Quiche Provençale with Root Vegetables

Quiche Provençale with Root Vegetables

Sometimes when the inspiration hits, I go a little crazy in the kitchen.  It is the most wonderful feeling not to follow a recipe and just go where your crisper drawer takes you.  This last weekend I had a lot of root veggies begging to be used.  I also went to Whole Foods and found a fantastic variety of products I couldn’t get at my local grocery store.  My favorite was the bunch of dandelion greens!

I had just made a quiche with a so-so potato crust that, unfortunately, stuck to the bottom of the pan.  Root vegetables are high in starch, and when cooked, they slowly release sugar, and the sugar makes them sticky.  After thinking about it for a bit, I tried cooking the potato crust very quickly, not giving them time to stick.  Hence, the broiler! And guess what?  It worked!

For this recipe, I used parsnips (the carrot’s favorite cousin), turnips, which, if you’ve never had them, I highly recommend getting some, and Yukon gold potatoes.  I grated one large and one small turnip and three Yukons for my crust and added 1/2 cup grated vegan Parmesan cheese, 3 tablespoons of melted butter, and 1 teaspoon of Herbs de Provence.  I broiled it in my 2.5 quart French Corningware for 8-10 minutes.  But as with all things broiler, keep an eye on it.  You want the potatoes very lightly browned.

For the filling, I made coconut bacon out of vegan bacon-flavored oil.  Now, most of you won’t be able to find that, so here’s a quick link to Minimalist Baker’s quick and easy coconut bacon.  I would suggest making this ahead of time.  It stores well, and it’s nice to have on hand.

Finally, I peeled my potatoes.  For this delicate and tender dish, I did not want the potato peel in my dish.  And sometimes, when you simmer potatoes with the skins on, they fall off anyway.   I like the Yukon golds for this dish because they are a little more dense and creamy!

Let me know if you made this dish and how you liked it!

XO,

Steph


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Quiche Provençale with Root Vegetables

  • Author: Stephanie Bosch
  • Prep Time: 20
  • Cook Time: 35
  • Total Time: 55 minutes
  • Yield: 6 1x
  • Cuisine: Vegan
  • Diet: Gluten Free

Ingredients

Scale
  • 5 medium Yukon Gold Potatoes, *washed, peeled (3 grated, 2 cubed)
  • 3 medium turnips, washed, peeled (1 grated, 2 cubed)
  • 3 medium parsnips, washed, peeled, and cut into 1/4” coins
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 5 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
  • 2 poblano peppers, washed and diced
  • 1/2 cup vegan parmesean
  • 2 teaspoons Herbs de Provence (divided)
  • 1 1/2 cups vegetable stock (low sodium)
  • 2 containers JustEgg
  • 1 cup coconut bacon
  • 1 bunch of tender greens (dandelion, spinach. watercress), washed.

 


Instructions

  1. Preheat broiler.
  2. In a 2.5″ deep casserole dish, add grated potatoes and grated turnips, parmesan cheese, and melted butter.  Mix well and sprinkle with 1 teaspoon Herbs de Provence.
  3. Carefully place the casserole dish in the broiler and bake for 8-10 minutes.  As with all things broiled, keep a close eye on it.  You want a light golden brown color.  When done, remove from heat and set aside.
  4. Reduce heat to 350°F (176°C).
  5. While the casserole is in the oven, warm a medium skillet over medium heat.  Add olive oil and when shimmering, add onion and poblano peppers and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cook until onions and peppers have softened, about 8 minutes.  Add garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute.
  6. Add diced potatoes, turnips, and parsnips.  Add the remaining teaspoon of Herbs de Provence.
  7. Add stock.  Cover and simmer on medium-low until root vegetables have softened, about 10-12 minutes. Stir occasionally and add more stock if vegetables begin to stick. When done, remove from heat.
  8. While root vegetables are cooking, add 4 cups of water to a medium saucepan.  Add salt and bring to a boil.  Blanch greens in boiling water for about 3-4 minutes.  Remove greens from the pan, and immediately add to greens to an ice bath.
  9. Remove greens and add to a colander to remove excess water.  Chop greens into bite-size pieces.
  10. Warm a dutch oven over medium heat. Add olive oil and, when shimmering, coconut bacon. Add greens and saute until greens have released all water, about 4 minutes.
  11. In a mixing bowl, add greens and root vegetable mixture and mix well. Season with salt and pepper.
  12. Shake and add 1 1/2 containers of JustEgg and add to the mixing bowl.  Mix well.
  13. Pour vegetable mixture over potato crust and add to oven.
  14. Bake for 35-40 minutes.  Test with a toothpick at 35 minutes. If it comes out clean, it’s done.
  15. Serve with tabasco or other hot sauce!

