Sunday, June 26, 2011

A Quick Sunday Brunch

Ahhh Sunday, It's my quiet yoga day until my youngest goes into the refrigerator, starts pulling out various food items and yells, "I want something to eat!" Today was no exception. So, when she pulled out the Tofurky Kielbasa, (My husband is from Chicago and loved Polish sausage sandwiches when he ate meat. Since he is a Vegetarian and in the South, it's his food memory when he gets homesick.) I instantly sliced a link and browned it. After that I added about 1/4 cup of water, a 1/2 teaspoon of salt, Bragg's herb seasoning, then added frozen vegetables. With the heat on high I kept the dish covered until all of the water was gone and voila', brunch for my Sweet Pea.  I made enough for about two servings but you can double or triple it according to your family needs.  It's quick and simple. Take Care!

Friday, June 24, 2011

Monday, June 20, 2011

Healthy Eating: Baked Kale

Here is a recipe for a great snack!  I haven't tried it yet but it looks awesome.  The organic farmers at the market in Baton Rouge are still selling kale, so I am definitely going to pick up some and try this out.  Enjoy and comment if you try the recipe.  Check out this Baked Kale Recipe .

Kale on FoodistaKale

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Couture, Cooking Classes, and Cakes, Oh My!

Below is a neat article I wanted to share on what to wear in the kitchen when entertaining.  One of my favorite Food Network Chefs, Giada DeLaurentiis, shares her ideas on dressing for guests while working kitchen.  On that note, I often find myself wondering what to wear when I teach cooking classes.  Do I wear a formal chef's jacket even though I am not technically a chef?  Do I wear a regular outfit with an apron?  What do I wear to look neat, stylish, and professional?  I personally like Chef's like Anne Burrell and Mario Batali who each have a distinct sense of style while in the kitchen.  Chef Anne wears colorful outfits and has a signature hairstyle while Chef Mario wears shorts and orange crocs.  So, I will be thinking about my kitchen style as I work on my ideas for teaching a cooking class to young people.

Check out > Kitchen Couture with Giada DeLaurentiis

Now on to cakes.  OMG! as my younger sister would say.  I have found something that makes my vegan cakes taste better than a regular one.  I have a 1 + 2+ 4 + 2 formula for my cakes which means, 1 part fat, 2 parts sugar, 4 parts flour, 2 parts liquid.  Instead of Earth Balance shortening or buttery spread I used their new Coconut Spread for the fat.  I must say it, combined with coconut milk for the liquid, made for an awesome cake.  The texture was perfect and it was moist, not gummy or too dry.  If you are into vegan baking try it.  It makes for a great cake!
What's left of my Husbands birthday cake

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

The Real Whole Foods Rap

A friend alerted me to the video below which I thought it was too funny!  I call this post the real Whole Foods rap because I did a video in 2009 in which I talk about the music being played for my shopping enjoyment.
Check out both videos and enjoy!

Friday, June 10, 2011

HOT! A Lesson on Life from Cooking with my Little Girl.

The other day my youngest daughter pulled up a chair to help me cook beans and rice.  I have to let her chop the onions and garlic with a butter knife and help me pick herbs from the garden.  We have fun!  All in all I am pleased that she wants to cook.  She even recently made a raw kale and strawberry salad for her brother which is to your right.

Unfortunately, even with me moving pots, and the child, and explaining that the stove is hot, my little one felt the unwavering need to touch the hot pot of beans.  In the few seconds it took me to turn and rinse my pepper, I hear the word "Hot" from my daughter as she grabs her fingers.  I know, I’ve heard the story of no matter how many times you tell a child not to touch the hot stove it won't register until they actually experience the heat.  Well, to my dismay, my warrior princess wanted the experience.  (My son on the other hand at that age, took my word for it.)  The thing I love about my daughter thought is that she didn't let the sting keep her from continuing her cooking quest.  She pulled at the onion with her butter knife until she had a piece to place on the rice.  She also seasoned the beans with salt and spices.   We did have to wrap her finger with a burn gel to make the initial sting go away but she kept on and didn't let the mishap scare her. 

Kitchen wisdom can be such a great teacher.  How many times have things in life burned us and instead of putting on a little burn gel and staying determined we let it scare us and we quit.  Well like I say, just keep cooking and something good will happen!   Now, when my little one helps me cook she points to the pots, will say "HOT", and not touch anything.  I guess this goes back to the philosophy that children learn best through personal experience.  On that note, below is the method for how I prepare my beans.  Take care and Enjoy!

