First, I have absolutely no idea what I’m doing when seasoning tofu. I think it might be a year long process to figure out. And that is why mine failed for my latest plant based flip on Magnolia Table recipe.
But it looks good, so that’s what matters.
On this lastest recipe swap I made cashew alfredo sauce over whole wheat linguine noodles and breaded tofu.
The alfredo portion was good, but the tofu was two thumbs down. Multiple cashew cheese recipes can be located on the internet. I used one from Bettter Homes and Garden’s latest issue.
I love all things Hearth and Hand & Magnolia. Having switched to a mostly planted based lifestyle about 8 months ago I was bummed to hear that Joanna Gaines had a cookbook coming out. After having flipped through it, I figured I could at least make a few recipes for cheat days. Then it dawned on me, why not see if I can modify the recipes to fit a more plant based diet?
Even at 8 months into plant based, I’m still learning and trying new recipes. Yet, there are not a great deal to pick from this far into the game. And let me be honest, some of them don’t even look good.
Alas, I decided that I should post about this grand baking adventure of modifying Magnolia Table’s recipes. I know there will be many fails, but that’s okay. I hope ya’ll enjoy this and future posts as I journey forward.
To start off I tried the Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe. I didn’t modify the butter as I’m still working on learning that aspect with baking. I always use the butter in the picture above. I did swap out the 2 eggs for chia seeds. I have done this swap before in cakes and browines, but never cookies.
While cook time remained the same. I did have to add about 1/4 cup of water to the recipe. They came out very flat and didn’t look anything like the picture from Magnolia Table, but they were super soft and chewy. I thought they tasted great.
If someone was to ask a younger me, would I ever garden, I would surely have said yes. But a garden of flowers, most likely.
And flower gardens I did have, even a simple pot on an apartment balcony. A home with hydrangeas, small, and barely blooming when the moving truck came. A new state, homes with nothing but backyard dirt. And a home with failed attempts at all desert plants. Oh flower gardens were in my plans. Yet, a garden of vegetables and fruits, no.
I believed that was something unobtainable. Something that needed skill and planning. Something, that required lots of land and a coffee table full of how to books (okay, so I have two books, no coffee table).
So, how I ever stumbled upon the gardens I now have, and wanting more, remains a mystery.
I have a 4×4 box and a 10×5 box, which I find myself walking around at least five times a day. As though I’m wandering acres on some farm in Texas. Veggies don’t grow that fast, but the way I snoop around the dirt you would think something new has grown every few hours.
Turns out when you have a garden germinating, you can and do lose yourself in it. It’s like watching a baby sleep, just wondering when it will wake.
There is peace among the dirt. Green sprouts appear as though Thomas Kinkade painted them. And when you get to taste what has grown it’s a rainbow of joy.
Okay, so if you are looking for an easy last minute turkey recipe, it’s here.
Any pound turkey works, I use one that has been chopped down to about 5 pounds, but have done this recipe on a full 10 pound plus one.
(About 6 years ago I made my first ever turkey, and by luck it was pretty darn good. I had no idea what I was doing that first year, but I improved on it to create the recipe I use now.)
Take your turkey and a pot or whichever you like to brine your turkey in. Then like you would butter, rub your turkey with bacon grease. Rub it well, then shove a little bit inside the bird. Let it sit overnight (Wednesday).
Thursday, take your turkey and stuff it with cut lemon wedges, salt, pepper, and an whole thing of garlic (peeled and ends cut off).
Cook as normal. Make sure you add foil to cover the bird, with the bacon grease it can brown quick. I usually remove the foil about thirty to fourty minutes before the turkey is done.
As I started to read the book Brain Maker by David Perlmutter, MD (2015), I came across a startling quote in the introduction. What I read shocked me! Across the world there are two and a half million people with multiple sclerosis (a disease which took my mom’s life in 1996). There has not been any form of a cure for this disease and it’s apparently increasing in numbers.
The book goes on to discuss Clostridium difficile colitis, otherwise known as C-Diff which is something I come in contact with at my job on a monthly basis, and was not aware that it kills a number of Americans each year. Brain Maker did include a discussion of babies having C-Diff already in their gut and being able to “handle it.” It goes on to discuss how the increase in C-sections requests versus out of medical necessity have thus increased the population of health issues. More C-sections equal a different route out over the helpful microbes passed during the exit through the birthing canal
As the book progresses it takes a look at Alzheimer’s disease and the notation of inflammation within the brain of an Alzheimer’s patient. The focus is on gut health and so it discusses how coffee can improve the gut’s health and thus lower your risks of type 2 diabetes, stroke, Parkinson’s, cancers, and Alzheimer’s. It also mentions heart diseases simply because of the intestinal bacteria and the way that it digests the coffee bean fiber.
In addition, the book discusses depression and anti depression medication and the way that it affects the gut (the neurotransmitter activity with chemicals found in the brain that are produced in the gut). Yes the book does have an entire chapter chapter on autism and gut bacteria.
Second, I read How Not to Die by Dr. Michael Gregor (2105). Another book showcasing how a plant based diet is beneficial. While this book focuses on the same diagnosis as Dr. Perlmutter’s book, it speaks more to what to eat and what not to, over gut health. This book is a door-stopper, literally, it’s huge. Dr. Gregor also runs Nutrition Facts website which I find myself visiting weekly.
I know there are many varied opinions. But, gosh golly gee, I feel so much better. My entire body, when I follow a plant based diet. Sure I miss foods, but once you beat the craving, it’s almost like a food you never missed.
In this process of switching my diet up I’ve learned about many fruits and vegetables that I never knew about, let alone tried. While I have cheat days, they become less appealing every time. I find myself craving the new way. Keep in mind, I didn’t think I could switch to a new diet when I first started. Yet, here I am, happy to have made the switch.
Have some super kids, but picky eaters? Did you know changing the name of something can often trick kids into eating those foods? After author Jane Haseldine posted a picture of her kids in their own Superhero costumes, I got to thinking about some ideas I had saved during the extensive research I did for my Child Genius 101 series. Ideas which were meant for children outside the age scope of the series. And snack time fun was one of those ideas. Below you will find some ideas for renaming healthy snacks for your picky eaters.
In addition, if your children are making up their own Superhero characters, ask them what their Superhero character would eat. If your child is picking unhealthy choices, narrow the options down by writing three examples and presenting them.
“Would ____________ eat cucumbers, tomatoes, or carrots?”
“Why would ___________ eat ___________?”
“How does ____________ increase your superpower?”
Try changing the environment in which you eat as well.
“Where would ___________ eat his/her food?” (picnic, UNDER the table instead of AT the table, on the patio)
*Jane Haseldine is the author of The Last Time She Saw Him and Duplicity (a Julia Gooden mystery series). You can read an interview here.