Recent Recipes


Comments (136) | Monday, November 14, 2011

Hello everyone, guess what? I moved! So if you care to follow me, you can find me at www.renderthefat.com 

There is some new stuff over there, and much more to come!

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Thanksgiving Series #1 Cranberry Sauce

Comments (31) | Thursday, November 3, 2011

If you have ever prepared Thanksgiving dinner, then you might be guilty of buying canned cranberry sauce at one point. Have you ever looked to see what is really in that stuff? Lets take a look...

For canned cranberry sauce we have cranberries, High Fructose Corn Syrup, Corn Syrup, water, and Corn Syrup....would you like some cranberries with your Corn Syrup? Yes please.

So now that you know what is in one of these canned cranberry concoctions you want to make your own cranberry sauce right? Well you should, and guess what...it takes almost the same amount of time as it does to open one of these cans...with a spoon.

Okay, it takes a bit more time but trust me, it's worth it. Here is the recipe:

8 oz. (about 3 cups ) cranberries
6 oz. pitted dates ( about 3/4 cup after being processed in a processor )
2 tablespoons of Orange juice
1/2 cup of water
Pinch of Cinnamon

And here is how you prepare it:

You might be thinking that the dates in this recipe is a little weird. Usually cranberry sauce calls for regular old sugar but if I can avoid refined sugars then I will do so. I will also be keeping things gluten free. Stay tuned for some more thanksgiving recipes that will be coming up. What are some of your favorite thanksgiving dishes?

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My First Rant on Veganism

Comments (43) | Thursday, October 27, 2011

 I have to rant.. First. Watch this video...

Did you watch it? All of it? I hope you did...and let me start off by saying...that I am really proud of The Doctors on this one for standing their ground...more specifically Dr. Lisa. Jillian kind of got cut off at the end but she is right on track with the grass-fed beef and etc. the look on her face throughout the video kind of lets you know exactly what her opinion is. So here is where my rant begins.

First off..I am sick and tired of diets that are not Vegan being considered as "lacking in nutrients" and vegetables. There are two sides of the spectrum. There are your unhealthy muffin-loving, cake-baking vegans that are addicted to sugar and chex mix, and then there are your vegans that really do eat whole foods and and are truly following a plant based diet. The same goes for a "meat based" ( I don't even like that term. ) diet. There are those who follow the standard American diet filled with processed foods, fast food...you name it--they eat it. Then, there is the "meat based " diets that I would like to rename balanced plant based diets. I think I eat more vegetables than most vegans yet I still eat grass-fed beef, organic free-range chicken, fish, and eggs. Just because you are vegan doesn't mean you are healthy, and it is more than just the Vegan Vs. Meat Eaters debate that we need to look at.. in reality, the people who are the healthiest are those who stick to eating REAL FOOD. Food that is closest to it's original form. 

I had an experience closest to Jillians story. She tried to go vegan but she felt terrible..if you would like to read my story please go here. Dr. Wendy also talked about her experience with becoming anemic on a vegetarian diet. And Dr. Barnard follows up by saying that the milk in her vegetarian diet is the cause of her anemia...however, he is talking about conventional dairy and gives absolutely no mention of raw organic dairy from grass-fed cows.

The second part about this segment I would like to address is that this doctor pulls out a BMI chart study to prove that Veganism is "healthier." If you are even remotely involved in the health and fitness world you will already know that the BMI chart is very unreliable. Here is why: BMI takes in account your height to weight ratio. However, lets say you are a body builder. If you calculate your height to weight ratio using the lovely BMI chart you will most likely be put in the overweight category because you are carrying around extra weight..but that weight is coming in the form of muscle, not fat. The BMI chart does not take this into account. This doctors chart shows that Vegans are most likely to fit into the healthy weight category. BUT in my opinion that is because many vegans are lacking muscle. It seems that this doctor has never heard of the term "skinny fat" and relates health to "thinness". Thin, does not mean healthy Dr. Barnard. Vegans could very well be on the lighter side if they don't exercise and don't carry around much muscle.Then he pulls out the diabetes chart. So here is the chart that proves everything...but not exactly. Vegans are least likely to be diabetic, however, they are more likely to be younger...then count in the vegans that actually follow a true plant based diet and you have yourself proof that a vegan diet is the only way to beat diabetes. Instead of making a comparison between variations of the standard American diet and plant based vegan diet, how about we get a chart comparing followers of a Paleo diet, WAPF diet, Medditeranian diet, the standard American diet, and the junk food vegan diet ( Mmmm boca burgers and vegan french fries ). It makes me want to scream because of the way that these studies are presented on a chart and how it skews information to the public. I want to stress so badly the importance of people not just jumping into a vegan diet without doing their research. And as for dietary recommendations..the first foods out of this doctors mouth is brown rice and spaghetti. Brown rice and spaghetti have next to no nutrients. Good call Doc.

