FOOD fit for a Rockstar

Deena Kamm's recipe book and always evolving food philosophy
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Zucchini Muffins or Birthday Cake

February14

Hello world!  Oh my – let’s quickly address that it has been almost 2 YEARS since my last post.  Why?  Well – let’s just pretend like I didn’t cook anything, eat anything, or have a problem with anything in the food industry and move on… No time to waste.

Here is my recipe for Zucchini Muffins that I have been asked about relentlessly for months now…  These are very popular in our house and I almost ALWAYS have a batch of them made either for us or to bring somewhere. They are Vegan, and Candida friendly (yeah – you missed that whole food journey in blog post form.) They are also incredibly fast and easy to make and even faster and easier to swallow.  I recently had a few of my very favorite girlfriends over and I had literally just made a batch of these for my boys right before my friends arrived.  I casually offered one up to them thinking “why would they want a zucchini muffin when there’s chocolate?  But I’ll throw it out there to be polite.”  Well, those ladies ate EVERY SINGLE LAST ONE before either of my boys were able to even see that they were there.  I was pleased.  I made a new batch the next day…

Brown is Beautiful!

Here is the most asked for recipe I have ever typed up:

Preheat oven to 350°
Mix the following ORGANIC ingredients together:
1/2 Cup Applesauce
3/4 Cup Coconut Palm Sugar
1.5 Cups Grated Zucchini (you can also replace this with grated Carrot if you want!)
then add
1.5 Cups Spelt Flour
1/2 Tsp Baking Powder
1/2 Tsp Baking Soda
1/2 Tsp Sea Salt
1/2 Cup Sunflower Oil

Spray muffin tins with Coconut Oil (I use use Trader Joe’s – it’s not labeled organic, but the oil is organic – so it’s organic)
Split batter up evenly (my pan makes 12 muffins)
Bake for 25 min.
Wait for about 2-3 min after removing from oven then flip over tray and dump them out onto a cooling rack.  Let them cool or just start eating them!  They are the best right out of the oven without a doubt.  I don’t refrigerate mine – mainly because they don’t usually last long.  But if they sit out for more than 3 days they will start to taste curious.  So either put them in the fridge or in a covered dish and eat them soon!

Side note: The inside joke here is that we eat these for any and every reason in our house – breakfast, lunch, late night snack, and if you don’t have time to make a birthday cake – just stick a candle in your zucchini muffin and you’re ready to celebrate.  Versatile AND festive.
Enjoy!

D-

Husband Rating 5 stars:gold-stargold-stargold-stargold-stargold-star stars : “Don’t leave them out when friends come over!”
Kid Rating 4 smiley faces: “These are so good but only with Earth Balance on top. ”

The Vitamix has arrived! Day 56 of my Food Journey.

March1

Well… Everyday my intentions are good in that I will put up a quick Food Journey Post – and everyday seems to be crazier and crazier. Sadly, this blog is the very last thing to get done, as you can see by my 2 week absence. Actually – my nails are the very last thing to get done, but it’s been so long since that’s happened it’s not even on the list anymore.  But here’s the latest up-to-date goings on regarding the clean, vegan, organic, sugar-free food in The Kamm Fam household.

If you know my husband Zeke, then you already know that he can get intense about things.  More intense than me, which is pretty darn extreme. He recently decided that we need, let me stress NEED, a Vitamix Blender.  Well, right this moment money is tight, and those babies are not cheap – and we already have a blender, food processor, mixer, and juicer, so do we really NEED another appliance?  Turns out we do. As my husband puts it: “we are losing money by NOT having a Vitamix.”  A bit overboard, but he’s very persistent when he has his mind set on something.  Well, turns out my always thoughtful and generous In-Laws, Mark and Angela, have been waiting for the perfect thing to give us as a housewarming gift, and after finding out that Zeke was on a mission, they decided to save me from one more argument about needing to wait.  I love them for many reasons.  This is just another one.

So last Tuesday, while Zeke and I were eating our way through Portland on a  business trip, our brand spanking new (refurbished) Vitamix arrived on our doorstep! Needless to say, we celebrated by eating yet another fantastic meal in one of Portland’s countless vegan restaurants.  I love living 3 hours from the only city in the world to have animal-free fine dinning everywhere you turn.  Pure coincidence? I think maybe the universe is just looking out for us. I love Bend, but most of the food in our town is meat and potatoesque.  Paleo athletes everywhere you turn and beer drinking bar-food everywhere else.  Happy and fun, but not our idea of clean eating.  Sorry Bend, it’s the only thing you are lacking.

