Thursday, March 20, 2014

Vegetarian Baked Beans

Chris and I were walking around the grocery store one day and stumbled on the bean aisle. I thought baked beans sound good and so we started reading labels to maybe pick one. As with most packaged food it was disappointing to see a list of "high fructose corn syrup" and preservatives.
I instead decided I would try to make my own and it was worth it. When I started searching recipes they were all slightly similar but still very different. I think you can make it your own by using what is more convenient, available in your home or personal preference.
I used a crockpot since I love them and I like using dried beans which otherwise take a year to cook.

1 lb dried beans (I used northern)
1/2 yellow onion, chopped
1/4 cup maple syrup
1/4 cup ketchup or tomato paste
2 tbl yellow mustard
1 tbl paprika
1 tbl soy sauce or Worcestershire
1 tbl apple cider vinegar
salt and pepper to taste
2 cups water

Soak beans overnight. Drain the water and rinse the beans. Add them to a crockpot with all the other ingredients. Cook on high for 4 hours or low for 8 hours. Enjoy!

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Halloween Treat: Vegan Mint Ice Cream


Yum, yum, yum! I didn't make this with Halloween in mind but I think the color made it come out eerie. This recipe is so simple and yummy. Its a must try if you are a fan of mint chip ice cream. I didn't have chocolate chips so I topped it with cocoa powder but chocolate chips would have been better.

2 frozen bananas
1 handful of spinach
2 tbl almond milk (or soy or coconut or water)
1/4 tsp mint extract

Place bananas in the blender.
Add the spinach.
Add almond milk and mint extract.
Blend until smooth, if things get stuck just stop and stir.
If you have chocolate chips stir them in when done.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

African Soup


This soup has peanut butter and coconut milk combined with tomato to make a delicious unique flavor. The coconut soup was added last and I actually think I liked the flavor before I added it. I used russets instead of sweet potatoes because it is what I had but you can use either.

1 russet potato, cubed
1/2 yellow onion,chopped
2 cloves garlic,minced
1 can tomato paste
2 cups water
1 tbl seasonings
1 can coconut milk
1/2 cup peanut butter
chopped cilantro for garnish

Begin by baking the potatoes at 400 degrees for 30 minutes.
Place chopped onion and garlic in a dutch oven or soup pot.
Cook on medium until soft. Add the water, tomato paste and seasonings.
This is the seasoning mix I used.
Bring to a boil. Add potatoes and peanut butter.
Reduce to medium low heat and use an immersion blender to smooth out the chunks. Add the coconut milk and heat until warm. Top with cilantro.

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Rolled Oat Milk

I revisited this recipe since the first batch of oatmilk was only OK. This one turned out much better. I used rolled oats instead of steal cut. I also strained it twice. It was much less starchy. I am not sure how much healthier the steel cut oat milk is so let me know if you think it's worth it to make the other instead.

1 cup rolled oats (not instant oats)
3 cups water

I soaked the oats for 20 minutes, much less than the steel cut oats. Rinsed them in a colander.
Then put them in the vitamix with water and blended until smooth. Strained and repeated. Viola!

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Korean BBQ Tofu

My mom sent me this recipe that she found for Korean BBQ tofu and it seemed easy so I gave it a go. It turned out really good but next time I will modify the recipe. The recipe said to bake the tofu for something like 30 minutes but mine just wasn't getting crispy so I turned the broiler on for 5 minutes at the end to give it a nice crisp. I also won't bake it in the marinade because it turned out a little salty, which Chris loved but next time I will just add the marinade back after it is done.

1 package of firm tofu, pressed

for the marinade:
2 tbl soy sauce
2 tbl sesame oil
2 tbl ketchup or hoison or both (I did a little of both)
1 tbl vinegar (rice wine or whatever you have)
1 tsp sugar (I used agave syrup)
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp sriracha, optional

Mix the ingredients for the marinade in a bowl.
Cut the tofu into slices and add to the marinade. Allow to sit for 20 minutes.
*I would suggest baking it without the marinade.
Bake for 15 minutes at 375 and then flip the tofu over and bake for another 15 minutes.
*I then turned the broiler on for 5 minutes to crisp the tofu.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Lemon Cashew Sauce

This recipe is a keeper! I changed the name to highlight the sauce because it is the star of the dish and would be good over any grain with any veggies. Well I would change that to most not any. I pretty much followed the recipe except I added wine, because I love cooking with wine, also served it over rice instead of pasta.

I didn't soak my cashews but if you don't have a high speed blender you definitely should and if you don't own a high speed blender you should consider getting one. They are amazing! I like using nuts as a fat replacement to animal products but I always was left with a gritty and grainy product using a regular blender. The vitamix makes a very smooth creamy sauce with nuts.

On another note Chenelle mentioned to blend the nuts first by themselves but I didn't exactly listen ha ha. Because the vitamix doesn't work the same as the blendtec and when it blends it doesn't  pull things down into the blades, probably why it comes with the tamper stick. So I tried blending with only the nuts but the blender just pushed everything to the sides and out of frustration with my unblended nuts I added the rest of the ingredients anyways. My sauce turned out super creamy and no grit so I was lucky or maybe with the vitamix you don't have to blend the nuts alone first? hmm...ill let you know in future trials.

*ignore the rotting tomatoes that made it into this picture and my shadow. I guess I was impatient and wanted to eat instead of photograph.

1/4 cup cashews
3 cups of veggie broth
1 tsp dried basil
juice of two lemons, this made it very lemony(not a word) so if you aren't a fan use just one
3 tbl cornstarch or tapioca starch, I prefer tapioca starch
1 tbl olive oil
1/2 diced onion
3 cloves minced garlic
1 sliced carrot
2 tbl white wine
1/2 bunch of kale de-stemmed
salt and pepper, I added salt because I used my homemade veggie broth that has no salt

Place the cashews, veggie broth, basil, lemons cornstarch and olive oil in a blender. Blend on high for 1 minute until smooth.

*The crockpot has refried beans made from sprouted chili beans. It turned out great!
Alright back to the recipe. In a large pan sauté onion and garlic.
After a minute add the thinly sliced carrot to the pan.
Sautee a minute or two and then add the wine. Once the wine cooks away add the blended sauce.
Simmer for a couple minutes until the sauce thickens. Add the kale and cook until the kale wilts.
Serve over rice or pasta or more veggies. Enjoy!

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Oat Milk

I finally decided to try making my favorite milk alternative. It turned out a little more starchy than I like and when I added it to my mashed potatoes they literally turned to paste. I think I will try using four cups of water or more next time. I will share some of the other experiments as they turn out but give it a try and modify because I think this is a great alternative to of course dairy and store bought options for milk.

1 cup steel cut oats
3 cups water

Soak the oats for 12 to 24 hours in a bowl with enough water to cover by an inch.
Rinse them under water until it runs mostly clear (I think I should have rinsed mine more).
Place the oats in the blender with 3 cups of water and blend until smooth.
Run the milk through the strainer a couple times to remove and grit that the blender couldn't get. You can add sweetener, cinnamon, salt or whatever you like. Enjoy.