Category Archives: Vegan

Curry Roasted Pumpkin Seeds.

I love roasted pumpkin seeds and so does the hubs. We grow carving pumpkins because the hubs likes to carve them, but also because we just really like the seeds. They are blank slate that I can do anything with and then roast into a tasty snack. If you are purchasing pumpkins and want to roast the seeds, take care to purchase organic pumpkins to ensure the safety of your seeds.

This year we made a batch of curry pumpkin seeds. Curry is an amazing source of health benefits. I make my mix here at home. It contains organic turmeric (4 T), organic cumin (8 T), organic coriander (7 T), and organic ginger (2 T) ~ stored in a pint jar. Turmeric contains natural anti-inflammatory properties. It also contains curcumin, a compound thought to protect the liver. Cumin may also contain anti-inflamatory properties as well as immune regulating capabilities. Coriander could potentially protect the nervous system from damage through anti-inflamatory processes. And last, but not least, ginger. Ginger, long known for its healthful benefits to the digestive tract, ginger also contains anti-inflamatory properties. All said, these four spices combined are a powerhouse for protecting the body against many things. Just remember, they do work better alongside fat, hence the nice fatty coconut milk generally used in curries! Here we will sub oil.

One last note about the health benefits of this snack, it is important to remember that the pumpkins seeds themselves are packed with nutrition. Pumpkin seeds are a fantastic source of zinc. Zinc regulates the immune system and assists with our ability to taste food properly. They also serve as a good source for antioxidants and magnesium.

Curry Roasted Pumpkin Seeds. Makes 16 0z of roasted seeds.


2 C fresh organic pumpkin seeds

2 t curry powder (see recipe above)

1 T organic olive oil or coconut oil

1/2 t salt (I used canning salt because it is fine and will stick well)


Preheat oven to 325.

Rinse seeds and dry them with with a clean dish towel. This will remove any remaining pumpkin pulp. Place the seeds in a medium glass mixing bowl and mix in oil and curry, making sure to combine thoroughly.

Place seeds in a single layer on a baking sheet lined with a silpat or parchment paper. Cook for 8 minutes. Stir and sprinkle with a 1/4 t of salt. Cook for 8 minutes and repeat. Cook for 8 minutes and stir. Cook 8 more minutes and remove from oven. If the seeds are not as dry or toasted as you would like, cook them longer, stirring and assessing every 5 minutes. Cool completely before storing in an air tight container.



Filed under Condiments and Seasonings, Dairy Free, DIY, Edible Plants, From the Garden, Gluten Free, Grain Free, Indian Inspired, Paleo, Snacks, Vegan, Vegetarian

Mexican Sour Gherkin Salsa.

We love new things in the garden. You might recall last year we grew mini Sweet Pea Red Currant Tomatoes that were so lovely in my Quinoa Caprese Salad. This year we went for mini cucumbers! They are just as stinking cute as the tomatoes were. This dish could even be made with both the mini tomatoes and the mini cucumbers and be the cutest tea party addition ever. In any case, I have been mixing it with some of our garden tomatoes to make a quick salsa/dip that goes well with corn chips, nachos, tacos, Potato Enchinados, just about everything.

Mexican Sour Gherkin Salsa. Serves two as a condiment with dinner.


8-10 Mexican Sour Gherkins, sliced

1 large garden tomato, diced (I used a purple cherokee)

1 small jalapeño, seeded and deveined, unless you like heat, and diced small

1/4 red onion, diced small

1 T cilantro, finely chopped

1 T cider vinegar, I used Bragg

1 t olive oil

pinch of kosher or sea salt

pinch of fresh cracked black pepper

Combine cider vinegar through pepper in a small bowl, whisking until oil is incorporated. Add remaining ingredients and toss to coat. Refrigerate until ready to use.




Filed under Appetizer, Condiments and Seasonings, Dairy Free, Dip, From the Garden, Gluten Free, Grain Free, Snacks, Vegan, Vegetables, Vegetarian

Kale and Golden Beet Salad.

I still have lots of yummy kale coming out of the garden and we are really loving it raw. This past weekend we went to the local farmers market for some items we don’t have coming out of the garden right now and we got some really pretty golden beets. Since we were going to have kale salad anyhow, I thought adding the sweet earthiness of the beets to the salad might add a good layer of flavor. The salad turned out great, full of vibrant color and lots of nourishing vitamins and minerals and the best part is that this was a very simple salad to make. The only real time consumer was roasting the beets, which can be done in advance.

Kale and Golden Beet Salad. 


