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Posts Tagged ‘recipe’

Lately Svara has been enjoying baking more.  But it can’t just be any baking – it has to be baking as much as possible BY HERSELF.

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At seven years old I certainly can’t let her have free range of the kitchen, so I help her get out the ingredients and materials needed.  She reads the recipe to find out everything she needs, and then she does all of the mixing, measuring, etc.   I help with the oven.  Maybe in another year or two I’ll take another step back and let her get out the ingredients, clean up, and even place things into the oven herself.

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For now it is enough ‘herself’ for her to proudly exclaim that she has made these goodies ALL BY HERSELF.  She couldn’t be more proud.  Neither could I.

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Svara’s favorite cookbook is Live Learn Love Eat (you can find it for sale here by the author).  This book is written by a vegan mother of three.  The recipes are very child friendly and family friendly.  It is both the fact that the book has children in it AND the fact that she can easily read and understand it herself that appeals to Svara.  I love this cookbook as well!

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The recipes Svara made on this particular day were the chocolate cupcakes with raspberry frosting.  Mmmm!  The recipe for both are here on her blog.  The only thing we did differently was that I put the raspberry puree into a sieve to get the seeds out.  I wanted a smooth frosting.

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Svara had a blast making these cupcakes, and of course eating them as well!

I’m sure it’ll be a matter of days before she’s in the kitchen again paging through the cookbook for another recipe to make 🙂

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Roselle Juice

I’ve posted before about some roselle jam that I made.  Yesterday we got some roselle in our weekly organic delivery box.  I still have some roselle plants growing, but they need to be trimmed and re-planted.  The roselle that we got this week is a different variety.  I’m going to try to plant the seeds to see if they’ll grow, as I much prefer it!  They are bigger, and aren’t covered with the prickly hairs like the ones we have are!  It was SO much easier to peel the roselle when I didn’t have to worry about my fingers!

One of my sisters said that she’s growing some roselle at her home (also called hibiscus), so I wanted to show how I make my juice!  I don’t have an actual recipe because I never know how much I’m going to get.  What I do is rinse the roselle a few times, and then peel off the outside layer, which is what you use.  Inside there is a seed pod, which you do not eat.  I put all the roselle bits into a pan and cover with water. I put quite a bit of water.  I think here I had approximately 4 cups of roselle pieces and I used about 7-8 cups of water.  Bring to a boil and let it simmer for 5-20 minutes, it really doesn’t matter how long.  The water should turn a deep red and the roselle pieces should be wilted and soft.  Strain into another container, and add sugar to taste.  I made this as a concentrate, so after sugaring it to taste (just to balance out the sweet and tart as roselle is quite tart!) you can mix it with water/ice  50/50.

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I took about 2 cups of the concentrate and added a bunch of ice to cool it down and we took it out on a spontaneous evening picnic, yum!

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One of the plants that I am growing here at our house is roselle.  I thought I had a post about some roselle juice that I made, but I guess not.  All I have is this photo of when our roselle plants first started growing, that was almost a year ago!  Since then we’ve had roselle juice a few times, and I have planted more roselle plants from the seeds of the first plant.

Usually I get 5-10 roselles, so just enough to make a few cups of juice.  But this time I had a bumper harvest, I had this medium saucepan full!

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I could have just made a bunch of juice (Naren would have preferred that), but I wanted to take the chance to make something different.  Who knows when I’d have so many roselle again!  So I used about 2/3 of the roselle to make some jam, and used the rest for juice.

When making things with roselle, you have to peel off the outer part.  The inside is the seed pod, which you do not want to use!  The toughest part of this job is that the roselle are covered in little tiny hairs.  They are not soft hairs, they can actually prick into your skin, it’s owy!!  I don’t know of all roselle varieties are like this.  I assume not because I haven’t seen comments about pokey roselle hairs anywhere else.  But mine have them, so I have to be careful!  I cut them off the plant with scissors. Then I hold one in my left and with with a small paring knife in my right hand I peel off the  outer part.  Here is what they look like when they are all prepped:

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There was a recipe in the book Joy of Cooking for roselle sauce, so I altered that (it had a TON of sugar in it) to make this.  I thought it would be more of a sauce but it was actually more jam-like in consistency.  Here is what I did:

Roselle Jam

2 1/2 cups prepped roselle

1 cup water

1/2 cup sugar

1T cornstarch, tapioca starch, or other starch (optional, makes it more like  a jam than a sauce)

 

Add the roselle, water, and sugar to a medium saucepan.  Simmer for about 5 minutes, until the roselle pieces are all softened.  If you want to use it as is, you can, just let it cool down.  A great substitute for cranberry sauce!   If you want more of a jam consistency, add the 1T of starch mixed in with a little water to dissolve, and simmer for 2 more minutes or until thickened.  let cool and refrigerate.  Ours was in the fridge for about a week and a half before we used it up, we used it as jam.  I think it would taste great mixed with applesauce as well!

