April 30, 2010

Fun things to do when in Normal

My niece, Stephanie, helped get this center up and running. She worked here as an intern when it was coming together. She showed me one of the most interesting places I wanted to see in Normal.

Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. 

Margaret Mead

Blessings - Put Out Your Best

A blessing is what comes forth from your own heart. If your heart is calm and full of love, you put out blessings that are calm and full of love.

There's no one so young or weak that his blessings is not strong. There's no one so crazy that his blessing is not strong. Everyone's blessing is strong. It's always worth a try. Never underestimate your ability to help someone.

Put our your best love and your best good will, your deepest and most serious love all the time, because there's always someone who needs it.

This Season's People
Stephen Gaskin

Millet, Quinoa, & Peas - Seaweed Spectacular Salad

Pretty easy meal last night, Quinoa, Millet, caramelized onions, a little flax oil, some frozen organic peas, and pan roasted almond slivers, served on a cabbage leaf. A whole grain serving at only 133 calories per serving. It's another 'healthy snack day' at work. This is my contribution.

Millet, Quinoa, & Peas
Antioxidant Seaweed Spectacular Salad - A recipe I got to test for the Flexitarian Cookbook coming out soon. Sea vegetables, spinach, orange, red, & yellow peppers with a nice dressing made of seaweed, sesame oil, garlic, and miso.

Antioxidant Seaweed Spectacular Salad

April 25, 2010

Dairy Free - Lemon, Pinneapple, and Mango Creme Pie

I have been thinking about lemon meringue pie, I used to love it. It is one of my favorite flavors. I had planned on making one yesterday and started looking for alternatives for a healthier version. Lemon Meringue Pie really is just sugar, corn starch, and lemon juice. The Meringue is egg whites and sugar. I really don't want to eat egg whites or that much sugar. Even one of my favorite vegetarian cookbooks I have asked for 1½ cups of sugar for the filling and 1/2 cup + 1 tsp cornstarch. I need to change that and get the same or similar flavors. I used a little honey and agave, but then there is the volume to make up so I added more fruit. Before you know it, I had a tropical fruit pie. This is also a raw food, there wasn't any cooking except to dissolve the agar powder.


I made the crust with 1½ cups raw almonds soaked for an hour or more and 6 medjool dates and about a tablespoon of agave. Blend almonds, dates, and agave together in food processor until there is a mold-able texture. Sprinkle coconut shreds or flakes on the bottom of a pie plate and mold into a crust in the pie pan.


1 cup raw cashews soaked for an hour or more
3/4 cup coconut milk, more or less depending on texture
1/3 cup fresh lemon juice and zest from two lemons
A small pineapple chopped, chop about 1 cup into bite size and set aside
2 mangos, 1 for the blender, 1 diced into bite size pieces and set aside with pineapple
2 TB Local Honey, or to taste
1 TB Agar powder dissolved in 1 cup boiling water, cooled slightly

Put all the ingredients above in the blender except the chunks of pineapple and mango and the dissolved Agar powder. Puree until smooth and then add to chunks of fruit in large bowl, stir in dissolved Agar. Pour into pie crust. The pie filling will set in a very short time in the refrigerator.

Tofu Whipped Topping
"The New Farm Vegetarian Cookbook," page 101

1 cup soft tofu
1/4 cup oil (I used sunflower oil)
2 TB honey, preferably local
1 TB lemon juice
1 tsp vanilla  (I used fresh vanilla bean, scrape insides)
dash of salt

Blend until smooth and creamy, scraping sides of blender. Whip a little just before serving if needed.

This pie is very similar to our daily smoothie, blended fruit. The addition of the raw cashews and almonds add fiber and protein. This is a meal, not just dessert. We had it for breakfast this morning.

Simple and Tasty - Roasted Yams & Acorn Squash - Stuffed Mushrooms

I was talking to a vendor at the farmer's market yesterday and told her I shop there and at the produce stand, then decide what we are having for our meals this week. She gave me a kind of disapproving look and said "I look at the recipes and make a list, then go shopping." I smiled and told her I like adventure.

