Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Quinoa Sunflower Stuffed Squash

This week's CSA had to be one of my favorites. I love every week but this week was packed with all sorts of wonderful wintry veggies and two of my favorite recipes thus far.

Amy, our CSA maven, raved about the Quinoa Sunflower Stuffing recipe she included.

A recipe from 3 Bowls by Seppo Ed Farrey; and then she took it one step further and suggested stuffing the celebration squash with it. And when she said 'so yummy!' she wasn't kidding.

I made a few changes to the stuffing and roasting of the squash, but it's basically the same. And delicious.

It's a perfect vegan recipe for the upcoming holidays, or for simply enjoying on a weeknight.

Yield: 4 squash halves (with stuffing left over for eating)

2 celebration squash, halved and cleaned
About 2 Tablespoons plus 2 Tablespoons toasted seame oil
3/4 cup dry quinoa
1 1/2 cups water
1 Tablespoon Bragg's liquid aminos
1 medium onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, diced fine
10-12 oz shitake mushrooms, roughly chopped
3-4 celery sticks, chopped fine
3 medium carrots, chopped fine
2 teaspoons dried sage
1 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 teaspoon fennel seed
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon fresh cracked pepper
1 cup raw sunflower seeds
About 1 cup breadcrumbs
About 1/2 to 3/4 cup Daiya 'mozzarella' cheese

Preheat oven to 375.

Halve celebration squash and scoop seeds/clean the center hole. Drizzle a little toasted sesame oil onto the squash then evenly rub it all over. Place squash face down on a baking sheet and bake  for about 50-60 minutes. Remove from oven but leave oven on unless you are prepping them ahead of time.

Meanwhile, in a pot, bring the water and tamari to a boil. Add quinoa and cook per instructions: Boil for about 1-2 minutes then reduce to a simmer and cover. Let cook until all liquid is soaked up, checking and stirring to ensure even cooking. When all liquid is soaked up, turn off heat and let sit.

While your squash and quinoa are cooking, prepare your stuffing:

In a large saute pan, heat sesame oil over med/high heat and add onion and garlic. Cook for about 2-3 minutes then add mushrooms. Continue to cook, stirring until mushrooms are just soft. About 3-5 minutes.

Reduce heat to medium and add celery and carrot. Stir and cook another 3-5 minutes.

Add sage, basil, fennel, oregano, thyme, salt and pepper. Stir and let cook another minute or so. AFter a minute or so, taste and add salt and pepper as needed.

Add cooked quinoa and sunflower seeds to your veg mix and stir. Add salt and pepper as needed.

Flip your squash over and stuff the cavity generously with your stuffing, pressing stuffing down as you go.

Top with breadcrumbs and a little Daiya 'mozzarella' cheese.

Return to oven and bake about 15-20 minutes.

This is a hearty and filling main dish but can also serve as a beautiful side dish. Amy was right... it's delicious!!


Monday, October 24, 2011

Vegan Winter Veggie Egg Rolls

As healthy as I cook (most of the time) I must admit that I do crave the bad stuff every once in a while.

I have a weakness for french fries, egg rolls, onion rings and other foods of the fried variety. I have considered, on several different occassions, purchasing a fryer to have at home.

On all occassions I have refrained because I just know that would lead to me becoming the next Paula Dean. I am sure I would love it so much I would have to have an even awesomer one installed permanently next to my stove.

I can just see it. I'd be frying everything. That would be a big mistake. My midsection would surely not thank me.

And so when my willpower wins and I absolutely must have something salty and fried, I bake it. Because it makes me feel better about eating it. Like it's healthier or something. It is.

So I had all this random veg in the fridge and my new favorite thing to do is to cuisinart it. And then I thought egg rolls sounded good so I picked up some wonton wrappers and rolled some up.

Once you have the veg processed, the meal is really quite simple. Especially when baking because they essentially cook themselves, with little babysitting by the chef.

