Archive for the ‘vegan’ Category
(oh, and they’re vegan, too!!)
There is just something about this time of year. Maybe it’s because fall is my favorite season, maybe it’s because the hot temperatures are cooling down, and maybe it’s because all the leaves are turning such vivid colors. I don’t know, maybe there isn’t just one single thing, but a combination of things. I love that we have beautiful Indian summers up here. It’s bright and sunny, warm, yet there is a slight nip in the air. The evenings get really cool. It’s times like these when I want to light a candle, and snuggle down to some hot spiced cider, and watch a good movie. Isn’t it funny, it’s times like these when you want to smell the smells of fall. Cinnamon, clove, pumpkin, I guess it’s because we know that Thanksgiving is just around the corner, there are pumpkins everywhere, and maybe it’s because we are beginning to bake more, now that the hot days of summer are over. Soups and casseroles begin to replace salads and barbecues. Anything with pumpkin and spice just screams of “comfort food”.
Autumn recently posted a blog about her pumpkin bread. As soon as I finished reading it, I got busy and made myself a batch. Believe me when I say it’s every bit as good as she described. Another benefit of this time of year is that you can actually find canned pumpkin on the grocery store shelves. It only comes out for a few short months a year, so you can bet I stock up!! Here is an easy recipe for pumpkin ginger scones. They aren’t very sweet, but they are dense, and moist, and go great with coffee. And with being full of pumpkin, I’d say they’re pretty good for you, as well.
1/2 cup sugar
3 1/2 cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp soda
3 tsp ginger powder
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 cup margarine
2 cups pureed pumpkin
Mix dry ingredients. Cut in the margarine. Add pumpkin, mix well. On floured surface, knead dough (it’s a little sticky, flour your hands). Push into a large circle, roll out to about 1 ½ inches thick, cut into triangles ( use a big or long knife and just press it down on the dough, and flour your knife if it sticks). Put on cookie sheet or stone, bake @ 425 for 12-15 minutes.
This dough is quite wet, so you’ll need to use a spatula to get the scones off the counter onto the cookie sheet. (or use some wax paper to make it easier)
These are a nice little treat to serve up with coffee for company around the holidays. Can anyone say “Pumpkin soy latte?”
Tami’s Tip of the Week
While you’re making all these wonderful fall breads, etc, why not whip up a batch of Maple Spiced Butter? You can put it on biscuits, toast, waffles, breads, you name it.
1 stick butter or 8 TBSP margarine, softened
2 TBSP pure maple syrup (I suppose a good grade syrup would be fine)
1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
Whip all together, and serve.
This afternoon the girls and I took part in one of my favorite fall traditions; carving pumpkins and roasting the seeds.
The first thing you’ll need are two cuties and two pumpkins.
Make sure that you really really love the pumpkin you chose.
Well, I suppose if you didn’t love it, it would be easier to carve it.
Either way, get in there and get messy. Cut the top off and dig in!
Yeah, yeah, yeah, it’s cold and squishy, but it will be worth it.
Ok…I suppose you can eat some of it if you want.
When you’re done clearing out the seeds, clean out the guts and scrape the inside clean. Then, plan your “jankolantern” face.
Cut very carefully and admire your handiwork.
Now, on to the important stuff!! Rinse those seeds really well and pick out all the yucky pieces of pumpkin guts. Then, put them on a cookie sheet and pop them in a 350 degree oven to dry them off. If you’ve got time, you can let them dry overnight, and go right to basting the next day.
Once they’re no longer wet, grab some REAL butter and stir it into the seeds. How much is up to you. The second, most important ingredient is this stuff…
Like it says, it’s pure magic. They are not lying. Of course, I realize every region has their own favorite seasoning, so use whatever “all purpose seasoning” you like. Just realize it won’t be as delicious as anything made with Johnny’s. Salt to taste.
Continue roasting until the seed makes a popping sound when you bite it. At LEAST 20 minutes, maybe more, once you’ve basted them.
Roasted pumpkin seeds are one of my favorite things. They are also very nostalgic for me. I remember carving pumpkins in high school after class had ended, and going to the football games with a pocket full of warm seeds. I remember roasting them with my mom when I was little. They’re such a comfort food for me.
What are your favorite fall traditions?
