Category Archives: Recipes

Cashew and Sunflower Seed Maple Cinnamon Butter

My home internet is out for the next two weeks so my posting is going to be a bit sporadic.  The weather in VT was amazing this weekend.  Jason and I went hiking Sunday in Woodstock at the Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller National Park (and our second stamp in our national park’s book).  It’s a gorgeous park with easy hiking trails – definitely a great way to spend a few hours if you are ever in Southern VT.

I also spent some time on Sunday preparing my food for the week ahead.  I tend to use Sunday nights to prepare some essentials for the week – like cleaning greens, chopping or shredding veggies for salads, and making nut butter.  I found a super simple recipe a few months ago and now make nut butters at home instead of paying $$$ for less than stellar products at a store.

Pretty much this recipe can be altered for any kind of nuts (I’ve made almond butter and walnut butter).  Just have some patience when making the butter – timing depends on the type of nut you use.

Be warned – this concoction is amazing!  I can’t stop eating it.

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/4 cup of sunflower seeds
  • 3/4 cup of cashews
  • 1/2 tsp of honey
  • 1/2 tsp of maple syrup
  • a dash of salt

Start with nuts and seeds in food processor

About 90 seconds after beginning to process

It will look like this around 3 minutes

At 4 - 5 minutes it will look like this

At 6 minutes in

Around 8 minutes it starts to redistribute but keep going until the oils release

At 10 minutes the nuts release their oils, and the nut butter is ready. if you want to add the honey and maple syrup stir in by hand now.

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Greenalicious

After perusing the blogs this morning, I became inspired to channel my inner-Irish and hop on the green-food train.

I adapted Angela’s Savory Zucchini Muffins into Savory Zucchini Bread

I pretty much followed Angela’s adaptation pretty closely.  Check out her posts for exact measurements.

1 cup of grated fresh zucchini

Mix dry ingredients together - flour, salt, italian seasoning, nutritional yeast, & baking powder

Mix wet ingredients together - non-dairy milk, canola oil, flax egg, & grated zucchini

Then add wet ingredients to dry and mix together

Oven should be pre-heated to 400 degrees. Then add dough to bread pan.  Cook for 22 – 25 minutes.  Take bread out of pan and cool on rack for 10 minutes – then ENJOY!

Thanks Angela! This is delicious!

As good as Apple Pie

My mission: Homemade Apple Pie

My mentor: Martha Stewart

After my failed attempt at yoga, I realized to process my stress an activity was needed that included music, food, and wine!  I waited till noon to begin – both the apple and drinking wine.

A few Christmas’ ago, my mom got me Martha Stewart’s Cooking School: Lessons and Recipes for the Home Cook.  I love this cookbook.  I sat down and read it cover to cover the first few days I had it.  It covers all the basics – cutting techniques, pairing spices, and traditional recipes.

I knew Martha would be a great guide on my request to make a homemade apple pie.

First up: dough

Process dry ingredients in food processor: flour, sugar, and salt

Add butter - pulse until coarse crumbles form

Add water and pulse until dough just holds together when pinched

Turn dough onto clean work surface – knead once or twice to incorporate loose pieces.  Divide dough in half.  Pat into a thick disk – and wrap each disk in plastic wrap.  Refrigerate for at least one hour.

PREPARE FILLING

While the dough chills – I put together the pie filling.

about 2 lbs of apples are needed - use a variety or just one kind - peel and core all the apples

Put sliced apples in large bowl - add sugar, a pinch of flour, lemon juice, cinnamon, ginger & salt

Mix the apples and rest of the ingredients well – let them sit in the fridge while the dough finishes chilling.

ROLL OUT THE DOUGH

After the dough has chilled (for at least an hour), Martha shares some helpful tips on rolling out the dough: make sure the room you are working in is cool, keep the dough cool but let it sit out for 10 minutes before rolling it out, make sure not to use too much flour – too much flour with toughen it.  I floured the work surface and the rolling-pin – and rolled out the dough. Now my dough does not look as pretty as the pictures in the cookbook.  The thickness of the rolled out dough should be 1/8″.

One disk of my dough rolled out.

ASSEMBLE THE PIE

After the two disks of dough are rolled out – it’s time to put together the dough.  Roll one section of the dough – around the rolling pin, and unroll it over a 9″ glass pie plate.  Press the dough to fit into the pan – if there are excess hanging off the pan just leave it there right now.  Next add the filling – and dot the filling with sections of butter (in total about 1/2 stick of butter).  Roll the remaining section of dough on top of the filling.

Next - trim excess dough to about 1", press edges of the dough into the pie plate, then make several slits in the top of the dough

After the pie is assembled, refrigerate it for 20 minutes.  While the pie is in the fridge, pre-heat the oven  to 400.

The recipe calls to whip together an egg yolk and cream to brush on top of the pie.  I didn’t have that so I brushed a bit of olive oil on the top pie crust and sprinkled a pinch of sugar on it.

I placed the pie on a baking sheet to catch any excess juice while cooking.  After 10 minutes, reduce the heat to 375.  Then cook for 70 – 85 minutes.   The top crust should be golden and the juices bubbling.

The recipe says to let the pie cool for at least 4 hours – well my hubby couldn’t wait.  So he tore into the pie after an hour – it was a bit watery/juicy – so I would suggest letting it cool for the full 4 hours.

