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Food Matters

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2/5/2016

Needing only fifteen minutes to prep, with only seven ingredients to assemble, this soup is an excellent candidate for a nutritious lunch or informal supper. As the red lentils cook, they break down to magically thicken the broth. Before you know it, you have a hearty delicious soup ready to serve.

quick lentil curry soup on table 

Quick Red Lentil Curry Soup Recipe

Makes 4 servings

Ingredients

• 32 ounces vegetable broth
• 2 cups peeled and diced red or white potatoes
• 1-1/2 cups sliced carrots
• 1 cup red lentils, sorted and thoroughly rinsed (see note)
• 8 ounces cremini or white button mushrooms, diced
• 1/2 cup filtered or spring water, plus more as needed
• 1/4 teaspoon curry powder

Instructions

1. Put all of the ingredients in a medium-sized soup pot and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Once boiling, decrease the heat to medium-low, cover and simmer 45 to 50 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are tender and the lentils are soft. Add more water, as needed, if the soup becomes too thick as it cooks. Serve piping hot.

Chef’s Note: To sort the lentils, spread them out in a single layer on a large baking sheet. Remove any stones, dirt, broken lentils, or other debris. The lentils are now ready to be rinsed and used in your recipe. You may also sort split peas or dried beans in this manner.

Amount per serving, based on 4 servings: 196 Calories; 2g Fat; 0g Saturated fat; 10g Protein; 175mg Sodium; 37g Total Carbohydrate; 7g Sugars; 10g Fiber

Recipe from Laura Theodore's Vegan-Ease, © 2015 Laura Theodore, reprinted by permission.


Laura Theodore is a 2014 TASTE award-winning television personality, radio host, vegan chef, cookbook author and recording artist. She is author of Jazzy Vegetarian Classics: Vegan Twists on American Family Favorites and Jazzy Vegetarian: Lively Vegan Cuisine Made Easy and Delicious. Laura is the on-camera host, writer and co-producer of the popular cooking show, Jazzy Vegetarian and hosts the weekly podcast radio show, Jazzy Vegetarian Radio. Visit Laura on Facebook and follow her on Twitter for daily recipes and tips for serving delicious, plant-based meals.



1/29/2016

Yum and double yum! This super creamy and delightful mousse will please the chocolate and peanut butter fans at your table. Piped into small dishes, this is one special treat.

peanut butter mousse
Photo by Hannah Kaminsky.

Peanut Butter-Chocolate Mousse Recipe

Makes 4 to 6 servings

Ingredients

• 1/2 cup nondairy milk
• 1 block (14 to 16 ounces) firm regular tofu, drained and cubed
• 3 heaping tablespoons smooth peanut butter
• 1/4 cup vegan powdered sugar
• 1/2 cup vegan dark chocolate chips

Instructions

1. Heat the nondairy milk in a small saucepan over medium-low heat until steaming hot but not boiling.

2. Put the tofu, peanut butter and sugar in a blender container, then add the chocolate chips. Pour in the steaming hot nondairy milk and process until completely smooth.

3. Spoon or pipe the mixture into dessert dishes and refrigerate 4 to 24 hours. Serve chilled.

Amount per serving, based on 6 servings: 199 Calories; 13g Fat; 5g Saturated fat; 10g Protein; 51mg Sodium; 15g Total Carbohydrate; 6g Sugars; 4g Fiber

Recipe from Laura Theodore's Vegan-Ease, © 2015 Laura Theodore, reprinted by permission.


Laura Theodore is a 2014 TASTE award-winning television personality, radio host, vegan chef, cookbook author and recording artist. She is author of Jazzy Vegetarian Classics: Vegan Twists on American Family Favorites and Jazzy Vegetarian: Lively Vegan Cuisine Made Easy and Delicious. Laura is the on-camera host, writer and co-producer of the popular cooking show, Jazzy Vegetarian and hosts the weekly podcast radio show, Jazzy Vegetarian Radio. Visit Laura on Facebook and follow her on Twitter for daily recipes and tips for serving delicious, plant-based meals.



