Sunny Sunflower Seed Burgers

As I prepare the menu for dinner guests I always jump to this delicious vegan burger recipe. Satisfying and simple, guests will love it! All the ingredients will usually be in your pantry and all you need to create a great meal is to pick up some avocados, tomatoes and onions for toppings. I like to serve the burgers with roasted sweet potatoes, baked beans, and a green salad.

Sunny Sunflower Seed Burgers
I cup uncooked short grain brown rice
2 cups raw sunflower seeds
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1 carrot coarsely chopped
Oil for skillet
Hamburger buns (optional)
Toppings: sliced avocado, sliced tomato and sliced red onions

Directions
1. Cook rice as directed on package. Let stand 20 minutes.
2. Food process seeds, spices, and salt until finely ground. Add carrots and pulse a few times. Add rice and pulse a few times to combine. Do not over-process.
3. Form into patties. I like to let the patties chill in the fridge until ready to cook to avoid crumbling or breaking. (uncooked patties stored on waxed paper will keep in the fridge for up to 1 week).
4. Heat oil in skillet over medium heat. Cook patties 3-5 minutes on each side. Place on toasted bun (optional) with your favorite toppings.

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Baked Sweet Potato & Chile Wedges

If you are looking to add tons of nutrition to your dinner menu without adding expense to your budget, use sweet potatoes! Children and adults always enjoy this vitamin packed vegetable. The sweet potato is a complex carbohydrate food that is high in dietary fiber, antioxidants, beta carotene, vitamin C, vitamin B6, iron and potassium. Benefits to you: stabilized blood sugar levels, healthy digestive tract, strengthened immune system, and they also strengthen your heart, lungs and muscles. Definitely a superfood.

We enjoy serving this dish with sunflower seed veggie burgers and vegetarian baked beans. Or serve along side black bean soup.

Baked Sweet Potato & Chile Wedges

3 1/2  pounds  sweet potatoes (5 to 6 large)
2  tablespoons  olive oil
1  teaspoon  sea salt
1/4  teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2  cup  fresh orange juice
3  teaspoons chili powder
1  tablespoon agave syrup (or honey)

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 450°F. Cut each unpeeled potato into 1-inch-thick wedges. Place in a large ziploc bag; toss with oil, sea salt, and pepper. Arrange in two 13×9 foil lined pans.

2. In small bowl combine orange juice, chili powder, and agave (or honey); set aside.

3. Bake potatoes, uncovered, 25 to 30 minutes or until tender, brushing three times with orange juice mixture, and shaking pan occasionally.

4. Transfer potatoes to a serving dish; Serve immediately or at room temperature.

-Julia

Recipe adapted from Better Homes and Gardens

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Enjoy the Fruits!

Fruit/Veggie Box

So about a month ago, we finally did something we have been wanting to do for months. We signed up to have our fruits and vegetables delivered to our house! There are many reasons we wanted to do this, some of them include supporting local farmers, eating seasonally, and enjoying really fresh produce. We also wanted to stay out of the supermarket to ensure our food expenses stay well within reason and to avoid any impulse buys.

How it works: Look up your local Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) at http://www.localharvest.org/csa/ Here you can find a variety of farms in your area to choose from. Many farms use organic and ecological farming techniques, which means your fruits and veggies are that much more healthy and vitamin packed!

We chose a CSA in San Luis Obispo (see SLOVeg.com) where we could easily sign-up or change our delivery at any time in case we didn’t like it. The first box we received was impressive, filled with bright, colorful, fresh fruits and vegetables. The quality, quantity and variety of the produce has been exceptional and we are very pleased! There were options to receive a weekly or bi-weekly box, which day of the week we want our box delivered, and a choice of a small, medium, or large box. We receive an email on Mondays sharing with us the varieties of fruits and vegetables we will receive on Thursdays. The email includes the names of the local farms where the produce was grown and it also includes healthy recipes. When our box is delivered, my daughter opens it up and she gets to learn the names of the fruits and vegetables as we organize them for storage.

Benefits: Eat very fresh produce that is in season, make meal plans for a healthy and varied diet, go to the grocery store less, save money, gas and time, avoid trips to the store with young kids, learn new ways to cook, support local farmers, and enjoy learning more about the amazing plants God has made for our enjoyment! Enjoy the fruits!

Genesis 1: 11-12 And God said, “Let the earth sprout vegetation, plants yielding seed, and fruit trees bearing fruit in which is their seed, each according to its kind, on the earth.” And it was so. The earth brought forth vegetation, plants yielding seed according to their own kinds, and trees bearing fruit in which is their seed, each according to its kind. And God saw that it was good.

