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Thursday, July 20, 2017

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Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Meatless Ground Meat | Gluten-Free Dairy-Free Vegan


I have been on a healthier eating journey for four years since having my gall bladder removed that caused me to have digestive issues.  One of the first things to go out of my diet was beef and ground beef.  I simply could not (and still can't) digest the fat in it.  Giving up ground beef meant no more hamburgers and since Saturday nights are hamburger and french fry nights at my house, that just wasn't going to fly.

I have made all kinds of substitutions from grinding up chicken breast and making patties, using lentils for tacos, and just plain ole' skipping the meat all together in dishes that require a ground beef. I've even tried the store bought vegan crumbles and they were, well, nasty.

So, in my quest to find an alternative that I could make at home, I accidentally stumbled upon this creation when I made my vegan meatballs.  I made some adjustment to the original recipe, did some trial and error cooking sessions, and finally came up with the best vegan ground meat substitute that I have ever had!  It's true!!  This recipe is holds it's shape and ground meat consistency when added to soups stews and sauces.  It freezes well.  And it can be made into patties for burgers.  SCORE!!!  Now, let's see the recipe.

Before you start, preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

In a large bowl you will blend up the oat flour, Italian seasoning, salt, pepper, Nut-free Vegan Parmesan cheese, dry onion flakes, garlic powder and paprika.



 In a food processor, grind up the cooked mushrooms until they are a very fine mince.


 Add the ground mushrooms, tomato paste, flax egg, liquid smoke and water to the dry ingredients and stir until the mixture is thoroughly combined.


 You will be amazed at the resemblance of ground meat that this has.



I usually divide the mixture in half and make some of it into hamburger patties and the other half into meatless crumbles.  To make the hamburger patties, using we hands shape handfuls of the mixture into patties and place them onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.  I use an ice cream scoop to help get an even amount for each patty.



To make meatless crumbles, using wet hands, place the mixture into pieces onto a parchment lined baking sheet.


Place the baking pans in the oven and bake for about 45 minutes until they are golden brown and crispy.   As the crumbles cook, you may need to take them out every so often and break any larger chunks up.  The patties and crumbles will be dry, but don't worry, we are going to fix that.

Once the patties and crumbles are baked and cooled, heat up some water, veggie broth, beef or chicken broth or bullion in a large pot on the stove.  It really doesn't matter what kind of liquid you use as long as it is a flavor you enjoy.  Boiling the crumbles and patties is important.  After baking they get dry, boiling them will gives them the meaty texture chew that we are looking for.

Bring the liquid to a boil and add the patties first.  Cook them for about 5 minutes.  Then remove them with a slotted spoon and put them back onto the parchment lined baking sheet.  Sprinkle them with salt and pepper.

























Next, repeat with the crumbles.  It important that you don't over boil these.  The oat flour is still oatmeal and can get tough and slimy quickly.  We don't want in our food.



At this point, cool them completely.  Flash freeze them in the freezer and then place them into to Ziploc bags.  The crumbles work fantastic for tacos, spaghetti or any where you would use ground beef.  And the patties make great hamburgers.

Meatless Ground Meat

4 cups oat flour
1 tbsp. Italian seasoning
1 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1 tbsp. dry onion flakes
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tbsp. paprika
12 oz.  cooked mushrooms, drained (canned mushrooms work fine)
2 tbsp. tomato paste
1 tbsp. liquid smoke
1 flax egg ( 2 tbsp. ground flax seed mixed with 2 tbsp. water)
2 cups water

Before you start, preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

In a large bowl you will blend up the oat flour, Italian seasoning, salt, pepper, Nut-free Vegan Parmesan cheese, dry onion flakes, garlic powder and paprika.  In a food processor, grind up the cooked mushrooms until they are a very fine mince.  Add the ground mushrooms, tomato paste, flax egg, liquid smoke and water to the dry ingredients and stir until the mixture is thoroughly combined.

To make the hamburger patties, using we hands shape handfuls of the mixture into patties and place them onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.  I use an ice cream scoop to help get an even amount for each patty.  To make meatless crumbles, using wet hands, place the mixture into pieces onto a parchment lined baking sheet.

Place the baking pans in the oven and bake for about 45 minutes until they are golden brown and crispy.   As the crumbles cook, you may need to take them out every so often and break any larger chunks up.

Heat up some water, veggie broth, beef or chicken broth or bullion in a large pot on the stove.   Bring the liquid to a boil and add the patties first.  Cook them for about 5 minutes.  Then remove them with a slotted spoon and put them back onto the parchment lined baking sheet.  Sprinkle them with salt and pepper.   Repeat with the crumbles.  cool them completely.  Flash freeze them in the freezer and then place them into to Ziploc bags.

