Friday, June 28, 2013

Hoff's Quick Leek Soup

Hoff's Quick Leek Soup
Serves: 2
meat-free, dairy-free, egg-free, oil-free, soy-free

  • 2 Leeks (sliced thinly & rinsed)
  • 4 cups Veggie Broth
  • 1 tsp Garlic Powder
  • 1 tsp Onion Powder
  • 1 tsp Sea Salt

  1. In a large pot over medium-high heat, sautee Leeks until softened
  2. Pour in Broth
  3. Stir in Seasonings
  4. Simmer for 10 minutes & serve!

Leeks have sand in the middle of the stalk.  After slicing, separate the rings to expose the sand and soak in a bowl of water.  The Leeks will float to the top, while the sand sinks to the bottom.  Rinse thoroughly.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Hoff's Chop Suey

Hoff's Chop Suey
Serves: 2 (with leftovers)
meat-free, dairy-free, egg-free, oil-free, gluten-free


  • 1 Onion (chopped)
  • 8 oz Mushrooms (sliced)
  • 2 Garlic Cloves (minced)
  • 4 cups Water/Veggie Broth
  • 3 tbsp Braggs/Coconut Aminos
  • 4 tbsp Arrowroot or Kuzu Root
  • 1 tsp Ginger Powder
  • 2 cups Jasmine Rice
  • 1 cup Bean Sprouts
  • 1 cup Sauerkraut
  • 1 can Water Chestnuts (rinsed & drained)

  1. In a large pot over medium-high heat, sautee Onions & Mushrooms until soft
  2. Add Garlic
  3. Whisk together Water/Broth, Braggs/Aminos, Ginger & Arrowroot/Kuzu, stir into Onions & Mushrooms
  4. Stir constantly until mixture boils, thickens & turns a dark, glossy brown
  5. Meanwhile, prepare Rice according to the package
  6. In a large non-stick wok or frying pan, lightly sautee Bean Sprouts, Kraut & Water Chestnuts
  7. Combine Veggies & Gravy, ladle over Rice prior to serving
  8. Chopstick time!

Monday, June 24, 2013

Maple Cured Tofu

Maple Cured Tofu
Yields: As much as you need
meat-free, dairy-free, egg-free, oil-free

  • Firm Tofu
  • Water
  • Braggs
  • Maple Syrup
  1. Cut Tofu into desired pieces
  2. Place Tofu in a shallow glass baking dish
  3. Add enough Water to cover
  4. Add enough Braggs to get a dark amber color
  5. Add about 1/3 cup Maple Syrup
  6. Allow to marinate for 7-10 minutes
  7. Drain marinade
  8. Broil Tofu 3-4 minutes each side

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Is My Watermelon Ripe?

It's best to buy your watermelon from a Farmer's Market as those are picked the morning of at the
peak of ripeness.  Commercial watermelons are picked prior to ripeness so they ripen during transport.  If you're stuck buying commercial, here are some telltale signs of readiness...

  1. Yellow or light bottom
  2. Tape it, it sounds hollow
  3. Heavy for its size

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Hoff's Summer Pasta Salad II

Hoff's Summer Pasta Salad II
Yields: About 13 cups
meat-free, dairy-free, egg-free, oil-free, soy-free


  • 1 lb Whole Wheat Pasta
  • 1 16oz. bottle Marzetti Fat Free Italian Dressing
  • 1 10oz. box Frozen Spinach (defrosted & drained) 
  • 1 3.8oz. can sliced Black Olives (rinsed & drained)
  • 1 15oz. can Cannellini Beans (rinsed & drained)
  • 1 Cucumber (peeled & deseeded)
  • 1 Red Onion/Sweet Onion (chopped)
  • 1 cup Matchstick Carrots (chopped)
  • 1/3 cup Sesame Seeds (optional)

  1. Cook pasta to al dentde according to directions on package
  2. Combine all ingredients in a large bowl & allow to marinate in fridge at least one hour before serving

Hoff Thoughts: Deseeding the cucumber prevents it from watering down the salad, especially if it will not be consumed immediately.  Always peel store bought cucumbers to avoid the wax that commercial growers shellac on.  If using an organic cucumber or one from a Farmer's Market, feel free to leave intact.

