non-dairy products


This summer has pulled the carpet from beneath my feet and my blog has suffered!  I had good intentions and planned on trying lots of new dishes and reporting back to you all…but my good intentions were not enough.  Please accept my apologies.

Today I would like to share with you some YUMMY cashew cream that I made for a family get together.  It is delicious on fresh berries and would probably be good added to a smoothie in the morning.  This recipe is adapted from a Whole Foods recipe.

Cashew Cream

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup raw, unsalted cashews, soaked in filtered water for at least 4 hours
  • 1 tsp. vanilla paste (I use this…it is AWESOME)
  • 1/2 c. + 1-2 Tbs. warm water
  • 1-2 tsp. powdered sugar

Directions –

Drain water from soaked cashews.  Place in a food processor.  Add vanilla paste.  Blend until cashews smooth out (there will be some texture to this, especially if you don’t have a high-end food processor).  Add in 1/2 c. warm water.  Add 1-2 Tbs. warm water to achieve desired consistency.  I like this a little thinner.  Stir in 1-2 tsp. powdered sugar.

Serve on top of mixed berries, garnish with mint, and ENJOY!  Light and refreshing…and a GREAT way to replace whip cream for those who are dairy free!

The original recipe calls for 2 dates processed with the cashews, I thought I had them at home when I went to make this recipe…I obviously didn’t.  I thought the small amount of powdered sugar sweetened this up nicely but if you have dates at home I’m sure they would taste equally delicious!

-R

 

Hi! 

I have discovered something wonderful!

CONGEE

The past 3 weeks I have fallen in love with a simple dish that is really a canvas for a variety of flavors.  Congee is popular in Asian cooking and is often feed to people who are ill because it is easy to digest.  So, what is congee?  In short, rice porridge.  Traditionally congee is rice that is slowly cooked in a LOT of water.  But, you don’t have to limit this technique to rice alone…you can do this with a variety of whole grains.

Possibilities:

  • Barley
  • Buckwheat
  • Rice (all varieties)
  • Quinoa
  • Steel Cut Oats
  • Amaranth
  • Millet
  • OR a combination of any of these!

You simply put 1 part grain with 5-7 parts water and cook on low heat in a crock pot for ~8 hours….so simple, so delicious!

My first go at congee was beautiful, delicious, and strangly addicting. 

Purple Rice Congee

Ingredients

  • 1 cup Purple Rice
  • .5 cup Barley
  • 7 cup Water

Directions

  • Place all ingedients in a crockpot
  • Cook on low for 8 hours
  • Enjoy!

Couldn’t be simpler…and the combination of grains is endless.  For this batch, I chose to top my congee with pumpkin seeds, coconut flakes, blackberries, and a drizzle of agave syrup.  The purple rice is a little sweeter then some of the other grains so it lent itself well to a sweeter breakfast. 

When making congee, keep in mind that it doesn’t have to be only a breakfast dish…you can make this a savory dish as well!  Some suggestions for toppings:

  • Nuts or seeds
  • Eggs
  • Fresh, roasted, or sauteed veggies
  • Pumpkin
  • Sweet Potato
  • Berries
  • Stewed Fruits
  • Dried Fruits
  • Coconut
  • Cinnamon
  • Nutmeg
  • Curry
  • Agave Nectar
  • Honey
  • Coconut Oil
  • Nut Butters
  • Chicken/Beef/Tofu

Soooo good!  I hope that if you try this recipe you find it as delicious and versitile as I have. 

Enjoy!

R-

Please forgive me for my LACK of blogging this past month.  Life has been busy, and my NOOK has taken the majority of my free time.  I am guilty, and I promise to be better at creating in the kitchen and posting about my food adventures.

