Hello Again. And Bread.

Bread Mix

Hey y’all!

I was so excited to get into a good blogging groove again. And then we decided our chosen curriculum for homeschool was not the best fit for our daughter. So we switched gears, revamped and have finally hit a good groove again.

Good groove= mommy has time to blog (sometimes!)

Today I was measuring out the ingredients for my bread machine and decided to pre-measure the dry ingredients to make future bread making even easier. The recipe by itself is pretty easy. But let’s face it. Some days even easy recipes are hard for me. We are selling our house, homeschooling and then there’s just life in general. And no eating out, because, well, I just don’t trust that other chefs/cooks won’t accidentally make a mistake with my daughter’s food. So I prepare all of our food.

I digress.

Here’s how my next three times of making bread will be even faster and easier.

I:

1. grabbed a few baggies,

2. pre-measured the dry ingredients, and

3. added the steps including missing ingredients in order.

 

Bread Machine

I added a sticker because I love stickers.  Stickers are not necessary, but, why not?  🙂

Click here for the bread recipe I’ve been using.  It’s officially called “White Bread for 1.5 lb Loaf Breadmaker.”

I’ve also made Hamilton Beach’s recipe for french bread and it’s really good, too.

Bread Sticker

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Simple Tofu and Veggie Stir Fry

The tofu love fest continues!

Last post, I mentioned I have made a stir fry with tofu. It was just what my veggie stir fry recipe needed. The stir fry is good on its own. But the tofu bumps it up a notch and adds more protein.

The hardest most time consuming part of this recipe is chopping the veggies. To save time, I have started buying shredded carrots. It’s double the price of the regular carrots, but this Li’l Mama needs some easy in her life. Can I have the STAPLES  Easy button please???? 🙂

I digress.

You can use any veggies you have in your veggie crisper. I like to use chopped broccoli, shredded carrots, diced zucchini and diced red bell peppers. If you’re able to, you can buy the store bought chopped veggies (I’m feeling a little envious now…)

Here’s my little tip on the zucchini:
Cut it in half longways. Then use a spoon to scoop out the seeds and the guts. Then chop or dice the ‘chini.  I didn’t do this for a long time and my zucchini was always mushy. I somehow figured out the scooping out the guts part and no more mushies!!!

Here’s another little secret. Sometimes I use rice and sometimes I use spaghetti noodles…and tonight I used penne noodles. Not very stir fry-ish, but I am all out of spaghetti noodles. For stir fry nights, I like to use spaghetti noodles every now and then.

I special ordered a case of safe spaghetti noodles and paid a small fortune to ship them… and they are LOST! 😦

Who needs $60 back anyway? $35 ish for the noodles. $25 ish to ship.

Ouch.

Note to self, always insure your noodles. 😉

Anyway, I mix up the rice and noodles to make the dish seem different.

Afterall, variety is the spice of life…

Or so they say. Who are they, anyway?

I digress.

Here’s how to make the food.

Chop some veggies and cook in a wok.

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Veggies.  The steam always fuzzes up my pics.  Oh well.  🙂

Boil some noodles or throw some rice in a rice cooker.

Press some tofu and do a quick soy marinade.
Grill/sauté tofu ’til kind of crispy.

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Grilled Tofu.  Mmmmm.

Throw it all in a bowl.

Done.

See? Simple.

tofu-veggie-stir-fry

Tofu & Veggie Stir Fry

Now, for the actual recipe.

