French Onion and Kale Soup

French Onion and Kale Soup (Vegan)
(No ramekin required)

I certainly embrace soup season, nothing like the comfort from a warm bowl of soup/stew. Soup is economical, and you can make endless variations of vegetable or bean soups. And we love cheap eats in our home – rice, and beans for days…lots of rice and beans. 😊 Historically, French onion soup was considered food of the poor, and these days we appreciate cost-effective dinners. It’s typically made with a meat/beef stock, but this veganized version uses a vegetable stock instead. One of the keys to success in preparation is caramelizing the onions. For the topping, I toasted slices of a baguette and topped it with a vegan smoked gouda cheese. Also, since my ramekins are packed away, I created this version that does not utilize them (plus many folks don’t have them). Enjoy! 

Vegan French Onion and Kale Soup

Ingredients:
1 Stick Earth Balance (vegan butter)
3 large Sweet Onions, sliced
3 Fresh Bay leaves
3-5 Sprigs of Fresh Thyme
1 Tbsp fresh Garlic, minced
3 bunches of Kale, stems removed and chopped finely
1 Tsp Salt
1/2 Tsp Pepper
1/2 Cup White Wine or Cooking Wine
2 Tbsp All-Purpose Flour
1/2 Tbsp Goya Adobo seasoning, optional (or use additional salt/pepper to taste)
For topping:
2 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 Fresh French Baguette
Vegan Cheese (I used Follow Your Heart, Smoked Gouda)

Directions:
-In a large pot, heat the Earth Balance (butter) over medium-high heat. Add the sliced onions, bay leaves and fresh thyme. Cook the mixture for about five minutes until softened and the onions will become translucent.

-Cover the pot and reduce the heat to low. Cook the onion mixture for about 30 minutes, stirring periodically.
-Increase the heat to medium, remove the lid and cook for another 20 minutes uncovered to allow for the onions to caramelize and become golden brown. Remove the bay leaves and thyme stems before proceeding to the next step.

-Next, stir in the garlic, chopped kale, salt, pepper, and cook for about two minutes, before adding the white/cooking wine to deglaze the pot. Pour in the wine and be sure to scrap around the pot. Scrap the bottom to get up those brown caramelized bits, that were browning from the bottom. It’s all part of the deglazing process. Allow the wine to cook for about three minutes.

-Stir in the flour to thicken up the mixture. Then add the vegetable broth and heat to medium-high.
-Increase the heat back to medium-high to bring the mixture to a boil. Cook for another 20 minutes. Note: while the mixture is in the final 20 minutes of cooking. Pre-heat the oven to 450 degrees F.
-Slice up a baguette or other bread loaf. Arrange the bread slices on a baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and add salt/pepper to taste before topping with a slice of cheese.
-Toast the bread in the oven for 10 minutes to melt the cheese and toast up the bread.

     Note: I only prepare the amount of bread/cheese needed to serve immediately.
-To serve: Ladle the soup in a bowl and top with the bread/cheese slices.

Enjoy!

Note: Traditionally French onion soup is typically served in a ramekin. If you do have a ramekin, serve the soup in that container and top with the bread/cheese and bake the entire ramekin in the oven during the final 10 minutes to melt the cheese.

French Onion and Kale Soup

  • Difficulty: Easy
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Ingredients:
1 Stick Earth Balance (vegan butter)
3 large Sweet Onions, sliced
3 Fresh Bay leaves
3-5 Sprigs of Fresh Thyme
1 Tbsp fresh Garlic, minced
3 bunches of Kale, stems removed and chopped finely
1 Tsp Salt
1/2 Tsp Pepper
1/2 Cup White Wine or Cooking Wine
2 Tbsp All-Purpose Flour
1/2 Tbsp Goya Adobo seasoning, optional (or use additional salt/pepper to taste)
For topping:
2 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 Fresh French Baguette
Vegan Cheese (I used Follow Your Heart, Smoked Gouda)

