Wednesday, March 5, 2014

You-Shaped Hole
by Tara Mohr

This poem came to me via a yoga retreat my daughter attended. The author & motivator is Tara Mohr. If you're looking for additional inspiration, visit her website at I highly suggest reading her "Ten Rules for Brilliant Women." With permission I share her poem with you. 

You-Shaped Hole

Sometimes the world feels inhospitable. 
You feel all the ways that you and it don’t fit. 
You see what’s missing, how it all could be different.
You feel as if you weren’t meant for the world, or the world wasn’t 
meant for you. 
As if the world is “the way it is” and your discomfort with it a problem.
So you get timid. You get quiet about what you see.
But what if this? What if you are meant 
to feel the world is inhospitable, unfriendly, off-track
in just the particular ways that you do? 
The world has a you-shaped hole in it. 
It is missing what you see. 
It lacks what you know. 
And so you were called into being. 
To see the gap, to feel the pain of it, and to fill it.
Filling it is speaking what is missing. 
Filling it is stepping into the center of the crowd, into a clearing, and 
saying, here, my friends, is the future. 
Filling it is being what is missing, becoming it.
You don’t have to do it all, but you do have to speak it. 
You have to tell your slice of the truth. 
You do have to walk toward it with your choices, with your own being.
Then allies and energies will come to you like fireflies swirling around 
a light.
The roughness of the world, the off-track-ness, the folly that you see, 
these are the most precious gifts you will receive in this lifetime.
They are not here to distance you from the world, but to guide you 
into your contribution to it.
The world was made with a you-shaped hole in it. 
In that way you are important. 
In that way you are here to make the world. 

In that way you are called.
Energy Bars

tweaked from Amy Choate & Natural Philosophy
who adapted from Emily Petty


1 1/2 c quick oats or gluten-free oats 
1/2 c raw sunflower seeds
1/4 c chia seeds
1/3 cup coconut flakes (I used small flakes)
1/3 c mini non-dairy chocolate chips
1/2 t powdered vanilla
pinch of salt
1/3 c organic raw agave syrup
1/2 c natural peanut butter

Mix all dry ingredients in large bowl. Add wet ingredients.
Mix first with wooden spoon, then if you feel inspired, use your hands.
Press batter firmly into an 8 x 8 glass pan.
Refrigerate for a few hours, then cut into bars.

Amy uses sprouted, then rolled oats, sprouted & dried sunflower seeds & pink salt. Those are the main differences.
I had run out of sunflower seeds, so I used half seeds & half small walnut pieces. You can also add raisins, craisins, omit the chocolate chips or just about anything goes.

Amy & her husband own our local yoga/Pilates studio. Natural Philosophy offers an airy & uplifting environment with a variety of classes throughout the week. An organic food store sits below the studio. 
1st yoga class is free - check it out at:
155 Church Street in Logan

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Wise Eyes - the Adventure Begins

Possibly the 1st "green" young adult novel. 
Now available on


   Wise Eyes is a contemporary coming-of-age story dedicated to the great Beehive State, Utah. This first introductory book is set in Cache Valley, the north region of the state.
   You'll meet Daniel, Jenny, their friends and family. You'll learn about the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saint culture, be subjected to vegetarianism and its school of thought and have the opportunity to ponder many of the great mysteries of life.
   Author Marcy Hope Williams offers unique perspectives that only a true granola-cruncher could write.

   Lexile Measurement: 880

Golden Gluten-Free Apricot-Walnut Muffins


MAKES 10-11
2/3 cup soy milk
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
2/3 cup combined Smuckers' Simply Fruit apricot jam & agave nectar (1/2 c jam, then the remainder with agave)
1/3 cup safflower or canola oil
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 1/3 cup Arrowhead Gluten Free all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
Pinch of fine sea salt
1/2 cup chopped walnuts

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.
Line a 12-cup muffin tin with paper liners or spray tin with oil.
Combine the milk and vinegar in a medium bowl, and set aside for at least 5 minutes or until it bubbles a little. If it doesn’t bubble, keep stirring the mixture until it does.
Add agave nectar, oil, and vanilla and stir.
In a separate bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Add the wet ingredients to the dry, mixing until no lumps remain.
Add walnuts & stir.
Pour the batter into the prepared muffin tin, and bake for 18 to 22 minutes - should be golden color. 
Cool the cupcakes in the pan for 10 to 15 minutes, then cool completely on a baking rack before eating.

