Making sauerkraut, week one.

Making homemade sauerkraut. It takes 6-8 weeks to ferment. Mine is currently on week one. It’s talking to me by making bubbling sounds. That’s supposed to be a good thing. It means it’s doing it’s fermenting magic.


South West Black Bean and Chicken Salad

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This salad can easily be converted to a fantastic vegetarian salad simply by omitting the chicken and cooking the quinoa in vegetable stock.

South West Black Bean and Chicken Salad

6 cups cooked shredded chicken

Two 15 oz. cans black beans, rinsed and drained

1 green bell paper, roasted , peeled, seeded and julienned

1 red bell pepper, roasted, peeled, seeded and julienned

1 jalapeno seeded, minced

2 cups, chopped Roma tomatoes

1 cup sliced green onions

1 clove garlic, minced

1/2 cup toasted pumpkin seeds

1/2 cup chopped cilantro

1 cup fresh or thawed frozen corn

1 cup quinoa cooked in 2 cups chicken or vegetable broth as directed on package

Lettuce greens


1 teaspoon ground cumin

1/2 teaspoon ground coriander

2 tablespoon sherry vinegar

1/2 tablespoon olive oil

1 tablespoon lime zest

2 tablespoons fresh lime juice

1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes

salt and pepper; to taste

In a large bowl add all the ingredients for the salad and toss. Line the serving bowl/platter with lettuce greens; set aside.

Combine all the dressing ingredients and whisk until combined. Pour over the salad and toss. Place on greens lined serving dish.

Potato Tacos


Potato Tacos


Potato and Pepper Filling:

  • 3/4 lb. red potatoes, unpeeled
  • 3 fresh poblano chili peppers, roasted peeled and seeded
  • 2 red bell peppers, roasted, peeled and seeded
  • 1/2 yellow onion , diced
  • 1 cup shredded Pepper Jack Cheese
  • 1/2 cup grated, Cotija cheese
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro

Ancho Sauce:

  • 1 Tomato
  • 4 dried ancho chili peppers, stemmed and seeded
  • 2 cups hot tap water
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 ground black pepper
  • 1/2 yellow onion , diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1 tsp. white vinegar
  • 2 tsp. dried oregano, crumbled
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • directions

    • 1

      1/2 cup Vegetable oil for frying

    • 2

      12 corn tortillas

    • 3


    • 4

      Grated cotija cheese

    • 5

      shredded cabbage

    • 6

      sliced tomatoes

    • 7

      lime wedges

    • 8

      To make filling, in a saucepan, combine the potatoes with water to cover. Bring to boil until fork tender. Drain and let cool, then cut potatoes into 1/2 inch dice. Place in bowl. Add the poblano chilies, bell peppers, onion and both cheeses, cilantro and stir to mix well. Set aside.

    • 9

      To make the sauce, preheat a broiler. Place the tomato in a small shallow baking pan. Place under broiler 4-6 inches from heat source. Broil turning occasionally, until charred on all sides. Remove from broiler, let cool slightly and cut out core. Set aside.

    • 10

      In a small, dry frying pan over medium heat, toast the chilies, turning once, until fragrant and the skins begin to blister. Remove from the heat and let cool, then place chilies in bowl, add hot tap water and let soak for 15 minutes to soften.

    • 11

      Transfer the chilies and their soaking liquid to a blender and add the salt, pepper, onion, garlic, cumin, vinegar, oregano and roasted tomato. Puree until smooth, then strain through a sieve into shallow bowl. Add chopped cilantro and set aside.

    • 12

      In shallow heavy bottomed pan heat oil. Meanwhile, take tortillas and fill each with potato filling and fold over. Place in batches the filled tortillas in hot oil and fry until golden on each side, about 3 minutes total.

    • 13

      Garnish with cabbage, tomatoes and cheese. Squeeze on lime juice and add ancho sauce to taste.

Slow Cooker Vegetarian Tamale Pie

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You will never miss the meat. I used cremini mushrooms also known as baby portabellas for the lack of meat. These mushrooms are perfect texture for any replacement for meat. I also included kale for the needed green and additional vitamins to the dish. A great fool the kids into veggies alternative.

Slow Cooker Vegetarian Tamale Pie

1 onion,chopped

2 cloves garlic,minced

dash of olive oil

1 (16 oz. ) can kidney beans, undrained

1(16oz.) can black beans, undrained

1 (16 oz.) can garbanzo beans , undrained

7 oz. can diced green chilies, undrained

1 (16 oz.) can fire roasted diced tomatoes, undrained

1 (8 oz.) tomato sauce

3 tablespoons tomato paste

1 carrot, peeled, diced

2 ribs celery, diced

1 cup frozen corn

1 small bunch kale, stemmed and chopped

1/2 cup sliced olives

1 lb. stemmed and diced cremini (baby bella) mushrooms

1 teaspoon chili powder

2 teaspoons oregano

1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

1 teaspoon prepared mustard

1/2 teaspoon hot sauce

1 cup yellow corn meal

1 cup all-purpose flour

2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1 tablespoon sugar

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 1/4 cups almond milk

1/2 cup egg substitute or egg whites

3 tablespoons vegetable oil

8 1/2 oz. canned creamed style  corn

Lightly grease a large slow cooker pot. In a skillet with a little bit of olive oil,cook the onions and garlic until softened. Add all the ingredients except the corn meal, flour, baking powder, sugar, 1/2 teaspoon salt, almond milk, egg substitute, vegetable oil and cream style corn. Stir to combine, cover and cook on high for 2 hours.

In a large bowl whisk together the flour, corn meal, baking powder, 1/2 teaspoon salt and sugar. Whisk in the almond milk, egg substitute, vegetable oil and creamed style corn just until combined. Pour the corn meal mixture evenly over the top of the bean mixture; cover and cook 2 more hours. Serve.

