A New Twist On Spaghetti

spaghetti motherhood university

Let’s speak frankly…. Spaghetti is in fact a highly processed carbohydrate and therefore not the healthiest choice we can make. Now let’s speak honestly….. I’m still gonna eat it and I’m guessing you are too. So let’s make an attempt to “veg it up” a little and increase the nutritional density – a great excuse to eat seconds!

Ingredients

1 pound of you favorite spaghetti

1 32oz jar of your favorite sauce – read the label and make sure you can pronounce all the ingredients

1/2 a large onion diced

1 large carrot shredded

1 zucchini shredded

1 yellow squash shredded

2-3 kale leaves de-stemmed and chopped ultra tiny (to look like a spice)

2-3 gloves garlic

Directions

  • start the water to boil the pasta as per the package directions
  • heat a cast iron skillet (or your favorite pan) over med/high heat
  • you can use a tablespoon of oil but WATER also works to prevent sticking
  • add the diced onion, when it’s cooked about half way through, add the carrots
  • when the carrots are tender, add the zucchini, squash and kale – they will cook fast so turn the heat down a little
  • add the pressed or diced garlic and the jar of sauce
  • heat it through but don’t let it cook too long, the last few ingredients should be closer to raw to retain more nutrients
  • rinse the pasta, plate and serve

The kiddos love this. Do you have any tricks to boosting the nutritional density of a dish?

 

~ Regina


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Dairy Free Pesto In An Instant

Dairy Free Pesto Motherhood University

Use it on pasta, in casseroles or as a spread. You won’t miss the dairy in this super fast recipe.

Ingredients

1 cup fresh basil

1 cup pine nuts

1/2 cup nutritional yeast

2-3 cloves garlic

1/3 – 1/2 cup EVOO

salt to taste

Directions

Place all the ingredients except the extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) in the blender. While blending on high, slowly pour in the EVOO until it reaches the desired consistency. Do not over blend. Yep, that’s it, that’s all. It really is that easy.

Other than your finger, what is your favorite thing to put pesto on?

 

 

~ Regina


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Taco Seasoning ~ Because You Know If It’s “Taco” Flavored, Your Kids Will Eat It

Homemade Taco Seasoning Recipe Motherhood University.com

 

Next time you’re at the grocery store, read the ingredients in taco seasoning. It may be an eye opener to learn how many chemicals are in there – YUCK. But I know you can’t live without the yummy goodness of taco flavored everything (it’s always a sure thing in our house). Fear not!

This recipe is all about ratios. No matter if you’re making just enough for tonight’s dinner or filling a whole mason jar to always be ready for Taco Tuesday. What ever size measuring device you choose – palmful, tablespoon, 1/4 cup or gallon (don’t use a gallon) just stick to the ratio as follows.

Ingredients

2 parts onion powder

2 parts cumin

2 parts salt

1 part paprika

1 part garlic powder

1/2 part chili powder (adjust this more or less depending on whether you like it hot or you’re a wimp like me)

Directions

In a container or bowl of your choice (I’m sticking with my good old fashioned mason jar), put everything in and stir it or shake it up. The kids love to do this.

taco seasoning motherhood university.com

There you have it – healthier and will save you lots of money too. Keep following us and you’ll get lots of recipes that use this taco seasoning.

 

~ Regina


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Dairy Free Mac & Trees – no “butter”, no oil

Dairy Free Mac & Trees

If your kids don’t like Mac & Cheeze they may be aliens from outer space (I kid — no really). Many dairy free recipes call for a ton of fake butter and oil. Well not this one!

Ingredients

1 pound of your favorite pasta

1 head of broccoli

Cheeze Sauce

1 cup raw cashews soaked

1 1/4 cup water

1 whole pimento

1 Tbsp lemon juice

1/3 cup nutritional yeast

2 tsp onion powder

1 tsp garlic

1 tsp salt

dash turmeric

dash paprika

dash black pepper

Directions

  • Start by soaking the cashews (the better your blender the less soaking time needed).
  • Next get your pasta water boiling and get out all the ingredients and tools you’ll need.
  • Cook the pasta as per the package directions.
  • Just before the pasta is finished, toss in the broccoli. This will blanch it but not thoroughly cook it and the broccoli will therefore retain more nutrients.
  • Drain and rinse then start the sauce.
  • I’m using a Vitamix (by the way, if my house were on fire, I’d rescue the kids, then the Macbook, then the Vitamix). Drain and rinse the cashews. Place all the cheeze sauce ingredients in the blender and blend on high until smooth and creamy. The Vitamix will also heat the sauce so don’t worry if the pasta and broccoli is cooling off.
  • In a serving dish (um yeah, what I cooked the pasta in) combine the pasta, broccoli and sauce. Stir and serve.

If for some reason you dislike broccoli, go immediately to a counselor. Oops, I mean you can substitute lots of yummy veggies. Peas, carrots and cauliflower are our favs. And of course you can go completely crazy and skip the veggies all together (but don’t do that).

What veggies will you use in this recipe?

