Warm Cinnamon Apple and Almond Butter Smoothie

Cinnamon Apple Almond Smoothie

Cinnamon apples are definitely a fall delight for the tastebuds. So this warm smoothie hits the spot from fall throughout the winter months.

This one takes a little extra prep work to prepare it just like I prefer it. Even though I use a Vitamix blender, I like to do a bit of the cooking on the stovetop. This is because I like to use banana as a sweetener, but I don’t want to blend a banana in the Vitamix until it becomes steamy. If you do not have a Vitamix (or blender that can handle hot liquids), blend the ingredients first and then warm them on the stovetop.

I hope this smoothies provides a great start to your day. Enjoy!

Tips: Using frozen bananas, you can also use these same ingredients to make a cold smoothie.

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 – 2 bananas, room temperature – unless you want a cold smoothie (or another sweetener of your choice)
  • 1/2 cup applesauce (or 1/2 cup fresh apples that have been stewed on the stovetop using water)
  • 1 cup of water or use plant-based milk for extra creaminess
  • 1 – 2 TBS Almond Butter
  • Dash of cinnamon spice (or any winter spice you like or a combination of more than one)
  • 1 cup of spinach (optional) – I just like to get leafy greens in any way that I can and spinach is hardly noticeable.
  • 1/2 avocado (optional) – Definitely add avocado if you do not use bananas. This will help to thicken the smoothie. If using avocado, I suggest skipping the spinach or the smoothie will be very green.

DIRECTIONS (For a warm smoothie):

  1. Warm the applesauce (apples) and water (or plant-based milk) on the stovetop until you reach a desirable temperature.
  2. Add the warm ingredients to the Vitamix and blend with the remaining ingredients.

Podcast Episode 16 – It’s Time to Heal – A Message from Shonda

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It’s Time to Heal especially due to COVID-19. For this reason, we must try to be our healthiest and strengthen our immune systems.

I didn’t want to ignore that it’s a new year and that many are looking to make health improvements. It is really a great time to do so because it will be more likely that you can find someone else to join you while you help encourage one another on the journey.

We want to come alongside you, as well, as we all continue moving toward a positive direction to support our healthy lifestyles. If there are any specific ways that we can be of assistance, please contact us through our contact form or send a verbal message through Speakpipe.

OTHER WAYS TO SUBSCRIBE AND LISTEN:
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We invite you to listen and share your perspectives with us too. Send us a recorded message through Speakpipe. We may use your message in an upcoming episode, therefore, please leave your name if you would like it to be noted during the podcast. Leave an email address if you would like a personal response or feel free to use the contact form.

If you haven’t done so already, download the Delicious “No-Fail” Salads Guide – another great way to eat those GREENS!

Physician’s Committee for Responsible Health
YouTube Channel – https://www.youtube.com/c/PhysiciansCommittee/featured
Website – https://www.pcrm.org/

The Barnard Medical Center (The Barnard Medical Center is now offering telemedicine appointments, allowing patients to consult with caregivers online through their computers or phones. Available to residents of California, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Missouri, New York, Pennsylvania, Texas, Virginia, Washington, and Washington, D.C.)

Fight COVID-19 with Food

Dr. Baxter Montgomery’s Montgomery Heart & Wellness Program
YouTube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCOEQWbsZyc3ygIlRB5HQmqw
Website:

Links to the G-Bombs series

Shonda (00:00): Hey everyone. This is Shonda here, and I just wanted to take this time to bring you a happy new year message and the message is it's time to heal.

Shonda (00:24): Hi and hello. Welcome to the real food and drinks lifestyle podcast. We're building a community to talk about nutrition, lifestyle choices, and just feeling better. This is Shonda and this is Patryce. Let's just be real. [inaudible] Here's our disclaimer. We do not professionally practice in any of the various subjects that we discuss. We are only sharing our personal experiences with you to a healthier lifestyle. Please do your own research before taking part in any of these practices.

Shonda (01:09): We've had a pretty rough and tough 2020, and it has flown by due to COVID still causing many issues and problems in our life. I just thought that it would be a very good time to focus on our health. Very often, that is a new year's resolution. And I think it's a really great one, especially due to the circumstances that we find ourselves in. Now is the time to heal because it's time to take our health seriously, you know, especially those that are knowingly dealing with a chronic disease. It's time that we do the research that we need, that we seek others to see what they've done to solve the problems. There are solutions and whatever it takes, we need to convince ourselves that it's possible for us and that we can do it just like others have done. We can also do the same and heal our bodies.

Shonda (02:09): Okay. The COVID-19 virus has revealed that many are not in a healthy state. So yes, in addition to those who are knowingly fighting against a chronic disease, there are still some who are not in a healthy state and maybe don't quite know it yet. And here are some things to consider if you're not quite sure, do you have digestive issues? Maybe these digestive issues aren't enough to have you going to the doctor, but they're troublesome. Perhaps you have seasonal allergies. Perhaps you have rashes that are showing on your skin, but you're just dealing with all these things. And it's no big deal. Well, hey, these many times are big deals and they're just the precursor to other chronic diseases. This is just the first step, a hint that lets us know that something is going wrong. What about an additional step that can help us deal with the chronic disease so that we're not in as much trouble if we have to face COVID-19,

Shonda (03:17): The medications are dealing with the symptoms, they are not solving the problem. The problem is still happening. You can't see it and you can't feel it, but it's still there because as soon as you stop taking those medications, it's very evident. Okay? So from my point of view, there is a lack of quality health care. Doctors are prescribing meds to take care of symptoms, but ignoring the true problem, which is our diet, our Western American diet. Did you know that many cultures prior to being introduced to our Western American diet had diets that were heavily loaded with plant foods? And just a bit of animal foods scattered in there. If at all, you know, we live in a country which is for many abundant and it's abundant in meat products and cheese products, you know, milk and dairy. But that doesn't mean that we should be consuming these products in the quantities that we're consuming them.

Shonda (04:21): So my question to you is, do you really want to continue to take prescription meds to support a diet that is not serving you well? Okay. So is it that you don't believe in the power of food because the power of food can heal. The power of food can cause these illnesses or it can cause healing. Or is it just that you don't want to give up your current foods that are causing the issues? I'm asking you this in the most loving way that I know, perhaps you have never even thought about this. Perhaps you just feel stuck or like there is something that you cannot do to help yourself. That's tell our doctors, Hey, I'm about to do something to get off these medications and I'm going to need your help. And if the doctor isn't willing find another doctor.