*I adapted Alicia Silverstone's Kind Diet wheat cupcakes to create gluten-free apricot muffins.
**Even though the Arrowhead Mills includes a rising agent, I still kept the baking powder & soda measurements the same.

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Pecan Pie Crust

La Pièce de Résistance

Two Vegan Pumpkin Pies were made for Christmas. One with this pecan crust and one with a gluten-free crust. The pecan crust won hands down!

I haven't completely given up on the gluten-free crust, but it's going to take some serious tweaking. I'll share the recipe as soon as I reach perfection.

As far as the pecan crust goes. I'm going to include the recipe with one tip. 

2 cups raw pecans
1 T maple syrup
1 T oil - I used canola oil. Safflower would work well too.

Crush 1 1/2 c raw pecans to crumble size. Mix in maple syrup & oil. Press mixture on bottom & sides of 9" pie pan. I used glass.

Bake for 10-15 minutes at 350 degrees only until you can begin smelling the nut flavor. Do not over-bake!

Let cool.

Crush remaining 1/2 c pecans to flakes - set aside. 

After pie crust has cooled, pour in my pumpkin pie filling.
Sprinkle perimeter of pie with remaining 1/2 c pecan flakes.
Refrigerate over-night.

Top each slice with dollop of soy whipped cream.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013


After selecting & combining 4 recipes, plus adding a bit of my ingenuity I 'accidentally' came up with my perfect vegan pumpkin pie filling. Since my husband does not tolerate wheat gluten & I never really cared for pie crusts, I decided to forgo the pie & create a nice holiday pumpkin pudding.

I thought it would be simple - I'd just follow my chocolate pudding recipe making a few substitutions. But low & behold, an hour after I refrigerated my 'pudding' I discovered a consistency of pumpkin pie filling: firm & slice-able. I'm guessing that cornstarch becomes activated either by cooking over the stove or in the oven. So - for Christmas, it's back to pumpkin pie.

You can use any type of crust you'd like. I haven't decided if I'm going to opt for a gluten-free crust or combine nuts & dates to form the crust. I'll let you know later.

Here's my vegan pumpkin pie filling recipe:
Tip: Use exact amounts.
2 c canned pureed pumpkin (or freshly steamed pureed pumpkin) 
1 c soy creamer
1 T molasses
1 level T orange marmalade
1/2 c fructose
1/4 c cornstarch
1 t ground cinnamon
1/2 t salt
1/2 t ground ginger
1/4 t ground nutmeg (can be freshly grated)
1/8 t clove

Whisk together 1st 4 wet ingredients in cooking pan that you will be using later (no heat).
Whisk together remaining 7 dry ingredients in separate bowl.
Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients using whisk.
Turn on stove to a medium-high heat.
Bring to boil whisking almost continuously.
Reduce to medium heat to continue medium boil for additional 6 minutes or until ingredients have thickened.
Tip: Cooking too little the filling won't set; cooking too long the filling will be rubbery.

Pour in cooled prepared pie crust.
Refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight.
Slice & serve each slice topped with a dollop of soy whipped cream & a sprinkle of ground filbert nuts. I'll be sure to add a finished pic after the holidays. :)

 Whisk dry & wet ingredients in separate bowls.

Here's a pic of what I thought I was making... pumpkin pudding!

By the way, my husband just informed me that I should enter my recipe in the county fair next year! 
What a compliment!
Wouldn't that be a fun surprise when I enter my gluten-free, no bake, vegan pumpkin pie recipe! 

Friday, December 13, 2013

Quick & Easy Basmati Rice

Ever get tired of stressing over making the 'perfect' rice? Well I did. Ages ago I came upon this alternative. Bake your rice - yes bake it, don't boil it! You'll never have to scrub a pan again! 

You'll need to decide what amount fits your or your family's needs. One dried cup of rice = about 6 cups cooked rice. 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2 c Basmati rice
3 1/2 c water


1 c Basmati rice
1 3/4 c water

Rinse rice at least 4 times in water & drain.
Spatula out your moist rice into cooking casserole dish. I use glass or ceramic. (Don't grease pan!)
Add water & stir gently to even the rice out.
Cover & cook for 45 minutes.

You do not need to check on this rice during your cooking. It will turn out perfect in 45 minutes. 
When reusing the rice the following day, rinse and drain the desired amount of rice before using - this will re-constitute your rice to the tender state.

And enjoy!
Happy Holidays! 

