#Vegetarian Whole Wheat, Flax and Oatmeal Super Muffin #Recipe

A vegetarian muffin recipe that is chocked full of fiber with flax, whole wheat flour and oatmeal. Add fruit and nuts for more fiber content.

Frustrated by not finding a recipe that was chocked full of fiber, yet still simple to put together; I created my own fiber rich vegetarian recipe. Feel free to adapt or add fruit and/or nuts. This recipe could also easily be adaptable to a vegan muffin recipe.

Ingredients:

1 cup whole wheat flour

1/2 cup ground flax

1/2 cup quick cooking oatmeal

1 tsp. baking powder

1/4 tsp. sea salt

1-2 tsp. sweetener (brown sugar)

1 egg

1 cup Soy milk (or vanilla soy milk)

1/4 cup Greek nonfat yogurt

Directions:
Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees.

1. Mix dry ingredients. Set aside
2. Beat egg slightly. Add yogurt and milk.
3. Add egg mixture to dry ingredients. Stir until moistened.
4. Spray muffin cups with oil.
5. Fill muffin cups 1/2- 3/4 way full, depending on desired muffin size.
6. Bake 11-15 minutes. Muffins are done when inserted toothpick comes out clean.

Baked Oatmeal with Fruit Recipe

I’m one of those people who loves to eat oatmeal…almost every day for breakfast. I prefer making my own with rolled oats on the stove instead of the quick-cooking instant cereal packets.

Favorite toppings are cinnamon and brown sugar, fresh blueberries, peaches or bananas. However, my absolute favorite type of oatmeal breakfast is Baked Oatmeal. The first time I ever had baked oatmeal was at a little coffee shop in Archbold, Ohio..best cup of coffee with the best wholesome breakfast in Northwest Ohio…if you’re ever in the area, stop by Carol Ann’s in Archbold.

In the meantime, try this recipe at home. Substitute your favorite kind of fruit as well as milk (I prefer soy milk over cow’s milk).

The original recipe can be found on SkinnyTaste.com

Baked Oatmeal with Fresh Peaches

You’ll need the following:

1 cup uncooked rolled oats
1-2 cups cubed ripe fresh peaches
1/4 cup chopped pecans
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp cinnamon
pinch of salt
1-1/2 cups soy milk
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla extract

Baking Directions:

Preheat oven 375° F.  Lightly spray a 8 x 8″ or 9 x 9″ ceramic or glass baking dish with cooking spray; set aside.

Line the bottom of baking dish with cubed peaches. (Canned or fresh-frozen peaches can also be used, defrost frozen peaches & drain juice before adding to the dish.)

Combine the oats, nuts, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt in a medium bowl; stir together.  In a separate bowl, whisk together the milk, egg, and vanilla extract.

Pour the milk mixture over the oats, making sure to distribute the mixture as evenly as possible over the oats. 

Bake the oatmeal for about 30 minutes, or until the top is golden brown and the oatmeal has set. Serve warm from the oven with milk or cream.

50 Healthy Tofu Recipes – Tofu Fried Rice

You can create this simple fried rice dish with whatever veggies you have on hand, tofu chunks and brown rice for a filling and healthy meal.

Next in my journey of finding 50 recipes using tofu as a substitute for meat or dairy is this simple fried rice dish. Use whatever veggies you have on hand whether they are fresh or frozen. It is recommended to use brown rice instead of white rice, but it is your choice.

Fried rice and any 1 pan Chinese dish are my favorite recipes to make because they are simple and I don’t have to worry about timing other foods to be done at the same time. I find 1 pot meals fill me up more than separately cooked foods too.

#49 Tofu Fried Rice

What you need:

1 nonstick skillet or wok

2 teaspoons olive or canola oil (your preference here)

1/2 cup diced red bell pepper (roasted red bell pepper works well too)

1 cup sliced mushrooms – I use the stems too

2  garlic cloves, chopped (or use 1 t. minced garlic)

1 onion, chopped or diced

3 cups cooked brown rice (1 cup uncooked rice = 3 cups cooked)

1 cup silken extra firm tofu, chopped in 1/2-inch cubes (you may also fry these in olive oil before adding to the dish)

1 bag of your choice of frozen mixed or stir fry vegetables*

Low sodium soy or fish sauce

White pepper (or your choice of herbs)

Cooking Directions:

1. Heat oil in large skillet or wok over medium high heat.

2. Add red bell pepper, mushrooms and garlic until nearly tender, about 2-3 minutes.

3. Add 3 cups cooked brown rice; stir fry about 3 minutes.

4. Reduce heat to medium, add frozen veggie mix; stir fry until defrosted.

5. Add soy or fish sauce, pepper and herbs, if used. Stir fry about 2 minutes.

6. Add tofu cubes, and gently stir until tofu is warm.

Adjust seasonings and soy/fish sauce to taste.

Serve immediately and enjoy!