I do scan my kitchen and recipes and bring a small list of things I need for what I already have, most of the time. I like to see what's at the farmer's and produce markets first. What's in season? What's there that I haven't played with in a long time? I don't want to lock myself into an idea, I may miss something or block some other creative thoughts trying to come through.

Yesterday I went with very simple. I made roasted vegetables: yams, red onion, garlic, coarse chopped red bell pepper, and acorn squash. I just coated the pan with a little coconut oil, laid the vegetables in a glass 9" x 13" pan, rough chopped and sliced to about a half inch thick for the yams and onions. I sprinkled a little fresh ground Celtic sea salt, pepper, and thyme. I drizzled olive oil very lightly over the vegetables and roasted in the oven at 350° for about 50 minutes. We didn't eat it all so I put the left over roasted vegetables in our pot of beans this morning. That will add a creamy texture to our beans as well as flavor.

Roasted Acorn Squash, Yams, Red Bell Pepper, & Red Onion
There were some nice mushrooms of different varieties at the produce market yesterday, portabello, crimini, and morels. I picked up some small round portabello mushrooms. I made a stuffing with bread crumbs and some fresh local Pepper Rosa goat cheese I purchased at the farmers' market.

Stuffed Mushrooms

12 large mushrooms
1/2 cup onions, chopped
3 TB oil (I used coconut oil for sauteing and a little olive oil in the stuffing)
1/2 cup Pepper Rosa Goat cheese
1/2 cup bread crumbs
1 TB nutritional yeast flakes
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp thyme (I probably used more) I don't really measure herbs
2-3 gloves chopped garlic

Rinse mushrooms, remove stems. Chop stems. Saute caps on bottom side just a few minutes in a little of the oil. Set on oiled baking dish. Saute onions in the rest of the oil, then add the chopped stems. Mix with the cheese, crumbs, and seasonings and stuff the caps. Bake at 350° for 15 minutes.

April 24, 2010

Home & Peace - The Gardens

I am a lucky and grateful woman. I know there is a lot of love in my life. I've done some traveling, bonding, loving, laughing, and even a little crying. I've put a few traveling miles on my body and heart. My sister, my niece, and I meandered through four states together in a few days. A couple of those states we went to twice. We spent at least 700 miles in a car together this last week. We shared a lot of love and saw many wonderful sites. It was a memorable experience but, I am whirling emotionally and physically today. In a good way though, my sister and I get closer to understanding each other every time we see each other. It's not always easy, we have some different opinions about life, as we should. We've lived on different sides of the country for so many years and traveled different paths. This is a learning process. One of my most favorite parts of the experience was getting to know my niece, Stephanie. I didn't get to be with my nieces and nephews when they were children growing up and I feel like I am close with one of them now. I hope we continue joining each others journey from time to time and with less time in between.

I need to rest and be calm and creative. I am glad I don't have to work until Monday. I have a beautiful weekend to relax and decompress from such a long trip. I am so grateful for my life and home. There is so much love and beauty around without going to far to look for it. The sun is shining and I am breathing in the beautiful gardens around us. I just have to walk around my house and yard to find calming beauty. It doesn't take long for me to feel the healing. I noticed I was dancing in the kitchen to some great music this morning. I am going to spend the weekend quiet and calm. A quick run to the farmer's market and the produce stand and our off-site garden are all I want to see this weekend other than my warm home. A bit of turning on the tunes and creating in the kitchen is in order too.

Just a short walk around my home and breathing in all the colorful beauty popping up in the sunshine warmed my heart pretty quickly. The plants in the greenhouses are getting ready for outdoors. My friends gave me "time" for my birthday this year. My husband and Bill repaired the front door which was years overdo. Scott planted the corn starts on my birthday. Rachel worked to find my backyard again. I have not seen my steps in the backyard for a long time. I do remember standing at the top of them last year with a broken leg sad because I couldn't use them. I think I kind of forgot about them. What a wonderful birthday present. Thank you Scott, Bill, & Rachel!

