To nourish your mind as well as your body

Anger and intolerance are the enemies of correct understanding.

-Mahatma Gandhi

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Sweet Potato Protein Patties

Hello again! I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving week and weekend. While I was visiting my family in Texas, I reworked my Game-Changer patties for my aunt (who's vegan) and they turned out wicked good, so I thought I would share the new version of the recipe as well. You don't have to be vegan to enjoy these (and if you're serving them to your non-vegan friends, you can just call them a vegetable side if you want), but if you are - you'll find that they have a full serving of protein and delicious, healthy cruciferous vegetables. These are great for a protein-rich side dish or a meal on the go. Enjoy!

Sweet Potato Protein Patties
Makes 16 

1 lb sweet potatoes, cooked  
3/4 cup onions   
1/4 cup flax seed meal   
1/2 cup gelled chia seeds  
6 tsp olive oil
4 loose fist sized clumps of baby spinach, raw  
3 loose fist sized clumps baby kale, raw 
2 tsp salt 
1 tsp black pepper
2  sage leaves, crushed
1 sprig rosemary, crushed
1 tsp white pepper
  • Preheat oven to 400°.
  • Clean your sweet potatoes and brush them with olive oil. Pierce the potatoes with a fork. Bake them for about 45 minutes. 
  • Pan brown onions and spinach and kale with ~6 tsp olive oil.  
  • To make your gelled chia seeds, take 1/3 cup chia seeds and place them into a sealed container with 2 cups water. Stir them, let them sit for ten minutes, and then stir again. (You can keep the gel that you don't use for this recipe in the refrigerator for about 2 weeks. Mix it into salad dressings or juice for a little extra protein in whatever you like.)
  • Peel your baked sweet potatoes. (I munch on the peels because they are delicious!) Puree baked sweet potatoes in food processor. Puree cooked spinach and kale and onions. Place pureed vegetables into a large bowl. Puree browned onions, cooked spinach and kale in food processor. Move to bowl. 
  • Combine blended sweet potatoes, onions, chia seeds, flax seed meal, green onions, herba salle, egg whites, blended spinach, herbs, salt and pepper. 
  • Form and flatten portions of the “dough” into patties.
  • Lay the patties onto parchment paper that has been sprayed with cooking spray (or stoneware) and bake for 15-20 minutes, remove, flip them over, and bake again for another 20 minutes until they’re lightly brown and crisp on the outside.
  • Serve warm, at room temperature, or straight from the fridge.
Go on, have a peace! Enjoy!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving to all of you! In honor of the holiday and spending a wonderful week with my family who I so rarely get to see, I thought I would share one of my favorite thanksgiving poems, written by a Unitarian minister. So, here it is.

A Prayer Of Thanksgiving By Reverend Max Coots

Let us give thanks...
For generous friends...with hearts as big as hubbards and smiles as bright as their blossoms;
For feisty friends as tart as apples;
For continuous friends, who, like scallions and cucumbers, keep reminding us we had them;
For crotchety friends, as sour as rhubarb and as indestructible;
For handsome friends, who are as gorgeous as eggplants and as elegant as a row of corn -- and the others -- as plain as potatoes, and so good for you.
For funny friends, who are as silly as brussels sprouts and as amusing as Jerusalem artichokes, and serious friends as complex as cauliflowers and as intricate as onions;
For friends as unpretentious as cabbages, as subtle as summer squash, as persistent as parsley, as delightful as dill, as endless as zucchini, and who -- like parsnips -- can be counted on to see you through the long winter;
For old friends, nodding like sunflowers in the evening-time, and young friends coming on as fast as radishes;
For loving friends, who wind around as like tendrils, and hold us despite our blights, wilts, and witherings;
And finally, for those friends now gone, like gardens past, that have been harvested - but who fed us in their times that we might have life thereafter;
For all these we give thanks.  

Remember, Thanksgiving is about showing love and gratitude to the people who have made your life possible - the ones who held you when you were born, guided you through your rough patches, led you past dangers, and helped to shape you into the wonderful person you a today. Not eating. Be moderate. Guide by example. And enjoy yourselves!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Sweet Potato Protein Game Changers

I was recently invited to participate in something called the Game On Diet, which is basically a diet/lifestyle change competition that involves collecting points for meals, water intake, and exercise. It's a pretty neat system, one that I recommend you looking into if it at all peaks your interest. But the point is this. As part of the game, we're required to eat five meals a day. I know. It's crazy. And since I don't have time to stay home all day and cook, I decided to look into a quick and easy way to prep for those extra moderately portioned meals on the go. This is the first thi I came up with. It has protein, cruciferous vegetables, fiber, and healthy carbs. All that and it tastes awesome hot or cold, and is extremely easy to pack and carry. So, here you go.

