Vegan nachos

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I have a weakness for nachos.  No, not the loaded nachos with beans and jalapenos and sour cream oh no no no,  I am talking about the gooey, messy, cheesy (most likely plastic) nachos you get at a sports game where they squirt the “cheese” on from a dispenser.  I know, fake processed yellow cheese is about as far from healthy as you can get but  for some reason they call to me, they whisper my name and without even thinking about it I somehow end up with a big plate in my lap.

I have been playing around with my cheese sauce recipe I use for my vegan mac & cheese and  I came up with this recipe that satisfies that craving for the delicious cheesy goodness. This recipe is pretty healthy and a hit with the kiddo who is quite picky these days.  Try it loaded by adding beans and tomato and sour cream!

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She is a mouse today too!

 

What you need

  • 5 tbsp earth balance
  • 4 tbsp flour
  • 1 cup nutritional yeast
  • 1.5 cups “milk” of choice, I used hemp milk
  • 1 tbsp red pepper flakes
  • 1 tbsp all natural onion powder
  • 1/2 tbsp all natural garlic powder
  • salt to taste
  • corn tortillas

How to make it

  • cut corn tortillas into 4ths so you have 4 triangle chips, cut as many as you need
  •  lay on  a baking sheet (do not overlap, brush with olive oil and sprinkle on salt
  • bake at  350 for 10 minutes or until edges are golden
  • set aside to cool
  • Melt the ‘butter’ in a sauce pan
  • add the flour and nutritional yeast and mix until all the dry ingredients are coated.
  • add ‘milk’ and whisk together
  • add seasonings
  • bring to a low boil  until it thickens to  desired consistency
  • add more nutritional yeast or salt to taste
  • pour cheese sauce over chips, yum!

Breakfast tostadas

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Every morning we eat almost the same thing- eggs, grapefruit  and avocado and occasionally we mix it up with a scone or waffle or oatmeal but most days eggs it is. After a while the same old same old gets boring and I try to jazz it up for the girl child.

Today I went to the market and got some avocados for the baby and instantly had a craving for huevos rancheros  but I was all out of chilis and only had 1 tomato. I made up this tostada stack and the girl child thought it was the coolest thing ever (minus hot sauce)  and she even licked her plate clean.

This is one of those 15 minute meals  that you can make when you are low on groceries or in a hurry or you have a case of the hangries and need food NOW.  Try it with cheese or  chicken for a lunch time  meal!

What you need

  • corn tortillas
  • 1 can of black beans
  • eggs
  • cilantro
  • avocado
  • tomato
  • lime
  • hot sauce ( optional)

How to make it

  • drizzle with oil and put the corn tortillas in the oven  and bake at 350 for 1o minutes until crisp
  • cook black beans until hot
  • fry egg until over medium
  • stack tostadas with black beans in between and on top
  • top with egg and topping and hot sauce if you dare!

Lavender & mint mojito

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Oh summertime! I am so glad my tan has returned, the swamp cooler is cranked up and it is once again acceptable to drink a summery cocktail with dinner every day. Mojitos are my favorite thing in the world and my husband makes the best minty drink ever.  Today however I really wanted a mojito and my husband was gone and since he hates lavender I thought it was the perfect time to try to make this drink myself.

Mojitos are really easy to make and are great on its own or with a bit of rum  for a little bit of fun.  You will need a lavender simple syrup for this recipe  and this one  from ‘The view from this great island’ is amazing. Once you have your syrup  you just need mint, lime, some sparkling water and a splash of rum!

If you have never had a mojito be prepared to become addicted. . . no seriously.

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Makes 2 mason jars full

What you need

  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • Mint- add as much as you like, I like a lot and use about a palm full for 2 drinks
  • 4 limes
  • 1/4 c lavender syrup
  • 2 cups mineral water
  • splash of  white rum each
  • ice- crushed is best and sadly I was out

How to make it

  • in a bowl or cup put the sugar and mint together and muddle it, read THIS on proper muddling
  • add muddles mint and sugar to mason jars, add ice
  • juice 4 limes and add juice to jars
  • add lavender syrup and  mineral  water
  • add a splash of run
  • mix the drink up with a spoon or  use one of THESE fancy  bar spoons

 

Summer garden gazpacho

summer garden gazpacho

The weather has been warming up and to me that means it’s time to start making gazpacho! I have several recipes I pump out in the summer- Avocado and cucumber, classic tomato and even a coconut and herb soup but my favorite  is my garden gazpacho. This is by far my easiest recipe and at the end of summer when the farmers market is in full gear these ingredients are overflowing in my fridge.

