Veggie Enchiladas

15271619_10153976092217414_1854959027_oAs the weather has turned cold and dreary here in Chicago, I decided to have a “stay indoors wearing pajamas” day. But, it was a productive day in the kitchen as it was proven once again that a plant-based diet can be utterly delectable. These veggie enchiladas rock!

The recipe below contains a double recipe for the filling. The reason for this is to have a full recipe portion to freeze for later. It takes barely longer to make a double portion of this filling than to make a single portion. Next time you want some veggie enchiladas, thaw the filling, whip up some avocado dressing, and you’ll have them in the oven in no time. Work smart, not hard!

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Enchilada filling:15271508_10153976092367414_195663646_o

  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 4 medium red onions
  • 2 large red peppers, chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 2 cups artichoke quarters, drained
  • 1 4-oz can green chiles
  • 16 oz fresh spinach
  • 2 bunches cilantro, chopped (easiest if you run them through a food processor)
  • 4 cups black beans, prepared (or 2 cans of black beans, drained and rinsed)

Add the olive oil, onions, red peppers, garlic cloves, and artichoke quarters to a large skillet. Saute over medium heat for 10 minutes. Add chiles, spinach and cilantro. You will likely need to add the spinach in portions and allow it cook down before adding more. Once all the spinach is wilted, stir in the black beans and remove from heat.

Avocado dressing:15231664_10153976092252414_1224470590_o

  • 2 avocados
  • 1 bunch cilantro
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper (or more if you want some spice)

Add all 4 ingredients to the blender and blend until smooth.

Other ingredients:

  • 10 whole wheat tortillas
  • 2 cups all natural, no sugar added, no high fructose corn syrup added enchilada sauce
  • 1 bunch of cilantro, chopped

Pour 1/2 cup of enchilada sauce on the bottom of a casserole pan. Tilt the pan at different angles until the sauce has coated the entire bottom of the dish.

15224838_10153976092232414_1114995744_oHeat each side of the tortillas over a flame on the oven briefly. Fill each tortilla with just under 1/2 cup of filling and 1/8 cup of avocado dressing. Freeze the remaining filling.

Roll the tortilla tightly and place in the casserole dish. Be sure the “flap” of the rolled tortilla is face down into the dish. Continue this until all 10 enchiladas are in the casserole dish. Pour remaining enchilada sauce over the enchiladas and top with the chopped cilantro. You can also top with cheese and serve with sour cream if you wish and do not require dairy free. 15233567_10153976092242414_919298574_o

Place in the oven for 20 minutes. Allow to cool for 10-15 minutes and then, dig in!

Nutritional information will vary slightly, depending on your choice of enchilada sauce and tortillas. A half enchilada will have approximately 190 calories, 5g protein, 22 carbohydrates, 5g fiber, 9g fat, and 1mg iron.


Whole Grain Dairy Free Homemade Pop Tarts

15053238_10153931049332414_936067674_oLet’s face it. It’s been a difficult and exhausting week here in the United States. And this meant, for me, it was time for some relaxation. I watched a couple episodes of The X-Files yesterday (Mulder and Scully forever!) and today, I decided to bake something. And what better to bake than some homemade pop tarts!

You may wonder why I would go through the trouble to make homemade pop tarts when they will just be blended up in the blender anyway (except the ones I eat myself). Why not just bake up some crusts in any shape, bake them and blend them with some fruit since it would yield the same blend? Why go through the trouble of shaping them into cute, decorated pop tarts?

Because it’s fun. And if you’ve never tried cooking real, regular food for your tubie child, it is an extremely fulfilling experience. The drive within a mother to feed her child is so strong. Tube feeding, while we are indeed feeding our children, can often not “feel” as though we are. This can leave a very painful wound in our hearts. One of the wonderful gifts that a blenderized diet has brought me is the fact that it allows me to be a more active participant in the process of feeding my son. The pain and grief this alleviated and the elation it has brought me is difficult to describe. So, while you certainly do not have to prepare these kinds of foods for your tubie, it can be very rewarding.

These are so tasty! With just a touch of honey to sweeten them, these are whole food, whole grain pop tarts. These pop tarts are FAR more healthful and nutritious than the pop tarts you find at the grocery store. And since so many tubies are dairy free (as is Bradley), they are even dairy free!

I know this may sound daunting seeing all the directions. But, I had my pop tarts baking in the oven just 20 minutes after I began preparing the dough. They were so fun to make, and I’m definitely going to be making them again soon!


  • 4 cups white whole wheat flour + additional to flour surface
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 1/3 cup coconut oil (MUST be in solid state) + additional to brush on crusts
  • 1/2-1 cup ice cold water (as in, put water in a bowl and put ice cubes in it to make it really cold)
  • 3/4 cup strawberries
  • 3/4 cup blueberries
  • 4 Tbsp honey
  • 2 large bananas

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Warm the strawberries and blueberries either in a saucepan on the stove or in a bowl in the microwave to soften them. Freezing them prior to this can also help soften them even more. Set aside.

