Sunday, September 30, 2012

Vegan Vegetable Lasagna

I found some lasagna noodles with my food storage and decided to make some lasagna.  The problem is that my body does not like processed tomato sauce.  I have learned to stay away from it.  At least in large quantities.  So it was not an option for my lasagna.  Luckily I bought a CSA share from a local farm at a local farmer's market a few days ago.  What a perfect opportunity to use the tomatoes.  This lasagna was delicious and pretty easy to prepare, thanks to my food processor.  And I used couscous as a substitute for the ricotta cheese.  This is the first time attempting this and next time I'll make a few changes.  I didn't add the all purpose seasoning (with salt) the first time and my husband said it was a little bland, but it perked up when he sprinkled some on.  So I added some to the recipe below, but obviously feel free to adjust seasoning to your tastes.

Look at these beautiful heirloom tomatoes.  Yum!

Sauteing some beautiful veggies

Layering the ingredients

Finished product -Can't wait to dig in.

Ingredients needed for everything
Couscous
32 oz Vegetable broth
1/2 cup nutritional yeast
1 tablespoon No salt all purpose seasoning
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon all purpose seasoning with salt
1 shallot
1 onion
3 sweet peppers (red, green, yellow or orange)
1 zucchini
1 carrot
3 garlic cloves
5-8 fresh tomatoes (if you slice them thin you can use less...I don't slice them thin!)
1x8oz package of daiya shredded cheddar vegan cheese
1 package of ready to use lasagna noodles

Couscous filling - **Note: Next time I will prepare more, maybe even double.**

Bring 1 cup of vegetable broth to a boil.  Remove from heat, add 1 cup dry couscous, stir, cover and let stand for 5 minutes.  After 5 minutes add nutritional yeast, 1/2 cup vegetable broth, 1 tablespoon No salt all purpose seasoning, 1/2-1 teaspoon all purpose seasoning with salt (or just use salt), 1 teaspoon onion powder.  Set aside.

Lasagna filling
Slice veggies using food processor - Shallot, onion, peppers, zucchini, carrot, and garlic cloves.  Saute veggies in refined coconut oil for about 10 minutes.  Slice tomatoes by hand - to your desired thickness.  But if you do not have many tomatoes, slice them thin.

Time to layer!  It's that easy.  First pour some vegetable broth on the bottom of the oven safe dish.  Add some lasagna noodles, pour more broth over the noodles.  Put a thin layer of couscous (you want to make sure to reserve enough for all the layers - I had 3), a layer of the sauteed vegetables, a layer of tomatoes, sprinkle a very thin layer of all purpose seasoning, and then a thin layer of daiya cheese.  Start over again with your layers - noodles, broth, couscous, veggies, tomatoes, seasoning, cheese and again if you can.  Top with the last of the noodles, one more layer of tomatoes, broth and the rest of the cheese (I used half of the cheese pack for the top).  Sprinkle some salt free all purpose seasoning on top then bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes.  I would probably let it sit so that the broth would soak up a bit.  We didn't actually eat it until the next day.  I can vouch that the next day it was delicious.


Delicious!


Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Vegan Mac and Not Cheese #1 + #2


Here is a picture of the first time I made it and it was great (although the picture is not that great).  Here is the recipe.

Mac and Not Cheese

1 package of Silken Tofu
12 oz pasta *
olive oil or coconut oil
1 onion - diced
2 carrots - chopped *
3 garlic cloves - rough chop
1 cup nutritional yeast
1/4 tsp dry mustard
1 tsp salt-free all-purpose seasoning *
1 tsp vegesal (all purpose seasoning with salt) *
1/2 lemon juiced *
1/4 tsp pepper
1 cup non-dairy milk (I used 1/2 cup, but thought it needed more) *
Trader Joe's French Fried Onions

Cook pasta according to package directions.  Saute onion and carrots in oil for about 5 minutes, add garlic and saute for a few more minutes.  In food processor or high speed blender blend silken tofu, nutritional yeast, and rest of ingredients (including the sauteed veggies) except french fried onions and pasta - blend into a sauce.  Put pasta in oven safe dish and add sauce - mix.  Top with half a can of french fried onions.  Cover and bake on 350 degrees for 30-45 minutes.  

