Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Day three... Sautéed Mushroom and Brussels Sprouts

Sautéed Mushroom and Brussels Sprouts with Chile and Mint


1 pound Crimini mushroom, sliced
3 tablespoons olive oil*
¼ teaspoon hot red pepper flakes*
1 ½ pounds Brussels sprouts, trimmed and sliced lengthwise 1/4 inch thick
1/3 cup water
1 teaspoon dried mint
*Chili oil works perfectly (don’t use the pepper flakes and olive oil if using the chili oil)


Heat oil with red pepper flakes in a heavy skillet over medium-high heat until it shimmers.

Sauté Brussels sprouts with ½ teaspoon salt until crisp-tender, about 6 minutes.

Add mushroom and sauté 2 minutes.

Add water and boil until evaporated and vegetables are just tender, about 2 minutes. 

Remove from heat and stir in mint. 


Monday, January 28, 2013

Day two... Brussels Sprouts

I haven't tried this yet, it is the next on our menu... so enjoy!

Kicked-Up Brussels Sprouts


3 tablespoons vegan butter
8 ounces shallots, diced
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons cider vinegar
1 tablespoon sugar
1½ Brussels sprouts, trimmed, halved
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup water


Melt 3 tablespoons butter in a medium skillet over medium heat.

Add shallots and cook, stirring often, until shallots are softened.

Season with salt and pepper. Continue to cook, stirring often, until shallots start to lightly brown.

Add vinegar and sugar.

Cook, stirring often, until shallots are browned. Set aside.

In a large skillet over medium heat, cook Brussels sprouts in olive oil, stirring often, for 5 minutes.

Season with salt and pepper. Continue to cook, stirring often, until Brussels sprouts are lightly browned.

Add the water to Brussels sprouts. Cook, stirring often, until Brussels sprouts are tender.

Add shallot mixture to Brussels sprouts and stir to combine. Season with salt and pepper. 

Serve warm.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Seven Days of Brussels Sprouts

A Brussels sprout is a small, green vegetable that resembles a cabbage. Although it has gotten a rap for being a universally disliked vegetable, Brussels sprouts are high in vitamins, especially vitamin C. Six Brussels sprouts contain 90 percent of the daily recommended intake of vitamin C per day. They also contain high levels of naturally occurring vitamin C and specific health-promoting compounds called glucosinolates with antioxidant properties, and proven health benefits in the area of cancer prevention.

Brussels sprouts first began growing in Italy and Belgium, and are named after the city of Brussels in Belgium. Brussels sprouts were first brought to America in the 1800s.

Brussels sprouts are low in fat and sodium, high in dietary fiber and are cholesterol-free. Brussels sprouts have three times the level of vitamin C of an orange. Unlike most vegetables, Brussels sprouts are rather high in protein, accounting for more than a quarter of their calories. They’re also an excellent source of vitamin D and folic acid during pregnancy.

The potassium in Brussels sprouts aids the regulation of fluid in the intestinal tract. Fluid imbalances manifest as diarrhea and constipation. Including Brussels sprouts in your diet can help avoid these uncomfortable digestive disorders and helps ensure regular, healthy bowel movements. Six Brussels sprouts provide 399 mg of potassium, or almost 9 percent of the 3,500 mg FDA daily value.

Cooked Brussels sprouts are 89 percent water. Fluids in the diet improve digestion by ensuring the stomach secretions are in balance, and the waste in the intestines is adequately hydrated, preventing constipation. Stomach secretions help break down food into smaller digestible molecules.

Brussels sprouts provide protein that regulates the digestion of carbohydrates. A serving of six provides 3 g, or 6 percent of the FDA daily value. Sustaining energy and preventing the peaks and valleys of blood glucose that impair healthy metabolism requires pairing carbohydrates with additional nutrients, such as protein. Protein also maintains and repairs the cells and tissues of the digestive tract.

Brussels sprouts are a source of digestive-regulating fiber. The Institute of Medicine recommends women consume at least 25 g of fiber daily and men 38 g daily to help protect the health of your colon prevent constipation and contribute to lower cholesterol.

Other Vitamins and Minerals
Brussels sprouts provide you with 20 essential vitamins and minerals. Vitamin A, which supports healthy eyesight, vitamin K… Vitamin K is intrinsic to the blood's ability to clot and may help strengthen your bones. Folate which bolsters red blood cell health and is important to pregnant women as it helps prevent specific neural tube defects. Brussels sprouts are also a source of vitamin E, most of the B complex of vitamins, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, zinc, copper, calcium, manganese and selenium.

Roasted Brussels Sprouts


1 ½ pounds Brussels sprouts
3 tablespoons good olive oil
¾ teaspoon kosher salt
½ teaspoons freshly ground black pepper


Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Cut off the brown ends of the Brussels sprouts and pull off any yellow outer leaves. 

Mix them in a bowl with the olive oil, salt and pepper. 

Pour them on a sheet pan and roast for 35 to 40 minutes, until crisp on the outside and tender on the inside. 

Shake the pan from time to time to brown the sprouts evenly. 

Sprinkle with more kosher salt (I like these salty like French fries), and serve immediately.