Shonda (05:11): There's a doctor network through the physician's committee of responsible medicines. They also are accepting tele-health calls. So I just urge you. We cannot wait on a vaccine. We want to be healthy, instead. We don't want to depend on a vaccine. I'm not saying don't take the vaccine. But what I am saying is if you're going to take the vaccine, we also need to take steps toward health that can help us fight the COVID-19. Make it, make our immune system even stronger. So this is just an introduction to the new year. There's a link below. Tell us what you need. Tell us what kind of recipes you need. Tell us what kind of resources you need to find in order to make the next step, because your next step can start right now today. It can start with your next meal, by taking a daily walk, by getting more sleep, by seeking more education about COVID-19 and all your health concerns.

Shonda (06:11): There's information out there. And when you start looking for the truth, you will find the truth. So I want to urge you to take it in your own hands. Be... Be your own healthcare advocate, decide that you want to know the truth, decide that you're going to try to make a difference in your own health care. Our hope is that you will begin to research healthy alternatives. In addition to conventional medicine, as a reminder, there are links below to get you started. And also we should just that you begin to follow some of these plant-based doctors. So you don't miss their content. Be a student of theirs. Listen, to find truth within what they have to say to us. We want you to be healthy, to experience freedom from fear, to feel confident, to feel empowered. It's not that we do not respect COVID-19 yes, we must do what we can.

Shonda (07:11): We will continue to wear our mask and social distance. This is a way that we love our neighbors. We love those around us because we don't want to spread the disease, especially to someone who's going to have a difficult time fighting the disease. But we want you to also feel and know that you're doing the best that you can in order to build up your immune system. And that's all that we can do. And then we leave everything else in God's hands. So Happy New Year, and let's make this the best one ever. It's time to heal. Thank you all for joining me today. Next week, we will have part two of "A time to heal", which will be a message from Patryce.

Shonda (07:58): Thanks for listening. We hope you enjoy today's podcast. Remember you can catch show notes and additional details at realfoodanddrinks.com under the podcast menu. Also subscribe to our podcast, if you aren't already a member of our community. And if listening through Anchor, please send us a message of topics you would like to hear us have conversations about until next time. Let's just be real.

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Photo by Shashank Sahay on Unsplash

Spinach Artichoke Dip

Artichoke Dip

Spinach artichoke dip is expected to be cheesy, right? That’s right, so just because this is a vegan dish made using only plants, doesn’t mean it cannot trick their tastebuds. This dish will convince others, despite there not being any cheese and no trace of nutritional yeast inside of this dish. (Nutritional yeast is the usual ingredient for plant-based recipes that provide the “cheezy” flavors.) Yet, the plant-based yogurt adds tartness and the cashews and potato add the creamy texture.

My husband loves artichokes, so he was my inspiration for trying out this dish. This recipe caught my eye as I was scrolling through some of Nisha’s YouTube (RainbowPlantLife) Videos. Nisha’s recipes have all been wonderful. I’m not a huge fan of artichokes, but this was very tasty and I look forward to making it again.

Also, be sure to check out the nutrition comparison facts below for the REAL details about how this plant-based recipe is low in calories, low in fat and is cholesterol FREE!

More Inspiration:

There are so many more ways you can use this recipe to create new dishes. See the video at the bottom of this post to see the steps and two additional ways I used this dip.

INGREDIENTS

  • 1/2 cup yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 3 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 10 ounces fresh spinach, chopped
  • 12 to 14 ounces of artichokes (can or jar), marinated (or not)
  • 1 cup plain, unsweetened dairy-free yogurt (unsweetened coconut yogurt will make for the creamiest, but I used HEB almond yogurt the first time I made this and it was good.)
  • 1 1/2 TBSP cooking wine (Or even rice vinegar. I used a bit of both. The original recipe used distilled vinegar.)
  • 1/2 cup raw, unsalted cashews (soak in warm water if not using a high-speed blender)
  • 1/2 tsp fine salt (may require less if using marinated artichokes)
  • 1/4 to 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1/2 packed cup cooked, peeled gold potato
  • OPTIONAL: red pepper flakes, for garnish, pita chips or veggies for serving

DIRECTIONS

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 F (190 C).
  2. Add the onion, garlic, and 5 TBSP (]water to a small pan over medium-low heat. Bring to a simmer, and cook 5 to 8 minutes or until tender, stirring occasionally.
  3. The original recipe says to add the spinach to the pan in small batches, stirring and tossing the spinach until it is well cooked and wilted before adding the next batch. Repeat until all the spinach is cooked well. This will take about 10 minutes. Turn the heat off. But, since I chopped the spinach using the pulse function of the food processor, I added all to the pan at once and stirred only a few minutes to allow it to wilt. Then I turned off the heat.
  4. The original recipe says to roughly chop the artichokes into quarters. But my artichokes were already quartered and I put them into the food processor to chop even more. This will release lots of liquid, so drain the excess. Squeeze out the excess liquid so it doesn’t end up watery. I used a fine strainer and pressed the artichokes into the strainer using the back of a spoon. Add the artichokes to the cooked spinach mixture, and set aside.
  5. Add the yogurt, vinegar/wine, cashews (soaked if necessary), salt, and pepper to a high-powered blender or food processor. Starting slowly, blend the ingredients. Add the potato also to the blender, blend on high until completely. smooth. Scrape the sides if needed, and blend once more. Pour over the spinach and artichoke mixture and stir to combine well.
  6. Pour the mixture into a 9-inch cast-iron skillet, pie dish, or an 8-inch square baking dish. Bake uncovered for 25 minutes or until the top looks firm and set and is bubbly. Let cool for 5 to 10 minutes. For a kick, add some red pepper flakes on top before serving with pita chips or veggies.

NOTES/TIPS

  • A food processor will make this an easy and quick recipe. I used one to chop and mince onions before cooking. I also used it to chop the artichokes and to chop the spinach (each chopped separately).
  • Look for organic potatoes to avoid pesticides.
  • As always, don’t forget to taste your dish prior to calling it “done” (of course, before baking it)
  • I based this recipe on the one I found at https://youtu.be/_w4YMgSROd4?t=366 (Nisha is one of my favorite vegan/plant-based YouTubers)

NUTRITION COMPARISON FACTS:

Podcast Episode 15 – New Year – A look back, but let’s keep moving towards health

Happy New Year

We take a look at where we started, long before this year. Today is simply a reality check. That’s all…no worries. Let’s just make sure we all keep moving towards heath. We share some of our favorite memories of past eating habits, some of which you might relate to in your past or even present. Yet, we discuss how we have replaced the foods that needed replacing and why we did so. Need a dose of inspiration? How about a dose of laughter?  Proverbs 17:22 says “A joyful heart is good medicine.”

