I know caramelized onions are an art form in and of themselves. One can spend hours slaving over the stove to get the perfect caramelized, brown, tasty tidbit to add to a meal. That is wonderful…if you have the time to spend doing something like that I truly envy you. I, on the other hand, definitely do not have that kind of time!
I discovered something. I considered keeping it a secret – as a secret weapon for a last minute dinner party or impromptu dish to whip up when unexpected guests arrive, but I shall share it with you so that you too may delight people’s taste buds in the blink of an eye.
This version of caramelized onions isn’t an exact replica of the long, laborious result one gets from spending the afternoon making caramelized onions, but it is a close second and this recipe only takes – gasp – 15 minutes!
I’ve made these onions to plop onto homemade pizzas and to slather on sandwiches and quesadillas. Effing delicious! Ready?
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My Crock Pot has finally graduated to finding a permanent place on my counter top. I typically like to keep everything put away so I can see lots of clean, un-cluttered kitchen space, but when I have a small appliance that I use very frequently I like to have it at my fingertips. Currently the only small appliances I have out on a permanent basis are my toaster, a mini-blender, and the Crock Pot.
The Crock Pot wouldn’t have found such a high position had it not been for my purchase of the Vegan Slow Cooker book. This book is amazing! Really. This recipe is adapted from a recipe in Vegan Slow Cooker.
So, my in-laws are in town for two weeks – they’re not vegan and they don’t seem to approve of a vegan diet, especially for my 2-year-old. The spouse’s parents have been dining at my house since they arrived 10 days ago. I kept stressing over what I should cook for them. I needed to find something vegan. Something delicious. And something that won’t make me feel like I’m making a 5-course meal for them every night. I made a lot of the recipes that are here on my blog! That was easy, those are my best recipes! I also whipped out this little gem…this was their first experience with tofu. My husband likes this dish and we keep changing the add-ins, little surprise nuggets of flavor – this time it was raisins, last time it was fresh cubed pineapple. There are a lot of options. P.S. My in-laws said they liked it, but it’s hard to tell when a Brit is being honest or being nice. Either way, we love eating this for supper…and leftovers.
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This is a favorite of my “quick and easies” recipes! I know it may seem like I’m always out for the quick meal that doesn’t take all afternoon in the kitchen – that isn’t always the case, I do sometimes enjoy lots of prep, long simmering times, or baking at a low temp, but these days (with a 2-year-old) taking three hours to make dinner is a luxury I do not have! So, I am constantly inventing, trying and editing recipes to fill a little binder which will become my go-to book when I find myself looking at the clock and realizing it’s 6 PM and I haven’t started dinner yet.
In an attempt to get more veggies in, I’ve replaced the traditional bed of pasta or rice with steamed green beans. If you’re craving pasta it might not sound like the intuitive thing to do, but it’s really yummy and very satisfying. What’s kind of funny is my little boy loves noodles, he calls them “noonels,” but he doesn’t miss the noonels in this recipe either, he really likes picking up the beans with his hands and eating them right off the plate. If only every parent could swap out pasta for veggies and not have their kid throw a tantrum!
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Steaming Green Beans
I’ve been having a quiet battle with the seemingly ubiquitous Palm Oil of late. I’d been watching out for it, but I really took issue several months ago when my husband brought home a perfectly natural (read: stir it your-own-damn-self) peanut butter from the store. No, he didn’t screw it up, I’d asked him to pick up some natural peanut butter, and I didn’t specify, and no one is a label reader like I am. It was Whole Foods brand and it had freaking Palm Oil in it. WTF, Whole Foods?! Yes, I promptly returned it.
Today I found Palm Oil in a ready-made pizza crust at the grocery store. It’s in tons of stuff! It sneaks in where you’d least expect it. It’s a total bummer and it’s starting to piss me off. What do you think?
Here’s a short history of Palm Oil, why it seems to be stalking me, and a nice and tidy letter I’m going to send off to any company who’s product I find it in – that you can edit and use too. Let’s really get after these bastards who think it’s okay to destroy the environment, the rainforests, and who are helping to kill off endangered species. If you need postage, just let me know!
