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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.


    Saturday, November 3, 2018

    Chocolate Crisp Cranberry Almond Snack Balls (GF)




    These have a good combination of flavors.  The sweetness of the cranberries and chocolate chips make it a nice dessert after dinner !!!!




    Ingredients:
    2 cups dates  (I use medjool dates)
    1/2 to 3/4 cup water (depending on how dry the dates are)
    ========
    1 cup old-fashioned oats
    1 cup almonds, coarsely chopped
    3/4 cup vegan chocolate chips
    1 cup dried cranberries 

    Directions:
    Soak the dates in the water for about 15 minutes to soften.

    Blend the dates (with water) in a blender or food processor and blend until well combined.  Stir in the remaining ingredients until well combined.

    Form into balls and store in fridge.  Each day these balls tend to get more flavorful.  I like these better after they have been in the fridge overnight.

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


    My favorite food processor is the KitchenAid  7-Cup Food Processor

    For blenders, I use both the  Vitamix Blender and Ninja Master Prep Professional Blender



    Saturday, October 27, 2018

    Quinoa and Black Beans (DF, GF)




    This is SOOOO quick, simple and easy to make in the pressure cooker.  

    This is good to eat by itself, as burrito filling, or on top of a potato.

    Ingredients:
    1 cup dried quinoa
    1 onion, chopped
    1 Tbsp minced jar garlic
    1 tsp ground ginger
    1 tsp ground cumin
    1 red bell pepper, chopped
    2 cans black beans, with liquid
    1 24-oz package frozen corn
    1 and 1/2 cups water or veggie broth 

    Directions:
    Put all ingredients in an electric pressure cooker and cook on high pressure for 5 minutes.  Release pressure naturally.  

    I have not tried this in a stove-top pressure cooker, so the time may not be the same.

    Sunday, October 21, 2018

    Dog Pumpkin Yogurt Frozen Treats



    Our dogs LOVE these.  I give the treats to the dogs frozen and OUTSIDE !!!  The dogs make a mess when eating these.


    Ingredients:
    1 32-oz container Plain Yogurt
    2 bananas, mashed
    1 29-oz can pure pumpkin 
    1/2 cup peanut butter

    Directions:
    Put everything in a bowl and stir until well combined.

    Put into ice cube trays and freeze.  

    Give as a frozen treat.


    Sunday, October 14, 2018

    Black Bean Green Bean Sweet Potato Soup (DF, GF)




    Ingredients:
    3 cans black beans, with liquid
    1 8-oz can tomato sauce
    1 onion, chopped
    2 Tbsp minced jar garlic
    2 tsp ground cumin
    3 dates, chopped
    3 cups of veggie broth (no sugar) or water
    1 cup orange juice
    1 12-oz package frozen green beans
    2 sweet potatoes, cut into chunks
    1 large red bell pepper, chopped
    1/4 tsp black pepper
    1 tsp ground coriander
    1 Tbsp dried cilantro flakes

    Directions:
    Put everything in a crockpot and cook on low for 8-10 hours or until done.


    Saturday, September 22, 2018

    Thick Lentil and Spinach Soup (DF, GF)



    I love lentil soup - this soup is REALLY thick (which I like).


    Ingredients:
    1 onion, chopped
    4 stalks celery, chopped
    1 Tbsp minced jar garlic
    2 cups dried lentils
    16-oz package frozen carrots
    1 16-oz package frozen spinach
    4 cups of veggie broth (no sugar) or water
    1 tsp ground cumin
    1 tsp ground coriander
    1/2 tsp salt
    1/4 tsp black pepper
    3 dates, chopped
    1 28-oz can tomatoes

    Directions:
    Put everything in a crockpot and cook on low for 8-10 hours or until done.