OTHER WAYS TO SUBSCRIBE AND LISTEN:
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We invite you to listen and share your perspectives with us too. Send us a recorded message through Speakpipe. We may use your message in an upcoming episode, therefore, please leave your name if you would like it to be noted during the podcast. Leave an email address if you would like a personal response or feel free to use the contact form.

If you haven’t done so already, download the Delicious “No-Fail” Salads Guide – another great way to eat those GREENS!

Show References & Additional Notes:

Coming Soon

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Potato Casserole

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 pound of hashbrowns (or shredded potatoes, see notes/tips below)
  • 8-10 ounces fresh spinach, chopped
  • 8 ounces mushrooms, sliced (or even finely diced)
  • 1/2 of a medium onion, chopped
  • dried parsley flakes (to be sprinkled on top)

Cheezy Sauce:

  • 2 cups plant-based milk
  • ½ cup raw cashews (or use 1/4 cup of cashew flour)
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch**
  • ¼ cup nutritional yeast flakes
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon tahini
  • 1 tablespoon miso paste
  • 2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt (or to your taste preferences)
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper

**Try to find a NON-GMO cornstarch

DIRECTIONS

  1. Preheat the oven to 375°F.
  2. Saute the mushrooms and onions in a bit of water/broth over medium-high heat until tender the onions become translucent and caramelized. Add water/broth as needed to prevent sticking.
  3. Combine the “cheeze” ingredients in a high-speed blender and process until smooth. Taste to make sure it’s to your liking.
  4. Pour half of the blended cheese sauce into the bowl of hash browns and mix until thoroughly combined.
  5. Line a 9-inch square baking pan with parchment paper. Begin to add layers: “cheeze” sauce, potatoes, onions & mushrooms, chopped spinach. Make two layers and top it all off with “cheeze” sauce.
  6. I like to top with more parchment paper (but this is optional) bake for 30 minutes, and then remove the top so that it can brown and the sauce can thicken. (Or you can simply bake uncovered in the oven.)
  7. Sprinkle with dried parsley.

NOTES/TIPS

  • I think the onions are the star of this dish that adds the most flavor. I like to add a splash of balsamic vinegar to help with the caramelization of the onions. (You can use any vinegar you have for cooking.)
  • I like to salt and pepper the potatoes as I layer them.
  • Taste your “cheeze” sauce prior to using it in the dish so that you can make adjustments to suit your taste buds.
  • Look for organic potatoes to avoid added ingredients and preservatives.
  • If shredding your own potatoes, make sure to dry them well – using a kitchen towel or paper towels.
  • I’ve also used sliced potatoes to make this recipe. Use a mandoline slicer for best results
  • This recipe is originally from https://www.plantpurenation.com/blogs/recipes/breakfast-potato-casserole

Podcast Episode 14 – Immunity – The Second ‘B’ and the ‘S’ in G-BOMBS

Onions and Mushrooms

‘B’ is for berries and ‘S’ is for seeds/nuts in the acronym G-BOMBS. Today we wrap up the G-BOMBS Series. We talk about our favorite seeds, nuts, and berries and share ideas about how you can incorporate these foods into your diet. Stay tuned for our challenge at the very end.

G-BOMBS defined: G = Greens, B = Beans, O = Onions, M = Mushrooms, B = Berries, and S = Seeds.

OTHER WAYS TO SUBSCRIBE AND LISTEN:
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We invite you to listen and share your perspectives with us too. Send us a recorded message through Speakpipe. We may use your message in an upcoming episode, therefore, please leave your name if you would like it to be noted during the podcast. Leave an email address if you would like a personal response or feel free to use the contact form.

If you haven’t done so already, download the Delicious “No-Fail” Salads Guide – another great way to eat those GREENS!

Show References & Additional Notes:

Flaxseeds are one of the richest sources of plant-based omega-3 fatty acids which means is it anti-inflammatory.

Recipes:

Oatmeal Bars with Berries and Seeds

Oatmeal Options

Chocolate Chia Mousse

Raspberry Chia Jam (A double-dose of seeds.)

Other online resources:

EWG’s (Environmental Working Group’s) Dirty Dozen Shopping Guide

G-BOMBS Nutrition Bars – Chocolate Peanut Butter

Dr. Fuhrman’s G-BOMBS Downloadable Guide

Dr. Fuhrman

Patryce (00:00): Hi, Shonda how are you?

Shonda (00:02): Good. So, Hey, what, what are you talking about today? Oh, we're finishing up G-BOMBS today.

Patryce (00:09): Yes. Yes. B the other B. And we're going to do B and S so we're doing berries and seeds, right?

Shonda (00:18): Berries and seeds. That's right.

Shonda (00:31): Hi and hello. Welcome to the real food and drinks lifestyle podcast. We're building a community to talk about nutrition, lifestyle choices, and just feeling better. This is Shonda and this is Patryce. Let's just be real. [inaudible] Here's our disclaimer. We do not officially practice in any of the various subjects that we discuss. We are only sharing our personal experiences with you to a healthier lifestyle. Please do your own research before taking part in any of these practices.

Shonda (01:21): G-BOMBS is an acronym that you can use to remember the best anti-cancer, health-promoting foods on the planet. So check out the show notes. Learn more information. Learn more information. There will be recipes and a few videos to support what we're discussing today. Let's see berries and seeds. So berries and seeds. Seeds also includes nuts. So we'll be talking about all these things today. And I guess just like we've been doing, I mean, let's just talk about what our favorites are and you know, maybe some things we want to try out or something like that. And, um, how to incorporate berries and seeds and nuts.

Patryce (01:54): I'm a big fan of berries, but I do know my favorite. And one of them would be blueberries because they're, well, first of all, what are berries? There's small, soft round fruit. And they come in various colors like blue, red, or purple. And, um, so one of my favorites are blueberries. And as far as I know, they're just, they're blue, dark blue, purple, whatever you want to call it. But these are not only delicious and nutritious, but they're very convenient (I find them to be) to pop in your yogurt or just to eat by the handful. And some people freeze them and just have berry treats. So frozen little berries, [Right, Yeah] that'd be good. Good to... And they're a good source of fiber, vitamin C, and uh, all these I think are low in calories. Another favorite for me are raspberries. Sometimes I eat blueberries and raspberries together. Uh, generally, I get red raspberries for the family. And again, the one thing about raspberries though... I did not realize they come in black. Black, black, raspberries.