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Saturday, June 17, 2017

Best Banana Green Smoothie








Best Banana Green Smoothie

2 ripe bananas, peeled
1/2 cup frozen broccoli
2 tbsp. powdered peanut butter (or regular)
1/3 cup rolled oats
1-2 tbsp. honey
1 cup milk
1 tsp. vanilla


Place all ingredients in a blender.  Blend until smooth and creamy.  Serve and enjoy!
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Friday, June 16, 2017

Lentil Loaf & Oven Roasted Italian Potatoes




Lentil Loaf
2 1/2 cups cooked lentils, lightly mashed
1 1/2 cups bread crumbs
Grated:  1 medium carrot, 1 stalk celery, 1/4 each bell pepper & onion
one egg
 1/4 cup tomato juice
2 tsp. garlic powder
2 tsp. onion powder
Salt & Pepper to taste

Combine all ingredients in a large bowl.  Mix thoroughly.  Pour mixture into a baking dish lined with parchment paper.  Shape into a loaf.  Cover with foil.  Bake in a 400 degree oven for 30 minutes.

Oven Roasted Italian Potatoes
2 15 oz. cans whole potatoes, drained, rinsed, cut in half
1-2 tablespoons of olive oil
1 tablespoon Italian
seasoning
2 tsp. dried chives
salt & pepper to taste
Parmesan cheese

Drain, rinse and halve the potatoes.  Place them in a large bowl.  Add all remaining ingredients except cheese.  Mix thoroughly.  Place mixture on a parchment paper lined baking pan.  Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.  Bake at 400 degrees until golden brown.

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Sunday, April 16, 2017

Homemade Pizza



Nothing tastes as good as a fresh, hot, homemade pizza!  Friday nights are pizza night at our house.  We ditched the fast-food pizza years ago and started saving money and our health by making it at home.

Homemade pizza is not hard to make.  I can made a large and small pizza from scratch, start to finish, in just under an hour, about the same amount of time it would take to call and order a delivery pizza.  The best part about making your own pizza, aside from saving money and the health benefits, is you get to choose what kind of toppings you want and how much of them you want to add....at no additional cost 😀.

First you need to preheat your oven to 425 degrees.  Next, mix up your dry ingredients in a mixing bowl:  flour, instant yeast, and salt.  I don't add oil to my crust.  It keeps it nice and light and fat-free.


Next add the water and mix it into the dry ingredients until it forms a soft dough (I didn't get a picture of this).  Start with 3/4 a cup.   If the mixture is too dry keep adding warm water a little bit at a time until the dough is soft and comes together.

Then you want to decide how many pizza you are making.  I make a large pizza for my husband and a small pizza for me.  This gives us plenty of left overs. To make two medium pizzas, divide the dough in half.  To make one large thick crust pizza don't divide the dough.  To make two large pizzas you will need to double the recipe.  You get the idea.  Just play around with how thick or thin you want your crust and how many pizzas you want to make and divide your dough accordingly.

Roll out the dough on a well floured surface until it is big enough to fit the pizza pans.  We like our dough at "hand-tossed" thickness, so I don't let it rise.  If you like fuller dough, let it rise for about 30 minutes or so.



Now you want to top it with some sauce.  I make my own pizza sauce, but you can use store-bought as well.


Top your pizza with what ever kind of toppings you like.  Tonight we had supreme pizzas.  I like turkey pepperoni, olives, onions, mushrooms and my homemade cheese.  My husband likes regular pepperoni, olives, mushrooms and cooked hamburger.  We almost always have left over cooked hamburger from taco night.  Use those left overs!

Bake your pizzas in a hot oven at 425 degrees.  My husband's pizza gets cooked for 30 minutes and mine for 15.  So, I put his in first and 15 minutes later mine goes in.  That way they get done at the same time.  After the pizzas are cooked, remove them from the oven, slice them and enjoy!



Homemade Pizza
2 1/2 cups flour
2 tsp. instant yeast
1 tsp. salt
3/4 to 1 1/2 cups warm water
pizza sauce, homemade or store-bought
cheese and toppings of your choice

For the sauce:  1 6 oz. can tomato paste, 1/4 tsp each garlic and onion powder, 2 tbsp. dried Italian seasonings.  Whisk the tomato paste with two cans(measure in the tomato paste can) of water.  Whisk in remaining ingredients.  Spread on pizza dough.

First you need to preheat your oven to 425 degrees.  Next, mix up your dry ingredients in a mixing bowl:  flour, instant yeast, and salt.  Add the water and mix it into the dry ingredients until it forms a soft dough.  Start with 3/4 a cup.   If the mixture is too dry keep adding warm water a little bit at a time until the dough is soft and comes together.

Decide how many pizzas you are making and divide your dough accordingly.  Roll out the dough to a thickness that you like and large enough to fit your pizza pan(s). We like our dough at "hand-tossed" thickness, so I don't let it rise.  If you like fuller dough, let it rise for about 30 minutes or so.

