Tuesday, April 30, 2013

leftover magic - veggie quinoa to pizza bites with homemade applesauce and ranch

sometimes i struggle with figuring out what to make for dinner.  i was craving pizza and decided to give this recipe inspo a whirl:  quinoa pizza bites - a little gem off pinterest.

i thawed out the extra veggie and quinoa mixture i had used both for a stuffed pepper night and a soup night.  oh man was i happy to have this on hand.

this is the sheep's mlk cheese we've been using (very sparingly).  the loud mooooooooooo that used to be in my kitche is now a very quiet baaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa.

the only thing i will be changing next time is to mix up most of the cheese in the quinoa mixture like the recipe says and then save some to sprinkle on top.  i had the entire muffin pan filled when i realized i had left out the cheese... oh well, i just covered them all and it turned out just fine.

homemade applesauce 
mullies notes:
6 organic gala apples
1/2 c coconut palm sugar (this stuff rocks)
eyeballed cinnamon
eyeballed ground all spice

as for the ranch... well, that one is a crazy hit in the house.  i am happy to report i'll never buy it from the store again.  it's from gwen p's it's all good.  i wish i could reprint it for you...  sorry charlies:)   i searched around awhile to find another simple 5 ingredient vegan ranch recipe (couldn't find one!) and thought this might come close to being pretty tasty if you don't have the book:

homemade ranch dressing

all gonzos... with our fav bottle of vino:)

oh my word i.love.to.eat.

high fives mom!

did you notice the carrots with the green tops kept on them?  yup, they were a major hit.  MAJOR.  the entire bag was eliminated by the end of dinner.

what's up doc?!

Monday, April 29, 2013

green thumbs with a fervent foodie

oh my word look at those babies!!!  becky, you must tell me more...


Started my seedlings a few weeks ago to try my hand at growing some lettuce varieties, herbs & cherry tomatoes!  Here is my indoor greenhouse tray on windowsill!  All organic seeds & soil matter:)  My husband hopes to start building outdoor planters for me soon.  See those little green sprouts already?  Whooo hoooooo!

Since our food change in Jan, I have great news to report!  He is OFF of his blood pressure meds, has had no headaches in a couple of months, is down 41lbs and bought all new pants last week... from a 36" waist to a 32"!!!!!  What success all around.  Thanx for all your information along the way.  It really helped.


holy mackerals you two hotties... i am so impressed and so inspired - i think i am going to start a cooking herb garden this summer.  i'm really needing to cut back on the amount of flowers i get (can't bust my budget) and perhaps that could be a great way to cut back on spending all around!

gotta shine up my green thumb, it's been in mittens for toooooooo long...  bye bye chicago winter!!!

i am loving this link on edible gardening tips.  cheers to getting dirt in our fingernails and the new adventures of eating what we grow.  i can't hardly wait:)

lovely links to gardening and avoiding pesticides

and one of my favorite programs e.v.e.r:

the edible schoolyard project

off to play in the sunshine... it's my birthday today and i have to say, each year that passes by is better than the last...  lucky lucky lady i am


Friday, April 26, 2013

the mullies is food revolutionizing - a YMCA Healthy Kids Day

i am headed to my first official event as a food ambassador & blogger tomorrow!  hang on to your fanny packs campers, it's countdown to food revolution day 2013!

Foglia YMCA Healthy Kids Day

this is a free event with loads of activities to get families moving, learning and living healthier lifestyles.  chris is bringing the kids along to play while i meet and greet families at the vendor area.  here is the schedule of events i grabbed off of their blog.

