RECIPE WEDNESDAY: JUST PRESSURE COOK IT!

No recipe today. I’ve been sick and cooking, hence eating, has not been a top priority. But I would like to direct you to a wonderful product….the Instant Pot.  I finally broke down and got myself one last summer…it does everything! It pressure cooks, slow cooks, sautes, steams, cooks beans, cooks rice, cooks steel cut oats….you get the picture. PLUS there is NO non-stick coating; it has a stainless steel removable liner. Take a look at this amazing little product:

https://instantpot.com/

As soon as I get over this lousy cold, I’ll be posting a recipe or two using a pressure cooker. If you don’t have one, you are totally missing out on a healthy and quick way to get a meal on the table. Flavors meld together wonderfully without hours of cooking. And beans! I cook soaked garbanzos (aka chickpeas) from scratch in 15 minutes plus a little time to build and release pressure. Garbanzos are notoriously time consuming under normal circumstances.

Pressure cookers are vastly different from the product my mother owned  still owns. They are safer and easier to use. If fear has kept you from getting one, re-think your fear. You can purchase one for use on top of the stove (I have a T-fal, stainless steel one) or an electric one (that would be my Instant Pot!). I use the Instant Pot almost exclusively. I have kept the T-Fal one to use in case of a power outage (we have hurricanes in my part of the world) because I have a gas stove.

And once you get yourself a pressure cooker, go visit Jill Nussinow’s site: http://www.theveggiequeen.com/recipes.html  She has some great recipes posted, but even better is her book on pressure cooking.

See you next week with a new recipe!

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GLORIA IN EXCELSIS DEO!

In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. (This was the first census that took place while Quirinius was governor of Syria.) And everyone went to their own town to register.

So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them.

And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night.An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. 10 But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. 11 Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah,the Lord. 12 This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”

13 Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,

14 “Glory to God in the highest heaven,
    and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”

15 When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.”

16 So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger.17 When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, 18 and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. 19 But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. 20 The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told.

Luke 2:1-20 (NIV), courtesy of www.BibleGateway.com

May your Christmas be filled with love, joy and peace!

RECIPE WEDNESDAY: SICK WOMAN’S BLENDER TOMATO SOUP

I almost didn’t post today….I’ve been sick with a really nasty cold (or flu; there were chills yesterday). But then I started craving tomato soup….an easy tomato soup. Most commercial soups have stuff in them which I choose to avoid so I needed to “cook up” something myself….and it needed to be fast.

SICK WOMAN’S BLENDER TOMATO SOUP

(Vegan, Nutritarian, Salt-free, Sugar-Free)

Ingredients:

1 can diced salt-free tomatoes

1 raw tomato (optional; I had one I needed to use up so I threw it in)

1/2 small red pepper

2 green onions

A handful of sliced baby portabello mushrooms

1 Tablespoon salt free Italian Seasoning (I wanted Italian, but feel free to use something else and adjust accordingly)

A couple splashes of home-made almond milk (about 2 tablespoons, or 1/8 cup)

Directions:

Put everything in to a high speed blender (like VitaMix or Blendtec). Run on high until heated thoroughly, about 4 minutes. Serve! Alternatively, you can puree this in a regular blender and then heat on the stove (I’m not fond of microwaves, but that would work, too) or heat everything first and then puree with an immersion blender right in the pot. Makes ONE BIG SERVING or two smaller ones.

This recipe is salt free, but I did add a little salt at the table.

Please don’t get sick just to try this recipe.

Blender Tomato Soup

RECIPE WEDNESDAY: HOLIDAY COUSCOUS SALAD

Sorry to be so late posting today. I have a potluck church function tonight and was busy putting together my dish. I’ve been dreaming about how to put this together and, in the end, it’s not exactly a recipe. You can use whatever amounts of different ingredients you want; if you don’t have or like an ingredient, leave it out or substitute something else; and if you want, add ingredients I didn’t think of. It’s fun! And, I promise you, it will turn out just fine! Another plus: You can make as much or as little as you need so there’s no number of servings listed (mine is for a large group and the bowl in the pictures is quite large!)

Here's the salad before the dressing. The peas and currants were an afterthought so they're not showing.

Here’s the salad before the dressing. The peas and currants were an afterthought so they’re not showing.

HOLIDAY COUSCOUS SALAD

(Vegan, Nutritarian, Salt-free, Oil-Free, can be Gluten Free)

 Ingredients:

Cooked Couscous (Brown rice, barley, or farro would work, too; Lundberg Farms also has a rice couscous)

Sliced green onions

Coarsely chopped carrots

Coarsely chopped steamed green beans

Green peas

Garbanzo beans (chickpeas)…mine were cooked in my trusty Instant Pot, but the canned variety is just fine; any type of bean will work, too!

Dried cranberries

Dried apricots, chopped

Dried currants (mine had dried out a bit so I soaked them for a few minutes in hot water)

Sliced Almonds

Directions:

Combine everything together in a bowl and leave as is, or dress with a dressing of your choice. I used a curry dressing which, I regret to say, I kept playing with so I lost track of the ingredients. I do know that I used plain coconut yogurt (So Delicious brand), a little salt-free ketchup, a little regular mustard, a little rice vinegar, and 2 different brands of curry powder (I haven’t yet found a curry powder I truly love)….mixed it all together and added just a tad of agave syrup (date or maple syrup or even apple juice would work well, too)…. Be adventurous! I’m sure you’ll come up with something very, very tasty all on your own.

And here's the salad with the curry dressing....again, without the peas and currants...told you they were an afterthought...they went in after I snapped the picture.

And here’s the salad with the curry dressing….again, without the peas and currants…told you they were an afterthought…they went in after I snapped the picture. And the almonds aren’t in yet, either….I’m waiting until just before I leave the house to add those so they’ll still have their crunch.

Do you have a commercial curry powder that you love? A blend that you create yourself? Help me  find a curry powder blend I can’t live without!

RECIPE WEDNESDAY: PINEAPPLE COLE SLAW

Last week I presented a Baked Falafel recipe; today I’m sharing a side that goes well with the falafel (and it works well as a picnic side, as well).

IMG-20121110-00009 (1)

PINEAPPLE COLE SLAW

(Vegan, Nutritarian and oil-free)

Makes 8-12 good-size servings

Cashew Dressing (make this ahead):

1/2 cup raw cashews soaked 2 hours (at least)
2 Tablespoons apple cider vinegar
3 Tablespoons date or maple syrup (I used date syrup)
Dash of salt, optional
1/4 – 1/2 cup unsweetened pineapple juice (depending on how thick you want it; I used a bit more than 1/2 cup)

Combine the above in a blender (preferably a high speed blender, but a regular one will work; processing just takes a little longer) until smooth. Refrigerate for a couple of hours or overnight before using.

Cole Slaw:

2 bags angel hair cabbage
1 small can crushed pineapple
1/2 cup (or more) unsweetened dried coconut
3/4 cup chopped raw nuts (I used pecans)
Cashew Dressing, as desired

Combine everything with the dressing and refrigerate at least a couple hours. If you make the night before, don’t add the nuts until close to serving time.  Use as little or as much dressing as you desire. And if you’re not vegan….you can substitute mayonnaise, commercial coleslaw dressing, or lemon poppyseed dressing for the cashew dressing.  Make this more festive by adding dried cranberries and/or yellow raisins.

ENJOY!