This recipe was seriously delicious and creamy.  Once again, I did not write down the ingredients as I was cooking it, but think I got them correct.  

For Mac and Not Cheese #2

Follow most of the same directions from the first recipe with these changes.  I put a star next to the ingredients in the #1 recipe that are different in the #2 recipe

16 ounces of penne pasta
3 carrots - chopped
1 + 1/4 cup coconut milk (I think it was even vanilla)
1 heaping tsp of vegesal
1 tablespoon salt free all purpose seasoning 
1 lemon juiced
1 package of Vegan Daiya Shredded Cheddar Cheese
And don't forget to add the other ingredients from recipe #1

Follow same instructions as the first recipe, but use the different adjustments.  Add the Daiya cheese to the oven safe dish after adding the pasta and sauce.  Then top with the onions.  Cover and bake for 30-45 minutes at 350 degrees.  



FYI - I'm pretty sure these are that healthy!  Lol!








Monday, September 24, 2012

Raw Vegetable Salad

Once again I saw a similar recipe on pinterest and thought it looked yummy and decided to make a raw corn salad.  I had to do with what I had on hand and it was delicious.  


Raw Veggie Salad

3 Purple Cherokee Heirloom Tomatoes (YUM!) - diced
1 avocado - diced
1 sweet red pepper - diced
2 (or more) raw corn cobs - remove corn from the cob
1/2 red onion - diced
1 lemon -juiced
All Purpose Seasoning to taste

Add everything diced to a serving bowl and flavor with lemon and seasoning to taste.

Avocado and Egg Salad

I saw a picture of some avocado and egg salad on pinterest and thought it sounded delicious.  I made a few changes to fit our tastes.  I'm sure that you could substitute firm tofu for the eggs to make it vegan.  


Avocado and Egg Salad

8 organic hard boiled eggs
1 avocado
1/2 red onion (sliced thin then diced)
Vegan mayo
Salt and Pepper to taste

Peel and mash the hard boiled eggs in a bowl.  Peel and dice avocado and add to bowl, along with the red onion, vegan mayo (to desired moistness), and salt and pepper to taste.



Vegan Butternut Squash Soup

I googled some butternut squash soup recipes and found one that I thought sounded great.  But after doing an update on my computer, I couldn't find it again.  I'm pretty sure this is very close.  All I know, is that it was delicious.  Although this is the first time not only making this kind of soup, but the first time ever tasting it.  I didn't write it down as I was cooking like I usually do,  but decided to write it down later.  Hopefully I didn't forget anything!


Butternut Squash Soup

1 large butternut squash
1 onion - Chopped
2 garlic cloves - Chopped
3 carrots - Sliced
4 cups vegetable stock
1 + 1/4 cups coconut milk
Salt and Pepper to taste

For the butternut squash I cooked it in the oven whole and baked it at 375 degrees for 50 minutes.  When finished take out of oven and let cool off.  Then in the soup pot I sauteed the onion and carrots in coconut oil.   After sauteing for a few minutes I added the garlic.  When everything is softened add vegetable stock, cube the squash and add that also.  Blend all that is in the soup pot in a food processor or high speed blender.  Add blended soup to soup pot, then add coconut milk and salt and pepper to taste.  Enjoy.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Vegan Mushroom Marsala

Last week I had a few packages of mushrooms in the fridge and decided to try out a new recipe.  It's something that I've never made, even before making our changes.  But I remember eating chicken marsala when we were at a restaurant and thinking how yummy it was.  So I googled recipes and since I didn't find any that seemed like something that would be awesome, I made my own.  I love when you create a recipe and it's delicious on the first try.  At least we thought it was delicious.