They are crunchy and salty on the outside and soft and tender with the veggies on the inside. A perfect compromise.

Yield: about 8-16 rolls, depending on how large and whether or not you want left over veg. I had leftover veg and used it for another fun recipe... it's coming.

2 carrots, cut into about 1 inch pieces
1 leek, cut into about 1 inch pieces
2 sticks celery, cut into about 1 inch pieces
2 cloves garlic, peeled and cut in half
1 small red onion, peeled and quartered
2-3 leaves kale, de-stemmed and cut into smaller pieces
1 red bell pepper, quartered
1 green bell pepper, quartered
1 large jalapeno pepper, quartered
1 inch fresh ginger, peeled and cut in half
1 small bunch fresh parsley, roughly chopped
2-3 Tablespoons toasted sesame oil
2 Tablespoons Bragg's amino acid
8-16 Large won ton wrappers (depending on how many you want to make)
For the sauce:
1 Tablespoon Bragg's amino acid
1 Tablespoon chili sauce
2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
1 Tablespoon rice wine vinegar

Place carrots, leek, celery, onion and garlic in a food processor. Pulse until all the veg is chopped into a very rough yet even consistency. Transfer to a bowl.

In the food processor, combine kale, red bell pepper, green bell pepper, jalapeno, ginger and parsley. Pulse until veg is the same consistency as the previous mixture. Transfer to another bowl. Note: if you don't want to dirty another bowl, you can also just leave it in the food processor for a bit.

In a large saute pan, heat toasted sesame oil over medium high heat. Add carrot mixture and stir. Let cook about 2-3 minutes.

After a few minutes of cooking, add the kale/bell pepper veggie mix and Bragg's amino acid to the pan, stir and continue to cook.

Cover mixture, turn the heat down just a bit and allow to cook over medium heat for about 8-10 minutes, stirring every minute or so.

Turn heat off when veggies are just soft. Not mushy and not rock hard. Let veggies sit for a bit. Note: there should be liquid in the pan with the veggies.

Once lightly cooled, transfer batches of the veggies into a strainer placed over a bowl. Press liquid out of veggies, catching the liquid in the bowl.

Once you have pressed the liquid out, set it aside for the sauce.

Preheat oven to 350 and grab a little bowl of water. Put it next to your rolling station.

To roll, place one wonton wrapper on the counter, pointy side toward you.

Scoop about 4 Tablespoons of your veggie mixture onto the top third of the wonton wrapper.

Fold smaller top portion of the wrapper over the filling then fold the sides in.

From there, finish rolling, pressing and tightening as you go. When you get toward the end, dip your finger in the bowl of water and line the ending edges with water. This will make the wrapper to stick to itself.

Repeat for all rolls. Note: I made about eight rolls and had filling left over. And I made something simple and fun with the leftover veggie mix so if you have extra, don't worry about it. You can use it!

Place each finished roll on a baking sheet. When you have all your rolls on the sheet, drizzle lightly with toasted sesame oil then roll the rolls around, ensuring they are completely covered with oil. Sprinkle rolls with a little sea salt.

Bake in oven for about 8 minutes then rotate half way and bake another 8 minutes. Rotate again, to an unbaked side and bake for 5 minutes then rotate onto the last side and bake another 5 minutes.

While your rolls are baking, prepare dipping sauce:

In a lidded jar, combine the juice you pressed out of the veggies, 1 Tablespoon Bragg's amino acids, 1 Tablespoon chili sauce, 2 teaspoons sesame oil and 1 Tablespoon rice wine vinegar.

Cover and shake well. Remove lid, taste and add Bragg's and/or chili sauce as needed.

When rolls are done, turn off oven and transfer to a serving platter.

Family style, with the sauce in a side dish or portion out individually on plates.

These are a great little appetizer or light meal. I served them with a simple tofu and green vegetable stir fry and it was just lovely.


