The Healthy, Happy Ebook

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Thanks for stopping by! I'm young, I'm in love with my man, and I'm a mommy. We're busy, but happy. I'll share with you how to eat natural, healthy, whole foods while balancing family life! Learn to love your food, it will love you back!
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Sunday, April 29, 2012

Cheezy Fiesta Taco Pie

This was delicious. I don't have any pictures since when I made it, well lets just say it was one of those nights that you just get dinner on the table, get the kids fed, get them to bed, and curl up with a good chick flick on the couch! However, my kids both loved it, my son did enjoy throwing it, but he still loved it and My hubs and I both loved it I don't think it lasted 24 hours in the fridge :)

I saw a recipe that used lentils in a burrito and just kind of adapted this with a sauce with things I had.

Cheezy Fiesta Taco Pie
1 1/2 C uncooked lentils, soaked and rinsed
1-2 C salsa (jar or homemade)
1 C frozen corn
1 green bell pepper
1/2 packet taco seasoning
1 cup grilled chicken *
4 whole grain tortillas
Cheeze sauce

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cook lentils until tender (about 30 min.) Heat skillet over medium heat. Add cooked lentils, corn, salsa, pepper, taco seasoning, and chicken. Cover and let simmer and tenderize, if using homemade salsa if it doesn't have a lot of juice you may want to add some water. Meanwhile make cheeze sauce. Pour 1/4 sauce into skillet. Place two tortillas on the bottom of deep baking or casserole dish, top with half lentil mixture and pour a layer of cheeze sauce, top with other two tortillas and finish layer with remaining lentil mixture and cheeze sauce. Put in oven and bake for 20-25 min, until its brown or bubbling. 
If you don't want the baked pie, these would be good as burritos or enchiladas. 
* You can leave chicken out if you want a vegan or vegetarian recipe

Cheeze Sauce
2/3 C Nutritional Yeast
1 C cashews
1 1/4 C water
1/4 C non-dairy milk
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp garlic powder

Place all ingredients in blender and blend until smooth about 90 seconds. 

Friday, April 27, 2012

Heavenly Bean Cookies!

These are my family's favorite treat!!! Yes they have chocolate, but that's about the worse thing there is in them, we love them and they are only about 50-60 calories a cookie (depending on if you use a lot of chocolate chips or not)! So I feel okay eating one or two or maybe three :) I typically use butter beans for these cookies, but you can use any white bean you want. I found these online right at the beginning of our health eating and I don't remember where I just googled a recipe and now I've made it my own over time :)

Heavenly Bean Cookies

1 c oats
1 cup whole grain flour (I use spelt)
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 C canned butter beans
1 T bean liquid
1/4 c coconut sugar (optional)
4-5 medjool dates, pitted
1/4 c unsweetened applesauce
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/2 c. chocolate chips (or raisins)
dash of salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Pulse 1/4 cup of oats in blender or food processor, combine with flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and remaining oats, whisk together. Combine beans, applesauce, optional sugar, dates, and vanilla and 1 T bean liquid into blender. Blend until smooth. Mix wet and dry ingredients and add chocolate chips. If mixture is too wet add more oats, if too dry add a few tablespoons of water. Drop spoonfuls on greased cookie sheet and bake for 13-15 minutes. Enjoy

*These cookies don't flatten they stay in little balls, so don't be alarmed :)

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Red Lentil Chowder

This is comfort soup at it's best! I only really discovered the use of lentils a few months ago. I love them! They can be used in mexican food, soups,'s great. I really felt like making some yummy, thick soup on these chilly spring I gathered some things here and there to whip up this chowder. This doesn't have to be blended together you can pulse the soup together so it's a little chunkier, or you don't even need to blend it at all and leave it more full lentils and vegetables! I felt like making a thick mess of soup and naming it chowder...and that's just what I ended up with :) perfect for dipping some yummy bread or rolls into! So curl up and enjoy some yummy, healthy, comfort in this lentilly goodness!

Red Lentil Chowder
2 c red lentils
1 c shredded carrots, or chopped carrots
5 small potatoes cubed
1 c frozen corn
2 tomatoes diced, or 1 can diced tomatoes
2 c vegetable broth
3 c water
1 T pepper
1/2 T onion powder
1/2 T garlic powder
2 bay leaves
1/2 T Italian seasoning

Combine broth, water,lentils, vegetables and bay leaves in large pot. Bring to a boil then reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Add remaining spices. Cook over medium heat until lentils and potatoes are tender. At this point decide if you want to blend it or not :)

* If you decide to blend the soup at this point put it three cups at a time into blender and pulse, if you want it blended but chunkier, ease up and only pulse it a few times until the entire soup has been pulsed. Put back into pot and make sure it is still warm. 

* If you don't blend the soup simmer for 10 more minutes until desired tenderness and thickness is achieved. Serve with rolls and salad! 

Friday, April 13, 2012

Zesty Shepard's pie

This is always a favorite comfort food. It's certainly not your typical Shepard's pie, it's vegetarian and gluten free and totally flavorful!!! I love it and my kids actually eat it and come on who doesn't like a good dose of mashed potatoes. I did a lot of personal tweaking to this recipe since the original one here is full of spice and yes I'll admit it I really can't handle spicy food that much...I don't understand why it's enjoyable to burn your tongue off and call it an enjoyable meal, but for all you spice fans you may want to give the spicy recipe a try. I toned it down a notch, but I still love the flavor. Have fun with this one, experiment with other veggies, it always turns out tasty!