Walk in Love
There is a lot of love in my life.

"Life is Like
stepping into a boat
which is about to sail
out to sea and sink."

Suzuki Roshe

April 23, 2010

Family and Going Home

Nice journey this week. We've covered some ground, physically and personally. I leave with a little sadness that I can't see my sister's family on a more regular basis. She does have a beautiful family. She has raised four beautiful humans and continues to support them and love them through their journey. Something we didn't have with our parents. I haven't been in their lives face to face but a few times. Each time they welcome me as if they knew me everyday. Our lifestyles are very different, yet not so different. Last night we enjoyed the evening like a close family.
Denise, Thomas, Marcie, Adrianna, Justine, Stephanie
  We had a nice time together, a taco feed. Haven't talked about food much this week. I made some taco filling with portabello mushrooms, red onions, black olives, and Mexican spices. They found a bakery that made a vegan birthday cake. Not so common in this little Illinois town.

 As always after a good vacation, I am looking forward to my own bed. There is still a bit of this little journey left as we travel 100 miles to Chicago today. It's not over yet.

April 22, 2010

How I Became a Madman - Kahlil Gibran

You ask me how I became a madman. It happened thus: One day, long before many gods were born, I woke from a deep sleep and found all my masks were stolen -- the seven masks I have fashioned and worn in seven lives -- I ran maskless through the crowded streets shouting, "Thieves, thieves, the cursed thieves."

Men and women laughed at me and some ran to their houses in fear of me. 

And when I reached the market place, a youth standing on a house-top cried, "He is a madman." I looked up to behold him; the sun kissed my own naked face for the first time. For the first time the sun kissed my own naked face and my soul was inflamed with love for the sun, and I wanted my masks no more. And as if in a trance I cried, "Blessed, blessed are the thieves who stole my masks." 

Thus I became a madman.

And I have found both freedom and safety in my madness; the freedom of loneliness and the safety from being understood, for those who understand us enslave something in us.

But let me not be too proud of my safety. Even a Thief in a jail is safe from another thief. 

Copyright @ Kahlil Gibran.


April 20, 2010


"Let the beauty we love be what we do. There are thousands of ways to kneel and kiss the earth."   Rumi

Marcie's Garden and Playin' in the Kitchen

When I woke up this morning, I decided I should be cooking dinner for all and helping get that garden going as that is what I love to do and I am here to enjoy a little life with my sister's family and well, feeding people is what I enjoy doing.  I voted to stay around the house and just enjoy life together. She does have a very lovely setting. There is a small lake/pond behind her house. I have seen geese fly in to visit every morning. I finally had my camera this morning and the batteries died. Better luck tomorrow. There's also a beaver hut on the bank. I guess every time someone plants a tree in their backyard, it ends up as part of this hut.

 The Beaver's House

Last night they took me to a southern barbecue restaurant. One thing I have to mention is something I thought I would never see in a restaurant. They served Wonder Bread in a basket with barbecue sauce, a red and a white barbecue sauce made with mayonnaise, the red was better, but they sure like their vinegar here. This was a great example of how not to eat. Having never been to the south, I thought I should at least take a peek at some of the local faire. The restaurant was very fun, the people were nice, and the atmosphere very friendly. Loved the rules.

Wonder Bread with Dinner, Hmm?

Back to today, my niece wanted to go to an historic event in downtown Huntsville called, Constitution Village. We did go there, but we did a little food preparation before and after.  I did what I do, I made some beans, some stuffed foccacia bread, and a  vegetable polenta bake. With some guidance my niece made vegan cole slaw, vegan chocolate pecan cookies, and a diary free strawberry cheeze cake with cashew coconut cream. We had a great time together.  She loves to cook and usually does the family Thanksgiving dinner. She's never cooked vegan before and liked everything we made. I left her with all the recipes and hope she calls and asks for more.
Stephanie, Happy Vegan Chef Today

And Marcie got her garden going. Such teamwork! I hope they send me pictures as it grows.

