March 31, 2011

My Juicer is Coming!!

YAY!!! My juicer is on the truck to be delivered to me right now!!! (Do you not love the technology of tracking packages?!?)

Anyone who is on my facebook knows that I have been pining away for one of these babys for a while. Since I ordered Mr Juicer (I have to wait till I meet it to decide on a final name and gender) last week I have been dreaming about juicing! I am so excited!!!!!

I even made some more of my DIY Reusable Jars to store all the juice in this past weekend!

Hamilton Beach 67650 Big Mouth Pro Juice Extractor

Now to decide on what to juice first..... both of these recipes sound delish to me...

Veggie Ginger Juice

A standard “mixed veggie” concoction that’s spiced up by the ginger. This is a great “warming” juice for the cold months.

3 large carrots
1 beet
1 green apple
4 large stalks celery
1 large handful of spinach, parsley, or other dark green
1 small cucumber
1 inch knob ginger

Think Pink

A green twist on the Pink Lady.

1 beet
1 green apple
1 pear
6 large leaves romaine
1 inch ginger


March 28, 2011

Vegan Peppermint Patties

Ahh what a wonderful weekend! Cooking, hiking, cycling, crafting, dinner with old friends, reading a good new my opinion, all things that comprise a wonderful weekend! I am fully aware that St Patricks day is over, and if I were a more holiday conscious blogger I would have posted these a couple of weeks ago. However, unlike green beer, I think these can be consumed year round!

1/2 cup coconut oil
1.2 cup coconut flakes, unsweetened
1/3 cup agave
1 tsp vanilla
1.5 tsp Peppermint oil
1 cup vegan semi-sweet chocolate chips

1. Warm coconut oil in microwave until liquid. Stir in agave, coconut, vanilla and peppermint. Allow to cool until mixture is almost solid.
2. Roll into small balls, about 1 TBSP size and place on plastic covered cookie sheet. Flatten with spoon or hand.
3. Place in freezer for about 15 mins or until they are nice and firm.
4. Warm chocolate chips in saucepan on low heat until melted. Make sure not to burn your chocolate!
5. Dip patties quickly into chocolate and set on cookie sheet. This is not about perfection...your warm chocolate will melt the patties if you leave it in there for a long time.
 6. Place chocolate covered patties in freezer until chocolate has hardened.


* If you are not a coconut person, just leave out the coconut flakes.*

I had some left over chocolate so I mixed in an equal amount of peanut butter to chocolate and then let that set in a shallow pan (again in the freezer). Peanut butter chocolate squares! YUM!

Is that sunshine? In Spokane in March? I think so!
My wonderful friend Jeannette and I took advantage of one of the first nice days of the year with a little run/hike in Spokane's Riverside State Park!

March 25, 2011

Fritata? and Walnut Macaroons!

Some of my cooking adventures are great successes...others, not so wonderful. I made an egg fritata for dinner last night. It looked beautiful, it tasted good, but not blow your mind amazing. However I still wanted to share it with you all and offer up some changes for next time...

1 cup Whole Grain Rice
1 Tbs Olive Oil
4 eggs
1/4 cup coconut milk
1/4 cup cheddar cheese
1/2 Large tomato, sliced
1/4 cup spinach
1-2 bunches fresh parsley
Pepper to taste

1. Pre-cook rice according to directions. Heat OO in medium frying pan. Press rice onto the bottom of the pan.
2. Break eggs directly onto rice. Stir with a fork to break and spread around yolks. Add coconut milk and stir in. Cover and allow to cook 5-10 minutes on med. heat.
3. When eggs are just about set sprinkle on cheese, toms, spinach and parsley. Cover and allow eggs to fully set.
4. Serve!

OK, So I don't know why I added coconut milk to my eggs but I LOVED the egg part of this! SOO yummy. The only part of this dish that was a tad bit disappointing was that the rice got a little crunchy. This was probably from the olive oil. When I make this again I may just cook the eggs without the rice on the bottom and serve with some roasted potatoes.

Also, I made some of those Walnut Macaroons that I talked about on my previous post. I added a little chocolate drizzle to the top of mine and brought some into work to share....they are being snatched up like hot cakes! The original recipe is on Sweet Potato Soul.