Directions:
-In a large pot, heat the Earth Balance (butter) over medium-high heat. Add the sliced onions, bay leaves and fresh thyme. Cook the mixture for about five minutes until softened and the onions will become translucent.
-Cover the pot and reduce the heat to low. Cook the onion mixture for about 30 minutes, stirring periodically.
-Increase the heat to medium, remove the lid and cook for another 20 minutes uncovered to allow for the onions to caramelize and become golden brown. Remove the bay leaves and thyme stems before proceeding to the next step.
-Next, stir in the garlic, chopped kale, salt, pepper, and cook for about two minutes, before adding the white/cooking wine to deglaze the pot. Pour in the wine and be sure to scrap around the pot. Scrap the bottom to get up those brown caramelized bits, that were browning from the bottom. It’s all part of the deglazing process. Allow the wine to cook for about three minutes.
-Stir in the flour to thicken up the mixture. Then add the vegetable broth and heat to medium-high.
-Increase the heat back to medium-high to bring the mixture to a boil. Cook for another 20 minutes. Note: while the mixture is in the final 20 minutes of cooking. Pre-heat the oven to 450 degrees F.
-Slice up a baguette or other bread loaf. Arrange the bread slices on a baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and add salt/pepper to taste before topping with a slice of cheese.
-Toast the bread in the oven for 10 minutes to melt the cheese and toast up the bread.
Note: I only prepare the amount of bread/cheese needed to serve immediately.
-To serve: Ladle the soup in a bowl and top with the bread/cheese slices.
Enjoy!

1 Peter 4:19

“Therefore, let those who suffer according to God’s will entrust their souls to a faithful Creator while doing good.”

God, may you bless and always protect our sons. Thank you Lord for Cameron and Joshua. We recognize them not only on this National Son’s Day, but every day. Daily you occupy our hearts, prayers and thus our home. We love you gentlemen, and you are each truly a blessing to us. We are so proud of you both. Our love will endure forever. Love always.

Apple-Maple Bundt Cake

Apple-Maple Bundt Cake

When your apples have seen better days… bake a cake.

I recently created a recipe that became a new family recipe of ours. It was instantly personal… a recipe that had evoked memories, tears, and emotions. I named it the Apple Darlin’ – after Seth’s Pop-Pop’s nickname. I never posted it since that recipe became one of our personals. But I still wanted to create a blog post using apples with this delicious maple syrup that our youngest son brought home. He had gone to Vermont for vacation over the summer and surprised us with this Vermont Maple Syrup when he returned.  
So, I began running through ideas in my mind before deciding to create this cake. My first thought was to make apple fritters, but I had just made pancakes for breakfast… and honestly, I was not in the mood to stand at the stove again, this time to fry up some fritters, lol. Plus, I love making those cakes that you can eat for breakfast or dessert 😊. Also, when I realized that my Bundt pan was not packed away, I exclaimed…it was meant to be.
This cake is moist and flavorful. It will go great with coffee or alone as a dessert.

Ingredients:
3 Granny Smith Apples, peeled/cored and diced
1/3 Cup Light Brown Sugar, packed
1/3 Cup Raw Cane Sugar
1/3 Cup Pure Maple Syrup
1/4 Cup (1/2 stick) Earth Balance Butter
1 Tsp Ground Cinnamon

2 Cup All-Purpose Flour
2 Tsp Baking Powder
1 Tsp Salt
1 Tsp Ground Cinnamon
1 Tsp Apple Cider Vinegar
1/2 Cup Applesauce
1/3 Cup Canola oil
1/2 Cup Warm Water
1 Tsp Vanilla Extract
Powdered sugar for topping, optional

Directions:
-Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a Bundt pan with Earth Balance (vegan butter) plus a dusting of flour (remove excess flour), or you can just use cooking/baking spray, if you prefer.
-In a small saucepan, combine apples, brown/cane sugar, maple syrup, earth balance and cinnamon. Heat over medium and cook for two to three minutes, stirring occasionally.


-In a mixing bowl, combine remaining ingredients for the cake together: flour, baking powder, salt, vinegar, applesauce, oil, water, and vanilla. Stir together to combine.

