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Applesauce Recipe – Easy Homemade Method

In Basics, Desserts, Essential Homemade, Recipe, Side Dishes, Vegan, Vegetarian by Tom0 Comments

Homemade applesauce, although sort of resembles the store-bought stuff, blows it away with the soft texture and wonderful sweetness. Sometimes the simple things are worth making at home.


Applesauce is another homemade item that you probably think: “Shoot, that probably requires some tools I don’t have…” Actually… all you need is a peeler, knife, pot and smasher. Boom applesauce! It’s so stinkin easy that you will likely pull it right into your set of GO TO recipes.


The apples used in this recipe were of the variety “On Sale.” Yes, that is a variety most likely found at your grocery store. They may have been Fuji apples, but I forgot. I have made this easy applesauce recipe out of quite a few varieties of apples thus far and have not found a bad one. Some end up a little more tart than others, but absolutely edible. If it’s slightly tart, just give it a few days in the fridge and voilà it becomes sweeter.

Let’s Cook!

Applesauce Recipe for Best Chunky Applesauce!


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Green Beans Stir Fry with Tempeh – Vegan Dinner!

In Adventure Eating, Dinner, Recipe, Vegan, Vegetables, Vegetarian by Tom0 Comments

Stir fry this and stir fry that… You can basically stir fry anything!  This is a great combo (Green Beans, Carrots and Tempeh) for a meat-less option that will still keep ya full past dessert.

green-beans-stir fry-eat-with-tom-foodblog-schmidt-photo_2092

The unassuming fermented soybeans (tempeh) wear a meaty disguise to this veggie party with an amazing ability to soak up the dark soy sauce flavors. Add a pile of fresh crunchy green beans, a few carrots, with plenty of garlic and ginger for a bright and satisfyingly hearty ethnic taste.

Your co-workers may even ask: “What type of meat is that in your super delicious looking stir fry left overs??”

And no Bob, you can’t have any my stir fry…

Speaking of left overs, this is one of our staples for a pre-cooked, packaged meal and frozen meal. We have embarked on many stir fry cooking sprees of over 20 pounds on a Sunday afternoon.  Then we split up the loot into 1 pound FoodSaver vacuum sealed bags, the perfect single serve healthy lunch or dinner for a guy on the go. Reheating is a breeze and the flavors / textures remain pretty darn good even after a few weeks!

As of this writing, I have eaten our packaged stir fry in 15 states and at 35,000 feet somewhere over Russia… Have stir fry, will travel.


Let’s Cook!

Green Beans Stir Fry with Tempeh


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Carrot Orange Beets Ginger and Turmeric Juice (COBGT Juice)

In Juice, Recipe, Vegan, Vegetables, Vegetarian by Tom1 Comment

beet juice recipes how to juice carrots

Beet Juice Recipe to Boost Your Nutrition Intake and Brighten Your Day!

Bold color and big nutrition. This juice is loaded with some richly colored roots, kicked up with ginger and turmeric and then smoothed out with some oranges. It turns out super red, but don’t let that fool you, it doesn’t taste as earthy (like dirt) as you might imagine a beet juice blend.

beet juice recipe cleanse ideas
With the eternal question of juicing or smoothing, I choose both. I have not gone down the juice cleanse road, although I have heard some amazing things from friends. I look to juicing to complement my diet by getting a concentrated dose of nutrients, QUICK. This allows me to get some of the goodness from greens, roots, and fruits that I likely would not have eaten raw.

When picking out the ingredients for this juice, I go the bulk root produce section. If you go with the less pretty, but organic versions (i.e. bulk beets) you can get this elixir done on a budget. Turmeric can be a little trickier to find, but seems to be at most of the Whole Foods in Chicago. If you cannot get your hands on it, just go for the ginger, it will still be a treat.

carrot juice recipe with orange beet ginger turmeric

Recipe Inspiration – Juice: Recipes for Juicing, Cleansing, and Living Well

Squeezing all of those whole foods into a smooth juice does come with a hit of sugar, so be prepared. I tend to do my best thinking and work when I am not spiked on sugar, so I like to enjoy my juice with meals to blunt the sugar rush. You will definitely still feel a jolt of nutrients and energy any way you enjoy this powerhouse blend.

Lynette Astaire, an interesting personality in the health, fitness and fashion scene, whom I met in Chicago, has been chronicling a 21 day fast on YouTube. It’s quite informative and entertaining, definitely worth checking out. Sooner or later, I will be pulling Lynnette in for a collaboration on Eat with Tom, stay tuned!


Juice Recipe with Beets, Orange Turmeric, and Ginger Step by Step Images


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Spiralized Zucchini with Fresh Spaghetti Sauce – Paleo “Noodles”

In Dinner, Paleo Friendly, Recipe, Vegetables, Vegetarian by Tom1 Comment

Zucchini vegetable noodle recipe main dish with pictures

No noodles? No problem… when you have a spiralizer!  You are going to love the light freshness of the zucchini with the simple, slightly sweet home cooked tomato sauce for this dish.  This fare satisfies and leaves you feeling full (which makes me happy) without the drag and resulting carb coma of demolishing a huge plate of pasta.  It’s got a double whammy positive effect!

