Monday, August 5, 2013

ENTER for a CHANCE to WIN!!!


Win an autographed copy of the second in the series of The Form Benders books, The Bear Essentials, by sending your email address to: 

You must have purchased a copy of the first book, either in E book, or paperback to enter

In the subject line please put the date of your entry. The drawing will be held on February 10th, 2014 at which time, you will be notified of your winning entry by email. Your physical address will be requested so that we may send you your book.

Please note: Allow 3-4 weeks for your prize to arrive within the U.S. and 6-8 weeks to arrive outside of the U.S.

Your name will be posted as the winner of the contest on my blogs and! Best of luck to you, and thank you for entering.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Black Bean and Corn Salad

Makes enough for 4 generous servings

1 can of low salt Black Beans, drained & rinsed well.
1/2 Red Onion, sliced in thin rounds
2 scant cups frozen, or fresh corn removed from cob
1 1/2 cups cooked and cooled short grain Brown Rice
(I use Trader Joe's frozen, organic Brown Rice rather than cooking it, and then use the rest for a stir fry dinner)
2 green onions, sliced
1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
1/2 cup, or more of Balsamic Vinegar
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/4 Cup Low Sodium Soy Sauce
2 cloves Garlic, minced

Once you have all the ingredients in a bowl, stir well, add Balsamic Vinegar to the bowl, along with the soy sauce, garlic and pepper. Mix well. Cover and place in fridge, allowing salad to set for approx. 2 hours so the rice absorbs the flavors. Stir well and serve!

*Note: This salad keeps for several days, and gets better with time.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Stuffed Portabella Mushrooms

I know this doesn't sound like a lot of food, however, I think you'll be as stuffed as these mushrooms are when you finish them! Enjoy!

Prep Time: Approx. 15 minutes
Cook time: 40 minutes
Serves: 2
Preheat: Oven to 375 & bake for 25 minutes

2 large Portabello Mushroom caps (stem removed and set aside)
2 slices whole grain bread
3 cloves of garlic
1/2 Vidalia Onion, Chopped fine
2 Tablespoons of Earth Balance whipped buttery spread
2 Tablespoons fresh Parsley chopped fine
1 teaspoon of dried oregano

Put Earth Balance spread in a pan large enough to saute the mushrooms, and then later the veggies in. Place mushrooms in the skillet, top down. Cook for 7 minutes, on medium heat, and then flip over to cook the underside for approximately 7 more minutes. Set skillet off to the side and remove the mushroom caps.  Put the Portabellos on a plate to cool slightly.

While you're waiting for the mushroom to cook, tear your bread into small pieces and put them in your food processor. With the setting on high, process them until they become bread crumbs.

On low heat, add chopped mushroom stems, onions, garlic, parsley and spices into the same skillet and let them cook until the onions are translucent. Put the bread crumbs in the pan, along with the mushroom chunks, onions, garlic, spices and parsley, letting them soak up the flavors of the veggies you just cooked. When stuffing is done, it should be moist and cling together. If it isn't, add a little more Earth Balance Buttery Spread, and then turn the caps over so the underside is exposed and stuff the filling into the mushroom. Rest the mushroom cap on a lightly oiled cookie sheet, and then place in preheated oven at 375 degrees for 20 minutes or until the tops are lightly browned. I like to put them in a little vegetable broth (not too much) to make them steam and taste even more flavorful, (optional).

Serve with a fresh green salad and your favorite dressing. Yummy!

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Tasty Lentil Soup - So Good for You!