Shonda (03:02): Hm, black raspberries?

Patryce (03:05): Apparently, the only reason I bring it up, is apparently they're all good for you, but the black rasberries maybe even a more nutritious. So I'd love to try those out. So I'll be on the look out for the black raspberries and then also another favorite strawberries. And I think that is a popular one in the U. S. Period, then also cranberries And I love, I like cranberries. I like that tartness. Unlike the rest, they have more tart a tart taste and they're very, they're well-known to be beneficial to females for the urinary tract health. Blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, oh, acai berries. And I know people pronounce it different ways, but that's the way I'm going to pronounce it today.

Shonda (03:53): Now, those are usually...you usually get those dried already, right?

Patryce (03:56): Yes. Dried or nowadays we get a lot of them... Frozen packs of them to throw into the smoothie.

Shonda (04:03): Okay. And they're bitter, right? Like cranberries.

Patryce (04:06): Yes. I'm glad you brought that up because they are naturally more bitter or not as sweet, but so many things sold with acai berries have sugar added. So you have to be careful about that because acai berries are originally from the Amazon. And so we look out for the ones you purchase so that you're not getting more sugar than you expect. Um, so that's why we usually get the packs. And there's a brand that doesn't have sugar added and all of these that I've mentioned have seeds in them, uh, I don't think there's any need to not eat the seeds, but actually the seeds are healthy.

Shonda (04:45): Right. You know, I think one thing we should mention is if, if it's possible to buy, um, organic berries, because berries are sprayed with a lot of pesticides normally, because they're just a tender fruit, you know, and, and insects are attracted to them. Yeah. I mean, maybe not even every time, but sometimes treat yourself to organic berries. Fruit that 's soft that we eat the whole fruit try to go organic. And the other fruits that maybe have a peel on them, not that necessary to go organic, if you have to choose which to buy organic and which not. Hey, I just thought of one that I don't think you mentioned. Well, there are two. What about cherries? And they're naturally sweet. They can be tart and sweet at the same time. Those are some that I know that we really enjoy here along with, um, my daughter likes blackberries.

Patryce (05:49): Oh, that's right. I forgot those. Yeah. Those are yummy too.

Shonda (05:52): Other ways that we can use berries are, you know, did you mention already putting them on top of oatmeal?

Patryce (05:58): No, I didn't mention any uses. Just my favorite.

Shonda (06:01): Just drop them on oatmeal and you know, along with what we're going to talk about next, that would, that just makes a great combination for seeds and nuts and berries all on top of your oatmeal. And then, you know, um, I bought, since we just came out of, uh, Thanksgiving season, I did buy some organic cranberries and I rinsed them and I put them on a single layer and I froze them, you know, put them in a bag. And then now it doesn't take many to get the benefits from them. I can throw five in a smoothie, you know, that's kind of sweet with bananas and things and it doesn't, and it's not like I'm just trying to eat a cranberry smoothie, just throwing like four or five in there. You know, if I put that in there every day, over time, that adds up. So that's one option. That's something new that I just started knowing that I need more of the, the red antioxidant type berry in my diet.

Patryce (06:58): That's a great tip because I have a pack of cranberries in the refrigerator that we didn't use. And I'm like, what am I going to do with all these? But I can freeze them. You're saying. And I think we've mentioned already that the, I mean, of course they're healthy foods, they're high in vitamin C, they're antioxidants... They have fiber. And because of that, fiber will help make you feel more cool and they're low in calories. So those of us who are looking at our waist, trying to stay our fit selves, it's another good way to do so by having various for a treat or even for dessert fruit can be a great dessert option. And yeah, we can make our parfait with, well, I'm not as creative as you are, but with the fruit, with the yogurt. And then we're going to talk about seeds and nuts. Maybe we should move into that now because berries and seeds and nuts that they go well.. They compliment one another,.

Shonda (07:49): Right? Yeah, they do. Okay. Yeah. Let's talk about that.

Patryce (07:52): So what are your favorite seeds or nuts?

Shonda (07:55): Well, On a regular basis in the pantry, we have walnuts, almonds, pecans, sunflower seeds, and pumpkin seeds. Those are the top five that I keep and I do throw all of them in oatmeal on a regular basis. If I'm having oatmeal, I'm having a nut with it. At least a nut. I may not have a fruit, may not have a fruit, but I always have a nut or, you know, nut milk. I do sometimes make my own nut milk by just adding water and nuts and blending it up and squeezing it out in a nut bag. That's a little extra step, but it's really creamy. It's really creamy when you make it on your own, because you can make it as thick or thin as you want. Just makes for a delicious breakfast. I throw raisins in there and this morning I threw fresh cranberries in there. Those are our top five. I usually keep the pantry well-stocked with that. Uh, Leslie and I are the only two that really eat the nuts and we both put it in our oatmeal.

Patryce (09:05): We have some of the same nuts. Um, one thing, um, did you mention, yeah, you did mention pumpkin seeds. And did you mentioned flaxseed?

Shonda (09:14): Not yet. Do you use a lot of flaxseeds?

Patryce (09:20): I have begun to explore use of flaxseeds. And as I had told you over the Thanksgiving holiday I actually made that yummy, sweet potato pie, but I learned that you need to..., I had not bought the flaxseeds.

Shonda (09:34): Ground flax seed,.

Patryce (09:36): So I learned that that you can still eat them, not ground, but I''ve made since another pie with a texture that was definitely improve upon. They have a bit of a nutty smell to me...[inaudible] and then flaxseeds have a lot of health benefits. Yeah. So I'm trying to incorporate those more.

Shonda (09:56): Yeah, they do. They are, I will definitely put a link to that, but I know they have high amounts of good fatty acids. So yeah, I use a lot of flax seeds because I make like, when I make any kind of breads or pancakes or anything, I use it in place of an egg... Ground and mixed with water and it becomes a good egg replacement. So that was really how I started using flax seeds. And I also, every now and then I do remember just because I don't remember when it's already ground, I keep it in the freezer to keep it from going rancid. And I remember to put it in my smoothie, but it's in another freezer. It's not with my fruit, so maybe I should move it over to the fruit where the fruit is. And then I will remember, what do you think about chia seeds?

