Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Persimmon Freezer Jam and Basic Muffins

Last week my Fella picked up a pack of 6 persimmons he found on the discount fruit rack in the produce department. He thought they were tomatoes. I told him what they really were and that I'd never had them but I knew Martha Stewart seemed to like them a lot so they must be good. Hee hee.

I was intrigued by these little guys but a little intimidated too. What would I do with them? Were all the recipes going to be complicated and involved? I was delighted when right away I found a super simple Persimmon Freezer Jam recipe by doing a Google search on "persimmon recipes." 

I have been enjoying my jam (which took about two seconds to make...ok, maybe a little longer) on toast (when I manage not to burn it...or when I do, because then it tastes better) and on these quick and simple muffins via the good ol' Betty Crocker Cookbook. I love this muffin recipe because it is so easy and you can add just about any mix-in you desire to change it up. 

Want to try?

The jam recipe is here.

The muffin recipe is as follows:

1 egg
3/4 cup milk
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 cups all-purpose or whole what flour
1/3 cup sugar
3 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt

Bake in greased (bottoms only) muffin tin, filled halfway at 400 degrees for about 20 minutes. Makes about a dozen.

*I actually make these vegan style and sugar free by substituting a flax egg, almond milk, and stevia for the egg, milk, and sugar respectively.

Bon Appetit,

Monday, June 30, 2014

Meatless Monday--5 Simple Recipes

It's Meatless Monday and we're on board this vegetarian gravy train, are you? Going meatless for just one meal, one day per week does loads to help the evironment. Doesn't seem possible that one little itty bitty person making such a small change could make such a difference? Well if you don't believe me, check out more info at It's true! Since it's that easy, why don't you give it a try! If you're just not sure what the heck you would make for a vegetarian dish, well that's pretty easy too and that's why I've done the searching for you and found 5 simple recipes for your Meatless Monday enjoyment:

1. Thin Spagetti with Garlic, Red Pepper, and Olive Oil
This one is seriously as easy as it sounds and it is SOOOO delicious! This is one of my favorite pasta recipes of all time for ANY time! You can find the details here.

2. Three-Bean Vegetarian Chili 
Don't let the long ingredient list throw you off, most of the items come in a can and are ready to toss in the pot and simmer away. A good chili is good any time of year. Nom nom nom! Find the recipe here

3. Creamy Barley Salad with Apples
This is a good one if you're in the mood for something a little different but without having to pick up too many exotic ingredients; I wouldn't be surprised if you have most of these things in your fridge or cupboards. And what you don't have will be easy to find at your local grocery store. Recipe here.

4. Roasted Zucchini Flatbread with Hummus, Arugula, Goat Cheese, and Almonds
Here's another one that gives you all the flavor of a special meal without sending you to a specialty store or even any unfamiliar specialty aisles at your grocery store. Grab these ready made ingredients and all the prep you'll need to do is slice the zucchini and assemble the rest. Voila! Restaurant style flavor without the having to be an experienced restaurant chef! Find out how to make it here.

5. Oatmeal Brulee in a Jam Jar with Fruit and Nuts
I know. Brulee. Does not sound simple does it? But honestly this delightful twist on a wholesome and easy favorite only requires one quick extra step. Treat yourself, you deserve it! And this recipe is a good reminder that your one meatless meal for the day doesn't have to be dinner! The recipe for this yummy one is here

I hope these recipes have inspired you to go meatless for at least one meal, once per week now that you have a handful of ideas in your pocket that are easy and delicious without having to stock your cabinet with ingredients you've never heard of and can't pronounce!

Happy Meatless Monday!
Bon Appetit, 

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Guest Post: Plant Sources of Iron & Protein

Popeye Had It Right
By Leslie Vandever

Popeye the Sailor was a popular Saturday morning cartoon character in the 1960s whose main claim to fame was his love for spinach. At the crucial moment—usually when his nemesis, Bluto, was about to pound him to smithereens—Popeye would nom a can of spinach. He’d grow a pair of huge biceps (his “muskles”) and proceed to pound Bluto instead. And then he and his adoring “goil,” Olive Oyl, would stroll happily away together, cheek to cheek.

We’ll never know if Popeye was a vegan, vegetarian, or omnivorous, but he sure liked his spinach. He was a smart guy: spinach is rich in iron, a vital mineral our body needs to function. It makes up part of the protein hemoglobin, which carries oxygen from our lungs to the rest of the body, including the muscles, which not only use it, but store it. When we don’t get enough iron, we develop anemia.

