A Little Bit About Us

Our goal is to make affordable, delicious, healthy food that nourishes our souls as well as our bodies. We love new flavors as well as old favorites. It's important, for us, not to place too many restrictions and be as free and simple as we can when it comes to our food. We have no fancy equipment or expensive gadgets (although when we're wrestling with our dinosaur blender/smoothie maker we have both thought how nice it'd be to have a functioning one.. lol). We love each other more than anything and making food together is rewarding on every level.

Sunday, 21 September 2014

Make your own Almond Milk

Almond Milk


I tried something adventurous last week.  I actually didn't even know it was possible (sometimes, if something is daunting or I have no clue how it's done, I just think it's not possible...lol)  Well, I was thinking about almond milk and how it's made--I had no clue.  I am a pinterest fiend, like I am sure a lot of people are, and I found a lovely recipe for making my own almond milk, which is a lot simpler and fun than you might expect!

You can't be afraid of getting messy though, which I am usually, but I was so pleased with the results I'm not put off by the clean up afterward :)  And sadly, it isn't something you can make straightaway, since you need to allow for the almonds to soak for 1-2 days (the longer you allow them to soak, the creamier your milk will be).

Just make sure the almonds you get are raw and haven't been roasted or salted or anything like that.  Also, make sure you only make what you can consume in 2 days, there are obviously no preservatives in this milk so it won't keep longer than that.  

Also, you'll be left with some lovely almond meal that you can use for making something else (I used mine in some chocolate nut bark which was YUMMY!).

Almond Milk



Equipment:

Blender or food processor
Fine-mesh nut bag or cheese cloth

1 cup raw almonds
2 cups water

**Optional, after soaking, you can blend a few dates with the almonds for sweetness, or even scrape a vanilla pod or cacao into them.

Method:

1)  Put the almonds into a container and cover them with the water.  Keep in mind they will plump up while soaking so allow for room.  I then put a lid on the container and let them sit for 1-2 days.

2)  After they have soaked, put the almonds along with the soaking water into a blender or food processor.  (The first time I made this I peeled all the skins off, but the second time I didn't because I was lazy and the milk was just as beautiful the second time as the first!  So I won't bother peeling them again, way too fiddly for me.. lol)

3)Add the dates or whatever you've decided to add at this stage, you don't have to add anything and it will still be nice.

4) Blend at medium speed until all the almonds are ground well and the mix looks creamy.


5)  Messy part!  You need to slowly pour the almond mixture into a big bowl over the cheesecloth to strain the bits of almond out.  The first time I did this it was more difficult but you'll get the hang of it.


6)  The almond meal you have in the cheesecloth can be spread on a baking sheet and roasted for 8-10 min, sealed in a bag, and frozen for use in a future recipe.



I hope you all enjoy this recipe as much as I did!  

Original Recipe found at:  http://www.thekitchn.com/how-to-make-almond-milk-at-home-cooking-lessons-from-the-kitchn-189996

Saturday, 20 September 2014

Tasty Maple Walnut Cookies!


Tasty Maple Walnut Cookies

Hello again!  (Bethany here:))  So much time has passed since I last posted a recipe--so sorry about that!  No excuses though, I'm back and making yummy vegan dishes again and I couldn't be more excited.

SO, my good friend Tina told me about a cooking class she'd heard they were having at the local community centre and wanted to know if I'd come along.  I didn't know if I'd be interested, I must confess, I've become so lazy when it comes to cooking anything, but really I'm so glad she invited me.  It was a VEGAN cooking demonstration/class!!  And there were samples passed out for everyone!!  They were so knowledgeable and eager to share what they know and love about living and eating as a vegan.  I came away from it the first night feeling invigorated, determined, and hopeful about my health and that of my family.  They focused on the brain during these sessions, so most of the recipes we learned featured ingredients that promote mental health.   

I've made a few things but, first things first, I want to share the cookies.  I love these so much, I wish I had made more.  My little girls and my husband love them too :)

Thank you to Dominic, Nadine, Stella, and the rest of you that presented these yummy dishes at the Wentworthville Community Centre!  (Elim Health Centre -- The Vegetarian Way)




Tasty Maple Walnut Cookies

Ingredients:
2 1/2 cups walnuts, ground
2/3 cups wholemeal flour
1 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup flaxseed (linseed) meal
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoon maple syrup
2 teaspoons vanilla
1/4 cup almond milk (I found my batter to be a bit dry so I added this, you might not need as much or you might want a little more)

***The original recipe called for 1/3 cup carob chips or a bit of cacao, but I had none on hand.  I bet you could play around with this recipe easily to customize and make these cookies some of your favorites!

