Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Original Recipe: Thai Mango Smoothie

I often end up with fruit that is too ripe to eat on it's own but not too far gone that I need to toss it so into a smoothie it goes!

I had a big bowl of Thai mango that needed to be eaten so I created this. It made enough for two but I managed to sip on it for an hour or so and drank it all myself.

Shelly's Thai Mango Smoothie
2 servings

300 grams of fresh Thai mango
1 1/2 cups almond milk (I used unsweetened plain)
1/2 cup citrus or tropical juice (I used mango-tangerine)
1 tbsp lemon juice
4 ice cubes

Blend everything well and drink!

Friday, February 28, 2014

Original Recipe - 'Chick'n' Taco Seasoning Mix

This seasoning is a clone recipe from a well-known spice house. You can use this with Soy Curls, chickpeas or to season any commercially available chick'n strip type product for tacos, like Beyond Meat or Gardein.

The original calls for jalapeno powder. If I don't have it in my kitchen, it isn't something that is going to be used often so I left it out. Most of the ingredients will be in a normal kitchen except maybe the Ancho powder. You can sub in whatever chili type powder you have if necessary.

Shelly's Chick'n Taco Seasoning Mix

1 Tbsp Mexican oregano
1 1/4 tsp Spanish paprika
1 1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp cumin
3/4 tsp onion powder
3/4 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp cilantro
1/4 tsp ancho chile powder (add an additional 1/8 tsp if you like it spicier)
1/8 tsp black pepper

Blend together with a whisk.

I prefer not to add a bunch of oil to my food so I'd just cook or warm up whatever 'chick'n' I was using, sprinkle the seasoning over it and add in some water and cook it until it's coated and done. Not rocket science. I'd even add a squirt of lime juice if I was feelin' it.

The original recipe give these directions for the equivalent of one pound of chicken. If you're using pre-cooked items then you'll need to adjust the initial chicken cooking time.

In a large pan over medium heat, heat 2 tbsp of corn oil and cook chicken for 7 minutes , Stir in 1 tbsp lime juice and 2 tbsp of the seasoning mix. Cook 2 minutes. Add 1/2 cup water, reduce heat and simmer until done.

Friday, February 7, 2014

Original Recipe: Garlic Alfredo Mac & Cheese

Feel free to share.. just link back to this blog. 
I came across a recipe for a creamy garlic pasta. It wasn't plant based so it had yucky ingredients like chicken stock, heavy cream and lots of Parmesan. No thanks!

So, I got to work and modified it to create a deliciously mild, rich and creamy mac & cheese that will be especially perfect for the newly plant based! I think kids would like this too so if you try it on them, let me know.

Please make an effort to find the Ready Cut Spaghetti. Creamette makes it and it's very close to the traditional mac & cheese noodles from Kraft.

Shelly's Garlic Alfredo Mac & Cheese
This makes one large serving or 2 smaller side servings.

1 tbsp earth balance
          1 tsp minced garlic
         1.5 cups veg broth (I used water with 1 tsp of no chicken bouillon)
         4 oz Ready Cut Spaghetti
         1/4 c. cashew cream (recipe follows)
         1 tbsp nutritional yeast

Make the cashew cream and set it aside.

If you don't have a Vitamix or Blendtec blender, you will need to soak 1/2 cup cashews in water overnight. (or at least 4 hours) Drain and rinse and then proceed.

Take 1/2 cup raw cashews and 3/4 cup water and blend in blender until perfectly smooth. If you rub it between your fingers, it shouldn't be grainy. This could take a few minutes with a good blender, longer with a less powerful one. You will have left over cashew cream as you will use about 1/4 cup of it. You can save it for a few days to keep making this or check out the Isa Does It cookbook.. she uses cashew cream in many of her recipes so you can use leftovers there.

