Posts Tagged ‘homemade’

Easy Vegan Ranch Dressing

Ranch dressing is great for salads and dipping vegetables. Store bought ranch dressing and dips are loaded with fats and preservatives and are definitely not vegan. Here’s a great recipe that’s super quick and easy to whip up!

Ingredients:

vegan mayo (I use vegenaise)

italian spices

vegan milk (soy, almond, rice, etc)

salt and pepper, to taste

 

Start off with adding some mayo into a bowl (it will be the main base of the dressing). Add some milk, how much you use depends on how thick you want your ranch. If you want it like a dip, just add a little bit but if you want it for a dressing on salads add more. Use a fork to blend the mayo and milk. Add more milk or mayo to get desired consistency.  Then go crazy with spices. I use the Italian grinders you can find which have rosemary, oregano and basil. You can also use fresh herbs or whichever dry herbs you enjoy the most. The fresh herbs won’t keep as long so keep that in mind. Add salt and pepper to taste and you’re done!

 

This dip would also be a good dip for the fried okra recipe that I just posted!

Homemade Applesauce

I used my juicer attachment for my blender to make some apple juice with Jonathan apples and the resulting pulp mixed with a little bit of cinnamon was awesome applesauce!

Grilled Veggie Fajitas

One of my all time favorite meals are vegetable fajitas. Fresh veggies coming together with soft homemade tortillas, salsa and guacamole is divine and the summer is one of the best times to indulge since the vegetables are fresh and plentiful.

I like to use a cast iron skillet to cook the vegetables. It keeps the marinade from putting out the fire! It also helps keep them from drying out.

Fresh tortillas are so much better than store bought. When I moved to Austin from San Antonio I realized that fresh made tortillas are very hard to find! My husband and I are tortilla snobs, so I had to start making my own. Store bought just isn’t the same as the fluffy and rich ones you can make at home!

Here’s the tried and true recipe I use. (not my own)
Ingredients:

2 cups of all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons of baking powder
1 teaspoon of salt
2 teaspoons of vegetable oil
3/4 cups of warm milk (regular or I use almond milk)

Mix together the flour, baking powder, salt and oil. Slowly add the warm milk.
Stir until a loose, sticky ball is formed. Knead for two minutes on a floured surface. Dough should be firm and soft. Place dough in a bowl and cover with a damp cloth or plastic wrap for 20 minutes. After the dough has rested, break off eight sections, roll them into balls in your hands, place on a plate (make sure they aren’t touching) and then cover balls with damp cloth or plastic wrap for 10 minutes. (It’s very important to let the dough rest, otherwise it will be like elastic and won’t roll out to a proper thickness and shape.)
After dough has rested, one at a time place a dough ball on a floured surface, pat it out into a four-inch circle, and then roll with a rolling pin from the center until it’s thin and about eight inches in diameter. (If you roll out pie crusts you’ll have no problem with this.) Don’t over work the dough, or it’ll be stiff. Keep rolled-out tortillas covered until ready to cook. In a dry iron skillet or comal heated on high, cook the tortilla about thirty seconds on each side. It should start to puff a bit when it’s done. Keep cooked tortillas covered wrapped in a napkin until ready to eat. Can be reheated in a dry iron skillet, over your gas-burner flame or in the oven wrapped in foil. While you probably won’t have any leftovers, you can store in the fridge tightly wrapped in foil or plastic for a day or so.

 

Pair these with some fresh made guacamole and salsa and you’ll be set. I made some recently for my sister-in-law and her boyfriend (who’s an avid meat eater) and he said “I usually miss meat in meals, but this is so good I feel like I’m not missing anything!”

Homemade Mozzarella

My husband and I brew our own beer and recently while at the local homebrew store we saw that they also had cheese kits so we got a mozzarella kit to try out because it seemed like a good “starter” cheese.

A couple months ago I got a job at Natural Grocers so I looked at the different whole milks there and found one that seemed especially good for making mozzarella. The brand is “Way Back When” and not only is is produced in Texas but it is pasteurized with low heat which is why it’s good for cheese making.

Now onto the cheese!

Here it is just made and warm.

fresh mozzarella

It turned out to be pretty simple to make and it is so good it’s crazy. It actually kind of ruined me on store bought mozzarella because it seems like it has no flavor compared to the homemade kind. I definitely recommend trying it out for yourself!

Pinto Beans and Fresh Bread

I had a busy day today. We went and got a bunch of plants and seeds and planted them and then I made yummy pinto beans and bread. The bread turned out the be the best I’ve ever made and I’ll definitely make it again.

I got this recipe from vegweb.com but cut in in half because even though this bread is great it’s hard for 2 people to eat 2 loves before they go bad.

Easy Big Bread

Ingredients:
2 packs of yeast
1/4 cup warm water
2 cups hot water
3 tablespoons turbinado (I used regular sugar)
1 tablespoon salt
3 cups flour
1/3 cup vegetable or corn oil
3 cups flour

This recipe works best if all ingredients are set out, ready to go, in advance. Also, make sure the turbinado, salt, flour, and oil are measured in the exact amounts called for. Pour warm water into a small ceramic bowl and add the yeast. Set aside. In a large mixing bowl, pour hot water over the turbinado and salt, then stir with a wooden spoon to completely dissolve. Combine 3 cups flour with the water mixture. Pour the oil on top of the dough mixture then add the yeast mixture on top of that, but DO NOT STIR. Top with the remaining 3 cups of flour and mix well. At this point, the dough should be pliant and moist, but not gooey. Cover the bowl with a damp towel and set aside to rise for at least 45 minutes.
On a lightly floured cutting board or countertop, divide the dough into half. (This is when I recruit someone to knead the dough, but the recipe actually calls for no kneading; I’ve done this recipe many times without kneading anything, and it always turns out really good.) Flatten each half into roughly an oval/rounded rectangular shape, about 1/2- to 3/4-inch thickness; then roll the dough lengthwise and place on an ungreased, but very BIG, cookie sheet.  Cover the dough with a moist towel and set aside to rise again for another 45 minutes (or longer).
After the dough has risen the second time, preheat the oven to 375 and bake for exactly 23 minutes. If you can keep everyone from digging in right away, allow to cool for about 15 minutes and then enjoy.

*Bake for 30-35 minutes if you use a loaf pan like I did.

Veggie Stirfry

For dinner tonight, I got a bunch of veggies together to make a nice stirfry with rice for Jason and I.
Here you can see the large plate full of veggies I cut up in preparation to cook.
veggies

Veggie Stirfry

1/2 small head of cabbage, chopped
1/2 onion, chopped
4 green onions, chopped
1/2 bell pepper, chopped
1 carrot, sliced
3 mushrooms, sliced
2 cups broccoli
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup brown rice
3 tbsp soy sauce
3 tbsp asian sauce of choice
3 tbsp water
1 tsp sesame oil
2 tsp olive oil
1 tsp chili garlic paste

Cook rice. Heat olive oil in large saucepan, when hot add onion, garlic and bell pepper. Once they have cooked for 2 minutes, add carrots and broccoli. Cook for another minute, then add sauces. After the broccoli has cooked for a couple more minutes, add the rest of the vegetables, chili paste, sesame oil, and water. Stir until vegetables get thoroughly mixed with sauce and cook down. When all the vegetables are done turn off heat and serve over rice.

stirfry