Zesty Shepard's Pie

4-5 medium potatoes
1 zucchini squash
1 yellow squash
3 garlic cloves
1/2 or whole onion depending on taste
2 cups broccoli florets
2 cup shredded carrots
1 cup peas (optional)
1/2 cup green bell pepper (optional)
1 T +1 T cumin
1/2 T red pepper flakes
1 C vegetable broth
1 T olive oil
1 can diced tomatoes (I used half a 28 oz can of crushed)
1 T + 1/2 T Mrs. Dash
1 tsp pepper or to taste
Salt to taste

Peel and chop potatoes. Place in pot with water and boil until fork tender. Meanwhile chop, and arrange vegetables together except garlic and onion. Heat oil in pan with garlic and onion, 1 T cumin, pepper, salt, 1 T Mrs. Dash, and red pepper flakes about 3 minutes. Add remaining vegetables, vegetable broth, tomatoes, and remaining seasonings. Saute and simmer until tender. When potatoes are soft drain and add desired seasonings and non-dairy milk and whip potatoes.  Place vegetable mixture into a casserole dish and top with potatoes. Bake at 375 for 20 minutes. Enjoy!

Creamy Veggie Soup & Garlic Cheddar Biscuits

I wanted to find a recipe that I could make that would just stuff us with wonderful veggies and great ingredients without even realizing. I love soup so much so I thought I'd give this one a try. I also wanted to try out using cashews as a creamer, I have to tell you after making this soup I have become hooked on cashew cream sauces! This is an adaption from cream of broccoli soup.

This is so simple, you just soften all your veggies and let them simmer

Then get to work making your cashew cream sauce to thicken it all up

After you add the cream sauce, slowly move the mixture to the blender and start blending it all together

After you have it all blended smoothly, place it back on the stove to make sure it's all heated well, and then there you go a wonderfully, tasty, healthy dinner everyone will love. The great thing about this recipe is you can add any type of veggie you want depending on your own taste! It looks like a lot of work, but it was so EASY!  I made it so much faster than I thought. I started at like 4:20 because I thought It would be at least an hour, I was done at like 4:50, early dinner :)

Creamy Veggie Soup
3 potatoes
2 celery stalks
4 c broccoli florets
1/2 green bell pepper
3/4 small bag of mixed veggies
1/2 onion
3 cloves garlic
2 c water
cashew cream sauce
1/2 T dried basil
1/4 tsp pepper

Place potatoes, celery, broccoli, onion, pepper, veggies and water in pot. Bring to simmer, cover and cook on med for 10 min or until potatoes are tender. Meanwhile make cream sauce. Mix cream sauce with vegetables (don't forget to add the extra water from the cream sauce) Add basil and pepper. Transfer 3 cups at a time to blender. Blend until smooth. Add entire contents back to pot and heat slightly. 

Cashew Cream Sauce
1 c cashew nuts
2 c water
1 tsp salt
2 tsp onion powder
1-2 T vegetable broth
1/2 tsp garlic powder
2 T corn starch
1 1/2 c water ( to be added after blended)
Blend all ingredients together until smooth, approx 2 min.

Garlic Cheddar Biscuits (adapted from "What's for Dinner")
2 c whole grain flour (I used spelt)
2 tsp coconut sugar
1 T baking powder
2 cloves garlic minced 
1/2 tsp salt
1 egg
1/2 cup grated cheese
3/4 cup soy milk (or any non-dairy milk)
1/3 cup butter, melted (I used Earth Balance vegan spread, whipped)
In a mixing bowl combine dry ingredients and garlic. Add butter and mix on low until crumbly. In a separate bowl, beat egg and milk. Stir into dry ingredients until moistened. Stir in cheese. Drop by spoonfuls on greased cookie sheet. Bake at 425 degrees for 15 minutes.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

A little about our way of eating

I call my family's diet, "nutritious, natural, healthy eating." I use a ton of vegan recipes, however I won't say I'm 100% vegan, or vegetarian, or a total meat eater, I'd say I'm just a "True Health Eater"  I do have meat and other animal products from time to time. We typically eat 4-5 vegan/vegetarian meals a week, and the other few days I'll probably add some white meat chicken or turkey. Our diet is rich in nuts, seeds, TONS of fruits and veggies, whole grains and beans. And I love it!

When I first decided to eat this way and make it a whole family lifestyle change I was nervous. My husband was a meat and potatoes kinda guy, I had a barely three year old and a 6 month old...hmmm our society told me that I should just accept the fact that my kids will need to eat "kid food" aka chicken nuggets, corn dogs, and pizza, with a side of veggies or fruit, because what kid would eat quinoa with green veggies, or ask for a salad instead of pizza? Well despite all this we dove right into it, my husband went along with my diet shake up to "help me" meet my goals. My daughter turned up her nose at most of the leafy greans, my son, well he was barely eating solids so he was on a veggie diet anyway.

I didn't quit that is what is most important in feeding young kids. Studies say it takes 5-8 times of trying a new food to actually get a kid to like it. Well nearly a year later my daughter now asks for salad, broccoli, carrots, apples, whole grains etc. (The other day she turned down cotton candy and asked for cashews! BEAMING WITH JOY)  My son, still eats  good, avacodos, bananas, strawberries, and almond butter are his favorite things to eat, although he is kind of in the throw my food stage, and my husband now eats this way voluntarally since he "can always feel the difference of eating right vs. not eating right." And as for me, I've lost nearly 20 lbs and feel so passionate about this that it has turned into my delight to create something with no "bad" ingredients and watch my family gobble it up! I still get my loves, aka pasta, and creamy sauces, and I don't feel bad getting seconds.

It is very possible to feed families great tasting, healthy balanced meals. There is no rule saying we can't have HUGE portions of veggies, fruit, and grains and smaller portions of cheese and meat. Every recipe that I post has been tested on an almost four year old and 1 1/2 year old, and a husband!
I hope this blog can bring as much health and happiness into your life as it has brought into ours!