Monday in Tennessee

Yesterday I took a trip to Tennessee with my sister, Marcie, and my niece, Stephanie. We went to "The Farm", a farm community established in 1970 with the goal of establishing a strongly cohesive, outwardly-directed community. Their goal is to have, by action and example, a positive effect on the world. There are many businesses on the farm including their own publishing company. I took home some of their work, some vegetarian cookbooks, a tofu cookery book, a couple spiritual books, and some art. The art is in the way of hand painted greeting cards, my way of collecting art.

It's a complete community with many businesses of their own. Among them is an ecovillage training center that offers internships, conferences and workshops on permaculture, construction based on natural materials, organic gardening, and other sustainable technologies. They have their own school and have been home to two generations. There is a farm midwifery center that has delivered over 3,000 babies since 1970. There are many more businesses: a "Farm Soy Dairy" that began producing tofu and soy milk in 1973, a tempeh lab, a legal office, a yoga studio, and quite a few more. This is a truly self-sustaining community.

I felt very comfortable there as it reminded me so much of the community my husband and I lived in when we met. I spent some time talking to a few of the long term residents. It was a fascinating tour for me. It was also like going back in time.

It was a very beautiful drive out there. What I've seen of Tennessee is very green and spacious.

Tomorrow, it's a road trip to Illinois to see the girls and Thomas. My sister has three lovely daughters, a granddaughter, and a son I haven't seen in about four or five years. Looking forward to spending my birthday with these fun ladies.
Denise, Adrianna, Justine, & Stephanie

April 18, 2010

Sunday in Alabama

Took a about a four mile hike in the Monte Sano state park with Marcie, Pat, and Stephanie. The trees are wild pecan and walnut. The sun was out and warm and this is just how I love to spend Sundays.  There were lots of plants I have never seen before.

We did come across a produce store with lots of organics and items I want to use to prepare some meals this week. The owner of the store, Garden Cove Produce,  welcomed me to her lovely state. There were some things I don't see in our grocery stores such as lots of okra and as much dandelion greens as there was lettuce. I have seen dandelion greens at the farmer's market or sometimes in the specialty section of the produce section, but not sold in the quantities they do.

I made a raw vegetable salad as I would at home with at least ten different vegetables. I used a few that I had heard aren't eaten by my sister's family, avocado & beets, to name a couple. I didn't mention them in the salad until they were almost done with their second bowl. I love doing that.  I wouldn't feed anyone anything that would cause harm to them, but I do like it when people enjoy foods they thought they wouldn't like. We had a nice meal at a seafood restaurant today, but I did notice there were no vegetables on anyone's plate. Good thing we all ordered some salad. They did serve an interesting dish. My brother in law had a red fish fillet that was coated in crab meat, corn meal, and parmesean cheese before frying. I am not fond of frying, but this looks like an idea to play with for baking fish.

I took a walk around my sister's neighborhood. It's a bit different than a typical neighborhood at home. I do have to giggle a bit, most of these houses look like little mansions. This is the style of most the homes in this community. Bricks are cheap as the red clay is plentiful. Most of the homes are made of brick, lots of brick.

Flexitarian in Nashville

Marcie & Deb
Marty, Bob, & Leslie
While downloading my pictures I've taken so far. I found this on my sister's computer this morning. My Goodness, who are these people? Marcie and Deb in back, (from left to right) Marty, Bob, and Leslie. This is probably 1969 as I remember the dress. It was my ninth grade graduation dress. In the southern California schools we went to high school in tenth grade. This is right before we moved to the bay area. I am really happy my parents made that choice.

Yesterday was a long travel day. It is such a weird feeling to get on a plane at 7:00 a.m., spend only about four and a half hours on a plane and it's late afternoon when I arrive at my destination.