2 large golden beets

1 T olive oil

3 oz fresh kale

1 T red wine vinegar

1 T olive oil

1 T agave nectar

1/4 t granulated garlic

1/4 t kosher salt

1/8 t fresh cracked black pepper

1-2 oz crumbled goat cheese (optional)


Roast whole, unpeeled beets in a 400 degree oven for an hour and half in a foil pouch drizzled with olive oil.

Allow beets to cool and peel and chop them. Remove woody stems from kale and rough chop that.

In a medium bowl combine red wine vinegar and all remaining ingredients (except goat cheese). Toss in beets, kale and goat cheese. Serve chilled.


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Filed under Appetizer, Dairy Free, From the Garden, Gluten Free, Grain Free, Salad, Vegan, Vegetables, Vegetarian

Fizz Kale Salad.

I have not blogged in a while, surely not any recipes anyhow. I blame the end of winter blahs. But with the newly light evenings I have been getting my grove back and now that there are fresh vegetables coming out of the garden again (carrots and turnips ended about a month ago) I am feeling like getting into the kitchen some more. This lovely and very simple salad is made with fresh Fizz kale from the garden. I planted it back on December 29 and got it outside on 2/4. It was finally ready for its first harvest this weekend. I took only the largest leaves to promote future growth. We had this salad as a side to herby roast chicken.

Fizz Kale Salad. (Serves 2)


2-3 oz Fizz kale or Red/White Russian Kale, woody stems removed and rough chopped

1 medium carrot, shred

1 oz goat cheese (optional if you want to make this vegan)

1 t olive oil

1 t red wine vinegar

1/2 t agave nectar

pinch of kosher salt

pinch of fresh cracked black pepper


Make dressing in a small bowl by combining oil, vinegar, agave, salt and pepper, whisking quickly with a fork.

Toss kale and carrots together with dressing. Add goat cheese and toss again. Serve as a side.



Filed under Edible Plants, From the Garden, Garden, Salad, Side Dish, Vegan, Vegetables, Vegetarian

Soda Replacement Project: DIY Sarsparilla Root Extract – Second Taste.

This is three days late, Sorry! The sarsparilla extract still tastes very much of vodka, but the sarsparilla flavor is very prevalent. It also smells very good on my hands after the alcohol evaporates. Once the stuffy nose that the hubs and I both have goes away we will give it a try with some water kefir and let you know what we think.

Happy extracting!


Filed under Beverages, Dairy Free, DIY, Outside of the Box, Vegan, Vegetarian

Soda Replacement Project: DIY Sarsparilla Root Extract – First Taste.

After two weeks the sarsparilla root extract tastes about how the vanilla extract would taste. The flavor of the sarsparilla is there and strong, but the flavor of the vodka is still quite present. I am going to let this go another four weeks and report on it again. So check back on March 3. However, overall the flavor is earthy and unique. I think this is really going to turn out well and I will likely start a larger batch in the mean time so that it is ready close to this test batch.

Happy extracting!

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Filed under Beverages, Dairy Free, DIY, Test Items, Vegan, Vegetarian

Soda Replacement Project: DIY Sarsparilla Root Extract.

The hubs is still drinking soda with his cocktails, zero calorie soda no less, which is just terrible for you for a myriad of reasons. I have been trying to wean him off the stuff, but this is going to continue to prove difficult until I find a replacement that likes equally as much. I made this Cream “Soda” replacer and he really liked it, so much so that he started thinking of other replacements. Last week, while at the home brew store, he got some Sarsparilla Root, specifically Hemidesmus indicus, which is Indian Sarsparilla, which according to Wiki is from Southern Asia.

I treated it just like the vanilla extract I had made last year. I added a heaping tablespoon to a 1/2 pint jar full of vodka, put a lid on it and gave it shake. It is now sitting in my pantry waiting to be tested. I will do my first test in two weeks. This was started on January 20th, so check back on February 3rd to see how it is tasting.

Ultimately, I will use this the same way I did the vanilla to make the cream soda replacement and we will see what the hubs thinks!

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Filed under Beverages, Dairy Free, DIY, Test Items, Vegan, Vegetarian

Soda Replacement Project: Homemade Cream “Soda” Replacer.

Let me preface, that this is not a soda. It is not carbonated, though it would be good carbonated and that could be achieved any number of ways. This is simply a concoction that I made that tastes like cream soda. I am working on weaning the hubs off soda when he is having cocktails. It is the only time he drinks the stuff, but it is still evil and nasty and should not be in our house. So I am on a quest to find a replacement. This recipe was a thought I had but I had no idea if we would drink it. Turns out he did and it got his brain going about other things we could make like this! Stay tuned for more to come.