Again, Jillian's comment about going vegan and then feeling terrible. Have you noticed Jillian's physique? She is very muscular, lean, and fit. She needs more protein than your average Joe that might get in a 30 minute walk on their lunch hour. So perhaps, veganism is not well suited for people who strength train or have a mesomorph body type. 

One of the biggest arguments about the Vegan diet is that not getting enough protein is a "myth." Yes, this might very well be a myth but the real myth is that all the protein that you are eating is getting absorbed. Truth is, on paper it might show that your diet consists of enough grams of protein but it might not be getting completely absorbed by the body. Your body has to do a lot more work when your protein is all plant based compared to eating complete proteins from foods such as chicken, or fish. 

I think I am done ranting for now... but please. I beg you. If you are thinking about going vegan..especially for health reasons, I would explore other options.

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Comments (25) | Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Some time has passed since the last time I blogged so I suppose it is time for an update. Not only am I feeling stronger, and healthier since eating meat again but I am now officially a culinary student. This means I have lots more tricks and tips up my sleeve as far as cooking goes..which is good news for you because I am going to share the wealth of information I am learning everyday.

Until I buckle down and get started on a blog worthy recipe here are a few things that you will see happening on the blog.

1. New blog name
2. New theme ( Recipes will follow a Weston A. Price/Nourishing Traditions way of eating ) and in case you were a vegetarian following this blog NO I am not involved in some sort of strange conspiracy with this organization...I am the real deal- was a vegetarian - was feeling sick, and am recovering thanks to this way of eating.
3. New Design
4. New blog Link - which will be announced so that you can bookmark it or link it to your hearts desire.

Thanks for keeping up with my blog, and I hope you enjoy the new recipes and everything that is to come in the future. I promise it will be some good stuff you won't want to miss!

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Vegetarian To Omnivore

Comments (30) | Wednesday, March 9, 2011

This post is a very difficult one to write. I spent a few days writing down notes and trying to find the right words to say, and come across in a way that doesn’t piss anyone off. Truth is, I don’t think there is any way around that so I am just going to have to speak my mind and let the words flow from the heart. So here it goes. 

Last thursday, I ended my five years of vegetarianism. Before you assume that I just couldn’t resist the taste of animal flesh any longer- the reason I decided to return to being an omnivore was for health reasons. I felt great on a vegetarian diet for a long time, but the last six months or so, I felt my health start to decline. My energy was low, I felt weak, I was really anxious and had a lot of ups and downs in my mood and had this strange sort of foggy brain feeling. I also started to notice that my hair was falling out even more than usual. ( I have been known to clog drains ). 

Tired of feeling tired, I began to do some more research on ways I could improve my diet. I started reading on different types of diets and listening to podcasts with speakers from a raw vegan diet to speakers with a paleo diet. ( And everything in between ). I began questioning whether vegetarianism was still right for me. I started weighing the pro’s and con’s but decided to stick to my vegetarian diet. 

The next few months ( while also marathon training ) I tried all that I could to reach optimal performance. I tried eating more veggies, raw veggies, nuts, seeds, fruit, no fruit, more eggs...etc. etc. nothing seemed to help. My recovery times after hard workouts or long runs seemed way to long. I began to think that maybe adding adding meat to my diet could be the missing link. The thought of it horrified me. What would people think of me if I started eating meat again? Would I be seen as a hypocrite? A failure? Thrown into a pit and stoned to death by fellow vegetarians? Would it mean that I was less of a person? Less spiritual or compassionate? I had seen ex-vegetarians torn to pieces by vegetarians/vegans and was completely terrified. There was no way. But I wanted to feel better. What if eating meat helped me feel better? That question continued to nag me until I listened to a podcast (Underground Wellness by Sean Croxton) interview with a very wise woman named Zoe Harcombe. She talked about how she used to be a vegetarian, but then realized that there were nutrients that she was missing out on where animal products were not just the best source, but the only source. She says she loves animals just as much now, but she feels indebted to them, that she needs to thank them for being there for her to eat. ( she mentions she will not however, eat factory farm rubbish. ) She said she wants to eat the animals that have had a good life, grazed in open fields and were raised humanely and then thank them for being there for her and providing her much needed nutrients. - To vegans/vegetarians this sounds like just another excuse to eat meat. I know. I have been there and have thought these exact things. But as Sean said in response “My physiology really doesn’t know animal cruelty.”

A couple of days after listening to this podcast, I finally decided it was time to give meat a try. I reserved all rights to move back to a plant based diet, and just see how my body felt as I shifted back to being an omnivore. 

My first omnivourous meal included a bit of chicken. I must of sat down with my plate of food and just stared at it for 5 minutes repeatedly asking myself if I really wanted to do this...but I really wanted to feel better and was willing to try anything. Before I could give it a try I realized I had forgotten a knife. I can’t remember the last time I actually had to use a knife with my dinner. You don’t have many tough things to cut through when you are a vegetarian. I looked back at the poor little chicken breast and said "sorry chicken. I have to eat you now." Following Zoe’s feeling of being indebted to animals I thanked it for it’s life and took a bite. 