-Julia

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Chocolate Chip Cookies – Vegan, Gluten Free and Delicious

A homemade chocolate chip cookie is quite delightful. The high-quality and wholesome ingredients used in the cookies make for a pleasing dessert or snack without guilt. They are sure to make a little tummy or a grown-up tummy happy.

Last night my husband and I snuggled on the couch with our little girl and had family “cookie time”. We savored our rice milk and cookies together. I love how simple pleasures like a cookie can be a part of making lasting memories!

Cost saving tip: Purchase GF flours with significant discounts on Amazon.com through their “Subscribe and Save” program. Details here: http://tinyurl.com/yourgm

Recipe:

2-3/4 cups brown rice flour
1-1/2 cups plus 1 tablespoon garbanzo bean flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon sea salt
1 cup canola oil
1 cup organic whole sugar cane
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup rice milk
1 cup chocolate chips
cocoa powder, for dusting cookies

*Ghirardelli semi-sweet chocolate chips are dairy-free and high-quality

Directions

1. Preheat the oven to 350F.

2. Combine the flours, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a large bowl. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the canola oil, organic whole cane sugar, and the vanilla extract until well mixed. With the mixer on low speed, add the flour mixture and the rice milk alternately, a little at a time, until smooth, about 3 minutes. Stir in the chocolate chips.

3. Scoop the dough onto greased baking sheets with an ice cream scoop. Bake until golden and slightly firm to the touch, about 17 minutes (Be careful not to over bake, or they will likely crumble when handled). For a fancy look, dust with coca powder while they are still hot. Remove and cool on a rack.

Yield: 25 cookies

*Recipe adapted from Flying Apron’s Gluten Free and Vegan Baking Book

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Chai Tea Concentrate Recipe

I go to bed dreaming about my morning cup of chai tea… sweet, spicy, warm, and frothy! I enjoy it during my morning quiet time or to take along with me on a morning walk. My family loves chai tea and the morning wouldn’t be the same without it.

This recipe is simple, affordable, and really delicious. The smell of the tea and spices simmering together will fill your home with a beautiful aroma reminiscent of the holidays! Spices at World Market are inexpensive and their selection is excellent. I found generously sized bags of star anise and cinnamon sticks for $1.99 each. Another cost saving tip is to store fresh ginger in a ziploc bag in the freezer for up to 3-6 months. Slice or grate off the needed amount and return the rest to the freezer. This recipe is sure to please! Enjoy!

Recipe for Chai Tea Concentrate:
3½ cups water
½ cup agave nectar (or honey, but then it would not be vegan)
1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise or 1 tsp vanilla extract
2 star anise
¼ tsp anise seeds
8 cardamom pods, lightly crushed
8 whole cloves
1 tsp peppercorns
2 cinnamon sticks
1 2-inch piece fresh ginger, sliced
4 bags tea (roobios, orange pekoe, or darjeeling)

In a medium saucepan combine all ingredients except the tea. Bring to a boil and allow to strongly simmer for 10 minutes. Turn off the heat, cover the pan and allow to steep for 20 minutes. Add the teabags, cover the pan again, and steep for 20 minutes more.
Strain the concentrate into a sealable container (a quart size canning jar with a lid works well). Keep in refrigerator for about 1 week.
Directions for a chai tea latte:
Stir together 1 cup soy, rice, or hemp milk to ½ cup concentrate and heat in a saucepan. Use a frother to whip up the milk and serve.

*Recipe adapted from A Crafty Lass website.

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Filling the mind, the body and the soul with excellent things

I am a momma and love my family! We are a healthy and happy family living on California’s central coast in beautiful San Luis Obispo.

This blog is for the purpose of filling the mind, the body, and the soul with excellent things. Finding and savoring the things that build up and fighting against that which destroys the soul is a lifelong task. May our lives reflect what we value most!

We are a vegan and gluten-free family that is passionate about the many things that lead to healthy lifestyle. I love to create in the kitchen, sewing room and garden, improvise and use resources well, cut expenses and live minimally, manage the home, educate myself by listening to podcasts and reading, and absolutely enjoy loving and serving others.

A Bible verse we hold dear for the purpose of our home is Romans 12:9-13 “Let love be genuine. Abhor what is evil; hold fast to what is good. Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor. Do not be slothful in zeal, be fervent in spirit, serve the Lord. Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer. Contribute to the needs of the saints and seek to show hospitality.”

Hope you can learn a little from me and learn along side me about the wonderful things in this life!

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