1)  In a bowl add all the ingredients in the given order and mix well.
2)  Preheat oven to 180 degrees C. (350 degrees F)
3)  Drop dough on wax paper covered cookie sheet with a spoon and flatten with a fork.
4)  Bake for 10 to 15 minutes until golden, check often to prevent from burning.


And there you have it, some delicious and healthy cookies :)  I hope you give them a try!


Monday, 28 October 2013

Vegan Peanut and Sweet Potato Thai-style Curry


Back at home with my parents, and away from the yummy curries of Sydney, I've decided that's exactly what I wanted to eat for dinner :)  Instead of the typical Indian inspired curries we've done before, this one is Thai inspired, and so so satisfying.  It's getting colder here in southern Indiana and it really hits the spot.  My parents do not eat anything remotely spicy so I omitted any chili, but I imagine this would be beautiful with your favorite chilies minced and thrown in as well :)

BTW, I miss you and love you Kasey!

Vegan Peanut and Sweet Potato Curry

1 Sweet Potato, medium sized, diced (bigger chunks should be okay, but adjust the cooking time accordingly)
1 Onion, chopped, I used a sweet onion
2-3 Tablespoons of chunky Peanut Butter
3/4 cup hot water
2 tablespoons of Soy Sauce
2 tablespoons of Tomato Puree
Zest and juice of 1 Lime
Handful of Coriander, chopped fine
3-4 Cloves of Garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon, Ginger, minced
1/4 of a Red Pepper, chopped fine
1 tin of Coconut Milk
2 tablespoons of oil (I used olive oil, since it was all I had on hand, but I bet coconut oil would be nice if you had it!)

Chilies, minced (Optional)

First, bring a pot of water to the boil and add the sweet potato.  You don't want to completely cook the sweet potato just yet, I only did this because I was concerned about cooking the sweet potato through.  Remove it from the heat after 5 minutes or so.  Then, in a separate bowl, combine the peanut butter, soy sauce, tomato puree, lime juice and zest, with the hot water.  Stir to combine.


I chopped up the ginger, garlic, pepper, and coriander and put them aside in a separate bowl.


Next, heat the oil and onions in a large skillet.  Let the onions cook until they soften, then add the sweet potato.  Saute for a couple of minutes, then add the coriander, garlic, ginger, and red pepper.  Stir for about a minute.


Finally, stir in the coconut milk.  I turned down the heat and let it simmer for about 20 minutes.  Serve with quinoa or rice, add a sprig of coriander and enjoy!!  I hope you love it as much as I did <3

Monday, 29 July 2013

Vegan Summer Stew

We had family fun night and one of our activities was to make a dinner together.  We added some serious love to this stew.  It was definitely a meaningful and loving meal we all shared.  My mom, dad and I enjoyed this stew one evening last week and it was one of the best ever.  YUM!

First cut up 2 cups of broccoli and 1 large thinly sliced sweet potato.  Boil for a few minutes in about 5 cups of purified water (we used reverse osmosis) in a large pot and reduce heat to medium and cook for about 25 minutes.

In another large pot, combine cut up garlic, onions, and olive oil in high heat.  Add in carrots after garlic and onions have browned.  Let cook for a few minutes.  After carrots are browning, add in vegan stock.  Mix in 1 cup of quinoa.  Cook for twenty minutes.  Then drain pot of broccoli and sweet potatoes.  Combine into the same large pot.  Cook for an additional 5 minutes and add one can of organic diced tomatoes.

INGREDIENTS
2 cups of fresh organic broccoli cut up smallish
1 large organic sweet potato sliced thinly
as many bulbs of garlic as you want lol (i think we used 4)
1 medium organic onion
3 large organic carrots sliced thinly
2 tablespoons of olive oil
1 cup of organic quinoa
1 can organic diced tomatoes (you could easily replace this with fresh)
2 cups of organic vegan stock
Sea salt
Fresh herbs (you could use thyme, rosemary or cilantro, etc)

Notice the tea rose and the Kangaroo?


Wednesday, 24 July 2013

Raw Vegan Chocolate Crunch mmmm!


The chia seed adds a nice crunch!!



This chocolate is SO delicious and easy to make.  There is just one minor problem.  I no longer measure ingredients when I make my chocolate.  I eyeball it, mix it together, try it and add whatever my taste buds tell me to add lol.  So I am challenging you to experiment with your own creativity!  You can make this chocolate in about 3 minutes.

(Approximate)
1/2 cup raw cacao or cocoa
3 tablespoons of raw agave nectar
3 tablespoons of cold pressed coconut oil
2 tablespoons of chia seeds
sea salt to taste

Put it in the fridge for about 30 minutes and it is ready to serve!