Patryce (10:45): It's a huge fan, but I, a friend that introduced me years ago to we just put... She just puts it every morning in some water or juice, just add a small amount and let them become a little gelatin like and drink it.

Shonda (10:58): Yeah, they do. Chia pudding is popular for those who like chia seeds. So I'll make sure and find a good recipe for that. If anyone wants to try that recipe. Um, but just like flax seeds, they both have the good fatty acids. They're both some that I had to get, get an acquired taste for.

Patryce (11:20): I can see that. I can see that.

Shonda (11:23): They're really different. So when you start, you just may want to sprinkle a little in here and there, or use it as an egg replacement and you will not really taste the flaxseed flavor that way.

Patryce (11:37): But what about the chia seeds. Do do those come grounded too or no?

Shonda (11:42): You know, I don't think I've ever seen she chia seeds grounded. Yeah. I think most chia pudding, just like an addition or whatever into a treat or smoothie or on top of oatmeal and things like that.

Patryce (11:58): And did you mention hemp seeds?

Shonda (11:59): I didn't.

Patryce (12:00): Oh, okay. Those... That's one other seed that we have in the past to throw into our smoothie. That's the only way I used them. And they're great that way. Um, maybe I should look into other ways to incorporate them into our diet, but they're actually, you know, they're, they're good for you as well. They seem to have a lot of my magnesium.

Shonda (12:19): And they do have a good flavor. You know, I don't have any, but you know, now I may want to get some to add to oatmeal because I'm always telling people they're like, I'm busy. I don't have time. You know, oatmeal is like a staple breakfast for me. I'm busy in the morning. You know, I can get more creative later or more adventurous in my food, but in the morning, I'm just ready to get to work on my projects. I mean, think about all the berries we've talked about, all the nuts and seeds. There's such a variety that we can do with oatmeal by adding different nuts or different seeds or different fresh berries or dried berries and things to have a different oatmeal everyday.

Patryce (13:04): Yeah. That's good. Especially with this weather this time of year, it's a warm, hot cereal and we overlook that. And now that I think about, I used to eat it a lot and I've just forgotten about it. But now that we're talking about seeds and berries and nuts, it's time for me to bring out the oatmeal again. And I like the steel cut

Shonda (13:24): And steel cut is very easy in the InstantPot, just a plug for InstantPot, because I love my InstantPot.

Patryce (13:32): I hear you. It's a great way to make sure you get your berries in and oatmeal itself is good too, because it's, uh, high in fiber too.

Shonda (13:42): High in fiber. Yes.

New Speaker (13:44): Because also when I've had it in the past, now that you've mentioned, I'm still full. So you tend to not overeat the rest of the day. That's just been my experience. So anyway, I think it's a great idea, especially with the holidays coming up to get creative, or just start doing the oatmeal and see how that goes.

Shonda (14:04): Yeah. That's a good idea. So I guess we just like to invite you to try to incorporate more berries and seeds in your diet. If you know that there's room for improvement in that area. There will definitely be show notes full of ideas. So there we have it, we've completed the G-BOMBS series. We just want to remind you that this is just a great acronym to incorporate healthy foods into your diet and ways that you can remember. Did I have all my G-BOMBS today? [Yes.] We hope you're entering a great holiday season...

Patryce (14:40): We hope that you found something interesting or something that you'd like to try out yourself and again, share it with others so we can all begin the journey of just incorporating healthy foods into our diet. And one way is using the G-BOMBS.

Shonda (14:51): Yeah. Remember the G-BOMBS. Let's all... I invite you all to join me on my morning oatmeal.

New Speaker (15:01): I'm going to. Count me in.

Shonda (15:03): Thanks for listening. We hope you enjoy today's podcast. Remember you can catch show notes and additional details@realfoodanddrinks.com under the podcast menu. Also subscribe to our podcast. If you aren't already a member of our community. And if listening through anchor, please send us a message of topics you would like to hear us have conversations about until next time. Let's just be real.

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Oatmeal Bars with Berries and Seeds

oatmeal bars with blueberries and pumpkin seeds

I usually just have a bowl of oatmeal in the mornings to keep things quick and easy. There are many options when it comes to adding flavor to oatmeal.  Similarly, the same is true for these oatmeal bars. You can easily switch out the types of berries and seeds.

Berry options include blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, or cherries. Also, I suggest using your favorite nut or seed in this recipe. The recipe shown in the photo uses blueberries and pumpkin seeds.

Oh, and as always, you can use whatever sweetener is your favorite. Even a banana or pureed dates would be excellent options. 

With these oatmeal bars, you can be just as creative as you can with a bowl of oatmeal. 

And, guess what else? This recipe allows you to begin your day with G-BOMBS! G-BOMBS is an acronym that you can use to remember the best anti-cancer, health-promoting foods on the planet. These are the foods that you should eat every day, making up a significant proportion of your diet. 

Here are links to our podcasts regarding G-BOMBS. Each episode includes some ideas on how to incorporate them into your diet.

Here is the recipe:

Ingredients:

  • 1+ 1/4 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 1+ ½ cups oat flour
  • 1+ ½ teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 TBS ground flaxseeds
  • 2/3 cup applesauce
  • 1  to  2 cups of berries
  • 1/2 cup nuts or seeds
  • 1/3 cup liquid sweetener  (or pureed bananas/dates)

Directions:

  1. Mix the ground flaxseeds and applesauce. Put to the side.
  2. Add all the remaining dry ingredients and the nuts/seeds to your mixing bowl.
  3. Add the liquid sweetener and applesauce mix and mix well. The mixture will be thick. You can add water or nutmilk if you need to make it thinner, but it should not be runny and much thicker than pancake mix.
  4. Gently stir in the berries.
  5. Place some parchment paper on the bottom of a square (8×8 or 9×9) baking pan for easy removal once baked. Press mixture into a square cooking pan.
  6. Bake at 350 degrees F for about 20 minutes or until lightly browned on the top and edges.

Looking for other ways to enjoy oatmeal? Check out Oatmeal Options.

Podcast Episode 13 – Immunity – The ‘O’ and ‘M’ in G-BOMBS

Onions and Mushrooms

‘O’ is for onions and ‘M’s is for mushrooms in the acronym G-BOMBS. Using onions and mushrooms in preparing our foods not only adds great flavors but are also healthy ways to support our immune system.

G-BOMBS defined: G = Greens, B = Beans, O = Onions, M = Mushrooms, B = Berries, and S = Seeds.

