Category Archives: Grains

Millet 4 Ways

This week millet was on the menu in several different ways. Millet is a gluten free whole grain and is comprised of 15% protein. In addition to protein, millet is high in fiber, magnesium and phosphorus.  It is a versatile grain that can be used similarly to rice. Here is how we enjoyed millet this week:

Creamy Millet Porridge

Creamy Millet Porridge

I told my kids I made oatmeal when they asked, “What’s for breakfast?”  Sometimes a new name will throw them off and they’ll decide they don’t like it right then and there.  I took the safe route.  They gobbled this up and had seconds!

Serves 3-4


  • 1 1/2 cups millet, rinsed and drained
  • 1 1/2 cups non dairy milk (I used Rice Milk)
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1 over-ripe banana, smashed
  • 1 cup strawberries sliced
  • 2 tbsp pure maple syrup (optional)
  • Additional 1/4-1/2 cup non dairy milk


  1. Combine milk, water, smashed banana and millet in a pot.  Bring to a boil.
  2. Turn down heat to med-low and simmer 15-20 minutes or until millet is soft, stirring frequently.
  3. Using an immersion blender, puree until about 1/2 of the mixture is smooth (or until your preferred consistency).
  4. Turn off heat.  Add maple syrup and strawberries and mix until blended.  Add the additional 1/4-1/2 cup milk to get the creamy porridge consistency.
  5. Drizzle with a touch more maple syrup when serving, if desired.

Creamy Millet Corn Chowder with Greens

Corn Chowder Best

I was halfway into this recipe yesterday when I realized I never went to the farm down the road to get the fresh sweet corn I had planned on getting.  Oops!  Frozen corn kernels it was!  Although this was yummy, it would have been so much better with fresh from the farm corn!  I added lots of smoked paprika too because I just love that stuff!

Tofu Chickpea Stir-fry w/ Millet


I love anything with a tahini sauce and this did not disappoint.  If you are used to your stir-frys over rice or noodles, give millet a try for a change.  It really soaks up the sauce.  My picky daughter and my son didn’t care for this, but my other daughter really liked it, as did my hubby (which happily surprised me!  He even ate leftovers the next night….wow!)

Smoky Millet Pinto Bean Patties


This was our favorite recipe with millet this week.  This kids devoured these patties two at a time!  

Makes 10-12 patties


  • 1/2 of a small red onion
  • 4 scallions
  • 2 carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 2 celery stalks, chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups pinto beans (or 1 can)
  • 1 1/2 cups millet, cooked
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 1 tbsp dried parsley
  • 2 tsp smoked paprika
  • pinch of cayenne
  • a few shakes of liquid smoke
  • 1/4-1/2 cup Panko bread crumbs
  • 2 tbsp flaxmeal
  • 6 tbsp warm water


  1. Whisk the flax meal and warm water in a small bowl and set aside.
  2. In the bowl of a food processor combine red onion, scallions, carrots, celery, pinto beans, millet, thyme, parsley, smoked paprika, cayenne, and liquid smoke.  Pulse until combined and fairly smooth, but leaving a few pieces chunkier.  Turn out into a mixing bowl.
  3. Re-whisk the flax and water mixture.  It should be thick and egg-like consistency now.  Add to your bean/millet mixture and mix thoroughly.
  4. Add 1/4-1/2 cup Panko bread crumbs, depending on the consistency of the mixture.  You want it to hold together like a burger, so get it there with your hands.  If it feels too wet, add a little more bread crumbs.
  5. Fry these up on the stove top in a skillet over medium heat.  I have an awesome non-stick skillet that requires NO oil for browning.  You may need 1 tsp or so of oil if your pan is not as awesome.  Cook 4-5 minutes per side.

M liked these with BBQ sauce, C and K ate them with ketchup.  I made a mix of Vegenaise, ketchup and mustard.  You won’t miss the meat on a plate like this!

