Lentil Sloppy Joes {Recipe}

Last night was a “Whoops!” night. Supper was not planned or started. Time was running out and my brain was blank. I knew my Instant Pot would need to be called on if I wanted supper on the table by the time the ball practices were over.

So I grabbed lentils. I grabbed dehydrated seasonings.  And started throwing them together. I decided I wanted to create a recipe that would be a convenience mix, that could be made up ahead, just needing a few liquids added when it’s time to cook. A go-to in times like this. I saved my chop chop time for the raw veggies I wanted to serve with these Sloppy Joes, and did that while the joe mix was cooking.

Sloppy Joes

Yes, I eat mine open faced.

Lentil Sloppy Joes

 

  • 1.5 cups lentils
  • 1/4 cup dried minced onion
  • 2 Tbl. dried green pepper
  • 1 tsp. dried minced garlic
  • 1 tsp./cube veggie boullion/ no salt veggie seasoning
  • 1.5 tsp. chili powder
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1/4 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 Tbl. balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tsp. unsulphured molasses
  • 1 pt. tomato sauce
  • 3 cups purified water
    (all ingredients organic whenever possible)

Cook at high pressure for 20-22 minutes in the Instant Pot.

Update: Last night was really an Whoops! that led to the Whoops here. What I crossed out above did work for us–twice. But I know better. Putting tomato products in with uncooked beans makes them take longer to cook. It will probably work better to cook the above without the tomato sauce.  It should only take about 8-10 minutes at pressure,  if you let the pressure release naturally (at least for 10 minutes). (For my lentils to get to the consistency we like, and doing quick release to save time, lentils take 11-13 minutes.)  Then add the tomato sauce in after the lentils are cooked. You may need to hit Saute to reduce it down at that point. I will re-make and update better directions here again. Sorry! The above (with the cross out) does work and taste delicious though. Just doesn’t cook the lentils as quick as it should.

Serve on sprouted/ whole grain buns, with plenty of raw veggies on the side.

Enjoy!

 


 

Great Guac

guacamoleOur eldest son came home over lunch today, just as I was finishing making guac. I asked if he wanted any. “Uhhh. I’ll have a taste.” Which became another, and another, and … until he’d eaten about half the bowl. “It’s better than usual.” I’m not sure whether to take that as a compliment or a cut… or neither, since I’m usually not the one who has made it when he eats it.

Regardless, it was great. Our guac really is always pretty much the same, but has slight variations depending on what we have on hand. Here’s today’s version.

Great Guac

Blend all till well mixed. If you prefer chunkier guac, mince the veggies, dice the avocado and mix and mash together.

Store leftovers covered in the refrigerator, (in a Mason Jar,) 🙂  with the pit of the avocado in the guac. That helps keep it from turning brown. (The lemon juice in it does too.)

Variations:

  • Sometimes we use a whole roma tomato, but aren’t huge fans of a lot of tomato in our guac.
  • If we don’t have jalapeño, we leave it out.
  • Sometimes we use lime juice, instead of lemon, if we have fresh limes on hand. And leave out the Lime EO.
  • If I have fresh cilantro, I use about 1/4 bunch cilantro leaves. Sometimes we leave it out completely. A “toothpick” of essential oil means put a toothpick into the oil in the bottle and stir that into the dish you’re making–for times when you need less than a drop.

Do you love guac?

 


 

 

It’s a Tropical Day in the Neighborhood

Rural midwest never feels like the tropics. But how would I know? I’ve ever been to the tropics. I have been to California and Florida–once each, mostly inside at conferences. But I have seen real live palm trees!  But a girl can dream. And a girl can enjoy the tastes of the tropics without going there, in these times. Blessings indeed. And it is even a blessing to be able to get them frozen when fresh is not available.

pina colada green smoothie

Today’s Green Smoothie is straight from the tropics, with a flavor many love, even if they’ve never tasted the real, fresh fruits. Pina Colada–Pineapple and Coconut.

Pina Colada Green Smoothie

  • 1 cup pineapple chunks
  • 1/4 – 1/2 cup fresh young coconut meat (no they don’t cost near this much locally or through Azure Standard)
  • 1/2 banana
  • 2 large handfuls baby spinach or other greens
  • water kefir (or fresh coconut water or purified water)
  • 1 Tbl. fresh ground flax seed (optional)

As always ingredients should all be organic, as much as you are able to find.

Blend till smooth, in a high performance blender. Enjoy!

What was in your Green Smoothie today? Comment below!


 

Can(‘t) be Beet Veggie Berry Green Smoothie

Beets are a great cleansing food. Fantastic to add to our fresh juices, green smoothies, and grated in our fresh salads. The rich red color indicates a high level of antioxidants. They are also anti-inflammatory and a great detoxifier.

beet-veggie-berry green smoothie

This delicious green smoothie, that doesn’t look very green despite the fact that it has twice as much greens as everything else put together, is higher on veggies, including beet, and lower on fruits than others. But beets and carrots are both naturally sweet, so this is not a bitter, or even savory smoothie. If you aren’t used to eating beets, you may want to start with 1/4 beet, and gradually work up in the amount you include here, due to the cleansing properties. I’ve given amounts to start with. You can certainly add more veggies than listed in the recipe.

