So it starts! By popular demand (ok really just my mom) I am starting this food blog. I have loved to cook since I can remember and have always tried to eat healthy. Many people think that eating healthy is boring and overwhelming. This is why you are reading my blog, because I want you to find that it can be yummy, satisfying, and simple... okay sometimes it requires some planning and work, but all good things do. FYI, the food Critic I refer to is my great Husband who will try everything I make.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Roasted Red Pepper lentils with Sun Dried tomatoes

I don't eat meat so a great source of protein that often pops up in my meals is wonderful lentils. I love lentils and I love that the food critic likes them enough to not notice that there is no meat in our meals. I also love roasted red peppers and sun dried tomatoes so I made up this little meal in hopes to satisfy my craving of both. It ended up being great and the green beans were a great compliment so I highly recommend you pair the two together.

Roasted Red Pepper lentils with Sun dried tomatoes
2 red peppers, roasted
1 cup grated carrots
1-2 garlic cloves, minced
3 T red wine
1 T pure maple syrup
1 T olive oil
1 T balsamic vinegar
1/2 t Dijon mustard
1/4 tsp dried basil
sea salt & fresh ground pepper to taste
1 c cooked lentils
1/2 c sun dried tomatoes, sliced (not the ones in oil)
steamed green beans


Roast your peppers and while they are roasting cook your lentils. Just follow the directions on the lentil package. When lentils are done, set aside.

How to Roast Peppers
1. Line a cookie sheet with tin foil.
2. Cut both peppers into 4 parts
3. lay them down on the tin foil cut side down
4. Broil on High for 10-20 min. You want them to be black because it is easier to peel the skins off.
5. After you broil them, take them out of the oven and cover them with another piece of tinfoil for about 5 min. This makes them sweat and easier to peel.

Sauce directions:
1. Grate carrots and mince garlic
2. Heat 1 tsp olive oil in pan, add carrots then cook for 3 min. Add minced garlic to carrots and cook for 1 min stirring throughout.
3. Add red wine and cook for 2-3 min. You want all the alcohol in the wine to evaporate.
4. Place your roasted red peppers into a blender along with maple syrup, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, Dijon mustard, and basil.
5. Blend together until well mixed.
6. Add half of the carrot mixture to the blender and pulse a few times.
7. Return all of the contents in the blender back to your pan.
8. Add your lentils and sun dried tomatoes to the roasted red pepper mixture.

9. Simmer 5 min

10. Pour over some steamed grean beans

Lentils are magicians in the nutritional world – they pack in staggering amounts of nutrition into relatively few calories, including 198%DV molybdenum, 89% folates, 62% dietary fiber, 50% manganese, 35% Iron, 35% protein, cooper, B vitamins, and potassium, to boot. Whoa! All this is in a one-cup serving of lentils, or 230 calories. This stuff is the meat in the vegetarian diet.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Sweet and Sour Sauce

Tonight I made my family Sweet and Sour Chicken, but I managed to make the sauce without any Ketchup or White Sugar! My daughter LOVES this meal, and tonight she had seconds and was licking the sauce off her plate. The food critic said it was Excellent knowing I pulled it off without any white sugar or ketcup, but comparing it to the traditional sauce he said it was Very Good. I don't have a sorry. Everyone ate it all up before I got a chance to take a picture. Next time I'll make the meal I'll get it photo ready, but for now here is just the sauce recipe.

Sweet and Sour Sauce
1/2 c chicken broth (or vegetable broth)
1/4 c vinegar
2 T tamari sauce or Soy Sauce
1/4 c pure maple syrup
3 T tomato sauce
1/8 t ginger, pwd
1/4 t garlic pwd, or 1 clove minced garlic
1 T corn starch
3 dates pitted
ground pepper & sea salt

1. Combine broth, vinegar, soy sauce, maple syrup, tomato sauce, ginger, and garlic in a small sauce pan. Bring to a boil.
2. Wisk in 1 T of corn starch and stir until blended.
3. Transfer to a blender and add 3 pitted dates then blend
4. return to sauce pan and simmer until thickened.
5. Salt & pepper to taste

Tonight I mixed the sauce with noodles, grilled chicken, broccoli, and cauliflower for the kids and food critic. I had it mixed with brown rice, broccoli, and cauliflower.

It would also be great with peppers, pineapple, snow peas, and celery. You can get pretty creative with this one.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Quinoa Black Bean Salad

Thanks to Katie for giving me a recipe similar to this one. I love this salad and so does everyone else who tries it!