Notes

*To prevent food borne illnesses, always wash your fruits and vegetables even if you’re peeling them. Germs on the peel or skin can get inside fruits and vegetables when you cut them.

 

Coconut Curry Carrot Soup

Coconut Curry Carrot Soup

Autumn is my favorite time of year for many reasons. I love the cool reprieve from summer, the incredible display of vibrant colors just before the leaves “fall,” and last but not least, the food! I’m not going to lie; soups, chili, and other warm foods make my heart and tummy happy!  Not only is this soup good, it’s also good for you!

It is loaded with “warming spices,” (cinnamon, ginger, black pepper, cardamom, turmeric, and cayenne pepper) which have been used for thousands of years. These spices can increase your internal body temperature and improve blood circulation, thus giving you a sense of warmth during the chilly winter months. They have been used for multiple reasons, from cooking and baking to medicine and herbal remedies.

The anti-bacterial, anti-viral and anti-fungal properties of turmeric protect us from various infections, including the common cold, flu, and other respiratory illnesses. And Ginger root comes from the Zingiber officinale plant, which has been used in Chinese and Indian medicine for thousands of years. Ginger is high in gingerol, a potent anti-inflammatory, and antioxidant substance. Carrots are an excellent source of beta-carotene, fiber, vitamin K1, potassium, and antioxidants.

The recipe makes 4-6 servings. You may want to double the recipe. I had to double the quantities for my family because everyone went back for seconds, and there were no leftovers! Also, it keeps in the refrigerator for up to a week!

As always, if you make it, tag me and let me know how you like it!

XO,

Steph

 

 


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Coconut Curry Carrot Soup

  • Author: Stephanie Bosch
  • Prep Time: 10
  • Cook Time: 25
  • Total Time: 35
  • Yield: 4-6 cups 1x
  • Diet: Vegan

Description

If you love a creamy, hearty, flavor-packed bowl of soup, this carrot soup recipe is for you! The warming spices, coupled with garlic, and fresh ginger have the capability to increase your internal body temperature and improve blood circulation, thus giving you a sense of warmth during the chilly winter months.


Ingredients

Scale
  • 34 tablespoons vegan butter, or olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, roughly chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 1/2 pound carrots, peeled and cut into ½-inch slices (@56 large carrots, 810 medium)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons peeled, grated fresh ginger
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground turmeric
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 4 Tablespoons red Thai curry paste
  • 3 1/2 cups low sodium vegetable stock
  • 1 1/2 cups unsweetened full-fat coconut milk
  • Juice from 1 lime
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Cilantro or parsley, minced (garnish)
  • Sourdough croutons (garnish)

Instructions

  1. Heat butter in a dutch oven over medium-heat until the foam subsides. If using oil, heat until oil is translucent. Add onions, sprinkle with salt, and stir to coat. Add carrots, ginger, and all spices. Stir and cook until vegetables are softened, about 10 minutes. Add garlic and curry paste, and cook for about 1 minute.
  2. Add the stock; add enough liquid should cover the vegetables. Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce to medium-low heat and cover, cooking until the carrots are cooked through, about 10 to 15 minutes. Be sure to test the thickest one to ensure it’s cooked through.
  3. If you have an immersion blender, purée the soup in the pot. If not, wait until the soup cools slightly, and purée in a blender. Be sure to hold the lid of the blender with a kitchen towel. *A hot liquid at high speed is volatile, and the lid can fly off.
  4. Return the mixture to the dutch oven and add coconut milk and lime juice.
  5. Adjust the seasonings (depending on your stock, you may need more or less salt) and lime juice to taste.
  6. Garnish, serve, and enjoy!

Notes

*I added more salt, pepper, and coriander at the end.

Nut Free Vegan Queso

Nut Free Vegan Queso

Greetings! A few weeks ago, I was asked to create vegan, gluten-free, nut-free meals for a woman and her family of five. One of the trickiest recipes to make vegan and nut-free is cheese! Cashews and almonds are a staple in most plant-based cheeses! This one uses flour and is like a béchamel but with nutritional yeast and seasonings. I like this recipe because it can be as thick or as thin as you want.