Tuesday, 9 July 2013

Simple Vegan Carrot and Sweet Potato Stew

This is a dish to make when you want something healthy, filling and easy to prepare.



I am back to having no fancy kitchen equipment, lol.  I don't have a food processor, vitamix or any blender for that matter.  So its just a basic kitchen knife :)  I like this though...it is showing me how I can eat healthy without needing any fancy equipment.  I also am learning how to efficiently and deliciously use all the ingredients I have on hand, and combine them in ways that enhance flavors effectively!  Take risks and see what evolves.  Eating vegan can be so YUMMY and no one has to go hungry!

I had an extra big bag of organic carrots, some local organic garlic and a sweet potato that were calling my name all week.  So without Bethany here, I have been wondering how to make a yummy stew.  I finally just did it.  I didn't use a recipe...I just winged it LOL.  It turned out pretty nicely.  I wasn't even planning on using it for the blog until I tried it and was like WOW.  This is good, and it was surprising how simple it was to make.

First.  Wash off carrots and cut the long ones in half.  Throw them in a medium sized pot with four cloves of garlic.  Fill up the pot 2/3 the way with spring or filtered water.  Bring to a boil.  Reduce heat to medium.  Cook for 20 minutes and then add in cubed sweet potato.  I scrubbed the potato before adding it in.  I allowed the veggies to cook for one more hour over medium heat.  Adding extra veggies at this point would be a fun and creative idea, (but I didn't have too much on hand right now).  Next, drain water and remove garlic.  lol I ate a piece of garlic just for fun.

In a large bowl, combine vegan stock with cooked veggies, sea salt and dried herbs.  You could also use fresh herbs.  I found a blend of Italian Seasoning at Big Lots.  YAAAAAY.  Have you checked out your local Big Lots, Marshalls or TJ Maxx recently for discount health foods?  I find great deals on things like organic coconut oil, flax seed powder, raw vegan kale chips, salsa, herbs, and sea salt.  At Big Lots I checked the ingredient list of the herb blend and there were no nasties so I was happy.  Straight up dried herbs with nothing else added.  Side note:  there are reasons to double check all ingredient lists...I used garlic salt on some popcorn last night to find out later that TCP was added.  I googled it and it comes from cow's milk.  FYI.



As I stirred it together, the carrots and sweet potato naturally broke apart and mixed together quite nicely :)

INGREDIENTS:

1 lb regular carrots
1 large sweet potato cut up into squares
4 cloves of fresh garlic
1 tsp each of dried marjoram, thyme, rosemary, savory, sage, oregano and basil (or get creative with your own favorites!!)
Sea salt to taste

Wednesday, 3 July 2013

Sunrise Health Slaw



Our friends over at Sunrise Living have been experimenting with yummy vegan dishes and here is one of our favorites.  Their healthy summer slaw is delicious and can be served as a side dish and promises to be a hit at any family barbecue this summer!!  http://www.sunriseseniorliving.com/blog/categories/senior-eats.aspx


Serves 4 to 6

The heat of summer calls for light, refreshing dishes. At Sunrise Senior Living, many of our seniors love coleslaw, an old-fashioned American favorite. While the traditional recipe is heavy on the mayonnaise , we’ve opted for a lighter, more healthful version that’s perfect to serve at this summer’s outdoor barbeques and picnics!

Tangy, and with just a touch of sweetness, our Sunrise Health Slaw is sure to be a hit at your next gathering. Using mustard as the flavor base instead of high-fat mayonnaise keeps it more waistline-friendly, too!

Ingredients:

-          shredded coleslaw mix – 4 cups
-          medium red bell pepper, seeded and small diced – ½ each
-          green onions, sliced thin – ½ bunch
-          red wine vinegar – 2 tbsp
-          vegetable oil or coconut oil – 1 ½ tbsp
-          vegan cane sugar or maple syrup – 1 tbsp
-          Dijon mustard – 1 tsp
-          celery seed – ¼ tsp

Method:

-          Toss together the coleslaw mix, bell pepper, and green onions in a medium bowl.
-          In a separate bowl, whisk together the red wine vinegar, vegetable oil, sugar, mustard, and celery seed.
-          Pour the dressing over the vegetables and toss gently to coat. 
-          Cover the coleslaw and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes prior to serving to soften the cabbage and develop the flavors. Serve chilled.

 http://www.doctoroz.com/videos/surprising-health-benefits-coconut-oil

 http://www.sunriseseniorliving.com/blog/categories/senior-eats.aspx