1/22/2016

These tasty truffles are pretty too, making an excellent healthy dessert or snack to satisfy your sweet tooth. Bonus: Impressive to serve for a dinner party too!

vegan maple date truffles 

Maple-Raisin-Date Truffles Recipe

Makes 10 to 12 Truffles

Ingredients

9 large Medjool dates, pitted
1/3 cup raisins
1/4 cup raw unsweetened shredded dried coconut
1 tablespoon maple syrup
2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder

Instructions

1. Line a small baking sheet with unbleached parchment paper.

2. Put the dates, raisins, coconut and maple syrup in a high-performance blending appliance and process to the consistency of soft dough. Transfer the date mixture to a medium-sized bowl. Using a cookie scoop, spoon out a heaping tablespoon of the date mixture, and roll it into a ball. Continue in this manner to form 10 to 12 truffle balls.

3. Put the cocoa powder in a small bowl. Roll the truffles in the cocoa powder until coated and place on the prepared baking sheet. Refrigerate 1 hour. Stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator, truffles will keep up to 3 days.

Watch Laura Theodore make this recipe!

Amount per serving, based on 12 servings/truffles: 100 Calories; 3g Fat; 3g Saturated fat; 1g Protein; 3mg Sodium; 20g Total Carbohydrate; 16g Sugars; 3g Fiber

Recipe from Laura Theodore's Vegan-Ease, © 2015 Laura Theodore, reprinted by permission.


Laura Theodore is a 2014 TASTE award-winning television personality, radio host, vegan chef, cookbook author and recording artist. She is author of Jazzy Vegetarian Classics: Vegan Twists on American Family Favorites and Jazzy Vegetarian: Lively Vegan Cuisine Made Easy and Delicious. Laura is the on-camera host, writer and co-producer of the popular cooking show, Jazzy Vegetarian and hosts the weekly podcast radio show, Jazzy Vegetarian Radio. Visit Laura on Facebook and follow her on Twitter for daily recipes and tips for serving delicious, plant-based meals.



1/15/2016

These little darlings are a fun and flavorful way to present potatoes. The inside pulp stays nice and tender while the outside gets crispy. Serve these on the side for any party meal, even breakfast!

 

Holiday Rosemary Smashed Potatoes Recipe

Makes 6 to 8 servings

Ingredients

• 35 to 40 ounces fingerling or baby potatoes, scrubbed
• 1-1/2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
• 1 tablespoon crushed dried rosemary
• 1/2 teaspoon sea salt, plus more as needed

Instructions

1. Fit a steamer basket into a medium-sized saucepan with a tight-fitting lid. Add 2 to 3 inches of cold water to the pot and then add the potatoes. Cover and bring to a boil. Steam the potatoes for 10 minutes. Transfer the potatoes to a large bowl and let cool 10 minutes.

2. While the potatoes cool, preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Line a large, rimmed baking sheet with unbleached parchment paper.

3. Add the olive oil, rosemary and sea salt to the cooled potatoes and toss to lightly coat, using a large spoon, letting the excess olive oil and rosemary run to the bottom of the bowl. Arrange the potatoes about 1⁄2-inch apart in a single layer on the prepared baking sheet. Using a sturdy, flat spatula, “smash” each potato so it is slightly flattened. Brush the tops of the flattened potatoes with the seasoned oil that settled into the bottom of the mixing bowl.

4. Roast for 50 to 60 minutes, or until the potatoes are golden brown and slightly crispy. Season with more sea salt, if desired, while still hot. Let cool 10 minutes and serve warm.

Amount per serving, based on 8 servings:  139 Calories; 3g Fat; 0g Saturated fat; 3g Protein; 8mg Sodium; 25g Total Carbohydrate; 0g Sugars; 2g Fiber

Recipe from Laura Theodore's Vegan-Ease, © 2015 Laura Theodore, reprinted by permission.


Laura Theodore is a 2014 TASTE award-winning television personality, radio host, vegan chef, cookbook author and recording artist. She is author of Jazzy Vegetarian Classics: Vegan Twists on American Family Favorites and Jazzy Vegetarian: Lively Vegan Cuisine Made Easy and Delicious. Laura is the on-camera host, writer and co-producer of the popular cooking show, Jazzy Vegetarian and hosts the weekly podcast radio show, Jazzy Vegetarian Radio.Visit Laura on Facebook and follow her on Twitter for daily recipes and tips for serving delicious, plant-based meals.


