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Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Creamy Veggie Pasta

OK I used to make a version of this years ago, but that one contained milk, sour cream, and gluten full pasta.  So I stopped making it.  This version is much healthier with more veggies.

~1 TBSP Olive Oil
~1 onion diced
~2 celery ribs chopped
~2 carrots diced
~2 cups green beans (these were green beans I had canned from last year's garden)
~1 package Quorn Chicken-Not chunks or you could easily use 2 chicken breasts cooked and cut into 1/2 inch pieces.
~1/2 bag Tinkiada gluten free pasta (that is the brand I like the BEST) cooked.
~2-1/2 cups plain almond milk
~4-6 ounces of goat cheese crumbled
~1 TBSP tapioca starch

Add olive oil, onion, celery, and carrot to a pan on med-high heat.  Stir for about 5 minutes, until onions are translucent.  Add Quorn Chicken-Not chunks and 2 cups almond milk.  Let this heat until the Chicken-Not chunks are thawed and hot.  Now add your green beans and goat cheese to the mixture and bring this up to just a boil, stir so the goat cheese is all melted in there.  Next, in a small bowl, stir your tapioca starch and 1/2 cup almond milk.  Add the starch/almond milk mixture to the pan, along with the cooked pasta.  Bring the pan back to a boil and it will thicken.  S+P to taste.

Everyone in my family loved this.  I didn't have any veggie broth on hand but I think next time I make this dish I will add 1/2 cup of vegetable broth to the pan when I add the 2 cups almond milk.  I just think it will give it a little more dimension.

I am also enjoying blogging my recipes.  And so are the boys.  It is so easy and fun to look through my recipe index, check out everything we have eaten and make our weekly meal plan.  So much easier to have the picture to go with the dish.  When my boys say "mom I want to make that dish we had, you know...that had the green beans in it...."  We can go to the blog and look at the pictures.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Turnip Cabbage Soup and Cabbage Rolls

This soup was made from things I had on hand and from my garden.  I do still have a few things hanging on in the garden.  :-)  It was delicious, not a spicy soup, but a warm comfort soup.

-1 turnip chopped
-1/2 a head of cabbage chopped
-1 onion diced
-2 celery ribs diced
-2 carrots shredded
-2 TBSP pesto
-3 cups cooked Garbanzo beans
-3 potatoes diced
-4 cups vegetable broth
S&P to taste

Add turnip, cabbage, onion, celery, carrot and vegetable broth to a stock pot.  Bring to a boil, then turn the heat back and let it simmer, covered, about 30 min, until the turnip and cabbage are knife tender (they take the longest to cook).  Next add the pesto, garbanzo beans, potatoes and let that simmer, covered, another 10-15 minutes until the potatoes are knife tender.  Add S&P and it is ready to eat!  

I served the soup with stuffed cabbage leaves.  This is from a book I just bought, The Complete Idiot's Guide to Gluten-Free Vegan Cooking.  I am really enjoying this book.  Have read through many Gluten-Free cook books but with so many meat recipes, I might find 1 or 2 recipes to try.  And I have also looked through a few plant based diet books, which are great, and pretty much stay away from gluten as well.  But those books tend to have really simple recipes.  Don't get me wrong, those are good in a pinch, but with only 4 ingredients I can imagine how it is going to taste, and quite frankly, so many of those recipes are bland.  But this book is full of easy, and not so easy recipes.  So many flavors and textures, I can't wait to try more recipes.  

OK so the Cabbage Rolls are on page 196 of that book!  A reminder to myself of where to find it when I want to cook it again. 

Friday, January 20, 2012

Spring Garden

I just ordered most of my spring planting seeds.  By Spring I mean those that I will plant mid February.  I know that doesn't sound much like SPRING to many of you, but here it will be just starting to warm up, and it will be warm enough to plant a few things.  I planted last year around mid February and loved getting some fresh veggies out of the garden at the same time I was planting my summer crops.  love Love LOVE that!!  Fresh deliciousness.

I ordered:
Swiss Chard

I need to order:

I used my favorite seed company of all times, Southern Exposure Seed Exchange.  Just a wonderful company to use.  And the cover of the new 2012 catalog is just too cute:

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Goat Cheese Frosting

Yes GOAT cheese, LOL.  I know it sounds horrible but it taste delicious, like cream cheese frosting.  I don't do well with cow milk/dairy, so I often use goat cheese, and the soft goat cheese has that tangy-ness you get from cream cheese, I just had to add a couple of things to my recipe to make it come out tasting the same.

-5-6 oz softened goat cheese
-1/2-3/4 cup softened earth balance
-1 tsp vanilla
-just a dash (less than a pinch) of salt
-1 TBSP plain almond milk
-3 cups confectioners sugar

cream the goat cheese and earth balance with a mixer, until well blended.  All the vanilla, salt, and almond milk and blend well.  Add confectioners sugar, 1 cup at a time, until it reaches the consistency you like for frosting.  You might need a little more if the earth balance is at all melted, a little less if the goat cheese or earth balance is still firm.