What started out as a 90 day Food journey has just been combined with a 30 day Vitamix Journey to finish it smoothly.  Literally – super smooth style.

Me with the newest member of our Kitchen.

Me with the newest member of our Kitchen.

We have already used our new gadget 7 times in the last three days.  Have we saved money yet? Probably not, but it’s been really fun trying out all the features and options and learning how to make new things that simply weren’t possible before.  It really isn’t just a blender.  It’s a Food Transformer!  We already have made smoothies, milkshakes, soup, and sauces.  Last night I made a cheese sauce for the Vitamix Macaroni and Cheese that was SO good, I felt like I was back at Dodger stadium pumping guilt-free Velveeta Cheese sauce all over my nachos.  You won’t believe the recipe.  It’s so easy and so good… it’s totally worth the half a grand my wonderful In-laws dropped on this machine.  Here it is – straight off the Vitamix website:

Not-So-Cheese-Sauce

notsocheesesaucemainjpg

 

Ingredients

  • 1 cup (240 ml) water
  • 2 Tablespoons (30 ml) lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup (50 g) canned pimentos, drained
  • 2/3 cup (70 g) whole raw almonds
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons onion powder
  • 1/4 cup (30 g) nutritional yeast
  • 2 teaspoons Kosher salt

Directions

  1. Place all ingredients into the Vitamix container in the order listed and secure lid.
  2. Select Variable 1.
  3. Turn machine on and slowly increase speed to Variable 10, then to High.
  4. Blend for 3 minutes or until heavy steam escapes from the vented lid.

Okay – so that’s it.  3 Minutes.  4 if you count the time it takes to squeeze the lemon and put everything in the container. Can you believe it?  I made TJ’s Brown Rice Penne Pasta, Steamed Broccoli and Blanched Kale to go under this sauce. We also added some Field Roast Frankfurters cut up for fun (and extra protein.) Half way through the meal I decided I wanted extra sauce for the steamed broccoli.  How indulgent!  Extra cheese sauce to smother my veggies with?  Teaching my son to cover up his greens?!?  Well did you see that list of ingredients?  Next to actual fresh broccoli and kale, there really isn’t a list of healthier foods around.  How amazing.  I am totally sold on this thing and, once again, my husband was right.  I am going to make this sauce tomorrow night for my annual Oscar party with my Mom. I’ll be bringing tortilla chips and nacho (or “not-so”) cheese sauce to try out on her, as she is one of the best cooks I know, and is always happy to try new things.

If you have any great vegan Vitamix recipes that you want to share… PLEASE let me know .  I am all over this appliance.

Until I can pull it together again for another post… Happy Clean Eating!
D-

Husband Rating 3.5-4 star:gold-stargold-stargold-stargold-star stars : “It’s like a cheese milkshake. I love this Vitamix!”
Kid Rating 2 smiley faces: “Pretty good – but too lemony”

Someone finally got Kale Chips right…

October22

I got this recipe from another site – here: A Cup Of Jo: The Best Kale Chips
They were the best I’ve had/made yet! Thanks A Cup Of Jo!  I’ll keep this one on hand… here on my blog.

You’ll need:
A bunch of kale (either curly or lacinato—they’re both good, but texturally, I prefer curly), center stems removed, washed and dried thoroughly
About 1 tbsp. sesame oil or olive oil
1 to 2 tsp. soy sauce
About 1 tbsp. sesame seeds

What to do:
Preheat your oven to 350F.

Tear the kale into large pieces and place them in a bowl. (NOTE: I have to stress how important it is that your kale is dry. Otherwise, the chips will turn out soggy.) Next, add the oil, soy sauce, and sesame seeds, and toss it all together with your hands. You want each piece to be glistening, but not so much that any of the oil or seasoning pools at the bottom of the bowl. You can also taste a piece at this point. It shouldn’t be too salty, because the taste will condense in the final chip. Feel free to add a little more soy sauce if you’d like, though.

On 1 or 2 baking sheets (with or without parchment paper), lay the pieces out flat.

Bake 6 to 7 minutes. (Note, however, that these aren’t hard figures because I know my oven is hotter than average. I’ve seen times ranging from 6 minutes to 12, so the first time you make these, keep a close eye on the chips. You want to take them out before they’re completely crisped—they’ll still be a little soft in the middle.) You may need to experiment a little with the timing to get it right.

The Quickest, Easiest, and Healthiest BURGER you can make from The Quickest, Easiest, and Healthiest LEFTOVERS!

