Savory Stuffed Acorn Squash

EARTH ANGEL VEGAN’S SAVORY STUFFED ACORN SQUASH is a full meal in itself.  It is a great way to use one of fall’s most tasty squash.  It looks really fancy but is simple to prepare!  Wow your family and make it for dinner tonight!

I got these 2 beautiful acorn squash at the farmers market.  I cut the pointy tip off and then sliced them in half horizontally and took out the seeds.  They will now sit pretty on the baking dish.  I placed them on a parchment covered baking sheet and baked them for 1/2 hour at 375 degrees and then added the Mexi-Rice filling…

Mexi-Rice Filling Recipe

4 cups cooked brown rice

1 small can of Rotel tomatoes (choose mild, medium, or hot)

2 cups cooked yellow corn

2 cups black beans

1/2 teaspoon cumin powder

nutritional yeast for sprinkling on top (optional)

Mix all of the ingredients in a bowl except the nutritional yeast and place a generous amount in each of your partially cooked squash halves and sprinkle with nutritional yeast.  Lay a piece of foil on top and place back in the oven for about 45 minutes.  A knife should slide easily into the squash if it is done.  You can take the foil off for the last 5 minutes if you like a little crispy rice on top.  This filling is also great in a taco or burrito or in a salad or a bowl!  We ate the left over rice mixed with sweet habanero sauce on crunchy tortilla chips!

If you have a favorite sauce… Sriracha, green or red hot sauce, sweet chili… drizzle some on top and enjoy!

Tons of flavor, nutrition and fiber.

 

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My Plant Based Vegan Life… Why I do What I do!

I have learned that health care is self care. I am going to give you a timeline of my life so you can see how I got to where I am today in regards to my health.  My parents had me when my mother was 40 and my father was 50. By the time I was 49 they were both deceased.  My father had a history of high cholesterol (700 when discovered) and rheumatoid arthritis, he was diagnosed with cancer of the larynx when he was 74 and had a total laryngectomy at age 75 and died from complications of chemotherapy at age 76.  My mother smoked from age 14 to age 66.  She had slightly elevated cholesterol and hypothyroidism and had a heart attack at the age of 74. She had stents and a pacemaker and died of congestive heart failure at age 87.  I took care of both of them and they both died in my home with the care of hospice.

As a child, my only ailments were severe constipation and bad seasonal/ animal allergies.  I remember seeing a doctor and having a proctoscope at around age 5.  I remember being put on a clear liquid diet and being given castor oil in orange juice.  This constipation would be with me the rest of my life.

I had my first child at the age of 24 right around the time I discovered that I had high cholesterol (357).  From that age to my present age I have tried every cholesterol therapy.  Statins caused me to have severe muscle aches and they just plain scared me so I refused to take them.  I had my second child at age 28 and started to get eczema, mainly on my hands. For the next 20 some years my hands would get itchy, blistery and cracked and sore.  I was always using prescription strength hydrocortisone creams.  I had my 3rd child at 31.  Life continued on with my never feeling awful but never feeling great. I was tired often and had indigestion.  I was always about 25 pounds over weight except for when I was fad dieting.  I tried weight watchers and lost 33 pounds but gained it back over a few years.

In the spring of 2012 I was given Flonase for my allergies and found it worked incredibly well.  Zyrtec type meds did nothing.  Benadryl always worked but I would have to take it every 4 hours for about 2 months in the spring.  That year on Mother’s day I ended up in the ER vomiting with chest pressure and racing heart.  They determined I had severe acid reflux (I had always had issues with heartburn especially throughout pregnancy).  Doc started me on Prilosec and Protonix and I would also take tums each night.  My chest pressure and racing lasted a few weeks and then was gone.

In the spring of 2013, 2014, 2015, and 2016 I ended up in the ER with racing heart , nausea, chest pressure and my blood pressure was very high.  I was kept overnight in 2013 for observation.  I had 2 stress tests over this course of time and was put on Metoprolol  and  Prozac daily and Xanax PRN as all they could come up with was anxiety.  I never felt that anxiety was my problem. My blood work always came back normal except for my elevated cholesterol levels and one time my TSH was elevated and I was started on synthroid.   I was always fine for the rest of the year…episodes always occurring at the end of April beginning of May.  I missed a few days work every year because of this phenomenon.  In 2016 I almost passed out in the shower.  My heart was racing and my feet were sweating and the back of my neck felt burning.  My blood pressure was sky high.  I was also started on catapress for hot flashes, I don’t remember the date.  Menopause brought me hot flashes 20-30 times a day and my doctor did not like to prescribe hormones but suggested catapress.  There were a few nights that I had awakened feeling very odd and actually had a hard time feeling my own pulse.   After the 2016 episode I had felt enough was enough.  I was going to figure out what was happening to me because no one else was looking for a cause, they were just prescribing more medications