The iron in meat, poultry, and fish—heme iron—is the type that the human body absorbs most efficiently. Non-heme iron—the iron found in plant foods—is just as good, but the body also needs Vitamin C in the same meal in order to absorb it. The best plant-bases sources of iron, other than spinach,include: ·

  •  broccoli, bok choy, kale, dandelion greens, beet greens, collards, and asparagus · soybeans, lima beans, and dried beans and peas, chickpeas, lentils, black-eyed peas ·
  •  dried prunes, raisins, and apricots · 
  •  almonds, Brazil nuts, cashews, sunflower seeds · 
  •  whole grains like wheat, millet, oats, bulgur, and quinoa and brown rice · 
  •  blackstrap molasses and tofu 
 Many iron-rich foods are also rich in Vitamin C. Others include: ·

  •  tomatoes, sweet and white potatoes, green and red peppers, turnip greens, spinach, and other leafy greens, cauliflower, and Brussels sprouts · 
  •  citrus fruits, kiwi fruit, mango, papaya, pineapple, strawberries, cantaloupe, and watermelon 
It wasn’t just iron that made Popeye so strong, though. It was also protein (also found in spinach!). Protein is another essential nutrient, needed to build and maintain healthy skin, bones, muscles, and organs. The myth is that it’s hard to get enough protein if you’re a vegan or vegetarian, but that’s simply not true—if you’re mindful about what you eat and make sure that protein-rich,plant-based foods are a regular part of your daily diet. The best vegetarian/vegan-friendly,protein-rich foods include: ·

  •  tofu, tempeh, seitan, soy milk, soy nuts · beans and legumes, like navy beans, chickpeas, split peas, lentils, black beans, kidney beans, and black-eyed peas ·
  •  cashews, almonds, nut butters, almond milk, and sunflower seeds · whole grains, bulgur, and quinoa 
  •  spinach and broccoli Turns out that humble, green, leafy spinach really is a super-food,packed as it is with iron, Vitamin C, and protein. 
How about that? Popeye had it right! For more information about healthful eating and other health-related subjects, click here.

Leslie Vandever is a professional journalist and freelance writer with more than 25 years of experience. She lives in the foothills of Northern California.

References: ·

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Rockin' the CSA

This year our family decided that it would be worth our money and our health but into our local organic crop share association (CSA) and I am thrilled that we did! I have wanted to start my own backyard organic garden for sometime, but this summer we will be adjusting to and enjoying the welcoming of our fifth child, so the idea of tending a garden doesn't seem feasible. Yesterday we picked up our first boxes share and it was amaze-za-zing! I couldn't be happier with our choice.

Speaking of getting our money's worth, with a large family who loves their fruits and veggies, we have made our grocery store's discount produce rack our main go-to spot in the store. We always come home with a variety of delicious produce for very little money. The other day my Fella came home with 16 lbs of fresh blueberries for $12, a calculated $67 value! We froze most of them to make them last. 

This morning I enjoyed a healthy and delicious smoothie containing, milk, avocado, blueberries, spinach, mango and vanilla. Oh. My. Yum! 

For lunch I just made a fresh salad of Boston lettuce, blueberries, mini turnips, radish, avocado, cheddar, and a lovely maple balsamic vinaigrette.

Last night we sautéed up bok choy, turnip, red bell pepper, young garlic and scallions with soy sauce and sriracha to have as a side to our chicken thighs. So savory and fantastic. 

How do you keep it fresh while saving money? I'd love to hear from you in the comments. 

Bon Appetite!

Thanks to Peas & Thank You for hosting yet another delicious What I Ate Wednesday blog hop!

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Meatless Monday

     I'm excited to participate for the first time in the Meatless Monday blog hop, hosted by Stephanie at The Recipe Renovator  If you haven't heard about Meatless Monday, you can get the low-down here. Yesterday, I made the official pledge on the MM website to go meatless one day per week. I have made this choice because I want to do something that is helpful to our planet, our animal friends, and my own body. Something about the pledge energizes me, I love knowing that this simple act of going meatless for one day per week will make such an important difference; and imagine if I go meatless even more days per week than that. I often do, so that is making an even bigger difference. Yay for a healthy planet, healthy body, and happy animals!

