Friday, July 29, 2011

No bean, no soy, no gluten veggie burgers with rutabaga fries

Veggie burger with rutabaga fries
I've been going crazy for a veggie burger but every pre-packaged variety has all the stuff I can't eat, and recipes are the same. I finally decided to re-invent the veggie burger, free of all the stuff I cannot eat because of delayed food allergies. This means my recipe has no beans, no soy, no gluten, no oats, no peppers and no mushrooms. I omitted spices/herbs but these can be optional. The burgers had plenty of flavor without them.

My veggie burgers looked more like giant cookies, according to my son, but hey, that means I can imagine I'm getting my entree and my dessert, all at the same time. I  replaced the beans with sweet potato and the typical red peppers and mushrooms with zucchini, which I have in abundance from the garden. Quinoa in various forms, flour, flakes and whole grain, replaced your typical oats and wheat flour. Rice protein was used instead of soy. Voila, a veggie burger for Sheree was born. And don't forget the fries. I chose to use rutabagas because they are low glycemic.

No bean, no soy, no gluten veggie burgers

  1. 1/2 medium sweet potato, baked
  2. 1 carrot
  3. 1/2 medium yellow onion
  4. 1/2 cup chopped zucchini
  5. 2 handfuls of spinach
  6. 1/4 cup raw pumpkin seeds
  7. 1 T. chia seeds
  8. 1/4 cup (possibly more) quinoa flour
  9. 1/2 cup cooked red quinoa (or black or regular)
  10. 1/2 cup quinoa flakes
  11. 1 T. vegan rice protein powder
  12. 1/4 tsp. sea salt
  13. dash of black pepper
  14. optional: spices/herbs such as basil, garlic
  1. Place all ingredients except flour in a food processor and pulse to blend and chop.
  2. Transfer mixture to a large bowl. Add flour a little at a time until mixture holds together and is somewhat dry.
  3. Shape into 6-8 patties. Freeze patties not needed for your meal.
  4. Spray a skillet or grill with pan spray and olive oil. Cook veggie burgers on medium-high heat, about 5-8 minutes on each side.
Rutabaga fries

(2 servings_

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  2. Peel 1 large rutabaga and cut into steak fries.
  3. Place in a bowl and toss with olive oil, salt and pepper.
  4. Spray and oil a shallow baking sheet.
  5. Add to the pan in one layer.
  6. Bake for about 30 minutes or more until crispy and golden. Flip after about 15 minutes.
This recipe is linked to other healthy recipes at Wellness Weekends on

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Whole amaranth and quinoa granola

Kona babysitting Misha and Bailey

Three for fun

Whole amaranth and quinoa granola

Granola topping on berries and coconut cultured milk
Today I awoke to find another one of my houseplants overturned. Potting soil was spread everywhere on the dining room floor. The guilty parties, Misha and Bailey, had tracked the wet potting soil in every direction. They hung their heads as if to say, "We're sorry."

Once I got that cleaned up I turned around to see Bailey hanging like a monkey from one of my houseplants as it toppled to the floor. Yes, I know they look so cute and innocent but I have nicknamed them big Chaos (Misha) and Destructo Cat (Bailey). I never know what to expect next. If it weren't for their interactive toy (Kona), I cannot even imagine what chaos and destruction they would create.

Somehow in the midst of this pet chaos, I still managed to find time to try a new recipe: Whole Amaranth and Quinoa Granola. It's chocked full of whole grains, fiber, healthy seeds and low-glycemic sweetener. It makes the perfect topping for my new favorite, vegan So Delicious Cultured Coconut Milk, and summertime berries. My raspberry bushes are producing an abundant crop.

  • 1/2 cup amaranth seeds
  • 1/2 cup canola oil
  • 1/3 cup coconut nectar + 1 tsp. pure powdered stevia (substitute agave or yacon syrup if desired)
  • 1/4 tsp. sea salt
  • 1/2 cup toasted sunflower seeds
  • 1/2 cup toasted pumpkin seeds
  • 1 cup flaked, unsweetened coconut flakes
  • 1 cup quinoa flakes (or substitute rolled oats)
  • 1 cup dried yacon slices (crumbled) or substitute dried cranberries, cherries or blueberries
  • Heat the oven to 350 degrees and put rack in the middle of the oven.
  • Heat a skillet over medium heat. Add the amaranth when the skillet is heated. Cover with a glass lid and shake the pan until the amaranth is about half popped (approximately 1-2 minutes). Transfer the seeds to a large bowl. Add the quinoa flakes and other seeds.
  • Combine the canola oil, syrup and stevia in a small saucepan. Cook over medium heat and bring to a boil. Remove from heat.
  • Pour the syrup mixture over the seeds. Stir until mixture is moist throughout.
  • Evenly spread the mixture on a baking sheet. Bake until toasted and lightly browned, about 5-10 minutes. Stir and continue to bake until lightly browned all over, about 5 minutes more.
  • Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely. Blend in the crumbled up yacon slices or other berries.
  • Store the granola in an airtight container in the fridge.
Find more healthy recipes ideas at Wellness Weekends at:

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Whole Amaranth Seed Chocolate Chip Cookies

Kona makes a great pillow for Misha.

Those little seeds are whole amaranth.

My husband and I are celebrating four decades of marriage this weekend. I decided to celebrate by making his and her's chocolate chip cookies. His have almost all the regular ingredients and mine are well, different but tasty.