OTHER WAYS TO SUBSCRIBE AND LISTEN:
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We invite you to listen and share your perspectives with us too. Send us a recorded message through Speakpipe. We may use your message in an upcoming episode, therefore, please leave your name if you would like it to be noted during the podcast. Leave an email address if you would like a personal response or feel free to use the contact form.

If you haven’t done so already, download the Delicious “No-Fail” Salads Guide – another great way to eat those GREENS!

Show References & Additional Notes:

Quick Pickled Onions

Mushroom Soup (Video Recipe)

Homemade Honey Cough Syrup

“Thank you” to Dawn. Dawn is my live-streaming friend I mention in this episode who introduced me to the concept of G-BOMBS.

Dr. Fuhrman

Shonda (00:00): Start from the heart. I mean, you know, I mean, really why are we doing this? Because, you know, we, we have, uh, discovered something that we think is great, right?

Shonda (00:21): Hi and hello. Welcome to the real food and drinks lifestyle podcast. We're building a community to talk about nutrition, lifestyle choices, and just feeling better. This is Shonda and this is Patryce. Let's just be real. [inaudible] Here's our disclaimer. We do not officially practice in any of the various subjects that we discuss. We are only sharing our personal experiences with you to a healthier lifestyle. Please do your own research before taking part in any of these practices.

Shonda (01:08): I think I was on, um, one of my live streaming with some friends and just chatting through the chat and trying to get some ideas for what to talk about or what to do videos about. And one just mentioned G-BOMBS. You know, she said G-BOMBS and I had to go look it up because, you know, even though I've been eating G-BOMBS forever and for really a really good three years since I've adopted the whole food plant-based diet, I mean, that's all that it is, you know, and mushrooms make things taste good, you know? So that was always thrown in there and onions and things like that. And you know, I know greens, give me energy. What else is there? And the beans, I just love beans. I just love the taste. So, you know, everything I've been eating is the G-BOMBS.

Shonda (01:55): So I'm like, okay, well I'll present it this way. That's why we're bringing all of this to you. And we just want to share on ways that we have discovered on how to eat in a healthy way, or is it helpful way? I don't know what, but.

Patryce (02:11): I would say both, healthy and helpful. I had never heard of G-BOMBS until you mentioned that not too long ago, but that my husband had actually heard about them. And I think it's just a great way to remind people of ways we can incorporate healthy food daily by just remembering what G-BOMBS stands for and we've already covered greens and beans. And today I think we are covering mushrooms and onions. Right? [Right.] Yeah. Mushrooms I've always liked them like yourself and continue to like mushrooms. There are so many out there, but it wasn't until we started thinking about G bombs and what to talk about that I researched the mushrooms more and learned that they are very

Patryce (03:00): Very ealthy. And what, I mean, by that is that they have been associated with decreased risk of breast cancer , stomach and cancer of the colon. Wow. And there was even a Chinese study that I think Dr. Oz mentioned Joan Lunden as well as Dr. Furhman. I think all three of them cited them somewhere. They talked about this same Chinese study, a women who ate at least 10 grams of fresh mushrooms each day. That's about one mushroom per day, had a 64% decrease risk of breast cancer.

Shonda (03:42): Wow. That's a powerful little thing. Isn't it? If it's just one mushroom.

Patryce (03:48): Exactly. And I'm just like, wow, how did I not know about this?

Shonda (03:55): Yeah. And actually though I just read today though, that I think Dr. Furhman who came up with the G-BOMBS, uh, acronym, I think he recommends that they are always cooked for some reason. But, you know, I really don't. I used to study the nutrition part, you know, about all these foods. And so I'm glad you like to do that part and that you bring that for us because now I'm just like, just eat, just eat everything and just eat as much as you can and you will get the nutrition that you need, you know, so, But, um, so, you know, and, and, and when we're talking about plant-based food, I mean, it's always good to eat a mixture of raw and cooked vegetables. You know, sometimes eat them cooked the same vegetables, sometimes eat them raw. So I think that by doing that, we get the full benefit of, um, the vegetable itself. So.

Patryce (04:55): That's a really good point because when I read fresh, I didn't know, they meant fresh and steams. Fresh and sauteed? Did they mean raw. [Right. Yeah.] It wasn't a hundred percent clear. Um, and, and just from personal experience, I will eat raw mushrooms, but most, most of the time I have sauteed them, I've cooked them to some degree. Um, maybe not even a lot, but I seldom eat the raw mushrooms. I think it's fine. Like you said, to have some raw, but, um, definitely with mushrooms, I found them more palatable by stir-frying them or doing different roasting or what have you, or grilling them all different ways of eating them. Um, so I was just, again, blown away by that information about breast cancer. I really like some people out there, you know, some of us like mushrooms, but we don't go out of our way to eat them. And that that's been something that I'm going to start going out of my way to incorporate mushrooms on a more regular basis.

Shonda (06:01): Yeah. I usually I buy them every week and sometimes though it's like the end of the week and I'm like, Oh my goodness, I have these mushrooms in here. So I'm trying to cut around, you know, I'm left with them. So what I'm going to do now is just make sure that, you know, when Friday's my grocery day, when I buy those mushrooms, that's the day that I'm going to probably cook the mushrooms. And actually now we just got a food saver so I can actually seal them back up. And that was really nice for this week. This is the first week I, I resealed the mushrooms. So that's, um, um, money saving tips there, you know? Um, so yeah. Now what do you think is going to be your favorite? You know, what do you think you're going to do with mushrooms now? I know you just told me a little bit, but are there any new recipes you have in mind?

Patryce (06:53): Well, actually, I, I, I've been eating a mushroom. Maybe you can call it a casserole, uh, similar to one, but basically it's just like mushrooms. And again, there's so many, they're the portabella, they're the oyster ones. They're the, there are several types of mushrooms and maybe we can have those in show notes later, list some of those out for you, but, um, just slicing some mushrooms and adding some tofu. And then a nice little sauce, uh, more of an Asian inspired sauce. You can make one yourself, um, instead of soy-based I use that coconut amino acid, um, and some ginger, but anyway, uh, an Asian inspired sauce over the slice mushrooms with, uh, some tofu and then maybe some brown rice.

Shonda (07:49): Okay. That sounds good. Kind of like a stir fry.