With that said…

Socca Inspired Raisin Crackers

These crackers are inspired by Edible Perspective’s Cinnamon Coconut Raisin Bake and they came about by accident.  I really wanted to try her socca bakes for about a month and finally went into the kitchen and mixed up a batch.  After mixing the ingredients, I realized I didn’t have a 9×9 pan so I threw the batter on a parchment lined bar pan, threw it in the oven, and discovered a great new cracker! 

Ingredients

  • 3/4 c. Garbanzo Bean Flour
  • 1/2 c. fresh ground Oat Flour
  • 1/4t salt
  • 1T sucanat
  • 1 1/2 t. cinnamon
  • 1c water
  • 2T unrefined coconut oil, melted
  • 1/3c currants or raisins
  • 1/4c unsweetened shredded coconut

Directions –

Preheat your oven to 375* and line a bar pan (I think they are 9×12) with parchment.

In a large bowl, combine all of the ingredients listed above.  Stir until all flour is incorporated.  Just a note, the batter is a little runny.  It’s okay.  Go with it! 

Bake for ~20-25 minutes.  These are crisp on the outside…a little soft.  Perfect spread with almond butter!  Mmmmm…great flavor and texture.

*After I baked these crackers, I went back to Ashley’s blog to find the link and discovered this.  She was smart and flipped her crackers mid bake.  This will make them crisper then the ones I cooked.  I will be doing this next time!

Thanks!

R-

It’s been a while since I actually baked something…the weeks since Christmas have been busy and in turn have kept me out of the kitchen.  Bummer, I know.

So, when my brother called and said we would be meeting tonight for his birthday, I decided this was the little kick I needed to get back in the kitchen and prepare him a special treat.  However, I haven’t been shopping in a while and am out of LOTS of things.  What to make with a limited pantry and NO time to run to the store…For my answer I head to the food blogs.  

Type, type, type…OH, this will do!

 a cookie recipe on Angela’s blog that included ingredients I had on hand (well…with a few substitutions).

Crunchy Cashew and Salted Chocolate Chip Cookies

(see here for Oh She Glows’ Salt-Kissed Chunky Peanut Butter Cookies)

  • 1 1/4 c. Gluten Free Flour
  • 1/4 c. Sugar
  • 1/4 tsp. Sea Salt
  • 1/4 tsp. Baking Soda
  • 1 tsp. Baking Powder
  • 1 1/2 Tbs. Cacao Nibs
  • 1 tbs. Mini Vegan Chocolate Chips
  • 1 tbs. Cashew Butter
  • 1/2 tbs. Chopped Cashews
  • 2 tsp. Vanilla or Vanilla Bean Paste
  • 1/4 c. Agave Nectar
  • 4 tbs. Safflower Oil

Mix in a small bowl (with fork) the following:  sugar, agave, oil, vanilla, cashews, and softened cashew butter.  In medium bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.  Combine wet ingredients with dry and mix with hands.  This dough is crumbly but should hold together when you roll it in a ball.  Add your chocolate chips and cacao nibs.  Roll into 12-14 balls.  Place on cookie sheet sprayed with oil. Press cookie dough with a spoon.  Sprinkle with salt and/or turbinado sugar.

Bake on preheated oven, 350* for ~16 minutes (my oven is a little off, so check your cookies after 12).  Remove from oven and cool on a rack.

Super easy, super fast….REALLY tasty!

Thanks for reading…I hope you all enjoy the remainder of your weekend.

R-

So, for Christmas my hubby bought me a waffle maker and this morning I broke it out, whipped up a quick and easy vegan waffle batter and got to cooking!  It has been probably 5 years since I attempted to cook waffles…the last time I did it was a HUGE disaster!  My batter was all wrong and the George Forman Waffle/Griddle I had was not working in my favor.  😦  Huge flop…I thought I’d never make waffles again!  I even gave my George Forman away because I was so annoyed with the process and outcome. 

