Tag Archives: Vegetarian

Creamy Celery and Fennel Soup

fennel-celeryHad a fennel craving tonight and when I went looking for this soup recipe I discovered it sitting in my drafts! So, here it is: creamy, light and very healthy soup.

Large heavy bottomed soup pot
3-4    tablespoons Sunflower Oil
2         Leeks,trimmed,white and light green section only, diced
1         tablespoon Fennel Seeds
4        cloves Garlic, chopped
1         head of Celery, chopped
1         large Fennel Bulb, chopped
1         large Yukon Potato, diced
1-2     liters Organic Vegetable Broth
1         cup plain/unsweetened Milk, (I use Goats Milk but Almond, Hemp or Soy will work too)

Sea salt and fresh Ground pepper to taste

Heat oil in soup pot over medium heat. Add the leek, stir for a couple minutes, add the fennel seeds and garlic and stir for another. Add the celery, fennel, potato, and stir. Add broth to the top of the vegetables and bring to simmer. Simmer on low till tender, about 45 minutes.

Cool soup enough to blend in a blender or use an immersion blender, blend till smooth. Return to pot, add milk and heat on low until serving.

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Kyla’s Healthy Holiday Baking 2012

IMG_9345Each year I like to made a little treat box or container of my baking for friends and family. This year I only added two new recipes and altered or played with a few goodies from last year.  As I mentioned before I recently discovered coconut sugar and have been experimenting with it with great results.

Coconut sugar, derived from the flowers of the coconut tree, is an organic, sustainable natural sweetener that shows promising results for people who suffer from chronic illnesses or conditions such as diabetes, gallstones, cancer, heart disease, obesity or simply want to reduce sugar intake. This sugar has a low glycemic index (approximately 35) and is also a nutrient powerhouse, filled with lots of vitamins, minerals and amino acids. Coconut sugar is minimally processed, unbleached and contains no preservatives.  Sounds good to me!

IMG_9316So the recipes I altered are the Almond Butter Cookies ,  Gluten Free Short Bread and Raw Vegan Rum Balls, all worked great subbing in the Coconut Sugar.  For the short bread this year I rolled the dough out and cut small but thick rounds and with half pressed a dried cranberry on top and the other half a sprinkle of coconut sugar.  These were a definite hit!

The other two recipes I put together are below.  Also look for my two other Holiday experiments: Coconut Milk Bailey’s Irish Cream and Home-Made Healthy Clamato Juice.  Click here for Holiday Baking 2011.

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Dark Chocolate, Cranberry, Pistachio and Tangerine Zest

Baking sheet, flipped over and covered with tin foil or parchment paper
1               pound Dark Chocolate, chopped
1/8          cup Raw Cacao Pieces
2/3         cup Raw or Shelled Roasted Pistachios, coarsely chopped
2/3         cup Juice Sweetened Cranberries, coarsely chopped dried
1              large firm Tangerine, zested with a citrus zester (can use an orange here too)
Coarse ground sea salt

In a double boiler melt chocolate over simmering water, stirring frequently – this is standard chocolate melting procedure, I fortunately have a “warming zone” on my glass top oven and can slowly melt chocolate in a pyrex bowl.  There are few methods to melt chocolate, I suggest Googling it. Just be careful not to burn your chocolate, melting it on the stop in a pot will likely burn it!

Once your chocolate is melted, pour onto tin foil or parchment paper -lined pan and spread with a rubber spatula until it is about ¼ inch thick.

Sprinkle with zest first, then with pistachios and cherries and finished with cracked sea salt.

Allow toppings to settle a bit before transferring to your refrigerate to harden hardened.  Once hardened, break into pieces and serve.  Can be stored in the fridge or freezer.