My daughter calls this salsa soup and indeed it does taste like salsa, that may be the reason I adore it so much.  You can make this several ways depending on the texture you want, for a thicker and chunkier soup there are no extra steps but for a thinner and more smooth soup use a food mill. Serve this cold soup with toast  and an avocado spread preferably on the porch and with a tall glass of lemonade!

makes 4 bowls of soup

What you need

  • 2 tomatoes
  • 2 red bell pepper
  • 1 cucumber
  • 1/2 c green onion
  • 1/4 c cilantro
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 1 cup water
  • juice of 2 lemons
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • salt & pepper to taste

How to make it

  • Peel the cucumber and  place half in the blender with the 2 tomatoes, 1/2 red pepper, green onion, cilantro, ceyenne, juive of lemons and water
  • blend until smooth
  • dice remaining cucumber and  red pepper and add to blender, pulse once or twice just to chop it a bit
  • mix in olive oil and salt & pepper to taste
  • serve cold with toast or croutons!

Healthy magic milk!

BeFunky_GEDC1540.jpgLike most kids my daughter is a chocolate milk  addict.  Whenever she sees it in the store she will beg and plead and bargain for a taste so when we get home I will usually give in and make her a tall glass of  creamy goodness. What she doesn’t know is that all these years if me “giving in” and making her favorite treat have been a lie, I have been making her molasses milk all along.

Molasses milk is one of my favorite treats and it has some great benefits too.  Just 1 tablespoon contains 20% of the daily recommended daily intake for calcium, 22.5% of the daily recommended daily intake for magnesium and almost 40% of the recommended daily intake for iron. Molasses is also an energy booster and some claim it can even help clear up your skin.

For this simple treat I pour milk into mason jars with 2 tablespoons of molasses and let the kiddo go to town shaking the jar up in a ritual we like to call ‘the shake it don’t break it’ shuffle. You  can use any kind of milk, vanilla almond milk is one of my favorites but lately we have been using raw milk from a local farm.

What you need

  • Mason jars (if you want to do the ‘shake it don’t break it’ shuffle) or just cups
  • Straws (its best to use straws when drinking sweet treats so the sugars bypass your kiddos teeth!)
  • 2 tbso molasses per jar
  • milk- I used raw milk from a local farm, raw milk is best so if you can I insist you use it

How to make it

  • Put your raw milk in the jars
  • add molasses
  • Shake it don’t break it!

Kale & sunflower pesto spread

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Pesto is one of my favorite summer treats and  with the abundance of basil and greens I end up using pesto on everything! This spread is delicious and makes a ton so you can share it with your friends or  freeze it for those winter months when you crave green.

I am not a huge fan of pine nuts but I always have raw sunflowers around for salads and home made trail mix so I used them in this recipe and with kale added this pesto becomes a great source of iron and nutrients!  Try adding hemp seeds  or a bit of spirulina to boost it even more.

Try this pesto on grilled cheese, fish, pizza, bagels, eggs or my favorite  baked with cheese for a yummy chip dip!

What you need

  • 1 c raw sunflower seeds
  • 1 large  bunch of kale
  • 1 cup of basil, this was 2 bunches for me
  • 1/4 c olive oil
  • 1/2 c shredded asiago cheese ( you can use parmesan too I just prefer asiago)
  • 1/4 c water
  • salt to taste

How to make it

  • put sunflower seeds in blender or food processor and pulse until ground to a powder
  • chop up kale, removing the spine ( the large hard part in the middle of the leaf)
  • add kale  and olive oil to blender and pulse, add a bit of water as needed to get it to blend
  • add basil and cheese and any more water if needed and blend until smooth
  • you may have to stop the blender and push the pesto down and mix it up  every few seconds
  • add a bit of salt to taste
  • store in a freezer bag in heh freezer or in a Tupperware in the fridge.

*For pasta sauce add water and more olive oil to make it a bit thinner .