In a medium saucepan, heat the Earth Balance until melted. Add the garlic and cook for one minute. Stir in the broth and bring to a boil. When the broth is boiling, add in the ready cut spaghetti and boil until it's cooked al dente, about 6 minutes. The broth should cook down a little and start to thicken.

Lower the heat and DO NOT DRAIN the noodles/sauce. Add in 1/4 cup cashew cream and the nutritional yeast. Heat over low heat while stirring until the sauce thickens up and is absorbed by the noodles. If you'd like it saucier, add more cashew cream. Add salt and pepper to taste. (use white pepper to avoid the black specs if that matters to you)

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Original Recipe: Lick The Spoon Golden Gravy

So, mashed potatoes and gravy.. 

is there anything more amazing and perfect? 

No, no there isn't.

I apologize for the photo .. the time change makes it much darker at dinner time now and my indoor pics aren't that great .. however this gravy is great!

This is so good that I licked the spoon. Seriously.

This is a golden gravy you can use with any sort of chik'n type meal. 
Think Tofurky roast or on mashed potatoes. 

I'd really like for you to get your hands on 'Gravy Master' as it really makes it good. I also use the Better Than Bouillon No Chicken flavor in this and Rapunzel vegetable bouillon. 

Lick The Spoon Golden Gravy

2 Tbsp Earth Balance
2 Tbsp flour

8 oz vegetable broth
1 tbsp nutritional yeast
1 tsp No Chicken bouillon paste
1/2 tsp Gravy Master
1/2 tsp bouillon powder (or more of the No Chicken)
1/2 tsp poultry seasoning
salt to taste (at the end)

First.. make a roux! Melt the Earth Balance in a medium sized sauce pan and add the flour. Using a whisk, cook over medium heat it until it is smooth and slightly thickened and browns a little. While whisking, slowly add the vegetable broth and incorporate it into the roux until smooth and thickened. Add the rest of the ingredients, making sure to whisk after each addition to keep it smooth. Once everything is in there, taste it and add salt to your liking.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Recipe - Cheesy Garlic Quick Sticks

I love garlic bread... all buttery and garlic-y and cheesy! Crusty on the outside and tender on the inside? 

Yes, please! 

Here is a quick way to make garlic sticks for one or two or a whole group! Be aware of the salt content in the spices you use here otherwise things can get too salty! 

You can make these as an appetizer or with pasta, soup or a side salad. Figure a half roll (4 sticks) for each person. I like using ciabatta bread for this because it's chewy and tender but feel free to use any bread you like. 

Shelly's Cheesy Garlic Quick Sticks

Ciabatta rolls 
Earth Balance 
Nutritional yeast
Garlic seasoning

Olive oil
Dipping seasonings of your choice

Slice each ciabbata roll in half horizontally and spread each half with softened Earth Balance.

Sprinkle with nutritional yeast and garlic seasoning
(I used Weber brand Roasted Garlic & Herb)

Slice each half into 4 'sticks'.

Place them on a small baking sheet and broil until they are crispy and done to your liking.

Arrange on a plate and serve with a small dish with olive oil topped with your choice of seasonings. (I used Trader Joe's South African Smoke Seasoning here). You may want to try flavored olive oils too! 

Monday, September 30, 2013

Original Recipe - Onion Chip Dip

I used to love eating wavy potato chips and onion dip! 

You could buy it already made or buy some sour cream and add an envelope of Lipton Onion Soup Mix and make it that way. 

Well, guess what? Dairy sour cream is bad, bad, bad and that soup mix is nothing but gross chemicals. including MSG.. no thanks! 

Onion Chip Dip

1 cup diced onion (I recommend a sweet onion)
2 tbsp olive oil
1/2 cup silken tofu
1/2 cup Vegenaise (or other vegan mayo)
2 tsp nutritional yeast
3/4 tsp garlic granules
1/2 tsp onion granules/powder
1/2 tsp No Beef bouillon
1/4 tsp salt
pinch citric acid (or a little lemon juice  you want it a little tangy)

Saute the onions in the olive oil over a low to medium heat. You want them lightly carmelized, mostly brown, not burnt. 

