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Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Masala Granola // Masala Madness

As I write this, my home is filled with the aroma of masala. Granola is fresh out of the oven. Smells like it should be the holidays but it's only June. Everyday I love masala more and more. I'm not sure if this is the finale to masala madness or not. I had so many ideas I wanted to make with my new masala blend. I have at least two more recipes I want to try but I don't think I will get to them this week. There is more to life than #masalamadness. ha ha 

I realize granola sounds like such an easy thing to make but I enjoy it alot. It's a great way to make your own cereal too. And you know exactly what is in it.

Let's get to it. Here is what you will need. 
Preheat your oven to 325 degrees.
3 cups rolled oats
1 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
1/2 cup sunflower seeds
1/2 cup almond slices or slivers
1 1/2 tbsp masala mix
1/2 cup cashew butter warmed - this makes for easier mixing
1/3 cup maple syrup

Mix the oats, coconut, sunflower seeds, almonds and masala mix in a large bowl. Then add the cashew butter and maple syrup making sure everything is coated and combined really well.

Spread the granola on a large parchment lined baking tray and bake for 30 minutes. Every ten minutes be sure to stir so that everything gets nice and toasty.

Remove from the oven and let cool for at least an hour. Pour into a two quart mason for storage. Eat like a bowl of cereal or just as a snack. Enjoy!!

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Masala Pancakes // Masala Madness

Masala makes everything better. Ha ha!! Every once in a while, I love pancakes on Sunday morning. Makes me feel all warm and cozy. 🥞🥞🥞Since becoming vegan, I really have not had pancakes to often and let me add I never made them from scratch. This recipe might change that. My daughter is not a big fan of masala but she loved these too. 

For the mix, I made another batch of masala mix and simply omitted the pepper.

Let's get to the rest of the recipe. Here is what you will need. 

1 cup all purpose flour
3 tbsp sugar - make sure it's vegan
2 tbsp baking powder
1 1/2 tsp masala mix
1 tsp salt
1 1/4 cup plant milk
1 flax egg

Prepare the flax egg first. It needs to sit at least 10 minutes. 

In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, 1 1/2 tsp masala mix and salt. Whisk to combine. 

Add the flax egg and plant milk. Stir to combine. 

Heat a fry pan on medium high heat. I used a 1/2 cup ladle to pour the batter but you can use whatever you like. Once the top is loaded with holes, flip it and cook for another 2 minutes or until the other side is golden. Continue with the remaining batter. I got five cakes with this batch. 

Pour some real maple syrup, not a lot though. Enjoy. 

Monday, June 26, 2017

DIY Masala Chai Vegan Latte & Mix

Who knew finding a vegan masala chai latte mix would be so hard. I had no idea until I tried to find some. Since I had no luck finding any, I decided to do the homesteader thing and make my own. After going through many recipes, I finally came up with my own little concoction not that that was so hard. I am quite pleased too. The best part, I am saving a lot of money making my own mix and I can have a latte anytime. I bought all of my ingredients from an Indian grocery too. If you have an Indian grocery near you, I highly recommend going there to get your supplies. Everything is really inexpensive.

As I mentioned in the video, I prefer my latte strong. You can add 1/2 tsp of the mix if you do not like it strong. I also like mine peppery so you might want to cut back on that too when you first make it. By all means, adjust to your liking.

Let's get to it. Here is what you will need.
2 tbsp whole cardamom
2 1/2 tbsp whole cloves
3 cinnamon sticks
2 star anise
1 tbsp ground pepper
1/2 cup ginger powder
1/2 tsp nutmeg

In fry pan on medium heat, toast the cardamom, cloves and cinnamon for 2 or 3 minutes, stirring constantly. Do not walk away from the pan or your spices will burn. When they are done, transfer to a large bowl and let cool. 

Add the pepper, ginger powder and nutmeg and stir to combine. I realize these things are already ground but this helps to ensure everything is mixed really well.

For the next part you will need a coffee grinder or a really good blender. If you are using a grinder, it's probably small so you will have to grind the mix in 3 or 4 increments. When you have completed the initial grinding, sift the mix to make sure there are no large pieces. If there are, put them back in the grinder and grind again. 

When the mix is complete, transfer to a mason jar for storage. Put the date on the jar so you know when you made it. 

It's time for a latte. You will need the following.
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup plant milk
1 tbsp loose tea
1/2 tsp of the mix

Put everything into a sauce pan and over medium heat, warm and let the tea steep. Strain into your favorite cup. You might need to add more milk. That's entirely up to you. Please enjoy!!!

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Veggie Pizza // Pizza Madness

The finale of pizza madness is Veggie Pizza. This is the best one I think. Best one for you too. The cauliflower crust I used is from Trader Joe's. According to the app Is it vegan?, it is vegan although it says there may be traces of milk, there is no milk listed in the ingredient list. I highly recommend it too.

