Cream Cheese & Olive Sandwiches

Cream Cheese & Olive Sandwiches

Ingredients:

  • 1 Package of Cream Cheese
  • 1 Jar of Green Spanish Olives
  • Milk
  • Bread

Instructions:

  • Empty 1 Package of Cream Cheese into a bowl (we use vegan cream cheese)
  • Cut up Green Spanish Olives into fourths and add to the cream cheese. You can add as many or as little as you’d like, but for us more is better!
  • Add a splash of milk to allow for mixing the ingredients until it’s a smooth consistency (not chunky and stiff)
  • Spread on bread and enjoy!

A note to our allergy friendly subscribers: All of our ingredients and meals are gluten free, soy free, dairy free, peanut free, and vegan. To make the meal 100% vegan just exclude any meat or dairy that may be recommended to go along with the meal.


Congo Squares

Congo Squares

Ingredients:

  • 2 3/4 cups flour
  • 1 package of light brown sugar
  • 2/3 cups shortening (About 1.3 sticks of butter)
  • 1 teaspoon instant coffee
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup chocolate chips
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 1/2 teaspoon baking powder

Instructions:

  1. Melt shortening or butter
  2. Add sugar and beat to blended
  3. Add eggs one at a time beating well after each egg
  4. Sift flour, baking power, instant coffee, and salt.
  5. Beat for 2 minutes and add nuts & chocolate chips
  6. Put shortening and flour in pan just enough so the squares won’t stick to pan.
  7. Put into the over at 350 for 35 minutes or until browned
  8. Cool completely before cutting for them to firm up

A note to our allergy friendly subscribers: All of our ingredients and meals are gluten free, soy free, dairy free, peanut free, and vegan. To make the meal 100% vegan just exclude any meat or eggs that may be recommended to go along with the meal.


Portuguese Kale Soup

Portuguese Kale Soup

Ingredients:

  • 1 Package of Portuguese style linguica sausage
    We like North Country brand, but Gaspar’s is what I grew up on
  • 2 bunches of fresh kale
  • 1 bag of potatoes
  • 8 cups of prepared red kidney beans (4 cans)

Instructions:

  1. Slice linguica into half inch pieces
  2. Rip kale into small pieces and rinse
  3. Cut potatoes into quarters or smaller depending on size of potatoes
  4. Rinse kidney beans
  5. Brown the linguica in a large pot or dutch oven using butter
  6. Then add in the kale pieces and pour enough water or broth over the kale to just cover it. Let the kale simmer until cooked.
  7. Then add the potatoes and simmer until cooked (adding more water or broth if needed)
  8. Then add the kidney beans last and simmer until ready to eat
  9. Salt to taste
  10. Serve with bread and butter – try dipping the bread in the broth for the full experience!

A note to our allergy friendly subscribers: All of our ingredients and meals are gluten free, soy free, dairy free, peanut free, and vegan. To make the meal 100% vegan just exclude any meat that may be recommended to go along with the meal.


Irish Coffee

Irish Coffee

While visiting Ireland many years ago we happened upon a pair of Irish Coffee crystal glasses from the Galway Irish Crystal company. Inside the box was this recipe for Irish Coffee:

We like to swap out the coffee with either Crio Bru (cacao based coffee alternative) or you may prefer to use instant coffee. Whatever suits you best!

We also like to top ours off with chocolate shavings because why not?


Irish Boiled Dinner

Irish Boiled Dinner

Ingredients:

  • 2 Heads of Cabbage
  • 1 Bag of Carrots
  • 1 Turnip
  • 1 Bag of Potatoes
  • Smoked Shoulder (or Corned Beef in you prefer)
  • 2 Large Sour Dill Pickles

Instructions:

1) Chop the cabbage in half, then into quarters. Removed center stalk/stem from cabbage.

2) Chop carrots, turnips and potatoes into large chunky pieces

3) Put all the smoked shoulder into a large pan and fill with water

4) Bring the water to a boil

5) When meat is tender add in your vegetables and return the water to a boil

6) When veggies are tender your boiled dinner is ready

7) Plate your boiled dinner with half a large sour dill pickle. Squirt it’s juices over the meal and add salt and pepper to taste.