Simple Tofu and Veggie Stir Fry

Ingredients:

  • Chopped and diced veggies of your choice (I use an entire head of broccoli, 2-3 zucchinis, 1 red bell pepper and at least a cup of shredded carrots)
  • Extra Firm Tofu, Pressed Then Cubed
  • Rice or Noodles
  • Liquid Aminos (or soy sauce)
  • Garlic Powder
  • Onion Powder
  • Pinch of Ginger Powder

Other Stuff Needed:

  • Wok
  • Grill Pan
  • Bowl with Lid

Directions:

  1. Drain and press tofu. Put tofu between two plates. Make sure to put a sheet or two of paper towels under tofu. Put something heavy on it like a big box of veggie broth. Leave it alone until step 4.
  2. Boil water in large pot and add noodles OR start rice in the rice cooker.
  3. Heat the wok on medium heat. Add 1 tablespoon coconut oil. Add veggies and cook, stirring frequently. If the veggies seem to dry, add another tablespoon coconut oil. When the veggies seem mostly cooked, squirt (squirt! I love that word!) some liquid aminos all over the veggies. Sprinkle some garlic powder and onion powder over the cooking veggies, too. Stir.
  4. Tofu time! Take the tofu block and cut it in half. Cut the tofu into strips and then bite sized cubes. Take a bowl with the lid and squirt some liquid aminos in the bottom of the bowl. Add onion and garlic powder and a pinch of ginger powder. Stir with a fork.
  5. Add the tofu cubes, put on lid and shake the tofu around. (I use a pyrex bowl.) Squirt a little more liquid aminos and add another dash of garlic and onion powder.
  6. Heat grill pan on medium heat. Add 1 tablespoon coconut oil. Cook until tofu has nice grill marks and is nice and brown. Squirt 🙂 a little more liquid aminos on the tofu as it is cooking.
  7. Serve as you wish. I put the rice or noodles as the bottom layer in a deep bowl, scoop in lots of veggies, and top with crispy tofu.

We also squirt! (heehee) a little bit more liquid aminos on the entire dish. There is no need to add salt to this dish because the liquid aminos does it for you.

Notes:
If you don’t have a wok, use a sauté pan. If coconut oil isn’t safe for you, sub a safe neutral oil, such as olive oil or something similar. If you don’t have a grill pan, sauté the tofu in a pan until crispy.

This has quickly become a family favorite. My 5 year old complained because she gobbled up her tofu immediately and wanted more tofu. My child loves it! And I hope you and yours, will, too.

After writing this post, I’m sitting here saying, “Squirt, squirt, squirt, squirt!”  I don’t know why that word just tickles me pink.

Until next time, my friends.

Homemade Crispy Shake and Bake Tofu Tenders

crispy-tofu-tenders

Crispy Tofu Tenders with Homemade Honey Mustard

I have begun to experiment with tofu.

I don’t know why it took me so long to research safe tofu companies. I got in touch with Nasoya and was told their facility is free of dairy, eggs and beef. SCORE!

Let the tofu love begin!

I have made tofu at home three times in a little over a week. I have made a tofu and veggie stir fry twice. Yum!

Last night, I decided to try an old chicken recipe with the tofu.

The result?

Mmmmmm… even the 5 year old liked it! (covered in ketchup, of course, but hey- she ate it happily!)

This recipe comes from allrecipes.com.

I have modified the spices a bit. Feel free to change the spices to ones you and your family enjoy.

I also use homemade bread crumbs, but store bought breadcrumbs or panko would work well, too.

This breadcrumb mixture made more than enough for half a container of tofu. I think I could have used this recipe for the entire package, but I was hesitant to use all the tofu in case this didn’t turn out. But it did and my little family loved it!

So tonight, we are having the other half of the tofu and I’m making these crispy shake and bake tofu tenders again! Along with some garlic mashed potatoes and maybe some stewed fresh green beans. And some homemade vegan gravy for the taters and beans… Mmmm, mmm! I better hurry this post up so I can cook- it’s almost dinner time already!

