Vegan Nacho Sauce

I’ve been promising to post this recipe for ages. It’s one of my kids and friends favorites. We use it to dip veggies and if we have company I’ll also add a bag of tortilla chips to the mix. My rancher son in law didn’t believe me when I told him it was vegan. My middle daughter lives off the stuff and my grandkids love it too. You might not want to tell anyone what’s in it and keep the fact it’s super healthy a secret!

Vegan Nacho Dip

This is a nacho cheese dip and super tummy. Great on veggies!
Course: Snack
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: animal free, healthy, nacho sauce, vegan cheese sauce, yummy
Servings: 12
Cost: 5.00

Equipment

  • high powered blender

Ingredients

  • 1 butternut squash
  • 1/3 cup cashews
  • 1 lemon
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce be sure it's vegan if you're vegan
  • 2 tsp spicy brown mustard can use regular but spicy is better
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp chili powder
  • 1 pinch cayenne powder more if you like it spicier. I add 3 pinches
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp salt

Instructions

  • peel and dice squash no larger than 2 inch pieces
  • boil squash and cashews until squash is tender
  • once squash and nuts are cooled down enough to handle, place in high powered blender and mix until smooth
  • add all other ingredients and blend for 2 to 5 minutes
  • eat hot or cold and you can also freeze! Sprinkle a little paprika on top for garnish and beauty
Advertisements

Spanish Quinoa

We took rice out of our diet about 8-years ago. I’ll have some about once a year and always go back to quinoa. Here’s the lowdown of rice verses quinoa via a quick Google search.

quinoa has far fewer calories and carbohydrates than white rice, which contains 40 more calories and 15 times the carbohydrates per cup than the same amount of quinoa. A cup of quinoa will also provide twice the protein and about 5 grams more fiber than the same amount of white rice.”

Our only “no rice” dilemma was eating Spanish and Thai food recipes. Substituting quinoa was actually easy and once we began making Spanish Quinoa it’s like we never left rice. We also enjoy eating it the day after tacos because we have homemade salsa left over and put it on the Spanish Quinoa. I give the recipe with tomatoes but don’t hesitate if you make salsa or pico de galo to add.

Spanish Quinoa

We gave up Spanish rice and went to Spanish quinoa
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Mexican
Servings: 2 people

Equipment

  • Large stove top pan w/lid

Ingredients

  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 2 cups water
  • 3 fresh tomatoes
  • 1 large onion
  • 1 can organic tomato sauce
  • 1 tbsp olive oil

Instructions

  • place olive oil in pan and heat slightly then move around pan until covered (heat level-medium)
  • add quinoa
  • add 2 chopped tomatoes and 1 diced onion
  • stir until onion is about half cooked and opaque
  • Add water and canned tomato
  • stir until it comes to boil (you can turn up heat if you are right there and stirring)
  • reduce heat to simmer and cook for additional 15 minutes *covered
  • top with sliced tomato and serve (you can add additional tomatoes if you really like them, I do)

Notes

If you like a runnier version, use 1 15oz can of diced tomatoes. My husband adds hamburger meat sometimes and I’ve even seen him sneak on cheese but I find it delicious with just tomatoes!

Crunchy Granola

After years of missing out on oats, we’ve added some back into our diet. I was never a fan of oatmeal or even oatmeal cookies. I am however, a fan of granola. The image of what’s left of my granola is a rare snap. This stuff doesn’t last long and it’s super yummy. I will however put a healthy warning on it for Celiac sufferers. Oats do not naturally contain Gluten but they do have another binder that causes a problem for Celiacs. Oats, in many cases, are also processed in plants containing wheat and are highly cross contaminated so be careful if you are gluten sensitive. I bought certified gluten free oats and have not had a problem.

Crunchy Granola

This is an easy stove-top recipe
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time5 mins
Course: Breakfast
Servings: 10
Cost: $5

Ingredients

  • 2 cups rolled oats
  • 1 cup/combo almonds, pecans, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds I use what I have on hand
  • 3 tbsp honey or maple syrup

Instructions

  • Slowly brown oats, nuts and seeds over medium heat in a
    large stove top pan
  • Remove completely from heat and allow to cool for 3-5 minutes, you want it very warm
  • Add honey and stir well until everything is coated
  • Spread on parchment paper and allow to completely cool
  • Refrigerate in airtight container (I use a mason jar)

Ideas for granola: granola on fruit in the morning, granola with frozen pureed fruit, granola straight up as a snack, granola sprinkled on ice cream (I make vegan ice cream using coconut and almond milk)

Sharing Food with Wildlife

Elk are the bane of my existence and I still love them.

Violet the Vixen

I talked about insect pests in another post but really our nemesis is wildlife. We’ve been determined to plant enough vegetables to provide fresh food for 1/2 the year. This summer, the elk ate about two-thirds of our apricots, a quarter of our cherries and peaches, tomatoes, peppers, and all my lettuce.

