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“Vegveeta” Cheese Dip

1/2 cup raw cashews
1 Tablespoon tahini (or 1/8 cup pine nuts)
1 1/2 Tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
1 cup + 1 to 3 Tablespoons plain unsweetened almond milk (see note)
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon prepared yellow mustard
1 Tablespoon arrowroot powder
1/2 teaspoon (little scant) paprika
1/8 – 1/4 teaspoon turmeric (for color)
1 Tablespoon neutral-flavored oil (optional, see note)
1-1/2 to 2 Tablespoons nutritional yeast (optional)

1. Combine all ingredients in a blender and puree until very, very smooth (start with 1 cup + 1 Tablespoon almond milk).
2. Transfer mixture to a small/medium saucepan, and heat over low/low-medium heat for 5 to 8 minutes, until mixture is starting to slowly bubble and thicken (stir frequently through heating). To thin sauce slightly, stir in another 1 to 2 Tablespoons of milk. Avoid thickening sauce over high heat (or increasing heat too quickly), since this sauce can scorch easily.
3. Once sauce has thickened, transfer to a serving dish… and get dipping!
Notes:
• Plain unsweetened almond milk (by Blue Diamond) in this cheese dip has a neutral flavor, and isn’t sweet-tasting as rice and hemp milks can be. Try using the almond milk if you can.
• Be sure to use a neutral oil (not extra-virgin olive oil) so that the mild cheese flavor is not overtaken by any particular oil essence. Or, omit altogether for an oil-free version.
• The color of this dip will deepen with heating. When first blended, it is quite light without much color, but with heating, more yellow/orange color develops.
Options:
• For a nacho “Vegveeta”-style dip, try stirring about 1/3 – 1/2 cup of your fav salsa into the heated sauce.
• a handful of sliced green onions
• chopped, sun-dried tomatoes (oil-packed, drained) or fresh chopped tomatoes
• sliced olives
• chopped parsley or cilantro
• for heat-lovers, a few tablespoons of chopped jalapeno peppers or a few dashes of hot sauce.

Rich Onion Gravy

Rich Onion Gravy

2 medium onions, peeled and thinly sliced
2 Tablespoon vegetable or cold-pressed rapeseed oil
2 Tablespoon butter
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
3 cups beef-style broth (follow McKay’s beef flavored
directions for 3 cups)
4 teaspoon corn starch
4 teaspoon cold water
Salt and black pepper

1. Melt the oil and butter in a large saucepan over a gentle heat.
2. Add the onion and cover with a lid. Cook slowly for approx 10 minutes or until the onions are soft and translucent. Take care not to burn, the onions should not be browned.
3. Add sugar and balsamic vinegar to the onions and stir well.
4. Cover with lid and continue to cook for a further 5 minutes, again making sure they don’t burn.
5. Add the stock and boil gently uncovered for 5 minutes.
6. In a heat-proof bowl mix the corn starch with the cold water to create a thin paste. Pour a little of the hot gravy into the starch mixture and mix thoroughly. Pour the starch mixture back into the gravy, raise the heat to high and boil for 10 minutes or until the gravy is slightly thickened.
7. Season with salt and pepper and keep warm until ready to serve.

Note: To create a shine on the gravy whisk 1 tsp of ice cold butter into the finished gravy before serving. (Obviously this will make the recipe NOT vegan.)

This is a recipe I found on the net to pour over British bangers & mash. This is a very flavorful gravy and can be used on many recipes.

Fresh Homemade Salsa

This is sooooo good.  The wonderful woman who comes every other week to help me keep our little home cleaned told me how to make this salsa.  THANKS, HILDA!!!!!!  I’ve made it a number of times and it is EXCELLENT!!!!  It rivals that that we can get in the Mexican food restaurants in our area.  Each one adds their own special twist to it, so you can make this your own by adding and tweaking some of the ingredients.  So have fun with it!

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Fresh Homemade Salsa

Fresh, firm tomatoes (however many you want)  I’ve been finding ones the size of my fist – so fresh and lovely – washed, top cut off

Fresh medium-sized jalapeños (at least 1/2 jalapeño for each tomato if you like medium) – washed, top cut off, and deseeded if you don’t like the heat the seeds add.  BE CAREFUL handling these with bare hands as the oil from them can burn like crazy if you put your fingers somewhere that is likely to be sensitive to it, such as your eyes, nose, etc. (Wear some food handler gloves if you have them)

1 medium onion, cut up into chunks

2 cloves garlic – minced (or I use the jarred minced garlic you can get in the produce section)

salt and ground pepper

dash of cumin (if desired)

Olive oil

Pour a small amount of olive oil into a skillet and warm it up.  Once the oil is warm, place the whole tomatoes and the jalapeños into the oil and cook them until they have a nice char on the outside skins.  Don’t worry if you blacken them; it will be great.  In fact, the more blackened they are, the better the flavor.

