Recipes

Vegetarian Mushroom Gravy
http://vegetarian.about.com/od/saucesdipsspreads/r/mushroomgravy.htm

This is the recipe that I served on Quinoa mushroom burgers during my 4 week vegan cooking class.

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup white or button mushrooms, chopped
  • 1 small yellow or white onion, minced
  • 1/4 cup Earth Balance
  • 2 1/2 cups vegetable broth
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1 tbsp poultry seasoning (or 1/2 tsp each of sage, thyme and marjoram)
  • salt and pepper to taste

Preparation:

In a large skillet, melt the Earth Balance and add onion and mushrooms. Sautee for just a minute or two over high heat.Reduce heat to medium and add vegetable broth and soy sauce. Slowly add flour, stirring well to combine and prevent lumps from forming. Bring to a simmer or a low boil, then reduce heat.

Add poultry seasoning, salt and pepper, stirring consistently. Allow to cook for 8-10 minutes, stirring regularly, until gravy thickens.

School Friendly Snacks

These quick, tasty treats are very versatile and can be adapted to many different flavours. If you are making for home comsumption and everyone is fine with nuts, you can substitute almonds, pistachios, walnuts etc. peanut butter, almond butter or hemp or chia seeds for some or all of the seeds. Kids and adults alike love these treats that are just as good out of the freezer as out of the fridge. Made with wholesome seeds and seed butters (which are generally much more tolerated than nuts for those with sensitivities or allergies) which supply us with healthy fats and whole foods for sweeteners, this is a snack you can feel good about. They are gluten free as well.  I have given two variations below:

Chocolate Mint Seed Truffles

1/2 cup pumpkin seeds
1/2 cup sunflower seeds
1/4 cup ground flax seeds
1/4 cup sesame seeds
1/4 cup cocoa or cacao powder*
1 cup raisins (organic is best)
5 medjool dates – pitted
1-2 tsp. peppermint extract (depending on how minty you like it)
3 tbsp. total of tahini a/o sunflower butter or combination of both
cocoa powder or coconut for dusting (optional)

Blend or grind all seeds in a blender or food processor. If you don’t want to see or taste bits of seeds, I would recommend using a blender or coffee grinder etc. to blend the seeds into a flour like mixture. If you are okay with some bits and chunks, put the seeds into a food processor and blend until partly broken down. After the seeds are the texture you want, add cocoa powder, raisins, medjool dates, peppermint and tahini. Process again until mixture is totally blended and starts to come away from side of bowl. The mixture should hold together when you squeeze some in your hands.
Take approximately 1 tbsp. of mixture, squeeze and roll into a ball with your hands.
You can stop there or if you want to get fancier, roll in cocoa powder or shredded coconut.  Keep in fridge for optimal freshness. (Ground flax requires refrigeration).
*Non Dutch processed cocoa powder, such as Ghirardelli unsweetened has higher antioxidants than regular cocoa powder. Even higher than both is raw cacao powder, but it can be pricey, so choose your chocolate accordingly. IMG_0110IMG_0112

IMG_0114

Chocolate Orange Seed Truffles
To the above recipe substitute:

  • vanilla for the peppermint extract (only 1 tsp. required)
  • 3 tbsp. of freshly squeezed orange juice for the seed butters
    Add:  zest of 1 or 2 oranges (depending on how much orange you like)

Lemonade

If you like lemonade either for yourself or your children and you currently purchase ready to drink or frozen lemonade, please read on!
Many brands contain nasty high fructose corn syrup (HFCS), glucose/fructose (typically another name for high fructose corn syrup in Canada)  in addition to sugar. For optimal health it is best to reduce (or eliminate) these ingredients. HFCS wreaks even more havoc on our bodies than regular sugar, raising trigylceride levels, LDL, blood pressure, causes insulin resitance and is manufactured from genetically engineered corn. Almost half of HFCS samples tested contained mercury! –  http://articles.washingtonpost.com/2009-01-28/news/36860846_1_caustic-soda-mercury-free-hfcs
I have even seen frozen lemonade that contains corn starch and colouring!

IMG_0122

Lemonade

  • 2 litres of cold purified water
  • 1 – 1 1/2 cups of freshly squeezed lemon juice or a bottled lemon juice, not from conentrate*
  • 2-3 droppers of lemon flavoured stevia
  • 1-2 tbsp. of maple syrup

* Many brands of bottled concentrated lemon juice contain preservatives and sulphites, so look for organic, not from concentrate lemon juice that don’t have these.

Pink Lemonade
IMG_0123To the above recipe add:

  • 1/4 tsp. of Salus Red Beet Crystals – pictured above (look for this at Health stores in the supplement section)

These red beet crystals are organic and so intensely coloured that you need only the smallest amount to colour your food. Think about using it for other foods that need dyeing like icing or sprinkle over desserts for an unexpected twist!
I was given a sample taste of this product recently and was pleasantly surprised at the sweetness of the beet juice crystals rather than an “earthiness”. If you want to really reap the benefits of this product, add up to 1 tbsp. at a time. Beet juice is excellent for high blood pressure. Naturally occuring nitrates present in beets convert to nitrites and then to nitrous oxide. Nitrous oxide has the effect of relaxing and enlarging arteries, therby reducing blood pressure.
Beets are a wonderful antioxidant, stimulate our lymphatic system, strengthen our resistance to infection, aid in digestion and support the liver, gall bladder, spleen and kidneys. Everyone should be eating them, but we don’t, so here is an easy way to introduce them into your diet.

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