The unique ingredient in my cookies is whole amaranth seed. Actually, I mixed in some whole amaranth in the cookies I made for my husband and he loved the extra crunch. I confess too that I used cacao nibs instead of chocolate chips in both versions and replaced the sugar with low-glycemic yacon syrup.

Whole Amaranth Seed Chocolate Chip Cookies
 (makes about 12 small cookies)

  • 1/2 cup quinoa flour
  • 1/4 cup whole amaranth seed
  • 1/4 cup amaranth flour
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 T. flax mixed with 3 T. water
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • dash sea salt
  • 1/4 cup toasted sunflower seeds
  • 2 T. cacao nibs
  • 1/4 cup yacon syrup
  • 1 tsp. powdered stevia
  • Mix all the dry ingredients and blend in the oil, syrup and flax mixed with water.  Add an extra tablespoon of water if mixture appears too dry. Blend in the seeds and nibs.
  • Use a teaspoon to measure out the dough onto a sprayed baking sheet.
  • Bake for 8-10 minutes in oven preheated to 350 degrees.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Dairy-free coconut kefir

Misha thinks he's a cat too!

Kona gives Misha a hug.
So Delicious Cultured Coconut Milk with berries

It has bummed me out for years that I have had to take probiotic supplements rather than getting to eat healthy stuff like yogurt and kefir. But dairy intolerance and candida is what it is. 
It was a pleasant surprise to discover that now I have an alternative in the form of So Delicious Coconut Milk Kefir.This drinkable yogurt-alternative is dairy and soy-free, vegan and certified gluten-free. The kefir comes in four flavors: original, strawberry, vanilla and chocolate.
I have been drinking the original flavor, which has the lowest sugar content. It’s a delicious way to get your daily dose of probiotics, which can prevent or reduce the severity of colds and flu, according to Mayo Clinic researchers. Other studies have shown that you may be able to reduce your allergy symptoms by improving the health of your gut.

I chose the original because it is the lowest in carbohydrates and has no added sweetener. One cup has 70 calories, 6 grams of carbs, 3 grams of fiber and one gram of protein.

It can be a bit of a shock to your taste buds if you are used to sweet-tasting beverages. Drinking it straight from the bottle or pouring it on cereal is not something I would recommend. Rather it pairs well with berries, either in a smoothie or in a bowl with granola. Don’t use it in cooked recipes as heating will destroy the live bacteria.

So Delicious kefir is fortified with calcium, magnesium and vitamin B12. It contains prebiotics (inulin from chicory root extract); active, live probiotic bacteria and coconut fat which is comprised of approximately 65 percent medium chain fatty acids (MCFs); 10 active and live cultures including L. Bulgaricus, S. Thermophilus. L. Plantarum, L. Rhamnosus. L. Paracasei, Bif. Lactus, Bif. Bifidum. Bif. Animalis, L. Acidophilus, Leuconostoc Cremoris.

This product has not been on the market long and may be a little difficult to find. I located it at Fred Meyer in their health and nutrition section. It runs about $4.29 for a 32-ounce bottle compared to $3.70 or so for dairy kefir.

My recommended serving suggestion is: Coconut Milk Kefir with Frozen Berries (Slightly Thawed)

Ingredients for one serving:
  • One cup So Delicious Cultured Coconut Milk (original flavor)
  • 3/4 cup frozen mixed berries (strawberries, blueberries, etc.); slightly thawed
  • Powdered stevia to taste
  • Place the slightly thawed berries in a bowl. Sprinkle with stevia. Pour coconut milk kefir on top. It instantly forms a yummy slightly frozen bowl of deliciousness.
  • Additional serving ideas: sprinkle with unsweetened coconut, cacao nibs, toasted sunflower seeds and/or homemade quinoa granola.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Gooey Chocolate Amaranth Brownies

Dog tired

Boxes make the best toys

Gooey chocolate amaranth brownies
Misha and Bailey, my two new pets, have only two speeds, either full throttle or out like a light, as they demonstrate in the photos above. In many ways, they are like human babies. They take hours and hours of time each day, just like my human kids did. They prefer boxes to expensive toys and can fall asleep just about anywhere.

 The July 4th weekend seems like the perfect time to enjoy the outdoors with my two new pals plus Kona and eat some chocolate brownies. The Gooey Chocolate Amaranth Brownies pictured above taste decadent but are filled with quality ingredients, and are gluten, dairy and egg free.

Ingredients for 12 brownies
  • 2 T. unsweetened sunbutter
  • 2/3 cup organic cacao powder
  • 1/2 cup amaranth flour
  • 1/4 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 2 T. yacon syrup + 1/2 tsp. powdered stevia
  • 1 small sweet potato, peeled, baked and pureed with 1/4 cup hemp milk
  • 1 flax egg (mix 1 T. ground flax with 3 T. hemp milk)
  • Optional frosting: 1 T. sunbutter, 1 T. coconut oil, 1/2 T. yacon syrup
  • Heat oven to 350 degrees. Spray an 8-inch square pan with pan spray. Set aside.
  • In food processor, puree the sweet potato with hemp milk. Add in other ingredients and continue blending until smooth.
  • Pour mixture into baking pan.
  • Bake until a knife comes out of the brownies with few moist crumbs, about 20 minutes.
  • Cool to room temperature.
  • Frost with a mixture of sunbutter, coconut oil and yacon syrup. Melt in a saucepan and then pour over brownies and spread evenly.