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Tuesday, August 21, 2018

Lime, Maple, and Ginger dressing


Lime, Maple, and ginger dressing

Summer is still in full swing, and along with that, fresh fruit in season.
While I love to just eat fruit as is, I love to grill it on the barbecue.  If I don't have time for barbecuing, I will just use a grill pan on my stove.
My favorite fruits to grill are pineapple, peaches, watermelon, mango, and cantaloupe.  It intensifies the sweetness of the fruit, and takes it to a new level.


  
I decided to see if I could elevate that level even more.  I decided to make a simple dressing to pour over the warm fruit.  I am simply going to say, level up!
Here is the recipe.  You can make while the fruit is grilling.

Ingredients:

You will need a small blender also.  

1/4 c fresh lime juice (2 limes worth)
1/4 c maple syrup (or honey if you are not vegan)
3 Tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1/2 tsp. fresh ground ginger
1/4-1/2 tsp. chipotle powder or cayenne pepper
zest of one lime

Place all ingredients in a blender, and blend for a few seconds. 



You can put on the fruit while it is grilling, or after, or both.  I like to do both.  Just make sure to pour it all over the fruit after it comes off the grill. 


I hope you give this a try, and that you enjoy it. 

Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Snow peas in Garlic Ginger Sesame sauce

Snow peas in Garlic Ginger Sesame sauce

I love going to the Asian stores, and picking up an item that I have no idea what to do with it.  That holds true from my last visit to Vegas, and my favorite Asian store.  I picked up a pound of snow peas, and had no plans for them.  Sure, I could just put on salads and snack on them, but this time I wanted to do more.
I looked around my kitchen today, and decided it was the day to write my recipe.
When I finished, I was first happy that it worked out the very first time.  Then I was thrilled, because the taste was simply amazing.  In fact, as I write this, I still am licking my lips from the amazing flavor.  I am glad I made some rice to go along with this, because it soaked up all the extra sauce.
I hope you find this recipe as good as I do.  You could add things to this, like tofu, or other veggies. 

Ingredients (in order of use)


For the sauce

1.5c mushroom or veggie broth
2 tsp. soy sauce (you can use low sodium, or Braggs)
2 T. maple syrup (you can use liquid sweetener of choice)
2 T. rice vinegar
2 tsp. toasted sesame seeds
4 cloves garlic, minced fine
1 inch nob of ginger

2 tsp. tapioca starch (you can use corn starch)

For the stir fry

1/2 large onion, sliced
1 large shallot, diced small
1 orange bell pepper, sliced into strips 
1 yellow bell pepper, sliced into stips
1 large carrot, shredded 
1 lb. fresh snow peas, ends trimmed
2 large green onions, sliced small (this is a garnish for after cooking)


You will also need a large saute pan with lid and a good blender.

Place a large saute pan on your stove, medium heat.  While it is heating up, make your sauce.  Place all the sauce ingredients above into a blender.


Blend for 1 minute at high speed, then pour into a bowl and set aside.


Now, your saute pan should be good and hot.  Add your onions and shallots.  Saute for 4 minutes.  Don't over stir them, allow them to cook, stirring occasionally. 


After 4 minutes, add your bell peppers and carrots.  Saute another 4 minutes.


After 4 minutes, add your snow peas on top, and spread out.  Don't mix into the other veggies, just make a thin layer on top.  


Place a lid on top, and walk away. This needs to cook for 5 minutes. (actually, turn around and look at your mess, you should probably clean that up)
After 5 minutes and a cleaner kitchen later, take the lid off.


Stir the veggies together at this point.


Once everything is mixed, you want to add the sauce.  Use a spoon and mix it a little before adding.  Once it is added, you need to stir right away.  Keep stirring for 1 minute, and remove from heat.


The sauce will thicken fast, and will coat the veggies very well.


Now, the rest is up to you.  Do you serve on rice?  Maybe some rice noodles, or Udon noodles.


However you decide to serve this, make sure to garnish with the green onions, and maybe even a sprinkle of sesame seeds.


Again, I hope you enjoy this recipe, and find it part of your meals.  


