RECIPE: CARROT CORIANDER DIP: Almost Raw, Vegan, Gluten Free Party Food

CARROT CORIANDER DIP

This is one of the dips I made for second annual holiday party this past December. I ended up bringing this dip to my friend Kates party and giving her the recipe after hearing she really liked it. I noticed that smaller organic carrots end up being sweeter then the larger "overgrown" carrots. This has been my experience but it may be different for everyone depending where they purchase their produce.

Always taste test your dip and add more spices or salt. Carrots don't come in a single size, as much as distributors would like them to.

CARROT CORIANDER DIP: (Almost) Raw, Vegan, Gluten Free Party Food

6 large or 10 smaller carrots

1/2 cup almond milk

1/2 tsp coriander

1/4 cup fresh parsley (optional)

1 tsp lime or lemon juice

1/2 tsp cumin

1/4 tsp turmeric

1 tsp garlic powder

2 tsp onion powder

2 tbs spicy brown mustard

2 tbs veganaise

Salt & pepper to taste

Peel and chop carrots into smaller chunks. Place in blender or food processor with the other ingredients. Add salt to taste.

RECIPE: POLISH SOUP: ZUPA BURAKOWA AKA BEET SOUP

Burakowa Zupa; Polish Beet Soup
Burakowa Zupa; Polish Beet Soup

I loooved this Polish soup as a child; however, I HATED beets. I hated the texture of grated beet so much that I use to ladle the soup trying my hardest to avoid any beets. This time, as an adult, I decided to make this soup my way.

Burakowa Zupa; Polish Beet Soup

I diced the beets instead of grating them. I ended up calling my mom about 3 times as I was making the soup. I thought this was going to be so much harder then it actually end up being. Like my mother said, it's a mix of sweet and vinegar taste you want to get and that's a personal preference.

Burakowa Zupa; Polish Beet Soup

I really loved how this turned out. Hope my friends Charlie & Paulina get to make this Polish vegetarian soup. It is quickly is becoming a winter favorite in my house. Enjoy guys. 

TIP:

- You can boil more then the number of beets you need & freeze the other half.

- Leave the cream out of soup until you are ready to eat. Adding into your bowl instead of the pot.

- The more vinegar you add the more likely the cream won't mix in the soup.

- If you forget to add vinegar right after the beets & loose color, boil another beet, grate yo regain the color.

Burakowa Zupa; Polish Beet Soup
Burakowa Zupa; Polish Beet Soup
Burakowa Zupa; Polish Beet Soup
Burakowa Zupa; Polish Beet Soup
Burakowa Zupa; Polish Beet Soup
Burakowa Zupa; Polish Beet Soup
Burakowa Zupa; Polish Beet Soup

Burakowa; Polish beet soup!

4-6 servings

2 large beets, or 4 small

4-5 medium potatoes

2-3 whole spice

2-3 bay leaves

1/2 carrot (diced)

1/2 celery stalk (diced)

2-3 TBS vinegar or to taste

1/4 tsp sugar, or to taste

8 c. broth or water

1 vegetable bullion cube ( optional, if using already made broth)

half & half /  vegan creamer, unflavored

Beets:

Cut any leafs & roots off the beets. Wash & take off any dirt. Submerge beets in water and boil in a pot for 30 - 45 min. depending on the size of beets. Check with a fork for softness. Once done, drain beets and set aside to cool. When beets are easy to handle, peel with potato peeler. On a vegetable grater, grate the beets on the larger side. You can also dice the beets, as I did. Set aside

Broth:

Boil water / broth. If using, put in your bullion cube. Simmer on medium to low heat bay leaves, whole spice, carrot, celery, and potatoes until potatoes are pierced easily with a fork (about 10 min).

IMPORTANT : When adding the beets, have your vinegar measured & ready. Vinegar need to be added right after the beets in order to keep the red color.

After adding the beets & vinegar, add sugar, salt pepper to taste. Simmer for another 5-10 min. Serve in a cup or bowl along with a 1 TBS of cram, half/half or vegan creamer.

RECIPE: PEANUT NOODLE DRESSING AND DIPPING SAUCE

SPICY PEANUT NOODLE DRESSING AND DIPPING SAUCE

I really, really enjoyed this sauce. I put it on my

maifun

noodles with some stir fry. It will work for about  two servings of

maifun

noodles. Anything more would be loose the peanut taste. I will be making some

egg rolls

and using this as a dipping sauce this weekend.

This peanut sauce can be made not spicy. This part is really up to you. As well as the salt content. That's the beauty of making your own food. I originally made my own peanut butter and never added salt. I ended up adding extra soy sauce to make up for it.

Quick notes:

Makes 2 servings for maifun noodle sauce

Can be thinned out with more hot water.

SPICY PEANUT NOODLE DRESSING AND DIPPING SAUCE

2 large garlic cloves ( pressed or minced)

1/3 to 1/2 c hot water

1 to 1 & 1/2 TBS soy sauce

1/2 cup peanut butter

2 TBS red miso (or white)

1 to 1 1/2 TBS spicy Thai chili or chili powder to taste

2 to 3 TBS lemon juice

1/4 c green onion (chopped) optional

Measure and mix all ingredients in a bowl with a fork or a whisk. Serve immediately or refrigerate up to 5 days.