 

 

~ Regina


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Kids’ Favorite Lentil Soup

lentil soup motherhood university.com

When I say kids, I’m referring to my own brood but I’m guessing yours will enjoy them as well.

Ingredients

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 onion diced

6-8 large carrots diced

8 celery stalks diced

1 tablespoon salt

1/2 tablespoon garlic powder

2 teaspoons ground sage

1 teaspoon garam masala

1 teaspoon oregano

1 32 oz carton veggie stock

2 cups lentils

4 cups water

Directions

In a large stock pot over medium/high heat add the oil. Once hot, add the onions. As they start to turn translucent stir in the carrots and celery (I know 8 stalks sound like a lot, I use the “heart”). Next fold in all of the spices. Now deglaze the pan with the veggie stock. Stir in the lentils and water and bring to a boil. Cover and reduce to a simmer for about 20 minutes of until the lentil are cooked and tender.

This is great as is or served over rice. If serving over rice, start it first (1:2 ratio brown rice to water, with the lid on bring to a boil then reduce to low for 50 minutes – perfect every time). Also goes great with a salad and/or a hearty piece of french bread. What is your favorite way to eat lentils?

 

~ Regina


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Crock-Pot Baked Beans From Scratch

Crock-Pot Baked Beans Regina Knabe

Ingredients

1 pound dried navy beans

1/2 cup dried chick peas

1/2 cup dried light kidney beans

1 large onion diced

1 large green bell pepper diced

1/4 cup pure maple syrup

1/4 agave nectar

2 Tablespoons spicy brown mustard

1 Tablespoons apple cider vinegar

1 tsp ground cloves

1 tsp chili pepper

1/2 tsp paprika

1 2-pound jar marinara sauce

and that much water

2 Tablespoons salt

Directions

First, if you’re not into “chunky” style baked beans, then skip the chick peas and kidney beans. Otherwise, toss them all in the crock-pot fill with water and soak overnight. Drain and rinse the beans and put back into the crock-pot. Add everything except the salt. Stir and cook on low for at least 8 hours. The beans should be tender but not falling apart. The Hubby likes it better when you cook for a day, refrigerate overnight, then cook again for the better part of another day. Don’t add the salt until the beans are cooked; it makes the bean tough (or at least that’s what my bean-eating Southerner of a Daddy told me). This pairs nicely with potato salad. Enjoy!

~ Regina


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Four Vegan Potato Salad Recipes That Will Rock Your Socks

Vegan Potato Salad Regina Knabe

 

Just in time for Labor Day, this vegan potato salad is fabulous as is but read on for three different variations that everyone is sure to love.

Ingredients

5 pounds red potatoes diced and boiled

6 stalks organic celery diced small

5-ish green onions diced

3/4-1 cup veganaise (I’m using the Follow Your Heart grape seed variety)

2 Tbsp Dijon mustard

2 palmfuls (tsp) salt or more to taste

Directions

Save time by using organic potatoes so you don’t have to peel them (conventional are often sprayed with “bud nip“). Wash, dice and boil until tender yet firm (you don’t want mush).

Celery

Next dice the celery (use organic, celery is number 2 on the dirty dozen). Slice 3-4 time along the length of the rib, then the other direction to get it small.

green onions

Slice the green onions and add to the celery in a large mixing bowl.

mash the potatoes

By now the potatoes have cooled so add them to the bowl and mash about 1/4 to 1/3 to help make the dish creamy. Finally, add the rest of the ingredients and stir. Serve at room temp or refrigerate and serve chilled.

vegan potato salad motherhood university.com

 

You can stop right here and enjoy this yummy goodness as is OR read on and try on of the following varieties. I.can’t.pick.a.favorite.

 

Vegged-Up Potato Salad

 

vegged-up vegan potato salad by Regina Knabe

To the above recipe add:

3-4 shredded carrots

1/2 bunch of fresh chopped parsley

3-4 cloves of garlic, pressed

once around the bowl tamari

This is also a great place to “hide” kale to boost the nutritional density. Chop it up super duper tiny so it looks like a spice (which also makes it easier to digest). I didn’t have any today so it is not pictured.

 

Ranch Potato Salad

 

Ranch Potato Salad by Regina Knabe

To the top recipe stir in:

1/4 of unsweetened plant milk

a sizable dollop of vegan sour cream

2-3 Tablespoons dried dill weed

2-3 Tablespoons dried parsley

2-3 Tablespoons onion powder

2-3 Tablespoons garlic powder

Stop freaking out, you’re seasoning five pound of potatoes. Start with 2 Tbsp and add to taste as needed.

 

Southern Potato Salad

 

Vegan Southern Style Potato Salad by Regina Knabe

My Momma used miracle whip (it’s a miracle I’m alive) and sweet relish laden with high fructose corn syrup – let’s skip that!

To the top recipe stir in:

1/4 red wine vinegar

twice around the bowl of agave nectar

diced baby gherkin pickles to taste

 

Now, if truth be told……I divide the first recipe into 4 equal parts, adjust the next three recipes accordingly and play a little game. Everyone (in my immediate family) brings a fork to the table and we take a bite from one of the four bowls and pass to the right. Crazy? Yes – potato salad buffet crazy good! Which of these is your favorite?