Smoky Millet Pinto Bean Patties Plate

And, yes, I’m trying some new editing tools for my pictures.  As much as I love photography, I usually still shoot in Auto.  I am hoping to learn a lot more in the near future and improve the pictures on this blog!!  I love that stacked picture of the millet patties.  What do you think?

Kids LOVE Red Bell Peppers!

This week was all about red bell peppers. To be honest, every week is all about red bell peppers. The kids just love them. M’s lunchbox last year had raw red bell pepper strips on average 4 out of 5 days. We eat them raw, sauteed in a stir fry, grilled in fajitas, wrapped up in a tortilla, roasted in dips and spreads and the list goes on and on.

Bell peppers just happen to be one of hubby’s favorite foods as well. His favorite recipe growing up (and still to this day) is pepper steak. His mom makes an awesome recipe using red bell peppers instead of green.It’s a nice change and works so well. That recipe contains beef steak, but you can try it using tempeh or seitan instead…or just lots of meaty mushrooms.

Red Bell Peppers are incredibly high in Vitamin C. Just one cup has over 150% of your daily needs. Vitamin A and a few of the B’s are also found in decent amounts in these red beauties. Red Bells also have plenty of antioxidants and anti-cancer benefits.

Peppers of all kinds are super easy to grow at home. My green bells, jalapeno and banana peppers are all doing so great this year. I kept waiting and waiting for my red bells to appear. Upon closer inspection….I forgot to buy a red bell plant. UGH! No wonder they weren’t growing.  🙂

Here is how we enjoyed our red bell peppers this week:

Roasted Red Pepper Pasta


The girls and I really liked this.  Hubby and son thought it was just ok.   The sauce is creamier than a tomato based sauce.  You could always add a little veggie stock to thin it out if you like…or maybe just leave out the cornstarch.  And, if you are in a time crunch, feel free to cheat and use roasted red peppers from a jar instead of charring your own.



Veggie Tortilla Rollups


I have made these several times, usually for an appetizer for a party.  They are always a hit!  They also make a great lunch for the littles.  Easy for little hands to pick up and a nice change from the everyday PB&J.



It also makes a great lunch for a grown up…just cut in half as a wrap instead of slicing into bite size pieces.



Stuffed Peppers




I replaced the hummus in this recipe with the leftover bean spread from the Veggie Tortilla Rollups (see recipe link above) and it was delicious. I’m sure the hummus would be great too, I just wanted to use up what we had. Little did I know I would be making hummus the next day anyway.  🙂


I served it up with a side of fresh sweet corn bought at the famers market that morning. Can’t go wrong there!  Kids and hubby all loved this as well!



Roasted Red Pepper Hummus


This is so easy.  I just use my favorite hummus recipe and add a roasted red bell pepper (again, you can cheat and use jarred…I won’t tell!)

  • 1-2  garlic clove, peeled
  • 2 cups cooked chickpeas
  • 2-3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tbsp tahini
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1/4 tsp  sea salt
  • 1 roasted red bell pepper

Blend all ingredients in a food processor.  Hummus will thicken when refrigerated.  Enjoy with raw veggies, pretzels, crackers, pita chips or a spoon!


Is anyone growing red bell peppers in their garden?  How do you use them?  Share with me in the comments section!!







Citrus Farro Salad w/ Golden Beets and Chocolate Beet Cupcakes

I’m so impressed with my kids this week. The girls (2.5 years old) have been eating the Roasted Beet and Walnut Spread like it’s candy. They’ve been dipping crackers, cucumbers, sugar snap peas and spoons into this stuff all week. I have a feeling this is going to go in the rotation quite often. They were asking for more today, but they already ate it all! And my son (6 years old) is asking when we are going to make the Strawberry Beet Smoothie again. FYI: Trader Joe’s sells packaged roasted peeled beets. Obviously, they are more expensive than buying loose beets, but if you don’t have the time to roast them yourself, they are a great alternative. Beets are so nutritious that I say go for it!

I’m wrapping up “Beet Week” with 2 outstanding recipes! The first is a light summer salad and the second a fudgy decadent dessert.