What is Quinoa? Here is some info on this super grain..

Quinoa is an excellent source of PROTEIN and unlike other grains, is not missing the amino acid lysine, so the protein is more complete.

Quinoa offers more iron than other grains and contains high levels of potassium and riboflavin, as well as other B vitamins: B6, niacin, and thiamin. It is also a good source of magnesium, zinc, copper, and manganese, and has some folate (folic acid).

RINSE before you COOK or it will taste BITTER!
Here is why: Quinoa's survival in the great outdoors is due to a resinous, bitter coating that protects its seeds from birds and insects--and also shields them from the intense high-altitude sunlight. This coating, called saponin, is soapy and must be removed in a strong alkaline solution to make the grain palatable. Most quinoa sold in this country has already been cleansed of its saponin. But quinoa should be rinsed thoroughly before cooking to remove any powdery residue of saponin. Place the grain in a fine strainer and hold it under cold running water until the water runs clear; drain well.

Quinoa &Black Bean Salad
1 T Olive oil
1/2 onion
¾ c Quinoa (make sure you rinse first!)
1 ½ c Vegetable Broth
2 tsp Cumin
¼ tsp Cayenne
1 c Brown Rice (opt)
3 Limes
Lime Zest
¼ c olive oil
1 T Maple syrup or Agave
1-2 cloves garlic
1 ½ c Black beans
½ T red wine vinegar
Vegetables: Corn, red pepper, kale, jicama, green onions, avocado, cilantro, cherry tomatoes, micro-green sprouts
Tortilla chips

1. Heat Olive oil in a sauce pan, add onion and cook until onion is light brown (10 min). Add Quinoa, vegetable broth, cumin, and cayenne to the pan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 20 min. When done transfer to a bowl and cool.
2. Cook Brown rice as directed on package, when done add to Quinoa.
3. Rinse Black Beans then toss with vinegar, add to Quinoa

4. Combine Juice of 3 limes, lime zest, ¼ c olive oil, garlic, and maple syrup or agave in a bowl.

5. Chop vegetables and combine with Quinoa. Drizzle Lime sauce over salad and mix.

6. Top with micro-Greens and salsa

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Green Pea Hummus

This is ONE of my favorite snacks! It is so easy to make and the taste is amazing. Everyone that tastes it becomes a huge fan. It is good with rice chips, (especially the Boulder brand @ Coscto), carrots, cucumbers, peppers, etc.

Green Pea Hummus
2 cups peas, I use organic frozen peas
2 T fresh lemon juice
1/2 cloves garlic
1 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp salt
3 T tahini (the base for most hummus, it is ground up sesame seeds that looks like peanut butter)
1/4 c olive oil

1. Pour 2 cups of peas into a colander and rise with warm water
2. add peas to blender
3. add all other ingredients and blend well

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Cinnamon Spelt Pancakes

As much as I love oatmeal with all the fancy things I put on it, I really do get sick of eating it. Pancakes usually leave me feeling blah after I eat them, but not anymore! I felt great after I had some of these wheat free pancakes. They were really easy to make and get this..... my KIDS even loved them. I was shocked! I also made some simple coconut syrup to go along with the pancakes that I thought added the perfect touch to the meal.

Cinnamon Spelt Pancakes

2 c spelt flour

2 t baking powder

1/2 t baking soda

1 t cinnamon

dash of cloves

dash of nutmeg

1/4 t salt

1 T chia seeds soaked in 3 T H2O

2 T organic sugar of 1 T agave

1 C almond milk

1 t vanilla

1 T olive oil

1. Measure out 1 T of chia seeds and mix with 3 T of H2O. Set aside while you continue to measure out the rest of your ingredients. Chia seeds act as a binder in foods when you are not using eggs.

2. Measure and mix all of your dry ingredients together

3. add almond milk, oil, vanilla, chia seeds to your dry ingredients. mix well.

Coconut Maple Syrup

2 T coconut milk

4 T pure maple syrup

When I served these to my kids and food critic I sprinkled cinnamon and sugar on top. It reminded me of eating hot churros because they were a little crisp on the outside and warm and soft on the inside. Yummy! I also think adding some sliced bananas would be divine on top, I just didn't have any.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Thai Lettuce Wraps

This is RAINBOW eating at it's best! These have got to be one of my most delicious things I make. One of my favorite foods to order at the Cheesecake factory is their Thai Lettuce Wraps. They are delicious! After ordering them a handful of times I decided it was time for me to figure out how to make the yummy dipping sauces that go along with the wraps. So I blended and blended until I got it right. The end result was fantastic! I was so happy with the homemade version and so was the food Critic, he gives this meal a 10 which does not happen very often. Enjoy!