Note: This cake batter may look thick as you are mixing, but don’t worry; once you add the apples it will balance out the moisture.  
-Next, add the apple mixture from the saucepan into the cake batter and stir together to combine.

-Pour cake mixture into Bundt pan and bake for 45 minutes at 350. After 45 minutes, check the cake with a toothpick to be sure it comes out clean.
Bundt cakes are tricky like that, if it is not baked all the way through, it will collapse.
-Allow the cake to cool for 20-30 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack to cool completely.

When you let the cake cool while still in the Bundt pan first, before inverting it, it helps for it to firm up.
-Lightly dust with powdered sugar to top or leave as is like pictured below.

Enjoy!

2 Thessalonians 2:16-17
16 Now may our Lord Jesus Christ himself, and God our Father, who loved us and gave us eternal comfort and good hope through grace, 17 comfort your hearts and establish them in every good work and word.

God, may you bless and always protect our daughters. Thank you Lord for Megan, Hailey, and Jasmine. We recognize them not only on this National Daughter’s Day, but every day. Daily you occupy our hearts, prayers and thus our home. We love you ladies, and you are each truly a blessing to us. We are so proud of each of you. Our love will endure forever. Love always.

Apple-Maple Bundt Cake

  • Difficulty: Easy
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Ingredients:
3 Granny Smith Apples, peeled/cored and diced
1/3 Cup Light Brown Sugar, packed
1/3 Cup Raw Cane Sugar
1/3 Cup Pure Maple Syrup
1/4 Cup (1/2 stick) Earth Balance Butter
1 Tsp Ground Cinnamon

2 Cup All-Purpose Flour
2 Tsp Baking Powder
1 Tsp Salt
1 Tsp Ground Cinnamon
1 Tsp Apple Cider Vinegar
1/2 Cup Applesauce
1/3 Cup Canola oil
1/2 Cup Warm Water
1 Tsp Vanilla Extract
Powdered sugar for topping, optional

Directions:
-Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a Bundt pan with Earth Balance (vegan butter) plus a dusting of flour (remove excess flour), or you can just use cooking/baking spray, if you prefer.
-In a small saucepan, combine apples, brown/cane sugar, maple syrup, earth balance and cinnamon. Heat over medium and cook for two to three minutes, stirring occasionally.
-In a mixing bowl, combine remaining ingredients for the cake together: flour, baking powder, salt, vinegar, applesauce, oil, water, and vanilla. Stir together to combine.
Note: This cake batter may look thick as you are mixing, but don’t worry; once you add the apples it will balance out the moisture.
-Next, add the apple mixture from the saucepan into the cake batter and stir together to combine.
-Pour cake mixture into Bundt pan and bake for 45 minutes at 350. After 45 minutes, check the cake with a toothpick to be sure it comes out clean.
Bundt cakes are tricky like that, if it is not baked all the way through, it will collapse.
-Allow the cake to cool for 20-30 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
When you let the cake cool while still in the Bundt pan first, before inverting it, it helps for it to firm up.
-Lightly dust with powdered sugar to top.
Enjoy!

Farro Salad

Flavorful Farro salad

Farro is high in fiber and good for digestion. Farro is a type of wheat, so this recipe is not gluten-free. I like farro for its nutty flavor; it is also a good source of protein, zinc, and vitamins.
This is a great summer recipe; I hope you try this fresh and satisfying salad. It is a delightful dish alone or makes for a great side.

Enjoy!

Farro Salad

  • Difficulty: Easy
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Ingredients:
2 Cups Farro, cooked
1/2-pint Cherry Tomatoes, sliced/quartered
1/2 large English Cucumbers, diced
1 head fresh Broccoli, chopped
1 Red Pepper, diced
1 Yellow Pepper, diced
1 Tbsp fresh Garlic, minced
4 Stalks Lacinato Kale, julienned
2 Red/Spring Onions, diced/sliced
1/3 Cup Apple Cider Vinegar
1/3 Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 Lemon, juice/zest
2 Tbsp Honey or Agave

Directions:
-Cook Farro according to package instructions. I swapped the water and cooked in vegetable broth.
-In a large bowl, add spring onions, vinegar, oil, lemon, honey, garlic, and kale. Mix together all ingredients to combine. Set aside and prep/cut all other ingredients.
-Chop all other veggies and add the farro.
-Mix all ingredients together.
Enjoy!

