Tofu Stir Fry

From Tofu stir fry night
Ingredients:

1 box firm Tofu, squeeze excess water out of it without breaking, sliced lengthwise in half, then cubed

water chestnuts (as many as you want)

string beans

broccoli

corn

cauliflower

red pepper, sliced

sweet peas

1/4 cup soy sauce

1/2 cup teriyaki sauce

2 Tbsp raw organic honey

1/2 tsp ginger

1/2 tsp garlic powder

1/4 tsp celery salt

1/4 tsp dry mustard

s & p to taste

3 cups cooked brown rice

3 Tbsp olive oil

Directions:

  1. Cook the brown rice according to instructions.
  2. Heat Large saute pan & pour in the olive oil. Cook the tofu cubes until browned & toasty. This could take 15 minutes or so to get to desired browning.
  3. Throw in the vegetables a little at a time along with more olive oil & a little water to cook & loosen up ingredients plus meld them together, a little at a time to keep it moist.
  4. Place in the spices & stir around, add a little more water if needed.
  5. After a few minutes, add the sauces & cook for another 10 minutes.
  6. Serve.

I like to serve mine with black or matcha tea on the side. You could serve with fortune cookies if you wish, for fun. This is such a nice comfort food. Hope you enjoy it!

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Food Challenge: Day 2

Hello Everyone! Yesterday was Day 2 in my food challenge to make all of the recipes in my Pinterest “Recipes/Food & Beverages” Pin Board. I decided to make the “Gluten Free Magic Cake” recipe. It had it’s frustrating moments, and it was very time consuming, but in the end, the result was very good. It is quite plain & not one of my favorite recipes but my family & I liked it well enough, but my family thought it was delicious. Hope you enjoy it. Here’s the recipe along with some of my notes.

Gluten Free Magic Cake
Gfree Lemon Magic Cake
Ingredients:

1 stick of Earth Balance butter

2 cups almond milk

1 tsp vanilla extract

4 eggs, separated

1 tsp lemon juice

1/4 cup sugar, then 3/4 cup granulated sugar

1/2 cup coconut flour

1/2 cup G-free all purpose flour with xanthan gum includedGfree lemon magic cake sliced up with powdered sugar & bananas dipped in lemon on top

1 pinch of salt

coconut oil to grease the pan

Directions:

  1. Grease a 13″x9″ pan with the coconut oil & dust with G-free all purpose flour.
  2. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  3. Mix the butter & milk in a saucepan & heat until just melted. Remove from the heat & mix in the vanilla extract. Put to the side to cool down.
  4. Whip the egg whites with the lemon juice until light & fluffy. Add 1/4 cup sugar & mix until stiff & glossy. This is the step that was ridiculously time consuming (30 + minutes & still not stiff). My advice is to chill the bowl before putting in the egg whites to mix & even chill the beaters on the mixer all for around 30 minutes. This step should help get the egg whites stiff & quicker as well. Another tip could be to have a more wide & shallow bowl to mix this in. Lesson learned for me.
  5. In a separate bowl, mix the egg yolks with the remaining sugar, until double in volume & creamy & pale.
  6. Mix in half of the milk mixture & 1/2 cup coconut flour as well as a pinch of salt to the egg yolk mixture.
  7. Mix in the rest of the milk & all-purpose flour until smooth.
  8. Fold in the egg whites into the yolk mixture.
  9. Pour the mix into the prepared pan & Bake for 40-50 minutes. Mine was ready in 40 minutes, until golden brown on top & set.
  10. Allow the cake to cool completely before slicing & serving.
  11. Sprinkle on confectioner’s sugar (optional). I sprinkled cake with the confectioner’s sugar & also placed on each serving for each person, banana coins that were stirred with lemon juice. It was very good & looked pretty.

A Fun Experiment!/Flourless PB bread

One of my favorite movies is Julie & Julia, based on the memoir by Julie Powell Julie & Julia: My Year of Cooking Dangerously & Julie Powell’s Blog where she tackled Julia Child’s 524 recipes from Julia’s book: “Mastering the Art of French Cooking” in 365 days. It is such a fun concept & so inspiring! I have decided to take that inspiration & tackle my 2,637 food pins from my Pinterest board & start cooking & baking! This will most definitely take longer than a year to complete & some recipes will be grouped together. I have a unique situation, as these recipes are mainly gluten free & vegan & those that aren’t, I pinned with the intention of vegan-izing & altering them to become gluten free. Some I will keep vegetarian for the sake of the recipe.

