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.

Wednesday, 22 October 2014

Fresh Baked Vegan Pumpkin Pie


Hello Everyone!  This is Kasey.  It has been awhile since I have made a post and I am excited to share my pumpkin pie recipe with you.  It is almost the holiday season and the perfect time of the year to be shopping for fresh pumpkins in the states!  I live in the Chicago area and I go to the farmer's market every Sunday morning.  I see the prettiest pie pumpkins and carving pumpkins.

Side note:  these pictures do not do justice to this beautiful and delicious pie.  The pie is easy to make.  The only part that is actually baked is the pumpkin.  The crust and filling stay raw.  It takes a little bit of preparation though because the filling works best when it is refrigerated overnight.  If you do not have time just make sure you serve chilled by keeping it in the fridge until you are ready to eat it.

An important start to any yummy pie is to pick out a fresh and preferably organic pie pumpkin.  Do not use a carving pumpkin.  I picked out a medium sized sugar/pie pumpkin and only used half of it.  Look for one the size of a cantaloupe.  I like organic because I don't want to eat harsh pesticides.  I will make exceptions once in a blue moon, but for the most part I will only buy organic.  Once you have found the perfect pumpkin wash it off, removing any dirt from the outside.  Cut it in half and then in half again, making four equal parts.  Remove the gooey inside & seeds and save the seeds--you can bake them later for a healthy snack that is rich in magnesium and zinc!  mmm!

Put the pumpkin in the oven on a large pan (lined with baking paper or tin foil if you want to save time cleaning up later).  We like using coconut oil to bake with so we used a very thin layer of it to coat the inside of the pumpkin.  I have done some research on the health benefits of coconut oil and I like what I am finding out :)  My boyfriend and I wanted the flavor of the spices to really seep into the pumpkin so we sprinkled some nutmeg and cinnamon on the quartered pumpkin slices before placing them in the oven.
Bake for 1.5 hours at 375 degrees F.  Take the pumpkin out when it is soft.  Keep an eye on it because the time it takes to finish baking will vary depending on the thickness of your pumpkin.  While your pumpkin is baking you can make the crust:





This pumpkin pie crust is its own entity.  Side Note**:  It is so good I made a second batch to bring to work with me.  This stuff is seriously easy to make and a healthy way to get your sugar fix.  I always pack a few Larabars to bring with me to eat in a hurry at work.  I am very busy in between clients and sometimes I choose not to take a lunch break so I find Larabars to be convenient and healthy.  Instead of buying larabars I shaped this crust into bars and ate it instead!  It is SO good.  This crust is its own raw vegan cookie/larabar/energy bar!

CRUST INGREDIENTS:
2 cups of oats
2 cups of soaked dates
3/4 cup of walnuts
1/4 cup of coconut oil
2 teaspoons of vanilla extract, cinnamon, nutmeg
1 teaspoon of salt (we used Himalayan)

I am getting better at measuring ingredients.  I am working on being meticulous so I can blog accurately!  My inherent nature is to be a free spirit and throw things together, taste them and adjust accordingly.  I am turning over a new leaf though because that does not work when you are recording recipes :)  The spices are my best estimate because I added a few shakes at the end, back to my old ways, not even realizing it.  So adjust the spices if you want a little extra flavoring.

Place the oats into a food processor.  Pulse for 30 seconds until the oats are finely chopped up and more of a powder consistency.  Then add the rest of the ingredients and add a tiny smidge of water if necessary.  When the mixture becomes a goo then you know your crust is ready.  Line the inside of a pie pan and set aside in the fridge for now while you make the filling.






When your pumpkin is soft and brown on the crust it is time to take it out of the oven.  First you want to grab a big spoon and remove the flesh from the skin.  It should remove easily.  Place it in a bowl or directly into a high speed blender.  We only ended up using half of our pumpkin. 

FILLING INGREDIENTS:
1 cup of almond milk (you can substitute soy milk, cashew milk, etc)
2 cups of baked pumpkin
1/2 cup of sugar.  (we used coconut sugar)
2 cups of soaked dates.  I added extra at the end to increase sweetness
1/4 cup of tapioca flour/starch as a binder.  You can use corn starch if you like.
1 inch chunk of raw ginger
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract, cinnamon, nutmeg and a few pinches of sea salt.

Blend of full power for one to two minutes until the mixture is creamy.

Pour the creamy mixture into your pie pan and allow it to cool off for an hour or so in the fridge (you don't need to bake the pie, just the pumpkin at the beginning).

It cuts better after it has cooled off.  Cut into pieces and you are ready to serve it :)  ENJOY!











Monday, 13 October 2014

Vegan Chocolate Brownies with a Secret Ingredient!

I was watching The Americans last night.  Have any of you seen it?  I had heard it was good, so we decided to give it a try and started it last night.  (I love it btw, we watched two episodes before bed and I can't wait to continue it tonight.)  Well, no spoilers I promise, but there was some baking of brownies, from a box.  I haven't had brownies in so long since coming to Australia and I honestly didn't even know how much I missed them until I saw them sitting there on her counter.  My little girl, Maeve, didn't even know what they were!  I told her we'd have a mission today, and that was to make some yummy yummy brownies, but the part I didn't tell her was that they would be vegan, and as healthy as I could make them :)

I browsed several recipes and decided against applesauce (didn't have any) or bananas (didn't have any) and I didn't want any processed sugars, so I altered one I found here.

She and Leila couldn't wait to lick the spoon and sat patiently waiting for their brownies.  I'm happy to report the brownies were a success, maybe TOO much of a success, considering they're both prowling about the kitchen asking if they get another one tonight after dinner.  hehe  I know I plan on having another one :P

Vegan Chocolate Brownies


1/2 cup avocado, mashed well
1 tbsp. of olive oil
1/2 maple syrup, or honey (In a pinch, 1/2 raw sugar would work)
2 tsp. lemon juice
3/4 water
1 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup cacao powder or cocoa
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp salt

* Optional:  Add shredded coconut or your favorite nuts or vegan chocolate to the top and bake.  I made some yummy vegan coconut chocolate earlier in the week so I crumbled that on top and WOW.  So good!

1) Put the avocado and olive oil in a bowl and whisk it until well combined.  Mix in the honey, lemon juice, and the water.
2) In a separate bowl, stir together the flour, cacao, baking soda, and salt.
3) Pour the avocado mixture into your bowl of dry ingredients and stir well until combined.
4)  Pour batter into your baking dish, spreading it evenly.
5)  Bake 15 minutes or until a skewer comes out mostly clean ( I like my brownies fudgy so I always take them out a smidge early :)



I hope you like the brownies! My girls and I loved them and I hope you do too!

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!