Thursday, June 7, 2018

BBQ King Oyster mushrooms

BBQ King Oyster mushrooms

Yesterday I went to the Asian market in Las Vegas for some much needed veggie shopping.
While I was there, I noticed they had some absolutely huge king oyster mushrooms.  I could not believe how cheap they were.  I got 4 big bags of them.  I think each bag weighed a pound.  I knew right away what I wanted to do with them, BBQ ribletts. 
This of course meant I had to write a recipe, because I have actually never made them before, and I wanted to have a "Klunker" recipe.  I had seen a few different videos online, and got some ideas. 
Here is my take on the most wonderful mushrooms.  For those who don't like mushrooms, this recipe is one you should try.  Even my son, who absolutely hates mushrooms, really liked these.  He said they didn't taste like mushrooms at all.  The texture is not mushy.

Recipe and instructions:

For the sauce (make first)

2c tomato sauce
1 6oz. can of tomato paste
1/2 cup of sweetener of choice (maple syrup, agave, date syrup)
1 tablespoon vegan Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon molasses
2 cloves garlic, minced fine
1 tablespoon prepared yellow mustard
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1/2 tsp. salt (optional)
1/2 tsp. chipotle powder (you can reduce this or leave out)
1 tsp. smoke paprika
1/2 tsp. liquid smoke (optional, but recommended)

1 to 2 lbs. of large king oyster mushrooms, cut into ribletts (3 inches by 1/2 inch) (see illustration below) 




Lets make the sauce first.  Combine all the ingredients above (except the mushrooms) in a medium bowl or sauce pan.
Mix all ingredients together with a whisk.  Set aside.


Place a large saute pan on the stove, and turn the heat to medium.  Add the mushrooms into the pan, and make sure all of them are flat.  



Saute for 10 minutes on each side, or until they all get a nice golden color.
Be patient, they will first expel lots of water.  Just let them do their own thing.  When the water is gone, they will start to brown.


When they have all taken on a nice golden brown color, add the BBQ sauce.
Stir to coat all the mushrooms.



Reduce the heat to medium low, and cover.  Let simmer for 25-30 minutes.  Stir every once in a while.
**At this point, you can also put the mushrooms and sauce in the IP.  High pressure for 10 minutes, NPR. 
When the cooking is done (either) remove from heat. 
(did I mention this is a longer recipe, but oh, so worth all the effort?)

Turn your oven on to broil, and place all your delicious mushrooms ribletts on a baking sheet (I used a rack to keep them off the surface) or you can use your outdoor barbecue grill at this point.


Place under the broiler for 10 minutes, watching very carefully not to burn them.  After 10 minutes, turn them and brush on some left over sauce.  Let them go another 10 minutes, or until very crispy brown.  


Now, the rest is up to you.  Are you going to share?  I was rather selfish.



Like I said before, these take a little time, but I think you will be very happy with the results, and this will be part of your summer time routine.  I know it will be mine.







Thursday, May 31, 2018

Easy loaded corn cakes


Easy loaded corn cakes

I have been spending a lot of time in the outdoors.  One of my big passions is landscape photography.  It has allowed to an "out" from the stress of daily life.
I take my kids with me, and we explore and learn together.  I also come away with some beautiful pictures.

One thing I have noticed though, is I have escaped too much.  I have put my cooking and sharing on hold.  I am grateful for Jessica and her little nudge.  I have not posted a recipe in a very long time.  (Although, I have noticed that there are a lot of new and very talented cooks sharing their recipes, and that is exciting).
I thought I would share an easy and delicious recipe today.  It is basically a one bowl recipe.  I love having simple foods that I can take with me on my hikes.
This one has loads of good stuff in it, and it fills you up.
Here is the recipe.


While you are mixing this up, heat a large, nonstick pan on the stove (medium heat)  You want a very hot pan.

Ingredients:

2 cups corn flour (masa)
3 Tablespoons corn meal (I use fine)
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt (optional)
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1/2 tsp. chipotle powder

1/2 tsp. ground cumin 
1 tsp. onion powder
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 Tablespoon lime juice
4 cloves garlic, minced fine
1/2 orange or red bell pepper, cut small
1/2 large onion, chopped fine
2/3 cup frozen or canned (or fresh) corn

1/2 cup black beans (canned or fresh, drained and rinsed)
2 Tablespoons chopped green chilies (canned)
4 cups water



Instructions:

In a large bowl, add the corn flour


Add the remaining ingredients (except the water)


Mix together with a spoon or rubber spatula 


When it is all combined, add the water, and mix until smooth.  Should be a little thicker than a pancake batter.