June8

If you saw and subsequently tried my previous post about a basic Macro Meal… you inevitably made too much. Don’t feel bad – this is a common problem with such a basic meal.  You think there’ s NO WAY in Bend that food is going to fill you up so quickly and for so long… so you overdid it.  You threw in 3 carrots instead of one.  The entire bunch of Kale instead of a few leaves and then you excitedly made 2 cups of rice because it’s so cheap – what’s the difference? Right?  Face it – you got overzealous and were feeling really good about the prospect of feeling really good.  I know how it goes…  I am always SO gung ho because we love that meal so much, and it makes us feel SO happy and healthy and wise…. then the next day… the day after that… and the dreaded day after that… I can’t bear the idea of opening the fridge to see what’s in there to eat, let alone eating leftovers AGAIN!!!! So before you let that “kids are starving all over the world” guilt kick in and then hover shamefully over the sink shoving perfectly good food down the garbage disposal, try this one out!

Deena’s “Macro Burger” in 10 easy steps.

1.)  Get out your Food Processor.
2.)  Throw everything in there – beans, rice, veggies, tofu, temphe… all of it.
3.)  Pulse.
4.)  Add olive oil if the mixture is too dry or bread crumbs if it’s too wet (you’re looking for burger consistency somewhere in the middle)
5.)  Mold it into small patties that will fit perfectly onto your whole grain organic bun (preferably one without added sugars) or toast.
6.)  Fry in a skillet with a little Safflower or Sunflower oil – An Iron skillet works great for these and there’s no worry about how long to cook them – just cook until it looks good to you and you think it’s burger worthy.  Everything is already fully cooked so you really can’t screw this part up!

  
7.)  Add whatever you would normally have with burgers ie: sauteed mushrooms and onions, avocado, tomatoes, lettuce, condiments, sauces, WHATEVER!
8.)  Don’t tell you’re family it’s leftovers.
9.)  Enjoy
10.)  (This is my favorite and most ironic part)  FREEZE the leftovers!!! The leftover burger leftovers reheat great anytime you need a quick meal!!  I often put them in my sons lunch the next day – he thinks it’s fun times.

London would not sit still for this picture. But this WAS his second burger and he was all hopped up on health.

 

Now you are the star of the kitchen and your family just ate the healthiest burger you can possibly ever have. Win win win win win! It’s like being in Vegas without the cigarette smoke.  Right?
As always I can’t stress enough – don’t be afraid… I figured this out by just throwing stuff in and giving it a literal whirl. They are slightly different burgers every time because you’ll never have the exact same ingredients twice, but they always work and they are always good.

Try it out and tell me how it goes!
D-

Husband Rating 5 star:gold-stargold-stargold-stargold-stargold-star“Can I pour my Agave BBQ Sauce all over it?  Then yes, 5 stars.”
Kid Rating 5 smiley faces  “Mommy – can you make them look like Chicken Nuggets?”  He has no idea what that actually means.

The Quickest, Easiest and Healthiest meal you can make from scratch!

May18

The meal in this picture is the standby – go to – get centered and back on track meal in our house, that we try to eat at least once a week if not more. It’s basically a standard plate from a Macrobiotic diet. If you don’t know about Macrobiotics, don’t worry… You wont turn into the six million dollar man, or the terminator, or R2D2 if you eat this. It’s not a fancy as it sounds. It’s actually the exact opposite. Thanks to our very good friends James, Allison and Lydia Taylor, we were turned on to and subsequently adopted a Macrobiotic approach to life when I became pregnant with my son in 2008.  Over the last 4-5 years I have learned A LOT about the fundamentals and principals of Macrobiotics – both the food and the lifestyle, and it has served our family incredibly well.  But you don’t need to know any of that to eat this easy simple HEALTHY meal. So don’t worry about it too much. Just eat!! If you love it and it speaks to you every time you eat it, then you can look for more information on your own or email me and I’ll help you with what I know.  Here is all you need to know right now:  Macro=BIG   Biotics=LIFE.  This meal is about eating food that is full of “Big Life.”  Why? Because there is nothing in it except whole foods that are steamed or simmered. Clean clean clean.  Give your body a rest from the barrage of oils, salts, seasonings, sauces, etc. that you find even in healthy, organic, vegan food.  This is the highest octane food your body can eat and it will LOVE you for it.  Trust me – we prove it to ourselves every time we eat this meal…

Here are the basic elements of a simple, balanced plate of macrobiotic food:

  • Organic BROWN Rice (Brown short or long grain is the most basic and common.  But Sweet brown or Brown Basmati are also good)
  • Organic dried Beans that have been soaked and slow cooked (IE: NOT canned or microwaved!!) I used lentils here because I didn’t have time to soak anything and they cook pretty fast – around 30 minutes, but you want to try to soak dried beans overnight  if you can plan it out.  Try Adzuki Bean, Mung Beans, Chickpeas, Black Soybeans… There are so many great beans!  Just try some out – who cares!  It’s one time.
  • A Variety of Steamed Veggies – I have super basic veggies on this plate (for fear of scaring you away)  Broccoli, Carrots, Purple Cabbage, Kale, Onions (always throw an onion in – they are SO GOOD FOR YOU!!!).  But here are some other great choices that will expand your palate and up the health (make you feel good!!) Diakon Radish, Lotus root, Parsnips, Bok Choy, ANY AND ALL leafy greens, Winter Squash, Brussel Sprouts, Cauliflower, Turnips.  Basically – if they don’t sell it in Safeway, Vons or Costco, try it.  It’s most likely something your body desperately needs. And try to stay away from night shades for this meal: spinach, tomatoes, potatoes, eggplant, or anything in the nightshade family.  Why?  Eh – It’s complicated.  If you REALLY want to know Google it.  You’ll get tons of info!!!
  • Organic Fermented Veggies like sauerkraut, or Kim-Chi. ( I buy these.  I know you can make them pretty easily, but they take many days to ferment.  I have only ventured into this world once and it was an inedible disaster.  One day I will try again, but for now I buy it.)
  • Additional Organic Protein optional like Sprouted Tofu or Temphe cut into bite size chunks or pieces.
  • Bonus Items if you think you can’t handle it THAT plain can be lemon, Nato Miso, Tekka (miso condiment), Apple Cider Vinegar or Umoboshi Plum Vinegar, Olive Oil lightly drizzled.  I usually stick to Lemon and Tekka on everything, but I love the other items I listed too.  My 3 year old will eat a plate full of leafy greens if they have lemon juice squeezed on it, so you can too!!

There are many many many incredible foods that fall into a macrobiotic diet, but this is not that site (although I think sometimes it should be) I posted this meal for two reasons only:

  1. It’s the quickest, easiest meal I make all week.
  2. It’s the cheapest, cleanest, most balanced and nutritious combo of foods I know of and it always makes us FEEL good.

Don’t worry about how you cut or prepare any of it.  It’s very hard to screw up steamed veggies.  I usually start with the things that take longest to cook and throw the rest in one by one as I clean and cut them.  (ie: carrots, then the onions, then brocolli, then cabbage, lastly the greens, tofu doesn’t need to be cooked so I just heat it real quick after I turn off the stove)  As long as you don’t overcook everything they are perfect.  Same with the rice and beans.  Just double the water to the dried amount, bring to a boil and then simmer for about 30 minutes (45 for rice.)  Always wash your grains and beans before you cook them.  If you have time to soak the rice too, go for it – it makes it extremely easy for your body to pull out nutrients and digest it efficiently, making it great fuel for your body.

Another nice thing to try is switching up the grain.  Instead of brown rice, which after a while gets too repetitive, try quinoa, millet, or barley.  And a great trick I learned early on is that you don’t have to refrigerate grains for a least 24 hours after they have been cooked.  So I cook them whenever it’s convenient and leave them covered in the pot on the stove until I am ready to serve it.  They are usually very good at room temperature and I love that I don’t have to clean another dish or put it BACK in the pot to reheat it.  It’s a time saver.  I do the same with beans as well.

Side note for emphasis: NEVER use a microwave to cook your food and ALWAYS buy organic.  Please.

Try it!!  You will be amazed at how easy it is and how happy you feel afterward.
Happy Clean Eating!
D-

Husband Rating 4 star:gold-stargold-stargold-star gold-star“You’ll love how good I feel after you eat this dinner.”
Kid Rating 4 smiley faces a magical combination of food that makes him clean his plate every time.

Vegan Lemon Squares

February24

These are NOT the ones I made, but if you use regular sugar I'm sure they will look just like this!!

I made these for our impromptu New Years Party this year because they are so quick and simple to make, and although they are sugarless and vegan, they were still pretty good. I actually didn’t think I would bother making them again because although they were good – they weren’t my favorites. BUT My Mother in law is in town and she isn’t eating sugar or eggs, and it’s her birthday, so I thought I’d try these again and while I’m at it, why not post it??
They came out better this time. Maybe because I wasn’t focused on anything else AND I wasn’t drinking while cooking them.  (It was New Years Eve last time , don’t forget.) I replaced sugar with Coconut Palm Sugar and it changes the color from yellow to caramel color. So you have to tell your brain you are eating lemon or it won’t recognize it. Weird how that works. These are another great treat for my boy who LOVES them and rarely gets to eat stuff like this.
I hope you like them too! They are almost completely guilt free. Hooray.

