Since we’re in a seemingly neverending spiral of virus mutations, the unvaccinated, and overworked healthcare professionals, I’m still trying to limit my exposure to PEOPLE. Not that it’s too difficult for me as I’m solitary by nature, but it’s still kind of annoying.
Instead of doing what was normal practice in the old days, I didn’t run out and make that one purchase. Resourceful me decided to bake my own crackers. I haven’t done that in years and it’s so easy, I wonder why it took me this long to remember that! An added plus is no wasted plastic or containers, so I’m helping the environment too…
Tips: I substituted 1/2 cup buckwheat flour for all purpose flour. Next time I won’t do that because buckwheat is such a strong flavor. While it’s lovely in pancakes and soba noodles, it’s a bit too much here.
On the other hand, I gotta say that the smell of the herbs in the oven was so fragrant! It perfumed the entire house. I used all the herbs I have in the garden, but you can add whatever you like, including poppy seeds, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds. **Roll extremely thin for crispiest crackers. I didn’t cut them in perfect shapes or use a pizza cutter because I was too lazy and wanted them done in a hurry, but I kind of like the rustic look.
All that rain we had yesterday made it literally impossible NOT to bake, so I did.
We had about 1 1/2 inches of rain and our strongest winds were 45+ mph. Stores closed in our little village because of power outages and streets were flooded.
My friend’s lime tree exploded with limes last week, so now I have about fifty limes as a result of her generosity. I juiced A LOT OF THEM and froze in ice cube trays. These are the juicy sweet Mexican limes that are so amazing in margaritas and guacamole. LImes + tequila = heaven.
I created this recipe after reading tons of similar ones on the internet.
After the worst of the storm passed, it was still windy but FREEZING. A hot mug of fragrant ginger tea was just what I needed along with a couple slices of yummy Ginger-Lime bread.
It came out soo moist and tender, I definitely recommend and will make again and again.
This turned out to be a drizzly and dreary Sunday morning, perfect for my famous buckwheat pancakes.
I had a couple very ripe bananas, so I figured that would be a great flavor enhancer but I didn’t have any liquid (just juice and wine haha) and didn’t feel like going to the store.
In vegan recipes, nut/oat milk is interchageable with cow’s milk and eggs aren’t really necessary. I didn’t have any plant milk but I did have raw almonds.
I’ve never made my own “milk” but this seemed like a good time to try. It’s super super easy. I was thinking of separating this into two posts and I still might, but since the recipe for vegan pancakes needed plant milk, I combined them.
First, soak about one cup of almonds in bowl with four cups of water. The recipes recommend soaking for a minimum of four hours to overnight, but I’m impatient so I only waited a couple of hours.
Pour all of it into a high powered blender. This is when you can add a bit of salt or vanilla if you wish. Blend until it’s creamy and smooth.
Use a nutbag or strainer to separate the nuts from the liquid. I didn’t have a nutbag so I used a doublemesh strainer and then I squeezed the last bit of liquid with my very clean hand.
Cover and store in refrigerator. Definitely save the leftover pulp for baking.
Chill and enjoy!
VeganBanana Buckwheat Pancakes
Preheat griddle or pan
2 very ripe bananas 1 cup almond (plant) milk 2 tablespoons vegetable oil 1 tablespoon brown sugar or agave 1 teaspoon vanilla Pinch sea salt (optional) Mash the bananas with a fork. Add milk, oil, sugar, vanillla. To the liquid ingredients, add all at once 1/2 cup all purpose or whole wheat flour 1/2 cup buckwheat flour 2 teaspoons baking powder.
Stir by hand until combined. Don’t overmix or pancakes won’t be fluffy.
When the griddle is hot, use a small amount of vegan butter to coat the surface. Ladle the batter and watch for bubbles on the surface of the pancake.
When air bubbles start to rise to the surface at the center of the pancake, flip the pancake. Cook for another 1-2 minutes, or until nicely browned.