Follow on Instagram @veganrescue for video of this recipe.

Straight Paths – a devotional

Straight Paths with Faith, a devotional

Proverbs 3:5-6

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.”

I have a vivid memory from childhood of a time when we were in Puerto Rico, visiting some of our folks who lived in the mountains. Possibly the time we visited my paternal grandfather. In hindsight, I should remember the destination/visit, rather than the journey. Sadly, the journey is what stuck. The feeling of panic, as we drove through and up the mountain. A very steep mountain of winding dirt roads and no guardrails. One lane unpaved paths, with blind turns, that one would have to beep and honk before rounding.
How easily life’s traumatic events remain so vivid, while some of our most joyous moments become a distant forgotten memory.
We recently traveled to North Carolina and our stay happened to be — in the mountains. Our initial trek up (and eventually down) the mountain, instantly reduced me to that panicked child once again. The steep one lane roads and blind turns with no guardrails was an exact parallel. An overwhelming sense of anxiety and fear washed over me, my pounding heart almost audible.
I immediately began talking to God, please God keep us safe…Lord steer this car.
As I went through this ordeal, I thought to myself – Trust Him…Trust Godeverything will be okay; and thought of the popular bible verse from Proverbs 3:5-6

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.”

Aside from the obvious – Trust in the Lord; I immediately thought of this scripture because of – straight paths. Although the verse may speak to life’s journey itself as our paths, I also thought of it metaphorically in that moment…since I was physically on winding roads.

So, we made it up the mountain safely; still shaken, I was grateful. As my husband puts the car in park, he immediately reminds me to trust the Lord, “God’s got us, He’s got this. There is nothing to worry about.” Later I tell my mother how I felt, and she of course reminds me of the same. Instinctively, I said to both, “I know – I know…I prayed.” The next day came, and I was still panicked, with the same anxiety.

In all your ways acknowledge Him…

That evening I prayed. I stopped, got on my knees, and really talked with God. I prayed that He remove that anxiety and fear from the pit of my stomach. To rid me of the nerves and stress.

The following day and all others thereafter, as we drove up and down – that sensation of anxiety was lifted. The feeling of dread – gone. No longer did I experience that sinking feeling.

-Matthew 21:22 “And whatever you ask in prayer, you will receive, if you have faith.”

I surely thanked and praised God. He straightened the path for me.

Seek the Lord…pray to Him with faith and allow Him to straighten your paths in this life too.

Watermelon-Berry & Watercress Salad

Watermelon, Berry & Watercress Salad

I promise you; this fruit salad is Berry Berry Good!
We recently returned from a trip to North Carolina, and I definitely felt the need to detox. It is so easy to eat bad and fill up on junk foods when you are traveling.

This salad is so refreshing and packed with flavor. The berries alone are loaded with antioxidants, and still – I kicked it up a notch …with Watercress! Watercress has a peppery flavor to it, which pops so perfectly in this fruit salad. These leafy greens are a powerful antioxidant and packed with many minerals and vitamins (they’re also known to lower blood pressure). It is nutrient rich with Vitamins A, C, K, and is also Calcium rich.

The peppery flavor of the watercress, coupled with the fresh, earthiness of the basil and mint brings this recipe home. The lemon pops too, and any good salad dressing has a balance of fat and acid, so I chose coconut oil as the fat for its flavor.

Enjoy!


