Ebook – Vegetarian Quick & Easy in Under 15 Minutes by Jonathan Vine


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Even though I am no longer a strict Vegetarian, I still enjoy vegetarian meals quite often.  I have previously reviewed another book by Jonathan Vine called Vegetarian Weightloss. I loved that book for it’s low-calorie, healthy veggie dishes. This new book focuses much less on calorie count and more on speed of preparation. While I would love to spend less time on food prep, I found far fewer appealing recipes in this book than in the last. Most recipes involved lots of dairy and/or carbs. Many things were fried.

While I can substitute gluten free or dairy-free alternatives for most of the ingredients that I cannot eat, I find I do not want to. When I decided to eat more vegetables, it was because I wanted to be healthier. The sad part is that Vine gives the same “vegetarianism is good for you” diatribe that he did in his previous one, including arguments that it reduces the risk of heart disease, obesity, and skin conditions. However he goes on to provide you with artery and pore clogging recipes that do the exact opposite. Bread and cheese are not healthy and frying your food is most definitely not. Preparing foods this way also removes many of the nutrients. The few appealing recipes I found in this book were:

Coconut and Date Bites – a fairly healthy dessert

Colorful Quinoa – a quinoa and veggie salad that would be good cold or hot

Lentil and Cucumber Salad – a nutrient-dense side dish

That being said, if you are vegetarian for reasons other than health (such as to combat animal cruelty), than this book would be great for you. You can also use them sparingly as “comfort foods.” I do not recommend you making these recipes on a frequent basis.

Disclaimer: I received this product through Tomoson for free in exchange for an honest and unbiased review. I was not compensated for my review and all my opinions are my own. One may or may not have the same results as myself when using this product.

National Grilled Cheese Month with Rumiano Cheese! Bonus: Recipe Contest!

April is National Grilled Cheese Month! Who doesn’t love grilled cheese? I prefer mine served next to a bowl of tomato soup! However with my intolerances, grilled cheese is a bit tough to make. Non-dairy cheeses rarely melt properly, or taste like real cheese. Luckily though, I can tolerate low-lactose cheeses with an enzyme pill. Organic, grass-fed cheeses are also much easier to digest, and healthier too! No added hormones to mess with your body. This is where Rumiano Cheese comes in. Here is a little background on their company:

Rumiano Cheese Company is the oldest family-owned cheese company in California dating back four generations. Rumiano Cheese Company is committed to the organic, grass-fed and Non-GMO movement and continuing to produce the highest quality cheese inspired by their founding fathers’ recipes and cheese making techniques. In 2011, Rumiano launched their Rumiano Family Organic line, which is the first cheese in the US market to receive Non-GMO Project Verification.

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I was thrilled to be chosen to try out this cheese! I found it at my local Whole foods. You can see its placement on the top row of the cooler shelf in the photo above. It comes in many varieties, though my store only carries 3 types: mild cheddar, sharp cheddar, and pepperjack. I was super excited to see that each one of those three listed 0g of sugar (i.e. lactose)! It did not say lactose free on the package, so I assume there may be trace amounts.

I couldn’t wait to get this home to make a grilled cheese! This cheese is great for melting. I used the sharp cheddar for the grilled cheese in the photo above. It had that lovely stretchy, gooey quality I haven’t seen in a low lactose cheese in forever! The taste was great too! I loved not having to feel guilty about eating it, since it is so healthy and doesn’t contain hormones or terrible fillers.

To find it at a store near you: Locator

Bonus: They are also having a grilled cheese recipe contest! Submit your recipe here by the end of April to try to win free cheese!

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Gluten Free Pancakes with Our House Mix

I was happy to be given the opportunity to try out the Our House brand of pancake mix and AP flour. The AP Flour is fairly straight forward: long grain brown rice flour, rice flour, sorghum flour, & xanthan gum. Nothing that would affect taste or texture over much. What I enjoyed the most, though was the pancake mix! I love pancakes! I have tried many recipes and mixes before, only to find their taste or texture sub par. The Pancake & Waffle mix has a few more ingredients: Rice flour, long grain brown rice flour, cane sugar, sorghum flour, baking powder, salt, xanthan gum, tapioca starch, & natural flavor. Aside for the “natural flavor” (which always makes me wonder), the ingredients are recognizable.  You also add similar ingredients as you would to a glutenous mix. Eggs, milk (almond for me), oil, water.

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The ingredients blended pretty easily and formed an initially liquid batter. Because of this, I mixed in in a large measuring cup. I learned this trick from my Mother-in-Law. It makes it easier to pour the batter into the skillet. Less mess!

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However, as you can see below, the batter thickened while I was waiting for the skillet to heat up. It ended up being too thick to pour, so I had to use a measuring cup to portion out the pancakes anyway.

