Please update your feeds…

I am moving my blog to a new site! Please come visit me there. I will not be posting here at Healthy ‘n’ Happy Home.

Rather, I’m posting over at Homemaking on an Island! That’s at

Published in: on April 1, 2010 at 8:35 am  Leave a Comment  

Praline Pumpkin Pie

Praline pumpkin pie

This is one of our family’s favorite holiday recipes. We eat it for Thanksgiving or Christmas—it’s really great for both! Our family does not use dairy or eggs, so you will see that reflected in this recipe. I am sure that you can substitute dairy for the milk, for example.

One other highlight is that it does not include much sugar, at all. The only sugar is in the pecan topping. The rest of the sweetener comes from dates.

● 1 1/2 cup rich nondairy milk
● 1 cup pitted dates, or date pieces
● 2 1/2 tbsp cornstarch
● 3/4 tsp salt
● 3 tbsp flour
● 1 tsp vanilla
● 3 tbsp oil
● 1 3/4 cup cooked pumpkin
● 1/2 tsp cinnamon
● 1/2 tsp ginger
● 1/8 tsp nutmeg
● 2 tbsp Earth Balance margarine
● 1/3 cup brown sugar
● 3/4 cup chopped pecans
● 1 unbaked pie crust
Put all ingredients except the last four ingredients into the blender and blend until the color is even. Put into an unbaked pie crust and bake at 350° for 45 minutes. During the last few minutes of baking time, melt margarine with brown sugar. Add pecans and spread over the top of the pie. Bake for another 15 minutes. Remove from oven. It generally needs to cool down and set up a bit.

Praline pumpkin pie

This post is linked to the Healthy Eats and Sweets Carnival and Tempt My Tummy Tuesday.

Published in: on December 7, 2009 at 9:00 pm  Comments (4)  
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A peek into my day

YLCF Blog Carnival

Hi there. I’m Joelle. I am a Christian who has been reading YLCF ever since… um, it was in paper form. I used to have a little magazine/newsletter and I first met Gretchen via an editor’s e-mail list. Anyway, I have been married to my best friend (known as DH for dear husband on this blog) for two years. He is a physician. I work at a Christian nonprofit organization in marketing and public relations. That said, here is what my day usually looks like.

I generally wake up at 6 a.m. Depending on whether I am really sleepy or not, I will shower first to keep myself awake for devotions. I have devotions on the futon in the living room. I generally read the Bible or another spiritual book. By the time I finish devotions and shower/ getting ready for the day, it is usually 6:50 or 7 a.m. I wake up my husband, and proceed to get breakfast on the table.

For breakfast during the week, I try to make something that can be eaten for several days. This week, we are enjoying a breakfast casserole. I cook vegan vegetarian food, and the breakfast casserole has a layer of potatoes, vege-meat (which, for those of you vegetarians who would care, is made out of textured vegetable protein and seasonings), and scrambled seasoned tofu. De-lish! Some weeks I have pancakes, waffles, or toast with fruit on top for one or more of the breakfasts. Sometimes I make muslei out of oatmeal, fruit juice, coconut and nuts or seeds. Sometimes I make a cold rice with fruit and cream breakfast. I try to avoid doing cold cereal unless I’m having a really crazy week. Cold cereal and milk can be expensive if you are trying to eat more healthy types of cereal.

At the same time as breakfast is warming up, I make our salads to go in our sack lunches. This post shows how I do it. Our sack lunches consist of leftovers from the weekend. (I try to make several entrees over the weekend so that we can enjoy leftovers during the week for our sack lunches.) So much better than eating sandwiches every single day! I place the entree and side vegetable in a glass pyrex dish with a lid. I include napkins and utensils so DH and I won’t have to worry about chasing down utensils or napkins in the break room at work.

We eat breakfast together around 7:15 or 7:20, and DH reads a devotional book to me for family worship while I munch. We pray together, and then shortly, I have to run to work. (He also goes to work but his office is closer to home than mine is.)

I spend the rest of the day (8-6, basically, because I work only 4 days a week, Monday through Thursday) at work doing what needs to be done in graphics, writing, or other jobs.

At 6 p.m., I head home. I make a light supper of sandwiches, pizza, or soup, and catch up with DH about his day. We usually do our own things for a couple of hours in the evening, whether watching the news on the internet (we don’t have a TV) or catching up on Facebook, blog reading, etc. Or I have to cook or clean, although I do most of my cooking and cleaning on the weekends.

At the end of the day, we spend time together and have worship together as a couple again. And then I fall asleep, usually sometime between 9:30 and 10:30 p.m.

So that, my friends, is my plain ol’, same ol’, ordinary day. Hope you enjoyed it! =)

Published in: on October 28, 2009 at 3:49 pm  Comments (2)  

Food for international travel

I am going on a mission trip in a few days to a country where I am only supposed to drink bottled water (bad bad, yes I know, and I have given up plastic water bottles other than that) and eat cooked food or food that has been peeled.

Since I am vegetarian and eat vegan most of the time, I was trying to figure out how to ensure that I will be able to eat well on this trip. I can’t really go raw for this trip since I’m not supposed to eat raw. Unless I lived on bananas, papaya, and mangoes, but bananas and me don’t get along THAT well, I don’t like papaya and I used to be allergic to mangoes.

Last week I was visiting my parents and my mom suggested I should dehydrate some goodies while I was visiting them. I was even going to contact one of my friends who frequently dehydrates food for camping trips. But she never called me back and I ran out of time to dehydrate anything while visiting them.

Well, this week I did a bunch of research about dried food. And I was planning, as of last night, to dehydrate a bunch of goodies (including cashew cheese sauce, hummus, butternut squash soup, and kale chips). But GRRR, last night, I went to THREE different stores in search of a dehydrator. But to no avail. Bed, Bath, and Beyond didn’t have any in stock. And the two health stores were out of stock or didn’t sell them.

So I’m up a creek. I guess I will get a little “hot pot” and buy some dried soup mixes and cous cous mixes and just take those. And I guess I’ll take sea weed sheets instead of kale.

But I thought I would share some fascinating links with ya’ll that I found about dehydrating food for travel or backpacking trips. EXCELLENT, in case you are on a diet and leaving the country or going camping or something!

Oh yeah. I still need to get a dehydrator at some point. Then I’ll be able to try more raw-type recipes. Won’t that be fun?! 🙂

Published in: on September 30, 2009 at 6:30 pm  Leave a Comment  

The green update

You know, I have actually been trying very hard to be green. 


Remember, I had these great New Year’s Resolutions back in January. Here is what I’ve been able to do (for the most part):

  • I have been using my Trader Joe’s for groceries and other shopping when I remember to take them. Ahem, it is getting easier to remember to take them with me. 
  • I bought glass pyrex dishes… not plastic… for our sack lunches, which I have been making in an attempt to save money and climb out of debt. 
  • I bought some Kleen Kanteens.
  • {For ladies’ interest only: I’ve switched feminine products and now I use a Diva cup and some cute feminine napkins that I acquired on Etsy. (It feels great to have an empty trash can during that time of month!)}

So I really wanted to join the “Ditch the Disposables” initiative. I have had a hard time thinking of something ELSE to do. I had sort of fallen off the bandwagon on using paper napkins. So I’m going to work on using cloth napkins, AND I’m going to try to avoid using Ziplock plastic bags. I have a very difficult time on that one! I’m going to have to find an alternative.

PS: On another green note, my latest “green” obsession has to do with making my own cleaning solutions instead of toxic chemicals! Lindsay’s natural housecleaning carnival inspired me. Maybe I will get around to blogging more about that soon!

Published in: on September 16, 2009 at 7:17 pm  Comments (2)  

Frugal Friday: nonstick cooking spray alternative

I recently bought a really cheap brand of nonstick cooking spray. It was $2-something at Smart and Final. That would have been a great find, except it didn’t work. It left gunky residue on my pans and it didn’t keep food from sticking. Ick!

I kept thinking there has to be a greener way… a more frugal way… to keep food from sticking. 

THEN. I bought a bottle of liquid lecithin at the local health-food store. I had to have one tablespoon for a recipe. (Don’t you hate it when you just have to have one tablespoon and have a whole bottle of whatever left? I’m just sayin’….)

But that jiggled my memory a bit. When I was a student at a boarding high school, we used some sort of lecithin-oil combination instead of nonstick cooking spray. We used to use wax paper to spread it around the deck pans for the food deck, etc. and I figured that wouldn’t be too green. 

What else could I use to spread around a liquid solution? I thought of using a spray-bottle, but then I would have to find a food-grade spray bottle. It would likely be plastic. And I’d rather not use plastic. I googled around, and found a stainless food-grade spray can, but the reviews were mixed. In the reviews, however, I read that “real chefs” use brushes to brush oil. Now, why didn’t I think of that?

I already had a pastry brush. I decided to use an old applesauce jar to store the lecithin solution. But what is the recipe for this nonstick liquid?

One part liquid lecithin + one part liquid oil = nonstick liquid

(I don’t know what else to call it… nonstick liquid sounds boring, to be sure, but that’s what it is.)

Oh, and I used canola oil in case you’re wondering.

Directions: You just dip your brush into this liquid and brush it onto your casserole dish, baking dish, etc. I don’t use very much. I just get it nice and greasy-looking, but not so there are puddles of liquid. Spread it evenly. 

I have been using this for a few days now and it works very well on everything that I have tried it on. I can’t vouch for it on all surfaces, but I’ve even tried it in my breadmaker and it works like a charm. (The bread used to stick to the bottom of the machine.) 

Nonstick cooking 101

For more Frugal Friday tips from everyone else, visit Fish Mama’s website.