Schedule of events

10-12:00 p.m. Free Raffles, Prizes, Giveaways!
10-12:00 p.m. Children’s Obstacle Course
10-12:00 p.m. Indoor Rockwall Climbing for kids & adults
10-12:00 p.m. Moon Bounce
10-12:00 p.m. Touch-A-Truck
10-12:00 p.m. New York Life- ID tags & fingerprinting for kids
10-12:00 p.m. Healthy Snacks
10-12:00p.m. Healthy Vendors from the community on display
11-11:30a.m. Family Walk

if you're in the area, i hope you can come say hello and check out the action.  it should be a hoot!

spring might actually show her face this weekend in chicagoland... 
i think i can smell a cookout in the works!!!  


thinking about a spring cleaning of your kitchen this weekend?  check this handy article out:

Thursday, April 25, 2013

light it up - an april food revolution blog of the month

play play play...

light is a funny thing isn't it?

where you find it.  how you lose it sometimes.  how you get it back.

the light shines when you know you're in the right place at the right time.  the tinglies happen.

i look for the light in people's eyes.  it makes you feel just like the sun when it hits you, enters you and reflects off.

nothing else seems to matter when you find a passion that lights you up.  perspectives shift.  it plugs you in and you search for more.  doors open and sunlight flickers in.  you forget the buns in the oven.

i love lighting people up.  i love being silly.  i love to dance.  i love inspiring and being inspired.  i love learning and teaching.  i love jumping in with two feet.  i love the anticipation of a big game.

i am totally lit up today to be the april food revolution blog of the month.  i am twirling in a flowy skirt with my hands to the sky and the sun on my face.  no sunscreen needed today:)

i want more than anything else to light up my kids, my husband, my family and friends.  and now, how fun to spread some of this energy outside my cozy little bubble wrap.  thank you food revolution for bestowing such an honor on my little blog that shares my ever evolving life in the kitchen.  i am thrilled to join such a wonderful group of bloggers dedicated to bringing the message of real food to all.

it's a torch i will carry proudly.

thank you jamie oliver.  thank you for sharing your light and for starting the food revolution.  you've weathered a lot of storms doing this and i'm hoping the light and love reflecting all over the world this month will find you and make you feel just like the sun on may 17th.

light it up baby.


Wednesday, April 24, 2013

high fives - homemade veggie stock & celery soup

so i made my celery soup again the other day and tweaked it further which i'm so tickled about sharing with you today!!  here is my original post if you'd like to go back in time.  i was about to pour out the water i boiled all the veggies in and a little voice in my head yelled, STOP!  collaborate and listen...save it you fool...it's organic vegetable stock!  so then i proceeded to fill every container i had and shoved them all over my fridge.  the next day i realized there was no way i would be using it soon and i did not want my hard work to spoil.  so i googled the best way to freeze homemade stock and came up with this little gem:

how to use canning jars in the freezer

my sister in law gave me these lovelies for christmas and i cannot wait to use the crazy cute tops & striped paper straws for summer cocktails.

hello!  i had no idea i could freeze mason jars... i had visions of exploded contents all over my freezer... glad to know i'm just crazy with my imagination:)

vegan celery soup (orinigal recipe inspo found here)
this recipe will yield a double batch of veggies to freeze for later.

1 bag organic celery
1 organic celery root (didn't have it this time)
1 lb mixed organic potatoes (i had both red and yellow)
1 organic leek (most of green stems discarded - i chop & place in a separate bowl of water to rinse the grime)
1 organic fennel bulb with stems and fronds
- chop veggies in similar sized pieces and boil in salted water until potatoes are tender.  this water will turn into your veggie stock!

5 T organic coconut oil divided
1 yellow organic onion diced
2 c organic mushrooms sliced
3 cloves garlic minced
3 T gluten free flour blend
1 can light or full fat coconut milk (whichever you fancy)
2-3 cups of veggie stock water

- melt 2 T of the coconut oil and saute veggies until soft.  build a rue: melt and whisk in the additional 3 T of coconut oil and 3 T of gluten-free flour (i linked you to a great tutorial if you are clueless with rue making... i sure was before).  alternate whisking in about 1/2 can of the coconut milk and equal parts hot veggie water from the other pot.  keep alternating until you have enough liquid.  just eye ball it...the total liquid amount to add is somewhere between 4-5 cups.  add in 1/2 of the cooked veggies, cover and cook on low for about 20 minutes.  optional: use a hand held emersion blender and blend to desired texture.  i like my soup pureed with some hearty lumps of veggies here and there.

