Lazy sundays…and chili!

Sundays here are generally lazy. At least, I try my best to keep it that way. I clean my house, I cook a nice dinner. I craft when the mood strikes (currently working on a tunisian baby sweater…I’m keeping notes).

I have recently found an awesome blog by the nicest gal! She’s also gluten free which is FABULOUS for me, and she put up THE BEST roll recipe! Here’s a link for those interested: http://www.gluten-free-vegan-girl.com/2013/09/whole-grain-gluten-free-bread-rolls.html

I’m currently on my third roll, while eating a big ol’ bowl of white bean chili. I really ought to start writing down my recipes on occasion, because sometimes they actually turn out really well! haha. Maybe next time…

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Lookithat. loooook. YUM. so good with strawberry jam.

I based a hot ‘wing’ recipe loosely off her vegan wings recipe too. I must recommend that as well!! Hot cauliflower ‘wings’ are soooo freaking good. I’m glad I only made so many, as I devoured every. single. one.

I really really really….don’t miss having meat. I do, however, need more tofutti sour cream. That stuff is great.

chili

Goes so well on chili!!

Hopefully more patterns soon too!

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Vegan Lasagna with Homemade Ricotta

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Awwwww yeahhhh….comfort food is always welcome in the middle of winter! Especially a big tray of lasagna. After I found some gluten free lasagna noodles at the store I HAD to make some!! And I bought some Daiya cheese to try on top. I was definitely impressed with it, as my first try of vegan cheese was….well. Horrifying, I must say. This was such an improvement that I definitely have faith restored!

There was also the question of the ricotta. Most of the recipes I found online included just crumbled tofu which…well I suppose the texture would be accurate, but I was wanting close to the real thing. So, I made it as I would regular homemade ricotta, I just subbed the whole cow’s milk for one box of shelf stable soymilk. Which, interestingly enough, my daughter demanded a drink of. This is strange only because I had been trying to get her to have a taste for months now, and she avoided it like the plague. Make a big deal of needing to use it all for cheese, and then of course she has to have some…

I digress.

If you’d like to know how to do it, it’s simple enough. I got a big saucepan, put in the whole box of milk plus about a 1/4 tsp of salt and a dash of basil. I let it warm up over medium heat, mostly stirring the entire time. You want it just about ready to boil, but not -boiling…You can use a thermometer if you want to be more precise, and let it get to about 180-190 degrees I do believe. Then take it off the heat, slowly stir in either 3 tbsps of lemon juice or white vinegar. It’ll curdle pretty quickly. After about 5 minutes or so, pour it into a colander lined with cheesecloth over a bowl (if you want to use the whey) or pour into a cheesecloth, and tie it to your faucet (if you don’t care about the whey). The longer you let it set, the thicker it will become. I’d like to play around with the flavors on this, see if I can make some yummy spreadable cheeses this way!

It made enough for a small pan of lasagna, maybe a cup or so. So definitely double up if you are wanting more. And I would probably have done this earlier in the day/day before, not when I was getting ready to make the lasagna….haha. Oh well, last minute ideas! 🙂

I had a meat eater try some, and even he liked the lasagna….the biggest problem he had with it was my precook noodles didn’t soften up all over, which I’d remedy by thinning out my sauce next time…So I say SUCCESS!

Veggies galore!

So I’ve been looking into raw food recipes to see what new ways I can make some veggie dishes.  I figure, if you’re living a raw lifestyle you must know how to make some good veggie dishes!

Boy I have not been disappointed so far! Last night, I tried out this crazy recipe:

http://www.thedailyrawcafe.com/2007/09/chocolate-pudding.html

Raw chocolate pudding???

I know. Total WTF moment there at first..especially when you read the ingredients! What sold me was the picture. That picture just looks like any other chocolate pudding!! I had to try it out.

And holy moly was I surprised!  Tasted like chocolate pudding..even had the right texture. How cool is that?!

So I thought I’d try another recipe..one that seems pretty popular.

Green smoothies.

Looks like I blended a ninja turtle, doesn’t it?

Once again, I was freakishly surprised. I threw in a handful of kale in with some frozen mango, plum and apple. I added some homemade grape juice because I have a ton of it 😛

It was yummy! My only complaint was I didn’t peel the plum…but that was me being lazy. I couldn’t taste the kale at all!

But I thought it needed validation from the highest source..

Hmm….I think…..this is delicious!!!

You can’t take this from me!!!

So I think that’s a big win there! Roxy agrees. She wouldn’t let me have it back to fill it up more! Haha so cute!

I also tried making some walnut milk as we have a giant bag of it! It turned out pretty well too-I got it a lil thin, but it tastes good with some vanilla extract. I don’t think making your own nut milk is very economical, unless you can find a cheap source of nuts. I about had a heart attack when I saw how much nuts were in the store! 😛 Well, that’s what I get for living in the middle of nowhere.

I’ll be yammering about veggies for a while..I’m experimenting too much not to yammer about it!

 

DIY Snowed in day!

Ok so the weather outside is terrible. Which prompted me to start making goodies of course! Staves off the cabin fever 😉 hehe.

First up I decided to attempt bread. It’s still rising right now…had to toss the first batch away cuz I dumped in too much flour to begin with >.< oops! Note to the beginner: pour in like maybe 1/4 cup at a time. I didn’t use nearly the amount of flour the recipe called for! I’ll post some pics of that if it ends up tasty 🙂

I also thought about things we use that could be made at home with less preservatives and better taste. So I picked…ketchup! Weird I’m sure. But I loove me some ketchup. And I found some recipes online using just tomato paste! It was actually really easy! One can of paste, some water, some apple cider vinegar and an assortment of spices. Chinese 5 spice works well 😉 Oh some brown sugar for sweetness too. It made more than I would’ve imagined!

Had to use 3 baby food jars for all of it! But that could be handy…separate jars for everyone!

Next up was homemade mayonnaise. First off if you do not have an electric mixer or hand mixer, go get one. This takes freaking forever by hand!! Seriously, it took close to an hour to beat this stuff into shape. All it is is egg yolks and oil, plus lemon juice or vinegar. But you have to add the oil sllllowwwwwwwwwwwwly. Very slowly, so as to avoid weird egg drop soup goo. I was adept at avoiding that but had to call reinforcements for egg beating. Poor Devin worked hard for something he didn’t much care for! I like it but then again I like the taste of olive oil. I added garlic and lemon to it as well to help with the strong oil taste. I’d recommend a lighter oil if you’re going to attempt it!

Well hopefully I can try out making butter too…mmm! 😀 I’ll share my experience if I try that as well! I’m off to go attempt a second loaf of bread while this one is baking…