Skip forward to this morning…a little aprehensive…but excited about my new toy, I pulled out a few ingredients after looking at about 30 different waffle recipes online.  Nothing jumped out at me, but I discovered you needed a few key ingredients.  So, with those in mind I went into the kitchen and came up with this:

Citrus Vegan Belgium Waffles

  • 1 c. Whole Wheat Flour
  • 1 c. Pamala’s Gluten Free Baking Flour
  • 1 tsp. Baking Powder
  • Pinch Sea Salt
  • 2 Tbs. Sucanant
  • 1 1/2 tsp. Vanilla Bean Paste
  • 2 c. Almond Milk, unsweetened
  • 3 Tbs. Earth Balance, melted
  • 2 Tbs. Chia Seed in 3 Tbs. Water (soak ~5 min)
  • Zest from 1 Clementine

In large bowl, combine flours, baking powder and salt.  Mix well.  In a separate bowl, combine sucanant, Earth Balance, zest, vanilla bean paste, and almond milk.  Whisk until incorporated.  Add Chia Egg and whisk.  Pour wet ingredients into flour mixture and mix with a large spoon until lumps are gone. 

Pour ~ 3/4 c. batter on HOT waffle maker (I sprayed mine with oil before cooking to ensure it would come out of the pan easily) and cook for ~4 minutes. 

Makes 4, 6-7″ waffles.

Serve with a variety of toppings:  Maple syrup, homemade jams, nut butters, powdered sugar, and earth balance!  SOOOOO freaking good!  Nice and fluffy on the inside, and crisp on the outside.  If you like a crisper waffle, just cook a little longer. 

I had mine with homemade peach butter and cashew butter thinned with almond milk….this really hit the spot.  Not too sweet, filling, and super tasty!

Thanks for the inspiration babe!

Hope you all have a great New Years!

R-

Foodbuzz 24×24 – Tamales Together

(A non-Traditional Thanksgiving)

On Thursday, November 25th, 2010, my family gathered together in my home to celebrate all the blessings we’ve been given this year.  In the spirit of thanks, I thought it would be fun to have a non-traditional Thanksgiving and share the gift of tamales (specifically, tamale making) with those I love.  Together we mixed, spread, and steamed DOZENS of tamales and shared in a feast of tamales, enchiladas, rice and beans…a feast for both vegans and carnivores alike!

Many thanks to Foodbuzz for the opportunity to host this dinner with my family!  They also provided a $250 stipend to help pull the dinner off!  THANKS, THANKS, THANKS!!!!

Prep Work

 In order to have a successful make-and-take AND still be able to have a sit-down meal there needed to be a decent amount of prep work completed before hand.  Thank the good Lord I have an amazing mother who was willing to prep all the meat tamales and enchiladas on Wednesday while I was having Turkey Day dinner at my in-laws (sis-in-law is a police officer and she couldn’t join us on Thursday so we had pre-Thanksgiving dinner Wednesday afternoon).  So early Wednesday morning I headed over to my mom’s and prepped the vegan enchiladas, cooked up some sweet potatoes for the in-laws, and helped mom get a few things ready for her prep work. 

THANKS MOM!!!

When it came down to making vegan enchiladas I wasn’t exactly sure what I was going to do…enchiladas are typically LOADED with cheese…vegans don’t eat cheese…hmmm, a problem (my brother and sister-in-law are vegans, and I do TRY to stay away from lots of dairy products).  What do I do about the cheese?  I remembered seeing a cheese sauce recipe on Oh She Glows and thought I’d give it a try.  The results were decent but NOT at all like cheese.  

Roasted Veggie Layered Enchiladas

Ingredients

  • 2 large Sweet Potatoes
  • 1 medium Rutabega
  • 1 medium Parsnip
  • 1 medium Acorn Squash
  • 1 bunch Kale
  • 1 large Onion
  • 2 cups Brown Rice
  • 1 bag Frozen Corn
  • 1 15oz can White Beans
  • 24 corn tortillas
  • 2 cups Veggie Broth
  • ~2 Tbs. Arrowroot Powder
  • 2-3 Tbs. Chili Powder
  • Garlic Powder
  • Cumin
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • EVOO
  • Triple Batch Cheeze Sauce

Directions –

1.    Cut the first 4 ingredients into small, bite-sized pieces.  Throw in a roasting pan or cookie sheet, coat with EVOO and salt and pepper.  Throw in the oven at 400* for 40-45 minutes (stir once half way through).