Spread pizza sauce on the dough.  Add your favorite toppings.  Bake at 425 degrees for about 30 minutes.  Keep an eye on it and cook it until the crust is as brown as you like and the cheese and toppings are cooked as much as you want.

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Friday, April 14, 2017

Lentil And Rice Vegetable Stew


Here is a great recipe for a simple and delicious stew that is easy to put together, quick to cook and tasty to eat!
Here is what you'll need:
1/2 cup dry lentils
1/2 cup brown rice
1/2 cup plain soy tvp
1 cup baby carrots, sliced
1 cup celery, sliced
2 cups white button mushrooms, sliced
1/2 cup onion, chopped
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
2 tsp paprika
1 tsp garlic powder
2 tbsp nutritional yeast
2 tbsp tomato paste
1 tbsp soy sauce, use gluten free if needed
6 cups of water

Start off by lightly spraying a non-stick pan with canola oil spray.  Add the lentils, brown rice and soy tvp (I use Bob's Red Mill brand).  Stir lightly to coat.


Next add 6 cups of water to the pot and stir well.  Bring the water to a boil and then reduce heat to a low simmer and cover with a lid.
While you are waiting on your water with lentils, rice and tvp to come to a boil, begin chopping and slicing your veggies.



Heat a non-stick skillet on the stove and lightly spray with canola oil spray and sautee' the vegetables until the onions are transparent, the mushrooms are soft and the carrots and celery are lightly steamed.



By now your lentil mixture should be boiling on the stove so now it's time to add all of your seasonings, tomato paste and soy sauce.





 Now add the sauteed vegetable to the pot of lentils and rice.  



Stir well to combine and cover with a lid.  Continue to simmer over low heat for one hour or until lentils are soft, the rice is tender and the vegetable are cooked through.  This is a stew and should not be very soupy.  It will be on the thick side.  Serve with a side of bread, biscuits or flat-bread and a side salad.


Lentil & Rice Vegetable Stew
1/2 cup dry lentils
1/2 cup brown rice
1/2 cup plain soy tvp
1 cup baby carrots, sliced
1 cup celery, sliced
2 cups white button mushrooms, sliced
1/2 cup onion, chopped
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
2 tsp paprika
1 tsp garlic powder
2 tbsp nutritional yeast
2 tbsp tomato paste
1 tbsp soy sauce, use gluten free if needed
6 cups of water

Start off by lightly spraying a non-stick pan with canola oil spray.  Add the lentils, brown rice and soy tvp (I use Bob's Red Mill brand).  Stir lightly to coat.  Next add 6 cups of water to the pot and stir well.  Bring the water to a boil and then reduce heat to a low simmer and cover with a lid.
While you are waiting on your water with lentils, rice and tvp to come to a boil, begin chopping and slicing your veggies.

Heat a non-stick skillet on the stove and lightly spray with canola oil spray and sautee' the vegetables until the onions are transparent, the mushrooms are soft and the carrots and celery are lightly steamed. By now your lentil mixture should be boiling on the stove so now it's time to add all of your seasonings, tomato paste and soy sauce.  Now add the sauteed vegetable to the pot of lentils and rice.  Stir well to combine and cover with a lid.  Continue to simmer over low heat for one hour or until lentils are soft, the rice is tender and the vegetable are cooked through. 


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Thursday, April 13, 2017

Black Bean Taco Salad



My new favorite Mexican dish is taco salad made with homemade baked corn tortilla chips, salsa and vegan cheese sauce.  I usually have all the ingredients on hand and the chips, salsa and cheese already made and ready to go, because we like to have snacks during the week not just on taco night.  That makes this recipe super easy to throw together for a quick lunch or dinner.  I normally use 1/2 cup of dry black beans, but you could also save even more time and use canned beans.

Black Bean Taco Salad
1/2 cup dry black beans, sorted and rinsed
Homemade baked corn tortillas
Homemade salsa
Homemade quick vegan cheese sauce
Chopped lettuce
Olives
Dried or fresh cilantro and chives

If you are using canned beans you can skip the first part.   Just rinse and drain the canned beans and heat them up.  Otherwise, proceed.  Several hours before dinner rinse the dried black beans and cover them with water.  Bring them to a boil and let them boil for 10 minutes.  Cover them with a lid, turn the stove off and let them sit for one hour.  Drain the water and rinse them again.  Cover the beans with fresh water and put them back on the stove and bring them to a boil.  Reduce the heat to simmer, cover the beans with a lid and cook them about one hour or until they are tender.  Drain the liquid.

If you have your homemade chips, salsa and cheese sauce made up you are ready to go.  If not you will need to work on those while your beans are cooking.

To assemble your salad put a layer of chips on a plate.  Then a layer of chopped lettuce, black beans, olives.  Next drizzle a LOT of cheese sauce over the top and add as much salsa as you like.  Garnish the top with cilantro and chives.

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