There is something I must clarify at this moment. Through my 5 years of vegetarianism I did not crave meat, but I am not afraid to admit that, the first bite of chicken tasted extremely good. I had completely forgotten what meat had tasted like and instantly realized why omnivores find mock meat items un-appealing. Not only did it taste good but it tasted right. By right I mean I didn’t feel a sense of guilt like I thought I would. I could of told you that I had to plug my nose and close my eyes as I ate the chicken in disgust but that would be a lie. I am not here to lie, and if this experience can help open other peoples eyes about their diet whether it be vegetarian or not, than this blog is worth any harsh criticism it may receive. 

It has been almost a week since I ventured back to the omni lifestyle and I have since had some chicken and fish. So far I have noticed less anxiety and I am a lot more mentally alert. I was so used to feeling in a fog that I had just passed it off as being normal. Who knew that being alert and being able to focus could be so easy? 

Not only am I feeling better mentally and physically, but also spiritually. The thought of vegetarianism of being this sort of superior spiritual state is a lot of weight to hold on your shoulders. I feel humbled in returning to the Omni world. There is no sense of superiority. I am just like everyone else and I feel more in touch with life and death - like I have re-entered the “circle of life”. It is hard to explain but I am at peace. 

Many people might wonder if I regret being a vegetarian for 5 years. The answer is no. It made me aware of my food choices, and helped me really research where my food was coming from. Most importantly it helped me find my passion for cooking. I learned a lot in those 5 years and I am very thankful for that. 

Although I have returned to being an Omnivore, as Zoe Harcombe said “I won’t eat that factory farm rubbish” I will still be very careful about my choices and what sort of animal products I buy and put into my body. I won’t eat just any meat, and eating meat again doesn’t mean I will be eating McDonalds and Taco Bell. I refuse to become disconnected with my food and will still be eating real, healthy, unprocessed foods and buy them as locally as possible in order to support the farmers that raise their animals properly. We will never live in a meatless world (if you still believe we will, then you are dreaming ) so why not support those who are raising animals properly? 

Eating meat again is a strange feeling. Giving it up for 5 years really makes you appreciate it so much more. Not only that but I can actually open a cookbook and cook any recipe I choose. I don’t have to skim through for vegetarian recipes or try to think of ways to sub this or that in order to give it a meaty texture or think about combining foods in order to get all the complete proteins I need. I feel like I have discovered a whole new world in cooking. It will be quite an adventure cooking things for the first time. My food blog will definitely be getting a bit of a makeover. 

Well, that is it for now. Vegans/vegetarians- feel free to tear me to pieces, or offer your support if you have ever found yourself in a similar situation. 

Whats up Omni's?

Happy Lent everybody...needless to say I won’t be giving up meat. 

Lots of new recipes coming soon!

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Saturday Adventure

Comments (21) | Tuesday, February 15, 2011

I was supposed to be running, but I couldn't focus. I was in the mood to explore. The thought of skipping a training run made me anxious, but I just wasn't feeling it. I had been cooped up in the house all week and a run was not going to cure my cabin fever.I'll just change my run to Sunday's  And off I went to wake Eric from his coma-like state.

We started off our adventure by taking the train. Normally we take the car when we go downtown but the train really immerses you into the culture and you feel more connected to your surroundings and get to see some things you normally don't get to see traveling by car.

After my first train experience we decided it was time I get to experience my first taste of German bread. Lucky for us our train stop took us right to a place called Grimminger. Grimminger's is like the Starbucks of bread. Or at least a Pete's. The bread shops you see the most in the area are Kamps and Grimminger. There is a Grimminger bakery on nearly every corner. We couldn't resist.

We ended up with a bread called rosinenbrot a.k.a. raisin bread. It was delicious. 

I savored every bite and tried to decipher it's ingredients in order to attempt to re-create it in my own kitchen. It was sweet, but not too sweet, and the crumb had an amazing flavor. The outside was brushed with an egg wash and the inside was as soft as cotton candy. It was un-like any American bread I had ever had. 

While we ate our bread we decided to make our way to the farmer's market, but made a few stops along the way. 

Our first stop along the way was the Schloss. (Castle )  It is a mighty fine looking structure I must say. 

I wanted so badly to go inside. Seeing this tour group made me wonder if they tour the inside as well as the outside. 

We did get go inside the church however.

You just don't see church's like this anymore, but little did I know this was nothing compared to the church we would walk into next. 

I was in awe when I walked into this church. You could almost feel a presence. A feeling you don't always feel when walking into the more modern church's.

One of the coolest features of this church is this organ. Apparently Mozart has had a go at it before. Amazing.

No matter how hard I tried a picture just could not capture the complete awesomeness of this church so here is a little video of it as well.

After the church visits we finally made it to the farmers market. We didn't buy anything but it was fun walking through it. There was such an array of produce that it created a rainbow effect.

Of course, it wouldn't be complete without some sausages.

After the farmer's market we worked up a bit of an appetite and decided to scout out a place to eat lunch. We came across a place called Maredo's and stopped to browse their outside menu. Upon examination I saw that they had Veggie Fajitas. There is a God! There was no doubt in my mind this would be our lunch stop. Watch out veggie fajitas here I come.

Eating at German restaurant was a bit of an experience. It makes it a little awkward not knowing the language but the staff knew enough English and we didn't have any problems. It is "Awkward but doable". As Eric puts it.

The best part of the lunch experience was getting to see the differences in culture, and how it presents itself in the food and dining atmosphere. Not only do they allow dogs in stores, but they allow them in restaurants ( how cool is that? ) We had quite the adorable Spaniel seated to our left.

Another difference is the way they serve their beverages. If you order soda they give you a glass marked with a measurement for them to know how much to put in. There are no re-fills ( unless you pay more ) so they make sure they don't rob you of your money. They also don't serve beverages with ice, although they were still cold. If you order water, it is always mineral water. (carbonated water ). Most Americans would probably find this gross but I actually prefer mineral water so I didn't mind one bit. Another difference was the serving of bread in place of chips and salsa.

At first we were a bit disappointed, but after tasting the bread, the initial feelings of disappointment were forgotten. It was so warm and fresh. Delightfully crusty on the outside, and pillowy soft on the inside. It was served with some sort of dip but I didn't try it due to my wonderful lactose intolerance. Eric informed me it was delicious though.

Now onto the Entree's

Eric had salmon with shrimp over greens. ( he didn't eat the greens of course ). I think they love french fries more than Americans because they seem to serve them with just about everything. Those disappeared from his plate pretty quickly.

And for the Veggie Fajitas:

The veggie fajitas were amazing. The tortillas were fantastic, and they definitely know how to cook their veggies.

If I were to rate them on my veggie fajita rating scale they would be right between Chevy's and Pancho Villas. With the addition of rice, beans, and guacamole they might have even be my #1 favorite. I have a feeling we will be back.

I no longer feel guilty about switching up my training schedule a bit. I think I needed this day more than anything and hope that there are many more like these to come. 

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Easy Peasy Bread Pudding

Comments (22) | Sunday, January 30, 2011

Sunday's are my days off from running. Which is great because rest is important but it leaves me with a little bit of extra time in the morning. I usually fail to fill this time with something productive but today I decided I wanted to make a little magic in the kitchen. It had to be magical considering we were out of flour, eggs, or anything that usually makes up a Sunday breakfast. After searching the fridge and finding bread, and milk the idea of bread pudding popped into my head. Ahh. Yes. Bread pudding. Simple yet delicious.

And delicious it was. As Aarti says it is "slap-your-thigh-and-holler-for-your-mama good".  so here it is:

( excuse the picture I took it with my iPhone)

4 cups of bread, cubed ( I used Rudy's organic spelt ) You can use Udi's gluten free if you are gluten intolerant. 
3 cups of milk/rice/almond/etc. 
3/4-1cup organic sugar
1 Tbs. vanilla extract
1 tsp. Cinnamon
3-4 Tbs. ground flax seed
1 cup of raisins
1/2 cup chopped walnuts

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. 

Place the cubed bread , raisins and walnuts, in small baking dish. An 8 in. square dish will work fine.

Combine the milk, sugar, cinnamon, vanilla and flaxseed together in a separate bowl and then pour over the bread. Place in the oven for approx. 30 minutes. Enjoy :)

Enjoy this recipe while you can because this could be the last time you see refined sugar. In fact, it will be the last time. I am cutting it from my diet and my blog. ( except for the occasional treat of course ). 

However, this recipe is probably 10 times healthier than the Paula Dean recipe. You just decided to make her's instead didn't you....Don't do it. 

Speaking of Paula Dean...

I was watching her show the other morning and came to find her making Phad Thai whilst wearing a Moo Moo. 

Phad Thai Paula? Where's the 8 sticks of butter going to go? 

Well if you choose her bread pudding over mine, at least make my Phad Thai

Happy Sunday cooking!

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How To Make Tortillas Video : Burrito Size Baby

Comments (20) | Monday, January 17, 2011

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Snack Attack

Comments (13) | Thursday, December 30, 2010

Alas, I have internet. I am once again connected to the interwebs and jumped backed into modern times. Speaking of modern times, with all the conveniences of modern appliances such as microwaves, people have seemed to forget what real food is. And when I say real food, I mean popcorn. Have you ever wondered why your bagged microwave popcorn never tastes as good as the stuff at the movie theater? Well that is because it is fake and full of chemicals. ( most of the stuff at the movie theater is also fake these days ). So how do you make popcorn without a microwave? Without all of the preservatives, trans fats and salt? You might ask.  Well here are two recipes to kick it old school and make your popcorn the old fashioned way. Yep, on the stove top.

