We eat Paleo now, and there is no shortage of paleo recipes in this year of 2016, in fact, it became a home enterpreneur's opportunity to both blog about it and write a quick little book.  I still adhere to the earlier Kings of the industry and a few of the earlier Queens who expanded the recipes considerably.

These are some of the older recipes I was using before we went paleo, when I was still trying to modify our approach to food, seeking out healthy recipes.  We no longer have or eat sugar, grains, legumes, soy, vegetable oils, processed foods.   We eat now vegetables, fruits, meats, cook now in natural fats as butter, coconut oil, olive oil, lot of eggs, sometimes yogurt, sometimes light amount of cheese.  Coconut milk.    It is the Paleo way of our ancestors, before agriculture, before processing foods, before gmo.  I like to think we are 'safer' healthwise now, using food as medicine, sometimes though I fear not as much as I'd like when I consider where the produce was grown, what chemicals might have been used.   Local grown, no chemicals is the better way to go, which, btw, does not necessarily mean Organic as is described in grocery stores.

It has been a hardy transition and now that it is in our 3rd year, seems much more natural to us to go into grocery store, go along the peripheral for produce, then meats, and be done with grocery shopping.  Farmer's markets are fun too!   We have not yet made the cut to grass-fed meats, buying at grocers because the grass fed meats are seriously out of our budget. Adding meat back to the diet was an exciting time for my husband, his eyes lit up.  Now though, I want to edify his excitement so that we are eating smaller amounts of meat.  I'm have a conscientious stricken concern about the footprint required to consume meat and almonds for that matter.   Win one way and lose another....sigh. 

Roasted Sweet Potato Sticks with Rosemary -

I haven't fixed this 'snack' yet, but I feel pretty confident having made roasted, seasoned potatos, and recently having made Eggplant Chips. So, putting the recipe here for reference and when I get more sweet potatoes, I'll be sure to make this one. I bought sweet potatoes at our last grocery outing, but they were intended for the Thai and vegetarian recipes I collected. I can recommend the sweet potato Thai recipe, not the vegetarian sweet potato - lentil recipe. But, even so, I'm spoiled in wanting my sweet potatoes to taste like the recipe I use at Thanksgiving.

Found the recipe this morning at Apartment Therapy (interesting blog by the way).

Roasted Sweet Potato Sticks with Rosemary
1 pound sweet potatoes, washed
1 tablespoon fresh rosemary, chopped fine
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon kosher salt
Fresh ground black pepper, to taste

Heat oven to 425ºF. Cut the sweet potatoes into thick sticks. Toss with the rosemary, oil, salt and pepper and spread in one layer on a large baking sheet. Roast for about 15 minutes, shaking the pan and stirring occasionally.
They don't get crispy, like fried fries, but instead they're tender in the middle with some crunchy edges. Rosemary is just one seasoning idea - try tossing them with thyme, chili powder, or paprika.
Other suggestions from the comments;
Try split batches - half savoury; with chili pepper and cumin, and half sweet; with cinnamon and nutmeg and served with maple syrup.

Try using butternut squash instead of sweet potatoes.

(If you have a variation on the recipe, please post it in comments. I was wondering if you could make these 'fries' using pumpkin, squashes, yams?)

Three Soups Tonight!

I got busy and made three different soups tonight to go with the big batch of rice I made yesterday. I also wanted to be sure that Sweetie would have 'leftovers' for the rest of the weekend and to take to work on Monday.

If we had a bigger refrigerator, I'd do the weekend making up meals ahead, but there is no way with the two of us we could get it all eaten. And I'm not real sure it's a good idea to be freezing the Thai food. While I'm sure it is entirely freezable, we are enjoying the taste of it cooked fresh with fresh ingredients. How does tofu freeze up after it's been cooked anyway? I suppose it does, but I'm not ready to find out yet.

And that is not all I made tonight. I made up another big batch of granola - the 5 cups of rolled oats recipe so we have our granola now for another week. For the granola, I combine two recipes, mixing and matching the ingredients as the mood strikes me and based on the ingredients we have on hand. Right now, we have a lot of ingredients for granola, so we are getting the 'deluxe' model.

Oh, remember the story of the Eggplant? Well, Sweetie can't say anything to me about another eggplant going to waste cause I cooked it up tonight - using a recipe called Eggplant Chips. They were quite tasty, not really chips, too soft but very tasty.

I talked to both my daughters this weekend. Daughter 1 - the Vegan Daughter has been doing some creative work with her blog, Veganville, and figured out how to have a 3 column blog, using Blogger.  I want one too. She gave me the link for the tutorial and I made an 'experimental' blog to play around with and sure enough got it into 3 columns.

Daughter 2 - and she told me she has weekly cooking classes with some other women who are teaching each other how to cook 'ethnic' cuisines. Daughter 2 is learning how to cook Japanese and Phillipine foods. I was excited to learn that and asked her if she would blog her newly learned recipes. She said she would, so I am looking forward to seeing what she does with her newly learned skills. I figure with both daughters trying new foods and recipes and giving them ratings, then I can just borrow from their experience. And when they want to borrow from my experience, well, they can find recipes at this blog. Why do I keep saying that this is not a recipe/cooking blog when so far that is the majority of what I have put on this blog? Well, because right now I'm in the fever pitch of our project of converting to vegetarian, so that is where a lot of my attention is going right now.

Last night I made Suki Yaki (Japanese). I really enjoy suki yaki - it's one of my favorite Japanese meals. The recipe I used last night though left something to be desired. Either it was me, the chef, or the recipe, but that was not one of the better suki yaki meals I've had, either that I've prepared or on those rare occasions when we eat out. I'm not going to include the recipe here as I won't likely use it again. Maybe there wasn't enough sake in the liquid mixture - maybe too much daikon radish. I know I like to add extra ingredients like bamboo shoots, water chestnuts, mushrooms, bean sprouts, even if the recipe doesn't call for them.

Okay, so Sweetie tried all three soups tonight. How clever he is and you can see that in the photo. He found one of our old compartmentalized lunch containers, and it worked so handily for him to try one of each of the three soups. It looked so pretty, I made him wait while I took a photo. I sampled each of the soups and rather knew what I thought, so it was interesting to hear his ratings of the three soups.

Tofu/Pineapple Soup

2-1/4 cups soup base (1395 mg sodium)
1/2 cup (125 g) canned crushe'd pineapple, unsweetened
7/8 cups (212 g) canned diced tomatoes (385 mg sodium)
1 lb (454 g) tofu, bite sized pieces fried
1-1/8 cups (267 g) water
1-3/4 cups (210 g) diced Vietnamese celery (regular celery also works)
1-1/2 tablespoon (24 g) soy sauce (1140 mg sodium)


1. Fry the tofu.
2. Place the: soup base, pineapple, tomatoes, tofu and water in a pot. Simmer, covered, for 10 minutes.
3. Add the celery and soy sauce. Bring to a simmer. Turn off burner.
We usually eat this soup with rice. Serves: 6 Preparation time: 45 minutes

(We both really like this soup. It has a sweet but tangy taste to it. These are not ingredients I would have likely thought to mix. But now that I think of it, tomatoes and pineapple do go on pizza, so maybe they are compatible. I used a vegetable broth soup base. A thank you shout out to Kyo for providing the recipe at Potato Curry with Sticky Rice

1 can coconut milk
1 tablespoon Thai red curry paste
2 small or 1 big sweet potato cubed
1 chopped onion
2 cloves garlic, chopped
any other root vegetables, chopped
soy or vegan fish sauce (to taste)
cooking oil
2 cups uncooked sticky rice (also called sweet or glutinous rice)


This is a super easy and super yummy recipe.

Warm up some cooking oil in a pot, cook onion until softened. Add garlic and curry and stir for 2 minutes. Throw in the rest of the vegetables and stir until coated. Add the coconut milk and simmer for about 20 minutes, until the vegetables are cooked to your liking. I like my vegetables really soft so I cook them for a long time. Season with soy/vegan fish sauce.

Serve with rice.

Sticky Rice:
The rice should be rinsed and soaked for at least an hour before cooking. Boil a pot/wok with some water, just enough that it won't touch the bamboo steamer. Place the rice in a cheesecloth, or on top of some lettuce leaves so they don't fall through the steamer. Place the steamer in the wok/on the pot and steam for about 10 minutes. If you don't own a bamboo steamer, get one. Just for the rice, it's worth it!

