Thursday, November 23, 2017

Main Dish Sauté - Thanksgiving 2017

This is what we enjoyed today as a main dish for our Thanksgiving meal. Everyone really liked it. I'm sorry to say I don't have exact measurements to give you, but I will try my best to tell you what went into the dish. This is one of those check-the-pantry-and-see-what-you-end-up-with dishes. Turned out wonderfully!

Thanksgiving Main Dish Sauté



Mix the following together in a bowl: 

about 2 cups cooked Kidney Beans, rinsed & drained, mashed some (or another dark bean)
1 can young Jackfruit in salty brine, drained & mashed
about 10 dried Shiitake Mushrooms, rehydrated in hot water, drained & chopped                  
    (save broth from soaking mushrooms for this recipe later)
about 10 halves Sun-Dried Tomatoes, rehydrated in hot water, drained & chopped
about 1/4 cup Gari (fermented cassava root, dried & granulated), or 1/4 cup rolled oats
about 1 Tablespoon Tamari/Soy Sauce 
1 teaspoon Porcini Mushroom powder (can be optional)
about 2 Tablespoons Dried Minced Onion

2 Tablespoons coconut oil (or similar)
2 cloves garlic, minced
(about 1/2 teaspoon sage would be lovely here, but I was out! )

Add in as much broth from the shiitake mushrooms as you need to make it somewhat dry, but still moist, as if you could make burgers/patties from it. If it's too dry, use a vegetable broth or water (be careful not to make this dish too salty). If it's too wet, opt to use more oats (or even breadcrumbs if not gluten free, or another starchy food that soaks up liquid). 

To a large skillet, add coconut oil, on medium heat. Add in garlic, minced. Sauté for a couple of minutes, then add the bean mixture to the pan and heat through, turning frequently, about 10 minutes until hot. 

Since we ate this a few hours later, I let the mixture cool and then put it into a loaf pan and refrigerated it until we went to my parent's home. I then reheated it in their oven while other things were baking. I didn't try to get it out in one loaf. Instead we spooned it onto our plates from the baking pan. 

Our menu for today's meal:

Vegan Main Dish Sauté (recipe above)
Homegrown creamed corn, baked
Shelled edamame 
Roasted garlic (one whole bulb per person!)
Roasted Roots (potatoes, onions, carrots), my chef son's specialty dish
Pumpkin spice cake with black walnuts


Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Fire Cider - Part 1

Today I was excited to receive a gift of horseradish! I know it might not be everyone's idea of a fun time, but I got chopping this evening to make something I have wanted to make for a long time - Fire Cider!

Looking up recipes, I found something very interesting about it's history. If you are curious about it all, you can go to freefirecider.com and read it for yourself. The recipe can be found here.

So you know, this recipe is not my own. Recipes for Fire Cider, and it's various names, abound on the internet. I have made something very close to Rosemary Gladstar's recipe, found above. You can even watch her talking about Fire Cider and making it here in this video.

I put my prepared ingredients (varies from the recipe above) into a gallon size jar. It will need about 4-6 weeks of wait time. I used the following organic ingredients:

Fire Cider

1 cup chopped fresh organic ginger root, do not peel
1 1/2 cup peeled, chopped fresh local organic horseradish root
2 medium organic onions, chopped
1 small organic fresh turmeric root, chopped (about 2 Tablespoons), do not peel
approximately 10 cloves of fresh organic garlic, chopped
2 organic chili peppers, chopped (your preference, cayenne is common)
1 organic whole lemon, chopped, with peel on
2 quarts organic raw apple cider vinegar

And this is what my batch looked like before I added the apple cider vinegar... 


...Then I added the vinegar to cover. I will be shaking it a bit every day or two. Part 2 will include what I will do when the Fire Cider is done, around the 4-6 week mark. It will involve straining the mixture and adding honey for a sweeter and more palatable taste. 

I can't wait because it's both a great food and remedy. I know my sinuses feel better when I use this! Goodbye, colds!  =) And the taste is delicious! 

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Easy Buffalo Cauliflower (The Lazy Way!)

It's cooling down where I live. Seasons will be changing once more. I always crave warmer foods at this time especially. One thing you might enjoy is this recipe for a lazy way to make Buffalo Cauliflower (vegetarian "wings"). It's easy because there is no breading involved. Enjoy!


Easy Buffalo Cauliflower

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Step one-Cauliflower:

2 good-sized heads of cauliflower, cut up into flowerettes, not to big, not too tiny

When preheated, bake cauliflower pieces spread out on 2 baking pans, lined with parchment paper (use pans that have 4 sides for containing liquid - these are called jelly roll pans, or cake pans, or 9x13 pans) for about 20-30 minutes until browned slightly on the edges. Please watch carefully.

Step two-Buffalo Sauce:

While the cauliflower is in the oven for step one, combine separately, in a bowl large enough to contain the cauliflower and sauce (with room to stir well):

3/4 cup, or less, hot sauce (homemade/store bought)- like Frank's Red Hot (has peppers & garlic)
1/4 cup coconut oil
1 teaspoon granulated dried garlic (or more)
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika (optional, but tasty)

Step three-Combine:

Place partially baked cauliflower in the bowl with sauce. Stir well to coat evenly. Using the same baking pans, divide the cauliflower again to evenly put onto the 2 pans. Bake another 10-15 minutes or so, until heated through.