Ingredients:

2 cups breadcrumbs
3 Tbs canola oil
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp paprika
1/8 tsp pepper
1/4 to 1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/4 tsp poultry seasoning
pinch (or a peench as we say) of basil, dried parsley & dried oregano
***********************************************************************
2 flax eggs (2 Tbsp of ground flax and 6 Tbsp of water mixed together)

1 package of extra firm tofu, pressed between two plates for about 20-30 minutes (do this in advance and cut the tofu into strips like chicken tender sized)

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Prepare your flax eggs in a medium sized bowl and whisk with a fork. When the flax eggs are gelled and gooey, they are ready.
  3. Take everything above the starred line and mix it together in a gallon plastic baggie- adding the oil last. I like to shake the dry ingredients together first and then add the oil.
  4. Dip one tofu strip into the flax egg and then put it into the seasoned breadcrumb mixture and shake. Place the tofu strip onto a parchment lined cookie sheet (foil works, too, but parchment gives you no stick to the pan-ness! 😉 )
  5. Repeat with each tofu strip. If you run out of flax eggs, you will need to make another one (1Tbsp of ground flax & 3 Tbsp of water)
  6. Bake for 5 minutes. Gently flip the tenders. Bake for 5 more minutes. Flip tenders. Bake for another 3-4 minutes, or until tenders are crispy.

Notes:
Serve as you would serve chicken tenders, with a sauce or ketchup. (SG loves it this way.)
The Huzz and I prefer these crispy tenders cut up and served in a bowl along with other food. (Like in a salad or with a pasta dish with the tofu standing in for the chicken.)

It totally looks like chicken- but it doesn’t taste like it. The flavor is all in the crispy coating, so don’t be afraid to spice it up in the bag!

I hope y’all enjoy these crispy shake and bake tofu tenders.   (I’m still working on getting my Southern back, y’all! I kind of lost it from living in Ohio and Iowa for so long!)

 

BBQ Bean Sammies & Dairy & Egg Free Coleslaw

Y’all!  The Local Vegan has an amazing recipe!  It has become one of our family favorites.  I’m not gonna write out Bailey Rae’s recipe but instead tell you the changes I made for our family.

BBQ Sammie

Back in Iowa we had safe store bought buns.  I miss those buns.

BBQ Sammie 2

On Toasted Homemade Bread

Here is the original recipe, which I follow almost to a T.  I don’t make the green beans and I omit the poppyseeds in the slaw.  I usually serve roasted carrots or OreIda french fries because SG loves them.  And hey, it’s safe.  What can I say?

I use Randall’s white northern beans, but feel free to use pinto beans as the original recipe does.  I make my own BBQ sauce because I have to.  Lately, all store bought BBQ sauce makes MY tongue tingle and as a food allergy mom I know that is not good.

Here is the homemade BBQ sauce recipe I make from Once a Month Meals.  I omit the Worcestershire sauce and add 1/2 teaspoon of liquid aminos (just like soy sauce) instead.

I have not found safe store bought bread in SC so I make my own.  We have used this homemade regular white bread (toast first in the toaster or else the bread gets soggy) and I’ve also served this on these amazing homemade dinner rolls.  My fave is on the dinner rolls, but more often we use the homemade white bread because it’s a lot easier to make.

Homemade Rolls

Homemade Dinner Rolls

Homemade Bread

Homemade Dairy & Egg Free Bread 

Let’s talk about the beans!  If I am making enough for one dinner I use a 24 oz jar (roughly 2 cans) of beans.  Today for the first time ever, I used a 48 oz jar of beans and I ended up with double. I did not even have to make double BBQ sauce because I use 1.5 cups of homemade sauce per recipe.  Woot woot!  One 8×8 dish of BBQ beans is in the freezer right now.  I cannot tell you how tickled pink I am about that.  I love my freezer meals!

Freezer BBQ Beans

I hope y’all enjoy this recipe.  We sure do.

 

 

 

 

Cutlets “Parmesan”

I love chickpea cutlets!!!

They are budget friendly, freeze beautifully and are a great protein for many dishes.

Seriously, these little babies are so budget friendly.  I can get anywhere from 10-12 cutlets per 14 oz jar of beans.  For us, they average out to about 13 cents per cutlet!  What what?!?!

