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All-Purpose Seasoning

I like to make up different seasonings to add a new dimension to the flavor of the dish. Each mix I make gives a dish a new flavor profile, making it unique. So far I’ve shared my Mediterranean and Southwestern. Today its the quintessential All-purpose mix. Hope you enjoy the flavor.

  • 2 tbsp Italian Seasoning
  • 2 tbsp Himalayan Salt (optional)
  • 1 tbsp onion powder
  • 1 tbsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp dried mustard
  • 1/2 tsp ground pepper

Measure all ingredients into a mason jar. Shake. Sprinkle. That’s it. Try it on any protein or vegetable you like. This seasoning will transform your dish.img_0601

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Almond Meal/Flour

Yesterday, I told you not to throw out the almond pulp leftover from the almond milk you made. Now it’s time to do something with the pulp. The almond meal is great to use for toppings. One of my favorite uses for the meal is for fruit crumbles, mmm. I just might have to make one tonight. What a good idea. I’ll let you know how it turns out. Okay, back to the almond meal.

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  • almond pulp leftover from making almond milk
  • parchment paper
  • sheet pan for oven method
  • dehydrator

Set your oven to the lowest setting that is allowed. Mine only goes down to 170 degrees.

Line a sheet pan with parchment paper. Spread the almond/date pulp in a layer on top of the parchment paper. Put pan into the oven. I put it in even if it’s not at temperature. Let it roast in the oven for about an hour. Stir meal, and spread out over pan. Turn off oven and leave pan in oven.

After about an hour I check the pulp for moisture. I like it to be soft, but not wet. This is when I turn back the oven if needed, and repeat. When the meal is at the moisture level you want, transfer to a container that you can seal. I like to use mason jars.

 

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Almond Milk

This is for those that don’t do dairy, for whatever reason. I’ve tried different almond milks both homemade and commercial. I like this one the best, and it is so easy to make. Having patience is the hardest thing. This almond milk has nothing in it that is fake or bad. Yay!

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  • 1 cup of raw almonds
  • 7 c of filtered water, 3 c and 4 c
  • 1 tsp of pure vanilla extract ( I make my own)
  • stevia, liquid, to taste
  • cheese cloth or a nut milk bag

In  a container (a large mason jar works nicely) add almonds, 3 cups of filtered water. Cover container and set in refrigerator a minimum of 8 hours or up to 24 hours. This is the patience part.

Drain almonds, then place into blender or food processor.  Add remaining water (4 c) into blender/food processor. Blend on high-speed for about 4-10 minutes. This depends on the power of your blender/food processor. Mine takes about 4 minutes.

This next part will require cheese cloth or a nut milk bag. For a while I used cheese cloth, but I have to admit, the nut milk bag is much easier all around. You will also need a large bowl.

Place nut milk bag into large bowl, pour almond liquid into nut milk bag. Squeeze out liquid into large bowl. It should produce about 4 cups of almond milk. Add vanilla. Transfer to a container with a lid, and store in the refrigerator. Don’t throw away the pulp, you can use this to make toasted almond meal. Uses for the almond meal in tomorrow’s blog.

Remember to shake up milk before using, it will separate, because it doesn’t have any bad stuff (gums) in it.

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Mediterranean Seasoning

Seasoning is probably the most important thing you can do to enhance the flavors of whatever you are cooking. It’s important to season as you go.This helps to build layers and depth of flavor. This seasoning mix was the very first one I made, and is probably my favorite. It can be used on any protein, vegetable, and sauce. I basically throw it in a mason jar, shake, and sprinkle.

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  • 2 tbsp Himalayan salt (optional)
  • 2 tbsp Italian seasoning
  • 1 tbsp onion powder
  • 1 tbsp garlic granules

Like I said earlier, add all the ingredients into a mason jar, shake so all the ingredients are well incorporated. You’re done.

 

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Zoodles

If you haven’t tried zoodles then you are missing out. The first time I made these I was a little disappointed with the texture. I thought they were “mushy”, not what I wanted. so I went back to the kitchen and made an adjustment.  It was something so easy, I just smacked my forehead and said, duh. Yeah, it was one of those moments. The key is some sea salt, towels, and time.

Something to remember – it may look like a lot of zoodles, it really isn’t, so make at least twice as much as you think you would need. You will need: 2 thin towels, sheet pan, a spiralizer or vegetable peeler, zucchini, and sea salt.

Line the sheet pan with a one of the towels. Use your spiralizer according to manufacturer’s directions.  Spread noodles evenly on towel. Sprinkle sea salt on the zoodles, let rest for about 30 minutes. This is important, it will draw out some of the moisture, which is what can make the zoodles “mushy”. Remember, we don’t want “mushy”, we want el dente.

Now it’s time to transfer the zoodles to the other towel. Pile them into the middle and gather the ends of the towel, twist and squeeze out any remaining liquid. Now you can heat them in skillet until warm, top with your favorite sauce, and or protein.

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Smokey Southwestern Seasoning

Seasoning your food is one of the easiest ways to add lots of flavor to any dish, and make your ingredients stand out. I have a few seasoning mixes that I go to to add a little extra something to whatever I’m making. As promised yesterday, this is the Smokey South Western Seasoning Mix. I’ve used this in so many ways: Southwestern Meatballs, a frittata, on fish, the list is endless. Give it a try.

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Smokey Southwestern Seasoning
  • 1 tbsp chili powder
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp coriander
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tbsp sea salt (optional)

This is probably one of the easiest recipes ever. Combine all the ingredients in a mason jar, and shake, until it is completely incorporated. Have fun.

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Shrimp Salad with Guacamole

I told you I liked guacamole. I used it on this Shrimp Salad. This salad is so fresh tasting. All it takes to dress it up is a squeeze of lime. Try it for lunch or a light supper.

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  • Guacamole (see website)
  • Salad greens, as much as you want
  • 1 Tomato cut into 8ths
  • Shrimp, about 3-4 ounces per person
  • Cilantro, once again however much you want
  • Lime

I took a short cut on the shrimp, it was pre-cooked, I just had to peel ( already deveined).  This shortcut made it a 5 minute meal. It was worth the shortcut.

Start with layering salad greens, shrimp, tomatoes, guacamole, then cilantro. Squeeze some lime over entire salad and your done. Eat. Enjoy.

Because this was so fast I was able to make some Pumpkin-Cranberry Muffins. That’s for tomorrow.They are so good. Don’t tell anyone, but they are healthy too. That’ll be our secret.

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Guacamole

We used to have an avocado tree in our back yard. We would watch and see what kind of harvest we get for the season. I learned a lot about avocados, some by hear say, and some by observation. Hear say – Avocado trees are male and female. I don’t know if it’s true, but ours did well all on its own. Observation –  Squirrels love to take your avocados. They are tricky little rodents. We would find avocados on the ground with gnaw marks on them. That meant one less bowl of guacamole – very sad.

I used to avoid guacamole because of the “fat”.  Not anymore. It is one of my favorite dips, toppings, fillings, oh my. The avocado is so versatile, you can have savory, sweet, creamy, and smooth. Like I said, versatile.

Here you can see the makings of a truly delicious guacamole. Make it your own, add mango for some sweet, or jalapeno for some heat. It’s gonna be good. The thing about guacamole is that you really don’t have to measure. If you want more lime, or cilantro go for it. Less, that’s okay too. Taste it as you go, then it’ll be perfect.

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Here are the ingredients I used for this batch.

  • 3 haas avocados
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • cilantro
  • 2 plum tomatoes
  • 1/4 onion (I had a red on hand)
  • 1 garlic clove, finely minced
  • pinch of sea salt, and pepper