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

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Veggies for Dinner

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Stir Fry Everything

The Healthy Grandma
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 Time 15 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine Chinese
Servings 2

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. 
Keyword leek, stir fry, vegan, vegetables

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

The Healthy Grandma
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 Time 3 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Course Breakfast, Dessert
Cuisine Healthy

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.
Keyword vegan, crepes, breakfast, fun with food, vegan crepes

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 Time 15 mins
Cook Time 1 hr
Course Main Course
Cuisine American

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!
Keyword meat substitute, vegan, ribs, bbq, summer barbeque,

Grain Free Wraps/Tortillas

Vegan Grain Free Wraps

The Healthy Grandma
We use these for breakfast lunch and dinner with a slight variation listed in the instructions
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 10 mins
Course Breakfast, Main Course
Servings 3

Equipment

  • Non-stick pan

Ingredients
  

  • 1 cup chick pea flour
  • 1/2 cup tapioca flour
  • 1 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp onion powder
  • 1.8 cups water

Instructions
 

  • Toss ingredients into high powered blender
    Mix on high for one minute
    Pour about 1/4 cup onto heated Teflon pan swirling around to cover bottom
    In about a minute the sides will peal up
    Using a plastic spatula, flip the wrap over and cook for about 60 second
    Place on plate and make the next one
    For crepes: Replace turmeric, garlic, onion powder with 1 teaspoon Stevia liquid & 1 teaspoon vanilla
    For Spinach Wraps: Replace turmeric, garlic, onion powder with 1/2 cup packed raw spinach


Keyword vegan, wraps, gluten free,

Tofu Medley in Place of Eggs

This is one of our favorites and I make enough to last the week so I can throw it on a spinach or turmeric wrap (recipe to come). It’s high in protein and for anyone who has heard the estrogen rumor regarding tofu, no worries. The female hormone in tofu/soybeans will affect plants not humans and it’s an excellent source of protein. Keeping you from tofu is one of the many old wives tales put out by the food industry to make you unhealthy. If you are on an egg restricted diet like me, this recipe is a must!

Ingredients

Block of extra firm ORGANIC Tofu

1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder

Any leftover veggies in your fridge that wet your appetite

1/2 Onion

3 broccoli florets

handful spinach

1/4 red pepper

1 tablespoon olive oil

 

Prep your tofu

Carefully open your tofu and allow the water to drain. I will gently squeeze the tofu and remove excess water. Place the tofu on a towel, cover and place something heavy on top to get all the extra moisture out. Set to the side.

Prep your veggies

Wash and chop veggies into the size you prefer. I just toss the spinach in because it shrivels quickly

Instructions

Place the oil in a large pan on medium heat

Add veggies and move around the pan, coating the bottom of the pan in oil

Push the veggies to the side of the pan

Crumble tofu into pan and stir it to keep it from sticking

Cook for approximately 5 minutes and add the turmeric to the tofu and stirring it in

Cook for another 5 minutes

Push the tofu and veggies together to combine and cook for an additional 5 minutes

When ready, your tofu concoction will look like eggs and it tastes pretty darn close

Veggie Wedgy Burger

This summer barbecue favorite has turned into a staple in our home. Even my husband gives up steak and eats these veggie wedgies.

Ingredients:

1 cup chickpeas soaked over night or 1 can

1/2 cup tri-colors quinoa (I haven’t tried with plain quinoa

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 to 3 tablespoons water

Spices (spice to taste) cumin, paprika, garlic power, onion powder, black pepper

1/2 cup almond flour set aside. Spice to taste with the spice ingredients above

Directions:

Place chickpeas, quinoa, and oil in Ninja and mix until ground up. Add spices and mix again. Add water until the consistency is like raw hamburger. Form patties and place in spiced almond flour to coat. Cook in oven 350, on the grill on a piece of foil, or on stove top with a little cooking spray. We even cook these in our air fryer. They cook quickly so keep an eye on them. We like our a little chard when we grill. Use a lettuce wedge and you have a veggie wedgy!  

If you’re wondering about the BBQ veggies it’s a mix of what’s in our fridge. Zucchini, onions, tomatoes, red bell peppers, seasoned with garlic, onion, pepper and red peppers.

Holiday Chocolate Pecan Candy

Gluten, dairy and grain free!

This is my yummy go-to when I have a sweet tooth.

I make my own peanut butter. If you want to try, buy a bag of unsalted raw peanuts. Bake for about 20 minutes on 350 degrees on a cookie sheet to release the oil. Grind/mix in your Ninja for 5 to 15 minutes. If you forget to roast the nuts expect the time to double. Scrape sides every few minutes until peanut butter forms. Add about 1/4 teaspoon of salt because if you don’t, it tastes funny. Store unused portion in fridge. Don’t freak out if you go to eat leftover peanut butter and the oil has separated. Just heat a little and mix well. Peanut butter manufactures use chemicals to keep their peanut butter from separating. No chemicals for me!

Ingredients:

1 cup coconut oil

1/4 cup cocao powder

1/2 cup creamy peanut butter

2 teaspoons liquid stevia

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 teaspoon almond extract (can use another teaspoon of vanilla if you prefer)

1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut

1/2 cup pecans (or not)

Directions: Melt peanut butter and coconut oil in medium size pot on stove. Turn off burner when completely melted. Add all ingredients but pecans. Stir until thoroughly mixed. Poor into a backing dish covered with parchment paper. Smooth out (may be runny), place pecans on top and refrigerate for at least an hour. Break apart and enjoy. You need to keep these stored in the refrigerator or can freeze.

Apple Pie to Die For

Just in time for Thanksgiving, I’m making gluten, grain, and egg free apple pie. It’s supper simple and tastes great. Start with easy peasy pie crust made in your Ninja or food processor.

Pie Crust:

1 1/4 cup almond flour

1 tablespoon coconut flour

4 tablespoons palm oil or ghee, or butter (melted)

1 tablespoon flax seed for egg replacement (1 egg)

3 tablespoons water for egg replacement. If you use an egg, discard water.

Directions: Combine all ingredients in Ninja and mix until a ball of dough forms. Press into pie dish and bake on 350 for 20 minutes or until golden brown.

Apple Filling:

I use about 6 to 8 green and red apples because I like my pie a little tart and a little sweet.

6 to 8 green and/or red apples (pealed, cored and sliced)
2 tablespoons cinnamon (use to taste and cut back or add more as you prefer)
Natural Sugar (2 tablespoons maple syrup or honey, or liquid or natural stevia, or monk fruit to taste)

Directions: Prepare apples while crust is cooking. Place about a tablespoon of water in the bottom of a pan and place the apples inside. Add the cinnamon and sugar. After cooking you can taste test to add more sugar if needed. I don’t like a lot and sometimes none at all. Cook the apples until they are soft but not mushy. I cook for about 15 to 25 minutes on low heat covered. Be sure to stir often so they don’t stick. The water is to help with sticking. When your apples are cooked, poor them into your pie crust and you’re done. Refrigerate or serve hot.