Monthly Archives: March 2014

Simple Guacamole

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First, let me apologize for the lack of pictures. No excuses. I simply forgot and didn’t want to wait until I made another batch to post.

This is my simplest guacamole recipe. Just the basic ingredients, but in no way basic tasting. Only two tools required; a knife and a fork!

No fancy food processor required, unless you prefer smoother guacamole. If using the food processor, toss all the ingredients in at once and pulse until desired consistency.

First, of course, the avocado. Cut three avocados in half. Discard the pit and skin. Place into a mixing bowl and smash them well with a fork.

Now, mix in the rest of the ingredients. Zest and juice of one lime. One red onion, diced. Three cloves of garlic, minced. One can of rotel tomatoes with chillies, drained well. Lastly, cilantro and salt to taste. Mix until well combined.

One side note. If tomatoes are in season and delicious, omit the canned tomatoes in favor of one tomato and one jalapeño. For a milder flavor, remove the seeds and ribs of the jalapeño.

Serve with chips or pita for dipping, on nachos, with tacos, instead of mayo on sandwiches, or however else you like. There are endless possibilities, limited only by your imagination.


White Bean Kale Hummus

I love hummus. It is such a delicious and healthy snack; one that I am always changing and evolving. This recipe is an interesting hummus option.

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Toss one whole head of garlic, which has been peeled, into the food processor. Roasted garlic would be even more delicious.

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Rough chop one large bunch of kale and toss it in. Be sure to rinse and dry the kale well. Remember, kale is a superfood, which makes this hummus even healthier!

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Chop one red onion and a handful of scallions and toss them in.

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For a spur of the moment snack, rinse and strain two cans of white beans and toss them in. If planning ahead, soak dry white beans overnight, rinse and strain them instead of canned.

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Pulse while slowly streaming in extra virgin oil until it reaches the desired consistency. Watch for it to become rich and creamy. Serve with pita chips, bagel chips or sliced veggies.


Vegan French Onion Soup

In our house we love onions. For some reason, the thought of making French Onion Soup always intimidated me. Then I tried it! While time consuming, it is not as difficult as I feared. My version is vegan. Perfect for whether you are vegan or just looking for a great Meatless Monday option.

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First? The onions! Garlic too! This recipe requires quite a few onions. Two pounds each of yellow onions, red onions, and vidalia onions. I prefer the different layers of flavor provided by using different varieties. If you prefer, you can use all yellow onions or any variety you like. The most important thing is to have approximately six pounds of whatever onions you choose. Also, six cloves of garlic.

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In a six quart dutch oven over low heat, two tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil and two tablespoons of dairy free butter substitute heat until melted.

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This allows time to start slicing!! Halve and thinly slice all of the onions. This step alone takes about a half hour.

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Once all of the onions are sliced, turn the heat up to medium and add all of the onions into the dutch oven. Press all of the garlic in as well.

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Slowly allow the onions to caramelize, stirring often. This step can not be rushed! Three hours so so later they should be nicely caramelized. I did warn you this was time consuming, right?

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Add one and a half cups of red wine, one half cup of balsamic vinegar, four cups of homemade vegetable stock, four bay leaves, thyme, and salt to taste. Simmer until all of the flavors are beautifully combined; this will take approximately one hour. Remove the bay leaves.

A while ago, I read a great tip for making vegetable broth. When cutting up vegetables like carrots, celery, mushrooms, etcetera, save the scraps in a gallon size freezer bag. When the bag is full, dump the vegetables in four quarts of water, bring to a boil, then turn down heat and let them simmer for a few hours. The end result is a delicious, healthy, salt free vegetable broth. It can either be used immediately of frozen for later use.

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Since we do not have oven safe crocks, this is where I stray a little further from tradition. Slice a loaf of crusty bread. Place the slices on a baking sheet and top with dairy free swiss cheese. Into the oven, set to broil.

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Keep an eye on them, when nicely browned remove from the oven.

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Ladle the soup into your favorite soup cup or bowl. Top with the cheesy bread and enjoy! I was hoping to have leftovers to simmer roast beef for sandwiches in, but that did not happen. Maybe next time!


Kale Stuffed Shells

I love kale! I also love stuffed shells. One day I thought “why not combine them”? The resulting dish was a hearty, healthy and delicious meal! As a bonus, this recipe made enough for two batches. One to enjoy and one to put in the freezer for a quick meal another day.

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Dice and sweat two onions and five cloves of garlic in a large skillet over medium heat until the onions are translucent.

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This beautiful bunch of kale gets chopped, on the small side, and added to the skillet with the onions and garlic.

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Meanwhile, mix together two containers of dairy free ricotta, half bag of dairy free mozzarella, two eggs, two tablespoons of nutritional yeast, basil, oregano, salt and pepper. Tofu can be substituted for the dairy free ricotta if you can not find it. Also, the eggs can be omitted to make this vegan. I prefer the texture with them though. You can also feel free to use full dairy cheese if you prefer.

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Once the kale has wilted nicely, combine with the dairy free ricotta mixture.

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Next cover the bottom of a nine by thirteen baking dish with sauce. We used two pints of our roasted garlic tomato sauce from this summer’s canning project. Feel free to use whatever sauce you have in the pantry.

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While preparing everything, cook one box of large stuffed shells two minutes shy of the directions. They will continue to cook while baking. You do not want mushy pasta! Drain and rinse in cold water. Stuff each shell with about a tablespoon of the dairy free ricotta mixture and place in the baking dish.

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Once the baking dish is full, cover the shells with more sauce, the remaining half bag of dairy free mozzarella, and a sprinkle of nutritional yeast.

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Bake in a 375* oven for fifteen minutes covered and an additional fifteen minutes uncovered. The cheese should be melted nicely.

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These shell are delicious, healthy and also very filling! I could only eat three!


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