I should say that some of these pins have “50 gluten free breakfast ideas” & some tips, but I will tackle each & every recipe. Thank you, Julie Powell for your inspiration! I have been wanting to tackle this project ever since watching this movie. I began this morning & may take a day off here & there, but my goal will be 2 years. I have to try & control the urge to pin more recipes to that board! I hope you enjoy these recipes! I hope I do as well! LOL!!

Day 1: Flourless Peanut Butter Bread:  I made it with my own breakfast potatoes & spinach mix, along with homemade g-free/vegan sausage crumble, cut up cantaloupe & chocolate/peanut butter/banana smoothie.

The Pin on the Recipes board was for the breakfast bread & I wasn’t that pleased with it, as it was very dry & flavorless. So I drizzled Raw Organic Honey on top & it was much tastier! I suggested to my family as another option to put raspberry preserves on top & they liked that option better for them. It tasted almost like a PB & J, they commented.

Here is that recipe:
Flourless Peanut Butter bread with Breakfast this morning!
Ingredients:

1 Cup Smucker’s natural creamy peanut butter

3 large eggs *

1 tsp vinegar

1/2 tsp baking soda

1 tsp granulated white sugar

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease 2 mini loaf pans (at sizes of 3″ x 5″). I chose to put in 1 regular size loaf pan (4″ x 8″). It was easier for me & didn’t change the recipe’s dignity.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine all of the ingredients. Use a hand mixer to mix together until smooth.
  3. If using 2 mini pans, spread the batter equally between the two, or just toss it all into one pan, as I did. 😉
  4. Bake for 20 minutes (It says 25, but 20 was perfect-check at least in 20 & see if a toothpick inserted comes out clean)
  5. Let cool for approximately 10 minutes & serve slices with vegan butter, jam or preserves, more peanut butter & drizzle with honey or maybe even some maple syrup!

*If making these vegan, and omitting the eggs, I would highly recommend substituting 3 small or 2 regular sized bananas in place of the eggs. It may even give a nice sweet banana flavor to the bread as well as bind it together.

Have you tried this recipe & altered it in some way? How did you alter it? I’d love to know!

Hope you enjoy this new adventure I’m on!

Cocoa/peanut butter smoothie with breakfast
The cocoa/peanut butter smoothie

Fresh cantaloupe at breakfast today
Fresh cantaloupe

Potato & spinach mix for breakfast
Potato/spinach bowl

Gfree Vegan sausage crumble at breakfast
Homemade Gfree sausage scramble

Getting to know you….Easter Edition

Easter is my all time favorite Holiday of the year!! It comes at a time when life is being renewed, refreshed & Mother Nature starts over! Flowers & plants are peeking above the ground, leaves are poking through on the trees, grass is beginning to green a little at a time, the sunshine is brighter, days are growing progressively longer, the outside temperature is slowly rising and well, the Easter Bunny is coming to town!!

bunnyeggs

I simply love coloring eggs (still), watching Easter movies, (Yes, I still watch them, along with my husband, adult daughter & teenage son! 😀 ) and cooking & baking lighter fare for our Easter Menu! I always host it here at my home & love every second of it! My children humor me & still do our annual Easter Egg Hunt & are always excited to see what the Easter Bunny left in their baskets!! I will never tire of this fun holiday & traditions!

Traditional-Easter-eggs-make-at-home

I await all year for this Great holiday & season of renewal! Here are some questions that were asked of me just recently. I’ll answer them & would love to hear what your answers are too! Happy Easter to you all!!

Questions:

1. What is the first thing you do to prepare for the Easter Season?

There are a lot of things. I first decorate with my Easter decorations. Less is more & the colors are pastel; there are flowers around too. I also spring clean!

lilacs

I prepare my Easter Menu list. I try to change it up every year to keep it fresh, but I still have some favorite standbys.

My family & I always start the season with “Jesus Christ Superstar” movie. We then go to our cartoon movies & always finish with our new favorite, “Hop” movie.

