Sunday, December 30, 2012

Really Good Soup

I found this recipe like I find most of mine, either through books I have, whether they be brand new or from some place like a flea market, garage sale, or the reduced section at your local library. Scour these places folks, there are treasures EVERYWHERE!

This book was actually given to me by a friend who was cleaning out her closet and definitely not a vegetarian. The title is The Farm-Vegetarian Cookbook Revised Edition. This is a community in Tennessee that is for the most part, a commune. Oh man, what I would not give to live in a community of vegans. I wold be in hog heaven (pun completely intended). But on to this recipe.

I look at recipe sometimes, and mostly when I am in a pinch for time and see if I have all thee ingredients. Whamo, the cooking begins. Well, this was one of those recipes. I hope you like it. My husband said it reminded him of the chicken soup that his mother use to make. High praise, for my mother-in-law is a great cook.

1/2 cup onion, chopped
1 T oil
5 cups boiling water
1 t salt
1/4 t black pepper
1/4 t celery seed
1/4 cup dry TVP
1 t liquid aminos
1/2 cup nutritional yeast
1/2 T vegan butter
1-1&1/2 cups cooked brown rice
Saute onion in the oil until soft. Bring the water to boil and add salt, black pepper, celery seed, TVP, and liquid aminos. Turn down immediately and add onion. Simmer for 5 minutes. Then add the nutritional yeast, vegan butter, and rice.

This soups is so simple that is scares me. This would also do well in a slow cooker once it is cooked through. The longer it sites, the better it tastes. Great when you are feeling sick or on a cold night. Get a great slab of bread or crackle some saltines on this and go for it. And remember, as always,

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Almond Brittle

Well, I cannot believe it has been nearly 2 months since I have posted. What a slacker I am. With that said, let's move on to some delicious new dishes I have found, made and eaten. This next dish is most definitely not thee healthiest ones to eat, but we all have a little vice stashed away somewhere. And with the holidays right around the corner, I found this to be the perfect dish to be able to put in the food baskets I make for the adults in our families.

You see, I do not buy gifts for the adults any longer. And for many reasons. I do not know your color  style, size and many more things that go into choosing a gift for someone. If you get it wrong, then it is a gift that has been wasted. However, food is never wasted and moreso that has been made from scratch, which is exactly what my food is. No boxed crap here. (Because we all know that 99% of things in a box are highly processed)

I have found, quite by accident, this lovely little Indian woman who makes these cute and very understandable videos about her dishes.Her place is called, Manjula's Kitchen Now, some of them are not for me, but oh so many of them are. She makes it simple to follow and understand. there are no complicated recipes and thee only odd thing about them are the Indian spices that many of us may not have in our pantry. May I make a suggestion. GET THEM IN YOUR PANTRY.

When you begin cooking outside our familiar 'American' style dishes, and begin cooking with any ethnic dishes, your palette will thank for your decision making in exploring new dishes. Now, let's get on to this lovely little gem of a dessert that my son swears tastes just like Cracker Jack. And oddly does.

2 T vegan butter
1 cup granulated sugar
1/8 t salt
1 T toasted sesame seeds
1/2 cup sliced or slivered almonds
Grease an 8x10 cookie sheet, or any size you feel necessary. Remember, you will need room for this dish to spread out.

In a heavy bottom (this is important) sauce pan melt the butter along with the sugar and salt. now, here comes an extremely important part of the recipe.You need to stir this concoction all the time. This is definitely not something that you can walk away form, because in a matter of seconds, you can scorch the sugar and the dish will have been ruined.

As the sugar begins to melt, you will notice a color change in the sugar, it will eventually get to the point where it is a delightful golden brown. Now, not only does the color have to change, but the sugar needs to be in a liquefied state. The minute that happens, you need to add your sesame seeds and almonds.

Immediately take your saucepan and pour the mixture onto the cookie sheet. A small mistake I made was that I had over-greased my pan. It was not a bad thing, just that the brittle itself was a touch greasy when you picked it up.. so just remember to use a light touch when greasing your pan. And I used coconut oil for my grease.