1/8/2016

These tempting taco bowls make the perfect hearty lunch or light supper. Quick to make, crisp, baked tortillas serve as the base, while the creamy, flavorful avocado and leafy green filling creates a true “one-dish” meal or generous first-course appetizer. Great for company, too!

homemade taco salad bowl 

Guacamole Taco Salad Bowls Recipe

Makes 4 servings

Ingredients

Taco Bowls:
• 4 8- to 10-inch whole-grain tortillas (spicy variety works well)

Salad:
• 2 large ripe avocados
• 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
• 1 teaspoon chili powder
• 1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric
• 1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
• 1/4 teaspoon sea salt, plus more as needed
• 1/16 to 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)
• 1 medium tomato, diced
• 1/2 medium sweet onion, diced
• 2-1/2 cups thinly sliced romaine lettuce
• 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley or cilantro, for garnish (optional)
• Zest of one lemon, for garnish (optional)

Instructions

1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Line a medium, rimmed baking pan with unbleached parchment paper.

2. Arrange four small oven-safe bowls upside down on the prepared pan. Drape a tortilla over the bottom of each bowl, arranging it in the shape of an upside-down “bowl.” Bake for 10 to 15 minutes, or until the tortillas are crisp and almost firm to the touch, checking them often so they do not burn. Carefully transfer the pan with the bowls on it to a wire rack and let cool at least 5 minutes before serving (see note).

3. Meanwhile, to prepare the guacamole, peel, pit and rough chop the avocados. Put the chopped avocados, lemon juice, chili powder, turmeric, smoked paprika, sea salt and cayenne pepper (optional) in a medium-sized bowl and mash with a potato masher or large fork until combined. Gently fold in the tomatoes and onion.

4. To assemble the salads, carefully remove each cooled taco “bowl” and place it in the center of a medium-sized salad plate. Place one-quarter of the sliced romaine in the bottom of each taco “bowl.” Top with one-quarter of the guacamole mixture. Garnish with a sprinkle of chopped fresh parsley or cilantro, and lemon zest (optional). Serve immediately.

Chef’s Note: Taco bowls may be prepared up to 6 hours before serving. After cooling, keep loosely covered until you are ready to assemble the salads.

Amount per serving, based on 4 servings: 229 Calories; 14g Fat; 3g Saturated fat; 5g Protein; 253mg Sodium; 27g Total Carbohydrate; 6g Sugars; 7g Fiber

Recipe from Laura Theodore's Vegan-Ease, © 2015 Laura Theodore, reprinted by permission.


Laura Theodore is a 2014 TASTE award-winning television personality, radio host, vegan chef, cookbook author and recording artist. She is author of Jazzy Vegetarian Classics: Vegan Twists on American Family Favorites and Jazzy Vegetarian: Lively Vegan Cuisine Made Easy and Delicious. Laura is the on-camera host, writer and co-producer of the popular cooking show, Jazzy Vegetarian and hosts the weekly podcast radio show, Jazzy Vegetarian Radio. Visit Laura on Facebook and follow her on Twitter for daily recipes and tips for serving delicious, plant-based meals.



12/31/2015

A chocolate craving deserves nothing less! Rich, dark chocolate combined with raspberry preserves create a delectable mini dessert that fills the bill.

raspberry fudge truffles

Raspberry Fudge Truffles Recipe

Makes 8 to 10 servings | Ease Factor 1

Ingredients

• 2 heaping tablespoons raspberry preserves
• 1 bar (3.5 ounces) vegan dark chocolate, finely chopped (snack bar; not unsweetened baking chocolate)
• 1⁄3 cup raisins
• 3 teaspoons unsweetened cocoa powder, for dusting
• 2 teaspoons raw unsweetened shredded dried coconut (optional)

Instructions

1. Line a mini muffin pan with 8 to 10 paper liners. Drain off any excess liquid from the raspberry preserves. Put the raspberry preserves in a large bowl.

2. Melt the vegan chocolate in a double boiler over medium-low heat. Pour the melted chocolate into the raspberry preserves and stir until thoroughly combined. Fold in the raisins. Immediately mound the mixture into the mini-muffin cups, dividing it evenly, using a small cookie scoop.

3. Refrigerate 3 to 4 hours or until firm. Dust with cocoa powder and sprinkle with coconut, as desired. Stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator, minis will keep up to 3 days.

