National Day of Chocolate Covered Nuts – Feb. 19th

Feb. 19th was National Day of Chocolate Covered Nuts.  Here is my recipe.

 

4 ounces non-dairy chocolate

1 cup nuts, roasted & unsalted (I used cashews)

Pinch salt

1/4 teaspoon coconut or Crisco

 

 

Melt  the Crisco or chocolate in a double boiler; stir in salt; remove from heat & stir in nuts.  Stir to coat nuts; pour out onto waxed paper lined pan to cool.  Cool to room temperature, then place into refrigerator for 30 minutes; break into pieces (or you can scoop with a spoon & place on pile on waxed paper).

 

Store in refrigerator.

 

 

 

Comfort Food: Salisbury Steak with Mushroom Gravy

Comfort food at it’s best.  This is a go to recipe for me – I originally created it a couple of years ago in an attempt to re-create my favorite frozen entrée, but without all the extra & unnecessary ingredients.  Originally, I wasn’t pleased with the gravy, so this post gave me a great excuse to go back & re-create it.  I succeeded.  My family tried it & there was almost nothing left when we were done!

 

Salisbury Steak

1 egg, lightly beaten

1/3 cup low-sodium beef broth/stock

3/4 cup bread crumbs (I use Trader Joe’s brand bread crumbs – no dairy)

1/4 heaping teaspoon garlic powder (be generous, if you like garlic)

dash pepper

1/4 cup water

1 tablespoon Homemade Gravy Mix (Beef)

1 tablespoon dried onions

generous pinch powdered mustard

approximately 1 pound ground beef

 

Mushroom Gravy

3 tablespoons flour

2-4 tablespoons Earth Balance (or your choice of butter substitute)

8 ounces chopped mushrooms

1/2 small onion, diced

1 cup cold water

1 cup boiling water

1 teaspoon beef bouillon granules

5 tablespoons Homemade Gravy Mix (Beef)

1 cup low-sodium beef broth

salt & pepper to taste (definitely taste before adding salt!!)

 

 

Directions

In a large bowl, combine egg, 1/3 cup low sodium beef broth, bread crumbs, garlic powder, pepper, Worcestershire sauce, 1 tablespoon Homemade Gravy Mix, minced dried onion and mustard; whisk until thoroughly combined.  Add ground beef & combine, making sure bowl contents are well-distributed throughout beef (best way is to use your hands).  Shape into 6 large patties or 12 smaller patties, cover & set aside.

 

Add beef bouillon to boiling water & set aside; to a large skillet, add about 1 tablespoon Earth Balance or your choice of butter substitute & add in chopped mushrooms & onion; cook until vegetables are tender; scrape to sides of pan. Add beef patties to a second skilled over medium-high heat & cook 4-5 minutes per side or until cooked through.

Add remaining Earth Balance & flour, cook until browned in center of pan; slowly add cold water, bouillon and remaining brown gravy mix (2 tbsp); whisk until combined & stir in mushrooms & onions.  Bring to a boil & stir constantly until thickened.  If too thick, add a small amount of beef broth.  Transfer cooked patties to gravy pan & heat through; serve hot.

 

Enjoy!

 

 

 

Appetizers: Stuffed Mushrooms

This is a savory bite-full of deliciousness recipe.  I donated the finished dish to my uncle’s auction’s annual brunch (except for 2 I set aside for a friend).  As you can see from the pictures below – they were a huge hit; my mom thinks they were the favorite & the people there were amazed that it was a non-dairy dish & they didn’t know the mushrooms were non-dairy without others telling them they were.  I consider that a success!!  I hope you find the same success with this recipe!

 

mushrooms   2

3 eight ounce boxes (24 ounces) mushrooms (unsliced)

1/3 pound turkey sausage, cooked & crumbled small (for spicy, add a pinch of cayenne & 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes when cooking)

1/4 teaspoon cumin*

pinch chili powder*

medium onion, finely chopped

4 large cloves garlic, finely chopped

approximately 3/4 cup mock parm

1/3 cup chicken broth

salt & pepper, to taste

1 egg yolk

8 ounces non-dairy cream cheese (I used Tofutti brand)

 

* you can use a smokey spice mix in lieu of the cumin & chili powder

 

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Remove stems; chop up fine & set aside.

Cook sausage (seasonings, if using); remove from skillet & allow to cool to room temperature.

Add onions & garlic to skillet & cook through (4-5 minutes); add broth; cook & allow to evaporate slightly, about 2 minutes.  Add chopped stems.  Cook, seasoning with a pinch of salt & pepper.  Cook until tender & liquid is evaporated.  Remove from skillet & allow to come to room temperature (or in the refrigerator for 10-15 minutes).

Combine cream cheese, egg yolk & parm; add in sausage and then mushroom stems; taste & adjust seasonings if needed.

Lay caps on a parchment lined, rimmed baking sheet, season with a pinch of salt.  Fill each cap with approximately 1/2 to 3/4 teaspoon filling, pushing in to fill inner cap.

Bake filled caps 20-25 minutes.

 

These are a versatile appetizer.  You can freeze once caps are filled prior to cooking (defrost completely & cook as above) or fill, cook & freeze (defrost completely & re-heat to serve).  You can also make the filling a couple of days in advance & store in fridge until  needed.

 

How do you like your caps stuffed?  Do you have a preferred method?  Comment & let me know.

 

 

National Day of Cocoa – Dec. 11

National Day of Cocoa.  So many options are available with cocoa – cakes, cookies, candy, mole, etc.  I’ve decided to keep it simple & short.  Prep/cooking is about 5-7 minutes & cooling is about 30.  I’m sharing one of my brothers’ favorite cookie recipe – Chocolate Peanut Butter No-Bake Cookies.  This is not really a cookie but a soft fudge candy.

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2 cups sugar

1/2 c non-dairy milk

1 stick Earth Balance or 8 tablespoons of your non-dairy “butter” of choice

1/4 cup cocoa

3 cups old-fashioned rolled oats

1 cup creamy peanut butter (some recipes call for crunchy – it would be a personal preference)

1 tablespoon pure vanilla flavoring

large pinch of kosher salt

 

 

Cover baking sheet with wax or parchment paper.

Combine the sugar, milk & “butter” in a saucepan & bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring occasionally.  Once boiling (a full rolling boil), boil for 1 minute.

Remove from heat & add remaining ingredients; mix well to combine.

Drop by tablespoons full (or small cookie scoop) onto prepared pans until cool & hard – about 30 minutes.

Store in tightly sealed container for up to 3 days.

 

Prep:

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Cooking & Cooling:

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If you run out of cookie sheets – put parchment on the counter, like above.

Note:  If precipitation in the air (humidity, rain, snow, etc) I recommend allowing to boil 1 minute longer or your cookies will potentially be super soft.

 

 

Enjoy!

 

What is your favorite cookie?  Comment & let me know.

Heirloom: Cinnamon Walnuts

This recipe was shared with my grandmother by a friend; because of how much my grandmother and several of my uncles loved the results, this is a staple at our Thanksgiving celebrations each year; I now share it with you.

 

5 cups walnut halves

2 cups sugar

2 teaspoons salt

2 teaspoons cinnamon

3/4 cup non-dairy milk

2 teaspoons vanilla

 

Combine sugar, salt, cinnamon and milk; cook to softball stage (you’ll need a candy thermometer for this – 235*F).  Remove from heat & add vanilla; stir until creamy.  Add nuts & immediately pour onto waxed paper; separate with fork & cool.

 

Grandma’s note:  I use cold water & my fingers [to separate].

 

What are your favorite traditions for the holidays?  Comment & let me know.

 

 

Heirloom: Turkey Sandwich Spread

This month’s heirloom recipe is one of my mother’s.  This is one of the ways she uses up leftover Thanksgiving turkey.  Our family LOVE it!

Leftover Turkey

Mayonnaise

Liquid Smoke (found in the barbecue sauce isle in the store).

Finely chop or grind up the leftover turkey; add mayo to combine; season with 1/4 to 1 teaspoon or so of liquid smoke (add a small amount; taste test & see if you like the flavor, add a bit more until you are satisfied).  Spread on bread & enjoy!!

There are no specific measurements; it is to taste only.

What is your favorite way to use up leftover turkey?  Comment & let me know.

Heirloom: Grandma’s Corn

This is a Thanksgiving favorite. My grandmother is no longer able to make it, so my brother has taken over that position for our annual feast.  This is the first recipe I planned for the Heirloom recipes & I am excited to share it with you.  I hope you enjoy it.

 

8-10 cups fresh corn kernels (about 24 ears)
1 lb Earth Balance, Melt, Coconut Oil ~ your choice of “butter”
1 quart “cream”*
1 tablespoon sugar

Place corn in roasting pan in 275*F oven with “butter”, “cream” & sugar; mix & cook 1 hour. Cool. Bag & freeze.
When re-heating, add more “Cream” as needed.
Season with salt and pepper as needed.

This will serve a good amount of family/friends.

 

*Culinary One has suggestions for “cream” – puree cannelloni beans or silken tofu.  I’ve not used either, so I cannot comment on how they will work.  Cashew, almond & coconut milks will have a slight sweet taste.  I suggest if using one of the three to reduce or eliminate the sugar.

For the “cream” I used:

1/2 block Follow Your Heart Provolone, shredded or chopped finely

1/4 cup bone broth or bouillon (I used chicken; for vegetarian/vegan – use vegetable bouillon)

3/4 cup water

Over medium high heat, combine the above ingredients & whisk until the cheese is fully melted & all is incorporated.  Continue with recipe as above.

 

A smaller serving (@ 4 person):

3 cups fresh corn kernels

1/2 cup Earth Balance or other butter substitute

1 cup “cream”

3/4 teaspoon sugar

 

Proceed as above in a small roasting pan.

 

 

Enjoy!

 

A note on posting:

Last week I was not able to get a post completed due to a family emergency.  My apologies for anyone looking for it.