Can(‘t) be Beet Veggie-Berry Green Smoothie

  • 1/4+ beet with greens (from whole beet)
  • 1+ carrot
  • 1+ celery stalk
  • handful strawberries
  • large handful (or 2) baby spinach
  • 1 Tbl. fresh ground flax seed
  • water kefir (or purified water)

As always ingredients should all be organic, as much as you are able to find. Strawberries are #1 on the Dirty Dozen list for pesticides. Celery and Spinach are also in the top 12.

Blend till smooth, in a high performance blender. Enjoy!

What was in your Green Smoothie today? Comment below!


 

1-2-3 Avocado Pudding

1-2-3! It’s time to revisit Avocado Pudding again. Even though I’ve never posted the recipe here before. Not sure why, since I’ve posted it in social media several times.

avocado pudding

This is a revisit because I’ve been working at converting some of my recipes from natural sweeteners to whole food sweeteners–experimenting with dates and other fruits. Since I use dates as my sweetener in a lot of recipes, I decided to try them in my Avocado Pudding. Success!

1-2-3 Avocado Pudding

  • 1 Avocado
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 3 Tbl raw cacao powder
  • 3 juicy medjool dates, optional to soak first (originally, 1/4 cup maple syrup)
  • 1/3+ cup water (May need up to 1/2 cup depending on size of avocado and whether you soaked dates)

Blend until smooth.

Yum!


 

Steel Cut Oats {Instant Pot Recipe}

One of my favorite breakfasts is Steel Cut Oats. Years ago I didn’t think I liked them. I’d grown up on rolled oats and eaten those my entire life.

But when I tried Steel Cut in more recent years, I found I loved them! The texture of the Steel Cut is different. Chewier. For those that think you hate oatmeal because it is mushy, give Steel Cut Oats a try!

Now, I love them even more because I make them in my Instant Pot, and can just dump in the oats and water, set it and forget it. No watching a clock. No watching–or scorching–a pan. I can go off and do whatever I want, not worrying about when I get back to them. My Instant Pot will hold them on keep warm until I get there.

steel cut oats

Super simple “recipe”

  • I put in a 4 cup Pyrex bowl on a trivet in my Instant Pot, with 1 cup water (in the liner pan) below.
  • Cook at Manual, 10 minutes. You can Quick Release.
  • Serve with berries, homemade Almond Milk, and if desired cinnamon and and a hint of maple syrup.

 

Do you make Steel Cut Oats? Do you have an Instant Pot? Did you try this recipe? Comment below!

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Green Smoothies

What else for today but Green Smoothies? No Luck o’ the Irish needed, just the proven science of biology. These are good stuff for your body.

green smoothie duo

Green Goodness ~ Freedom & Simplicity™ Guide to Green Smoothies ~ http://gfy.frommeandmyhouse.comIt’s no secret that a primary secret to health is dark green leafy vegetables, the most nutrient dense foods available, and low in calories too. In addition to all the known and explored vitamins and minerals in them, they are also packed with hundreds of phytonutrients and antioxidants that promote healthy bodies and minds.

It’s also no secret that most people don’t get enough of these powerhouse foods. Very few eat these dark leafy greens daily, and many that do eat only small amounts, not big bowls full.

What also is not a secret, but may not be well known is that it is easy to get what you need in a way that won’t have you chewing on them all day long. Green Smoothies!

green smoothie2Green Smoothies are a combination of dark leafy greens and fruits and/or other vegetables, and water, blended into a delicious “shake”. Although you can find plenty of Green Smoothie recipes out there, no recipe is needed. Just use what you have on hand and like.
You want to shoot for at least 60% or more dark leafy greens to 40% or less fresh or frozen fruit (no additives). To start you may need to reverse those percentages and gradually increase your greens and reduce your fruits. This isn’t just a few leaves of spinach and a couple of strawberries. We’re talking 3 cups greens to 2 cups fresh fruit.

Savory Green Smoothies can be made with vegetables. Tomatoes (really a fruit), carrots, peppers, sweet potatoes, avocados (another fruit) are all good to start with. Then branch out to whatever you’d like. Get adventurous and try new veggies.

green smoothie1For fruits, include berries (another health super food). A banana is a great addition especially in the beginning to make it nice and creamy and help cover the “green” taste. Add common apples, oranges, and lemons; tropical pineapple, young coconut, mango, kiwi, and limes; and all the other varieties of fruit available.

Baby spinach is very mild and a great place to start with your greens. Move on to baby kale and chard, then get adventurous with other dark leafy greens. Rotate your greens, using different ones either daily or weekly.

Blend it smooth with purified water, or fresh coconut water, fresh coconut water kefir, or homemade Raw Almond (or other) Milk. Use enough to get it to the consistency you like. You can add a dash of vanilla too, if you’d like.