If you want a dip, skip the stock, or at least don’t use as much of it. Use all the stock if you want it thin for a drizzle on enchiladas or nachos. It makes an excellent base for a broccoli cheddar soup, too! I like it atop my veggie scramble! 

I made this gluten-free using a 1:1 gluten-free flour. If you have no aversions to regular wheat flour, go for it! I am one of the unlucky 5% of people with a true wheat allergy (like hay fever) and a gluten allergy. Gluten is a super sticky protein and very inflammatory for some of us.

I added green Tabasco to mine, and the dip was gone within a few hours! Green Tabasco is a milder version of regular Tabasco, and I use it on everything, including popcorn! Anyway, enjoy this recipe! It’s a good one! And, as always, when you make it, tag me and let me know how you liked it!

XOXO,

Steph


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Nut Free Vegan Queso

  • Author: Stephanie Bosch
  • Prep Time: 5
  • Cook Time: 15
  • Total Time: 20
  • Yield: 4-6 cups 1x
  • Cuisine: Mexican
  • Diet: Vegan

Description

I love this recipe and I think you will too!  It is super good with a few dashes of green tabasco!


Ingredients

Scale
  • 3 Tbsp vegan butter
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced (about 4 cloves)
  • 4 Tbsp gluten free 1-1 all-purpose flour*
  • 1 3/42 cups unsweetened plant-based milk
  • 22 ½ cups vegetable stock
  • 5 Tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp ground cumin
  • ½ tsp chili powder
  • 4 Tbsp mild green chilis (optional)
  • 1 Tbsp green Tabasco
  • ½ Tbsp maple syrup or organic cane sugar

Instructions

  1. Heat large skillet or saucepan over medium heat. Once hot, add butter and let it melt and start to sizzle – about 1 minute.
  2. Add minced garlic. Cook for about 1 minute, or until fragrant.
  3. Add flour 1 Tbsp at a time and whisk. (Don’t worry if it’s a little lumpy).
  4. Cook for 1 minute, then whisk in milk slowly. Stirring constantly.
  5. Add vegetable stock and whisk until smooth. Bring to a low boil.
  6. Add nutritional yeast, salt, cumin, chili powder, maple syrup, and green chilis, and tabasco, if using.
  7. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed, adding more nutritional yeast for extra cheesiness, salt or tabasco for savoriness, or sweetener for flavor balance.
  8. Garnish with red pepper flakes and fresh cilantro or pico de gallo. Enjoy with chips, or atop Mexican dishes, such as nachos, enchiladas, or tacos!
  9. Store leftovers in a glass jar or container in the refrigerator up to 4-5 days. Reheat in the microwave or in a small saucepan over medium heat. Best when fresh.

Notes

*Makes a great Queso dip!  You can use it in a crockpot but be sure to keep a cup of stock nearby so you can add to it as the dip may thicken with the heat.

Keywords: Queso, vegan, gluten-free, nut-free, cheese

Napalm in the Morning

Napalm in the Morning

When he was three years old, my son was diagnosed with Asperger’s, a variant on the autism spectrum. By the time he was five, I had read everything I could get my hands on about what they (at the time) referred to as Asperger’s Syndrome. “A syndrome is a recognizable complex set of symptoms and physical findings which indicate a specific condition for which a direct cause is not necessarily understood.” Though I suspect there is a direct correlation between agent orange exposure in Vietnam War veterans and the rise in Autism among their grandchildren.

Asperger’s is generally marked by:

  • Emotional Sensitivity.
  • Fixation on Particular Subjects or Ideas.
  • Linguistic Oddities.
  • Social Difficulties.
  • Problems Processing Physical Sensations.
  • Devotion to Routines.
  • Development of Repetitive or Restrictive Habits.
  • Dislike of Change.

There also tends to be a co-morbidity between mood disorders like anxiety and depression and behavior disorders like attention deficit disorder (ADD) and obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). And please note, in this context, the word behavior is defined as a particular way of functioning (i.e., can’t focus) versus how a person chooses to conduct themselves. 

When Covid hit and schools closed, I became Jason’s teacher. I then realized how far behind he was academically. Unfortunately, he is not only cognitively impaired but also socially impaired. And because of it, he was being bullied at school.

