Another reason for me to fall for autumn is…..(drum roll please)…. cranberries! Little packets of them are in the markets now! Get them while you can because, I don’t know about your neck of the woods, but they disappear around here FAST after they hit the market shelves. Every autumn I stock up on a couple of bags of the berries. Both the raw berries and the cooked chutney freeze well so you can have this delicious topping all year round.
When people ask me if I use apricots, apple or raisins in my cranberry chutney, my answer is always “Yes!!” Yes to all off it. I like a huge burst of flavor in my chutney.
Forget the yucky can of gelatinous goo that is commonly known as cranberry sauce. It is so easy and fast to make your own sauce. Once you do that, I guarantee that you will never go back to the substandard stuff. Ooooh… (wince)… “guarantee” is such a strong word, but, yep. I guarantee it! Simple sauces can be found all over the internet, so go for it. You won’t be sorry. If you want a recipe for a fabulous chutney, read on.
Cranberry chutney is a taste bonanza of sweet, tangy and spicy. It generally contains fruit such as apples, apricots and /or raisins plus vinegar. I did quite a few experiments to come up with my own favorite recipe. I like it so much that I double the recipe so that I can have chutney in many other dishes as well as a condiment at Thanksgiving.
Continue reading “Making a Healthier Cranberry Chutney”
Grilled corn salad has got to be one of my new favorite dishes. If it’s cold and rainy outside or if you just don’t want to bother cleaning up a big ole’ BBQ grill (I hear you on that one!) , no problem. Just grill the ears on an oiled cast iron skillet. They turn out beautifully with just the perfect amount of smokey char. If corn is out of season, use frozen corn. Cook it in the skillet the same way as you do the ears. Continue reading “Grilled Sweet Corn Salad with a Kick”
Baked beans are super easy, hearty and filling. Perfect for lunch or dinner, these beans are great as the main event, but also wonderful as a side dish.
The added plus is that you can put them in your boxed lunch and simply microwave the beans to re-heat. Or you can put them in a baggie and freeze in single serving sizes. Then, toss into your lunch bag and they will be defrosted and ready for the microwave as soon as lunch-time rolls around. Continue reading “Vegan Root Beer Baked Beans”
It’s time for my weekly cooking day challenge. Mostly, I prep easy food for meals throughout the week- well, lunches and dinners anyway. But, on this day, I will also try to make one thing that is actually a cooking experiment.
This time the experiment was to replace the eggs in zucchini tortillas with Chia seeds and water. The idea is that if you take a tablespoon of seeds and stir into 1/3 cup water, let stand for fifteen minutes, then you will have a good egg replacement for baking. I get the idea- the mix turns gelatinous so I could see how it might hold baked stuff together like an egg does. Well, I made the tortillas and- epic fail!!! Even though I sprayed the paper with a thin coat of olive oil, the gelatinous seeds acted like a glue and stuck the thin tortillas completely down to my parchment paper. The little 1/2 piece that I managed to separate from the parchment tasted good, but…..yeah, I won’t use chi seed gel on anything that will be spread and pasted right onto paper again, that’s for sure. Continue reading “Awesome Veggie Medley Minus Epic Fail on Veggie Tortillas”
I LOVE sweet potatoes. Enough so that I usually buy a big ole’ bag of them when I go to Costco. I especially love them roasted along with other root veggies, but sometimes I just have to grab a potato and go. So, the next best thing is to microwave it. I can do that in my own kitchen or wait until I get to work to cook the potato for lunch. I like to eat them plain or with a little butter and maple syrup. I also like to cube them and add them to my veggie mixes.
Here’s the FASTEST way that I know to cook a sweet potato. Rinse it off with clear water. Place it onto a microwave safe dish. Place a wet paper towel or dishcloth over the potato. Microwave on high for 8 to 10 minutes. Eat warm or let cool and cut into cubes for your other dishes.
A plus is that the potatoes freeze well, so I can cook the whole bag in one day, plate my week’s worth of lunches and freeze the rest.
This nutritious lunch is made with a medley of cooked sweet corn, squash, zucchini, black beans, diced tomatoes and cubed sweet potatoes. Add a little salsa to spice it up and you will be good to go.