These are our javelina: Hector-dad, Betty-mom, Penny & Fido.

The javelina eat our flowers and shrubs, rabbits forage, and birds take whatever fruit they please.

I think the biggest problem is me. I have an unfortunate habit of naming my babies. We also provide water in our front yard pond and all the wildlife tell their friends the deer, squirrels, etc. to come visit when thirsty. We fill the 60 gallon pond back up again each morning.

We also sit outside between 4 and 5 AM just to catch sight of our wild family.

Our area has been in drought conditions too which makes us worry about our family when they aren’t around for more than a week.

I know if we lived in the old west, we wouldn’t be as lackadaisical about our missing food supplies but for us it’s just living our dream life in the mountains and seeing a glimpse into nature that many don’t.

We’ll continue sharing with wildlife as long as they come around and there’s a store to shop a few miles away. If that changes, I’ll cry.

Due to the rabbits, we garden in containers and have 20 in the yard. Here are a few pictures.

This is our edible lower patio also known as the crayola patio
More of the edible patio
Squash and hot peppers which the elk love
Line of tomato barrels with fencing around them
More elk fence around our tree garden but it hasn’t stopped them

If you have wildlife or gardening images, I would love to see them <3

Fennel for the Belly

I was talking to a friend on the phone the other morning and she mentioned eating black licorice for IBS. That got me thinking about my fennel which had just come into bloom.

I truly love fennel flowers and they taste exactly like black licorice and have the same calming effect on your belly as the candies/sugared-filled kind.

I taste tested a flower on my husband and he swears it’s what the candy is made from. You can grow it yourself (very easily) or buy the seeds here

You can even make a belly-calming tea that is delicious, if you like black licorice that is.

1 tablespoon fennel seeds

2 tablespoons fresh lemon balm

Sweetener of your choice (I drink it without)

1 cup hot water

Steep the seeds for 5 minutes with something to cover the mug and you’re set after straining out the seeds.

The Solution for Dead Thumb

Dead thumb, what is it and do you have it?

In my house dead thumb is the opposite of green thumb. I’m lucky to be blessed with green. But, if you were not blessed as I was, there may be a solution.

I was at a BBQ last night and took my famous micro-green pasta salad made with quinoa pasta (I buy this one). I promise to share the recipe another time, this post is about turning your dead thumb green. Anyway, a lady mentioned she loved the salad and asked what was in it. Of course I went nuts telling her about the micro-greens. She said if you only need to keep them alive for 2 to 3 weeks it was probably something she could grow which got me thinking.

First I want you to ask yourself how long a plant lives once it falls under your care. If you say a week or two, I’ve got you covered. If you can only manage a day or two, I’m truly sorry and you are more than welcome to stop reading now.

My solution to dead thumb is growing your own micro-green garden in your house.

At any given time I have four trays growing. I think my seed supply will last me about 40 years but I could be exaggerating, slightly. These babies grow from seed to eating ready in 7 to 10 days. That’s it.

I put micro-greens in everything: salads, Asian dishes, pasta, etc. I even slip some in my tofu medley. The micro-greens give us so much yummy nutrition all year around and even if you have a dead thumb, you can grow these babies.

Our cart was $99 dollars at Home Depot. The trays cost $1.99 each and I use 2 per unit with holes punched in the top tray so it leaks into the bottom one. 1 1/2 inches of fine soil per tray and you’re set. You don’t even need fertilizer because you’ll eat the micro-greens before they need it. And the best part… they grow all year around even when my garden is buried under two feet of snow.

Here’s a link to Wellness Mama’s (I follow her religiously) post on how to start your own micro-green garden (there are also videos on YouTube): https://wellnessmama.com/36688/grow-microgreens/

Here’s a list of the micro-greens I’ve had really good success with (they grow like weeds).

Kale

Spinach

Mung Beans

Radish

Alfalfa

Mustard

Sunflower

Veggies for Dinner

Jump to Recipe

Stir Fry Everything

Before grocery shopping we need to clean out our veggies and prepare room for fresh ones. Here's how we do it. Can you say YUMMY?
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Chinese
Keyword: leek, stir fry, vegan, vegetables
Servings: 2
Author: The Healthy Grandma
Cost: $5

Ingredients

  • 6 cups vegetables anything you have in the fridge
  • 1 leek (the super onion) Optional, any onion will do. For leeks, clean well with 1 teaspoon backing soda in 1 gallon of water
  • 1 tbsp olive oil If you don't use oil, water in the bottom of the pan will work fine. Hint hint for anyone watching their weight.

Instructions

  • I add the leek as a veggie because it's one people often overlook. Leeks are the superman of onions and if you've never tried one, you need to.
  • Chop your veggies rather large
  • Heat your olive oil on medium and add the veggies to a large pan
  • Cook until slightly tender or mushier (yuck) if that's how you like them
  • When finished, add to the top of quinoa with a little soy sauce. Delicious!