Once you have poured your mixture, you will need to move rather quickly in spreading it out. Make it as thin as you want, but remember, the thinner you lay it the quicker it will dry. This dish only takes about 10-15 minutes to cool down enough to be able to break off into pieces. This amazed me. I thought Manjula was kidding...she was not.

This was a huge hit in my house. And it is something that will now be in my holiday goody bags for the holiday season. This will definitely bring back some memories. And as always,!

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Green Goddess Dip/Dressing

I cannot believe that it has been so long since I posted. And yet I have so many recipes to put up here. So, this is my latest gem. I found this by happenstance. I had a box of silken tofu and due to the fact that I have not used it all that much, I am still, pretty much in my experimental stage with this product.

But, what I am finding, is, is that this is an extremely versatile product. Do not confuse it with its cousin, block tofu. these products are used for totally different style dishes. There will be people who will tell you that you can, and that is all fine and dandy. But I prefer to keep the two separate.

My preference is to keep the silken for desserts, puddings, smoothies and the such. And I like the block tofu for dishes that require a bit more substance or when you need a product to physically hold together. With that said, let's get to the recipe.

1/2 package silken tofu 
2 green onions, chopped
2 t capers, rinsed 
2 T fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup parsley
1/4 cup cilantro
1 T agave
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1 t vegan Worcestershire sauce
1 t prepared mustard
In a food processor, combine all the ingredients and process until smooth.

I will tell you, that this is one of thee most versatile dishes I have ever made. What I mean by that is, is that you can substitute so many different things. You hate parsley, up the cilantro. Don't have cider vinegar, use rice wine. Don't have capers (but you should), use olives (kalamata preferably). Out of lemon juice, use limes.

See what I mean by using other things? After I made this dish, the very first thing that came to my mind was Super Bowl Sunday and getting a pumpernickel bowl and placing this dip in the center. This is such a wonderful dish. You can also use this as a dressing. You would need to thin it out a bit. You can do this by cutting back on the herbs or just adding a wee bit of alternative milk to the dish.

Make this and you will be one happy camper. And remember, enjoy!

Thursday, July 5, 2012

It's Corny

With summer upon us and in full swing, I know we are all doing BBQ's and are learning to readjust how we grill. Well i have a wonderful stand-by in case you can't reach the grill.

I love corn, but detest throwing it in a pot of boiling water. How cliche. But I saw a fellow coworker recently, make corn in thee oven. So, I inquired and viola, I got me a new way to make corn.

I take the corn, shuck and clean it as best possible. then wrap it in tin foil, with nothing on it what-so-ever. Bake it at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes. Done.

You can, if you want, add some melted, salted, vegan butter on it if you like, but trust me when I say that it is not necessary.!

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Raw Key Lime Pudding

This has a cute story. One of the ladies who regularly attends my food classes, sent this to me a while back. But I never got around to using it...BIG mistake. Then I went looking for a dessert recipe for my next raw class. I stumbled upon this little gem and then it seemed very familiar to me. I checked my emails to see if I had this. Low and behold, there it was. I knew then I had to make this dish.

This dish can also double as a pie filling. But alone it is fine and dandy.

3 medium avocados, ripe and pitted
1 ripe banana (make sure it is ripe)
3/4 cup fresh or frozen mango
1 cup lime juice (about 5 limes)
1t lime zest (this is pretty necessary)
1/2 cup raw agave
1/4 cup coconut oil, softened
1&1/2t vanilla extract
1/4-1/2t Himalayan salt 
Place all ingredients into your high speed blender and whirl until smooth. Pour into individuals cups or serving bowl and chill. This can also be used as a pie filling. this is just too yummy to say. Make it and see what I am talking about.!

Plum Drops

I love when I am pressured to find a recipe for my food class. It makes me search to find something I know will be easy without testing it at home first. So far so good. This is so easy it nearly makes me cry. But make it and see why. Plus the name is so darned cute. 