1/2 T white pepper
1 T oregano
*add in old bay seasoning to taste... this is the taste clincher here folks, just do it!!
s&p to taste

remove the rest of veggies from the stock pot and freeze (i am so happy to not have to do that part next time!!)  once the veggie stock has cooled, fill up your jars and you'll be all set for your next recipe adventure.

oh i'm just feeling all julia child over here now:) ...high five to the self!

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

hot mamas - inspiring gluten-free crepes

super excited to have a hot mama guest post today!  dawn has been making gradual moves into a food change for her family and i am celebrating with her today over crepes - her family is hooked!

this song is on my "cook you fool" playlist which goes on every night to turn the happy light on in my head.  sometimes, i'm pumped to cook, sometimes the dog's are barking.  i heard it first walking on the treadmill at the Y the other day.   i'm sure people were wondering why i was smiling like an idiot staring off into space... i of course was thinking about cooking, all the rain we've been getting here in chicago and the guts that it takes to start making a food change.

"let it rain", be brave and fearless.  sara wrote this song when she was scared out of her mind to make an album.  well, i'm sure glad she did...it's one of my favorites:)

this is for dawn and for all the hotties out there making small changes in their homes.

you gotta love it.

take it away dawn...


Here are my pics of the crepe making!  These are so yummy for breakfast OR dessert!  I just need to get the "gluten free" vanilla and then these will be totally gluten free.  Ben of course loves the homemade whipped cream!!  They are really awesome - I'm going to make them for dessert one day when I have a party or something.

My husband Sam said there was a stand in Breckenridge where they actually make the crepes and stuff them with whatever u want.  Sounds so good!

Thanks Lindsey for inspiring me!!

holy mackerel does that look good... i want to lick the spatula too...

the crepe, whipped cream and raspberry sauce recipes can all be found in peter and kelli's gluten free artisanal glutenifree cooking cookbook - here is a blogpost about it.  yet another reason that book will never leave our kitchens.

it's funny how the inspiring goes...i inspire her, she inspires me...i haven't made the crepes yet and oh boy do i hope to be tackling them this week.

this is super hot stuff, thank you SO MUCH my dear:)

"let the rain come down and make a brand new ground." 

keep rocking it out.


Monday, April 22, 2013

it's earth day - raw eating

happy earth day!  these mighty little ballz are the perfect snack and why not make them for a protein packed snack or dessert tonight in honor of the grand ol globe we live on.  

have fun with food.  i can't take things too seriously with all this food change or i'd go bonkers.

my hot mama girlfriend kristy made these puppies on friday for her little guy's birthday party.  we inhaled them.  they taste like oatmeal cookie dough balls and helloooooooooo - party in your mouth.  i think we had the most fun thinking of creative names for them.  

she gets the prize with "schweddy balls".

kristy pinned the recipe off pinterest.  unfortunately, the recipe's original site has been blocked for spam content or something crazy.  at least the recipe is in the comments!

update:  i have been inspired by other foodrev ambassadors with more sweet names...so i have decided to just keep adding to the list:)  depending on who you serve them too, feel free to change the name to your audience.  this list could get fun...

1. "schweddy balls" - kristy
2. bringin sexy back dark chocolate pb balls & orgasmic no-bake dark chocolate pb balls - stacy- food rev ambassador idaho.
3. little chocolate earth balls - gaia - food rev ambassador belgium
1 c rolled oats 
1/2 c flaxseed meal
1/2 c organic peanut butter (or whatever nut butter you want...hee hee)
1/2 c organic dark chocolate chips (i ran out, so i chopped up a bar)
1/3 c local honey
1 tsp vanilla

this recipe yields about 30 balls...but of course, that depends on how large you like them.

please stop me...this is getting inappropriate.  

easily palmed.

i brought these over to my in-laws house for some family birthday "special plate" celebrations last night.  major hitskies.

thank you kristy for the inspo...i will be making these balls often in the mullies:)


Friday, April 19, 2013

gathering some gumption - a stuffed pepper to soup adventure

one of my new year's resolutions was to muster more cooking gumption in the kitchen.  gumption to make things from scratch with or without recipes in front of me.  

i finally lit it up.

i cooked a meal from scratch with only a red lentil recipe for inspiration.  hee hee! 