Here is what you need:

Recipe #1

A good sized pan with a lid.

1/2 cup Popcorn kernels

2 Tbs. Peanut oil or other high heat oil

salt to taste

melted butter to your liking ( optional ) I know, butter..it's full of saturated fat and what-not, but make it organic and it will not even be close to as harmful as the "butter flavoring" they pour all of your popcorn at the movie theater.


Heat the oil in the pan over medium heat. To know when to add the corn kernels to the pan, place one kernel in the center and wait for it to pop. When the kernel pops add in the rest of the popcorn. Shake it, and put the lid on.

Continue shaking it until the popping slows. Turn off the heat and season with butter, and salt to your desired taste.

Recipe #2

The best thing about making your own popcorn on the stovetop is being able to experiment with it and season it however you please.

If you are feeling a little more adventurous, you can try this:

Mexican Chili spiced popcorn


1/2 cup of popcorn kernels

2 tbs. peanut oil

2 tsp. chili powder

1 tsp. paprika


Heat the oil in the pan over medium heat. To know when to add the corn kernels to the pan, place one kernel in the center and wait for it to pop. When the kernel pops add in the rest of the popcorn. Shake it, and when you hear it start to pop throw in a teaspoon of chili powder and put the lid on.

Continue shaking it until the popping slows. Turn off the heat and season with the rest of the chili powder, paprika, and salt.

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Around The World

Comments (18) | Monday, December 27, 2010

Wow it has been awhile since I have been able to post a blog. The good news is that I am not dead, I haven't stopped cooking or blogging, I just haven't had internet for two months. *Gasp* I know... it was rough I am not going to lie. So in my involuntary internet hiatus I purchased a new cookbook from the PX here in Germany called One World Vegetarian Cookbook. One glance at this cookbook and I knew I had to have it. It wasn't just another vegetarian cookbook filled with cookies, muffins, lasagna, mexican casseroles, and mock meat. It is a cookbook filled with recipes that contain real whole vegetarian food. The way it should be. Since the book contains recipes from all over the world, I thought I would start off with Thailand...Ladies and Gentlemen I present to you....

Phad Thai


about 6-8 oz of rice noodles
1 pack of firm tofu, diced
1/2 cup peanuts chopped/ crushed ( I used spanish roasted because it is all I could find ) yay commissary
2 eggs, beaten ( optional )
1 onion, sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 green chili, de-seeded and chopped
1 inch piece of fresh ginger, grated
1 red bell pepper, sliced finely
1/4 cup creamy peanut butter
4-6 scallions or green onions, sliced
1-2 Tbs. cilantro, chopped
1 cup bean sprouts ( if you can find these in the produce section check the Asian section, I found them canned ).  
1/4 cup soy sauce
juice of 2 limes
1 Tbs. brown sugar
Peanut oil or other high heat oil such as coconut, or canola.


Start off by prepping all of your veggies first. Slice the Bell pepper, onion, mince the garlic, chop the chili pepper, and grate the ginger. Prepping always makes the cooking process less hectic and less messy in the end :)

1. Bring some water to a boil and add the noodles: cook for 5-10 minutes until soft. Drain.

2. Meanwhile, fry the diced tofu in a wok or a saute pan until golden; set aside. If you were able to find raw peanuts then lightly toast them until they just start to brown. If you could only find roasted like me...go ahead and skip this step.

3. If using the eggs, heat some oil in the pan and, when hot, pour in eggs and make a light omelet. Cook for a few minutes until it sets and then remove and set aside. Cut into thin strips.

4. Next, saute the onion, garlic, chili, ginger, and bell pepper for 2-3 minutes. When the onion is soft, pour in the peanut butter and mix well. Then add the noodles and stir them in.

5. Next add the cooked tofu, scallions, bean sprouts, omelet strips, and half of the cilantro. Heat through, stirring.

6. In a bowl, mix together the soy sauce, lime juice and sugar. Pour over the noodles and stir to blend in the sauce. Scatter the peanuts and remaining cilantro on top before serving.

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Secret is Out: Homemade Flour Tortillas

Comments (16) | Tuesday, November 9, 2010

I am still missing Mexican food here in Germany. Although there is an abundance of bread, there is nothing like homemade flour tortillas. For my friends in California, these tortillas might just give Chevy's a run for their money...maybe..but the only downside is that you have to be El Machino. Get ready for a little bit of work. But Oh it is so worth it. These tortillas are way better than store bought at the least. Not to mention they contain a whopping 5 ingredients and no preservatives or partially hydrogenated junk. So here they are:

2 cups of all purpose unbleached flour ( you can substitute half for whole wheat flour if you like )
1 1/8 tsp. of salt
1 tsp. baking powder
2 tsp. vegetable oil
3/4 cup warm milk or if you want to make it vegan you can use rice milk, hemp milk, soy milk...whatever your heart desires. I have had success with all of these.

