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Thursday, August 30, 2018

Sweet and Sour Sauce


I've been trying to come up with sauces to add some flavor to my vegetables. I often get ideas by seeing something on TV -- a commercial or Dr. Oz or the like.

So I decided to try to create a sweet and sour sauce so I'd feel like I was eating Chinese take-out food. I don't eat rice, so instead of rice I sauteed riced cauliflower in a bit of olive oil with a bit of my spice mix (which pretty much includes all the spices I like like turmeric, coriander, chili powder, cinnamon, ginger, chipotile pepper... so many more) and just sauteed it on a low flame.

Today's veggies (which aren't the same every day, though there are a few "stars" like cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, and mushrooms) were re-hydrated dehydrated mushrooms, a bit of roasted shallot and scallion (two shallots and one cut up scallion) roasted about 10-15 minutes in a 415 degree oven. (I sprayed a bit of olive oil on them), 1 1/2 10 ounce bags of fresh organic cauliflower (easier than working on the cauliflower head myself), some chopped red cabbage, a couple of handfuls of Brussels sprouts (cut in half lengthwise). What can I say? I like cruciferous vegetables.

In any case, you can use whatever vegetables you like. The important part is the sauce.

In order to make this sauce, I need to tell you what I drink. I don't like water, at least in large quantities, so I make herbal tea -- I use Celestial Seasonings in several flavors. The tea I make that I use for the Sweet and Sour Sauce is a combination of "Sangria Zinger" and "Watermelon Lime" -- I use two bags of each in a container that holds about a gallon of water and I add filtered water and 1/2 teaspoon of powdered stevia. (I drink this anyway, so I don't make it especially for the sauce).

Anyway, I take about 1 1/2 cups of this (once it's steeped long enough -- I use cold filtered water) and put it in my blender, add 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar another 1/4 teaspoon stevia, 1/4 teaspoon of my spice mix (you can use whatever spices you want) and 1 teaspoon of konjac (or a starch of your choosing, like potato starch or corn starch). I whir it around in my blender and then add it to the mostly sauteed through vegetables (I saute them in olive oil with my spice mixture and a pinch of "pink" salt) and heat until the sauce begins to thicken. Let cool a bit and serve (on top of riced cauliflower) and eat.

Sunday, June 24, 2018

Cauliflower "Tots"


I was roaming around the internet the other day (as I often do) and I came across a recipe for Broccoli Tater Tots. Unfortunately, after printing it off, I lost the link and can't find it right now, so I can't link over to the original.

The recipe called for 4 cups of broccoli florets but it's so hard to get broccoli cooked just right. So I decided to try this with Trader Joe's  Organic Rainbow Cauliflower (Frozen). I took one package of the cauliflower (I let it sit for a while to soften up) and processed it through my food processor (it took two "rounds" -- it ended up the consistency of cauliflower-rice) and put it in a bowl. I added a teaspoon of my spice mix (you can add your own spices) and 1/8 of a teaspoon pink salt (the recipe called for 1/2 teaspoon each of garlic powder and onion powder and 1 teaspoon salt and 1 teaspoon black pepper) then I added 1/4 cup of ground chia and added a cup of filtered water -- this, of course, if my egg replacement (the recipe calls for 2 large eggs lightly beaten). I added 2/3 cup of nutritional yeast (instead of the 2/3 cup of shredded cheddar cheese called for in the recipe) and 1/4 cup of food processor chopped walnuts to replace the 1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs and I mixed everything together well. I pre-heated the oven to 400 degrees and let the mixture sit in the fridge for about 15 minutes. Then I shaped 32 little "tot" sized "yummies" and placed them onto a parchment paper lined cookie sheet. I sprayed them all with a propellant free organic olive oil spray and popped them into the over for 15 minutes -- I then flipped them all (they were a bit brown on the bottom), resprayed them and baked them for 10 minutes longer.

They actually came out delicious. These would actually be good for people who want to get a lot of veggies in their diet, who are eating low fat (most of the fat is in the 1/4 cup of walnuts) and for people on a ketogenic diet. And, of course, for us die-hard vegans 😃

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Quiche Me Once and Quiche Me Twice Then Quiche Me Once Again.....


When one is on a very limited diet, as I am, one has a tendency to get into food making ruts. So after several weeks of sauteed mushrooms and cauliflower I decided it's time to come up with something new.