March 23, 2011


I must say my overall mood and happiness has increased tremendously over the past couple of weeks. Not that I was a complete grouch before, its just easier to be happy lately. It is not painfully cold to go outside anymore, it is still light outside when I leave work, I got to run over 15 miles outside last week and get my bicycle ready for some road riding! Things are definitely looking up. There are still no flowers, blossom or typical signs of spring here in the inland NW, but alas I remain hopeful.... Have I mentioned that I love summer?? There are still a few things weighing on my brother still dealing with bully's in junior high, my other brother deploying to Afghanistan in early April, and all the other little life stresses; yet it is so much easier to take things in stride this time of year.

Thor and I enjoying a summer trip to Glacier Nat Park last year.

I have found something else to be happy about.....Jenne'! Jenne' maybe one of my favourite blog land people out there right now! She posts lots of yummy vegetarian and vegan recipes on her blog (this is where the banana brownies came from) and is even creating a little cooking show! Check this out and tell me she isn't the most adorable thing ever!

You can get the recipe for this video here. I think Ill be making some very soon... maybe the taste of coconut will bring me one step closer to summer.

March 22, 2011

Chick Pea and Veggie Curry

I am an idea thief. Some people may call it getting "inspired" and sure, that is a nice way to put it. But I love to look around at what other people are doing and then put my own spin on it in the kitchen. If you just sat me in the kitchen with a bunch of ingredients and no ideas I would be at a bit of a loss. This dish was inspired by Keri over at I Eat Trees. Keri used chick peas for her Vegan in a Hurry Coconut Curry, and I just had to hurry home and make a chick pea curry!

1 TBS olive oil
1/4 Onion, diced
1 clove Garlic, diced
3-4 leaves rainbow Chard, cut into thin slices
1 bunch of broccoli, broken into florets
3-4 small Yukon gold potatoes, diced
1/2 cup Tofu, diced
1 can chick peas (garbanzo beans), drained and rinsed
1 cup- 1 can Coconut Milk
2 TBS Curry Powder
1 tsp Red Pepper flakes

1. Blanch broccoli, chard and potatoes in boiling water until all are tender.
2. Saute onions and garlic in OO until onions are transparent.Stir in curry powder.  Add in blanched veggies and tofu.
4. Stir in coconut milk. Less for a more thick curry. More for more liquid curry. Let simmer for a couple of minutes.
5. Stir in chick peas. Allow to simmer for another couple of minutes. Add Red pepper flakes to taste. At this point you can add more curry powder until you get the flavor and kick you are looking for.
6. Serve over whole grain rice or cous cous.


Can you tell I figured out how to edit my photos! Very exciting!

March 21, 2011

Whole Wheat Banana Brownies

My name is Samantha and I am addicted to chocolate. I LOVE it. Seriously maybe in a unhealthy way. If I had to chose between my family and chocolate......well I would chose my family.....I think.

Like any true chocolate lover, brownies are pretty much the tops. Warm, gooey chocolaty goodness...yum! Well I stumbled upon this Vegan Banana Brownie recipe and I have two people to thank for this. I first found it via A Kate Day. Kate and her friend have a vegan food website that they rightfully have named "Vegan Food Porn". The recipe actually comes from Sweet Potato Soul. I have made some modifications to the recipe and mine is not vegan, but just check out her page for the vegan version. :)

To be vegan or not to be vegan. This is honestly something that is on my mind. Most dairy kind of grosses me out anyway. I mean milk squeezed from a cows udder after she has been artificially inseminated and then had her calf taken from her....umm pass the almond milk please. Butter...gross. Cream...gross. You get the idea....but now cheese..oh man I LOVE it! (I know I know, it comes from milk and I'm a hypocrite!), farm fresh organic eggs...yes please! In conclusion, I would never claim to be vegan but I do think eating more vegan foods is a great conquest and I often incorporate vegan foods into my diet. However, when I have some farm fresh local eggs in my fridge, I will use them in my baking

Banana Brownies

1 cup cold coconut cream*
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 tsp sea salt
1 tsp baking powder
1 egg (or egg replacer)
1 ripe banana, mashed
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp instant espresso/coffee powder
3/4 cup sugar
1 ripe banana, sliced thinly, lengthwise

*For coconut cream, just put a couple of cans of higher quality coconut milk in the fridge. The milk will separate to a cream on the top and just spoon it out to measure your cup.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees, and oil (coconut oil) and flour a 9x9 or round 9-10 inch baking pan.