2.    While the veggies are roasting, prepare your rice (I used brown rice, I think this adds a nice nutty flavor that pairs well with the veggies).

3.    When veggies are ~15 minutes from being done, saute the onion and then add the kale and “steam” it.

4.    Once roasted veggies are finished, pull from the oven, stir in the following: beans, kale/onion mixture, rice, and corn.  Add more salt and pepper if necessary.  Sprinkle with cumin.  Stir and set aside.

Veggies Pre-Roasted

Veggies After Roasting

5.    Prep your enchilada sauce (or you can buy canned red enchilada sauce).  Before getting started with the enchilada sauce gather up all the ingredients – EVOO, Garlic Powder, Cumin, Chili Powder, Veggie Stock with 2 Tbs. Arrowroot Powder (mix this ahead).  In a pan, at medium heat, toast your chili powder, cumin, and garlic powder in a dry for ~45 seconds (be careful that it doesn’t burn), you will smell a difference when it is ready.

 

6.    Add EVOO to your chili powder and mix well.  Pour in your Stock/Arrowroot mixture.  Cook until your stock thickens.  You may have to add more liquid or more arrowroot (mix with a bit of water first) to get a nice consistency.  Whisk away.  Taste, if it needs more seasoning this is the time to add it.

7.    Dip your corn tortillas in the enchilada sauce one at a time, layer 6 tortillas on the bottom of a pan, spread 1/3 of the veggie mixture on top of the tortillas, pour 1/3 of the enchilada sauce over veggies.  Repeat layers 2 more times.  Add cheeze sauce and bake at 350* for 30 minutes.

***The enchiladas tasted good, but I think next time I would add less cheeze sauce or add it after cooking.  I think too, that it would be TONS better with the Cashew Ricotta that I’ve used in pastas (or with the real deal – Dairy Cheese, if you are not a vegan or dairy-free).  Experiment and let me know what you think.

Tamale Making

The process of making tamales can be LONG and LABOR intensive…but the outcome is always worth the time and effort put into them.

BASIC TAMALE MASA 

  • 4 cups Corn Masa (I use Maseca)
  • 3 tsp. Salt
  • 1/2 tsp. Garlic Powder
  • 1 cup Oil
  • 2 1/2 cups sauce (red – enchilada sauce, green – green chili enchilada sauce)

In your Kitchen Aid Mixer (or any large stand mixer) add all the ingredients until all ingredients are well incorporated.  You’ll know it is ready when you can pinch the masa together and it holds a shape.  If it’s dry or crumbly, add more enchilada sauce.

IN THE MIX (fillings, that is)

Meat – shredded Beef and/or pork – 1/2 pound per 1 dozen tamales, cooked and seasoned (garlic, salt, pepper), add about 1/3 cup enchilada sauce to the mix (you can buy canned or make your own using the recipe for enchiladas above).   OR substitute turkey for the beef/pork mixture and green chili enchilada sauce for the red…EQUALLY delicious!

After spreading  ~2-3 Tbs. masa on soaked corn husks (spread it on the smooth side, it will make your life easier), starting from the open edge and spreading down (leave 2″ or so at the bottom with no masa), spoon ~2 Tbs. meat into center of the tamale and roll the tamale up and fold the edge over.  Place in a steam pan. 

Once your pan is full, steam your tamales for 30 – 45 minutes.  Testing?  The dough will be firm and will NOT stick to the husk when your tamales are finished.  Check frequently ensure you have enough water, you don’t want to steam tamales in a dry pan, trust me, I know this from experience!