I was pretty hungry when I arrived. My brother in law told me it would be hard to find a vegan or vegetarian restaurant in Nashville. No fear, there's an app for that. It's called Vegan Steven it will tell me all the vegetarian and vegan friendly restaurants and stores within a 50 mile radius. I Found one pretty quickly that was fun. It is called the Calypso. It had Carribean theme and an atmosphere I am quite comfortable in. They had quite a few vegan choices on their menu. There was some great original art painted on the walls too. I think my husband would have enjoyed this place. Everyone enjoyed their meal.
Cuban Black Beans, Corn Salad with Black Eyed Peas, Spiced Yams with Coconut. and Fresh Fruit

April 16, 2010

Yep, Life is Good!

Day 1 of vacation is going great. I feel very relaxed right now. I have about a hour of peace and moving slow until I have to finish packing and get ready for the big road trip and this evening.

Last night we had the opportunity to see Mr. Gil Scott-Heron perform his blues-ology. Blues, stories, poetry, and important messages in each tune. Went with some friends who also enjoyed it as much as we did. I couldn't be sitting between anyone more fun for this event than I was, between my husband and my friend, Rachel, who lives and breathes poetry. Her husband was enjoying himself on the right of her, I could hear him say, "Yeah!" a few times. Bill was with us too. Nice to have had music plans in mind when he came to visit. The last two times we have taken people to see musicians we liked, they didn't like it. Both of those people were much younger than us though. It was kind of like going to see your parents' music, I understood. We like older musicians in small clubs. I like to say we go see people "Who used to be someone." Most of the crowd is usually our age with lots of gray ponytails. A good time was had by all. This song is called Winter in America. I liked it very much.

He looks a little different now. He called it "in disquise."
This morning I started with a deep muscle massage. Yep, life is good. Bill and I had a nice leisurely lunch downtown. Something I don't do much of during the week. I always like to enjoy home on vacation too. We went out to the garden and planted four of the artichokes. I hope it's not too early. Artichokes are pretty hearty. They should do all right.


Tonight we have a date to do some more relaxation therapy. We are going to do some water tank therapy in Portland. We've been reading about it and thinking of doing this for awhile. It is supposed to relieve stress in your body by being completely weightless for awhile. This relieves any exertion the body is under including gravity which allows other parts of it to have some healing time. I can use all the help I can get these days. It helps with muscular aches and pains as well as depression. Massage in the a.m. and a good meditation in the evening. We don't have far to travel and relax for the rest of the evening with some tea and love. That should get me relaxed and ready for a week of travel. I leave for Tennessee at 7:00 a.m. I am excited about my trip, but also a little nervous of the world I am about to enter for a week. It will be different, but my sister and I do have fun together. I'll try my best to keep you up on my adventures. Better get finished packing now.  Yep, Life is Good!

Peace Friends!

April 15, 2010

On Holiday

I love my job, it keeps my brain active and I am never bored. I get to learn something new every day. I am also very comfortable with the people I spend the biggest part of my day with. I do know the fact that I had the job and a place to go everyday, with people I know care, was a big help getting through my son's constant surprises with the law last year. I can take vacations too. There is just something about the day vacation begins that just feels great. Knowing I get to leave and have some adventure out of the daily routine for a whole week is just awesome.

I'll be spending my birthday with my sister and four people who call me Aunt Debbie. Oops, almost forgot it's five now, I get to meet the two year old great niece, Adrianna. This time I get to go places I have never been, Tennessee, Alabama, Kentucky, parts of Illinois, and Indiana. It's spring and I am excited to go to a different part of the country I haven't been before and see what kind of goodies are sold in their farmers' markets. I am hoping to keep the blog up on my vacation. You can follow me as I spread my own little food revolution across the country this next week.

First, a couple of days enjoying home. My vacation begins with a visit from Uncle Bill. The closest thing my husband has to a brother, they have been friends since first grade. He's a very dear friend and a part of our family. We'll be off to get pedicures and then music and poetry tonight with some more friends.  Off to the train station to fetch Uncle Bill.

April 14, 2010

Herb Halibut with Oranges & Parsnips

I received a very nice surprise today, fresh halibut. What a treat! Giving me fresh seafood, vegetables, fruit, or herbs, its like giving me toys. I immediately had a plan.

