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!

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 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.

 

 

 

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.

National Day of Peanut Butter (Jan. 27) [Peanut Butter Pie]

January 27 is National Day of Peanut Butter. For this National Day, I’m sharing this recipe, which is one of my mom’s creations.  My cousin wanted a peanut butter pie & this is the recipe my mom made. This is an excellent recipe to use the homemade peanut butter cups!

 

8 ounces non-dairy cream cheese

1 cup crunchy peanut butter

1 cup powdered sugar

9 ounces cocowhip*

10 peanut butter cups, quartered

chocolate crumb pie crust

Cocowhip

8 peanut butter cups or 4 cups, quartered

chocolate sauce

 

Combine cream cheese, peanut butter & powdered sugar.  Mix in 9 ounces cocowhip and chopped peanut butter cups.  Spread in pie shell & cover with cocowhip.  Pipe 8 stars around edge of pie & place a peanut butter cup on each star.  Drizzle with chocolate sauce in pattern of choice.  Refrigerate until time to serve.

Here’s the store locator for Cocowhip

 

*use fresh.  if frozen prior to use, the Cocowhip won’t work.

Enjoy!

 

What’s your favorite way to enjoy peanut butter?  Comment & let me know.

Milkshake (Bonus Recipe)

Each quarter there is one extra weekend that I have to plan for.  Last year I posted about a dairy free pantry (here) & other recipes that were not in the categories I had chosen.  This year I’m going to share two beverages & two soups.  Up first is a non-dairy milkshake – so easy to do & so many options to add in.  This is for one serving; for more than one, just duplicate by how many servings you are wanting.

 

1 cup non-dairy ice cream (I used vanilla, but there are so many choices)

1/4 cup non-dairy milk (I used coconut since my ice cream was coconut milk based)

 

Put in blender & blend until smooth.

For a thicker shake, use less milk.

 

I recommend using whichever milk the ice cream is based.

 

Flavors:

chocolate chip – Add in 1-2 tablespoons of Enjoy Life mini chips

mint chip – add in 1-2 tablespoons Enjoy Life mini chips & 1/4 tsp peppermint extract

orange creamsicle – use vanilla ice cream & replace milk with orange juice

strawberry – slice 2-3 fresh strawberries & place in bowl with 1 tsp sugar; mash lightly & stir; allow to sit 5-6 minutes until juices form; mash a bit & stir again; using vanilla ice cream, pour in strawberries & blend, adding milk only if needed to thin out

chocolate – using Hershey’s* chocolate syrup – 1-3 teaspoons

coffee – brew coffee & cool; substitute milk with coffee

mocha – prepare coffee shake as above & add in 1-2 teaspoons Hershey’s* chocolate syrup

 

 

*Hershey’s syrup is dairy free; I don’t know about any other brands – just check before purchasing

Enjoy!

 

What flavors would you try?  Comment & let me know.

National Day of Nachos – November 6

Happy National Day of Nachos.

Nachos are a favorite of our family; the creamy cheese sauce poured over chips are such a delight.  I hope you enjoy this recipe!

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2.5 cups broth (I used chicken)

1 package Follow Your Heart Mozzarella slices

2 packages Follow Your Heart cheddar shreds

1 can diced jalapenos, optional

 

Bring broth just to a boil (but not boiling) over medium heat; add in mozzarella slices, one at a time.  With a wire whisk, stir slightly to break up.

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Add in cheddar shreds, 1 package at a time, whisking to incorporate.  Stir constantly over medium heat until all the cheese has dissolved; add jalapenos.

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Taste & season as desired (pinch onion powder, pinch or two of garlic, black pepper, salt, etc).

Set aside for about 10 minutes or until thickened & cooled slightly; pour over chips & enjoy.

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