I considered myself to be pretty healthy but found myself on a gazillion meds.  I was still refusing statins because of the side effects.  I have always been very sensitive to medications so I should have figured it out sooner.  Anyway, I started researching and plotting my every move in the spring to see what the heck was causing all of this and I came to the conclusion that my problem was my inhaled allergy steroid.  I found several other people that have had such severe reactions as mine.  I was determined that when the spring rolled around and I did not start using Flonase that I would not have another episode and I was right.  No more high blood pressure… I think it was dropping so low in the middle of the night during the off months that it was dangerous. No more chest pressure or racing heart.  Now, wanting to be off all medications,  I started to research  diet and cholesterol as mine was still in the 300’s. With my mom having a heart attack and myself thinking I was having a heart attack every spring for years I was determined to find a prevention.  Not one medical professional had ever talked to me about really changing my diet.   Through my extensive research I found Dr. Caldwell B. Esselstyn and I started his prevent and reverse heart disease plant based (vegan) no oil diet in July of 2016. Through more research I found Dr. McDougall and his wife Mary.  And my life began to change.

My whole life I remember that my mom loved to cook.  She loved to cook greasy high fat, high carb foods and I loved to eat them.  I didn’t grow up on fast food… I grew up on roast beef and mashed potatoes with corn and gravy and box cakes and icing… all homemade.  My mom showed her love by cooking huge meals slathered in butter… or I should say margarine after my dad was diagnosed with high cholesterol.  We had a meal on the table every day at 5pm and it was delicious.  She knew all the tricks… she knew sugar and fat and salt made everything taste better.  I loved her and I loved her food but I was on the same slippery slope her and my father were on and I knew I had to do something. After speaking directly to Dr. Esselstyn on that July day in 2016… he was very firm about the fact that I would have to drastically change my diet… and I did.

On July 21st of 2016 I went cold turkey so to speak and plunged 100% into a whole foods plant based diet. Within the first 2 weeks I started to have regular bowel movements… like every day!  No more laxatives and misery!  For the first time in my life my bathroom habits were normal.  I didn’t have to give a thought or revolve my life around trying to having a bowel movement.  I can’t even begin to tell you how life changing this was for me.  Within 1 month my acid reflux was history along with all my acid reflux medications.  Gone was the abdominal bloating and sleeping nearly sitting up to keep my food down.  It was like a miracle.  The red sauce and red wine I though were my enemy were no longer.  It really was the grease and oil that was making me so sick.  No more tums beside the bed. Within 2 months my skin cleared up… no more eczema!  No more itchy, peeling, cracked and bleeding hands.  In that first 2 months my hair started to grow… my hair was getting so thin and not growing for like 5 years and now it was nonstop growing! My blood pressure was normal and no more racing heart.  My seasonal allergies were also better.  Within 3 months I had more energy.  No more naps, no more trying to keep my eyes open at work.  I was sleeping better and was not a bit tired throughout the day.  My life was truly changed.  My weight dropped dramatically even though I eat all the time.  I have never felt better in my life.

People may look at me strange when I pass up burgers, fries, pizza with cheese, cakes, cookies, chips, and ice cream.  They may look at me like I have three heads when I take my own food to restaurants, theaters, and on planes and vacations but this is now my way of life.  I only eat real food.  Real food is hard to find in the real world and that is so sad.  The United States of America is hooked on fake food filled with grease, sugar, and salt and Americans are fat and sick.  Heart disease, cancer, and diabetes kills so many people in America and it is nearly all preventable.  Meat products, dairy products, eggs, and processed fats and oils are responsible for more deaths through illness in the United States than any other cause.  The second, after illness, is the treatment of illness in causes of death.  So many people die from the treatments of illness… medication reactions, surgeries and procedures are so often deadly.

When I do my talks the first thing I have the audience do is write down 3 things most important in their lives… things they feel they can’t live without and things of most value.  They write things like “my wife”, “my kids”, “my parents”, “my home”, and “my health”.  They sometimes write “my pets”, “my looks”, “my money”, and “my job”, …but I have never had anyone write junk food!   So there we have it in a nut shell… If you love and want those top 3 things on your own list… something has to change!  You must give your body the food that was designed specifically for your human body and that is whole plant foods.

I hope you give 100 percent plant based living a try, It can truly change your life!

HARVEST ENCHILADAS

EARTH ANGEL VEGAN’S HARVEST ENCHILADAS require a few steps but they are totally worth it.  Need to take a dish to you next pot luck or feed the whole family from one dish… ?  This Mexican inspired casserole is for you.  The garden ingredients and whole corn tortillas make this plant based dish a winner.  The cheese sauce includes pumpkin puree and the dish includes corn, zucchini, and yellow squash.

Corn Sauce

In a high speed blender or food processor and the following:

1 cup of corn (frozen that has been thawed or canned)

1 teaspoon minced garlic

1/2 cup plant milk

Blend this and set aside

 

Pumpkin Cheezy Sauce

It the same blender or food processor… don’t even need to clean it out…

3/4 cup pumpkin puree

1 cup plant milk

1/2 cup vegetable broth or water

1/2 cup nutritional yeast

1 tablespoon corn starch

1 tablespoon miso paste

1/4 teaspoon turmeric

1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

1/4 teaspoon onion powder

1 tablespoon soy sauce

Put this all in a blender and blend until smooth.  Transfer to a sauce pot and whisk slowly over medium heat until bubbly and thick.