A note to our allergy friendly subscribers: All of our ingredients and meals are gluten free, soy free, dairy free, peanut free, and vegan. To make the meal 100% vegan just exclude any meat that may be recommended to go along with the meal.


Baked Eggplant with Chili Powder

Baked Eggplant with Chili Powder

Ingredients:

  • Eggplant
  • Chili powder
  • Paprika
  • Olive oil
  • Salt

Instructions:

1. Preheat oven to 375 and line 2 baking sheets with tin foil or whatever you prefer (I’ve tried silicone mats, tin foil and parchment paper)

2. Cut top and bottom off of eggplant, then stand up on end and thinly slice eggplant (about 1/4 to 1/2 in slices – the thinner the crispier they will get and the thicker the softer they will be)

3. Lay slices on pan and spread (using a food brush) olive oil on them to coat (note: fair warning, eggplants are very “thirsty” vegetables, so you will you a fair amount of olive oil)

4. Sprinkle salt, chili powder, and paprika on each slice. Flip the slices over and repeat the olive oil and spices process.

5. Place in oven and bake for 10 minutes, then flip them and bake another 15 minutes (note that the thinner slices will be done faster  and need to be taken out so they don’t burn – if you cut them 1/4 or smaller)

 6. Prepare pasta according to package

Enjoy over pasta covered with marinara sauce or butter, salt and shredded parmesan cheese. Serve with your favorite side of vegetables and a side salad. It is delicious either way!

A note to our allergy friendly subscribers: All of our ingredients and meals are gluten free, soy free, dairy free, peanut free, and vegan. To make the meal 100% vegan just exclude any meat that may be recommended to go along with the meal.


Homemade Pickles

Homemade Pickles

Ingredients:

  • 1 TBSP mustard seeds
  • 20 peppercorns
  • 1 TBPS dried dill or a bunch of fresh dill sprigs
  • 3/4 to 1 TBSP kosher salt
  • 1 garlic clove (crushed) – optional
  • 3 TBSP white vinegar
  • 3-4 pickling cucumbers
  • water
  • 1 quart mason jar or Weck jar

Instructions:

1. Slice up cucumbers whichever way you prefer (I like to do them in quarters, like spears because I feel they “soak” up the flavors better) and add them to the jar until it’s full

2. Add all dry ingredients to jar and vinegar

3. Fill jar almost to the top with room temperature water (leave like an inch or so of space)

4. Put lid on (make sure it’s secure) and shake so all the ingredients can combine

5. Leave on counter for 24 hours (after 12 hours, shake jar again, and then turn upside down to leave for the remaining 12 hours)

6. Once 24 hours have passed, place pickles in refrigerator. They are ready to enjoy! 🙂


Maple Liqueur

Making Maple Liqueur

As I was processing 5 1/2 gallons of maple sap on the stovetop recently, I sat and sipped some Peated Single Malt Irish Whiskey in between the bouts of clearing the foam, refilling the pans, etc. I remembered the many trips to the mountains and buying smoky or infused maple syrups. They were amazing. Knowing that this batch would not have the smoky notes to it because it was done on the stovetop (snowing and wet that day), I began thinking of ways to infuse the syrup with the peated whiskey I was enjoying. In doing so I stumbled across a recipe for Maple Liqueur which combines both maple syrup and whiskey.

The recipe seems relatively easy – it’s equal parts whiskey and pure maple syrup. I set aside 6 ounces of my beloved whiskey and drank the remaining bit left over from Christmas. I plan to add 6 ounces of maple syrup, seal it, refrigerate it for 2 weeks + and try it out. I’ll keep you posted on how it turns out, but it sounds like it may be worth setting some maple syrup aside each batch if this comes out good.


