Sunday, 21 December 2014

Christmas Candy Cane Bark

I use organic vegan candy canes from Natural Candy Store.


Christmas Candy Cane Bark

Ingredients

100g/3.5oz Vegan Dark Chocolate
2 vegan candy canes


Method

Prepare candy canes by placing in a zip lock bag (all air removed) and hitting with a rolling pin until you have shards of candy canes. Set aside.
Using a double broiler melt chocolate.
Pour onto a cookie sheet lined with wax paper.
Using a spatula spread chocolate thinly on wax paper.
Sprinkle the candy cane shards over the chocolate.
Refrigerate for at least 2 hours (or freeze).
Remove from fridge and break into pieces.

Roast Tomato Basil Soup

This recipe I found on Pinterest and comes from Three Beans on a String. This was very delicious and didn't really taste like tomato soup. I think it's a bit salty so I would only had 4 cups of stock and 2 cups water next time. Serves 4-6.


Roast Tomato Basil Soup

Ingredients

4 pounds fresh tomatoes (mix of fresh heirlooms, cherry, vine and plum tomatoes)
6 cloves garlic, peeled
1 medium white onions, cut into eighths
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
6 cups vegetable or chicken stock
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil leaves (more for garnish)
Kosher salt
Freshly ground pepper


Method

Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.
Wash, core and cut the tomatoes into halves. Remove any seeds.
When seeding the tomatoes, place the seeds and pulp into a fine mesh strainer set over a bowl in order to catch the juice. Press as much of the juice through as possible. Set the reserved liquid aside.
Spread the tomatoes, onions, and garlic cloves onto two large cookie sheets.
Drizzle with the half cup of olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
Roast for 25 minutes, until caramelized.


Place the roasted tomatoes, garlic and onion into a large stock pot and add the reserved tomato juice and the stock.
Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes or until liquid has reduced by a third.
Wash and dry basil leaves, if using, and add to the pot. Turn off the heat and allow the soup to cool.


Transfer to a blender or use an immersion blender to puree the soup until smooth.
Return to low heat and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper.

Miyoko's Creamery

"I could never give up cheese" is no longer a good excuse...for anyone! Miyoko's Kitchen created by the AMAZING Miyoko Schinner, author of "Artisian Vegan Cheese" and "Japanese Cooking - Contemporary and Traditional", is an online vegan cheese store and the cheese is AMAZBALLS!!!  I'm waiting till they can sell them individually (which they are already doing in some Wholefoods in California). I have to keep the rest of the family away from them because they are MINE! At the moment you need to buy a collection.

The Traditional Collection


The farmhouse cheeses are sharp cheddar tasting.


The Sundried Tomato Garlic and the Double Cream Chive were my favourites of this collection - they are so creamy and savory!




The Triple Cream Special
I'm madly in love with this creamy collection - definitely my favorite of the collections so far!




DIY Laundry Spot Remover

I don't like the idea of using peroxide on anything so this was one of the few spot remover recipes I found that didn't contain peroxide, from The Prairie Homestead.



DIY Laundry Spot Remover

Ingredients

1 1/2 cups water
1/4 cup liquid castile soap (buy castile soap on Amazon (affiliate link))
1/4 cup liquid vegetable glycerin (buy vegetable glycerin on Amazon (affiliate link))
5-10 drops of lemon essential oil (I use doTERRA oils exclusively in my home)
Glass spray bottle OR plastic squeeze-type bottle


Method

Mix all ingredients together.
If using the essential oil, store the mixture in a glass container since lemon oil can disintegrate plastics. If you omit the essential oil, it can then be stored in a repurposed plastic bottle with a lid that allows you to squirt it out.
To use, shake well and apply liberally to spots and stains. Lightly rub the mixture into the fabric with your fingertips.

As with most spot removers, this one works best if you treat the spot immediately and allow it to soak before tossing it into the washing machine. Sometimes I’ll even allow the item to soak overnight before washing it.

DIY Kitchen Spray

I got this recipe from The House of Healthy but I replaced the baking soda with citric acid. The baking soda left film on the surfaces.


DIY Kitchen Spray

Ingredients

1 juice of one lemon (fresh)
1 cup White Vinegar
1/3 cup citric acid
3 cups Water
a few drops of essential oils (optional)


Method

Mix all ingredients together in a spray bottle and clean away!

Saturday, 6 December 2014

Creamy Asparagus & Lemon Pasta

I need to stop looking on Pinterest because I just end up with 1000 recipes I want to try! I saw this recipe from Minimalist Baker on Pinterest and it was delicious!