I almost daily go through the home singing Easter songs like “Here comes Peter Cottontail” &  “Easter Bonnet”, as well as all of us going through all the music from “Jesus Christ Superstar”!! We’re a very musical family!

I begin to seed for my garden with some of my seeds, as some were already started weeks before & still some soon after, but some of them.

garden-tools

I begin my Spring cleaning & bring up our Spring weather wardrobe & slowly pack up our winter gear! Yay!!

Finally, I begin early in March to shop for Easter gifts & items for my Easter Menu (Non- perishables & non- food items).

2. What is your favorite Easter meal item?

I love the potatoes & the roasted asparagus! I Love dessert too!!

roasted-asparagus

3. What desserts do you enjoy?

I always try to make something lemon-y, along with other desserts. I Love lemon at this time of year! I love to make cream puffs & sometimes even a lemon cheesecake! They’re vegan & g-free!!

lemonpuddingcheesecake

4.What are your happiest memories of Easter?

Getting dressed up in pretty pastels & seeing everyone get dressed up! When I was little, we always had a brand new dress with shiny white shoes, white tights, white gloves, a new purse & a pretty hat! When my daughter was born, I dressed her that way too! My son also looked adorable in his little suit & bow tie! Those were the days! We still dress up (A little less formally, but we still do!)! 🙂

5.What are some of your favorite traditions?

Definitely coloring Easter eggs!! I wait all year for this fun activity!! I’m still a kid at heart!! I also love to watch the kids try to find all of the plastic filled eggs on the annual egg hunt! My children will someday be in their forties & I will still hide the eggs & make them find them! Hahaha!

6. Any other traditions?

Every Easter Eve, we light candles & express our gratitude for all we have & we watch “The Ten Commandments”. Then we wait “for the Easter Bunny to arrive”!!

easterchickrabbit

I just love waking to Easter morning!!

I Love to make Spring & Easter crafts & cook & bake lighter, healthier fare & watching the season develop with Hope.

I wish all of you a Wonderful Happy Easter & Beautiful Spring!!

Our bunny, Emma ❤
Our bunny Emma
Our bunny, Olivia ❤
Our bunny Olivia

G-free Lemon Trifle

This past weekend before my daughter returned from Spring Break from college, we celebrated her 22nd Birthday early & she wanted a lemon flavored dessert. I made her a lemon trifle. It was delicious! 
Gfree lemon trifle
This dessert was so simple as I cheated & made a semi-homemade trifle. We ate the trifle a few hours after I made it, but the next day it was even more delicious! I think after it settled more & the flavors melded together more, it became more heavenly! I hope you enjoy this dessert & try this for Easter or other Spring function.

Ingredients:

1 box gfree yellow cake mix

1 tsp. lemon extract (instead of vanilla as said on box)

butter (amount needed on box directions)

water & eggs (amounts given on box)(3 eggs)

2 boxes of lemon instant pudding mix (make sure it’s gfree)

almond milk (follow directions on box as to how much)

5 bananas, coined & placed in a small bowl, soaked in lemon juice

cool whip

Directions:

  1. Bake cake according to directions.
  2. Make both puddings, with almond milk, according to directions on boxes & place in fridge for an hour.
  3. When cake cools, cut into small squares.
  4. Cut bananas into coins & soak in lemon juice.
  5. Fold cool whip into pudding mixture.
  6. Begin layering in a large Trifle dish, beginning with cake squares.
  7. Continue with spoonful of bananas spread over squares.
  8. Top with pudding/cool whip mixture.
  9. Keep continuing the layers until all used up, ending with pudding mixture.
  10. I topped a little extra cool whip on top, then used some of the cake crumbs to sprinkle on very top.

Hope you enjoy this decadent dessert. It really was even more delicious the following day!
More please....