Meet Tamales – Plated and Ready to Eat!

Vegitarian – Directly into the masa add the following: 1/2 bag frozen corn, 1 can black beans, 1 cup green chilis, and shredded cheese (dairy or dairy free).

Once your masa is well mixed, simply spoon 3-4 Tbs. masa into center of a soaked corn husk (smooth side) and roll up.  No need to spread here!   Same cooking directions, except this will probably take longer to cook through.

Mom and family friend, Dave preparing veggie tamales for steaming!  See the consistency of the dough…this is what you want.

My brother Rubin working away!

Here we are, ready to steam!  One pot of vegetarian tamales were devoured ~ 45 minutes after this photo was taken!

Extreme close-up!  Mmmm, so tasty!

Pumpkin Dessert Tamales – These tamales are a work in progress.  They taste best straight from the steamer, drizzled with honey!

In your stand mixer, mix the following:  7 c. masa, 2 1/2 c. puree pumpkin, 2 c. oil, 1/2 c. brown sugar, 2-3 Tbs. cinnamon (depends on your taste), 1 1/2 tsp. nutmeg, 1 tsp. clove, 1/2 c. agave nectar, 1/2 c. vegan chocolate chips, 1/2 c. coconut flakes, 3/4 c. chopped walnuts.  

Follow same prep and cooking instructions as vegetarian tamales.

Pumpkin Dessert Tamales Pulled Straight From the Steamer

There you have it!  Each member of my family was able to leave with about 7 dozen tamales…meat, vegetarian, and pumpkin!  Tamales freeze beautifully and heat up WONDERFULLY when they are re-steamed.

Still Time to Recycle!

Hope you all had an amazing Thanksgiving and that the rest of the holiday season is full of love, family, and blessings!

R-

It has been a few days since my last post…and since I made this delicious treat (wish I had more) that was inspired by Angela over at Oh She Glows.  This was so yummy…equally delicious hot or cold!

Perfect Pear Oat Bars

To find the recipe that inspired this go here.

For the Oat Base –

  • 1.5 cups Oats
  • 1 cup Whole Wheat Flour
  • 1/2 tsp Baking Soda
  • 1/2 tsp Sea Salt
  • 1/2 cup Brown Sugar
  • 1 Chia Egg (1 Tbs Chia soaked in 3-4 Tbs. Water for 5 minutes)
  • 1/2 cup Earth Balance (I didn’t melt mine…would have made for easier mixing…melt it!)
  • 1/4 cup Maple Syrup
  • 2 Tbs. Almond Milk (I used Silk…the BEST almond milk I have tried)

For Pear Mixture –

  • 3 Pears, chopped into small bites size pieces
  • 1 Tbs. Coconut Butter (Artisana makes a killer Coconut Butter)
  • 1 Tbs. Cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp. cloves
  • A little water (the pears didn’t break down like berries do…and I didn’t need to add chia since the coconut butter helped thicken up the juices and water).

Prep your oat base…pull aside at least 1/2 cup for topping (I reserved about 1/3 of the recipe…I LOVE crumbly toppings).  Press your dough into the pan (if you use parchment paper clean up is a breeze).  Cook down your pears, add coconut butter when they are almost ready (fruit needs to break down a bit and soften)…add water as needed to keep things moist and to ensure it doesn’t burn.  Add spices.  Dump your pear mixture onto the oat base.  Crumble the remainder of the oat base on top of the pears, sprinkle with seasame seeds.  Bake at 350* for ~30 minutes.  Pull from oven and allow to cool before slicing and serving. 

Mmm, Mmmm Good!  Next time I make this I think I will cook the oat base for 10 minutes or so before adding the fruit mixture to give it a little crisp factor.  Also, a home-made caramel sauce would take this to a whole new level.  Oh, I can taste it now!!!!

I promised a giveaway that was to be posted this week…I’m sorry, I have to postpone the details until Monday…but keep your eyes open!

R-

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