Published in: on August 20, 2009 at 10:09 pm  Comments (4)  
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Tofu Tuesday, a day late

Breakfast casserole for #tofutuesday
Breakfast casserole for #tofutuesday
I was thinking of making breakfast burritos on Monday night, but opted for this easier-sounding breakfast casserole. Plus I just really, really wanted to try the “Mom’s Morning Casserole” from the Vegan Brunch Cookbook.

I did make a few adjustments on this recipe. I pre-boiled the potatoes so they were already tender, so I just layered them in the bottom of the casserole dish. Then I layered the other layers on top without baking anything, and I baked it the next morning for about 45 minutes total. That went well. 

The other major change I made was that I didn’t have tempeh, so I used TVP (textured vegetable protein). I reconstituted it with some broth I had on hand and a little water. I also didn’t have any fennel to add. 

DH and I really liked it!

And so far, all the recipes from Vegan Brunch have been incredible. I’m so pleased with the book, and totally recommend it!

Published in: on August 19, 2009 at 10:00 am  Comments (2)  
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I don’t usually blog about giveaways… but…

But this one was WAY too good to pass up!

You might remember that I was *about* to buy a VitaMix or Blendtec blender a few months ago. But I didn’t. I procrastinated.

And now, one of my Twitter friends just sent me a link (she knew how much I have been longing/saving for a blender) to a giveaway for a VitaMix 5200 that Jessie Hawkins is doing on her blog.

Hop on over and check it out!

Published in: on August 18, 2009 at 9:42 am  Leave a Comment  

Teriyaki gluten

Teriyaki gluten sandwich

I’ve been trying to avoid cooking hot food in my kitchen. See, we live in an upstairs apartment and it just gets unbearably hot. (It’s bad enough that it’s in the 90’s and 100’s outside. We don’t need to counteract the air conditioning in our apartment.) SO I’ve been trying to be smart in my cooking and, like, not do much with the oven and stove.

So, this recipe uses… get this: a waffle iron, and a crock pot.

My waffle iron rocks. I can take out the plate thingys and either bake waffles, or there is a flat side that I can switch to and I can grill stuff in there. Yep. Very efficient, since I don’t have a grill.

So here we go. Now, by some standards, this is not a vegan recipe, because it uses honey. But you should be able to use agave nectar. I just don’t have any in the house. However, this is a non-dairy vegetarian recipe. 


Mrs. Cho’s Gluten:
  ● 2 cups pecans or walnuts
  ● 1 cup cashew nuts
  ● 5 cups water
  ● 2 tsp salt
  ● 3 tbsp Bragg’s Liquid Aminos
  ● 2 tbsp onion powder
  ● 1 tsp garlic powder

  ● 2 cups pecans or walnuts

  ● 1 cup cashew nuts

  ● 5 cups water

  ● 2 tsp salt

  ● 3 tbsp Bragg’s Liquid Aminos

  ● 2 tbsp onion powder

  ● 1 tsp garlic powder

  ● vital gluten flour

Blend the gluten ingredients, except gluten flour, until smooth. Pour into a big mixing bowl and add gluten flour (I guesstimate that I used about 3, maybe a little more, cups of gluten flour) until it is the consistency of soft bread dough. Roll into long rolls. Wrap in saran wrap and freeze until ready to use. 

When ready to use, slightly thaw, just enough to be able to cut. Cut into thin slices (not too thin or it will burn easily). Brown in a dry skillet or brown in a waffle iron. 

I only cut up two of the logs to cook in the following sauce. I still have like three logs in my freezer, awaiting other happy dishes. 

Teriyaki sauce:

  ● 1/4 cup plus 2 T Bragg’s Liquid Aminos

  ● 5 tbsp honey

  ● 2 tbsp fresh ginger root, chopped finely 

  ● 2 tbsp lemon juice

  ● 1 clove garlic, minced 

  ● 1 small onion, chopped finely 

Mix teriyaki ingredients together in a crock pot and either marinate for a couple of hours, and then heat, or heat up and cook until all the liquid is absorbed. I just heated it up until all the liquid was absorbed. My crock pot is really fast, and it took about one and a half hours. However, I did sorta cheat give it a head start and I microwaved the Bragg’s Liquid Aminos and the honey until it was almost boiling. 

Crockpot teriyaki gluten

I served this gluten in sandwiches this afternoon, with home-grown tomatoes that somebody dropped off at my office. YUM!

Have fun! And stay cool this summer. 
Published in: on July 31, 2009 at 4:07 pm  Comments (1)  
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Sugar-free blueberry pie

For the recipe, visit my post here.

For the explanation of how to do the lattice top, visit this short video tutorial on YouTube. 

Sugar-free blueberry pie filling

Blueberry pie, before baking

Pie, baked

Published in: on July 12, 2009 at 3:45 pm  Leave a Comment  
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