Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Spicy Almond Butter Sauce

I've been making this sauce for several weeks, but I'm just now getting around to writing it down. It's a modification of my old Peanut Sauce recipe.  This is a great sauce for stir-fry, coleslaw salad or a dipping sauce for spring rolls.  I rarely use a real measuring spoon.  It's okay to adjust the ingredients to your own tastes, but don't skip any.  It has the perfect blend of fat, sweet, spicy, savory, salty, and sour.  You can use any nut butter you like.  

Tonight, we had this sauce over a quick stir-fry with a couple cups of coleslaw mix, about 5 handfuls of spinach and a package of steamed broccoli.  It's a very easy recipe!
Almond Butter Spicy 'Peanut' Sauce
(2 servings)

2 T Almond Butter (or peanut butter, cashew butter, etc.)
2 tsp Coconut Crystals (or other natural sweetener)
1 T Chili Garlic Sauce 
1 T Ginger Garlic Paste (see how to make it in the video below)
2 tsp Coconut Aminos (or soy if you don't have a sensitivity to it.)
2 tsp or more lemon or lime juice or white wine vinegar
Water to thin.

Mix everything together with a fork.  Add water to thin to desired consistency.

This is how you make the awesome ginger garlic paste!

Friday, January 11, 2013

Mushroom Butter Nut Squash Coconut Curry

This doesn't look like much, but the flavors EXPLODE in your mouth.  It's so good!

2 T ghee or light olive oil
2 T garlic/ginger paste (see instructions here or see video below)
3 cups or more sliced mushrooms (I used white button mushrooms & baby portabellas)
Cook until the mushrooms start to release liquid.
3 small sliced zucchini
Cook until they start to get soft.

1 T Red Curry Paste
1/2 can coconut milk (If using light coconut milk, use a full can and omit water.)
1/2 cup or more water 
2 cups shredded cabbage
2 cups fresh spinach
2 cups steamed butternut squash, cubed

Cook until the spinach is wilted and all ingredients are heated through.  
This makes a filling meal on it's own (due to the squash), but it can be served over brown rice to add more fiber to the meal.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Pinto Bean Soup


5  cups cooked pinto beans
2  14-ounce vegetable broth
1  large onion, chopped
3  cloves garlic, crushed
1  teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon or more green or red chili powder
1  14-1/2-ounce canfire-roasted diced tomatoes, undrained
Juice from 1/2 medium size lime

Cook onion in ghee until transparent.  Add cumin, garlic and chili powder.  Cook for a few seconds, then add fire-roasted tomatoes, beans and broth.  Cook until heated through.  Add lime juice and serve.

Gluten Free Almond Coconut Cookies

These cookies didn't turn out as planned.  In fact, I forgot to add the baking soda!  I don't think it will make that much difference, but I will post another picture later if it changes them drastically. 

2 cups fine ground almond flour
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 cup coconut sugar crystals
1/4 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
2 T flax meal
1 scoop pea protein powder (optional)

3 tablespoons coconut oil, melted
2 tablespoons ghee melted
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup or more water

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.

In a medium sized bowl, combine the dry ingredients and mix well.
Put the coconut oil and ghee in a small bowl and heat until melted (very short time) in the microwave or stove top.
Add the oil, ghee and vanilla to the dry mixture.  Mix.  Add 1/4 cup or more water until the mixture become moist and holds together.  It will be moist, but not sticky.

Roll out on wax paper and cut to size.  Put on lightly oiled cookie sheet and bake at 325 degrees for 10 to 12 minutes.  Watch them closely!  Thinner cookies won't take as long. Remove when they are light brown around the edges.

Leave cookies on the cookie sheet until cool. They are fragile, but they firm up as they cool.  Let them cool completely before you try to remove them from the cookie sheet.

Nut Butters and Almond Flour

I made Cashew Butter and Hazelnut Butter the other day. It's so easy and it only takes about 5 minutes in the food processor.  I also made almond flour.  That only takes about 30 seconds in the food processor.  Price cashew butter at the health food store and you will discover how much money you can save!

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Ghee Is Good For You?

Hmmm, I never thought I'd be making ghee after all of the bad press about saturated fats.  It's also not something a vegan would normally eat.  I'm not a strict vegan and I eat a vegan diet for health reasons (even though I don't agree with the unethical treatment of animals used for food). 

I found a great video that shows step-by-step how to make some lovely ghee!  You can watch the video below.