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The end result was spectacular! The pancakes cooked much like glutenous pancakes do, with bubbles rising to indicate doneness. They cooked way lighter (not golden) than wheat pancakes do, so you have to keep an eye on those bubbles to judge when they are ready. As you can tell from the photo below, they have an excellent crumb structure. Light and fluffy, not dense or grainy. They tasted great too! I made both plain and chocolate chip and served them with my whipped vanilla “butter.” So yummy!

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Our House offers a complete line of baking mix products, including: all-purpose flour, brownie mix, cookie mix, pancake and waffle mix, corn bread mix, and baking mix. Please visit the Our House Website for more information on their products and where to purchase them.

Disclaimer: I received this product for free in exchange for an honest and unbiased review. All my opinions are my own. One may or may not have the same results as myself when using this product.

Almond Butter Cookies

So, the Body Ecology Diet is still rough. As a pastry chef, it is hard to avoid sugar, wheat, dairy and vanilla extract! I was about a month in before the cravings started. It also doesn’t help that Girl Scout Cookie season is upon us. I couldn’t fine any recipes for sweets on the body ecology diet, so I adapted a recipe for flourless peanut butter cookies to suit. Unfortunately the attempt at peanutless/flourless/sugarless cookies didn’t work so well! It took a couple of attempts, but the end result is worth it. I really like the salty/sweet taste. You can adjust the salt and stevia to suit your palette. For those of you on the BED, you will need to make your own almond butter from sprouted almonds, use alcohol free vanilla, and use ground flax seed instead of almond flour in the early stages of the diet.

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Almond Butter Cookies

Yield: 12-15 cookies (depends on size)

1 cup Almond Butter

1 Whole Egg

1/4 cup Almond Flour

1 tsp Vanilla Extract

1/2 tsp sea salt

Stevia or monkfruit powder , to taste (I only did 1/2 a packet)

 

  • Mix all ingredients together with a hand mixer or a fork.
  • Roll into 1-inch balls.
  • lightly press with a fork to flatten.
  • Bake at 350°F for 12-15 minutes.
  • Allow to cool (will crumble when warm), then eat!

 

 

 

 

Gluten Free Ancient Grain Bread

 

Multi Grain Bread

Unfortunately, there are few breads allowed in the beginning stage of the BED.  The only approved bread seller sells only locally in California and online ($10 per loaf + S&H!). Because of this, I have been going through bread withdrawal. Therefore, I decided to make my own. The following bread recipe is my adaptation of the Stage 1 Body Ecology bread. I am still working on making it more sandwich bread-like, but for now, it is a better option than what is offered on the body ecology website. If you have several days, you can opt to both soak and sprout the grains before using them. I didn’t think that far ahead, so they are simply soaked overnight in this recipe.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 1 cup millet
  • ½ cup amaranth
  • ½ cup buckwheat
  • ½ cup sunflower seeds
  • 1 tsp chia seeds or psyllium
  • 1 tbsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp organic apple cider vinegar

-Soak quinoa, millet, amaranth, buckwheat, and sunflower seeds in just enough water to cover them. Let sit at least 8 hours or overnight.

-Carefully drain off excess water.

– Blend them in a food processor, gradually adding in each of the other ingredients. Make sure to separate baking soda and vinegar, so you avoid the foam. Blend until you have a loose paste. Add more water if paste is too thick.

– Pour into a greased 9″ x 5″ loaf pan (8×4 will work too, but will be a tight fit). Top with seeds, if desired.

-Bake at 325°F for 60-90 minutes, until top springs back when pressed.

-Allow to cool 10 minutes, before removing from pan.

-Allow to cool entirely before slicing.

“Keep Calm My Apron Is On” Cooking Apron Review #KeepCalmMyApronIsOn”CookingApron

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This is a wonderful apron. I love the pockets in the front. You don’t see them on many aprons, and when you do they are usually more decorative than functional. My favorite part, though, is how adjustable it is. I usually have to knot the neck strap of my aprons in order for the apron to sit properly. This apron has a buckle on the neck strap, so you can easily tighten it to the preferred length. The length of the apron is also great. It is nice and long, covering a large area. Perfect for those of us that spill things a lot. The “Keep Calm My Apron Is On” saying is cute too. It fits me well. The fabric is nice too. Not scratchy or uncomfortable. It is breathable and sturdy too. It washes well. Overall, I think this is a great apron that is both fun and functional.

To purchase: Amazon

Disclaimer: I received this product for free in exchange for an honest and unbiased review. I was not monetarily compensated for my review and all my opinions are my own. One may or may not have the same results as myself when using this product.

First Post!

Hello!

In this blog I will be writing about whatever I happen to be thinking about at the time. As a warning, most of my posts will be food (I have a culinary degree and LOTS of allergies) and random reviews of products I try. Happy reading!

~RheaMedb