Prep time: Approx 10 mins
Yields: 4 - 5 cups of soup


2 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
2 cups lentils (cleaned and sorted)
5 1/2 cups water
1 1/2 Tablespoons "Better Than Boullion" Vegetable Boullion
1/2 Vidalia Onion chopped coarse
3 cloves garlic (smashed & chopped)
1 Carrot, peeled & chopped finely
1 teaspoon dried Basil
1 teaspoon dried Oregano
2 Tablespoons Balsamic Vinegar


Saute onion and garlic in Extra Virgin Olive Oil in a 4 quart soup pot. Add carrots when onion is translucent. Add water, Lentils, Boullion, Basil and Oregano. Bring to a boil, then turn down to low and let simmer, stirring occasionally. (If the water evaporates, add more, 1 cup at a time until desired consistency. I like my soups with some water in them, so I add a little at a time for mine until it's "soupy". When soup is almost done, (takes about 45 minutes to an hour) test lentils for doneness, add the Balsamic Vinegar and let simmer for another 10 mins. Place into bowls and enjoy with whole grain or sprouted wheat toast. Enjoy!

Monday, March 18, 2013

Cheesy & Simple: Vegan Mac & Cheese

Makes approximately 4 1 1/2 cup servings.

6 cups of water (1 Tablespoon Sea Salt)
3 cups rice or whole wheat pasta.
1 block Daiya Cheddar Cheese, grated & set aside

1 1/2 cups Almond Milk, (unsweetened original)
3/4 Cup Raw Cashews
2 Teaspoons each, Granulated Onion & Granulated Garlic
1 heaping Tablespoon Red Miso Paste

While pasta is boiling in the 6 cups of salted water, grate Daiya Cheddar Cheese for sauce.

In a blender with a "smoothie" setting, place cashews, Almond milk and granulated onion and garlic. Let run on "smoothie" setting for at least 8 minutes, scraping sides of blender so that cashews are turned into a smooth silky paste. Add the heaping Tablespoon of Red Miso and let it continue to blend on "smoothie" setting until thick, about 2 minutes.

Check pasta for tenderness. When it's ready, drain. While pasta is draining, add mixture from the blender to the pan you just boiled the pasta in, and add the Daiya cheddar shreds. Cook over medium heat until all the Daiya is melted. Pour pasta into the pan, and mix well. Serve with your favorite salad.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Cheesy Vegan Enchiladas


1 Large can of La Victoria (mild) Enchilada Sauce
1 pkg. Medium Firm tofu (squeezed, drained and then cut into small chunks)
2 Teaspoons of The Pepper Plant Hot Sauce, (whichever flavor you prefer…I use the garlic one)
½ Cup Homemade salsa or Tostitos brand Mild
1 Can of Organic Sweet Corn (drained & rinsed)
1 Can of Organic Black Beans (drained & rinsed)
¼ Cup chopped Cilantro (fresh or dried)
1 Heaping Tbsp. minced garlic
1 Tbsp. each granulated onion and garlic
1 Tbsp. Granulated Sugar
3 Tbsp.’s Chopped Dried Chives
½  Cup of finely Chopped Sweet Red Onion
1 Cup of Whole Black Olives, crushed between your fingers so they are large chunks.
1 Pkg. Daiya Jack Cheese wedge, shredded

Rinsed Black Beans, Corn and Tofu in a large bowl.

Salsa, Hot Sauce, Garlic, Cilantro, Gran. Garlic and Onion, Freshly Chopped Onion, Sugar, Chives, Corn, Beans and ½ of the shredded Daiya Cheese (reserve other half for the top of your enchiladas) to Chunked and drained Tofu. Mix well & let sit for one hour so all flavors blend.

Prepare 9 x 12” dark glass pan:
Spray lightly with Vegalene non-stick spray. Pour a small amount (about another ½ cup of enchilada sauce over the bottom of the pan and set aside. Make sure you cover the bottom with the sauce to help keep them from sticking.

Lightly brush both sides of corn tortillas with corn oil. Place in microwave on high for approximately 2 mins, or until they are soft and change color. When tortillas are ready, remove from microwave and stir your filling one more time to mix well. Blot both sides of your tortillas to remove excess oil.  Place two heaping tablespoons of filling in the middle of your tortilla in a line down the center. Roll quickly and place in pan seam side down. Do all of the tortillas the same way until you have filled the pan. I usually put seven to the left side of the pan, and then add the last two lengthwise at the other edge.