 

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Roselle jam is So pretty!  It is a rich reddish-pink.  It is so strong colored that you’d be tempted to think there is food coloring in it.  But nope, it’s all natural!  I’m hoping to have another bumper crop of roselle sometime so I can make more jam.  I think it’d be great in some homemade danishes!

 

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It’s been awhile since I’ve shared any recipes here.  I can’t bear to share a recipe without a photo and I usually forget to take photos of my creations!  But today I made an effort to take out the camera and shoot a photo of the icecream I made yesterday.  It is just too tasty!

Lately I’ve been making a lot of mint chocolate chip icecream since I found a source of natural peppermint extract that is well priced and very tasty!  But it’s good to mix things up and I have been loving peanut butter and chocolate since being pregnant.

I have been wanting to get more protein in my diet, so I thought I’d make the base of my icecream with silken tofu.  It’s not usually my favorite base for icecream because it can give the icecream a tofu flavor.  But peanut butter icecream is one that, in my opinion, totally covers up the tofu taste.

I have been making non dairy icecream for so long that I hardly ever follow a recipe now, I just toss things into the blender.  Here’s what I tossed into the blender this time:

Peanut Butter Fudge Swirl Icecream

300g soft silken tofu

enough almond milk to bring up volume to 3 cups

approximately 1/2c peanut butter

1/2 organic raw sugar

1 tsp vanilla extract

Blend well and chill in fridge for at least 2 hours.  Place in icecream maker and churn!

Layer the finished icecream in a container with fudge sauce.  Place in freezer for several hours to firm up.

Fudge Sauce:

Not much of a recipe really, but I put 100g of nondairy chocolate in a glass bowl, chugged in some soymilk and melted it together. I let it chill for a little bit before layering it with the finished icecream so it wouldn’t make the icecream melt too much.

I made this icecream last night and half of it is gone already.  Oops!  Svara peeked into the container when I was making her icecream cone for dessert and inquired as to why it wasn’t full.  I’m busted!  But at least I’ve gotten a protein boost, right?

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Ever since I made this vegan almond feta recipe I’ve had many ideas bouncing around in my head on how I can make variations using the same basic recipe.  Vegan cheesecake, cheese spread, herbed feta, etc.

The first thing I tried was to make a cheesecake, but using leftover almond pulp from making almond milk.  It did NOT turn out the way I expected.  It was edible, but not very enjoyable.  Naren wouldn’t touch it after the first nibble, so I ate the rest.  A lot of the creaminess is taken out of almonds when you make milk out of them!  Probably most of the fat, and who knows what else.  So I will NOT be doing that again.I’ll be finding different things to do with my almond pulp!

So it was back to using blanched soaked almonds.  Today’s recipe experiment turned out MUCH better!

I decided I wanted to skip the whole put it in a cloth and let it drain in a colander all night step, I just wanted to blend and be done.  I remembered making a cashew cream cheese from the book Go Dairy Free (an excellent cookbook and dairy free resource!) a couple years ago out of blended cashews and a few other ingredients.  It was good, but I much prefer the taste of almonds to cashews. So I decided to combine that with the vegan feta and make a sweet cream cheese spread!  This is what I did:

Sweet Almond Cream Cheese Spread

  • 1 cup blanched almonds, soak overnight (I placed my almonds in boiling   water for 1 minute, drained, and squeezed off the skins)
  • 2 T water
  • 3 T coconut oil (you could use any sweet or mild oil, not olive!)
  • 4T powdered sugar (you could use any sweetener you like, and it could be cut down to 3T I think)
  • 1T lemon juice (add more if you like it more tangy)
  • pinch of salt

Blend all ingredients together in food processor.  If you have a vitamix blender, go ahead and use that to get the mixture ultra smooth!  I know it would be too thick for my blender so I didn’t even try.  You could make it in a blender and just add more water, and then wrap it in cloth/cheesecloth and let it drain in a colander overnight.  But I was too lazy today.  I blended it for about 10 minutes total in my food processor to get it as smooth as I could.  Then just scoop into a container and put in the fridge!  I’m sure tomorrow it will be even more stiff, but I already used it tonight for a snack.  A cream cheese and jam sandwich!

 

I’m very happy with how this recipe turned out!  It’s always nice when a food experiment turns out tasty.  I think next time I’ll add a little extra lemon juice and/or reduce the sugar a tad.  It didn’t need to be as sweet as I made it when added to a jam sandwich.

I think this would also make a great sweet spread!  Like a dip for graham crackers or something.  Maybe even add in a little cocoa powder! It’s a bit too stiff for a frosting, but I wonder if it could be made into a cream cheese frosting by adding a little almond milk and beating it up (after it has cooled all the way).  I just might give that a try!

 

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Because I like to cook, I love having nice pots, pans, etc. in the kitchen.  But because we don’t plan to stay in Malaysia forever I do not like spending money on high quality kitchen stuff.  So there are a lot of things I do without in the kitchen.  Last month when one of the stores here had a special where if you spent a certain amount you could buy some pyrex pans for really cheap, I just couldn’t resist!  I was so excited!  Luckily we happened to  be spending the required amount of money that day to be able to purchase two pans at the reduced price (70% off!)  I bought one 10 by 10 glass square baking dish, and a 2L round casserole with a lid.   Finally I can bake a proper casserole!!  Here is the first one that I made in that dish.  I had some leftover rice, so decided to make a “tuna” rice casserole.