Citrus Farro Salad w/ Golden Beets



  • 2-3 large golden beets, scrubbed and trimmed
  • Beet greens, chopped
  • 1 cup orange slices
  • 1 cup chopped celery
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 cups cooked farro




  1. Preheat your oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. Cut beets in half or quarters and place on a foil lined baking sheet. Cover with another piece of foil and roast until tender, about 50-60 minutes. Let cool.IMG_1073 IMG_1074
  3. Peel off the skins, then cut the beets into bite-size chunks
  4. In large bowl, combine cooked farro, beets, beet greens, celery, and oranges. Whisk together the olive oil, balsamic vinegar, garlic, salt and pepper. Pour dressing over the farro mixture and toss well to combine.

IMG_1078 IMG_1080



Vegan Chocolate Beet Cupcakes


I mean, who doesn’t love a good cupcake, right?  And if it’s packed with nutrition, even better.  These do have more sugar than I would normally use, but they sounded so intriguing, I just had to try them.


Mmmm, fresh out of the oven.  I could ever so slightly taste the beet flavor, but I can pretty much guarantee if you didn’t know it was in there, you wouldn’t taste it.  So, feel free to serve them up to your healthfood adverse friends.



I have just recently discovered the blog where this recipe came from, The Minimalist Baker. I’m already a fan.  Lots of good looking recipes there, so take a look around after you download the recipe for these cupcakes!



Are you a beet lover?  How do you like to eat your beets?

Next up will be all about Cantaloupes!  It’s M’s favorite food.  I can’t wait to experiment with all the yummy ways to use it.


My New Favorite Black Bean Burger

I am always trying new burger recipes, but I find myelf consistenly going back to the same black bean burger recipe that uses vital wheat gluten because it just works so well.  Well, I finely found one withOUT vital wheat gluten that stays together just as well (if not better) and was so delicious.  They even look more like the hamburgers that your carnivore friends would love.  I “fried” these up in my new non-stick pan (that I am soooo loving by the way…absolutely no oil necessary), but they hold together so well that I am betting they would be wonderful on the grill too.

Black Bean Pecan Burgers by Namely Mary


I did add a few splashes of liquid smoke to the ingredients…smoked paprika would work too.  I just love that smoky flavor.


Looks like a real hamburger, right?  I’m glad this recipe made a lot because 3 of the 5 of us went back for seconds.  And, I packed one in M’s lunchbox today and the girls and I had them for lunch today here at home.  Yum!


I topped mine high with mustard, veganaisse, lettuce, tomato and pickles.  I was going to do avocado instead of veganaisse, but my avocados weren’t quite ripe yet.



Looks super yummy, don’t you think?  They come together really quick, especially if you have leftover rice.  Go make up a batch today!  Enjoy!

Cauliflower Coconut Masala

I have always loved cauliflower.  It’s my favorite on a veggie tray just straight up raw.  I remember my mom making cauliflower when I was growing up.  She would boil it until tender, drain it and toss it with butter and breadcrumbs.   When served we would drizzle it with apple cider vinegar.  Sounds weird, but it’s soooo good.  Just this past January, I found myself in Nashville, TN, enjoying a cauliflower “steak” as my main course.  It was honestly one of the best things I’ve ever eaten.  Ever since, I have been looking for ways to make cauliflower my main dish.  I was super excited when I came across this recipe on Pinterest the other day.  It was last night’s dinner and although my 5 year old wasn’t convinced of it’s awesomeness, the rest of us were.

Cauliflower Coconut Masala (click for link to recipe)


I served it with jasmine rice and sweet green peas.  Side note: I had no idea how much C (one of my 2yr olds) loved peas until last night.  I throw peas in a lot of dishes I make, but this was maybe the first time I put them on her dish as a side all by themselves.  She had 3 generous helpings and continued to ask for more.  Note taken…more peas for dinner!  I kind of stirred everything together in my bowl.  It was delicious!