Serves: 4 Preparation time: 30 minutes

(We gave this one a thumbs up. It's got that very Thai taste to it with using the red curry paste. Using the curry paste together with the sweet taste of the coconut milk was something new for us. And using in combination with sweet potato. I would make this recipe again. Although, I really prefer the taste of sweet potatoes cooked in more Western style, so while I would make this recipe again, I would more likely make another of the Thai with noodles recipes before I would this one. Only because I would use sweet potatoes in a different way. Sweetie liked the soup - gave it a thumbs up ) Curried Red Lentil Soup with Sweet Potatoes and Greens

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup chopped red onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
6 cups water
1 1/2 cups dried red lentils, rinsed and sorted
2 large or 3 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and diced
1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
2 teaspoons good-quality curry powder, more or less to taste
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
6 to 8 ounces Swiss chard or spinach
juice of 1 lemon or lime
salt to taste


Both nourishing and sublimely satisfying, this thick soup incorporates fall's first sweet potatoes with seasonal greens. Red lentils, which cook to a warm golden color, are available in natural food stores and ethnic groceries. Serve with Chapatis or a store-bought flatbread.

Heat the oil in a soup pot. Add the onion and garlic and saute over medium heat until golden, about 10 minutes. Add the water, followed by the lentils, sweet potatoes, and seasonings. Bring to a rapid simmer, then lower the heat. Cover and simmer gently until the lentils are mushy and the potatoes are done, about 20 to 25 minutes.

Meanwhile, wash the greens, remove stems and midribs, then slice into narrow shreds. Stir into the soup along with the lemon juice. If the soup is too thick, adjust the consistency with a small amount of water.

Continue to simmer gently until the greens are just done, about 5 minutes for spinach and 10 to 15 minutes for chard. Season with salt. Serve at once, or if time allows, let the soup stand off the heat for an hour or two. Heat through before serving.

(We didn't care much for this one. It was not a Thai recipe. It was from a vegetarian recipe and while it was hardy enough, flavorful enough, it has the 'vegetarian' food quality to it. I'm just not ready to adjust my palette yet to what I consider to be somewhat bland tasting vegetarian recipes. It was a nice touch using sweet potato, and the lemon spiced up the flavor, but I'm not that fond of lentils, so it's hard to get around the fact that the soup has the taste of lentils. I would not likely use the recipe again, but I might in those early winter months. Sweetie didn't care much for the taste either). 

Very Easy and Addictive Eggplant "Chips"

1 good eggplant, preferably organic
1-2 tablespoons olive oil (**less works fine too)
tamari to taste (about 1-2 tablespoons)
granulated garlic, to taste (about 1/2 teaspoon)


This recipe is ridiculously easy, but I practically make a meal out of it every week. Everyone else seems to love it, too.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.

Pour the olive oil on the cookie sheet, along with the tamari and garlic. Swoosh the cookie sheet around to mix.
Slice eggplant into about 1/4" thick rounds. Place eggplant slices on cookie sheet. Turn each slice over to coat both sides. Bake for about 10 minutes on each side. (Turn over when browned on the bottom). They are done when they look caramelized on each side.

I pretty much eat this all to myself, along with a salad and maybe some bread or something. I am not sure why I love them so much, but I hope you will too!!

**For a lower fat version, you can just use a teaspoon or so of oil, and make up the rest of the liquid with a veggie broth. This works fine too. OR, you can use an oil spray and coat each side that way. (I have a reusable Misto sprayer that I refill with olive oil). Serves: 1 (if you are me) Preparation time: 5 minutes, plus bake time

( Have to give a thanks shout out to quintess for sharing this recipe. It wa good, very tasty and I will gladly make it again. Nifty use for eggplant and it baked up quickly. I don't know if I followed the recipe correctly in baking it, because what I got was not crunchy chips, but they were cooked and tasty. So woo hoo for this recipe, great snack and one I can eat all by myself whenever I want. Since I just love the shape and color of eggplant, I can pick one up at the grocery store any time now and know exactly what I want to do with it!)

Sunday, March 4, 2007

Recipes This Week; Still Eating Thai!

Catching up on the new recipes I made this week. See what happens when I miss one day of blogging the progression? It turns into two missed days, then three, then an entire week goes by and I find myself needing to write a 'super' sized blog entry. The order of the days we had the new eats isn't too relevant, but the grades and rating we gave the new recipes determines if we will have that one again ... or not.

So here goes. And again, most of the recipes come from - where I have my recipe box, and ability to plan meals and print out my grocery shopping list.

Sweet and Spicy Thai Stir Fry

2 green bell peppers
1 red bell pepper
1 yellow bell pepper
1 orange bell pepper
2 small jalepeno peppers
snow peas
Spanish red onion or shallots
1 pkg Lo-mein noodles (thin yellow spaghetti like chinese noodles)
1 jar sweet red pepper Thai ssauce
1/2 cup sweet plum sauce
soy sauce


Slice the green peppers into 1/2 wide long strips. Dice all other peppers down to about 1/2 square. Slice ends from snow peas, otherwise leave them whole. Dice red onion or shallots smaller than the coloured peppers.

Run the lo-mein noodles under cold water in a collander for about 5 minutes to loosen.

In one stir-fry pan or wok add all peppers and snow peas (feel free to add any of your other favourite veggies to this wok as well). Add a bit of oil, about a tablespoon of soya sauce, and about 1/2 to 3/4 of the jar of Thai Sauce. Stir fry at med heat until the sauce has thickened slightly and the vegetables are well cooked.

In a second stir fry pan or wok add bean sprouts and lo-mein (can be substituted with a nice tri-color rotini pasta). Add a bit of oil, soya sauce, and just enough plum sauce to glaze the noodles and sprouts. Stir fry for about 5 - 7 minutes on med heat, until noodles are hot and sprouts have wilted.

Voila, serve veggies woks contents over the noodle contents. The veggies will spice up your mouth, the noodles will chill it out, and I guarantee you'll enjoy it (my roommates at university did when I first created this one)!

(We Loved This One! It is just as the contributor said - veggies spice up your mouth while the noodles coated in the plum sauce chill out your mouth. I was very surprised, since I'm not a big fan of green, red, yellow and orange bell peppers - but it was delicious! I didn't have Lo-Mein noodles, and instead used Angel Hair Spaghetti noodles. I also did not have snow peas, so did not use. We liked the results so well, that I would repeat again using the modified recipe as I made it. We will use the recipe as taste treat to ourselves and as special dish for company.)

Thai Cucumber Salad

2-3 whole cucumbers
1/2 cup seasoned rice wine vinegar
1/2 cup sugar
3-5 cloves garlic (to taste), minced
1 large shallot, minced
salt, to taste
red pepper flakes (optional)


Wash cucumbers well and peel (I like to leave some of the skin on for color, but it's of course optional). Slice in rounds as thinly as possible.

Place in bowl and cover with vinegar, sugar, and salt, stir to dissolve. Add garlic and shallot, mix well.

May be served immediately although I find the flavor improves if it's allowed to rest in the refrigerator for up to two hours. Add pepper flakes to taste when serving, if using.

(We enjoyed the salad like cucumbers with the spicy sweet taste - gets the taste buds going. Will make this one often, good use for cukes in the summer when cucumbers are garden plentiful)

Egg Rolls - 
using recipe on the wrapper package. While I intended to make Spring rolls (not cooked - certainly not deep fried), I wound up having to go in a different direction. I had purchased the wrong type of wrappers which required cooking first. I will be sure to purchase the correct kind of wrappers next time as I wanted Spring Rolls, not Chinese type Egg Rolls. Anyway, I wound up following the recipe on the wrapper package, deep frying them or wok frying them - but nonetheless, this is not a 'healthy' kind of recipe.

Chop Suey

3 stalks celery, diced
half a small cabbage, diced
2 large onions, sliced
2 large carrots, sliced
3 tablespoon oil
1 cup vegetable stock
half a teaspoon yeast extract
half a teaspoon soy sauce
2 tablespoon corn flour
4 tablespoon water
salt & 125g bean sprouts


Heat the oil in a large pan, add all the vegetables except the bean sprouts and stir fry for 3-5 minutes. Add the stock and bring to the boil. Simmer for 5 minutes, add the yeast extract and the soy sauce. Mix the cornflour and water, add to the vegetables, season and cook for another 3-5 minutes. Add the bean sprouts and cook for a further 2 minutes. Serve with boiled rice.

(Well - the ol' Chop Suey which is not Thai and I think more a Chinese dish hybrided for Western palletes. This was filling and that makes it a good, thrifty type recipe for using those odds and ends veggies, and rice. I don't have corn flour, but I do have soy flour, so I used that instead. And I'm not sure what yeast extract is, but I do have nutritional yeast so I used that and perhaps it is the same thing. I think there are likely a number of Chop Suey recipes, so this one is probably not more or less outstanding than another Chop Suey recipe. It is after all Chop Suey.)

Chow Mein which is a recipe I already posted here (using chicken). I made this for us this week, using tofu instead of chicken and it was probably just as good. I would make it again because I love those crispy chow mein noodles!