Friday, June 21, 2013

Seasonal Eating: Summer

It's finally Summer - wooo hooo!  My favorite season by far!  You will never hear me complain about hot weather.

With that being said, Summer is the time to focus on keeping cool and staying hydrated.  To counteract how hot and dry our bodies are at this time of the year, seek more cooling, moist foods such as melons and cucumbers.  It's also important to avoid stimulants like coffee and black tea, which dehydrate the body and raise your internal temperature.

Naturally, you will feel like eating lighter - perfect time for that Big Salad.   Now is the optimum time to amp up your intake of raw foods.

Summers Foods:
  • Apricots
  • Asparagus
  • Avocado
  • Berries
  • Broccoli
  • Cabbage
  • Cherries
  • Corn
  • Cucumbers
  • Eggplant
  • Fennel
  • Figs
  • Green Beans
  • Lettuce
  • Lima Beans
  • Melons
  • Nectarines
  • Okra
  • Onions
  • Pears
  • Peas
  • Peaches
  • Peppers
  • Plums
  • Potatoes
  • Snap Peas
  • Spinach
  • Squash
  • Tomatoes


No one wants to crank up the oven when it's 90 degrees outside.  Fortunately, in the Summer, it's best to use as little heat as possible to maintain moisture in food.  Try lightly steamed, blanched, and raw foods.

Check out Hoff's Summer Lovin' Grilled Veggies!

I wish it could be Summer everyday...

Be Cool!
The Hoff

Seasonal Eating: Fall, Winter, Spring


Wednesday, June 19, 2013

GF Mushroom Gravy

GF Mushroom Gravy (adapted from McDougall's Mushroom Gravy)
Yields: about 4 cups
meat-free, dairy-free, egg-free, soy-free, oil-free, gluten-free

  • 1 Onion (chopped)
  • 1/2 lb Mushrooms (sliced)
  • 4 cups Water
  • 4 tbsp Coconut Aminos
  • 6 tbsp Arrowroot or Kuzu Root

  1. In a large pot over medium-high heat, sautee Onions & Mushrooms until soft
  2. Whisk together Water, Aminos, & Arrowroot/Kuzu, stir into Onions & Mushrooms
  3. Stir constantly until mixture boils, thickens & turns a dark brown

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Sweet Potato Chips w/Honey Mustard Sauce

Sweet Potato Chips w/Honey Mustard Sauce
Yields: About 3 cups Chips & 1/2 cup Sauce
meat-free, dairy-free, egg-free, oil-free, soy-free


  • 1 large Sweet Potato (peeled)
  • 1 tsp Cinnamon
  • 1 tsp Sea Salt

Dipping Sauce
  • 3 tbsp Honey Mustard
  • 2 tbsp Honey
  • 1 tbsp Water
  • 2 tbsp Brown Sugar
  • 1 tsp Pumpkin Spice
  • 1 tsp Ground Ginger
  • 1/2 tsp Sea Salt
  • Dash of Cayenne Pepper

  1. Using a Mandolin, on the thinnest slice setting, slice the entire Sweet Potato
  2. Place Potato Slices, Cinnamon & Sea Salt into a ziplock bag
  3. Toss to coat
  4. Cut a piece of Parchment Paper the size of your microwave turntable
  5. Line Parchment Paper with Potato Slices, avoid overlapping
  6. Microwave 4-5 minutes until Chips just begin to brown & have fully dried out (times vary depending on your microwave)
  7. Repeat steps 5 & 6 until all Potatoes are cooked

Don't walk away from these Chips - the Potatoes go from orange to brown very quickly.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Hey! I'm A Green Too!

Eat Your Greens!