Fruit Salad

With all of the sugary foods out there, it’s always so refreshing to get that sweet flavor without all of the harsh after-effects of sugar, by eating a simple & healthy fruit salad! I do love to make desserts, but after awhile, I like to detox a little by eating a variety of fruits. I try to have fruit everyday & make a fruit salad every weekend breakfast. Every fruit contains a plethora of vitamins & nutrients & they play an important part in preventing cancer & other various diseases. Berries are number one for me & my family, especially what’s in season. We love to grow fruit in our home garden & I simply cannot wait for the season to begin!!
Beautiful fruit salad for breakfast
Most weekend mornings we have a mixture of strawberries, blackberries, raspberries, blueberries (all of which are grown here in my garden in season), as well as pineapple, and on occasion what’s in season in the markets. Lately, we have been putting citrus fruits in our fruit salads. This past weekend we had oranges, bananas, mangoes, papaya & blueberries.
Spring greens with chopped pecans, black pepper & strawberries
My favorite combination is with berries & watermelon! What combination do you like? Do you like fruit in a green salad with nuts & seeds, or in a fruit salad combination? Do you like to make desserts, like pies, with fruit? Whatever the combination, try to get in fruit everyday! Try to grow some or buy at your local organic Farmer’s Market. Here’s to your health!

Leftovers

Leftover baked gfree  vegan macaroni and cheese... Yummier the next day!
Oh the wonders of recreating leftovers!! I was taught by my grandmother, Lola — who had owned & operated two restaurants & a catering business in her lifetime — how to reinvent leftovers. She was the master (Or mistress, I should say) of this skill. Anyone could heat up leftovers, but she repurposed a dish to feel brand new & taste as if it was just made! It became a running joke in our family, when we all used to vacation together at the family cottage at the Cape, never to leave your leftovers around for her to see, because she would take them & serve them up as a new dish. Mind you, she NEVER did that to customers in her restaurant! It was just our family’s leftovers. Every time I serve a new dish from a previous dish, I am always reminded of her & thank her for the creativity. She must have learned that from the Depression Era. I, for one, learned to “waste not”. Thank you, Nana.

One such dish recently was nothing really extraordinarily special or too different from 2 days before that. I simply reheated homemade baked macaroni & cheese, but I decided to serve them in small individual sized ramekins & placed heavy cream on the bottom to soften it up again as it was dried out a bit (especially being a gluten free pasta). I also sprinkled the top with vegan parmesan cheese, s & p, plus a dot of butter, placed in a deep pan & placed in a 350°F oven for 15 minutes served alongside with (recooked in the oven on a cookie sheet) slices of leftover Irish Soda bread that a friend of mine made for me. I sliced the rest of the bread up, and placed dots of butter on that as well & put it in the oven for the last 5 minutes of the macaroni & cheese time. This was a delicious lunch for my family & me for our snowed-in day (we had a blizzard & everyone was home!). 🙂

What types of leftovers do you like to reinvent? Do you change a recipe up & make it different another time? Do certain recipes seem tastier for you the next day?

G-free Baked Vegan Macaroni & Cheese

A Delicious Dish for a chilly day! Its ooey gooey yumminess is perfect for a cold Fall or Winter day. If you feel like more substance, add some spinach or broccoli to the dish!

Ingredients:

2 packages Brown Rice & Quinoa gfree penne pasta

4 cups almond milk, or other non-dairy milk

1/2 cup gfree all purpose flour

1/2 cup vegan butter (I like Earth Balance sticks)

S & P

Vegan cheese shreds (2-3 packages, depending on your preference, I like 3)

(Mix it up with Mozzarella & cheddar varieities)

1/2 cup vegan parmesan cheese

1 cup gfree bread crumbs for the topping

Sprinkle of dried parsley for top

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. Cook pasta according to directions.
  3. Melt butter in a Large stockpot.
  4. Take off fire when butter is melted & stir in flour. Stir ’til smooth.
  5. Add 1/2 tsp. salt & 1/4 tsp. ground black pepper & mix altogether.
  6. Put back on fire & gradually add the 4 cups of milk. Keep stirring, being careful not to scald the milk. When it begins to bubble & thicken, it’s ready to set aside.
  7. Pour pasta into pan with sauce & add cheeses. Stir around until all coated.
  8. Pour all of this into a large rectangular baking dish (Or you can individualize into separate ramekins per person).
  9. Top with bread crumbs spread on top.
  10. Cover with aluminum foil for 10 minutes. Bake in 350°F oven.
  11. Take foil off & bake for 15 minutes longer.

Enjoy!!