Patryce (07:52): And add some greens on top of that. Some spinach or kale, and I'll have a meal right there. I've been doing that. And then adding some chick, well hummus on the side. That's been tasty. But there's so many other things actually, uh, I didn't make it, but my stuffing, I looked at a recipe. You can make a stepping with mushrooms. Also, you can make, uh, instead of your traditional stew, (instead of) a beef stew, I saw a recipe using mushrooms and it looked similar to a beef stew and I haven't made that one yet, but that's another thing I'm encouraged, I mean, I'm looking forward to making a stew with mushroom and then also there's, you can just, I often just, uh, put some vinaigrette, some salt pepper, or that Bragg's seasoning I like to use and throw them in the oven and roast them, have them at the side.

Shonda (08:47): Oh yeah. I roasted some today with some potatoes and just everything. I did that sheet pan roasting. I did that today. Um, but you know, I think about when I may have initially started on my, um, plant-based diet, I would substitute the larger portobellos for like burgers, you know, grill them cause they're so big and thick, so that's a good, nice way. You know what I think I'm going to have that this weekend. What we're going to talk about also are the onions and I've made like a, uh, uh, gravy using mushroom and onions. And I have this specific recipe that I want to share. I'll put in the share notes, uh, and it's going to be a link to a video. And, uh, I made it about a month ago and my daughter really liked it that she asked for the recipe and she and her friend were going to try and make it, I don't think they were successful because something happened. I cannot remember what happened, but, uh, anyway, she was really, they, she really liked it. So I'll definitely put that one there. Um..hmm.

Patryce (09:56): And then I'm wondering, especially for onions, are they better to eat cooked some or raw or, or is it, you know...

Shonda (10:08): I think just like with any other vegetable, we should just do both because I've heard some people complain with their raw....I guess some people who have acid reflux.

Shonda (10:20): Yeah. Yeah. So yeah, cook them if they don't do well raw, but some lighter ones that you could eat that are raw would be like green onions, the tips of green onions.

Patryce (10:32): Oh, I forgot about those. Yeah, the green onions, very tasty and very good raw,.

Shonda (10:38): You know, sometimes I use green onions in place of a regular onion when I make, um, guacamole. Yeah. [That's a good idea.] Yeah. That gives it another taste. So onions include, you know, it's not just onions a round bulb of onions, but, uh, also leeks is in that same group. Um, garlic, chives, shallots, and scallions. Um, they're all in the same family, this family, you know, the onion group has, um, beneficial effects on the cardiovascular and immune system. And of course, as well as anti-diabetic and anti-cancer effects. So I think that it just helps with ...these help mostly with like detoxifying, you know, and also I think they, I know garlics are, are great, uh, prebiotic, which feeds the good bacteria in your gut. So, you know, it promotes a good colon health, you know, good stomach and digestive system health.

Patryce (11:51): Oh, that's important.

Shonda (11:54): Yeah. Let's not forget about the onions. And I do think that, you know, when, you know, when you really slow roast onions or slowly cook them, they do become sweeter. You know, there may be someone out there that's not aware that they how sweet they become. I love cooked onions.

Patryce (12:14): I forget to do it sometimes. But, um, I definitely like them somewhat uh, what do you..you said...caramelized. Very good on sandwiches. They're just good.

Shonda (12:28): I mean, we throw, uh, we throw onions in everything, right. I mean, you know, salads, or even when we make, like, I make like the chickpea salad, you know, it's just a really good flavor enhancer. I love both, um, you know, onions and garlic. I don't use the shallots or the scallions as much. Sometimes if there's a specific recipe, I may use it, but um, not really. Oh, and you know what, let's see here. One thing also, I know many people have heard of this, um, uh, onions are high, have high concentrations of quercetin. Are you familiar with quercetin?

Patryce (13:12): Is that for pain? or...

Shonda (13:12): Sometimes, you know, a lot of people go for quercetin when they have allergies.

Patryce (13:19): Oh, the shots?

Shonda (13:20): No, they're little..they're... You can buy quercetin, a quercetin supplement and it's good for anti-inflammatory, um, you know, as good as an anti-inflammatory. And I know a lot of people that use it, I think I used to use it when I had seasonal allergies. I would go for the quercetin.

Patryce (13:41): Um, I didn't know about that.

Shonda (13:45): Yeah. So seasonal allergies?... Go eat some onions.

Patryce (13:53): Well, speaking of onions...it's a little off topic, but it's still pertaining to onions, I know I have actually sliced onions and put them on the soles of our feet. And I know... When did we start? Anyway, you mentioned earlier about being a detoxifier. And I think when you have a cold or...It seemed to really help the kids and I experimented myself, but it sounds odd, but you just put a couple rounds on the bottom of your feet with a sock. Similar to how people do that, uh, vapor...what do you call that?

Shonda (14:34): The Vicks vapor rub.

Patryce (14:37): That the onions, it seems like it really calms those colds and helps you get over it faster.

Shonda (14:45): Uh hmm, well, let me tell you that I used to make, I'm trying to think of what..., When Erin would get sick, even as a child, you know, young, you know, prior to teens, uh, and even now she will take it, but I would make..., I would do similar. It must be similar to, I'm going to put a pickled onion recipe link there, but I used to do, um, was it just onions or did I do onions and garlic? I would put onions in a, in a shallow dish and cover with honey and kind of mush it and just sit it out on the, on the countertop. Yes. And just kind of mush it and let all the juices get into the honey and feed it to her as a syrup when she had a cold or respiratory...

Patryce (15:33): That was really helpful. And then the syrup is good for your throat.

Shonda (15:40): So there we go. Anti-inflammatory right?

New Speaker (15:42): Yeah. Oh my goodness. Okay. See, we can do that instead of the cough syrup...[laughs]

Shonda (15:48): Yeah, instead of cough syrup. Actually, I have some in my fridge and, um, it's been there probably about a year. I can't remember if she had something or whatever it was right before COVID so, or may have been right before we realized COVID was there and we had something. Cause you know, um, we do think that we may have had COVID already. Not sure. Have not been checked yet. If we get checked, are you, would you ever get, are you going to get checked for, for the antibodies?

Patryce (16:22): I would like to, but some people say that after six months you don't have the antibodies anymore. I don't know.