More tofu recipes:

Tofu Chocolate Mousse

50 Healthy Tofu Recipes – Tofu Chocolate Mousse

Learn to make a simple chocolate mousse recipe using Silken tofu and you can substitute different types of chocolate including white chocolate if you choose. A delicious dessert that even non-vegetarians will love.

This is my new direction for living a healthier and vegetarian lifestyle. I am not a total dedicated vegetarian since I occasionally still have chicken or beef, but it is my challenge to find 50 recipes that I can substitute meat or dairy for tofu.

Follow me on my journey to living and eating healthier, it’s the greener living road to health.

#50 Tofu Chocolate Mousse

This is a simple recipe and you can substitute different types of chocolate including white chocolate if you choose.

What you need:

1 food processor or blender

2-4 custard or small bowls

1-2 cups of firm Silken tofu, cut in chunks

Honey (or your choice of sweetner)

2-3 Tablespoons cocoa powder*

Directions:

1. Put tofu chunks, honey and cocoa powder in food processor or blender.

2. Mix until smooth and all tofu is completely mixed with cocoa powder.

3. Taste test for sweetness, add more honey if desired. Mix again.

4. Evenly distribute mixture into custard bowls.

5. Place in freezer or refrigerator for 1 hour or until mousse is set.

6. Remove from freezer, and serve with whipped topping, crushed graham crackers or vanilla wafers if desired.

Enjoy! Mmmmm….so creamy & good for you too!

*Substitute 6-8 ounces baking chocolate chips, or semi-sweet chocolate chips for the cocoa powder. Melt chips in microwave at 50% power or in a pan on the stove on low heat until melted. Add honey and stir, then add to tofu in blender or food processor. Using cocoa powder or chocolate chips will depend on your dietary preferences.

I also found this version of Chocolate Mousse from the FoodNetworkTV – another way to fix this delicious dessert.

Healthy Living and a Vegetarian Lifestyle

I found this article from the Yoga Journal, if you don’t subscribe to this weekly journal, I highly suggest you do. Not only is it packed with yoga exercises and scrumptious healthy recipes, but it also provides articles about greener living and whole body wellness.

Periodically, I will post a vegetarian or vegan recipe that I have tried since I am trying to reduce my animal consumption and increase more local foods as well as vegetarian dishes on a daily basis. I’m doing pretty good, I’ve cut out beef and pork completely. (Ok, so I ate it once or twice last month, but only because I had nothing else in the freezer!) I still eat chicken, but not as frequently; fish and dairy too are still a staple in my diet too.

I love history too, so when this article appeared in my email, I had to share it with you too. Maybe it will change your perspective about your eating lifestyle.

The Roots of Vegetarianism

Ask any number of yogis to describe their diets and you’ll likely get responses as varied as the styles they practice. Many traditionalists see yoga as being inextricably linked with the meatless path, citing numerous ancient Indian texts to prove their conviction. Others put less stock in centuries-old warnings like “the slaughter of animals obstructs the way to heaven” (from the Dharma Sutras) than in what their bodies have to say. If eating flesh begets health and energy, they argue, it must be the right choice for them–and their yoga.

Today’s range of dietary habits might seem like a recent development, but delve back into the historical record and you’ll find a long tradition of ethical wrangling with respect to animals. Indeed, the different stances yogis now take on vegetarianism reflect just the latest turn in a debate that started thousands of years ago.

The Past-Life Argument

The history of vegetarianism in India began in the Vedic period, an era that dawned sometime between 4000 and 1500 b.c.e., depending on whom you ask. Four sacred texts known as the Vedas were the bedrock of early Hindu spiritual thought. Among those texts’ hymns and songs that described with reverence the wondrous power of the natural world, we find a nascent idea that sets the stage for vegetarianism in later centuries. “The concept of the transmigration of souls… first dimly appears in the Rig Veda,” explains Colin Spencer in Vegetarianism: A History (Four Walls, Eight Windows, 2002). “In the totemistic culture of the pre-Indus civilization, there was already a sense of oneness with creation.” A fervent belief in this idea, he contends, would give rise to vegetarianism later on.

In subsequent ancient texts, including the Upanishads, the idea of rebirth emerged as a central point. In these writings, according to Kerry Walters and Lisa Portmess, editors of Religious Vegetarianism (State University of New York Press, 2001), “gods take animal form, human beings have had past animal lives, [and] animals have had past human lives.” All creatures harbored the Divine, so that rather than being fixed in time, life was fluid. (A cow alone, notes Spencer, held 330 million gods and goddesses. To kill one set you back 86 transmigrations of the soul.) Again, the idea that the meat on a dinner plate once lived in a different–and possibly human–form made it all the less palatable.

Dietary guidelines became explicit centuries later in the Laws of Manu, written between 200 b.c.e. and 100 c.e., say Walters and Portmess. In this text, we discover that the sage Manu doesn’t find fault just with those who eat meat. “He who permits the slaughter of an animal,” he wrote, “he who cuts it up, he who kills it, he who buys or sells meat, he who cooks it, he who serves it up, and he who eats it, must all be considered as the slayers of the animal.”