Harvest Enchiladas

1 batch of corn sauce

1 batch of pumpkin cheezy sauce

1 pack of corn tortillas

1 small zucchini cut in half moons

1 small yellow squash cut in half moons

1 small yellow onion diced

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

1/4 cup vegetable broth

1 jar of salsa verde (oil free)

1/2 cup tomato salsa

1/2 cup black beans rinsed

1/2 cup corn

Get a 9 by 13 glass baking dish out and line the bottom with a layer of salsa saving about half for the top.  In a saute pan add your squash onions and garlic powder over medium heat.. add the vegetable broth and let the vegetables start to brown.  When the start to brown add the corn sauce.  Stir over medium heat until corn sauce is warmed through.  Now you will assemble your casserole.

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Heat a stack of corn tortillas for about 35 seconds in the microwave to soften .   Take one corn tortilla at a time as spread some cheezy sauce on and add some squash mixture.  Fold in half an lay in the baking dish on top of the salsa verde. Keep making them and placing them in the dish.  When complete top them with the rest of the salsa verde and some tomato salsa and corn and black beans.  Bake covered with foil in a 350 degree oven for 35-40 minutes.

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When they are done baking serve them with some tofu sour cream, fresh sliced jalapeno peppers and cilantro if desired.

Enjoy 🙂

Vegan Night Out at the AVALON at Buhl!

EARTH ANGEL VEGAN’S DINNER PARTY AT THE AVALON IN SHARON PA was an awesome evening of good food and good friends.  We had a great turn out of 25 like-minded people.  We forgot to get a group photo but got a picture of all of the deliciouse creations by Chef Allen Scott….Chef Allen Scott and his staff went out of their way to provide us with a outstanding four course meal that was 100% plant based without any added oil, sugar, or salt.

We started off our evening with a cocktail and this delicious appetizer which was a homemade flax cracker with a fig and garlic puree!

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The First Course was pumpkin soup!  The pumpkin soup was seasonal and the veggie chips on top were the perfect contrast to the creamy soup.

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The Second Course was a foragers salad.  I absolutely loved the lemon juice and fresh cracked black pepper dressing.

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The Third Course … aka…the main event… was a delicious braised fennel bulb with eggplant and red quinoa.  I was a little nervous about this one as I have never had fennel… It was AMAZING!  I am now in love with braised fennel.  It is so important to keep trying new things.

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The Fourth Course was a spice plum with chocolate cashew cream and was the perfect end to our wonderful meal.

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Earth Angel Vegan wants to give a big shout out to the AVALON AT BUHL PARK and Chef Allen Scott and his awesome staff for making our vegan dinner night out magical! 

Green Leafy Vegetables From My Garden These greens protect the Endothelium (lining of your vessels) and Produce Life Saving Nitric Oxide!

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When you eat cooked greens… spinach, chard, kale, arugula, bok choy, or beet greens, and add a little balsamic vinegar your body miraculously creates nitric oxide. Nitrous oxide is a powerful vasodilator.  Your vessels stay open and your blood pressure naturally goes down.  If you can’t grow them … buy them and eat some greens every day!

 

Pick a variety of greens and steam or steam saute’ them in a little water or vegetable broth. When they are tender top them off with a little drizzle of balsamic vinegar and enjoy!

No Time to Cook and Eat Healthy? Let Earth Angel Vegan Cook For You! Meal Delivery Service Now Available!

EARTH ANGEL VEGAN’S PLANT BASED NO OIL MEAL DELIVERY is here.  Only to Hermitage PA and surrounding areas.  Want to eat more healthy meals or just enjoy a Meatless Monday and don’t know where to start?  Let me cook for you.  October Meal’s order form is available upon request.  Meals, soups, and muffins available weekly. New menu selections each month.  Email me at info@earthangelvegan.com for an October order form.

 

On the October Menu are meals like vegetable lasagna, harvest enchiladas, loaded mexican potato, penne and marinara, acorn squash stuffed with confetti rice, veggie kabobs and more.  Enjoy a variety of soups and muffins each week.  Meals come with a vegetable side.  Meant for one but enough for two.

November menu will be released soon.

ALL MEALS ARE 100% PLANTS WITH NO OIL!  SPECIAL ALLERGY AND DIETARY NEEDS UPON REQUEST.

LOOKING TO LOSE SOME WEIGHT?   Have A 100% whole wheat muffin for breakfast, one of my soups for lunch and  one of  my entrees and vegetable for dinner.  Add fruit and salad as desired and watch the pounds melt off!

Email me at info@earthangelvegan.com for more information and an order form.  Orders must be in by Friday afternoon for Sunday/Monday pick up or local delivery!

Thanks for your support!