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Perfect food bar review & giveaway

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This morning I ate my last perfect food bar and I wanted to cry. There really is no better way to describe the nutritious bars than ‘perfect’.

Perfect food bar is a family business that started in the 90’s but the family’s love of health food and healthy living dates back to the 60’s when Dr. William Keith owned  the  health house gym and juice bar. Health has always been at the center of this family and in 1995  Keith mixed his whole food supplements with peanut butter and created “the perfect food bar” .

In 2005 the family put the delicious product on the market and today it is known as the best health food bar around. The bars contain over 20 nutrient rich  organic whole foods including a ton of veggies, nut butters, fruits , omegas and of course honey.  These bars are pure and delicious and contain no preservatives  which is why you can find them in the refrigerator section  of your natural foods store!

I love these bars for many reasons but most importantly is they are a great source of nutrients for my children. It is pretty hard to get kids to eat health food sometimes but these taste like a delicious treat and the kids devour them. They are also gluten free so I know I can bring them to playdates with my daughter gluten free friends and they can enjoy them too.

Perfect food bars come in a few different flavors including peanut butter, almond butter, cranberry, fruit and nut and carob and also come in mini sizes too! My personal favorite is the fruit and nut!  Find them in a local store near you HERE!

Perfect food bar sent me some bars for a giveaway and an awesome  (and super duper soft) shirt and some bars! Entering is simple here is how, enter once or all 3 times:

‘like’ perfect food bar on facebook and let me know that you did

‘like’ Mama Mouse on Facebook and let me know that you did

Comment here and tell me which perfect food bar you want to try! 

Easy yogurt cream cheese with chives

chive yogurt cream cheese

I love cream cheese and I love yogurt so it only seemed natural that I make yogurt cream cheese. A long time ago  (back when I used to dig through the couch for change to buy kombucha) I would make my own yogurt to save money and use my home made yogurt to make cream cheese. I remember it being the most amazing cream cheese and I would hide it in the back of the fridge  behind something gross so my roommates wouldn’t eat it.

With kids and dogs and life I have not been making my own yogurt but when I ran out of cream cheese and i wanted a bagel ( right now!)  I remembered my once savvy ways and decided to whip up some of my favorite yogurt cream cheese.  This only takes a  day to make ( less if you are using a thick yogurt like Greek yogurt) and with some herbs it becomes a fancy shmancy party cream cheese!

What you need

  • a mason jar
  • cheese cloth
  • 1 cup of yogurt
  • chives
  • salt & pepper to taste and a sprinkle of paprika

How to make it

  • put your yogurt into a single layer of cheese cloth
  • squeeze it gently to drain off  some of the water
  • take the lid off the mason jar  and lay the cheese cloth & yogurt  inside suspending  it about halfway down the jar
  • screw on the jar band  leaving the top open
  • put the jar in the fridge and let the excess water drain off
  • The cream cheese will be soft but you will know it is done when you can form it into a ball with the cheese cloth
  • add chives and spices to taste or eat it plain!

Nancy’s yogurt challenge #2

Welcome to part 2 of the Nancy’s yogurt challenge! Today we have my friend and fellow blogger Jillian  of  ‘The quest of Crunchy Curious‘ and Pretty paisley designs. Read more about the challenge and check out part 1 HERE
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When I was asked to be part of this challenge I jumped at the chance!!  My blog is all about learning to live more naturally and sometimes I get a little freaked out by all the stuff I learn, but yogurt?  I can handle yogurt!  Luckily Nancy’s Yogurt was incredibly tasty and way more natural than the other stuff I have bought with fervor thinking it was super healthy for me (cough-yoplait-cough).  So I let my mind run for a bit and I got to thinking.  What weighed heavily on my mind was the weather.

Here in Utah the weather is so strange sometimes.  You can have clouds and rain in the morning, sprawl in the sunshine by noon and a raucous thunderstorm before bed.  Planning for meals on a day like this can be trying because you don’t know what food you will be in the mood for!  I had decided yesterday that I would make some frozen yogurt with the delicious strawberries that were on sale at my local store.  Once I saw the rain, I was not it the mood for frozen treats.  So my mind shifted to incorporating yogurt into one of my favorite gloomy day meals, Tomato Soup and Grilled Cheese.  Thus, Tomato Yogurt Bisque was born and goodness it was delicious!  My boys devoured it and that is no small task with a toddler and a new to foods infant.