In searching for a yummy vegan taco filling for my zucchini tortilla shells, I came across a fruit known as jackfruit. It is supposed to be VERY healthy and takes on the flavor of whatever spices or sauces that you cook it in. I have never heard of Jackfruit before, so I’m excited about trying it with this recipe and wanted to share the source with you.
Source: Spicy Chipotle Garlic Jackfruit Tacos – Vegan Richa
Easy Spicy Chipotle Garlic Jackfruit Tacos. How to make shredded jackfruit tacos with garlic chipotle sauce. Top w/ avocado, salsa, vegan sour cream. Vegan Recipe
I am new to the vegan scene, and really new to cooking my own food so becoming vegan can be a little confusing for me. I thought that it would be the simplest thing in the world. Just eat veggies and throw in some protein powder shakes, right? Well, if you do any kind of grocery shopping for convenience, canned or frozen goods, you will see that almost everything processed has added chemicals, flour, milk or eggs in it. Man! Too many labels to read, so to simplify, I am trying to cook and eat as naturally as I can. No processed foods here. For me, it is a radical change and something that I have to train myself to think about.
I printed out the chart below as an easy reminder of what I can use as an egg substitute in baking and cooking. My husband thinks that I won’t be able to stick with this because I have been a junk-food junkie and drive-through dolly most of my life. If I don’t count high blood pressure, I am lucky to have no major health problems with my here-to-fore crappy diet.
For some reason, my eyes have been instantly pried open to the cruelty of animals in the factory farming biz. I can no longer deny the facts or be a part of this hideous system. In fact, I feel so, so sad at the thought of all of the tortured animals that have died on my behalf. That were murdered just so that I can eat them. Or animals that have lived tortured and shortened lives just so that I can steal their milk and eggs. It’s sick. I used to believe the ads about “Happy cows” and “cage free” chickens. But, now I know that it is all just phony advertisements. Did you know that “cage free” means simply that. The reality is that they are not in tight little cages, but in a huge cage. The chickens are kept in filthy overcrowded buildings and still have their beaks burned off? The bottom line is: How can I say that I love animals and then blindly participate in factory farming cruelty?
Speaking of advertisements, have you seen the Fairlife commercials where the lovely family that supposedly own the Fairlife Farms are drinking milk that is supposed to be better for you with only half the sugar added to the chocolate milk? I actually bought some chocolate milk for my niece and grand-niece. Steph, Tat’s mom tasted it and immediately said that this stuff has Sucralose in it. I checked the label and was surprised that they would tout the milk as healthy and then add chemicals to it. When you read the label, you will see that the other half of the sweeteners are both Acesulfame K and Sucralose. So, let’s see…half the sugar and better for us?! Now I wonder if that cute little family in the commercials is related at all or are they all just actors too? That was all before I decided that dairy farming, even under “humane” conditions is nuts.
Anyway, back on point- Eggs: I’ve become slightly obsessed about eggs and what to use for a substitute in cooking and baking. I mean eggs and milk are in practically EVEYTHING that is store-bought. This little chart covers a lot of substitutes that I have yet to try. But I will – starting today as soon as my husband is up and off to work. THEN I can make some kitchen noise on my day off. Looking forward to making up a new batch of grilled veggies and some yummy homemade bread. Will post the results soon.
Today, I micro-waved several sweet potatoes and was thinking wistfully, “Man! I would LOVE a sweet potato pie!” But all of those calories and sugar of a traditional pie would not love me back, that’s for sure. Then I figured that I should try to make a version of the filling that tastes good and is actually good for you. It turned out beautifully if I may say so myself.
Sweet Potato Pie Stand-in
- 1 large sweet potato
- 3 tablespoons sun butter (or raw cashew butter)
- about 1/3 cup maple syrup
- 1/2 tsp Stevia
- 1 tsp cinamon
- 1/2 tsp ginger
- 1/2 tsp nutmeg
- garnish with nut/fruit mixture
- Microwave sweet potatoes for 8 -10 minutes until soft. Let cool, peel and cut into cubes.
- Put all ingredients except trail mix into the food processor and whirl until smooth and creamy.
- Put nut/fruit trail mix into a small bowl along with a little maple syrup. Microwave for about 20 seconds and top the sweet potato desert. The syrup makes the fruit look a little plump and glazed. It’s really pretty and makes a nice addition to the pie filling.