Simple Thai Pizza

pizza crust (I use the easy, yummy, and Quick Pizza Crust recipe from this site or Rustic
2 teaspoons ginger, freshly grated (or 1/2 teaspoon powdered)
2 tablespoons peanut or sesame oil
3 tablespoons peanut butter, unsalted & all-natural
1/4 cup tamari
1 lime, juice only
1/2-1 teaspoon Thai green curry paste (make sure to check label for fish sauce or shrimp
8 oz. of your choice of protein - Morningstar Farms Chicken Meal Starters, or Thai-Style
marinated baked tofu
1 bunch scallions, chopped (white and light green parts only)
1/2 cup carrot, shredded or julienned
1/2 cup pineapple, chopped
1/4 cup cilantro leaves, loosely packed


Preheat oven to 450*F.

Mix the ginger in with the oil. Brush mixture (I use a silicone basting brush) across the pizza crust.

Bake for 5 minutes in the preheated oven.

Mix together the peanut butter, tamari, lime juice and curry paste. Spread this on the crust and top with remaining ingredients. (TIP: If you are using MSF Meal Starters, put them on the pizza BEFORE the sauce and they will absorb lots of extra flavor.)

Bake for 10 additional minutes.

Makes a great appetizer for parties. Serves: 6-10 slices

Preparation time: 15 minutes prep + 10 minutes baking

(We appreciated this recipe as a replacement for our 'Friday Night' treat meal. We usually will have a store-bought DiGiorno's Pizza or I will make us Hoagies or Sweetie will bring home subway sandwhiches from Subways. Sometimes we would have a take out Chinese meal, but that was rare. So I made this Thai Pizza and it was Great! I used a refridgerator packaged prepared pizza crust. Followed the directions and ingredients list, using tofu (that I baked first) and it was a most interesting tasting pizza. I will make it again, but the sauce was a bit runny, not sure how to avoid that in future. Fun pizza for guests.)

Flexible Thai Soup

1 shallot, chopped
2 tablespoon chopped fresh ginger
1 clove garlic, minced
1 can vegetable broth
1 can coconut milk
1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
juice of 1 lemon
a few drops of chili sauce to taste
2 tablespoon soy sauce (the original called for Thai fish sauce)
flexible part - 1 cup fresh spinach leaves, or 1 cup sugar snap or snow peas, or 1 cup water chestnuts, or 1 cup black mushroom


Serves 2 to 4.

Saute shallot, garlic and ginger in a small amount of vegetable oil. Add coconut milk and vegetable broth. Bring to a boil, Turn down to simmer. Add cilantro, lemon juice, chili sauce, fish sauce (or alternative ) and vegetables. Simmer until spinach is wilted and veggies are tender but not limp, approximately 5 minutes. Serve with rice. 

Listing suggestions for additions/alternatives; 

- alternative to using coconut milk = rice milk, low-fat milk, light coconut milk, coconut water, coconut powder, diluted coconut milk, one of the reviews explains how to make coconut milk using unsweetened coconut flakes. (I think I will consider cost comparison between using coconut flakes and the canned Thai coconut milk product) 

- additional add ins = (I added green onions, bean sprouts, and water chestnuts), carrots, snap peas, tofu squares, asparagus, green beans, peanut butter, curry paste, lemongrass,basil, bamboo shoots.

- don't like too much lemon, use less in the recipe. Try using lime was another suggestion. 

(Well, I guess that is why it is called 'flexible' Thai soup - grin)

Thai Peanut Linguine -  Lemongrass, Galangal, Kafir Lime - what does it all mean?

Tonight it was Thai Peanut Linguine and I wasn't disappointed. I was eager to try one of the recipes using Thai Coconut Milk. However, it was too soon after the Vegan Spicy Thai Peanut Noodles that I made earlier this week. Now we have peanut noodle leftovers to last out the rest of the week. Good in as much as Sweetie has guaranteed lunches but more noodles than we are used to having in a weeks time. It's like having a spaghetti type meal twice a week (the flavor is nothing like spaghetti, I just used that for frame of reference), so a bit much then, with the noodles this week.

Oh, and the can of Thai coconut milk indicates 'over 200 recipes online at I will be checking that site out. If I want to open pdf files (and I don't), this site has some categorized cookbook recipes you can download in pdf format. I'll just stick with the categorized recipes they offer.

The Thai Peanut Linguine recipe called for coconut milk, green curry sauce, peanut butter, tofu, vegetables and linguine, whereas the Vegan Spicy Thai Peanut Noodles recipe called for peanut sauce, vegetables, tofu and rice noodles. Different ingredients, but similar in taste. The linguine was not as spicy, and the coconut milk seems to have a slightly sweet flavor that smoothes out the spices. I didn't have 'rice flour' to coat the tofu, but had some 'soy flour' and used that - and I don't think there was probably a great deal of difference. But I added rice flour to my grocery list for future shopping.

Tofu, becoming a staple at our house. It becomes an acquired taste.

What I learned though, about green curry sauce, will help me quite a bit with the rest of the Thai recipes. Some of the recipes I plan to use call for ingredients I didn't find and don't yet have, so I was rather wondering how I was going to complete the set of recipes over the next two weeks.

Ingredients in Thai green curry sauce;

- green chili
-galangal = Thai ginger
-kafir lime

Oh, what a nice surprise since many of the Thai recipes call for an assortment of these ingredients. I wonder then, if I can 'substitute' a bit of Thai green curry sauce in those recipes where I don't have lemongrass, galangal, kafir lime, green chili. I don't yet know what 'kafir lime' is and how it is different than regular lime (which is what I bought - regular limes). I had no idea what galangal is until I read the ingredients on the Thai green curry sauce bottle. So I'm guessing that galangal = Thai ginger since that is what it says on the bottle. I thought it was going to be some exotic grass ingredient that I wouldn't likely readily find. I have ginger - fresh ginger - and bought plenty of it. So I wonder how Thai ginger is different than ginger?

I found this place,Thai that lists Thai ingredients and the Thai pronounciation, but I'm not sure that will help me much.

I can quickly see that substitutions for some of the Asian noodles can be met by noodles more familiar to me, ie, angel hair pasta, linguine, thin spaghetti. I think I prefer the rice-noodles and now that I am starting to get a sense of how these Thai recipes translate to more familiar to us Westerner ingredients, I will be able to adapt the recipes when I cannot find the Thai specific ingredients.

If I want to open pdf files (and I don't), here are some pdf recipes.

Recipe below and a thank you shout out to EAM

1 brick extra firm tofu
1/2 pound frozen vegetables (peas, mushrooms, corn, etc)
2 carrots
1/2 bulb garlic (5-6 cloves)
1 bunch scallions
1-2 inch fresh ginger
green curry paste
2 to 4 tablespoons smooth peanut butter
1 14.5 ounce coconut milk
1 pound linguine
sesame oil
rice flour


For tofu: cube and coat with rice flour. Deep fry until outside is crispy.

For sauce: chop scallions, garlic and grate ginger. Fry in 2 tablespoons or so of sesame oil until cooked. Add in the coconut milk, then some curry paste. Add peanut butter and curry paste until it tastes good.

Shred the carrots, then add them and the frozen vegetables. Cook until the vegetables are done.

Toss the pasta with some sesame oil, then add the sauce and mix up.

(my note; the recipe doesn't say what to do with the tofu after you fried it, so I just mixed it in with the sauce and mixed the sauce into the noodles)

Lesser Galangal (Alpinia officinarum)

Wikipedia says otherwise and describes it this way;
However, it tastes little like ginger; in its raw form, it has a soapy, earthy aroma and a pine-like flavor with a faint hint of citrus.


A mixture of galangal and lime juice is used as a tonic in parts of Southeast Asia. Medicinally, it has the effect of an aphodisiac, and acts as a stimulant.

More at Wikipedia, and I can see that I will want to get this galangal for use in my Thai cooking project. I want to try to be close to the real thing, and not the hybrided Western versions of the recipes. So galangal it is then. I wonder if I can grow it in my herb garden? From the picture below it looks kinda pretty -- Hmmm.

Kaempferia galanga

Our Beginning - Vegetarian Lifestyle - Recipe;  Thai  -  Vegan Spicy Thai Peanut Noodles

We are converting to vegetarian lifestyle. And I've done this a couple of times before, so have a bit of an idea where we are headed. I am old enough to remember the health food of the Seventies and pleased to see that in 2000 there are more choices. I converted us strictly to Dr Ornish diet before, and that was great, and I will borrow again from those recipes. But to really kick us off I wanted to try some flavorful, spicy vegetarian recipes - Meditteranean, Indian, and Asian. I don't exactly know how to cook ethnically so I will need to follow recipes and instructions.

