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Monday, June 16, 2014

Penne with Tomatoes, Spinach, and Kale

I just love when you play around with some ingredients and come out with a dinner that has your family raving and begging for more.  My little one was squealing wanting more, my tomato hater actually loved the tomatoes the most, they all begged for the same meal again the next night, and I actually had one child licking his plate.  (Ssshh, don't tell his father)  We did all agree that it could be spruced up a bit the next time, and we decided on what ingredients to add then, but for now I will share the recipe as is.

Penne with Tomatoes, Spinach, and Kale


2 - 12 oz packages of penne
1 large handful of spinach, roughly chopped
1 large handful of kale, roughly chopped
1-1/2 packages of grape or cherry tomatoes, rinsed and cut in half
1 tomato, chopped
3 cloves garlic, crushed
1/4 cup vegan butter
1/2 lemon, juiced
1 splash white wine
1 tbsp. basil
salt and pepper to taste


Cook pasta according to package directions.  Meanwhile in a large pan, melt butter.  Add garlic to the pan, and cook about 1 minute.  Add tomatoes, spinach, kale, lemon juice, white wine, basil, salt & pepper.  Stir and heat through until spinach and kale are wilted.  Add to the drained pasta and serve.  (Tastes good hot or cold)

Serves about 6-8 Main Dish Servings
(I have 4 growing boys and a hubby, adjust to your family's portion sizes)

Friday, June 13, 2014

Bulgur Wheat Pilaf with Mushrooms, and Peppers with a side of Roasted Asparagus

Ever have one of those days when dinner is the farthest thing from the mind?  Today my youngest son had his Kindergarten Graduation and then I spent the afternoon with my cousin before she went back to Florida.  In a few short hours, my dear daughter bumped her head, bit through her bottom lip, and then spent 2 hours napping on me during my usual preparation time.  Actually, I didn't even start dinner until after 6pm.  So needless to say, I needed something in a pinch.  I tried both of these recipes late last week and the kids and hubby loved them so, I decided to go for it again.  This recipe is so quick and easy, it was the perfect fit! 

Bulgur Wheat Pilaf with Mushrooms & Peppers

·         1 1/2 cups uncooked bulgur wheat
·         3 cups water
·         3 tbsp vegan margarine (ex. Earth Balance)
·         1/2 pound mushrooms, sliced
·         1 bunch green onions, chopped
·         1 medium red, yellow, or orange bell pepper, chopped
·         1 freshly squeezed lemon
·         3 tbsp dry white wine
·         1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
·         1 tbsp dried basil
·         1 tsp salt
·         1/2 tsp pepper


In a medium pan, combine water and bulgur wheat.  Cover and simmer for 5 minutes.  Remove from heat and let stand for about 5 minutes.  Drain excess water.

Meanwhile, melt butter in a large skillet over medium heat.  Saute mushrooms, onions, and peppers until mushrooms are soft but peppers are still crisp.  Remove from heat.  

Add lemon juice, wine, parsley, basil, salt and pepper.  Add bulgur wheat to the pan and mix thoroughly.  

Serve Immediately.

Makes about 6 Main Dish Servings.

Roasted Asparagus


·         1 bunch of asparagus

·         4-5 tbsp olive oil

·         salt & pepper to taste


Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

Wash asparagus, dry thoroughly, and cut 1-2 inches off the bottom and discard.

Spread asparagus in a single layer on a cookie sheet.  Generously drizzle with olive oil, and sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste.

Roast for 10-12 minutes.

Makes about 6 Side Dish Servings

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Garden Vegetable Bake

Tonight is one of those damp, rainy, chilly spring evenings when comfort food is calling.  I was planning on trying a new soup recipe, but didn't plan accordingly and had to make something that would take less than 2 hours from start to finish.

I had no clue what to call this, so we are just simply going to call it Garden Vegetable Bake.  This recipe is really simple and I have found that you can add, remove, or change ingredients without changing the final product.  This is how I made it tonight.

Garden Vegetable Bake


8 medium potatoes, chopped
2 medium zucchini's, chopped
1 medium yellow squash, chopped
1 yellow onion, roughly chopped
1 red pepper, roughly chopped
1 yellow pepper, roughly chopped
2 cups fresh green beans, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
1/2 cup breadcrumbs
1/2 cup olive oil
1 tbsp paprika (add more or less if you would like)
salt & pepper to taste

          1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C).

          2. In a medium baking pan, toss together the zucchini, squash, potatoes, peppers, onion, and green beans, bread crumbs, and olive oil. Season with paprika, salt, and pepper.  Mix well.

          3. Bake 1 hour in the preheated oven, stirring occasionally, until potatoes are tender and lightly brown.

          Makes About 8 Main Dish Servings

Our Beginning

Preparing dinner could be challenging, especially when you have a family of 7.  Who likes this?  Who doesn't like that?  The moans and groans of "Not this again!"  You get the idea.  I've been struggling with the same issues for the past 11 years when I ventured into parenthood.  You know what I have learned?  Not everyone could be happy all of the time, and after a few tries... chances are, they are going to acquire a taste for something.  So, many meals that I "quit" right off the bat were reintroduced and enjoyed!!

I had it all figured out.  We had a few favorite and would try at least one or two new meals per week.  Feeding a family isn't that hard, as long as you remember to take something out of the freezer in the morning.  Right?  One evening, Ed came home and popped on a video a friend linked to on Facebook and we watched in horror the cruelty of commercialized dairy farms.  Well that wasn't enough, we sat for hours watching video after video of all the cruelty and health hazards in our food.  We both felt sick and realized change needed to happen.

We started our Vegan journey in May of 2014.  When we shared the news with our families, they thought we were crazy.  The questions started. Where were we going to get our protein?  How could we do that to the kids?  What are you going to eat??  Rest assured, my children are well fed, we get our vitamins, protein, calories, fat, and carbs.  We just get them from a plant based diet.  The best part?  Since it is a new journey, we get to try new dishes practically every single night!!  The only negative... I can no longer use the "I forgot to take something out of the freezer" excuse.  :sigh:

I invite you to follow us, collect our recipes, and watch us grow, as we continue our journey.

Love and Light,