Serve with organic maple syrup or agave or jam. YUM. Super moist and fluffy!
My doctor totally depressed me cos she told me her husband’s best friend just died from Covid-19 and because she’s on the frontlines treating patients, she cautioned me to be extra careful and stay home and away from people.
I decided it was a great day to make another version of my favorite hearty and healthy soup.
Lentil Tofu Veggie Soup
Ingredients: *Carrots, 3 large *Celery, 2-3 stalks including leaves *Tofu, whole package *Lentils,1.5 cups *Kale, 2 cups *Broccoli, half head *Canned organic tomatoes, 28 ounce can *Bay leaves and other garden herbs
–Heat a couple tablespoons of oil in a large pot. –Add roughly chopped carrots and celery. I don’t like onions so I didn’t add them, but go ahead and chop up half an onion if you like them. –When they’re nicely browned and have released a lot of flavor, add dried lentils and six cups of water along with a couple bay leaves.
–Bring to a boil and turn down to simmer. –Add bite-sized pieces of broccoli and tofu along with chopped kale. –Simmer for about an hour, stir every once in a while. Add more water as needed. –Add a large can of diced tomatoes in juice and any herbs to taste. –I picked sage and oregano and thyme from the garden. –Add 1/2 teaspoon pepper, red pepper flakes, and salt (optional).
–Serve in a large bowl with freshly chopped cilantro and basil. I’ve been lucky enough to have beautiful lettuce this season, so I picked a few fresh leaves for a salad to accompany this delicious soup.
Sometimes I make a crusty French bread but I didn’t feel like it because I’m sad about almost losing our precious democracy but I might make vegan biscuits tomorrow cos I’ll eat this soup for a few days.
I don’t care how you pronounce it, but I need to share my secret love for potatoes and there’s a recipe at the end.
Specifically, the much maligned WHITE potato: simple, sturdy, earthy.
On the last day of my most recent visit to the Angels, sadly, a very long time ago, DIL thoughtfully made a special going home dinner for me, all from scratch by the way, which made it even more wonderful.
There was vegan lasagna with a side of roasted potatoes and apple crumble. The lasagna was made with chard and kale from the garden and was SO VERY YUMMY and healthy.
Apparently (and rightly so) she thought I didn’t eat white potatoes because for the longest time, I would scowl at anything white: white rice, white flour, white sugar, white potatoes–as the source of empty calories, zero nutrition, and a great friend of diabetes. Not too healthy.
From the oven there emanated a most delicious perfume. I asked DIL what I was smelling and she said, “It’s roasted potatoes but you don’t have to eat them. I know you don’t like white potatoes.”
Not so fast, DIL.
I want to not like them, but I’m addicted to French fries (has anyone ever seen me hoard them? It’s not a pretty sight.) I actually dearly love white potatoes, but I try NOT to eat them and have some semblance of self control, like I say I don’t eat chocolate, only because I have no off switch. Once I start eating chocolate, I can’t stop. I don’t ever have any around because of my lack of restraint, which is also the reason why I buy Halloween candy like Skittles and other stuff I don’t like so I won’t be tempted.
OK, enough of the sidebar; back to the story of the roast potatoes.
Dinner was ready and we were setting the table. I was actually STARVING and had most likely once again forgotten to eat for the entire day.
DIL handed me a bowl of roasted potatoes and before they even reached the dining room table, I had eaten EVERY SINGLE ONE.
I brought the empty bowl into the kitchen and asked DIL where I could get seconds. She took one look at me and the empty bowl and started laughing.
“That was a sharing bowl! Did you eat all of them?”
“Well, yes, oops, sorry! I didn’t know they were for sharing!”
“T, Grandma ate ALL the potatoes!”
“YOU DID? HEY DAD, GRANDMA ATE ALL THE POTATOES IN THE SHARING BOWL! SHE REALLY DID!”
I hadn’t tasted anything so delicious in FOREVER; OMG they were so good, I’ve been thinking about them ever since I came home.
