Friday, September 24, 2010

Something to kick up that boring salad?

Today I am posting a few of my favorite, most simple recipes. The first being my Kickin' Ranch & the second being my son's favorite snack, Bragg Tamari Almonds, then lastly, my beer-battered onion rings. These are, in no way, gourmet or low-fat, but they are, in fact, quite spectacular tasting! & that's what really counts, right? :) These are both simple to make & require very little ingredients. & all are perfect in a salad!

This is a great staple dressing. I know a lot of non-vegans who have this dressing at my house all the time & cannot get over the fact it has no disgusting dairy in it! It's great for salads, for dipping veggies, over a baked potato, etc. It may not be low in fat but it's high deliciousness. Now, it may seem like the amounts for the spices are a bit large but, trust me, it needs it or it's bland. The Vegenaise & soy milk combo seem to underwhelm the spices, so taste as you go to make sure there is enough flavor for you. 

- 1 cup Vegenaise

- 1/2 - 3/4 cup soy milk
 (this will vary depending on how thick or thin you like your dressing. I highly recommend using soy milk for it's thicker consistency as opposed to other nut milks. Also, try finding a soy milk with no added sugar or sweeteners. I used Soy Dream in this last batch & it works fine but I prefer, for this recipe, WestSoy's Organic Unsweetened Soy Milk)

-1 to 2 tsp garlic powder

- 1 to 2 tsp onion powder

- 1 tsp cayenne pepper 
(this can always be omitted or you can add more depending on how spicy or non-spicy you want it)

- 1 tsp sea salt

- 1 tsp finely ground black pepper

Place all ingredients in a medium sized bowl & whisk until smooth. I recommend starting with the smallest amount of the spices then tasting the dressing & adding more if necessary. This recipe can easily be doubled, tripled or split in half. Devour & enjoy!

Just enough for the week :)


This is a delicious, no fuss recipe that is healthy and delicious. These are a perfect snack in the car, for the kids at school, in your own trail mix or in an Asian-inspired salad. These will last you awhile in the fridge.

- 2 cups raw almonds
- 1/4 - 1/2 cup Bragg Liquid Aminos
-1/4 cup low sodium Tamari
- garlic powder

Preheat oven to 170. Place almonds, Bragg aminos & Tamari in a large bowl & coat almonds completely. Let sit for a few minutes, mix around again & let sit a few more minutes. Spread the almonds on a large baking sheet & sprinkle them with the garlic powder. Let them roast for 20 - 30 minutes, stirring them around every 5 to 10 minutes for even cooking. Once they smell fragrant, remove, let cool & eat, eat, eat!! Save in the fridge for freshness. 

In the mixing bowl!

Done & ready to eat!! Yum!

serves 4 to 6

that's the bowl Lily made!!
Dip in that Kickin' Ranch!! or throw on top of your favorite salad! or use in your vegan green bean casserole! Or throw them into my Benihana Style Onion Soup! No matter which way you eat 'em, you end up with a song in your heart & a smile on your face!

-2 cups flour
-1 cup beer
(Corona Lite works perfectly!)
- 1 tbsp sea salt
-1/4 - 1/2 tbsp cayenne pepper
-1/4 - 1/2 tbsp finely ground black pepper
- 1/2 tbsp garlic powder
- scant tbsp your favorite hot sauce
(I ADORE Pepper Plant!)
- 2 to 4 thinly sliced yellow onions
- Coconut oil

1. Combine 1 cup flour, 1 cup beer, salt, peppers, garlic powder & hot sauce in a large bowl.
2. Place the additional cup of flour in a separate pie dish.
3. Heat a very large amount of coconut oil in a deep skillet until melted & hot over medium-high heat.
4. Taking a few slices of onion at a time, dredge in the beer batter to coat, then into the dry flour to coat again. Now toss 'em into the hot oil. They will take 2 - 5 minutes per side (keep a close eye on them - cooking time will vary based on size) until a lovely golden brown.

5. Have a few sheets of paper towels lined up on the counter to put the onion rings there when they are done frying. Then sprinkle with a little salt. Serve hot! Or put on top of your salads!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Football has officially begun!

Just another amazing bounty from our local farmer's market. Best loot ever!

Hello out there in Internet-world! As you may have realized, I take the title role of "Biggest Slacker" EVER! But I am back! (& better than ever!) I'm going to attempt to play catch-up this week - I have tons of pics & awesome recipes that I think are worth sharing & even better to eat! & I'm coming back at cha with 2 bomb-ass recipes I consider "Football Party Worthy". The dip is an especially big hit around here this time of year & the chili is also well-received by vegans & non-vegans alike! Hope you enjoy!

serves 6 - 10 (or sometimes 2 when my hubby & I are pigging out!! Bad, I know but SOOO good!)