This is a very hearty meal.  It will fill you up with not a lot of calories.  The sauce was a little spicy, but sweet at the same time.  So yum!  Even hubby liked it.

Did you know?

Cauliflower is very high in Vitamin C, Vitamin K, folate and fiber.  It has ani-immflamotory properties and lots of antioxidents.  And an entire medium size head of cauliflower weighs in at less than 150 calories!!  Image

Eat up and enjoy!!

Smoky Lentil Quinoa Soup

I promised you a yummy soup recipe last week and here it is!  I LOVE the smoky flavor from the smoked sweet paprika – I think it totally makes this soup what it is.  Other than the smoked paprika, I think you probably have all of the ingredients in your pantry to go make this today!  Really easy!  It’s super high in protein from the lentils and the quinoa and it’s loaded with vitamins and minerals as well.  A hearty soup with not a lot of calories.

Smoky Lentil and Quinoa Soup  (click for link to recipe)



This is going down as one of my all time favorite soups.  I know it doesn’t look like much, but I just can’t stop eating it.  Sooo delicious!  Thank you to The Simple Veganista for such a delicious dish.  She equates this recipe to the Trader Joe’s soup, Lentils with Ancient Grains, and I agree.  I also love love love that soup from Trader Joe’s, but am so happy to have a homemade version I can make myself.



I hope you make this soup yourself.  Hopefully, it will keep you warm during the next snowstorm!  Enjoy!


Lentil and Brown Rice Stew

Sometimes the simplest recipes turn out to be the best.  This one is crazy easy and very inexpensive (especially if you use homemade veggie broth), however, the nutritional content is sky high.

Yesterday after M got home from school, I bundled up all three kids and we went out to play in the snow while this stew simmered away on the stove.  It was the perfect meal to warm us up and fill our bellies after all those snowball fights!

My picky littlest eater refused to even take a bite, but her twin sister ate THREE bowls and M ate 2 bowls.  I myself went back for seconds as well.  We still have quite a bit leftover too, which I LOVE…made for a qiuck lunch today.

Lentils are incredibly healthy, providing high amounts of fiber, B vitamins, iron and protein.  All that and only 230 calories per cup.  Learn more about the health benefits of lentils HERE.

Brown Rice is another super food that will help keep you feeling full and looking trim.  Learn more about the health benefits of brown rice HERE.

Lentil and Brown Rice Stew


Along with the brown rice and lentils, this stew is loaded with onions, carrots and celery.  Super healthy, super delicious!  A perfect winter meal.


Overnight Oats – My New Obsession

Mornings are starting to get hectic around here.  It’s hard to get myself and 3 kids up, dressed, fed, teeth brushed, winterized (hats, gloves, coats, shoes) and around the corner to the bus stop in time.  Especially when 2 of those 3 kids need my help with nearly all of those things.  M nearly missed the bus the other day.  Thankfully, the bus driver saw us running down the block and waited.

I’ve decided to at least try to make breakfast easier and less stressful by making it the night before.  These overnight oats are perfect for that!  And they are so yummy!  The kids love them too and with all the great nutrition packed into these jars our tummies are full until lunch.  I got both of these recipes from the blog My Whole Food Life.  I know I’ve mentioned it before, but I am in love with that blog.  Melissa is the amazing woman behind it and she has quite a few recipes for overnight oats.  So, stop on by and check out all her great recipes.

Gingerbread Overnight 

I made these with steel cut oats.  If you like your oatmeal a little chewy, this is the way to go.  If you like your oatmeal creamier, definitely go for Old Fashioned Oats.

ImageAll the ingredients layered in the jar.

ImageImageAll shook up!


I also made Pumpkin Pie Overnight Oats.  I don’t have a picture of this, but we devoured them this morning and they were delicious! My favorite so far.

You could easily make 5 jars at once, one for every morning.  I ate one jar myself, my 5 year old too.  For my almost 2 year olds, I gave them each 1/2 of the jar.  So, I just do 3 at a time and start the process over again the next night.  It only takes a few minutes to throw it all together and give it a good shake.