Thursday, October 20, 2011

Vegan Pumpkin Bars

I really want to call these 'Boo Bars' or something really kitchy Halloweeny like that.

Because the black of the chocolate chips against the orange of the pumpkin really sets the mood for me. Makes me want to scare some children with a really creepy mask.

These bars are super easy to make and surprisingly not overly sweet. In fact, I find they make a healthy snack, served up with a little peanut butter.

Yield: About 18-24 bars, depending on how big you slice them

3 Teaspoons egg replacer
6 Tablespoons plus 1/4 cup So Delicious coconut milk
2 1/2 cups white whole wheat flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon clove
1/8 teaspoon mace
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
15 oz fresh pumpkin (you can use canned too)
1 1/2 cups organic raw sugar
1/2 cup applesauce
1 cup vegan chocolate chips

If you haven't already, cook and scoop your pumpkin. If you're using canned, disregard this.

Preheat oven to 375 and prepare a 15x10 ish baking pan by rubbing it down with a little vegetable oil or Earth Balance.

In a small bowl, combine egg replacer and the 6 Tablespoons So Delicious. Whip with a fork then set aside.

In another medium bowl, combine flour, baking powder, salt, clove, mace, cinnamon and nutmeg. Stir to ensure everything is evenly combined then set aside.

In your Kitchenaid (or another large bowl), combine pumpkin, sugar, applesauce and the remaining 1/4 cup So Delicious. Mix on low until fully combined then add the egg replacer mix. Continue to mix.

Gradually add the flour mixture to the wet mixture then, before it is fully mixed, add the chocolate chips. Mix until just combined.

Transfer your batter into the prepared pan and spread evenly. Note: batter is a little thick so you will have to spread it.

Bake for 22-25 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.

Remove from oven and let cool.

These are great by themselves or served up with a little So Delicious coconut ice cream.

It happened to be my mama's birthday when I made these so we enjoyed them with the ice cream... soo delicious!


Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Veggie Hominy Stew

I think hominy is pretty neat.

And I'm pretty sure we're all on the same page about my deep adoration for kale. (Much to Honey's dismay, I might add.)

So I put the two together last week. It was one of those crazy busy weeknights where I wondered if I would even get dinner on the table. We've been having a lot of those lately.

I added some other fun veg and my favorite faux meat: The porcini mushroom field roast made by Field Roast Grain Meat Co. Have you had it? it's absolutely delicious. Delicious! And great for a weeknight meal such as this one.

It adds protein and texture to this simple, no fuss stew and definitely adds to the full, fun flavor. It seriously tastes like you slaved hours in the kitchen. So when people rave, just smile and wave.

4 cloves garlic, chopped
3 celery ribs, chopped
3 carrots, chopped
1 teaspoon turkish curry (and maybe a little more to taste)
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
3-5 cups mushroom broth
About 1/2 teaspoon salt (and more to taste)
About 1/4 teaspoon pepper (and more to taste)
1 14 oz can diced tomatoes, juice and all
1 29oz can hominy, half drained
4-6 leaves kale, de-ribbed and chopped/torn into bite sized pieces
1/2 loaf field roast, cut into bite sized pieces
1 ripe avocado, sliced, for garnish

In a soup pot, heat a little extra virgin olive oil on med/high heat. Add garlic and stir/cook for about 1 minute. Add celery and carrot to your garlic and continue to stir/cook for about 2-3 minutes.

Reduce heat a little and add curry and paprika to your veg mix and stir. Add mushroom broth and salt and pepper. Stir then let cook about 10 minutes on low/med heat.

Add the rest of your ingredients: Diced tomatoes, hominy, kale pieces and field roast pieces. Stir well then cover and continue to cook another 15-20 minutes.

Taste your stew and add salt and pepper and/or a little more curry, if you like.

When the veg is soft, your stew is ready to serve!

Ladle into bowls and top with fresh avocado slices.

