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The Vine, The Branch & The Wheat Kernel

Many people ask me why I mill my own wheat. Is it just cheaper to do, is it healthier, does it taste better?  The answer to that question is always…all of the above. Even more exciting was the fact that it wasn’t as time-consuming as I had led myself to believe and the changes I noticed in the way I felt were astounding!!

So my question to you is….Are you ready to start living a life of wellness, or are you content just going on with the same daily conditions that you suffer from? Obesity, bowel problems, high blood pressure, diabetes, cancer and heart disease top the list of conditions that plague Americans daily. What we have found though is that  “the pleasures of the moment”  have now generated sickness in our land in giant proportions. Many of the foods we now eat for convenience are literally making us sick because they are devoid of the fiber and the nutrients that are essential to our health. Yet, life-giving  foods are available.

What we do know is that there is a health care crisis in this land, but who is to blame?  The fingers are always pointed straight at the doctors, lawyers, insurance companies, and the government, but the truth of the matter is—WE are to blame. We live in a land of sick and unhealthy people who quickly turn to doctors and medicine, weight loss clinics and diets and we are often left “bewildered and distressed, dejected and helpless–like sheep without a shepherd (Matthew 9:36 AMP). Our health does not depend however on doctors and medicine but on how we live our lives. We must get back to the ROOTS of wellness….which is nutrition! Our attitude must be one of knowing that good health begins at the FARM not at the PHARMacy.


Because of our passion and the interest in wellness cooking, starting in January, The Vine & The Branch will be holding “Milling Your Own Wheat” seminars and tasting parties with our fine CA grown Olive Oils, and Balsamic, Fruit and Wine Vinegars. We will continue to offer our full line of handmade soaps and skin care as well. Our hope and prayer is that you will begin to make wise choices for yourself and your family in the way you live and eat.

Keeping checking back to find out about our upcoming seminars.

Here’s to your “vine”tastic life!!


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A Low-Cal Football Season

With football season in full swing and bowl games quickly approaching, one thing is for sure…there is always plenty of food and entertaining to be done! Whether it’s watching your favorite college team or the Super Bowl itself, you are sure to find yourself enjoying the game with a plate full of something. Wings, nachos, dips, subs and pizza seem to top the endless calorie list when it comes to these gatherings.

How can you entertain a crowd or just a few guest and still give them something they will enjoy that is low-cal and taste great? May we introduce you to our Caribbean Jerk Chicken Nachos!!

These victorious nachos weigh in at only 200 calories per serving. Follow the recipe below to enjoy these at your next bowl party or just with your family for a quick weeknight dinner.

Caribbean Jerk Chicken Nachos


1 bag organic blue tortilla chips

4 cups shredded chicken

3 cups freshly grated cheddar and mozzarella cheese

2 Tbsp Caribbean Jerk seasoning

2 cups sliced red, yellow and orange bell peppers

3 Tbsp fresh cilantro

2 vine ripe tomatoes

1/2 cup all natural sour cream

2 limes

*( Fresh black beans may be substituted for chicken. Pair this addition with fresh pineapple instead of limes)

1.Preheat oven to 425 degrees

2.Arrange tortilla chips onto pan.  Toss chicken in bowl with Caribbean Jerk seasoning. Sprinkle chicken over all the tortilla chips. Evenly coat cheese over entire pan of chicken and chips.

3. Slice bell peppers into fine strips and place evenly over nachos. Bake for 10 minutes or until cheese is melted.

4. Meanwhile snip fresh cilantro. Slice limes into halves. Dice vine ripe tomatoes.

5. Garnish nachos with cilantro, tomatoes and limes.

6. If desired you may pipe sour cream over nachos

Here’s to your “vine” and dandy life!!!

Farmer’s Market Lasagna

Farmer’s Market Lasagna

In my house one of our favorite meals to enjoy together is Lasagna, and with so many variations, you can’t go wrong! You can find a recipe for this dish to satisfy just about anyone. The meat lover, cheese lover, Mexican lasagna, even a chocolate one (I hope to post about later). While I love all of those, my focus is all about wellness and bringing dishes to the table that are loaded with nutrients for my family. That is why I created this “Farmer’s Market” Lasagna.

