn honey.
  • soups – we love my Coconut Gazpacho, but you can make a simple Avocado Coconut Soup by blending 1 avocado and water and meat from 1 coconut and your choice of flavours (curry, vanilla, sea salt or honey)

10. sunflower seeds – excellent source of vitamin E, as well as vitamin B1, manganese, magnesium, copper, selenium, phosphorus, vitamin B5 and folate.  We enjoy this is our son’s fave salad

11. flax seeds – great source of omega-3 essential fatty acids, good source of dietary fiber, manganese, folate, vitamin B6, magnesium, phosphorus, copper and lignan phytonutrients.  Enjoy as

SWEETENER

12. raw local honey – not only will this help with seasonal allergies, but this is an unprocessed sweetener that kids just love.  Since finding out more about the negatives of agave syrup, honey is now our favorite liquid sweetener.  Enjoy in

  • breakfast
  • chocolate syrup with raw cacao or carob powder
  • desserts
  • toppings or dips for cut fruit