You can even serve with a lovely green salad, for a little fresh fiber.


Monday, October 17, 2011

Vegan Banana Coconut Pecan Muffins

It's been a baking kind of weekend. Honey picked up our CSA on Saturday and in it? Two of the most adorable pie pumpkins I have seen at least since last pumpkin season. I'm working on some special ideas for those pumpkins.

Although it's sad to see summer gone; especially since summer was here for about nine minutes, there is something so lovely about these crisp, sunny fall days. Bright blue sky and all.

It makes me want to bake. And think about the delicious holidays that are coming up. And then be glad that the clothes are bulkier. To mask any potential 'changes' as a result of those delicious holiday foods.

So here is a little something for you because I love these muffins. I have made them before. Multiple times. Each time they turn out as delicious as I remember them being. That's why they are worth another post.

They are great for breakfast, an after school snack or even dessert. The coconut and pecans make for some great texture and the banana gives them just the right amount of 'squish'.

Yield: 19 muffins

2 cups unbleached all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup raw sugar
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
4 ripe bananas mashed
1/4 cup So Delicious coconut milk
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup whole pecans and/or pecan pieces
1/2 cup coconut flakes

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line muffin pans with muffin/cupcake liners. You can also lightly spray the pan if you don't have liners.

In a small bowl, combine flour, baking soda and salt. Stir and set aside.

In a larger bowl, mix sugar and oil together then add mashed bananas. Note: I didn't want to dirty another bowl so I peeled each banana and squished them individually with my clean hands right into the bowl. This 'technique' makes for a chunkier banana consistency, which I like for a breakfast muffin. If you do not like that, mash the bananas in a separate bowl then add to the sugar/oil mixture.

To your wet mix also add So Delicious coconut milk and vanilla, stirring until everything is thoroughly combined.

Add flour mixture to to wet mixture and stir lightly, then add pecans and coconut. Stir until everything is just combined. Note: the batter will be fairly thick.

Spoon batter into muffin tins about 3/4 full.

Bake for 20-25 minutes until muffins are golden brown on top.

These are fantastic for breakfast, served alongside a lovely fruit assortment and coffee.

They would also be an impressive addition to brunch or a playdate.

Or, if you want to get really wild, serve them for dessert alongside some So Delicious coconut vanilla ice cream. I love having muffins and ice cream for dessert.


Thursday, October 13, 2011

Vegan Pumpkin Pie

I am a pumpkin pie lover. A lover of the pumpkin pie.

And now there is clear evidence that it's genetic.

I have passed on my love of the pumpkin pie to Noodle Nose. I'm sure of it. There is clear evidence documented within this specific pie. The damage was done before I could get that perfect shot.

On the up side, he did declare it 'deeelicious!' before I sliced it. Oh, and now we have a different type of perfect shot.

Also? I find it forty-two percent acceptable to enjoy a slice or three for breakfast. Because it doesn't matter whether you reside in the 'pumpkins are a vegetable' camp or the 'pumpkins are a fruit' camp. Either way it's acceptable. And delicious. And it doesn't have any refined sugar.

I have made this pie before, but with the obviously fall weather, I felt it my duty to make pumpkin pie. It's super simple, using very little kitchen 'ware', which is a bonus.

So go, make pumpkin pie. And then give it to your kids for breakfast. And have some yourself too.

Yield: one delicious pumpkin pie


1 batch homemade vegan pie crust
12 oz ripe banana, smashed (about 3 medium bananas)
2 cups pumpkin puree (canned or fresh)
1/2 cup maple syrup
1/4 cup corstarch
1 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg (preferrably freshly grated)
1/4 teaspoon fresh ginger, ground fine
1/4 teaspoon cloves
If you haven't pre-made your pie crust, do that now.

Preheat oven to 350.

Roll out pie crust to a thin 1/16 inch thickness. Gently place crust in pie dish, ensuring that it is pressed down into the corners. You should have crust hanging over the side of your dish. Cut most of it off then pinch the rest, creating a cute crimpy design.

