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Friday, July 5, 2019

Dog Food - Turkey Rice Veggie Casserole


Our dogs LOVE homemade food....they sit at the stove waiting to eat it !!


Ingredients:
3 lbs ground turkey
1 pkg frozen peas
1 pkg frozen yellow squash
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5 cups cooked rice

Directions:
In a dutch oven or large pot, brown the ground turkey on the stove over medium heat.

Stir in peas and yellow squash and cook until vegetables are done.

Stir in cooked rice.


Thursday, July 4, 2019

Veggie Chili (DF, GF)






Ingredients:
1 onion, chopped
1 red pepper, chopped
2 Tbsp minced jar garlic
1 4-oz can diced green chiles
3 cans red kidney beans, with liquid
1 can corn, with liquid
1 15-oz can diced tomatoes, with liquid
1 15-oz can tomato sauce
1 cup dry quinoa
1 tsp oregano
1 Tbsp ground cumin
1 Tbsp chili powder
1 Tbsp paprika
1 tsp thyme

Directions:
Put all ingredients in an electric pressure cooker and cook on high pressure for 45 minutes.  Release pressure naturally. 




Sunday, June 23, 2019

Mocha Fudge Balls (GF)



These  were adapted from this recipe .

These are a smooth texture with a mocha fudge flavor !!!!




Ingredients
1 cup peanut butter
1 cup Unsweetened Shredded Coconut   
1 tsp vanilla

2 Tbsp unsweetened almond milk
1/4 cup Hershey's Unsweetened Cocoa Powder

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2 cups dates blended with 1/3 cup instant coffee and 1/2 - 3/4 cup water or coffee (depending on how dry the dates are)

Directions:
Blend dates, instant coffee and water until smooth.

Mix everything together in a bowl until well combined.  


Shape into balls.  Store in freezer. 

I store these in the freezer to keep them firmer, but I actually prefer the taste of them at room temperature.  So I usually take a couple out of the freezer and leave them sitting out until they are room temperature.


Saturday, June 22, 2019

Black Bean Spinach Sweet Potato Enchiladas








Enchilada Ingredients: 
  • 1 16-oz pkg frozen spinach, thawed
  • 2 cups sweet potato, mashed
  • 1 Tbsp minced jar garlic
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 2 cans black beans, drained
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 can corn, drained
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper

Enchilada Directions:
Combine all ingredients in a bowl and mix until well combined.

Place 1 and 1/2 cups of the sauce in the bottom on a baking dish.  Take 1 tortilla and spread a line of the mixture in the center.  Roll up and place the "opened"' side up in the baking dish.  Repeat, placing them next to each other in the baking dish.  

Pour the rest of the sauce over the rolled tortillas.  

Bake 10 mins at 350 degrees.


Enchilada Sauce Ingredients: 
  • ½ tsp garlic powder
  • ½ tsp onion powder
  • 4 Tbsp cornstarch
  • 2 8-oz cans tomato sauce
  • 1 can tomato paste
  • 2 dates, chopped
  • 2 Tbsp chili powder
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 2 and 1/2 cups water or veggie broth
Enchilada Sauce Directions: 
Combine all ingredients in a small saucepan and mix with a whisk.  Bring to a boil and stir over medium heat until thickened.




Friday, June 21, 2019

Contribution From Freelance Writer Jess on Vegan Friendly Candles






Choosing Vegan Candles For Ethical And Health Reasons

There are currently no laws requiring candle makers to list their ingredients, let alone having to state if their product is vegan, so it’s always best to assume that it isn’t as there are so many things that can go into a candle that aren’t vegan-friendly or cruelty-free. Finding vegan candles can be easy enough though, such as online where you can support independent and local businesses. Not only will your candle be vegan, but it will also be ethical, toxic-free, and sustainable.

Choosing the best wax option

Candles have long been made using beeswax or paraffin wax, with paraffin still being commonly used. Obviously, beeswax isn’t vegan, but paraffin should also be avoided for a number of reasons. Paraffin is derived from petroleum, causing it to produce a dark soot when it burns that can stain anything the candle is near, but more worryingly, breathing it in over a long period of time is linked to respiratory problems, allergies, asthma, and certain cancers. Choosing a candle that is made from soy wax is a vegan option that has proven not to release any pollutants that paraffin does, as well as being a sustainable and renewable source. Needless to say, a soy candle is a better option health-wise, and it also burns slower, so your candle will last longer.

Paraffin is vegan and you only use candles occasionally

Perhaps you think that picking a paraffin wax candle is the best option for you because it will be easier to find, cheaper, and you don’t burn candles very often so the health problems are less likely to affect you. While paraffin is a vegan product it’s too soft to make a good candle so most of them will have up to 10% stearic acid added to them to harden the wax. Stearic acid comes from animal fat, although a coconut-based option is available. However, most manufacturers will opt for the cheaper slaughterhouse byproduct.

Dyes and scents

Just because a candle is made from soy wax doesn’t mean that manufacturers haven’t used animal products or byproducts to dye or scent the final product. Soy wax is naturally a pale cream colour, so if a candle is any other colour then it’s been dyed. Certain dyes can be toxic, so check that a company is using natural, safe, and vegan-friendly dyes. When it comes to scents, soy candles will hold it better and release it for a longer burn time due to the wax burning slower. Choose candles made with scents from essential oils. This way you know it’s completely natural and you can have aromatherapy benefits too. It’s worth noting that most companies making soy wax candles do so for ethical reasons so are unlikely to add anything that isn’t vegan, but it’s always best to check before purchasing.

