SweetSpicy Stir-fry Sprouts

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I love our rice cooker. If I had to chose a favorite small appliance, it would be the one. Ours has a removable steamer basket and we use it all – the – time. In the time it takes to make rice we can have crisp-tender steamed vegetables of any kind, but sometimes we want a little more depth of flavor and in the summer months, the less we use the stove the better. Oh and just forget about the oven. I’m tempted to hide the knobs until cooler weather returns in October.

With the heat bearing down on us, stir-fry is a perfect way to quickly add flavor to the veggies.

Ch loves Brussels sprouts. He’d probably eat them every night, but they’re not my favorite. We bake them frequently, which gives the outer leaves a nice crunch and caramelizes the edges of interior leaves, but even that delicious concoction gets tiresome after a while. So, after months of Brussels sprouts evasion, I picked up a bag of sprouts at the grocery store. Now it’s almost time to go grocery shopping again (tomorrow is the day) and I’m scraping the bottom of the frozen veggie drawer. I’ve got to do something with these little green balls of sulfur.

Being vegan means all the scrumptious looking bacon wrapped recipes are a no-go. Being gluten free means all the scrumptious looking breaded recipes are a no-go. What’s a family of picky eaters to do? We look to the east, where meat is not an integral part of the diet.

We love the spices employed by Thai cuisine, and the simplicity of traditional Chinese dishes. Mixing the two gave us a not so spicy, but not exactly simple dish.

We’re calling it SweetSpicy Stir-fry Sprouts.

2/3 cup brown rice

1 1/3 water

20 brussles sprouts, frozen

1 mucho nacho pepper

1 can bean sprouts

2 TBS olive oil

1 large clove garlic, minced

2 TBS brown sugar

low sodium soy sauce and sriracha sauce to taste

Start the rice first. Our Brussels sprouts were frozen, so we thawed them in the microwave first, then quartered them and set them aside. Remove the seeds from the Mucho Nacho pepper and slice it lengthwise into thirds. Then mince each third, and set aside. Mince the garlic. Open the can of sprouts and drain completely.

When there is about 15 minutes of cooking time left on the rice, get out the wok. Turn the stove on to medium-high, add the oil. When the oil is thin, add the garlic and stir until it starts to brown. Turn the stove up to High. Add the minced pepper and brown sugar. Stir until the bubbles have normalized. Add the quartered Brussels sprouts. Stir-fry until the edges are brown but not crispy. Add the bean sprouts, stir to incorporate and warm.

Taste it. Add sriracha and soy sauce as desired. We added about 6 shakes of low sodium soy sauce, and about two TBS sriracha (give or take). If you did your math right the rice should be ready for serving. Fluff it with a fork and scoop it into bowls. I went with equal portions of rice and stir-fry.

The cool thing about this dish is that your guests can customize the levels of salty and spicy. My daughter added a swizzle of oil, I added a little more of both sauces, my son and husband added more sriracha. To each their own. We paired the stir-fry with cut carrots and roasted red pepper hummus. I bet SweetSpicy Stir-fry Sprouts will go great with soup this winter.

**Best News Yet**

It’s even better the second day. Yumyumyum.


FAST Vegan Pea & Couscous Salad

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15 minutes start to finish including getting everything out of the pantry. This was one of those thrown together quick kind of meals. It is fast, informal and healthy in a vegan way – meaning it provides good carbs, healthy fats, B vitamins and some protein. To cook this you will need measuring cups and spoons, a medium pan (bigger than a sauce pan, smaller than a stock pot), a knife, and a large spoon.

  • 1 cup water
  • 2 – 15 oz. cans of salt free peas, drained
  • 1 cup couscous
  • 1 medium avocado
  • 1 Tbsp butter substitute, heaping scoop guys. Live dangerously.
  • 5Tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 1 Tbsp garlic powder
  • +/- 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • Pepper (and salt) to taste
  • Add hot sauce (or ketchup) if desired

Put the water on to boil. Open and drain the cans of peas. When the water boils add the couscous and remove from heat. Using the knife cut the avocado in half, compost the pit, squeeze the goods into the cooling couscous. Use the knife to chop the avocado into the couscous. Add the butter substitute, yeast and garlic powder. Use the spoon to stir everything in. Add the peas and stir them in. Add the oil last, adjusting for desired consistency, top with pepper and serve. Bring hot sauce to the table to give it some zing. Done. Makes four servings, more or less depending on your serving size.