The remainder of the enchilada sauce, (or however much you want, making sure you cover all of them well), over the finished enchiladas, add the remaining shredded vegan cheese, and sprinkle with the crushed olives, covering the casserole.

The top of the aluminum foil with Vegalene so the cheese doesn’t stick to it, place the foil (spray side against the enchiladas) on top of casserole pan, cover & seal them with foil. Bake at 375 degrees for 35 mins, remove the aluminum foil and bake for 10 more mins uncovered. Serve with brown rice, vegan refried beans and a salad. Yum!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Here's another of my Vegan Favorites! Enjoy!

Vegan Shepherd’s Pie

Prep Time:  Approx. 40 minutes                              Serves: 4 people
Cook Time:  Approx. 40 minutes                             Preheat Oven: 400 degrees

You will need for crust:

1)      4 Large Organic Russet or Idaho Potatoes, cut in large    chunks
2)     ½ container of Tofutti Cream Cheese (Vegan)
3)     2 Tablespoons Earth Balance Buttery Spread
4)     3 - 4 Cloves of fresh, minced garlic (optional)
5)     1 Tablespoon sea salt
6)     1 Teaspoon of Black Pepper
7)     ¼ Cup of chopped scallions, (green tops only)
8)     ½ Container of Tofutti Sour Cream (Vegan)
9)     1 Cup of Silk Soy Creamer
10)   2 Teaspoons of Garlic Granules
11)    2 Teaspoons of Onion Granules

Steam Potatoes in Vegetable steamer until soft.  Put chunks into bowl and add all other above ingredients.  With an electric mixer, mix until smooth and creamy.  Set aside. (Salt & Pepper to taste)

You will need for filling:

1)      1 Carton of sliced Crimini Mushrooms
2)     1 Carton of button mushrooms (quartered)
3)     1 Carrot chopped thinly in rounds at an angle.
4)     1 Cup of Broccoli florets cut into bite sized pieces
5)     1 Sweet Vidalia or Maui Onion, cut into chunks
6)     3 Cloves of garlic, minced
7)     ½ Cup of Fresh or Frozen Sweet Corn
8)     ½ Cup of Fresh or Frozen Peas
9)     1 Can of 365 Organic Green Beans, drained
10)   ½ Cup shredded cabbage
11)    1 Cup of shredded Dinosaur Kale (It's delicate nature is excellent in this recipe)
12)    ¼ Cup of Shoyu Soy Sauce
13)    1 small container of Pacific Vegetable Stock (6 oz.)
14)    ¼ Cup of Water
15)    2 ½ Tablespoons Arrowroot Powder or Corn Starch dissolved in 3 Tablespoons of cold water
16)   2 Tablespoons of Toasted Sesame or Peanut oil

In large skillet, sauté mushrooms, onions, garlic, carrots, and broccoli until the vegetables turn bright in color.  Add Sweet Corn, Peas, Green Beans and Shredded cabbage and Kale.  Add Vegetable stock, Soy Sauce, Water and let simmer 5 minutes.  Salt and Pepper to taste. Add Arrowroot powder (or Corn Starch) dissolved in water and let simmer until sauce thickens.  Gravy should be thick, if it isn’t, add another tablespoon of Arrowroot powder to a teaspoon of water, stir and mix well then add to the vegetable/gravy mixture again.  When gravy is formed, set the skillet aside.

Return to mashed potatoes, lightly grease your 9 x 12 x 2 ½ inch deep, glass pan.  Dump potatoes into the center and push out and up the sides of your dish until a sort of mashed potato bowl is formed.  Pour vegetable & gravy mixture into the pan with the mashed potatoes.  Place in preheated 400-degree oven for 40 minutes or until potatoes rise above the sides of the pan and are browned on the bottom.  Remove from oven and let stand 10 minutes.  Serve with whole grain bread for dipping, and a salad.  Enjoy!