1 cup prunes
1 cup cashews
1/4 cup agave
1T lemon juice
3T ground flax seeds
Place all ingredients into a food processor. Process until cashews are in tiny pieces and the dough comes together. Remove from the food processor and then form into individual balls. Plate them and refrigerate. Serve chilled. Cold this be any easier?!

Raw Cashew Cream

This is something we should all keep in our refrigerators. This is so darned good, it still amazes me that it comes from cashews and that it is raw...who knew?!

This can be done with a regular blender, but make sure that if you have an old fashioned blender, that your cashews are soaked A LOT. I prefer to blend my cream down to a super-fine. But blend yours down to a consistency that works for you. But remember, the finer/smoother it is, thee easier it will pour over your dessert.

1 cup raw cashews, soaked overnight
1T coconut oil, softened
1T lemon juice
1t vanilla extract (maybe more)
2T agave
Water, if needed, for consistency
Soak your cashews overnight. The longer they soak, the softer they will, the easier they will blend down and be creamier. Drain your cashews and add to your high speed blender. Process until smooth.

Add remaining ingredients except for water. Blend until smooth. Add water 1-2T at a time, as not to make it to liquidy. Stop when you have reached the consistency you desire. Remember, you want it smooth enough to pour over your desserts.!

Bulgar Breakfast

I figured I was sitting at the computer waiting for the delivery man to bring me my new dishwasher, I might as well catch up on my blog. So here come some new recipes.

If you think that bulgar is only for Tabbouleh, then think again. Most grains that are used in savory dishes, can double into the sweet realm, hence the breakfast mode. This is very simple dish to make, however, you will need a bit of time. So do not attempt this one if you are trying to rush out the front door, it will be a disaster.

2 cups of water
1 cup bulgar wheat
1 cup unsweetened applesauce
1-2T vegan butter
1-2T sweetener of choice
sprinkle of cinnamon (or any spice you prefer) (optional)
Bring water to a boil. Add bulgar, cover and turn down and simmer for 20 minutes (or until it is tender enough to eat). Add applesauce, sweetener, and butter. Stir well. Add cinnamon or spice of choice. Serve.!

Blender Waffles

I love waffles. To say that I do would be an understatement. With that said, a dear girlfriend of mine had introduced me to Sue Gregg a few years back. It is her recipe that I use to bake my bread from scratch. This woman also has many a books when it comes to baking. Visit her website and see.

I had long wanted to make waffles, but had relied entirely on my daughter to make them, for she made them so wonderfully, that I did not want to mess with perfection. But of late her schedule has not allowed her to laze around in the morning and willy nilly make waffles. So, while making bread the other day I thought I might take a gander around my bread making book and just see if this woman had a generic waffle batter recipe. Low and behold she did. Thee only thing I have altered was that I eliminated the usage of an egg. But it was optional to begin with and they came out fine and dandy.

Now, I do know that she has specific books about baking specific things, so I just may have to purchase those books. But in the mean time, I will use the recipe I found until said time. 

A word of warning for this recipe. If you do not have a high powered blender, you will not be able to make this recipe. I am sorry for this for I try to make eating healthy, something that everyone should have access to, but this will not apply here. Again my apologizes. With that said, let's get down to business...shall we?

1&1/2-1&3/4 cups buttermilk (fruit juice or water can be used)
2T olive oil (or any oil you have on hand)
1t vanilla extract
1 cup uncooked RAW brown rice + 1/2 cup uncooked rolled oats
1/2t baking soda
1t salt
2t baking powder
Heat your waffle iron to its highest setting. Place the first four ingredients into the blender and run on high for 4 minutes, until smooth. The secret to this batter is its thinness. When it is in your blender, the batter should be forming a tornado/hurricane style vortex. If it does not, then your batter is too thick.

After you have blended then add the last 3 ingredients just before you begin baking your waffles. Pour just enough batter to fill each well in the waffle iron. Set the timer for 4 minutes and then perfection will ensue. 

These were very crisp on thee outside and tender on thee inside. We will make these again for sure. A definite keeper.!