Things that go well with this dish:
Celery sticks
Lisa's Raw Ranch Dressing
or
Creamy Salad Dressing with the Ranch options

You can always use this "Easy Buffalo" sauce for other vegetables besides cauliflower too! Comment if you tried this for another vegetable with tasty results! =)

Monday, March 27, 2017

Spicy Peanut-Free Sauce for Tofu, Pasta or Potatoes



This is a sauce recipe that I've used for quite a few meals. Mostly I've used it for a pasta and tofu dish similar to a much loved dish Pad Thai.

This makes a peanut-free version using almonds. But I have sometimes been short of the amount of almonds I need, so the recipe below shows the variation I used today. You can use mostly almonds and then make up the difference with other nuts or seeds. No big deal.

(By all means, if you use peanuts/peanut butter in your home, feel free to go ahead and use that instead. The recipe will still be delicious. Whatever nut or seed butter you use, please use unsalted varieties without other added ingredients. I like using whole nuts and seeds for a fresh, more raw sauce.)

If you have some tofu, bell pepper, some pasta, maybe some snow peas, you can make a great meal with this. The tofu can be cubed, then baked or broiled.

This recipe makes enough to dress a pound of pasta with veggies, etc on the side.

Spicy Peanut-Free Sauce

2/3 cup whole raw almonds OR 1/3 cup almond butter, unsalted (or other nut/seed butter)      
(I used a combination of almonds, walnuts, and pumpkin seeds)
2 Tablespoons brown rice syrup (or 1 1/2 Tablespoon maple syrup)
2 Tablespoons soy sauce (can be soy-free with coconut aminos instead)
2 Tablespoons rice vinegar (can use apple cider vinegar)
1 Tablespoon toasted sesame oil
1 Tablespoon tahini or sesame seeds
1 fresh garlic clove or 1/2 teaspoon dried granulated garlic
1 Tablespoon fresh minced ginger
1/2 teaspoon chili paste (or a mildly spicy curry paste) OR 1/4 teaspoon or less crushed red pepper
2 Tablespoons water, pasta water or vegetable broth

Throw this all into a good blender. Blend until smooth, only takes a couple of minutes. After you take this out of the blender, place the sauce into a bowl, then rinse the blender with about 1/4 cup of water and add it to the sauce. Don't forget this step! Otherwise it will be way too salty and extra thick. Mix together in bowl. Now it's ready to add to a pasta or potatoes or just about anything. You can even use it as a dip. This may taste a little salty on its own, but after you put it on pasta, etc, it should even out.
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Thursday, December 1, 2016

20 Years and Counting...

 


 I just wanted to acknowledge an important milestone for my journey as a vegetarian. Twenty years does seem like a long time, however, we all know that time can go by so quickly. It was in late November and early December of 1996 that I began my vegetarian journey.

     So far, I have no plans to go back. I rather enjoy all that I have learned in these years in regards to plant based foods. I enjoy learning about other ethnic cuisines and foods that I can experiment with in different ways.

     I am still learning so much in regards to food. I suppose that one never stops learning in life really.  I hope that my writing can encourage others on their journey.

     Blessings, everyone!

Monday, July 11, 2016

Summer Vegetable Bake - Ratatouille Style

This is so good. In honor of Baby Isaac, for your family today!


Place in a baking pan, the following puree, made with a blender:

1 onion, in quarters
3 carrots, coarsely chopped
3 celery stalks, in pieces
2 garlic cloves
3 cups of chopped tomatoes (canned ok)
salt/seasoned salt (as desired)
pinch of red pepper
black pepper (optional, as desired)
basil, fresh or dried (as desired)

Preheat the oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit. After puree is made and placed in baking pan, layer on top the following in a decorative pattern:

 4-5 medium tomatoes, sliced
1-2 zucchini, sliced
1-2 yellow summer squash
1 eggplant, sliced (optional, not pictured)

Bake for 2 hours covered, then uncover and bake another 30 minutes. Adjust temperature and times as needed.

Optional: After baking, top with some coconut/olive oil and seasoned salt.

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Yummy Popcorn

When invited somewhere and asked to bring a snack to contribute to a table for an informal evening, I often bring popcorn. After a friend showed me a recipe from a Bragg's bottle of apple cider vinegar, I knew I had to try it at home. It's still uses the same basic recipe. Whether you pop your popcorn in a kettle on the stove or air pop, this is a good way to enjoy!

Yummy Popcorn

Start with popped popcorn, then add in amounts as desired:

melted coconut oil (unless you popped on stovetop)
soy sauce (Liquid Aminos, coconut aminos, Nama Shoyu, etc.)
apple cider vinegar or brown rice vinegar
nutritional yeast
seasoned salt or other salted/no-salt blend you like
mustard powder
garlic, fresh crushed and minced or dried
cayenne pepper

Other optional add-ins:
curry powder
basil
oregano
parsley