I went back to one of my bookmarked saved sites -, got myself a membership and went off in search of Thai recipes. Pleasant and happy surprise, as there are many Thai recipes there, and I began saving several to my recipe box. Oh, and the site gives you the convenience of creating a grocery list for your recipes saved to your recipe box. And .... it lets you add the recipes to your weekly menu. I am pleased to have created a menu for two weeks, a comprehensive grocery list and you can print out the recipes there too. A nifty one stop shopping center online with others who are vegetarian, vegan sharing their tried and true recipes. What a great community!

After I compiled everything and knew where I wanted to get started, Sweetie and I went grocery shopping this weekend. Our choices require that we travel, an hour or more where-ever we decide to go - Washington or Oregon. I lined out choices for Natural and Organic Food Co-op in Astoria, Aberdeen or Olympia. Or Trader Joes in Vancouver or Tacoma. Or Fred Meyers for the bin foods and health food section. Fred Meyers in Astoria, Tacoma, Vancouver and I would imagine in Olympia. Not in Aberdeen. But Safeway too may have plentiful choices in health and natural food section - we haven't been to Safeway in a while, so not sure how much they've developed their health food section. Safeway in each of the cities that are within our range.

We discussed the advantages and disadvantages. I love Natural and Organic Food Co-op stores but find them a tad too spendy. I love Trader Joes but it carries more 'prepared' foods than pantry type items that I need for this first run. So it is good ol' Fred Meyers or Safeway. I know from experience that Fred Meyers offers a wide enough choice of what I need in produce, health food and bin food and I will have to check out Safeway sometime for comparison. I decided on Fred Meyer - Warrenton, Oregon (right across the bridge from Astoria, Oregon).

Sweetie was quite patient with the shopping and yes, I am surprised, since he is usually in a hurry to get in, get what we need and get out. But we don't know the layout or products I will be purchasing, so knew this shopping trip would take a lot longer than our 'usual'. He was patient right up until I put ten tofu packages in the shopping cart. He wasn't seeing how I could use that much tofu in two weeks time.

Well....I showed him my shopping list so he could see for himself, and he loaded the tofu without another word. We looked over the bin food and were pleased enough with the prices until we got to nuts and dried fruits (for the granola) -- uh, NOT - no way am I paying prices like that for dried fruit or nuts. Guess it's time to get out the dehydrator. Okay, so we have raisins, cranberries, bananas, blueberries and that will have to do for granola cause I'm just not paying those kinds of prices for dried fruit or nuts.

I see tons of prepared 'health foods' now, and I did a bit of cost comparison between pantry products needed to make and prepared, packaged health food products. I think, not unlike most grocery shopping I do whether healthy, vegetarian or otherwise, the same principle applies - less spendy to make your own than to buy prepared and packaged products. But I can see where it makes it easier for say single people, like my son, who is primarily vegetarian to have the prepared, packaged products which he can easily then cook up.

We got to the produce and I just love fresh produce....yes, it's more healthy at natural/organic food stores, I know, or better yet, farmers' market when in season ... but I still love the colors and sense of freshness, freshly preparing food for us to eat. It's good Sweetie was with me, cause I do tend to overdo the produce, and then we have to do a tetris game to fit it all into the refridgerator when we get home.

Sweetie is the refridgerator Testris guy - he fits it where it doesn't look like it could fit, so I'm glad for his spatial visual acuity in that regard. I have long said that I wish we could have a commercial size glass cooler instead of a refridgerator. Actually, we had to replace the refridgerator last year and I wanted an all refridgerator, no freezer. There was a model like that, but we quickly learned the measurements and dimensions were too large for the refridgerator space created among our cabinets. We aren't likely to be remodeling kitchen cabinets soon, so I have what I have. Option 2 is second refridgerator in the basement. But I digress.

Produce - and I love the color of Eggplant. I don't like the taste of Eggplant, but I like the color and think it's a great vegetable to look at even if it isn't tasty. I buy one from time to time, and they go bad quickly if not used promptly, I find, so I wind up tossing more often than using when I do buy Eggplant. Well, I knew that and didn't worry too much about it, since it costs 99 cents. It's rather like flowers to me - pretty to look out and won't last too long. I didn't know Sweetie was paying attention to my Eggplant quirk. He growled when I put one in the basket and didn't say much, but later he casually mentioned that I seem to throw out Eggplant when I purchase one, rather than cook and use.

He's right. On the ride home, though, since he brought it up, I wanted to revisit the Eggplant issue. Explaining to him all of the above - the color, the inexpensive cost, the visual, the boring taste and the privilege of a wife's little pleasure to enjoy - what the heck does it matter to him whether I cook it or keep it till it has to be tossed out and since when is he counting 99 cents as food waste? He saw where this was going and conceded quickly, but now between us we have a reference point - Eggplant - and we will joke about it into our future. In fact, I asked him to start buying me an Eggplant when he buys me flowers since I tend to see them in the same context.

Grocery shopping concluded, and I realized I hadn't made it clear to Sweetie that I was taking us vegetarian using mostly Thai recipes. What! He wasn't prepared for that and wasn't too keen on two-three weeks of Thai food. No, no, I said, not strictly Thai, but mostly Thai and here is why. It's spicy, flavorful, vegetarian, uses peanuts, peanut butter, chiles, cilandro, curry and seems like a good way for us to shift to vegetarian without going through the boing food recipes with seitan, tempeh, and Boca burgers - the usual range of vegatarian foods items trying to imitate something they are not. Besides, I'm just not ready to take myself there yet and learning to cook Thai is a challenge.

He still wasn't too happy with it and concerned that we had bought the pantry items, produce and that I wouldn't cook it. Well..... there isn't much other choice, now is there, cause that is what I bought and there is little to fall back on, so I rather have to teach myself to cook Thai. And I like a good challenge from time to time.

I was inspired to think Thai since we have in our little region some refugee families from Cambodia and Laos and there is a grocery store that stocks the kinds of ingredients that go into Thai and other Asian cooking. It advertised it had Thai food, and I was pleased that we had another restaraunt choice in the area, but as it turned out, when we went for a treat ourselves to Thai dinner for our anniversary, she said No Restaraunt - no Help - no cooked Thai food.
Oh, well there goes our anniversary dinner treat. (We still did go out to anniversary dinner - our favorite Mexican restaraunt in the area - not Thai, but still quite good and the owner gave us no-charge fried ice cream to celebrate our anniversary)

We looked around the store, and I was so impressed by the items, but knew little about what any of it was or how to combine or use. What's the difference between all these noodles, and the writing is not in English, so it's Japanese, or Chinese, or other Asianian languages and that isn't going to do me a lot of good. We talked to the shopkeeper, and told her I was impressed but didn't know how to cook Thai - did she have a cookbook for sale? No, she said, she didn't.

As we were leaving the store, though, she called us back over and told us she would order a Thai cookbook for us - from her country. Wait, I said, I need it to be in English. Yes, she said - English - will order it for you. We left her my husband's business card and she can phone him when (if) the how to cook Thai written in English from her native country comes in. He works in town, so can pick it after work and bring it home, save me a drive into town. As you can see, then, Thai cooking or learning to cook Thai has been on my mind. I'm anxious to return to her store armed with more practice and knowledge and be able to shop there knowing what I am looking for and how to use the ingredients.

I wrote all of this to get to this point and place. I cooked our first Thai meal tonight, using the recipe I found at and it was Marvelous! I have to thank Leslie for posting the recipe there. You can try the recipe and I'll bet you thank her too! So I thought I would include in the blog those recipes that I am learning and trying over the next two weeks to rate them as good, and we will keep these to use again and again, or not so good and won't use again. The one below is an absolute keeper!

Ingredients (use vegan versions):

1 package of rice noodles
1 bottle of Trader Joes Thai sesame/peanut dipping sauce (it is vegan and has no preservatives) or you can use any vegan thai peanut sauce
1 package of baked tofu, Thai flavored by Nasoya
1 bag of frozen vegetables, I use broccoli, cauliflower, and carrots.
3 or 4 green onions sliced
2 tablespoons of peanut butter
1 tablespoon of sesame oil
soy sauce to taste
red pepper flakes to taste
fresh chopped cilantro to taste
chopped peanuts to garnish


Boil your rice noodles till they are tender, drain and rinse with cold water, set aside. Steam or microwave the veggies, set aside. Combine sauce, pb, oil, soy sauce and pepper flakes in a small bowl, set aside. (The sauce is great by itself but I find it is not quite peanuty enough for me.) Cut the tofu into small cubes and set aside. Combine everything in a great big pot. stir well, heat through. Add cilantro at the last minute. serve with peanuts on top. eat with chopsticks... mmmmmmmm

p.s. This is a recipe that is even better the next day and is fabulous cold.

Serves: lots

Preparation time: 20 minutes

Recipe; German Chowder (not necessarily healthy recipe but sounds good)

This recipe doesn't sound healthy but it sounds good for a chilly winter day, and it sounds like a recipe I would use. So it goes into the blog. Oh yeah, I did say this wasn't going to be a recipe blog, didn't I...well it's not, but right now I'm catching up with my own saved backlog and so high density on posting recipes. 