Choosing a vegan soy wax candle will not only benefit the animals, but it’s also better for your health and you get a product that is superior, ethical, biodegradable and sustainable.


Saturday, March 9, 2019

Superfood Snack Balls (DF, GF)



I LOVE the crunch from the chia seeds in these snack balls.


Ingredients:
2 cups dates blended with 1/2 - 3/4 cup water (depending on how dry the dates are)
1/4 cup chia seeds
1/4 cup hemp seeds
1/4 cup ground flaxseed
1/2 cup dried goji berries
3/4 cup peanut butter (no sugar)
1 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk
1 cup old fashioned oats



Directions:
Mix everything together in a bowl. 

Form into balls and store in fridge or freezer.  Each day these balls tend to get more flavorful.


I've started using the  Farberware Cookie Scoop for forming the snack balls, instead of using my hands.  It is not as messy and the balls are a more uniform size.



Friday, March 8, 2019

5 Things Every Vegan Cook Needs in Their Kitchen


5 Things Every Vegan Cook Needs in Their Kitchen



Going vegan is healthy for us and even healthier for the animals we spare, and as long as we know how to cook, there are enough tasty vegan recipes to keep the chef in us always busy. However, a cook can only do so much without the proper tools to work with in the kitchen. This is why we have a list of five tools that every vegan cook needs in his/her kitchen to make their dishes come out just as good as they should.

The Right Set of Knives

Knives are actually more important to vegan cooks than one may imagine, because slicing, dicing, cutting and trimming all those vegetables, herbs and fruits is no easy task and it would be impossible to complete without the right set of knives to assist them. Buy a full set of kitchen knives and don’t skimp out on the quality for the sake of saving a few dollars because these are long term investments that will make a big difference in your ultimate cooking experience, speed and presentation. If you must start with just one knife at a time, let it the be the 8-inch chef’s knife, because no other cutting tool in the kitchen is as versatile as the chef’s knife. From slicing veggies to cutting open melons, this one knife will let you handle it all with relative ease.

A Wooden Cutting Board

All cooks need a cutting board and walnut boards are the best because they are naturally more resistant to bacteria, have self-healing properties and will last much longer than plastic cutting boards, provided you take good care of them. The Virginia Boys Kitchen has a select collection of walnut cutting boards that are 100% manufactured in USA to provide the best quality possible. These also have very handy drip grooves to keep the cutting board clean as you slice, cut and dice through an assortment of juicy fruits and vegetables in the kitchen.

Some of us falsely believe that plastic cutting boards are better than wooden cutting boards, but that is not necessarily true, since overused plastic boards have been proven to be more likely to cause food poisoning than wood.

The Vegetable Peeler

There are quite a few types of peelers available in the market and there is no harm in having a few different types to handle different needs in the kitchen, but if you must choose just one, buy a Y-peeler. They have wide handles for an easier grip, can be used with both hands and even something with a carbon steel blade is probably going to cost a lot less than any fancy new kind of peeling product in the market.

The Food Processor

No modern cook can live without it, vegan or not! A food processor can be the lazy cook’s best friend and while it is definitely not the ideal choice for all dishes, it does make dough preparation and making nut butter, hummus, ice cream, pesto, etc. a lot easier and faster. If you don’t yet have a food processor in your kitchen, you really need to buy one as soon as possible.

Cast Iron/Stainless Steel Cookware

Nonstick cookware made up of Teflon or aluminum can cause health complications over time, so stick to stainless-steel or cast-iron cookware instead. However, make sure that you buy an entire set, rather than just a few pots at a time. A gourmet cookware set with 12-pieces is the ideal choice.

As long as you have these five items in your kitchen, rest assured that the only other thing you will need to cook up tasty, vegan meals is a bit of practice.



Saturday, February 23, 2019

Chickpea Spinach Stew (DF, GF)



This is a little spicy, decrease the curry powder for a milder tasting stew.


Ingredients:
  • 3 cans chickpeas, with liquid
  • 1 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 2 Tbsp curry powder
  • 1 green bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 Tbsp minced jar garlic
  • 1/2 cup nutritional yeast
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp celery seed
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp ginger
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp coriander
  • 1 16-oz spinach, thawed
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 15-oz can tomatoes, with liquid
Directions:
Put all ingredients in an electric pressure cooker and cook on high pressure for 20 minutes.  Release pressure naturally. 

Sunday, November 25, 2018

Dog Liver Sweet Potato Muffins


Our dogs LOVE these.  As soon as I get them out the dogs are sitting in the kitchen waiting for them !!


Ingredients:
2 pieces of liver (about 2/3 cup when chopped)
3 eggs, with shells (for calcium)
1/4 cup potato or quinoa flour
1 can green beans, drained
1 sweet potato, cooked
1 tsp turmeric

Directions:
Put everything in a blender or food processor and blend until well combined.

Pour into a muffin pan.

Bake for about 40 minutes at 350 degrees.

Thursday, November 22, 2018

Chickpea Casserole (DF, GF)




This is simple to make yet delicious ...the nutritional yeast gives it a cheesy flavor.



Ingredients:
  • 3 cans chickpeas, with liquid
  • 3/4 cup nutritional yeast
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 4 stalks celery, chopped
  • 1 Tbsp minced jar garlic
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 16-oz package frozen California blend veggies, thawed
  • 1 16-oz package frozen peas, thawed
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1 cup unsweetened almond milk
Directions:
In a bowl, combine all ingredients.  Mix together to combine and pour into a casserole dish.

Bake 45 minutes at 375 degrees.

I sprinkled paprika on top after it was done baking.