Combine together the flour, salt, and baking powder. Then add in the oil, and warm milk. Mix and bring it together and shape it like a ball. Kneed the dough with your hands on the counter top for about 5 minutes or until the dough feels nice and smooth.

Separate dough and roll into small balls. ( insert childish laughter here ). You should get about 10-12 balls of dough depending on how big you want to make your tortillas. Place the balls of dough on a cutting board or other flat surface of choice and cover with saran wrap. Let rest for about 30 minutes. You can even make the dough and do all of these steps a day ahead of time. Just store the dough in the fridge until you use it. ( Awesome right? )

 One at a time press the balls of dough between two layers of saran wrap until you get them into a flattened shape. ( feel free to make them as flat as you can at this point. ) Then take it out from under the saran wrap and stretch them to your desired thickness and shape. Round is always good..but since they are homemade don't worry if they look a little odd. It gives them character, and it's the taste that counts.

Heat a skillet over medium heat. Place your tortillas one at a time on the skillet and cook until you see it start to bubble up. Then flip and heat to your desired doneness. Taste test the first one... ( No one is looking ) and then keep heating up the rest.

Enjoy with fajitas, tacos, burritos...or just by themselves.

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Commissary Conundrum

Comments (15) | Saturday, November 6, 2010

Tonights dinner was far from the usual Fresh Farmer's market Saturday dinner I am used to cooking. This food came straight from the commissary here in Germany, and most of the veggies came from a natural food store here called Alnatura. Considering I have yet to see a Mexican food restaurant here in Germany I was craving some mexican food and this is what I came up with. I apologize for my photos...the fluorescent lighting is brutal and it makes the food look like a hot mess...but it's good I promise.

Baked Corn Mexican Casserole


For the baked corn bottom:
about 4 cups of corn ( I used frozen organic corn )
1 tsp. of salt, or to your liking
4 Tbs. of butter or margarine ( I used organic Smart Balance )

First start off by making the bottom layer.  Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Thaw the corn in a medium sized saucepan. Then with a spoon, fork, or whisk, smash up the corn and make it as creamy as possible. Or if you are fortunate enough to have a food processor (unlike me at the moment ) mash it up in there for a few spins. Add in the salt...

Then transfer to a greased baking dish and bake for approximately 40 minutes.

For the the rest of the ingredients:
1 Zucchini
1 clove of garlic
2 bell peppers
1 can diced tomatoes
1 Tbs. Tomato paste
1 can of kidney beans
1/4 cup chili powder
Tbs. of mustard
Tbs. Cumin
1 red onion, diced
olive oil
Mexican Cheese blend ( just enough to cover the top )

Heat oil in a medium saucepan. Add the onion and garlic and stir until translucent. Then pour in the can of diced tomatoes, and tomato paste. Stir and add in the spices and kidney beans ( don't drain them throw it all in ). Salt and pepper to taste. Simmer until the rest of your ingredients are ready.

Once your corn is done baking pull it out of the oven and set aside. Cut the tops off of your bell peppers and pull out the seeds. Cut in half and coat lightly in a little olive oil, salt and pepper. Place cut side down on a baking sheet and bake at 450 degrees F for 15-20 mins. 

In the meantime, slice up your zucchini and saute it it in a pan with a little garlic, salt and pepper just until tender.

After everything is done baking you can start building your casserole.

Place roasted bell peppers over the baked corn first lying them flat. Then layer the zucchini over the peppers. Add the Chili sauce over the peppers and zucchini until completely covered and then add the cheese.

Place in the oven for about 15 minutes at 400 degrees F or until cheese is nice and melted.

Now how about some rice...

This isn't your average mexican rice. It is just a really simple yet delicious side dish.

1 Cup short-grain brown rice
2 Cups of water
1 clove of garlic, minced
1 Tbs. butter or margarine ( I used organic smart balance )
1/2 to 1 cup of cilantro roughly chopped

Heat butter or margarine in a medium skillet, add garlic and stir until coated. Add in rice stirring constantly until slightly browned and glistening. Pour in water and bring to a boil. Cover and turn down heat. Let cook until all water is absorbed. Fluff, salt and pepper to taste and stir in cilantro.


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Gluten-Free Cookies Like They Should Be

Comments (62) | Wednesday, October 20, 2010

This being my last time baking in the States I decided to experiment in the kitchen and create a healthy Gluten-Free cookie that rivals its unhealthy and gluten containing counterparts. I think I may have succeeded. This is what I came up with...

1 cup sorghum flour    
1 cup almond flour
1/2 tsp. sea salt
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 cup coconut sugar
1/2 cup honey
1/2 cup Natural creamy almond butter (unsalted)
2 tsp. vanilla extract
2 Tbs. ground flaxseed + 1/3 cup of hot water
1 cup gluten free chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. 

Mix together the dry ingredients and chocolate chips.

In a separate bowl combine honey, almond butter, coconut sugar, vanilla, flaxseed + water.

Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and stir well until combined.

spoon onto cookie sheet and bake for 10-12 minutes. 


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Gluten Free Peach Muffins

Comments (17) |

I bake a lot. But if you read my food blog you wouldn't really be able to tell considering I haven't posted an abundance of baking recipes. I figured it is about time. So here is a little something I whipped up and adapted from a recipe from www.theglutenfreegoddess.blogspot.com. You better hurry though peaches are going out of season faster than Old Navy cargo pants.


  1 1/3 cups almond meal/flour
    1 cup sorghum flour or brown rice flour
    1/2 cup potato or tapioca starch
    1/2 teaspoon sea salt
    1/2 teaspoon baking soda
    1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
    3/4 teaspoon xanthan gum
    3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    1 1/2 cups fresh peaches, diced
    1 teaspoon coconut oil or vegan butter
    sprinkle brown sugar
    sprinkle potato starch
    1 1/3 cups organic light brown sugar, packed
    2 tablespoons ground flaxseed combined with 6 tablespoons hot water
    3 teaspoons vanilla extract
    1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
    2 tablespoons coconut oil (any oil works)
    1/2-3/4 cup nondairy milk (I use almond milk)   


1. Whisk together the dry ingredients. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Grease or line a muffin tin.

2. Precook the peaches for a bit in a pan with 1 teaspoon coconut oil or vegan butter. Sprinkle with a bit of brown sugar and potato starch. Stir the peaches until coated. Heat until the peaches start to bubble a little around the edges. Turn heat to low and cook for 5 minutes.

3. In a separate bowl , combine the sugar, flax eggs, vanilla, lemon, and coconut oil. Mix well.

4. Combine the wet ingredients with the dry and add milk, as needed. Add in the peaches and stir until combined. Spoon the mixture into a prepared muffin tin and bake for approximately 23-25 minutes.

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Fall Favorites With an Indian Flare

Comments (17) | Monday, October 18, 2010

With the weather getting cooler, there is no better time to try and cook with some warming Indian spices. I don't know how it does it, but whenever I am cold, Curry always warms me up. So onto a flavorful fall menu:


This recipe originated from a class I took on Indian cooking taught by Chef Jinny Richardson. I loved it so much I had to make it at home. I condensed it down to make it a bit quicker and switched a few things up. Hope you enjoy!

1 Cup of brown long grain or basmati rice
2 cups of water
1- 2 Tbs Virgin Cold Pressed Coconut Oil
1/2 onion, diced
1 tsp. mustard seeds
1 tsp. cumin seeds
1 Tbs. curry powder
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 cup cashews
1/2 cup raisins
1 cup green peas
salt to taste

In a medium saucepan heat the coconut oil. Add in the mustard and cumin seeds until they start to pop. Add in the Onion and stir until translucent. Pour in the rice and stir constantly until coated with coconut oil and glistens. Add water, bring to a boil and cover until all water is absorbed.

After water is absorbed fluff rice with a fork and stir in peas, raisins and cashews. Add spices and salt to taste.

Mark Bittman's Braised and Glazed Butternut Squash with an Indian Flare

2 tablespoons virgin coconut oil
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 tsp. grated fresh ginger
11/2 pounds butternut or other winter squash, peeled and cut into 1/2- to 1-inch cubes
1/4 cup vegetable stock or water
Salt and pepper
Pinch of curry powder
Pinch of cinnamon
Chopped cilantro for garnish
1. Put the oil and garlic in a large, deep skillet with a tight-fitting lid over medium heat. When the garlic begins to color, add the ginger, squash and stock and sprinkle with salt, pepper, curry powder, and cinnamon. Bring to a boil, cover, and turn the heat down to low. Cook, stirring once or twice, until the squash is tender, about 15 minutes.
2. Uncover the pan and raise the heat to medium-high. Cook, shaking the pan occasionally and stirring somewhat less often, until all the liquid is evaporated and the squash has begun to brown, 5 to 10 minutes. Turn the heat back down to low and cook until the squash is as browned and crisp as you like. Taste and adjust the seasoning, garnish, and serve.
Curried Green Lentils
1 cup green lentils
2 cups of water
1/2 onion
4 large tomatoes
1 tsp. mustard seeds
1 tsp. cumin seeds
2 Tbs. curry powder
2 tsp. cumin
1 clove of garlic
Bring 3 cups of water to a boil. Add in lentils and cook until all water is absorbed and lentils are tender.
Meanwhile, in a medium skillet heat oil and and add mustard and cumin seeds. When they start to pop throw in the onions, garlic, ginger, curry powder, and cumin. Saute until onions are translucent and add tomatoes.
Cover pan and let simmer for approximately 5-10 minutes, or until tomatoes release their juices. Add the lentils to the tomato sauce. Turn off heat. Mix well and add salt to taste. Adjust seasonings to your desire. Don't be afraid to add more cumin, or curry, or anything you like. This is a really versatile dish. Make it for whatever suits your taste buds.