Vegan Mushroom Marsala (served with savory mashed potatoes)

Pretty when sauteing :)

 Ingredients:
a few tablespoons of Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 red onion - sliced thin
16-20 ounces baby bella mushrooms sliced
1 shallot - diced or sliced thin
2 garlic cloves - diced
1 teaspoon oregano
1 heaping teaspoon salt-free all purpose seasoning (I use simply organic)
1 cup marsala cooking wine
1 1/3 cup vegetable stock
1 tablespoon non-GMO cornstarch or arrowroot starch(add more if you would like it thicker)
1/4 teaspoon pepper

Saute mushroom and onions in EVOO for about 5 minutes then add garlic, shallots, oregano, and all purpose seasoning and continue to saute until desired softness of mushrooms.  (Sorry, I never time myself!)  Add the marsala wine and veggie stock.  Let this simmer and cook down a bit to get a more concentrated/less alcohol flavor.  Before adding cornstarch mix it in a small dish with 2 tablespoons of veggie stock, then add to pan along with adding the pepper.  Simmer until desired thickness and serve with side of choice.

Our side of choice - Savory potatoes - just mashed potatoes with these ingredients.  I boil the potatoes just like normal mashed potatoes.  Drain when soft and add them to my kitchen aid mixer with the other ingredients and whip them up for quite a few minutes.  As far as the measurements for the milk, and seasoning - it's really up to your taste buds.  Perhaps next time I'll write them down, I was just too anxious to eat the marsala this time.

I used 3 lbs red potatoes
2 larger sweet potatoes
Almond Milk
Nutritional Yeast
All Purpose Seasoning (with and/or without salt)





Saturday, July 28, 2012

Stinky Farmer Deodorant


Product Review:  Stinky Farmer all natural deodorant from HillBunker Farms.

I bought this on Thursday and here it is, only Saturday, and I couldn't wait to write this review!  This stuff actually works!

As with most people I grew up using regular deodorant that you buy at the store.  I started using Secret and the changed to Dove when they started making deodorant.  You know how it is, you still smell after a hard day of work, but it's masked by a powerful scent.  One of my good friends had told me, within the past year, that the chemicals in deodorant have been known to cause breast cancer.  Since I've been changing a lot of other things in my daily intake, I figured maybe I should look into changing my deodorant.  So I switched to Tom's of Maine deodorant crystal.  It works ok, but it definitely doesn't hold up after one of those hard working, sweaty days.  And I would usually wake up with an odor.....

The past 2 days I've been waking up odor free!  I can't believe it!  I also checked my hubby's pitts when he came home from work yesterday and guess what.....odor free!  Thanks to HillBunker Farms Stinky Farmer Deodorant.  I just mowed the lawn and my pitts seriously have NO ODOR!  It's 100% natural and only has 4 ingredients.  

I was lucky enough to meet them at the Elgin Harvest Market and will definitely have to stock up, but you can order some through their website hillbunkerfarms.com.  If you actually get down to the Elgin Harvest Market, they even brought 2 of their sheep.  You can pet them and give them some sheep feed.  And if you ask Mr. Stinky Farmer will even let you smell his pitts.

***Why is regular deodorant so bad?***
They also gave out a pamphlet about the different chemicals that are found in every day deodorant.  Here is a quick overview that will hopefully sell you on ditching the chemical laden stuff and switching to something all natural.

~Aluminum~
This is the ingredient that blocks the sweat glands (that doesn't sound too healthy).  There has been a recognizable link between Alzheimer's and aluminum.  Aluminum has been found in breast tissue, with a higher content in the outer breast where deodorant is applied.  

~Parabens~
An artificial preservative that mimics the activity of estrogen.  In a study in 2004, 18 out of 20 human breast tumor samples contained parabens.

~Propylene Glycol~
A neurotoxin that is known to cause contact dermatitis, also liver and kidney damage.

~Triethanolamine and Diethanolamine~
Both are restricted in Europe (I hate when I see that) because of their known carcinogenic effects.  Oh and it also causes contact dermatitis and liver and kidney damage.

~Triclosan~
An artificial antimicrobial agent used to kill bacteria. Recent research suggest it may disrupt thyroid function.  (Also found in antibacterial soaps)  

~Talc (hydrous magnesium silicate)~
Classified as a carcinogen because it contains asbestiform fibers.

At the end of the pamphlet is something wonderful I would like to share and hope they don't mind as it will be written verbatim.

Please never assume just because a product is on the store shelf it is safe.  Educate yourself to make an informed decision about the foods and products you allow into your body.


Saturday, June 2, 2012

Bloom and Berry Teas


The beginning of the week was pretty cool.....temperature wise.  It was perfect weather for a warm cup of tea.  On this day I tried Blooms and Spiced Mint tea from  Bloom and Berry and it was amazing.  In the picture below you can see the deep color that provided a deliciously deep flavor.  I've tried a few of the flavors like Blooms and Cherry; Blooms and Blueberries; Chamomile and Berry; Spiced Cranberry and Citrus.  Some flavors were subtle, some were stronger, all were delicious.  For my dessert tea, I added a small bit of honey to sweeten it up.  Oh and did I mention that the Bloom and Berry products are organic and delicious.  Treat yourself and head over to bloomandberry.etsy.com to check out all of the great products.


Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Thai Curry Inspired Soup

If you haven't noticed yet, I love soup.  I've only recently been introduced to Thai food and I love ordering the vegetarian Tom Kha soup.  I love the sweet and savory flavors together.  I had bought a can of coconut milk a few weeks ago and I was craving some Thai soup,  (and since I really didn't want to spend money going out to eat) so I decided to make some homemade soup.  I remembered seeing a post from Virtually Vegan Mama for Thai Corn Soup and it looked quite delicious and definitely inspired me.

This was my first time attempting something out of my soup-making-comfort-zone.  The flavor was very subtle, but still sweet.  My hubby isn't too fond of the sweetness of the Tom Kha soup, so I didn't add any extra sweetness on top of the coconut milk.  The kids LOVED it.  My 2 year old, Lizzie, looked at me after a few tastes and said "this is deewishus (delicious)".  They both asked for seconds and Lizzie was practically licking it out of the bowl.

Deeewishus Thai Inspired Soup

2 tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
3 large carrots sliced
1 sliced zucchini
1 onion diced
3 garlic cloves minced
1 sliced red pepper
1x 13.5 ounce can coconut milk
32 oz vegetable broth
1+1/2 tsp curry powder
1 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp turmeric
Juice from one lemon
4 oz brown rice pad thai noodles (cooked separately)
Handful of fresh cilantro
A few bunches of green onions chopped for garnish


In a large soup pan saute the carrots, zucchini and onion in the olive oil for about 7-8 minutes.  Add garlic and red pepper and saute for an additional 2-3 minutes.  Add coconut milk, vegetable broth, curry powder, salt, cumin. turmeric, lemon and simmer on low while cooking the pad thai noodles in separate pot according to package directions.  When noodles are finished cooking, drain and add to soup with cilantro.  You may add the green onions at this time also, or just put on table for people to add as their own garnish.  Enjoy!

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Dessert Smoothie for Dinner



One of the great things about cooking mostly vegetarian/vegan meals is that it's not uncommon for us to replace a meal with a smoothie.  So why not have dinner and dessert all-in-one.

Dinner/Dessert Smoothie

1 large organic carrot
2 radishes
10 organic strawberries
1/4  cup soaked cashews
1 generous handful of baby spinach
2 bananas
6 dried turkish apricots
2 tablespoons honey
2 teaspoons vanilla
1-2 servings vanilla vegan protein powder
1-2 tablespoons chia seeds
4 tablespoons cocoa powder
4 cups dairy free milk

Put ingredients in blender and blend until smooth.  I usually get the carrots and radishes going with 1 cup of milk before adding the rest, just to make sure they get pulverized (we use a Vita Mix).

After getting it smooth, it may take quite a few minutes add 8 ice cubes to cool it down.  When you have those high friction blenders they will start warming it up and you really want this smoothie cool.
                         
                                            2 Happy Customers !

Monday, April 16, 2012

Feel Me Better Veggie Noodle Soup


Today we have a sick house.  The kids were up all night and the parents are feeling queasy today.  For lunch I wanted to make something light on the stomach but, also hearty.  So I decided to try to come up with a recipe for a veggie version of chicken noodle soup.  And it's so good, you will seriously not miss the chicken.  The name.....just something the kiddos have said and it makes me smile.

Feel Me Better Veggie Noodle Soup 

1 large diced onion
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
10 cups water
2 vegan chicken flavored bouillon cubes (I used Celifibr brand)
5 celery stalks sliced
3 large carrots sliced
1 med zucchini quartered then sliced
6 garlic cloves
1 bayleaf
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1 tablespoon tamari
1-2 tablespoon dried parsley (I'm sure fresh would be great)
5 tablespoons nutritional yeast
2 cups of dried noodles of choice


In a large soup pot saute the onion in the olive oil until translucent.  Add all the remainder of the ingredients EXCEPT noodles, bring to a boil and boil for 10 minutes.  Add noodles and cook according to package time - mine called for 9 minutes.  That's it, you're done - Enjoy!  Don't forget to add ice cubes to the kiddos bowls to cool it down quickly.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Vegan Garlic and Basil Alfredo



I've been wanting to post this recipe since the first time that I made it, but I wanted to tweak it and make sure it was great.  The first time it was awesome, but I used a soy product and I really wanted an alfredo without soy.  The second time I made it I used a different variation of mushrooms and I wasn't as fond of it.  This is the third time and third time is definitely the charm.  It was so delicious.  It has a flavor pop because we love flavor, where regular alfredo can be pretty bland.

Vegan Garlic and Basil Alfredo

Pasta
For pasta we used a 12 ounce pack of Veggie Whacky Mac.  Just start cooking your pasta according to the package directions.

Saute
1 onion diced
3 garlic cloves minced
8 ounce baby bellas sliced (this you can switch up and use button mushrooms, you can just divide you package from what you'll need in the alfredo sauce)

Saute all 3 ingredients until onions are translucent, in a large pan using a little olive oil if you would like, although I don't think it is needed.


Alfred Sauce
1/2 cup of cashew cream *(see blurb at bottom)(**Update** Fear not if you have no cashew cream, just up you amount of milk to 1 and a half cups and maybe another tablespoon of cornstarch)

1 cup non-dairy milk (I used coconut)
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp garlic
1/4 tsp onion powder
1/4 tsp black pepper
1 tablespoon Spike brand seasoning **
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1/2 cup nutritional yeast
2-3 tablespoons basil paste (I'm sure fresh basil would work just as well)
4oz-8oz white button mushrooms (do not sub for bellas unless you would love a very strong portabella mushroom flavor - we did not)

The above ingredients will be the alfredo sauce.  Throw them in your blender (we recently purchased a Vitamix which we LOVE) and mix until sauce consistency.  Once blended put in large pan with your sauteed veggies.  Cook it on low and thicken to desired creaminess.  When pasta is done, drain and add to sauce mixture.  If you aren't cooking for children you might try and add some cayenne pepper and spice it up a bit.  Mix it all up, serve and enjoy!


*this is just cashews soaked in water overnight, rinsed then blended with just enough water to cover them

** I use the Spike brand vege-sal gourmet natural seasoning, and darn as I was just looking at the ingredients it has soy sauce and soy protein in it.  I just can't win!  Haha! Oh well, if anyone knows of a good all purpose seasoning with salt, but no soy let me know.


Also I posted 2 pictures because I couldn't figure out which one I liked better.  I like the bottom for showing the different colors of the pasta, but I feel like the top one is more appetizing....What do you think?

