I have had the most stressful few weeks recently and last night I had just about had it!  I wanted to give up on being an adult!  I tried to think of ways to cope and some how was able to motivate myself off the couch to bake! I figured I deserved something really chocolaty and bad so I whipped up these delicious brownies! My problems might not have disappeared but at least I was distracted for a little while and created something I  was proud of!

2 1/2 cups flour
1 cup brown sugar
1 1/2 cups white sugar
2 tsp baking soda
1/2 cup unsweetened coco powder
1/2 cup dark coco powder
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
2 over ripe bananas
1/2 cup oil
1  cup water
1/2 cup soy milk (vanilla flavor or almond milk)
4 tsp apple cider 
1. Preheat oven to 350 F and grease 11" x 7" baking pan with oil.  
2. Combine dry ingredients well in one bowl.
3. In separate bowl mush bananas down and then combine wet ingredients well in bowl. 
4.  Mix all ingredients together and add chips.  
5.  Put mix in greased baking pan and bake for 15-20 minutes or until top is fully cooked and does not bounce when tapped.  Or use tester stick.  
6.  Let brownies sit until cool (Over night is best) before eating.  
     So no sooner did I finish a five day juicing detox than I headed right back to the grocery store to get food to cook!  I have been dying to make these chili dogs and since I have made them I can not stop eating them!  

1 16 oz can kidney beans
3/4 jar tomato sauce
3 TBSP minced garlic
2 TBSP crushed red pepper
1/4 cup hot sauce
1 package Gimme Lean Sausage style (or tempeh)
1/4 cup chili powder
2 TBSP tamari
2 TBSP garlic powder
1 TBSP cumin
3 TBSP tamari
3 TBSP olive oil
1 tomato cut up small
1/2 medium onion
1/2 green pepper


1.  Place beans and tomato sauce in pot and start to cook on medium low heat.
2.  In frying pan place olive oil, peppers and onion and fry until soft then add Gimme lean.
3.  Add tamari to Gimme Lean mixture and stir well.  1 TBSP minced garlic, 1 TBSP crushed red pepper, and  2 TBSP garlic powder.   Break up Gimme Lean into small pieces as it cooks.
4.  Add the remaining spices to the tomato sauce mixture, chopped tomato and then the hot sauce.  
5. Cook the Gimme lean until slightly browned and breakup chunks into small pieces.  Add Gimme lean mixture to tomato sauce and stir well.  Let cook for 30 minutes to get the most of the flavor.  
6.  Take your vegan dogs and boil them and then throw them on a hot dog bun and top with chili sauce.  
7.  Cut up another 1/4 of onion and avocado if you wish and top chili dogs with it and some minced onions.  That's it!  Enjoy!

  This post is just about my progress with juicing.  I started Thursday evening(dinner) and have officially been juicing for 4 full days.  I cheated today and had half of an avocado, more because I was worried they would go bad than anything but it was nice..  I guess I should not feel bad because it is mushy enough that it is almost juice by the time it gets down in my stomach right? I thought about a banana, another "non-juicable" item,  but decided I could always freeze those to make a sweet treat at a later date.  

   Believe it or not I did not think about eating, chewing or crunching until day#3.  I think it was because I was using Pinterest and seeing all these great pictures of food and it was late at night.  So I think the lesson learned is to go to bed a a reasonable time or make a small snack juice late in the evening if you thin you will be up late.  In lieu of my cravings this music play list was born!
     What I have learned about juicing so far is how to store the pulp and keep it for when I am not juicing for various cooking and baking endeavors that I am sure to blog about here.    I start with veges if I need them for my recipe and then clean out the juicer bucket before adding other fruit and freeze it for a vegetable stock, for mixing with vegan dips and salad dressing later.  

     The carrots I save completely separate, since my husband seems to be juicing them like crazy, but mostly for carrot cake or muffins.    I freeze the rest of the fruit separate and I am not quite sure what I will do with it but I have saved a few concoctions separately that I think would be good in breads.  What little I do not save goes out to thecompost bin

     An important thing to do during juicing is to drink plenty of water! I drink a cup first thing when I wake up and after each large juice.  It helps with any cravings and keeps you full and detoxing!  I like to keep a container of lemon water in my fridge with some of the pulped mint and broken pieces of mint in it.  So refreshing for summer!

     One last thing about juicing is the beet issue.  For those of you who have not eaten many beets be prepared to stain your lips, fingertips, counter tops (and I feel this needs to be mentioned)  urine and poop!  There is actually a medical term for beet colored urine; beeturia.  The first time I ever noticed that fresh organic  beets did this to me I almost fell off the toilet! I thought I had a GI bleed! My mouth was stained for two days and I looked like the Joker!  Actual picture here!