He often ate alone at lunch (he later told me it was easier because he didn’t have to worry about what to say). He likes quoting Francis Ford Coppola movies (Apocalypse Now is his favorite movie) and telling you the specifics of various World War 2 military battles. And let me tell you, those are not exactly great 6th-grade conversation starters.

And then, one day, a girl asked him if he’d be her boyfriend. I knew this girl and his troubles with her in the past. I warned him, but he was thrilled. And when he said yes, she proceeded to mock him and joke to everyone that he would never stand a chance. As his mom, this hurt, of course, but I also believe in getting hard knocks out of the way early. The school handled the situation remarkably, and Jason learned fundamental lessons about the human condition.

I kept him home for the next two years and became the county’s least-paid full-time middle school teacher. And that’s when I realized how bad his attention deficit disorder was. Not being able to focus also caused us a lot of anxiety. But he also comes by his inability to concentrate, rightfully. I could’ve had this piece written in two hours, but I got up at least 12 different times to do 12 other things. The squirrels in my head are also fast! But I don’t like labels and told Jason that if he can harness his ADD, it can be his superpower. 

We got ahead in school because we could stay with a topic until he “got” it. But I knew that was not possible in high school, where they covered a subject and moved on. I had held off on medicating him but knew his ability to focus was critical to his success. So, we did it, and he started meds over the summer. And academically, he’s doing great!

Thankfully we stopped his moodiness and outbursts when he was little with no meds needed. I read about the correlation between food and Autism and removed all dairy (specifically the casein protein) and gluten from his diet. There is a direct correlation between the severity of symptoms and these sticky proteins.

Anyway, high school has been great. He is good in math and bad (but getting better) with girls. He is also taking medication for anxiety (which he also gets from me) and for ADD. His grades are good, and he genuinely seems to be happy. Still, when he told me he had put his name in the ring for Homecoming court, my first thought was, “Aw, crap.”

My oldest, who loves her brother and wants nothing more than to protect him, pleaded with me to convince him not to run. But I told her that was not possible. He was way too excited. My only warning was to run a fair and well-mannered TikTok war with his opponent!

And guess what? He won and was elected to the freshman homecoming court. It turns out they were right. You are free to be yourself in high school, and nobody cares. Before he started high school this fall, he nobly reached out to the kids he had issues with in middle school and apologized. Those same kids have grown to know and embrace Jason and were instrumental in getting him the homecoming sash.  

If I had discouraged him from running, I could have robbed him of his success, of getting the win. And what a shame that would’ve been. He came up to me after this picture was taken and told me it was the best night of his life! That made this momma smile and even cried a little.

Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Muffins

Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Muffins

We are in the season of all things pumpkin. I have friends who are rebelling and refuse to buy into the hype. Haters gonna hate. But as for me, I dive in headfirst! There is a reason everyone loves pumpkins! But unfortunately, it’s not for the autumnal gourds themselves, but for the spices that usually accompany them! 

Last year on NPR’s Morning Edition, they spoke with Jason Fischer, a psychological and brain sciences professor at Johns Hopkins University. His team has been researching the science behind pumpkin spice’s appeal and found that it has a lot to do with how we associate smells and flavors with fall.

“Those associations, they form year after year. They also give us this sense of familiarity,” Fischer said. “And when you start to smell the pumpkin spice things in the stores again, it gives you a little feeling of nostalgia.”

Whatever the case, the smell of these muffins baking in the oven will evoke warm fuzzies! They are gluten-free, too! I used a 1:1 Gluten Free Flour mix and had excellent results. Just be sure it has xanthan gum, which helps bind the muffins, taking the place of gluten in the flour. 

I also used brown sugar instead of white sugar and a pumpkin spice mix that I made myself. If you have ripe bananas, you can use them instead of egg substitutes. I did not have any on hand, so I used 1/2 cup of Just Egg, and it worked perfectly. You can also use 2 flax eggs if you prefer. 


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Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Muffins

  • Author: Stephanie Bosch
  • Prep Time: 10
  • Cook Time: 20
  • Total Time: 30
  • Yield: 12 muffins 1x
  • Diet: Vegan

Description

Who doesn’t love chocolate pumpkin muffins?  These light and tasty treats are perfect for breakfast, or for an after school snack!