Bean Stew

Here in New England, we have a Nor’Easter approaching us & there’s nothing in the world like having a nice hot cup of soup or stew when you’re stuck in the house! I Love that I get to spend a day with my whole family & relax with a warm cup of stew & a light dessert; a day full of games & just hanging together, maybe a movie or two thrown in there! Hoping that all of you are safe who’ll be in the midst of this storm or another one, before Spring arrives! Hoping you all enjoy this recipe or any other comforting food to get you through the storm! Make the best of it! :D!!
Homemade bean stew for a cold day
Ingredients:

4 vegetable bouillon cubes

8 cups of water

4-5 potatoes (depending on size, rinsed dried & cut in chunks)

3 cups frozen spinach

1 can sweet peas

1 can black beans, drained & rinsed

2 cans cannellini beans, drained & rinsed

2 tsps. celery salt

2 tsps. garlic salt

2 tsps. onion powder

1 tsp. cayenne pepper

1/2 tsp. parsley

1/4 tsp. oregano

1/2 tsp. chives

1/4 tsp. rosemary

1/4 tsp. thyme

1 tsp. salt (or more to taste)

1/2 tsp. ground black pepper

1 TBSPN tamari sauce

3 TBSPNS marinara sauce

Directions:

  1. Measure water into a large stockpot & boil with bouillon cubes. When bouillon cubes are dissolved, add potatoes & spinach. Cook for 12 minutes.
  2. Add in the rest of the ingredients. Cook / simmer for 15 more minutes.
  3. Serve & enjoy with homemade bread or biscuits.

Stay Warm & Enjoy!!

Our Yard during the last Winter Storm   2017

G-Free Irish Blessing Bread

Happy St.Patrick’s Month!! I grew up in an area where St.Patrick’s Day is a very big deal & the weekend after the official Holiday (March 17th), there is always a Road Race, and then the St. Patrick’s Day Parade the following day! For an Irish/Italian/French/English gal, this was the month that I really tapped into my Irish heritage! Irish Blessing bread, among other fantastic Irish recipes, were always served at my Nana & Grandpa’s house after we watched the parade at the corner of their street (The Best seats in the whole parade!)

Since then, many years later, we still go to my aunt’s house, also nearby, but on a different corner & these days we all bring appetizers, beverages & order in a pizza. We all have a wonderful time these days, but I pine for the good ole days of how it used to be.

Here is a g-free version of the ever-popular & well-known Irish Blessing bread recipe. It won’t rise as much as the original, but it’s still very good & it is our tradition. Hope you enjoy this recipe & this Wonderful Holiday!! Happy St. Patrick’s Day!!

“May the Road rise up to meet you. May the wind always be at your back. May the Sun warm upon your face. The rains fall soft upon your fields and until we meet again, May God hold you in the palm of His hand.”
-Traditional Gaelic Blessing

Irish Blessing Bread

Ingredients:

2 quart casserole dish

oil spray

2 1/2 cups gfree all purpose flour (with xanthan gum already added to flour)

2 tsp. baking powder

1/2 tsp. baking sodaMaking an Irish Soda bread today for my Irish themed friend's gathering tomorrow night!

1 tsp salt

1/4 cup vegan butter (I like to use Earth Balance stick), cold & in cubes

1 egg (if vegan, you can use flax or chia egg)

1/2 cup sugar

1 1/2 cups almond milk with 1 TBSPN white vinegar in it (homemade buttermilk)

1 cup raisins

1-2 TBSPNS caraway seeds (your preference as to how much you want, I like 2 Tbspns)

Directions:

1. Measure out almond milk in a glass measuring cup. Put 1 TBSPN vinegar in it. Let it sit & curdle. This is your buttermilk. Set aside.

*If using a chia or flax egg, make now & set aside.

2. Sift dry ingredients in small bowl, or use whisk.

3. Cut butter into sugar in large bowl with pastry blender. Then add egg.

4. Add dry ingredients to sugar mixture, alternating with buttermilk as well. Mix with a hand mixer.

5. Add raisins & caraway seeds. Stir.

6.Pour into greased 2 quart casserole pan.

7. Bake in 375°F oven for 30 minutes.

8. Reduce temperature in oven to 325°F for 30 minutes more.

9. Let cool in pan for 15 minutes. Then transfer to cooling rack until completely cooled.

Completed Gfree Irish Soda bread!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hope you enjoy this bread recipe!

What do you do to celebrate the Irish holiday? What recipes do you eat on this festive day?Shamrock