     All an all this has been a good experience for me so far.  The first day I did have the runs twice (being honest) and a small headache which could have also been from watching the new Star Trek movie in 3D.  I do not drink much caffeine in general so I have not experienced withdrawal or anything on that level.  I also do not eat a lot of carbs or sugar but I do like chocolate on occasion.   I did eat 10 chocolate chips one day too!  Mostly I have felt like I have more energy but maybe i am just happy!  



   This morning I wanted a large juice with a lot of "umph" since I knew I had to brave the thunderstorms outside and run a lot of errands.  So I came up with this recipe that has a lot of great fruits and vegetables in it!

5 large carrots
1 medium tomato
2 celery stalks
1 medium cucumber
3 peeled oranges
1 large handful spinach
1/2 lemon
1 chunk ginger root
     This was my pre-canoe ride juice and boy did it really give me a lot of energy! This is a close tie for first place for my all time favorite juicing recipe but do not take my word for it try it for yourself!

2 medium sized beets
2 granny Smith Apples
3 celery stalks
Chunk of ginger
1/2 lemon
1 1/2 cup strawberries or 6 large
1 cup cherries or 8-10

      Day #3 of juicing and still going strong.  I have to make about 5 juices per day to not feel hungry.  It is really hard when my husband who is the one that really wanted to juice is juicing and eating seeded baquette with humus and morel mushrooms.  The mushrooms smelled divine while cooking! I had to make this juice fast to avoid taking a taste! 

4 large handfuls of spinach
1/4 lemon
1 cup pineapple
2 green apples
1 large chunk of ginger root (1"X1")
*For a caffeine boost add 1/2 tsp green tea matcha powder after juicing*
     I worked hard weeding my garden today and this was my refreshing juice to help me cool down afterwards!  It contains some fresh mint from my garden and a bit of lime juice.  I am sure you will enjoy this cool and satisfying treat even if you are not juicing.  

3 large wedges of watermelon (you want 15oz of melon juice)
1/2 lime
3 large sprigs mint (in juicer and save one for garnish)

     Day #2 of juicing and I feel great!  I have had a lot more energy than usual and have come up with some creative ways to use the left over pulp! This drink is my favorite so far after having 4-5 glasses of home made juice since Thursday evening! This could be for any time of day including breakfast!  It is a little sweet but subtle.  

2 granny Smith apples
1 cucumber
1/2 lemon
2 sprigs basil 
     You can see my fridge is filled with fruits and veges!  I also have some great organic frozen fruit in the freezer too!  Frozen fruits and veges maintain there nutrients better than raw fruits and veges that have been shipped.  Frozen fruits and veges are frozen immediately after being picked so they are great to use in smoothies and juice! First you have to unthaw them a bit and then pour them in your juicer to reap all the benefits they have to offer!  Happy juicing!
     So I have taken a smoothie hiatus for a bit to try a juicing!  I am doing a short detox this weekend to see how it goes and what recipes I like then I am going  to try it for a week.  This is my first breakfast juice and I  love it!

2 granny smith apples
1 pear
2 stalks of celery
1/2 lemon peeled
2 carrots
1 orange peeled
large piece of ginger ( roughly 1.5" x 1.5")
pinch of cinnamon

     Here is the fabulous juicing machine I bought!  It works great and takes whole pears and apples!  I could not believe it! Click the picture to go to the shopping link!
     Recently I was kayaking on one of our beautiful Vermont rivers and had unknowingly created the best boat snack ever!  Roasted maple and cayenne pumpkin seeds, chocolate chips and fresh cherries!  I love cherries but the pumpkin seeds were so good with the chocolate that I came up with the idea for a cookie! Man are these good!  And they are vegan and gluten free!

1 cup organic pumpkin
3/4 cup organic sugar
1 cup pure VT maple syrup
3/4 cup oil of choice
1/2 cup soy milk 
3 tsp vanilla
3 cups Bobs Red Mill gluten free flour mix
2 TBSP coconut flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
2 tsp salt
4 tsp cinnamon
3 tsp ginger
1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1 cup organic chocolate chips
3/4 cup roasted maple and cayenne pumpkin seeds'

     Combine all wet ingredients well and then add dry ingredients.  Mix well.  Add Chips and seeds to mix.  Bake on oiled cookie sheets (make smaller cookies than shown in picture if possible) for 12 minutes at 350 F.  Let cool and enjoy with some tea and a good book
     This mix ended up being the best snack ever for kayaking!  Fresh organic cherries, chocolate chips and cayenne-maple roasted pumpkin seeds! For birding pictures from that adventure lookhere!