In a small sauce pan bring about 3 cups of water to a boil. Place coconut cream and chocolate chunks into a heat proof metal bowl, over the boiling water. Stir frequently with a spoon spatula, and after about 5 minutes, the steam will have melted the mixture. Remove from heat, stir, and set aside to cool.
In a large bowl combine whisk eggs, add the mashed banana, vanilla extract, coffee powder and sugar, mix well.

In a medium bowl mix flour, salt and baking powder.

Pour the cooled coconut chocolate fudge into the banana/wet ingredient mixture and stir. Slowly stir the flour into the wet ingredients and mix well.

Pour the batter--it should be fairly wet--into the prepared pan. Carefully set the banana strips on top and bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes.

With a paring knife or toothpick check to make sure the brownies are done. Allow them to cool for 30-40 minutes before cutting.

Serve alone or with ice cream...


Jenne' made a cooking video for these yummy brownies! She is so stinking cute!

March 20, 2011

Black Bean Southern Burger

By popular demand....... my tasty and healthy burgers and fries! I know your thinking "It cant be true! Vegetarian burgers always fall apart and are not very satisfying". Not any more friends, not any more....
Please note that these pictures were taken the following day of leftovers so they look less impressive than freshly cooked!

1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
1/2 onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, diced
2 eggs*, organic and farm fresh of course!!!
1 packet of taco seasoning
1 Pasilla Pepper
1 cup panko bread crumbs (reg. would be fine too)

*To make these burgers vegan, use any egg substitute. 

1. Mash the beans and add all ingredients to the beans. Make sure everything has mixed thoroughly.
2. Form patties of your desired size, remember since they are not full of fat like reg. beef patties they will not shrink when you cook them.
3. Warm a small amount of olive oil in a frying pan or skillet on medium heat. Cook each patty for about 5 minutes or until browned on each side.
4. Serve on a whole wheat bun with toppings and sides of your choice.

**You could grill these burgers easily also**

As you can see, I sprinkled some mozzarella cheese on mine and topped with lettuce, tomato and avocado. I served with some oven roasted fries.

For the fries, just cut your choice of potatoes into wedges, lightly coat with olive oil and sea salt and bake in the oven on 400 for about 20 mins, turning half way through.
Once cooked sprinkle with red pepper flakes and fresh basil.

This meal is packed with protein, vitamins and lots of feel good power!

March 14, 2011

Energy/Protein Bars

As a girl on the go, I eat my fair share of bars. It is a rare day that you would find me without some sort of bar in my bag or car. And the day that you do run into me hungry and without a bar,,,watch out!
I try to choose bars that are as natural and minimally processed as possible. Best case scenario, I make my own!

1/2 cup coconut oil
1/3 cup nut butter (I used peanut butter in these, but almond is my fav)
1 scoop protein powder
1/4 cup chopped walnuts
1/4 cup sunflower seeds
1/4 cup raisins
1/4 cup shredded coconut
1/4 cup chocolate chips
2 TBSP Agave or Honey (optional- to sweeten)

** If choosing to make these bars Raw or Living. Just choose all raw ingredients.**
*You want your ratio of coconut oil to nut butter to stay similar to this, but everything else is completely up to your preference! Ive added all sorts of things such as banana, dried cherries and other fruit, cacao powder, various seeds and nuts. You can also play with the amounts of these to get the texture of you bar as "gritty" as you desire.

1) Melt coconut oil in a saucepan over low heat. Stir in nut butter. Once well blended remove from heat.
(If you are following a strict raw diet, melt your oil by placing it in a bowl of warm water)

2) Stir in all other ingredients, starting with ingredients that really need to mix in well (protein powder) and ending with ingredients that may melt if added when mixture is warm (chocolate chips).

3) Pour mixture into a tin foil lined baking tray of sorts. Its OK if mixture is not very deep.