German Chowder

1 lb. fully cooked sausage (Polish, kielbasa), cut into 1/2 -inch pieces
2 potatoes, cut into 1/2 -inch cubes
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 small head cabbage, shredded, about 4 Cups
2 C. water
1 (10 1/2 oz.) can chicken broth
1 T. instant chicken bouillon
1/2 tsp. caraway seed
1/2 tsp. celery seed
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
3 T. flour
2 C. half & half
1 (12 oz.) can evaporated milk
1 C. shredded Swiss cheese

Combine all ingredients except flour, half & half, evaporated milk and
cheese, in crockpot. Cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours, or high for
3-4 hours.

Increase setting to high; stir flour into half & half until smooth.
Add to chowder with evaporated milk, stirring well to blend. Cover and
heat for 30 minutes until chowder is hot. Just before serving, stir in
cheese until melted. Reduce heat to low for serving. garnish with
freshly ground black pepper, if desired. Serves 6.

Chow Mein


2 whole skinless, boneless chicken breast (cut into bite-size pieces)
1/4 med. head bok choy, chopped
1 med. zucchini, chopped
1 c. fresh mushrooms, chopped
1 stalk celery, thinly sliced
6 green onions, bias sliced
1 tbsp. grated fresh gingerroot
1 c. chicken broth
2 tbsp. cornstarch
1/4 c. dry white wine
2 tbsp. soy sauce
2 tbsp. cooking oil
Chow mein noodles


Stir chicken broth and cornstarch together. Stir in the wine and
soy sauce; set aside. Preheat wok, add cooking oil after wok is
hot. Stir fry garlic and gingerroot 30 seconds. Add celery, stir
fry 1 minute and add mushrooms; stir-fry for 1 minute more. Remove
celery and mushrooms. add more oil if necessary. Add zucchini to
wok, stir-fry for 2 minutes. Add bok choy and stir-fry for 2 more
minutes, remove from wok. Stir-fry chicken for 3-5 minutes. Stir
into chicken the chicken broth mixture. Cook and stir until
thickened. Return all vegetables to wok and heat through. Serve
over noodles



-- 3 medium-large baking potatoes (slightly less than 2 pounds)
-- 3 tablespoons mustard
-- 2 tablespoons olive oil
-- 2 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese (optional)
-- Freshly ground pepper

INSTRUCTIONS: Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

Wash and scrub the potatoes. Dry well and cut lengthwise into halves, then into
quarters. Cut the quarters lengthwise into halves or thirds (depending on size of
potatoes). Combine the mustard, oil and cheese in a large bowl; whisk to blend.
Add the potatoes and turn to coat. Spread the potatoes on a lightly greased or
sprayed baking sheet. Grind pepper over them.
Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, or until browned and tender.

Serves 4.

Found this on one of my subscribe lists, but it does not give credit to where the poster found it. So, if you know and there is a link, let me know...thanks.


You don't have to choke down alfalfa sprouts or knock back jiggers of carrot
juice to get your nutrients. These eight foods taste good (think cocoa, not
quinoa), and they're good for you. Here's how to stir, sprinkle, slide, or
otherwise sneak a little preventive medicine into the things you eat every


WHY: Nuts are like nutrition pellets: They're rich in protein, low in
artery-clogging saturated fat, and high in the phytonutrients that may
protect you from cancer. Walnuts, in particular, have more antioxidants and
omega-3 fatty acids than any other nut�plus fiber and magnesium, which
regulate insulin and glucose levels and help prevent diabetes.

HOW: A little goes a long way. Just one serving�14 walnut halves (a half
cup)�has more antioxidants than two glasses of red wine. Food editor Sandra
Gluck has these suggestions: Stir chopped walnuts into low-fat ice cream,
yogurt, or soups. Use walnuts instead of pine nuts in pesto. Or substitute
them for croutons in salads.


WHY: Nonfat powdered milk makes foods taste creamier and more decadent, and
it's full of calcium and muscle-building protein. Adequate calcium
levels�1,200 milligrams a day�are linked to good bone health, colon cancer
prevention, and even weight loss, says Jana Klauer, M.D., author of How the
Rich Get Thin (St. Martin's Press; 2006).

HOW: Nonfat dry milk is best in creamy foods, such as smoothies and yogurt,
and in warm dishes, like hot cereals and soups. Start with a tablespoon, and
add more to taste (dry milk is slightly sweet, so be judicious when spooning
it into savory dishes). To enhance the flavor of macaroni and cheese, mix it
with the cheese sauce before combining it with noodles.


WHY: Cocoa, chocolate's key ingredient, makes sweet and savory dishes taste
both rich and complex. And natural cocoa is filled with flavonols, which
have been shown to lower "bad" cholesterol, promote circulation, and
neutralize cancer-causing free radicals. Check labels: The more cocoa a
product contains, the more flavonols it has.

HOW: Pure unsweetened cocoa powder and dark chocolate have the most
flavonols; milk chocolate and chocolate syrup have the least. Stir a
teaspoon of natural cocoa powder into your afternoon coffee to give it a
mocha flavor. Sprinkle a spoonful of cocoa into a banana or peanut butter
smoothie. Add a teaspoon or two to chili, hearty soups, or stews.


WHY: This root eases nausea as well as muscle and joint pain. In clinical
studies, about two teaspoons of fresh ginger relieved chronic inflammation
when taken daily. It may protect against Alzheimer's disease and minimize
cold symptoms. The juice and powder forms also have benefits.

HOW: Stir minced fresh ginger into stews and soups. Throw freshly grated
ginger (no need to peel) and some of its juice into barbecue sauces. Add
dried ginger to muffin, cake, and cookie batters. Mix chopped crystallized
ginger into mashed sweet potatoes, yogurt, or cottage cheese.


WHY: Almonds are chock-full of protein and fiber, which help lower
cholesterol levels. Plus, they pack calcium, iron, and vitamin E as well as
vitamin B (biotin), which aids metabolism and strengthens hair and nails.
Perhaps most important, almonds have arginine, an essential amino acid
that's been shown to benefit the heart.

HOW: At 164 calories per ounce (about 23 almonds), you don't need to eat a
lot to benefit. A serving is just enough to coat your palm. Nutritionist
Lisa Hark, coauthor of The Whole Grain Diet Miracle (DK Publishing; 2006),
suggests substituting almond butter for peanut butter. Or try sprinkling
sliced almonds over salads, pasta, soups, yogurt, and cereal.


WHY: Pumpkin offers both alpha and beta-carotene, natural antiinflammatory
agents that are good for long-term heart health and for vision, says Steven
Pratt, M.D., coauthor of Super Foods Health-Style (William Morrow; 2006).
It's also low in calories and high in iron and antioxidants, including
vitamins C and E.

HOW: A cup of canned pumpkin pur�e has only 83 calories, but it packs seven
grams of fiber (avoid pumpkin-pie filling, which has added sugar). Toss a
few tablespoons of pumpkin pure� with pasta. Stir the puree into vegetable
soups to add flavor and smoothness. Or spread pumpkin butter (similar to
jam) on toast.


WHY: Flaxseed gives many foods a delicious, nutty flavor. The seeds are high
in fiber and are the best plant source for omega-3 fatty acids, which
protect against heart disease and hypertension. They also contain lignins,
which balance estrogen levels and may protect against breast cancer.

HOW: Crush the seeds in a grinder; otherwise, they will pass through your
body undigested. And be sure to store them in an airtight container in your
refrigerator so they won't spoil. Mix ground flaxseed into oatmeal, cereal,
yogurt, or a smoothie. Or spoon it into hearty pasta dishes.


WHY: Legumes of all kinds are loaded with protein as well as
cholesterol-lowering fiber. They also have lots of folate, which is
important in protecting against birth defects and is so essential both
before pregnancy and during the first few weeks of it, says dietitian
Marilyn Tanner, a spokeswoman for the American Dietetic Association.

HOW: Red beans are richest in antioxidants, but pick a bean you love and
work it into your diet. A half-cup of most beans satisfies about a quarter
of the recommended dietary allowance for folate (400 micrograms). A few
suggestions: Add drained and rinsed canned beans to salads and soups. Or
throw cooked lentils into pasta sauces

Mediterranean Grilled Chicken Salad

2 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken breasts, trimed
White wine marinade (recipe to follow)
1 lb. small red potatoes
1/2 lb. slender green beans, trimmed
vegetable oil cooking spray
12 to 14 cherry tomatoes, halved or left whole, depending on size
2 tsp. chopped fresh tarragon, for garnish

3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 cup white wine vinegar
2 tsp. chopped shallots
2 tsp. dijon mustard
2 tsp. chopped fresh tarragon
salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
four to six 12-inch metal skewers

1/2 cup olive oil
1/4 cup dry white wine
1/4 cup tarragon white wine vinegar
1 TBSP chopped fresh tarragon or chervil
1 clove garlic, minced
salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Whisk together all the marinade ingredients in a glass or ceramic bowl until blended. Adjust seasonings. Use according to the recipe, or cover and refrigerate for as long as two days.