I never tasted a "real" quiche -- that is a quiche make with milk, eggs and cheese. My sister used to make them, but I was already vegan, so no milk, eggs or cheese for me. But I do have an idea of how it tastes. I got an idea the other day that I'd like to try to make one for myself -- I had just gotten some more nutritional yeast from Whole Foods. I also picked up some fresh pre-washed organic spinach (5 oz bag) and some frozen organic cauliflower (1 pound bag). I already had frozen organic riced cauliflower at home (also 1 pound bags). I also picked up a bag of "Fungus Among Us" dehydrated organic porcini mushrooms.

I steamed 1 1/2 bags of the riced cauliflower (over filtered spiced salted water -- I suggest you pick spices you like -- I make my own spice mix that I use all the time -- it has coriander, turmeric, chili powder, chipotle powder, smoked paprika, cloves, cinnamon, ginger, and a bunch more mixed together in a spice jar). When the riced cauliflower is fully steamed (to a soft mushy state) I save the water as a base for soup.

While the cauliflower was steaming, I took the spinach and a small saute pan -- covered the pan bottom with olive oil and 1/4 teaspoon of my spice mix and a pinch of "pink" salt (Himalayan) and added 1/2 the bag of spinach (this filled the entire pan) and sauteed on a low flame until I could fit the rest of the bag and then sauteed until it's all wilted. I also took the dehydrated mushrooms and put them in a bowl (I broke the larger pieces into smaller pieces) and re-hydrated them with boiling water (just enough to cover the mushrooms).

When the riced cauliflower was soft and mushy (and cooled a bit) I put 1/2 of the cauliflower in my food processor with 1/2 cup almond or coconut "milk" -- whirred it all together and put it in a mixing bowl then did the same with the other half and another 1/2 cup "milk" -- I then added 1/4 cup ground chia, 1/2 cup nutritional yeast, the spinach and the (now sufficiently re-hydrated mushrooms).

I stirred in one bag of (partially or totally defrosted) non-riced cauliflower (just plain cauliflower pieces) and mixed everything together with a spoon. I then put the mixture into a glass casserole dish and baked (uncovered) at 350 degrees for 20 minutes, then check -- if it's not done, check again every 10 minutes until it's done. Let it cool and serve.

It turned out really good -- I hope you all like it as much as I do.

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Ketogenic Brownies


I was reading yet another "Top X Superfoods" article and, of course, they mentioned sugar-free chocolate. So I decided I was in the mood for brownies.

I took 1/2 cup coconut flour and 1/2 cup almond flour and 1/4 cup chopped walnuts (and put them into a bowl) and put in 1 teaspoon cinnamon, 1/4 teaspoon coriander, 1/2 teaspoon stevia powder (or sweeten with your sweetener of choice). I added 4 Tablespoons (1/4 cup) cacao powder and a 5.6 ounce can of unsweetened coconut cream and 1 cup unsweetened coconut "milk". I blended everything together and split the batter between two (unbleached) parchment paper lined loaf pans (I put another piece of parchment paper to even the batter out as well as I could) and put it in the oven at 350 degrees (Fahrenheit -- around 190-200 degrees C). Take from the over and cool. While the cake part is cooling, make a glaze using 2 Tablespoons MCT oil, 1/4 teaspoon stevia and 1 Tablespoon of cacao powder -- put it into the freezer for 10 minutes to give it some substance. Drizzle/spread the glaze over the cake.

When it cools a bit, cut into squares. Hope you like it :-)

Sunday, January 14, 2018

Vegan Crackers and Blueberry Scones Based on Wholesome Yum


So I'm experimenting the ketogenic recipes and I got a free download of 10 Low Carb recipes from Wholesome Yum (thanks to Maya for permission to use them).

So I like crackers. But, because I've been off grain for quite a few years, I have had to make my own. I had tried a recipe someone put up on one of the ketogenic lists I joined on Facebook (I put my own version on this blog) and I like them, but this recipe was easier and had fewer ingredients, so I tried this:

I used 2 cups of almond flour (just like the original recipe) but the original recipe called for a large egg (not vegan) and 1/2 teaspoon of sea salt. I changed the former to 1 Tablespoon of chia powder and 1/4 cup water (extra if needed -- I think I needed another teaspoon or two) and I only used 1/8 teaspoon of pink (Himalayan) salt. I blended the ingredients together and rolled them out (between two pieces of parchment paper) and cut them into rectangles (and, as the recipe mentioned, I put toothpick holes -- 4 rows of 4 -- per cracker). I baked them at 350 degrees for about 15 minutes and they came out great.