Cover just the edges of your pie crust with thin strips of tin foil (this will prevent the upper crust from burning during the pre-bake.
Bake in oven for 8-10 minutes then remove, take off the tin foil and let cool. Note: you don't have to do this step but personally I can't stand pie crust that hasn't been pre-cooked. The bottom is soggy and mushy; I suggest taking the extra time. It makes a difference.

While your crust is baking and cooking, combine banna, pumpkin puree, maple syrup, cornstarch, cinnamon, salt, nutmeg, ginger and cloves in a food processor and pulse/blend until very smooth.
Pour mix into your pie crust and smooth evenly.
Place pie in oven and bake for 40 to 45 minutes until the crust is golden brown. Note: your filling will be fairly solid but will also firm up while it cools so don't worry if it looks a little 'loose'.

Allow your pie to cool for at least 1 hour (or until pie is about room temperature) before serving.

By itself or with some So Delicious coconut vanilla ice cream... either way is fantabulous!


Monday, October 10, 2011

Vegan Curry Stackey Upppey

We used to do a ridiculous amount of entertaining at our house. Like, basically every weekend we would have groups of anywhere from four to 20 and sometimes more. Insanity.

I have cut way back on our entertaining which is great because now when we do, it makes the process way more fun; though I must admit, I'm slightly out of practice in the timing department.

So this weekend we had two lovely families over for dinner and pumpking carving. For dinner I wanted something that would essentially cook itself so I could party like a rockstar instead of rooting myself in the kitchen.

And then I remembered my mom used to make something called Chicken Stackey Uppey. I have no idea where the name came from; my hunch though, is that she made it up. Because that's the kind of name that has my mom written all over it.

So I made my vegan version. And it was super delicious, easy and interactive. I love interactive meals.

Here's the basis: you make a large pot of rice and a large pot of curry. Like I said, my mom made chicken curry. I made a mushroom, tofu, tempeh combination.

Then you have lots of topping options. Guests get their base of rice and curry then go to town on whatever toppings tickle their fancy.

It's fun, it's delicious and everyone gets a dish they love. Except if they don't love curry.

La Pure Mama Curry Paste:

1 Tablespoon grated lime zest
1 Tablespoon fresh squeezed lime juice
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/3 teaspoon ground coriander
4 garlic cloves
2 stalks lemongrass, coarsely chopped
1 oz shallots
1-2 thai bird chiles, coarsely chopped
1 oz cilantro, coarsely chopped
1 inch piece of ginger root, peeled and coarsely chopped

For the rest of your currry:
1/2 large white onion, chopped fine
12-15 shitake mushrooms, sliced
1 block extra firm tofu
1 package tempeh
4 cans coconut milk
1/2 carton So Delicious original coconut creamer
Salt and pepper to taste

For the rice:
2 cups dry brown rice
4 cups water
2 Tablespoons Earth Balance
1 teaspoon sea salt

