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Tasty recipes, healthy cooking tips, naughty treats, and other delicious answers to your delectable questions.

Recipe: Vegetarian (and soy-free!) Meatballs

Most vegetarian “meatball” recipes rely on soy “meat” to create that classic meaty texture - a real problem if you are limiting sodium or avoiding soy, gluten, dairy, GMOs, or heavily processed food substances.

I developed this recipe when we started removing fake meat from our diet, and have made several variations of it as my dietary restrictions have demanded.

When I’m nursing my babies, I am dairy-, soy-, gluten-, and nut-free, at the very least. I love this recipe for the wonderful savory chewiness that I crave so much when on an elimination diet!

Laura’s Vegetarian, Soy-free, Sweet & Sour Meatballs
1 pound mushrooms (I used a mix of portabello, cremini, and white)
2 medium...

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Recipe: Health Cookies

These are my favorite chocolate chip cookies ever. Thanks to the whole wheat flour and unrefined sugar, they are chewy, hearty and not overly sweet. They have dark chocolate, dried cranberries, and walnuts in them - all touted as fantastic superfoods - so they have to be good for you!

Here’s my trick so we don’t eat every last one of them before they cool!

Make up a big double batch of dough, freeze it into balls (about 68 for me - I eat several cookies’ worth while mixing), and then bag them up for insta-cookies.

Here’s a big bag of temptation:
health cookies!

Health Cookies
½ cup butter (coconut oil, if you’re dairy-free)
1 cups Sucanat (dehydrated cane juice found in health food stores - do...

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Recipe: Qwerty Bars

I invented this recipe when I was first pregnant and hungry all the time. (We dubbed them “Qwerty” Bars because my nerdy husband called our children QWERTY and ASDF, respectively, while they were in utero!) These little raw energy bars pack a punch! They are great after a workout or to tide you over between meals.

I never make the same batch twice. Use what you have on hand and like to eat; you’ll find yourself gravitating to a particular mix and that’s just fine!

Qwerty Bars (skeleton recipe)

Seeds/Nuts – Choose 2-3 cups:
Pepitas (roasted pumpkin seeds)
Sesame seeds
Sunflower seeds
Mixed nuts (peanuts, walnuts, cashews, macadamia and Brazil nuts)
Flax seeds
Hemp seeds

Grains –...

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Recipe: Chewy Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

This recipe took me about a month to perfect, with lots of disasters along the way. But all my hard work paid off; these are the best!

I understand that some of you don’t like raisins in your cookies, or prefer oatmeal chocolate chip instead. If you choose to commit such sacrilege, feel free to leave a comment with what you did. Just don’t expect me to approve! ;)

Laura’s super-fantastic chewy oatmeal raisin cookies of delight
- 1/2 c. butter (coconut oil works for dairy-free cookies)
- 1/2 c. brown sugar
- 1/2 c. sucanat (unrefined cane sugar)
- 1 tsp. vanilla
- 1 egg
- 1 1/4 c. whole wheat flour
- 1 c. oatmeal (I used a combination of quick oats and old fashioned rolled oats)
- 1 tsp....

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Hey Laura, my doctor told me to wean my 18 month old

A friend writes:

So, at my son’s 18 month checkup, my doctor told me that there’s no point in nursing anymore because “don’t you know there’s no nutritional value to him anymore?” I was irritated because I’m pretty sure that’s not water coming out of my boobs! But I don’t have anything to back me up on that and hope you can help. Also, what are the nutritional needs of a toddler anyway? He eats well, but I definitely rely on nursing him to fill in the gaps. What will he need if/when he does wean? By the way, we’re mostly vegan but for an egg here and there.

Allow me to clamber up on my soapbox and rant a bit. It absolutely infuriates me to hear about doctors making offhand comments that...

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Recipe: Baba Ganoush

This recipe comes from my soul-sister-mama-friend Harmony. If you’ve never had Baba before, think “hummus” but with eggplant in place of the chickpeas. That’ll get you close.

I never refer to recipes for the things I make most often, so if you’ve had my Baba recently (like, in the last 2 years), it won’t taste exactly the same. But it’ll be good, I promise!

Baba Ganoush
1. Slice a large purple eggplant in half, lightly coat with olive oil and top with minced garlic or garlic powder (I always use garlic powder because I am lazy like that.)

2. Roast in oven @ 400 for 30-40 minutes, flesh side up, until ugly and roasted and wrinkly.

3. Scoop out flesh (actually, I never, ever do this...

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Recipe: Chocolatey Chocolate Chip Zucchini Cookies

Okay, I’m so sorry for leading you to the Dark Side here! White Flour? Refined sugar?? But really, these are amazing. And see? They have vegetables in them!

I haven’t risked modifying this recipe to make it less toxic, but if you do, and like the result, please post about it in the comments!

Chocolatey Chocolate Chip Zucchini Cookies
(I improved upon this recipe)
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups grated zucchini
2 cups Ghirardelli 70% chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease cookie sheets (I...

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