 

 

~ Regina


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Oil Free Hummus

Oil Free Hummus Regina Knabe

Skip the oils and additives of store bought hummus and make it yourself. It’s easier than you think, here’s how…

Ingredients

1 1/2 cups cooked chick peas (one 16 oz can drain and rinsed)

1/4 cup lemon juice

1/4 cup water

1/2 teaspoon onion powder

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

1/2 teaspoon cumin

1/2 salt (or more to taste)

1/4 cup tahini

Directions

Place everything except the tahini in the blender and blend until smooth. I’m using a vitamix so it’s super fast. Once smooth, add the tahini to make it extra creamy. Serve with your favorite fresh vegetables or use as a condiment on sandwiches and wraps.

What is your favorite way to use hummus?

~ Regina


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Nothing Tastes Like 6 Years – Dad’s Final Wisdom

This is my Dad. The picture speaks for itself. My Father was an all around great guy: hard working, fun loving and always had a joke.

 

The last 2 years of his life were tough (disease and illness) but he fought hard and conquered everything, well almost. It’s hard to watch your super hero fade but even at age 70 he worked out daily and golfed a couple times per week. When I say worked out that usually involved placing bets on how many push ups he could do – silly 20 year olds, he always took their money. 

8 months pregnant, cleaning up after my brother’s wedding, a “good” song came on and Dad grabbed me to dance

Three days before he passed I remember my Mom asking his doctor “the” question – how  long do you think he has. Expecting to hear months we were crushed to hear weeks, and we actually only got 3 short days. Later that night when we were alone, he was such a Dad – comforting me, preparing me and sharing his final wisdom.

 

Dad knew I’d been struggling with some baby weight from my third child. So he started to tell me about a magazine article he had read a few weeks prior. The article spoke of healthy lifestyle changes that can add years to your life. I can not for the life of me remember the specific change Dad told me about but basically this one little thing had the potential to add six years to your life.

 

He reached out to take my hand. With is brow furrowed, Dad asked “Do you know what six years is?” He went on “I’ve lived a good life and I’ll go when it’s my time, but six years is everything right now.”  In his Southern way “You’re young and this may seem like a lifetime away, but six years would let me watch my grand-baby turn double digits” (my first born daughter was just 4).

And that final wisdom he shared? 

Please. Regina, take care of yourself. Be an example to your children – because nothing tastes like six years.

 

A great Dadism on changing the world.

No more words were necessary. I knew this was my last “Dad talk”. There would be no more mis-spelled notes inside my birthday cards, and no more quick hugs around my shoulders just to ask how life was treating me. THIS was the last thing he wanted me to hear, Nothing tastes like six years. 

 

*Everyday we are given a choice. We put things in our body and the body of our children that either add to the quality and longevity of our lives or subtract from it. We may not all agree on what specific foods those are – but we KNOW it’s not chips, snack cakes and “most” drive through fare. If you’re awake there is no way to avoid seeing the “health crisis” in our country.

Choose nutrient dense foods – by the way, they’re NOT beige!

 

 

~ Regina


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Dairy Free Chocolate Chip Cookies


Freshly baked, homemade chocolate chip cookies take me back to my fondest childhood memories. They are like a cool breeze on a sunny day with your favorite song playing on the radio. I like them crisp on the edges but soft and chewy in the center. I like them while wearing no shoes, swinging on the swing set with my head way back so my hair can touch the ground. I like how the chips don’t quite melt in the 350 degree oven but in my mouth they dissolve into a creamy chocolate soup that I don’t want to ever go away.

Chocolate Chip Cookies are my food kryptonite.

I hope you enjoy these as much as I do…

Ingredients

1 cup of vegan margarine (I use soy free Earth Balance)

3/4 cup sugar

3/4 cup brown sugar

1 tsp vanilla

1 ripe banana mashed (the riper the better)

1 tsp baking soda

1 tsp salt

2 3/4 cup flour (I use white wheat)

1 12oz package of vegan chocolate chips (I usually use Sunspire Organic, fair trade, semi-sweet chips)

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

In a stand mixer (or large mixing bowl) cream the margarine, sugar, brown sugar and vanilla.

Stir in the mashed banana (a great job for the kiddos, should mash easily with a fork). The banana is an egg substitute and adds sweetness to the cookie. It’s likely that you will taste the banana in the dough but not once it’s baked.

Add the baking soda and salt and give it a little whirl.

Stir in the flour about a 1/2 cup at a time.

Finally, eat the chocolate chips. OOPS – I meant ADD the chocolate chips, we’ve all made this mistake, right?

On a parchment lined baking sheet, arrange small scoops of cookie dough. This scoop is only one tablespoon. For best results, know your oven. If it has any hot spots (food cooks faster in one location), turn the baking sheet or change racks midway through baking.

Bake 8-11 minutes and enjoy!

These little sweet circles of goodness keep for days in an airtight container (though they are rarely given a chance at my house). Also, the uncooked dough keeps in the refrigerator for a couple of weeks and because there are no eggs you can enjoy the dough.

What is your favorite cookie?

~ Regina


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