Sweet Potato Protein Game Changers
Makes 16 patties
1 lb sweet potatoes, cooked
1 bunch green onions, diced
1/3 cup onions
1/4 cup flax seed meal
1.25 lb 99% fat free ground turkey
6 tsp olive oil
4 fist sized clumps of baby spinach, raw
1/3 cup egg whites
2 tsp herba salle (you can make your own version of this by combining sea salt, dried rosemary, dried sage, and dried basil in equal parts)
1 tsp black pepper
2 dried sage leaves, crumbled
1 sprig rosemary, dried, crumbled 
2 tsp white pepper

Preheat oven to 350 F.
Bake sweet potatoes for 20-25 minutes. Pan brown turkey and onions with ~2 tsp olive oil. Puree sweet potatoes in food processor (I peeled the skins and munched them, but it's up to you). Steam and then puree spinach with sweet potatoes. Dump puréed vegetables into a large bowl. Purée browned turkey and onions in food processor. Combine blended sweet potatoes, onions, turkey, flax seed meal, green onions, herba salle, egg whites, blended spinach, herbs, salt and pepper.
Form and flatten portions of the “dough” into patties.
Lay the patties onto parchment paper that has been sprayed with cooking spray (or stoneware) and bake for 15-20 minutes until they’re lightly brown and crisp on the outside.
Serve warm, at room temperature, or straight from the fridge.

Go on, have a peace! Have two! Enjoy! Go on, have a peace! Have two!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Knead-Free Scrumptious Loaf

Hello, all!

First of all, let me say I'm so sad not to have thrown a bunch of new recipes at you this month. Circumstances have conspired to keep me away from my kitchen, which is terribly disappointing to me; I miss my culinary meditation time. Second, thank you so much to CindyCupcake for both following my tweets and for mentioning my web series! You're so sweet - and as a result, you get to request a recipe, miss! Just tell me 2-4 ingredients and I will make a recipe just for you and name it after you. (It's the next best thing to baking cookies and mailing them to wherever you are!)

With regards to Family Valuables - this series is one very close to my heart. I, along with two friends, came up with the idea, wrote, directed, cast, and acted in it. We had a wonderful crew who worked tirelessly with us to make the show what it turned out to be. We shot three episodes and two teaser scenes in a very short amount of time on very little funding and we are so terribly proud of the work we accomplished. For more information on the series, you can visit, find us on Facebook, or just go straight to watching the episodes. I do appear in the series (more so later in the season). I'm in Episode 1 as one of the Mormon visitors and then in one of the teaser scenes as my characters true identity... dun dun dun. Please check it out, 'like' it on and/or Facebook if you do (how could you not?), and tell your friends if you like. We made it to make people laugh, so the more people who see it, the better.

Now! For all ya'll who are hungering for something other than entertainment, here's an incredibly easy recipe for bread! Yes, bread! I know, I generally avoid this food staple due to the lack of nutrients usually found in the store-bought versions. But with this recipe - a recipe I actually learned about through a Cornerstone Theater piece the entitled 'Bread' and directed by the wonderful Nancy Keystone - you get to make a delicious, crusty loaf from scratch and share it with our friends and family. And your house will smell absolutely incredible. Breaking bread and sharing it around the table has always been a Thanksgiving tradition in my family (even though many of us have given it up for the rest of the year) and I'm overjoyed to share this with you.

All you need is a bowl, a dutch oven, plastic wrap, two cotton towels, some very basic ingredients, and time. So, without further ado...

Knead-Free Scrumptious Loaf
Yields one 1.5 lb loaf

3 cups all-purpose or bread flour, more for dusting (you can use whole wheat flour instead, just be careful making sure that the dough doesn't become too dense)
1/4 tsp instant yeast
1 1/4 tsp salt
flax seeds (optional)
minced and crushed rosemary (optional)
olive oil (optional)

1. In a large bowl, combine flour, flax seeds, rosemary, yeast, and salt. Add 4/5 cup water and 4/5 cup olive oil (or all water as you choose - the oil makes a denser, moister loaf), 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 F).

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 for another fifteen minutes.

3. Using just enough flour to keep the dough from sticking to your work surface or to your fingers, gently and quickly shape the dough into a ball.

Generously coat a cotton towel (not terry cloth) with flour; wn dough seam side down on towel and dust with more flour. Cover with another cotton towel and let rise for about 2 hours. When it is ready, the 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 F.  Put a 6-8 quart heavy covered pot (cast iron, enamel, Pyrex, or ceramic - I use my awesome La Creuset dutch oven) in the oven as it heats. When the dough is ready, carefully remove the pot from the oven. Slide our hand under the towel and turn the dough over into the pot, seam side up. It may (and probably will) look like a mess, but that's a-OK. Shake the pan once or twice if the dough is unevenly distributed; it will straighten out as it bakes. Cover with lid and bake for 30 minutes, then remove lid and bake for another 15-30 minutes, until the loaf is beautifully browned. Cool on a rack.

This is by far the easiest bread recipe I've ever seen and the result is simply delectable. As per usual, feel free to substitute or add ingredients to suits your tastes and whims. Add different herbs, or olives, or nuts, raisins, or currants. Go on. Have a peace! And have a wonderful, wholesome Thanksgiving!