Breakfast is then as easy as twisting off the lid and handing them a spoon!  Enjoy!

I love “shopping” from my garden!!


Leftover tofu scramble (with zucchini, summer squash, mushrooms, red bell peppers) and a tropical kale smoothie (pineapple, mango, banana, almond milk and fresh from our garden kale).



Black beans, brown rice, sweet potato and salsa all wrapped up in a tortilla and topped with Daiya “mozzarella” cheese and Tofutti sour cream.  Sorry, no pic.


Chesapeake Tempeh Cakes by The PPK Kitchen and Garden Herb Risotto by Vegan Mother Hubbard.  The tempeh cakes were a play on crab cakes and the taste was suburb.  I could not get them, however, to stay together.  Only 3 of my 10 somewhat stayed together.  The others were a crumbly mess….but still tasty.  Next time I may try adding a flax “egg” for binding.  The leftovers I have from tonight I think I will use as a sandwich filling for tomorrow’s lunch…kind of like tuna salad.  The risotto was really good too, although I’ve had (and made) better.  The kids devoured it; it was a huge hit with them.  And I love that so many of the ingredients came straight from our garden:  onion, chives, oregano, dill, parsley, tomatoes).




Day 9 of the 30 Day Squat Challenge brings us to 100 squats! (I actually have to go do 10 more right now because I thought today was only 90…oops).

3.05 mile jog on the treadmill

100 jumping jacks

50 pushups

The Journey Starts Here

Ok, guys, so here goes.  Day 1 of the Vegan Whole Foods challenge was a success.

Breakfast was Banana Ginger Pancakes and a Strawberry Banana Spinach Smoothie.  Recipe for the pancakes is from The Get Healthy, Go Vegan Cookbook by Dr. Neal Barnard.  You can find the link to the recipe here:

The smoothie was my own concoction:

1 cup rice milk

1 ripe banana

1 cup frozen strawberries

1 cup fresh spinach

Blend all ingredients in a high speed blender (I LOVE my Vitamix Pro 500)) and enjoy!


Please excuse my very poor food photography skills.

Lunch was leftovers from the other night – Tahini Lemon Brown Rice & Beans with Pan Fried Tofu.  The recipe (minus the tofu) is from Vegan Yum Yum and can be found here:  I left out the seitan because I didn’t have any and making it from scratch takes a long time, thus why I added the tofu instead.  It would still be great without either though.  For the record, I haven’t met a recipe I didn’t like from  Vegan Yum Yum, so check out her blog and/or cookbook for some delicious healthy dishes!


Dinner was a new recipe I found on Pinterest.  I am in love with Pinterest…just like I love my cookbooks.  The recipe for Crunchy Cashew Thai Quinoa Salad can be found here:  It was delicious and gorgeous!


I forgot to take a pic before we ate, so these are the leftovers in a tupperware.  It looks just a gorgeous in tupperware as it did in our bowls.

Between lunch and dinner my sweet tooth kicked in so I indulged in one of the Raw Peanut Butter Cookies I made the other day.  Shortly after I also had about 1 cup of raw sugar snap peas (no picture…I think you all know what those look like…they were super yummy though!).  The cookie recipe can be found here:  So yummy!  The kids love these too and you won’t feel guilty about giving them this treat.  They taste like peanut butter cookie batter…delish!


Workout:  I have been doing the 30 Day Burpee Challenge for the last few weeks.  I’m on day 27, which calls for 85 burpees…so that’s what I did.  This challenge ends for me in just a few days (thankfully), but I’m looking for a new one.  Any suggestions?  I’m thinking the 30 Day Squat Challenge or the 7 Day Pushup Challenge.  The pushups would probably kill me as right now I can do about 10 modified pushups without my arms shaking.  So, of course, that’s probably the one I’ll choose.  🙂

I also ran/walked 2.68 miles on the treadmill while watching some of the drama unfold on The Bachelorette.  I didn’t see the end yet though…does James stay or go?  Or who really cares?