Ingredients

Scale
  • 2 cups gluten free all purpose flour (I use Bob’s Red Mill GF All Purpose flour)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup brown sugar (makes them moist and less dense)
  • 1/3 cup coconut oil
  • 2 super ripe bananas, or 1/2 cup Just Egg* ( See note)
  • 2/3 cup organic canned pumpkin
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup dairy free vegan chocolate chips (I use Enjoy Life)

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F (177° C)
  2. Lightly grease your muffin tins or use muffin liners.
  3. In a bowl, mix the flour, baking soda, salt and pumpkin pie spice.
  4. In a separate bowl, mix the sugar and the oil.  Add the mashed banana or Just Egg to the sugar mixture. Add canned pumpkin, and vanilla. When mixed well, fold in the chocolate chips.
  5. Finally, add the flour, and mix everything well.
  6. Evenly pour the batter into the muffin tins. Place in the oven for about 18-20 minutes if using GF flour.  If using regular all-purpose flour, test at 20 minutes.  Muffins are done when a toothpick comes out clean. If needed add more time ( 2-3 minutes at a time).

Notes

You can also use 2 flax eggs.

Keywords: Chocolate chip pumpkin muffins

Potato Leek Soup

Potato Leek Soup

To me, this vegan Potato Leek soup is the ultimate comfort food.  I make it several times a year, and it never gets old.  I have modified it over the years for several reasons.

First, I switched out russets for Yukon gold potatoes.  Yukon’s are buttery and creamy, whereas russets are a little more flowery and neutral in flavor.  Second, I use coconut milk instead of soy or oat milk.  The full-fat coconut milk gives it a creamy thickness that I love in soup.  Regular plant-based milk made it too runny.  This soup is meant to stick to your bones!

Finally, I started using a few more of the Provencal herbs instead of just rosemary and thyme.  You can buy Herbes de Provence pre-made, or if you’re a spice lover like me, you can make your own.  This simple blend includes thyme, basil, rosemary, tarragon, savory, marjoram, oregano, and bay leaf.  You can use it on just about anything too!  I love it on avocado toast!

Savory is a rarely used provincial herb. It is in the mint family and is what makes the herb blend so wonderful, in my opinion!  Feel free to use what you have on hand, but if you have some mint, I recommend adding just a pinch or two!


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Potato Leek Soup

  • Author: Stephanie Bosch
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 50 minutes
  • Yield: 6 cups 1x
  • Diet: Vegan

Ingredients

Scale
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon vegan butter
  • 3 medium leeks, washed and sliced into 1/4″ rings (white and light green parts only)
  • 2 1/2 pound Yukon gold potatoes, cubed 1/2 inch (peeled or with skin on)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons dried thyme and rosemary, or Herbes de Provence
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 4 cups water or low-sodium vegetable broth
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 cup full-fat coconut milk
  • 12 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup chopped chives, to garnish
  • Vegan sour cream (optional garnish)

Instructions

  • Make sure leeks are washed well first. (see note)
  • Heat the oil, butter, and a pinch of salt in a dutch oven over medium heat. Add the leeks, and sauté until softened, about 5-6 minutes.
  • Add garlic and herbs. Sauté for 2-3 minutes.
  • Add the potatoes, vegetable broth, bay leaf, salt, and pepper.  Increase heat until soup beings to simmer.  When it simmers, reduce heat to low and cook for about 15-20 minutes, or until the potatoes are fork tender.
  • Remove from heat and remove bay leaves. Stir in the coconut milk and lemon juice. Taste for seasoning.
  • Using an immersion blender, blend until smooth and creamy. You can also use a regular blender and carefully blend half the soup. (Only fill the blender 1/3-1/2 full, and using a towel hold the lid of the blender in place).
  • Add blended soup back to the dutch oven and stir well.
  • Serve in soup bowls and top with chopped green chives, sour cream if using, fresh ground pepper.

Notes

*To clean leeks, cut off the root end and slice off the green part.  Cut the leek in half length-wise.  Cut into thin strips about 1/4″ thick.  Too thin, and they can burn.  Add to a bowl of water, and using your hands, sift the leeks through the water.  All the dirt will sink to the bottom of the bowl.  Remove leeks from the water, and they’re ready to use!