Ingredients:
1 Watermelon (small), seeded / cubed (reserve 1-2 cups for dressing)
2 Pints (4 Cups) Blackberries
2 Pints (4 Cups) Blueberries
2 Pints (4 Cups) Raspberries
4oz Fresh Watercress

Dressing:
1 handful fresh Mint (about 1/4 cup)
1 handful fresh Basil (about 1/4 cup)
2 Lemons, juice/zest (about 1/4 cup)
1-2 Cups of Watermelon cubes
2-3 Tbsp Agave or Honey (raw)
2 Tbsp Coconut oil, softened or melted

Directions:
-Reserve about 1-2 Tbsp of the Mint, Basil, Lemon zest for garnish.
-Cube watermelon and rinse berries, then mix to combine. Add watercress before serving.
-Blend dressing ingredients together to combine and set aside.

Note: This recipe stored in a 1.5-gallon storage container. I mixed the berries and watermelon together and topped with the watercress but I added paper towel and did not mix in the watercress to avoid wilting. I also stored the dressing in a separate container and mixed all to serve.  

Enjoy!

Watermelon-Berry Watercress Salad

  • Difficulty: Easy
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Ingredients:
1 Watermelon (small), seeded / cubed (reserve 1-2 cups for dressing)
2 Pints (4 Cups) Blackberries
2 Pints (4 Cups) Blueberries
2 Pints (4 Cups) Raspberries
4oz Fresh Watercress

Dressing:
1 handful fresh Mint (about 1/4 cup)
1 handful fresh Basil (about 1/4 cup)
2 Lemons, juice/zest (about 1/4 cup)
1-2 Cups of Watermelon cubes
2-3 Tbsp Agave or Honey (raw)
2 Tbsp Coconut oil, softened or melted

Directions:
-Reserve about 1-2 Tbsp of the Mint, Basil, Lemon zest for garnish.
-Cube watermelon and rinse berries, then mix to combine. Add watercress before serving.
-Blend dressing ingredients together to combine and set aside.

Enjoy!

Simple Tofu and Veggie Stir Fry

Tofu and Veggie Stir Fry

I’m missing my calling as a minimalist, lol. We are moving, and as we are getting the house ready – I think to myself (and out loud) …there is so much stuff. Ugh…things…why do we have so many things, ah! It amazes me how much we accumulate over the years. I’m trying to redefine “spring cleaning” over here as I throw, toss and donate things away, while simultaneously deep cleaning. Ironically, none of this hit me until I had to paint. As I removed all the things from the kitchen, everything quite literally seems to be overflowing into the dining room now. While I don’t have a bunch of tchotchkes (knickknacks) or collections, I still feel like there are a lot of items in general. This immediately made me think of the bible verse (in Matthew 6:19) about storing your treasures on earth. Although I’m not materialistic by any stretch, it still made me stop and reflect. On another note, I also can’t help but to notice how quickly this month is moving right along. The pressure is on to finish, as I’m trying not to let May slip by.  

This recipe today is one that is very simple and tasty. This recipe can be served over cooked rice or noodles of your choice. It tastes delicious on white/basmati or brown rice, and with ramen. Also, additional vegetable additions that would go great are edamame (soybeans) or mushrooms. I did not have any this time around, but next time I will be adding some. Additionally, I used an apple in this recipe instead of sugar to balance the sweet/salty flavors. The apple adds a nice freshness to this dish. Enjoy!



Tofu and Veggie Stir Fry

  • Difficulty: easy
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Simple Tofu and Vegetable Stir Fry
Ingredients:
2-3 Tbsp Oil
1 (16oz) Package (Block) Super Firm Tofu
1 Tbsp Fresh Ginger, grated
2 Tbsp Fresh Garlic, minced
1/4 Tsp Red Pepper Flakes
1 bunch of Scallions, about 7-8
Salt/Pepper (to taste)
1/2 Tbsp Smoked Paprika
1 small Apple, grated
4 Cups Broccoli (Fresh/Frozen)
4 Tbsp Soy Sauce/Tamari, divided
2 Tbsp Rice Vinegar, divided
1/2 Head of Cabbage
2-3 Carrots, grated or matchstick cut
Finish with:
Sesame Oil
Fresh Parsley, optional