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Vegetarian Cioppino?

Comments (19) | Saturday, October 9, 2010

Vegetarian Cioppino anyone? I know...how can I dismantle such a seafood classic? Well I did, and I must say it turned out pretty tasty. I think you should try it yourself! Appetizers first however...

Pita Chips with Herbed Goat Cheese and Honey

Pita Chips ( I used Stacy's ) - Be careful they are addictive.
4 ounces of goat cheese
1 teaspoon of fresh thyme, chopped
1 Tbs. basil leaves, chopped

In a small bowl, combine goat cheese with the thyme. Spread cheese over pita chips and a pinch of basil leaves. Drizzle with honey and serve.

Mixed Green Salad with Strawberries and Pistachios

A good bunch of mixed greens.
1 pint of chopped strawberries
1/2 cup salted, roasted pistachios

balsamic vinegar
Olive Oil

Place all ingredients in a bowl. Toss with desired amount salt, pepper, oil and vinegar. I used about 2 Tbs. of vinegar, and 2 Tbs. of olive oil. Just enough so that all the ingredients have a good coating. 

Last but not least..

Vegetarian Cioppino

2 Tbs. Olive Oil
5 cloves of garlic, minced
2 Onions, diced
1 bulb of fennel, diced
2 red bell peppers, diced
1-2 Tbs. dried oregano
1 tsp. red chili flakes
3 Cups of tomato, diced
2 Cups of white wine
2 tsp. of better than bouillon vegetable, or 1 vegetable bouillon cube. dissolved in 1/2 cup of water.
6 cups of low sodium veggie broth
2 packages of tofu ( Two blocks )
1 lb. of crimini mushrooms, sliced
1/4 cup of basil, chopped
2 Tbs. tarragon, chopped
2 Tbs. Parsley, chopped

In a large pot, heat oil and saute garlic, onions, and fennel. 
Add red peppers and continue sauteing until slightly tender.
Add oregano, and chili flakes, and continue to saute until fragrant. Add tomatoes and wine, then water with dissolved bouillon, and veggie broth. 
Add in tofu, and mushrooms and simmer for about 25 minutes.
Salt and pepper to taste.
Stir in basil, tarragon, and parsly. Serve and enjoy.

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Tasty Saturdays

Comments (19) | Monday, October 4, 2010

Sorry for the delay on the Saturday Farmer's Market menu. The feeling of fall is now upon us but I must say the "get darker sooner" deal makes it a lot harder to make food look flattering in photos. Saturday's Menu started off with...

Chilled Cucumber and Dill Soup


3 large cucumbers
2 green onions or scallions
1 clove of garlic, diced
1 cup of veggie broth
1 cup of buttermilk
1-2 Tbs. Fresh chopped dill

Peel cucumbers. Dice white bottoms of onions and 1/2 the tops of the scallions. Sliver remaining green tops and set aside for garnish.  Place cucumbers, scallions, garlic, veggie broth, buttermilk in a blender. Add more broth or buttermilk if necessary. Chill at least 2 hours before serving. 
Mixed Green Salad with Pesto Dressing

A good bunch of mixed greens
4 large tomatoes, diced
2-3 cucumbers, diced

1 cup fresh basil leaves
1 clove of garlic
1 tablespoon of pine nuts
2 tablespoons parmesan
1/4-1/2 cup olive oil

Toss all salad ingredients together. Process dressing ingredients in a food processor. Thin with additional olive oil if desired. Add to salad and toss. 

Tempeh and Okra Stew

2 packages of tempeh ( I use West Soy )
1 pound of Okra
1 cup of white wine vinegar
1 cup of water
2 cups of veggie broth
1 Tbs. Olive Oil
1 onion, diced
1-2 pounds of tomatoes, diced
salt and pepper

Place Okra in a bowl and cover with white wine vinegar and water. Set aside. 
In a large pot, heat the oil and saute the onion until soft. Add the tempeh and cook until slightly browned. Add the stock, and tomtatoes. Simmer for about 20 minutes. 
Drain the Okra and add to the stew. Cook for an additional 10 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

German Butterball Mashed Potatoes

2 pounds German butterball potatoes
salt and pepper to taste
1 cup of milk ( Oat milk, hemp milk..pretty much any kind works )
2 Tbs. Tahini
2 Tbs. Earth Balance
1 clove of garlic

Cook the potatoes in salted water until fork tender. ( steaming them works well too ). Mash with potato masher or in my case a kitchenaid. Add the rest of the ingredients until it reaches your desired mashed potato taste.

Sauteed Chard and Sundried Tomatoes

1 bunch of chard, cut into bit size pieces.
1/2 cup of sundried tomatoes
1/2 to 1 tsp smoked paprika
1 tbs olive oil

Heat oil in a medium pan. Add sundried tomatoes salt and paprika. Sautee until slightly crispy. Add chard and sautee until tender. Season with salt and pepper. 

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