You can see the original recipe here: Veg-Web Time Warp Lemon Squares (odd name, right??)

Crust:
1 cup all-purpose flour
5 tablespoons Earth Balance Butter
1/4 cup Coconut Palm Sugar (I grind this with my Morter and Pestal to be a little finer)

Filling:
4 1/2 teaspoon Ener-G Egg Replacer
6 tablespoons water
3/4 cup Coconut Palm Sugar (I grind this too, with my Morter and Pestal to be a little finer)
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon real vanilla
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
2-3 lemons, zested and juiced

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. For crust, in a bowl, combine crust ingredients and press into 8 X 6″ pan. Bake for 15 minutes.

2. For filling, while crust is baking, beat the Ener-G Egg Replacer  and water in a mixer (if possible) until foamy. Add the remainder of the filling ingredients and mix together on a lower (mixing) speed. Pour over the crust, and bake 20 minutes more, or until set. Cool.

Enjoy them!!
D-

Husband Rating 5 star:gold-stargold-stargold-star “ These are good.  I will eat them.”
Kid Rating 5 smiley faces “Yay!  I love those Lemon Squares! I’m so happy it’s Nonnie’s birthday.”

GUEST POST!!!! Kei’s Temphe Burgers!

February8

Kei Ogawa is a good friend of mine from California. She eats like we do (only better) and we used to compare notes all the time before we moved to Oregon. I recently saw this info on her husband Donny’s facebook status and asked her to give me the recipe for my blog. So here it is… Thanks Kei!!!!

Hi mamas. Here is the recipe for you! It is super easy to make.

Tempeh Burger (one person)

Tempeh – 1
Bun -1
Veggie Mayo
Lettuce
Avocado
Sprouts
Mustard

(Sauce)
Warter-1/2cup
Veggie concentrate powder -1tsp
Tomato puree or ketchup -2tbsp
Beet sugar -1/2tbsp
Vinegar -2tsp
Tamari-1/2tbsp
Garlic(grounded)-1/2tsp

Panfry tempeh (I cut a TJ tempeh in a half thickness so that it absorbs the sauce easy) with olive oil until the both sides get brown. Heat up all sauce ingredients and once it’s boiled, add tempeh and turn the stove to low. Keep boiling until it gets less watery. I have made it without garlic and it still tastes good! Sorry that this is not a good recipe for Pitta people like Don though!

I personally have not tried it yet – but judging by the recipe and what I know about Temphe and how much I cook Temphe, it looks good.  I will be making it for my Temphe-Crazed husband, Zeke just as soon as he gets back from his trip to China (where they eat battered and deep fried cuckoo bird!!  WTF?????) So for now our husband rating is being taken right off Donny’s post as testimonial of this delicious meat alternative!!

Enjoy! (Should be easy to do when there are no beaks, eyes, flesh, etc… ugh.)
Deena

Husband Rating 5 star:gold-stargold-stargold-stargold-stargold-star “ My wife just made the most kick a$$ tempeh burgers! Seriously and you’re not vegetarian why again? You think you’re going to miss out, but you’re really missing out right now.”

 

Thanks for the contribution, Kei and Donny!  Give that baby a kiss for me.

Sweet Potato Chips

January8

SUPER easy side dish that’s fun, satisfying, and healthy…

This is another one of my “What the F am I going to make for dinner tonight” babies.  It’s as simple as it looks…

Preheat oven to somewhere around 375-425° depending on how much time you have, how crispy you like things, how thick you cut your potatoes, how fat your potatoes are, etc…  As always – don’t be scared.  It’s just food. You can always get it perfect the next time.  Cut however many Sweet Potatoes will fit on your cookie sheet into discs as shown above.  Line your cookie sheet with parchment paper (if you have and use this) place as many chips as you can flat on the sheet.  Baste the tops with olive oil and sprinkle with sea salt or Herbamare (I frequently use this instead of sea salt. You can buy it at Whole Foods and other Health Food Stores.)  Bake for about 15 minutes then carefully flip over and baste the other side with olive oil, sprinkle with more salt (if you want) and put back in the oven to bake for another 15 minutes or until they are soft enough or crispy enough for you – however you think you will enjoy them best!

I served these with a big salad. We were stuffed. There was no mess to clean up either. Bonus!!
Let me know if you make them and what YOU did different or how you served them.

Husband Rating 5 star:gold-stargold-stargold-stargold-stargold-star “ I can eat these all day long.”
Kid Rating 5 smiley faces “I want to eat all of them.  I don’t want to share ANY.”  (But he did)

Enjoy!
D-