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Layered Taco Appetizer

Right out of the bull pen, I would like to say...WATCH COOKING SHOWS! now that I have that off my chest, let me explain. I was sitting channel surfing and I stumbled across Paula Deen. Now i know she is no where near healthy cooking, but I just love watching her. she reminds me of my grandmother (who happened to have been from Georgia).

With that said, her and her oldest boy were making a Mexican layered style dish. That caught my eye, for we love Mexican here (even if it is Americanized).  And when I see something on Food Network, I always try to see how easy it will be to veganize. I knew this one would be. So off i went trying to see if I had all the ingredients, and yes I did. Guess what we had for dinner? You are about to find out.

1 & 1/2 cups crushed tortilla chips
1-1 & 1/2 cups vegan taco meat
1 package vegan sour cream
1-1 & 1/2 cups salsa
2 avocados, chopped
1-1 & 1/2 cups shredded vegan cheddar cheese
Preheat oven broiler. Add crushed tortilla chips to deep dish pie plate or any dish similar in size. Then begin to layer the ingredients ( no particular is necessary) ending with the vegan cheddar cheese.

Put the dish in the oven for 5 minutes, then check to see if cheese has melted sufficiently. Remove when cheese is melted and serve.!

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Lemon Pudding

First off, I cannot believe that I am this far behind in my posting of recipes. But, here I am trying to play catch up. I have been so busy with my cooking classes, that I seem to have let my blog fall by the wayside. I hope to rectify that in the near future. So on to this delicious little gem.

I love finding new recipes to try and then turn over to you folks. hope you like this one, for I loved the simplicity and truly how delicious this one tasted.

2 packages silken tofu
1 cup plus 2T succanat (or any granulated sugar of your choice)
1T cornstarch
2T non-hydrogenated vegan margarine
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1/4 t lemon extract (very important)
1T vanilla extract
Place tofu in a food processor and blend until smooth. Add sugar and cornstarch and blend. Add the margarine, lemon juice and extract, the vanilla and process until smooth. You made need to scrape down the sides with your spatula a few times, to make sure the tofu is well blended.

Pour into a bowl or prepared pie shell. Cover and refrigerate.

Man oh man, was this ever divine. I made it only as a pudding, but will definitely try it as a pie filling. Do not wait to try this...go now and make it. And as always,!

Friday, January 27, 2012

'Cheeze' Sauce

If you ask most vegans what they miss the most about their meat eating days, most would say it is cheese. I cannot say that I fall into that category. Did I use it? Yes. Did I go out of my way to use it in recipes? No. But I still love my broccoli, or cauliflower smothered in a cheese-style sauce. Well fasten your seat belts, cuz it's about to get real.

I have found a cheese-style sauce that would make Velveeta lovers curling their toes in sheer delight. So let's get down to this recipe...shall we?

1/2 cup nutritional yeast
1/2 cup flour
1 t garlic powder
1-2 t salt (start with one, taste, and add more if needed)
2 cups water
1/4 cup vegan margarine
Combine all dry ingredients into a saucepan and mix thoroughly. Add water and whisk on medium /high heat until thickens and starts to bubble. Remove from heat and add margarine. Stir until completely combined. Serve over steamed/boiled vegetables.

This is so delicious, that I can eat this all be itself. And these ease of this dish is what is the scary part. So go make this and let me know how it goes. And remember,!

Spicy Carrot Soup

Straight out of the bull pen...don't think hot. this is such an unusual recipe that I had to share it with you guys. This is not what I would call a comfort-style soup. But it is something I would make to show folks how versatile we vegans can be. Now, on to the recipe.

4-6 carrots, scrubbed and chopped (peeling not necessary)
1 walnut size piece of ginger, peeled and chopped
3 stalks of celery, chopped coarsely
1 large onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, chopped coarsely
1/2 cup almond butter (but can substitute any nut butter of your choice)
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
1 t curry
1/2 cup orange juice
1 t salt
Take first 5 ingredients and boil until tender.  Put all cooked vegetables in the food processor with some of the water and puree until smooth. Keeping the excess water on the side in case you need to thin out your soup. When desired consistency has been reached, return to pot and add remaining ingredients. This soup is suppose to be a thicker style soup.!