Red Beans, or White, or Black in a Pressure Cooker

1.  I soak my beans for at least 4 hours.
(chickpea and fava no less than 8)
2.  I place them in a  pressure cooker for a faster cooking time. 
3.  Do not salt beans until they are fully cooked
4.  I add dry herbs for initial flavor,  (Bay, Sage, Dried Italian are some options)
5.  I boil my beans in the pressure cooker in a 2 1/2 cup of water to 1 cup of bean ratio with the lid off until a foam rises.  I take off the foam reduce the water until it is about and inch or so over the beans then put the pressure cooker lid on and wait until it hisses.
6.  Once it starts hissing I cut down the heat and use a "flame tamer"  (you can get one at Bed, Bath, and Beyond) to help disburse the heat evenly while cooking.  I let my beans cook for about 45 minutes. 
7.  While my beans are cooking I saute' my onion, garlic, bell pepper, and set them aside. 
8.  Once my beans are finished I add my onion mixture, vegetable bouillon cube, salt and any other spices, and let them cook together for another ten to fifteen minutes. 
9.  Add rice and dig in!

Preparing The German State Dinner

I love to cook what I harvest. Here is the White House bounty. Beautiful!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Carob Vegan Cake

video1 024
I love to bake!  It’s one of the best things in life to me.  So I thought I would pass along this article and recipe for those of you interested in baking with carob.  Click here for the article and if you try the recipe please let me know. Enjoy!

Saturday, June 4, 2011

I asked for it, and I got it! Assistance during my Time of Transition- A Book Review of The Benevolent Dictator

feuerbook_blackThis time last year I had the delight of reviewing the book Delivering Happiness by Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh. As a result, I've been able to get advance copies of some really great books. When The Benevolent Dictator- Empower your Employees, Build your Business, and Outwit the Competition by Michael Feuer came across my desk I thought, this may be what I need to take my business to the next level. I am a firm believer that the Universe gives us everything we need in perfect timing so I wasn't surprised that this was no ordinary business book.

I comment that The Benevolent Dictator is no ordinary business book because some of the lessons given by author Michael Feuer are not just for the work environment, but for life. A quote I often heard from television talk show host Dr. Phil is that we are "Life Managers", and for the person who may not be an entrepreneur, managing a family or a volunteer event is just as important. With this book Feuer gets right to the point with 40 life lessons that help the current or future business owner make positive changes in order to grow and succeed. He draws from his experience as the Co-Founder of office retail giant OfficeMax and also shares his lessons learned from starting a new venture in a down economy.

The book is broken down into four phases of business beginning with: Phase One- Start-Up, then on to Phase Two- Build Out and Put the Idea to the Test, Phase Three- Constant Reinvention, Phase Four- The Payday. For me there were many great points, so for brevity, I will give you the first five I jotted down:

1. Always have a short term plan.
2. Be willing to abandon a plan when necessary, change quickly, and deal with the unexpected.
3. Have laser sharp focus and an attack plan.
4. Don't fixate on the problem. Look further down the road for possible solutions
5. Smart Entrepreneurs run a business with their heart, head, and gut.

For the full scope of each point, you must read the book and have a pen and paper handy. In order to truly appreciate and absorb the information, I feel no less than a highlighter is required. Put some of these thoughts on sticky notes or notecards and put them in places where they can be easily reviewed every day. I have all of my helpful points on a big sheet of paper which I hang in my son’s room (he wants to be a business owner). Begin to put what you read into practice and notice how it changes your bottom line. Buy a copy not only for yourself but for recent graduates of both high school and college. They will not only have a foundation for any future business ideas but also for managing life.

You can buy this and other books I love including Small Message, Big Impact: How to Put the Power of the Elevator Speech Effect to Work for You by Terri Sjodin at my hangout to your right. Also checkout my review of her book in the customer discussion section of the book page.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Is the new Nutrition Plate Vegetarian Friendly? Nutrition Plate Unveiled to Replace the Food Pyramid

On yesterday First Lady Michelle Obama introduced a new concept in how we look at the daily diet.  The new concept called MyPlate ( takes the place of the old food pyramid with a round plate divided into four sections:  fruit, vegetables, grains, and protein.  On the right side is a smaller circle the size of a glass designated for dairy.  When I checked out the the site the new information looked great.  I just wanted my Southern Veg Folks to click on the protein section of the plate and let me know what you think about the wording in terms of vegetarian diets.  It’s in the middle of the recommendations for seafood and meat and I feel is not clearly differentiated from the latter.  Check it out at the link above and let me know. The first thing I always get asked is how do I get my protein so I definitely wanted you to check this out and also the diary section.  Send comments and have a great weekend!
read here--->Nutrition Plate Unveiled to Replace the Food Pyramid -

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Something for my Gluten Free friends, Enjoy!


Before Gluten Free became mainstream, I had a few folks school me on wheat and suggested I use spelt instead for easier digestion (I know it’s not gluten free).  Lately thought there are even more options for flours and more cookbooks for baking.  Check out the article below on being gluten free.

Gluten-Free Baked Goods Full of Flavor -

Picture Credit: Andrew Scrivani for The New York Times