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CleanEating

Staples to begin the 10-Day Clean Eating Challenge

A friend recently told me she is going to take some time to eat foods that are both clean and vegan.  She said she has done this before and ended up feeling fabulous. I’ve decided to accept the clean eating challenge for 10 days, beginning this Thursday, April 13. Today I ventured to Whole Foods and stocked up on lentils, greens, grains, walnuts, berries and other staples that will help me to cook vegan, clean food that is also yummy. I also bought some organic flour and yeast, because I’m going to be making bread.

 

In case you’re unfamiliar with what clean eating is, it basically means you avoid processed foods and eat whole foods. I’m vegetarian, not 100% vegan, so I’ll also be adding the vegan component to my challenge.

Join me in the 10-day vegan, clean-eating challenge!

 

* I will take a break from the challenge Easter Sunday, but be back at it the following Monday.

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Make the most of the last of summer’s fresh peaches with these two delicious, healthy recipes. Frozen or canned peaches would work also, but there is nothing like fresh summer peaches.

Peach and Blueberry Turnovers

Peach and Blueberry Turnovers

Peach and Blueberry Phyllo Turnovers

2 large ripe peaches or 3 medium ones
¼ cup blueberries
1 tsp. cinnamon
¼ tsp. nutmeg
8 sheets of phyllo
Canola oil
1 tsp sugar

1) Peel peaches and cut into cubes.

2) Stir together peaches and all ingredients (except phyllo and canola oil)

3) On flat clean surface, place one sheet of phyllo. Brush on a bit of canola oil. Place another sheet of phyllo on top and brush with canola oil. Repeat with two more sheets of phyllo. Cut layers into three even strips.

4) Place a couple tbsp. of the peach mixture on one half of each phyllo strip and pull up the strip to cover the mixture. Press down the edges of the phyllo. Place onto greased baking sheet. Sprinkle tops with sugar.

5) Repeat steps 3 and 4 with the remaining phyllo sheets and peach mixture.

6) Bake in preheated 350 degree oven for 20 minutes.

Makes 6 delicious turnovers.

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PeachMuffins

Fresh Peach Muffins

Fresh Peach Muffins

1 ½ cups white whole wheat flour
1/4 cup sugar
1 organic, free range egg white
1 tbsp. ground flaxseed whisked with 3 tbsp. water
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. vanilla
½ cup unsweetened almond milk
¼ cup Smart Balance (butter substitute), softened
1 large ripe peach, peeled and chopped

Topping

¼ cup brown sugar
1 tbsp. Smart Balance, softened
2 tbsp. chopped pecans or walnuts (optional)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

1)      Mix together the dry ingredients.

2)      Stir in the wet ingredients and then fold in the chopped peach.

3)      Add to muffin cups or greased muffin pan.

4)      Mix together topping and place some on top of each muffin.

5)      Bake in 375 degree oven for 15 minutes.

Makes 11 muffins.

Peach muffins

Peach muffins hot out of the oven

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Corny Corn Bread

Corny Corn Bread

Since it’s summer, it’s easy to find fresh, sweet corn. While making cornbread the other day, I decided to add some fresh corn to it. It really sweetened the bread and made it extra delicious. It’s a simple recipe.

By the way, this bread is made from corn meal, which is a whole grain, so it’s gluten-free. Also, I use unsweetened almond milk and no eggs, so it’s vegan. And did I mention heart-healthy?  You and your family will love it!

Easy Extra Corny Corn Bread          

1 cup corn meal (I use Virginia’s Best)
1 cup unsweetened almond milk
1 tbsp. canola oil
1 tbsp. ground flaxseed whisked with 4 tbsp. water
1 ear of corn

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

1)      Shuck corn. Cook in microwave for 1 minute 10 seconds. Let cool. Scrape corn from cob into a plate.

2)      Mix all ingredients together

3)      Pour into pan that’s approximately 6” X 6”.

4)      Bake in 400 degree oven for about 20 minutes.

5)      Serve with Smart Balance buttery spread.

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banananutmuffinsThere is probably a banana or two on your counter right now that is too ripe to eat, but not rotten enough to throw away. These bananas are perfect for making banana nut muffins! Make a batch for quick and healthy on-the-go snacks and breakfasts.