Kale and Chia Chips

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1 bag or a big bunch of Kale, ribbed and chopped

1 swirl (maybe 2 TBS?) olive oil

2 TBS chia seeds

Black Pepper to taste

Cayenne Pepper to taste

Italian Seasoning to taste

Sea Salt to taste

Pre-heat oven to 400°F.

Place kale in large mixing bowl. Stir with olive oil to lightly coat. Add seeds and seasonings to taste. Turn out onto cookie sheet. Bake at 400°F for 15 minutes – give or take.


Vegan Sour Cream

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When you’re vegan, the creamy texture is always a challenge. Luckily, there are secret ingredients hiding in plain sight that will make this a whole lot easier. 🙂 Let’s get started!


First, we’ll need a blender. Then,

  • 1 package tofu (about 1 pound)
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 2+ tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4+ teaspoon garlic powder
  • sea salt to taste

Just 3 steps:

  1. Blenderize all ingredients!
  2. Taste, and adjust seasonings as needed.
  3. Enjoy!

Just like real sour cream, this is great in sauces and burritos, as well as desserts and baked goods. 🙂

~ Star

Simply Craving Pizza: Vegan and Gluten Free!

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Makes 2 medium-sized servings, or one large serving.


  • 1 1/2 cups cooked, drained quinoa.  I like the red variety for this dish.  (This can be cooked just like rice!  Here’s a link, if you’re curious.)
  • 2 tablespoons of classic-flavored hummus.  (It sounds weird, but this will be our cheese substitute.)
  • around 2 tablespoons of your favorite (vegan) spaghetti sauce. Tomato sauce could also be used, though the flavor will be different.

That’s it! Really.  That’s it.


  1. Cook the quinoa, and immediately put the quinoa into the bowls you will be serving it in. (See link for more detailed instructions.)
  2. While the quinoa is still hot, add the hummus, and stir to incorporate.
  3. Add the spaghetti sauce.  Stir.
  4. The whole dish should now be cool enough to eat.  If you find it’s too cold, just pop it into the microwave on high for 30 to 45 seconds, or until it’s to your liking.
  5. Yum.

So, not only does this taste about as close as you’re gonna get to a stuffed crust cheese pizza, it’s also chock full of vitamins and nutrients! The Spruce tells us that 1 cup of cooked quinoa (185 g) contains about 8.14 grams of protein, 3.4 grams of fat, and about 118 mg of magnesium. More than that, even, it includes 31 mg calcium, 2.76 mg iron, 318 mg potassium, and 2.02 mg zinc!

In addition, hummus is also a source of Vitamin C, Calcium, and Iron.

How much sodium is in this dish will depend on your favorite kind of spaghetti sauce, but for the kind I used, Prego Fresh Mushroom Italian Sauce, these were the facts for what’s in 1/2 a cup – 8 US Tablespoons.  And this recipe only calls for 1/4 of that!

So as far as pizza goes, this really isn’t that bad for you.

Let me know what you think!! 🙂



Aunt H’s Corn Casserole

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This is such an easy recipe, it’s a perfect side dish for holidays or just a big family meal.

What you will need:

3 cans cream corn      salt      pepper      1 sleeve of saltine crackers      2 quart baking dishIngredients

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

Crush crackers.

The easiest, least messy way I have found to do this is to put the crackers in a plastic bag  and roll with a rolling pin. A Quart size bag will hold most of the crackers. I split mine and did it 1/2 a sleeve at a time.

Combine ingredients. I used roughly 4 tablespoons of mixed salt and pepper.

Stir in the crackers.

I use a big bowl but you can combine in the baking dish.

Bake, uncovered for 1 hour.


Super Simple Kale Strawberry Banana Smoothie

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  • 1 cup kale – packed
  • 1 cup frozen sliced strawberries
  • 1 cup frozen sliced bananas
  • 1 cup vanilla almond milk


  1. Add strawberries, kale, bananas, then almond milk.
  2. Blend well.
  3. Yum!  Top with whip cream or sprinkles if desired.