And your toppings: (get creative!!)
Fresh broccoli, chopped fine
Red bell pepper, diced
Green bell pepper, diced
Shredded coconut
Celery, diced
Carrot, diced or matchstick
Water chestnuts, diced
Those chinese noodle things
Cashews, chopped
Green onion, chopped
Combine all curry paste ingredients into a food processor and pulse/blend until you have a smooth paste. Note: Often, I make a large batch of this and freeze it in cubes, for future use. Like I did here.
When you have your paste, transfer into a bowl or jar and set aside.
In a large pot, heat a little olive oil on med/high heat. Add onions and cook, stirring, about 2-3 minutes. When onions are barely soft, add shitake mushrooms, stir and continue to cook for about 3-5 minutes.
Reduce heat to low and add tofu and tempeh to your mix. Stir then add curry paste and continue to stir until evenly distributed. Once evenly distributed, add coconut milk, stir and cover with lid.
Let cook 5-10 minutes then stir and taste. Add salt and pepper as needed. Note: I did have to add salt and pepper several times.
At this point, your curry will cook itself. Simply put the lid on it but check it every 5-8 minutes and stir.
About 1 1/2 hours before you want to serve your meal, turn the oven on to 375.
Place your rice in a large baking pan. In a pot, combine water, Earth Balance and salt. Bring to a boil. Once boiling, pour water over rice then cover immediately with tin foil or a tight fitting lid. Place in oven  and bake for 1 hr, 20 minutes. When done, remove lid and fluff.
While your rice is cooking, arrange your toppings in separate bowls and set out.
To serve, simply place the rice and curry alongside bowls and spoons. You can either allow guests to dish their own portions, or you can do it for them, then let them choose their own toppings.
Serve a beautiful, fresh green salad alongside your curry and enjoy!
It's so fun to see what everyone chooses for toppings. And go back for seconds and try other combinations.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Sesame Shitake Veg Rice Bowl

Alright... After starting and deleting several versions of attempted witty banter it occurred to me: I have nothing to say today.

And so rather than spewing out a bunch of random and mostly boring stuff like 'I still haven't emptied my suitcase from last week's vacation' and oh yeah, 'I have to vacuum up the protein powder mess in our bedroom, courtesy of Minni Pinni', I have decided I'll just give you the amazing recipe.

Brown rice paired with an ultra flavorful sauce and beautiful bright veggies.

When in doubt of what to cook for dinner I usually end up reverting back to my roots: when I was single, I ate a lot of brown rice and broccoli. Those are my roots.

I remember one time, back in the day, offering a friend to stay for dinner. A dinner of brown rice and broccoli. She later confessed that she ate it then left wondering what she was going to have for dinner.

So let's call this recipe 'my roots all grown up'. Definitely not boring or lacking in flavor. Or color. My meat and potatoes Honey was all over this Granola Mama's grown up brown rice dish.

Yield: About 6-8 servings

1 block extra firm tofu, pressed and cut into about 1/2 inch cubes
2 Tablespoons toasted sesame oil
2 Tablespoons Bragg's liquid aminos
4 Tablespoons rice wine vinegar
1 teaspoon agave nectar
1/2 to 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
2 cups water
1 Tablespoon Earth Balance
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup dry short grain brown rice
1-2 cloves garlic, smashed or diced
1/2 medium shallot, diced
About 12-15 shitake mushrooms, de-ended and sliced
2-3 stalks broccollini, chopped into about 1 inch to 1/2 inch pieces
1 1/4 cups shelled edamame beans
3/4 cup matchstick carrots
3/4 cup cabbage, shredded
1/4 to 1/2 cup green onion, chopped
1/4 cup toasted sesame seeds

Wrap tofu block in a paper towel then wrap that in a kitchen towel. Place something heavy on top and let sit while you prepare your other items.

Preheat oven to 375.

In a pan, combine water, Earth Balance and salt and bring to a boil. Meanwhile, place rice in an oven safe container with a lid OR you can use tin foil to cover it.

When water boils, pour over rice, give it a quick stir then cover and place in oven and bake for 1 hour.

In a lidded container, combine toasted sesame oil, Bragg's aminos, rice wine vinegar, agave nectar and crushed red pepper. Seal and shake well to combine.

Unwrap tofu from towels and cut into about 1/2 inch cubes. Put in a bowl and add half of your sesame oil mixture. Stir to combine and let marinate for anywhere from 5 to 30 minutes or even overnight if you're planning ahead.

In a wok, heat a bit of toasted seame oil on high heat, then add tofu cubes. Cook on high, stirring continually, until tofu cubes have a nice sear on them. Note: I find the wok works best to get the sear you want.

Once tofu is nice and crunchy, transfer to a bowl and set aside.