That saying is getting a lot of press lately.

Greens are a powerhouse in the the nutritional world (high in calcium, magnesium, iron, potassium, phosphorous, zinc, vitamins A, C, E & K, fiber, folic acid, chlorophyll and numerous other micronutrients & phytochemicals) and that's why it's so important to work them into your daily regimen.  Yes, I said daily.  But what generally comes to mind is a plate of lettuce, kale or spinach.

Luckily greens are not isolated to standard rabbit food (I still hate salads).  There are a wide variety of greens out there and here's just a few to embrace:

  • Beet Greens
  • Bok Choy
  • Broccoli
  • Broccoli Rabe
  • Cabbage
  • Collards
  • Dandelion
  • Edive
  • Fresh Herbs: Cilantro, Parsley, etc.
  • Mustard Greens
  • Napa Cabbage
  • Sauerkraut
  • Sprouts
  • Swiss Chard
  • Watercress
  • Wild Greens

While any of these can and should be eaten raw, they can also be steamed, boiled or water sautéed.  Now you have no excuses for not eating your greens.

OK, I can't lie to you guys.  I'm not a fan of "greens," but I have been making a real effort lately to eat them.  Best way I have found other than grinding into nothingness via a smoothie or add small pieces of greens to a variety of soups!  Works like a charm, barely know they are there.

Get Your Greens On!
The Hoff

Saturday, June 8, 2013

DIY Avocado Hair Mask

This mask is suitable for any hair type and perfect for when your hair needs a little TLC.  "Avocados are rich in a variety of vitamins and nutrients, including vitamin E and protein, both of which your hair needs to remain soft and healthy."

DIY Avocado Hair Mask
Yields: enough for long hair

  • 1/2 ripe Avocado (pitted & peeled)
  • 1 tbsp Olive Oil
  • 1 tbsp Honey

  1. Mash together Avocado, Oil & Honey to form a mask
  2. Massage into hair
  3. 20 minutes later, rinse that avocado right outta your hair!

I was actually amazed at how super soft, this mask made my hair.  And, it did the impossible, made my flyaways disappear!


Friday, June 7, 2013

Honey Tea

I savor this tea every morning before work.  It's my own little decadent quiet time before taking on the world.  I deeply inhale the lemony fragrance wafting into the air, while mindfully sipping from my favorite mug.  Delightful...

Honey Tea
Serves: Just You
meat-free, dairy-free, egg-free, oil-free, soy-free

  • Water
  • Honey
  • Cayenne Pepper
  • 1 Lemon Slice

  1. Fill a mug with Water
  2. Add as much/as little Honey as you desire (I add about about a dime size)
  3. Sprinkle in a little Cayenne Pepper
  4. Squeeze in Lemon juice and plunk in Lemon Slice
  5. Nuke for 1-2 minutes

The Benefits:

  • Better Digestion & Elimination: Warm waters increases elimination of waste & toxins from the body, reduce constipation and diarrhea, cleanse your digestive tract and help with proper food digestion
  • Beautiful Skin: The Vitamin C from the Lemon rejuvenates the skin naturally
  • Energizing Your Body: Lemon is one of the few foods that contain more negative charged ions, providing your body with more energy
  • Smooth Throat: Cayenne is very high in Vitamin C and helps to unblock the sinuses and clear out mucus & Honey is a natural cough suppressant
  • Healing: Cayenne has antibacterial properties, along with high amounts of Vitamin A, which both help with healing and fighting infections
  • Boost Immunity: Honey has strong antibiotic properties as well as being an antimicrobial agent (kills or slows growth of microbes) 
  • Seasonal Allergies: Local honey can ease or eliminate seasonal allergies.  Local honey contains small amounts of the pollen within your area that is causing your symptoms, by ingesting on a daily basis; you slowly build up a resistance.

Hoff Thoughts: Notice I mentioned a little Cayenne, this stuff is HOT, so go easy and adjust as you get used to it.  If the microwave isn't your thing, heat your water in a kettle (I'm just too impatient).