4) Place in freezer for about 30 mins

5) Cut into bars!

You should store these in the fridge as coconut oil will melt above about 75. Keep in mind these are not a low calorie food! But they are a great, nutritious, and tasty way to get energy in a hurry! Would make a great, easy to eat,  breakfast bar for you breakfast skippers! 

If you think of any great flavor combos or things to add in, please leave them in the comments below! :)

March 11, 2011


I don't even know how to write this....

I want my blog to be a fun and inspiring look into my little corner of the world. I also want my blog to be a fairly honest reflection of my life, and unfortunately right now my heart feels.....raw instead of inspired.

First, the earthquake and tsunami in Japan and the impending tsunami warning in HI are alarming and scary to say the least. I cant even come close to imagining what those people are going through right now. To so violently and suddenly lose loved ones, friends, neighbors to not know the fate of loved ones, and to not know how to care best for you family in the immediate future. My heart feels overwhelmingly heavy to just think about it...

I have watched a few videos of the footage which is just so surreal. What absolutely disgusts me was that there were comments on youtube that stated zero sorrow for this incident and even claimed that Japan somehow "had it coming" for injustices to dolphins and pearl harbor!?!?!! Grrrrr that kind of ignorance, hypocrisy and hate makes me so disheartened. I hope that they are judged by someone a little more gracious than they are when that day comes....

I believe that some light will come from this. Families will be reunited, amazing bonds will be forged, Japan will rebuild. But for today that doesn't make the pain any less....

Secondly, I found out my little 12 year old brother was "assaulted" at school yesterday. As far as I understand the story, my little brother was in drama class, acting out a scene in which he was injured and lying on the floor. Some boy, that my brother says he doesn't even know,came up and started to stomp on, stand on and kick my little brother. None of the students around did anything or even alerted a teacher. The class period changed and my brother was able to make it to his next class, where he has his favourite teacher. The teacher took him to the nurses office...and from there we have principals, police and hospitals. He has sprained ribs and bruised muscles. I talked to him and he seems to be doing OK. His main concern with going back to school is that he will now be regarded as a 'snitch' for telling when he was assaulted. There is video footage of the incident and charges will be pressed.

Obviously, I feel sick. Not only that one little boy can do that to another, but that other children can stand and watch. What is wrong with our kids???

I don't even know what else to say......

I am an eternal optimist.
There are more good people in the world than bad.
There is more beauty than ugliness.
There is more hope than despair.
There is more love than hate.

I believe all of those things....but right now I just feel raw...

Vegtastic Soup

I received an e-mail the other day saying that I was receiving a box a veggies and fruits on Thursday!! Oh yay, I had forgotten!....oh crud I had just bought fruit and veggies at the store! So the good news is that Thor and I will be eating A LOT of nutrients in the next few days!!

Thor has been pretty stressed at work lately and I always become a bit of a worry wort so I wanted to take the chance to make him a really healthy, comfort food style meal.

But alas, now I am stood in my kitchen, surrounded by random amounts of fruits and veggies and no recipes for incorporating all of them.... so I did what any budding culinary genius wannabe would do...threw things into a pot with some vegetable broth and crossed my fingers!

1/4 cup Olive Oil
3 cloves Garlic, diced
1/2 Onion, diced
2 Carrots, sliced
2 Celery Stalks, sliced
8 cups veggie broth
2 Yukon gold potatoes, diced
1 yam, diced
3 leaves rainbow chard, cut into strips
huge handful spinach
2 Tomatillos
1 bunch basil, chopped
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese *Omit if cooking vegan*
Black Pepper to taste

1. In a large saucepan, saute the onions and garlic in OO. When onions are tender add celery and carrots and continue to saute for about 5 minutes.
2. Pour in veg broth and add potatoes, yams, chard, spinach and tomatillos. Allow to simmer for 10-15 minutes or until potatoes are tender.
3. Add basil, parm and pepper and let simmer for a couple more minutes.
4. Sprinkle on a little more cheese when served if you feeling crazy...

This is not a spicy or over-whelming soup by any means but the different flavors of the veggies are scrumptious. I LOVED the chard....why is it not in more recipes???
You will feel like a million bucks after a bowl (or two) of this little concoction!

