Saturday, February 26, 2011

Raw Kale Chips

 Who Needs Potato Chips When You've Got These?!

Serves 2-3

1 Bunch of Kale
1/2 Red Bell Pepper, Chopped into 1" Chunks
4 Tbsp. Brags Liquid Aminos
1 Tbsp. Cold Pressed Sesame Oil
1 Tsp. Raw Agave Nectar 
4 Tbsp. Nutritional Yeast
Food Dehydrator (See note at bottom if you don't have one)

Take the ribs out of the kale and tear the leaves into bite sized pieces. Rinse and dry the kale and set aside in a large bowl. A salad spinner is super helpful, but if you don't have one, you can dry the kale by bunching it up in a tea towel or cheese cloth and spinning it like crazy. You may want to do it outside, because water flings everywhere. In a blender, food processor, or, my personal favorite, Magic Bullet combine the red bell pepper, Brags, oil, agave and nutritional yeast. Blend until smooth. Adding a little bit at a time, pour the dressing over the kale, mixing as you go. Once fully coated, place the kale onto the drying racks, making sure that the pieces don't overlap. If you have an el cheapo dehydrator, like I do, you should rotate the trays every few hours. I have to say, although I would LOVE a top of the line Excalibur Dehydrator, the Ronco Dehydrator I got at a garage sale does just fine. Dehydrate the chips until they are completely crispy.

*Don't fret if you don't have a dehydrator! You can still make these yummy chips. Instead of putting the chips in the dehydrator, just place them on a parchment lined cookie sheet. Put them in the oven on the lowest setting and check on them often. To be truly considered raw, food must be kept at 115 degrees or less, but that doesn't mean that un-raw kale chips won't taste just as good!

Confetti Coleslaw

The colorful ingredients of this coleslaw make it tasty and pretty!
(Don't judge it's looks by this pic though. The lighting just didn't do it justice)

This is a big batch. Good for parties or for eating over a few days.

1/2 Medium Head of Green Cabbage
1/4 Medium Head Purple Cabbage
2 Medium Carrots 
1 Small Apple
1/4 Small Head of Cauliflower
2 Green Onions
1/2 Tsp. Celery Salt
1/4 Tsp. Paprika
1/8 C. Apple Cider Vinegar
1/2 C. Veganaise
Salt, if needed

With your food processor's shredding blade, shred the cabbage and cauliflower. Flip the disk over and use the grate side of the blade to grate the carrots and apple (leave the skin on the apple, because it makes a pretty addition to the slaw.). You can shred and grate by hand, but it takes a lot more time and work. Slice the green onions into very thin rounds. Combine all of the ingredients in a very large bowl and stir until well mixed. You can eat the slaw right away, but it tastes even better once it has sat overnight.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Stuff I Like

Just thought I'd post a link for the Amazon aStore I'm working on. I got most of my books from Amazon, so I thought I'd put the one's I really like or use a lot in one place. I also added some of the products I use, so my viewers can see what they are, or buy them if they're not available in their area.

Easy Spicy Thai Coconut Soup

Sweet, Sour and Spicy!

Serves 4

5 C. Water
1 Can Coconut Milk
Approx. 2 Tsp. Salt (Add to taste)
1 Tbsp. Apple Cider Vinegar.
1 Squirt of Sriracha (or more if you're brave)
1 Jalapeno, Sliced Into Thin Rings
1 Carrot Sliced Into Thin Rounds
1 Large Handful Button Mushrooms, Sliced
1 Head of Bok Choy Chopped
3 Green Onions Slices Diagonally into 1/2" pieces
Cilantro Leaves or Lemongrass Tops for Extra Flavor (optional)

Bring the water and coconut milk to a boil. Stir in the salt, cider vinegar and red curry paste then add the veggies. Drop the temperature down to medium-low and simmer for 20 minutes. Serve hot.

Gluten Free Crackers

Great with Cheese, Dips, or Even Plain!
2 C. Garbanzo Flour
    Plus additional Flour for rolling out the dough (I used soy flour)
1/2 Tsp. Fresh Cracked Pepper
3/4 Tsp. Salt
1 Tsp. Sugar
1 Tsp. Baking Powder
1/3 C. Olive Oil
1 Egg
Approx. 1/4 C. Cold Water
Herbs for topping (optional)

In a large bowl, mix together the flour, salt, pepper, sugar and baking powder. In a separate bowl, whisk together the olive oil and egg. Mix the egg and oil mixture into the flower mixture until the mix has a coarse, crumbly texture. Slowly add the cold water until the mix comes together in one big ball. Place the ball on a floured cutting board and cut into two. Pat each ball into a 6" by 6" square. Wrap each square in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes. Turn your oven on to 375 when you put the dough into the refrigerator, so that it can preheat. After 30 minutes, take one square of dough out of the refrigerator. On a well floured cutting board, roll the dough out into a large rectangle, about 1/8" thick. If you are adding herbs to the top of the crackers, sprinkle the rolled out dough with a little bit of water and then sprinkle on the herbs. Gently roll the rolling pin over the dough a few times to press the herbs into the dough. Using a pizza cutter, cut the dough into your desired shape and size (I usually do 2" by 1" rectangles). You can also use a fun cookie cutter if you want to be fancy. Place each cracker onto a greased and floured cookie sheet and bake until golden brown. Be sure to check the crackers often and to remove them as they are done (some crackers my cook faster than others. Especially ones that are a little thinner and the crackers around the edges of the pan). Let the crackers cool completely before chowin' down.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Thai Spring Rolls

Fresh, not Fried!

