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!

 

 

 

Comfort Food: Beef Stroganoff

It could be argued that this is the king of comfort food; creamy, beef, mushrooms, noodles, flavorful… So many descriptions of this dish.  A favorite of the middle of my three brothers, here is my non-dairy version of Beef Stroganoff.

 

1 1/2 pounds beef steak, 1/2 inch thick slices

8 ounces mushrooms, sliced

3 cups cooked egg noodles

1/4 cup Earth Balance or non-dairy “butter” of choice

large onion, thin sliced

3 cloves garlic, fine minced

1/2 cup plus 1 1/3 cup low-sodium beef broth

1/2 teaspoon pepper

1 teaspoon paprika

1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

1/4 cup flour

1 1/2 cup sour cream

 

Combine 1/2 cup of beef broth and pepper; marinate beef in a bowl for 10 minutes.  Remove beef from marinade & pat dry.

Heat oil in skillet & brown beef; cook 5-7 minutes & remove to plate.  Drain grease from skillet; melt a couple of tablespoons Earth Balance; stir in onion and garlic; cook until onion is soft & translucent.  Transfer to plate with beef.

Melt 2 tablespoons Earth Balance in skillet & add in sliced mushrooms.  Cook until tender, about 10 minutes; transfer to a bowl & set aside.

Melt 1/4 cup Earth Balance in skillet; whisk in flour & cook until there is no more flour taste, about 4 minutes.  Slowly whisk in beef stock; bring to a boil, stirring constantly.  Reduce heat to medium-low; add in Worcestershire sauce & seasonings.  Taste & if needed, add salt.  Add beef & onion; cover & simmer 1 hour.  Taste again & if needed add additional salt/seasonings.

Stir in mushrooms & sour cream about 5 minutes before serving.

 

Enjoy!

 

Do you enjoy beef stroganoff?  What is your favorite comfort food?

 

 

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.