Guest Blog from Jill Skeem, author of Comfort Food Gets A Vegan Makeover


I was watching the evening news tonight and saw a report on a product that will be available this spring. It is called the Hapifork. This computerized fork vibrates when one eats too quickly (taking additional bites prior to 20 seconds). While I agree that eating slowly helps with the digestion of your food and chewing your food longer definitely improves the nutritional benefit you will receive from your food, but a vibrating fork! All you have to do is put your fork down in between bites!! This will slow you down, so you don’t overeat. It takes 20 minutes for your body to register that it is full. If you eat faster than that, you will overeat and then after 20 minutes, it will hit you…you are full…and now want to burst. By putting your fork down in between bites and chewing your food really well, you will end up eating less but feeling satisfied. This works no matter WHAT you are eating.

Jill’s book signing and tasting for Comfort Food Gets a Vegan Makeover is tomorrow at Rudy’s from 11-1. If you can’t make it, Rudy’s in Twin Falls, Idaho is selling her book. Go to for more information about purchasing.

Spinach-Basil Pesto Brown Rice

Spinach-Basil Pesto Brown Rice

1 1/2 cups Basil Pesto

1 1/2 cups fresh baby Spinach

6 cups cooked Brown Rice, cooked in vegetable stock

salt and pepper to taste


Combine all ingredients. Adjust seasoning , if needed.

Hearty Barley Salad

Hearty Barley Salad

1 1/2 cups pearl barley

2 tsp. salt

2 cups sliced in two, grape tomatoes

1/4 red onion, small dice

1/4 cup sliced green onions

1/4 cup chopped parsley

Half of a red, yellow and orange bell pepper, diced

Combine 4 cups of water and the barley. Bring to a boil over high heat. Cover and simmer on medium low heat until barley is almost tender. Stir in 2 tsp salt and continue to cook until tender. Drain well; set aside to cool.

Toss in the remaining ingredients.


1/4 cup balsamic vinegar

2 shallots , chopped

2 cloves garlic, minced

1/2 cup olive oil

2 tsp. black pepper

1/3 cup Parmesan cheese

Salt to taste

Combine all the ingredients and whisk until emulsified. Toss with the barley mixture.

Curried Potato-Leek and Spinach Soup- Cheap eats for dinner!

tHSZfTw813c213631313936383r71oqQcA_1346357710Curried Potato-Leek and Spinach Soup

Serves 2

2 medium leeks, cleaned and cut into 1/4 inch pieces  to equal 2 cups

1 medium baking potato, peeled and cut into 1/4 inch dice

1 tablespoon butter

1/2 tsp. curry powder

2 cups water

1 cup packed fresh baby spinach leaves, Cut spinach into thin strips

1/2 cup milk

salt and pepper; to taste

In a heavy bottomed soup pot add the butter, curry, leeks and potatoes. Saute for 5 minutes. Add the water; bring to boil and simmer for 20 minutes or until tender. Place mixture in a blender and blend until smooth. Pour back into pot and add milk. Heat until heated through. Do not boil. Stir in spinach.

Lentil Lasagna



Lentil Sauce:

1 quart vegetable stock

2 bay leaves

4 sprigs fresh thyme

2 strips of lemon zest cut with a vegetable peeler

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 lb. Du Puy lentils

salt and pepper; to taste

6 cups tomato sauce

Bechamel Sauce:

4 tablespoons butter

1 small onion, small dice

1/4 tsp ground cloves

1/4 tsp. dried thyme

6 tablespoons flour

1 quart whole milk

1 cup heavy cream

1/2 lb. grated Fontina cheese

1/8 lb. Pecorino Romano

1/8 lb. Parmesan

salt, pepper, cayenne and nutmeg to taste

1 1/2 lbs. fresh pasta sheets, uncooked

If making your own fresh pasta roll out to #5 on you pasta sheeter.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Lightly oil a 8×12 inch deep baking dish(6 quart).

In a medium size heavy bottomed pan add stock, lemon zest, thyme and bay leaves; bring to boil. Add the lentils; bring to boil, simmer and cover for 30 minutes. Season with salt and pepper and remove the zest,onion,bay leaves and thyme sprigs.  Cover add cook lentil on a simmer for another 20 minutes.  Remove cover and add the tomato sauce; bring to boil and reduce to simmer for 20 minutes or until lentils are tender and sauce is thick. Stir occasionally, carefully as to not break up lentils. Remove from heat and allow to cool while preparing bechamel sauce.

In a heavy bottomed medium size pot add the butter, onions, cloves and thyme; cook together until the onions are transparent but not brown. Stir in the flour and cook until very lightly browned. Pour in the milk and cream while whisking . Bring to boil; reduce to simmer and cook for 15 minutes , continue stirring. Remove from heat and stir in all but a couple of handfuls for the top. Season to taste with the cayenne ,nutmeg and salt and pepper. Set aside.

Place some bechamel sauce on the bottom of the baking dish. Coat the sides with the sauce. Overlapping slightly with pasta sheets overhanging, cover the bottom. Add about 1/3 of the lentil sauce on top of pasta layer. Top lentil sauce with a sheet of pasta that fits the inside of the baking dish. Pour some of the bechamel sauce over that pasta layer. Repeat until baking dish is full. Last layer should be pasta sheet that fits the inside of the baking dish with pasta that is over hanging the edge , bring over the top of the last pasta sheet and tuck in. Pour remaining bechamel sauce over the top and sprinkle evenly the reserved cheese over the top. Bake for 45 minutes or until bubbly and golden and allow to set 20 minutes before serving.