1. Place the chicken in a single layer in a shallow glass or ceramic dish and pour the marinade over it, turning a few times to coat. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour and as long as 6 hours.
2. Put the potatoes in a saucepan and add cold water to cover by several inches. Bring to a boil over high heat and cook for 10 to 12 minutes just until fork tender. Drain and cool. Do not overcook.
3. Blanch the green beans in boiling water to cover for about 1 minute. Drain and cool.
4. Prepare a charcoal or gas grill. Lightly spray the grill rack with vegetable cooking spray. The coals should be moderately hot.
5. To make the vinaigrette, in a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, vinegar, shallots, mustard, and tarragon. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Set aside.
6. Lift the chicken from the marinade. Discard the marinade. Grill the chicken for 12 to 16 minutes, turning several times, until cooked through. Slice into thin strips.
7. Thread the potatoes on metal skewers and grill for about 5 minutes until lightly browned. Cut into halves or quarters, depending on their size. Transfer to a bowl and toss with about 5 TBSP of vinaigrette.
8. Meanwhile, in a separate bowl, toss the green beans with 3 or 4 TBSP of vinaigrette. In another bowl, toss the cherry tomatoes with 3 or 4 TBSP of vinaigrette.
9. Assemble the salad by spreading the green beans on a platter. Top the beans with the potatoes and then the chicken. Arrange the tomatoes around the chicken and sprinkle the salad with tarragon. Drizzle a little vinaigrette over the salad and serve.

Recipe Source: "Prime Time/The Lobel's Guide to Great Grilled Meat" by Evan, Leon, Stanley, and Mark Lobel.


Tofu replaces eggs in this interpretation of a frittata, the classic Italian flat omelet. Vary the filling ingredients according to personal preference: cooked asparagus or mushrooms are good choices.

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 small Vidalia or other sweet yellow onion, minced
1 small zucchini, shredded and well drained
1 firm ripe tomato, chopped
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 pound firm tofu, well drained
1 tablespoon arrowroot dissolved in
2 tablespoons water
1/8 teaspoon turmeric

Heat the oil in a large skillet pan over medium heat. Add the onion, cover, and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the zucchini and cook until tender, stirring occasionally, about 5 minutes. Add the tomato and basil and season to taste with salt and pepper. Cook uncovered until liquid evaporates. Transfer the vegetable mixture to a lightly oiled shallow round baking dish and set aside.

Preheat the oven to 375?. In a food processor or blender combine the tofu, arrowroot mixture, turmeric, and salt and pepper to taste. Puree until smooth and add to the vegetables in the baking dish and stir to combine. Bake until the tofu is set and the top is golden brown, 30 to 40 minutes. To serve, cut into wedges. Serves 4.

I did go back and look at Robert's Home Recipes, and found what I plan to cook tonight. I think I will link Robert's Home Recipes at this blog, because it looks like I may want to visit those recipes again. British and uses different measures than we use here, but I think I can wing it and adapt.

Both Sweetie and I like the tangy taste of curry recipes - Mediterranean style cooking, and I want to build healthy recipes indexing to include Thai and Mediterranean. It might be easier to have a Mediterranean category than to break it down to Lebanese, Greek, Iraq, etc. Yes, I did have the experience of having Iraqis cook their ethnic food for us, and it was beautiful to look at and most tasty to eat. I don't know if that was their top of the line recipes they prepared for us as guests or their normal range of recipes, but it was a wonderous culinary experience.

Easy Curry Chicken

300-400 grams chicken cut into chunks
1 large white onion, chopped
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup (60ml) olive oil
8 fl.oz (240ml) chicken stock
28 oz (796ml) can plum tomatoes, including juice
2-3 tablespoons (30-45ml) curry powder (to taste)
1 cup (250ml) frozen peas
2 tbsp (30ml) fresh lemon juice
almond slivers
dried raisins

Sauté chicken in olive oil and add onions and garlic after a few minutes. Continue to cook on medium heat until onions are translucent and soft and chicken is reasonably well-cooked.

Add chicken stock, tomatoes, curry powder and stir well, breaking up the tomatoes. Simmer uncovered to thicken, stirring occasionally on low-medium heat for about 30 minutes.

Add peas and simmer for an additional 15 minutes, then add the raisins and almond slivers along with the lemon juice. Simmer an additional 5 minutes and serve.

Pineapple tidbits can be added to this recipe for a more West-Indian flavor, and dish can be garnished with fresh green coriander leaves.

Serve with steamed rice and roti flatbread

More Granola - Granola Bar Recipes

img is from Robert's Home Recipes, and I will revisit that site as perhaps interesting to see what other recipes are there.

So, I tried a couple of the granola recipes yesterday. I did not like the bisquick recipe at all. I did like the basic recipe that permitted freedom to mix and match ingredients. It was great, and then I baked it a tad too long so it was more crunchy than I wanted it to be, but overall, I'll use the basic recipe often. It is not granola bars though, as you actually get a loose mixture of granola. That is fine, as can add to my yogurt and Sweetie can add to his morning cereal.

So today, I thought I'd look up granola bars to see if there is some ingredient that is more binding in holding the granola mixture together. We have the purchased commercial kinds of granola bars, and I've taken to enjoying having one in the early mornings with my coffee. So, I decided to make my own, and I'm into granola recipes at the moment.

Granola Bar Recipes:

Coffee Granola Bars Recipe

Ready in: 30-60 minutes

Serves/Makes: 2 dozen

2 tablespoons Instant coffee powder
1/2 cup Melted butter or margarine
3 cups Rolled oats (quick or old fashioned)
1 cup Raisins
1/2 cup Wheat germ
1/2 cup Coconut flakes
1/2 cup Brown sugar, packed
1/3 cup Honey
1 Egg; beaten
1/2 teaspoon Vanilla extract


Preheat oven to 325 degrees; grease a 13 x 9 x 2-inch baking pan. Stir the instant coffee into the melted butter. Combine the oats, raisins, wheat germ, coconut, brown sugar, honey, egg and vanilla extract in a large bowl. Add the butter mixture and mix well.

Press firmly into the prepared pan. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes. Cut into bars while still warm. Cool; remove from the pan.

Chewy Granola ars Recipe

Ready in: 30 minutes

Serves/Makes: 1 dozen

1/3 cup butter
1/4 cup creamy peanut butter
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup honey
2 eggs -- beaten
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 3/4 cup rolled oats
2/3 cup raisins
1/2 cup peanuts


Mix ingredients together and press into 8x8x2-inch pan. Bake at 350F degrees for 20 to 30 minutes or until golden. Cool in pan or rack. Cut into bars.

Blueberry Granola Bars Recipe

Ready in: 1-2 hrs

Serves/Makes: 18

1/2 cup honey
1/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 1/2 cup quick-cooking oats
2 cups fresh blueberries


Preheat oven to 350 F. Lightly grease a 9X9-inch square baking pan.

In a medium-size saucepan, combine honey, brown sugar, oil, and cinnamon, and bring to a boil. Continue boiling for 2 minutes; do not stir.

In a large mixing bowl, combine oats and blueberries. Stir in honey mixture until thoroughly blended. Spread onto the prepared baking pan, gently pressing mixture flat. Bake until lightly browned, about 40 minutes. Cool completely in the pan on a wire rack. Cut into 1-1/2 by 3 inch bars.

Gluten-Free Granola Bars Recipe

recipe is ready in 30-60 minutes

Serves/Makes: 16

3 cups crushed corn flakes
2 cups crisp rice cereal
1/2 cup sesame seed
1/2 cup sunflower seed
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 cup coconut
1/2 cup margarine or butter
10 ounces marshmallows


Mix together cornflakes, rice cereal, sesame seed, sunflower seed, raisin and coconut in a large bowl. Melt margarine and marshmallows together over low heat. Add to other ingredients and stir until coated. Pat into a 9 x 13-inch buttered pan. Allow to cool and cut into bars. Wrap each bar in wrap or sandwich bags.

--Granola Bars

1 1/2 cup peanut butter
3/4 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup corn syrup
1/2 cup melted butter
3 teaspoons vanilla
4 1/2 cups oatmeal
3/4 cup coconut
3/4 cup sunflower seeds
1 1/4 cup chocolate chips


Combine all ingredients thoroughly, spread onto a cookie sheet and bake at 350F for thirty minutes or so until golden brown.

