Couscous Herbed Salad

This is a hit salad with my family and regularly requested. I hope you enjoy it too.

 

1 c dry couscous
1 c boiling water (or chicken stock)
2 c canned black beans, drained and rinsed
1 red or green bell pepper, diced
3-4 medium tomatoes, diced
½ c fresh parsley, minced
.3 oz container of dried dill (2 tbsp fresh dill, chopped)
½ to 1 tbsp minced oregano
½ to 1 tbsp minced basil
1 bunch green onions, finely chopped
6 tbsp lemon juice
6 tbsp olive oil
Salt/Pepper to taste

In a large casserole dish, combine the couscous and water then cover and allow it to stand for 10 minutes. Fluff with a fork and allow to cool until just warm. Mix in remaining ingredients. Cover and refrigerate for at least one hour before serving.

 

 

Notes:  I don’t actually measure the dill or lemon juice; I combine all the veggies & couscous & then add the basil & oregano and oil; then I add the dill, lemon juice, salt & pepper to taste.

The chicken broth/stock gives a great flavor; for a vegan/vegetarian, use the water or vegetable broth/stock.

 

Enjoy!

Caramel Blended Iced Coffee

I loved a certain coffee chain’s blended iced caramel coffee beverage, but with going dairy free & the cost, I knew I needed to re-create a similar beverage.  When I found Avenue Sweets caramel sauce on Amazon, I knew this was the recipe for the delicious caramel.   It took 2 tries, but I’m very happy with this delicious iced beverage & will be making it several times over the hot summer!!

This should make approximately 4 one cup servings.

 

Tips:

HOT coffee

Caramel at room temperature (at least 30 minutes before blending)

 

 

1 cup strong hot coffee (I used Coffee Beanery‘s English Toffee & Cream*)

1/3 cup Avenue Sweets Dairy Free Sea Salt Caramel Sauce

1 cup non-dairy milk (I used almond because that’s what I had, but any ND milk should work)

3 tablespoons sugar (you could try less if you don’t like it overly sweet)

2 cups ice cubes

 

Put caramel in a blender (I’ve a Ninja) & pour hot coffee over & blend; scrape down sides & blend again.  Add sugar & blend; add milk & whirl once; finish by blending in the ice until smooth.  Serve & enjoy!

 

* This would also be great with Coffee Beanery’s Butter Rum, Cafe Caramel Cream or Sea Salt Caramel coffees.  I did check with them & they stated that all of their coffees are dairy free.

(If you get a chance, try their Michigan Cherry or Fiesta Mocha coffees…they are yummy.  If you use creamer, try French Vanilla with the Michigan Cherry! Divine!!!)

 

 

Note:  I am only recommending Coffee Beanery coffee as it is my favorite coffee – I receive no compensation to promote them.  I also don’t receive any compensation from Amazon or Avenue Sweets at this time – just sharing their link.

 

(Yes, I re-used a Starbucks bottle – shared this with my Aunt who also is dairy free – she gave it a thumbs up!)

Do you have a favorite coffee beverage?  Comment & let me know.

Egyptian Lentil Stew

When researching recipes for the Mediterranean feature, I was intrigued by this recipe.  It sounded unique & delicious.  I really like lentils; and this recipe was an excellent choice for me; it is based on 3 different recipes – I used what I had since I didn’t have all the ingredients for any of the recipes & I LOVED how it turned out.  I hope you enjoy it.

 

 

Oil

1/2 of a large white or yellow onion, finely diced

1 elephant garlic clove (see below) or 3-4 regular cloves, minced

1 teaspoon cumin

1 teaspoon coriander

1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ancho chili powder

1/4 teaspoon fresh ground pepper

1 1/2 cups dry lentils

2-3 tablespoons beef bouillon (use vegetable for a vegetarian/vegan option)

water – about 5-6 cups

1 tablespoon lemon juice

 

 

Add oil to a skillet & heat over medium heat; once hot, add onion & cook 5-7 minutes or until translucent.  Add garlic & cook another 1-2 minutes.  Scrape onions & garlic to sides of pan & add seasonings; cook until fragrant & stir into onion/garlic mixture, about 3 minutes.  Add bouillon to water (4 cups) & heat over medium heat.  Pour onion mixture into water & add lentils; stir to break up any clumps in the lentils (I’ve noticed the red lentils clump when poured into water).  Simmer over medium heat until lentils are soft – about 30 minutes.  Check occasionally & add additional water (1 cup at a time), if needed.  Taste & adjust seasonings as needed.  Add lemon juice & heat through.  Serve & enjoy!

 

Note:  I didn’t use any salt in this recipe due to the bouillon.

Elephant Garlic:

     

 

Have you ever tried Lentils?  Do you like them, comment & let me know.

National Day of Sloppy Joes – March 18th

Sloppy Joes – also a comfort food.  So delicious & homemade is the best.  I like the rolls toasted in a pan before I serve with the meat sauce.  So yummy!!

 

 

1 pound ground beef

1/2 cup chopped onion

1/2 cup chopped green pepper

8 ounces tomato sauce or homemade ketchup

2 tablespoons water

1 to 1 1/2 teaspoons chili powder

1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

dash hot sauce

6 Potato Buns, split & toasted

 

Cook ground beef, onion & pepper; drain off fat.  Stir in tomato sauce, water, chili powder, Worcestershire sauce, garlic powder & hot sauce.  Bring to a boil; reduce heat & simmer, uncovered about 5 minutes.  Serve on toasted rolls.

Enjoy!

 

*for a vegetarian/vegan option – use vegetarian crumbles

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!

 

 

 

Homemade Gravy Mix

Many of the commercial packets have some form of dairy; this recipe is a great recipe to have on hand for a quick substitute.

 

3 tablespoons bouillon (chicken or beef or vegetable)

3/4 cup + 1 tablespoon flour

1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon pepper

 

Combine & store up to 6 months.  Makes about 1 cup.

 

To use:

 

4 1/2 tablespoon butter

3/4 cup cold water

 

 

Melt butter; add 2 tablespoons mix.  Cook & stir until lightly browned, about 1 minutes.  Whisk in water; bring to a boil.  Cook & stir 2 minutes or until thick.

You could season this to your personal preference.  Add seasonings in.

 

Keep this on hand; it will be in one of my upcoming recipes.