And by the way, I had never heard of the term “sharing bowl” before that day. It must be a British thing, as DIL is from the UK.
I finally broke down and bought two WHITE IDAHO potatoes and since it’s a bit rainy today and not devil hot, I’ll attempt a recreation of DILs heavenly dish. I’m even going to add salt and that’s also something I rarely do.
They tasted pretty yummy, but to be honest, not quite as good as DILs, but maybe that’s because it’s such a treat for me to have someone else cook, ‘cos I usually have that job.
NOT Awkwafina, one of my fave actors and comedians from one of my all-time fave films, Crazy Rich Asians.
And not a beautiful Paso Fino, either. I had never heard of that breed as I’m not a very horsey person but I met one while hiking at the Daley Ranch and fell totally in love. He was the most gorgeous creature I’ve ever seen and I couldn’t stop petting him. He was all dressed up in a shiny silver bridle. I’m mostly afraid of horses because they’re so big but this guy was gentle and affectionate.(This isn’t the horse I met; this pic is from Wiki.)
No, what I’m talking about is AQUAFABA. I don’t know how it is that I’ve never heard of it, but that’s the truth. It slipped right by me, like the noxious slime that it is.
Up until now, I thought that the viscous liquid in cans of garbanzo beans was vile and slippery and I drain them IMMEDIATELY before making hummus or veggie burgers.
Who knew that some brilliant person must have thought to herself, “Hmm, what if I whip this shit up into a frothy mass and use it as a vegan replacement for egg wihites?”
And who came up with the NAME??? Aquafaba?
I(t reminds me of that stuff I put on my lips ‘cos it’s so dry in SoCal: Aquaphor…)
I would really like to have a chitchat with that person because my unimaginative brain does NOT work that way.
My brain is more like “EWW, gross.”
I promise to try it in a recipe and post the results. I’d like to see how it compares to egg whites in a lemon meringue pie or a chocolate mousse or marshmallows. Apparently, it’s virtually calorie-free, so that’s a plus.
On a lighter note from yesterday’s post about how a previously undetected congenital defect caused me to almost lose my precious boy…
It’s been a while since I posted a recipe and even longer since I actually baked (unless it was for the Angel Boys), so this is a milestone.
I was invited to a neighborhood socially distanced party and thought I’d bake something to promote the vegan life.
Since I REALLY hate it when you search for a recipe and have to scroll down about five miles of blah, blah, blah to get to the actual ingredients and directions just to hold you hostage, I won’t do that to you. You’re welcome.
It’s my own creation, my own experiment, and I hope you enjoy it as much as my friends did! It always amazes non-vegans that desserts don’t need eggs or dairy to taste delicious.
BEST Banana-Apple Bread (Vegan)
2 ripe bananas
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup dark brown sugar (you could substitute any kind of sugar. If you sub agave, add a bit more flour)
1 tsp. vanilla
2 tsp. cinnamon (we like a lot)
1 tsp. baking soda
pinch sea salt
2 cups flour (I used whole wheat; you can use white or any combo)
Core and cut apple into chunks. Put oil and apples into a Bullet or a blender to make a slurry. You can also grate the apple but I find this way works great.
Empty into a mixing bowl where you’ve already mashed the two bananas. Add vanilla and sugar. Mix well. Add cinnamon, flour, salt, and baking soda. Mix to combine but don’t overmix. Stir just until all the flour is incorporated. If the batter seems a bit dry, add a couple tablespoons of plant-based milk.
**This is where you can get creative and add things like raisins, nuts, coconut, other dried fruits.
Spray oil into a loaf pan and spoon in batter. Sometimes I sprinkle a little cinnamon sugar on top prior to baking or I ice it after with a simple glaze of powdered sugar and lemon or orange juice. This time I sprinkled.
Bake at 350 degree preheated oven for about 30 minutes until toothpick comes out clean. Don’t overbake. These breads should be super moist.