Living in the Monterey/Salinas area of CA you can’t help but find yourself overwhelmed by the abundance of farmer’s markets and fresh produce everywhere. It’s one of the amazing things about living here! Even if you don’t have a local farmer’s market though, you can easily find fresh produce in your grocery store or a Whole foods, Fresh Market, etc.

You will come to notice that all of my recipes will only use the freshest ingredients and your own milled wheat or at least whole wheat products. While my recipes do take some time to prepare (because they are all homemade), you will find I will always include do-ahead tips for you. If you enjoy baking days, you can also prepare many of these dishes and freeze them for meals throughout the week. So let’s get started:

Farmer’s Market Lasagna

Prep time: 25 minutes


1 medium red, green and yellow bell pepper
3 or 4 large zucchini, sliced thin
1 yellow onion
1 package fresh mushrooms
3 vine ripe tomatoes
2 tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 tsp salt
1 tsp fresh ground pepper
Whole wheat lasagna noodles
1 container (15oz) ricotta cheese
1 egg beaten
1 cup fresh pesto
21/2 cups mozzarella cheese ( grate by hand)
12 slices provolone cheese

1.  Heat oven to 400 degrees. Coat pan with olive oil. ( I personally prefer Pampered Chef’s large bar pan). Arrange peppers, zucchini, onion, mushrooms, olive oil, salt and pepper in large bowl. Toss ingredients with olive oil to coat. Spread vegetables onto pan. Bake for 30 minutes or until tender.

( Once all of your fresh veggies are mixed together in the bowl, toss them with a fine coating of extra virgin olive oil)  Olive oil is loaded with so many amazing heart healthy benefits and should be used almost daily in your cooking.

(After your fresh veggies are coated in olive oil, go ahead and spread them out on a large pan, as shown here) You will bake these at 400 degrees for 30 minutes.

2. Once veggies are done cooking reduce oven temp to 350 degrees. Coat bottom of lasagna pan or dish with olive oil. Cook and drain whole wheat lasagna noodles as directed on package. Meanwhile, mix ricotta cheese, egg and fresh pesto together in a bowl.  Slice vine ripe tomatoes and dice into small chunks.

3. Place 3 whole wheat noodles lengthwise in dish. Spread the pesto ricotta mixture onto noodles. Top with fresh veggies and fresh diced tomatoes. Layer slices of fresh provolone cheese onto veggies. Repeat layers, starting with noodles. Top your last 3 noodles with remaining vegetables and cover with grated fresh mozzarella.

(this picture shows you the first layer of the Farmer’s Market Lasagna)

(here we have placed slices of fresh provolone cheese onto the first layer. Repeat steps)

4. Bake uncovered for 45 minutes or until top is golden brown.

And here you have it! A lasagna straight off the vine and loaded with nutrients, all coming in at around 500 Calories.  Dietary Fiber 7g; Vitamin A 54%; Vitamin C 50% Calcium 54%; Iron 18%

Save me time tip- If you want a jump start roast your vegetables the night before and refrigerate.

Welcome to The Vine & The Branch


Hello!  We are so excited that you have stopped by to find out more about The Vine & The Branch. We are the sister company to Off The Vine Cosmetics and specialize in pure CA grown olive oils, balsamic vinegars and wine vinegars. We also have a full selection of organic wheat and mills and offer classes on making your own nutritious bread at home. Owner and founder Stephanie Tyndall started this company to focus on her desire for wellness cooking and educating her clients to make better choices in how they live and how they care for their families. Stephanie is all about transforming the latest recipes and making them into low-cal, healthy dishes.

The Vine & The Branch also offers a full tasting bar for our olive oils and vinegars, as well as informational seminars on recipes and the benefits of wellness cooking.

You can visit this page often to find upcoming events, recipes and up-to-date information for a wellness and prevention lifestyle!!

Here’s to your “vine”tastic life!

Stephanie Tyndall