Vegan Broccoli Cheddar Soup

Vegan Broccoli Cheddar Soup

Fall is my favorite time of year!  I love all things autumn, including the reprieve of cooler weather!  Cool-weather means warm food, and this soup is a family favorite!  I always keep the queso dip around, so for me, this whole meal is on the table in 25 minutes!  No dairy and no oil. This soup is better for you than Panera and tastes just as good.  You can also add a diced potato to this recipe and make a yummy broccoli potato soup! I hope you enjoy it! 

XO,

Steph 


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Vegan Broccoli Cheddar Soup

  • Author: Stephanie Bosch
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 25
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 4 Cups 1x
  • Category: Soup
  • Diet: Vegan

Description

Fall is my favorite time of year!  I love all things autumn, including the reprieve of cooler weather!  Cool-weather means warm food, and this soup is a family favorite!  I always keep the queso dip around, so for me, this whole meal is on the table in 25 minutes!  No dairy and no oil. This soup is better for you than Panera and tastes just as good.  You can also add a diced potato to this recipe and make a yummy broccoli potato soup! I hope you enjoy it!


Ingredients

Scale

1 head of organic broccoli, coarsely chopped

1 onion, diced

2 cloves garlic, minced

½ cup shredded carrots

1 stalk celery, finely diced

1 cup cashew queso

4 cups vegetable stock

¼ cup water

Salt and pepper, as desired


Instructions

  • Heat dutch oven over medium heat. Saute onion and celery in ¼ C water until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and saute until fragrant, about 30 seconds.  
  • Add carrots and broccoli, and stir. 
  • Add the vegetable stock into the veggie mixture. Gradually pour queso while stirring constantly. Bring to a simmer; cook until thickened, and vegetables are tender about 20 minutes.

Notes

To add potato, peel and medium dice one russet potato.  Add to carrots and broccoli mixture, and simmer as directed. 

You Gotta Nourish In Order To Flourish

You Gotta Nourish In Order To Flourish

One of my “favorite book” recommendations is a book that I used to gift to my health coaching clients. It is called “The Mindful Diet How to Transform your Relationship with Food for Lasting Weight Loss and Vibrant Health (Wolver, Ruth, et al.,2015). The cover is a little tattered and torn, but no worse for wear, as they say!  Deeply rooted in Psychology, I like it because it helps you understand your relationship with yourself–from many angles. And we, the readers, are gifted with tools and easy ways to create sustainable changes for a healthy life.

I am on day 4 of a 7-day detox, in which the first two days are an herbal liquid fast. When you don’t eat for 68 hours, it’s an easy way to understand and know your cravings! You can even write them down if you want. It’s an excellent way to check in with ourselves.

During this time of fasting, I realized that I had ebbed away from the things that brought me actual physical, mental, and spiritual well-being. I know how I feel when I take care of myself in all those ways, And I also know what it feels like to neglect myself in those ways. Holistic health is the Tao of Happiness!

I have also decided to give up alcohol for the time being, if not forever. And not just because it’s awful for my body. My reflux and weight gain are directly correlated to my alcohol consumption. But I am rebelling against our cultural love of alcohol. Alcohol is poison. It is not medicine. Though I believe many people use it that way.  It numbs, but it’s also death to more than just brain cells. I know someone in a coma RIGHT NOW because of a drunk driving incident.I saw a great quote: “Alcohol is the only drug that if you DON’T do it, people assume you have a problem. Now, that’s a problem.   But it’s everywhere. EVERYWHERE!

And I want to fall in love with good nutrition again because guess what? It can also taste good! That idea is what made me want to become a professional chef. I also know that I want to eat good food and not just eat what tastes good. Oreos are vegan! And guess what? Our healthy tastebuds have been hijacked!

Our entire understanding of what to eat has been conflated and confused. We are disconnected between what goes in and what comes out of us! But no wonder we have commercials for “Arby’s—We got the meat.” The next damn commercial is for Lipitor or Viagra. I just read that the average 40-year-old takes two long-term prescription medications daily. It goes up A LOT the older we get. The number of pills my 82-year-old stepdad takes is staggering. Watch the documentary “Game Changers.”

Change is possible, but it is also incremental. One of the things that I always say is, “Think Evolution, not Revolution. Change takes practice. Like anything else, it takes a desire and effort, but pace yourself. I tend to take off quickly! Also, we need to get out of our way. My friend did the Hard 75. Her advice is, like Nike, “Just do it.” Hey, monkey mind, stop thinking about it and go do it already!