Here is a super easy way to use the chickpea cutlets.  By the way, I have also made these cutlets with white northern beans and they taste exactly the same!

Before you make this recipe, head over to this blog post and make a batch or two of the cutlets.  These cutlets freeze well.  I try to always have a batch of chickpea cutlets in the freezer.

Here’s how I make what I like to “Cutlets Parmesan.”  It has neither meat or cheese, but it’s amazing just the same!

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“Cutlets Parmesan”

Ingredients:

  • Prepared Cutlets (click here for recipe)
  • Safe jar of spaghetti sauce
  • Safe cooked noodles (approximately 1.5 to 2.5 cups, depending on the size dish you make.)
  • Vegan Cheese (We use Daiya Mozzarella Shreds)
  • Nutritional Yeast

Directions:

  1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Use either an 8×8 or 9×12 glass baking dish.  I use an 8×8 for just the three of us.  I use the 9×12 if we have guests for dinner.
  3. Place a layer of noodles in the baking dish.
  4. Add a layer of spaghetti sauce on top of the noodles.  Spread evenly and gently.
  5. Sprinkle nutritional yeast on top of the spaghetti sauce.
  6. Sprinkle a light layer of vegan cheese.
  7. Add cutlets on top of vegan cheese.
  8. Top each cutlet with additional spaghetti sauce and add more vegan cheese on top of each cutlet.
  9. Bake for 10-15 minutes.  This is to heat the casserole and melt the vegan cheese.  The dish is already all cooked, so it shouldn’t need more than 15 minutes.

 

Chickpea Cutlets

8×8 dish in progress.  I use rotini noodles.  You can use any large noodle that is safe for your family.

 

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Side View.  I don’t measure for this dish, so I hope this pic helps.  Now this pic is making me hungry!!!

 

Easy Adobo Bean & “Cheese” Quesadilla

Bean Quesadillas

This recipe was born out of desperation. I didn’t want to go to the grocery store and raided my pantry for something to make for dinner. I found a jar of Randall Great Northern Beans, tortillas, & some frozen Daiya mozzarella shreds in my freezer.

I experimented and ended up with a new family favorite. The icing on the cake? It’s super easy. I can knock this out of the park in less than 15 minutes from start to finish.

These quesadillas make great lunches or dinners. A veggie on the side is an easy way to finish off this meal. If you’re really short on time, steam in the microwave veggies make this entire meal even easier. And easy is good.

Here’s how to make Adobo Bean & “Cheese” Quesadillas:

Ingredients:

  • 1 24 oz jar of Randall Great Northern Beans, drained and rinsed (or 2-3 cups of cooked beans)
  • 1-3 Tablespoons of tomato sauce
  • 4 shakes of Adobo seasoning
  • Approx 1/4-1/2 tsp of garlic powder and onion powder
  • Salt to taste
  • Daiya Mozzarella Shreds
  • Nutritional Yeast
  • 6-8 Tortillas, depending of tortilla size

Directions:

  1. Put drained and rinsed beans in a bowl. Use a potato masher to mash the beans. Add the tomato sauce and spices. Mix well.
  2. Use a spoon and scoop out a large spoonful of bean mixture on half of a tortilla. Sprinkle a generous amount of nutritional yeast on top of the bean mixture and sprinkle Daiya to your preference. Fold tortilla in half like a quesadilla.
  3. Brown quesadillas on a skillet or griddle. The griddle heats a lot at one time and is why I can have this on the table so quickly.
  4. Serve as is, with a side of salsa for dipping or with a veggie and/or fruit on the side.

I use the fajita size tortillas and this makes approximately 7-8 quesadillas. Also, I don’t measure the spices- I just eyeball it. One time I accidentally shook WAY TOO MUCH onion powder in this and it still tasted amazing!

This is one meal my five year old GOBBLES without complaint. She loves it and so do we.

