Almonaise

My friend and mentor Sherry got this recipe originally from Marilyn Diamond’s cookbook ‘The American Vegetarian Cookbook’.  Of course, it has been altered and played with it over the years.  Here is the latest version that we really like.  The recipe comes out really smooth with a Vita-Mix.  However, you can do it with a regular blender and it turns out really yummy still.

2 cups blanched almonds (or you can throw them in raw and whole but it will affect the flavor some)

2 cups water

2 tsp salt

1 tsp pepper

2 garlic cloves

2 Tbsp diced onion

1  cup coconut oil (Sherry uses organic canola)

1/2 cup lemon juice

Optional:  2-4 Tbsp Honey

To blanch almonds:

Bring a pan of water to a boil, around 4 cups or so.  You want enough water so that the almonds will move around freely when you add them.  When the water is boiling add the almonds and turn off the burner.  Stir and wait 10 seconds or so.  You don’t want to go over a minute.  Pour the almonds into a colander and rinse with cold water until you can handle the almonds.  Now comes the fun part. 🙂  You ‘pop’ the skins off of the almonds by gently squeezing them between your fingers.  Watch out because they can and will fly around the room if you are not careful.

-Place all the ingredients into the blender and blend until it becomes creamy smooth,  if it is too thick to have a vortex you may need to add small amounts of water until you have a vortex going.  With coconut oil, the almonaise will thicken up after refrigerated.

Sherry’s Notes:  If you are using a regular blender you will probably want to half or quarter the recipe.  Your blender will last longer if you do. 🙂  Also if you are using a regular blender you may need to, very carefully, stir in the oil as you drizzle it in towards the end of the blending.  You can change the spices around and make all kinds of new flavors.  Sherry also adds a spice called “Spike” or makes her own, which is basically a lot of different spices she has on-hand!  You can really play with spices/ flavors.

Avocado Panini

I’m pretty sure I’ll still be eating these in Heaven…
DSCN9465

I have eaten more than a dozen of these in the last two weeks! So healthy! So delicious!

Warm a tortilla.  Add avocado slices, sea salt, slivers of raw onion, and chopped tomato.
DSCN9466

Easy, filling, nutritious, and super yummy!  I’m addicted!  And even my kids beg for them!

(I had not been adding any spreads on these but did the last few times… almondaise!  Recipe coming soon!)

A Week of Eating At Our House

I’ve been asked several times what we typically eat at our house.  Funny how all of us moms want to know how other mom’s feed their families so we can gather ideas and get inspiration.  Because I’d love to know what YOU ate at YOUR house this past week!  🙂

So I will tell you everything (I think) I ate at my house a few weeks ago.  I wrote it all down on scrap paper that week and it’s just now making it to the blog.  🙂
I only recorded what I ate that week, my hubby and children may have ate slightly different, but probably mostly the same.

Sunday-
Pancakes with fondue sauce (chocolate pancakes!)
Grilled Asparagus (a ton of it)
Fajitas- Wheat tortilla, vegan sour cream substitute, salsa, onion, bell peppers, tons of guacamole, cilantro lime rice
Fajitas again for dinner

Monday-
Apple cider vinegar drink, banana, almonds
3 salads this day with beans on them, tomato, and cashew dressing.  It was so good, I kept wanting more of this salad!  It was really filling with the beans on it!
Cucumbers with vegan ranch dip

Tuesday-
Apple cider vinegar drink
Chocolate fondue pancakes again because they were so good on Sunday so we made some more!
Pancakes again for lunch (Why not?!)
Carrots with vegan ranch dip
Refried bean burritos- Wheat tortilla, vegan nacho cheese dip, cashew sour cream, homemade salsa

Wednesday-
Apple cider vinegar drink, banana, almonds
Refried bean burritos again
Green Beans
Salad
Refried bean burritos… again.  🙂

Thursday-
Apple cider vinegar drink, banana, almonds
Green beans
Refried Bean dip with tortilla chips (I made way too much refried beans!)
Bell Pepper strips and vegan ranch dip
Peas
Sautee’d Mushrooms with salt
Cherry Tomatoes
Peanut Butter, Frozen Blueberries, and Honey Quesadilla (like a PB & J!)

Friday-
Apple cider vinegar drink
Biscuits and gravy
Biscuits and gravy again (they make great leftovers!)
Homemade Lara Bar (lots of it)
I stopped recording here for some reason, sorry!

But you can see… I didn’t cook elaborately too much this week.  We’ve been trying to keep meals simpler because at this life stage (5 children age 7 and under!), we can’t spend as much time in the kitchen.

Burritos are an easy go-to meal, salads are great, we eat a lot of peas, green beans, bell peppers, cucumbers, and carrots.  We make our vegan cashew dip/ dressing by the blender-full as well as good size amounts of our vegan nacho cheese.  We probably had some grass-fed beef on the weekend.  We eat about a pound a week as a treat.  We usually have some homemade bread or biscuits or pizza dough each week.  We usually soak some kind of bean and cook with it every week.  See?, we’re pretty boring!  🙂

Biscuits and Gravy

Whole-grain biscuits with a non-dairy, peppery gravy!  My picture isn’t very good but this is definitely a fave around here!