In psychology, we talk a lot about the mind all the time! But how many of us understand what it even is? Ha! Here’s a quick Psych 101 lesson. The first layer of our mind is the waking mind, also known as the chattery mind. It’s the always-thinking, mile-a-minute mind that likes to achieve satisfaction!

The second layer of our mind is our reactive mind. The “what do we do mind.” “Do I go home and fix dinner or run yourself through a drive-thru?” This is the judgmental mind that loops all of us! This mind can trick even the most experienced of us!  “Eh, I’ll make dinner tomorrow night.”

And the third and final mind is the wise old owl mind. The mind simply does what it needs to do, even if it’s hard, because it knows it’s essential. It is also the practicing mind.  Repetition and practice are what allow change to change us!

Excerpt from The Mindful Diet How to Transform your Relationship with Food for Lasting Weight Loss and Vibrant Health. Wolver, Ruth, et al.,  2015

 

In effect, it is from this perspective that one can become a teaching mind. It takes discipline as well as desire to achieve “real” change. From now on, my hope is to share what I know. And I promise to practice what I teach. I love cooking. Food is life. But there is so much more to proper health and well-being than what we eat. Don’t worry. I’ll still share recipes because I will never stop cooking!

From this day forward, this space will be all-encompassing, holistic, and from a place of authenticity and selflessness.  It’s not about me, yet it is about me. This is why I share my cooking videos, but I’m not in a bikini doing it!  In fact, you’ll rarely see my face. I believe in plant medicine, and yes, I am pro-marijuana.  I believe in moving and stretching the body, but I don’t think that has to be in a gym. I will explore topics in alternative medicine, psychology, and spirituality.  I believe in a higher power. In practice, I am an omnist; I don’t believe there is one path to transcendence (though much of my practice is rooted in Buddhism), and I am not here to judge or deny anyone for their beliefs.

And as to the knowledge I share, I humbly say that most of what I know comes from standing on the shoulders of giants. Those brave souls paved the way for folks like you and me to know and grow!  So you will often hear me reference doctors, researchers, educators, activists, mentors, and musicians.  I will also share personal experiences and stories of my friends and me.

I am an ardent follower of people like Dr. Michael Greger, MD, Dr. Neal Barnard, MD, Dr. T. Colin Campbell, Ph.D.; and Dr. Stephen Cabral, ND.

I hope to impart wisdom and humor from great contemporaries like Maya Angelou and Matthew McConaughey (if you haven’t read his “Greenlights” book, ya gotta); and neuroscientist Andrew Huberman just to name a few.

Furthermore, I will reference activists like John Muir, Sierra Club, Peta…and THAT list goes on and on! Just a forewarning, tho, on the topics of animals and our planet, I’m going to be factual and blunt.

Finally, I encourage people to have reasonable, even heated, discussions!  I am a very passionate person! And I love being in the scrum!  But I will literally block people from my page if they cannot have a dignified and respectful conversation.

Helping others by helping ourselves is the best gift we can give the world.

#The journey of 1000 miles…

XOXO —Steph

“What we seed, we feed.” 

Mushroom Tacos de Carnitas

Mushroom Tacos de Carnitas

It’s been a while! Hello everyone! I hope you had a wonderful summer! Mine was spent exactly how I envisioned it! I had lots of time in the water, spending time with loved ones and living my lazy best life! That said, I am ready for autumn! While I love living a Jeff Spicoli summer, “All I need are some tasty waves, a cool buzz, and I’m fine,” around this time every summer, the wheels start coming off the bus. So now that the kids are heading back to school next week and Kevin is gone for the week, I will have the house all to myself for the first time in years. Years.

I am in a creative mood and hope to get the ball rolling on some new recipes. I am still working on some recipes for my cookbook and improving my food photography skills. I have just shy of 100 recipes written and photographed. It’s a pet project that I have been working on and want to finish by next Spring! I am pretty sure this Mushroom Carnitas recipe will be in the book!

The book is divided into sections and will be called “Vegan Around the World!” Recipes like Mushroom Empanadas, Sweet Potato Galette, Vegan Faux Gras, Chickpea Aloo Gobi, and Cajun Gumbo are sure to have a taste for every palate!