Banana Nut Muffins (Vegan)

1 ripe banana
1/3 cup chopped walnuts (or your favorite nut)
1 tbsp. apple butter (or applesauce)
2 tbsp. Canola oil
½ cup unsweetened almond milk
1 tbsp. ground flax seed plus 4 tbsp. water, whisked together (this is an egg substitute)
1 tsp. vanilla
¼ cup white sugar
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup white flour (Note: If you follow a gluten free diet, use oat flour in place of the white and wheat flours)
1 cup white whole wheat flour
1/2 tsp. baking soda
¼ tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. cinnamon
¼ tsp. ginger

1) Mix all wet ingredients together (except banana). Whisk in sugars.
2) Mix all remaining dry ingredients together, except nuts.
3) Gradually add wet ingredients to dry ingredients.
4) Break ripe banana in small pieces into batter. Add in  nuts. Mix everything together.
5) Spoon batter into muffin cups.
6) Bake at 350 degrees for about 20 minutes.

Enjoy!

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As a housewife in the 1960s and 1970s, my mom embraced Bisquick and all of the other modern shortcuts to a good suburban meal. So, until today, it did not occur to me to try to make biscuits from scratch. I figured they would be too time-consuming, difficult or fattening.

Inspired by a delicious-looking blog entry at the Amateur Gourmet , I decided to try to make some biscuits.

Of course, being a health nut and vegan-ish, I had to change his recipe around to make it “lighter” and vegan, but even without the butter and buttermilk, these biscuits were darn good! More than darn good. Especially with honey and apple butter. Yum!  And I’ll add that they only took minutes to prepare (that’s why I call them “lazy” – they were just too easy!)

Lazy Vegan Biscuits

Lazy Vegan Biscuits

Lazy Vegan Biscuits

1/2 cup white flour
1/2 cup white whole wheat flour
1 tbsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
1 tsp. sugar
2 tbsp. Smart Balance
3/4 cup unsweetened almond milk

Lazy Biscuits Turned out Good!

1) Mix together dry ingredients.

2) Melt Smart Balance in the microwave and add to the dry ingredients.

3) Gradually stir in the unsweetened almond milk. (You may need to add another tbsp. of flour if it looks too wet).

4) Spray a cake pan with non-stick cooking spray. Drop the biscuits by big spoonfuls into the pan.

5) Bake at 500 degrees for 5 minutes. Reduce heat to 450 degrees and bake another 10-15 minutes (check after 10 minutes).

6) Try with apple butter or honey. Yum!

Makes 5 good-sized biscuits.

Biscuit with Honey

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Ground Cinnamon

Ground Cinnamon

It’s the time of year when baking seems like a good idea, particularly when it involves cinnamon and spices that fill the house with warm, yummy fragrance. Anyone walking into a home where sweet potato bread is baking will want to sit down and stay a while. It’s a scent that says  “make yourself comfortable.”

And there’s nothing like a slice with a cup of tea or vanilla almond milk for a mid-afternoon or late night snack.

The version below is vegan and healthful. Treat yourself today!

Sweet Potato Bread

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

  • 1 cup whole-wheat flour
  • 1/4 cup white flour
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  •  ½ tsp. baking soda
  • ½ tbsp. cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp. ginger
  • ¼ tsp. ground cloves
  • ¼ tsp. nutmeg
  • ½ cup firmly-packed brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp. ground flaxseed plus 3 tbsp. water (egg substitute)
  •  ½ cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1/4  cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 medium sweet potato
  • 1/3 cup chopped currants (I used Zante currants)
  • 1/3 cup chopped toasted pecans
Sweet Potato Bread: the dough

Sweet Potato Bread: the dough

1) Combine wheat and white flour, baking powder, baking soda, spices in a large bowl.

2) Cook sweet potato in the microwave for about 3 minutes (or until baked). Peel sweet potato and mash it. (Cook the potato a little ahead of time and it won’t be hot when you peel it!)

3) Place ground flaxseed and water, milk, applesauce, and brown sugar in a small bowl. Add mashed sweet potato.

4) Add wet ingredients to dry. Stir in dates and chopped pecans. Spoon batter into a 9 x 5 loaf pan coated with nonstick cooking spray.

5) Bake at 350 degrees for about 40 minutes.  Bread is done when a knife comes out clean from the middle.

Makes one 9 X 5 loaf.

Beautiful sweet potatoes

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