I also used Tastefully Simple's Spinach & Herb Mix. I tried showing you in the video the ingredient list but I did not do a very good job. So here it is, spinach flakes, onion, minced green onion, dill and garlic. That's it. 

Let's get to the recipe. Here is what you will need. 
1 cauliflower crust - baked first and cooled. By all means use your own if you have a good recipe.

The Sauce
1 package of silken tofu
2-3 tbsp of Spinach & Herb Mix
1-2 tsp of No Chicken Bouillon

Put everything in a blender and blend until nice and creamy. Give it a taste and adjust the seasonings to your liking.

The Toppings
shredded romaine
broccoli florets
diced tomato
diced cucumber
shredded carrots
diced bell pepper
roasted corn

The rest is pretty self explanitory but here ya go. Spread some of the sauce onto the crust. Add the veggies and eat it up. It really is delicious. Enjoy!!

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Mac-n-Cheese Pizza // Pizza Madness

I'm changing up my format just for a bit. Each week I will try and do at least three recipes based on one ingredient or topic. Last week was strawberries and this week is pizza. My daughter and I have already been working on some ideas for the weeks to come.

When I decided to make three different pizza's, this was the only one I had never tried. It's really a fun idea for anyone who loves mac-n-cheese. The tomato sauce takes me back to my childhood. I used to eat mac-n-cheese with a bit of tomato soup mixed in. Of course you can use your own cheese sauce but here is mine.

For the easy vegan liquid gold you will need.
1 cup of soaked cashews
3/4 cup nooch
1 tsp salt
2 tbsp cornstarch
1/3 cup of onion powder
3/4 cup roasted red pepper
juice of 1/2 a lemon
1 1/2 cup boiled water

Put everything in a blender and blend on high for about 5 minutes.

The mac-n-cheese
3 cups of cooked elbow macaroni
1 1/2 cups of liquid gold

Mix it up. You can add more cheese if you like.

For the rest of the pizza you will need the following:
10" pizza crust. The package from Trader Joe's has two crusts in it. 
tomato sauce
sauteed mushrooms and onions
vegan mozzarella

To the crust spread some tomato sauce, add the mac-n-cheese, mushrooms and onions and some vegan mozzarella.

Bake according to package directions. I let mine sit for about 10 minutes before cutting. Slice it up and enjoy!!

Monday, June 19, 2017

Vegan Pesto & Chickon PIzza

This is one of the best homemade pizza's I have ever had. If you like pesto, you will love this. You can use whatever pesto you like too. Or you can use mine. My daughter liked it too even though avocado's make her tongue itch.

Let's get to it. Here is what you will need.
The pesto:
2 avocados
1/2 to 3/4 cup basil
1/3 cup nooch
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 or 2 cloves of garlic
salt to taste. 

Put everything in a blender or processor and blend until it's all nice and creamy.

The Pizza
pizza crust
pine nuts

Preheat your oven according to the instructions on the pizza dough package.

To the pizza dough, spread on a layer of the pesto, add the vegan chickon, some pine nuts and mozzarella. Bake for only 10 - 15 minutes.

It's so good. Enjoy.

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Strawberry Vanilla Cake // Strawberry Madness

#StrawberryMadness continues. During the hot summer months, I try to avoid turning the oven on. Who really wants to bake when it's 90 degrees outside. So, finding easy dessert ideas that require no baking are always a goal of mine this time of year. This recipe is so good and so easy. The hardest part of it is finding the right pan to put it in. I used a small loaf pan. You really need something that is small and deep.

Let's get to it. Here is what you will need. 
1 package of instant vanilla pudding. I found this at Whole Foods in the baking section and it is vegan. Really good too.
2 cups cold plant milk. I used almond but any cold milk will work
vegan graham crackers. The amount you will need depends on the pan you use. I used about half of a box. 
fresh sliced strawberries

Prepare the pudding as directed. Let it sit for about five minutes to thicken up. 

Put a thin layer of pudding in the bottom of your pan, then a layer of graham crackers, another layer of pudding and a layer of strawberries. Repeat with graham crackers, pudding and berries until your pan is full or you run out of ingredients. Be sure to end with a layer of strawberries. I think I used four layers of crackers. Cover it up and set it in the fridge overnight. The crackers will get soft like cake.  

Serve it up and enjoy.

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

DIY Strawberry Gummies

The kids want gummies but you don't want them to have all of the crap in them. Now you can make them at home and it's way easier than I thought it would be.

I have to admit I didn't think these would turn out as nice as they did. And the agar agar is actually really good for you. It has no sugar, fat or carbs and is a great source of iron, calcium and fiber. Just don't tell the kids. 

You can play around with flavors too. I made mango, kiwi strawberry and watermelon. I do not recommend the watermelon though. It was gross. The others were pretty good though. 