     For some it might seem hard to wrap their heads around making a balanced meatless meal. It's really not hard at all though, I find that tossing some beans, nuts, or tofu into a dish is an easy way to meet protein needs. Not only that, but I have read several reports that a healthy plant based diet with plenty of whole grains actually provides all the necessary protein requirements.

     Below is a recipe that is super easy, quite cheap, and can easily be "beefed" up (bad pun) by tossing in some beans or nuts, both would be nice additions.

Easy Spinach Spiral with Tomatoes and Chard

1 lb. Spinach spiral pasta
1 bunch Swiss Chard

1-2 mid sized tomatoes

2 Tbs Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Salt and Pepper to taste (optional)

  1. Prepare pasta, set aside.
  2. Coarsely chop chard. Slice tomatoes into chunks and set aside.
  3. Heat olive oil over medium heat. Add chard and saute until just wilted and tender.
  4. When chard is nearly done, toss tomatoes in just until heated but still nice and fresh.
  5. Add salt and pepper then toss veggies in with pasta.
Serve immediately as a side to a salad and/or meat substitute, or as a main dish tossed with slivered almonds, or garbonzo or white beans.

See, wasn't that easy?

Bon Appetit!

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Candied Sweet Potato Fries

     A few weeks ago, while searching for a quick yoga workout on Yogi Tara Stiles' YouTube channel, I came across a video (see below) of Tara sharing her recipe for Candied Sweet Potato Fries. All I can say is YUM-O! I found these to be a delicious between-meal snack that were plenty filling, the next time I made them I used them as a side to compliment my quinoa, kale, and tofu stir-fry. Give 'em a try, they are delish! As a side note, feel free to play around with the recipe and don't stress if the exact ingredients aren't in your cupboard. I had agave syrup and olive oil on hand, so I swapped them out for the maple syrup and coconut oil. Also check Tara's yoga videos, they are a great way to sneak 10 minutes of mat time into your day.


Wednesday, February 27, 2013

We're Back!!

     A few months ago, Deirdre and I were feeling a little overwhelmed with the combination of the holidays and keeping up with posts on two (or three in Deirdre's case, see here) blogs. We loved all the blogs but felt it was a good time to cut back for awhile. Thus we took a break from our yumm-eriffic foodie blog Aliment and put our energy full force into our baby, Ladies Holiday.

     With the end of the year holiday season and the new year bustle behind us, we feel ready to share some more delicious goodness with you here. We may not be back to our thrice a week schedule for awhile, but we hope to share with you weekly nonetheless. Today we start off simple with a foodie post that is also being shared on Ladies Holiday.

Tamar & Deirdre

Every once in awhile, we ladies find it fun to participate in 
What I Ate Wednesday (WIAW.) 
This nifty blog hop is hosted by the lovely Jenn over at Peas and Crayons.
As some of you may remember, I started the new year off with the gentle, yet oh-so-effective
Adventure Cleanse, as found in the pages of Wellness Warrior
Kris Carr's sparkle-tastic health-eriffic book Crazy Sexy Diet.
Since participating in the 21-day cleanse I have been able to maintain this 
cleaner lifestyle in regard to what I put in my belly on a daily basis and 
I have found that I feel 
lighter, more energetic, more focused, and generally 
than I have in a long, long time. 
Now that is really something to rave about! 
Here I share a glimpse into what my dishes are filled with 
on a regular ol' day, but you'll see that it is not in the least boring.

Ladies Holiday, copyright 2013
Brekkie: I usually start my morning with green juice followed by a protein and produce packed smoothie, this sticks with me until lunch. Picture here, a blend of freshly juiced carrots and oranges, half an avocado, almond milk, and my favorite protein powder mix.

Lunch: I combined leftover quinoa from last night's dinner with sautéed kale and tofu. I topped it off with some delicious vegan cheddar, and sliced up the other half of my avocado on the side with a bit of lime juice and s&p on top.

Dinner: Oooh my mouth is watering at the memory. Vegan enchiladas: white basmati rice (although I usually use brown) mixed with lime juice and cilantro. Vegetarian refried beans. Vegan Daiya brand Monteray Jack cheese. Fresh tomatoes. All wrapped up in Trader Joe's brand habenjaro lime tortilla and smothered in enchilad sauce. Yum yum yum!!!

What foods make you feel sparkly and truly alive?

Bon Appetit!