Place the rest of the ingredients into a food processor along with half the onions* and puree until smooth. Fold in the other half of the onions and chill for an hour. 

* if you want a completely smooth dip, add all the onions at once to the food processor.

Sunday, September 29, 2013

A Trip to Aldi

I've been shopping at Aldi for over 20 years. 
I don't go as often as I should. 
There seems to be a weird stigma about shopping at Aldi and 
it's unfortunate because they have great stuff!

A few things you should know before venturing into Aldi:

1. Be Prepared. 

Aldi doesn't look like a traditional grocery store. They stack the boxes, do very little 'merchandising' and it's all bare bones... it's more like a warehouse store.

2. Take a Quarter

If you need a cart, you will need to place a quarter deposit in your cart. This is so people don't leave the carts standing in the parking lot and their employees won't need to go and gather those carts.  You may think a quarter is no big deal but I've never seen a rogue cart in the parking lot so it works.

3. Take cash, a debit card or EBT card.  

Aldi doesn't take checks or credit cards.

4. Be Flexible.

Understand that Aldi has the basics and some odd 'limited time only' things so you won't find everything you're looking for there and you may not find something you got there the next time you go. I still need to go to my large grocery store for the specialty items I buy, but they have most everything I want for a basic gathering of items. They mostly have their brand of products which are name brands with a private label. They also have brand name items that change each week. 

The have a decent variety of  chips, candy, crackers, cookies, spices, condiments, cereals, baking items, dairy and meat products, household items, diapers, paper and plastic goods, frozen convenience foods, veggies, fruits, pet food, breads, snacks, boxed goods, pasta, jarred and canned goods. 

5. Bring Your Own Bags... 

... or you have to buy them there. 
You will be bagging your own groceries.

The Trip

The haul shown in the photo was about $68 plus an additional $15 I spent for the cat scratching post.. I also bought some items not pictured but I subtracted those out. They have very odd things each week at Aldi. You just never know what you'll find! 

(3) bags of spring mix at $1.99 each
(2) cucumbers at 39 cents each
(2) pineapples at $1.29 ea
(1) corn tortillas at 99 cents
(1) carton almond milk at $2.49
(1) bag of crinkle cut fries at $1.89
(1) bunch bananas at $1.03
(1) pkg green grapes at $2.99
(1) 4 lb bag of sugar at $1.89
(1) bottle of extra virgin olive oil at $2.99
(1) sandwich cream cookies, double stuff at $1.49
(1) fresh squeezed orange juice (not concentrate) at $2.49
(2) pkgs of zucchini (came out to be 5 total) for $1.39 each pkg)
(1) 10 lb of russet potatoes at $1.99
(1) kumato tomato sleeve at $1.29
(1) bag wavy potato chips at $1.49
(1) 3 lb bag of gala apples at $1.99
(1) pkg mushrooms at $1.49
(1) carafe of lemonade at $1.69
(1) huge loaf of pane italian bread at $3.79
(1) bag of green onions at 99 cents
(1) pkg brussels sprouts at $2.39
(1) bag of waffle fries at $1.79
(1) 40 oz jar peanut butter (for my dogs!) at $3.99
(1) steak sauce at 99 cents
(1) large can pinto beans at $1.19
(1) bag of red onions (4 in the bag) at $1.99
(1) can olive oil spray at $1.69
(2) cans of whole kernel corn at 48 cents each
(1) can diced green chiles at 69 cents
(2) cans black beans at 59 cents each
(2) cans tomato paste at 39 cents each
(1) bottle of lemon juice at $1.89

Aldi has some great prices and you can get a lot of food for the money here. 

They also have a double guarantee on their Aldi brand products... if you aren't satisfied, they will replace the item AND refund your money! So.. give them a try!!

You can check out their weekly specials on their website and find the closest location to you. They are all over the world!