Other health boosters you can add in are (organic, raw): fresh ground flax seed, hemp seed, chia seed. For an occasional treat, add a bit of raw carob or cacao powder.

Throw this all in your blender. Blend till smooth. And drink up!

BlendTec Total Blender - http://gfy.frommeandmyhouse.comhigh performance blender will do 2 things for your Green Smoothies. 1) blend them smoother. 2) break open the cell structure of your greens to get more of their nutrients available to you. But if you don’t have a high performance blender yet, use the blender you have. (Pick one up at your local thrift store if you don’t have one.) In a less powerful blender, blend your greens and water first, then add your fruit (especially frozen) and blend, then blend again with any softer ingredients and add ins. These little rests for your blender will blend it smoother and keep it from heating up destroying nutrients and burning out your blender.

Green Smoothies are a great way to start every day. They pack a powerful nutrition punch for energy, weight loss, and good overall health. Get more info in Green Goodness, a beginners guide to Green Smoothies.

green smoothie3

One of my favorite combos is a Tropical Green Smoothie with fresh young Coconut Meat and Water, Pineapple, Mango, Pomegranate seeds, and Spinach. Sometimes I add some Banana, and a bit of ground Flax seed to0.

My other go-to is Berry Good; Baby Kale, Raspberries, Blueberries, Strawberries, Banana, Coconut Water Kefir,  and Hemp Seeds.

Do you drink fresh Green Smoothies daily? What is your favorite combo? Comment below!

 


 

 

 

Instant Almond Milk

Homemade Almond Milk has become our usual choice here. It is so easy and quick, and tastes delicious and can be used in all recipes.

However, occasionally someone needs it NOW, and almonds haven’t been soaked and they don’t want to take the minute to strain, yada yada.

Frankly, if you have a BlendTec or Vitamix you can blend unsoaked almonds if needed, AND you can use fresh Almond Milk without straining (or use off the top and strain the rest later). But …

For those that want Instant Almond Milk NOW, here’s your hack.

Almond Butter Milk

  • 1 cup purified water
  • 1 Tbl. (raw, organic) almond butter (should be able to finder cheaper local source)
  • Blend till mixed thoroughly.

That’s it!

Disclaimer: I don’t believe this is as good as fresh almond milk. IMO, it is for quick use, when you need it now. If you don’t use it right away, you will need to shake or stir, as it will separate.

 


 

Lisa’s Black Bean Burgers

Can you believe it? One of the things I’ve never made from scratch is Veggie Burgers. Long, long ago we used to buy a box of dry mix that we added water to. We lost that source, and for a while bought frozen patties, but I wasn’t completely happy with those ingredients, so we didn’t have them often.

Now that I have my Instant Pot and can go from dry beans to ready to use in less than an hour, I decided to give it a try. I researched several recipes, then forged out on my own. What do I like? What has been in restaurant burgers that I’ve liked? What sounds good? Here’s what I came up with last night. They were delicious. But the variety is endless.

 

Lisa’s Good for You-Naturally! Black Bean Burgers

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups cooked Black Beans (1 cup Black Beans, 2 1/2+ cups water, Instant Pot high pressure 15-30 minutes. Natural Release.)
  • 2 Tbl. Ground Flax Seed mixed with 3 Tbl. water
  • 1/4 Red Pepper
  • 1/4 medium Onion (I used Red)
  • 1-2 cloves Garlic
  • 1 cup Rolled Oats
  • 1/4+ tsp. Cumin
  • 1/4 tsp. Black Pepper (ground)
  • 1/2 tsp. Real Salt (opt.)
  • 1 Tbl. Bragg’s Liquid Aminos
  • 1/4+ cup bean water
  • 1/2 cup Baby Bella Mushrooms
  • 1/2 cup Corn kernels (fresh or frozen)

Directions:

  • Cook Beans.
  • Grind Flax Seeds and soak in water.
  • Process Peppers, Onions, and Garlic until as fine as you’d like. Add Spices, Aminos, Oats and 1 cup of drained Beans (reserve liquid) and process again, pulsing to mix spices in thoroughly, but not turn oats into flour. Add water and Flax, beginning with 1/4 cup water (that’s all I needed) and pulse slightly to mix.
  • Add remaining Beans, Mushrooms, and Corn. Pulse just to mix in (not break down much.)
  • Form into patties onto parchment paper. (I just use a 1/4 cup measuring cup or scoop, and flatten the tops a bit.)
  • Bake at 350° or Grill (I put into freezer for a few minutes to firm up a bit before grilling.) approx. 15 minutes. Flip half way through.

 

  • Makes approx. 10 burgers. Can be frozen with parchment paper between.
  • I served with Avocado Slices
  • Use Organic ingredients and purified water
  • You don’t have to use a Food Processor. You can just chop the veggies, and moosh all together with your hands (or mash the beans a bit and stir with a spoon.)

Unbaked/ungrilled patties. I will update with cooked picture when I make again. Sorry. Forgot.

8411_1012738348800553_5070700641611734267_n

Enjoy! And let me know how you liked them!