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Aluminum & Alzheimer's

Exposure to Aluminum has been linked to Alzheimer's Disease for over 25 years.  The most common way we are exposed is through cooking.

To minimize your risk, never cook with uncoated Aluminum pots & pans and if you must use Aluminum Foil, buffer your food with a piece of parchment paper first.


Sunday, June 2, 2013

Hoff's Chipotle Burrito Bowl

Hoff's Chipotle Burrito Bowl
Serves: 2
meat-free, dairy-free, egg-free, oil-free, soy-free, gluten-free

  • 2 cups Water
  • 1 cup Jasmine Rice
  • 1 15 oz. can Black Beans (with liquid)
  • 1 cup Organic Corn
  • 1 Red Onion (thinly sliced)
  • 1 Red Pepper (thinly sliced)
  • 1 Avocado (chunked)
  • 1 Lime
  • 1/2 cup Fresh Cilantro (chopped)
  • 3 tsp. Cumin
  • 2 tsp. Sea Salt
  • 1 tsp. Garlic Powder
  • 1 tsp. Oregano
  • Salsa

  1. In a medium size pot, bring Water to a boil
  2. Reduce to simmer, stir in Rice, juice from 1/2 Lime, Cilantro & 1 tsp. of Sea Salt
  3. Cover & cook for 15 minutes, when done, fluff Rice with a fork, set aside
  4. Meanwhile in a large non-stick frying pan, sauté Onions & Peppers until softened
  5. Mix in Rice, Black Beans, Corn, Seasonings & heat through
  6. Remove from heat, mix in Avocado
  7. Top with Salsa & juice from 1/2 Lime

Hoff Thoughts: This is my take on Chipotle’s Veggie Burrito Bowl.  But, if you’re partial to their burritos, by all means, wrap this filling up in a whole wheat tortilla.  And if you’re a purist, use Brown Rice instead of Jasmine.  Try Hoff's Guac instead of the chunked Avocado.

Blueberry Jam

Blueberry Jam
Yields: 9 half pint jars
meat-free, dairy-free, egg-free, oil-free, soy-free, gluten-free

  • 6 cups Blueberries (yields 4 cups blended)
  • 7 cups White Sugar
  • 1 pack of Pectin 

  1. Using a food processor or Vitamix, pulse/blend Berries
  2. Pour Berries into large pot over medium-high heat, and slowly stir in Sugar until it is fully dissolved
  3. On high heat, bring to a rapid boil
  4. Quickly stir in Pectin & bring back to rapid boil, stir for 1 minute, remove from heat
  5. Now all you have to do is can your jam!

Hoff's Thoughts: You can use any type of Berry with this simple jam recipe, if using a one with seeds, use a spatula to push blended Berries through a wire sieve to remove seeds.

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Lime Potatoes Chips

Lime Potatoes Chips
Yields: About 4 cups
meat-free, dairy-free, egg-free, oil-free, soy-free

  • 1 White Potato (peeled)
  • 1 Lime
  • 1 tsp Sea Salt

  1. Using a Mandolin, on the thinnest slice setting, slice the entire Potato
  2. Spread out Potato slices and blot up excess moisture with a paper towel
  3. Place Potato Slices, Juice of Lime & Sea Salt into a ziplock bag
  4. Toss to coat
  5. Cut a piece of Parchment Paper the size of the turntable of your microwave
  6. Line Parchment Paper with Potato Slices, avoid overlapping
  7. Microwave 4-5 minutes until chips just begin to brown & have fully dried out (times may vary depending on your microwave)

I tend to reserve the microwave for only warming things leftovers or a cup of water for Honey Tea!  But after being disappointed with using the oven with this recipe, I discovered that the microwave did a much better & quicker job at drying out the Chips.  The key to crispy Chips is getting the thinnest slice possible, which really isn't possible with a knife (at least I'm not that good).