The Bhagavad Gita, arguably the most influential text of the Hindu tradition (written sometime between the fourth and first centuries b.c.e.), added to the vegetarian argument with its practical dietary guidelines. It specifies that sattvic foods (milk, butter, fruit, vegetables, and grains) “promote vitality, health, pleasure, strength, and long life.” Bitter, salty, and sour rajasic foods (including meat, fish, and alcohol) “cause pain, disease, and discomfort.” At the bottom rung lies the tamasic category: “stale, overcooked, contaminated” and otherwise rotten or impure foods. These explanations have endured, becoming the guidelines by which many modern yogis eat.

Spiritual Contradiction

The case for vegetarianism mounted as centuries passed, while another practice–animal sacrifice–persisted alongside it. The same Vedas that extolled the virtues of the natural world also emphasized the need for animal sacrifice to the gods. The uneasy coexistence between India’s emerging inclination toward vegetarianism and its history of animal sacrifice continued over hundreds of years, says Edwin Bryant, professor of Hinduism at Rutgers University. Oftentimes the conflict played out in the pages of the same text.

The sage Manu, for instance, condemned recreational meat eating, stating, “There is no greater sinner than that man who…seeks to increase the bulk of his own flesh by the flesh of other beings.” But orthodox followers of Vedic culture–including Manu–were “forced to allow the performance of animal sacrifice,” Bryant notes. Ultimately, the discomfort that many in ancient India felt about animal sacrifice helped fuel the demise of the practice.

Some orthodox traditionalists, for instance, felt uncomfortable challenging the ancient texts on the issue out of respect for what they believed were the writings’ divine origins. However, they did condemn everyday meat eating, adding a number of conditions to animal sacrifice so that “the practice accrued ghastly karmic results that far outweighed any benefits gained,” explains Professor Bryant in A Communion of Subjects: Animals in Religion and Ethics, edited by Kimberly Patton and Paul Waldau (to be published in 2004).

Others simply deemed the ancient texts outdated, and went on to form groups such as the Jainas and the Buddhists. No longer bound by Vedic authority, Bryant says, they “could scorn the whole sacrificial culture and preach an unencumbered ahimsa,” or doctrine of nonviolence. This concept of ahimsa, championed by Mahavira in the sixth century, has emerged at the core of the vegetarian argument in modern times.

Some later Indian sages strengthened the case for vegetarianism. Swami Vivekananda, writing a hundred years ago, pointed out the communality we have with other animals: “The amoeba and I are the same. The difference is only one of degree; and from the standpoint of the highest life, all differences vanish.” Swami Prabhupada, scholar and founder of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness, offered a more stark pronouncement: “If you want to eat animals, then [God] will give you… the body of a tiger in your next life so that you can eat flesh very freely.”

In most cultures today, the rights of animals have at least prevailed over the ritual of sacrifice, if not meat eating. Scores of yogis live and eat with the understanding, as expressed by B.K.S. Iyengar, that a vegetarian diet is “a necessity” to the practice of yoga. But other, equally dedicated yogis find flesh a necessary fuel, without which their practice suffers. Those yoga enthusiasts still on the fence when it comes to the meat question should take heart, however. It seems that a thoughtful, deliberate, and at times even challenging consideration of vegetarianism is very much in the spirit of the Indian spiritual tradition.

Contributing Editor Jennifer Barrett is editor of The Herb Quarterly. She lives in Connecticut.

Don’t Waste Bruised Apples, Turn Them Into Applesauce

Bruised and Mushy Apples are Perfect for Making Homemade Applesauce

Apples for homemade applesauceI had a few apples left over from a farmer’s stand a couple weeks ago that had turned soft and less than desirable to eat on their own. However, I didn’t want to waste them, so I made a small batch of homemade applesauce.

I peeled the apples, but you can leave the peelings on if you like, it depends on the type of apples and your taste. Used my Pampered Chef apple core (another PC favorite) to remove the core and stem, then put them in a pan with just a little water, so they wouldn’t burn. Added a couple tablespoons of brown sugar – adjust for your sweet tooth and cinnamon. I like to use Vietnamese cinnamon because it is more concentrated, but use whatever you have; a teaspoon or 2 should suffice.

Cook apples in just a little water, cinnamon and brown sugar for a delicious homemade applesauce recipe.

Allow the apple mixture to simmer 10-15 minutes or longer depending on if you like your applesauce chunky or smooth. Stir and serve warm or refrigerate for another day. I don’t know the shelf-life of homemade vegetarian applesauce, but in my household it doesn’t matter because it’s eaten within just a couple days, if not the same day.

Use homemade applesauce over pancakes, waffles, ice cream/frozen yogurt, in plain yogurt, hot oatmeal or with graham crackers. However you eat it, you’ll know that you’re eating less sugar, fat and no preservatives.

Eat healthy and be green too, this vegetarian applesauce recipe is a treat the whole family can enjoy!