Thai Lettuce Wraps
Butter lettuce for your wraps

-for the inside of the wrap - Red, orange, yellow peppers; marinated Cucumber; gratted Carrots; Purple Cabbage; Bean sprouts; cratted Zucchini; green onions; Avocado; coconut rice noodles

Marinated Cucumbers
2 1-2 cucumbers, sliced
1/3 c rice vinegar
3 T Agave or organic sugar cane
Water and salt

· Marinate at least 4 hours, overnight is best

Peanut Sauce
1 c peanut butter

1/4 c coconut milk
2 T lime Juice
1-2 T Tamari (soy sauce or Nama Shoyu)
½ T fish sauce (opt)
1 tsp minced ginger (1/2 tsp pwd ginger)
1-2 T Agave or Honey (depending on how sweet you like it)

Combine all the ingredents and mix well. I recomend starting with less lime and ginger that way you can alter it to your taste.

Ginger Dressing
1 clove garlic
2 square inch ginger
½ c Olive Oil
¼ c sesame oil
1/3 c rice vinegar
4 T Nama Shoyu or ¼ c Soy Sauce or 4 T Tamari
¼ c water
3 T agave

combine and mix well, blender is best.

Cashew Dipping Sauce
¼ c cashews
1/2 - 2/3 c cilantro
1 clove garlic
2 green onions
½ T agave or 1 T organic can sugar
1 tsp cumin
· Combine in blender or food processer and pulse then add:
½ c honey
4 t vinegar
1 t balsamic vinegar
2- 3 dates; without pits
Juice of 1 lemon
¼ c water
¼ c olive oil
· Blend

Coconut Rice noodles

Half a package of rice noodles

1 T coconut oil

3 T unsweetend coconut

Follow cooking directions on the package of the noodles. When noodles are soft, drain all of the liquid and then toss in coconut oil. When mixed add the unsweetend coconut and mix again.

Assemble to your liking!!

Thursday, February 2, 2012

MAC 'n CHEESE done right

I was taking a huge chance on this one. I mean who messes with Annies Mac and Cheese. Well I came across this butternut squash Mac and Cheese recipe on and decided to give it a try. My 2 year old thought it was great. This was her 3rd spoonful of the sauce.

And I baked them in a muffin tin because I thought my kids would be more excited to eat it that way.

Mac 'n Cheese

2-3 c butternut squash, peeled and cut into cubes

*3/4 c cashew sauce* - (same stuff in the Crue's creamy Rice Cereal)

1 garlic clove

1 T fresh lemon juice

1 T Tamari Sauce (like soy sauce but has a smoother taste and wheat free)

1/4 heaping tsp Dijon mustard

1/2 tsp dried Italian seasoning

1/4 tsp Turmeric powder, makes it orange

1/4 tsp paprika + more to season

fresh ground pepper

sea salt

1/2 c Grated cheese

bread crumbs

Pasta of your choice (I used 1 c Brown Rice noodles for me and just 1 1/2c regular small shell macaroni for the kids)


1. Preheat oven to 400. In a bowl combine cut up squash with some olive oil then spread evenly over a baking sheet. Bake 20 min then flip and bake 10 more. They may take longer to bake, it just depends on how big you cut them. (I'll do this step right when the kids get home from school or do it earlier in the day then just put the squash in the fridge and get it back out when your ready to make the sauce)

2. In a blender add cashew cream, garlic, lemon juice, salt, tamari sauce, dijon mustard, italian seasoning, tumeric, paprika, and squash. Blend until smooth. Adjust to taste. It may need a little soy milk, or milk if it is too thick.

3. Cook your pasta

4. Drain and rinse pasta with cold water. Add the pasta sauce to the noodles. Stir well then spoon into a greased muffin tin. For the kids and food critic I put about 2 T grated cheese on top and mixed it in a bit then topped it with bread crumbs.

5. Put into a 350F oven and bake for 15 min. Let cool about 2-3 min so the mac n' cheese holds its shape in the tins. Season with salt, pepper, and paprika.

*Cashew sauce - soak 1/2 c cashews in water for at least an hour then drain and put in your blender with 1/2 c fresh new water and blend until smooth.