And I know that Thor liked it because my tupperware of soup for my lunch today was mysteriously gone from the fridge this morning... :)

March 10, 2011

Green Smoothie!

If you have not heard about the amazing and wonderful powers of green smoothies that are all the rage lately, climb out from under your rock and blend one of these up pronto!

Green smoothies are being raved about because they pack all the nutritional goodness of multiple raw fruits and vegetables and taste GREAT! Honestly, besides the colour, you will not even know that you are taking in vegetables. A general rule of thumb in creating these recipes is 50% fruits and 50% vegetables with some water, milk (dairy, coconut, nut, soy) or juice to help the mixing along. You can also add any other supplements you want...protein powder, vit D drops, Aloe Vera juice, etc... A quick internet search will give you lots of ideas for what to blend together I like the ideas on The Best of Raw Food and Green Diva Mom

Here is a little combo that I really enjoy as a gloomy day pick me up! 


Banana (Frozen will make your smoothie even creamier!)
1 Pear
1 cup Pineapple
1 bunch Kale
1 bunch Spinach
1 Scoop Raw Sprouted grain protein
Fill about 1/4-1/2 up ingredients with water (you can always add more)

Blend it Baby!!

Ohhh la la! A nutrient packed, illness fighting, mood enlightening greeeeeeeeeeeeen smoothie!

March 8, 2011

I cant help...

Little bit of a random post here but I wanted to play with uploading videos onto my blog that I had previously posted on facebook (the computer that the video was saved to was stolen :/ ). While I am not one to brag I feel like a total blogger queen for eventually figuring this out!!!

I took this video while visiting my little brother Harrison and his beautiful wife Romina in Georgia when Harrison graduated from Boot Camp. We had such a wonderful time together and I will cherish those memories for the rest of my life. One day we went to lunch at a little hole in the wall Korean restaurant. An older couple ran this place single handed and they were amazing! When things got a little quieter the wife went to each table and sang to them!!

I just found out my little brother is deploying to Southern Afghanistan late this March. While as his big sister a part of me wants to always keep him protected and under my wing, I know I must let him be the amazing man that he is and take his adventure.

March 3, 2011

Avocado Pesto Pasta

Found this yummy recipe at Veg News. Click on the link for the original or check out the sammified version below...

1 pound whole wheat linguine
1 bunch basil leaves
½ cup Macadamia nuts (unless you have pine, but macs were on sale :) )
2 ripe avocados, pitted and peeled
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (about ½ of a lemon)
1 lg clove garlic
½ cup olive oil
¼ cup chopped sun dried tomatoes (optional)
Pinch of sea salt

1) Cook pasta according to directions.
2) Throw all the other ingredients (except sun dried toms) into a blender or food processor. Blend until smooth and creamy.
3. Toss into pasta. Garnish with sun dried toms and fresh basil.

Thor loved this and I just didn't mention that the sauce was raw and vegan. :) I cant wait to make this for a cold summer pasta salad, I may even throw a few sliced avos into the bowl as an extra garnish. People will think you are a gourmet healthy chef and I wont let them know it took ten minutes!

Weekend with Family!

Just wanted to share a few pictures of the family and I last weekend. As most already know I moved to the United States from England when I was 11. The hardest part of that move now, as it was then, was being apart from family. My grandparents are currently in the Seattle area visiting my mum so I made the drive over a very snowy mountain pass to spend a long weekend with them!

The time of year that's hardest for us all to be so distant is Christmas. So, we decided to have a Christmas dinner this weekend! I wish I would have taken pictures of all my grandmas beautiful food but I was too busy eating it! Roast potatoes, roasted parsnips, broccoli, cauliflower, brussel sprouts, turkey and gravy....and of course trifle for dessert!! We invited a couple of my best friends from college to join in the festivities and had a wonderful time!
My beautiful grandmother! If you can believe it, she is even more beautiful on the inside than the outside! 

Grandad telling stories!!

Goofing around with some silly masks.

It was chilly but we took the dogs on a beautiful walk. I always enjoy fresh air. Don't ask about the mud stains on grandmas knees.....

There were of course a lot of family member that were not here this weekend but they were thought of and missed often!