IMG_9319Flour-less Pistachios Sugar Cookies

Oven 325 degrees
Two parchment paper lined baking sheets
Food processor
2              cups Raw or Roasted Pistachios
1              cup Coconut Sugar
2              large Egg Whites
1              teaspoon Vanilla Extract
2              drops Green Food Coloring   *Optional
¼            cup coarse chopped Pistachios and/or Dried Juice Sweetened Cranberries

Grind pistachios in your food processor until a paste. Add coconut sugar and grind some more.  Add remaining ingredients and process until you have a thick and sticky batter.

For a small, bite sized cookie use a teaspoon and drop onto your prepared cookies sheet.

Sprinkle the tops of the cookies with a little sugar and chopped pistachios or a cranberry and gently press.  I like to do half and half.

Bake for approximately 15 minutes or until golden on the edges.  Allow to cool on a cooling rack before eating or storing.

MERRY CHRISTMAS AND HAPPY HOLIDAYS!

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Coconut Milk Bailey Irish Cream

Coconut Milk Bailey Irish Cream

Homemade-BaileysI love Bailey’s during the holidays and I always indulge a glass on ice in the evening or a generous splash in a coffee Christmas morning but boy do I pay for it, the combination of cream, sugar and alcohol really make my stomach hurt.  So, this year I made my own!  I made it a few different ways to suit different restrictions and see what works,  personally I am ok with goat’s milk and like that it lends a bit of that dairy like flavour but you can also make this recipe totally vegan using just coconut milk or half coconut milk, half unsweetened almond milk.   If you Google homemade bailey’s recipes they are all  pretty much the same although some have egg and some don’t,  I tried my recipe with and without and although I think I like it better with the eggs, it works nicely without (just not quite and thick) so, suit yourself!  Most at home recipes call for almond extract, I took this out because I found the coconut and almond together yield a less Bailey’s like taste.  I will also include a recipe to make your own chocolate sauce, it’s easy and much healthier then store-bought.

Coconut Milk Bailey’s Irish Cream

1 – 1 ½  cups Irish Whiskey
1 ½        cups Sweetened Condensed Coconut Milk *recipe below
1              cup Goats Milk or Almond Milk (if you want full vegan sub in one cup of light coconut milk here)
3              Eggs (can omit)
2              tablespoons Chocolate Syrup *recipe below
2              teaspoons Instant Espresso (or brew your own double shot)
1              teaspoons Vanilla Extract
Couple pinches of sea salt

In a blender or food processor, mix eggs until frothy.  Add all other ingredients except Whiskey and blend for a few minutes or until thick and frothy. Add Whiskey to taste and pulse a few times to mix well.  Store in the fridge for up to a month!

Sweetened Condensed Coconut Milk

2              cans Full Fat Coconut Milk
½            cup Coconut Sugar
1              teaspoon Vanilla
Pinch of sea salt

First you need to make your own Condensed Coconut Milk and Chocolate Syrup.  2 cans of coconut milk into a pot and bring to a boil.  Reduce and simmer on low for approximately 10 minutes;  you want to see it reduce by about 1/3 here.  Then, add ½ a cup of coconut sugar and 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract  and a pinch of sea salt then continue simmering until total volume is reduced by almost half.  You want it thick!  Strain and set aside to cool.

Chocolate Sauce

½           cup Dark Cocoa Powder
1             cup Water
1 1/2     cup Coconut Sugar
½           teaspoon Vanilla
Pinch of sea salt

Combine cocoa and water in a small pot and bring to a boil, add sugar, vanilla and sea salt then simmer for 3-5 minutes.  Done!  I pour mine into a jar and store it in the fridge for all kinds of uses.  If you want a thicker sauce simply continue to simmer on medium/low to desired reduction.

Home-Made Healthy Clamato Juice

imagesI love a good Caesar, I load mine with lemon, picked beans and/or asparagus, celery, horseradish and extra hot sauce Mmmmm! But, I get quite the headache from the MSG in Mott’s Clamato Juice and I tried finding a healthier version and it seems it’s just not out there.  Plus, the rest of the ingredients in Mott’s brand aren’t so great either.  I’m not going to pretend that home-made is more economical as the recipe calls for 4 bottles of clam juice coming in at $3 a bottle but it sure does taste awesome, tried and tested on skeptics at a Christmas Party.  This recipe fills one of those big glass Apple Juice Jugs, not really sure how much that is but you can put it in whatever container works.