I have also dedicated several recipes to friends and family. One of my favorite vegan chefs is Joanne Lee Molinaro. I love her stories and how she weaves her culture into her recipes. I hope to share some of my philosophies regarding veganism, sustainability, and the science of health for not only us humans but also the health of the planet. I would also like to share some of my culinary instructions and advice. As someone who’s been in the culinary world in one form or another since the early 1990s, I can offer some easy substitutions and suggestions and maybe expand your culinary knowledge!

So, without further ado, let’s get to it! This Mushroom Carnitas recipe is nearly perfect. What does that mean exactly? Well, it has precisely 12 ingredients, it’s ready in under 30 minutes, and it is so good you will want to make enough for seconds. Promise!

I used two kinds of mushrooms for this recipe. There is a lot of flexibility in the mouthfeel for whatever type of mushroom you fancy. I used half king oyster mushrooms and portobellos, but you could also use shitakes, lions mane, really just about anything other than the small white button mushrooms. You want a nice “shreddable” mushroom. With a nice dusting of spices like cardamom, cumin, orange zest, and Mexican oregano, the carnitas are oven roasted for about 15 minutes.

I like to keep it simple. Much like the shredded pork variety, I used onions, jalapenos, garlic, and orange juice.  I also like the addition of the vegan Worcestershire sauce, and you could even use a tiny amount (1/8 tsp) of liquid smoke if you like.

The Violife vegan feta is an excellent substitution for Mexican Queso Fresco.  Highly recommend it!  Add some pickled red onions, avocado, and fresh cilantro, and call it a day, mis amigos!


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Mushroom Tacos de Carnitas

  • Author: Stephanie Bosch
  • Prep Time: 10
  • Cook Time: 15
  • Total Time: 25
  • Yield: 6 tacos 1x
  • Method: Saute, Bake
  • Diet: Vegan

Description

Yummy carnitas!  You can make tacos, nachos, or tostadas!


Ingredients

Scale
  • 8 oz. of mushrrooms,  ( I used 4 oz king oyster mushrooms, and two portobellos, stem and gills removed)
  • 5 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 large onion, chopped, plus finely chopped onion for garnish
  • 1 medium jalapeno, seeded and sliced into 1/4” rings
  • 1 ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (reduce, or omit, if you don’t like heat)
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon cardamom
  • 1 ½ teaspoon crushed dried oregano leaves, preferably Mexican
  • 1/2 teaspoon orange zest
  • 1/2 cup orange juice
  • 2 tablespoons vegan Worchestershire
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, evenly divided
  • Salt and fresh pepper to taste
  • 6 small corn tortillas, warmed, for serving
  • Chopped cilantro for garnish
  • Salsa for garnish
  • Vegan Feta

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F. (220°C) Prepare a parchment-lined baking sheet.
  2. Clean and shred the mushrooms. Slice off the mushroom caps (if using oyster or portobello mushrooms) and gently pull them apart with your fingers. I like them approximately about 1/2 wide and 2 inches long. The important thing here is to ensure they’re all the same size. Add the mushrooms to a large mixing bowl and toss with the spices. Drizzle one tablespoon of olive oil and toss well.
  3.  Transfer the mushrooms to the prepared baking sheet and spread them out in an even layer.
  4. Bake mushrooms for approximately 15 minutes. Check the around the 12-minute mark. They are not heavily coated with oil and can burn if you’re not careful.
  5. While mushrooms are in the oven, cook onions and jalapeno. Warm a medium-size skillet over medium heat. When the pan is heated, add the remaining olive oil. When oil begins to shimmer, add onion and jalapeno. Saute for 7-8 minutes, or until vegetables start to soften. Add garlic and saute until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add salt and pepper to taste. Remove from heat.
  6. When mushrooms are done, add to the skillet with the onions and jalapeno. Mix well. Return pan to medium heat, and once warm, add orange juice, orange zest, and Worcestershire sauce. Saute until the liquid has almost evaporated, about 3-4 minutes.
  7. While the mushrooms are cooking, warm a well-oiled comal or cast iron skillet over medium-high heat. You can also lightly spray the tortillas with spray oil. Add tortillas and cook until lightly browned, about 2-3 minutes per side.
  8. While the mushrooms are done, remove them from heat.
  9. Fill each taco with carnitas, and garnish with your favorite salsa, onion, avocado, and vegan feta!
  10. Enjoy!

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