Pretty successful first attempt.

A Fridge Full of Veggies

Last night I discovered a fridge full of veggies on the brink of beginning to go bad – this is a typical find in our home.  More often than I’d like, I hit the grocery store (WEGMANS – woot, woot) without a plan and wing it as I move through the sections – needless to say, I usually over purchase and at the end of the week have plenty of produce that need to be used ASAP.

What’s the perfect way to use up a bunch of veggies without much work?  Well a winter stew of course.

Kristina’s Throw All Veggies in a Stew

Ingredients:

  • Whatever veggies you have in the fridge (probably 2 -3 cups)
  • 1 cup of grains
  • 1/2 cup of beans
  • Oil, Garlic, Onion
  • Tabasco Sauce, Soy Sauce, Worcestershire Sauce, Turmeric, Cumin, and Cayenne Pepper (or improvise), Salt & Pepper
  • 3 – 4 cups of veggie broth

Begin by adding a few tablespoons of oil (I used EVOO) to a large soup pan on medium heat – add a few cloves of garlic minced and 1/2 onion finely chopped.  Saute until onions become translucent. Then add veggies – I used 1 green pepper, 3/4 red pepper, 3 carrots, 2 stalks of celery, and 15 small mushrooms.  Saute until mushrooms become tender.

Next  – add your grain (I used brown basmati rice), your choice of beans (I used garbanzo beans), veggie broth, and seasonings (I approximately added – two tbsp of soy sauce, a strong dash of Tabasco and Worcestershire sauces, and then a big pinch of cumin, turmeric, and the seasoning dry rub). Bring everything to a boil – then lower the heat and simmer.

The length you let the stew simmer is up to the grain you choose.  I added brown basmati rice – so all together I let it simmer for 35 minutes.  At the end, you will have a hearty, delicious stew.  I may not look like much – but it will knock your socks off (not to boast of my culinary skills 🙂

Soreness

Oye vei!  I woke up very sore and very hungry this morning.  I guess yoga and a run was too much for my recovering muscles – today we have a six-mile run scheduled.  I may hit the gym and run on the treadmill, then soak in the hot tub.  Is it bad that I have a gym membership basically to have access to a sauna and hot-tub?  Do you have a gym membership that you under utilize?

On to hunger – last night’s dinner was 1 chocolate chip cookie and 1 glass of red wine.   Not exactly the dinner of champions 😦

Oats were essential for today’s breakfast.  Here’s what I used: 1/2 cup of oats, 1/2 cup of soy milk, 1/2 cup of water, pinch of brown sugar, 1tbsp of raisins, ground flax, cinnamon, and a heaping spoonful of walnut butter.

This is actually the first time I have added a nut butter to my oats…it’s so delicious.  Adds a great creaminess to the mixture.

Creature of habit

Good afternoon ‘all!

I was feeling very good after my cleansing breakfast – so I decided to stay raw for lunch as well.  I may have mentioned before but one of my favorite salads and dressings was created by Gena — Root Vegetable Salad with Maple Cinnamon Vinaigrette is divine!  I always make extra dressing because this stuff doesn’t last long in our house.  I make this salad every week with a few changes.  I use a whole sweet potato, beet, 3 carrots, a parsnip, and a turnip and shred the veggies with my food processor.  I always use the whole vegetable to make lots of left-overs.

Then I use a blender to mix-up the dressing.  Honestly, you must try this dressing!  I use old glass jars to store the extra dressing.

Pile the veggies high on a plate (I had this x’s 2) and then dress generously.  Not only is this delightful to eat, the colors are amazing!

For the past year, I have been moving towards more and more homemade salad dressings.  I typically just use a mixture of EVOO, Apple Cider or Rice Vinegar dressing – for a special salad (like today) I make a specific dressing.  For the longest time I only used Annie’s Green Goddess Dressing.  What’s your favorite salad dress?

Raw Walnut Butter

Walnuts are one of nature’s most nutrient-dense foods. They are an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids and a healthy protein.

Besides all of the health benefits, I think walnuts are just plain yummy.  Walnuts have a smoother taste than other nuts.  I haven’t seen many walnut butters on the market – and while trying to avoid work yesterday I decided to try and make my own walnut butter.  I based this recipe off of Susan’s Almond Butter.

Cinnamon Walnut & Cashew Butter

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups of chopped walnuts
  • 1/2 cup of cashews
  • 1 tbsp of honey
  • 1 tbsp of cinnamon

Place walnuts & cashews in food processor.  Process for 8-10 minutes. You will need to scrape down the sides in the beginning. Add the honey and cinnamon after it is done processing – if you add them before the mixture will stop processing.

30 seconds after processing

2 minutes after processing - scrap the sides down

After 3-4 minutes - the mixture will start to clump together

Around 6 minutes the mixture formed a ball - let it keep going. Around 8 minutes it will begin to redistribute.

Make sure to wait until the oils release from the nuts.  Once the walnuts & cashews have released their oils – enjoy or add the honey and cinnamon.

Nutritional Information (per tablespoon):
Calories – 95
Total Fat – 9 g
Saturated Fat – 1g
Cholesterol – 0mg
Sodium – 0mg
Fiber – 1.2g
Protein – 3.35g