Monday, January 21, 2013

100% Healthy snack!

Assuming you have a few dry ear "popping" corn (not sweet corn), here's what you do...

Sea Salt Popcorn

Place one ear of corn in a brown paper bag. Brown schoollunch bags work well for this cooking method.

Fold the top of the paper bag down two or three times and place in the microwave.

Press the "popcorn" button on the microwave, or set it to high for two minutes. Once the corn kernels begin popping, listen for them to stop. 

Once the kernels have stopped popping, turn off the microwave and remove the paper bag.

Pour the popped corn into a bowl. 

Remove the corncob, and pick any remaining popped corn off the cob and place in the bowl. 

Season and enjoy (I used only sea salt).

*Note: If you have the time or patience... you can remove the kernels from the cob and it will pop easier.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Curry Potatoes,Tofu and Veggies!

We have been itching for a little curry, So here's one of my curry dishes.

Curried potatoes and tofu (A Sara the Vegan Mom original)


5 medium red potatoes (peeled and cubed)
2 medium carrots (crosses sectioned)
1 large onion (cubed)
3 cloves garlic (crushed)
4 or 5 baby Portobello mushrooms (cubed)
A pinch of sea salt
2 tbsp. Blue Mountain Country Jamaican curry powder
A dash of coconut oil
A few pimento seeds
1 lb. extra firm tofu (drained and cubed)
3 cups vegetable broth (if you use the vegetable broth,don’t use the salt)


Heat coconut oil in a sauce pan and then add currypowder. Stir.

Add potatoes, carrots, onion, garlic and mushroom andsauté for 1 minute.

Add vegetable broth, stir, cover and simmer on medium heatfor approximately 10 minutes. Stir.

Add tofu, stir, cover and simmer for another 10 minutes.

Serve over white or brown rice.


Monday, January 14, 2013

Quick and easy meal

Last night I was feeling quite lazy, so I decided to whip something up quick... a quick, easy and balanced meal. It took exactly 18 minutes from start to table.

My Everything Salad (Sara the Vegan Mom Original)


Romaine lettuce
Baby spinach
Tricolor quinoa (cooked, approximately 15 minutes)
Veggie nuggets ( baked approximately 18 minutes)
Baby white mushrooms (sliced)
Jalapenos (sliced)
Blueberries (you can substitute any other fruit you want)
Pink kidney beans (drained, preferably low sodium)
Lite balsamic vinegar


Combine all ingredients, except the veggie nuggets and balsamic vinegar,  and toss together lightly.

Drizzle balsamic vinegar over salad.


Add veggie nuggets to plate and enjoy!

Friday, January 11, 2013

An apple a day...

Little Aiden can not go a day without his fruit... Today it is apples.

Meanwhile, I am trying to get my body back in rhythm with the universe... So some carrot and kale juice is what I chose, of course Aiden decided he needed to drink it too.

Thursday, January 10, 2013


While agave (pronounced ah-GAH-vay) is best recognized as the plant from which tequila is made, it has also been used for thousands of years as an ingredient in food. The nectar made from the plant is known in Mexico as aguamiel, or "honey water."
Agave nectar (sometimes called agave syrup) is most often produced from the Blue Agaves that thrive in the volcanic soils of Southern Mexico. Agaves are large, spikey plants that resemble cactus or yuccas in both form and habitat, but they are actually succulents similar to the familiar Aloe Vera.
Agaves come in many sizes and colors — well over 100 species. Due to the Blue Agave's high carbohydrate content (which results in a high percentage of fructose in the final nectar), Blue Agave is the preferred species for producing nectar. Though there are other species used to produce agave nectars, such as the Maguey Agave, the premium nectars are produced from 100% Weber Blue Agave.
Agave nectar is vegan, so it's a good substitute for vegans that choose not to eat honey. It also has a long shelf life—it won't crystallize like honey.

Monday, January 7, 2013

Welcome back to Little Aiden's Place

Welcome back to Little Aiden’s Place. It’s the first day back for the New Year and we decided to start out with a bang!

We started our day off with “Easy, No-Cook Play dough”

Ingredients:  3 cups flour (we use regular store brand)
                   1 ½ cups salt
                   ¼ cup oil
                   1 cup water
                   1 tablespoon food coloring (whatever color you fancy)

Equipment:    Bowl, wooden spoon, storage container (a Ziploc bag works just as good)


Mix all ingredients together in a bowl.
Form mixture into a ball and knead the dough.

Add more flour if dough is too sticky (you won’t need it if you measure correctly. At first the dough will appear dry… keep kneading… the salt and oil is a great catalyst).

Store unused dough in your airtight container.

Have fun! We did!

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

The best way to start your day!

The best way to start your day!

Blueberry-Cucumber Smoothie


2 large garden cucumbers, peeled, seeded, and cut into chunks (2 cups)
1 cup vanilla soy yogurt
1 cup frozen blueberries
1–2 tbsp.  Agave nectar
1 Tbs. lemon juice


Place all ingredients in blender, and blend until smooth.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013


Dream big... live without fear and enjoy life to the fullest! 2013 here I come!!!

Happy New Year!!!!