Directions:
-Season tofu with salt/pepper to taste and add the paprika. Mix together to combine seasoning.
-Heat oil to medium-high heat. Then add the tofu and cook for about 10 minutes, be sure to toss/turn or even shake the pan every few minutes to halfway through for even cooking.
-Remove tofu from pan and set aside; allow to drain on napkin/paper towel, if needed.
-Back to pan add red pepper flakes, fresh garlic, and scallions. I typically keep some scallions off to the side for garnish.
-Cook the above for about one minute, then add apples, parsley and ginger. Continue cooking for another two minutes keep tossing while cooking.
-To the mixture add half of the soy sauce (2 tbsp) and vinegar (1 tbsp), plus the fresh/frozen broccoli. Cover and cook for five minutes to allow broccoli to steam up. Keep shaking and tossing in between.
-Remove cover. Over high heat, add cabbage and carrots to mixture plus remaining soy sauce and vinegar. Continue tossing/stirring while cooking for another one to two minutes.
-Add back in the tofu and give it another toss before serving.
-Serve over rice or noodles and finish with a garnish of additional ginger, scallions, parsley, and a drizzle of sesame oil. Enjoy!

The prep:

Matthew 6:19
“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal (NIV).

“Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal” (ESV).

Blueberry Scones with Lemon Glaze

May!!! Hello May…whew, this year is just moving right along.
Happy Sunday friends. These blueberry scones are delish! I wanted to make something simple, yet different for breakfast this morning. And I thought of scones, because they go great with coffee and are very easy to make. Scones are like biscuits in texture and ease, these are also not overly sweet. The addition of glaze and blueberries, keeps the moisture just right and adds the right amount of sweetness. Tastes like springtime. Enjoy!   

Blueberry Scones with Lemon Glaze

  • Difficulty: Easy
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Blueberry Scones with Lemon Glaze

Ingredients:
2 Cups All-Purpose Flour
1/3 Cup Sugar
1 Tbsp Baking Powder
1/2 Tsp Salt
1/2 Tsp Ground Cinnamon
1/3 Cup Earth Balance, cold
3/4 Cup Soy Milk + 1 Tbsp Lemon Juice
1 Tbsp Vanilla Extract
1 Cup Frozen Blueberries

Lemon Glaze:
1 Cup Confectioner’s Sugar (Powdered Sugar)
2 Tbsp Fresh Lemon Juice

Directions:
-Preheat oven 400 degrees and coat your cast iron skillet with butter. If you are using a cake pan, line with parchment paper or butter/flour the pan.
-Mix the tablespoon of lemon juice into the soymilk and set aside to create the buttermilk.
-Combine flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Whisk all these ingredients together.
-Next, cut in vegan butter. You can use your fingers in this step and work the butter into the flour mixture.  You can continue using the whisk and mash the Earth Balance throughout the flour mixture, or you can use your fingers.
-Stir in the soy milk/lemon juice “buttermilk” and vanilla extract into the flour mixture.
-Combine ingredients together without overworking the dough. It is okay if mixture seems dry.
-Place a piece of parchment paper or lightly flour a cutting board. Then, turn out your dough mixture onto a cutting board.
-Gently pat and shape your dough into a circle that is about 1 ½ inches thick. I find using the parchment paper itself to shape the dough works best, because it doesn’t stick.
-Cut the dough into eight (8) equal parts or wedges. Then place into your buttered skillet.
-Bake for 30 minutes. Remove from oven and set aside, allowing it to cool.
-While the scones are cooling, prepare your glaze.
-Combine the confectioner’s/powdered sugar with the two tablespoons of lemon juice and whisk together until smooth.

Notes:
-I measure out the Earth Balance first onto a plate and place in the freezer, while I gather all my other ingredients and get everything out and prepped.
-If you are using a food processor, pulse together the dry ingredients first into the flour mixture. Then, pulse in the cold Earth Balance.
-Store the scones in an airtight container at room temperature for up to two days. Or store them in the fridge for up to five days.