Hiker Bars Recipe

Ready in: 30-60 minutes

Serves/Makes: 3 dozen

1/2 cup Peanut butter, chunky
1/3 cup Butter
2 medium Bananas (mashed)
1/2 cup Molasses
1 cup Sugar
2 teaspoons Vanilla
4 Eggs
1 teaspoon Cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon Ginger
2/3 cup Flour, whole-wheat
1 1/3 cup Flour, white
4 cups Kellogg's Special K cereal (crushed)
1 teaspoon Baking powder
1/4 teaspoon Baking soda
1/2 teaspoon Salt
6 ounces Chocolate chips
1 cup Peanuts, salted (chopped)
8 ounces Dates, chopped (or fewer)


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Then by hand: In a large bowl cream together peanut butter and butter. Mix in bananas, molasses, sugar and vanilla. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each egg.

Stir in the cereal. Sift together dry ingredients and mix into batter. Add chips, peanuts and dates. Pour batter into greased 9 x 13 pan. Bake in preheated 350 degree F. oven for 35 to 45 minutes. Cut into bars.

This recipe for Hiker Bars serves/makes 3 dozen

Soft Granola Bars Recipe

Ready in: 30-60 minutes

Serves/Makes: 40

1 cup brown sugar
1 cup vegetable oil
2 eggs
2 cups quick-cooking or old-fashioned rolled oats
1 1/2 cup flour
1 cup raisins or chocolate chips, optional
1 cup chopped nuts or flaked coconut
1 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
***Honey Glaze***
1/4 cup honey
2 tablespoons margarine or butter


Heat oven to 350. Grease a 15x10" jellyroll pan. Using a spoon, mix together brown sugar, oil and eggs in a large bowl until smooth. Stir in oats, flour, raisins if desired, nuts, cinnamon, cloves, soda and salt. Using a spatula, spread mixture into prepared pan, patting evenly with your hands. Bake until center is set but not firm, 17-22 minutes. Cool 15 minutes.

Prepare Honey Glaze. Drizzle glaze evenly over granola mixture. Let cool completely and cut into bars. Bars can be stored, tightly covered, up to 2 weeks, or wrap tightly and freeze up to 6 months.

For Honey Glaze: Heat honey and margarine in a saucepan over medium heat, stirring constantly, until margarine is melted and mixture is heated through.

This recipe for Soft Granola Bars serves/makes 40

credit for these recipes to CD Kitchen

Making my own Granola - Several recipes and bit of advice from others

Some great hints here, included in article by Marlene Parrish (recipes below)

Baked Honey Granola
2 cups rolled oats, uncooked
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
Pinch salt
1/3 cup slivered almonds, chopped
1/4 cup honey, warmed to liquid
1/4 cup light olive oil (or 4 tablespoons butter, melted)
1/2 cup golden raisins or other dried fruit
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. In a large bowl, combine oats, brown sugar, cinnamon, salt and almonds. In a glass measure, warm honey until it is no longer viscous. Add olive oil (or melted butter) to the honey and stir.
Drizzle the honey-oil over the dry ingredients and mix to combine. Spread the mixture on a baking sheet or in a 9-by-3-inch pan.
Bake granola until golden and crunchy, stirring once, anywhere from 15 to 25 minutes. It will depend on your pan. Stir in the raisins. Makes about 3 cups.

Big Batch Granola
1 box (6 cups) rolled oats
1 cup chopped nuts
1 cup wheat germ
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup honey (or honey mixed with maple syrup)
1/3 cup oil, any kind
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup dried fruit, optional
Preheat the oven to 300 degrees. Combine the first 5 ingredients. Warm the honey, add the oil and vanilla. Drizzle the honey-oil over the dry ingredients and toss to coat. Spread the mixture onto 2 cookie sheets. Bake about 30 minutes until golden, stirring every 10 minutes.
When done, remove from oven and stir in dried fruit if used. As the granola cools, it will lose its stickiness and become crunchy. Makes about 9 cups.

Adele Davis' Grandaddy of Granolas
5 cups rolled oats
1 cup each of chopped almonds, sesame seeds, sunflower seeds, shredded coconut, soy flour, powdered milk (preferably non-instant), and wheat germ.
1 cup warmed honey
1 cup oil, any kind
Preheat the oven to 300 degrees. Combine dry ingredients. Combine honey and oil and drizzle over the dry ingredients tossing and coating. Spread the mixture on 2 cookie sheets and bake for 30 to 45 minutes until golden. Makes up to 12 cups, depending what you add or leave out.

Hints I took out of her article:

- Basic Recipe = rolled oats - fat- sweetner
- don't use quick cooking or instant oatmeal
- fat = melted butter, margarine, vegetable oil, olive oil
- sweetner = honey, syrup, sugar
- don't bake with dried fruits already mixed in as will cook up too hard to eat
- coconut flakes, seeds, nuts, dried fruits, cinnamon, hint of nutmeg and salt


Show: Good Eats
Episode: Oat Cuisine

3 cups rolled oats
1 cup slivered almonds
1 cup cashews
3/4 cup shredded sweet coconut
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons maple syrup
1/4 cup vegetable oil
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup raisins

Preheat oven to 250 degrees F.
In a large bowl, combine the oats, nuts, coconut, and brown sugar.
In a separate bowl, combine maple syrup, oil, and salt. Combine both mixtures and pour onto 2 sheet pans. Cook for 1 hour and 15 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes to achieve an even color.
Remove from oven and transfer into a large bowl. Add raisins and mix until evenly distributed.

Some recipes for granola without wheat germ, maybe you are interested

Granola Bars

1 1/2 c. Bisquick baking mix
1 1/2 c. quick cooking oats
1 c. brown sugar
1/2 c. margarine or butter, softened
1 egg
1/2 c. semi-sweet chocolate chips,
raisins or chopped nuts

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Mix all ingredients together except chocolate
chips until moistened. Stir in chocolate chips. Press mixture evenly in
ungreased 9 x 13 inch pan. Bake until center is set, 15 to 17 minutes.

Simple Granola Bars* 1/2 cup margarine
* 8 packets (or more if you wish) low calorie sweetener
* 1 1/2 cup quick rolled oats
* 1/4 cup light corn syrup
* 1/2 cup chopped dates
* 1/2 cup sweetened flaked coconut
* 1/4 cup roughly chopped peanuts

- Place margarine in an 8-inch square, microwave-safe baking dish. Microwave until the butter is melted.

- Stir in sweeteners until dissolved. Stir in the rest of the ingredients. Press the mixture firmly into the dish.

- Microwave for three to five minutes or until lightly browned.

- Let the cookies cool and then cut them into bars with a sharp knife. Wrap them individually to pack in a lunch.

Sugar Free Almond Granola Bars

Yield: 16 Servings

1 1/2 c Rolled oats
1/4 c Oat bran
1/4 c Finely chopped almonds
1/2 ts Ground cinnamon
2 tb Vegetable oil plus
1 ts Vegetable oil
1/3 c Honey or Fruitjuice Concentrate
1/2 ts Vanilla extract
1/4 ts Almond extract

Preheat oven to 350 F.
Spray a baking sheet with non-stick spray.
Combine dry ingredients in a large bowl.
Combine remaining ingredients and add to dry mixture.
Mix until all ingredients are moistened.
Press mixture into a rectangular shape 7 inches wide and
nine inches long. (Wet hands or use one hand and a damp
Bake about 12 minutes.
Remove from oven and cut into 16 bars using a sharp knife.
Separate bars slightly and return to oven for 3 to 5
minutes more.
The browner the bottom of the bars, the crisper they will
be when cool.
The edges will crumble slightly when cut - set aside for
a snack.
Remove to a wire rack to cool.

Mixed Grain Casserole

2 medium carrots, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced (1 cup)
1 cup fresh mushrooms quartered
1 cup canned black beans, rinsed and drained (can use dry pinto beans, soaked overnight)
1 8 3/4 oz. can whole kernel corn, drained
1 cup veg. broth (can use water)
1/2 pearl barley (can use quick cooking)
1/4 cup bulgur (can substitute long grain rice)
1/4 cup chopped onion
1/4 tsp. garlic salt
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese

Combine all in 1 1/2 quart casserole. I put two chicken breast halves on top with no seasoning. Bake covered in a 350 degree oven for 1 hour or until barley and bulgur are tender. Stirring once halfway through the baking time. Sprinkle with cheese. Cover, let stand 5 minutes or until cheese melts.

Chicken with White Wine & Pasta


3 Tbsp. Olive Oil
1/2 C. Chopped Onions
4 Tbsp. Chopped Garlic
Sautee all of the above until onions start to turn a bit brown.

Add all of the following...
1/2 C. White Wine
Let simmer on medium heat for about 5 mins.

Add all of the following...
White Wine into a wine glass, and enjoy for yourself!

Add one of the following...
1 C. canned red sauce
1 can stewed tomatoes
1 can chopped tomatoes
4 chopped fresh tomatoes
Let simmer for about 5 mins.