Once you have the ingredients at a nice char, remove them from the pan.

Put the tomatoes, jalapeños, onion, garlic, salt and pepper, and cumin (if using)  into a food processor (or blender if you don’t have one) and process until smooth.  Taste test it to see if you need to add more salt and/or pepper.

Pour into a container and refrigerate once you’re finished making it.

This stuff is great for dipping tortilla chips in, over eggs, mixing into guacamole, just about anywhere you can think of that salsa would be great in.

Fast and easy – and so much better than the stuff in the jars!!!!

You can add cilantro to this, whatever other changes you want.  (I don’t use cilantro because I can’t take the flavor of it.)

Beth’s Home-made Spaghetti Sauce

1 medium to large onion, minced
2 T minced garlic
1 each green, red, yellow bell pepper, minced
olive oil
1 large can tomato sauce
1 large can crushed tomatoes
1 large can water
3 T McKay’s beef-flavored bouillon
3 T Italian seasonings
3 T sugar
2 t pepper
2 t salt (add more if needed, but sparingly)
1/2 c Parmesan cheese
2 bay leaves

  • 1. In a stewpot, drizzle enough olive oil to lightly cover the bottom of the pot. Over medium heat, warm the oil and add the onion. Saute until clear. Add garlic and continue to saute until garlic becomes aromatic. Add peppers and saute just until they become limp.
    2. Add tomato sauce, crushed tomatoes and water. Stir to mix.
    3. Add spices (bouillon through salt). Taste to see if it is sweet enough or has enough salt. Add either one at this point, but do so very sparingly. It can become too salty very, very quickly.
    4. Add Parmesan. Stir to mix. Add bay leaves.
    5. Bring to a boil, stirring frequently. If you have chosen a deep enough pot, you shouldn’t have the sauce boil/pop out of the pot onto the stove top. As soon as the sauce begins to boil, lower heat and simmer sauce for at least 20 min. to allow flavors to blend. (I actually simmer it for a couple of hours, usually, or put it in the crock pot on low for 3-4 hours.)
  • This sauce makes enough for a large crowd. I usually make a double batch and then freeze it in containers small enough for a meal or two. It freezes well and will keep for several months.

    I prefer this much more over any canned sauce as you can control the amount of salt you put it in – and it’s very easy to make.

    Please keep in mind that all the measurements are just estimations. I have never made it using a measuring spoon, so am merely guesstimating how much of each spice to add in.

    Glazed Carrots

    We love carrots in our family – or at least hubby and I do. I wanted to find something many years ago when the boys were young that they could make for their dad’s birthday. I found this recipe tucked away and they had a ball making them for him (under my supervision, of course). Anway, they were a great hit and I’ve shared the recipe with others who have kids that kinda like carrots, but not enough to eat them cooked and these have made cooked carrot lovers out of several of them (adults too!). So here it is. (smile)

    ~~O~~OO~~O~~

    Glazed Carrots

    2 pounds carrots
    1/2 teaspoon salt, if desired
    2/3 cup packed brown sugar
    1/4 cup margarine or butter
    1 teaspoon grated orange peel
    1/2 teaspoon salt

    Peel carrots, and cut into 1/4-inch slices. Heat 1 inch water to boiling in the saucepan over high heat. Add 1/4 teaspoon salt if desired. Add carrot slices. Cover and heat to boiling again. Reduce heat just enough so water bubbles gently. Cook covered 12 to 15 mins or until carrots are tender when pierced with a fork.

    While carrots are cooking, heat brown sugar, margarine, orange peel and 1/2 teaspoon salt in skillet over medium heat, stirring constantly, until sugar is dissolved and mixture is bubbly. Be careful not to overcook or the mixture will taste scorched. Remove skillet from heat.

    Drain carrots in a strainer, then stir into brown sugar mixture. Cook over low heat about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally and gently, until carrots are glazed and hot.

    Sweet-Spicy Fruit Salad Dressing

    1/2 lb tofu, mashed
    1/4 c oil
    1/4 c lemon juice
    1/4 c honey
    1/4 t cinnamon
    1/4 t vanilla
    1/8 t salt

    Blend all in a blender until smooth and creamy.

    You can either pour this over a variety of fruits or use it as a dip.

    Tofu Sour Creme Dressing

    1/2 lb silken tofu
    1/4 c oil
    1 T lemon juice
    1 1/2 t sugar
    1/2 t salt

    Blend all in a blender until smooth and creamy.