This was as simple as adding 1 1/2 cups of water to a pint jar with 2-3 drops of vanilla (I use homemade, simple recipe – 1 cup vodka with 4 vanilla beans that have been cut and scraped, allow to sit for months), and 1 tablespoon of agave nectar. Put a lid on the mixture and shake to combine. Serve in place of soda. Should you want this carbonated you could add a little to flavor seltzer water. You could also make a big batch of this and keg it…



Filed under Beverages, Dairy Free, DIY, Test Items, Vegan, Vegetarian

Guest Recipe: Homemade Nutella.

Growing up, my very dear friend Katy and I spent many an afternoon baking with our Easy Bake Oven or creating and cooking concoctions in the microwave (which you can a little about here…sorry about the boxed brownies, they are no more in my house, scratch only now!). Later in life as I was getting really interested in cooking and other gardening and homesteading practices, Katy was out experiencing the world, earning multiple degrees (I got but one) and conducting any number of shenanigans.

But it seems this has all changed. You see, Katy got married this past summer. And since this event (and even a bit leading up to it) I have received many more food oriented text messages and blog comments from my dear friend. It seems she is getting the itch, and she has told me her hubs surely doesn’t have it, though he does like to eat her good food! So you see, it came as no surprise when I received a text the other day, simply stating “Made homemade nutella!” I told her I would love to put it on the blog and to send me the recipe…so she says, “a lotta nuts some cocoa and smidge of sugar.” Bahahaha! She cracks me up, so I ask where she got the recipe and as it turns out, she made it up! Totally awesome. So I got some more details and wanted to share the recipe with you all on her behalf today.

Homemade Nutella. Recipe written by Katy, photos provided via iPhone by Katy.


1-2 C of hazelnuts

2 t pure cocoa powder (more for flavor if needed)



Crack hazelnuts open if needed. Process in a food processor until they are consistency of peanut butter. Add cocoa and blend. Taste and add sugar to sweeten to your liking.



Filed under Condiments and Seasonings, Dairy Free, Dessert, Dip, Gluten Free, Grain Free, Vegan, Vegetarian

Quinoa & Veggie Stuffed Winter Squash.

To make up for my Stromboli post so close to all of those New Year’s resolutions to be healthier, workout, and eat with more thought, I have made you this awesome protein and veggie rich dish. I still have so many winter squash kicking around from the garden this past summer and we are on a squash cooking rampage, so what better than filling it with more veg and the best whole grain around, quinoa. This dish is vegan and dairy free, though I give some suggestions below for dressing up should you want to.

Quinoa & Veggie Stuffed Winter Squash. Makes 2-3 whole squash.


2-3 roasted winter squash (cooking instructions below, this varies slightly from my standard recipe)

1/2 C uncooked quinoa (cooking instructions below, I do this the day before to make for faster preparation the night of)

1 1/4 – 1 3/4 C water

1-2 T olive or coconut oil

4 oz broccoli, broken into small florets (you can use the stalks too, I freeze mine to use in soup later)

1 small red onion, diced

6 crimini or white mushrooms, diced

1 large carrot, quartered the long way and diced

1/4 t kosher salt

1/4 t fresh cracked black pepper

1/2 t dried thyme, crushed

2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped

1 T butter or non-dairy replacement, optional

Roast Squash Process

Preheat oven to 425. Cut squash in half and clean them. Place all squash cut side down on a baking sheet with sides. Fill sheet with water and place in the oven for 35 minutes. Start to work on the quinoa while this cooks, unless it is precooked, then get to work on the veggies.

Quinoa Process

Place quinoa and 1 1/4 cup water in a pan and bring to a boil. Boil for 15 minutes adding more water, a little at a time, if the grain gets too dry. Stir frequently while cooking. Cover and remove from heat. Allow to sit for 20 minutes or more. If making this ahead of time, refrigerate in an air tight container. Now get started on your veggies!

Stuffing Process

Preheat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add all of the veggies and spices expect the garlic. Sauté for 8 minutes (12-15 if you like your veg on the very soft side, I prefer mine to have some tooth to them), stirring frequently. Turn off heat and add garlic. Toss to mix and allow to sit for two minutes, stirring once. Toss with the quinoa.

When the squash is done, remove it from the oven and discard the cooking water. Place the squash cut side up, add 1/4 tablespoon of butter to each squash if you want, and fill with quinoa mixture. Reduce the oven to 350 degrees, put the squash back in the oven. Bake for 10-15 minutes, just to get everything good and warm (unless you added cheese, then go 15-20). Remove and serve.

Variations: Goat cheese, or any other cheese mixed in with quinoa and sprinkled on top. Served with your favorite pan gravy (this is how we had it…yum!).



Filed under Casseroles/Bakes, Dairy Free, Edible Plants, From the Garden, Grains/Rice, Vegan, Vegetables, Vegetarian