Biscuits:
2 1/2 cups Warm Water
3 1/2 tsp Yeast (proof it if not instant yeast)
1 Tbsp Sea Salt
2 Tbsp Coconut Sugar or other Sweetener
5 1/2 cup whole-grain flour (I use spelt immediately after grinding it in the Vita-Mix!)

Mix Well.
Drop onto greased pan in biscuit size pieces.  Let rise 15 minutes.  Bake at 350 degrees.  (For some reason I don’t have a time written on my recipe card, I’m going to guess for 12 minutes or so).

Gravy:
4 Tbsp Coconut Oil
1/3 cup Flour
3 cups Milk (coconut, rice, almond, etc)
1 1/2 tsp Sea Salt
1/2 tsp Pepper (or more!)
Whisk on heat until thick.
You can also add some chopped hard boiled eggs to this if you’re not wanting this to be a vegan meal.  🙂

biscuits and gravy

Homemade Lara Bars

Using just dates and 1-5 other ingredients, you can make your very own Lara Bars!  You can do this for much cheaper than store bought ones and you can tweak them to how you like them.  Which, for me, means chocolate!

You’ll be shocked at how SWEET these are using only dates as your sweetener!  They are delicious!

Homemade Chocolate Larabars! Mmmm…

I’ve used the website below as a guide but kind of do my own thing most times. The cashew cookie with added cocoa is a great chocolate one!  (It’s just cashews, dates, cocoa, salt, and vanilla!  Mmmm, so good!)

Today’s version is almonds, sea salt, vanilla, and dates, SO good! The kids gobble it up, as do I!

But I will say… you can’t really make these without a strong food processor, dates can be very hard to blend! So I wouldn’t even try it if you don’t have a large food processor.

If you don’t take the time to form bars, you can call them Lara Balls, Lara Bites, or Lara Bowls- that’s our joke around here. 🙂

http://chocolatecoveredkatie.com/chocolate-covered-recipes/fudge-baby-mania

Some friends and I even got together and had a Lara Bar Party!  Yeah, it was awesome!  We all made different kinds of Lara Bars and then exchanged at the end!  You should so steal this idea and have a Lara Bar party yourself!  Please invite me if you’re in my area.  🙂

For these below:
1-Blend 1/2 cup almonds to small pieces/ powder.

2- Add 1/2 cup chopped dates (if you chop them first, they’ll blend easier).

3- Add 1/4- 1/2 tsp sea salt, 1/4 tsp vanilla, and 1/4 cup shredded coconut.

4- Blend in food processor. Add a little water while blending to get ball-form consistency.

You can do endless varieties of these so feel free to omit any of the above ingredients and do your own thing… other nuts, dried fruit, etc.

Lara Bars DSCN2324

A Typical Breakfast For Me

For breakfast most mornings I have my warm apple cider vinegar drink (super healthy way to jumpstart your day!), banana, and some almonds.

But not all at once, I use good food combining rules. I finish my drink, wait a bit, eat my banana, then finish off with almonds.breakfast
Remember:  “An apple (cider vinegar drink) a day keeps the doctor away!”  🙂

Ultra Healthy Apple Cider Vinegar Drink: 
15 oz Warm Pure Water
1 Tbsp Bragg’s Raw, Unfiltered, Organic Apple Cider Vinegar
1 Tbsp Fresh Lemon Juice
Honey to taste

Please remember not to drink ACV straight up, it will BURN!  🙂

Chocolate Fondue Sauce

Oh yes I did! I can’t have chocolate chips because I’m on a no-sugar diet, but I can use my homemade chocolate fondue sauce and put it on my pancakes with real maple syrup. Healthy! The most delightful breakfast!

Chocolate Fondue Sauce: Mix 1/2 cup cocoa and 1/4 cup coconut oil in pan on low until smooth. Turn off heat. Add 1 tsp vanilla, 1/4 cup honey, 1/4 cup maple syrup, and raw agave nectar to taste (probably also about a 1/4 cup but more if you want it sweeter). The sauce is liquid when warm, more solid when cooled. Use to dip almonds or smother your pancakes or whatever else is good with chocolate!
pancakesalmonds in fondue

Jumbo Veggie Fajita

My problem is that I need a bigger tortilla!  Two different days, two different meals, but I obviously make this a lot!  fajita fajitas different day
How I roll (pun intended!)…
1- Grill some onion and bell peppers.  Salt to taste.
2- Remove from heat and add some chopped cilantro leaves, if desired.
3-Warm a whole-grain tortilla
4- Spread Cashew Sour Cream Substitute on shell.  Pile on grilled veggies.
5- Add a bountiful helping of guacamole!  Add some salsa too!  And freshly chopped tomatoes if desired.

-I’ve also made cilantro lime rice and will add this to my fajitas.  Yum!