Salad in a Cup or Green Smoothie

The GREEN SMOOTHIE is my go to when I don't have time to chop, cook, or plan. It is like drinking a salad and sometimes that is nice because at times I just don't have time to sit down and chew, chew, and chew some more. The other bonus is that my kids LOVE them! I always feel like a super mom when I can get my kids to drink spinach, kale, and Swiss chard. It really just makes me feel better when the rest of the day they eat cereal, dino-nuggets, and quesadillas.

The other great thing about these magic drinks is the energy you have after you drink them. They make your insides want to dance because they are getting so many nutrients they need to function properly. You're body is actually satisfied because you are giving it what it needs! Try one and you will be hooked for life. Here are 2 of my favorite drinks...

California Citrus
8 oz Orange Juice - more if needed
2 handfuls of spinach
2 kale leaves (without the stems, just tear the leaves off the stems)
1 Swiss Chard Leaf (without the stems)
1 c frozen peaches
1/4 c frozen pineapple
1/4 c frozen mango
Juice of 1/2 lime (you can just use 1/4 if you don't prefer a strong lime taste)

Blend in Vitamix or Blendtec
I have never made these drinks in a regular blender, but my guess is that you'll have some big pieces left over. But give it a try and you might just have to chew a bit.

Purple Paradise
8 oz of Apple Juice
2-3 handfuls of spinach
1 collard green leaf, stems removed
1 large cucumber
1/2 c frozen blueberries
1/2 c frozen peaches, or pears, or nectarines, or banana


BTW, I didn't mention that at one time in my teens I had the coveted job at Zuka (Jamba) Juice, so I have some serious credentials to back me up...

You really can play around with these, there are SO many different ways to make them.

Crue's Creamy Rice Cereal

In my perfect world my kids would eat what I did, but that is wishful thinking. Especially with Crue. He is a 5 year old that loves to eat white bland food! One of his favorite things to eat is Rice Cereal that the food critic ate as a child. It is made with 1 c white rice & 4 c milk. Then sprinkled with cinnamon and sugar. Cure loves it because it's all white, but this is what happens to him when he eats it. He gets crazy amounts of energy then crashes and gets grumpy and is again hungry, and that is only 30 min after he eats 3 bowls. I knew I could come up with something a little more satisfying for his little body so I added some good fat, protein, and micro nutrients. The end product was delicious! He freaked out that it wasn't white and protested, but I did get him to try it and the picture above was taken after his 2ND BOWL!!! And whats even better is that my picky 2 year old had 2 bowls too. It was a major success in the Tadje house!

Don't get overwhelmed when you see the ingredients....

Creamy Rice Cereal
1/2 c white rice or brown
1/4 c wild rice (blended into a pwd)
2 C almond milk
1/4 c raw cashew cream (I promise its easy to make)
1/2 T chia seeds
1/4 t cinnamon
1 T Pure Maple Syrup

1. Measure out 1/4 c wild rice (it's all black don't use the mixed stuff) then put the 1/4 c of rice in a vitamix, blendtec, magic bullet, food processor, etc. And blend it into a powder. Its OK if it's still a bit bulky.
2. Measure milk and add to a pot then add white rice and wild rice and bring mixture to a light boil, stirring trough out.
3. While your waiting for the rice and milk to come to a boil soak 1/4 c raw cashews in some water, set aside.
4. Once the Milk comes to a slight boil, turn to low and let it simmer for about 40 min, stir every once and awhile to prevent the rice from sticking to the bottom.
5. After 40 min add Cinnamon and maple syrup and cook for about 10 more min.
6. Drain your cashews and then put them in the blender with 1/4 c of fresh water. Blend to a cream. Then add to your rice.

I still sprinkle cinnamon and sugar on the top because then my kids still think it's the other stuff.

What are Chia Seeds you ask?

I love Chia seeds and here is why..

Amazing source of Omega-3 fatty acids (good fat that does many positive things for your body), Balances blood sugar, it's a complete protein, a great antioxidant, and full of fiber. It's great to slip into what your kids are eating, because they usually don't even know its there and doesn't effect the taste.

Wild Rice (all black rice, not the mixed like you see at Costo)
Provides all the essential amino acids that make up a protein, high in essential minerals and vitamins, and has lots of fiber.

Raw Cashews
Provide you with healthy fats (they're considered the "low-fat" in the nut world), an excellent source of minerals to help the heart, and you feel full when you eat them. I Love them!