Mix the flour and salt together in a bowl. Add the coconut oil. This crust will not work if the coconut oil is in liquid form. If your coconut oil is in liquid form, place it in the refrigerator to cool it down and return it to a solid state prior to using.

Using your hands, mix the coconut oil and the flour. It is important to use your hands because as you mix, you need to squeeze the flour and oil together. Imagine you are forcing the flour into the oil with your hands. Continue this until all the flour and oil are completely combined and there is no dry flour left.

Begin adding the cold water, 1/4 cup at  a time. Only use enough water to moisten the dough enough for it to hold together. You don’t want the dough to be wet. It should feel 15053221_10153931049297414_1625452016_olike an unbaked pie crust when it is ready.

Grab a hunk of dough and roll it out. Use a pizza cutter to cut the dough into rectangles. Continue this until all of the dough is cut into rectangles. If you cut them about the same size as store bought pop tarts, you should have 18 rectangles to make 9 pop tarts.

14975730_10153931049287414_1856513380_oStir 2 Tbsp of honey into the berries. Spoon some berries onto the centers of half the crusts. Lay a second crust on top of each rectangle to form the pop tarts. Press onto the edges with your fingertips to seal the pop tarts and then, press along the edges with the tip of a fork to secure the seal…and to make them look pretty. 🙂

Brush the top with coconut oil. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, 15060318_10153931049337414_504473738_oplace the pop tarts onto the parchment paper, and bake for 15-20 minutes. Allow the pop tarts to cool for about 15 minutes.

While the pop tarts are cooling, smash the 2 bananas in a bowl. Dump them into a blender along with the remaining 2 Tbsp of honey. Blend on low just enough to combine them and create a smooth texture. Once the pop tarts are cooled, spoon the banana mixture onto the pop tarts and enjoy!14976021_10153933633192414_195463441_o

If you end up with 9 pop tarts, each pop tarts contains approximately 471 calories, 7g protein, 40 carbohydrates, 7g fiber, 35g fat, and 2mg iron. Bradley enjoyed half a pop tart blended with half an apple and homemade almond milk. Mmmmmmm!!!

Golden Turmeric Milk and Elderberry Syrup: Prep for Cold and Flu Season

Cold and flu season has arrived. Yuck! But, take heart. 15052117_10153928482012414_241409685_oThere are a few simple things you can do to help both yourself and your tubie be ready to show all the germies out there who’s boss.

Golden Turmeric Milk

Turmeric contains a very powerful anti-inflammatory that is on par with certain anti-inflammatory drugs (but without the side effects) as well as antioxidants. This makes turmeric a great addition to our diets at any time of year, but especially during cold and flu season. And, lucky for us, turmeric can be consumed by making this very delicious golden milk that originated from India. I strongly recommend buying these seasonings and spices whole and grinding them in a mortar and pestle or a food chopper. 15045399_10153928482042414_1440183973_o


  • 2 cups nut or seed milk of your choice
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 teaspoons coriander
  • 1-inch cinnamon stick
  • 2 cardamom pods
  • 1-2 inches fresh ginger, peeled and chopped
  • 2 inches fresh turmeric, peeled and chopped.
  • Pinch cayenne pepper (optional)
  • 1 Tbsp Ghee (can substitute with coconut oil)
  • 1 Tbsp honey

15060235_10153928482022414_600381544_oPour the milk and water into a small saucepan.

In a mortar and pestle or food chopper, crush the cordiander, cinnamon stick, and cardamom pods. Add the ginger and turmeric and crush. Add to the saucepan. Heat to a low simmer over medium heat. Reduce heat and keep at a low simmer for 20 minutes. The volume should have reduced by about half.

Pour through a sieve, collecting the milk in a cup or 15044716_10153928482017414_2001500999_obowl. Stir in the ghee and honey. Add a pinch of cayenne pepper if desired. This yields two 1-cup servings that each contain, in addition to the nutrition in whichever milk you choose to use, 90 calories, 8 carbohydrates, and 7 grams of fat. This can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.

Elderberry Syrup

Elderberry syrup has been used to boost the immune system for thousands of years. It has been shown in a clinical study to reduce the severity and length of the flu, even. Elderberries are antioxidant-rich, and this probably has something to do with these benefits. If you cannot find elderberries locally, they can be ordered online.


  • 3 cups water
  • 3/4 cup elderberries
  • 3-inch cinnamon stick
  • 4 whole cloves
  • 2 inches fresh ginger, peeled and chopped
  • 1 cup honey (preferably raw and locally harvested)

Stir all of the ingredients except the honey in a small saucepan. 15034382_10153928482007414_1655962543_oHeat to a simmer over medium heat. Reduce heat and continue to very lightly simmer for 45 minutes. The volume should reduce in half during this period of time. Pour the liquid through a sieve and catch it in a glass or bowl. Allow it to cool for 20 minutes. Stir in the honey. This can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 2 months. It is recommended children take 1 teaspoon (or 5 mls) daily and increase to taking this dose every few hours during times of illness. Adults are recommended a dose of 1 Tbsp.