As the sun came shining out after lunch, I thought maybe that frozen treat could use a second thought so I made it up.  My oldest and I took turns eating what was left on the paddle while the youngest protested his not being old enough.  By the time bedtime for my boys came and I was ready to settle down with my sweet treat, a ridiculous thunderstorm was raging outside my window.  I ended up enjoying it with a large cup of tea and looking out the window.  Nature is a beast and a beauty, am I right?  I hope you enjoy these recipes on your next crazy weather day or any day for that matter!

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Tomato Yogurt Bisque

  • 1 28oz can of diced or whole tomatoes of choice
  • 2 Large cloves of Garlic, minced
  • 1 Tbsp.  Italian Seasoning Spice Blend
  • ½ Cup Nancy’s Organic Whole Milk Plain Yogurt
  • 1 Tbsp. Olive Oil
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

Directions:

Open the can of tomatoes and place in a food processor.  Pulse or run until the consistency is what you prefer.  I like mine with a few smaller pieces of tomato and not completely pureed but you choose what you like.  Pour the pureed tomatoes into a sauce pan and put it on the stove on medium heat.  Add the garlic, Italian seasoning, olive oil, salt and pepper.  Simmer for 15 minutes to let the flavors blend and turn off the heat.  Add the Nancy’s Yogurt and stir until well blended into the soup.   Save a spoonful or two of yogurt to dollop on top and serve with a yummy grilled cheese sandwich.  My kiddos loved the soup!

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Creamy Strawberry Frozen Yogurt with Black Pepper

  • 2 Cups of Strawberries chopped
  • 2/3 Cup of Sugar
  • 1 Cup of Nancy’s Organic Whole Milk Plain Yogurt
  • ½ Cup of Heavy Cream
  • ¼ to ½ tsp. of Black Pepper to taste (be brave)

Directions:

Chop the strawberries and put in a bowl with 2 Tbsp. of sugar and let sit for one hour.  Once the hour has passed, put the strawberries into a food processor and pulse until it reaches the desired consistency.  Totally smooth or slightly chunky is up to you!  Pour back into a bowl and add the rest of the sugar, heavy cream, pepper and Nancy’s Yogurt.  Stir until mixed well and place in the refrigerator for at least one hour or until completely chilled.  Once chilled, place in ice cream maker for 20-25 minutes or until it looks to delicious to wait any longer.  Eat right away or place in the freezer to enjoy later.  You can leave out the black pepper but it is a really great flavor and being brave is a good thing!

Raw fruit & nut bar

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I have been craving  a raw  bar I had many moons ago but I couldn’t remember the name of the bar or what was in it, all I remembered was that it was delicious and I wanted one right now. I just did my monthly winco bulk bin haul so I set out to try to recreate the flavor I was craving.

I may not have perfectly recreated the delicious treat I remembered but I think this might be even better. packed full of yummy seeds, nuts, fruits and even spirulina these raw bars are incredibly good for you.  They were a hit with the family especially after I cut some into heart shapes for the little one.

Next time  I think I am going to make a cashew, raw honey and  strawberry raw bar, yum! Be sure to store these in the fridge to keep them fresh and delicious!

What you need

  • 1 c almonds
  • 1 c dried cherries
  • 1/2 c dried cranberries
  • 1/2 c dates
  • 1 tbsp spirulina
  • 1/2 c hemp seeds
  • 1/4 c flax seeds
  • 2 tbsp raw honey
  • 4 tbsp coconut oil

How to make it

  • Add almonds into the blender or food processor and pulse until it is an almond meal
  • add dates, cherries and cranberries ( leave a handful aside) and pulse until they are chopped
  • add honey, oil and spirulina and blend until a paste
  • add more dates or coconut oil until the consistency is a thick stuff paste
  • put into a bowl and mix in flax and hemp seeds. Chop up remaining fruit and add in.
  • line a baking sheet with wax paper and press onto the pan
  • sprinkle some fruit and hemp seed on top and press in
  • cover top with wax paper and put in the fridge for at least an hour
  • cut into squares and wrap with plastic wrap and store in the fridge.