Add one of the following...
4 chicken quarters
4 chicken breasts

Recipe: No-Knead Bread

Time: About 1½ hours plus 14 to 20 hours’ rising

3 cups all-purpose or bread flour, more for dusting
¼ teaspoon instant yeast
1¼ teaspoons salt
Cornmeal or wheat bran as needed.

1. In a large bowl combine flour, yeast and salt. Add 1 5/8 cups water, and stir until blended; dough will be shaggy and sticky. Cover bowl with plastic wrap. Let dough rest at least 12 hours, preferably about 18, at warm room temperature, about 70 degrees.

2. Dough is ready when its surface is dotted with bubbles. Lightly flour a work surface and place dough on it; sprinkle it with a little more flour and fold it over on itself once or twice. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let rest about 15 minutes.

3. Using just enough flour to keep dough from sticking to work surface or to your fingers, gently and quickly shape dough into a ball. Generously coat a cotton towel (not terry cloth) with flour, wheat bran or cornmeal; put dough seam side down on towel and dust with more flour, bran or cornmeal. Cover with another cotton towel and let rise for about 2 hours. When it is ready, dough will be more than double in size and will not readily spring back when poked with a finger.

4. At least a half-hour before dough is ready, heat oven to 450 degrees. Put a 6- to 8-quart heavy covered pot (cast iron, enamel, Pyrex or ceramic) in oven as it heats. When dough is ready, carefully remove pot from oven. Slide your hand under towel and turn dough over into pot, seam side up; it may look like a mess, but that is O.K. Shake pan once or twice if dough is unevenly distributed; it will straighten out as it bakes. Cover with lid and bake 30 minutes, then remove lid and bake another 15 to 30 minutes, until loaf is beautifully browned. Cool on a rack.

Yield: One 1½-pound loaf.

thank you link Path to Freedom

Converting back to Vegetarian diet = lifestyle change

We have done the Ornish diet a few years back, which is primarily vegetarian. Not vegan, though - there is a dramatic difference as I learned from my daughter - see her blog Veganville. When we did the conversion to Ornish, I had to completely rework my kitchen pantry, learn to cook in a completely different way, and I came to have an appreciation for the amount of time it can take to prepare food the vegetarian way.

I'm still enamoured with the 1970's 'Earth Mother' imagery; growing a garden, putting up food, drying herbs and produce, cooking vegetarian, long dresses, getting back and closer to nature. Times have changed since the 70's, and now it is more about sustainable living; organic produce; vegan; intentional living; home-schooling; family values - but it still much resembles much of those efforts of the 1960's into 1970's. No, I never was into the drug culture at any decade of my 55 years, and no I am not a left over hippie by any means. I was a young military wife to a young husband, drafted and sent to Vietnam - I wasn't sure then what to think of the 60's hippies protests and lifestyles. I just knew drugs wasn't part of what I wanted, so I was one who observed from the sidelines, rather then one who lived the lifestyle.

Somehow, I think I wanted to participate in the sanitized version - drug free and in possession of my mental faculties. I look back now at some of those 1970s era cookbooks with the few vegetarian recipes which seem pretty boring now. I'm not new to lifestyle changes. Not sure I can do what my daughter did and go completely vegan = no animal products at all; no dairy, (no eggs, no butter, no milk) and no meats whatsoever. But I took the self-test at and had my husband take the self test too. It measures chronological age against life habits to come up with your 'healthy' age. My husband and I lost years and while our heads knew some of our unhealthy lifestyle habits, a wake up call is helpful. We are over the hill now and losing years is not a welcome concept.

Not without hope though, along with the test results, RealAge also provides a fairly comprehensive personalized regimen of lifestyle changes we can make now to influence having more, not less years. And interestingly, for both of us, our regimen indicated a reduction of red meat to 4 oz. a week. As we convert to that standard, it makes sense to begin overall reduction of meat in our diets(carnivore eating).

Hat's off to my daughter then, for her dedicated effort to completely convert her family to vegan - not easily done when she has a husband who is a serious meat eater.
She took it steps further than I was able to take it and has taught me much about today's standards for animal farming. I tend to think of that image of a farm with a couple of cows for milk, cutter, roasts, and steaks; some chickens for eggs; a pig to butcher for family's winter supply of meat; a farm dog; a produce garden; kids running around; a keeping room; canning preserves and such like images. Nice safe images of yesteryear. My daughter's wake up call is unsettling in that yesteryear is no more with animal farming and husbandry. Steroids, animal cruelty beyond inhumane, killer chickens, exhausted cows dying from producing milk 24/7, slaughterhouses which are far from humane, animal testing.... yes, it's enough to make us flinch from contributing to the misuse of our animal friends.

posted by Lietta Ruger

Is food actual real food any more?  Diets, Vegetarian, Vegan, and is food  even real food anymore?

How courteous, a thank you from a 'new friend' - Lighter Footstep. I added as a link and Chris Baskind from Lighter Footstep took the time to comment at this blog and give a thank you for the link. I appreciate the net courtesy.

Well, so far this blog is shaping up to be predominantly recipes. I don't intend for it to remain as such, and will be getting around to 'rounding it out', otherwise it will default to another 'themed' blog and I already have too many of those. I don't want this one to default to food and recipes, but I do need a place to contain the food and recipes, and I like blogger's new label that permits categorizing the blog entries. Eventually, perhaps using the labels, I can transport the recipe collection into a more useable format. But for now, while Sweetie and I make the switch to a more healthy diet, not quite ready to be strictly vegetarian and not ready to go the whole distance as my daughter has done with vegan, we are making a purposefully more slow transition, leaving some white meat in our diet.

Thanks to RealAge, I do have a shopping list and I will post it. Essentially though, it is pretty much unlimited fruits and vegetables, and a focus on 'daily minerals and vitamins. I'm so looking forward to our trip to the city and a food co-op or health food store to do our food shopping. However, when I converted us to the Dr. Ornish diet some years back, it required completely altering the pantry and buying food products I never heard of or used before. So I had a well stocked pantry with the ingredients such as wheatberries, oat bran, wheat germ, whole grain flour, basamati rice, polenta and on and on. That was six years ago, and I still have many of those pantry items left over. I'm quite sure their shelf life was not intended to be six years.

Why do I still have, after six years? The Ornish diet lasted for us six months, and then Sweetie had an extreme gout attack, and I mean extreme. We mistakenly surmised that the change in diet had aggravated the underlying condition that brings on his gout attacks, and I gave up on the Ornish diet, feeling guilty for subjecting Sweetie to the pain he was experiencing with gout attack. As it turns out, he had been seeing a PA who had prescribed his medicie to prevent the gout attacks, but the regimen wasn't working for him. He saw a new Dr who had begun a practice in our small town region, who referred him out to a Specialist. Once the inflammation episode resolved itself (and it took many weeks to resolve), the new medicine regimen has been working out quite well for four years now. And, Sweetie seems to believe that he is in tune enough now with his predisposed gout condition to know what kinds of diet adjustments he can and cannot make, which accounts for why we want to transition slowly and watch for cause and effect.

I'm not taken to trying diets or different diet du jour programs. I carefully read the Dr Ornish diet which makes claims of being able to reverse heart disease and then proceeds to show how that is done, how the body absorbs food and reacts and impact on heart. It made sense to me, still does and is a diet that is right in there with the healthy food diets. It does require a change in cooking habits though, and I'm pleased to have caused myself to get into the discipline of learning to cook less sugar, butter, salt, meat, fats.

I am not inclined to return to his diet or any other diet regimen at this time. Between the diet wars and claims, I'm more interested now in a tailored transition for our needs, our ages and our lifestyles. Many of the cooking techniques required by the Ornish diet have stayed with me, and I'm grateful for making myself go through that transition. It will be easier now as we transition again. However, with my daughter doing the full vegan thing, and gracefully, I might add, as she has not become an activist lecturing us on the ills of eating animal products, but it certainly has raised my awareness. I'd like to get to less animal products in our diet over time.

When I think of getting back to the land, I tend to think of farming, growing one's own food, having the functioning cow, chickens, a pig, etc. and being able to raise and butcher. Not to worry, it's only imagery as I doubt I'd have the heart to slaughter, butcher and dress out any animal. I point out my imagery though, to show that I tend to think in a different time era - before commercialized dairies, slaughterhouses, chicken farms, hybridized seeds, terminator seeds, patented seeds - Montsano, cloned seeds, and such like corporate giants taking over the food industry. I have no
wish to assist the corporations, and I also recognize that my singular efforts are but a drop in the bucket as the corporate food giants take over and assimilate us into buying and eating un-natural food. But I will get there eventually, and meanwhile, I applaud my daughter for already getting there and making the committment to not grow her children (another generation) into going along with popular food consumerism.

posted by Lietta Ruger

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