Shonda (16:28): Yeah. That's possible. So well, it's been over six months, but anyway, we did. And, and sometimes, you know, just like I go in and have sauerkraut, the sauerkraut or kimchi have onions in them too. I've put, uh, onions in kimchi. Of course that makes it spicy. Onions and garlic. And so yeah, sometimes I just, you know, kind of try and listen to my body and say, Ooh, I may feel a little something in my throat or something like that. And then I'll just go and have a teaspoon or tablespoon of kimchi with onions, you know, or, you know, I may just pass by that syrup and have a little bit, even though that syrup is just preserved, it's just, it's just like doing, um, a fermented food and it's just in the fridge. So it's going to last forever and it's in honey. So, you know, honey is a preservative anyway, it preserves things. So, uh, it's in the fridge, I guess, ready to go.

Patryce (17:29): No, I did not. I used to give the kids a little bit of honey during that... When you get a cold, because our doctor finally said, you know, in England, they don't even prescribe cough syrup immediately. They prescribe a bit of honey. But now that you're mentioning this whole idea with the onion, that's the way to go in the future. I think you need something like that. I will definitely do that. And you, mentionedthat garlic is in the same family. I know my aunt, uh, she's now in her 60's or 70's, but way back when ... she used to roast garlic almost every other night and she would just eat cloves of roasted garlic. And she just...she seldom got sick. I wonder now if that was helpful for her all those years, back in the eighties and seventies even.

Shonda (18:21): Yeah. I've read, you know, that garlic is a natural antibiotic. So, um, yeah, I do. I like a fresh salad, especially a Tex-Mex salad. I can just take a clove and just mince it on my salad and mix it in and eat it. I like it like that too.

Patryce (18:39): Well that, you know, I've gotten used to this whole fermented black garlic and that's my garlic. It's softer and it's sweeter. Um, I hope it's just as good for you. I know it's not bad for you. But, and now I'm getting hungry.

Shonda (18:55): Yeah. I know. It's like we can almost smell it, right?

Patryce (18:58): Yeah. Yeah.

Shonda (19:02): So yeah, we just want to, um, continue to encourage everyone to add more onions and mushrooms to your diet.

Patryce (19:11): And wow! They are, they have anti-cancer properties and who doesn't want some of that in their diet?

Shonda (19:19): Yeah. These are kind of like maybe like the power, power foods of the plant-based diet, although they they're all anti-cancer because you know, they all have different properties. I just always go back to eat a variety, just continue to eat a variety, whatever you're eating, maybe you, whatever you prepare, maybe you don't readily go for the mushrooms or onions, you know, at this point, but try adding some of that to your dishes that you're making. And I'm sure many people using garlic and onions, cause that's just kind of a given isn't it? This kind of like a basis first.

Patryce (19:58): It is. But that's why I'm so excited that we did talk about mushrooms too. And that they're part of G-BOMBS because people, like I said, I love mushrooms, but it's not something I generally go out of my way. You know, when you're out and you're ordering, you're like, Oh, mushrooms can be added? You add it. But now maybe more people like myself included will be intentional about adding mushrooms. So everyone spread the word about mushrooms and onions. And just remember G-BOMBS they're worth incorporating all of these into our everyday diet.

Shonda (20:32): Yes. Every day,!

Shonda (20:33): Hey, we hope you've been enjoying the G-BOMBS series. Next week we will have our final episode regarding G-BOMBS in which we will be discussing berries and seeds.

Shonda (20:50): Thanks for listening. We hope you enjoy today's podcast. Remember you can catch show notes and additional details@realfoodanddrinks.com under the podcast menu. Also subscribe to our podcast. If you aren't already a member of our community. And if listening through anchor, please send us a message of topics you would like to hear us have conversations about until next time. Let's just be real.

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Vegan Cheese Sauce – Upgraded!

CheezeVitaMix

Have you ever heard of “cheese” sauce that is made with “oats”? Here are three reasons why this is a winner in my book:

1 – Much cheaper than cashews (which was the nut of choice for making “cheeze” sauce).

2 – Extremely low-fat. About 1.5 grams for the entire 6 cups!  By today’s standards, that’s really “no-fat”, but we know that all food groups contain some amount of fat, even fruits.

3. It’s delicious!

This is definitely my new “goto”, UPGRADED “cheese” sauce. I am updating this recipe to reflect the additions that I made to the original recipe. 

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup nutritional yeast flakes
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 2 teaspoons onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp garlic granules (or 1 roasted garlic clove – my addition)
  •  2 teaspoons sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp paprika (my addition)
  • 1 12-oz. jar Roasted Red Bell Peppers in water for the lowest fat possible
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon Pecan or Apple liquid smoke (optional, I didn’t use this)
  • 4 cups warm water

Note: Make sure to cook the cheese sauce until it’s steamy to create the thickest sauce.

Tip to make this more TEX-MEX: The first time I made this I substituted salsa for some of the roasted red bell peppers. Or you can simply add to the “cheese” sauce once done.

Directions:

  1. Dump all the ingredients into a high-speed blender (that can cook contents).
  2. Blend until steam forms and the machine will sound like it has completed the job. (The sound changes from blending to like it’s just spinning its wheels). This takes about 5 minutes depending on how warm/hot the water is that you start with.
  3. Voila! You are done. Pour into a bowl or jar that you can easily scoop out of. It will thicken even more as it cools.

I used this “cheese” sauce in a Tex-Mex casserole. (See the recipe.)

CheezeyCasserole

I’m not sure how I came across “Jill’s 5-minute Game Changer [Vegan] Cheese Sauce “! I had my doubts for sure, but in her video, she was so confident that I had to give it a try and boy am I glad I did. My video shows TEX-MEX varieties. Adding salsa truly makes this a game-changer cheese sauce.

“Cheezey ” Tortilla Tex-Mex Casserole

CheezeyCasserole

The first night I ever made this “cheeze” sauce, I immediately knew I had to try using it in a Tex-Mex Casserole.

Ingredients:

  • Tortilla chips (or you can use flour or corn tortillas to replace the layers of chips)
  • “Cheeze” sauce (See the recipe.)
  • Cooked onions and bell peppers (about 1/2 each item), or any other vegetable you would like – remember to season your vegetables
  • Your favorite bottled salsa (or home-made)
  • Cooked brown rice

Directions:

Layer the casserole as follows:

  1. Tortilla Chips, crushed
  2. “Cheeze”
  3. Onions and Bell Peppers
  4. A few dollops of salsa
  5. A mixture of black beans and pinto beans
  6. Brown rice
  7. (Repeat 1 – 6 again)
  8. Top with a layer of “cheeze” that has been thinned using a bit of salsa and water/broth
  9. Cover and bake in the oven at 350 degrees F until warmed through.

Serve with a side of veggies and don’t forget the guacamole and/or pico de gallo. Enjoy!