Details with pictures…

Ingredients:
2 Cups All-Purpose Flour
1/3 Cup Sugar
1 Tbsp Baking Powder
1/2 Tsp Salt
1/2 Tsp Ground Cinnamon
1/3 Cup Earth Balance, cold
3/4 Cup Soy Milk + 1 Tbsp Lemon Juice
1 Tbsp Vanilla Extract
1 Cup Frozen Blueberries

Lemon Glaze:

1 Cup Confectioner’s Sugar (Powdered Sugar)
2 Tbsp Fresh Lemon Juice

Directions:
-Preheat oven 400 degrees and coat your cast iron skillet with butter. If you are using a cake pan, line with parchment paper or butter/flour the pan.
-Mix the tablespoon of lemon juice into the soymilk and set aside to create the buttermilk.

-Combine flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Whisk all these ingredients together.
-Next, cut in vegan butter. You can use your fingers in this step and work the butter into the flour mixture.  You can continue using the whisk and mash the Earth Balance throughout the flour mixture, or you can use your fingers.
-Stir in the soy milk/lemon juice “buttermilk” and vanilla extract into the flour mixture.

-Combine ingredients together without overworking the dough and incorporate the blueberries. It is okay if mixture seems dry.

-Place a piece of parchment paper or lightly flour a cutting board. Then, turn out your dough mixture onto a cutting board.

-Gently pat and shape your dough into a circle that is about 1 ½ inches thick.

-I find using the parchment paper itself to shape the dough works best, because it doesn’t stick.
-Cut the dough into eight (8) equal parts or wedges. Then place into your buttered skillet.

-Bake for 30 minutes. Remove from oven and set aside, allowing it to cool.
-While the scones are cooling, prepare your glaze.
-Combine the confectioner’s/powdered sugar with the two tablespoons of lemon juice and whisk together until smooth.

Notes:
-I measure out the Earth Balance first onto a plate and place in the freezer, while I gather all my other ingredients and get everything out and prepped. Also, sometimes I putz around in the kitchen. So, while I’m pulling distracted or talking with my family – I want to be sure the Earth Balance remains as cold as possible.

-If you are using a food processor, pulse together the dry ingredients first into the flour mixture. Then, pulse in the cold Earth Balance. -Store the scones in an airtight container at room temperature for up to two days. Or store them in the fridge for up to five days.

Enjoy!

Vegetable Soup

Vegetable Soup – the no recipe—recipe.

Soup warms the soul, leaves me with positive vibes and comfort. Whenever I make vegetable soup, I make a LARGE quantity that will last us a few days. It’s so hard for me to put an actual vegetable soup recipe into words though. There are so many different variables when I set out to make it. Each time I use different veggies and sometimes I have no broth/stock and use water. I always start with a couple tablespoons of oil, crushed red pepper flakes, lots of garlic and an onion chopped. To this I add carrots and celery and sauté for a couple of minutes. Then, add diced tomatoes, water/broth and begin layering in my seasonings and veggies. If I’m adding potatoes, I include them in the carrots and celery step. The veggies vary and can include broccoli, cabbage, peas, spinach, kale, corn, cauliflower etc. I always try to include beans for fiber and protein — typically, red kidney beans or chickpeas. I hope this recipe inspires you to mix and match veggies too.
A must try – small/baby potatoes left whole= they are sometimes called creamers. I added them to this soup and left them whole, which made the soup very filling and satisfying.
Enjoy!

Lamentations 3:25-26

“The Lord is good to those who wait for him,

    to the soul who seeks him.

It is good that one should wait quietly     for the salvation of the Lord.”

Chopped Spinach and Quinoa Salad

This salad is delicious and packed with protein, especially when you add the chickpeas.

While I was preparing to make the salad for dinner, I also cut up veggies for a morning juice. Sometimes it is easier to cut, wash and prep fruits and vegetables all at once for multiple uses, such as juicing or a salad or soup.