Vegan Rice Chickpea Casserole

4cups (approximately) cooked rice

1 3/4C (1 can) mashed chickpeas (add up to 1tsp kelp powder for fishy taste if desired)

2 c chopped broccoli or other vegetable of your choice

Some sauteed mushrooms and celery would be awesome in this as well, I didn’t have any on hand.

Cream Sauce:

3 cups non dairy milk of your choice (I used unsweetened almond, loved it!)

2-3T margarine or oil

1 small onion, chopped

3T flour

2T nutritional yeast (optional, makes the sauce more “cheesy”)

salt and pepper to taste (I used about 3/4 tsp salt, next time I’ll use 1tsp)

Bread Crumb Topping:

Approximately 1c toasted breadcrumbs.  I mixed in 1T nutritional yeast, 1/4 tsp of pepper and paprika.  You can use any herbs/seasonings you’d like.

To make sauce:

saute onion in butter or oil until golden brown (I did it on very low heat for about 20 minutes so they were somewhat caramelized – yum!!).   Remove from heat.  Add flour and stir.  Slowly add milk, stirring to prevent lumps.  Add nutritional yeast if using and stir. Cook over medium heat until thick and bubbly.  Add salt and pepper to taste.  I know this pot is very large for this little sauce, but this is my pressure cooker pot which has a nice thick bottom and will not burn the onions!

Add the broccoli and mashed chickpeas to the cream sauce:

Mix it up!  Taste and adjust seasonings if desired.  It still needs to be stirred with the rice, so it should be a little on the salty side right now.

Stir into your cooked rice.  I used leftover rice and I’m not really sure on the amount.  My best guess is about 4 cups, but it could have been a little more.  add enough so it’s creamy but not soupy.  Taste and adjust seasonings.

Pour your casserole into your casserole dish and top with breadcrumbs.  Bake at 350 F for approximately 1 hour.

Ta-Da!

 

When I make this again I think I’ll use peas instead of broccoli.  I love broccoli, but when it’s in a casserole it kind of tends to overwhelm the other flavors.  I added kelp powder to my chickpeas, but I won’t do that next time.  I’ll definitely add more black pepper, I ran out this time, only had a dash 😦  Other than that it was quite tasty!  I know it was a success because Naren asked if there were leftovers the next day.

 

 

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My grandfather (my mother’s father) is from Sicily. My grandmother is from Germany, but she learned from her mother-in-law how to make lots of Italian food to keep my grandfather happy!  Needless to say, I also grew up to eat a lot of Italian foods!  Probably not nearly as authentic, but they were homemade and yummy!  Mostly meatless, my mom makes killer lasagna and spaghetti!  They are still two of my favorite foods.  I make lasagna only once or twice a year since it does take some time.  But I eat spaghetti at LEAST once a week, usually more!  Svara eats it even more often, having it on those occasions when she doesn’t like what we are having.  There is almost always leftover spaghetti in the fridge!  Naren, on the other hand, is NOT a huge spaghetti fan.  So in order for him to enjoy spaghetti I must make the sauce from scratch, include extras to make it chunky, and make it spicy as well!  Here is our spaghetti from last night:

It is not made 100% from scratch, as I don’t often have time to do that, but it is still super tasty!  I make many variations on this recipe, here is the one I made yesterday:

Spicy Chunk Spaghetti Sauce

1 20 oz jar spaghetti sauce (any variety you choose)

1 onion, chopped

5 garlic cloves, minced (more or less according to your taste)

1 package mushrooms, chopped

1 zucchini, chopped

2 cups water

1/4 cup nutritional yeast (gives extra body and flavor to the sauce, optional)

1/2 tsp each garlic powder and black pepper

1 tsp dried oregano

1 tsp chili flakes (more or less according to your taste)

2Tbs olive oil for sauteeing

Sauté onions in the olive oil until browned.  Add garlic and sauté for another minute.  Add mushrooms and cook for about five minutes, until soft.  Add zucchini and cook for a few more minutes until they start to get tender.  Add the rest of the ingredients (I dump in the spaghetti sauce and then pour the water into the spaghetti sauce jar to help rinse it all out and dump that into the pan as well) and let simmer until zucchini is tender.  Taste and adjust spices if necessary.

Yesterday we had it with the vegan almond feta cheese on top, it added some great creaminess and flavor to the dish!

This recipe is VERY flexible.  If I have half a jar of spaghetti sauce in the fridge, I’ll halve the recipe.  I use whatever veggies I have on hand, or even textured soy protein or veggie ground instead (I make my own seitan and grind it in the food processor) for a spicy spaghetti “bolognese”.

Serve with a fresh salad and some homemade garlic breadsticks and you can’t go wrong!

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