Saturday, March 24, 2012

What's For Dinner?

I made this for dinner tonight, Vegan Cream of Broccoli soup.  It was so good!  I also made Mushroom Paninis.  The kids gobbled up the sandwiches and Steve gobbled up the soup.  I usually make the sandwiches once a week and they are a big hit.  I just clean and slice large portabella mushroom caps in thick slices and brush them with a mixture of olive oil, balsamic vinegar and seasonings.  Then I bake them at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes.  Spread some artisan bread with olive tampenade, put some baby spinach on the sandwich, coat the outsides of the bread slices with olive oil and cook on the panini press.  So Delicious!

Vegan Cream of Broccoli Soup

Mushroom panini


2 Satisfied Customers!

I thought that changing our diets so drastically might be hard, but I feel like we are eating more gourmet meals and they are so easy to make.  

Vegan Sweet Potato Lasagna

 The other night I made this for dinner, Sweet Potato Vegan Lasagna.  Who knew lasagna sans cheese could actually taste good?  I made a few tweaks to cater to our palate, but it was very good.  I even made a mini lasagna for my neighbor and they approved!
Looks pretty yummy huh!

Food Mill

 I want to say THANK YOU to my awesome in-laws, Sharon and Paul, who gave me this awesome food mill for Christmas!  What is a food mill?
This is a food mill.....
A food mill turns these.....

Into this!  Love it!

THANK YOU!

Homemade Almond Butter

I'm going to be posting some blog entries about food, from my family  blog.  So you may have already seen some of the upcoming posts :)

Putting my wonderful food processor to work, to make some almond butter.  

I love my food processor and found out recently that I could easily make nut butters by just putting the nuts in and letting the processor run for about 15-25 minutes.  Stopping it periodically to scrape the nuts off the sides.

There are many stage that the nuts go through before they are finished

I added about 1 and 1/2 teaspoons coconut oil and 1-2 tablespoons of flaxseeds and gave it a whirl.  At this point I made sandwiches for the kids.

Stevie liked it so much he asked for another (that's homemade peach jam too). 

Gees....I'm becoming quite the homemaker!

Friday, March 9, 2012

Almond Milk Made Even Easier

I recently did a post on making homemade almond milk.  I found out an easier way to strain the pulp and I thought I'd share.

   I was trying to figure out if it was really worth it do make my own almond milk.  I saved by just buying the almonds but then I had to buy cheesecloth, which you can really reuse and it's not exactly cheap.  So I googled cheesecloth alternatives and clicked on this link.  What a genius idea!  So I went out and bought some Gerber burp cloths and it worked perfectly.  It also helped that I strained it into my larger pyrex measuring cup with a wide opening.  I saved my pulp again and will try out a new recipe, I'm just not sure what I would like to use it for yet.

Just an FYI - I prefer making it with the 1 cup soaked almonds:4 cups water ratio.  I make 2 batches and add 1 tablespoon of honey and 1 teaspoon of vanilla to one of the batches.

Juicer Pulp Muffins

Delicious Juicer Pulp Muffins

I have a bit of a sweet tooth.  I've made some juicer pulp muffins before (I like to call them compost muffins).  My family loves them, but they just aren't sweet enough for me.  Here is a recipe I just created using juicer pulp from carrots, kale, rhubarb, celery, apples, pears, tomatoes, zucchini, lemon, cucumber and....well I'm not sure, just whatever I had in my fridge that I made juice from.  After juicing I usually put all the pulp in a glass container and store it in the fridge for a few days until I'm ready to use it.  This particular batch had mostly veggies.

Now I can have a sweet tooth and get some nutrition from it too!  And I don't have to waste all that wonderful organic juicer pulp.  

