What do you eat?

20190514_181701“What do you eat”?  Oh yes, I get that question a LOT.

We eat plant rich, nutrient-dense food.  Yes, that does mean, on occasion, we will eat fish.

I got the feeling that our friend didn’t want all the details.  She needed and wanted help fast.

Our friend was panicked.  Their granddaughter was coming to visit and their beautiful, intelligent teenager has bravely announced to the world that she has decided to be a vegetarian.

What do we feed her?

My answer:  food

Seriously, what do you eat?

So, I offered a few suggestions and good news, the granddaughter came to visit, brought some of her own food and everyone lived to tell the tale.

I decided for a week or two, I would share what we eat.  I would send my friend pictures, offer recipes if she asked.  I didn’t go into too much detail.  I wanted her to know that we eat pretty much what she eats minus the grilled steaks.

One time years ago we hosted a graduation party.  At the time, our youngest son was a vegan.  I made myself crazy by making vegan gravy and non-vegan gravy.  I made vegan dishes and non-vegan dishes.  I made vegan desserts and non-vegan…you get the idea.  I put pretty little signs in all the dishes to designate which was which. 

Stick a Fork in Me.

I was D-U-N.  Done!

Like NASA has a mission statement?  I needed a mission statement.    While cleaning up and doing twice as many dishes, I decided to make some changes.   My new mission statement:

  Make/bake excellent quality food with exceptional taste. 

I want my food to be so good that I don’t have to qualify what it is.  I don’t have to say: this is dairy free or gluten-free or sugar-free.  I don’t have to say, these crab cakes are made with Jack Fruit.  I don’t have to say this is vegan.  I decided to make and serve exceptional food.

When you come to my house and enjoy a Chocolate Chip Cookie, I won’t have to explain that they are dairy-free, gluten-free, vegan…blah, blah, blah .   If you try my chicken nuggets, I won’t have to tell you there is no chicken involved.  Nor will I have to explain that my donuts are non-dairy, non-gluten, etc.

 

 

I will only have to answer you when you ask if there is more.

YES, THAT GOOD!

 

Homemade pasta and sauce so savory and filled with flavor (and blended veggies) that you will ask for seconds.

 

Stuffed shells worthy of a birthday dinner!  Oh, did I mention homemade ricotta “cheese” made from almonds?

 

We eat “Crab Cakes” with or without sauce.  These beauties are perfect small appetizers or larger for part of a meal.  Did I mention they are made with Jack Fruit?

 

Falafel & Hummus so good, so full of rich, bold flavors you will for sure be a clean plate club member.

What should you feed your granddaughter?  Excellent food.

In this together,

Chat soon

soup+bread=comfort

I woke up to pouring rain and 46*.  It was dark and dreary.  There was a chill in the air.  I was walking barefoot across my yard.  (grounding, it works)  I slipped on my boots to go tend to my chickens.  As I fed them and gave them treats and fresh water, I told them how it seemed like a soup and bread kind of day.  They all chatted back in agreement.  It sure doesn’t feel like the middle of May.

 

I knew I was going to bake bread.  I try and do one tricky thing and one or two super simple dinner ideas. Each packed full of nutrients and flavor, always lots and lots of flavors.

The soup was an easy peasy choice and you can start to finish have this soup on the table in about 30 minutes.  Not much effort for brilliant results.  I used Brandi of The Vegan 8 fame recipe.  https://thevegan8.com/2018/01/25/tomato-vegetable-soup/

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While flipping through a couple of my bread books, I happily stumbled upon Onion Rosemary bread.  This is a good one.  The recipe calls for one LARGE loaf.  I prefer to make two smaller loaves.  A couple of reasons.  1.   I can keep one and give one to a neighbor.  2.   there are only two of us.  We get tired of the same bread over and over and over.  Now and then, I prefer to divide the recipe in half.  We are able to devour a small loaf of bread in 2 or 3 days.

Here is what you knead (get it, a joke…knead…need, Come on, that was a good one!):  1/4 cup butter (you know I use Earth Balance, vegan butter) 2 cups of onions, chopped finely, 1 envelope of yeast, 2 teaspoons of sugar (I use coconut or date sugar), 1 cup warm water, 4 cups unbleached flour, 1 1/2 teaspoons salt (I use Himalayan salt and please for the love of good flavor, measure the salt), 1 HEAPING Tablespoon of finely chopped Fresh Rosemary (fresh makes a ginormous difference).

rosemary*side note suggestion:  At our previous home, I could not for the life of me get my Rosemary to grow well.  I have a friend who was hacking her Rosemary bush back constantly.  So one day, I said, I will trade you fresh Rosemary for a loaf of bread.  She gave me a GROCERY BAG full!  haha.  I did bake a couple of loaves for her and gave her two other recipes to use.  It was a beautiful barter.  I am SURE you have something you can barter with a neighbor in exchange for a handful of their fresh Rosemary?  