For the salad, I used a box grater to grate the carrots and apples. While I typically leave baby spinach whole, this time I chopped it up. Proportionally it worked better for me to chop the spinach and it makes for a beautiful presentation. I used a trail mix that we had on hand. Nuts are such a nutritious add to any salad. So, whatever you have available, throw it in! This recipe makes a great lunch, dinner, or side salad. I had this salad two ways, once without the chickpeas with apple cider vinegar as my dressing (it made for a good side salad). Then I had it with a creamier tahini dressing with the added chickpeas (which was great alone for dinner).

Enjoy!

Chopped Spinach & Quinoa Salad

  • Difficulty: Easy
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Chopped Spinach & Quinoa Salad

Ingredients:
4 cups Baby Spinach, chopped
2 Large Carrots, grated
1 Large Apple, grated (I used a Honeycrisp)
1.5 cups cooked Quinoa
1/2 English Cucumber, diced
1 Cup Nuts / Nut mix or Trail mix (walnuts, pecans, pumpkin seeds, dried cranberries)
Chickpeas, optional (1 15oz can drained/rinsed)

Directions:
-Grate carrots and apples and set aside in a large mixing bowl. To this add the cooked quinoa, diced cucumbers and chopped spinach.
-Add chickpeas and desired mixed nuts.
-Top with your favorite dressing or add equal parts of oil and apple cider vinegar.
-Add salt and pepper to taste and enjoy!

Chopped Spinach and Quinoa Salad with a creamy tahini dressing.

Proverbs 31:25

“Strength and dignity are her clothing,

    and she laughs at the time to come.”

Love endures…

 “Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.” -1 Peter 4:8

They’re all grown now… 😦

As I mentioned last post, I’m always reminiscing… about the good and not so good. I absolutely enjoy looking at old photos as a past time. Pictures of family, from youth, our parents, grandparents, grandchildren, or our children. I’m fascinated by all the accounts throughout the generations. The stories extend, through marriage and blended families. We are constantly sharing stories, sometimes the same ones over and over. Although being a blended family, we’ve experienced estrangement.

I had written this back in October which is Domestic Violence Awareness month…

Already emotional, I began reflecting on feelings. Not only how I feel but always considering the feelings of others. I was moved at the time to write that in hopes of bringing awareness, but never posted it at the time. Still bothered…when I re-read it today, I am able to see my continued growth. Still recognizing daily, my husband’s internal discord, I pray for him and our children every day.

Estrangement is unnatural. Birthdays, Holidays, Everydays remain difficult. This topic often gets overlooked. Yet it is important to realize, that abuse takes many forms. Sometimes in a form that impacts a generational cycle. Most damaging is a complete separation as a result of parental alienation.

The devil uses many weapons to harden hearts and breakdown families. Weaponizing narcissism and pride. Causing confusion and fragmenting realities until subdued. Remember that deception is the devil’s specialty.

“Parental indulgence causes disorder in families and in society. It confirms in the young the desire to follow inclination, instead of submitting to the divine requirements. Thus, they grow up with a heart averse to doing God’s will, and they transmit their irreligious, insubordinate spirit to their children and children’s children.” -Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 142.4 (Ellen G. White)

While respecting choices now that the children are adults, we always hope for connection with our children; and re-connection with all family members and children who are estranged from each other. You never turn off love.

Many times, we sit with our feelings, thinking of the missed time and experiences.
In our attempts to stay positive, we reflect on how time has blessed them all, each in different ways –marriage, children, college opportunities, careers, engagement. Although having a complete separation from some of our children, we have a deep appreciation for the glimpses of happiness and growth that God has allowed us to see over the years.

Do you take a step back and reflect on God’s will?… It is not animosity or resentment. God’s desire for us is love and grace.

“So we have come to know and to believe the love that God has for us. God is love, and whoever abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him.” -1 John 4:16 (ESV)

Know that there is power in love…

Live in truth with knowledge of faith.
Open and soften your heart to seek favor in Christ.
Visualize letting go of resentment.
Essentials, remember that God gave us all the essentials.