A Hankerin’ For Pie Crust

So… last night I was sitting on my couch, watching TV and working on my computer, when I got a big hankering for pie crust. Yup! You heard correctly, pie crust. And no, I am not a pie crust maker that would be my late mother, she was awesome at it. I am actually intimidated to make pie crust, (what if it’s not flaky enough?! I’ll be judged!) so I always buy it. But I hate to buy it because it’s so freakin’ expensive. It’s water, flour and oil! Why do they charge us $3 for water, flour, oil and preservatives? Since it was January 1st I decided to throw caution to the wind and make my own! The only oils my pantry produced were EVO and coconut oil. I decided on the coconut oil because it’s a wonder drug. Google is a good friend and this is what I found. “Coconut Oil Pie Crust” I made it and it was GOOD and flaky! Not hard at all. I ate a bunch of it as I rolled it out and laid it carefully into my pie plate. Then, I ate some more. It reminded me of my mother, it was yummy, I was feeling nostalgic, I was happy that I was beating the system by making my own pie crust! So, I ate a bit (a lot) more. Yeah, it happened, I got a “so worth it” stomach ache. The recipe makes two crusts, I ended up with one. (Insert embarrassed emoji here.) Let’s just say I ate a lot of water, flour and oil (but no preservatives)!

Now… what to put in my pie crust?! I decided on a quiche! Again, Google came through for me. I went off of this recipe “Loaded Vegetarian Quiche.” I say “went off” because I usually adapt a recipe rather than follow it—the refrigerator makes the final decision. I changed the cheese to sharp cuz that’s all I had. And I used cherry tomatoes cut in half cuz that’s all I had in my fridge and I used my own chicken’s eggs cuz they are the yummiest! (Thank you Dotty and Juanita.) Oh my word. It came out great! This is a good combination of veggies for a quiche. I had a warm piece right out of the oven, in spite of my stomach ache. My husband, had some too, he loved it. My hankering produced a very healthy, tasty, late evening supper (and brunch the next day)!

So if you ever feel a hankerin’ to eat water, flour and oil . . . look no further. 🙂

January 2, 2016 Leave a comment

Quinoa Stuffed Sweet Potatoes and “A Tale of My Picky Eater”

​This week’s meatless meal is brought to you by my good friend and Yoga Bird, Kim! We both love hikes in the woods, dancing like no one is watching and a good meatless meal. The above photo was taken in the Prescott National Forest on our way back from the Grand Canyon. Hope you enjoy this recipe that Kim shares, it’s a winner! 🙂

A Tale: My Picky Eater by Kim Wetzel

How many of you have hidden something in your child’s food that was “for their own good?” I have, too many times to count. I have even (forgive me Lord)… LIED about ingredients.

“Why are my pancakes orange, mom?” – “Oh, that…I think it’s the lighting in here.”

“What is this green stuff?” – “Spices… The good kinds… Uh, that you’ve TOTALLY had before…and TOTALLY loved!”

“What kind of meat is this?” – “Chicken.”

From pureed sweet potato in their pancakes to broccoli in their eggs, I have tried it all.

When my picky eater was two, I discovered that he loved scrambled eggs so much that he would eat WHATEVER I threw into his eggs. So when I would try to feed him broccoli or spinach and he refused, I fried up an egg, threw the undesirables right in there and immediately brought it back to the table as a “new” food item… VIOLA! He scarfed them down eagerly. A trick I overused because he realized it one day and has not had a single egg since…literally! He is now 15!

On to the next tactic…force. My picky eater many times would not eat something on LOOKS alone! I had tried bribery; I had tried punishment, and finally just went ahead and pried his mouth open and shoved it in there. Most of the time, he really loved it. It would go from gross and scary to, “Wow! Mom, this is actually yummy!”

He needed help getting over the hump of his fear of green things… “Prasinosophobia”…apparently it’s a “real” thing, I googled it.

Time passes, the boy gets older, and now he TRIES most things. However, recently, one evening he refused to try. I tried everything and he wouldn’t budge. I playfully told him I would do what I used to do and pry his mouth open and shove it in there. To which he replied “I’m so big Mom, I don’t think you can do that anymore!” Whaaaaa?…..Challenge accepted! One thing you don’t want to do in our house is tell mom she can’t do something anymore!! Let’s just say mom still has it (for now)!

You may think I have only one kid…false! I have three. I have one who is like a goat and will eat anything…she even gets in trouble for ordering extra veggies in her school lunch without asking, racking up her school lunch bill. Who gets in trouble for ordering extra veggies?! My girl does! We never have veggie leftovers, because she will eat a whole pound of green beans to empty a bowl (hungry snorting gremlin noises included)! I have one who will try everything and eat almost anything… veggies with hummus and big green salads are among his favorites.