So, Palm Oil: It’s a whopping 41% saturated fat (no cholesterol though since it’s a vegetable oil, but it will raise your cholesterol!) and is one of very few vegetable oils that is a semi-solid at room temperature. It’s highly stable when used for frying foods and is very cheap to buy. It also gained popularity when Americans became conscious of Trans Fats – Palm Oil, being so nice and semi-solid, stepped up and took its place.
Did you know Palm Oil used to be used as an industrial lubricant during the industrial revolution and is currently used in soaps and household cleaners? Gross. It can also be made into fuel and given America’s hunger for cheaper gasoline these days, I fear Palm Oil fuel will become more popular than ever and many people won’t care about the rainforests as long as they can save .20 cents a gallon on the fuel pumps. I’ve already read an article about it being the next fuel for the airline business to keep prices down!
Information I found on the Rainforest Action Network’s website says that 50% of products at the grocery stores contain Palm Oil and that you could find it as an ingredient in any room of your home. Read the rest of this entry
At long last, I’ve created a recipe for kale chips that 3 generations of my family love to eat. They are small, lightweight, crispy little things and in the blink of an eye they’re all gone. What a fab way to get wonderous greens into my family! Kale, Kale, Kale!!!
I’m not fussy about the kind of kale I buy, the only difference I notice is the ease or dis-ease of de-stemming it and chopping it. I have a sweet ceramic knife so as long as I watch out for my fingers I’m fine. You can choose your own favorite style of kale. I believe it’s “dinosaur kale” that is flattest and easiest to clean and chop. My only suggestion for buying kale is to make sure – absolutely, positively certain – that you buy organic kale. Conventional kale typically contains very high levels of pesticides. I would prefer to not eat kale if I cannot get it organic!
Mixing kale with oil/vinegar mixture
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I have an acute addiction to crackers, I’ll admit it. I eat crackers every day and love to dip them in an awesome bean dip that I make. For me, the point of a cracker is to crunch and to be the vehicle to get delicious dips into my mouth. I could just use a spoon if all I really wanted was dip in my mouth, but crackers are more rewarding than a spoon – they crunch!
I usually munch on Back to Nature brand crackers, typically their version of Wheat Thins or Triscuits. YUMMMMM!
Lately I think I’ve been over-indulging in crackers as my pants are not fitting they way they used to and I don’t like it one bit. So, how do I get my snack on and cut out some calories at the same time? I know myself too well and I know I cannot feel deprived, I rebel against that feeling! I can’t cut out the cracker or the snacking!
I realized I could replace my crunchy crackers with slices of fresh, cold, organic cucumbers. It worked! 1. The dip got to my mouth. 2. It crunched. What more could one want?
Just get a nice, firm cucumber at the grocery. Wash it up. Peel it (if you like it that way), and slice it into coins. Place a dollop of your fav dip on top of the cucumber “cracker” or dip it.
Eat it up!
It’s really too seldom that I make my own guacamole. I typically buy it at Whole Foods for some reason, and I’m always disappointed with it. A couple of weeks ago I saw avocados on sale (Organic ones were on sale for cheaper than conventional avos! I couldn’t resist!) And it just so happened that the next day I was reading Better Homes and Gardens magazine (May, 2012); I know, not a very vegan or environmentally stanced magazine, but I was thumbing through it anyway…when all of the sudden I found a recipe for a very unique guacamole. It has pineapple and black beans in it!
I figured I just had to try it, it sounded good, but the combo of guacamole with pineapple could really go either way. For some reason I tend to make new recipes, especially odd sounding recipes, when I’m having guest over. My sister had just popped in to Denver on her way to Arizona, literally I had like 12 hours notice of her coming through town! Of course, I’d like to impress her with my yummy vegan fare, but I took a risk with this one. I had to switch out two ingredients that weren’t vegan, but it didn’t make a lick of difference.
Luckily, it was a huge hit! Even my husband, who claims to dislike guacamole (is that possible?) said that he really, really liked this one! Right then, the clouds opened up and I could hear angelic voices singing. I’d finally, after all these years, made a dip that he likes. It truly was a miracle. Read the rest of this entry