In this often busy and sometimes chaotic holiday season, this quick recipe helps get an easy and nutritious meal on the table.  Ya gotta leave easy and nutritious, right?

Enjoy!

Southern Cornbread Dressing: Dairy and Egg Free

Y’all, we have some news.  We’ve moved back down south!  Which is why I didn’t post for months.  Life was a little crazy for a long stretch.  But now we have moved halfway across the country, sold our Iowa condo, bought a new house and are kind of settled in.  We’ve been in our house for almost 6 weeks, so there’s still a lot to do.

We hosted Thanksgiving at our new house and I was in charge of making almost everything.  I’ve tried my hand at making my mom’s incredible cornbread dressing before and it was a flop- 2 years in a row.  I gave up on making it last year.  This year, however, I had a lightbulb moment.  I discovered a gravy recipe from about.com and have adapted it to fit our needs.  The gravy is creamy, delicious, and could mimic the canned cream of chicken my mom’s recipe uses.

I didn’t even include it in my Thanksgiving post, because, well, I’ve failed miserably in the past.  But not this time.  This time I ROCKED IT!  Finally!!!

My mom’s recipe uses chicken broth, eggs, cream of chicken soup, butter, cornbread, sage, and minced onion.

I decided to make my cornbread with gravy, but added sage and poultry seasoning to my gravy to give it the same flavor as my mom’s.  I used vegan butter and vegetable broth.

The result?  My father asked my mom IF SHE MADE THE DRESSING!

That was the moment I gave myself a secret high five and knew this recipe was good.

So if you’re looking for a savory and delicious cornbread dressing recipe for the holidays or for any day, I have just the recipe for you!

Southern Cornbread Dressing: Dairy and Egg Free

( Cornbread recipe adapted from here.  
Southern Cornbread Dressing recipe adapted from my mom’s recipe.)

Make the cornbread the day before or first thing in the morning.  I make it the night before as it frees up more time on the big day.

Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons ground flax seeds
  • 6 tablespoons water
  • 1 cup all-purpose unbleached flour
  • 1 cup cornmeal
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 cup SO Delicious Lite Culinary Coconut Milk
  • 1/4 cup canola oil

Directions:

1.  Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

2.  Grease an 8×8 inch baking dish with vegan butter.

3.  Boil the water in a small saucepan and add the ground flax seed. Stir well with a fork or whisk.  Reduce the heat and simmer the ground flax seed in the water for 2-3 minutes or until thickened, stirring occasionally.  Mine was ready in 2 minutes.

4.  Set the flax egg to the side.  You’ll use it in step 6.

5.  Grab a clean bowl and combine the flour, cornmeal, baking powder, and salt.  Mix well.

6.  Add the ground flax seed mixture, coconut milk, and canola oil to the flour mixture. Mix until just until smooth.

7.  Put the cornbread mixture into the greased pan. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until toothpick or knife inserted in the middle comes out clean.  Mine was done in 20 minutes.

STEP 2 to be completed the next day or once the cornbread has cooled completely:

Directions:

1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2.  Make homemade gravy but double the recipe and add 1 tsp of poultry seasoning and 1/4 teaspoon sage.

3.  Crumble cornbread in a bowl.

4.  Add 1/2 of the gravy and a generous splash of vegetable broth.  Stir well.  Add more gravy and veggie broth until the cornbread mixture looks soupy.  I used more gravy than broth because the gravy has all of the typical cornbread dressing flavor.  You will not use all of the gravy- I had maybe 1/2 cup of gravy left.  I splashed in veggie broth maybe 3 times.

5.  Grease a larger baking dish (I have one in between the 8×8 and 9×12 pans and used the in between size.)

6.  Pour in soupy cornbread mixture.

7.  Bake for 20-30 minutes, or until dressing is firm but not dry.  I used convection bake and mine was done in 23 minutes.

8.  Use the extra gravy to pour over the dressing.

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This is the cornbread dressing.  I realized I had no photos of it and snapped this quick photo at the last second.