Have you ever wanted to incorporate more powerfully nutrient vegetables into your kids’ diet? Or even your own diet? Kale is probably one of the most looked over and walked past greens in the grocery store. Kale, in and of itself is not really exciting, however, it is a powerhouse, nutritionally speaking. I have to admit, it’s not something I buy very often, only for a few soups that I make, and since I now grow it in my garden, I throw a couple of leaves here and there into my green smoothies. But after reading up on the stuff, I realize that I really should be eating this stuff pretty consistently.
If you have really picky kids, or husband, or you yourself might not like the taste or texture of kale, you could try this trick to sneak it in your meals: mince it up like parsley. After washing the kale, dry it well with a salad spinner or towel. Mince it very fine. It just takes seconds in a food processor. Then you can put kale in just about anything. Minced kale can be added to pasta, potato, bean, tofu, or vegetable salads. It adds color, as well as nutrition. Stir minced kale into soups, stews, rice, or sauces. Add it to scrambled tofu, sprinkle it on pizza, or stuff it in a burrito. The possibilities are endless.
Here is a very quick, easy, and great tasting way to introduce a new veggie to your family.
1 lb kale, rinsed and patted dry
2 TBSP olive oil
½ tsp salt
Preheat oven to 325 F. Coat baking sheet with cooking spray.
Tear kale into 3-inch pieces, removing tough stems.
Transfer leaves to bowl.
Toss kale leaves with olive oil in bowl, until well coated.
Spread on baking sheet, being careful not to overlap. You may need to do a couple of batches, or use a large cookie sheet.
Feel free to season with whatever you desire. I used Johnny’s seasoning salt, and nutritional yeast. You could add a dash of cayenne, garlic, or anything you’d like. These will come out of the oven looking wet, when in fact they are very light, and very very crisp. I think you’ll enjoy these.
Some things you might not have known about kale:
Kale is considered to be a highly nutritious vegetable with powerful antioxidant properties, and it is considered to be anti-inflammatory. It is very high in beta carotene, vitamin K, vitamin C, as much as an orange, lutein, and reasonably rich in calcium. I know a lot of people worry that they, or their children are not getting enough calcium, when in fact, there are a lot of green leafy vegetables that are pretty high in calcium. Unlike spinach or chard, kale doesn’t contain oxalic acid, which prevents the body from absorbing calcium. It provides as much calcium as the equivalent amounts of cow’s milk making it an excellent food for vegans. Kale, as with broccoli, contains sulforaphane (particularly when chopped or minced) a chemical believed to have potent anti-cancer properties.
Kale is a great food if you’re looking to protect your health and enjoy a delicious food at the same time. The glucosinolates found in kale appear able to lessen the occurrence of a wide variety of cancers, including breast and ovarian cancers.
Exactly how kale’s sulfur-containing phytonutrients prevent cancer isn’t yet fully understood, but several researchers point to the ability of it’s glucosinolates to activate detoxifying enzymes in the liver that help neutralize potentially carcinogenic substances.
1 cup of chopped kale contains:
2.2 gm protein
1.3 gm fiber
90.5 mg calcium
299 mg potassium
547 mg vitamin K
6182 mcg beta carotene
80.4 mg vitamin E
10,302 IU vitamin A
121 mg omega 3 fatty acids
92.4 mg omega 6 fatty acids
And a whole list of amino acids, and minerals.
Although found all year round, the best season for the cultivation and consumptions of kale are from the onset of winter till the beginning of the spring season. Last year, I planted a whole new bunch of it from seed after the summer was ending, and the garden was being cleared out. I just threw some seed in some large planters, and it was amazing, how fast, and hearty this stuff is. I’ve read that the taste is much sweeter after it’s been introduced to the first frost. Living here in the NW, it’s great to know that I can keep my garden going throughout the winter months!!
And if that isn’t enough, get this!! Kale is a rich source of manganese, a mineral that aids in the production of sex hormones. Since the body has only trace amounts, a sudden influx of manganese may give your libido a lift. So forget about those oysters!!
Tami’s Tip of the Week:
Grease it easy. Save those wrappers from sticks of butter or margarine and store them in a plastic bag in the refrigerator. Use them to grease cookie sheets or baking pans.