1 (46 oz)  can Tomato Juice
4 (10 oz)  bottles Clam Juice
1/4             cup lemon juice
¼                cup Molasses
1                   tablespoon Apple Cider Vinegar
1                   teaspoon Worcestershire sauce I uses a gluten free version I bought at Whole Foods)
1                  teaspoon Hot Sauce
1                  teaspoon Celery Salt
1                  teaspoon Onion Powder
1                  teaspoon Garlic Powder
¼               teaspoon Crushed Red Pepper Flakes

Combine all ingredients and mix well.

Oatmeal Pumpkin Spice Cookies with Cranberries and Dark Chocolate– Gluten, Dairy and Egg Free (Vegan)

Oatmeal Pumpkin Spice Cookies with Cranberries and Dark Chocolate– Gluten, Dairy and Egg Free (Vegan)

20101215-cookie-swap-oatmeal-610A lovely fellow health foodie and friend gave me some organic pumpkin from her father’s garden this week, so, I made my Pumpkin Scones (which worked egg free by the way) and these tasty little gems.  I used coconut sugar which I have been experimenting with with great results and food processor made oat flour and ground flax.  The flax acts like an egg replacer and stabilizer for this quite healthy cookie.  The recipe is vegan up until the chocolate chips, if you wish the recipe to be vegan just omit the chocolate or use a vegan chocolate chip of some sort.  These cookies are good with or without nuts, cranberries and chocolate chips.

350 degrees
Hand mixer
Large Bowl
3              cups Oat Flour
1               cup Rolled Oats
¾            teaspoon Baking Soda
¾            teaspoon Sea Salt
4              teaspoons Cinnamon
1               teaspoon ground Ginger
½            teaspoon ground Nutmeg
¼            cup Pumpkin Seeds
½            cup Apple Juice Sweetened Dried Cranberries
½            cup Dark Chocolate Chips (Vegan if you like)
Medium bowl
1              cup softened Virgin Coconut Oil (or unsalted butter)
1 ½        cups Coconut Sugar
¼            cup ground Flax Seeds
1              cup Pumpkin Puree
1              tablespoon Vanilla Extract

Combine dry in a large bowl.  Combine wet in a medium bowl and blend using a hand mixer.  Combine wet and dry and let sit for 15 minutes.

Drop by the spoonful onto an ungreased cookie sheet.  Bake for 15 minutes or until slightly golden around the edges.  Allow to cool before serving.  Makes two dozen.

Coconut Pancakes – GF

I’ve been experimenting with coconut sugar this month; I was surprised to read it scores as the lowest glycemic load of any other sugar, two teaspoons coming in at zero calories and 5 grams of sugar. Also it is high in potassium, don’t get me wrong, sugar is sugar and it should always be consumed in moderation but if we are going to use it why not choose wisely? Anyway, this morning I woke up craving coconut and pancakes so I whipped these up.  Feel free to switch out the banana for any other fruit or none at all.  The flours are all interchangeable too, this morning I used a ground buckwheat “cereal”  from Bob’s Red Mill because I am out of buckwheat flour and wanted the added nutrition of buckwheat. This recipe makes approximately 5 medium sized pancakes so make sure you’re sharing. 🙂

Non-stick fry pan oiled with coconut oil on medium/high heat
¾           cup Rice Flour
½           cup Coconut Flour
¼           cup Buckwheat Flour
1              tablespoon Baking Powder
1              tablespoon Potato Starch
1              tablespoon Coconut Sugar
2              tablespoons Coconut Oil, melted
1              large Egg, beaten (or *egg replace of our choice)
1 ½       cups Milk of your choice (I used goat’s milk but any alternative will  work)
1            Banana, sliced

Combine dry. Add wet and mix well.  Add chopped banana here or right onto of pancake in the pan.