Simple Nutritious Smoothies

Simple Nutritious Smoothies

Have you wanted to start making smoothies for yourself or your family but don’t know where to start? Weeding through the array of machines and recipes can be confusing and overwhelming, so we wanted to share a simple approach to nutritious smoothies. If you are looking for specific smoothie recipes, check out the Smoothie Recipe tag.

First things first, decide on your smoothie making machine. We love the Nutribullet. It’s easy to use, easy to clean, relatively inexpensive and can be used for wet and dry blending (i.e. making your own oat flour by blending oats, etc). It’s also very effective and lasts a long time.

Once you have a machine you can start building out different smoothies. In this post we are going to focus on the smoothie foundation we use and the add-ins you can use. This is not a recipe but a guide for creating your own smoothies.

Base Layer

For almost every smoothie we make we start off with unsweetened almond or oat milk and/or canned coconut milk and then we add either a banana or an avocado. The banana or avocado can be room temperature or frozen pieces – up to your preference! Add some unsweetened vanilla yogurt as well if you want it to be extra smooth! These ingredients serve to add creaminess to your smoothie. Think the ‘smooth’ part of the smoothie. If you want a more watery smoothie you can omit these ingredients and use water, but expect a drastic change in taste.

Add-Ins

Now that you have your base layer you can add in any of the following. Be mindful of flavor combinations. For example, avocado and cocoa go good together, or perhaps the vitamin supplement you’re adding to the smoothie has an orange flavor which would be best mixed with other fruits or veggies or just with yogurt and milk to create a creamsicle flavor.

Proteins

For protein, we will generally add in either a vegan protein powder from the store or just use our favorite nut/seed butter (almond, cashew or sunflower). For example, one of our favorite recipes uses almond butter on top of the base layer with mini chocolate chips, dried and pitted dates and ice cubes. You can also use tahini (ground sesame seeds), which has a unique but delicious flavor.

Dry Ingredients

We already mentioned protein powder, however, there are other dry ingredients to experiment with as well. For us we love having a flax seed/chia seed blend on hand to act as a thickener. We also use cacao or cocoa in our smoothies to help boost flavor and nutrients. You can also add in your favorite powdered vitamins and/or probiotics.

Vitamins & Probiotics

As noted in Morning Vitamins we have a vitamin and probiotic routine for the kids (and ourselves for that matter). Sometimes we will add the liquid or powder vitamins or probiotics directly into a smoothie. Or, if you’re adding yogurt into your smoothie, you can get your probiotics that way as well.

For someone who is averse to fruits and veggies, consider something like Balance of Nature Fruit and Vegetable Supplements and add them directly into the smoothie.

Vegetables

We don’t typically add veggies into our smoothies – I know, I know. We used to make a lot more veggie smoothies and when we did we liked spinach as a add-in because it was sweet and broke down well in the machine. Baby kale was also good.

Fruits

Everything we have been using thus far has been unsweetened but once you add in the fruit you will start building back some of that sweetness. Our go-to fruits are blueberries, raspberries (high in fiber), pineapple, cherries, strawberries and mango. We buy these frozen to help make the smoothie cold, though you can also just add ice to the smoothie, but it will water it down a bit.

Sweeteners

If adding the fruit was not sweet enough, then feel free to add in some honey, agave, maple syrup or dried pitted dates. Taste test to make sure it’s sweet enough but not too sweet. Our kids love adding Enjoy Life vegan chocolate chips as well.

Summary

All in all, keep it simple as you experiment. Start out with milk, banana, and add a fruit and then experiment from there with changing out the fruit, adding in dry ingredients, vitamins, probiotics, and or sweeteners. In time you will have a few recipes that are your go-to recipes you love. For us it’s the almond butter smoothie and the avocado cocoa smoothie, but many times we just like a simple creamy fruity smoothie. Keep experimenting outside of what we have instructed – try adding a splash of vanilla or cinnamon, add whatever you think would taste good!

Smoothies are a great snack but can also be a meal replacement depending on the nutrients you’re adding in. Smoothies are a gem when it comes to adding nutrients back into your diet and they are highly customizable to your taste and nutrient needs. Cheers!