Creamy Asparagus & Lemon Pasta
Serves 2-3

Ingredients

1 bunch asparagus (12 ounces), trimmed and washed
Sea salt and black pepper
Juice of 1/2 lemon
Olive oil
3-4 large cloves garlic, minced (~2 Tbsp)
10 ounces gluten free pasta
2.5 cups unsweetened plain almond milk
3-4 Tbsp all brown rice flour
1-2 Tbsp nutritional yeast 


Method

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. 
Add asparagus to a baking sheet and toss with 1/2 Tbsp olive oil and a pinch each salt and pepper and bake for 20-25 minutes. 
Once finished cooking, remove from oven and roughly chop into thirds.
In the meantime, bring a pot of water to a boil and salt generously.
While the water’s heating, bring a large skillet to medium heat. 
Once hot, add 3 Tbsp olive oil and garlic. 
Whisk and continue cooking for 1-2 minutes or until garlic is just starting to brown.
Add 3 Tbsp flour and whisk. 
Cook for 30 seconds, then whisk in almond milk 1/2 cup at a time. 
Add a pinch salt and pepper to taste and whisk. 
Slightly lower heat and continue cooking to thicken, stirring occasionally.
Add pasta to boiling water and cook according to package instructions. Then drain and set aside.
Add nutritional yeast and another pinch of salt and pepper. 
Whisk until creamy and smooth and continue cooking over medium to medium-low heat to thicken.
Once your sauce has reached desired thickness, add the juice of half a lemon and stir.
Add 3/4 of the chopped asparagus and the cooked pasta to the sauce and toss to coat.
Divide between 2-3 serving plates and top with remaining asparagus. 

Brussels Sprout & Shallot Dip

I got this recipe from Minimalist Baker. It was interesting but tasty, the house smelled horrible but the taste of the brussels sprout was nice and mild.


Brussels Sprout & Shallot Dip

Ingredients

2 Tbsp olive oil, divided
2 1/2 cups Brussels sprouts, roughly chopped
1 shallot, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
scant 1/2 cup sour cream (light or regular)
4 ounces (1/2 package) 1/3 fat cream cheese
1 cup low-fat shredded mozzarella cheese
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese + more for topping
1/4 tsp each sea salt and ground black pepper


Method

Heat a cast iron or oven-safe skillet over medium heat.
Once hot add 1 Tbsp olive oil, shallot and garlic.
Stir constantly as to not to let it burn.
Add Brussels sprouts, 1/4 tsp each sea salt and pepper and stir.
Cook for 3-4 minutes or until tender and slightly wilted and then remove from heat, turning off burner as well.


In a separate bowl mix together sour cream, cream cheese, mozzarella and Parmesan cheese, another pinch of salt and pepper and stir.
Add Brussels sprouts mixture to the bowl and stir until well combined.
Use additional Tbsp olive oil to lightly grease the cast iron so the dip doesn’t stick.
Spoon dip back into the skillet and bake at 375 for 11-13 minutes or until hot and bubbly.

Vegan Hollandaise Sauce

I don't remember a lot about what Hollandaise Sauce tasted like but this is pretty delicious! I got this recipe from Classy Vegan but had to make it gluten free. Featured here with tempeh bacon, Vegan "Scrambled Eggs", gluten free toast and steamed baby spinach.



Vegan Hollandaise Sauce

Ingredients

3 Tbls Earth Balance margarine
2 Tbls brown rice flour
Pinch of turmeric
1 cup unsweetened soy milk
Big pinch of cayenne pepper
2 Tbls nutritional yeast
Juice of 1/2 a lemon
1 Tbls Vegenaise
Salt and pepper to taste


Method

Heat a small saucepan over medium low heat.
Add the Earth Balance and heat until it is sizzling and boiling quite a bit.
Whisk in the flour all at once to make a paste and continue to whisk it constantly for about a minute.  Add in a small pinch of turmeric for color and mix well (you want your sauce yellow, but you don’t want it too yellow).
Slowly whisk in soy milk and bring sauce to a boil, whisking frequently.
Boil for 2 to 3 minutes and remove from heat.
Whisk in the cayenne and nutritional yeast.
Add the lemon juice and mix well, add salt and pepper to taste.
Lastly, add the vegenaise for a little bit more creaminess.
Keep the sauce warm by covering it with a lid or you can put it over low heat if you watch it carefully and whisk periodically, as to keep it from burning.

Tuesday, 2 December 2014

White Bean Vegetable Soup

I got this recipe from Hello Natural. It was a hearty vegetable soup and low in calories. 213 calories per serving.


White Bean Vegetable Soup
Serves 6

Ingredients

1 Tablespoon olive oil
1 medium onion, diced
2 medium carrots, diced
2 celery ribs, diced
1 large leek, sliced into ½″ rings, washed well
2 cloves garlic, chopped
3 Tablespoons tomato paste
1½ cups cooked white beans, rinsed (one 15 ounce can or homemade from dry beans)
1 (28 ounce) can diced tomatoes
6-8 cups vegetable or chicken broth, or water
2 sprigs fresh thyme
2 cups diced butternut squash
4-5 kale leaves, ribs removed, roughly chopped
salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste


Method

Heat oil in a large soup pot. Add the onion and cook, stirring often, until the onions starts to soften. Add the carrots, celery, and leeks. Continue cooking, stirring often, for about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for another 30 seconds, being careful not to let it burn.
Next add the tomato paste and stir well. Let cook for 30 seconds then add beans, diced tomatoes, broth, thyme, and butternut squash. Add salt and fresh ground black pepper, to taste. (It might not need much salt if the broth is salted.) Bring to a simmer and let cook for about 15-20 minutes, or until the squash is tender.
Add the chopped kale and let cook for another 5-10 minutes. Taste and add more salt and pepper, if needed.