Notes

We pre-wash/soak all of our uncooked veggies in 1 teaspoon baking soda and allow them to soak for at least 5 minutes. 

Bugs, Worms, and Food

This little guy lives in my lemon balm and he get’s pretty feisty when I water. I’ve watched him grow from the size of a dime to the budding teenager he is now at about the size of a quarter. He’s been around for two months and I’ve also watched my lemon balm flourish.

Last year the white flies almost did this prized plant in and I’m so happy Lancelot decided to save my delicious smelling and tasting lemon plant.

This brings me to a huge problem we have when it comes to food.

BUGS: the good and the bad.

Although truthfully, they all have their place in nature and none are truly bad. Maybe I’ll just use the word ick instead because I’m not too fond of some little green worms who are using my kale to gain weight. This little guy was moved out of my garden this morning but I’m sure I didn’t find all his brothers and sisters.

My poor worm-eaten kale

So we’ve established there are some bugs I’m not fond of and I’m sure you have your share. Here’s the thing, bugs mean my plants are not sprayed with pesticides or governed by GMO manipulations. I grow plants the way they should be grown and I do everything possible to naturally help them thrive.

When the worms win I have no problem picking away their bite marks and eating the kale or spinach or chard. I’ve even brought in the day’s bounty and found the small green worms that are my nightmare this year and carried the little guy outside and placed him far from my veggies. Wash, eat, repeat.

We must get back to nature to heal!

This includes bugs and learning they aren’t a bad thing. If a salad in a restaurant comes with a worm, I don’t send it back. My thought process switches to survival and the fact the processed salad I’m about to eat might just have some healthy nutrients left that my body vitally needs, after picking off the worm of course 😉

Vegan Crepes for Breakfast

Vegan Crepes

Yum, yum, yum! The joke’s on you if you think eating vegan tastes bad. The joke is also on my husband because each day I change his mind and he’s gotten to the point where he just eats what’s in front of him and loves it. I made these one morning when he decided to sleep in. They were half gone by the time he woke up. He finished the other half before I could make myself another.
Prep Time3 mins
Cook Time15 mins
Course: Breakfast, Dessert
Cuisine: Healthy
Keyword: vegan, crepes, breakfast, fun with food, vegan crepes
Author: The Healthy Grandma
Cost: $4

Equipment

  • Non-stick pan

Ingredients

Instructions

  • Cook on the stove top over medium heat stirring throughout cooking. Turn lower if fruit bubbles and keep stirring until cooked.

Vegan BBQ Ribs

Vegan Ribs

We grill all year around, even in the snow, but since I’ve become vegan, we seem to be doing less and less of it. When we do, it’s grilled veggies for me. My husband tends to go my way and have a veggie wedgie burger or just my veggies. Last night I wanted something different so played around with a vegan rib recipe that needed tweaking to fit our diet guidelines (not all vegan recipes are healthy!). When I experiment this way, I never know what I’ll get. My husband prepared a large salad just in case. He asked what was in the ribs and I made him wait until after he ate them. He guessed tofu but he was wrong. The big surprise… these ribs are to die for!
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time1 hr
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: meat substitute, vegan, ribs, bbq, summer barbeque,
Cost: $8

Ingredients

  • 1 cup pea protein buy link on shopping list
  • 2 tbsp nutritional yeast buy link on shopping list
  • 1 tbsp paprika
  • 2 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp celery seeds substitute 1/2 teaspoon celery salt
  • 1/4 tsp fresh ground black pepper less if using regular pepper
  • 1/2 cup warm water
  • 2 tbsp natural peanut butter I make mine from scratch
  • 1 tsp liquid smoke
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce organic is a must with soy sauce
  • 1 cup BBQ Sauce your favorite

Instructions

  • Lightly grease an 8 by 8 baking dish. I cooked my ribs first in my air-fryer and then on the grill. You can use your oven at 350 degrees for 25 minutes or the air-fryer on 350 for 20 minutes.
  • In a medium bowl, stir pea protein, nutritional yeast, paprika, onion powder, garlic powder, celery, and pepper.
  • In separate bowl or measuring cup, whisk together warm water, peanut butter, liquid smoke, and soy sauce until peanut butter dissolves and is part of the liquid. Pour into bowl with dry ingredients and stir until a soft dough forms. Now use your hands and really mix the dough together.
  • Transfer dough into greased baking dish and press evenly until it fits the entire pan. Use a knife to cut your ribs into 2 sections of 1-inch slices. This allows you to separate them after cooking.
  • Place pan in preheated oven for 25 minutes on 350.
  • Remove from oven and coat with bbq sauce.
  • Now place directly on grill and cook until your ribs are a deep brown or blackened the way I like them for about 5 minutes, turn and quill the other side for another 5 minutes or so. Add more bbq sauce if desired and enjoy!