I rubbed some coconut oil in a glass baking dish. I slightly powdered the halibut fillets with a spelt and cornmeal mixture and laid them in the pan. Then I sprinkled sal con limón, fresh ground pepper, fresh oregano leaves, fresh cilantro, and some sliced leeks. I gently squeezed orange segments over the fish and laid them around the fillet. I also sliced a parsnip in about half in slices and placed them around the edge of the dish. I baked it at 375º for 25 minutes. It turned out lovely.

 I served it with fresh raw vegetable salad and some garlic toast. I thought the roasted oranges were very nice. My husband thought the roasted oranges were a little different, but he loved the seafood.

While I was eating it I thought it would be great for lunch tomorrow. There isn't any left for lunch tomorrow.

Thanks to my friend for the halibut, we really enjoyed it!

Gifts and Friends are Synonomous

I think about my sons everyday and at least once a day I am reminded that my heart is a bit broken. I seem much better than last year, but I still have to watch for anger and fear. They are enemies for someone like me. Keeping busy with the garden and working together through this, my husband and I, I am doing pretty good right now. We are working through this like a couple who've been together this long should. I don't think we've ever been this close. But I do have those days when it feels like I am lost and trying to find myself again. I am a very different person than I was just 13 months ago. Just about everything I do and think on a daily basis has changed. Much of it for the better, but it is change. Then, as always, my angels put people in my life who just love me and give me something to smile about when I can't. I am grateful for the miracles I receive EVERY Day!

How's the Garden?


Tenderness and kindness are not signs of weakness and despair, but manifestations of strength and resolution.

Kahlil Gibran

April 13, 2010

Vacation - What to Bring, What Will I Cook?

I am finally getting in the spirit and beginning to pack for my trip to see my sister. We are fifteen months apart and the oldest of five siblings. I'm the oldest and then she comes next. We had a pretty turbulent childhood and we all went our separate ways as soon as high school was over. We were apart for over 25 years until 2000. Since then we have managed to meet somewhere in the US and enjoy each others' company every two years. We've been to Orlando together, Normal, Illinois, North Hollywood twice, and she came here where we had a great weekend together in Seaside, OR. This time the trip begins in Nashville, Tennessee. She moved to Madison, Alabama a couple years ago and I guess Nashville is the closest airport. Oh darn, huh?!? I have never been to Nashville, not that I ever had it on my list, but it's probably pretty interesting for a couple hours.

She has recently had gastric bi-pass surgery and doing well. I am hoping to prepare some great plant based food that she will enjoy and hopefully make after I leave. Spreading my own personal food revolution. We are going to start her garden, photos to come for sure, and visit The Farm Community in Summertown, TN. I am looking forward to visiting the Farm quite a bit. I am hoping to buy some plants for her garden there. I know I will probably end up with a new book or three on that adventure. Then about Wednesday we are off to Normal, Illinois to visit her four young adult children and meet her two year old granddaughter. I am always glad I can go to Normal. I get to see what Normal looks like now and then. Hee Hee Hee

As I am planning my belongings I realized the first thing I started doing was making copies of recipes and getting things out like Agar, Agave, whole pepper, Celtic sea salt, dry herbs. etc. I just thought, how many people do you know that pack their kitchen supplies first when going on vacation?

Anyway, time to go play in the garden. Happy Days!


April 12, 2010

Our Journey - Life is Good

Through the days I often try to fit in too much. I get tired and stressed especially with both our sons' situations right now. I get myself overworked, excited, stressed and tend to get a little impatient with my husband. But, when I stop and look at life I do realize that most every time I am doing something wonderful, it's with him or if not, I wish he was there. I do appreciate you SK.

Beef Steak Tomato

For one human being to love another; that is perhaps the most difficult of all our tasks, the ultimate, the last test and proof, the work for which all other work is but preparation.
Rainer Maria Rilke

April 11, 2010

Potato Leek Soup with Fresh Spinach

We did make it out to the garden today for a few hours. I planted some flowers, ranunculus, nasturtiums,  and pumpkin on a stick. I also pulled up some leeks and trimmed the spinach while I was there. They contributed to some pretty awesome, fresh tasting soup.