Let's get to it. Here is what you will need.
heaping 1/2 cup of chopped strawberries
1/2 cup of water
2 tbsp maple syrup
1 1/2 tbsp agar agar flakes

Toss everything except the agar agar into a blender. Blend for a minute or two until it's juicy and there are no chunks. Strain it to remove any large pieces or seeds that you do not want in your gummies. 

Pour the juice into a small sauce pan along with the agar agar. Stir to combine. Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low medium and simmer for five minutes. 

Very carefully pour into a silicone mold that's on a plate. Transfer to the fridge and let sit for 15 - 20 minutes. Then they are complete. 

If you do not have a silicone mold, you can pour into a small baking tray, or even some sort of container. Let them sit up. Cut them and enjoy this way too.

Monday, June 12, 2017

DIY Strawberry Jam // Strawberry Madness

About 30 years ago, I went strawberry picking with a friend of mine and her mom. The mom wanted to make jam. We each picked a five gallon bucket of strawberries. Came home, cleaned and hulled them and then I watched as the mom made about 30 quarts jam. I'm really not sure how many. I just remember they had a deep freezer and half of it was filled with jam. For at least five years after that, any time I wanted some, I just asked and they gave me a quart. 

I still love strawberry jam but I for sure do not have the time or the space to make that much. Now I can make a small batch of strawberry jam any time I want with just one pound of berries. 

There is no cooking involved either. Super easy too. 

Let's get started. Here is what you will need. 
1 pound of fresh strawberries, cleaned and hulled
3 tbsp of real maple syrup
2 1/2 tbsp of chia seeds
1 tbsp of fresh lemon juice, this acts as a preservative
a dash of salt if the jam seems a bit bland. Completely optional though.

Dice the berries into little chunky bits and put in a bowl. Add everything else except the salt and give it a stir. With a potato masher, mash some or all of the berries. Just depends on how you like your jam. 

Give it a taste. If it seems bland, add the salt. If not, just let it sit for about an hour. The chia seeds will absorb some of the juices from the strawberries and thicken up. Poor into a mason jar with a lid and store in the fridge for up to two weeks. 


Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Lentil & TVP Loaf a.k.a. Meatless Loaf - Oil Free

Most people I know like meatloaf. At least in America they do and I've been wanting to make this for a long, long, looooong time and I finally got around to it. I was pleasantly surprised at how much it tasted like how I used to make it. This recipe is oil free and since it's vegan, it's good for you. And did you know if you have a serving of lentils once a week, it will help lower your cholesterol. 

Let's get to it. Here is what you will need. 
The Flax Egg
3 tbsp flax meal
9 tbsp plain unsweetened milk 

Stir to combine in a bowl and let sit for at least 15 minutes.

The Lentils
1 cup lentils
3 cups water
1 bay leaf

Put those in a pot. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for about 20 minutes. All or most of the water should be absorbed and the lentils should be soft. 

1/2 cup TVP
1/2 cup boiled veg broth
2 tsp dried parsley
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp turmeric
1 tbsp tamari

Put everything in a bowl and stir to combine.

The Loaf
In a large bowl, combine 2 cups of lentils, the tvp mix, the flax egg, 1/2 cup finely diced gree bell pepper and 1 finely diced onion. Stir to combine. Give it a taste and add salt or other seasoning to your liking. 

Pour the mix in a loaf pan and smooth out the top. Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and cover with some organic ketchup or tomato sauce. Either works great. Return to the oven and continue baking for 30 more minutes. 

Remove from the oven and let it sit for about 20 minutes before serving. Just so it can cool and set up. Serve with some mashed taters and veggie of choice.

Monday, June 5, 2017

Vegan Picadillo a.k.a. Mexican Hash

I know, I know. You are probably thinking oh great another Mexican recipe. I can't help it. I really love Mexican food and folkart for that matter. Anyway, before I was vegan and a long time ago, I had this neighbor that made picadillo. I had never heard of it but it smelled so good. One taste and I was hooked. 

I have not had picadillo in at least seven years and last week I all of sudden had a taste for it again. I wondered if I could make it vegan and I discovered I could and with great success. 

Now, if you are not into fake meat, I'm sure lentils will work too but I have not tried them yet. TVP will probably work too.

Let's get to it. Here is what you will need. 
1 pkg of veggie crumbles. Gardein works best but the stores were out so I used Beyond Meat for the video
1 large white onion diced
3 cups vegetable broth
4 cups diced potato, I used golden
1-24 oz diced tomato
1 bag of roasted corn or about 2 cups
2 tbsp cumin
1 -2 tbsp of adobo

Start by pouring 1/2 cup veg broth into a large soup pot. Add the onions and saute until golden brown.

Add the veggie crumbles and seasoning and stir around. Add the remaining broth, potatoes and tomatoes. Cover and simmer for about 15 - 20 minutes or until the potatoes are tender. Most of thebroth will be absorbed by everything in the pot.

Add the corn and stir some more. Serve it up and enjoy.