Simple Vegan Taco Filling

 Begin with: 
3 cups cooked Basmati rice  
12 oz package of Lightlife Smart Ground (Mexican Style) - This is your meat alternative.
1 lg sweet yellow onion
3 cloves garlic
1 green bell pepper
2 large Roma tomatoes
3-4 T olive oil
sea salt
crushed red pepper flakes or cayenne - optional to your liking

Heat oil in skillet.

Add diced onion - saute for 3 minutes until glossy.
Add pressed garlic & saute for another minute.

Add diced green bell pepper.

Mix & saute for another 2-3 minutes.

Add diced tomatoes.

Stir gently & saute for another 2 minutes.
Add salt to taste.

Crumble soy meat before adding.

Stir gently & saute another 3 minutes.
Add crushed red pepper flakes or cayenne if you like it with extra zing!

Add 2-3 cups cooked Basmati rice.
Gently stir mixture & cook for another 1-2 minutes. 

Voila - finished product!
Enjoy wrapped in a whole-wheat or corn tortilla or taco shell.

*I was inspired to watch Nica Sazon, Esther Lopez from Nicaragua creating her tortillas & fillings. She tops her finished product with a mixture of: shredded green cabbage, salt, tomato & finely diced onion. Her website is at: 

Monday, December 2, 2013

My Best Cornbread Yet!

Easy to make - super moist, slice-able & made without eggs!

1 1/2 C gluten-free flour (I use Red Mills made from garbanzo beans) 
1 1/2 C corn flour (not meal, but flour - I used Maseca Masa brand)
1/2 C organic sugar 
1T baking powder (no skimping on this one; just barely over level)
1 t salt
1 C soymilk (almond milk works well also)
1 C Soy Sour Cream
1/3 C Canola oil

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. My oven runs hot, so I set it between 325 & 350, which worked perfectly for me.

Spray 9x9 glass pan (preferably)
Whisk together flours, sugar, baking powder & salt in a bowl.
In another bowl whisk together milk, creamer & oil.
Fold dry ingredient mixture into wet ingredients. Do not over mix.
Pour into pan - shape gently as necessary.

Bake 35 minutes. Depending on your oven you can always tent the bread after 25 minutes, but only if it's browning too quickly. Mine did not have this problem.

Cool on rack & slice.

*I have used this recipe for over 10 years & yet I am always tweaking the ingredients, baking time & temp. This morning's batch was the best. The original recipe came from Williams-Sonoma; however I've changed all of the ingredients & their amounts over the decade. By the way, excellent with my Creamy Tomato Soup recipe!

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Easy & Yummy!

found on; (comments & pics by me below)

·         1 Tbsp olive oil
·         1/2 medium onion, diced
·         1-2 cloves garlic, chopped (I used 3)
·         1 tsp salt
·         1 (28-oz) can whole tomatoes, undrained (I use Muir brand)
·         1 cup vegetable broth
·         1 bay leaf (I used 2)
·         1/4 cup chopped fresh basil (I used 1 t. dried basil)
·         1 tsp fresh thyme or 1/2 tsp dried thyme
·         1 cup Silk Original soymilk
·         1/4 cup Silk Original Creamer
·         Fresh ground pepper 

  • 1. Heat olive oil over medium-low heat in a 4-quart stockpot.
  • 2. Add the onion and sauté for 3-4 minutes.
  • 3. Add the garlic and sauté an additional 3 minutes.
  • 4. Add the salt, whole tomatoes with juice, vegetable broth, bay leaf, basil and thyme. Bring to a simmer and cook for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally to crush the tomatoes.
  • 5. Remove the bay leaf; add Silk, Silk Creamer and a few grinds of fresh pepper.
  • 6. Purée soup in 2 batches in a blender until smooth and creamy (use caution when blending hot soup).
  • 7. Adjust salt and pepper to taste.
  • 8. Return soup to pot, heat gently and serve.

Voila! Enjoy on a cold wintry day!

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Happy Birthday to Me!!!
A vegetarian for 40 years & still going... 

Well it is a celebration - 40 years ago I was coming down the escalator at the Frankfort Germany Airport. I realized it was my birthday. "How can I make this day special?" I vouched that this day, I would become a vegetarian.

40 years later I can tell you this decision made the world of difference in my life, physically, mentally, emotionally & spiritually. Refining my diet has never been more important to me than it is today.

Each day I strive to eat more raw food - wholesome food that you would find in God's garden. I try to prepare my own meals rather than purchasing a prepared meal from the store - the less processing the better.

I gave up dairy products about 20 years ago. There's plenty of alternative 'milk' products to choose from such as whipping cream, sour cream, cream cheese & yogurt. Trust me - making even a small change in your diet will make a difference.

Peace & Love,
Your fellow truth-seeker....


Wednesday, November 6, 2013


So why try pumpkin porridge? Because it's good for you! When I met my husband I was surprised to learn he was eating this for breakfast at least 5 days out of each week. Since he's slim & trim I decided he must be doing something right and joined him one morning. At first I had to notify my taste buds to adjust to the simplicity of the flavor, but then... I'm addicted!

Living in northern Utah during this time of year you crave hot/warm drinks & meals, pumpkin porridge fits the bill. Easy to make, low in calories & nourishing:

Dish out a serving of canned pumpkin (if you can, use freshly steamed pumpkin). I eat about a cup.
Pour in almond milk or any other plant-based milk. Just takes 1/2 cup to become creamy.
Drizzle in 1 heaping (or not) teaspoon of molasses (organic is always better). We use this sweetener for this meal because molasses is highly alkaline, which your body prefers.
Sprinkle in a dash of cinnamon (good for leveling out blood sugars).
Top with crushed nuts. (I've tried many, but crushed roasted peanuts has been one of my faves, as are walnuts & almonds too.)
Microwave for 1 minute, 35-40 seconds depending on how hot you like it.

1. A few years ago when I was working with dogs, I learned to serve them 1/2 portion of canned pumpkin and 1/2 portion of dog food to help dogs slim down. I filed this in my brain until recently.
2. If you are constipated, this food will regulate you. 
3. Since any orange food is filled with vitamin A & E, this squash actually helps your skin to rejuvenate.  
4. It's just plain yummy!

Special note: If you're not quite used to eating simple foods, this dish might take a bit to get used to - but oh the rewards!!!

Marcy Hope Williams


Monday, November 4, 2013


This is the most decadent cake I've ever made and yet, the cake itself is fairly mild in flavor. This is also the first time I tried vegan cream cheese, which I'm happy to report - I love! It's been decades since I've enjoyed cream cheese frosting, now the story changes.

I was also surprised that somehow the candied ginger zing mellows out once combined with the cream cheese & hazelnuts. Overall I received super reviews from friends & family and the cake was gone in one night!

I finely diced the candied ginger (instead of the long strips shown above) which created I think a more decadent final look of the cake. Also I used a white sweet potato, but I think next time, I'll try  a yam as shown above.


This cake is similar to carrot cake—grated sweet potatoes make it moist and rich. The cake can be made up to three days ahead, but frost and garnish it within 12 hours of serving.
·         ½ cup raisins
·         3 cups all-purpose flour
·         1 Tbs. baking powder
·         2 tsp. baking soda
·         1 tsp. salt
·         1 tsp. ground cinnamon
·         ¼ tsp. ground nutmeg
·         ⅛ tsp. ground cloves
·         ¾ cup vegetable oil
·         ½ cup dark brown sugar
·         ½ cup sugar
·         1 cup plain almond milk
·         2 Tbs. lemon juice
·         1 medium sweet potato, peeled and finely grated (3 cups)
·         ½ cup finely chopped candied ginger
·         ½ cup chopped toasted hazelnuts
·         1 8-oz. pkg. vegan cream cheese
·         1 Tbs. agave nectar
·         ½ tsp. vanilla extract
·         ½ cup finely chopped candied ginger
·         ½ cup chopped toasted hazelnuts
1. To make Cake: Preheat oven to 350°F. Coat 10-inch round cake pan with cooking spray.
2. Place raisins in small bowl, and cover with boiling water. Let stand 10 minutes, then drain, and set aside.
3. Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves in bowl. Whisk together oil, brown sugar, and sugar in separate bowl; whisk in almond milk and lemon juice.
4. Stir flour mixture into oil mixture with spatula until thick batter forms. Fold in sweet potato, candied ginger, hazelnuts, and raisins. Pour batter into prepared pan, and bake 1 hour, or until toothpick inserted in center of Cake comes out clean. Cool pan 10 minutes on wire rack, then unmold Cake onto wire rack to cool completely.
5. To make Topping: Whisk together cream cheese, agave nectar, and vanilla in bowl until smooth; spread over cooled Cake. Decorate top of Cake with candied ginger and hazelnuts.
November 2013 p.70 Vegetarian Times