Serves: Depends on how many veggies you slice!

Fresh Veggies
      Some examples are: Julienned Carrots, Julienned Cucumber, 
                                           Shredded Cabbage, Julienned Sweet or Hot
                                           Peppers, Shredded Lettuce, Sliced Avocado, 
Thai Basil or Cilantro
Tofu cut into 1/4-1/2" high and wide strips and lightly fried (optional)
 Spring Roll Wrappers (available in Asian markets)
     *Don't get the eggroll wrappers that you find in the refrigerated 
       section! Be sure to get the white, circular rice wrappers. They are
       dry when purchased and are often times found in the noodle isle.
A Large bowl of very cold water.
Spring Roll Sauce:
       2 Tbsp. Chunky Peanut Butter
       1 1/2 Tbsp. Agave Nectar, 
       1 Tsp. Garlic Chile Sauce (found in Asian markets, same brand 
          as the Sriracha with the rooster on it.) Better yet make your own! 
         I got my recipe from The Joy of Pickling by Linda Ziedrich.
   Stir it all together, and that's the sauce!
Get all your veggies prepared and arranged on a plate, so that it is easy to assemble the rolls quickly. Submerge a wrapper in the ice water until it begins to soften (about 1 minute). Remove the wrapper from the water and lay flat on your work surface (a cutting board works best for me). Dab a row of sauce down the middle of the wrapper, starting and ending about an inch from the ends. Line up your veggies, herbs and tofu down the middle of the wrapper (again about an inch from each end). Fold in the short ends over the veggies and roll up like a skinny burrito. Place on a plate and move onto the next roll. The rolls are a little better once they have rested for a few minutes because most of the excess water on the wrapper will have been absorbed or evaporated. Serve with extra sauce on the side.

Don't overload your rolls. It makes it really hard to roll up.

Don't under fill your rolls. It makes them look like sad, emaciated people who only wish they were eating spring rolls. Plus, they tend to fall apart when under filled.

Don't soak your wrappers for too long. They get too slippery, are hard to manage and tear easily. It's okay if the wrapper isn't 100% soft all the way through. It will soften more as the roll sits and the excess water is absorbed.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Sweet Flower Headwrap/Earwarmer

 Awwwww... Don'tcha Look So Sweet.

Click Here for Printable Version

Size H Hook
1 Ball of Cotton Yarn for Band
1 Ball of Another Color for Flower (you'll only need part of the ball)
1 Big Cute Button
Embroidery Floss & Large Needle to Sew on Button

ch= Chain
dc= Double Crochet
sc= Single Crochet
ss= Slip Stitch

Chain 5
Row 1: Dc in 3'rd chain from hook. Dc to end (3 dc). Ch 2 & turn
Row 2: Dc across, 2 dc in last dc from previous row (4 dc). Ch 2 and turn.
Row 3-11: Repeat Row 2 (13 dc). Ch 2 and turn 
Row 12-22: Dc across (13 dc). Ch 2 and turn. (you can subtract or add in rows, so that the headwrap best fits your pretty little head!)
Row 23-24: Dc 5 across, dc 2 together, dc across (11 dc) Ch 2 and turn
Row 25-26: Dc 4 across, dc 2 together, dc across (9 dc)  Ch 2 and turn
Row 27-28: Dc 3 across, dc 2 together, dc across (7 dc) Ch 2 and turn
Row 29-30: Dc 2 across,  dc 2 together, dc across (5 dc) Ch 2 and turn
Row 31-32: Dc 1 across, dc 2 together, dc across (3 dc) Tie Off.

Using 4 of the embroidery floss threads, sew on the button on one side of the headwrap, so that the button lines up with the second row of crochet on the opposite side.

Works from front to back. Smallest flower to biggest flower.

Ch 4, ss together to make a ring.
work 6 sc into ring. SS the 6th sc to the 1st sc. Ch 3.
Ss into next sc, ch 3 all the way around. (6, 3ch loops)

Sc, ch1, 3 dc, ch 1, sc into each of the 6 loops.

If you want to switch colors, tie off and begin with a new color.
(Tip: if you switched colors, be sure to keep the new yarn in front when beginning the new flower. Maybe I'm an airhead, but it took me a minute to figure that out.)
The crochet linking the loops to the circle center of the first flower are considered the posts. 
Sc around post. Ch4. Repeat on each post. Ss last chain 4 to first sc. (6, 4 ch loops)
Sc, ch1, 4 dc, ch 1, sc into each of the 6 loops

If you want to switch colors, tie off and begin with a new color.
Sc around post. Ch5. Repeat on each post. Ss last chain 4 to first sc. (6, 5 ch loops)

Sc, ch1, 5 dc, ch 1, sc into each of the 6 loops. 

Flip the flower over and admire your work! 

Tie the flower onto the headwrap by weaving yarn through the flower and tying the yarn onto the headwrap in several places around the flower. Hide the ties by weaving them into the headwrap. Wow! You look lovely!