The other recipe I tried was blueberry scones. As the recipe called for, I used 1 cup almond flour, 1/4 cup coconut flour and 1/2 teaspoon baking powder. The recipe called for 8 Tablespoons of Erythritol (Erythritol makes me nauseated at times, so I avoid it) -- I used 1/2 teaspoon powdered stevia. I didn't use the salt the recipe called for. I used 1/2 coconut "milk" (the recipe called for 1/4 cup almond "milk") because the I needed some for the 2 Tablespoons of chia powder to replace the egg called for in the recipe. Instead of the teaspoon of vanilla extract in the recipe, I used 1/2 teaspoon vanilla powder (stronger flavor and no alcohol) and I used 3/4 cup of blueberries instead of 1/2 cup. I did not add the coconut oil in the recipe and didn't make the glaze (I have some issues with coconut oil that eating shredded coconut and using coconut "milk" don't seem to cause -- the glaze's main ingredient was coconut oil).

I mixed the ingredients (except the blueberries) together an then added the blueberries. I put the mixture on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper in a circle. I pressed it down with another piece of parchment paper on top. I cut it into 12 wedges and moved them apart. Then I baked it at 350 degrees for about 25 minutes. It came out delicious (though, I have to say, it was better warm).

Thanks, Maya, for the recipes and the permission to publish my revamped version.

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

"Chili" Keto Sin Carne


I'm only calling this "Chili" because the idea was based on Chili. This has no tomato, no beans, no meat. So it's hard to call it Chili. It has almonds, walnuts, cauliflower, coconut "milk", mushrooms (I love Shiitake), spices..... (and, though it doesn't taste a thing like chili, I really think it came out good)

I started with a 10 ounce bag of organic almonds. I put it in a pot of spiced (and salted) water (I have my spice mix, but you might want to choose spices to your own liking). I boiled the water and added the almonds. I cooked it on simmer with the pot covered for about an hour and a quarter. While the almonds were boiling, I steamed a bag of frozen cauliflower and a bag of frozen riced cauliflower. I also sauteed up a lot of shiitake mushrooms (I used frozen and rehydrated dehydrated) in olive oil with a bit of spice mix and salt.

When the cauliflower was really soft, I put it in the blender with one cup of unsweetened coconut "milk" and 1 1/2 cups of the spiced almond water. I added some more spice mix, and a teaspoon each of lion's mane mushroom powder, reishi mushroom powder and kale powder. It needed to be blended a few times (because of the thickness) but when you blend it all together, it's the sauce.

When the almonds are done, drain them, add the sauce (some may be left over), 1/2 cup chopped walnuts and the mushrooms (as much as possible -- I can't imagine there'd be a way there would be too many mushrooms). Mix, eat and enjoy (just don't expect it to taste like chili). The mushrooms add a meaty taste.

Sunday, January 7, 2018

Ketogenic Crackers, Vegan Edition


So, as you may recall, I started on a ketogenic diet. This is a high fat, low carb, sort of medium protein diet. I've been experimenting -- being vegan on this diet is a challenge, but, then again, life as a vegan is a challenge. 

I joined a FB list of other people doing the Ketogenic Mamba, trying to balance what they need to do with making sure they are in ketosis (I check my urine every morning like I did many years ago when I was on Atkins to see if I'm in Ketosis).

So someone asked about something crunchy and someone put up a recipe for keto crackers. It included eggs and cheese, so I decided to try a vegan version. This is what I came up with:

1 cup almond flour
1/8 cup chopped walnuts (almost as fine as the flour)
1/4 teaspoon my spice mix (choose your favorite)
1/4 teaspoon cumin
1/4 teaspoon lion's mane mushroom powder
1/8 teaspoon pink (Himalayan) salt
1/8 smoked paprika
1/8 cup ground chia seeds (instead of eggs)
1 Tablespoon nutritional yeast (cheesy)
1/4 cup unsweetened coconut (or other non-dairy) "milk"

I mixed together all the dry ingredients and then blended in the coconut milk. It made a nice dough and I rolled it out with a rolling pin between two pieces of parchment paper and cut it into rectangle and put up to bake for 15 minutes.

They came out delicious.....