Potato Leek Soup with Fresh Spinach 

2 TB safflower oil
1 1/2 cup sliced leeks
1/2 cup fennel bulb, chopped
2 TB garlic, minced
3 cups filtered water
3 cups low sodium vegetable broth
2 medium potatoes, rinsed and chopped (2 1/2 cups)
1 cup soy milk
1 TB chopped parsley
2 tsp Shoyu
2 tsp sea salt, or to taste
1/2 tsp ground black pepper, or to taste
pinch cayenne pepper
2-3 cups chopped, fresh spinach

Place oil in a 3 quart pot on medium heat. Add leek, garlic and fennel, cook for 3 minutes, stirring frequently. Add potatoes water and broth and cook until soft, approximately 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add soy milk and chopped spinach.

Remove from heat and allow to cool 10-15 minutes. Carefully blend in batches, filling  the blender half way. Return to pot, add seasonings and stir well.

Dairy Free Strawberry-Orange Mousse

Strawberry-Orange Mousse

This is a variation of that same avocado recipe Morgaine and I have been playing with and making frozen desserts and chocolate pudding.

I put three avocados, two bananas, a pound of fresh organic strawberries, about a half cup of vanilla almond milk, a half teaspoon of vanilla extract, and two tablespoons of honey in the food processor and blended until creamy.

Then I transferred the strawberry avocado mixture into a large bowl and stirred in sliced strawberries, and orange segments. I added about a half a cup of dissolved Agar and chilled for about 20 minutes.

This worked very well, creamy and strawberry with a slight taste of the banana and oranges. This is vegetarian because I used honey, but you can use Agave or Stevia for a Vegan dessert.

Yeah!  Pudding with no dairy, refined sugar, or animal fat.

Black Bean Enchiladas with Chipotle Cashew Creme

I made a pot of black beans this morning for the week. I don't cook my beans until they are completely soft. I like them a little textured and chewable. They can also withstand being cooked in another recipe without getting mushy. I made them pretty simply, adding: onions, celery, shallots, a sliced jalepeño, cumin, garlic, salt, pepper, cayenne, a small can of fire roasted diced tomatoes, and cooked them in low sodium vegetable broth.

Black Bean Enchiladas

I used the black beans and sliced olives for the filling. I also shredded some nut-cheese made from Almonds flavored like Monterey Pepper Jack. I mixed half of the cheese with the beans and olives and saved the other half for the topping.

I filled Corn tortillas and used canned enchilada sauce, 1 large can. Yes, sometimes even I use a can. The brand I found has only a few ingredients, and chilies, tomatoes, and onions are first in the list. I will be making my own again in the summer. I warmed the tortillas a little so they are pliable and poured a little sauce in the bottom of a 9" x 13" baking pan. I put a little sauce on a dinner plate and dip each side of the tortilla in the sauce. Then I put a couple tablespoons of the bean mixture in the center and wrap. Placing them in the baking dish with the seam side down, I fit in 13 of them. I covered them with the remainder of the enchilada sauce, the shredded nut-cheese, and some cilantro.

I baked it in the oven on 400º for about 25-30 minutes until the sauce was bubbling and the tortillas were looking a little crispy. The almond cheese melted and browned very nicely too.
Black Bean Enchiladas with Cashew Chipotle Cream
 I served them with avocado slices and Chipotle Cashew Cream. The cashew cream is very easy.

Soak two cups of raw cashews in one cup of water for a couple hours in the refrigerator. Put the soaked cashews, undrained, in the food processor with one chipotle chili in adobo sauce. If you are daring use two chilies. Add one to two teaspoons chopped garlic and blend until smooth and creamy.

I transferred the blended cashew mixture into a bowl and mixed in half of a red bell pepper, diced, some diced green onion, and a handful of cilantro minced. I also stirred in a Tsp of Shoyu, a little sea salt, ground pepper and a dash of cayenne.

These are so satisfying, I wanted another helping, but knew I couldn't fit it in.