I often make an entire meal out of a few heaping helpings of these zucs, but it can also make a nice side dish, or even an equal partner in a left-over buffet.  I’m even happy to eat it cold the next day… Kind of like cold pizza?

Sooo how do you take this zuchini and turn it into a noodle?!?  Magic… Of course.  Actually the magic happens with a cheap silly plastic device that looks like a toy called the “Spiralizer.”  I enjoy nice top quality kitchen tools as much as the next guy.  This one is cheap and flimsy, but simply works well.  Here is a LINK to the one I use.  There seems to be about 5 different models on Amazon, but I think they are all the exact same.  For 20ish bucks, you might as well try it out!

Spiralizer for sale on Amazon - Cheap and useful

You won’t regret making the spaghetti sauce at home, it’s worth the few extra minutes.  The sauce is assembled from organic canned tomatoes to make it a bit quicker and cheaper for those of us city dwellers that have to buy our tomatoes.   Even canned tomatoes combined with fresh onions, garlic and herbs will knock the socks off of any bottled up sauce.

For the sauce flavoring I used an Herbs de Provence spice blend (savory, marjoram, rosemary, thyme, oregano and lavender) for two reasons, it’s a wonderfully versatile and fragrant spice for many dishes, and I have a ton of it right now…  But feel free to get creative with your spice choice or just put in regular ole I-talian blend.

Spiralizer Zucchini with Fresh Spaghetti Sauce Recipe


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Limey Avocado and Grape Tomato Side Dish from Lemonade LA

In Gluten-Free, Grain-Free, Lunch, Recipe, Side Dishes, Vegan, Vegetables, Vegetarian by Tom1 Comment

Amazing avocado recipe - vegan meals - chicago food blog

Avocado Recipe with Limey Dressing and Grape Tomatoes

Large chunks of avocados spiked with a zesty lime vinaigrette, smiles are guaranteed.  This dish is a great side or main player for a veggie based lunch.  The good fats in the avocados will keep both your brain and stomach happy all afternoon.  No h-Anger excuses!

(h-Anger defined: the annoyed and dangerous mindset that causes you to turn into a ravenous beast until you get junk food or another meal.  No, coffee does not fix this condition.  See additional details on the Urban Dictionary.)

I  traveled and worked in downtown Los Angeles for many weeks last year.  Of all the meals I ate throughout the city, my favorites primarily all came from this quick serve modern cafeteria restaurant on the basement level of the office building.

Best Food blog recipes for lunch gourmet vegetable side dish chi

Recipe Inspiration – The Lemonade Cookbook

This mecca of lunch greatness, called Lemonade, seems to exist only in California and the Middle East (go figure…) at this point.  This dish falls into their ‘marketplace portions’ category, consisting of relatively healthy, mostly veggie based, and super flavorful dishes.  I was so excited to find such a truly filling and healthy option for lunch on the road that I ate there nearly everyday.  Oh yeah, and on travel days I would eat it twice… oops.  If you are flying Delta through LAX, you can find it right there in the terminal.

Since I am such an avid fan, of course I had to buy the cookbook.  So now that my days traveling to L.A. are over, I am working through the recipes and plan to share a few more of my favorites in future posts.  Got a few bucks burning a hole in your pocket? Pick up the The Lemonade Cookbook on Amazon.

Avocado Recipe with Limey Dressing and Grape Tomatoes


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Massaged Kale Salad with Sunflower Seeds and Dried Cranberries

In Dinner, Paleo Friendly, Recipe, Side Dishes, Vegan, Vegetables, Vegetarian by Tom4 Comments

Eat Healthy - Raw Meal recipes - Ideas for Dinner

Turn that super chewy and tough raw kale into a tender treat with a simple massage.  The other secret weapons of this recipe are  sunflower seeds and mustard which transform these greens into a savory and satisfying dish.

The idea of massaging kale is bound to cause a raised eyebrow from anyone not familiar with the glorious result.  The process is so simple, I am still dumbfounded why the technique has not taken hold on a larger scale.

Don’t be surprised if you too are amazed by the transformation as the kale dramatically reduces in volume and becomes luxuriously soft.  To the untrained eye, it will even appear to have been cooked.

Try adding different dried fruits or toasted nuts to liven up the flavors even more.  Pine nuts are also amazing, but kinda expensive these days.

For the longest time, I was not into raw curly kale, because it took too much work just to choke it down.    Turns out, the kale just needs a relaxing massage.  This recipe is super easy and worth the quick forearm workout.  Your significant other will surely let you practice the massage techniques on them…

Let’s Cook!

Massaged Kale with Cranberries Recipe Step by Step Images