Now that I have tasted this I will not be missing my cream cheese frosting any more!  May make a cake for the gathering coming up this weekend ;-)

Monday, January 9, 2012

Crockpot Squash

This dish was so simple it makes me crazy that I have not done it before.  And delicious to boot.  To see where I pulled this "recipe", if you can call it that, just click the blog page here.

And I followed the recipe with one exception.  I used earth balance instead of butter.  I am copying the recipe below in case that blog page disappears in the future.  I want to be able to keep the recipe :-)  This blog is one of my FAVORITE Slow Cooker blogs, I adapt most recipes as we do not each much for processed foods, but the ideas are invaluable.

1 acorn squash
2 TBSP Earth Balance
sprinkling of Brown Sugar

Cut the squash in 1/2 and scoop out the seeds.  Then cut just a little bit of the skin off the bottom, so that the squash will sit flat in your slow cooker without tipping over.  Use a fork to poke some holes in the squash.  Sprinkle just a little brown sugar over the squash, and add about 1 TBSP Earth Balance to each 1/2, cut the Earth Balance up into several small pieces.  Cover and cook on low for about 7 hours.  Once it is done just scrape the nice tender squash off the sides and mix it all up inside the shell.  It is DELICIOUS!!  I am making this recipe again tonight, squash was on sale at the grocery store!

Friday, January 6, 2012

Spaghetti Sauce

This is a wonderful vegan spaghetti sauce that I have been making since we lived in Germany, years ago.  LOVE IT!  So rich, and thick and delicious.  But it does have to cook for a few hours, so I only make it once or twice a year.  I think the next time I make it, I will make a double batch so I will have some left to can.  Jackson and I really enjoy it, the boys not so much, they like a plain (can't see the vegetables) sauce.

2 TBSP Olive Oil
1 Large Onion
1 Red Bell Pepper
1 Green Bell Pepper
4 Cloves Garlic minced
1 Carrot diced
1 Turnip peeled and cut into small chunks
2 Cups Mushrooms Sliced (I usually pick up a box of whatever mushrooms look good at the grocery store)
2 tsp Dried Basil
2 tsp Dried Oregano
1 tsp Dried Thyme
S&P to taste
6 Cups tomato sauce (I use my own canned tomatoes)  You could also use 6 cups of diced canned tomatoes                    instead of sauce
1 Cup nice red wine
2 TBSP miso
1 tsp tamari
3 TBSP dried parsley

Cook up the onion in a pan with the Olive Oil until onion is slightly browned.  Add the onion and all the other ingredients to a large stock put and let it simmer for at least 3 hours.  Stir occasionally, you will know it is done when it is the right thickness for you. Some like a thinner sauce, I like mine nice and thick, so it simmers for around 5 hours.

Cathedral Cookies

This is my grandmother's recipe.  Delicious.  She used to make these every year at Christmas, and even when we were not living near home she would mail some to me, wherever I happened to be.

Cathedral Cookies, and you can see why they are called that.

1-12 oz bag chocolate chips
1 egg
pinch salt
3 cups colored mini-marshmallows
shredded coconut

Melt the chocolate chips in a double boiler.  Once melted add a pinch of salt and take off the heat.  Let it cool for a few minutes.  While the chocolate is cooling get out the mini marshmallows.  Also lay out some waxed paper and spread some shredded coconut down the center.  Now back to the chocolate, we want to add the egg, but don't want it to scramble, so in a separate bowl beat your egg just a little.  Then you will add a couple of spoons of warm chocolate to the egg, and mix.  Do this again.  Now the eggs are warmed, and you can add the egg/chocolate mixture into the pan of chocolate and the egg will not scramble.  Mix it well.  The next step is to add the marshmallows to the egg/chocolate mixture.  Stir until the marshmallows are all coated in chocolate.  Spoon about 1/2 of this mixture onto the coconut that is already spread out on the waxed paper.  Now add more coconut to the top and fold up the waxed paper around the sides and press.  Making a "log" shape.  Twist the ends of the waxed paper and put into the refrigerator for a hour or so.  Unroll and slice.

The picture below is how it looks when I lay it out on the waxed paper.  You can see the coconut under the chocolate/marshmallows.  From there I just add more coconut on top and roll.  This is 1/2 the recipe.  I make two "logs".

Thursday, January 5, 2012


I rarely take pictures of my kombucha scobys.  But today I am sharing a scoby with someone else, so I took pictures so she could see what they look like before she gets one.  I thought I would share here as well.

My quart jar, the one I am giving away:

Here is my gallon jar:

And last but not lease here is my 2 gallon jar:

I think I need to separate them out, maybe add some to my septic system, and the compost bin.  Think I will do that today!