Really only one is a true picky eater. He doesn’t like that he hates most foods. He gets frustrated with himself. He will skip whole meals if something he dislikes is being served. So I find myself catering to his likes when picking the dinner menus (he is such a sweetie and I want him happily eating something). So on to a new tactic (because he’s big… and smart!). …finding GOOD recipes with HEALTHY ingredients that taste amazing. We realized about a year ago that he likes quinoa. SCORE in the healthy department! So in my hunt for dinner with that ingredient in mind, I recently came across this great fall recipe. Quinoa Stuffed Sweet Potatoes. He balked at the sound of it, but likes quinoa, so he tried it. It’s salty/sweet. It’s easy. It’s a hearty meal without meat. (I am a vegetarian and love when my family joins me in a filling meatless meal.) The recipe pairs well with a green salad and some fresh apple cider. Enjoy!

Quinoa Stuffed Sweet Potatoes
Quinoa Stuffed Sweet Potatoes

Quinoa Stuffed Sweet Potatoes

Things you need:

4 sweet potatoes

1 C quinoa

2 C vegetable broth (or chicken)

1T Butter

1 T olive oil

1 small onion, diced

2 C Kale (or spinach), washed and broken into 1” pieces

½ C toasted slivered almonds

ÂĽ C (plus) dried cranberries

Salt and pepper

I baked the sweet potatoes for an hour in foil. While they are baking you can make the stuffing. Cook the quinoa in veggie broth till done (15-20 min, like you cook rice). While that is cooking, sauté the onion in butter and oil with some salt until soft, my kids like really soft, so I did it for a while. Add Kale, almonds, and cranberries and sauté until Kale is soft, about 3-5 min. Add the quinoa, once done, to the frying pan and mix together. When the sweet potatoes are done, cut in half lengthwise and scoop out the very center (like a big spoon’s depth) and put in a container for the fridge for a later meal. Then put on a plate and add the filling to the skins. THAT’S IT! Delicious and beautiful and done!

This is one of those meals with tons of healthy things that when all mixed together, just makes a picky eater forget about all that. My picky eater actually said (and I quote) “This is pretty good Mom!” High praise indeed for a recipe with so many healthy things in it. As for the rest of the family…hubby ate thirds, and the gremlin ate all hers and greedily ate the remnants off of everyone else’s plate…and the frying pan.

There were no leftovers!
There were no leftovers!
Kim and her Pickey Eater, after "The Sound of Music."
Kim and her Pickey Eater, after “The Sound of Music.”

October 19, 2014 Leave a comment

Yoga Bird’s Hearty Veggie Chili

OK! So, I’ve made this chili a few times, so much so, that I stopped using a recipe awhile ago. I will do my best to guess the portions and ingredients – it turns out a little bit different each time! But it’s all good cuz you can’t really mess this up – everyone loves this chili and it’s super good for you!


2 T. quality olive oil

1 med. sweet onion chopped

3 garlic cloves pressed

1 green pepper chopped

1 red pepper chopped

1 can red pinto beans (rinsed & drained)

1 can black beans (rinsed & drained)

1 can garbanzo beans (chickpeas) (rinsed & drained)

2 cans petite diced tomatoes w/jalapeno peppers

1 can of stewed tomatoes (optional)

1/4 cup of chili powder (or less, start with less as you can always add but never take away)

1/4 cup of red wine (if you have some around)

1 pkg of “Veggie Crumbles” also called Grillers

A lime

1 bottle of lager beer (or chicken broth)

Ground pepper and ground pink sea salt

Begin by sautéing the onion, garlic and peppers in oil, in a large skillet. (I use EVO but you may use vegetable oil or even butter.) While this is cooking get out a big pot or dutch oven, put in the three different cans of (rinsed and drained) beans. Then add the two or three cans of tomatoes. If you don’t like as many tomatoes just use two. If I don’t have canned tomatoes with jalapeños in them, then I use whatever I have but will sauté some hot peppers in with my peppers and onions.

Next add the 1/4 cup of chili power (4 tablespoons) (if you have a spicy blend of CP then start with just two or three tablespoons) and red wine to the beans and tomatoes. Stir well, cover and bring to a low simmer. When the onions, garlic and peppers are cooked through, remove from heat and add to the big pot of tomatoes and beans. Next add the package of the frozen veggie grillers. Stir well. Now… add just enough of the beer (or chicken broth) to bring it to the consistency that you like. If you like your chili with more juice (to dip your bread in), then you’ll probably want to use the whole bottle. But if you used more tomatoes then you may not need the whole bottle. Just do what you like best. Cover and cook at a low simmer about 20 – 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Turn off stove and let it “rest” about 20 mins. if you’re not in a hurry to eat.

To serve, scoop into pretty bowl, add a little sea salt and ground black pepper to taste, a squeeze of lime and some kind of cheese that you like! We like cheddar. This chili is wonderful with corn muffins or some crusty bread. 🙂 Makes a large batch so you may want to freeze some to enjoy a couple of weeks from now!

(Other things I have “thrown” into this chili from time to time are: sautĂ©ed celery, fresh tomatoes, corn, mushrooms, great northern beans, red pepper flakes (if you throw-in other “hot” items you’ll want to cut back on the chili powder), fresh oregano and other herbs from my garden.) If you’ve never bought the veggie grillers before, this is what the bag looks like.

You'll find Grillers in the freezer section, with the vegetarian items!
You’ll find Grillers in the freezer section, with the vegetarian items!

October 13, 2014 2 Comments