HOW TO MAKE ALMOND MILK

Almond milk

For a few weeks there was a conversation going on in my head. Slowly the idea of "Why not just make my own almond milk?" started to creep in. "Why take the time? I can just buy it." Amazon is great for bulk order and my apt. runs on amazon.com orders. Why make anything? Because I like food. I like my food to taste good and every blogger I read was raving about making their own nut milk. There are times when I can be very lazy about making my food. Maybe this was something worth the 15 minutes from my week.

To make almond milk you will need a nut milk bag. Cost is around $7.00 on amazon  (For a tiny little bag? WTF? They probably coast $0.25 to make) or a paint strainer bag. Cost is $2 for two bags and it's rounded at the bottom for easier straining. Bags that are square make it harder to control the flow of water. Paint strainer bags are the same thing as nut milk bags. They just don't come with a pretty green label to tell you its associated with health food. Can be purchased at any hardware store. Even in Jersey City!


Nut milk bagI never knew it was this easy to make almond milk at home.  It tastes so much better then the store bought almond milk. It tastes like almonds. I know, what a surprise. I guess I was surprised how much it tasted like almonds compared to the normal brand of Almond Breeze.

I did a taste test with my boyfriend this morning. I handed him two shot glasses. One with my almond milk and the other with Almond Breeze milk. "This one is obviously yours." It only took one sip. The second sip was Almond Breeze. Not much to say about that. The homemade was creamier and more nutty. Store bought didn't taste nutty in comparison. It also had mineral like after taste. 

Straining almond milk
Expect the home made almond milk to separate when left sitting. The store brands use a binder to keep such as carrageenan (seaweed derived). Separation is natural. Give it a shake before pouring in your cereal.

There are lots of great recipes for almond milk. The one listed below is the one I used. I would love to try and put in dates next time (like in the video) and more vanilla. The variations are endless and really up to the individual. Now all I really need is a bunch of almonds and a nice glass pitcher. For now I stored it in two glass jars. I would also like to try and make rice milk or a mix of cashew & almond.

Almond pulp / mill

Almond milk
NOTES:

- Make sure to buy a bag with finished seams. I've read complaints that nut mill gets stuck in the seam.

- Turn bag inside out. So that the seam is facing out and not touching the pulp. This makes it easier to clean the bag.

- I don't use the same water as my soaking water and give it a quick rinse, just in case the almonds were dirty or any sink falls off.

- Less water makes it a creamier milk.

- Dehydrate the leftover pulp to make almond mill or make raw cookies  like this lovely lady. (I no longer buy cookbooks but her uncookbook has such great energy behind it. I might break my rule.)



ALMOND MILK
( needs a blender)

1 cup almonds soaked overnight or at least 8 hrs.
3 cups water or more.
1 TBS sweetener or more to taste: agave, maple syrup, dates (I used maple syrup)
1 tsp vanilla or to taste

Place almonds, sweetener, vanilla and water in blender. Blend 2-5 min until almonds are incorporated into milk (this depends on blender). Place nut milk bag over bowl or pitcher and poor in almond and water mixture. Either you can hang bag over the bowl or pitcher and let it drain or you can slowly massage the bag to release the liquid. Store in refrigerator.

Will keep fresh for 4 - 6 days.  

RECIPE: REFRIED BEANS

Refried Beans

This dip is best served cold. I tasted it right after I had made it and said to myself that it wasn't as flavorful as the cans of 

Amy's Refried Beans

(highly recommended if short on time). I was wrong because the next day I couldn't eat enough of it. It had a slight spicy aftertaste that wasn't overpowering. 

Refried Beans
Refried Beans

Refried Beans

2 c. pinto beans (cooked)

1 c. onion finely chopped (I used a red onion)

4 garlic cloves, pressed or minced

3 tbs chopped jalapenos

1 tomato chopped

2-3 bay leafs

1 c. vegetable broth

1 tsp chili powder (or to taste)

2 tsp paprika powder (or to taste)

2/4 tsp liquid smoke

salt & pepper to taste

  • Fry onion in pan. When the onion starts to soften, add the garlic & jalapenos. Cook for 5 min.
  • Add beans, vegetable broth, bay leafs, tomato & cook for 10 min or if not using canned beans, until beans soften. Liquid will cook down.
  • Add chili, paprika, & liquid smoke.
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • Let cool & remove bay leafs
  • Mash with potato masher, put in blender or leave as is for a more rustic looking dip.

Refrigerate overnight for best results.

EASY HOME MADE BROTH

Making soup broth

Before making my own broth I thought it was way more complicated. Sure, there are specific broth recipes for specific soups but I throw all of that out the window. I save tiny onion ends, carrot scraps, tomato bits, asparagus clippings, and throw them in a plastic bin that is kept in the freezer (actually it's two 64 oz plastic containers). I even end up using the green ends of leeks  ESPECIALLY when making potato and leek soup. Its just crazy for me to throw all that fabulous aromatic greens. When washing leeks keep in mind to wash them, then again, one more time and then you are done.

leeks

Good rule of thumb is to have one part veggies to two part water. Sometimes but not always I throwing in 2 bullion cubers (MSG free), a bay leaf or two & some peppercorns. Bring to boil & simmer for an hour. Let cool & strain. I started to use a cheese cloth to get out the tiny bits of veggies that break apart. 

 

If you aren't using it right way, after the broth cools, pour it into ice cube trays and let freeze. Remove from tray and place in a freezer friendly ziplock bag for longer storage.