Melt the butter on medium/low and toss in those beautiful fragrant onions.  Cook for about 20 minutes until they are golden.  You know they are done when you want to sneak one for a taste.

While those are cooking, in your mixing bowl, combine half the flour, sugar, water and yeast. Let sit until bubbly, takes about 20 minutes.

Next add your remaining flour, salt (measured) and Rosemary.  Mix well with a wooden spoon (if you have or want big arm muscles) or just turn on the Kitchen-Aid.  Gradually add the onion/butter mixture.  This will form a slightly sticky dough.

Use your dough hook and let it do it’s magic for 10 minutes.  Or if you are upset about something or fretting, toss that dough on the counter with a little flour and work it out.  Knead the dough for 10 minutes.  It is a rather satisfying feeling.

Cover a cookie sheet with parchment or Silpat.  Arrange the dough in a slightly flattened circle.  Cover with a damp tea towel.  (here is where I set the whole cookie sheet on a medium warm heating pad) Let rise for 45-50 minutes.

Bake 400* for 30 minutes.  Place on a cooling rack and brush with melted butter.  I save a pinch of rosemary and add that to the butter.  The aroma of freshly baked onion bread and rosemary is divine. 20190515_152011

The table is set with big soup bowls, oversized linen napkins, the bread is on a board, sliced & ready to choose your perfect slice…..you sit down………………say Grace and pick up your soup spoon, gingerly take that first small sip.  Oh, my.  Another larger spoonful….and the conversation begins………….

that my friend is comfort, pure and simple.

 

In this together,

Chat soon.

PS.  Printed on the soffit above my kitchen, I have a quote,

“they broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts” Acts 2:46

hello Jack

What the Stanley Cup Playoff season means to me, by Miss Daleen.

It means instead of setting a proper table, sublet background music, beautiful linens, flatware and a lovely centerpiece……………

We get to eat dinner, in front of the television and watch HOCKEY!

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Who among us doesn’t love a casual dinner, great entertainment alongside some amazing food?

Extra flavor, easy to make and something you can eat with your hands.  (Yes, even Emily Post would, on occasion eat foods with her hands, using paper napkins of course.)

Bring on the BBQ Pulled Pork Sammies!!!  Oh yeah, dripping with flavor, excellent texture and topped with the crunch of cole slaw.  Really people, JUMP ON THIS BANDWAGON!!!

(I’ll go ahead and let you google the Toronto Maple Leafs Bandwagon)

Here we go.

Pulled Pork.

WAIT!!!!  I know what you are thinking.  Why, Daleen, I thought you didn’t eat meat?  I thought you didn’t eat pork?

Of course not.

20180412_154918-1_resizedHello Jack!  Young green Jackfruit that is.

This recipe comes from none other than Sam Turnbull.  Once again, another recipe she knocks it out of the park(or in this case the ice arena, ha). https://itdoesnttastelikechicken.com/6-ingredient-pulled-jackfruit/

The recipe is easy peasy (6 ingredients).  Amazing flavor.  The perfect texture.

Here’s the deal,  More often than not, I don’t try to re-create meat dishes and make them vegetarian.  I have discovered that it will most likely not be a successful endeavor. However, lately, I have been proven wrong.

This might come as a surprise.   Even folks that don’t eat meat, like to have a stack of paper napkins nearby, say Grace and DIG IN with both hands and savor an amazing Pulled Pork Sammie.  Yes, indeed.

What is Jackfruit?  A fast-growing tropical Asian tree related to the breadfruit.  Want to boost your immune system and get some vitamins while doing so?  May I gently suggest this big, beautiful edible fruit?

I drained, cut, cooked, baked and smothered it all in a glorious BBQ sauce.

How about I let some pictures do the talking?

 

 

 

Then I whipped up a beautiful, creamy, hint of tangy sauce for the coleslaw, toasted some buns to a golden brown, got out some pickles and YES, opened a bag of potato chips.

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This was an A+ meal.

I would most certainly serve this to any of our family or friends.  I might stuff it into tacos next time, or I generously top a pizza.  This is that good.  You take a bite and start looking for more ways you can add it to your dinner line up.

This sammie is so good, the bench will clear and folks will be dropping their gloves and fighting over it.  Okay, well maybe not fighting, however, they will leave their seats and politely go get seconds.

So for you, Hockey fans out there………..in the words of an over-the-top  (and you know what I mean) excited announcer…..

She shoots, she SCORES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

In this together, friends.

Chat soon.