Note: You can prepare the tofu ahead of time but start the rest of this recipe when your rice is almost finished baking in the oven, for the sake of timing.

In wok, add a little more toasted sesame oil along with garlic and shallot on med/high heat. Cook, stirring, for about 1-2 minutes then add shitake mushrooms. Reduce heat a bit and cook, stirring occassionally until mushrooms are soft.

Add broccollini and continue to cook on med/high heat another 3-5 minutes, stirring occassionally.

When your rice is done, remove from oven and fluff.

Add edamame beans, carrots and cabbage to your wok, stir, then add then add rice to wok as well.

Add the remaining dressing then stir well to evenly combine ingredients and dressing.

At this point, taste your dish. If you feel it needs it, add a little more dressing ingredients, tasting as you go.

Scoop into a bowl and top with several pieces of tofu. Finish the dish with a beautiful garnish of fresh chopped green onion and toasted sesame seeds.

Serve alongside a green salad, if you want a little more crunch, though this dish is intended to be al dente so you may not need it.

This dish is really simple, super flavorful and beautiful to look at. Guaranteed to be a winner in your home, like it is in ours.


Monday, October 3, 2011

Beet Chips and the Giveaway Winner

Oh being home from vacation. It reminds me of two things: the age old 'there's no place like home' is rightly true and also, laundry sucks.

Today is my catch up day for all things 'house' and 'business'; though my dear thoughtful mother came in and cleaned our house while we were gone so it's just the random 'we just go home from vacation' junk I have to deal with. Not sure what I did to deserve that but I tell ya... I'll take it. She rocks.

By the way... Thank you to all of you who commented for the So Delicious giveaway. I love spreading the word about products that I love and So Delicious is truly one of them. They're a daily staple in our diet, for sure.

I'll be listing the four giveaway winners after I talk to you about beets and how much I love them. Because I love them something fierce. I'm talking about a raw eating, multi-purpose using, roasting, bbq'ing, grilling, Killer Tofu Tour kind of love.

Beets are just fantastical no matter how you slice (or dice or chop or not) them. They are sweet, versatile, full of vitamins and minerals, simple to cook and also make a rockin' 'red dye' alternative.

And of course, since it's the tail end of summer, they are in great abundance around these parts. This time though, I wanted to do something a little different. Something I could store a little longer and heck, wouldn't it be nice to put some in Noodle Nose's lunch?

So I thought about making chips because that's fun. And I get to use my mandoline and despite the fact that my mandoline has it out for my fingers, I still love it.

These are super simple, a haven of crunch and flavor and super fun for your kids to share at school.

1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon fresh cracked pepper
4-6 beets, washed and de-ended
Extra virgin olive oil (about 1 teaspoon per 2 beets)

Preheat oven to 400.

In a small bowl, combine paprika, salt and pepper. Stir to ensure they are evenly combined.

Using a mandoline on the 1/16 inch setting, slice beets.

Toss beet slices in olive oil, ensuring they are evenly covered. Evenly sprinkle paprika mix on top and toss again, to ensure spices are evenly distributed.

Arrange beet slices on a baking tray (lined with tin foil, if you like easy clean up). Beet slices can touch but it's best if they aren't overlapping too much.

Bake about 15-20 minutes until edges curl up. Turn off oven and remove.

Allow beet chips to cool. They will crisp up a little more during the cooling process.

All by themselves or alongside a killer PB& J in the cafeteria.

Crunchy and delicious... and good for you too!

Ok, now that you have put up with my amazing beet chip-ness, I'll list the four winners of the So Delicious free product coupons, chosen by random number selection courtesy of a hat and some slips of paper. Because we're all technical and stuff.

In no particular order:

1. Desiree
2. Karen
3. Eclairre
4. Teri

Congratulations and thanks again to everyone who commented!

Winners: if you could please email me your name and mailing address to, I will get your coupon in the mail asap so you can start enjoying your product!


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