Amount per serving, based on 10 servings: 69 Calories; 1g Fat; 1g Saturated fat; 2g Protein; 19mg Sodium; 10g Total Carbohydrate; 7g Sugars; 2g Fiber

Recipe from Laura Theodore's Vegan-Ease, © 2015 Laura Theodore, reprinted by permission.


Laura Theodore is a 2014 TASTE award-winning television personality, radio host, vegan chef, cookbook author and recording artist. She is author of Jazzy Vegetarian Classics: Vegan Twists on American Family Favorites and Jazzy Vegetarian: Lively Vegan Cuisine Made Easy and Delicious. Laura is the on-camera host, writer and co-producer of the popular cooking show, Jazzy Vegetarian and hosts the weekly podcast radio show, Jazzy Vegetarian Radio. Visit Laura on Facebook and follow her on Twitter for daily recipes and tips for serving delicious, plant-based meals.





12/23/2015

If you've ever noticed that you feel a little rundown when you don't get enough water, or that sugary snacks only make you hungrier later, you already know how important it is to make good choices about what you eat and put into your body. Making mindful decisions about food is just as important as exercising, managing your stress levels, and getting in touch with your emotions. Smart eating is the practice of following a balanced and nutritious diet, and it can guide you on your path to a healthier and happier life. To get on that path, just follow these simple steps.

proper nutrition
Chart by Juliette Borda.

Understanding What Is and Isn't Good for Your Body

Every body is different, and some people who respond well to diets high in protein will feel their energy levels start to flag if they switch to, say, an entirely raw food diet. That's perfectly natural, and it's your body's way of telling you what it does and doesn't need. When you first start making smart decisions about food, take note of how your body responds. Keep in mind that nutritionists no longer recommend a diet based on the traditional food pyramid. Instead, aim for a diet that includes the following:

• 25 percent protein: organic meat, fish, nuts, beans, full-fat dairy, and certain grains
• 35 percent green vegetables: peas, kale, green beans, broccoli, cucumber, asparagus, etc.
• 20 percent antioxidants: fruits like apples and berries, sweet potatoes, beets, and eggplants
• 13 percent whole grains: quinoa, corn, brown rice, bulgur wheat, oats, etc.
• 5 percent fermented foods: sauerkraut, kimchi, and yogurt
• 2 percent healthy fats: olive oil, coconut oil, sunflower oil, organic butter

Notice that fruits and vegetables account for the majority (55 percent) of this updated diet, whereas the old food pyramid was focused primarily on grains. This new diet can seem tough, particularly for people who don't like eating kimchi every day, but once you start eating smart, you'll notice what an amazing effect it can have on your body. You'll have more energy, feel less stressed, and have fewer cravings for unhealthy food, and that will go a long way toward helping you achieve a happy, healthy life.

Snack Smarter

Whether you're on the move or just sitting at home watching TV, don't reach for that bag of chips when you're feeling peckish. Instead reach for a bowl of fruit, raw mixed nuts, or even kale chips to satisfy your craving. We know it's hard to eat smart when you're super busy, but simple tricks like carrying healthy snacks or opting for wraps instead of burgers can make a world of difference for busy people on the go. But remember, portion control. Your snack doesn't need to become a full-fledged meal.

Stay Hydrated

This can’t be stressed enough. Among the many benefits of staying hydrated are lower blood pressure, reduced fatigue and clearer skin, because when you get enough water all of your body's systems start working better. Many people even report that proper hydration helps to manage their allergies and digestive problems. But these benefits are counteracted by sugar, salt and caffeine, so stay away from coffee, tea and sugary drinks as much as possible.

Incorporate Probiotics

Studies prove that cultivating good gut bacteria can improve your health, weight and mood. That 5 percent of your diet devoted to fermented foods is aimed precisely at this phenomenon: The better our gut feels, the better we feel. Next time you're in the grocery store consider trying probiotic supplements or picking up some kimchi or sauerkraut to serve as a side dish. It's the best way to keep your gut healthy.

With these simple steps you can put yourself on the path to a happier and healthier life. By eating smart, making mindful choices about food, and listening to what your body says, you can reduce stress, boost energy, and give your body the fuel it needs for the long life ahead.





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