Let stand for 2 minutes, and stir again until smooth
Scoop 1/4c for each corn cake into the pan (large icecream scoop does the trick well)


Now, walk away.  You just made a huge mess, and it isn't going to clean itself.  Allow the cakes to cook on the first side until golden brown.  You will see this when the side that is up is dry and you can easily move the cakes around.  (about 2-3 minutes)  Flip and cook the other side for another 2 minutes.



This recipe makes about 14-16 cakes.  I let them cool a bit on a wire rack.  You can eat as they are, hot or cold.  I like to put a little salsa on top and some avocado (when I serve warm)
Cold, I like to just eat as they are.
I hope you enjoy this super easy meal.  You can add/subtract what you want and make them even more loaded. 
These are really good on a picnic or family get together.  You can make smaller and serve as an appetizer with some fresh guacamole on top, and a dollop of salsa.





Monday, March 12, 2018

Klunker's British baked beans

Klunker's British baked beans

This is my version of British baked beans.  Easy to make, and delicious to eat.  Great both cold, and hot.  I hope you enjoy.

Ingredients:

2 14.5oz. cans no salt white navy beans, drained but not rinsed
1 large yellow onion, peeled, chopped small

3 cloves garlic, peeled, minced
1 large rib celery, chopped small
1 medium carrot, peeled, shredded or chopped small
3 tablespoons no sugar ketchup
16 oz. can/box of no salt tomato sauce

1 tablespoon maple syrup or date syrup 
1/2 teaspoon vegan Worcestershire sauce

Salt and pepper to taste (do not add until after cooking)

You will also need:
A large saute pan 
A large casserole dish
A wooden spoon to stir recipe
Time to make the recipe



Instructions


-Preheat the oven to 350°F/176°c
-Prepare all of the ingredients, and have them ready.


-Place your large saute pan on the stove, and preheat over medium heat.
-Add the onions, garlic, celery, and carrots.
-Saute for 10-15 minutes, or until the onions and celery are soft and translucent.




-When the onions and celery are soft, add the tomato sauce, ketchup, maple/date syrup, and Worcestershire sauce.
-Stir well to mix all ingredients.

-Cook for another 5 minutes, stirring often.  


-After 5 minutes, add the drained beans, and stir until well mixed.
-Cook for 5 minutes more, stirring often (carefully so you don't break up beans)



-Add the bean mixture to your casserole dish, and spread out evenly.


-Place in hot oven, uncovered for 35-40 minutes.
-After 35-40 minutes, remove from oven, and let rest for 10 minutes.


-After cooling for 10 minutes, you are ready to eat.  This is great for breakfast with toast, lunch as a side, or dinner.  I love them both cold and hot. 
I hope you try this recipe, enjoy it, and share with family and friends.




Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Klunker's crispy quinoa crackers

Klunker's crispy quinoa crackers

This recipe came about, because I love crunchy crackers.  Most crackers are unhealthy in some way.  Over processed, full of ingredients that make you never decompose, or just taste like you are eating packing peanuts. 
I love to make quinoa bread (recipe here) and thought that would be a good base to make crackers.  So, off to the kitchen to see.  To my joy, I found them to be very much delicious, and having the great crunch of a cracker.
So, here is the easy instructions to make them.

Preheat your oven to 400°
You will need a baking sheet, silicone pad works best, but you could use parchment paper (but you'll need to watch them closer)


Ingredients

1/2 cup dry quinoa (I get the pre-rinsed, if you don't, you'll need to rinse)
1/2 cup water
Here is the fun part, any flavors you want (garlic, onion, rosemary, dill......) 1/2 tsp.
1/2 tsp. salt (optional)

Place all the ingredients in a good blender.  



Blend for a good minute




After a minute, check and see if smooth.  You want it to be thick and smooth like pancake batter.


With a small spoon (I used a teaspoon) put a dollop on the baking sheet, and spread out as thin as you can, making them whatever size and shape you want.



Do this until you fill up the whole sheet.  They do not spread out, so you can put them pretty close together.


Now put into your hot oven, and set the timer for 12 minutes.  
This gives you plenty of time to clean your mess, because a messy kitchen is not a good place to bring beautiful crackers into.

After 12 minutes, remove from oven and with a spatula, turn each one.
Put back in the oven for 3 minutes.  DON'T LET THEM TURN TOO DARK.  Light chestnut, not dark mahogany. 



Remove from the baking sheet, and on to a cooling rack.  They will crisp up as they cool.  Now, repeat until all your batter is gone.

I hope you try these and enjoy as much as I do.