... have i told you i cook to this soundtrack practically every night?  i hope you like "gumption" too.

this meal went a looooooooooong way for us.  i ended up turning all of the leftovers into one of the best soups e.v.e.r.  how do i know?  i had a huge amount left over and it didn't last very long.  two dinners and four lunches of food...not bad there babycakes!

it was a genius decision to combine quinoa (which i always prepare plain jane) and red lentils.  pat pat pat.

a most excellent stuffed pepper to soup adventure

1. halve 4 red peppers, clean the seeds out and place them cut side down in a pan with water.  cook and steam for about 10 minutes.  remove and set aside in a bowl.

"come as your are" countertop ingredients.  no staging permitted in my kitchen.

these mini bottles give great portion control when cooking.  i hate to waste my best wine and open a bottle that may not be enjoyed that night!  cheers!

red lentils and quinoa 
1 c red split lentils (trader joe's)
1 c organic quinoa (costco)
1.5 T organic coconut oil 
4 c organic vegetable stock
1/2 c red wine
1.5 tsp penzey's mural of flavor (or any all purpose seasoning you want)

melt the oil and toss the quinoa and lentils until coated.  dump the rest in and bring to a boil.  reduce to low and cover for 30-40 min or until liquid has cooked off and you are left with fluffy deliciousness.  i didn't know it at the time, but this makes waaaaay more than you need for 8 stuffed peppers.  that's how the soup was born...out of a miscalculation.  how sweet is that!?

while the quinoa and lentils are cooking, raid your fridge for the plethora of organic veggies.  i had no idea what i was going to use until i opened the crisper.  that is living on the edge for me.  chop chop chop em all into similar sized pieces & mince the garlic.  

1 fennel bulb + fronds
1 lg yellow carrot
3 celery ribs
1 bunch rainbow chard (stems removed and diced)
1 zucchini
2 cloves garlic

cook up the turkey bacon first and set aside (optional).  using the same pan, melt about 2 T of coconut oil and add the chopped veggies.  cook until soft.  we've been cutting waaaaay back on meat...i used to cook it every night.  now, 1-2 nights a week tops.  i'm really excited and proud of how we're cutting back as it's saving us $$$ and i am relying more on nutrient dense vegetables as a main nutritional component.  now if my kids would only say, more please!  baby steps...

add the chopped chard, fronds and minced garlic last.

dice up the bacon strips and toss them into the mix.

add two cups of the quinoa and red lentil mix.  season with pink himalayan salt (love this stuff) and fresh ground pepper to taste.  this is where i started dancing a little bit with glee... NOTE: you will have mega leftovers of the stuffing.  i divided this amount and put one bag in the freezer for a later date and another in the fridge to use for the soup later in the week.

ladle a thin layer of tomato sauce (i used some leftover from the night before) in a baking dish.  stuff the peppers with the veggie mix.  top each guy off with a little sauce and grated cheese (i used aged italian sheep's milk cheese from Whole Foods).  i'm in love with the stuff. 

i loved them to pieces.  
chris: "punt" (this is what i deal with...)
abbie:  struggled but ate about half of her plate.
mac: ate one bite of the red peppers, but loved the rest.
tommy: finished his plate (i had to help spoon bites in his mouth at first though).

leftover stuffed pepper soup
remaining stuffed peppers
1.5 c leftover veggie/quinoa/lentil stuffing
2 cans organic diced tomatoes
2 c organic vegetable or chicken stock
s&p to taste and whatever seasoning you'd like to kick it up a notch.  

i double loved the soup.
chris: "it was gooooood".
kids:  didn't try it cuz i wanted it all to myself and didn't feel like offering it them.  HA!   i'm very selfish sometimes with my food:)

gumption baby gumption.