Click on any of the pictures to see a larger version.
After the butter has melted, the milk solids start to sink to the bottom and some foam rises to the top.
More milk solids are starting to sink to the bottom and 
the bubbles are getting clearer.  
It's starting to smell like caramel at this point.
 Ghee after most of the foam is scraped off of the top.
 You can see the milk solids at the bottom of the pot.
Straining beautiful ghee into a jar.  It will keep for about 6 months.

After it cools, it looks like this:

See the video from 'Show Me The Curry' here:

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Quick Chana Dal

I set up to cook some Chana Dal in the crock pot this morning.  I let it cook on low for 1/2 the day, then added the rest of the ingredients.

1 1/2 cup Chana Dal (yellow split peas).  Rinse and remove any stones.
Add 3-4 cups water or stock
Cook in crock pot or stove top until soft.
Add 4 cups fresh spinach
Stir into dal until wilted

1-2 T Olive Oil
2 large cloves garlic, crushed
1/2 t mustard powder
1/2 t cumin
1/2 t turmeric

Salt to taste.
Heat oil in a small fry pan then add garlic and spices.  Cook until bubbling, then add to crock pot.

Add 1 teaspoon or more of green or red chile powder (optional).

Add chopped fresh tomatoes just before serving. Serve over brown rice.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Spicy Chickpea Curry Stew

Spicy Chickpea Curry Stew

1/2 medium onion, chopped
1 cup sliced mushrooms
1/4 cup or more yellow curry paste (more if desired, but be careful, it's spicy!)
1 T olive oil
Cook in the bottom of a large stock pot until onions and mushrooms are cooked. 
2 cans of coconut milk
1 can of water (use can from coconut milk)
2 sliced zucchini
1 small head of chopped cauliflower
4 cups cabbage/coleslaw mix
1 can garbanzo beans

Cashews, chopped

Cook until the cauliflower is soft.  Spoon over brown rice, sprinkle with chopped cashews and enjoy!

This is what it looked like before it cooked down (after adding the veggies and beans).

Bean & Flax Spicy Crackers

These crackers satisfy any cravings for crunch or bread.

Bean & Flax Spicy Crackers

1 Can non-fat refried beans
1 tsp Garlic Powder
1 tsp Green Pepper Powder
1/4 Cup Gluten Free Baking Mix (I use Arrowhead Mills)
1 Scoop Pea Protein Powder
1/2 tsp Sea Salt
2 T Flax Seed

Mix all ingredients together in a bowl.  Break into small portions and roll out on a floured board or counter (I used the baking mix instead of flour). Cut into desired shapes.  Next time I'll be using cookie cutters. Place on a lightly oiled cookie sheet.

Bake 350 degrees for 20-30 minutes (depending on how crispy you want them).

These are great with fresh guacamole!

Best Vegan Burgers

Best Vegan Burgers

Best Vegan Burgers 
(Makes 8 good size burgers)

* 1 cup oats put in food processor and blended into flour. 
* 1/2 cup large onion, diced in food processor
* 1 can cooked black beans, pureed in food processor
* 1 large garlic clove, minced or 1 tsp garlic powder
* 1.5 tsp chili powder
* 1 tsp. cumin
* 1 tsp. oregano
* 2.5 tbsp ground flax 
* 1/2 cup warm water
* 3/4 cup gluten free baking mix (mine is made by Arrowhead Mills).
* 1-2 scoops (20 grams) pea protein powder
* 1 grated carrot
* 1/3 cup almonds, chopped
* 1/2 cup sunflower seeds
* Salt to taste

Preheat oven to 350 F. 
Put 1 cup oatmeal in food processor and process until made into flour. You can also use a coffee grinder (not one you use for coffee).
Chop onion and beans in food processor (or dice and mash). 
Put onion, beans and oat flour in a bowl and mix.
Add spices, flax meal, gluten free baking mix, pea protein powder, carrot and nuts. Blend well with a fork, then add water. Salt to taste.

Add a little more water if the mix is too dry (I didn't have to add more water). The water helps to get the flax meal and baking mix working so it binds everything together with the beans. Some recipes tell you to mix the flax with water first. I never do this because I end up with lumps of flax that won't blend into the rest of the ingredients. 

Make into patties (helps to have your hands slightly wet) and place on lightly oiled baking sheet. Don't make the patties too thick or they will be doughy on the inside. Squash the patties flat so they are not too fat in the middle.

Bake for 20 to 30 minutes. (Frying would work too if you want them crispier.)

You can make these patties and freeze them on a cookie sheet raw for baking at a later date. I cooked mine, then froze them. 

I've been a veggie since 1980. These are some of the best veggie burgers I've found. But, you must modify to your family's tastes (I never follow a recipe 'exactly'). We love these burgers!!
The next time I made these, I made them thinner.  They were not so doughy. ;)