Go Leafs.

pulled pork

 

tip number 462

20180328_134554-1_resized_1Yesterday I baked amazing, flavorful (believe it or not) healthy carrot cake cupcakes.  (I tweaked a bit of the recipe for our needs.)

Lindsay Nixon is the Happy Herbivore who shares the recipe and so much more.  She is a gem and you will learn oodles and oodles from her.  Go take a look, you will be so glad you did.  https://happyherbivore.com/recipe/the-famous-carrot-cake-cupcakes/

Heads up!  Tip Alert! 

This is the perfect solution when you want to share a non-smooshed cupcake with your elderly neighbor, take a treat to your grand or you want to send one to work with your Mr. Right…………..

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Ta-Da!  Use an upside down drink cup.

Just sharing the goodness.

In this together, friends.

Chat soon.

ps.  Bonus tip just for reading to the end of the blog post today!

Add a little outdoor Spring goodness where you least expect it.  It will be a happy surprise. 🙂20180328_163003-1_resized

clean plate club members

Submerged in the OLD list of “10 things you didn’t know about me”  was the statement,

I am not a fan of cauliflowercauliflower

Because I am a smarty pants and know it is ultra good for you, I buy one head a month, steam, smash, freeze then hide in spaghetti sauce, pasta sauce, taco filling etc.  No one is the wiser, I can’t taste it and we get the benefits here and there.

Benefits?  What benefits you ask?

reduces cancer risks, can even kill some cancer stem cells, improves detoxification, balances hormones, has impressive amounts of vitamin C, vitamin K, and beta-carotene, fights inflammation, also has rich supplies of calcium and selenium and cauliflower keeps our immune systems running smoothly  

My new list of 10 things you didn’t know about me, NO LONGER contains the blurb about cauliflower.

Thanks to Sam Turnbull and her blog, you too, can whip up this beauty.

https://itdoesnttastelikechicken.com/quick-roasted-cauliflower/https://itdoesnttastelikechicken.com/quick-roasted-cauliflower/

Last night was life-changing.  I ate HALF A CAULIFLOWER!  Honestly, because I was a little bit of a piggie, I may have taken more than half.

Here’s the quick version:  take apart a cauliflower, mix up some oil, nutritional yeast, Roasted-Cauliflower-05garlic and chili powder, mix, bake at 450* until tender and toasty brown.

Serve with an AMAZING Maple Syrup Mustard dipping sauce (she gives you that dip recipe, along with several others.)  Zowie, is it simple…. maple syrup, mustard, lemon juice, garlic power….  blend.  done.

Say grace and then grab some napkins these will “sell” quickly.

Serve hot, warm or cold…dip those little puppies (no, not real puppies) in that amazing dipping sauce and before you know it….

enough chatter!

Here are two snapshots that will tell you everything you NEED to know.

 

Now, may I gently suggest you make these tonight?  You and your family are worthy of excellent nutrition.   Heck, you don’t even need to explain all the benefits.  Just bake them, serve with dipping sauce and put on a table everyone can reach.

Clean Plate Club members all around!

In this together, friends.

Chat soon.

PS.    Dig deeper and learn oodles more benefits of cauliflower from Dr. Mercola.  https://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2014/02/22/cauliflower-health-benefits.aspx

pancakes make the world go round

This day, 47 days prior to Easter rolls around every year.

Fat-Tuesday-600

In anticipation of the Lenten season, many Christian religions need to clear cupboards of eggs, milk and sugar.  Traditionally, these items are not eaten during the fasting season.

So, today, the day prior to Ash Wednesday,  I bring you Fat Tuesday or Shrove Tuesday.

Simply put:

HELLO, pancakes!

Quick, short home-school lesson:

The name Shrove Tuesday comes from ‘shrive’, meaning absolution for sins by doing penance.

The day gets its name from the tradition of Christians trying to be ‘shriven’ before Lent. Christians would go to Confession, where they admit their sins to a priest and ask for absolution. A bell would be rung to call them to Confession, which was called the ‘pancake bell’. It’s still rung today.

In the US it’s called Mardi Gras aka ‘Fat Tuesday’ in French mainly because we use up the fatty foods before Lent.

Pancake Day itself came much later as a way of using up rich foods, like eggs, milk and sugar before the 40 days of fasting Lent.

Since we don’t regularly use milk and sugar…..and I am always, always trying to get more veggies onto our plates………………

korean pancakesToday, for a little twist of the traditional pancake, I will be making  Pajeon (scallion ) Korean pancakes with a tasty dipping sauce for dinner.

Who among us doesn’t drool over and love every single bite of the small, pancakes filled with vegetables?

scallions and cabbage and carrots, Oh, my!

Do you make pancakes each year for Shrove Tuesday?

In this together friends,

Happy Fat Tuesday!

Chat soon.