Wednesday, April 17, 2013

inspiration is everywhere

this song and video has inspired yet another road for the mullies to travel down.

the real food message is spreading like a waterfall into our homes and schools.

there is one more very important place it needs to go.

well our hospitals of course.

let's invision a commercial run by your community hospital that runs something like this.


our job is to take care of you.

to make you well.

you'll never sleep alone.  we're your backbone, the cornerstone if your legs stop moving, if your heart stops beating.

when you fall like a statue, we'll be there.

to make you well.  if you need help.

we'll share in your suffering to make you well.

we're going to give you reasons to believe.

we're making some changes that you deserve.

to help you get well during your stay.

we're changing our food.

for you.  for those you love.  to make you well again.

to help you bring new life into the world.

if you fall like a statue, we'll put you back on your feet.  

we're surrendering our fake food and bringing in more real food.

we're cleaning up our act.  no more artificial colors or preservatives and we're making a move towards gmo free foods for our staff and patients.

for you.  

long after your gone and back home.

you're our backbone and it's our job to make you well.

like a drum.

our heart will never stop beating for you.


don't you just love it? 


don't forget to watch phil's video...it'll give you the tinglies.  

Monday, April 15, 2013

Food Revolution Day is COMING!!!!!

what are YOU doing on friday, may 17th?!  i am so excited to announce what i have planned for my community to celebrate the big day!  i've been a voluntary ambassador for the food revolution since november and so far, whooooooooweeeee, it's been a hoot to be a part of this global community.  

check out our exclusive event link on the food revolution main webpage and rsvp online today!  

of course, let me know if you'd like to join my team of volunteers for this free event...all are welcome to join food revolution mundelein in creating this wonderful first annual, family friendly event:) 

i had crazy fun making this little video last week for the food revolution.  i bet you're wondering why i have a silly black tie on, aren'tcha...

i hope you and the rest of globe join jamie oliver, me and the 300+ food ambassadors on friday, may 17th for food revolution day!  for me, the food rev is about discovering what really is lurking in the food i buy, learning where my food comes from and last but not least, increasing my cooking skills to become more comfortable in my kitchen.  

i, you, WE gotta have FUN with this shift to more real food.  it's going to be a long, rocky road and i don't know about you, but it's way more fun to join a global community of people who are all like minded and moving in the same direction.  food is everything and this article really begs a tough question.

i'm on a mission to bring cool, and yes, i said it...some sexy back to the kitchen.  we need to shift the stereotypes of aprons, blenders, food processors... and love our knives like we love our pearls, shoes and iphones.   we need to shift the paradigm so that our kids won't be at the mercy of processed, boxed, fast & pre-prepared foods when they leave our nests.  

let's begin shall we?  and let's have some fun together while we're at it! 

SO, without further ado, here is the mullies suit and tie party.  i've had two of these fab wine tasting/cooking parties and i dedicate them to the one and only daddy of the food revolution - mr jamie o.  he started this whole kit and kaboodle and i have to say:  i am honored to be a part of his revolution. 

yes, i'm an apple polisher (organic please) and he deserves every bite, so eat it and plan a party already.

thank you for having me on as an ambassador.  i hope mundelein, illinois and the entire USA catches fire on may 17th and joins the call for more real food in our lives.  

jt & jz:  thanks for the crazy inspo - your song rocks the mullies hizouse.
bunny:  cheers to the lives you've touched and made more beautiful in so many ways...thank you for everything.

this post wouldn't be complete without a major shoutout to paul molidor & visual keepsakes.  he is the amazingly creative man behind our two mullies videos.  his first video for the mullies captured a cooking playdate i had with a few of my hot mamas & kiddos (the twins are his sistahs).  paul specializes in creating custom photo and video keepsakes and he also converts mini DV to DVD for clients.  i am so excited to introduce the man behind the magic.  thank you paul - you are one hot papa and i'm so happy that real food has seeped into your family's foodie cracks too.  

to the mullies we go my friend.

visual keepsakes - paul molidor - 630.697.1180 - p.molidor@sbcglobal.net


some links to love: