Comfort Food

We are┬áhaving a rough week, here at The House of 9 Lives, as we lost our precious dog Trixter over the weekend. So, thanks to Chef Linda at Esther’s Kitchen for sharing this recipe, as it looks like great comfort food in the making.


Esther’s Crockpot Beans
Cuisine: Esther Approved, GF
Prep including Cook Time: 6 hours +
Serves: Approximately 24 cups

3 lbs organic dried pinto beans
1 Tablespoon ground cumin
1 Tablespoon garlic powder
1 large organic yellow or white onion, chopped
1-1/2 teaspoons ground black pepper
1 Tablespoon salt
12 cups water

1. Combine all ingredients in a large crockpot. Toss any floating beans.
2. Set the temperature to high and cook for 4 hours. After 4 hours turn down the temperature to low. Cook for 2.5 more hours. Remove the lid. Remove the excess water on top and reserve the water.
3. Using a hand immersion blender or hand masher, mash the beans to your desired texture. Add more water back to the beans if you desire a runnier style bean.
4. Note: If you are using these beans for burritos, do not add additional water while mashing the beans. Serve the beans plain or sprinkled with a non-dairy cheese. Adjust the salt and other seasonings to taste once the beans have been mashed.

Check out these other Esther Related Facebook Pages:

Esther the Wonder Pig

Happily Ever Esther Farm Sanctuary


Funky Monkey Overnight Oats


ANOTHER winning recipe from Esther’s Kitchen!!

Funky Monkey Overnight Oats
Cuisine: Esther Approved, GF
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Serves: 1 (2 cup) mason jar

2/3 cup rolled oats
1 Tablespoon flax meal
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Pinch of ground nutmeg
1 heaping Tablespoon peanut butter
1 Tablespoon Canadian maple syrup
1/2 of a large ripe banana, sliced
1/4 cup walnuts
3/4 cup unsweetened plant milk, almond milk was used

1. Add the following ingredients in the mason jar in this order: oats, flax meal, cinnamon, nutmeg, peanut butter, maple syrup, banana slices, walnuts, plant milk.
2. Tighten the seal and lid on the jar. Place the jar in the refrigerator overnight.
3. Stir or shake the next morning before eating.


Word is this tastes like banana bread with peanut butter. What’s not to love about that?!?!

Check out these other Esther Related Facebook Pages:

Esther the Wonder Pig

Happily Ever Esther Farm Sanctuary

And, follow Esther’s Kitchen here!

Zucchini Brownies

Another winning recipe from Esther’s Kitchen!

Brownie lovers, you are in for a delicious treat. We are serving up Zucchini Brownies today! Has anyone had Zucchini Brownies? These brownies are gooey and can be made oil free for those folks eliminating oil from their diets. If you make these oil free, the brownies will taste more like cake. The brownies in the photo are oil free and made with walnuts. The batter will be very thick. Keep stirring. The batter will come together. If you want to make these gluten-free, use GF …flour blend and add 2 chia or flax eggs to the batter. Enjoy! ~Chef Linda

Zucchini Brownies

Cuisine: Esther Approved, GF option

Prep including Bake Time: 35 minutes

Serves: 8″x8″ pan or 9 brownies

1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

1 cup all-purpose flour

1/2-3/4 cup organic granulated sugar, adjust to your taste

3/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 cup vegetable oil or melted coconut oil (optional)

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 cup shredded organic zucchini

1/4 cup chopped walnuts (optional)

1/4 cup unsweetened almond milk
1. Preheat the oven to 350F. Spray a 8″x8″ baking pan or line the bottom with parchment paper.

2. Add all the dry ingredients in a mixing bowl. Stir by hand with a spoon.

3. Add the zucchini, vanilla extract, oil and almond milk. Stir until the batter with a spoon until the batter is smooth. Keep stirring. The batter does come together. If your zucchini is not wet, stir in an additional 1-2 Tablespoons of almond milk.

4. Pour the brownie batter in the pan.

5. Bake for 20 minutes or until the center is done by using a toothpick test.

6. Cool and slice into 9 pieces.

Check out these other Esther Related Facebook Pages:

Esther the Wonder Pig

Happily Ever Esther Farm Sanctuary

And, follow Esther’s Kitchen here!


Coconut Pecan Oatmeal Cookies – Esther Approved!!

On your journey towards an Esther Approved lifestyle you will come across some things that leave you awestruck about new culinary techniques. Growing up we were taught to make cookies by creaming the butter, sugar, extract and eggs with an electric mixer. How many times did we reach in the fridge and realize you were out of butter or eggs? Another trip to the store. Right? As you change over your pantry ingredients with Esther Approved substitutes you begin to realize this is easy. It’s learning a new way of baking and cooking just as you learned the old way. For our Coconut Pecan Oatmeal Cookies you only need mixing bowls, a wooden spoon and cookie sheets. These cookies are crispy on the outside and chewy in the middle. Let’s celebrate National Oatmeal Cookie Day without the raisins because we don’t want Esther to have trust issues thinking they are chocolate chips. ;)~Chef Linda

Coconut Pecan Oatmeal Cookies

Cuisine: Esther Approved

Serves: 3 dozen

Prep including Bake Time: 35 minutes

2 flax eggs-2 Tablespoons flax meal mixed with 6 Tablespoons water, allow to gel for 10 minutes

1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce

1 cup organic granulated sugar

1/2 cup organic brown sugar

1 cup Earth Balance, melted

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon salt

2 cups spelt or all purpose flour

2-1/2 cups rolled oats

1 cup dessicated coconut

1/2 cup pecans, finely chopped

1. Set the applesauce aside. Make your flax eggs in a small bowl and set aside.
2. Melt the Earth Balance on the stovetop or in the microwave. Add the vanilla extract and flax eggs. Stir to combine and set aside.

3. Combine the remaining ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Stir the dry ingredients with a wooden spoon. Stir in the melted butter mixture for a few minutes until the cookie dough is combined. Stir in the applesauce until the dough is moistened completely.

4. Line 3 cookie sheets with parchment paper.

5. Using a soup spoon, spoon 12 dough rounds onto each cookie sheet. Bake for 12-14 minutes at 350F. Allow the cookies to cool on the cookie sheet before transferring onto cooling racks. The cookies will slowly crisp up on the cookie sheet which will allow you to transfer easily onto the cooling racks.

You can follow Esther’s Kitchen on Facebook, here.

For the Facebook feed of Esther the Wonder Pig, click here.

You might also enjoy Happily Ever Esther Farm Sanctuary, here.

Creamy Alfredo Sauce with Linguine & Roasted Tomatoes

Another great recipe from Chef Linda of Esther’s Kitchen!!


We made this Creamy Alfredo Sauce with Linguine and Roasted Tomatoes that serves 6 hearty portions. This meal comes together in about 30 minutes which is perfect for weeknight meals. The sauce is extra creamy with lots of garlic flavor. In addition to the roasted tomatoes, you can add spinach, broccoli and faux meat substitutes. We love to hear and see what our friend’s are making here. Please let us know how you prepared your creamy pasta dish. Enjoy!

~Chef Linda 

Creamy Alfredo Sauce with Linguine and Roasted Tomatoes
Cuisine: Esther Approved, GF option with GF pasta

Serves: 6

Prep including Cook Time: 30 Minutes, plus 2 hour cashew soak time

2 pounds of dried egg-free linguine or other pasta

1 pint grape tomatoes, sliced in half

2 Tablespoons Earth Balance Buttery Spread

1 Tablespoon olive oil

2 cups raw cashews, soaked for 2 hours, drained

2 shallots, finely diced

10 garlic cloves, minced

3-1/2 cups unsweetened almond milk

1/2 cup nutritional yeast

Salt and Pepper to taste, 2 teaspoons salt was used in this sauce

1. Cook your pasta per the package directions. 
2. Preheat the oven to 400F. Line a baking tray with parchment paper. Spray the parchment paper. Spread out the tomato halves on the parchment paper. Spray the tomatoes with cooking spray. Evenly grind fresh black pepper and salt over the tomatoes. Roast the tomatoes for 18 minutes. 

3. In a large saute pan, heat the Earth Balance and olive oil over medium heat. Add the shallots and garlic. Saute for approximately 4 minutes. 

4. Place the cashews in a food processor and process on high until smooth. Add 1 cup almond milk and process until combined and smooth, scraping the bottom and sides of the food processor. 

Add this mixture in the saute pan with the shallots and garlic. Add the remaining almond milk and additional salt and pepper to taste. Stir until smooth. Cook for 10-12 minutes over medium-low heat, scraping the sides of the pan. Once the sauce begins to bubble, stir in the nutritional yeast and roasted tomatoes. Stir until combined. 

5. Combine the cooked pasta and sauce in a large serving bowl. Serve with a side salad, bread, Esther Approved parmesan cheese or nutritional yeast.

National Banana Bread Day

Chef Linda has a theme going! I’m not positive if this is a national day for Canada, or the U.S., but, either way, I like her calendar!! Here’s her post:

It’s National Banana Bread Day! We are featuring Esther the Wonder Pig’s Blueberry Banana Bread made with organic blueberries, spelt flour and Tofutti Sour Supreme sour cream. You do not have to make separate chia eggs. Once your bananas are mashed, you add everything into the mixing bowl and stir until combined. Enjoy! 
~Chef Linda 

Esther the Wonder Pig’s Blueberry Banana Bread 

Recipe Type: Sweet Bread

Cuisine: Esther Approved 

Serves: 9×5 loaf 

Prep including Bake Time: 1 hour 

1/2 cup vanilla non-dairy yogurt or Tofutti Sour Supreme 

2 Tablespoons chia seeds

3 medium sized ripe bananas, mashed

3 Tablespoons coconut oil, melted

1-1/3 cup spelt or all-purpose flour 

1 teaspoon vanilla extract 

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1/2 teaspoon pink Himalayan salt 

1/4 teaspoon cinnamon 

1 teaspoon baking soda 

1 cup frozen or fresh organic blueberries

1. Preheat the oven to 350F. Spray a 9×5 bread loaf pan with cooking spray. 
2. In a large mixing bowl, mash the bananas with a masher. 

3. Combine the remaining ingredients with the bananas. Stir until the batter is combined and moist. If you over stir the bread, it will become dense. 

4. Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan. 

5. Bake for 50 minutes. 

6. Allow to cool and then slice.

It’s National Sticky Bun Day!

Sharing another winning recipe from Chef Linda of Esther’s Kitchen!

 It’s National Sticky Bun Day!! Hooray! We’ve been looking forward to this day so we can share Esther’s Mini Sticky Buns. These buns come together in under an hour. If you have made sticky buns you will know that sometimes they are hard to get out of the pan. Our method will give you wonderful results. Enjoy! ~Chef Linda 

Esther’s Mini Sticky Buns 
Cuisine: Esther Approved 

Serves: 12 mini buns 

Prep including cook time: 1 hour 

Preheat your oven to 350F. 
Place a small mixing bowl on the top of the oven. 

Dough Ingredients 
2 Tablespoons Earth Balance buttery spread

1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk 

1-1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast

1/4 teaspoon pink Himalayan sea salt

2 Tablespoons organic granulated sugar 

1 Tablespoon flax meal (do not use seeds)

1-3/4 cup all purpose flour plus 1 Tablespoon for dusting work surface 

Rolling pin

1. Place the Earth Balance and 1/2 cup almond milk in a microwaveable bowl. Microwave on 30 second increments until the buttery spread is melted. 

2. Pour the heated almond milk and buttery spread in a food processor or electric stand mixer with dough attachment hook. Add the remaining dough ingredients. If using a food processor, turn it on and use the dough button. Process the dough for about 3 minutes or until a dough ball forms and spins around. Turn the food processor off. If using an electric stand mixer, turn the mixer on medium and mix until a dough ball forms. Turn off the mixer. 
3. Place the dough ball into the warm mixing bowl. Wet a paper towel or cloth towel with hot water. Wring out the water and place the towel over the dough. Let the dough rise slightly while you make the filling. 
Filling Ingredients 
1/2 cup organic light brown sugar 

2 teaspoons ground cinnamon 

1/2 cup finely chopped pecans 

2 Tablespoons melted coconut oil 

1. Combine the filling ingredients in a small mixing bowl and stir until combined. 
Dough Roll Assembly 

1. Spread the 1 Tablespoon of flour on your work surface. 

2. Roll out the dough into a rectangle that measures 9″ x 12″. Use a ruler for accurate measuring. 

3. Sprinkle the filling evenly into the dough rectangle. Press the filling lightly into the dough. 

4. Starting from the 12″ length, tightly roll the dough into a log with the seam side down. Using a sharp knife, cut the log into 1″ pieces. Use a ruler for accurate measuring. 

5. Spray a 9″ round baking dish. Place the buns in the baking dish on top of the stove. Cover the buns with a warm towel while you make the Sticky Topping. 

Sticky Topping Ingredients 
1/4 cup organic light brown sugar 

1 teaspoon vanilla extract 

2 Tablespoons coconut oil 

1 cup pecan halves 

1 Tablespoon molasses or corn syrup 

1. Add all ingredients in a small saucepan. Heat the ingredients on low heat until the sugar and coconut oil melts. Stir constantly with a metal spoon to prevent scorching. Turn off the heat and pour this sticky sauce over the buns. 
Bake the sticky buns for 15 minutes at 350F. Remove the buns from the oven. Grab 2 plates. Place one plate over the buns. Invert the buns onto the plate. Remove the baking dish. Place the second plate over the buns. Invert the plates so the sticky pecans are on top. 
This method prevents the sticky buns getting stuck to the bottom of the pan. The traditional method for making sticky buns is placing the sticky mixture on the bottom of the pan then the buns are placed over that mixture. 

Note: If you want stickier buns, double the Sticky Topping Ingredients but only use 1 cup pecan halves. Walnuts will also work for this recipe.

For more information on Esther, visit, or like her page on Facebook. Also, be sure to follow Esther’s Kitchen on Facebook for more wonderful recipes like this!!