The real point of this dip is pure spicy indulgence. The spicier the better. & those big football-lovin' meat heads that have taken over your living room for the next few months are gonna go nuts over this dip

- 10 of the best jalapenos you can get your hands on, minced very small & keep the seeds from at least half of the peppers (any other super spicy pepper will work as well just scale down the amount you out in depending on their hotness factor!)
- 4 cans artichoke hearts in water, drained & rinsed
- 2 heaping tbsp minced garlic
- 1 1/2 - 2 generous cups Vegenaise 
- 1 1/2 - 2 cups Parma! or any vegan Parmesan
- 1 tbsp cayenne pepper
- 1 tbsp onion powder
- 1 - 3 tsp sea salt
- 1 - 3 tsp finely ground black pepper
- Big bag of chips for dipping (I like to serve this dip with Garden of Eatin's Red Hot Blues - blue corn chips slathered in cayenne pepper - this dish is certainly not for wimps!) along with your favorite crudites

1. Preheat the oven to 350. 
2. Spread out the artichoke hearts on a large cutting board & start chopping. Now totally obliterate these, you want to leave some nice big chunks - that's the BEST when you're dipping! Transfer these precious gems to a large mixing bowl. 
3. Add jalapenos & garlic. Stir gently to combine.

4. Add the Vegenaise & Parma. Fold in the artichoke heart mixture until well- combined. 
5. Lastly, add all those delicious spices & again, combine well. Transfer to a large baking dish.
6.  Let cook for 25 - 30 minutes. Sprinkle with extra cayenne if desired & serve HOT! 
This went so fast last time, I wasn't even able to get a picture of it coming out of the oven!
My gorgeous man filling up on dip!

serves 8 - 10

The great thing about this dish is the little time it really takes to make it since it cooks in the slow-cooker! Soak the beans the night before & pop all the ingredients into the slow-cooker in the morning & presto! Dinner! It could not be easier! Great with some homemade vegan cornbread!

- 1/2 cup dried black beans
- 1/2 cup dried cannellini beans
- 1/2 cup dried kidney beans
- 1/2 cup pinto beans
- 1/2 cup dried lentils
- 1 cup TVP
- 2 cups fresh (or frozen) corn kernels
- 1 cup chopped potatoes
- 1 cup chopped carrots

- 1 - 2 tbsp canola oil
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 1 heaping tbsp minced garlic
- 1 tsp cumin
                                                                               - 1 tsp oregano
                                                                               - 1 tsp paprika
                                                                               - 1 tsp cayenne, optional
                                                                               - 1 small can tomato paste
                                                                               - 7 cups very hot water
                                                                               - 1 vegan bouillon cube
                                                                               - sea salt & pepper to taste
                                                                               - Fixin's: onion, avocado, cilantro, vegan cheese,                 
                                                                                              vegan sour cream, salsa, etc

1. Pick over all your beans (except the lentils), discarding any undesirable or shriveled beans. Rinse & drain beans. Place all beans (except lentils) in a stainless steel bowl (preferable) & soak with a large strip of kombu overnight. 

2. In the morning, take out your slow cooker & turn it on low just to heat it up. 
3. Place a skillet over medium heat & warm for a minute or two then add in your oil & heat through, 30 seconds. Add in that gorgeous onion & saute until soft, around 7 minutes. Add in all the spices except the salt & pepper, stir to combine & cook for an additional minute or two. 
4. Add the onions & spices to the slow cooker. Drain your beans, discarding the kombu, & add them, along with lentils, TVP, tomato paste & bouillon. Add the extremely hot water & stir well until everything is well-combined. 
5. Cook in the slow cooker on high for 3 hours, stirring occasionally every hour or two & checking water level. Then on low for 2 - 3 hours. The last 1 1/2, add in the chopped veggies & stir until incorporated. The last 1/2 - 45 minutes, add in the corn & stir again. If needed, add small amounts of water, if it seems to be drying out. Once you reach the 5 hour mark, taste the chili to ensure the beans are tender enough. Add salt & pepper to taste & top with your favorite toppings! Lucas loves just dipping cornbread or chips in the chili. I love chopped raw onion & vegan sour cream on top of mine. Lily likes it like her dad. Kingston loves his with avocado & vegan cheese. & Miss Giorgia, well, she has not yet had this yumminess, but soon! Very soon!



Friday, September 10, 2010

Kraaazy Kingston!!

Kingston is not only the coolest kid I know, he is SO smart, so fun, so clever, so enjoyable to have around - He is amazing. & I am blessed to be his mama. Here's a few fun pics...

So this is the kool & krazy Kingston! He is THE MAN!