Compost Muffin Recipe
Dry ingredients
1+1/2 cups Whole Wheat Flour
1/2 cup brown sugar packed tight
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1+1/2 tsp cinnamon

Wet ingredients
2 cups juicer pulp
2 eggs
1/4 cup applesauce 
1/4 cup coconut oil
1/4-1/2 cup carob chips or chocolate chips

Mix wet ingredients in one bowl and dry ingredients in another.  Once both are mixed separately, mix together.  Lightly grease muffin pan and fill up each tin with muffin mixture.  Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes or until toothpick, inserted into middle of a muffin, comes out clean.  




For a little extra sweetness, I added about a 1/4 turn of Trader Joe's Cinnamon Sugar Grinder.  I used eggs, but I'm sure one could use an egg replacer.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Guacamole Pasta

 Here's my recipe for Guacamole Pasta - which I had posted a previous picture of, but no recipe.  I've been trying to post a comment of what it was, but my blogger's been asking screwy and I haven't been able to post anything.  Well here it is.  Generally a concept, I'm not sure if I'm convinced that the recipe is perfected as of yet.  Steve thought there was too much cilantro, but the kids and I loved it.  So if you do not like cilantro, substitute it with parsley.  Steve has decided that he just does not like cilantro.  Also, this recipe is for 16 oz of pasta, but next time I probably won't make that much, probably half the recipe (halving everything except maybe the garlic, green onions and tomatoes).  This did reheat very well in the microwave the next day.


Guacamole Pasta

16 oz. whole wheat pasta
2 avocados
3/4 cup thick cashew cream
1 lemon freshly juiced
3 garlic cloves
1/4 cup fresh cilantro (or parsley)
1/2 tsp pepper
2+1/4 tsp salt
5 stalks of green onions - diced
8 oz. grape tomatoes - sliced in half

Cook pasta according to package.  Blend avocados, cashew cream, lemon, garlic, cilantro, salt and pepper in vitamix or food processor.  Put everything in one serving pot, mix, and serve.

Balsamic Marinated Mushrooms

I bought some 8 oz. packages of mushrooms (buttons and bellas) and didn't really plan anything for them.  So I decided it was best to make some marinated mushrooms before they didn't get used at all.

Salt-Free Balsamic Marinated Mushrooms
3x8 oz packages of mushrooms
1/4 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons salt free all purpose seasoning (I use Simply Organic)
3 fresh minced garlic cloves (we like garlic)
juice from 1 freshly squeezed lemon

Mix extra virgin oil oil, balsamic vinegar, seasoning, garlic and lemon in a bowl big enough to add the mushrooms to.

 Start heating a pot of water to boil.  Wash and halve mushrooms. Then place mushrooms in pot and boil for 2 minutes.



Drain mushrooms then mix with the balsamic mixture.  Chill for at least 4 hours.  We ate them alone and also enjoyed them in wraps with hummus.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Almond Milk and An Interesting Use For the Nut Pulp

I soaked some organic raw almonds overnight in anticipation of making some homemade almond milk 

I googled some recipes and made this recipe first (minus the dates and vanilla) but made this recipe the second time.  I figured a 4:1 ratio recipe saves me some money.

Blending in the Vitamix

Straining with some cheescloth

Too small of an opening - the next time I strained it into a 4 cup glass Pyrex measuring cup

Homemade almond milk - it's been a big hit.  
 I saved the nut pulp from 3 batches.  It was 1 pound dried nuts which turned into about 3 cups soaked nuts - then strained into about 2 cups of almond nut meal.  So what to do with the pulp?  I googled nut pulp recipes and came across this.
So I made hummus.  It had a definite different texture.  I liked it better in a sandwich because the texture wasn't as apparent.  But it made me feel better not having to waste the nut pulp.  Next time I was thinking about putting it in some granola snacks.  I'm putting my recipe, I couldn't find my recipe book at the time, so I just put flavors together that I like.


Almond Nut Pulp Hummus

2 cups almond pulp
2 cloves garlic (it was pretty garlicky which I like)
juice of 1 lemon
10 tablespoons of water (started with 3 tbspn until I got a consistency I was happy with)
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp chili powder
1/4 tsp cayenne powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp dried cilatro
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

Just put in food processor and blend.