Enjoy!

* Optional Egg Replacer: For one egg equivalent, add 1 tablespoon chia seeds to 3 tablespoons water. Let sit for 15 minutes. Stir, then use as you would eggs in baking.

Gluten-Free Pierogis

I’m thrilled to share this recipe!  Pierogis are one of those comfort foods I’m sure gluten-free people think they’ll never enjoy again, I know I haven’t had them in YEARS and I grew up on them.  I even had a Baba and Gido, maybe being of Ukrainian decent makes me bit more proud of this one.   I spent a few hours or so working on the dough this weekend but it truly only took two batches to get right, the first I made vegan and they were good but not quite good enough.  The second batch I added greek goat yogurt and they turned out perfect, honestly can’t even tell they are gluten-free and just to be sure I served them to my healthy lunch group today and got two thumbs up from all!  (If anyone wants a vegan version feel free to email me for the recipe).  Fill them however you wish, the originals are cheese and potato and I considered do a Daiya Vegan Cheese/Potato one myself but I went with potato, onion and squash and goat cheese instead.  Experiment for your own or Google for recipe ideas.   Make the fillings first, then dough, once your pierogis are formed you can cook to serve right away or,  freeze them for later use.  My Baba used to serve them freshly boiled then fry the left overs with onions another day, today, for the lunch group I boiled then fried right away.  Again, it’s totally up to you these little guys are good anyway you like them.  Enjoy and please post comments!

Fillings

Roasted Potato, Onion and Garlic with Parsley

3 medium Yukon potatoes, quartered, skin on
½ medium onion,  chopped into larger pieces
½ a head of garlic, peeled, cloves left whole
Sunflower oil or butter (I used goat butter)
handful of fresh Parsley, chopped
Sea Salt and Pepper to taste

Toss in oil and roast everything except parsley in a roasting pan at 350 degrees until the potatoes are soft.  Hand mash or food process with a bit of milk, I used almond milk.  Season with sea salt and pepper.

Buttercup Squash, Goat Cheese and Thyme

1 small Buttercup Squash
Sunflower oil
Handful fresh Thyme, de-stemmed
3-4 ounces of soft Goat Cheese

Arrange chopped squash skin side down in a baking pan, drizzle with oil and sprinkle with Thyme and sea salt.  Roast at 350 degrees until soft.  Scoop out squash and hand mash with goat cheese, add a bit more thyme and sea salt and pepper  to taste.

Pierogi Dough

Medium bowl:
2              cups Tapioca Flour
1/4         cup Arrowroot Powder
3/4         cup White Rice Flour (Sweet Rice Flour would be better if you can find it)
3/4         cup Potato Starch (not potato flour)
2 1/2      teaspoons gluten-free Baking Powder
2              teaspoons Xanthan Gum
1              teaspoon Sea Salt
Small bowl
2              large Eggs, beaten
3/4         cup Greek Goat Yogurt
1/2         cup Water
1/8         cup Olive Oil

Combine and mix dry ingredients.  Combine and mix wet then, add to dry.  Hand stir a bit then knead dough.

Work in small batches, roll out on parchment paper to about an 1/8 on an inch thick.  If you are having trouble with sticking you can add a little flour to your rolling pin or better yet simply roll between two pieces of parchment paper, you’ll appreciate then stickiness later. I use a small glass to cut my rounds then rolled a bit more to get the thick/thinness I wanted.  Once you have 5-10 cut outs scoop approximately 1 teaspoon of filling in the middle then pick up the dough and fold in half and simply pinch to seal edges.

To cook you simply drop into boiling salted water, once they float they are done.  From fresh this only takes 30 seconds or less, from frozen a bit longer but again just wait till they float!  If you are frying them too just scoop from boiling water into an oiled or butter pan.

Serve with Greek Goat Yogurt or Sour Cream.  Yum yum yum!