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Cashew Cream

Some of my recipes have called for cashew cream (Pumpkin Cheesecake, Blueberry-Almond Clafouti), so here is the recipe. You can use this instead of heavy cream. The possibilities are endless.

  • 1 1/2 c whole raw cashews
  • 1 1/2 c filtered water
  • 1 1/2 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • lare pinch of sea salt
  • 3/4 tsp apple cider vinegar

Place the cashews in a bowl and cover them with boiling water. Cover the bowl and soak for 4-8 hours.

Drain and rinse cashews. Transfer them to a high speed blender and add water, lemon juice, salt, and vinegar. Blend the mixture on high until very smooth. You may need to scrape down the sides of the blender midway through blending. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours before using or for up to 3 days.

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Roasted Zucchini and Cherry Tomatoes

It is said that you eat with your eyes first. I always try to make the plate colorful for two reasons. First it looks better. Second, it is usually more nutritious.

  • 3 zucchini, medium
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes
  • 1 tbsp vegetable broth
  • 1/2 tsp mediterranean seasoning mix
  • 1 tbsp nutritional yeast (optional)

Preheat oven to 4oo degrees.

Slice zucchini into 1/2-inch coins. Spread out zucchini, and tomatoes on baking sheet. Drizzle broth on vegetables. Sprinkle seasoning on vegetables. Stir seasoned vegetables. Bake for 5 minutes. Stir. Bake for 5 more minutes. Remove for oven.

Turn oven to broil. Broil for 1-2 minutes.  Sprinkle nutritional yeast over vegetables.

Serve. Eat. Enjoy.

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Apple -Cranberry Compote

Sometimes I even surprise myself. This combination of apples and fresh cranberries was a huge  – WOW moment. It is really that good. The flavors are complex, yet the compote is so easy to make. Basically a chop and in the pot kind of sauce. Ladle this compote on pancakes or waffles and you will have a breakfast everyone will remember.

  • 1 orange, zested, juiced
  • 1/2 c  maple syrup
  • 1/2 c fresh cranberries
  • 1 apple , peeled, cored, cubed
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • pinch of sea salt

In a medium saucepan over medium-high heat add all the ingredients. Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally, then turn down to a simmer. Cook until most of the cranberries have burst. Turn heat off, set aside until ready to serve.

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Brussel Sprouts with Cranberries

I know what you thought when you saw “Brussel Sprouts”, but I promise these are really good. I’ve never been a big fan of brussel sprouts, however I was determined to find a way to like them since they are so good for you. I think I accomplished that with this dish. The key to this is to get them carmelized, so that the natural sugars come out, and make them yummy.  My husband said to me, “Who would think I actually would ask you to make brussel sprouts.” That was a huge moment, because he didn’t really like brussel sprouts either.  Like most things, I try to make them easy, so anyone could make them. Give them a try.

  • 16 oz brussel sprouts, quartered
  • 1 c fresh cranberries
  • 2 – 3 tbsp vegetable broth to toss the sprouts and berries
  • sea salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a large bowl combine sprouts, cranberries, and seasoning. Toss to coat ingredients well. Spread out brussel sprouts and cranberries on sheet pan. Bake in oven for 20-30 minutes, stirring half way through. They will be done when they are fork tender. The cranberries will have burst and shrunk in size, That is a good thing. Drizzle with maple syrup and stir. Serve. Eat. Enjoy.

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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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Butternut Squash and Apple Bisque

This recipe came about because I had this butternut squash on hand and felt like some homemade soup. I found some apples and thought this sounded like it would be good together. This bisque smell so good. Serve with a side salad and you will have a very satisfying meal.

  • 1 medium-sized butternut squash peeled and cubed into 1 inch cubes
  • olive oil
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 t freshly grated nutmeg
  • sea salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 honey crisp apples, peeled and cubed into 1 inch cubes
  • 4 cups of vegetable stock
  • 1 can of coconut milk
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup
  • chives, minced for garnish

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. On sheet pan combine butternut squash, apples, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt and pepper. Drizzle olive oil over ingredients on sheet pan. Stir, so that all the ingredients are covered with oil and the seasonings. Bake in oven for 20-30 minutes, until you can smash the squash with a fork.  By roasting the squash and apples, along with the spices the flavors develop to a cohesive, luscious deliciousness.

Transfer squash and apples into a large dutch oven, (large pot) over medium heat. Add the chicken stock, coconut milk, and maple syrup. Simmer (Do not boil). This is where all the flavors meld together. Before serving blend into a food processor, or high-speed blender. Remember to only fill either appliance half way with the hot ingredients. Because of the heat there is expansion, and you don’t want to blow the tops off your appliance, and get burned. Be patient, it’s worth the wait. Ladle into bowls, and garnish with chives.img_0598

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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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